Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category
Posted by attilacsordas on November 18, 2008
How do you interpret the following situation: we have a life extension technologist whose all endeavors is about pushing this issue to its very limits and making things possible but on the other hand this very life extensionist himself is not driven by actually living as long as he can.
It seems that SENS theorist Aubrey de Grey, who is chronologically 45, (BioBarCamp photo by Ricardo) is taking roughly the above position in a recent interview. Aubrey is a good and witty interviewee and of course the interpretation of what he is saying is strongly context dependent so here is the full question and answer:
Question: One hundred years of life can wear you down physically, but it can also wear you down emotionally… perhaps even existentially. For you, is a desire to live long accompanied by a desire to live long in a much-improved human civilization, or is this one satisfactory?
Aubrey de Grey: I’m actually not mainly driven by a desire to live a long time. I accept that when I’m even a hundred years old, let alone older, I may have less enthusiasm for life than I have today. Therefore, what drives me is to put myself (with luck) and others (lots and lots of others) in a position to make that choice, rather than having the choice progressively ripped away from me or them by declining health. Whether the choice to live longer is actually made is not the point for me.
Let’s see 2 possible and extreme interpretations of this answer (neither of them is my own interpretation) and I hope my readers can find fine-tuned arguments in between while thinking a bit about this still rather philosophical topic:
1., Saying that we want the process (a robust healthy lifespan technology) but not necessarily the product (a robust healthy lifespan) of our own business is a disaster Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aubrey de Grey, life extension, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, SENS | 23 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on April 2, 2008
In No kidding, I am a cum laude philosopher, and so can you! it turned out that finally I got a philosophy diploma. That said, from now on I am officially qualified to think on the big questions of life. For instance, I can find out new arguments and concepts and I can answer (or at least fine-tune) questions like: ‘what is the meaning of life?’. (The best analysis of this question for me was Robert Nozick‘s Philosophy and the Meaning of Life in the last chapter of his book Philosophical Explanations, for an official intro see Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
So here is a short analysis and an answer of mine to this most important philosophical question from the point of view of a life extension supporter:
1. premise: this question could be answered only if it not about the general meaning of all life, but the particular meaning of individual human lives.
2. analysis: let’s fill the question up to show the variables in it: ‘what is the meaning of an individual human life (x) for somebody individual (y)?’ Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in joke, life extension, lifestyle, partial immortalisation, partial immortalization, personal, philosophy, pimm | 2 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on April 1, 2008
My mom’s acquired this diploma 3 weeks ago back in Budapest and it has an English translation so I can share it with you:
Posted in Budapest, joke, personal, philosophy | 4 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on July 16, 2007
Freeman Dyson, old school physics hero conceptualized his rather philosophical thoughts on future biotechnology in a visionary essay in The New York Review of Books, Volume 54, Number 12 · July 19, 2007.
What is surprising to me that according to Dyson “our biotech future” is centered around genetic engineering only, and there is not even a hint to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, which is a bit strange concept for me concerning state of the art biology.
Anyhow, I ask the readers to form an autonomic opinion about it. Here are some cites: Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century. Biology is also more important than physics, as measured by its economic consequences, by its ethical implications, or by its effects on human welfare….
I see a bright future for the biotechnology industry when it follows the path of the computer industry, the path that von Neumann failed to foresee, becoming small and domesticated rather than big and centralized. For biotechnology to become domesticated, the next step is to become user-friendly. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in biology, biotechnology, concept, future, philosophy, science, science marketing | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on April 12, 2007
In recent culture, technological life extension is considered to be a form of hacking, as 2Dolphins says a “hacker is someone who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations — someone who makes things work beyond perceived limits through unconventional means or skills.” In hacking there is also a DIY element too.
There are now 2 broader hacking terms applied for physical life extension technologies: body hacking and life hacking. For first, see my previous post about Bodies in the Making book which handles a diverse range of practices that aren’t usually linked: tattooing, cosmetic surgery, body-building, life extension technologies, self-cutting as exemplars of the body hacking concept. Body hack in that context is something extreme, something very experimental. How extreme form it will take, that depends on the chosen technology. In the old school permalink-free blog Notes from Classy’s Kitchen it is said for instance in the November 26, 2005 post: “What Aubrey de Grey was proposing was the ultimate bodyhack, engineered immortality (or 1000 year life span at least).” Body hack also includes a form a DIY, for instance Nikolaj Nyholm of O’Reilly Radar blogged on the “protocol for “isolat[ing] stem cells from your baby’s placenta in a rent lab or at home” for the upcoming EuroOSCON Make Fest, which also plays well with one emerging theme at this year’s FOO Camp, body hacking — engineers and copper wire paired with doctors, psychologists and neurologists.”
On the other hand there is the emerging life hack movement popularized by blogs as Lifehacker or 43 Folders or Lifehack.org. According to Wikipedia “the term life hack refers to productivity tricks that programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data.” And it is also Nikolaj Nyholm, who calls Aubrey de Grey an extraordinary life-hacker concerning his SENS-esque plan to defeat aging. Why life extension counts as a life hack? Long story short: it’s all about hacking time. The narrowest bottleneck of productivity is time, and indefinite life extension’s main ambition is to abandon this final limiting factor, to make time pressure out of time. But can indefinite or maximum life extension (and especially the here supported continuous regeneration treatment through systemic regenerative medicine called Pimm) really be interpreted as a life hack? I think yes. Indefinite life extension is the biggest scale life hack as it amplifies human capacities indefinitely, because it is the only possibility for a human and mortal individual to fully explore his/her own individuality, to develop his/her own abilities let it be mental, physical, or moral.
There is also the term biohacking, which refers mostly to synthetic biology or creating public awareness of human genetic information and in this context biohacker is a synonym for biopunk, and the term is not applied recently to life extension, although in the future it could considering the broad semantic field of the bio prefix.
To sum up: life extension is a form of extreme body hack which is the most extended life hack, although a body hack is rarely a life hack and vice versa. (In the movie Memento Guy Pearce (picture), who lacks short-term memory, uses tattoos on his body as fact memos, which is also a body and life hack, although most tattoos are just ornamental.)
Posted in anti-aging, Aubrey de Grey, biodiy, body hack, culture, diy, life extension, lifehacks, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on March 26, 2007
Upon a discussion with Anna 1 month ago, the question arised whether life extension might be interpreted as a green idea. She offered, that if people have the opportunity to extend their life significantly, paralell with this situation they find themselves in a more or less environmentalist position. Now back 2 steps: the question of environmentalism concerning life extension emerges 3fold:
1. the very technology of life extension is green enough,
2. the consequences of grand scale life extension are pro or antigreen (the overemphasized overpopulation topic), and
3. attitudes, mentality, psyhce of would be life extended people
I guess Anna thought of the latter, mentality tpye environmentalism: if we are extended, we take care of our environment more since its value will multiply with the bigger scale.
What do you think?
Posted in anti-aging, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, politics, technology | 4 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on February 21, 2007
With this paragraph on blogging Merlin Mann of 43 Folders hit the nail on my head: “Remember that your blog is only incidentally a publishing system or a public website. At its heart, your blog represents the evolving expression of your most passionately held ideas. It’s a conversation you’re holding up with the world and with yourself — a place where you can watch your own thoughts take different shapes and occasionally surprise you with where they end up…”
Well, I started Pimm at May, 2006, mainly with excerpts from my philosophy MA thesis, called The philosophical problems of human biotechnology and regenerative medicine. This is in no way a system (I don’t believe in the utility of any philosophical system), or intended to be, but a series of problem centered arguments via thought experiments. Additionally, I don’t think and seriously doubt, that there is a One & Only philosophical viewpoint, position or ideology, which best fits the problems & prospects of indefinite life extension.
In the meantime as I got more and more immersed into stem cell research through my PhD years (what a Bildungsroman blog!), the profile of Pimm has changed in consonance with the applied strategy, which suggests the following: in order to make the idea of radical life extension acceptable, the scientific-technological basis of it must be disclosed, which is regenerative medicine in my opinion. It’s good to change the approaches here, one is a top-down, from philosophy (why?) to science (how?) and the other is the bottom-up from science to philosophy and ethics. And there is the constant problem and reality level of life extension in the middle with paths to the middle, bottom and top, i.e. the realities of the uprising biotechnology industry (when?). Here I collected the philosophical posts in one place:
What is (and is not) partial immortalization?
Why is partial immortalization theoretically and technologically possible?
The parameters of a partially immortalized individual
Why do we have the right to partially immortalize ourselves, if it is possible?
3 hypothetic cost stages of continuous regeneration treatment
Why it is not a Grenzsituation to participate in a continuous regeneration treatment?
Why is the moral problem of extending human lifespan is inevitable?
Are you immortalized? Never mind, you are still a moral person!
Moral, instrumental, human rights: framework for pimm philosophy
How to protect the right for pimm when the costs are extremely high?
Can partial immortalization be permissible to those who can buy it?
Posted in blog, life extension, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on December 4, 2006
A question today for every maximum or indefinite life extensionist: Are you a 100% lifelong life-extensionist? Can you imagine that for thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years you are equally committed to continue your life in your present physical make-up with the help of a more and more perfect life extension technology? This question catches the somewhat paradox nature of being an indefinite life extensionist in every decisive moment of your coming life. Or the term ‘lifelong’ cannot be interpreted properly, when the concrete human life in question is indefinitely elongatable? I think we can gain slightly different answers formulating the question this way, then to ask: what is or could be the meaning of an indefinite life?
Without any doubt the commitment is not worth a dime.
Posted in life extension, lifestyle, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm | 3 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on November 27, 2006
Critical thinking is crucial to every successful scientific and technological project. In order to consider any attempt to the extension of life in details,we have to take a look at the other side of the coin. So in the future I try to blogterview some experts, scholars, philosophers, activists, …who are opposing some concrete points concerning life extension with the questions below:
1. What is the story of your contra life extension commitment?
2. Is it against moderate or maximum life extension?
3. Do you support moderate life extension? If not, what are your arguments against it?
4. What is your (strongest) argument against maximum life extension?
5. What are the problems with moderate life extension technologies concerning humans and why?
6. What are the problems with the present technological drafts of maximum life extension?
7. What can You do against life extension?
Posted in aging, anti-aging, Aubrey de Grey, biotechnology, blog, body hack, idea, life extension, longevity, movement, partial immortalization, philosophy, technology, therapy, treatment | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on November 20, 2006
Nick Bostrom is an analytic philosopher by profession in Oxford, but he has a strong background in science too. He is also the co-founder and current chair of the World Transhumanist Association.
1. What is the story of your life extension commitment?
I did not think much about the topic until I learned about various possible enabling technologies, and concluded that life extension is feasible. I suppose I was “committed” from that point on.
2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension?
For whatever is attainable. Ideally, death should be voluntary. I am assuming we’re talking about extension of health span. I am not committed to indefinite extension of life in a very poor state.
3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?
I’m in favor of research into anti-aging medicine for precisely the same reasons that I’m in favor of cancer research, heart disease research, and diabetes research: because it might prevent or cure disease and save lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in anti-aging, blog, community, concept, culture, life extension, longevity, movement, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, technology, UK | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on September 15, 2006
In the last philosophical-political section of Pimm I tried to delineate how to protect the right for partial immortalization when the costs of the treatment are extremely high. After it turned out that on the grounds of equal dignity it is hard to make the treatment impossible for those, who can afford it, the second question is: Can the continuous regeneration treatment called pimm be permissible to those who can buy it? The answer is yes, because the persons under treatment are moral persons, are not morally in a lower class. Being a moral person is a range property: a person is a moral person or not, there is not any hierarchical moral difference between moral persons. If the treatment would not be permitted to them, this would violate their right to self-determination, and their right to self-determination cannot be legitimately interfered with.
Considering the other 2 hypothetical cost stages of the treatment, when it is moderately expensive, and eventually cheap enough that the state can guarantee it for its citizens, our question about the permissibility do not rise at all, because during that 2 pimm will be an organic and decisive constituent of society.
Third question: could we justify the right for partial immortalization with instrumental premises?
Posted in idea, law, life extension, morality, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, politics, society, treatment | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on September 12, 2006
Now we have the introduction into the basic language of rights, duties and moral persons, and set the 3 hypothetic cost stages of the continuous regeneration treatment called pimm. The probable course of introducing pimm treatment into the real world is this: first the costs will be very high, then moderately expensive, eventually cheap enough that the state can guarantee it for its citizens. I focus here only to the very costly situation, because we will face with that condition first in real, 3 dimensional life within risky circumstances. Life extension supporters must prepare for the problems, when only rich people can afford partial immortalization and must fit pimm into liberal democracy . When the costs are extremely high the first question is: does the principle of equal dignity require us to make the treatment impossible for those, who can afford it? The answer is no, it does not, because immortalized persons are rational moral persons too, and forbidding their participation in the treatment would degrade them as morally inferior ones.
Three more questions arise:
2., can the treatment be permissible to those who can buy it?
3., could we justify the right for partial immortalization with instrumental premises?
4., could we argue, that the right for partial immortalization is a human right?
Posted in anti-aging, concept, ethics, life extension, longevity, morality, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, politics, society | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on September 12, 2006
Charles N. W. Keckler, a litigator and former law professor of Washington, D.C., tries to develop an argument for conservatives to support maximum life extension in TCS Daily. His main trick is to tell “revolutionary” change from “good, innovative” change, former opposed, later supported by conservatives.
“It is false that extending lifespan blunts innovation, except, perhaps, that of the “paradigm-shifting” sort. Conservatives are generally ambiguous about that sort of change, anyway. Therefore, I see no inconsistency in conservatives also seeking to preserve the true embodiments of the past, the repositories of wisdom and experience we ourselves will become if fate — and the federal government — let us.”
Posted in anti-aging, conservatives, life extension, partial immortalization, philosophy, politics, society | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on September 10, 2006
In order to get new philosophical insights from the pimm thought experiment and to prepare well for the future, we have to set up a philosophical framework, so let us move to normative morality, and the concept of rights. Normative morality is referred here by Bernard Gert as a code of conduct that all rational persons would put forward for governing the behavior of all moral agents. One example of normative morality is the Egalitarian theory of human rights by János Kis (see the picture), my main source in this respect was the book called Do We Have Human Rights?, that was published in English at Budapest, AB Independent Publishers 1985. The core of this theory is the principle of equal dignity: humans, as moral persons, as the subjects of moral rights and obligations, are equal. Rights and duties are complementary concepts, when there is a concrete right of somebody then there must be a concrete duty of some persons matching to this right. In the literature, positive and negative rights are discriminated. In the case of negative rights, there are complementary negative duties regarding everybody. For example, the right to life requires that it is our duty not to kill any person who has the right to live. Concerning positive rights there are complementary positive duties regarding some people, for example someone’s right to medical treatment requires complementary duties of doctors and nurses to treat the patient. The other basic distinction lies between instrumental vs moral rights. The difference between instrumental and moral-restrictive rights is based on the way of justification of the rights. In the case of instrumental rights the moral principle with which we would like to justify the right put on an aim, and the right is introduced as the powerful instrument to realise this aim, for example the right to property was justified this way by the utilitarians. Talking about moral-restrictive rights, first, we refer to a distinctive ethical quality of the subject of law, and, second, we mark the upper limit of the permissible instruments against the subject of the law, fix the minimal moral standard of admissible treatment. It is worth mentioning that the same right could be justified with moral-restrictive and instrumental premises, too. Human rights are moral rights, and the distinctive ethical quality which deserves respect is related to the fact, that the subject of law is a human being. Human rights are changing, they depend on time and place, and their range is gradually broadening.
Posted in concept, ethics, morality, philosophy, politics | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on August 18, 2006
The first generation of partially immortalized people will form a minority. Then questions will emerge about the social status of human beings under continuous regeneration treatment.
In current moral philosophy, there exists a received view of the moral person, which was worked out in John Rawls’s Theory of Justice. The moral person could only be the subject of rights and duties. It is a range property: a person is a moral person or not, there is not any hierarchical moral difference between moral persons. According to Rawls’s definition there are two necessary conditions of being a moral person: the person must have a capacity to form, pursue and revise a conception of the good and ii., be capable of having a sense of justice. Rawls, John: Theory of Justice, 1999.,p. 442. He defines goodness as rationality: if a man is capable of forming a rational plan of life, then „a persons’s good is the successful execution of a rational plan of life” Rawls, John: Theory of Justice, 1999., p. 380 The presupposition of this condition is lifetime perspective, taking the life of one person as a temporal whole. With the pimm thought experiment an argument could be formulated against this „plan of life” criterion of Rawls’s definiton of a moral person.
i., Because of the unforeseen duration of one‘s lifetime, one‘s unlimited lifespan, the person under treatment is not able to consider his/her life as a temporal whole, so per definitionem he/she cannot form a rational plan of life.
ii., Immortalized persons are moral persons. We could not think intuitively that they are not moral persons just because they are under treatment.
Conclusion: „the plan of life” necessary condition of being a moral person is too strict, and a weaker condition is needed.
Posted in ethics, morality, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, society | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on August 14, 2006
Let us see a philosophical connection between euthanasy and life extension: As the moral problem of ending human life is inevitable , so inevitable a moral problem is the extending of human lifespan, and exactly for the same two reasons as terminating life namely i., the pluralisation of world views and attitudes of life, some conceptions emerged, which, because of distinct type of reasons, require or prefer the extension of healthy human lifespan, increasing the maximum expected life expectancy and ii., the extraordinary development of medical technology and biomedicine. /The two reasons concerning euthanasy is explained in the euthanasy paper of János Kis, who was one of the mentors of my philosophy thesis./
Image is taken from my favourite movie ever: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead by Tom Stoppard.
Posted in concept, ethics, idea, life extension, morality, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on August 7, 2006
For first readers: The aim of regenerative medicine is to regenerate all tissues and organs of the human body with the help of stem cells’ regenerative potential. Theoretically if all tissues and organs of an adult body were regenerated once, then it could be regenerated two and eventually n times. This technological possibility is called partial immortalization.
Let us turn to ordinary morality and ordinary, first hand moral intuitions. The focus here will be on the level of the individual, and not the direct human environment of the individual (family, colleagues), or the society in which the individual lives. Contrary to the supposed intutition we try to show, that it is not a boundary situation (Grenzsituation) for the individual to participate in a continuous regeneration treatment, than we could think at first sight.
In a Grenzsituation, per definitionem, the life of a human individual (or a community) is in real danger. „The „limit” is the boundary line between life and death.” A Grenzsituation occurs only once, it is not repeated at another time, the individual will win or lose. Thirdly, a Grenzsituation is a short interval, the participant individual usually has an intensive experience, and the situation deserves some strong gestures and moral top condition.
A typical Grenzsituation could occur in war, in slavery, in a concentration camp, or in an euthanasy situation, but not in an average working day in a liberal democracy. Now imagine again an adult individual under the decision, whether to participate in a partial immortalization treatment or not, or just imagine an individual under regeneration treatment, and his/her next time to go to the clinic. First, this won’t be a boundary situation for him/her, because it is not a choice between life and death, but a choice between life and life, between an average life expectancy and a partially immortalized condition. Second, this hypothetical scenario of the treatment requires continuous, recurrent choices and decisions while a Grenzsituation is a unique one-time event, as mentioned before. Third, the treatment does not require high moral sensibility and spectacular gestures. The maximum moral intensitiy probably occurs when an individual first decides to go to the regeneration therapy, but we could hardly say, that this means his/her whole life is in danger. So immortalization does not seem to be a Grenzsituation for three reasons, and morally on the level of the individual under treatment it is not necessarily a source of moral conflict. Moral problems arise when we turn to the direct human environment of the individual (family, colleagues) and the society in which the individual lives.
Posted in ethics, morality, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on July 24, 2006
When talking about a maximum life extension therapy it is intuitively credible that the moral judgement concerning this treatment will also depend on the putative cost of the technology. To handle this situation clearly, it is worth differentiating between three different conditions.
First, when the expense of the treatment (let it be the cost of one complete regeneration of an adult human body, i.e. the regeneration of all body parts, organs and tissues) is so high that only the richest people can afford it and the state obviously cannot guarantee it.
Second, the treatment is quite expensive, yet it is accessible to the large part of the middle class, but the state again cannot guarantee it.
Third, the cost of the treatment is cheap enough that the state can guarantee it for its citizens.
Life extension as business will also depend largely on the cost of the technology.
Posted in business, ethics, life extension, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, society, technology | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on July 3, 2006
The abridged version of my philosophy MA thesis about pimm was published in a traditional book, you can download it here under the title:
Partial immortalization and the philosophical problems of human biotechnology and regenerative medicine
Posted in anti-aging, biotechnology, concept, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, society, technology | 1 Comment »
Posted by attilacsordas on May 28, 2006
Here are three arguments for the pro-pimm activists, in a nutshell. You can decide the order of strength between them, and it depens on the hierarchy of your background assumptions. Later I explore the detailed structure of the arguments.
The first is based on the main premiss that to be alive is better than to be dead in the present circumstances of mankind. This kind of argument could be called the argument for self-sustainment. Seems triviality at the first sight. But there are opinions that reject it.
The second argument is what we called the argument for self-development or self expression, because partial immortalization in this way is the only possibility for a human and mortal individual to fully explore its own individuality, to develop its own capacities, abilities let it be mental, physical, or moral. For me this is the most motivated argument and it is deep-rooted in the history of philosophy.
The third argument is the argument for self-determination, because participating in a regeneration treatment means that this way the individual can choose the date of its death maximally, as much as possible for a member of a species like that of the homo sapiens, which lives under accidental circumstances. As it is in the subtitle of the Immortality Institute: conquering the blight of involuntary death…
Three kinds of arguments were formulated supporting why an individual could choose this treatment: the arguments for self-sustainment, self-development, and self-determination. The source of the first argument is the desire to stay alive as long as we can, the inspiration behind the second argument comes from the desire to develop our abilities as best as we can, and the inclination leading to the third argument is the desire to control the date of our death, as we can.
Originally posted at May 9th, 2006,
Posted in anti-aging, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm | 3 Comments »
Posted by attilacsordas on May 21, 2006
According to the pimm script the parameters of a partially immortalized individual are:
-the individual is continuously and voluntarily under regeneration treatment, its own body parts are partially regenerated.
- the individual could quit out of the regeneration treatment voluntarily at any stadium without harming his health, and can choose normal (evolutionary made and fixed) ageing and today’s expected lifetime and death.
- the biological age of the individual is constant, he is not aging because of the treatment, his metabolism and energy household is normal.
- the individual’s body could not be harmed in an irreversible way, because it could be repaired, replaced and regenerated except in case of a sudden death.
- the individual could die in all the known forms of death (external) except the internal cause of death through ageing and chronic diseases. For example, one could die in a car accident, could be stabbed by a knife, or shot by a gun, a nuclear weapon …and he could commit suicide with these means. He could also die in an acute disease, in hepatitis, virus infection, kidney failure, liver cyrhosis, or a stroke.
Originally posted at May 6th, 2006,
Posted in anti-aging, concept, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on May 12, 2006
A crucial terminological and conceptual point, which came into my mind, when I read this old Fight Aging! post:
When experts, even the most comitted proponents are talking about radical life extension, they usually mention only a few hundreds or thousands years, and then put the enigmatic "more" tag at the end, but they are not very clear what this "more" could mean. In contrast, partial immortalization refers to maximum life extension, which equals to unlimited lifespan, because theoretically if all tissues and organs of an adult body were regenerated once, then it could be regenerated two and eventually n times. So pimm falls under the category of radical life extension, and forms the upper limit of that.
Why this "unlimitedness" will be so important throughout our journey?
If you would like to take into consideration all the expected an unexpected effets of a present or future technology to society in general, you have to figure out the putative and possible endpoint of that technology, and form your conception from that endpoint of view. In the case of life extension this is the possibility of unlimited lifespan, to eliminate the internal causes of death, which is partial immortalization, not just some thousand years and on the other side, not whole immortalization, i.e. to eliminate the external causes of death, and not complete rejuvenation.
The meaning of this unlimitedness in the pimm construct is philosophical and somewhat ethical. If I would like to think about life extension in a philosophical way, then I have to construct the broadest conceptual frame which is conceivable, and that is pimm.
On the other hand this unlimitedness bears some ethical burden: I, as a stem cell researcher and a philosopher have to be honest about what this technological endpoint of any life extension could be. And that is not some thousand years.
Next: The parameters of a partially immortalized individual
Originally posted at May 5th, 2006,
Posted in aging, anti-aging, concept, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, technology | 1 Comment »
Posted by attilacsordas on May 11, 2006
There are two main arguments supporting our modal statement:
i., negative: there is not any particular natural law, neither biological, nor physical which excludes this possibility.
ii., positive: we could extrapolate the technological draft of a regeneration treatment of the whole human body from the present results and methods of regenerative medicine.
Concerning the first argument, the impossibility proof of something which is not based on an outright logical contradicition, is very hard. But the argument does not say nothing about the realisation of pimm, it just opens some place in the possibility space. What if opposition considers, that entropy, in the statistical "disorder" sense, could cause a problem, say: the second law of thermodynamics necessarily excludes the possibility of pimm, because the total entropy of the human body increases over time and approaching a maximum value? Now the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. One point, where this metaphorical counterargument goes wrong is "isolated system". In thermodynamics, an isolated system is a physical system that does not interact with its surroundings. The human body is not an isolated, and not even a closed system, because it can exchange heat, work, i.e. energy and matter with its environment. I am pleased to announce that the human body is an open system.
Another source of objection could be based on evolution, but I discuss the connection between pimm, evolution and ageing later.
The second, positive argument is a macroargument, and the technological part of the pimm book tries to explicate this draft. An assertive quote:
”The promise of scientifically verified immortality has gained credibility with every successful organ transplant.” Frank Pasquale: Two concepts of immortality. Yale Journal of Law & the Humaities
Next: Maximum or radical life extension?
Originally posted at May 4th, 2006,
Posted in anti-aging, concept, entropy, evolution, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on May 10, 2006
The aim of regenerative medicine is to regenerate all tissues and organs of the human body with the help of stem cells’ regenerative potential. Theoretically if all tissues and organs of an adult body were regenerated once, then it could be regenerated two and eventually n times. (Think of the scheme of a Proof by Induction.) This technological possibility is called partial immortalization.
The main thought behind partial immortalization is quite simple. Every tissue and every organ of the whole human body could be replaced and regenerated with the help of stem or tissue-specific progenitor cell transplantation or with tissue engineering. If an adult body was regenerated once, then it could be regenerated n times. Constant and continuous iteration of this process leads to unlimited lifespan.
Leaving aside the scientific and technological details, the main statement of our thought experiment is: partial immortalization is possible with the help of regenerative medicine. An important restriction should be that partial immortalization means that an adult human organism does not age because of continuous regeneration, and so, lacks age-associated changes and diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases), the impairment of bioenergetic function and the decreased ability to respond to stress, and generally lacks the internal causes of death. But this does not mean that the immortalized person could not die in a car accident, through acute diseases, war or generally the external causes of death, or could be revived, reanimated after his death. This possibility would be immortalization in the strong or whole sense, which equals literal immortality. Briefly, partial immortalization would eliminate problems concerning ageing (ageing related physiological problems), while whole immortalization would eliminate death related problems.
Originally posted at May 1th, 2006,
Posted in anti-aging, concept, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, stem cells, technology | Comments Off
Posted by attilacsordas on May 7, 2006
Hi, I am Attila Chordash (say tshor-dash) = Attila Csordás (Hungarian), a last year PhD student, a trained molecular biologist and biotechnologist, and my topic is stem cell biology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine. I got a master’s degree in philosophy too.
My plan here is to write an online book (bloog, blook) about Partial immortalization with the help of you, dear readers, commenters, participators. A good example for such an effort is The Long Tail which is the coming book of Wired‘s editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson.
Partial immortalization – Pimm is an online bookblog about maximum life extension and regenerative medicine. Please participate and comment because the true value and quality of the adventure needs your contribution, which I would really appreciate.
The subtitle of this ongoing book presumably will be: the philosophical problems of human biotechnology and regenerative medicine.
Though our main topic is a technological possibility, we got a chance to stand in the intersection of science, technology, philosophy, economics, religion, politics, and culture.
Partial immortalization is an extrapolated technology with which humans can reach an unlimited lifespan.
Throughout this blog I promise you an intellectual but exciting journey, a journey which helps us to think over the main problems and meanings of our human lives.
That’s why we don’t have to be cool, hip or whatever. We have to be concentrated, and overuse our imagination. That’s all.
The topic of the next post will be: What is partial immortalization.
Originally posted at April 30th, 2006,
Posted in concept, idea, life extension, longevity, partial immortalization, philosophy, pimm, technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off