James Clement is an attorney and serial entrepreneur. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Maximum Life Foundation which supports aging and life extension research with a mature and secure VC fund strategy (next blogterviewee, David Kekich, C.E.O. of MaxLife).
1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? I have been interested in life extension ever since I first learned about death as a child. During school, I was always more interested in science than any other subject; but my high-school chemistry teacher was a political activist and encouraged me to study law and change “the System.” Unfortunately, it did not occur to me that I could actually practice life-extension research until I was in law school in the 1980’s, and read Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s “Life Extension Handbook.” I continue to read constantly in diverse scientific fields, especially regarding anti-aging and life-extension, neurophysiology, artificial intelligence, and space. I take about 40 to 50 pills a day, mostly from the Life Extension Foundation, which I believe is the premier vitamin/supplement company in the U.S. I joined the Maximum Life Foundation about a year ago as its Chief Operating Officer, and help its Founder, David Kekich plan and implement strategies for the Foundation to help facilitate anti-aging research.
2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? I am definitely committed to maximum life extension. I appreciate the views of Hans Moravec and others, popularized by Ray Kurzweil in his book “The Singularity Is Near,” that technological change is happening at an exponential rate. While too many people think that super longevity won’t be practical during this century, I believe my generation of Baby Boomers will be the last humans to experience involuntary aging and death from old-age.
3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?Not only will the suffering of disease and aging be alleviated, but human society will be transformed by continuous learning, and a deeper appreciation for the value of life (human and animal) and the environment in which we live.
4. What kind of moderate life extension technologies have the chance to become successful, and when? For individuals older than 50, the most important challenge is to avoid the “landmines” of cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. in order to live long enough to benefit from the coming anti-aging research. There is already a lot which is known and can be done to minimize your risk. I would suggest anyone interested in longevity to go to the Maximum Life Foundation website and read SALADS, as well as some of the books on our reading list.
5. What is the most probable technological draft of maximum life extension, which technology or discipline has the biggest chance to reach it earliest? When? I believe that Aubrey de Grey’s Strategy for Engineered Negligible Senescence is the most likely model for conquering aging within the next fifteen years. Repairing the damage in the seven categories of damage set forth in the SENS model, will give us the extended lifespan necessary to discover the mechanisms that cause the cascading damage that results in aging, and to eventually reprogram our own DNA to correct these problems, which I believe we will be able to do in the next fifty years.
6. What can blogs and other websites do for LE? The vast majority of the public still thinks that extreme life extension is science fiction. Blogs and websites can help educate them as to how close we really are to ending the suffering of disease and aging. Every day, 100,000 individuals die from aging related disease. If we are to put an end to this travesty as soon as possible, we need to motivate the public to make this a priority of our society.
7. What can You do for life extension? First, educate yourself about current technologies and practices which will help you avoid the medical “landmines,” and then share the information with your family, friends, and neighbors. If you can afford it, donate money to the MPrize as well as the Maximum Life Foundation, to facilitate research in the Anti-Aging field. And, spread the word that “The Singularity is Near!”