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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ought-to-be-enough-for-anybody dept.

The Guardian has an interesting article on the current quest sweeping Silicon Valley to disrupt death and the $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years. Hedge Fund Manager Joon Yun's Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which 15 scientific teams have so far entered, will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%:

Billionaires and companies are bullish about what they can achieve. In September 2013 Google announced the creation of Calico, short for the California Life Company. Its mission is to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives”. Though much mystery surrounds the new biotech company, it seems to be looking in part to develop age-defying drugs. In April 2014 it recruited Cynthia Kenyon, a scientist acclaimed for work that included genetically engineering roundworms to live up to six times longer than normal, and who has spoken of dreaming of applying her discoveries to people. “Calico has the money to do almost anything it wants,” says Tom Johnson, an earlier pioneer of the field now at the University of Colorado who was the first to find a genetic effect on longevity in a worm.

Why might tech zillionaires choose to fund life extension research? Three reasons reckons Patrick McCray, a historian of modern technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. First, if you had that much money wouldn’t you want to live longer to enjoy it? Then there is money to be made in them there hills. But last, and what he thinks is the heart of the matter, is ideology. If your business and social world is oriented around the premise of “disruptive technologies”, what could be more disruptive than slowing down or “defeating” ageing? “Coupled to this is the idea that if you have made your billions in an industrial sector that is based on precise careful control of 0s and 1s, why not imagine you could extend this to the control of atoms and molecules?,” he says.

Related Stories

Naked Mole Rats Show Few Signs of Aging 34 comments

Naked mole rats defy the biological law of aging

In the world of animal models, naked mole rats are the supermodels. They rarely get cancer, are resistant to some types of pain, and can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen. But perhaps their greatest feat, a new paper suggests, is that they don't age.

The first study to analyze the life histories of thousands of naked mole rats has found that their risk of death doesn't go up as they grow older, as it does for every other known mammalian species. Although some scientists caution against any sweeping conclusions, many say the new data are important and striking.

"This is remarkably low mortality," says Caleb Finch, a biogerontologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who was not involved in the new study. "At advanced ages, their mortality rate remains lower than any other mammal that has been documented."

Scientists have long noted that naked mole rats—burrowing rodents with wrinkled, pink skin and large protruding teeth that live in large, subterranean colonies—show few signs of aging and far surpass the life span expected of a rodent this size. Mice in captivity live at most 4 years; based on their size, naked mole rats would not be expected to live past 6 years. Instead, some live beyond 30 years, and even at that age breeding females stay fertile.

The scientists behind the research work at Calico, Google's biotechnology and anti-aging subsidiary.

Also at Calico and BGR.

Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy Gompertzian laws by not increasing with age (open, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.31157.001) (DX)

Related: Silicon Valley's Quest to Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'
Google is Super Secretive About its Anti-Aging Research


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:39PM (#134420)

    Maybe they should start with getting most people live long enough to actually reach their natural maximal life span before they try to extend that. Because otherwise, it doesn't matter how long you could have lived if you had not died from an illness before.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kaszz on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:46PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:46PM (#134426) Journal

      With that attitude you can't make progress unless everyone does it in the same timespan. An impossibility. Some people will be first others later. The world is diverse and people have different priorities and capabilitites. One has to deal with that.

      Bad living conditions also has a lot to do with vested interests, in many cases in their own country, bad attitudes towards family planning and of course greed in different manners. Those problems will take time to solve. But holding back achievement of others is not the answer.

      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:49PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:49PM (#134507) Journal

        The more rent they can squeeze from your exhausted husk.

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: 1) by fritsd on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:29PM

          by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:29PM (#134522) Journal

          Nononono...

          You see: you, the scientist, get $ 1 million.

          The billionaire "struldbrug" (sp?) hedge fund manager gets to live to 120 and squeeze more rent from your comfortably retired husk, your children's exhausted husks, your grandchildren's exhausted husks, and gets his porridge spoon-fed by your great-grandchildren's exhausted husks (if they find a job in the booming geriatric business).

          I have to re-read "Gulliver's travels" one day ... still funny after almost 300 years.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:53PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:53PM (#134431) Journal

      The thing is though, most non-accidental, non-murder deaths are either very young or at least moderately old. Combating aging, (if cheap enough to do on a wide scale once discovered) should help extend lifespans for everyone who can afford it.

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:35PM

        by davester666 (155) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:35PM (#134501)

        most important part of your statement: "for everyone who can afford it"

        Worker bee's need not be concerned about this, as they will never be able to afford it.

        • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:45PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:45PM (#134505) Journal

          A claim you make on no particular basis.

          The big cost here is going to be research. Once they develop a technology to treat aging, it really likely will be moderately cheap(no more than prescription drugs) to mass produce.

          • (Score: 1) by fritsd on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:49PM

            by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:49PM (#134529) Journal

            I agree with you about the cost aspect.

            It's beside the point that it would be moderately cheap to mass produce. A billionaire would give his last billion for this cure, therefore the optimum price point is going to be 1 billion?

            Maybe they could get even more profit by dropping the price and selling it to more customers; but then it would seem less "exclusive" so the billionaires would think "meh.. screw it, I'll wait 20 years and then try if it has become even cheaper".

            And it doesn't even have to be real; think about what an expert like Bernie Madoff [wikipedia.org] could achieve with a project like this, immortality for the exclusive few .. if you keep your mouth shut.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:39PM (#134527)

          1 nanobot or 1 trillion nanobots is not going to be expensive. In fact, the health care industry will be seriously undercut by a preventative nanobot cure that eliminates aging, lifestyle diseases, and microbial infections. You just have to live until it hits the market.

    • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:52PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:52PM (#134483)

      All the scientists in the world could probably work for several lifetimes and still not eradicate every possible illness. But.. many of those illnesses primarily take those who are already suffering the effects of old age. Eliminate aging and the others will be much easier to take on.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:55PM (#134510)

      The same factors behind aging are responsible for Alzheimer's, cancer, forms of heart disease, etc. Treat them [wikipedia.org], and people will be reaching "natural maximal life spans" and living healthier than old people have lived in the past. Living 120+ or 1,000+ years is just a consequence of treating the diseases of aging.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:53PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:53PM (#134551) Journal

        Actually a cell must disable the limit on divisions (that is, programmed death) in order to become a cancer cell. So most likely the "cure" to ageing would not reduce, but rather advance cancer.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:57PM (#134567)

          I have no problem with that. Statistically speaking, everyone will eventually get cancer, and everyone already has cancer or a cell that is partially on the path to becoming cancer. There are thousands of different kinds of cancer. So the final solution to cancer is something that can treat any kind of cancer at the level of individual faulty cells. Aka a nanobot that can destroy cells or fix DNA transcription errors. Which can also be used to target other causes of aging, like the accumulation of intracellular waste.

          A couple of stopgaps to the true nanobot cancer killer are gene therapy targeting the exact mutation that causes one kind of cancer, or nanoparticles that deliver chemotherapy directly to cancer cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:40PM (#134421)

    A few more decades for the .1% ?

    Fuck 'em.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by buswolley on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:49PM

      by buswolley (848) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:49PM (#134429)

      Life extension plus radical inequality is not a good formula. But the real problem with life extension is war and terrorism. As tech makes us more powerful individually the vulnerable we become. Shrapnel and/or biologic weapons cut short life extender effectiveness.

      --
      subicular junctures
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:49PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:49PM (#134462)

        Life extension plus radical inequality is not a good formula.

        Maybe its just the kick a dead system needs to topple it. If the rich guys on the east coast ran the last century, maybe the rich guys on the west coast will run this century and king of the hill isn't changing without a fight. If you're looking to take over, you need a wedge issue, and I could see life extension medical care being the kicker to the existing disaster of a medical system. So they may know darn well what they're about to start, and they expect to win so thats OK. Of course this is starting to sound like Europe in 1914 but history does always repeat itself, so ...

        • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:17PM

          by buswolley (848) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:17PM (#134555)

          If a deterministic universe ever repeats, oh damn,

          If A and B are states of the past universe, and A caused B, then an inescapable causal loop occurs if the Universe enters state A', where A'= A, since it then follows A' -> B. That is, A->B...->(A'=A)->B.

          --
          subicular junctures
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:16AM (#134598)

          This. More inequality means more pressure for a revolution. The more powerful the ruling class is, the more enemies they will make, even within their own ranks.

          Cure aging first, then you can worry about the consequences.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by middlemen on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:54PM

      by middlemen (504) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:54PM (#134433) Homepage

      Health without Wealth is acceptable.

      Wealth without Health is useless.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:27AM (#134616)

        Perfect health and crushing poverty certainly is not acceptable.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:58PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:58PM (#134439) Journal

      And what if it were a few more decades for the 20%? You know, the slice that's neither winning nor losing from the expanding income inequality. What level of egalitarianism in distribution of progress is sufficient for you to approve of progress?

      I don't expect you to have an answer, because I don't have an answer. But it's still a question that intrigues me.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:46PM

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:46PM (#134460)

        He doesn't care about any of that, none of em do. Would require thinking. Theirs is a ideology of envy. And yea, death has always been the great equalizer in that we all die and even with unlimited wealth you can't currently buy more than a few years more.

        Well, I sympathize completely,
        But there's nothing I can do.
        I am just a humble servant
        With a message here for you.
        Well I know you have good reasons
        And there's things you've got to do,
        But the boatman won't be waiting
        And he's leaving here with you.
        And you can't take it with you,
        No matter what you do.
        No, you can't take it with you,
        Not the place you're going to...

        Well now the Gods of Tech figure there outta be an App for that problem too. And it is really just another, very hard, tech problem so there is no reason life can't extended a fair bit before hitting diminishing returns. The problem is like any new tech the rich will benefit first and unlike in the past where that wasn't a problem we are living in a postmodern hell. There will be laws passed against it. Just wait.

        There will be a whole new philosophical system developed teaching how it is wrong to not want to die. It won't make a lick of sense, none of what passes for intellectual activity these days does, but it will be pushed in all media.

        • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:54PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:54PM (#134464) Journal

          I challenge you to structure that as a rigorously testable hypothesis.

          And to reconsider your beliefs if such works are not published according to your predictions.

          • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:41PM

            by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:41PM (#134479)

            I made a specific prediction. When results begin to actually appear that extend life, if they are so expensive that only the rich can afford them (and that is likely since most new tech works that way and works its way down to the masses through economies of scale) then there will be laws passed to regulate/ban it or there won't.

            Much like the AGW crowd published specific predictions twenty years ago and none of them came to pass. But that discussion is better had a couple of articles down.

            • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:19PM

              by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:19PM (#134493) Journal

              Oh, so much bullshit [skepticalscience.com].

              • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday January 13 2015, @11:09PM

                by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @11:09PM (#134569)

                Ok, help a poor neoreactionary out here. I'm saying the predictions from the Warmists twenty years ago were uniformly wrong. You claim, as I predict, that all results confirm AGW, the experts were perfectly right and there is nothing to see here. Now look at the current article here on Soylent "Volcanoes Are (Mildly) Damping Effects of Global Warming" wherein it is admitted that warming has been in a 'pause' for fifteen years, thus confirming my assertion that earlier predictions were WRONG. Wrong is a dirty word nowadays, but screw that. Predictions outside the error bars is WRONG in science. Can you explain this?

                Isn't it clear that AGW is non-falsifiable, a faith based belief system? No matter what happens it is always taken as confirmation. Kinda like whatever happens was 'God's Will', even when cute puppies die horribly. Same with Warmists. It's hot? AGW. Colder? Climate Change. Wetter, dryer, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, more tornadoes or fewer, drought, flood, more sea ice as well as less, all AGW and all solvable by the same prescription: give more control of the economy to global elites and transfer more wealth from successful economies to failed ones.

                • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:33PM

                  by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday January 14 2015, @02:33PM (#134743) Journal

                  No, "non falsible faithbased" is pretty far separated from "natural experiment demonstrated, theoretical model supported".

                  You know: there's no contributing compontent to global warming as a theory that hasn't been validated in a lab numerous times. It's a bit like saying "you only have faith that stars are objects similar to the sun."

                  Just because there's only one sky, and we've only been observing it directly, not through controlled experiments, doesn't mean we don't have so much fucking evidence that it's true. Just because there's only one earth and we mostly observe evolution only through natural experiment and extant evidence also doesn't render it "faith based".

                  The mass of the moon, theoretically modeled, observationally validated: no experiments.
                  Plate techtonics: theoretically modeled, validated through natural experiment: just like global warming.

                  At some point, you're going to have to accept that what you are is a science denier, with a tragically narrow view of science. If that's more comfortable to you than changing your mind: go ahead. Can't stop you. But you really should reconsider exactly how far you're willing to chase this untrue ideal of science you've created. And this bizarre and unsettling view of "faith".

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:09PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Tuesday January 13 2015, @09:09PM (#134534) Journal

          And you sir sound like a temporarily embarrassed millionaire, a way of thinking the 1% has pushed in the USA for a better part of a century which is why we don't have nice things like socialized medicine, strong unions, or higher education that doesn't leave our children buried in debt like a good chunk of the EU.

          The simple fact is we have seen time and time again what uncontrolled capitalism gets us, its golden vaginas, a permanent ruler class and dynasties. Once wealth reaches a tipping point it becomes self perpetuating because one can simply buy the referee to insure you just can't lose. See Goldman Sachs getting the government to pay GS 125% on the dollar for its "investments" during the housing crisis, or high frequency trading. Once you get to that point without a government stepping in and redistributing? You become an unstoppable black hole, the amount of wealth you've hoarded has made generating ever increasing wealth a trivial pursuit, you simply CANNOT lose.

          THIS is why capitalism MUST be restrained, why you MUST have high taxes upon the 1%, because otherwise you might as well go back to feudalism. Money IS power sir, and only the very naive would believe otherwise. The top 86 families control more than 84% of the wealth in this country...think about that for a moment, more than 80c out of every dollar is being held by a group so small you could fit them in your average HS gym and still have seats left over! And on our current course that group will never get anything but stronger, they just don't have to deal with risk because they have soooo much capital they can always insure the game is rigged in their favor, 100% legally too since they can simply have the laws written to accommodate them. THAT is why we must have high taxes, THAT is why wealth must be reigned in, because if you do not you end up with a handful at the very top and the rest in grinding poverty, from kings and queens to the age of the robber barons we have all of history showing this pattern over and over and over.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 14 2015, @10:01AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 14 2015, @10:01AM (#134685) Journal

            The simple fact is we have seen time and time again what uncontrolled capitalism gets us, its golden vaginas, a permanent ruler class and dynasties.

            No, we haven't. If you look over the past century, we got what you asked for. These just came with consequences - such as a massive reaction again strong unions or higher education that outpaced inflation by ridiculous amounts for forty years. Now, we're dabbling with socialized medicine and universally getting burned on that as well. The problem is that these "nice things" aren't sustainable.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 14 2015, @11:11AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 14 2015, @11:11AM (#134700) Journal

              Now, we're dabbling with socialized medicine and universally getting burned on that as well.

              Eh, that's not "universal". I should realize there's always winners no matter how bad or short sighted a policy is.

              • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:14PM

                by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:14PM (#134722) Journal

                If you consider what we have "socialized medicine" I have a bridge you might be interested in, its about as "social" as the Democratic Republic of North Korea is a democracy!

                What the USA got stuck with is NOT Obamacare, its ROMNEYCARE, damned near down to the last paragraph its a copy of Mittens MA plan and wadda ya know, its a love letter to big insurance and big pharma, surprise surprise. Obamacare had a single payer option and caps on the amount of profits the corps could make on drugs, did we get that? Nope.

                But it does perfectly illustrate my point on why we MUST have high taxes on the 1%, because what happened with Romneycare happens across the board, classic regulatory capture and lobbying $$$ insuring those at the top simply cannot lose. The most prosperous eras of American history? Taxes on the rich were above 80%, Reagan gutted those laws and now look at us, do you honestly think this country is better off? 40 years of decay, THAT is what the insanely low taxes on the rich have brought us friend, a crumbling infrastructure, broadband even worse than Romania, a country falling apart. Its simple economics friend, the poor and middle class spend, the rich hoard, and as more and more is hoarded there is less and less circulating and it all falls apart.

                --
                ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 14 2015, @05:37PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 14 2015, @05:37PM (#134800) Journal

                  If you consider what we have "socialized medicine"

                  I don't consider it a bit you set. US medical insurance and care is definitely more socialized now than it was in 2009.

                  What the USA got stuck with is NOT Obamacare, its ROMNEYCARE, damned near down to the last paragraph its a copy of Mittens MA plan and wadda ya know, its a love letter to big insurance and big pharma, surprise surprise. Obamacare had a single payer option and caps on the amount of profits the corps could make on drugs, did we get that? Nope.

                  And once again, we need a sudden interest in retconning history when Obamacare turns out to be less than advertised. This baby isn't Romney's, no matter what he did in Massachusetts.

                  But it does perfectly illustrate my point on why we MUST have high taxes on the 1%, because what happened with Romneycare happens across the board, classic regulatory capture and lobbying $$$ insuring those at the top simply cannot lose. The most prosperous eras of American history? Taxes on the rich were above 80%, Reagan gutted those laws and now look at us, do you honestly think this country is better off? 40 years of decay, THAT is what the insanely low taxes on the rich have brought us friend, a crumbling infrastructure, broadband even worse than Romania, a country falling apart. Its simple economics friend, the poor and middle class spend, the rich hoard, and as more and more is hoarded there is less and less circulating and it all falls apart.

                  Well, only if you ignore the huge economic growth of Reagan's second term and both Clinton terms. That happened despite the complete absence of high taxes on the wealthy.

                  Its simple economics friend, the poor and middle class spend, the rich hoard, and as more and more is hoarded there is less and less circulating and it all falls apart.

                  You display profound ignorance of economics, "friend". The rich don't become rich by hoarding nor do they stay rich by hoarding. Instead they would lose wealth via the mechanism of inflation. For example, $100 in 1973 was equivalent to over $500 in 2013 (see this calculator [westegg.com], for example). But instead, the wealthiest portion of the US grew in their fraction of wealth. They invest obtained wealth. Or stole it from the taxpayer. There's that approach to building wealth and one that is becomes easier to accomplish in today's more socialized US.

                  • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday January 14 2015, @10:01PM

                    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Wednesday January 14 2015, @10:01PM (#134906) Journal

                    OMFG somebody who actually believes the "job creators" myth! LOL I haven't seen one of those outside a "prosperity gospel" AKA the church of supply side Jesus [youtube.com] in years!

                    BTW I'm only too happy to back mine up with citations and figures [thomhartmann.com] because its not exactly a secret. The rich spend a piddling amount of their wealth, their "investments" are also a piddling amount and always in the same things over and over (no point being risky when you are a billionaire, after all 9% gains on 50 million is still nice) and the rest is hoarded in offshore accounts and tax dodges so they don't even have to pay the frankly joke of a tax bill they have now. For examples see Apple paying only 2% taxes on 36 billion profits [slashdot.org] which is frankly better than a good chunk of the fortune 50 which pay nothing at all [rt.com] and many of them get money BACK while paying nothing in! I bet YOU don't get that luxury, do you?

                    But I can wallpaper this page with facts and figures all day, this isn't exactly a secret, yet when I usually debate somebody on the right what does it usually come down to? Supply Side Jesus, a BELIEF that what they have been sold is true, the whole "job creators" myth, the "workers pay the taxes" myth (which combined isn't a drop in the bucket compared to capital gains) when reality is as Warren Buffet pointed out, he pays less of a percentage in taxes than his secretary. THAT is reality sir and THAT is why this country is turning into just another failed business.

                    --
                    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 15 2015, @05:42PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 15 2015, @05:42PM (#135178) Journal

                      OMFG somebody who actually believes the "job creators" myth!

                      You appear even more ignorant now.

                      BTW I'm only too happy to back mine up with citations and figures because its not exactly a secret.

                      Your citations and figures are deeply in error because the rich never pay the top margin tax rate - not then, not now. Having said that, it is worth noting that both Reagan and Clinton eras probably resulted in a modest increase in the real top marginal tax rate due to the elimination of complex tax loopholes and other simplifications of the tax code.

                      and the rest is hoarded in offshore accounts and tax dodges

                      Again, you are ignoring the effects of inflation. If I were a billionaire hoarding my billion dollars over the period 1973-2013, it will have dropped in value by just over 80%. Instead, real world wealthy people greatly increased their wealth. They did so by investing the great majority of it rather than "hoarding" it.

                      But I can wallpaper this page with facts and figures all day

                      Erroneous "facts and figures" are completely irrelevant. Reasoned argument goes a lot further with me.

                      Here's the problems with your arguments as I see them. First, you completely miss the dominant economic problem for the US and the rest of the developed world, labor competition from the rest of the world. Because the supply of labor increased dramatically due to the ability to ship goods from anywhere in the world, labor has less pricing power in the developed world than it used to have. Capital on the other hand is an input that hasn't changed all that much. So the end result is that people in the developed world who generate their wealth via labor have a tougher time than if they generate their wealth via capital. This situation obviously favors wealthy people.

                      Second, there are natural ways for wealth to move from the wealthy to those who are not. Three in particular are employment, purchase of luxury goods, and charity. While charities currently run relatively unimpeded (though there are the occasional threats to close the "loophole" of tax deductible charity donation), the other two have been massively interfered with. The developed world has tossed all sorts of constraints and costs on top of employing people (and unpopular industries which used to employ a lot of people). It should come as no surprise that this has discouraged employment and the transfer of wealth from the wealthy to the rest of society. Instead this wealth is transferred [voxeu.org] to the rest of the world.

                      Why should we punitively tax the wealthy? I think we should rather fix what we broke in our developed world societies. Similarly, we should accept that labor value is going to continue to decline for a few decades rather than stick it to the wealthy for a problem they didn't create and don't have much to do with.

    • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:24PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:24PM (#134472) Journal

      Let the early adopters pay the costs, and the rest of us will eventually benefit.

    • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:59PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:59PM (#134487)

      I share your concern that if they find something it might not be made available to most of us. But... I really want to see this technology developed. Even in a world where only your .1% have access to medicine the rest of us have some sort of hope to somehow scrape the money together, to pirate the formula or even just steal the drug outright. It's a matter of life and death, surely the 99.9% will be motivated enough to at least try.

      Even if the chances of getting ahold of the drug or treatment are slim it's better than the chances if it was never developed at all.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:22PM (#134519)

      Why would it be a few more decades, and not 1,000 years? Once you have the technology to treat the body like a machine, targeting drugs based on the genome, replacing organs with new organs, and finally fighting damage inside cells with nanobots, aging is history.

      How do you suppose the 1% or 0.1% will hoard the benefits of life extension? The goal isn't to magically extend lifespans, it's to cure the diseases of aging, which are rooted in an accumulation of mutations and other damage [wikipedia.org], as well as changes in gene expression. That means eliminating cancer, Alzheimer's, organ failure, and other diseases.

      What's more, the elimination of aging isn't complete until the treatments are so advanced that they can be produced cheaply. Stem-cell grown organ replacements (which may be able to grow inside the body [discovery.com]) are a neat trick that will start off as an expensive labor-intensive procedure but will become a cheaper, more effective and ethical option than waiting on the transplant list for years. The end game is nanobots that could check out every cell and repair damage from the inside. You will probably see trillions of nanobots made on a single wafer, with a "DNA origami" mimicking process to self-assemble them. If the nanobots can be directed to avoid excretion unless they have failed, they could stay in the body for weeks or more. I imagine some people would get a large course of nanobots to treat immediate issues, while everyone else would keep a billion or two around to constantly destroy cancer cells and repair transcription errors. The cost will be far less than tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the results will be more compelling (immortality and youth).

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Snotnose on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:55PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:55PM (#134434)

    What's the qualify of life going to be? If I'm going to age normally, then live an extra 40-50 years, then no thanks.

    --
    Every corpse on Mt Everest was once a very determined individual. Maybe you should just calm down.
    • (Score: 2) by emg on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:13PM

      by emg (3464) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:13PM (#134445)

      Damn. I guess they never thought of that.

      Aging is a disease. It's well past time we cured it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:28AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:28AM (#134604)

        Actually, this is a surprisingly common question about life extension. The tl;dr is that they want to both cure aging and solve any health problems that will inevitably arise from a much longer lifespan.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:25PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:25PM (#134449) Journal

      People get old and die because they loose their health. People live long because they get to keep their health. So if you live longer it's because you have your health intact.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:45PM (#134457)

        People get old and die because they loose their health

        So the solution is to tighten your health?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:04AM (#134653)

          LOL

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:46PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:46PM (#134459)

      What about people who die of a stroke at age 20? They would probably greatly enjoy another "horrific" 40 years of perfectly normal aging.

      Casual observation of Alzheimer patients seems to imply die about a decade after their brain starts to go. I'm not seeing a huge problem with my brain not starting to go for an extra 40-50 years later than "default". Ditto heart attack and stroke victims. If my brain goes when I'm 140 instead of when I'm 90, I'm not seeing much of a problem.

      One interesting quality of life issue is you're NOT going to be permitted to retire in your 60s if "everyone" suddenly starts living to 200. If you have your health, your owners (.gov and .com alike) are going to expect work out of you for most of your life. How that corresponds with the equal and opposite corporate demand of pyramidal structures where you fire 99% of employees before 20 yrs of experience is a total mystery. If no one over the age of 50 can get a job anymore (more or less true more or less societal wide right now) and suddenly people can't retire until 125, that means 75 years of proletarian riots I guess.

      A non-physical QoL problem is a lot of, shall we say, lower cognitive performance people, have severe problems keeping up with modern society under current conditions. Not a problem in the self selecting tech fields like here, but out in the world, there's going to be a lot of really pissed off at the world Fox News viewers. A southern white man from 150 years ago would fit right in with the neocons today, but everyone else is going to have adjustment pains and a related issue is the neocon will be screaming at his Fox News TV every hour even worse than happens today with old men.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:04PM (#134513)

        A cause of Alzheimer's [wikipedia.org] is thought to be "junk" accumulating in cells [wikipedia.org]. Treat the SENS targets [wikipedia.org], and you are also treating cancer, Alzheimer's, etc.

        Some people are able retire in their 40s. It just requires making a lot of money and financial planning. Some people already enjoy working their whole lives (in a job that they love doing), and research has shown that continuing to work delays brain decline. If we cure aging within 20-50 years, that will not be the cause of proletarian riots. The cause will be automation and AI massively eliminating employment.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @04:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @04:32PM (#134779)

        My mother is 70, and her friends a bit older: she's finding it depressing listening to them talk about how it would be preferable to die than to live much longer, because the human body simply doesn't last. The mind deteriorates, strength vanishes, and eventually all you're left with is memories of times gone by and friends who have passed on. My father lived about ten years past the point where his body and, with the mini-strokes that he often had, his mind started to fall apart. Death, coming in a haze of morphine to limit the pain, was a mercy for him.

        Be careful what you wish for, Tithonius.

        As for whether a southern white man from 150 years ago would be happy with neocons today, I doubt very much that he'd like watching the US tangle itself up in alliances with the Saudis and send soldiers abroad to die. You're talking about an agriculturalist and isolationist stereotype mixing with globalists who cheer on the financial sector: I'm not sure it would work. It's more a matter of whether any other modern political stereotypes would be less repulsive to the 150-year-old than the neocon.

      • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Thursday January 22 2015, @11:47PM

        by cafebabe (894) on Thursday January 22 2015, @11:47PM (#137080) Journal

        Casual observation of Alzheimer patients seems to imply die about a decade after their brain starts to go.

        A friend's mother is on dementia medication and the doctor freely admits that it may cause sudden heart attack. If this practice is widespread then current medical practice is to deliberately trade physical health for mental health.

        One interesting quality of life issue is you're NOT going to be permitted to retire in your 60s if "everyone" suddenly starts living to 200.

        We may have a situation where people are restricted to physically demanding jobs until they are 50. We may even have to defer the end of higher education until people are 120. And it may not be possible to obtain a senior rôle until a person is 150. If you have a genetic disease which precludes this then it sucks to be you.

        --
        1702845791×2
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:57PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:57PM (#134437)

    They want to live forever. Possibly motivated by fantasies of being Lazarus Long. This impulse is really no different than Ted Williams being put in cryo in the hopes that eventually some new technology will be created that will allow them to recover and live forever.

    The only difference between their impulse to live forever and the impulses of everyone else to try to live forever is that they think they have the money to potentially be able to actually do it. I think they're wrong, but best of luck to 'em.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:35PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 13 2015, @10:35PM (#134560) Journal

      Not sure the expiriment will ever get that far.

      After all, the story says:

      will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%

      "Such subtlety ..." said Slartibartfast, "one has to admire it."

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:58PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:58PM (#134440)

    pick good parents....

    Longer life, start health living young, and hope they invent the cure before you get old.

    My biological sense is that rewinding is going to be a lot harder than replacement.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:22PM (#134448)

    a day will come around in the future where you've seen enough; friends and things you get attached to are never permanent, continous rotation, breaking your heart, you've seen it all a thousand times before, the truth never ends.....

    ......alone in your room one day, you will pick up a gun and blow your fucking head off in when you realise you played a miserable cruel game on yourself!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:29PM (#134452)

      Is that you, Doctor?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:51PM (#134482)

        The ultimate goal of this exercise is not for extending the lifespan of an earth dwelling human.
        The miltary industrial oligarchy is entering a new phase of research, dangling carrots in front of our faces to swallow like nice little sheep. Their goal is to genetically modify and create special humans to have specific attributes to suit their requirements; one such requirement is a 'space travelling' human.

        The ruling class will eventually look down at us non-genetically modified humans like the way you see ants on the ground. They will continue to throw newer carrots and addictions at us earthlings throughout the life of the research.

        Wouldn't it be lovely if you could design an algorithm whiched always ripped through corporate speak such as "Silicon Valley say's OMFG blah blah blah" and replaced it with "John Kane president of wicked industries Maryland, and Jane Abel the senator for Some State, and Sergei Tossmeoff of GLOOGL, James Nutter president of MOONSANTO, and JIM GEEKSTER a computer science student from Mary Street SanFrancisco, have been given the green light by 'Oligarch X' to spin up a new global reasearch campaign....OMFG blah blah blah"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:35PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:35PM (#134525)

          There's still time to join the military industrial oligarchy before they all become eugenicists. And what happens to the oligarchs that weren't born genetically enhanced? Maybe they enhance themselves with gene therapy? Something that could also be used by the masses?

          Getting real, curing aging is about repairing aging damage and curing diseases. You don't get to cure aging without eliminating cancer, Alzheimer's, organ failure, etc.

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:36PM

            by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:36PM (#134846) Journal

            Sounds a lot like Star Trek Insurrection to me.

            --
            "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:29PM (#134521)

      Kids reach that state at the tender age of 12-18.

      Mortality should be a choice, not a requirement. If you think you've seen it all, maybe you will choose to end your life, and you should be able to choose that option. Others will find something to do - which won't be hard if interstellar travel is either slower or faster than light (either way you are either seeing or waiting to see the universe). And there will certainly be more peaceful options than putting a gun to your head. Like putting yourself in a series of VR simulations, or mind wiping yourself after landing on an unknown planet. You might even die on accident because of choosing to take bigger risks.

      And it all sounds a lot better than biology-enforced aging.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:23AM (#134602)

      Speak for yourself, your values in life are in no way a fundamental truth for every single human being.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Dunbal on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:16PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:16PM (#134468)

    OK, so who is going to pay for someone's 60 unproductive years, and all those medications and doctor's bills? Lofty goal sounds good on paper. In reality it sucks.

    • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:01PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Tuesday January 13 2015, @07:01PM (#134488)

      I think the idea is those will not be unproductive years.

      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday January 14 2015, @12:19AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday January 14 2015, @12:19AM (#134586)

        Want to bet? People have a hard enough time keeping their jobs when they are over 55 nowadays. And what exactly are the 20 year olds supposed to do when all the jobs are filled for an extra 60 years by your alleged "healthy" people? Either way, it doesn't make sense.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:00AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14 2015, @01:00AM (#134596)

          Automation and AI will be the cause of an unemployment crisis, not anti-aging.

          Drivers, food service, agriculture, manufacturing and many other sectors will evaporate due to automation.

  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:47PM (#134480)
    Genesis 6:3 - Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal ; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” https://www.bible.com/bible/111/gen.6.3/ [bible.com]