So you think you do not want to live forever?

Everything we do, we do to live longer than if we did not do those things. We bite off pieces of vegetables and meat and cut it into crumbs with our teeth, then we apply enzymes to it (spit) that start to disolve for example starch into sugar. We hunted to live weeks longer, we planted wheat to live a year longer, now today, we get an education over decades, to get a job that will provide food and therefore survival for half a century. We avoid things that are usually bad for our health (bad smells, sights, sounds, liquids and real danger). We try to not become un-sanitized, and clean ourselves when we fail at that task, we clean our teeth and hair to improve health. Even having a pet increases life-expectancy. Pretty much anything you do, makes you live longer than if you did not do it.

So when Aubrey de Grey or someone else speaks of replacing cells in your body and rejuvenating the ones that can not be replaced (like braincells), don’t make the mistake of asking “why would anyone want to live for a thousand years?”, because you already want to live longer, and when you have lived longer, you will want to live even longer, and when you have lived even longer, you will want to live even longer than that. The only reason old people don’t appear to want to live much longer (and say they don’t want to live longer), is because they become unable to do all those things that make them live longer (mostly on a cellular level, the cells stop doing their job as well because they aren’t being replaced by brand new cells as well as before).
The problem however, is that not you nor I have a gene that makes us fear dieing of cardiovascular diseases which 29% of people die from, or cancer which 12,49% die from. And without feeling fear of something, how does one avoid it? Well, by thinking about it differently, to find a reason good enough for you to bother exercising, eating less and doing whatever science has shown makes us live longest. It is the same for qutting smoking, those that do for health reeasons usually make it and usually make it without help, those that do because of other worse reasons rarely make it. The reason has to be good enough for the individual to stick with it.
It also helps to do the easy stuff that will increase health, like donating money to medical research, and donating processing-power to medical research, and heating your home with processing-power for medical research, doing ten push ups, biking/running around the house once or twice as fast as possible, eating one less burger by not going into a fast-food place this month, eating one more slice of bread instead of snacks, taking up an active hobby like gardening (grow some healthy potatoes or other vegetables), heat the greenhouse with processing-power for medical research, put up solar panels and heat the barbecue-area with processing-power for medical research. When some of that is done, getting someone else to donate money and/or processing-power to medical research and to get them to heat their house with processing-power to medical research, get someone to get an education in medical research, tell people you want to live longer now that you already live best which will perhaps also make them want to live longer.

Personally, the donating processing power to medical research and getting others to do it as well is what I’m most excited about. Just a computer here and a computer there, running a program on the 99% of the processor capacity we don’t use and a few minutes of internet time every night. Every computer can do so many calculations in a year it is measured with 14 zeros. Just one CPU core can model 4 to 10 molecules every day, thats 1460 to 3650 molecules every year, and a cheap 5 000 kroner computer today can have 8 CPU cores, that’s 32 to 80 molecules per day, 11 680 to 29 200 each year, and a video-card can do ten to a hundred times more work (ten to a hundred times more complex molecules more often than thousands of small molecules).

So go forth, and accept the fact that you want to live forever, let the entertainers worry about how to keep us entertained that long.

PS: Medical research program for all computers: http://docking.cis.udel.edu/ and here is a medical research program for those who have “nvidia” high-end video cards: http://www.gpugrid.net/

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