Be the Lifespan

I apologise for my long silence (both here and on l4t), but I’m having another of my crazy busy periods. As a matter of fact, I’ve got something going on behind the scenes for Rejuvenaction—major content updates that I’m planning and soon I’ll be working on, but don’t hold your breath. It’s gonna be a long thing, and I probably won’t get to it properly until my busyness is over.

In the meantime, have a look at Lifespan.io’s new campaign:


This campaign has no expiry date, and it aims at getting a decent monthly budget for LEAF/Lifespan.io to fund more and more projects and initiatives to help scientific research against age-related diseases and spread awareness. The base goal is 1000$, but with a higher budget, LEAF may be able to do a lot of cool things, like collaboration videos with big YouTube names such as SciShow and Kurzgesagt and yearly conferences. If you can spare even just a few dollars a month, you can help LEAF make a big difference.

You can also help out by spreading the word on your social media—remember to use the hashtags #aging, #crowdfundthecure, #bethelifespan.

LEAF’s new website is up and running

I’m happy to announce that the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, or LEAF, has launched their new website. Perhaps I should say ‘our new website’, as I have the privilege of being part of the team. Among the many resources available on the website, there’s a rich FAQ section, explaining the biology of ageing, the technologies we can use to defeat age-related diseases, and answers to objections to and concerns about rejuvenation. Check it out, and while you’re at it, have a look at our latest crowdfunding campaign for CellAge, currently 7% funded.

Crowdfunding against senescent cells on Lifespan.io

Today, Lifespan.io has launched a new crowdfunding campaign: CellAge: Targeting Senescent Cells With Synthetic Biology. As you may know, senescent cells are a major driver of a number of age-related diseases, and therefore a prime target for any respectable rejuvenation biotech platform. CellAge, a biotech company based in Edinburgh, aims to design synthetic promoters for safe and precise targeting of senescent cells, with the goal of developing senolytic gene therapies to remove them. Please, consider helping them with a donation—big or small, every dollar counts—and by spreading the word!

Let’s get SENS on SciShow

I’ve been thinking for a while about how supporters of SENS and rejuvenation science can help beyond donating money and talking to friends and family about our cause to end ageing. Even persuading one person to join the cause is great, but getting the message to millions of people would be much better.There’s a tiny chance we could make it.

Have you heard of the YouTube channels SciShow and VSauce? If not, you should really check them out. SciShow focuses on bringing science to the masses through extremely informative and fun videos where a host (usually, but not exclusively, Hank Green) talks about a certain scientific topic, either because they’re interested in the topic themselves or because their fans asked for it. VSauce isn’t strictly about science, but rather about what its host, Michael Stevens, finds interesting—i.e. pretty much anything in the universe. I think they’re both awesome channels, definitely among my favourite ones on YouTube. Do you know how many subscribers they have? 3.5 and 10 millions, respectively. If they did a video about SENS, or even better, if they interviewed Aubrey, the exposure the rejuvenation cause could get would be enormous.

I’m quite sure Hank would be interested; as shown in this video, he’d appreciate the extra nerd time he’d get thanks to rejuvenation biotechnologies. I’m not super sure VSauce has made any videos about ageing, but I think Michael may very well be interested in the subject. It’s the kind of stuff whose implications, twists, and details he could go on about for days, probably. Additionally, both channels interview scientists in some of their episodes, and I’d love to see Aubrey on one of those.

I’m not the only one to think this could be a good idea; Keith Comito of Lifespan.io talks about it in this video, and apparently he’s in touch with the host of VSauce 3 (there’s more than one VSauce channel), who seems to be very interested.

I talked about this with Jerri Barrett, SENS’s vice president of outreach, and she seems to agree as well. She said she’ll look into it, but also that these channels pay a lot of attention to their fan base, and she’s right. If enough people emailed or tweeted to SciShow, VSauce, and/or their hosts suggesting to interview Aubrey or talk about SENS/rejuvenation biotechnologies on one of their episodes, they might just listen to us.

You can get in touch with SciShow and/or its hosts through their YouTube channel, their website, their Twitter, Tumblr, and their Facebook page; Hank Green can be reached via Twitter or Facebook. Same goes for host Michael Aranda; you’ll find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Similarly, you’ll find VSauce of course on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook.

By all means, if you want to help, do not stop at these two channels; there are many others that may be interested in talking about rejuvenation. I’m giving a few more suggestions here, but feel free to get in touch with any channels or websites you deem appropriate. You can also leave your suggestions in the comments below.

DNews: Another science-related YouTube channel. You’ll find them also on Facebook and Twitter; here you’ll find information to get in touch with individual hosts, if you like.

Singularity 1 on 1: These chaps like to interview prominent scientists and thinkers for their podcasts. You’ll find them on their website, and on Twitter and Facebook among others. (UPDATE: They’ve actually interviewed Aubrey twice already.)

Wait but why: WBW is a very popular technology blog dealing with a variety of different topics. You can get in touch with them via their website, their Facebook, and their Twitter.

TED talks: TED hosts speakers with ‘ideas worth spreading.’ Aubrey was there quite some time ago, and it is perhaps time we suggested him for another talk.

The skeptic’s guide to the universe: They’re into science-related podcasts, and I’m sure their million followers could use one about rejuvenation. Find them on their website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

In order for this to work, though, we need to gain some momentum. If just a couple of people tweet to Hank Green, it probably won’t work. What we need is many people getting in touch with them and let them know their fan base would really like to see a video about SENS, rejuvenation, Lifespan.io, Aubrey de Grey, and all that is going on in the rejuvenation world.

I’m sharing this post on relevant subreddits, facebook groups, and all supporters of the cause I know; if you do the same, it might just work. Thanks!

Surprise! OncoSENS continues

The exciting announcement regarding the OncoSENS campaign I was talking about a few posts ago is that it got a 31-day extension, plus a matching fund of 15.000$. In other words, every dollar donated in the next 31 days will unlock an extra dollar from the fund, up to the first 15.000$. Right now the campaign is 58% funded, so there’s plenty of time to reach the goal and beyond. Pretty cool, eh? We’re counting on your help.

Again on the excuse of procrastination

In a recent talk, Keith Comito explained the need for the life extension movement to make friends, not enemies. He’s right, and I am a tad guilty. I get extremely annoyed and snappy at people when they raise silly objections to rejuvenation, and sarcasm isn’t really the best way to get people to listen to, understand, and eventually support your arguments. However silly certain objections can be, it’s to be expected they’ll be made. They’re a product of gut reactions, the same kind of reaction that makes you answer “ten cents” to the question: “A bat and a baseball cost 1.10$ together. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. What’s the price of the ball?”, when the correct answer is in fact 5 cents. The gut-reaction-driven answer (or objection) seems perfectly sensible, to the point one assumes no thinking is required. However, it does take some thinking to see why 10 cents is the wrong answer, and so it does to see why objections to rejuvenation are equally wrong.

I’m not the only one who gets annoyed at this problem, though. In fact, I’m in excellent company, since Aubrey de Grey himself complains about it in his talks every now and again. More specifically, he often points out how people can make two contradicting objections within the same sentence, for example ‘rejuvenation would cause overpopulation’ and ‘rejuvenation would be only for the rich.’ Given that there are very few people in the set of rich people, if you assume rejuvenation would be only for the rich you can expect it to have an extremely minor effect on the population; conversely, if rejuvenation caused significant overpopulation, it would follow that very many people must have used it, certainly not only ‘the rich’.

The above is one example of contradicting objections people bring up in a single breath, but it is not the only one. Another similar pair is “Living indefinitely would be boring” – “If people lived indefinitely, they would procrastinate a lot”. The first objection relies on the assumption that you’d run out of things to do, while the second objection assumes that, since you’d have eons at your disposal, you would postpone everything and consequently get nothing done—which, for all intents and purposes, equals never running out of things to do. Of course, one may argue, the two apparently contradicting objections may in fact marry well together: People might end up having an awful lot of things to do, but never doing any of them!

I have already addressed the two objections above before they even started dating (here and here), but let me address them now that they’ve been pronounced husband and wife. Whether you live indefinitely long or for just a ‘normal’ length of time, stuff to do has this unfortunate tendency to pile up if you don’t take care of it. Yep, that’s right. Stuff doesn’t get done by itself. And what’s more, there comes a point beyond which the length of your backlog doesn’t matter any more: If you have 100.000 or 100.000.000 things to do on your list, the situation is pretty much equally hopeless. If you were completely stuck in a room with a temperature of 300°C, would it matter if it were raised to 800°C? Exactly. The bottom line is, if you suck at time management, it’s your fault; the lenght of your lifespan is irrelevant. Regardless of how long you’ll live, procrastinating is a terrible habit which you should never pick up.

It’s quite far-fetched to assume that indefinite lifespans would turn everyone into a professional procrastinator. (Quite possibily, those who make the assumption already are professionals of this field.) Even disregarding this fact, using the spectre of procrastination as an argument against rejuvenation would be ridiculous. That’d be like saying, ‘If I lived indefinitely, I’d end up postponing everything and I wouldn’t do anything any more! Better to leave around some age-related diseases, so that I’ll die at some point and I won’t run into this thorny problem. Yep. That’s so much better than having to learn not to procrastinate.’

So much for not being sarcastic, I suppose. Sorry about that.

Short update

As I was saying elsewhere, the past month or so has been rather busy, and I haven’t had time to write a line anywhere. Now that that’s dealt with, let me give you a short update on what’s new with the rejuvenation world before I move on to some more meaty post.

You probably already know about Michael Greve’s lavish donation to ageing research, for which humanity as a whole should be grateful. That’s very good news. Still on the subject of money, the OncoSENS crowfunding campaign will end in about a day, and last time I checked it had reached around 56% of its 60.000$ goal. You still have time to make your contribution—they’re all welcome, big and small ones alike. I hear from Keith Comito of Lifespan.io that an “exciting announcement” about the campaign will be made during the RB2016 live streaming—because yes, they’re doing streaming it this year—and I’m looking forward to know what it is.