New Perspectives for Unlimited Longevity
by Tom Anderson
As the idea of scientifically extended longevity is slowly gaining
popularity, countless articles on life extension and even physical
immortality have become available -- of all these articles, why should you
read this one?
This article does not emphasize on scientific particulars of human life
extension, although it relates to the scientific facts. It is different --
focusing on both personal and cultural factors significant for a fast and
certain achievement of non-aging longevity. Therefore, the article offers
new ideas to advocates of life extension which could add to their existing
knowledge, but also lets the broad public -- uninformed about the very
latest scientific developments and lacking motivation and personal
perspectives about the topic -- form a better understanding about it.
This article was written for a general audience, however, especially the
following audience can benefit from new insights and perspectives presented
throughout this article: sceptics and critical thinkers, scientists and
students of biotech professions, long-term investors of biotech/medical
projects, transhumanists, longevity advocates and "immortalists",
freethinkers and atheists.
On the other hand, an intention is also to correct misbeliefs and offer new
controversial facts to the opposite audience, such as christians, people
seeking answers for immortality in mysticism and new-age culture, and the
so-called fatalists (a major part of todays society, which considers death
If you are well-read on the topic of longevity and potential immortality,
if you know about the arguments against the extension of human life, and if
you disagree with them, you might want to skip the first five or so
chapters. Or, you might want to read the conclusions first and follow the
links back. However, reading the article from top to bottom is suggested
for the best understanding. The text contains mostly new and unrecognized
facts and perspectives on how to personally achieve non-aging longevity
with relative certainty, which ultimately requires certain insights and
realizations that no technological or medical solution can deliver each
individual. Supporting the hypothesis that the conditions for establishing
open-ended longevity depend not only on scientific advancements, but also
to a high degree on the general attitude that modern society brings toward
immortality, it shows concepts and routes for necessary transformations
that one can possibly apply in order to advance the goal of achieving
Goals of this article are to provide new insights, and deliver arguments,
for the overcoming of death, but also critical, realistic views regarding
some rather optimistic predictions. It will deal with memes, emotional
convictions, and the state of our society regarding questions of life and
death, which are crucially important for people active in the field of
longevity -- scientific or otherwise. Finally, it will provide you with
some new approaches and strategies on how to change perspectives and
beliefs, and how to work to advance and speed up the eventual achievement
of scientific longevity.
Copyright notice: this document is intended as a reference for many
viewpoints and facts. See the references to see which other texts have been
used in the composition of this article. The document may be spread as
whole or in part, copied and freely quoted. Spreading is even appreciated.
If you've read this text and liked the ideas in it, please consider telling
others about it.
2. Defining Non-Aging Longevity
To talk about longevity, the meaning of the term must first be clearly
defined. In our context, life extension and longevity mean to extend the
life of a human being indefinitely and open-ended. It is based on the
conviction that a de-facto immortality for human beings is not impossible;
however, terms like life extension and non-aging longevity are mostly used
throughout the text.
This is because the word immortality is a historically unscientific word,
which had almost always a mystical definition. Non-aging longevity is, by
definition, nonmystic, fully explainable and achievable through scientific
means, i.e., observing cause and effect.
This text accepts that more definite forms of open-ended longevity or
immortality, as possible through unpredictable future technologies, e.g.
sophisticated nanotechnology and beyond, will not be available in the next
few decades. Rather, it values the prospects of major possibilities
existing right now, such as halting and reversing the aging process through
hormones, human genetics, stem-cell research, even cloning and body
transplantation (possible with more sophisticated neurological
technologies). The author acknowledges that a cure or retardation of the
aging process will not mean immortality, since people will still be prone
to injury and disease. But the achievement of a highly extended longevity
would mean a rapid decrease in death-rates worldwide, and the elimination
of the inevitability of death. With a fast achievement of a solution for
longevity that would allow most people to live healthy and safely, say,
past their 100's, the longer road to better knowledge and technologies for
preventing human death could be walked by the generations living today.
For a word choice less controversial, the word immortality is replaced with
longevity. But the meaning of rapid major advancements in science would
ultimately be just that, immortality. This simply means, as most people
would continue to live past their natural lifespans, new technologies could
develop faster than their remaining life time runs out.
The prime responsibility of business and science, therefore, is not the
development of anti-aging and health products that let people live
healthier and better within or minimally beyond their natural average
lifespan of approx. 75 years, but research and development to establish
definite cures and solutions against human aging and death itself, the
fastest route possible, and to make it commercially available to as many
people as possible.
3. Popular misconceptions
This chapter introduces some of the most widely accepted beliefs about the
impossibility of human immortality which are are based on emotions, or
superficial, but yet so firmly accepted and unquestioned in our society
that they are major factors working against longevity within our lifetime
Reason: Being used to it. People have always died before. In the 20th
century, the average lifespan has been around 70 in developed countries.
Only few people have lived longer, and those who did were old and had
different places in society than healthy young and middle aged people. In
that sense, our society is dependent on limited human lifespans, and the
majority of people expect and plan according to this situation in their
Reason: It is impossible because it never happened before. People have
doubts and resistance against the enhancement of human lifespan as they had
with similar technologies, which had never existed before. Things that are
common today, such as the ability for humans to fly (the plane), the
exploration of outer space, breaking certain world records, steam power,
and the use of electricity, were all once seen as ridiculous, and met the
same kind of scepticism and resistance.
Reason: Fear of the unknown. Fearing the unknown, which has perhaps once
been a useful factor in our evolution, has become a hurdle in today's
rapidly evolving human civilization. Many people are simply emotionally
concerned about new perspectives. Unfortunately, this can cause trends that
politicians, the often not-so-honest, or at best, vague news media, and
other groups like to follow. This often results in major complications for
the establishment of new technologies which later turn out to be quite
useful. For example, in the 20th century, many people seriously worried
that advanced computers, which we made more intelligent than humans, could
develop their own consciousness and take over the world or enslave
humanity. Many books were written about the topic, and futurologists,
visionaires, and politicians engaged in serious debates over it. Similarly,
most arguments against technologies such as genetics or cloning, are devoid
of reason, facts and rationality, when you really take a close look. But it
is still an important matter to counter them with better arguments.
Indeed, you should listen to irrational arguments and counter them.
Convictions and memes  can be spread and adopted by huge amounts of
people without them ever realizing it. You could say that mortality itself
is a meme (a subconsciously accepted and spreaded conviction or idea). For
many cultures, mortality, as in the eventual end of our existence, is even
a relatively new one, that appeared only after the bigger religious
movements started being discarded and left, and with them, memes or beliefs
of "spiritual immortality", "the soul", "afterlife", "rebirth", and so on.
Certain individuals also have different death memes, sometimes in
combination with religious ones, which say that "Death and Aging are
Spiritual", "Growing old is normal", or "Old age is 80 years".
Important to consider is that none of these convictions are absolute
truths, but many people firmly believe in them as absolute, unchanging
truths. To present rational arguments to the population against such
"truths", or irrefutable errors, as Nietzsche preferred to call them, can
help to subvert these memes, simply with realism, and most of all, honesty.
The people who accept honest arguments then replace their convictions;
either they become total sceptics, or, more likely, they acquire new
convictions, which are retained unless replaced with better perspectives.
4. Invalid claims about the certainty of death
Now, let's consider more detailed objections against non-aging longevity
and the possibility of overcoming death, such as ethical, social,
religious, etc., and counter them. This can effectively demonstrate that
there are no ultimate reasons against the possibility of an open-ended
lifespan, simply by invalidating the existing claims with logic derived
Popular arguments of media and politics. These arguments are actually no
arguments in the original sense, but a good mixture from the points below,
together with subjective opinions based on the understanding and
manipulation of erroneous beliefs and people's emotions. However, the fact
that humans naturally trust and rely on authority makes any "arguments"
coming from politicians and the media a lot more important than other
Ethical concerns. For the field of political ethics and bioethics, now
uprising and growing during the emerging of biotechnology, it is important
to recognize that similar objections as raised today against biotechnology,
human germline manipulation, cloning, stem-cell research, and so on, were
once raised against practices like autopsies, anesthesia, artificial
insemination, and the entire genetic revolution of our day. Yet, enormous
benefits have accrued from each of these developments, contributing to
curing diseases, saving people from death, and making possible more
advanced scientific research. Ethics themselves are a quite complex topic,
which is why I've dealt with them in a separate article. Remember that such
ethical questions are often used strategically. They intentionally lead to
endless debates without ever producing concrete results, even though all
rational arguments have been exchanges.
Religious concerns. Widespread religious arguments, i.e. not interfering
with the work of God, or the destiny of man, are perhaps the hardest
arguments to refute, because they are based on a world view different from
the scientific/nonmystic way of thinking emerging today. But for the more
open-minded religious people, their arguments are points to think about and
reconsider. The author acknowledges that he is not religious, but an
unbiased and tolerant person. Even when thinking from the perspective of a
religious believer, the claims of big churches and religious organizations,
cannot be equal to the word and will of God. If you are a christian, for
example, you accept the fact that the fate of man are self-responsible
thoughts and actions (after he left paradise). And as far as I know, all
traditional religions more or less value human life and its preservation.
Eastern religions like Hinduism are even based on a belief of physical,
bodily immortality as the highest goal. In any case, if there is a God, who
can tell that s/he would not be happy to see us move toward his/her level?
Else, why should humans have self-introspective consciousness and the
ability to change and override the defaults of nature? And since no human
being can answer these questions for sure, no religious movement can tell
for sure if there is an afterlife. If this is not the case, and if we just
vanish for all eternity at the end of our lives, and don't take immediate
advantages of chances to enhance our lives, it could mean we are making the
ultimate mistake. Using our -- nature or God -- given abilities to attain
control over nature and life, means to fulfill our destiny as human beings
-- in either way.
Social concerns. Since already so many social and general problems, war and
unnecessary death exists in the world, many people think that we first need
to concentrate on those problems. And this is an important point. Life
extension and biotech projects, however, could benefit especially the
poorest people and worst countries, in the long term. Todays problems of
poverty and world hunger continue because the life and death cycles in poor
countries. Even if thousands of people die daily, their society continues
to exist. People in development countries also have a desire to have a big
family and many children in a situation where so many people suffer and
die. Today, there is no great motivation to solve such problems since the
majority does not understand the full potential and value of human lives.
When we will be able to increase the human life span significantly, each
individual will become more important and valuable. Eventually, the
starving and dying of other humans will become intolerable to everyone.
Also, side developments of a biotechnological advancement toward non-aging
longevity will include better and cheaper approaches to birth control, diet
and nutrition, agricultural technologies, and so on. Also consider the
computer revolution, which was first thought to affect only western
countries. But the availability of computers and the internet in poor
countries and dictatorships has ultimately contributed to growth and
personal freedom. So it is unlikely that longevity or immortality products will
be available only to a small elite, but rather, they would be desired
by almost everyone, propagated and marketed to a maximum amount of people,
which in turn would cause the costs to fall rapidly. This means, there
would be no such thing as a longevity for the rich elite, while the rest of
humanity would remain in its current state of being. However, this must
also be said, no individual has a natural duty of helping suffering
individuals, especially not through sacrificing himself. Any ideology or
government forcing individuals to give up themselves for higher causes or
the public good, is obviously wrong and immoral when it is based on force
(or force-backed regulation) instead of volition and sacrifice instead of
good will. Apart from this point, contributing to the solution of problems
is desirable. The achievement of non-aging longevity through advanced
biotechnology could ultimately be a great help in solving problems of
poverty and third-world countries, especially because many social problems
are rooted in the lack of respect for individuals and human life.
Scientific arguments. The argument from scientific circles, and from people
who don't believe in any of the above concerns, is, that extended longevity
and de-facto immortality may be very complex or impossible to realize
scientifically, because it requires the solving of technical, biological
and medical tasks that are too complex, difficult, unsolvable for
centuries, or even unknowable to us. However, this thesis is a pure
assumption, for one, because the idea that something could be generally
unknowable to human thinking and consciousness, is speculative, and rather
improbable, and also because nobody has actually ever tried doing serious,
professional scientific research specifically focused toward a certain
prevention of death or limitless longevity. Today, especially life
extension, anti-aging, and biotechnologies deliver valuable medical
advancements. But, no major professional, commercial or scientific projects
have the explicit or intentional goal of eliminating biological aging or
human death. They are all oriented around cures for serious diseases or the
improvement of health more or less within the life cycle natural for
humans. This also proves a main point of this article: the social
preparedness, immediate demand, and attitude toward open-ended lives are
directly related to the possibility and speed with which this open-ended
lifespan will be achieved scientifically.
In a fully open-minded and rational society, the best minds would focus on
the achievement of de-facto immortality in the most urgent, intense and
efficient manner, volitionally supported and subsidized by the whole
society. In such a society, everyone would soon realize the high value of
human life, which would cause most of the worlds thinkers and geniuses to
work on the preservation of human life.
Therefore, every effort should be made in our society not to disturb the
freedom and integrity of scientific research.
5. Obsession with immortality?
Can someone who is openly advocating an unlimited human lifespan, be
obsessed with the idea of immortality? At least, that is a claim often used
by critics against longevity advocates, philosophers, scientists and other
people open-minded toward achieving immortality through scientific means.
I've decided to consider the outcries of the critics, and I've come to the
conclusion that people can very well be "obsessed" with physical
immortality, however, this is not related to the intensity with which
someone may be working toward the goal, or how convinced one is about the
Obsessive and irrational advocating of immortality is related to the
following five points:
* Unrealistic or mystical perspective. The possibility of immortality is
seen from emotional viewpoints and opinions. Main arguments are not
backed by facts, rationality or evidence.
* Narrow, unintegrated perspective. Dedicated only to theoretical or
philosophical debates. Being unrealistic about actual imaginable
results and conditions for immortality.
* Wishful thinking. Accepting the eventual achievement of immortality as
certain or natural. Seeing no necessity to take practical actions
toward the achievement of conditions necessary for a social and
scientific process toward eventually yielding an unlimited lifespan.
* Fictional arguments. Overestimating or misunderstanding technologies
can lead to wrong predictions about the probability and speed at which
they could lead to an unlimited lifespan.
* Dependence. One's own plans for the future totally depend and count on
one's own immortality.
But after answering this question, we should also ask: can someone be
obsessed with mortality? Yes, that is the case. In similar ways, one can
also be emotionally convinced that mortality is inevitable for humans. The
criteria are very similar, but much, much more people are obsessed with
mortality (fatalism) than with immortality.
* Emotional bias. Valid arguments for longevity are ignored.
* Narrow perspective. Concentration on or being used to the negative facts only.
* Wishful thinking. Considering the present state of society as natural, good and necessary, while ignoring possibilities of a much better society for the sake of comfortable "thinking".
* Arbitrary arguments. Using a mixture of emotionalisms, popular opinions, and valid facts out of context to defend the own position.
* Dependence. One's own plans for the future depend and count on others
and oneselfs eventual death, so that one is inevitably moving toward death.
6. The accepted cultural perspective toward death
This chapter analyzes the implicit views and convictions about death in our
culture. It tries to show why some implicit convictions, or memes,
effectively delay or prevent the achievement of scientific milestones of
longevity. It presents the most logical and insightful answers to the
question why humanity has not yet developed conditions for limitless human
longevity, and the underlying problem and its background.
When taking a look at our society, we can observe many emotional phenomena.
For example, most of the big changes in life (such as moving to a new city,
graduating, changing jobs, not seeing friends for some time, marrying,
etc.) are a cause for inner sadness. Even at quite positive such as
marriages, people tend to be sad and even to cry. The reason could be that
such big changes make people aware of the way and direction of their own
life. In our society, this is always reminds us of our mortality.
Theoretically, in a society of people who had an open-ended lifespan and
knew it, such events would cause great happiness. Actually, most things
would be different.
Also take into account that a belief in spiritual immortality based on
faith in religions and mysticism is not comparable to the effects of an own
open-ended ended lifespan in the here and now. Unarguably, faith does have
effects on human emotions and life decisions, but the self-liberating
perspective of an open-ended lifespan is very different from faith. For
example, when religious people witnessing deaths and burials, even they
seem to be sad, in the same way anyone else is. The question is why, if
they believe in an eternal afterlife and immortal soul? Subconsciously,
every human being somehow realizes the most fundamental facts of reality.
People such as believers and mystics can only repress the fact of their own
biological nature, defaulting to mortality, to certain extends.
Many people even seem careless about death, and make fun of it. This, too,
is a result of the repressing of the facts about death, its finality, and
the briefness of the natural human lifespan. The bad thing about the
repressing of these facts is, that it can only be done with the help of
dishonesty, self-deception and evading reality.
And the really bad thing is that such dishonesties have become an integral
part of our culture and civilization. Therefore, most children are
gradually introduced to these evasions through repression of emotions
natural for conscious beings, life-after-death concepts, and other myths.
By purposefully reducing the integrity of one's picture of reality, one
also reduces the efficacy of one's own mind and actions.
The remedy against this problem is simply self-honesty. By realizing the
fact of permanent death within a brief time span, and planning and acting
throughout life with this awareness, people become more aware of the value
of their own lives and human life in general. They would also direct much
more of their time and actions toward progressive and productive actions in
life, instead of wasting their precious time.
However, most people today are unaware of the real value of life, which is
a major source of unnecessary problems, unnecessary suffering, incompetence
and laziness, wasted time, and a slow speed both in individual and in
civilizational progress. This mass self-deception yields the attitudes and
structures that form today's death oriented society which moves only very
slowly toward improving the conditions of human life, without having the
wish or seeing a possibility for limitless longevity.
The choice of accepting limits of one's own existence as inevitable, or
not, is probably the deepest underlying psychological factor for all
personal feelings, views, and resulting actions throughout life. The result
of a self-deceptive choice is that people do not act to satisfy their
survival pressures. Eventually, such self-deception will lead anyone
directly or indirectly toward self-destruction and death.
For conscious human beings with the abilities of self-introspection and of
thinking into the future, accepting one's own death as inevitable, is
literally unnatural. It conflicts with the biological organisms' prime
directive of survival, because conscious beings know that their lifespans
are limited by biological default. All conscious beings that ever lived,
when realizing their biologically limited lifespan, originally held the
natural conviction of their own death as being preventable, senseless, or
Even people who refuse thinking about their mortality, through ignoring
biological facts, believing in afterlife and mysticism, believing in fake
nonscientific solutions, or "grasping straws" by relying on uncertain
scientific trends, seem to be much better off emotionally than those who
accept the inevitability of their own mortality. But, both the ignoring of
such obvious facts or considering them as inevitable, has literally lethal
effects in the long term.
The higher the evolutionary level of development of a living being, the
higher is its ability to defend its life and biological survival. The
thesis that the highest known form of life, self-aware, conscious human
life, can develop the necessary requirements to prevent biological death
itself, is nothing more than a logical conclusion. The reason why this has
not happened before is due to self-deception that humanity has developed
and carried along all the way from exiting a state of non-conscious
unawareness of the own self.
Upon considering the above statements, the current public views and
convictions seem to contain one crucial error: human death is considered as
natural. While in fact, humans are mortal by genetic and biological
defaults, they are not necessarily mortal by nature. Together, the
following points posit the hypothesis that human beings could be actually
immortal by nature.
1. The natural mode of living is dominated by survival: by the prevention
of the organisms death.
2. Human nature includes human consciousness and self-introspection.
3. Their nature enables human beings to realize the briefness of their
biological default lifespan.
4. It is proven that consciously used human tools of invention, science,
technology, business, etc. can override nature's default course. Major
fields like books, transportation, electricity, nuclear power, planes,
medicine, computers, biotechnology, etc. serve as definite proofs for
5. By being able to realize the briefness of their life, and being able
to override natural defaults, humans actually have the natural
prerequirements of eliminating their own biological death.
6. Consciousness is a prime requirement for overriding nature's defaults.
Therefore it can lead to unnatural, artificial conditions of thinking.
7. Mystical faith, deception and life-after-death concepts are unnatural
uses of a conscious mind. Conscious beings can and do create unnatural
mind states which lead to immediate emotional well-being and
relaxation. But they are actually evasions of reality. In our society,
they result in an unnatural culture of death.
8. With the broad acceptance of facts of reality, by thinking naturally,
humanity could and would recognize their prime responsibility of
eliminating death. If humanity would realize this in its entirety, the
focusing of all global technological, business and other efforts
toward this goal, it would be established almost instantly.
Another unrelated problem is the implicit but widespread conviction that
every individual has to eventually sacrifice himself for future
generations. Death is a passive form of self-sacrifice. Until now,
essentially all people who have lived on this planet have been forced to
bring this sacrifice. But, in reality, human beings who could and would
continue their lives would continue to contribute to society in an active
manner. However, this fact has nothing to do with the aim of longevity.
Both morally and practically, it is crucial to see every individual as a
goal in itself. Individuals continuing to live well beyond their biological
lifespan could contribute enormously to society with their growing skills
and knowledge. However, the primary purpose and goal of prolonged life is
one's own enjoyment and happiness of life in the future. 
For people living today, it is very hard to imagine the full impact of our
lifestyles and convictions on the progress of our civilization. In
prehistoric times when the productive lives of individuals averaged less
than twenty years, an advanced civilization could not form. During the
dark-ages, when productive human life again regressed to about twenty
years, civilization stopped evolving and then regressed. In the past
century, as the productive episodes of life individuals expanded to ca.
forty years (20-60), creative achievements and production soared to heights
never imagined before, leading to our modern age of information and
technology. Finally, consider a future civilization, which had the freedom
necessary to expand human life to 200 years. Humanity would then have the
resources and time for rapidly accelerating their growth and personal
knowledge, experience, technology and production. Civilization would
proceed fast enough to create additional extensions of human life span,
each within a few years or months of research. (Although we are not at this
point yet, the current trends in professional, scientific anti-aging
medicine, while they cannot extend the maximum genetic lifespan, can
increase the productive, healthy episodes of life of anti-aging patients to
70-80 years (ca. 90-100 years total minus 20 years youth), which already
could benefit society by enabling the great thinkers and doers to realize
more of their ideas.)
Actually, no one can really grasp what 200 years of life and beyond would
be like, just like it is impossible to imagine our civilization in 10.000
years from now, or grasping the infinite size of our universe without
abstraction. But the conclusion of logical thinking is that since we can,
we should take control of our biological destiny.
However, for "us", or humanity, to do this, it will be necessary to achieve
changes and paradigm shifts in the thinking of many people, for example
through a better education of our children, by telling people to ignore the
dishonest media, teaching them to think for themselves, by making
innovations that demonstrate the value of science and technology, by
achieving freedom and deregulation, and so on. Only a broader public
support of freedom and technology, and a higher demand of new medical and
technological solutions for the improvement of human life, will eventually
enable scientists, doctors and entrepreneurs to generate a big and
inexpensive supply of such products, allowing a fast progress of science to
extend the length and quality of human life.
7. Requirements for non-aging longevity
This chapter sums up important prerequirements for the fast achievement of
non-aging longevity -- personal and general conditions -- and provides new
arguments especially interesting for people already actively involved with
longevity movements, and for professionals working on scientific
advancements in the area of biotechnology.
Evading the finality of death lets one rationalize laziness, in avoiding
the effort required to live fully during the one and only opportunity
anyone ever has for life. It also lowers a person's valuation of life,
self-esteem, and independence. Self-honest and self-responsible thinking
and acting is a fundamental prerequirement for living a successful life
with the chance of accelerating scientific developments and cultural
Attitude plays a major role. A person cannot positively affect people as a
pessimist cynic or a total sceptic who rejects new ideas. It is equally
problematic to be overly naive and gullible who accept every idea without
question, this reduces credibility and increases the risk of mediating the
wrong ideas and making the wrong decisions. Instead, a person should employ
critical and creative thinking to discover great new ideas, while filtering
out indefensible ones, regardless of them being new or old. It is also
important to recognize irrational dogmas wherever they exist, and to
challenge them. This kind of attitude is also crucial for investors,
professionals and researchers in new, modern fields. If one passively
ignores protests against what he believes in and what he is doing, and is
intimidated by unjustified criticism, it can directly affect the
effectiveness and competence for his professional work.
Of course, living a healthy life is also a personal requirement for
longevity that everyone must meet on his own. This includes not only diet
and regular exercise, but also a self-responsible attitude, i.e. evading
unhealthy influences, and regularly seeing a physician for routine tests.
Optimum health is important both for an energetic, high-effort life, and
yes, for having a chance of living much longer. Until there is a better
solution, people will have to take advantage of many small, gradual
advances in medicine to do the best they can. Also, doctors have already
determined that many of the symptoms of so-called aging are actually
results of certain kinds of self-induced behavior and thinking: as people
get older, they take gradual deterioration for granted, instead of trying
to do something about it. With that attitude, it is no wonder that so many
persons do gradually go downhill. And this supports the thesis in the
previous chapter, that human aging is not, at least not completely,
It is also important to focus on the things that can and should be changed,
to avoid wasting time. Forget about the negative things that cannot be
changed directly, like politics. Also, don't concentrate on already
existing developments that cannot be developed further. For example,
cryonics is an interesting field, but it is a closed field. The knowledge
of cryonics will most probably not lead directly to the discovery of an
active technology for definite open-ended longevity that builds on cryonics
itself. Of course, cryonics plays a role in getting people interested in
the prospect of immortality. However, unless you run a company offering
cryonics services, you should focus on pushing other developments. Cryonics
is also an example of a technology that is not reliable at all. Especially
nobody without scientific knowledge can directly refute the possibility
that it works, but nobody at all can confirm that the technology works and
can preserve the human mind unless it has been proven by a successful
experiment. For example, if freezing damage at microcellular levels simply
cannot be repaired, by laws of physics, cryonics cannot work. I also tend
to believe that the human mind and consciousness are an energetic condition
of the human brain, and when electrical and synaptic activity fully ceases
just once, the original condition cannot be re-established. This
consideration is not pure scepticism but a logical consideration. And it is
something that we cannot ultimately refute, because it requires a much
better understanding of the human brain. Don't take this as an attack
specifically against cryonics. The same goes for anti-aging remedies and
drugs from antioxidants to hormones. However, such considerations cannot
justify the intervention by regulation of the state. Making use of things
like cryonics in any way or not is always an individual decision, and must
not be prohibited by governments to "protect people from themselves".
Although the anti-aging movement helps retaining health and well-being,
generating awareness and even pushing scientific research, it is very
important to realize that no technology and medicine currently available
can lead to a drastic extension of the human lifespan beyond the
biologically determined age. Blindly relying on existing technologies when
it comes to de-facto immortality, is not only wishful thinking, but a big
If the populace believes in such "quasi-immortality", it could actually
work more against the achievement of an actual, certain solution, than it
might benefit it, because it could serve as a decoy, for making people feel
comfortable, while deflecting attention away from the real requirements and
necessary efforts needed to achieve a real and certain solution.
Reliance on existing technologies, or on "someone else to do it" is
especially a bad thing, when it comes to advanced forms of longevity,
something that will not be achieved with total certainty, even in our
modern civilization. If you are really serious about the achievement of a
radically extended lifespan, which could eventually lead to a de-facto
immortality of human life, and you realize what this means, you do your
best, concentrate on, and take absolutely every chance of facilitating that
achievement now by establishing the necessary conditions or working
actively as a professional, because you would then benefit beyond
comparison, perhaps endlessly in a literal way, from this one-time
achievement of open-ended longevity.
Something else to consider: A "relative mortality" of immortals. Human life
is characterized by constant learning and adjustment of thinking to handle
a gigantic variety of impressions. Immortal, or highly extended life would
be a chain of many different episodes of life, going on forever. Conscious
beings have the power to chose these episodes, to emphasize on important
things and thoughts, and to forget or discard others. Life, and especially
immortal life, could never remain the exact same, stagnating kind of life,
which many people are, in a sense, living in today's civilization. In any
case, the different episodes of life should be lived intensively, with
awareness and passion, because they are always unique and unrepeatable,
with or without a limited lifespan.
Immortal or highly extended life, would be ever-changing, and the opposite
of statism. Perhaps, people would even go through a lot of different
personalities, keeping only they key components of their individual
identity. Most negative people who try to imagine an open-ended life
wrongly project their own experiences on a longer time scale, ending up
with an unrealistic perspective of an endlessly boring, undesirable
In reality, we cannot know or predict the future reliably. Statements such
as "if you are alive in 20 years, you will probably live forever", talk
about something unpredictable, that depends on a multitude of factors, and
makes people take it for granted. Neither are opposite statements, like
"immortality will never happen within our lifetime" beneficial, because
they too talk about something unpredictable, de-motivate, and make people
lose active interest in the prospect of immortality. Any such statements
are based on emotions and not facts, and should be ignored. The fact is
that we cannot reliably know the future that we are creating ourselves, but
what we can do is to personally give our best.
Finally, there are the scientific conditions, relevant to the speed of
scientific progress. The most important point is that biotechnology and
medical science needs a goal to work toward. An actual solution for the
problem of death and biological aging could be harder than we imagine, but
chances are that it could also be much easier. However, we can't say
anything certain about this point unless we start researching and
developing every promising technology that could help us, and such
technologies need to be developed specifically toward the explicit goal of
overcoming our biological limitations.
Often, people talk about scientific research as if it was natural -- "let's
hope this happens some time soon", "we expect that in fifty years the
following will be accomplished", etc. Science, by definition, is not
natural; the effort it makes is under our control and requires our control.
There are accepted amounts of funding for public and private scientific
research, with certain results expected to materialize from such funding,
and since this often happens, science has taken on a kind of pattern and
place, a sort of nature. But, since science is human-made, we could, at any
time, change the course of science, as has been done many times in the past
(the stopping of yellow fever, The Manhattan Project, a cure for polio, the
space program, improved and modernized sanitation, and so on) just by
deciding what we want to do, that we want to do it, and then investing
efforts -- in the public government-funded field of science, but more
important, also in private fields of science, which could be developed and
under control of just a few small businesses.
Therefore, as many people as possible must aim for a maximal speed of
science, and the development of technologies with the explicit goal of
prolonging and preserving human life.
8. Today's society and its changes
To do effective professional work in fields that are relevant to the
achievement of major longevity solutions, to set and understand a realistic
goal, and also, when trying to affect and correct public viewpoints, it is
important to understand many details about how society "works", to evaluate
the current stage of society, and to understand the ways people usually
A major problem of society is and has always been the fact the seeking for
and reliance on authority, which is natural to human thinking . The term
"authority" in this context, excludes the valid, natural authorities, which
are scientific evidences, facts of reality, and the authority of one's own
rational thinking. Rather, the problem is that most people follow
arbitrary, or particularly impressive "authorities", such as people and
speakers on TV, opinions in the media, opinions of people they look up to,
political and religious leaders, teachers, "the people", "generally
accepted and public facts", often even one's own wishful thinking and
The intention of focusing on the authority problem is not to dictate people
how to think, but rather the opposite. Sometimes, accepting opinions and
ideas of others can be good; even criticism is not necessary, when it comes
to unimportant things or matters of personal taste. But, regarding
important long-term decisions, and fundamental convictions, it is crucially
important to rely only on provable facts. Especially when an accepted and
unquestioned general opinion exists on the topic, regardless of how
rational it sounds! In order to make real, certain progress, many people in
our society yet have to learn not to automatically trust and believe in the
varieties of religious, authoritative, positive-thinking, mystical guru,
and all other approaches that tell people exactly what to do, how to
succeed, or what to believe.
When looking back at history, negative influences that lead to cultural
stagnation, such as rulership, dishonesty, violence, laziness, etc. have
been prevalent for a long time. To solve the problems of today it is
important to understand them in detail. Probably, most problems of our
modern world have derived from historical influences.
It has also been speculated that the fact of realizing one's own aging and
dying creates an inherent anger in most people, which could be one reason
why there is so much negativity and destruction. If this is the case, those
with destructive or self-destructive intent, when understanding their own
situation and being introduced to the prospects of an open-ended lifespan,
would ultimately become more constructive because they would start
realizing what's at stake.
A historical hypothesis
Quite possibly, the speed of progress, and achievement of an open-ended
lifespan itself, at any period or time, depends on a combination, or
critical mass, of conditions or amounts of factors in our civilization like
freedom, self-responsibility, science and technology; on rational thinking
and rational opinions, political liberty, and a lack of religion and
life-after-death beliefs. According to this hypothesis, great
civilizational advancements could have been established much earlier, and
the following, perhaps preventable, negative historical factors would have
played a major role in artificially suppressing due advancements of our
civilization, which would have led to an exponential growth of technology
and science as seen in the 20th century, and which could have occurred much
earlier in history:
* 0 AD Trust in philosophical dogmas; Heroification and glorification of
wars; Imperialism; Monarchies enslaving other cultures -- Possibly
suppressed: discovery of america, global trade
* 300/400 AD Middle ages/Dark ages starting; Suppression of human
civilization through the catholic church; Authoritarian monarchy and
rulership system, intertwined with catholicism -- Possibly suppressed:
discovery of modern science, book printing, steam engine, transit
system, modern medicine
* 1750-1850 AD Political and regulatory forces rising to exploit
emerging technology, science and industry; As they take partial
control of industry, corruption and exploitation starts growing;
Otherwise rapidly growing human well-being and civilization
suppressed; British commonwealth administration leads to regulation
and politization of asian and african countries -- Possibly
suppressed: discovery of electricity, modern physics and chemistry,
moon landing, fossil power, cars
* 1850-1930 AD Political systems rush to replace and substitute
downfalling monarchies in the western civilization; Increasing trend
in the US toward "big government" with ever more government programs;
Unstable monarchism in russia being replaced with communism movement,
destroying millions of lives in the 20th century; Similar political
and comparable religious trends uprising in the rest of asia --
Possibly suppressed: semiconductors, computers, internet, molecular
biology, controlled nuclear fusion power
* 1930-1950 AD Political forces in europe learned enough to manipulate
populace to a high extend; Outbreak of fascism and totalitarianism
through Hitler in Germany and other parts of europe; Biggest
suppression of human civilization since the worst period of the dark
ages; Suppression through intensive government leadership spreading to
all parts of the world because of resource problems and other effects
of WWII; US government enlarged by at least 5000% during and after
WWII under F.D. Roosevelt and others -- Possibly suppressed: modern
biotechnology, longevity movements, solutions for malnutrition,
cancer, heart-disease and HIV
* 1980 AD Since 1960/1970, historically the best and most advanced
period of human civilization; From 1980, slow backwards progress in
some aspects through growing reactivism, expanding TV- and news media
empire, telling people what to think; Religion spreading slightly
faster in western countries than before; New-age mysticism, and so on,
is newly created; Authorities and governments become more accepted and
grow bigger in many countries, leading to a stronger grip on society
-- Possibly suppressed: super-rapid communication technologies and
-infrastructure, individual jobs and business revolutionized, need for
government and administration diminishing, cures against aging and
death established, world peace established to 90%
* 1990 AD Growing influence of TV and news media lead to decreased
thinking and self-responsibility; Government programs and taxation
exploding; Growing bureaucracy and surveillance; Phones, internet and
computers accelerate development of civilization but are also used by
lobbies, religious and authoritarian groups to broaden their
influence; First attempts to regulate internet -- Possibly suppressed:
not realistically imaginable at this time
The death meme : a negative chain reaction.
In traditional society, aging and death are accepted as natural. The
realizing of one's own limited life has certain negative psychological
influences on people, who, in turn, tend to be less creative and more
destructive. The acceptance of inevitable death and self-deception about
the finality of one's own death itself lead to thoughts and actions that
prevent the conditions necessary for scientifically overcoming death:
1. The possibility of a cure for aging and death within our lifetime is
not publicly accepted.
2. Everyone knows about this conviction, therefore believing even less in
the possibility of a big joined effort for a solution against
biological aging and death.
3. The opinion of the public, and various authorities in this matter
leads to a domino effect of scepticism and lacking motivation.
4. Sometimes, every person who seriously considers the topic of longevity
(including the author), comes to the conclusion that it is impossible
-- but that conclusion is based on feelings rather than facts.
5. This chain can be broken only by consciously discarding such feelings
and accepting the possibility of a de-facto immortality.
6. After that, working and collaborating with other proponents of this
possibility, leads to increasing acceptance and investment in work
toward establishing necessary conditions and technologies, since it
moves one away from the susceptibility to traditional and popular
"authorities" believing in the opposite.
7. Finally, one should try to get this opinion out by talking to other
people, possibly like-minded and open-minded people, because it is
important that as many people as possible have the right perspectives
on the topic of longevity, death, and limitless life, because every
one of them will propagate such views him/herself, and direct his/her
own actions toward a fast progress.
Now, if you imagine that this "chain" of death acceptance could be broken
in a way like mentioned above, the resulting changes for our civilization
would be countless and would go beyond the fast availability of
technologies for perfect health and an unlimited lifespan. Our economy, for
example, is characterized by supply and demand. Currently, the practical
demand for advanced technologies for the limitless preservation of human
life in our civilization is near zero, since almost nobody wants to live
forever or believes in a realistic chance for living beyond his biological
lifespan. If a demand could be generated, by making people aware of the
factual perspectives and possibilities, and by dispelling myths and
emotionally-based opinions, many scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs
would start working together to rapidly produce the necessary technologies.
As a product, non-aging longevity would have the widest market and maximum
value of any commercial product or service possible. Also, with a widely
supported, growing longevity industry, developing not only anti-aging
medicine and nutrition, but scientifically and technologically
sophisticated methods for a certain prevention of human aging and death,
the public would be increasingly more convinced and interested, leading to
exponentially increasing demand, and then supply, which would mean a very
fast price drop of products, treatments and technology for preventing human
aging and death. Eventually, such solutions would be as affordable as any
other product desired by almost everyone, like cars, or even like vitamins
or food. 
However, in our current society, the enormous commercial, and moral,
incentives to achieve human immortality, remain unrecognized, because of
the prevailing, anti-life beliefs and government systems, supported and
lead by authorities, who prevent both the freedom and motivation for this
achievement to be established. In a way, the current political system of
taxation and regulation counts and depends on the eventual death of
everyone. Therefore, a free and unregulated economy, science, and society,
is necessary for such an enormous effort.
Not all endeavors succeed, obviously, but so many do, especially when
imprinted with immediacy and importance. Nutrition- and diet-based life
extension research is already succeeding beyond most people's expectations
without major funding. Imagine what could be achieved with the right
9. Practical approaches
If your intention is to actively work yourself on establishing the
necessary conditions, or pushing forward the scientific research necessary
for non-aging longevity, you will need to plan your activities and consider
various approaches. Realism and self-critical thinking is important. So is
the concentration on high-leverage strategies. The most important thing is
to think for yourself. No other person, and no literature can be an
ultimate authority giving you a totally certain or reliable approach.
Thinking for oneself is often a major effort, because most people tend to
accept the opinions or approaches of others for guidance. The development
and achievement of non-aging longevity and the necessary prerequirements
are a totally new situation, however, and require a form of independent,
When talking to other people, consider the following:
* Honesty and realism about death causes people to value life to a much
higher extend. People who exercise this realism, more often exert the
self-responsible long-range effort to gain the maximum out of their
* Repressing facts about life and death or replacing them with
emotionalisms, on the other hand, lets people evade the value of their
own lives, and they, in turn become lazy, incompetent, and eventually
* The realistic perspective is that only scientific and commercial
achievements will ultimately enable people to gain de-facto
immortality. People certainly have a right to socialist/communist and
other opinions that say only government can solve societies' problems.
But fact is, that governments would never take on such a project as
the achievement of longevity, but work against it through FDA-like
practices. Only free, unregulated science can make that achievement,
and government force, especially in conjunction with religious and
other lobbies, is a major factor working against that achievement.
* Being fully conscious  includes being fully conscious of one's own
life, which also leads to a valuation of individual human life as the
highest value, and rejecting self-destructive acts of reality-evading
mysticism, self-sacrifice and force, while establishing necessary
psychological and motivational conditions needed to achieve non-aging
* Politically correct, religious or otherwise narrow-minded people, such
as news media people, should be communicated with at their own levels
of thinking. Trying to revert one's world view is a very hard task in
most cases. Therefore, try to integrate your ideas with other people's
ways of thinking and opinions (e.g. when talking with a journalist,
emphasize on scientific facts, and prevent talking about your
opinions, controversial world views or character, and when talking
with a religious person as an atheist, argue that God might have
wanted us to take control of our biological nature, rather than trying
to contradict their religious beliefs).
When planning your own activities and approaches, consider these points:
* Government projects and funding should not be relied on, since the
goal is too important, and because of the speed and scientific freedom
required for reaching this goal. On the other hand, all government
money used for other projects than defense and basic administration,
actually belongs to the taxpaying citizens of the country, which
governments and most people don't recognize.
* We could very well advance beyond the level of technology that is
necessary for achieving certain immortality, without developing
immortality itself. Perhaps we have already done so? The real problem
is that we live in a scientifically advanced civilization, in which
simply no research is made in the direction of immortality, because of
public attitude and opinions.
* Except for the long-term effort of the Human Genome Project, there is
no exceptional funding. In fact, many of the most important
discoveries are being made by small, private high-effort biotech
companies, who have to struggle against factors such as regulation and
doing unwanted and unpopular research, and who themselves reject the
possibility of biological immortality.
* A key to pushing scientific research and development is to unleash the
brain-power, knowledge and untapped resources available at great
research companies. Stagnating or misoriented biotech companies are in
need of new goals and philosophical perspectives, while we are in need
of the resources and directed work of such companies. This is a key
factor to consider for serious biotech investors.
* The general way of leaping into the future, is to take care of present
problems. The answer to the question of how the future will be depends
on nothing but our actions, decisions, and intensity of independent,
* Sciences of biology, physics, chemistry, and most fields of modern
medicine, are complex and must not be simplified if one is realistic
about achieving his goals! However, gaining basic knowledge, and
understanding advancements in science are not impossibly hard to
understand or ungraspable for anyone. With the right effort and
methodology, anyone can teach himself professional knowledge in any
scientific field, starting with basic information available on the
Internet  and graduating with a professional remote learning
course, easier than many people would expect.
* The primary method of science is the establishing of proofs and new
knowledge through repeatable experiments. Such knowledge is created by
understanding previously proven scientific knowledge and integrating
it with one's own creative thoughts and knowledge to yield new
theories and bases for experiments. In the medical sciences, clinical
and other studies can be important for supporting a new discovery. But
the primary route to discovering and understanding new technologies
and advancements, is one's own creative and independent thinking
integrated with a professional base of scientific knowledge.
* For both research and planning one's actions, it can be helpful and
supportive to learn how to think, studying thinking methods such as
practical thinking, heuristics, shortcuts, mathematics, system
thinking, NLP, linguistics, cybernetics, conditioning, behavioral
techniques, even neurology and neuropharmacology.
* It is important to build a complete, integrated vew of the world,
which includes enhancing your business and money skills.
* Search for the most useful information and opportunities. The internet
is an ideal place to start out and find the right knowledge, and
partners for business or research.
* Minimize your involvement in excessively time-wasting activities, such
as university studies. Prefer distant learning courses.
* Minimize your involvement and personal investment in any social area
that does not benefit you as an individual., such as big, slow, or
government-supported corporations, government work, most academical
work and involvement, religion or mysticism, and politics.
* You might want to try and coordinate your actions and plans with other
like-minded individuals on news or mailing lists, for instance,
like-minded biotech professionals and students, transhumanist and
atheist groups. However, don't get into wasting your time with
fruitless discussions or people who are not serious about their goals.
People with active ideas and plans are welcome on the mailing list of
the "secretcodes" site.
The goal of longevity and life extension is ultimately a goal of
establishing real immortality. Popular, wrongfully unquestioned opinions
make the public discard the possibility of immortality. This, in turn
prevents the achievement of developing immortality technology. Claims that
say immortality should be or is impossible, including scientific ones, can
ultimately be contradicted; in reality, even the total opposite of these
claims is often true. Although people can be obsessed with immortality,
most immortalists are not; they are clear thinking, responsible persons.
However, people can be obsessed with mortality and a majority of today's
society is. The real problem is that mortality and the acceptance of death
is deeply rooted in our social and psychological beliefs. Human death is
unnatural . 80 years of human life are not the natural lifespan, but the
genetic lifespan. Scientific victory over death is a natural conclusion in
our evolution. The death conviction is a chain of highly negative
self-spreading ideas, which must and can be broken. There are certain key
conditions and requirements that must be met, many individual ones and some
general ones, before non-aging longevity can ultimately be researched and
established. Problems of today's society are a result of historical periods
of destruction and the wrongful obedience to authority. Literally everyone
can work to speed up the achievement of non-aging longevity. Practical
approaches for success include attitudes and perspectives that should be
mediated to others, and certain strategies for maximum efficiency.
Subjective but widespread opinions and objections against longevity and
immortality, are a major factor against the establishment of longevity
solutions and technologies, if not the major factor. If there is no public
demand for longevity, there can hardly be a broad supply of longevity
technologies. Also, the furious opposition by lobbies, political and
religious groups against longevity makes it much harder for researchers in
the longevity field, since even to mention the intention or goal of
combating aging and death itself leads to a loss of credibility. Also see
Memes are ideas and subconscious thoughts and convictions, which are
propagated throughout our society. The meme theory by Prof. Dawkins is
meant to complete the theory of genetic evolution by Darwin. See
http://www.memecentral.com/vmintro.htm. Also interesting is the meme-based
Much of these insights were taken from the following texts, and
reformulated. Parts of this text are copyright by the original authors of
the following texts, which have provided many crucial concepts for this
Consciousness, as in self-introspective and volitional thinking, is a
relatively new mechanism of the human mind. According to the theory of
Julian Jaynes, consciousness was self-invented by humans during periods of
stress caused by civilizational breakdowns 3000 years ago. Before that, so
Jaynes, the human mind worked fully by reacting to the perceived
environment, and own thoughts, which exist primarily in the right chamber
of the brain, were perceived by prehistoric men as the "voice of god",
automatically directing every action. This discovery is relevant because
according to Jaynes' theory, much of this automatic, authority-seeking
thinking still exists in todays society and controls most people, who use
their conscious self-decisive thinking only to a very small percentage on
few occasions. Ref.: Prof. J. Jaynes: The Origin of Consciousness in the
Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind