The important principle of life’s default positivity was introduced via Thomas Nagel’s Death essay in an earlier post. This essay is a masterful essay of analytical philosophy: dense, full with deep thoughts, yet it is clearly written and most arguments and positions can be recovered with relative ease. On the other hand, it keeps you engaged as it opens up new questions and make you think further. Today my job is to type here almost the complete last section of the essay as it provides a great description of why the assumption of open-ended, indefinite lifespan is a familiar, default and ‘natural’ inner experience of people. As such it can be used as an argument for wanting to actually live an Open Life and push for developing the technology (what I call Open Healthspan) eventually yielding an external experience matching this inner experience. Continue reading “Thomas Nagel and the familiar inner experience of Open Lifespan”
Last time I’ve introduced the principle of life’s default positivity, and the first formula provided was the one used by Thomas Nagel in his Death essay:
It is good simply to be alive.
Another way to phrase this is comparatively
It’s better to be alive than dead.
Let me introduce now a potential counterargument, extracted from the words of one of my favourite fictional characters, Rosencrantz, played by Garry Oldman in Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Mind you, this is Stoppard’s but not Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz, speaking. How about watching it first:
Here’s the corresponding section from the script: Continue reading “Is life in a box is better than no life at all? Help and hope, so.”
It is good simply to be alive, even if one is undergoing terrible experiences.
So first formula
1. It is good simply to be alive.
This week brought unprecedented worldwide (media) attention to the dramatic IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC giving humanity a deadline of 2030 to avoid a climate disaster. To cite from the official press release:
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.
I could not help but think of the potential human health, healthspan and healthy longevity analogues of the different metrics, measures, numbers mentioned in the report. Continue reading “Wanted: a Global Healthy Longevity report a la IPCC study on Global Warming of 1.5ºC”
The argument: Humans with Open Lives can act on ecological scales
Our daily today is posing a heavy philosophical question: can we build a better self without building a better world? For understanding the level of this question one needs to take a moral/ethical concept of the self granted. But we don’t need to dig into the depth of the malleability of personal identity, but mostly focus on our narrative, social construct of our selves that is a prime bearer of moral values and changes and agent of moral decisions. Continue reading “Daily Effort: Can we build a better self without building a better world?”
In the opening post of this blog I started by saying ‘Life extension’ as a term referring to healthy longevity technologies and attempts just does not cut it anymore and I cited luxury as one reason. There’s another important reason, coming from the already existing medical use of this term to ditch this concept to be used for our Open Lifespan purposes. The terms ‘life extension’, ‘extending life’ are used in the medical context to provide extra days, weeks, months to late stage, terminally diseased people, think of a final stage lung cancer patient. Continue reading “Daily Effort: Life extension belongs to the ICU, Open Lifespan belongs to everybody”
Attempting a new post series called Daily Effort: a dense expression of an Open Lifespan/Open Healthspan related idea (question, argument, proposal …) in a couple of sentences. Without context or tight, detailed argumentation. Consider these as drafts, some of them will be elaborated upon, some of them will be revoked if don’t stand up to scrutiny. In any case, these are my drafts here am working on, reaching a stage where it might be interesting for others too. Let’s go.
Today’s idea is simple and I phrase it as a question (and a bundle of follow-up questions), rather than a proposal as originally intended: if a drug has reported and potential lifespan and/or healthspan lengthening benefits, should this information be printed on the label too amongst potential side effects? Think of metformin here as a prime example where observational evidence suggests longer survival time for metformin user diabetics compared to non-diabetic, non-users. Continue reading “Daily Effort: Pharmacodiligence plus, potential, positive lifespan side effects on drug labels?”
The political challenge
The new foundation
Here I’m republishing an edited version of my earlier post from this year on my earlier blog. This post expresses an important political position/consequence of the Open Lifespan philosophy.
A quick answer to the post title question
Sure, but only if we know what types of aging we are talking about. My original, more boring but less sensational post title elaborates on this: Counteracting biological aging and neutralising chronological ageism should go hand in hand. (For the record, am not a big fan of using military/aggressive terms such as fighting). We desperately need to use the proper terms and choose the right type of aging we talk about depending on the context we talk about it.
I’m into Open Lifespan/Healthspan since I was 14 and am several decades older now, in early middle age. Since my teenage commitment got me into aging research and science, I became sensitive and appreciative towards the issues that arise with aging so I was sensitised towards the issues of older people early on. I’ve always looked at them as forming the forefront, the avant-garde of experiencing and understanding accelerated biological aging and trying to counteract the biological, physiological decline and metabolic damage that accompanies it. So that meant respect, by default. Continue reading “Fighting aging and fighting ageism: two sides of the same coin?”