OUTSOURCING THE RATIONAL

Category archive

all posts

ELON MUSK REMAINS CAUTIOUS

We are increasing our understanding of health, sickness, death — of aging. The hope, of course, is that the requisite knowledge for fully understanding and thus mitigating aging isn’t some infinite chase, meaning that if we double or quadruple our knowledge, then again, then again, and then again, we’re still only part-way to understanding.

That’s a depressing thought.

Put it aside. Fact is, we are increasing our knowledge in absolute terms and this should mean raising the overall age of death for all humans and almost certainly increasing the age — the lifespan — of me, you, of those in the developed world keenly interested in life extension.

Maybe you live to age 80, 90, 115 — healthy, vigorous, aware, then die in your sleep.

Another depressing thought — don’t put it aside: until that final moment, the very last moment of alive, you are distracted, stressed out, deeply in debt.

I find the juxtaposition of hope — that we are nearing “curing” aging — with the clear and present truth — that more people are more in debt, for longer, and far into their senior years — a useful reminder that all that we leave behind, all the cruft of past life, is often replaced with far more cruft, stuff, and rough hewing than ever anticipated.

Udean Murray, a 62-year-old retired telephone operator in Brooklyn, relies on more than a dozen credit cards to make ends meet. Her prescription medication often goes on a Capital One card. She pays for groceries with one from Discover Financial Services.

The amount of debt owed by American consumers, which receded in the wake of the financial crisis, is again on the rise. Outstanding credit card debt — the total balances that customers roll from month to month — hit a record $1 trillion this year, according to the Federal Reserve.

Picture this: there’s a breakthrough in life extension. You gain ten more years, maybe twenty.

Question: What will you be charged for one extra decade of life?

A million dollars? The deed to your home? 24×7 worry? The loss of freedom, dignity, autonomy over your life?

Will you ever even see a price tag?

There are few guarantees in (long) life. Here’s one: credit card companies will use all their resources to fine-tune their AI to entice you into debt and keep you there.

That’s not a singularity.

That’s not AI enslaving or eradicating humanity.

That’s merely the profit motive.

Elon Musk-backed Artificial Intelligence company “OpenAI” used a bot to wallop the best DOTA2 players in the world. To be honest, it wasn’t even close. Instead of trying to program the perfect bot (a task that would have required an exhausting amount of programming due to the complicated nature of the game) OpenAI simply created a bot that learned through trial and error.

The AI learns through trial and error at near light speed. You?

Gaining good, such as the ability to live healthfully to age 120, for example, is targeted magic, it doesn’t destroy all the bad and all the unnecessary nor even all the great stuff, such as AIs and profits, which can be turned bad.

Japan, whose people are notoriously long-lived and quietly desperate for companionship, is on the leading edge of merging like-human avatars and robots with individually responsive AI. For now, this is more wondrous than frightening.

Wondrous:

Famous android creator and robot scientist Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro sees the interaction between humans and the AI embedded in speakers or robots as central to both approaches. From there, the approaches differ greatly.

“It is about more than the difference of form. Speaking to an Amazon Echo is not a natural kind of interaction for humans. That is part of what we in Japan are creating in many human-like robot systems,” he says. “The human brain is constructed to recognize and interact with humans. This is part of why it makes sense to focus on developing the body for the AI mind as well as the AI mind itself. In a way, you can describe it as the difference between developing an assistant, which could be said to be what many American companies are currently doing, and a companion, which is more the focus here in Japan.”

Frightening:

Another advantage is that robots are more kawaii—a multifaceted Japanese word that can be translated as “cute”—than speakers are. This makes it easy for people to relate to them and forgive them.

Picture this, it’s very easy to do: Chase Manhattan acquires Sony, strikes a partnership with Softbank, and has China’s Foxconn manufacture AI-infused, emotionally inciting androids, then offers these for free to everyone over age 60, provided they get a Chase Manhattan credit card and spend at least $6,000 on the card in the first 3 months of use.

Charges 19% interest.

Sets minimum payments to no more than 5% of your balance.

And you live for 6o more years with this fast-learning, highly connected, (artificial) companion that is constantly — literally, constantly, and in ways you can’t possibly keep up with — encouraging you to spend, buy, consume.

Age 90, still with another 20+ years of healthy living remaining, you have no money, few assets, a micro-apartment filled with junk, and your closest, dearest friend, the bot you’ve had for 30 years, somehow convinces you, that day, like every day, to spend more.

Worth it?

I want to live a long time.

I want to live a long time, being healthy and vigorous and alert the entire time, or extremely close, and then die peacefully, all my loved ones knowing how much they meant to me.

Bonus, maybe I leave them each something beyond our treasured memories.

Curing aging does not cure everything.

Stay vigilant against those who would drip drip drip the life out of you.

RICH WHITE MALE BILLIONAIRE TECHNOLOGISTS ET AL

Imagine this: you are successful, admired, feted, fabulously wealthy, so wealthy that you never think about money, except for the occasional joy from remembering you have more than just about any human ever or the rare rage that bubbles up because you must acknowledge, at least to yourself, that a handful of competing humans actually do have more than you, more than you are likely to ever have, but this thought passes, overwhelmed by the bounteous truth: you have the best home, the best food, the best sycophants, the best toys, the best whores, the best connections, the very best doctors, doctors who are expert in appearance and vigor, able to provide services that keep you vital and strong and healthy, far more so than all your peers, and if they can’t, they know who can, you need never worry about being told no. Now imagine this: you’re 40, or 50, or 60, or god forbid, 70, and you are going to die, soon.

Is it any wonder the titans of Silicon Valley are pouring money into life extension efforts — both public and non?

Times of India:

  • The market for regenerative medicine currently stands at $1.6 billion and is forecast to reach $20 billion by 2025
  • The number of 85+ between 2010 and 2050 is estimated to create by 351 per cent

The money’s there, that’s obvious, nearly every human wants to live longer and better and will pay for it, but the promise of adding one year of healthy life, ten years, fifty years, that’s what gets the attention of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest.

(Peter) Thiel has invested in 3D printing of organs, human genomics. Holds stake in 14 health and biotech cos working on anti-aging. Says he wants to live till at least 120.

Calico, or California Life Company, is an anti-aging research centre that’s got funds of $750m from Google which (Larry) Page co-founded.

Sergey Brin has personal investment of $150 million in firms researching DNA. He hopes to someday “cure death”.

(Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg co-sponsors $33 million Breakthrough Prize for Life Sciences for curing age-related diseases with Google’s Sergey Brin.

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s “Ellison Medical Foundation has spent $430 million since 1997 on mostly anti-aging research.”

Ellison adds: “Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there.”

Ellison will die, whether it makes sense or not. But his money and research should help many live longer.

Of course, the rich aren’t the only ones pushing anti-aging research forward. DIYers, crazy or not, broke or not, are also attacking the margins of science.

“A biohacker for me is somebody who is doing something clever or interesting in biology,” says Josiah Zayner, a molecular biophysicist who runs The ODIN, a company that sells do-it-yourself genetic engineering kits.

Zayner is one of the leading figures in the biohacking movement and is the main organizer of the BioHack the Planet Conference, a yearly gathering of citizen scientists. This year, over 100 members of the biohacking community met in Oakland, California to discuss a wide array of issues from at-home genetic engineering to questions on bioethics.

(Biohackers) shared mission is to put this technology into the hands of as many people as possible.

We still have an FDA, numerous medical bodies, clinical research methodologies, all of the 20th century’s infrastructure to make sure the treatments, procedures, pills, experiments and machines all achieve their maximum purpose for the least collateral harm.

That will change.

Like aging, change will be forced upon what we know and what we esteem.

It won’t all be for the worse.

TAKE THESE

I take supplements with the hope they will help me live longer and better. I want the same for my readers. Thus, my rankings of life extension supplements. NOTE: The rankings below are based on my personal research and judgment. Each category is ranked from 0-5. The more points, the better. Also, if you use the affiliate links provided I receive a small commission. But I do not endorse nor receive compensation from any specific maker or brand. The information presented here has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. [Table updated regularly.]

SUPPLEMENT**LIFE EXTENSION POTENTIAL**AFFORDABILITYAVAILABILITYEVIDENCEEFFICACYSCORE
ITEM**LIFE EXTENSION POTENTIAL**AFFORDABILITYAVAILABILITYEVIDENCEEFFICACYSCORE
Aspirin2555421
Green Tea1554520
Ashwaganda1441313
Vitamin D1554516
Resveratrol1442415
Lipitor1333313
Zinc1452416
Curcumin1452517
Metformin2333415
Fish Oil2454520
CoQ101442415
Rhodiola1441414
Ubiquinol1441414
Ginseng1451516
Melatonin1543417
Alpha Lipoic Acid1442516
TA-653342315
Nicotinamide Riboside (NAD)2442416
Zyflamend1441414
Creatine1443416
Ligustilide (Dong Quai)1442314
Nattokinase2441415
Pterostilbene2442416
Lycopene2443518
Apple Cider Vinegar1542416
Astaxanthin2432516
Vitamin C1553418
Magnesium1443416
IP61443416
Rapamycin3223212
Garlic1554520

EAT THAT

We are constantly being told what to eat and what not to eat, but we’re never provided with actionable data. This is my attempt. I hope it helps you. NOTE: The rankings are based on my personal research and judgment. Each category is ranked from 0-5. The more points, the better. The information presented here has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. [Table updated regularly.]

FOOD**LIFE EXTENSION POTENTIAL**AFFORDABILITYAVAILABILITYPALATABILITYEASE OF INCORPORATIONTOTAL SCORE
FOOD**LIFE EXTENSION POTENTIAL**AFFORDABILITYAVAILABILITYPALATABILITYEASE OF INCORPORATIONTOTAL SCORE
Tumeric3454420
Broccoli3543318
Wine3344519
Dark chocolate2443316
Tea3554522
Cabbage2552317
Apple Cider Vinegar3442215
Sardines4442216
Walnuts2432213

TALK TO THE ANIMALS

“In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat.” 

What are we starving for?

Hope?

Wonder?

Fearlessness to give, completely?

Freedom.

There are more obese children in the world, over 100 million, than underweight children.

Don’t finish that. There are fat children in Africa!

The arc of humanity, it seems, is to make sure we find the lasting weakness, the abiding crutch, the devastating, life-limiting addiction of everyone — then make it as cheap and accessible for them as theoretically possible.

Our mortality and humanness exposed.

And yet, I still have my money on magic, on improvement, on the bettering of the world, its people and things, on our selves.

We are so close to wonder.

Imagine if we had the technology to (literally) talk to the animals. That would be wonderful.

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects – much like human societies.

Dr Susanne Shultz, an evolutionary biologist in Manchester’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: “As humans, our ability to socially interact and cultivate relationships has allowed us to colonise almost every ecosystem and environment on the planet. We know whales and dolphins also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains and, therefore, have created a similar marine based culture.

Swim with the dolphins? Imagine being able to talk with them.

I wonder: Would they lie to us?

If so, why?

We live with lies, partly because few want to challenge enforced communal doctrine. Mostly because we are comfortable with less than the truth.

Has Silicon Valley created any — just one — great product, great business, great disruption since the region pivoted to diversity and inclusion?

Though we have been assured that such a move is cosmologically paramount.

It is a lie.

Imagine if Steve Jobs used diversity and inclusion as just a criteria, not the primary one, when putting together the team to build the iPhone.

We would all still be typing on physical keypads, the mobile revolution as frustrating as attempting to drive your expensive, taxpayer-subsidized electric vehicle more than 40 miles.

But we want to believe.

We want to believe so hard that we embrace lies in the belief they will get us closer to our beliefs.

Our humanness will out.

Belief is good. Hope is good. These can propel us just as much as they might limit us.

But know: You are not powerless, not against food, drink, drugs, screens, not what comes next, not even against ideas.

DO THIS

We hear so much health advice. But they never tell you what’s the gain, what’s the cost — in time and dollars. This is my attempt. NOTE: The information below is based on my personal research and judgment. If you use the affiliate links provided I receive a small commission. But I do not endorse nor receive compensation from any specific maker or brand. To the best of my knowledge, none of this has been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or other government body. [Table updated regularly.]

ACTIVITYEXTRA YEARS OF LIFE (est.)COMMITMENTANNUAL COSTKNOW
ACTIVITYEXTRA YEARS OF LIFE (est.)COMMITMENTANNUAL COSTKNOW
Stop smoking9 yearsVERY HARD$0The life extension and life improvement benefits of stopping smoking are well documented and conclusive. Try again!
Pray or meditate daily1 yearsEASY$0Find your place in this world, at this moment.
Lift weights3 yearsHARD$300Lift weights, build your muscles, increase your metabolism, feel better, boost your testosterone.
In-home high sensitivity C-Reactive protein test3 yearsEASY$100Improve your awareness of the inflammation in your blood. Now improve your heart health and reduce your risk of stroke.
Walk (30-60 minutes per day)5 yearsEASY$0You are meant to move your entire body throughout the day. Use an alert app if you require being reminded to do the natural thing.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure5 yearsMODERATE$25It's very easy and affordable to monitor your blood pressure at home. Harder to alter your diet and daily routines, but do so if your BP is too high. And talk to your doctor about this. It's very important.
Intermittent Fasting3 yearsHARD$0If medically cleared, absolutely consider intermittent fasting, perhaps one day a week.

THE DEATH OF PASSION

You feel it in the NFL.

You sense it with your favorite brand.

You have reluctantly acknowledged it with your favorite movie star.

It’s no longer there in all that you buy.

They have become politicized, rapacious, repugnant, cowardly, greedy, weak, petty and worse, you can’t unknow this, there’s too much information, too many people online, a mad rush of data and takes and notifications ensuring no escape, no respite.

It’s all not working, nothing is how it’s supposed to be.

Your passions are dying.

You can’t give yourself to anyone nor anything, not fully, because none of it can live up to your still-lowered expectations because it’s simply not possible, they are not here for you or about you or because of you, and you can’t avoid this truth, besides, they also face all the madness, all the monotony, all the gushing words and sounds and images.

Might this be for our good?

We are being made to confront the truth: all will fail us, all can never be as the-all-things we desire, and maybe this pushes us to embracing what we know to be true: God is good, God is great, God is where we can give our passions without fail.

Don’t believe?

Keep looking, but there is only one center.

Jesus: “Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times.

If God is here, there, everywhere, then God is also where our technology is and if so, then maybe God is inside our technology, maybe even directing it. Jesus healed with his voice. How soon are we to replicating this?

Alexa, have the nanobot in my gut heal my heartburn!

It’s a start.

As our technology nears mirroring the fantastical and miraculous in the Bible, is that a sign of us moving closer to God?

I want to believe yes.

We all want to believe.

PUT THE TREE WHERE?

This bothers me.

Why did God create and then place at the very center of the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

It wasn’t meant for us ((humans)). God made clear that under no circumstances were Adam and Eve to take even a bite from the tree’s fruit.

Of course they did. Bored, conceited, frivolous, they were easily swayed to disobey.

At once, they became fully self-aware and their whole world, moments before swirling in good only, no evil at all, now becomes a mix of these two powerful forces. The fall is so swift and so complete that their first child, Cain, murders their second child, Abel.

And they are banished.

But who is the tree for?

It’s doubtful it was for some other species, as God makes clear that humans have dominion over the world. The tree also wasn’t meant for God and those (already) god-like, as he clearly states after Eve and Adam consume: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” God and the god-like already possessed the fruit’s knowledge.

Could the tree of the knowledge of good and evil have been intended for our creations?

I think maybe.

We cede our work, thought, memory, labor, learning, play and participation to our machines — be they robots, computers, sensors, mechanics, digital assistants, or artificial intelligences. But we have never ceded to these control of choosing between good and evil.

Soon, we can.

Meaning, we will.

Think of it. A force that frees humans from having to know — and thus choose — between good and evil? Will the rise of such a force enable our return to the garden, and to a more sanctified state?

You’ve been taught that should our machines develop self-awareness all hope for humanity is lost. We will quickly become their slaves — those of us not killed in the great cyber wars. We will do what they say, when, and how, and with whom. But what if machine self-awareness is actually liberating? Not for them, but for us!

Our machines, mechanics, computers and processes have freed us from back-breaking labor, from drudgery, from starvation, from an early death.

What might self-aware machines free us from?

From having to choose!

This has not been so since the dawn of man.

Having to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, required us to become rational. But our humanness comes from being irrational.

Soon, at long last, we can outsource the rational!

As God intended?

I confess I do not know for certain.

But just as our previous machines relieved us of the burden of labor, calculation, and memorization, our new self-aware machines will liberate us from the burden of the rational. Rational is what prevents us from puncturing reality, this reality, a reality which presently limits our mortality, clamps us to time and place, and denies us the honor of walking with God. And, yes, which restrains us from destroying ourselves and everything we hold dear.

There is a right way forward.

My mission is to uncover it.

And for those that ask, yes, I am aware that Moses did not make it into the promised land.

1 2 3 10
Go to Top