OUTSOURCING THE RATIONAL

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BORN TO BE ALIVE

What if we are meant to live forever?

Of course you don’t believe.

It’s impossible.

But think of how the impossible continues to be made real, commonplace, even. Not only with things, but of life. For centuries, even those of stout faith would not dare honestly believe virgin birth possible — yet now there are test tube babies. Very old women, long presumed barren, can now give birth  — using another’s egg cells. And the resurrection of life? Literally possible! Though admittedly, still not for humans. But is even this only a matter of time? In digital form, it seems a near certainty. Tales from the Bible speak of a race of giants  — easily made real today using bionics, steroids, stem cells, gene editing. Placing two of every animal on a single ark? DNA is really, really small.

We are making the fantastical real.

Life first, death next.

We possess the potential to live beyond 100, 200, 500 years of age, like Noah, like Methuselah, like Adam. And it is no more unnatural than pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, hormone replacement therapy, or living inside a screen.

Now imagine this: the Bible is a makers guide, inspiring humanity’s technological progress and shepherding our ambition to live for hundreds of years, possibly forever.

We need only unlock its secrets, appropriate its ideas, replicate its magic.

God is waiting on us.

The Bible states that humans were endowed with the potential to live 1,000 years. But the actions of our predecessors demanded God strip us of this blessing. But what if that original potential remains? Locked inside us, ready to burst forth? The moment we become worthy.

Yes, the way forward will be messy, sometimes unsettling, shocking, oftentimes false, faulty.

But the fantastical will out.

We only need to believe.

 

MEMENTO BUT IN REVERSE

“Why is it judged incredible with you, if God doth raise the dead?”

I think of this question, presented by Luke in Acts, often.

The Bible mentions resurrection numerous times, and not only associated with Jesus. Much of what it says, however, strikes me as unclear, possibly contradictory — always a sign that we have not yet developed our knowledge and technologies sufficient to understanding.

The Bible is a makers guide.

Keep working towards.

The longest a human has ever lived, according to our modern records, is 122 years.

What if that truly is the limit?

What if the only way possible to live beyond 122 is to change ourselves so much, say through bionic limbs, artificial organs, embedded computer processors, electronics usurping our nerve endings, extending our brain matter, that we are no longer who we are?

Living past 122 but not as our self strikes me as a pyrrhic victory.

Resurrection may be the better path.

The problem with resurrection, however, is that as soon as it becomes possible it’s not nearly enough. We don’t want to be resurrected as our self, but as our self, better: stronger, fitter, taller, smarter. We want to be more than who we are.

This is built into our code.

There are other concerns which likewise must be addressed, not all technical.

Which of our selves gets to pick the age of return? Ninety year old self may choose fifty, thirty-four year old self may choose sixteen. And if we can only be brought back to life as an infant, say, we are then an infant in a new world, and this new world will profoundly shape us, direct us, limit us — new us.

Additionally, we will need to make sure that before we die, we put our affairs in order. That is, make sure Giant Computer knows everything about us, knows how important each one of those bits is, contains every memory, every decision, an analysis of their good and bad, and relays it to us — the new us — in a timely manner.

Our own Bible.

Do this, don’t do that, do more of this, do less of that, trust me, this is right, trust me, this is good, trust me, this will lead to misery.

Faith is a necessary requirement of the future.

Without faith, you evaporate.

Faith is also required because temptations will never be stronger, nor more plentiful than they are soon to be. Understand: the ability to resurrect our self brings with it also the ability to not be our self, and this is a constantly tantalizing prospect, believe me.

Some of us are descendants of tall, fierce warriors, men capable of taking down a woolly mammoth with little more than a hand-fashioned spear.

Men from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Montenegro are, on average, the tallest in the world, according to new research that helps to explain why such individuals often grow to six feet and more in height.

Their stature appears to be at least partly a genetic legacy of the Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture (the culture of mammoth hunters).

Remains of Gravettian men suggest that they stood between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches on average, which was an extraordinary size for the time. In contrast, men among the ancient Maya who lived several thousand years later were 5 feet 2 inches tall on average. Mayan women were about 4 feet tall on average.

Know this: you will never be presented with resurrection as a sole option but may be presented with resurrection plus options.

Imagine this: You have lived a good, long life, been successful in your endeavors, in your relationships and now, we will usher you through the resurrection transition. Soon, you will be born again, but do not fear, we have retained all your memories, all your actions, and a literal three-dimensional avatar of yourself will guide the new you — but still you — into the new world. Oh! But before we proceed, would you like us to edit your genes so that you become the equivalent of great, tall, proud mammoth-killing warriors?

Most men have a difficult time turning down potato chips.

Choice is made worse because — without faith — it’s often impossible to know what is right and best.

Was the past more right or less?

Contrary to popular opinion, humans didn’t shed a harsh existence as hunter-gatherers and herders for the good life of stay-in-place farming.

Year-round farming villages and early agricultural states, such as those that cropped up in Mesopotamia, exchanged mobile groups’ healthy lifestyles for the back-breaking drudgery of cultivating crops, exposure to infectious diseases, inadequate diets, taxes and conscription into armies.

Which would you choose?

Incremental changes to the body’s aging process are not achieved in isolation, ever. So, too, will it be with profound changes. The closer we get to literal resurrection, the more we understand all that shapes us, enhances us, limits us. Which of these enhancing-limiting factors should we accept when we possess the power to change each of them?

We will not end Alzheimers, as one example, without also gaining the ability to edit other base elements of our brain and body — and thus our self.

Radical longevity demands a casting off of the self. There is no other way.

Exactly as Christ told us.

FIFTY TRILLION

There are those among us who believe we can effectively “cure” aging. That is, with the right medications, such as rapamycin, and the right operations, such as rebuilding an old thymus gland, and following the right information, such as significantly reducing your daily caloric intake, people can live radically past 100.

150?

500?

You, this old.

Not you constructed with fake skin, your organs replaced by mechanical parts, nerve endings connected to computer processors, bionics for limbs, not that, but rather, you, essentially as you are now.

I do not believe this.

I believe something far more fantastical.

The Bible is a makers guide. It points the way.

Jesus was resurrected, lives forever, and if we follow his way, and mirror his miracles and deeds, that will lead us to, possibly, immortality.

I accept that this is a challenge to your beliefs.

Let’s consider, then, what others believe. What if we could cure aging so as to live well past 100, maybe to 200, maybe even to 500 — as humans, not borgs?

How much might that cost?

Aubrey de Grey is a pioneer and leading voice in the anti-aging movement. A biomedical gerontologist and Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, which helps fund “regenerative medicine.”

Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology which deals with the “process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function”. This field holds the promise of engineering damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to functionally heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.

Regenerative medicine also includes the possibility of growing tissues and organs in the laboratory and implanting them when the body cannot heal itself.

When asked “how much money does Aubrey de Grey need to find a cure (for aging),” de Grey’s answer belies belief. 

Short answer: $1 billion over 10 years would do it with high probability.

Longer answer: clearly the question is not whether but when aging will be brought under comprehensive medical control. Thus, the right question is how much money is needed, over what time period, to hasten that time to the point where money will not make much difference any more because the rate of progress is limited by the simple difficulty of the research. See above for the number!

I suspect no one on this planet, with the presumed exception of de Grey himself, actually believes such nonsense.

Maybe some rich techie in Silicon Valley, where de Grey resides, might actually be willing to part with one billion. Thus, stating the number may make sense for that reason.

But to bring aging under control?

$1 billion?

More like $50 trillion.

Large research universities run through over $1 billion in R&D every single year.

$1 billion is not a price worth even considering. The SENS Research Foundation is not in possession of the philosopher stone.

$50 trillion is closer to the truth.

If it helps, the annual US Government budget is $4 trillion.

All the wealth in the United States — literally everything — is around $50 trillion.

Should we sell off everything, shut down the government — including the military — to fund radical longevity?

It’s certainly worth considering.

Erase from your mind the visualization of backsliding Israelites offering up all their gold to build a golden calf.  No doubt there are billionaires out there who believe their wealth will connect them to cures and concoctions, charlatans and geniuses who will, through tinctures and cryonics, medicinals and electronics, buy them an extra five or ten or twenty years.

This is a false hope.

A lie.

Technology — advancement — does not work that way.

Neither the president of the United States nor the founder of Google possesses a better smartphone than you, probably not even a better television.

For things to work, really work, they must work for all. Not for morality sake but because magic gains its power only through spreading itself to all.

Back to Jesus.

If I am right that for us to conquer aging, conquer death, we must follow his way, reproduce his miracles — and we have already reproduced some, such as virgin birth — then the actual cost will be nearly everything.

Matthew, chapter 19:

And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions.

And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Fifty trillion.

THE LAST ONE

Reduce your calories and take a nice walk, you’ll live longer, live better.

Moderate Walking Enhances the Effects of an Energy-Restricted Diet on Fat Mass Loss and Serum Insulin in Overweight and Obese Adults in a 12-Week Randomized Controlled Trial

The decrease in body weight was accompanied by a significant reduction in total fat mass, which was significantly more pronounced in the DI + walking group than in the DI group (−6.4 ± 3.1 compared with −4.8 ± 3.0 kg; P = 0.020). REE after 12 wk was not significantly different compared with the baseline REE. Diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, LDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol were similarly significantly improved by both interventions.

Still won’t?

Your choice. But know that if you are obese you then greatly increase your odds of having cancer.

Obesity-related cancers accounted for about 40 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2014. Although the overall rate of new cancer diagnoses has fallen since the 1990s,  rates of obesity-related cancers have been rising.

Nature does not want you to be fat.

Indian scientists studied more than 1,200 men and found that too much extra weight was linked to a lower volume of semen, a lower sperm count and lower sperm concentration.

In addition, sperm motility (the ability to move quickly through the female reproductive tract) was poor. The sperm had other defects as well, the researchers added. Poor sperm quality can lower fertility and the chances of conception.

Imagine we conquer death.

Too much to ask?

Imagine we are able to remake and re-fashion and enhance our mind and body, with all their various parts and functions, and live to 1,000, like Noah.

What if this transformation requires something of us?

The equivalent of eating right and walking?

Too much to ask?

What if this transformation requires the help of government or some other entity?

Too much to ask?

In America, blacks die younger than whites.

Life expectancy of black Americans in 2010 was equal to that of white Americans in 1980.

Might a similar “health disparity” prevent you or your loved ones from achieving radical longevity?

What demand of radical longevity would you reject? Already, millions — maybe billions — eat more than is necessary and don’t regularly exercise, despite possessing the full awareness that such acts lessen their lifespan.

Can you think of any requirement to living to 1,000 that might be too much for you to accept?

What if you are the only one, the last remaining?

All other humans have transitioned into some alternate state, some varied form that enables them to live one thousand years.

You are the last, and can’t or won’t go on.

Neanderthals lived among and near humans for thousands of years, their numbers becoming fewer and fewer, with the final remaining ones holed up in the caves and woods of northern Europe, most likely, endeavoring to stay alive, to find comfort, joy, talk of times gone, maybe dreaming of somehow passing on their genes.

There was a last one, then he died.

And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

I am at a loss to imagine what would keep me from embracing radical life extension, though I am certain there will be valid reasons presented.

THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN

What will life — not living, life — be like for the next generation?

And the next?

And the next?

And the next?

And the ten generations following that one?

For all our collective wisdom, we can scarcely fathom actual human beings fourteen “generations” into the future.

This is a profoundly different reality from all who came before us.

Will they be digitized? Filled with electronics? Brains connected to exterior sensors? Living inside a bionic shell?

The very first chapter from the book of Matthew lists the fourteen generations from Abraham to David, then the fourteen generations from David to Babylon (captivity), then the fourteen from Babylon to Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

This is important.

With Christ, all is changed.

So it will be with us — humans, mortals — as we achieve the same miracles ascribed to Jesus.

That is our mission.

The very first such miracle, birth without procreation, we accomplished a generation ago. Communicating through dreams, I suspect thats possible now.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, (the wise men) departed into their own country another way.

How long till all the remaining?

One generation? Three? We must try to live as long as possible — till that day arrives.

But I am suspicious of ‘human freezing’ efforts. If we are to live to 1,000 — or forever — it will be, I imagine, not of the body.

The chance to live forever is science fiction in most conversations, but a lab in Scottsdale believes it can freeze your body after death and maybe bring you back years in the future.

ALCOR Life Extension practices the science of cryonics. Big metal containers at ALCOR hold bodies of people who are legally dead, but considered lives on hold by ALCOR cryopreservation.

“What we’re offering is a chance, and only a chance, to come back and have an indefinite life span.  [It] could be hundreds of years, could be thousands of years,” said Max More, president and CEO of ALCOR.

Jesus became not of flesh.

As part of the land, the earth, the physical, we are profoundly limited — as per God’s plan.

In Genesis, note how humans are punished for their transgressions:

Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.

and

And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain [the murderer] was a tiller of the ground.

and

And Noah began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard [this is when things went south].

Use olive oil, not seed oils like corn or sunflower, nor canola:

We’ve seen that vegetable oils cause obesity, heart disease, promote male infertility and aging, and are just generally bad news. In this article we’ll look at the evidence that vegetable oils cause insulin resistance.

If we manage to get to Mars, or perhaps even a planet on some distant other solar system, how many might we kill without trying?

While estimates vary, a recent consensus places the figure of Native Americans living at the time near Columbus’s arrival at around 54 million. According to previous studies, nearly 95% of them are believed to have been killed by European diseases, like smallpox.

95%.

Watching everyone you love, even all you hate, sicken and die. Cruel.

SAY THE WORD AND YOU’LL BE FREE

Siri, play the Beatles.

OK, Google, turn up the heat.

Alexa, turn the lights on in the house.

We speak and our world changes.

This should be no surprise. From Luke: “for his word was with power.”

Our voice now commands the connected machines but soon, all machines will be connected, and all the machines will be everywhere, in our homes, our walls, the roads, buildings, in our schools, inside our bodies.

What then?

“And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Word is power.

Even a mere generation ago you could not believe such a thing. Now there is no way to disbelieve.

“And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this!”

What a word is this!

Of course what we say — our words, our commands — will soon clean, cut, open, lock, heal, eradicate.

Speak, and the nanomachines inside us kill the cancer cell forming.

Already, there is progress on using computing and ‘smart pills’ to administer medicine, healing — and, yes, death — to an exact location in the body.

New Microchip Technology Could Be Used to Track Smart Pills

Caltech researchers have developed microscale devices that relay their location in the body

Speak — “heal that limb” — and the medicine machine obeys. And, yes, speak out loud to the machine pills inside you to feel joy or perhaps wretched sorrow.

“And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”

These are the days of miracle and wonder.

Believe.

“First paralyzed human regains his upper body movement after being treated with stem cells.”

“Scientists at the French National Center for Scientific Research have used nerve stimulation to induce signs of consciousness in a man who has been in a vegetative state almost half his life.”

“And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.”

Strange days, indeed.

TWO GENS TO IMMORTALITY?

How soon immortality?

This soon?

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying —

That’s from Luke, which begins not with the story of Jesus but of John.

John’s parents were very old. John’s mother was considered far too old to give birth.

Today, these concerns have been made inconsequential, by science.

John — yes, that John, the John who paves the way for Jesus — shocked everyone in the village not simply because of his parent’s age, but because he could communicate almost from birth.

He could speak and give praise.

Question: When do we make this real?

Will CRISPR enable this? Embedded electronics?

When does a speaking baby go from shocking, haunting oddity to so commonplace as to become the new norm?

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

John went just before Jesus, preparing the world for his arrival.

With Jesus, came resurrection.

How soon for us?

Is it this soon:

When the ‘test tube’ baby from the parents now able to give birth can speak — words, sentences — from almost the moment of birth?

Then grows to adulthood.

How soon is this?

Ten years? Thirty years?

MOVE

What if God, when he took away our potential to live forever, also took it from all other creatures?

And what if God didn’t actually take away our potential to live forever, but rather, placed it out of reach?

“Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.”

Part of our punishment — along with the potential loss of immortality — was that we were tied to the ground, to Earth, the flesh, this world.

That means there’s a way out.

“So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.”

How do we become no longer of this world, of this body?

How long the transition?

“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Is the “flashing back and forth” merely the on-off, 1/o of a binary microprocessor?

Getting old, it’s something that happens to everyone and nearly every species on this planet, but the question is, should it?

Should it?

As Charles Darwin explained, natural selection results in the fittest individuals for a given environment surviving to breed and pass on their genes to the next generation. The more fruitful a trait is at promoting reproductive success, the stronger the selection for that trait will be. In theory, this should give rise to individuals with traits which prevent ageing as their genes could be passed on nearly continuously. Thus, despite the obvious facts to the contrary, from the point of evolution ageing should never have happened.

Ageing should never have happened.

Yet it does.

Why?

Here’s what we’ve long assumed:

(George C. ) Williams proposed that natural selection enriches genes promoting reproductive success but consequently ignores their negative effects on longevity. Importantly, this is only true when those negative effects occur after the onset of reproduction.

Essentially, if a gene mutation results in more offspring but shortens life that’s fine.

Evolution does not care about aging, only reproduction.

This suggests a fixable problem.

We found a series of genes involved in regulating autophagy, which accelerate the ageing process.” These results are surprising indeed, the process of autophagy is a critical recycling process in the cell, and is usually required to live a normal full lifetime. Autophagy is known to become slower with age and the authors of this paper show that it appears to completely deteriorate in older worms. They demonstrate that shutting down key genes in the initiation of the process allows the worms to live longer compared with leaving it running crippled. “This could force us to rethink our ideas about one of the most fundamental processes that exist in a cell,” Holger explains. “Autophagy is nearly always thought of as beneficial even if it’s barely working. We instead show that there are severe negative consequences when it breaks down and then you are better off bypassing it all together.

Even shorter version:

In young worms, autophagy is working properly and is essential to reach maturity but after reproduction, it starts to malfunction causing the worms to age.

But maybe this is too much. Maybe re-wiring, switching off/on all individual genes, exactly as necessary, will always prove beyond our abilities.

Do we abandon the body altogether?

This may not be possible.

But if it becomes possible, you will want to be alive when we achieve this.

By any means necessary.

Do *any* exercise:

Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries. The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study shows any activity is good for people to meet the current guideline of 30 minutes of activity a day, or 150 minutes a week to raise the heart rate.

PAY ATTENTION: “The PURE study showed that by meeting the activity guidelines, the risk for death from any cause was reduced by 28%, while heart disease was reduced by 20%, and it didn’t matter what type of physical activity the person did.”

Much harder, but absolutely achievable, intermittent fasting, which may also have cumulative anti-aging benefits — like compounding interest.

Intermittent Fasting Promotes White Adipose Browning and Decreases Obesity by Shaping the Gut Microbiota

Take your supplements.

Also, pray. Pray and push forward:

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State’s College of Engineering have developed a new technology, Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), that can generate any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This technology may be used to repair injured tissue or restore function of aging tissue, including organs, blood vessels and nerve cells.

Peter: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.”

How soon for you?

Not too soon, I hope.

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