How Long Do You Want To Live? Does 1,000 Years Seem Crazy? Watch!
Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame gets prodded, tested and lectured about living a really long time. He’s asked, “How long do you want to live?”. What’s your answer to that question? And would it make a difference if you could live a really long time in a youthful body?
IF YOU haven’t seen the Inside Man episode, Futurism, produced by and staring Morgan Spurlock, now’s your chance to find out why seemingly intelligent people think they might have a chance to live indefinitely. (Video below.)
You may remember Morgan Spurlock from his blockbuster documentary, Super Size Me, where he only eats fast food for months, and monitors various health markers to see what happens.
Last month (April 2014), Spurlock again uses himself as a guinea pig, although this time in a decidedly different direction. Rather than eat himself into the quick oblivion inevitable in Super Size Me, this time he trots out for the long pass.
The pertinent question: How long do you want to live? Another: How long is possible?
Intro to Futurism and the Potential for Looong Life
In Futursim, Spurlock discovers the information and protocols he could use to extend his life indefinitely, optimistically speaking.
Futurism profiles some of the leading authorities and methods behind the booming interest in life extension – particularly those of Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Larry Grossman, whose work and ideas were profiled in my posts, Ray Kurzweil’s March to Extend Life and Ray Kurzweil’s 100+ Pills per Day Age Defying Fight.
In the video presented below, Spurlock enters the brave new world of extreme life extension, embarking on a life-prolonging regimen and trying everything from genome hacking, to creating an avatar and uploading his consciousness in preparation for the “Technological Singularity.”
Spurlock’s quest to live forever includes visits with futurist Ray Kurzweil, Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and Cambrian Genomics in San Francisco.
That said, go watch the video and check out my notes beneath it.
Futurism Video and Notes
As a guide — along with my inevitable commentary — to the video above, here I’ll present the salient parts of the video and where they occur along the video timeline.
4:30 Grossman Wellness Center
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? The answer has to do with biological as opposed to chronological age.
Spurlock visits Dr. Grossman, Ray Kurzweil’s co-writer of Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever. Both books present the authors’ strategies to live long enough for the technology to be developed that will extend lifespan.
Kurzweil introduced the concept of “three bridges” to immortality. The first bridge is using all of the available methods to prolong life that I’m currently writing about in The Age-proof Method.
The goal is to live long enough to get on bridge two, a time when molecular nanobots would be able to cure many of the biological systems that fail over time. Eventually, if all goes well, you’d get to “bridge 3” where technology would basically be able to conjoin biological with artificial life – here you’re a cyborg, sorta speak.
Some things that Spurlock does and learns at the Grossman Center:
- Sugar is the White Satan
- Ultrasounds examines organ health
- A body-scan checks for plaque build-up in coronary arteries
- A hair sample tests for toxins and nutrient level
- Store stem cells are taken from a biopsy that in the future will be able to create new organs
- Body fat is calculated
- There’s a ice water test to see how blood pressure reacts to stress
- The tongue is checked to indicate bacteria level
- Genetic tests are conducted to discover the genetic propensities for disease
- Spurlock’s bioage is estimated, with a pleasant result
- Blood pressure stress high -> solution = meditation
- Body fat at 26% — solution -> exercise and diet
- Elevated cholesterol -> solution = red yeast supplements
- High buildup of plaque -> solution = unnamed supplements
- Fatty liver -> solution = diet + exercise, but if it becomes fibrosis, could be irreversible
- Vitamin D is low -> solution = 4,000 IU of Vitamin D (read more)
- Toxins elevated, such as mercury and uranium -> solution = oral chelation
- Telomere length below average for his age -> No clear solution given, but there is one
16:15 Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
At the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, they’re growing human body parts in the lab, starting with postage size pieces of tissue.
They begin with stem cells, then “print” a body part and encourage stem cells to grow tissue in them, and tissue type, given that stem cells are a “universal donor”.
18:00 Cambrian Genomics
Why not fix health problems before they begin? That’s the aim of Cambrian Genomics.
They make DNA to fix genes that may be problematic.
Using genetic test results from 23andMe, Cambrian Genomics can find, say, a recessive gene for Tay Sachs (reduce cognitive function), and discover the exact mutation in the genetic code.
So good so far, but that’s as far as science will allow for now. The good news is that the genetic “flaw” has been found, but right now there’s not a proven technology to fix it. For that you need to hang around long enough for “bridge 2”.
24:05 Spurlock Visits Ray Kurzweil
I liked what Kurzweil had to say during breakfast with Spurlock. He’s asked, “How long do you want to live?”, and Kurzweil says something like,
I’d like to live till tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll feel the same way.
People only want to die if they’re suffering.
The key to longevity beyond historical precedents is technology, and its penchant for exponential growth. The iPhone is several billion times more powerful than university computers in 1970s, and by 2030 something the size of a blood cell will have the tech capacity of the iphone, allowing for small computerized devices that can augment the immune system, says Kurzweil.
By 2045 it’s the Singularity, the moment when human and machine will be so interconnected that we will be able to transcend the limits of biology. That’s “bridge 3”.
32:05 It’s Real, Virtually At The Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab
How real can virtual realty really be? Pretty real, actually.
Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab is at the forefront of what is no tech possible. Will Morgan fall off that plank to his death? Seems real to him.
36:30 Institute for Creative Technologies
Now that he believes that virtual reality will be real enough to matter in his lifetime, Spurlock seeks a way to build a complete hologram of himself, his “digital avatar”, if you will.
The people at the Institute for Creative Technologies make it so, and you’ll get a kick from watching the conversation between Spurlock and… well… Spurlock. The conversation between the two of them is an endearing mind-bender.
OK, that’s it… I hope all this opened your mind to the possibilities of living a long and strong life, meaning, one where you can still have vitality.
You might as yourself how long do you want to live, and then go about making it happen.
If you haven’t already, get my four-part series, How to Build A Strong and Youthful Body, and you’ll also be on the List to get my crash course, The Age-proof Method for free, once it’s done.