One of my favorite Woody Allen quotes is:
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
This is just my way of introducing a fascinating bloggingheads.tv diavlog in which Eliezer Yudkowsky interviews Aubrey de Grey. De Grey has done amazing work furthering anti-aging research and I always enjoy hearing him speak and reading his work.
I think it’s a very interesting area. To me, it’s almost self-evident that combating aging is a good thing. But, it’s so tightly bound up with many irrationalities about death that lots of people don’t see it that way. People who agree that we should make every effort to fight diseases that would kill us quickly, somehow reject efforts to fight those that kill us eventually. They’re inclined to appeal to some form of naturalistic fallacy, or Malthusian mistake, or some nonsense about impending death being necessary to make life meaningful. I won’t even pretend to understand how it interacts with religious ideas about an afterlife
I do understand the pressure to rationalize a scary fate we consider inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we should actively thwart people who have overcome this pressure and are trying to address a real problem.
So, I wholeheartedly support anti-aging research and would love to achieve immortality through not dying.