It really makes my day to read this interview with mathematical biologist Brian Hanley.
He is 64 years old, as I will be this year. While Hanley is contemplating about living to 150, I’m thinking about when I’ll have to commit suicide because I can no longer support myself. $251/month in social security doesn’t cut it and when I can’t earn a living anymore, I’m out of options.
Assuming Hanley was honest in this interview, he not only has a good brain, but cares about much more than himself.
Hanley is definitely not normal (normal is what most people do) and in many respects thinks just like me. We work not because we HAVE to, but because we CARE about what we do.
Some Questions for a Man Who Expects He Could Live to 150
… The gene therapy Hanley has tried is not proven to lengthen lives; he says he hasn’t experimented with it on anyone besides himself, and he does not have FDA approval for testing the therapy. Matt Kaeberlein, the director of the University of Washington’s Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute, told me that gene therapies may someday become a common tool for dramatically extending human lives, but that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. It’s “theoretically possible,” Kaeberlein said, but “for now, it’s pure science fiction.” …
I just heard a podcast about similar successful experiments on mice, will post that soon.
Asked about climate change, Hanley expects it to cause his death:
… I accept a high probability that weather and climate will be the cause of my death, either directly, like a tornado or a typhoon or fire, or indirectly, like crops failing. …
On social implications:
… Do we want to freeze society and drag along a bunch of people who won’t change their mind? If everybody from 1925 who was in the Ku Klux Klan, which was really popular—that year, 30,000 of them marched in Washington, D.C.—if those people were still alive now, would we be what we are now? I don’t think so. …
On living to 150 and working:
… I can’t say for sure, but it’s getting progressively weirder to be out of sync with my age group. I have friends who are like, “When are you going to retire? Let’s do things together.” And that’s not my intent. My orientation to work is: I’m here for a reason, and I’m doing things.
I’m reminded of when I was 30, living in Ann Arbor, and at a party I met this really cool woman from Russia who was in her 90s. She was such a kick—she had been trained by Stan Grof in LSD psychotherapy. And I asked her once at one of these parties, “So why don’t you hang out with people your own age?” And she goes, “Have you talked to them? Trust me—it’s boring.” So who knows; I might end up like that.
AMEN! I’ve lived among old people for 22 years and now I’m old myself. The lack of intellect, the inability to think logically, the lack of compassion and empathy. Even the few progressive residents my age or younger are incapable of thinking their way out of a cardboard box on fire.
Everybody is like Hanley’s friends, and that includes my very best friends. They never liked their “jobs”, worked only because they had to, some raised kids, and when they retire they feel that they “earned” to do essentially nothing anymore. They have no desire to research, develop, create, achieve, challenge, question, oppose — their own happiness is their only goal.
In the early days of the internet, about 20 years ago, we had so many spirited discussions about the impacts of credit reporting and the buggy algorithms used to calculate FICO credit scores, the systemic exploitation of the disadvantaged, the moral obligations to pay debts owed to banks or debt buyers, etc.
“If a blind man loses a $20, would you give it back to him?”
To my knowledge, I was the only person to submit countless commentaries to the FTC, other regulators and to sue. In case you’re wondering, the developers of the documented buggy FICO credit scores, Fair Isaac Company, operate with absolute immunity and cannot be sued. Our regulators regulate to ensure maximum profits for the industry — because they ARE the industry.
Nobody went on to take action other than to capitalize on their knowledge, selling out to the vile bankers and debt collectors and credit repair companies paying enormous commissions while defrauding the little people. But at least we had coherent discussions of the issues — so many years ago.
I haven’t found any intellectuals or fact-based intelligent discussions of the many problems in our society anywhere. And I’ve been kicked out of so many forums and FB groups, on the left and on the right.
It’s groupthink everywhere.
The freethinkers are busy acting like 10-year old bullies while making fun of Jehova’s Witnesses. Any type of serious discussion and ACTION are absent.
Even many nonprofit activist leaders are nothing but corrupt egomaniacs, incapable of rational thinking and sincerely caring. Sebastian with the Unemployed Workers is a fine example. It’s all about power and fundraising.
Hanley: … I would say the main thing it does is lengthen your time horizon. I’ve talked to people who are my age [about the climate] who are like, “Why should I care? I’m going to be dead—let them deal with it.” But me, I’m not thinking that I necessarily won’t see those things. Sometimes I look back and it’s like, my generation really fucked some things up, bad—everything from student loans to the climate. So I want to try and change [things].”
Refreshing and gives me a little hope.
On the other hand, the fact that only the wealthy are able to extend their lives is downright scary.
They vote and influence.
They don’t think like Hanley. So few do.