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Five Tangible Steps We Can Take in 2018 to Reach Indefinite Longevity – Article by Bobby Ridge

Five Tangible Steps We Can Take in 2018 to Reach Indefinite Longevity – Article by Bobby Ridge

Bobby Ridge


You may have finally just discovered this most important conversation, or you may be a transhumanist veteran. When I research others’ attempts to articulate Transhumanism, I observe that they tend to either discuss the intangible philosophy, or they will offer an hour plus of hard science. The purpose of this article is to provide 5 tangible ways in which right now you can get involved with Transhumanism and take real steps towards extending your healthy lifespan.

I am not a doctor, so I am not providing medical advice. It is recommended that any person considering significant health-related decisions take into account his or her personal circumstances and consult a knowledgeable medical professional. I am merely a normal guy providing some salient information I have discovered during my Transhumanist journey. Here are the 5 tangible ways some of us might, in the appropriate circumstances, extend our healthy lifespans right now:

  1. Whole genome sequencing
  2. Stem-cell therapy
  3. Sign the international ban on AI weaponry
  4. Become a member of Transhumanist organizations
  5. Cryonics

There are other tangible ways to extend our healthy lifespans right now, but these are ones I have done a significant amount of research into. Transhumanism and the Singularity will transform every single person’s life whether they want this transformation to happen or not, so constant research is essential to being as prepared as possible for this next few decades. Let’s take a closer look at those five tangible ways to extend our healthy lifespans right now.   

  • Whole Genome Sequencing

Getting our whole genomes sequenced is a great step to increasing our healthy lifespans for so many reasons. One reason is because of how cheap it is relative to the recent past. It cost $3 billion to have one’s genome sequenced in 2001. Since genome sequencing is an exponentially advancing technology like Ray Kurzweil predicted, in 2015 it only cost $1000 to sequence someone’s genome [1]. Most importantly, getting our whole genomes sequenced prevents diseases. I am not talking about the type of prevention where your parents and grandparents had heart attacks, so now you must eat specific cereal to prevent a heart attack. I am talking about complete prevention, e.g., the scientists at Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) only accept into their testing program people who are considered healthy by contemporary modern medicine. Even though members are considered “healthy,” HLI still finds some sort of hidden pathology in 40% of people tested. With their advanced scanning machines, whole genome sequencing process, and future application of machine learning to all their data, they are turning medicine into proactive, preventative, personalized, and predictive, rather than the contemporary healthcare system being reactive, disease-management-oriented, generalized, and costly.

Figure 1. HLI transforming the modern health system.  [2]

With this incredible approach, HLI has had a 100% diagnosis rate, and all their findings have been successfully treated. They have whole lists of stories, such as the story when a doctor considered healthy came into to get scanned by HLI, and they found a 5cm tumor under his tail bone; a week later he had it removed. He was later told that if he did not have it removed in 6 months, it would have metastasized [3]. The HLI offers two health packages, the Health Nucleus X for $4,950.00 [4] and the Health Nucleus X Platinum for $25,000.00 [5]. This may sound expensive, but with the exponential decrease in genome sequencing cost and with further democratization of HNX clinics, the price will drop quickly. But there is no time to waste, because contemporary health statistics are not on our side. We may feel healthy and are even told we are healthy by a hospital, but getting our whole genomes sequenced is how we really know.

Here is a link to HLI: https://www.humanlongevity.com/

  • Stem-Cell Therapy

Stem cells are so exciting, if you don’t feel excitement after reading this part of the article, then you did not fully comprehend the article. According to Daniel Kota, “We have reached a critical point. We see a massive number of different stem-cell treatments out there. The only thing between stem cell therapies and us, is regulatory agencies, such as the FDA in the US. But the number of stem-cell treatments out there are getting so overwhelming that some are just falling through the cracks” [6]. Not only can stem-cell therapy provide a massive number of treatments, but it may even have age-reversal effects. Before I explain these effects in more detail, the stem-cell therapies I am going to describe have not gone through FDA approval yet in the US, so it would require you to be a medical tourist for now. So, a lot of research and many discussions with your physician are essential before actively seeking any sort of therapy. As we age the number and function of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) decrease. MSCs are the major modulators of our health and homeostasis. It is also important to note that MSCs are not the controversial embryonic stem cells (EMCs). MSCs are not only more ethical to use, because the extraction process does not require the destruction of a human embryo, but research has found MSCs to be significantly better to use for human treatments, relative to EMCs. So, back to how MSCs help with age-related diseases.

Figure 2. The amount of MSCs in our body decrease over time.

A shown in Figure 2, when we are born, we have a certain amount of MSCs, and they divide at their fastest rate. The number of cells and their rate of division decrease over time. So, let’s say you’re 80 years old and you need 10,000 MSCs to recover from some pathology, but you only have a 1,000 – well you can clearly see that the 80-year-old will not have enough MSCs [7]. So what researchers and doctors are doing are just placing stem cells back into the body, e.g., at the Stem Cell Institute, the medical clinic in Panama City, Panama, they inject stem cells in the specific area of bodily damage, such as a hip fracture. They also intravenously inject stem cells into patients. Matter of fact, this is what Mel Gibson’s father did. He was 92 years old, on his death bed, and the genius Mel Gibson had his personal physician talk with Dr. Neil Riordan, and soon thereafter, Mel’s Dad was in Panama getting stem cell injections in his hip and intravenously. Now his father is thriving at 99 years of age! [8] That is amazing! There are a large number of similar stories ranging from curing complete quadriplegia to low-functioning children with autism becoming high-functioning, even to a point where it is barely noticeable that the child has autism. Dr. Riordan, the founder of Stem Cell Institute, wrote an amazing book called Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide: How Stem Cells Are Disrupting Medicine and Transforming Lives, that explains MSC therapy in a very easy-to-understand and passionate manner. I highly recommend it. Prices for the stem-cell treatment depend on the specific pathology, but general intravenous injections would cost around $20,000.

Here is a link to the Stem Cell Institute: https://www.cellmedicine.com/

Here is a link to Dr. Neil Riordan speaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLKOddCPs9I

  • Sign the International Ban on AI Weaponry

The only other epochs that were as important as the next two decades of artificial intelligence (AI) development were when life first began 4.2 billion years ago and when the universe began 13.8 billion years ago. According to Andrew Ng, “AI is the new electricity. About a hundred years ago, we did not have widespread access to electricity in the US, but with the rise of electricity, it transformed every industry. Agriculture was transformed through the rise of refrigeration, communications was transformed by telegraph, manufacturing was transformed by the electric motor, healthcare was transformed. In all these industries you have a hard time imagining how to run these things without electricity. AI technology, especially deep learning, has now advanced to a point where we see a surprisingly clear path for it to also transform every industry” [9]. Similar statements have been uttered from many of the tech titans, e.g., Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk [10] [11] [12]. Like every technology, AI can either be used for good or evil. Well, the amount of good AI can bring humanity is probably infinite. It will help us cure all diseases, personalize teaching to children, drive our cars, take away our soul-draining jobs, and SO MUCH MORE. To make an ideal AI future come to fruition, we must properly steer this most powerful technological development. The amount of bad that AI can bring humanity, if misapplied, is an existential risk, possibly worse. There are already AI weapons being successfully made, e.g., The Kalashnikov Bureau weapons manufacturing company announced that it has recently invented an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which field tests have already shown better than human level intelligence. China recently began field-testing cruise missiles with AI and autonomous capabilities, and a few companies are getting very close to having AI autopilot operating to control the flight envelope at hypersonic speeds. [13]. According to Reuters, “The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget request will include $12 billion to $15 billion to fund war gaming, experimentation and the demonstration of new technologies aimed at ensuring a continued military edge over China and Russia” [14]. Vladimir Putin publicly announced that “Artificial intelligence is the future. Not only for Russia, but for all of humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere, will become the ruler of the world” [15]. The government of China laid out a timeline to beat the US in this AI arms race, aiming by 2020 to have caught up to the AI industry, by 2025 to be ahead of the US, and by 2030 to dominate the industry of AI. One tangible way to prevent an AI arms race is to sign the international ban on AI weaponry.

Here is a link to the open letter supporting an international ban on AI weaponry: https://futureoflife.org/open-letter-autonomous-weapons/

  • Transhumanist organizations

It almost seems like every week there is a new Transhumanist organization emerging. I guess people are finally figuring out how quintessential transhumanist principles are for the future of humanity. I recommend you search Wikipedia, because they have a great database of Transhumanist organizations.

Becoming a member of the United States Transhumanist Party (USTP) and all the other transhumanist parties and organizations is a great way to stay informed about all the exponentially accelerating science and technology [1]. The USTP’s central tenet is to place science, health, and technology at the forefront of American Politics. The accelerated technological advancement that is occurring will cause such enormous change, but for some reason our political leaders mainly focus on providing the American people with momentary uplifting feelings, and their advocacies encompass going back to the old days. Well instead, they should be placing all their resources into educating and preparing Americans for this massive transformation we are all about to witness in the next few decades. Please become a member of the USTP and help us get the word out about Transhumanism and the Singularity for the sake of all our lives.

Here is the link to become a member of the USTP: http://transhumanist-party.org/membership/

Here is a link to H+Pedia’s list of Transhumanist political organizations: https://hpluspedia.org/wiki/Transhumanist_political_organisations

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s list of Transhumanist organizations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Transhumanist_organizations

  • Cryonics

Cryonics has been around for a relatively long time. The first cryonics institute was formed in 1976, and even though cryonics has been around for so long, cryogenically preserving one’s body just has not been popularized yet by the mainstream. One would think that by 2018, we would have caught on. It is sad to think of all the millions of people that missed the chance to be preserved for the last 40 years. It is very important to have yourself and loved ones cryopreserved after death, because it will decrease the taboo, push the advancement of the technology forward, and, most importantly, you will be able to live indefinitely! Many may think that it is too expensive, and prices can range anywhere from $28,000.00 to $200,000.00, but choosing to do monthly payments makes the price very affordable [16], [17].

Here is a link to a cryonics organization – the Alcor Life Extension Foundation: https://alcor.org/

Here is a link to another cryonics organization – the Cryonics Institute: http://www.cryonics.org/

In the great Transhumanist game, the human species must unite once and for all to survive the 21st century. Ray Kurzweil gave us a map to the greatest treasure, a treasure that will buy more than happiness. It will buy us eternal love, beautiful augmentation, indefinite longevity, and maybe even utopia. It is up to us to steer this ship in the right direction and make sure we stay afloat while on this dangerous journey. I sincerely hope this information saves as many lives as possible.

Bobby Ridge is the Secretary of the United States Transhumanist Party. Read more about him here

References

  1. Kurzweil, Ray. “Ray Kurzweil — Immortality By 2045 / Global Future 2045 Congress’2013.” YouTube, 2045 Initiative, 18 Jan. 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlRTbl_IB-s
  2. Venter, Craig. “Dr. Craig Venter – How We Will Extend Our Lives: From Synthetic Life to Human Longevity.” YouTube.com, The Artificial Intelligence Channel, 1 Oct. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfzfI2dvp3s
  3. Venter, Craig. “MIS2017: Genomics, Advanced Imaging, And The Future Of Medicine.” YouTube.com, Cleveland Clinic, 8 Nov. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkUMjh1GjKs
  4. Health Nucleus X. Human Longevity, Inc. 2013. Web. 4 May 2018.
  5. Health Nucleus X Platinum. Human Longevity, Inc. 2013. Web. 4 May 2018
  6. Kota, Daniel. “Promises and Dangers of Stem Cell Therapies | Daniel Kota | TEDxBrookings.” YouTube.com, TEDx Talks., 28 Nov. 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsFEcBwO8O4
  7. Riordan, Neil H. Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide: How Stem Cells Are Disrupting Medicine and Transforming Lives. 2017. Print.
  8. Riordan, Neil. “Golden Cells and Mesenchymal Molecules – Neil Riordan, PhD.” YouTube.com, Riordan Clinic. 15 Jan. 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLKOddCPs9I
  9. Ng, Andrew. “Andrew Ng – The State of Artificial Intelligence.” YouTube.com, The Artificial Intelligence Channel, 15 Dec. 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKpuX_yzdYs
  10. Pichai, Sundar. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai: A.I. More Important To Humanity Than Fire And Electricity | MSNBC.” YouTube.com, MSNBC. 29, Jan. 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxEo3Epc43Y
  11. Bezos, Jeff. “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: Lessons in Management at I.A. Gala 2017.” YouTube.com, Expovista TV, 8 May, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpDUiDQigO8
  12. Musk, Elon. “Elon Musk, National Governors Association, July 15, 2017.” YouTube.com, WordsmithFL, 16 July, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3lzEQANdHk
  13. Husain, Amir. “Amir Husain: “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence.”” YouTube.com. Talks at Google. 31 Jan. 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcC5OV_oA1s
  14. Conn, Ariel. “Pentagon Seeks $12 -$15 Billion for AI Weapons Research.” Future of life institute. FLI – Future of Life Institute, 15 Dec. 2015. Web. 4 May, 2018.
  15. Putin, Vladimir. “Whoever leads in AI will rule the world! – Putin to Russian children on Knowledge Day.” YouTube.com. Russia Insight. 4 Sep. 2017.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kggRND8c7Q].
  16. “Cryospreservation is far more affordable than you might think.” Cryonics Institute Technology for Life. Cryonics Institute. 4 May, 2018. Web 4 May, 2018.
  17. “Alcor Cryopreservation Agreement – Schedule A Required Costs and Cryopreservation Fund Minimums.” Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Alcor. Web 4 May, 2018.
We Must Unite for an International Ban on AI Weaponry; A Real Solution to Survive the Singularity Along with What Lies Beyond – Article by Bobby Ridge

We Must Unite for an International Ban on AI Weaponry; A Real Solution to Survive the Singularity Along with What Lies Beyond – Article by Bobby Ridge

Bobby Ridge


I urge the United States Transhumanist Party to support an international ban on the use of autonomous weapons and support subsidies from governments and alternative funding into research for AI safety – funding that is very similar to Elon Musk’s efforts. Max Tegmark recently stated that “Elon Musk’s $10M donation to the Future of Life Institute that helped put out 37 grants to run a global research program aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity.”

Biologists fought hard to pass the international ban on biological weapons, so that the name of biology would be known as it is today, i.e., a science that cures diseases, ends suffering, and makes sense of the complexity of living organisms. Similarly, the community of chemists also united and achieved an international ban on the use of chemical weapons. Scientists conducting AI research should follow their predecessors’ wisdom and unite to achieve an international ban on autonomous weapons! It is sad to say that we are already losing this fight for an international ban on autonomous weapons. The Kalashnikov Bureau weapons manufacturing company announced that they have recently invented an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which field tests have already shown better than human level intelligence. China recently began field-testing cruise missiles with AI and autonomous capabilities, and a few companies are getting very close to having AI autopilot operating to control the flight envelope at hypersonic speeds. (Amir Husain: “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence“)

Even though, in 2015 and 1016, the US government spent only $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion in AI research, respectively, according to Reuters, “The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget request will include $12 billion to $15 billion to fund war gaming, experimentation and the demonstration of new technologies aimed at ensuring a continued military edge over China and Russia.” While these autonomous weapons are already being developed, the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) couldn’t even come up with a definition for autonomous weapons after 4 years of meeting up, despite their explicit expression for a dire concern for the spread of autonomous weapons. They decided to put off the conversation another year, but we all know that at the pace technology is advancing, we may not have another year to postpone a definition and solutions. Our species must advocate and emulate the 23 Asilomar AI principles, which over 1000 expert AI researchers from all around the globe have signed.

In only the last decade or so, there has been a combined investment of trillions of dollars towards an AI race from the private sector, such as, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, and other tech titans, along with whole governments, such as, China, South Korea, Russia, Canada, and only recently the USA. The investments are mainly towards making AI more powerful, but not safer! Yes, the intelligence and sentience of artificial superintelligence (ASI) will be inherently uncontrollable. As a metaphor, humans controlling the development of ASI, will be like an ant trying to control the human development of a NASA space station on top of their ant colony. Before we get to that point, at which hopefully this issue will be solved by a brain-computer-interface, we can get close to making the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and weak ASI safe, by steering AI research efforts towards solving the alignment problem, the control problem, and other problems in the field. This can be done with proper funding from the tech titans and governments.

“AI will be the new electricity. Electricity has changed every industry and AI will do the same but even more of an impact.” – Andrew Ng

“Machine learning and AI will empower and improve every business, every government organization, philanthropy, basically there is no institution in the world that cannot be improved by machine learning.” – Jeff Bezos

ANI (artificial narrow intelligence) and AGI (artificial general intelligence) by themselves have the potential to alleviate an incomprehensible amount of suffering and diseases around the world, and in the next few decades, the hammer of biotechnology and nanotechnology will likely come down to cure all diseases. If the trends of information technologies continue to accelerate, which they certainly will, then in the next decade or so an ASI will be developed. This God-like intelligence will immigrate for resources in space and will scale to an intragalactic size. To iterate old news, to keep up with this new being, we are likely to connect our brains to it via brain-computer-interface.

“The last time something so important like this has happened was maybe 4.2 billion-years-ago, when life was invented.” – Juergen Schmidhuber

Due to independent assortment of chromosomes during meiosis, you roughly have a 1 in 70 trillionth of a chance at living. Now multiply this 70-trillionth by the probability of crossing over, and the process of crossing over has orders of magnitude more possible outcomes than 70 trillion. Then multiply this by probability of random fertilization (the chances of your parents meeting and copulating). Then multiply whatever that number is by similar probabilities for all our ancestors for hundreds of millions of years – ancestors that have also survived asteroid impacts, plagues, famine, predators, and other perils. You may be feeling pretty lucky, but on top of all of that science and technology is about to prevent and cure any disease we may come across, and we will see this new intelligence emerge in our laboratories all around the world. Any attempt to provide a linguistic description for how spectacularly LUCKY we are to be alive right now and to experience this scientific revolution, will be an abysmally disingenuous description, as compared to how truly lucky we all are. AI experts, Transhumanists, Singularitarians, and all others who understand this revolution have an obligation to provide every person with an educated option that they could pursue if they desire to take part in indefinite longevity, augmentation into superintelligence, and whatever lies beyond the Singularity 10-30 years from now.

There are many other potential sources existential threats, such as synthetic biology, nuclear war, the climate crisis, molecular nanotechnology, totalitarianism-enabling technologies, super volcanoes, asteroids, biowarfare, human modification, geoengineering, etc. Mistakes in only one of these areas could cause our species to go extinct, which is the definition of an existential risk. Science created some of these existential risks, and only Science will prevent them. Philosophy, religion, complementary alternative medicines, and any other proposed scientific demarcation will not solve these existential risks, along with the myriad of other individual suffering and death that occurs daily. With this recent advancement, Carl Sagan’s priceless wisdom has become even more palpable than before; “we have arranged a society based on Science and technology, in which no one understands anything about Science and technology and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces.” The best chance we have of surviving this next 30 years and whatever is beyond the Singularity is by transitioning to a Science-Based Species. A Science-Based Species is like Dr. Steven Novella’s recent advocacy, which calls for transition off Evidence-Based medicine to a Science-Based medicine. Dr. Novella and his team understand that “the best method for determining which interventions and health products are safe and effective is, without question, good science.” Why arbitrarily claim this only for medicine? I propose a K-12 educational system that teaches the PROCESS of Science. Only when the majority of ~8 billion people are scientifically literate and when public reason is guided by non-controversial scientific results and non-controversial methods, then we will be cable of managing these scientific tools – tools that could take our jobs, can cause incomprehensible levels of suffering, and kill us all; tools that are currently in our possession; and tools that continue to become more powerful, to democratize, dematerialize, and demonetize at an exponential rate. I cannot stress enough that ‘scientifically literate’ means that the people are adept at utilizing the PROCESS of Science.

Bobby Ridge is the Secretary-Treasurer of the United States Transhumanist Party. Read more about him here

References

Tegmark, M. (2015). Elon Musk donates $10M to keep AI beneficial. Futureoflife.org. https://futureoflife.org/2015/10/12/elon-musk-donates-10m-to-keep-ai-beneficial/

Husain, A. (2018). Amir Husain: “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence” | Talks at Google. Talks at Google. Youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcC5OV_oA1s&t=763s

Tegmark, M. (2017). Max Tegmark: “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of AI” | Talks at Google. Talks at Google. Youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYmKOgeoOz4&t=1208s

Conn, A. (2015). Pentagon Seeks $12 -$15 Billion for AI Weapons Research. Futureoflife.org. https://futureoflife.org/2015/12/15/pentagon-seeks-12-15-billion-for-ai-weapons-research/
BAI 2017 conference. (2017). ASILOMAR AI PRINCIPLES. Futureoflife.org. https://futureoflife.org/ai-principles/

Ng, A. (2017). Andrew Ng – The State of Artificial Intelligence. The Artificial Intelligence Channel. Youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKpuX_yzdYs

Bezos, J. (2017). Gala2017: Jeff Bezos Fireside Chat. Internet Association. Youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqL3tyCQ1yY

Schmidhuber, J. (2017). True Artificial Intelligence will change everything | Juergen Schmidhuber | TEDxLakeComo. TEDx Talks. Youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y7PLaxXUrs

Kurzweil, R. (2001). The Law of Accelerating Returns. Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. Kurzweilai.net. http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns

Sagan C. (1996). REMEMBERING CARL SAGAN. Charlierose.com. https://charlierose.com/videos/2625

Sbmadmin. (2008). Announcing the Science-Based Medicine Blog. Sciencebasedmedicine.org. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/hello-world/