I first encountered Aubrey de Grey while reading his forward to my friend FM-2030’s book, Countdown to Immortality. Aubrey begins, “There’s something I think you should know as you read this foreword, and this book. I’m dying.” Aubrey goes into detail about his horrifying disease. Then, only at his conclusion, do we realize Aubrey is describing the “universal disease” of aging. It’s shocking. I marveled at Aubrey’s perfect kick off to my friend’s revolutionary book about the abundance that will accompany immortality.
I’ve always been in a great deal of denial about death. My friends and family think my denial is, at worst, pretty crazy, and at best, wishful thinking. Upon reading FM’s books, then later Aubrey’s books, and even later Ray Kurzweil’s books, I finally had scientific grounds to develop my own argument against these accusations of being in complete denial. It always surprises me how often even my most vivacious friends and contemporaries are resigned to think of death as everyone’s fate. Even the most logical people seem to romanticize death. I incorporate Aubrey’s logic and parlance in my arguments because it so effectively negates this romantic, fateful perspective. I especially enjoy presenting Aubrey’s views to people who think extended lifespan will take away from the preciousness of our existence – when really it’s most probably the reverse.
People tend toward big opinions and jump to conclusions when discussing longevity, but Aubrey’s brilliance is the sound logic and reason he brings to the table. Aubrey touches on the hesitant commentary surrounding recent longevity research in approachable and easily digestible ways to better engage those uncertain about indefinite lifespan. Aubrey’s work is focused on keeping people healthy for longer, a much more tangible approach than invoking myths about the fountain of youth. We absolutely need people like Aubrey de Grey to fight for longevity research (Google’s Calico certainly doesn’t hurt either).
“Introduction to Aubrey de Grey” Parts 1 and 2 are the first two videos in our Aubrey de Grey series. These shorts address the important distinction between immortality and extending health to attain greater lifespan, Part 1 explains a bit about Aubrey’s background and how it led him to explore rejuvenation technologies. In Part 2, Aubrey discusses the importance of challenging how rigidly and archaically so many view aging.
Longevity is a very important topic to me – it is the impetus for a film we’re making, called 2030. Much like all of our Galactic Public Archives videos, the feature film delves into many subjects relating to our future, specifically focusing on attitudes about immortality and how immortality, if achieved in our lifetime, will surely alter all aspects of society.
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