Houston Rationalists Virtual Meetup - October 15

by Willa1 comment


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On October 15, 2020 between 5:30pm and 8:30pm CDT we will meet virtually via Jitsi Meet (https://meet.jit.si/). I will post the meeting room details (link to it + password to get in) 10 minutes prior to the meetup starting, i.e. at 5:20pm.

Our suggested topic for this meetup is Human Life Extension!

We will inevitably discuss many other things, but we'll definitely touch on human life extension during the meetup. If you have any topics / subjects you wish to discuss and relevant readings / resources to share, please send them my way, I'll ensure they get added to the meetup's agenda :)

Life Extension recommended readings, podcasts, or other resources:

  • The Biology of Aging - This is the first episode of a new podcast (Bio Eats World) from the a16z (Andreessen Horowitz) podcast network, it discusses the science of aging, provides a brief introduction to life extension as a field, but focuses more specifically on the roles of and types of anti-aging related drugs and how they fit in to the broader life extension project. You can listen to this episode from any of the major podcast platforms, or find it on the a16z website directly: https://a16z.com/2020/09/22/biology-aging/ If you enjoy that episode you should checkout the 2nd episode in the series where the producers dive into novel methods for destroying problematic proteins: https://bio-eats-world.simplecast.com/episodes/carolyn-bertozzi-lytac-wT8OEVZl

-Profiles of and background info regarding anti-aging researcher, Aubrey de Grey- You can get a sense of what he's about via his wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey For a brief summary of his positions and cultural reception thereof, this Reuters article is decent: https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7632ID20110704?irpc=932 For a meandering summary of his positions and more insight into critics of his approach(es), this Guardian article is decent: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/sep/16/healthandwellbeing.genetics

-Books- "Advancing Conversations: Aubrey de Grey - Advocate for an Indefinite Human Lifespan", by Douglas Lain provides an accessible dive (it's quite short, about 70-80 pages) into de Grey's research, motivations for that research, predictions for the future, and what needs to be worked on next. I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about one promising area of life extension research but might not have the time to read the nitty gritty details of how that might all work. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29006273-advancing-conversations?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MsElKsYUSa&rank=2

"Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs that Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime", by Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae provides most of the nitty gritty details you would want to read about for how exactly de Grey and his associates think human life extension might be achieved that the Advancing Conversations book mentions but doesn't go into detail about. Not sure if it'd be satisfying enough to someone who actively studies or researches biology, but it was quite engaging and accessible to me--I took one "bio for science majors" class at uni a number of years ago but have kept up with some other background readings on the field since then. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/519781.Ending_Aging?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MsElKsYUSa&rank=1

-Organizations- Methuselah Foundation: https://www.mfoundation.org/who-we-are/ SENS Research Foundation: https://www.sens.org/

I started researching life extension relatively recently so can't provide more resources at this time, I'm still exploring and trying to navigate my way through the field! I'll definitely have more resources to share as time goes on, and I'm aiming to hold a brief talk during a November meetup regarding what I've learned thus far about different human life extension approaches and the field more generally. If you're interested in human life extension, researching it, and/or discussing the implications of it, and more, you're welcome to reach out! I'd love to put together a study group or "journal club" for all things human life extension related :)

Our second October meetup will occur on Tuesday the 27th, I'll send out details for that meetup closer to that time.

Cheers, Willa

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