Recommendations for donating to an anti-death cause

by fowlertm1 min read9th Apr 201423 comments

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I've recently had the bad luck of having numerous people close to me die. Though I've wanted to contribute to anti-aging and anti-death research for a while, I'm only now in the position of being stable and materially well-off enough to throw around semi-serious cash.

Who should I donate to? I don't want to do anything with cryonics yet; I haven't given cryonics enough thought to be convinced it'd be worth the money. But I was considering the Methuselah foundation.

Suggestions?

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I was considering the Methuselah foundation.

I donate to SENS directly, but haven't looked into whether or not that's better than donating to Methuselah.

SENS is actively raising money. There is the issue that Calico might be pursuing several of the lines of inquiry SENS is with much more capital. But if this happens SENS will most likely pivot their active research.

The top of my list for organizations to investigate is currently the Brain Preservation Foundation. They administer the plastination prize. Robin Hanson outlines this a bit here. I think that contributing here is different from contributing to cryonics. Learning to preserve brain's structure moves multiple goal posts forward and has the potential to attract more research dollars into the area.

The Brain Preservation Foundation was one of the first charities I thought of, I'll definitely be considering them.

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute. Friendly AI is our best bet to defeat death, and unfriendly AI would probably kill us all.

[-][anonymous]7y 8

I'm sure one exists somewhere on LessWrong or a related site, but is there a breakdown of how money donated to MIRI is utilized? I'd like to research the effects of potential contributions.

This is the current destination of the 'learn more' link on MIRI's donate page.

[-][anonymous]7y 4

Thank you.

Do charities that focus on controlling infectious disease (malaria, tuberculosis, etc.) count?

I'd like to aim squarely at Death.

So saving people 30 and younger so they can die at 80 instead isn't good enough...

The point is extending maximal lifespan, not average lifespan.

It's also worth noting that those diseases mainly affect people in the developing countries. Personally I am interested in shaving my own ass.

One possible thing to think about is medical research that targets the diseases that are the most common killers today.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

Top 2 are heart disease and cancer, followed by lower respiratory infections, strokes, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.

I know it's not really what most of us think about when considering this, but I think that curing those diseases is likely to help us achieve "actuarial escape velocity".

I once heard that a magical cancer cure would extend U.S. life expectancy at birth by three years...

Yeah, that's about right.

That being said, even if we cure everything else, we will still need to find a way to cure or prevent cancer, or it would still kill all of us eventually. Somehow curing cellular aging might lower the odds of getting cancer in any given year, but not eliminate it; younger people do sometimes get cancer.

I would say that finding a cure for cancer would be a necessary part of any biological longevity program.

Does it have to be a nonprofit, or would you consider investing in a startup company working towards anti-aging / anti-death goals?

[-][anonymous]7y 7

I can't answer for fowlertm, but if you have a list of such companies I would be interested!

I would be interested, yes.

I do not have such a list, I just figure that there are places where they would be easy to find, such as Exponential Medicine.

Advise that you donate to MIRI.

I don't have recommendations, but I'm interested in answers to this question too; I expect to reach a similar situation in a few years (and tentatively intend to donate to SENS).

For those interested, I ended up donating to the Brain Preservation Foundation, MIRI, SENS, and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Fund.

More detail here:

http://rulerstothesky.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/in-memorium/