[...] or thwarting "the single best invention of life," according to Steve Jobs.

Which was even more odd given that it immediately followed a worshipful Jobs documentary featuring Adam Savage and Jamie, which contained that very quote.

Curiosity, Adam Savage, and Life-Extension

by JoshuaZ 1 min read17th Oct 201119 comments


Tonight the Discovery Channel had on their Curiosity series  a program hosted by Adam Savage (of Mythbusters) on whether or not we could live indefinitely. The program probably did have some substantial impact on some people who have not been exposed to that sort of idea before, and may have been especially good at letting people understand that there's a definite possibility that the relevant discoveries might occur in their lifetimes.

However the piece was as a whole decidedly lacking in actual information.  First, the entire program was built around the conceit of Savage looking back from his thousandth birthday and talking about all the technologies that had allowed it to happen. In their hypothetical world, due to a severe car accident in 2022, Savage becomes the first person to benefit from a host of different technologies. There were zero actual interviews with scientists and although actual technological proposals were mentioned such as organ cloning and a brief segment on the SENS work of filtering blood cells, the vast majority was high-budget special effects segements of the new technologies. Also, cryonics was not mentioned at all, since in their hypothetical world, Savage had never needed that particular technology. Similarly, no mention is made of uploading, although Savage does gain cybernetic enhancements to his brain.

At a level of evaluation of narrative rather than  information, the entire piece was a bit incoherent and inconsistent. For example, Savage declares at one point that at age 130, he is then the oldest person in the world. This makes no sense in context since presumably after the basic technologies have been tested out on him they could then be applied to other people, some of whom will be older than he is. In the same section of the narrative, Savage has apparently become the head-engineer of the world's first space elevator construction project. A few centuries later, Savage then has to deal with an asteroid impact obliterating much of North America. My girlfriend remarked that the program came across almost as fanfic about Savage.

Overall, I can't recommend this much but it might do a good job getting people aware of these issues who don't currently know anything.  

Did anyone else see this? What did they think?