Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OSCON: Life Extension

As icing on the cake today there was a BOF on Life Extension. My wife mentioned that that seemed strange. It doesn't seem that strange to me. It actually fits right in.

I would say I'm on the shallow end of Life Extension. I'm basically interested in finding an optimal diet and exercise regimen to help me stay healthy and active and mentally acute as long as possible. I can't say how hardcore I'm am even at this shallow end because I've only had this as a clear objective in my life for the last 6 months or so, so I can't say how permanent my changes have been. But I've lost weight and I'll soon be getting a physical to see how my cholesterol (which had been a bit high when last checked) is responding.

The session was led by Christine Peterson who also was one of the keynote speakers from the morning session. While by many standards she would be seen as hardcore (lots of supplements, mandatory 2 week vacations per year, strict weight control, etc) she was definitely middle of the road compared to the true extremes of the life extension movement. The truly hardcore take on the order of 100 supplements a day (how long does that even take to swallow?), or do calorie restriction, weekly intravenous treatments, etc. And then of course there is the backup plan of having your head frozen if you do die.

I'm not particularly opposed to any of the hardcore stuff I'm just new to this field of thought and haven't explored it enough to have a strong opinion either way. The one thing I'm intrigued by is the fact that if I live long enough I might get to take advantage of the increase in lifespan provided by medical advances. If science extends human life by a year (or more) every year, then who ever is alive at that point (and has the cash) could live a very long time.

In any case I signed up to get her slides emailed to me, so I'm going to have to wait until I get those before I can say more about any changes I might make. Until then I need to look again at taking some supplements.

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