Why not age?

We talk a lot about  how to prevent aging, let's take a look at why we're doing it? Three specific questions

  1. When was the first time (your age and circumstances) when you decided you didn't want to age/die/etc.
  2. What were or are your influences for this decision? 
  3. What's the main thing you're looking for from aging? 

Extra credit

   What would you be willing to forgo for extended life? For example, would you be willing to look like an old wizened person (white or no hair, wrinkled, stooped etc), as long as you felt healthy and lived a long time?

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  • My answer

    1. When I was a kid and first learned about death I freaked out (I don't remember it but this is according to my parents). I absolutely could not handle the idea, and to this day am allergic to the idea and can't stand the thought of death. I avoid funerals, even of extended family members, because it's so stressful. My will to live is so strong I honestly can't understand people who accept death, it fundamentally doesn't make sense to me. 
    2. Seem to have been born with it. Death isn't logical - it's an accident of evolution that we have the minds to understand death and also have the machinery that eventually wears out. It isn't right, or certainly not something I approve of. Otherwise I'm a scientist and read a lot of Sci Fi, so the idea of technology for life extension is perfectly natural. 
    3. Just time itself. Time to really come to understand myself, others and the universe around us. 

    EC I'd give up just about everything for more time - a brain in a box, or an old wizard is fine with me as long as I have my same mind. 

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    • Dan 

       

      " I'd give up just about everything for more time - a brain in a box, or an old wizard is fine with me as long as I have my same mind."

       

      This is the crucial one. I don’t care about what I look like and I can live well even if I am assisted with technology. May it be a basic wheel chair or a future revolutionary bio hard drive implanted in my brain. But I want to keep my mind  and remain “me”.

       

      Where does that leave us? In my point of view the number one priority should be maximized lifespan with a long health span. If I don’t have cognitive health and a functional brain then the health of the rest of my body is irrelevant. In my case the nr 1 focus should be geroneuro-protecting  efforts. If there is enough interest for a focus on that topic we can start a thread on that topic.

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  • Fascinating topic.  Thank you for posting.

    Not easy to think about.  If you'd asked me this question 25 years ago, I'd counter point that "time" is only half of the equation.  Quality of life is the other side.  And I'd be wondering how to balance the two.

    Now, at age 75, I'm not so sure.  With a basic quality of life, time becomes the dominant variable.  You mentioned above, "a brain in a box".  That startled me because I already almost feel like a brain in a box now -- the box is my apartment.  Almost all physical needs are taken care of: meals get delivered as I order them, or prepared by my maid to recipes I select.  Dish washing, laundry, errands also done by the maid.  What few products I buy are mostly ordered on the Internet and delivered.  Socializing and conversation with other brains in other boxes is mostly by email, and occasionally by phone.  And I like it this way, I really do.  I'll go to some lengths and pay extra expense, to avoid leaving this box. 

    Many would say, "You need to get out more.  Go for walks in the park.  Go to the beach.  Go to a movie.  Go...go...go.  No thanks. More and more, I'm focusing on extending my time (and my health) right here, and enjoying life very much.

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  • I personally can't remember when the first time was that I didn't want to "age". I just remember always thinking that life was too short and decided to start taking care of my skin in college. 

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