EDITORIAL

Make a Wager for Life

T o take the life enhancement/life extension wager seriously,* you must choose to do everything within reason that meets the requirements of your end goal: the health, advancement, and promotion of your life. Compromising on the wager is to undermine your position. One of the quick-draw criticisms we often make is to size up an advocate of health by whether they have a bad health habit. For example, health pioneer Carlton Fredericks was known to be heavy smoker. How could he be devoted to health? But do we ask the same question of ourselves?


*See Istvan Z. The Transhumanist Wager. Reno, NV: Futurity Imagine Media; 2013.


In this issue of Life Enhancement, our featured ingredient is a drug (metformin) and not a nutrient. In choosing to do this—even though we cannot sell a drug—we are aware that many of our clients will be confused, to say the least, or even repulsed. After all, they might say, “Isn’t nature superior to artificial, or synthetic?”

It depends. The wheel and the transistor are synthetic inventions, manufactured by man. Are they bad because they’re not “natural”? This is also true of food inventions. In fact, according to Durk Pearson, “Other than nuts and berries, all major food plants were modified by wide interspecies crosses (which move genes from one species to another) and un-natural (human) selection before the dawn of written history.” To be strictly “natural” and non-GMO, you may have to give up human-created food plants such as corn, wheat, rye, potatoes, and rice. Good luck.

Returning to the nutrients vs. drugs argument, it is often the physiological vs. pharmacological dose that decides the issue. In other words, at high enough of a dose, every nutrient is a drug because of troublesome consequences. The 16th century Renaissance scientist Paracelcsus summed it up, “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”

But on the other hand, some drugs may compromise the good that they may do, by causing harm, such as producing metabolites that overtax the liver. The life enhancement/life extension wager applies to drugs as well as nutrients, and also to stem cell therapies, gene engineering, nanotechnology, and undreamed of health technologies that will make us stronger, smarter, and far more long-lasting.

For as inventor and pattern-recognition technologist Ray Kurzweil states in The Singularity is Near, Fantastic Voyage, and Transcend, if you succeed in living longer, you may live long enough to be able to determine exactly how long you live. To which we might add, “and the quality of your life.” To take the life enhancement/life extension wager seriously,* you must choose to do everything within reason that meets the requirements of your end goal: the health, advancement, and promotion of your life. Compromising on the wager is to undermine your position. One of the quick-draw criticisms we often make is to size up an advocate of health by whether they have a bad health habit. For example, health pioneer Carlton Fredericks was known to be heavy smoker. How could he be devoted to health? But do we ask the same question of ourselves?

In this issue of Life Enhancement, our featured ingredient is a drug (metformin) and not a nutrient. In choosing to do this—even though we cannot sell a drug—we are aware that many of our clients will be confused, to say the least, or even repulsed. After all, they might say, “Isn’t nature superior to artificial, or synthetic?”

It depends. The wheel and the transistor are synthetic inventions, manufactured by man. Are they bad because they’re not “natural”? This is also true of food inventions. In fact, according to Durk Pearson, “Other than nuts and berries, all major food plants were modified by wide interspecies crosses (which move genes from one species to another) and un-natural (human) selection before the dawn of written history.” To be strictly “natural” and non-GMO, you may have to give up human-created food plants such as corn, wheat, rye, potatoes, and rice. Good luck.

Returning to the nutrients vs. drugs argument, it is often the physiological vs. pharmacological dose that decides the issue. In other words, at high enough of a dose, every nutrient is a drug because of troublesome consequences. The 16th century Renaissance scientist Paracelcsus summed it up, “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”

But on the other hand, some drugs may compromise the good that they may do, by causing harm, such as producing metabolites that overtax the liver. The life enhancement/life extension wager applies to drugs as well as nutrients, and also to stem cell therapies, gene engineering, nanotechnology, and undreamed of health technologies that will make us stronger, smarter, and far more long-lasting.

For as inventor and pattern-recognition technologist Ray Kurzweil states in The Singularity is Near, Fantastic Voyage, and Transcend, if you succeed in living longer, you may live long enough to be able to determine exactly how long you live. To which we might add, “and the quality of your life.”

Live long and prosper,

Will Block

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