Hacking computers, hacking life

Posted 14 Apr 2010 at 17:09 UTC (updated 14 Apr 2010 at 17:46 UTC) by proclus Share This

Some of you may not know that in addition to my admin responsibility at GNU-Darwin, I am a biochemist and protein crystallographer, as well as the X-ray lab manager and systems admin for the Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry Department at Johns Hopkins University. Here are some Hopkins links.

http://biophysics.med.jhmi.edu/xtal/ http://biophysics.med.jhmi.edu/love/

The main reasons that I went into life sciences were to increase intelligence and longevity, which is like hacking computers, but it is hacking the body instead.

In addition to providing a computer operating system, packages and source code, The GNU-Darwin Distribution has branched into body hacking, and so we release information to help people increase their intelligence and longevity. In the spirit of software freedom, the information is put into the public domain, and the tools that are discussed are non-proprietary readily available to anyone. Appropriate to the tenor of the distro, this activity has become activism, and we expose the abuses of corporations and governments when we can find them.

This activism has fallen primarily under the rubrick of molecules activism, and we have a dedicated subdomain and blog for this purpose. This blog is in addition to the GNU-Darwin Action blog, which is mirrored in my Advogato profile, and the molecules blog is primarily for body hacking. It is largely a howto for intelligence and longevity increase.

A current emphasis of the molecules blog is parsley, which is an inexpensive and readily available foodstuff with a remarkably healthful property. The blog exposed the fact that parsley has far more flavonoids, gram for gram, than any other known food. The parsley flavonoid is apigenin in the form of apin, and the crucial fact is that parsley apigenin has been demonstrated to have similar properties as other molecules that are known to increase longevity in all animals that have been tested. These molecules have been shown in humans to be effective against the maladies and degenerative diseases of aging such as; cancer, heart disease, and alzheimer's disease, as well as other complaints such as autism and hyperlipidemia. Moreover the symptoms of sometimes minor health complaints such as; asthma, allergies, and diarrhea are also improved. A sophisticated molecular agent becomes available to anyone in a commonplace food, and recipes are even included to help people increase their parsley intake.

This is an excellent example of the meaning of body hacking, but also of molecules activism; "to publish and promote prior art and public knowledge of molecules, which can have an impact on people's access to inexpensive medicine, beneficial supplements, and other important uses, outside of corporate channeled biased knowledge and their monopolistic price structure."


why does any body want to live forever? , posted 14 Apr 2010 at 21:49 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

before they read 'Heaven and Hell misplaced' and give it some thoughts?

haven't read it, posted 15 Apr 2010 at 02:00 UTC by proclus » (Master)

Perhaps you could give a link. It also depends on what you are asking. From a religious perspective, most teach that the immortality problem has already been solved, so why bother? From a mortal, physical standpoint, immortality is vastly far way, as it were. If we double or triple our life span, or even increase it by a factor of 10 or 20, it would be a huge stride, but it cannot be compared to the vastness of immortality, which is mathematically undefined, which is said not to exist.

In my scientific opinion, an indefinite lifespan may be possible, but it is so far ahead of where we are today as to be a meaningless pursuit and impractical in the extreme. It is not foreseeable, and there is much room for doubt. Moreover, an indefinite life span is not immortality either. The longer you live, the greater chance that you will die by some accident or be killed. We find those proposing physical immortality also proposing very dangerous other proposals, which will obviously shorten their lives, not lengthen. My goal is increased longevity, not immortality, which appears to me to be a fools pursuit at this stage of the game and for the foreseeable as well. Even religionists may agree with that, saying that we already have immortality, so why not do something useful.

One the other hand, more longevity is widely regarded as good and pursued with great vigor, unless you believe that it is better to die quicker? Isn't that one definition of madness? Are you a danger to yourself?


Life is beauty and terror, posted 15 Apr 2010 at 14:25 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

Saints or mad man all seemed to be possessed by this common spirit of claiming that they know their own fate even if it doesn't make any sense to anybody else.

Scientific method in regards of the end of life MUST be tied to a person and a life-sustaining system. Limits of Justice are more pronounced when religious community has been excluded as a BIG part of the life-sustaining system.

Journey of Souls: life between lives, posted 20 May 2010 at 13:11 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

i think anyone wishing to embark on physical life extension needs to read and take into account the empirical observations / testimonials numbering several thousand as documented by michael neumann in "Journey of Souls: life between lives".

(note the care with which i stated the above. if you did not notice the care with which the above was stated, please re-read it until you do, and please refrain from commenting until you do.)

in the context of that which "Journey of Souls" makes clear, physical life extension ties the soul to the purpose and goals which it is here to focus on and learn from. in other words, physical life extension prolongs - and restricts - the specific period of spiritual development.

for many people for whom, for whatever reason, be it belief or be it acceptance of the empirical observations made by michael neumann or be it other: such restrictions would be seen as a significant _disadvantage_ not an advantage: the lack of freedom to jump to another "life" - a different body, different circumstances, different time and different lessons to learn... that sounds more like hell on earth.

thus, physical life extension - radical physical life extension - is likely only to be attempted and sustained by those souls that are advanced enough to appreciate the significance.

so, as is discussed often in science fiction books (peter f hamilton, ian banks), i think you'll find that radical physical life extension would actually result in quite a high suicide rate amongst those with such treatment.

to put that another way: if someone lives 200 to 1,000 years, and they are trapped in a dead-end job because the treatment cost so much money that they would need to spend 190 to 900 years paying it off, what _exactly_ has science done for humanity?

Good on you!, posted 21 May 2010 at 14:10 UTC by DeepNorth » (Journeyer)

Interesting... I actually started out on the road to specializing in the study of senescence. Once I became sufficiently conversant with the Theory of Evolution, I became convinced that this was a dead end.

My reasoning was that Evolution would would have perverted the development process in any way that had the tiniest beneficial effect on selection no matter how devastating the effects once selection had taken place. Considering the frightening complexity of development, I thought it would be quite impossible to actually reverse or halt aging.

To my chagrin, this was later shown to be empirically incorrect. I am still coming to grips with that. It shows how empiricism cares nothing of theory.

"zen masters etc." will be scientifically shown to be right, posted 30 May 2010 at 14:33 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

that's my prediction, and there is scientific evidence slowly coming out which supports this hypothesis.

for example, it has been shown that to have a thought of "vengeful anger" causes a chemical to be released by the body which is very similar to snake venom. so if you try to "get revenge" on somebody, you LITERALLY poison yourself.

all the meditation and zen bollocks masters state quite clearly that it is imperative that you "watch your thoughts", and "think no ill of anyone". now we happen to have some scientific evidence as to why.

likewise, it has been noted that there is a gland in the body (pineal?) which contains a store of stem cells. deep meditation can trigger the release of these stem cells. then, if you perform a SPECIFIC sequence of movements (aka "yoga"), the stem cells are transported throughout the body via these "movements" - in the same sort of way as squeezing a toothpaste tube from end to end results in movement of the last bit of toothpaste.

yoga advocates always say that it is vitally important to perform the sequence in the correct order: the toothpaste analogy highlights why.

so it really is quite simple: you don't _need_ science to live longer - you could just listen to - and trust - the tried-and-tested advice passed down through generations of what people like to call "masters": watch your thoughts, do yoga and meditation, and take care of what you put into your body (i.e. don't do any more damage!)

that sounds easy to say, and sounds harder to put into practice than many people are comfortable with - but if you truly intend to live for 200+ years, are you going to start now, or are you going to give up even before you've begun, and carry on with that "it doesn't matter, i'm going to die, i might as well enjoy myself (smoke, drink, cola, other chemicals etc.)" attitude i hear so often repeated?

Metamophosis of The Prime Intellect, posted 31 Aug 2010 at 17:38 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)

quite entertaining characters wrote a review here. Saved my own copy here

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