Thursday, January 8, 2009

End Aging to End Anxiety: Filmmaker Jason Silva Talks about Immortality

Jason's short film "The Immortalist"

Brave New Traveler has an interview with Venezuelan-American filmmaker Jason Silva about how to end aging and live forever. The answer: science.

In the interview, Jason mentions looking for answers in different religions at first, but in the end settling on scientific research. He also drops names like Aubrey de Grey and Ray Kurzweil, who are some of the biggest names in the field of anti-aging.

Kurzweil is also featured in Silva's short film "The Immortals" (posted above), which I warmly recommend watching if dying and aging don't strike you as the finer things in life. And if they do, well, I still recommend watching it!

Here's a quote from the interview:

"I believe humans have always overcome their biological limitations. It is what has brought us out of the caves and onto the moon.

We have cured ourselves of diseases, we fly remarkable machines through the air at 500 miles per hour. We communicate instantly and wirelessly across the world.

Why is it such a stretch to imagine us re-programming our biochemistry (much like computer software) so that we may alleviate suffering, decay, and death?"

Clearly, Silva and I agree that natural does not always equal good. It's precisely our ability to change that which is natural that is the reason humans have evolved and survived for so long. Silva also quotes a line from Ernest Becker's book The Denial of Death to illustrate his point. The quote sums up the problem of the finitiness of life perfectly, though horrifically:

"Man creates illusions under which to live in order to distract himself from the awareness of his mortality, which is unbearable."

I'm glad there are people who dare to attempt to solve the problem of mortality. Maybe then we can get rid of the illusions once and for all.

For more information on anti-aging and longevity, see these posts:

Growing New Body Parts: Breakthroughs in Regenerative Medicine
Drinking 10 Cups of Green Tea Daily and Not Smoking Could Add 12 Years to Your Life
Green Tea Reduces the Formation of AGEs
How the Accumulation of Minerals Might Cause Aging in Humans

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