Education, longevity, science

International Day of Older Persons & Longevity Science to Reduce Suffering

October 1 was International Longevity Day or International Day of Older Persons and I want to use this occasion to raise awareness around an important issue that literally each and every one of us face or will face. It’s aging.

A lot of people ask me why I care so much about the aging field and longevity. Let me tell you.

This first picture is that of my beautiful grandparents when they were old but still functional.

This second picture is noticeably different – they look more frail and my Grandmother started developing a brain disorder which eventually took away her speech, brain processing and her life.

And this deterioration in health and onset of age-related diseases with age (could be cancer, Alzheimer’s, other brain disorders, frailty etc.) was not unique to my grandparents. I’m sure a lot of you have seen some elders in your life suffer from it too. Most elderly people ultimately suffer from age-related diseases – it’s just a matter of when the disease arrives and your chances of getting these diseases only keep increasing with age. That’s sad. It’s sad because it signals that eventually each of us has to suffer in old age. And it truly hurts to watch that suffering.

But what if we didn’t have to suffer in this manner? This is where the aging field could truly rescue us.

Now, what is the aging field trying to do? We are trying to reduce this suffering felt by the elderly and their loved ones. We are trying to reverse some of the damage in our bodies to make the elderly feel healthy again. Even if you don’t want to live too long, I’m sure you want to be healthy in your later years. And it’s not that easy to prevent these aging disorders unless we come together to solve this problem. And it means each one playing their part in whatever capacity works for them – starting companies, doing research, raising awareness, donating etc.

There are brilliant scientists and companies doing work in this field to bring back our youthful states when we are older. It is tremendous work all of us could benefit from and if it works, we can all be healthy for longer. Isn’t that something truly wonderful? 

I certainly want to be healthier for longer. I certainly want to spend quality time with my grandchildren. I certainly wish I could have spent more time with my grandparents. And this is why I’m so excited about supporting the field of aging and longevity. And I hope I can get you excited too.

Because at the core of it, longevity science will enable deeper and longer human connections.”

SOURCE: LONGEVITY SCIENCE CAN REDUCE SUFFERING

P.S. If you want to learn about some of the work being done by these brilliant scientists in the longevity field, subscribe to my YouTube. It’s new and I’d love your support! I’ll be releasing interviews with aging researchers with the intention of bringing their work from the lab to the public. 

If you’re interested, make sure to subscribe so you are notified when the interviews get released. I’ve already recorded some interviews so they should be out soon, but in the meantime, you can watch a persuasive speech I gave on a controversial topic “You’re Never Going to Die.” In the video, I explain aging using a banana analogy and it’s a fun watch – enjoy!

Epistemology, Philosophy, Societal musings

Do people really need human connection?

The typical argument given for people needing human connection is that we have evolved to need human connection. We are wired to want human connection. Perhaps babies are wired to want human connection before they can actually start thinking, reasoning and being creative to a larger degree.

But for the rest of us, does it make a difference if we have evolved to want human connection or not? Aren’t we constantly doing things outside of what we are “evolutionary wired to do.” We are evolutionary wired to live in forests, but most of us live under concrete brick walls. We are evolutionary wired to only eat nuts and berries and fish, but we eat pizzas and burgers. We are evolutionary wired to not use technology but almost all of us have phones and computers.

And the biggest one – we are evolutionary wired to pass on our genes but some of us choose not to have kids.

Humans are constantly creating, ideating, and doing things outside of what evolutionary biology dictates. We come up with reasons and ideas that make it plausible for us to do so. David Deutsch highlights this point in his book Beginning of Infinity and in his interview with Tyler Cowen.

Having laid this out, let’s revisit the question in my title – do we really need human connection? There is this fear around robot sex dolls (which in fact, I’ve written about before), and technology replacing human connection which is supposedly not going to be good for humanity. Is it really the case that it won’t be good for humanity?

What if we come up with reasons and explanations that make us okay with not wanting human connection? What if we come up with reasons that make us want to interact less with other humans? And indeed, there are cultures that are more individualistic (and have been for a long time). It is quite possible that we come up with explanations that make us want to only interact with our computers. Perhaps children playing video games already do this. Now, the reasons and explanations we come up with for not wanting human connection (and apparently going against evolution) may not be good explanations, but they could still drive our behavior towards less human connection.

And what if these explanations don’t indicate how less social connection will be bad for humanity? It may be the case that less human connection doesn’t in fact have “detrimental” consequences such as loneliness or depression. In all those studies that say lack of social connection is causing depression, could it be the case that it’s not lack of social connection, but it’s eating unhealthy food or something more bizarre like not being considered attractive by your peers? Perhaps it could be. I say this because I’m not sure if the studies that claim that lack of social connection causes depression give explanations that are not hard to vary. Depression could be the result of other reasons not accounted for. But maybe I need to look more into those studies.

Look, I don’t know the answer to my question(s). I’m just conjecturing and laying out my thoughts. But I do think there is no settled science or objective truth on whether humans (outside of babies) absolutely need other human connection. Or at least I don’t know of a good explanation that makes me believe so. Give me one and I could change my mind. Please feel free to criticize my thinking so I can improve upon it.

IF YOU ENJOYED MY CONJECTURES, MAKE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE AS I WILL BE RELEASING MORE SUCH POSTS ON MY THINKING AROUND GOOD EXPLANATIONS LARGELY BORROWED FROM DAVID DEUSTCH. AND PLEASE SHARE IT WITH THOSE WHO ENJOY DISCUSSING EPISTEMOLOGY.

P.S. Btw, I like human connection and I want it. But my point is I’m not sure if we “need” it and if there are negative consequences without it.