Longevity – Major Factors Determining Life-Span
Longevity is the concept of living a vital life for a longer than normal period.
Why Longevity? That's another story... How, then?
Key overall factors are Knowledge, Money, Motivation. These give us the power to extend our vital life-spans, and delay (prevent?) death.
Specifically, we want both to reduce the chances of 'untimely' death, and also to extend 'the time'.
Note, that on some factors there may be a trade-off between quality and (expected) quantity of life.
Untimely death can be accidental, or deliberate. Preventing irrational Suicide is really a question of mental well-being (see below).
Types of Accidental Death – Reducing the risks:
- Road - Motor, Cycling, Running, Walking: Seatbelt, driving skills, protective gear, dangers of Walkman
- Crime: Where you live/ work/ shop/ play. Self-defense.
- Natural Disasters & Fire: Where you live, risk assessment, preparedness.
- Home/ Hobby/ Work Accidents: Risk assessment, good training, good equipment
- Medical - Medication & Surgery: Good research, being able to afford the best.
- Choices of Behavior - Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Travel, Hobbies: Carefully evaluate risk/ reward ratio.
Making our bodies (& minds) last longer is a question of Health/ Well-Being – Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Moral, Financial:
- Assessing Status: Check-ups & tests (incl. genetic). Medical, psychological, moral, and financial advice.
- Diet - General: Lifestyle changes instead of Diets (eg. steady weight). Quality of foods (nutrients). Quantity of food.
- Diet - CRON: Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition – by far, the most effective method of extending life-span.
- Exercise: Moderate. Include cardio-vascular & strength (bone-density).
- Sleep: Health & stress factors, as well as accident prevention. Quality of life.
- Stress: Good vs. bad. Relaxation, music, pets?
- Relationships: Emotional & utilitarian (trade, knowledge/ advice, assistance) value.
- Purpose & Activity: Meaningful goals & stimulating, engaging activity. Passions!
- Moral Habits - Virtues that facilitate useful Knowledge, help us identify & achieve Goals: Rationality (overcoming rationalization), (Self-)Honesty, Independence, Purposefulness, Integrity, Productiveness, Pride, Independence, Discipline, Principled Living
- Psychological: Self-Esteem (feeling competent to live life & worthy of happiness), little depression, ability to experience joy.
- IQ & EQ: Improved Cognitive & Emotional Intelligence
Plan B – Ultimately, what if we fail to prevent (clinical) death?
Cryonics - A safety-net of unknown fabric. What do we have to lose? Yes, it is highly experimental – but, would we rather be in the experimental group, or the control group? We know what happens to the control group. As, Cryonicists we at least have a chance, however remote, to be around 50, 100, or 1000 years from now. Some of us relish this prospect.
For the most comprehensive, yet enjoyable, exploration of cryonics issues – social, technical, psychological, political, financial, etc. - I can highly recommend James Halperin's novel The First Immortal.
Peter Voss, 15 Jul 00