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How do we get Elon Musk to change his mind about supporting human longevity efforts?

Image credit: left: Jill Greenberg, right: ahloke cafe / Youtube

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 04, 2022
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Conceptualize a fair social model for the future where you can't tell the physical difference between a 25-year-old and a 225-year-old. No generation should suffer for co-existing with others.
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Problem description
Making large-scale, "impossible" projects possible while also being the richest person on earth makes Elon Musk a creative force to be reckoned with. Sadly, he doesn't think pursuing extreme life extension would benefit humanity. With him on our side, achieving this impossible goal might be slightly more attainable. He inspires people to go for big goals. What goal is bigger than people not needing to grow old, frail, sick, and die?
In this video, from 4:58 onward, Elon Musk says he's not interested in working on human life extension because he believes that:
  • people don't change, they just die, but change is necessary for humanity to advance
  • the same old ideas suffocate society and prevent it from advancing
  • old people rise to power and they are out of touch with younger generations, leading society in directions that might not be in the best interest of people
  • if you're too young or too old you can't be in touch with the majority of the population and therefore shouldn't lead
What would render Elon's concerns obsolete?
As human lifespans increase, how can young generations thrive alongside extremely old generations of identical physical fitness? How can young people have a fair chance at competing with people who've been around for decades, have amassed resources, social status, political power, etc.? What would level the playing field for all generations?
17
Creative contributions

Centuries-long lifespans are necessary for interstellar colonization

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Artem Gruzdev
Artem Gruzdev May 13, 2022
Elon Musk understands that the only way to ensure humanity’s survival is to colonize other planets. While the current human lifespan is OK for expeditions to Mars, colonizing Mars will not ensure humanity’s survival as it is too close to Earth. Travelling to habitable planets outside of the Solar system will take decades, centuries, even millenia, and these missions’ success will depend on radically extended lifespans.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković10 days ago
Good point, although Elon surely knows this already. So the question here is what can we do for it to really seep in so that his opinion on longevity changes?
Besides making him watch the movie Passengers (2016). 😁
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A healthy human brain is a very adaptive machine

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Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic May 05, 2022
A few statements in no particular order, that come together in the end:
  • A healthy brain is adaptive, which is not necessarily true for an unhealthy (aged) brain.
  • Even the aging brain has coping mechanisms to preserve adaptability.
  • Interventions that make extreme longevity possible will surely include maintaining brain function at its peak.
  • A person is a moving average of their current focuses/experiences. That's why we change with time.
  • People get bored doing the same things over and over again. Eventually, we try new things. The more free time we have, the more this is true.
  • New technologies help people work less and have more free time. This potentiates the previous statement.
  • Cognition wise, different generations have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, people born in 1945 have unusually large vocabularies, people born in 1980 have unusually good working memory, and people born in 1990 have unusually fast processing speed. Society should benefit from coexistence of different generations.
Future long-lived humans will have all their systems constantly regenerate on a cellular level. The ultimate goal is to maintain peak/optimal function in perpetuity. When healthy, we are adaptive, curious beings. Because we get bored, we explore. Because we explore, we change over time.

[1]Mattson, Mark P, and Thiruma V Arumugam. “Hallmarks of Brain Aging: Adaptive and Pathological Modification by Metabolic States.” Cell metabolism vol. 27,6 (2018): 1176-1199. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2018.05.011

[2]Park, Denise C, and Gérard N Bischof. “The aging mind: neuroplasticity in response to cognitive training.” Dialogues in clinical neuroscience vol. 15,1 (2013): 109-19. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2013.15.1/dpark

[3]Park, Denise C, and Patricia Reuter-Lorenz. “The adaptive brain: aging and neurocognitive scaffolding.” Annual review of psychology vol. 60 (2009): 173-96. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093656

[4]Hartshorne, Joshua K, and Laura T Germine. “When does cognitive functioning peak? The asynchronous rise and fall of different cognitive abilities across the life span.” Psychological science vol. 26,4 (2015): 433-43. doi:10.1177/0956797614567339

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Goran Juric
Goran Juric19 days ago
The answer lies in the question. If I can’t grow old, there is neither boredom nor a loss of desire to explore.
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Goran Juric
Goran Juric19 days ago
TODAY: A 70-year-old person has no youthful ideas and does not care about new ideas.
IN THE FUTURE: A young person aged 70 plus experience has youthful ideas because he has a young body.
Conclusion: The youth body has youth ideas.
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Алесь Сазонов
Алесь Сазонов24 days ago
An optimistic view of things suggests that the development of technology will solve some big problems in areas ranging from medicine to transportation and energy. This will allow to achieve a qualitatively new standard of living.
Already, the rate of change is very high: in business and technology, literally every week there is something new. In the future, the speed of progress will only increase. And this entails changes in ethics, culture and society. New problems will arise that humanity will have to solve. Together! Due to the accumulated experience of 225 year olds and due to the smiklaki and the "fresh" look and thinking of 25 year old young people. This synthesis will build a new world! Together. As technology advances, the demands on the productivity of organizations and leaders will increase. This will shorten the lifespan of most companies. The most successful organizations of the future are those that continue to train employees and implement new technologies throughout their existence. Experienced people should teach! 225 year old experts. Companies that have the ability to quickly innovate and change will always keep pace with progress. 😔 😔
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Musk is doing thigs that he wants to prevent

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Janis Taranda
Janis Taranda May 18, 2022
There is also kind of paradox or irony to this. The ideas that Musk proposes against life extension are actually old and "suffocate society and prevent it from advancing". So he is doing thigs that he wants to prevent.
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Illustrate the compound effect of geniuses working together

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 18, 2022
Have an AI system ingest as much info about and produced by Nikola Tesla and Richard Feynman, then have it create a mockup conversation between them. See how they would approach solving a series of problems. Find what they pick up if you add variables of human ingenuity that they didn't have access to.
Then frame that it would be possible, or more possible, for savants to coexist with each other and work together for years and how that would speed up the improvement of human civilization.
Showing you don't have to be in touch with society to make advances in the fields of physics, chemistry, engineering, and probably more fields.
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People with significantly different chronological ages live on different planets

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Povilas S
Povilas S May 25, 2022
For now, this is a science fiction and to me, it's more of a meme to illustrate the falseness of the belief, but if one really thinks that the great age gap is such a big obstacle for people to mutually coexist, it could be offered as a solution in future societies with great life extension and interstellar space colonization.
Once a never-aging (or a very slowly aging) person reaches a certain age limit set for a specific planet they lived on before, they can then choose (or be legally obliged) to move to a different one inhabited by people within their age group. The age groups could be decades, hundreds, or thousands of years, according to the time it takes to move between habitable planets and how successful life extension and aging prevention will become.
After you reached the age beyond the one allowed for living on that planet, you could only come there as a visitor - to visit your genetically related inhabitants (family "visa"), present/exchange ideas information (working visa), or simply as a tourist. Each age-bound planet might have different socioeconomic system, different laws, politics, etc.
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Show him how it might benefit causes he already backs

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw May 11, 2022
Elon Musk has, for instance, expressed his fears over the declining population in Japan. Surely committing to human longevity is something that might help solve that particular problem.

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/09/elon-musk-tweet-sparks-debate-in-japan-on-falling-birthrate

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković10 days ago
I think he also stated it for the world in general. He actually believes that population collapse is the biggest threat to humanity.
So how to present the connection between longevity and solving this issue to Elon?
As peculiar as he is, even a perfect meme might do the job.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw10 days ago
Miloš Stanković I saw that he mentioned the global population as well after I had made my contribution. I think you are right, with Elon being quite active on social media, he receives information in much the same way as we do.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 days ago
Miloš Stanković that's a great idea.. once we figure out the best arguments, we could go for a challenge where the winner comes up with the best meme illustrating the point
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Perhaps we shouldn't

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw May 11, 2022
I'm quite torn over this challenge.
On the one hand, I understand why having Elon back a cause is hugely beneficial and the reasons he gives as to why he isn't supporting the efforts toward human longevity seem uncharacteristically flawed and quite easy to address. On the other hand, I am not sure that we should be chasing extreme longevity.
He mentions that people do not change the way they think and that it is, therefore, necessary for people to die to make space for new ideas. This approach is based on two assumptions that I do not believe can be successfully defended against scrutiny. Firstly, people are capable of change, this is evident throughout history. F.W. de Klerk should serve as an example of a politician who was radically able to change his stance. One might argue that he was acting in the interest of self-preservation throughout his tenure and that he then didn't really change, but I would disagree and say that the effects of him changing his stance are significant enough that it does not matter what his motivations were. Secondly, Elon's statement suggests that there is a limited amount of space for ideas in the world and that old ones need to die to allow for new ones. This also cannot be true, because revolution has never waited for whatever ideals or ideas were set in place to die out before changing the world. It is true that some ideas might imbed themselves and start building foundations in society and that they might suppress new, opposing ideas. But these sort of systematic ideas are passed on from generation to generation. The chain is not broken by death, but by revolution.
Secondly, he talks about rulers being old and out of touch, but if the average age rises, older rulers would in fact become more, not less representative. But I do not believe this even forms part of the longevity problem. Old leaders form part of a political tradition that is self-serving and outdated. Prolonging the lifespan of humans in no way should correlate with the age of the leaders in a democratic world. If it did, that would mean that the only way we would not elect an old leader would be if there were no old people left. This is ridiculous, of course. The age of politicians show a flaw in our system, not that people are living too long.
That said, I am not convinced we should be aiming for allowing people to live 100s of years simply due to resource scarcity, overpopulation and our inability to govern groups as large as they are already. So, I think I agree with Elon that it's not something we should be spending energy and resources on, but I do not agree with his reasoning.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic18 days ago
What if we are underpopulated to take on space exploration and colonisation of other worlds? By the time extreme life extension becomes possible hopping on a starship will be like going on vacation. By then we should also be able to engineer ourselves to be more resilient and suitable for space travel (hibernation, regeneration, being able to survive extreme cold, quickly adjust to pressure, etc). Our technologies will have evolved. We'll be able to transform asteroids into livable space colonies that resemble life on earth or whatever else we prefer at the time.
What if there was a maximum number of people in the world. If you want a child, put your name on the list and wait for an available slot or move to a colony where there are open slots. Or pay someone else to relocate and buy their slot. Surely coming up with a workable system is better than everyone having to die? The prospect of death is a good enough motivation for people to come up with all kinds of amazing solutions.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw18 days ago
Darko Savic You make a good point. I think I am wary of banking on the fact that we will reach these technological goals thinking that if we don't reach them or if we get the timing wrong we might have even more problems. Until we are able to ensure that humans will be able to survive somewhere other than earth, I think it should be a priority to ensure that earth survives.
But of course, there is no reason why we (including Elon Musk) could not be working on longevity whilst addressing more pressing problems.
Arguably, if extreme human longevity necessitates the ability to live somewhere other than earth, Elon might be doing his part already by focusing on the space travel that would have to be available when we start making advances in human endurance.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic18 days ago
Spook Louw there are plenty of creative people on earth to work on all the problems humanity is facing simultaneously. Everyone is passionate about different fields.
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Just some thoughts, i can change my mind.

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Lautaro Grondona
Lautaro Grondona May 12, 2022
What you are pointing at is almost impossible since the human body is made to die and we haven't found anything to prevent cells from aging, not even the healthiest diets nor the healthiest mind states can prevent that. If there was a way, which isn't, the change would need to be done in union, old people would have to be open to analize theirselves and see the difficulites they approach when wanting to change core thoughts and get to points where they start to understand the deep mechanisms of the mind itself in order to be able to work with it.
Then we would have to educate young people differently, if you raise a new generation that goes under constant change (this one's happening now) but without all the distractions, like, the flow of data going into the mind should be constructive and creative, not instant dopamine for pleasure and fun right?(have some fun tho). When rising a brain adapted to constant change it'd remain that way, but that change shouldn't stop because the mind likes comfort. Now, you've got the first old human who succesfully went through an experiment and now he/she is able to reach that long age with their cells working efficiently. The topic to approach would still be the mind itself. New education centers should be created, having young people with their sponge minds and old people with their new life ahead working together and opening themselves during the process on how they are able to understand concepts and how they adapt to changes. The old mind should maybe relearn the way that the young mind works and flows, but this would happen only if the mind went to a decay procces and then with the restored cells it came back to optimal being. That's a hard thought, like probably a youg mind is adaptive as it is because of the high number of healthy cells in it, if you could keep every cell alive you'd never have to go through a process like that, because such a brain would always have what's neccesary to go under change and fast learning.
The only thing we can do actually is educate young generations to go through constant change and make them learn different topics. Also people would have to be more opened to eachother and everyone should know that since we are in an infinity/like universe the things that we know today will evolve and we have to adapt to the evolution since our mind is capable of so. The information we have now is just a step forward to another way of understanding life, and we till we die will go through evolution wether we want or not.
Having an open mind, having an open heart and be willing to let go are the essential keys to open every door. This is what i believe.
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Cutting costs and risks for colonizing

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 18, 2022
Calculating the saved money you would get by not having to replace, valuable humans on the Mars colony from Earth so often. That is calculate the saved price of rocket transport and educating the new colonizers for specific missions on Mars.
Speculate about the domino effect that might occur when you have a wrong new individual in a fragile ecosystem of a new colony and how could it undo a lot of the great work. Illustrate it in a video, then hope for virality and that it catches.
Having reusable rockets was in great part done for cutting costs, per Musk himself.
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We need a Humanity Council!

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Alex Kot
Alex Kot May 25, 2022
In my opinion, Elon will not agree to massive life extension programs until human civilization will not change its current fundamentals. We are too divided and driven by self interest to live long mutually prosperous lifes.
What we need is Humanity Council, something to change the inefficient UN in dealing with civilisation-scale problems nobody really cares much about now. Some of the most important topics:
-Global Warming
-Space, AI Threats
-Population decline, diseases
-Free Speach
-Wealth distribution
-Checks and balances
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Elon's key employees will retire when they are 60

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 25, 2022
Elon has a few companies and they hire regularly. There are always a few key employees who have helped grow the company immensely. They are the pillars on which the company has robustly stood its ground through thick and thin. This rare talent in Elon's companies (Elon's lieutenants) will retire (do retire) at some point. This may hamper the growth of the company. Supporting longevity will give them a few extra working years that will propel the company's objectives.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 days ago
Though, he might be impressed by young people who bring new ideas and a drive to match. Chances are, the companies are designed to work with or without any of them. Even he himself is probably replaceable. If not yet, he will be in 15 years. For example, Apple is doing fine without Steve Jobs.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 days ago
Darko Savic In the same example you gave, user's views against Apply products are mixed. Some say that Cook is a better manager than Jobs but Jobs had more revolutionary ideas.
In a report, the author states that - "Jobs legacy lives on, but Apple could be a very different company if he was still there. For example, Steve Jobs took one secret to the grave: according to his biographer Walter Isaacson he had “cracked” television and knew exactly how Apple could disrupt that industry, just as they had with music we presume. Unfortunately the Apple TV and its associated products have not been the success that we imagine Jobs anticipated. Would Apple’s strategy here have been more successful if Jobs had been driving it? Maybe."
This aptly describes why Jobs will be missed and the realization of his revolutionary ideas would be delayed.

[1]https://www.macworld.com/article/677873/apple-without-jobs-tenth-anniversary-of-steve-jobs-death.html

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 days ago
Darko Savic Sure they are. The key employees I am talking about are the ones who solve major problems and take major decisions. Losing them would definitely reduce the pace of progress.
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Show Elon that he may not be able to realize his dreams within his lifetime

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 25, 2022
The average life expectancy in the USA is 78 years. Elon is 50, which means he has about 28 years to realize his dreams. Building a civilization on Mars is predicted to take at least 27 years starting from the first step (launching of the first carrier to Mars that is equipped with tech and people necessary to establish a base on Mars). The first step is predicted to take place in 2025 , which means that Elon has three years less than the time required to create a civilization. This is if everything goes according to plan. Moreover, he can't go on the first flight. He is too important to risk being the first human to travel. He will travel when things are safe and sustainable on Mars. By that time, he may be old and not suitable to travel in space. To realize all his dreams, one of the following things needs to happen:
1. Improvement in longevity so that he himself can travel
2. Store his brain on cloud - Even if he is not around, the ideas from his brain could be extracted and realized. However, we are nowhere near this technology. What we are somewhat close to is the "internet of thoughts", which is simply assessing the information in the brain. What we need is Elon's fully functional brain on cloud, so that if we discuss a problem, his brain should be able to provide a solution that will be as real as given by Elon. The brain could have access to the internet so that it knows about the then technology and is up-to-date. The processing and ideation should be done by Elon's brain.
Out of the two, the former seems within reach. Although we may not achieve complete immortality, we could be able to promote longevity to the point that storing Elon's functional brain on the cloud is possible or he can be fit enough at that age to travel to Mars.

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3hPH_bc0Ww

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Get one of Elon's friends to show him these 2 videos

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Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic May 08, 2022
Get one of Elon's friends to show him these two videos:


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Remedy for annoyance and boredom

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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov May 08, 2022
In fact the feelings of annoyance and boredom are subject to a good psychotherapy. The person may be happy, fresh-minded and curious in any age, given a good psychotherapy. It is solvable for most people. Give Ilon this idea.
As for physical health, if science solves the problem of longevity, quite probably, it will also find a way to secure reasonable health and life quality. Even if not immediately, then after some while of additional R&D.
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Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic20 days ago
Boredom is positive in the context of this page's goal. If you make old people fit, healthy, youthful, AND bored, they will become open to exploring and desiring change. Boredom will make them seek out change. Them holding power and preventing change is what Elon objected to. So make them healthy and bored to make them desire change. Young people will always bring change.
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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov17 days ago
Dragan Otasevic Boredom is marker of the need in the new. However, under a pressure of boredom people far more frequently get accustomed to boredom, than find a way to quit it. So, efficient psychotherapy is good here: it allows the person to open a source of changes and creativity in himself.
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The age gap is not the main reason why people don't "vibe" together, but it's often the main reason why they can't spend (more) time together

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Povilas S
Povilas S May 25, 2022
First, it's important to debunk the belief that similar age is very important for people to form stable connections, understand and love each other.
It's a factor that plays a role, but it's definitely not the biggest obstacle. One common phenomenon that illustrates this is children usually having good relationships with their grandparents, often even better than with their parents.
You can have a friend who's 20 years older than you and an "enemy" who's the same age. You can have more in common with your friend's parents than with your own parents. You'll "vibe" with some people in your class/university/workplace, but not so much with others and similarly, you'll vibe with some people who are generations older than you but not with others of their age.
When it comes to politics, people would more gladly elect a candidate who's old, but share their worldview than the one who's young, but have a totally different worldview. A young person, who's a passionate democrat would more likely befriend an old passionate democrat than a young passionate republican.
Many psychological factors determine if and to what extent different people will understand and sympathize with each other. Age, apart from having more experience, is just a physical factor. Having more experience only makes a person psychologically richer, it shouldn't negatively affect human connections.
Now to turn this around - because age is a crucial physical factor, under the current aging circumstances you can't have a lover who's 80 years older than you, you can't elect a candidate who's too weak physically and/or mentally, even if you'd want to, you can't listen to a world-famous, classical rock band live if they don't have the energy to play anymore and/or half of their members are dead, you might not be able to play tennis, go on a hiking trip or (if they're in their death bed) do anything with an old person with whom you have so much in common.
Most of us can't spend time with our great grandparents, because they are dead and soon this will happen to our grandparents, then our parents and eventually our friends and us. But all this would be possible if life extension and aging prevention were effective enough.
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Reducing the ego would level the playing field for different generations, not reducing the age gap

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Povilas S
Povilas S May 25, 2022
Building on top of what I wrote in my other contribution, the difficulty for chronologically young people to mutually coexist with significantly chronologically (but not physically) older people is not caused by the age gap. It's about competition vs cooperation. It's about making people understand and connect to each other on a deeper level (even with seemingly different people).
If the world you come to is friendly, supportive, and welcoming rather than hostile and competitive, there's no reason to worry about the chronological age gap. On the other hand - if it is the latter, you'll have the same problems with or without the life extension.
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General comments

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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic19 days ago
Don't lean on Elon to solve the world's problems. He's got enough on his plate and isn't interested in every benevolent deed presented.
Besides, he's just one guy, and he might not be able to solve the proposed problem. You don't need his support to carry out something that you're passionate about. Just do it yourself.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic19 days ago
Goran Radanovic he's one guy who has the attention of the world's pioneers. They are the end recipients of the message.
Longevity research is in full swing with or without Elon. If he was vocal on the subject progress could happen slightly faster. Days will matter to those who find themselves too old to hang in there until humanity advances enough. This will go on all day, every day until we fix our inefficient design:

When we're young we may feel that it's none of our problems. But eventually, everyone finds themselves standing in that line.
Until someday someone pulls out a fire extinguisher.
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