What could our future be like if we could significantly slow down aging?This Hope Drop features Morgan Levine, a professor at Yale University. The drop includes a new podcast episode on existential hope with Morgan, NFT artwork and a storytelling X-Hope bounty.
Watch the interview with Morgan Levine.
In this episode of the Existential Hope podcast, Morgan Levine speaks on what she thinks the future of aging will look like, and what her hopes are. She answers questions such as what a day in her life as an aging researcher looks like, if she is optimistic for the future, and what science and technology she believes will be necessary for us to be able to get to a bright future.
Levine is a ladder-rank Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and a member of both the Yale Combined Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and the Yale Center for Research on Aging. Her research aims to track epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic changes with aging and incorporate this information to develop measures of risk stratification for major chronic diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Imagine a world where we have truly, scientifically proven that we’ve taken someone back 10 years in aging.”
This artwork is inspired by Morgan Levine’s vision of Existential Hope:
Humans can think in ways that allow endless creativity. This is what creates resilience for humanity and its survival.
If we could achieve a state in which all people are able to think freely and not need to worry about day-to-day problems that have to do with survival, like being hungry or trying to pay rent, we could achieve an ideal situation (similar to what Plato had): Time to think freely, to be creative, and to consider various problems.
Scientists try to create this in their lives, time and space where they can just think about problems freely and in peace. But it’s currently too narrowly present in humanity.
It’s a very utopian scenario but there might be a way to get there. Consisting of two elements:
We know that technology is supporting us in ways that bring people beyond the subsistence level where they can actually just be creative.
This event should be coupled with one in which people growing up as kids are encouraged to think in creative ways and have an instilled love for knowledge and creativity.
Today it’s hard to get people into this creative thinking and often schools don’t do a good job at getting them into knowledge. So by putting these two elements together we could have a lot more people who are into problem solving than now and this would help our chances of survival enormously.
The proceeds from the NFT sale will support scientific research.
UPDATES FROM THE XHOPE ECOSYSTEM
JOIN VISION WEEKEND 2022 TO START COLLABORATING ON FLOURISHING FUTURES
Foresight Institute’s Vision Weekends take place in two countries, over two weekends, bringing together top talent, mentors and funders across biotechnology, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, computing, and space to burst their tech silos, and plan for flourishing long-term futures.
Vision Weekend Europe | November 18 – 20: at Chateau du Feÿ, Villecien, a laboratory for the future disguised as a stunning 17th century castle, 90 minutes outside of Paris.
Vision Weekend US | December 2 – 4: at the Internet Archive in San Francisco and Sunday’s afternoon sessions at the Bird House in the Berkeley Hills.
FILL OUT THIS CENSUS IF YOU COULD SEE YOURSELF DOING LONGTERMIST WORK
Could you ever imagine yourself (now or in the future) wanting to join or launch a project aimed at improving humanity’s longterm prospects — over thousands, millions or even billions of years?
If so, fill out this census from 80000hours. This includes employees of current longtermist projects.
This census will then be used to: 1. Populate a spreadsheet of people that various longtermist organisations and individuals might contact when hiring or looking for a co-founder; 2. Help better understand the skillsets and current employment of people interested in longtermism.
THESE 8 PEOPLE MAY HAVE SAVED YOUR LIFE
This video tells the stories of eight real-life heroes, ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary situations, at crossroads with significance far beyond themselves. In the face of resistance and personal risk, they decided to act for the good of all life on Earth. Together, these stories show how the future of life can be defended and supported with courage, science, consensus-building, innovation and hard work.
The Future of Life Award recognizes overlooked heroes who made the world a much better place than it might otherwise have been. This year’s winners are John Birks, Paul Crutzen, Jeannie Peterson, Alan Robock, Carl Sagan, Georgiy Stenchikov, Brian Toon and Richard Turco with the Future of Life Award for their roles in discovering and popularising nuclear winter. Learn more about their work to reduce nuclear risks here.
LAST HOPE DROP’S STORYTELLING BOUNTY WINNER
In the last Hope Drop we featured a storytelling bounty prompt from Chiara Marletto to “Imagine A World Where Humanity Is Transitioning Into A Society Where Everyone Is Able To Think Freely And Creatively And Not Being Worried About Survival”. Now you can read the story of the winner!
Here is an extract:
I ran past the security as it scanned my face for identification. It was 8:55 and I had a presentation at 9 for my boss and some of the top executives of the company about our general AI. The next day At 5 P.M, there was going to be an online event about the same thing, and it was not ready yet! This presentation was supposed to be the finished product, ready to be given to the company’s spoke person and all the graphics complete.
I dashed to the conference room where I found 5 people staring at me. The boss Mrs. Mattews smiled at me and said: “Good morning Emma. I see you are trying hard to reach our deadlines. Do you have the presentation?”
Mr. Jameson, the spokesperson scowled and said: “I should have had the complete presentation a week ago. I should prepare, you know.”
Mrs. Mattews turned to him.
“I’ve seen you improvise a perfectly valid presentation, and that is what made us hire you for this company. You get the presentation when it is ready. And if it is not, you can just improvise and earn your huge salary.”
I was mortified that I was watching the higher-ups of the company arguing over something that I had had a hand in. So I apologized: ” I’m really sorry Mr. Jameson, the PR department was adamant that we add the current projects too, not just our Global Warming Reversal project. And they asked me to add in 5 other projects just last night.”
“What? Why? The Global Warming Reversal is the best work we have, and it literally saves every human being on the planet! Why should we advertise our other works before they’ve done anything significant?”
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