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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Aubrey de Grey and the Science of Living

It's late and this is probably not the time to start what I know will be a lengthy rant and rave - but I want to post something here every day, or close to it - and it's already past midnight, so yesterday was missed. Anyway, this past Monday I finally got around to reading the cover story in February's Technology Review - and I've been thinking about it ever since.

Technology Review ("The oldest technology magazine in the world") is usually among the better popular science publications and one of the few magazines I often read. It's publisher - and hence the magazine - is owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cover story this month, called, "Do You Want to Live Forever?", by one Sherwin Nuland, is about Cambridge scientist Aubrey de Grey, and his work on extending the human life span.

I was shocked by this article, and by the editor's introduction of it. Shocked and disappointed. For what has been written here clearly has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with a philistine hatchet job. And from MIT, no less.

Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, I'm going to get some shuteye and return to this tomorrow to back it up. In the meanwhile, I just found the article on de Grey online here. You read it, and decide for yourself if it isn't mean-spirited and narrow. Also, though I haven't read it yet, I found de Grey's reply here.

I've half a mind not to read it until I post my own reply, just to see how close mine is to de Grey's. He'll probably be more gracious than I.

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