Transhumanity
where strange brilliant ideas for the future intermingle and breed…

Home > Articles > “If Eternal Life Becomes a Medical Possibility, I Will Have It Because I am a Tech Pirate”

“If Eternal Life Becomes a Medical Possibility, I Will Have It Because I am a Tech Pirate”

Posted: Wed, January 23, 2013 | By: Rich Lee



I’d say most Grinders [DIY biohackers] are interested in life extension, but it hasn’t been a primary focus of the community. It is an intricate topic. There was talk for a while about the effects of IGF-1, and we have speculated on some other genes as well that have been shown to extend the Hayflick limit. Several of us were on calorie restricted diets at one point. Some probably still are. I quit. I was eating 500 calories a day for about three months. I lost a staggering amount of weight, but most of that weight was muscle. The lethargy sucked, and so did the loss in libido.

One Grinder has proposed a genetic modification, the GULO gene, that would allow the human body to produce its own vitamin C. Most animals produce the vitamin within their own body, but humans seem to have lost this ability about 63 million years ago. We have been reliant on food as our source of the vitamin ever since. While the introduction of the GULO gene may not impact life extension directly, it certainly has a synergistic function. The Grinder proposing the project points out:

 “the biggest benefit to vitamin C related to longevity is that it acts as an antioxidant, so it keeps oxidative stress low. Oxidative stress is one of the causes of protein damage and also an outcome of chronic inflammation which itself is a culprit in many degenerative diseases.”

The downside is that it would possibly require an injection to the liver. I feel fairly confident I could pull it off after watching a few liver biopsy videos on youtube. No pain no gain, right?

Gene doping has been a constant pursuit in many biohacking communities. I noticed an interesting result in one gene doping experiment done on mice, which might have applications in longevity research. It seems like the doped mice kept their strength into old age. It seems like that would be handy for longevity, especially in cardiac tissues. I’m speculating here because I haven’t looked into it deeper. It just occurred to me as we were doing this. Hopefully someone calls me a jackass in the comments and then cites why I’m wrong. That should start an argument about how it might be possible if this and that, etc. After a few days I’ll check back and hopefully someone will have saved me a lot of time.

There was a discussion about using replication incompetent HIV based lentiviruses to deliver some kind of immortality gene. I’m fuzzy on the details. There was debate about whether or not it would work. If I remember right, it was decided that it would either work or (more likely) turn a person into an immortal mutant tumor. 

I have one grandparent remaining and she is in her upper eighties. I asked her if she wanted to inject the gene to see if it worked. At first she said no, but the second time I asked she said yes. As a rule of thumb, once you get the desired answer from someone with Alzheimer disease, it is best not to ask that question again. Anyway, I figured I would be doing her a favor. She has a 100% chance of dying if she doesn’t take the chance, so what does she have to lose really? This isn’t complex game theory. Worse case scenario she becomes an immortal tumor, which means I can go on cashing her social security checks for eternity. It was a win/win proposition really.

INB4 “That’s not right!”

It is ok when you have a power of attorney. It is legal, and therefore moral. wink

I did briefly imagine myself before a judge and her asking me “Mr. Lee, at what point did you think it was a good idea to inject your grandmother with HIV and turn her into a mutant tumor?” Society probably wouldn’t understand. 

Meh, it doesn’t matter anyway because it was decided that my grandmother was too old for this particular experiment anyway.

Regarding life extension, there may come a time when life extension therapies are proven, but not allowed for public use. Eternal life poses a threat to power structures. There are also ethical concerns that get raised. You can bet your ass that longevity pills will have luxury price tags until patent rights expire. People will be waiting to point out any health risks that might be associated with longevity drugs so they can alarm the public and stop people from living forever. There is a good chance that you will not have access to those treatments in time. You might die before the red tape is cut. 

I can promise you that if eternal life becomes a medical possibility, I will have it because I am a tech pirate. 

Grinders will have it. I will read through the journals and the patents and I will pirate whatever I need to live. That goes for any technology that I want, really. Would you serve 20 years in jail for patent infringement/piracy if it meant you got eternal life? I would. If there is one thing that the world should know about Grinders right now it is this:

All of your patents are belong to us.

Nothing is sacred and no technology will be spared. Period. We want the future we were promised.

This is a good spot to throw in some of my personal propaganda that has nothing to do with Grinding, but I think it is relevant to the greater transhumanist community because it addresses a lot of reoccurring concerns.

I really don’t give a damn about some committee trying to impose their ethics upon me. Occasionally I read an article asking something like “will cyborgs have an unfair advantage in the workplace?” Of course what these ethics studies are really asking is “should we allow anyone to become a cyborg since they will likely be better than us?” 

Crabs in a barrel. 

Go ahead, outlaw whatever you want. Have your meetings to decide what “we” should do. I already know what I plan to do, and it has nothing to do with “we”. 

I fear a government prohibition on cognitive enhancers or robotic bowels about as much as I fear a ban on pot. 

I also object to the idea that the wealthy will be the only ones able to afford the h+ tech on the horizon. As soon as this tech emerges it will be pirated and sold for a fraction of the cost. Don’t worry; the rich can still pay retail if they want brand names, so this really isn’t hurting anyone. Ridiculous pricing fucks a product right out of public markets and into the black market. They know this too, so don’t shed any tears for them. 

We can all stop plotting against the rich now. There is no reason to create a special sliding price scale system for h+ tech. We don’t need a special point system where important people in coffee shops can earn credits by pretentiously discussing art and politics and eventually spend those credits on cybernetic augmentations. Just pirate it, and go back to being content with the social point system provided by Reddit.

We can stop the war against the corporations too. Their days are numbered. 3D printing is going to change our global economy forever, once home recycling machines mainstream. Until then I want corporations to crank out patents. I want them spending R&D dollars and running tests. 

Patents are our blueprints in a way, and it is all accessible by the public on the internet.

Holy shit! I just thwarted three major dystopian plots with a single solution: Good old fashioned black market piracy. I feel like the IEET owes me something now for solving all of those problems. The future doesn’t belong to the rich. It doesn’t belong to the corporations, the government, or to some reptilian NWO elite. 

The future now belongs to the Grinders, the biohackers, the makers, the pirates, and the DIY community. 

The future now belongs to the Space Gangster.


Transhumanity.net Articles on Bio-Hacking, Grinding, DIY, etc.

“If Eternal Life Becomes a Medical Possibility, I Will Have it, Because I am a Tech Pirate”

Humans with 500 IQ Who Live 500 years? Interview with Tim Cannon (BioHacker / Grindhouse Wetwares)

Release Your Inner Cyborg with BrainStimulation Implants - can Grinders drive the Research?

Grinders, the Practical Transhumanists

Dave Asprey Interview- what is BioHacking, Bulletproof Executive, and Coffee

BioHacking - You Can Do It Too (Ellen Jorgensen, TEDTalks)

Sexy Time, Grinder Style - Penile Subincision, Semen Flavoring, Genital Implants, etc.





























Comments:

There is nothing worse than the government telling intelligent, motivated volunteers that they aren’t allowed to be guinea pigs for the rest of us.  Go Pirates!

By Mark Waser on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:44pm

Rich,

Great article. You paint a future where, essentially, the Hacker-Punk mentality wins out through access to information. How do you see the evolution of human upgrades in terms of dissemination of information?

As an example, my friend is a skilled body modification artist. He had one of his eyes tattooed yellow a few years ago, when the technique was being pioneered. Now, half a decade later, his partner has one of her eyes done and there are going to be more artists doing the same procedure in the next few years, if they haven’t started already.

This sort of modification falls into that category of serious body mods - coral implants, bifurcation, flesh removal - that makes many people feel ‘squicky’ and can get some stern looks from legal folk.

When we move the debate to taking us out of ‘Human 1.0’ and into even more ‘squicky’ areas - how do you see the upgrade-positive community, as a whole, dealing with government oversight? Do you think there will be compromise and regulation, or is going to be anarchistic the whole way?

By Pip Foweraker on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:15pm

Great article Rich! I agree that open source and copyleft is the future of technology and humanity. And Mark its not that we are turning ourselves into guinea pigs, it’s that we aren’t willing to wait another 30-40+ years to enhance ourselves when we have the technology to do so right now. Sure the enhancements are small, but they are there and as technology gets better we will upgrade ourselves even further.

By Brandon King on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:15pm

I want to be a fucking space gangster…. (does that count as POLITE?)
Anyway, I still need to get the magnets

By Roshen on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:40pm

Just out of curiosity, but if the first immortality tech were a brain transplant surgery, how does one pirate that?

By ZombiezuRFER on Jan 16, 2013 at 5:36pm

There are a number of genes that have been linked to longevity.  There have been interesting studies on people who are alive now who are over 100 years old, and comparing their genes to other people’s.

Some notes:

APOE4 is less common in people over 100; this version of the gene probably shortens your life.  APOE3 or APOE2 are probably better.  Most likely it’s because of how it produces cholesteral.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolipoprotein_E

Even more interesting, though, is FOXO3a.  This gene is very common in people who are over 100 years old.  It seems to harden your cells against free radical damage.  People who have this gene seem to age slower.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOXO3A

The CEPT gene also has a variant that’s linked to longevity.  This one is riskier to mess around with, though, since it’s also linked to heart problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CETP

That being said, it might not be necessary to actually do genetic modifications on ourselves; now that they’ve identified they are working on ways to duplicate the effects of these genes with different medication.  That’s probably much safer, at least in the short run.

Anyway, it’s exciting stuff.  I think we’re close to a lot of breakthroughs here.  If this research was a little better funded we’d really be making progress.

By Yosarian on Jan 16, 2013 at 7:09pm

Your article started good and got way off track. I’d like to have seen more life extension technologies. For the Alzheimer’s your grandmother has, there are a few clinical trials in progress for a vaccine that actually removes the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

LY2062430 - Eli Lilly - finished phase 3
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00905372?term=solanezumab&rank=2
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00904683?term=solanezumab&rank=3
and an article on it http://www.alzforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=2235

PF-04360365 - Pfizer
http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00722046
http://jurors.info/2012/09/27/pfizer-announces-new-phase-1-data-from-two-novel-compounds-for-alzheimers-disease-at-icad-annual-meeting/

CAD106 - Cytos
http://www.fiercevaccines.com/special-reports/cad106

AAB-001 “Bapineuzumab”
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00574132
http://www.alzforum.org/drg/drc/detail.asp?id=101

We lost the GLO gene “not long after the primates appeared on the scene, about 58 to 63 million years ago” based on which primates have the functional GLO gene and which carry a broken copy. My main gripe here is the date isn’t known with anywhere near the certainty of two significant digits.
http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/197x/stone-i-orthomol_psych-1972-v1-n2-3-p82.htm

Scientists have already restored the ability for human cells to produce vitamin C in the lab in 2004.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14962674

I tried calorie restriction on 1,500 calories/day and had mixed results. While I was more clear headed, got out of bed easily, and was generally energetic, I was ravenously hungry.

@ZombiezuRFER Its a good question. One option is hiring someone to do the hard stuff for us. Another is to gradually work up to hard things like gene therapy through incremental steps, like establishing cell culture first, then inserting genes into those cells, etc. Most of the rejuvenation technologies that the SENS Foundation is funding involved either gene therapy or stem cell therapy, which are not “low hanging fruit” for grinders, but possible.

By Rubix on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:00pm

I don’t think it will be as bad as you think, Rich, by the time we have reliable extension technologies.  (I don’t know for sure, but choose to be optimistic).

A good portion of the population is already keenly aware of corporate string-pulling.  And very soon, as these 3D technologies run rampant & free, there will be a big debate on precisely what types of information should be patentable from a moral viewpoint.  And the economy is going through some unprecedented transformation; who knows if it will be cash-based, 5 or 10 years from now?  Who knows if an economy will even be necessary?

If you have to go the pirate route, when the life extensions are available - by the time anybody finds out, the entire economic & patent landscape will have changed.

There’s hope.  There really is hope.  And your group is contributing to that hope.

By DCWhatthe on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:47am

Beautiful… and let “the corporations, the government, [and the] reptilian NWO elite” beta test the bugs out on their dime first before we appropriate for pennies.

By EmpyCee on Jan 17, 2013 at 6:56am

Thanks for the kind comments all.

@ZombiezuRFER- I highly recommend the buddy system for brain transplants. I have another article that will be published sometime soon that proposes a method for handling more invasive procedures (my example is going to be for a deep brain stimulator, which was the most complicated thing I could think of at the time).

@Yosarian- I’ve had my eye on FOXO3a for a while, but like you said, there are some drug developments that I am going to wait for, personally (I have more time than others might). I’ll check out those other genes you mentioned. Thanks for the info!

@Pip Foweraker- Good questions. The body mod artist you mentioned, as well as magicians, have the advantage of being able to keep trade secrets away from the public eye. Medical implants, pharmaceuticals, and gene therapies are at a disadvantage in that they have to submit documentation to regulating authorities in the US like the FDA (many countries also use the same FDA standards). Patents too get submitted for approval and it is all public knowledge at some point. A company can choose not to file a patent on a technology, but competitors can dissect their tech and start selling it too, leaving the original company without recourse. Pretty much everything that goes in the human body has to be available for public scrutiny at some point, patent or not. I don’t see that changing soon. There seems to be a correlation in the amount of available documentation and the invasivenes of a procedure. Body modification kind of works in a gray area, probably using what the FDA classifies as a conforming “me too” exemption for most subdermals. The body mod community also has the advantage of not being a bunch of sue-happy cry babies.

By my estimation, more bleeding edge tech is being created by Universities right now than corporations. Universities almost always patent their breakthroughs, submit articles for peer review, and then hype it up in pop-sci magazines so they can eventually sell the rights. Companies also parade their latest tech, but usually after they have proven prototypes/R&D which is even better than some of the over-hyped and under tested tech Universities put out. I think info flow will be great in the next 15 years at least. The big exception to this will be military projects. Rumors circulate now more than ever though, and rumors have value too. Good engineers can usually tell me if something is possible or not just by describing the rumored function of the crypto-tech. If it is possible then they will know how to build it. If it isn’t possible, they try to figure out a way to build it or at least know what the missing ingredients will be.

I think Grinders will play an important role in moving from H1.0 to H2.0. As early adopters, I think you will see a lot of individuality in Grinder modifications at some point. Eventually I hope this will desensitize people a bit in the same way we eventually desensitized our parents to green hair or mohawks. The thing that really frightens me about a future where the government eventually releases an approved set of modifications to the public, is the probability that it will limit individuality. Some of the mods on my wish list are fairly unique and I doubt too many people will want antennae. I might feel weird about it if they did….it might be like getting a tattoo that everyone copied. I’m hoping for hyper-diversity myself, not a herd of clones. I hope that long winded response answers your questions.

Those eye tattoos are cool, btw. Some of us were talking about GFP eye tattoos last weekend, so it is funny you mentioned it.

By Rich Lee on Jan 17, 2013 at 8:05am

hmm…last reply might have been too long because it didn’t post. Here is attempt #2

@Pip Foweraker- Good questions. The body mod artist you mentioned, as well as magicians, have the advantage of being able to keep trade secrets away from the public eye. Medical implants, pharmaceuticals, and gene therapies are at a disadvantage in that they have to submit documentation to regulating authorities in the US like the FDA (many countries also use the same FDA standards). Patents too get submitted for approval and it is all public knowledge at some point. A company can choose not to file a patent on a technology, but competitors can dissect their tech and start selling it too, leaving the original company without recourse. Pretty much everything that goes in the human body has to be available for public scrutiny at some point, patent or not. I don’t see that changing soon. There seems to be a correlation in the amount of available documentation and the invasivenes of a procedure. Body modification kind of works in a gray area, probably using what the FDA classifies as a conforming “me too” exemption for most subdermals. The body mod community also has the advantage of not being a bunch of sue-happy cry babies.

By my estimation, more bleeding edge tech is being created by Universities right now than corporations. Universities almost always patent their breakthroughs, submit articles for peer review, and then hype it up in pop-sci magazines so they can eventually sell the rights. Companies also parade their latest tech, but usually after they have proven prototypes/R&D which is even better than some of the over-hyped and under tested tech Universities put out. I think info flow will be great in the next 15 years at least. The big exception to this will be military projects. Rumors circulate now more than ever though, and rumors have value too. Good engineers can usually tell me if something is possible or not just by describing the rumored function of the crypto-tech. If it is possible then they will know how to build it. If it isn’t possible, they try to figure out a way to build it or at least know what the missing ingredients will be.

I think Grinders will play an important role in moving from H1.0 to H2.0. As early adopters, I think you will see a lot of individuality in Grinder modifications at some point. Eventually I hope this will desensitize people a bit in the same way we eventually desensitized our parents to green hair or mohawks. The thing that really frightens me about a future where the government eventually releases an approved set of modifications to the public, is the probability that it will limit individuality. Some of the mods on my wish list are fairly unique and I doubt too many people will want antennae. I might feel weird about it if they did….it might be like getting a tattoo that everyone copied. I’m hoping for hyper-diversity myself, not a herd of clones. I hope that long winded response answers your questions.

Those eye tattoos are cool, btw. Some of us were talking about GFP eye tattoos last weekend, so it is funny you mentioned it.

By Rich Lee on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:03am

Hey man,

you don’t need to go to jail if you make use of a patent. As long as you don’t build a commercial product with a patent you are free to use it for your private projects.

By Wurstmaschine Alpha 3 on Jan 26, 2013 at 11:50am


Leave a Comment:

Note We practice Buddhist Right Speech in our communication. All comments must be polite, friendly, and on topic.







What color is a red fox?