Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Elixxir & Aubrey = Debate


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Bruce Klein

  • Lifetime Member, Founder
  • 8,696 posts
  • 221
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:05 PM


On Fri, Jan 6, 2006 Elixxir made the following "open letter to Aubrey de Grey of the Methuselah Foundation with the 'Methuselah Prize'" post to his blog:

http://immortalism.b...ot-save-us.html

Background:

Posted Image
Richard Elixxir calls himself an immortalist: someone who dares to admit that his or her greatest desire is to stay young and live forever. An immortalist is not satisfied with consolations such as staying “young at heart”; s/he wants actual physiological youthfulness and physical immortality.
http://www.lef.org/m..._review_01.html

Posted Image
  • 0

#2 ag24

  • Honorary Member, Advisor
  • 320 posts
  • 29
  • Location:Cambridge, UK

Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:11 PM

Here's the reply I sent Elixxir by email and invited him to post on his blog.

----------

Dear Elixxir,

Many thanks for your thoughts. I agree wholeheartedly with most of what
you say, but I believe you have overlooked a couple of points and that
these points invalidate your conclusions.

First, you are wrong to suppose that a campaign of the sort you describe
has the faintest hope, as things stand, of influencing public policy on
the funding of life extension research. The problem is that governments
wil not fund something unless they perceive that it will win them votes,
and currently society is overwhelmingly in what I've termed a pro-aging
trance, whereby they resolutely persist in believing that serious life
extension is not only impossible but is also undesirable on account of
the social upheavals it would cause. Thus, of the four communities that
might make a difference to the pace of the relevant research, the one
which there is no point whatever in directly lobbying is the government.
Lasker didn't have this problem -- there was no pro-cancer trance. My
colleagues in biogerontology have been trying the political lobbying
route for decades, and a few successes have been obtained, such as the
founding on the National Institute on Aging 30 years ago, but progress
has been virtually imperceptible since then because politicians have no
reason to listen. Politicians don't listen to lobbyists -- they listen
to voters and voters' representatives.

The other three communities are biogerontologists, the general public and
philanthropists. Starting with the public: my present high media profile
is giving me the opportunity to chip away at the pro-aging trance, step
by step getting people to think enough about the prospect of a post-aging
world to realise that it's actually quite attractive. The more I can get
that to happen, the better the chance of eventual government funding for
this work. And that's the first reason why the Mprize is such a great
idea: it captures the imagination of the media and the public and gets
them to take notice, giving me more chance to get my message across.

Now to biogerontologists. You're right that a few million dollars will
get us nowhere in terms of human therapies, but mouse experiments don't
cost quite so much. Moreover, people are getting involved in the prize
not just to win the money but because they are inspired by the idea. I
would suggest to you that Paul Allen didn't fund Space Ship One in order
to win $10 million. And this applies to the scientists involved too --
they have a new reason, publicity, to do work that otherwise they might
have deprioritised but with which they know they will probably generate
a lot of good science, even leaving aside the relevance to eventual life
extension for humans. And that publicity derives from the size of the
prize fund, but also from the rate at which the fund is growing and the
number of donors. I urge all readers to contribute to the prize fund,
however little you can afford, because the more donors there are, the
stronger a message is sent that this work has public support.

Finally, though - and most importantly - I want to draw your attention
to the potential of philanthropic funding to influence the pace of this
work. I've estimated that with $100 million per year of funding we'd
have a 90% chance of achieving what I call "robust mouse rejuvenation"
within just ten years. That means taking mice that are naturally quite
long-lived (i.e. not genetically impaired) -- average lifespan of three
years -- and increasing that lifespan to five years with therapies that
are only begun when the mice are already two years old. Trebling their
remaining lifespan, in other words, measured from the point when these
therapies are begun. My belief is that that's the sort of result that
the public can't ignore, however deep their pro-aging trance, and thus
that from that point on government funding will be unlimited. And $100
million per year for ten years is an amount that private individuals
can certainly provide, once they're convinced that SENS is a feasible
plan, one with a fair chance of success and certainly a much better
chance than any vailable alternative. So philanthropists are my main
audience at this point -- and again, the Mprize is playing a key role
in raising the profile of this work and getting me in a position to make
philanthropic funding materialise.

Cheers, Aubrey
  • 0

#3 Mind

  • Lifetime Member, Moderator, Secretary
  • 13,342 posts
  • 3,733
  • Location:Wausau, WI
  • yes

Posted 08 January 2006 - 03:24 PM

Does anyone know who this Elixxir is? Is his legal name Elixxir? Imminst members have spotted him once before Elixxir
  • 0

#4 DukeNukem

  • Registered User
  • 1,984 posts
  • 124
  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 08 January 2006 - 04:42 PM

I've read his books, and basically he is a CR practitioner. He believes you can eat nearly any food (strongly disagree with this), as long as you chew it thoroughly (min. 30 chews per bite, which is actually a very healthy technique and I use it often).

One of his claims I find to be very sturdy: Why would you follow the advice of any nutritionist or longevity adviser who themselves doesn't look to be in great health. And that's why he soundly attacked Atkins prior to his death (and after, too), as well as others of similar unfit ilk.

He doesn't seem to take supplements or promote adequate exercise, which I believe to be two glaring oversights to his program.

Working strongly in his favor, though, is that he started CR 20 years ago, in his 20's, and has benefited significantly as far as not looking his current 40+ age.
  • 0

#5

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:23 AM

One of his claims I find to be very sturdy: Why would you follow the advice of any nutritionist or longevity adviser who themselves doesn't look to be in great health. And that's why he soundly attacked Atkins prior to his death (and after, too), as well as others of similar unfit ilk.


It is only sturdy if one does not consider that each individual's rate of aging is inherited - which is why some people make it past 90 fairly comfortably whilst others are so burdened with disease by the age of 60 that no matter the degree of medical and lifestyle intervention they have access to, they cannot survive much longer. As an individual he may have inherited "clean" genes and also as an Asian he is generally more likely to maintain a youthful appearance for a longer period than someone of, say, Southern European decent. So he may well be taking advantage of an innately youthful appearance to promote his business (much like the a pre-acting genetically gifted Scharzenegger selling courses on how to develop 22" biceps).

Notwistanding the good advice on chewing, nutrigenetics (the influence of diet on health based upon one's unique genetic makeup) is by far the best approach on modulating lifespan without pharmaceutical or cell based treatments.
  • 0

#6

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:54 AM

I also would like to add that if someone such as "Elixxir" claims to be benefiting from his own "extraordinary" longevity strategy and expects to be taken seriously should provide full color photos including body shots, body composition and cardio profiles and a medically notarized blood biochemistry profile including endocrine, lipid, glucose and liver function test.

A black and white shot of his head floating in space as testimony is not evidence of a successful longevity strategy.
  • 0

#7 DukeNukem

  • Registered User
  • 1,984 posts
  • 124
  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 09 January 2006 - 03:19 AM

each individual's rate of aging is inherited


That wasn't his point. His point is that too many people dishing out longevity or health advice are not exactly models of health themselves, such as Dr. Weil, Dr. Atkins, Dr. Phil, and many others. In fact, most doctors I've seen, regardless of profession, are out-of-shape. But then, that's no different than most people in all walks of society in general.
  • 0

#8

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 09 January 2006 - 05:08 AM

His point is that too many people dishing out longevity or health advice are not exactly models of health themselves, such as Dr. Weil, Dr. Atkins, Dr. Phil, and many others.


Agreed. However he does claim that he is The Only Anti Aging Guru (whatever that means) who has "stayed young". My point is that if he has, in fact, "stayed young" it may have more to do with his genetic predisposition to aging rather than that his diet strategy is any more beneficial compared to other methods of dietary modification. The fact that his marketing strategy is focused on this "achievement" as evidence of its success begs one to question the validity of his claims.

Perhaps he could be invited to defend his ideas personally?
  • 0

#9 Matt

  • Registered User
  • 2,653 posts
  • 103
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:31 AM

He does looks incredibly young for how old he says he is... but is he really telling the truth about his age [wis]

Apparently he has been on TV shows and stuff... anyone got any sources of these videos?

Edited by Matt, 09 January 2006 - 06:50 AM.

  • 0

#10 Cyto

  • Registered User
  • 1,096 posts
  • 1

Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:57 AM

I thought it was a simple understanding that the point was to put a growing wedge in overturning people's idea that they have to die. Thus this would lead to growing popularity and having a chance at state funding. But I guess it wasn't so simple for some others...
  • 0

#11

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:14 AM

I thought it was a simple understanding that the point was to put a growing wedge in overturning people's idea that they have to die.


Not when the point is emanating from a source whose integrity is questionable and can easily be deconstructed. Under those circumstances it serves only to retard the progress of immortalism. Compare Elixxir with Aubrey. Aubrey can comfortably go toe to toe in a debate with any biogerontology researcher out there. Would you have the same faith in Elixxir?
  • 0

#12 reason

  • Registered User, Guardian Reason
  • 1,091 posts
  • 107
  • Location:US

Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:34 AM

I pull out what I think the point of the exchange is in a Fight Aging! post:

http://www.fightagin...ives/000721.php
  • 0

#13 Cyto

  • Registered User
  • 1,096 posts
  • 1

Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:44 AM

Ok, I need to clarify...sorry again.

What I said:
I thought it was a simple understanding that the point was to put a growing wedge in overturning people's idea that they have to die. Thus this would lead to growing popularity and having a chance at state funding. But I guess it wasn't so simple for some others...


What I should of had in there:
I thought it was a simple understanding, of the MPize, that the point was to put a growing wedge in overturning people's idea that they have to die. Thus this would lead to growing popularity and having a chance at state funding. The 60 Minutes interview helped to convey the main idea quite bluntly. Trying to just jump to state funding, like what the Elix guy wants, isn't well thought out. But I guess it wasn't so simple for some others (being Elix)...


I wasn't saying I like Elix, I found his blog boring.

Sorry, will work on my late night posting.
  • 0

#14

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:57 AM

Sorry, will work on my late night posting.


[lol]
  • 0

#15 DukeNukem

  • Registered User
  • 1,984 posts
  • 124
  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:51 PM

My bottom-line, I'd rather have him be another voice against premature death, than have him not be out there at all. I don't follow him or his advice (except where it happens to coincide with my already established program), but I do think it's good to have more people out there like him stirring the pot. I'd much rather have him get the spot light than death apologist Andrew Weil. :)
  • 0

#16 JMorgan

  • Registered User
  • 645 posts
  • 1
  • Location:Queens, NY

Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:40 PM

Aubrey, has Elixxir responded to your email? It seems to me that you've answered virtually every question he posed in his blog, so I'm curious whether he comes around to see the MPrize in a new light.
  • 0

#17 ag24

  • Honorary Member, Advisor
  • 320 posts
  • 29
  • Location:Cambridge, UK

Posted 12 January 2006 - 02:46 PM

No, no answer - except to urge me to post his letter and my response on my own site. I told him it was here and he should reply here.
  • 0

#18

  • Guests
  • 0

Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:36 AM

except to urge me to post his letter and my response on my own site


As well as a link back to his own site I suppose.. :)

I told him it was here and he should reply here.


I would not hold my breath, but the chewing sounds like a good idea..
  • 0

#19 immortal

  • Registered User
  • 16 posts
  • 0

Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:25 AM

This Ellixir idiot thinks he's found a new market for his diet program. He charges for dinners at $1500, a day with Ellixir at $10000 and still more levels. His entire diet program sounds like a pyramid scheme. His website doesn't contain any proof of his success but shows lots of testimonials from supposed experts. Forget about him. And his book, from what I've gathered from the website, is poorly written using post-modernist jingoism.

If "Ellixir" is so determined funding should be pursued through governments, where's a link to his political party where we can make a contribution to fund his campaign? He's a fucking idiot. He contributes nothing useful. [ang]
  • 0

#20 John Schloendorn

  • Registered User, Advisor, Guardian
  • 2,511 posts
  • 147
  • Location:Mountain View, CA

Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:39 AM

Easy, he's on our side... he may be a little clueless how to do it right, but at least he seems to sense it and doesn't do much harm...
  • 0

#21 immortal

  • Registered User
  • 16 posts
  • 0

Posted 13 January 2006 - 09:19 PM

Sorry for my language. Just so long he stays out of the legitimate debate...O.K.
  • 0

#22 Mind

  • Lifetime Member, Moderator, Secretary
  • 13,342 posts
  • 3,733
  • Location:Wausau, WI
  • yes

Posted 14 January 2006 - 02:20 PM

It sure would be nice if he was a little less mysterious. We need people who are open and articulate to help sway opinions.
  • 0

#23 Brafarality

  • Registered User
  • 675 posts
  • 42
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 15 June 2008 - 04:36 PM

It sure would be nice if he was a little less mysterious. We need people who are open and articulate to help sway opinions.


Has Elixxir participated in the forums since his early promotional effort?
If so, pleeeeez indicate.

He could be posting under a pseudonym (not that Elixxir isn't already one!), or, better yet, he could be fully retooling his campaign, perhaps developing a product line to go along with the claims:
This is probably the best thing he can do if he is interested in making money in the antiaging/skincare/longevity areas. Either develop a product line, promote an already existing one but with an added twist, launch a website that is actually useful, or, lastly, write a book.

He could still be pursuing the diet coaching route, but in a less obnoxious way, perhaps by posting up flyers in spas or on craigslist: doing it grassroots, or maybe enlisting the aid of a graphic designer or marketing professional to make something more palatable, something that may actually effectively bait the 60 year old widow socialite-type (the niche he is obviously going for, imho).

I cannot help but find him fascinating.
  • 0

#24 Brafarality

  • Registered User
  • 675 posts
  • 42
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:43 PM

Sorry for my language. Just so long he stays out of the legitimate debate...O.K.


I respectfully disagree. I think he should be sought out and prodded for info! :)

And, I know it's slightly off topic, but I also think that Aubrey de Grey should consider shaving his beard. I know he is going for the Steve Martin effect and all, which is cool, but I am thinking he would look wicked young if he shaved it: then, I could include him as an honorary antiaging wunderkind!

I openly admit doubting his credentials at first, thinking him almost prematurely aged and failing in health when reading opinions and viewing pictures (all due to the beard, I think! how very shallow), but then I caught a specific, dated picture and it showed his luminous skin clearly, and, thenceforth, as Uriens said to King Arthur: 'I doubt you no more.'
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users