• Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In    
  • Create Account
  LongeCity
              Advocacy & Research for Unlimited Lifespans


Adverts help to support the work of this non-profit organisation. To go ad-free join as a Member.


Photo
- - - - -

Channel 4 Documentary - Methuselah Foundation


  • Please log in to reply
63 replies to this topic
⌛⇒ MITOMOUSE has been fully funded!

#31 Jay the Avenger

  • Guest
  • 285 posts
  • 3
  • Location:Holland

Posted 18 August 2007 - 12:36 PM

Wow...... it's amazing how shamelessly some people attack Aubrey personally.

It's just downright pathetic.

What goes on inside these people's brains?

Are they trapped within their own mindset?

Thank god Aubrey is aware of the stages of acceptance...

#32 Aegist

  • Guest Shane
  • 1,416 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 18 August 2007 - 02:25 PM

I think the movie was overall very positive, but the movie certainly won't bring in any new converts. Best it will do (which I think is a HUGE thing anyway) is simply raise public awareness of our goals. But anyone who is already negative of lifespan extension will ignore the positive arguments presented and focus on the negatives. This won't change their attitude at all.

#33 Luna

  • Guest, F@H
  • 2,528 posts
  • 66
  • Location:Israel

Posted 18 August 2007 - 02:54 PM

Raising awareness = more people interested = more people raising awareness (repeat) + funding.

Aubrey de Grey rocks =)

Good movie!

sponsored ad

  • Advert
Advertisements help to support the work of this non-profit organisation. [] To go ad-free join as a Member.

#34 Liquidus

  • Guest
  • 446 posts
  • 2
  • Location:Earth

Posted 18 August 2007 - 06:26 PM

I think Aubrey is beyond the negative attitudes of some of his peers, who seem to attack him personally rather than embrace is ambitions. In the documentary, you had people mocking him for his lack of progress (although everyone knows you don't just start a huge movement overnight). For these people who oppose Aubrey to be so blunt, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Not one critic of Dr. de Grey had the integrity to suggest 'I really like your thinking Aubrey, but I think you might be off on these issues...I think you have the right intention though, so why don't I help you out or refer you to someone who might find ways to improve this'.

Instead we just got sarcastic comments and non-productive criticism. It's funny, the documentary portrayed Aubrey as either an extremely unique mind, or a crazy man. Still being in the priliminary aspect of this process, it will be a few years still before we start seeing concrete progress.

I've watched a lot of discussions, and my personal opinion is that what Dr. de Grey is doing, is extremely important, and should be supported by anyone with logic. You don't get words of endorsement from someone like Ray Kurzweil unless there's a pretty good chance you know what you're talking about.

It's funny, Aubrey and Ray are both technologists (Aubrey, as his critics like to snicker, used to be a 'computer technician'), yet they both agree on the fundamental principle that aging is a curable condition giving proper scenarios. Maybe computer/digital engineers have a different basis of knowledge different from that of a lifetime biologist, and therefore can extract different ideas. Who knows, but either way, Aubrey does rock.

#35 JonesGuy

  • Guest
  • 1,183 posts
  • 8

Posted 18 August 2007 - 10:39 PM

I must admit that I had trouble getting past the first two minutes. There's something overdramatic/weird about the opening that discouraged me from watching the video.
...
I had never seen David Gobel before!

#36 Aegist

  • Guest Shane
  • 1,416 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:45 AM

I think Aubrey is beyond the negative attitudes of some of his peers, who seem to attack him personally rather than embrace is ambitions. In the documentary, you had people mocking him for his lack of progress (although everyone knows you don't just start a huge movement overnight). For these people who oppose Aubrey to be so blunt, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Not one critic of Dr. de Grey had the integrity to suggest 'I really like your thinking Aubrey, but I think you might be off on these issues...I think you have the right intention though, so why don't I help you out or refer you to someone who might find ways to improve this'.

You're right. In fact one interviewee seemed to know Aubrey pretty well and said he really liked Aubrey, and his criticism was "He's angry. He'll never be successful while he's angry. I want the old Aubrey back"

Well.... I guess he should give up then.... [mellow] Everyone knows anger ruins all molecular biology experiments.

#37 Shepard

  • Guest, Director, Moderator
  • 6,360 posts
  • 932
  • Location:Auburn, AL

Posted 19 August 2007 - 01:15 AM

3 pints of beer before lunch? That's close to 1.5 liters


All original and great ideas stemmed from beer.

I'm about halfway through the documentary, really like it so far. Anyone notice the X-Files theme that began in the back ground right before the 40 minute mark?

#38 Liquidus

  • Guest
  • 446 posts
  • 2
  • Location:Earth

Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:32 AM

Well.... I guess he should give up then....  [mellow]  Everyone knows anger ruins all molecular biology experiments.


I forgot about that. Anger has absolutely no bearing on the success of a scientific problem. If anger is what motivates Dr. de Grey to work harder, I see absolutely no issue. That's making the assumption that he's actually angry. My assumption is that Dr. de Grey is probably just very annoyed by his negative peers, and is probably bitter towards those who talk the talk, but don't seem to have any concrete claim against him, so I understand how some thick-skulled people may interpret that as being 'angry'. I could be wrong, but that's my assumption.

#39 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:14 AM

3 pints of beer before lunch? That's close to 1.5 liters


All original and great ideas stemmed from beer.

MMMMmmmm beer.

I'm about halfway through the documentary, really like it so far. Anyone notice the X-Files theme that began in the back ground right before the 40 minute mark?

I actually thought about you when I heard that, shep, haha.

⌛⇒ MITOMOUSE has been fully funded!

#40 dangerousideas

  • Guest
  • 60 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:34 PM

I'll say this: Channel 4 sure knows how to produce a documentary!

I thought that they arrived at a very good conclusion, in that they seemed to agree with the Technology Review challenge judges that SENS is "in the antiroom of science", and not yet fully science. I think this is appropriate at this time because it recognizes that the SENS concepts are being formulated as general "engineering" approaches where the specific testable protocols to actually realize those approaches are still to come. Validating these protocols is where the recognized "science" will be done.

By being such a good advocate for the issue of aging as a public health issue, and by articulating these approaches de Grey has certainly raised the intensity of debate and provided inspiration for the new generation of researchers. The SENS program provides a set of targets, and a certain amount of "career cover" to pursue active programs of research that might have been considered too speculative if de Grey had not broken this ground. For this contribution alone, even if he makes no other, de Grey deserves the recognition of his peers.

Also, I felt that the critics were well represented and gave articulate and fair criticisms. I would characterize the criticisms in the following way:

1. The "We already live in the best of all possible worlds." argument: aging has always been, and therefore should aways be, central to the human condition and to our relationship to the biosphere. If we alter that status quo, nothing good can come of it. This is a philosophical/religious argument that has nothing to do with the actual realizability of de Grey's program, and while it may resonate with some people I don't think that any scientist would find it persuasive.

2. The "It can't be done because it is too hard to do it." argument: the molecular and cellular interventions that would be necessary to reverse aging are insufficiently understood, are likely to have unpredictable and adverse side effects, and require toolsets that are not available in any event. These may be legitimate arguments for not funding a particular proposal, but beg (demand?) research programs to a) understand the molecular and cellular interventions necessary to reverse aging; b) map the complex biochemical relationships and pathways that would be impacted by such interventions; and c) develop toolsets to achieve these interventions. "Hard Problems" like this are exactly the bread-and-butter of science! What scientist "worth his salt" would run away from a juicy hard problem like this? Even the critics of de Grey are not actually "running away"; instead they simply seem to be saying that it is going to be a much harder problem than de Grey seems to be representing it as being, and that the devil is in the details where de Grey, in their opinion, is occasionally out of his depth. I do not think that any of de Grey's critics have said that any aspect of SENS is "impossible even in theory", which they would certainly like to say if they could. In my 30 years of exposure to professional science and engineering, I must say that it is in fact almost always true that things really are "harder than people think they are". But at the same time, even "hard" things are not always "impossible". Saying that something is "Hard" or "Harder than people think it is" is not really a criticism as such; it is really more of an observation.

3. The "de Grey is a nutter." argument. Say's more about the critic than it does about de Grey.

At the end, I find myself in agreement with de Grey. The criticisms seem to me to be scientifically weak, and appear speak more to issues of philosophy, process/program, and personality. Only issues of program have any resonance with me, and these are precisely the questions that science is best equipped to address through conducting actual research at the level of protocols and detailed investigations of biochemical processes. It seems to me that this is where each of the 7 interventions of SENS will be validated or refuted. I am excited to see that this work is beginning, and look forward to the fruits of this research.

#41 spins

  • Guest
  • 177 posts
  • 1
  • Location:Manchester, UK

Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:35 PM

I missed this documentary on Channel 4 when it was first aired so I'm glad it has been uploaded to Google Video, albeit with a little sound delay as the documentary went on.

I must admit I thought Aubrey de Grey came across as more of an evangelist rather than a serious scientist who is going to solve all the problems of aging, although I suppose if that's what it takes to get funding then so be it.

I found the bit about him being fired from the University for using its resources and the fact that he was just a computer technician a little bit of a let down.

#42 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 19 August 2007 - 10:38 PM

I found the bit about him being fired from the University for using its resources and the fact that he was just a computer technician a little bit of a let down.

He did earn his Ph.D. in biology from Cambridge, and he was a computer technician in the genetics department. Still a bit disheartening, though, but I think it was because he was using their webspace (if anyone remembers the site before it was transferred to sens.org, it was hosted on the Cambridge webspace) to promote his radical ideas. (if you aren't a tenured professor they can fire you for anything they like I believe)

#43 zoolander

  • Guest
  • 4,724 posts
  • 55
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:07 AM

His title, as seen in most of the videos that I have watched, is very misleading

Aubrey De Grey Ph.D
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge

#44 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:11 AM

His title, as seen in most of the videos that I have watched, is very misleading

Aubrey De Grey Ph.D
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge

What should it say instead?

#45 Aegist

  • Guest Shane
  • 1,416 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:23 AM

His title, as seen in most of the videos that I have watched, is very misleading

Aubrey De Grey Ph.D
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge

I noticed that and thought the same thing while I was watching the Alcor cryonics film that bgwowk recommended in the other video thread.

I can understand their perspective. (cambridge's)

#46 zoolander

  • Guest
  • 4,724 posts
  • 55
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:28 AM

That title clearly suggests that he is an academic in the department of genetics and not a computer tech.

It should have read

Aubrey De Grey
Computer Technician
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge

There is really no reason why one should use their title i.e Ph.D outside of the academia

#47 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:42 AM

That title clearly suggests that he is an academic in the department of genetics and not a computer tech.

It should have read

Aubrey De Grey
Computer Technician
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge

There is really no reason why one should use their title i.e Ph.D outside of the academia

But now that he no longer holds a position at Cambridge, but did receive his PhD from Cambridge, would it be disingenuous to say:
Aubrey de Grey
PhD Biology University of Cambridge
Chairman and Chief Science Officer, Methuselah Foundation

?

Since his degree was in biology, would that be ok or no? Not trying to argue here, just trying to clarify. (since you PhD students obviously know more than I about it)

Also, it would be worth saying that Aubrey has no hand in what producers of a program put on the screen. If he was asked directly, I am positive he would say what his association was with the university in question. After the program comes out on tv, it isn't like he can retroactively go back in time to change what the producer of the program said about him.

...or maybe I am wrong. Who knows.

#48 Shepard

  • Guest, Director, Moderator
  • 6,360 posts
  • 932
  • Location:Auburn, AL

Posted 20 August 2007 - 02:22 AM

I don't know whether or not Aubrey was aware of the situation. But, I agree that his title and the fact that the SENS website was hosted by Cambridge helped people make that assumption. This assumption was probably advantageous in the early days of SENS, even though it doesn't make any difference in its validity.

I just hope the people that saw this don't allow the way the documentary portrayed the situation to tarnish the ideas Aubrey is putting forward.

#49 Aegist

  • Guest Shane
  • 1,416 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 20 August 2007 - 02:59 AM

I don't know whether or not Aubrey was aware of the situation. But, I agree that his title and the fact that the SENS website was hosted by Cambridge helped people make that assumption. This assumption was probably advantageous in the early days of SENS, even though it doesn't make any difference in its validity.

I just hope the people that saw this don't allow the way the documentary portrayed the situation to tarnish the ideas Aubrey is putting forward.

Oh it will
It frustrates me how I regularly have to argue with someone that "The person presenting the ideas is not important. It is the idea that matters. Object to the claims, the logic, the propositions. Do not object to the situation or the person."

#50 JonesGuy

  • Guest
  • 1,183 posts
  • 8

Posted 20 August 2007 - 10:41 AM

It does affect public perception.

When I was first introduced to the concept of Aubrey, his credentials were spun such that I thought that he was someone official at Cambridge. Now, you can blame naivite, but it was my first thought. It took me a bit to figure out that he wasn't in the University's employ as working on curing aging.

#51 Matt

  • Guest
  • 2,838 posts
  • 146
  • Location:United Kingdom
  • NO

Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:57 PM

Aubrey mentioned way back that he was a computer tech at Cambridge and in his spare time out of his job he would promote the mprize and his work. It's not aubrey who is at fault here, it's people making assumptions. Now he has more time on SENS and Mprize ;)

#52 JonesGuy

  • Guest
  • 1,183 posts
  • 8

Posted 20 August 2007 - 02:03 PM

No argument: it's not like I've become hostile to Aubrey or SENS once I found out his actual resume. I'm just saying that my initial view was that he was attached to Cambridge.

⌛⇒ MITOMOUSE has been fully funded!

#53 zoolander

  • Guest
  • 4,724 posts
  • 55
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 20 August 2007 - 07:57 PM

For some reason I don't think Aubrey would have ever announced himself to the many people who interviewed him that he was a computer tech at Cambridge. He was being interviewed as an authority

#54 ag24

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

Posted 20 August 2007 - 08:52 PM

Hi all,

I did actually see the documentary before it wsa aired, and it simply didn't occur to me that that last section about my departure from the University indicated that I'd been fired, but a few people seem to have drawn that conclusion. For the record:

- I emphatically wasn't fired, nor even pushed: I left due to pressure of my other work, and even gave four months' notice.

- my use of the department's website for my SENS site was with the express written permission of my head of department, and Prof. Ashburner (the guy on the phone) always knew this.

- though the work I was paid for had nothing to do with my aging work, my department always took credit for it (including my publications in its record of research), as did Prof. Ashburner (listing them in his grant applications as output of his group). They couldn't have done this if I hadn't been giving the department as my affiliation in my publications. Some people (especially Prof. Ashburner) found it easy to forget this when I started becoming controversial - but credit goes both ways.

- Interestingly, Prof. Ashburner was also the one who suggested I apply for a Ph.D. on the basis of my early work in aging. I think it's fair to say that if my work was good enough for Cambridge to give it that degree of endorsement then it was appropriate for others to see the work as such.

- it's certainly true that when I was unknown my affiliation was an advantage and I didn't take too much trouble to stop it from being so. But that's just riding one's luck, and I would like to know who doesn't do that.
  • like x 2

#55 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 21 August 2007 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for the clarification, Aubrey. It is good to get the full story from the source.

#56 dangerousideas

  • Guest
  • 60 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:50 AM

I don't know Prof. Ashburner, but I did hear what he said in the telephone conversation that was featured in the documentary. If he worked for me we would certainly be having a conversation...

Actually, it would probably be more of a monologue...

#57 Aegist

  • Guest Shane
  • 1,416 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 21 August 2007 - 05:13 AM

I did actually see the documentary before it wsa aired, and it simply didn't occur to me that that last section about my departure from the University indicated that I'd been fired, but a few people seem to have drawn that conclusion.

I just watched that section again, and there is absolutely no doubt that that is exactly what is being implied. It was referred to as a 'strange twist' in your story, Ashborner then goes on to talk about how you were using Cambridge resources for your hobby, and that just isn't on. There is no doubt that the implication is that you were fired because you were abusing your position for personal interests. And then it was followed with crazy "Oh no what will we do now?" music.

Having heard the actual story, I am very disappointed at how it was portrayed.

#58 caston

  • Guest
  • 2,132 posts
  • 23
  • Location:Perth Australia

Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:52 PM

I can't remember the guys name but that scene where Aubrey met the friend of documentary maker (the old lab tech guy) was quite memorable. It reminded me ot the entreprenure vs the technician. People that have read the e-myth revisted will know about the technician, the manager and the entreprenure. The guy even made that cheap shot at him about not having kids.

Nuclear DNA continued in the gene pool does not in anyway constitute survival of the individual. If anything he worked so that his wifes organeles could continue on.

Was the documentary maker right though that your quest is a "love story afterall"?

#59 Live Forever

  • Guest Recorder
  • 7,475 posts
  • 9
  • Location:Atlanta, GA USA

Posted 21 August 2007 - 04:50 PM

Was the documentary maker right though that your quest is a "love story afterall"?


The love of life itself, and the love of those around you (and not wanting to see them die), I suspect. [thumb]

sponsored ad

  • Advert
Advertisements help to support the work of this non-profit organisation. [] To go ad-free join as a Member.

#60 Bruce Klein

  • Guardian Founder
  • 8,794 posts
  • 242
  • Location:United States

Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:40 PM

Dugg: http://digg.com/vide..._Live_Forever_8




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users