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Old February 21 2013, 09:43 PM   #1
RAMA
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Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created





Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sergey Brin of Google and venture capitalist Yuri Milner set up foundation to reward excellence in life sciences with 11 individual prizes of $3m


http://churchandstate.org.uk/2013/02...entrepreneurs/
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Old February 22 2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

I am in favor of curing disease. However, as for life extension, I am opposed as long as we continue doing what we have been doing. Twenty years - dependence on others, forty years - dependence on one's self, twenty to forty years - dependence on others, death. This is the average cycle. I am not forgetting the exceptions. Society has a hard enough time now to house and feed the elderly; what will happen when people live to be on average 125 or 150 years? The welfare state is on the collapse across the world, and it was this state that helped to improve the lives of the elderly. And there's age discrimination, which starts at around age 40 and escalates from there. If there is no welfare state, and the elderly aren't able to get meaningful employment, aren't we, as a society, prolonging the inevitable more than we should and increasing needlessly the suffering of others for selfish reasons?
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Old February 22 2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

You're making the assumption that those extra years will be only senior years. I personally would love to have more years in my prime. Laws would have to change with extended life spans. A retirement age of 65 would be too low.
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Old February 22 2013, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

throwback wrote: View Post
I am in favor of curing disease. However, as for life extension, I am opposed as long as we continue doing what we have been doing. Twenty years - dependence on others, forty years - dependence on one's self, twenty to forty years - dependence on others, death. This is the average cycle. I am not forgetting the exceptions. Society has a hard enough time now to house and feed the elderly; what will happen when people live to be on average 125 or 150 years? The welfare state is on the collapse across the world, and it was this state that helped to improve the lives of the elderly. And there's age discrimination, which starts at around age 40 and escalates from there. If there is no welfare state, and the elderly aren't able to get meaningful employment, aren't we, as a society, prolonging the inevitable more than we should and increasing needlessly the suffering of others for selfish reasons?

We have more than enough resources and technology to provide 3x higher living standard for each individual on the planet compared to what the richest person presently enjoys.

The trick however is that you are looking at things from a monetary point of view.
You don't ask (do we have the ability to provide for everyone in such a manner).
The answer is yes.
Give each person individually 93 square meters, and you'd only take up the entire state of Texas (without building vertically).
We can feed everyone by making fully automated vertical farms (employing hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics) that also produce both water (atmospheric water processors) and power (photovoltaics, geothermal, wind, pizoelectric - essentially, DESIGN the structures to be both energy efficient and produce resources from the get go) - 1 such farm on 1 acre of land (the size of a football field) and 44 stories high can produce enough food to feed 613 000 people (10 different vegetables per person daily).

And these are things that were doable decades ago.
Energy is not a problem.
Geothermal alone can provide enough power and heat for the next 4000 years at present levels of usage.
Solar would require less than 1% of Earth's land mass.
There's also Space based Solar power (24/7 energy production).

Instead of extracting resources from the planet, we should be using all those millions of tonnes of landfills for production of superior synthetic materials which we can make in abundance.

As for people claiming that the population will continue to rise...
false.
The only reason some countries have a high birth rate is due to lack of education.
Countries with educated individuals, security of life and access to quality medical care are below replacement birthing rates.

I find it amusing how people jump to the notion of 'cost' factor and completely invalidate the things we actually need to require a sustainable society (resources and technology - both of which we have had and could have made in abundance since the late 19th century).

This idiocy that longer life spans create more strain is only accurate for the present socio-economic system (which is unsustainable anyway and is eating itself like a cancer).
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Old February 22 2013, 11:05 PM   #5
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Deks wrote: View Post
1 such farm on 1 acre of land (the size of a football field) and 44 stories high can produce enough food to feed 613 000 people (10 different vegetables per person daily).
The on going problem with this silly idea is that unless you make your 44 story building extremely narrow, and capable of rotating to continuously face the sun, only the plant life near the building's windows will grow. And only on the side facing the direct sunlight.

The plants of the top floor would however grow quite well.

Of course you could grow mushrooms in the vast majority of the building's interior, they don't require direct sun light.

I like mushrooms.

And these are things that were doable decades ago.
Really they weren't. Certainly not on the scale you're suggesting.

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Old February 23 2013, 12:31 AM   #6
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Deks wrote: View Post
1 such farm on 1 acre of land (the size of a football field) and 44 stories high can produce enough food to feed 613 000 people (10 different vegetables per person daily).
The on going problem with this silly idea is that unless you make your 44 story building extremely narrow, and capable of rotating to continuously face the sun, only the plant life near the building's windows will grow. And only on the side facing the direct sunlight.

The plants of the top floor would however grow quite well.

Of course you could grow mushrooms in the vast majority of the building's interior, they don't require direct sun light.

I like mushrooms.
Ever heard of Omega gardens that grow food hydroponically in hollow cylinders which rotate around their own axis containing a light source in the middle? This kind of system grows food up to 5x faster (because it forces the crops to fight against gravity)... independently from the outside light source (which is provided by the light in the middle) - we can also grow fish and have a completely closed system for nutrient rich water (of which, only 25% [of what is presently used in agriculture] this kind of system would require).
1 Omega system can produce up to 80 different plants (which contain a high number of nutrients compared to stationary crops).
Oh and this would eliminate usage of pesticides, chemicals and GMO.

Really they weren't. Certainly not on the scale you're suggesting.

Actually, the concept of hydroponic farming dates all the way back to the 1940-ies (as do atmospheric water generators).
Robotic arms were invented in 1956 (similar time frame is there for invention of solar panels)... and I'm pretty sure that the concept of vertical farming (in high rise buildings) existed since the mid 20th century at least (there is also evidence that a tower hydroponicum existed in Armenia before 1951).

So... I would argue it was possible for decades now on the scale I'm suggesting (in the end however, it would be done TODAY - and we can further refine/enhance the process/technology if we used state of the art methods of production and superior synthetic materials - as opposed to currently used methods of production and inefficient materials).
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Old February 23 2013, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Star Trek did an episode on this topic. It was the episode "The Mark of Gideon".

I hate to say the obvious, but humans have always based their decisions in an economic model. I am watching and reading news programs and blogs where people are discussing the economic impact of an aging population. Many people who live in poverty die sooner than those in affluence. There are many reasons for this. I didn't raise this question earlier, but I think it needs to be raised. Would you be in favor of a society where the vast majority of people support a minority who live longer, are free of disease, and have little or no understanding of the lives that their supporters live? There have been cultures where a small elite felt they were entitled to be supported by a majority of people. The scribes who wrote the Talmud wrote that the ideal Jewish society is one where the righteous people were supported by the common people. These holy people would spend their time studying and debating the Oral and Written Law, and would act as intercessors on the behalf of the common people.

There will be less resources in the future. In a hundred years, if predictions prove correct, our world will not be recognizable to us. I have read an article tonight where scientists have updated the temperature at which our world reaches the tipping point in permafrost melting. If world temperatures reach 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial norms, the permafrost tipping point will have been met. This will result in an increase of carbon into the atmosphere. Scientists predict that this might happen in the mid-21st century.

Like I said, I am in favor of curing diseases, but extending life, no. I think that money should be put into finding ways to save ourselves from plunging into the abyss. I would hope that they would find solutions. However, even if they find solutions, there might not be the political will to implement these changes, and the cost of these solutions might be prohibitively expensive for the common person.

In the end, and recognizing the reality of our world, I believe the only people who will benefit from the solutions created by this contest will be the ones who created the contest in the first place - the affluent.
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Old February 23 2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Money is at the core of our problems.
You said it correctly when you stated that humans view things through the economic model.
This kind of thinking is limited and inherently puts us at a disadvantage because we never use latest scientific knowledge or technology, least of all for betterment of everyone.

Instead of looking at things from the perception of monetary economics... eliminate that perception and look at doing things from a technology/resources point of view.
When you do that, the limitations that exist in the monetary based economy, cease to apply, because you no longer apply artificial limitations to what you can do.
Instead you examine what could be done in the most technologically/scientifically efficient/intelligent way.

Life extension is not bad and should be encouraged further...
The point is that our current numbers are nowhere near where its endangering to Earth itself, IF we turned into a sustainable society (and can support much more without impacting the environment in a discernible capacity) - but at the present rate we are doing things, its unsustainable (this much I agree with).

Either way... people are already coming to the realization that the present socio-economic system is not sustainable and its only a matter of time before it eats itself out of existence.
It simply cannot and won't be able to cope with increasing automation technology (its already easier, faster and cheaper, not to mention more efficient to automate a job than it is to wait for a person to get trained/educated to do it - all jobs are based on specialized tasks - and computers surpassed humans in that particular area over 10 years ago).

I seriously have to laugh at those making predictions 100 years from now, when its difficult to do projections 10 to 20 years into the future (seeing how technology and science are racing exponentially, and even within the monetary system, prices of new technology are falling at an increased rate which makes incorporation of the said technology that much faster).
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Old February 23 2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Deks wrote: View Post
all jobs are based on specialized tasks - and computers surpassed humans in that particular area over 10 years ago).
This is a false correlation. While all jobs are specialized, they are not all repetitive. Computers are good at the latter, not the former. So, yes, many industrial jubs such as manufacturing can be better done by computer/robotics, it will be far into the future before we have robot cops for example.(Robocop jokes aside). I can think of many jobs that won't be replaced anytime soon. I'm not saying there will be enough to employee everyone, but don't pretend there won't be work to be done.

As for replacing the monetary system, even in a world of free consumer goods and abundance there are still things that will have value - without money, how would you decide who gets them? For example - who gets to own all that beach front property? That cabin in the mountains? What is the motivation to create 79 episodes of Star Trek? For the guy that does all the crap things that barely rates a name in the credits?

You haven't thought this "money is going a way soon" bit through very well.

Monetary systems work. Want to do away with it? Come up with a better replacement first. Then have fun trying to get the entire world to agree to it.
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Old February 23 2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Deks wrote: View Post
Actually, the concept of hydroponic farming dates all the way back to the 1940-ies (as do atmospheric water generators).
You have to know that was on a tiny scale. The reason hydroponics are rarely used today is the expense. While it will admittedly work, more traditional methods also work and cost less per ton of food.

Ever heard of Omega gardens that grow food hydroponically in hollow cylinders which rotate around their own axis containing a light source in the middle?
Good God, how many kilowatt hours is that going to consume in the process of creating enough food for everyone? Modern farms do use energy of course, pumps and John Deere. But nothing like what you're purposing. Power isn't free, sunlight is though.

And what purpose is served by putting the plants in a 44 story tower? If you were to go with this (again silly) idea, a 44 acre, one story greenhouse building would be far easier to construct and maintain. It could be sealed providing many of the advantages you apparently want, and have natural sunlight part of the time.. Much cheaper than a 44 story building with a one acre footprint.

A 44 story building would cost well over a 100 million dollars. A one story building with the same floor space, less.

Better still, why not grow your crops out under the open sky.



Robotic arms were invented in 1956
Because putting an additional 3 percent of the American workforce on unemployment is a GOOD idea.
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Old March 1 2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

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You have to know that was on a tiny scale. The reason hydroponics are rarely used today is the expense. While it will admittedly work, more traditional methods also work and cost less per ton of food.
Many things today are done on a small scale... that doesn't mean they cannot be (or couldn't have been) scaled UP.

Traditional methods have destroyed 30% of arable land on Earth over the past 40 years.
While we have been producing enough to feed 10 billion every year (for just over 30 years now), presently used methods are unsustainable and you expend a lot of energy on transporting the food in question whereas we can easily grow it locally in fully automated vertical farms.

Ignoring the fictional notion of 'cost', technologically/resource wise, it was doable some time ago.


Good God, how many kilowatt hours is that going to consume in the process of creating enough food for everyone? Modern farms do use energy of course, pumps and John Deere. But nothing like what you're purposing. Power isn't free, sunlight is though.
You are apparently forgetting that we already have the ability to create structures that are not only energy efficient (even more so if they were made from superior synthetic materials), but can also produce energy (by making the structure walls into solar collectors) and water (using atmospheric water generators).

On top of that, 1.2% of Sahara desert alone can power the planet using concentrated solar power.
Less than 1% of Earth is needed to power the planets projected energy demands of 2050 with CURRENT solar technology.
Tapping into just 1% of Earth's geothermal capacity can provide us with power to last us 4000 years.


And what purpose is served by putting the plants in a 44 story tower? If you were to go with this (again silly) idea, a 44 acre, one story greenhouse building would be far easier to construct and maintain. It could be sealed providing many of the advantages you apparently want, and have natural sunlight part of the time.. Much cheaper than a 44 story building with a one acre footprint.
The 'purpose' (among others) would be to minimize footprint and produce food LOCALLY (eliminating transportation requirements).

A 44 story building would cost well over a 100 million dollars. A one story building with the same floor space, less.
There you go again with the fictional 'cost' notion.
I'm not referring to money, I'm referring to what can be done using proper implementation of science and technology that can give us abundance (more than what we need or want) while reducing our footprint.

Because putting an additional 3 percent of the American workforce on unemployment is a GOOD idea.
Actually, in case you hadn't notices, its already happening.
Its unavoidable, because its much more efficient that human labor (which is slow, requires breaks and is inefficient).

Oh yes... the purpose of using full blown automation (without planned obsolescence and making it with highest possible efficiency we can muster in abundance) is to basically liberate Humans from having to 'work for a living'.

Point is, technology rendered money (as means of exchange) useless decades ago, because we have been producing abundance in virtually every field for just over 100 years now.
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Old March 1 2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

sojourner wrote: View Post
This is a false correlation. While all jobs are specialized, they are not all repetitive. Computers are good at the latter, not the former. So, yes, many industrial jubs such as manufacturing can be better done by computer/robotics, it will be far into the future before we have robot cops for example.(Robocop jokes aside). I can think of many jobs that won't be replaced anytime soon. I'm not saying there will be enough to employee everyone, but don't pretend there won't be work to be done.
Apart from numerous robots that do laboratory research and are capable of learning and adjusting the parameters.

I'm hardly pretending that there won't be work to be done, but the reality is we can already automate 75% of the global workforce tomorrow with the technology we already have.
As for police robots.
Don't be so obsolete. Last time, I checked, the military has automated drones.
Those can just as easily fulfill officers duties.

Furthermore, the government is already delegating decision making to machines in increasing quantities.

My point is that no one is irreplaceable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=WMF-Z74C1QE

As for replacing the monetary system, even in a world of free consumer goods and abundance there are still things that will have value - without money, how would you decide who gets them? For example - who gets to own all that beach front property? That cabin in the mountains? What is the motivation to create 79 episodes of Star Trek? For the guy that does all the crap things that barely rates a name in the credits?

You haven't thought this "money is going a way soon" bit through very well.

Monetary systems work. Want to do away with it? Come up with a better replacement first. Then have fun trying to get the entire world to agree to it.
Lol... things have value only because humans arbitrarily assign such notions to them.
My point is that there is no purpose to money when you have access abundance (which is doable today with our technology) and society based on sustainability.

As for convincing the world to go along with it...
Lol... I won't have to.
The monetary system is already eating itself out of existence as is.
Its only a matter of time before the purchasing power of majority of the population drops to near 0 levels where the monetary system cannot function anymore because automation has replaced basically everyone or majority of the world (because its cheaper, faster, and more efficient).

Also.. there is an alternative... The Venus Project.

Funny thing is though, the collapse is probably going to happen in the next decade.
What with molecular manufacturing, numerous jobs being phased out too fast...
No one having the money to re-train, or the industry having the patience to wait for humans to train (because its already easier, faster, cheaper and more efficient to automate MANY jobs than it is for Humans to do them).

I find this ludicrous persistence on pushing the monetary system (that's creating our problems) in the face of our technology and abundance (which which the monetary system cannot cope seeing how it already collapsed several times because of it) we generate today to be pointless.
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Old March 1 2013, 11:54 PM   #13
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Re: Largest annual prize for disease cures and life extension created

Deks wrote: View Post
Apart from numerous robots that do laboratory research and are capable of learning and adjusting the parameters.

I'm hardly pretending that there won't be work to be done, but the reality is we can already automate 75% of the global workforce tomorrow with the technology we already have.
As for police robots.
Don't be so obsolete. Last time, I checked, the military has automated drones.
Those can just as easily fulfill officers duties.
LOL, no the military doesn't have "automated" drones. They pay lots of pilots to run them. Laboratory robots don't do research, they run experiments. another repetitive task. Which I already explained. Please explain to me how a robot cop is going to resolve a domestic dispute? Do you really think it would be any good at determining the guilty party in an argument?

Lol... things have value only because humans arbitrarily assign such notions to them.
Duh! That's the point. Without money, how do you determine who gets those things that have been assigned value and are inherently limited in quantity? Like ocean front property.
My point is that there is no purpose to money when you have access abundance (which is doable today with our technology) and society based on sustainability.
And I've just shown you the hole in your logic.

As for convincing the world to go along with it...
Lol... I won't have to.
The monetary system is already eating itself out of existence as is.
Its only a matter of time before the purchasing power of majority of the population drops to near 0 levels where the monetary system cannot function anymore because automation has replaced basically everyone or majority of the world (because its cheaper, faster, and more efficient).

Also.. there is an alternative... The Venus Project.

Funny thing is though, the collapse is probably going to happen in the next decade.
What with molecular manufacturing, numerous jobs being phased out too fast...
No one having the money to re-train, or the industry having the patience to wait for humans to train (because its already easier, faster, cheaper and more efficient to automate MANY jobs than it is for Humans to do them).

I find this ludicrous persistence on pushing the monetary system (that's creating our problems) in the face of our technology and abundance (which which the monetary system cannot cope seeing how it already collapsed several times because of it) we generate today to be pointless.
The funny thing is you're seeing part of the issue here - lack of jobs to go around - but have failed to realize that the transition to your "no money" utopia will most likely not be the end result. At some point the system may breakdown and it won't be peaceful. Changes of that magnitude never are. Nor are they always successful. Just ask Soviet Russia.

ETA: OH hey! a TED talk. The poster child of clever, but not really, when you think about it.
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