Unleashing Transhumanism: The Demise of Death with the Remarkable Jose Cordeiro

**The Possibility of Optional Death: Jose Cordeiro’s Views on Longevity**

**The Introduction to Longevity and Transhumanism**
In a recent episode of the London Futurists Podcast, Jose Cordeiro, a prominent transhumanist, discussed the intriguing possibility that death may become optional within the lifetimes of people already born. Born in Venezuela to parents who fled Franco’s dictatorship in Spain, Cordeiro has become a leading figure in transhumanist circles worldwide. He is a loyal follower of Ray Kurzweil’s ideas and co-wrote “The Death of Death” with David Wood in 2018. This article explores Cordeiro’s views on longevity and the potential for immortality.

**Discovering Immortal Cells and Organisms**
Cordeiro’s optimism about the prospects for longevity stems from the existence of immortal cells and organisms. Bacteria, some hydras, and certain kinds of jellyfish have demonstrated the ability to live indefinitely, as they do not age. These immortal life forms, which have been around since the beginning of life on Earth, inspire Cordeiro’s belief that humans can also achieve radically longer lifespans.

**Ray Kurzweil’s Influence on Longevity**
Cordeiro’s admiration for Ray Kurzweil’s ideas is evident in his views on longevity. Kurzweil is known for his insightful observations on the impact of Moore’s Law, which states that the power of computing doubles approximately every 18 months. Kurzweil believes that this exponential growth in computing power could lead to machines with the cognitive capabilities of adult humans in the near future. Cordeiro, who studied under Marvin Minsky at MIT, shares Kurzweil’s optimism in the potential of technology to revolutionize human lifespan.

**Challenging the Acceptance of Death**
Cordeiro highlights a common tendency among individuals to accept death as an inevitable part of life. Many believe that living approximately 80 years is sufficient and that desiring more is greedy. Cordeiro suggests that this attitude arises from a need to make death less horrifying and to find meaning in it. However, he poses the question of whether humans could be given radically longer lifespans in the near future.

**Exciting Advances in Extending Lifespans**
In recent years, significant progress has been made in extending the lifespans of various animal models. Some mice have had their lifespans doubled, while certain fruit flies and worms have seen their lifespans multiplied by four and ten, respectively. These developments have not yet been replicated in humans, but rejuvenation of human cells has been achieved. Yamanaka’s research on rejuvenating skin cells has shown promise, prompting further exploration in other organs.

**Exploring the Causes of Aging**
The causes of aging remain a hotly debated topic among scientists. Cordeiro dismisses the debates as unimportant, arguing that the focus should be on understanding how cells and organisms that do not age manage to avoid aging. He believes that replicating these techniques is key to achieving longevity.

**Overcoming Evolution’s Arrangement**
Cordeiro challenges the notion that evolution arranged for humans to age, suggesting that aging has little purpose beyond being an inherited defect. He points out that evolution has equipped humans with many defects that science has effectively overcome, such as disease and deteriorating eyesight. The varied manifestations of aging in different species further support Cordeiro’s belief that its purpose is multifaceted.

**Optimism in Longevity Research**
Cordeiro’s optimism regarding longevity research stems from both the exponential rate of technological improvement and the increasing resources dedicated to it. In recent years, investment in research has grown from millions to billions of dollars, approaching trillions. Cordeiro anticipates that longevity medicine will become the largest industry in the history of humanity. He echoes Kurzweil’s prediction that by 2029, science will achieve longevity escape velocity, meaning that each year lived will be offset by an extra year of life.

**The Significance for Politicians**
Cordeiro emphasizes the importance of politicians recognizing the significance of these developments. Not only would the end of aging be the most profound development in human history, but it would also offer a substantial longevity dividend. Age-related diseases, such as heart disease, dementia, and cancer, consume a significant portion of healthcare budgets worldwide. Declaring aging a curable disease and allocating substantial funding and scientific talent to longevity research could yield transformative results.

Jose Cordeiro’s views on longevity and the possibility of optional death open up new possibilities for the future of humanity. While some may dismiss the idea as unrealistic or undesirable, Cordeiro’s enthusiasm and optimism highlight the potential benefits that advancements in technology and medicine could bring. As research progresses and resources increase, it becomes increasingly important for society, including politicians, to engage with and support these developments that could revolutionize our understanding of aging and mortality.

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