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Christine Peterson is cofounder and past president of Foresight institute, the leading nanotech public interest group. She writes, lectures, and briefs the media on coming powerful technologies, especially nanotechnology and life extension. Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MIT.
In This Episode:
Christine Peterson, future tech expert and board advisor for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, sees into the future in a way that most cannot. In the constantly advancing world of technology and research, it is her job to look at what is happening and frame it in the larger concept of societal development, how it might affect humanity, and what it might mean for the human body itself. There are a lot of amazing technologies being developed that are under the radar that have the potential to drastically change the quality of life for humanity, within decades.
Christine and I sit down to discuss everything from nanotechnology to cryogenics to finding a soulmate, all in the effort of getting the most out of your body, your health, and your life. Machines are getting smarter, and we are getting more informed on the decisions we are making that affect our body. Because of it, some of the breakthroughs are absolutely amazing. And listening in, you might just hear some speculations that may startle you-in a fantastic way. For instance, Christine paints a potential picture of what the future might hold that involves:
- Nanobots that make repairs to DNA on a cell-by-cell basis.
- The end of cancer-and all disease.
- A 10,000 year life span.
- Finding a life partner through manipulation of chemical processes in the brain.
Here’s what I learned:
- It started in producing better materials.
- Pants that repel stains, etc.
- Now, it is devices that operate down at a nano level.
- The third stage will be full systems that operate down at a nano level.
- Operating at atomic precision.
- In the next 10-15 years:
- Still very primitive devices.
- The most interesting applications are in health.
- Cancer right now is a tough conversation.
- They hit you with radiation.
- They cut it out with surgery.
- They hit it hard with chemicals.
- The chemicals are not well targeted.
- Nanotechnology would able it to target the cancer far more directly.
- Cancer wouldn’t disappear, but it would be far more treatable.
- In the next 30 years:
- What do the laws of science and the laws of physics permit?
- What if we were able to use molecular machines to build with atomic precision, what would we build?
- What if we could go in and repair DNA?
- What if we could go in on a cell-by-cell basis and repair?
- One can imagine where we send in molecular machine systems and analyze enough cells and compute what that DNA looks like.
- Congenital defects would no longer be a problem.
- If you can repair DNA, let’s repair other things that are going wrong.
- Fix proteins, fix molecules out of place, fix diseases in the body.
- There’s essentially nothing that can’t be fixed.
- If humans could live long enough where only accidents become a problem, potential is about 10,000 years.
- Unless a truck runs over your head!
- But we could conceivably record the structure of the brain to the point where you in essence have a backup copy.
- Looking ahead to the time when artificial intelligence technologies reach the level beyond a human being and trying to predict what the world looks like after that point.
- Estimating what could happen after the singularity becomes difficult.
- People try to imagine the negative outcomes of the situation.
- Are there things we can do to prevent those negative outcomes?
- Christine is on the board for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
- Others include the Future of Humanity Institute, the Future of Life Institute.
- Some people say the singularity isn’t happening.
- Christine believes they are simply emotional reactions.
- It is definitely something worth looking at.
- Christine is also an adviser at MIRI, at intelligence.org.
- Concerns of nanotechnology.
- In the 70s-80s, there was concern that the system of machines would take over.
- Now, the concern is more about how it would be deliberately abused.
- Nanoweapons instead of bioweapons.
- Environmental stressors.
- Dave Asprey’s look into black mold.
- The more processed the food is, the more likely it has black mold
- Christine noticed black mold on her high-end popcorn
- If you are interested in longevity, it is worth it to go with the least processed, local ingredients as possible.
- Dave Asprey’s look into black mold.
The Quantified Self Movement
- Self-monitoring health devices.
- Apple watch, Fitbit, Physio.
- Taking an engineering approach to making changes and improvements to your body.
- The act of taking supplements is easy, knowing what supplements to take is hard.
- Supplements are most useful if you are trying to fix a problem in your chemistry that is non-standard.
- You can order your own blood test online and analyze the results yourself.
- Many people think that you can only get tests that the insurance company will cover, which is not the case.
- Look into supplements.
- If you’re more adventurous, go to the life extension foundation.
- Only do that if you know what you are doing.
- What to do when you are considering a supplement.
- Find out what is in that supplement, it is usually a mix of things.
- Look up each chemical.
- How much am I getting of each chemical in this supplement?
- What’s the effect that it is going to have on my body?
- The advantage to buying them separately is that you can change the ratio.
- Is it cheaper to buy them bundled?
- Is it already a good ratio?
- Is it far more convenient?
- Sleep hacking
- Getting good sleep is very critical.
- If you have bad sleep, your body is aging faster.
- If your sleep is bad, that is the place to start in biohacking.
- There are so many things that can mess up your sleep.
- Ex: your hormones
- Urine tests are the easiest way to test these.
- Your technology habits
- Your environment
- Saliva tests
- Needs to be tested 4 times/day.
- You can test and study this yourself.
- Fitbit flex measures sleep in terms of movement, which isn’t always accurate.
- Zeo, a better alternative, is no longer made, but you can find it on ebay.
- Ex: your hormones
- How to find a good physician
- Functional medicine or integrated physician.
- Ask your friends who are interested in longevity who they go to.
Resources to Recommend
- Look at the date of your resources.
- It could be a great place to start, but make sure you have up-to-date material.
- Aubrey DeGray website is great, but very research oriented.
- If you want to get involved in supporting research, it is a great place to look.
- Strategies for engineering negligible senescence.
- Suspended animation.
- If you are interested in longevity, but don’t think you’ll be around when the major advancements take place.
- History of suspended animation
- First, they just tried to freeze the person.
- Then, add a form of antifreeze.
- However, causes damage to the body.
- ALCOR life extension group
- Step in a chamber that is hundreds of degree below zero for a few minutes, supposed to have excellent anti-aging property.
- Love Life and Technology
- Great for your health to find a life partner.
- Human bonding is a chemical process.
- You can manipulate these chemicals to do what you want to do.
- Human mating doesn’t look that different than hundreds of years ago, our bodies are the same.
- Law of Accelerated Change
- The last 100 years could fit in the next 20 in terms of technological change at today’s rate.
- But with that rate continuing to speed up, it can actually fit in the next 12.
- However, that rate of change isn’t happening in every field.
- Electronics, yes
- Software, yes
- Medicine, no
Links Mentioned In this Episode:
- The Quantified Self
- MIRI (Machine Intelligence Research Institute)
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Welcome to another exciting episode of Optimized Geek. I’m your host Stephan Spencer, and I have the pleasure of interviewing today Christine Peterson. Christine is the co-founder and past president of the Foresight Institute. The Foresight Institute is a think tank or type of policy interest group in nanotechnology, more specifically molecular nanotechnology, which is the brave new future we are looking forward to in terms of when nanobots can replicate themselves. She coined the term “open-source software” years ago, she is chairwoman of the Personalized Life Extension Conference. She is an expert on nanotechnology, extreme life extension, longevity, a lot of future tech sort of things. She is going to talk to us about everything from biohacking to life extension to hacking your love life and everything in between. This is going to be a really exciting episode. Welcome, Christine, thank you for joining us today.
C: It’s great to be here, Stephan, it is always a joy to chat with you.
S: Likewise. So let’s start with – give a little background on nanotechnology and what the future holds. Many people don’t understand what nanotechnology is and you might hear nanotech as a term being thrown around like for a pair of pants but the future is much bigger in terms of nanotechnology is much bigger than a pair of nanotech pants that repel wine stains and things like that. Let’s start there.
C: Sure, that’s right. And it is perfectly natural to be a bit confused about the term nanotechnology because it is used in so many different ways. I think for most of us the simplest way to think if it is nanotechnology will develop over time just like any technology. It started in the area of materials, better materials, that would include pants that repel stains, and that is great. That is fine. The next stage we are moving to now is devices – devices that operate down at the nano scale and then the most exciting time frame to me will be the third stage, when you actually get systems operating down at the molecular scale. Systems of machines that operate at atomic precision. Now, in terms of the interest of this audience, I think that stage will be the most exciting one.
S: Right, so – kind of the brave new world in terms of human experience might be things like utility fog and having our entire blood replaced by synthetic fluid and all sorts of stuff. But what do you see happening in the next 10 or 15 years? Feel free to extend beyond that all the way to the singularity.
- Order a blood test and set up an appointment to go over what your deficiencies are.
- Check out examine. com to see what type of supplements might be best for you.
- Test your hormones to determine the source of sleep problems.
Thank you for listening!
I discussed some amazing mind-blowing stuff with Christine Peterson on this episode, and I’ve got to say, it’s incredibly exciting. It is eye-opening to see the level of potential we’ve reached with not only extending life, but extending healthy, strong, and capable lives. Investing in that kind of research, as well as investing in taking care of your body now and throughout the long term will put you at an advantage later in getting at this technology, and being in a place where you can take full advantage of its benefits by being in a good place of health. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it!