« Too High A Hearing RangeLevantine »

Fantastic Voyage : Kurzweil and Grossman


  05:39:59 pm, by Nimble   , 390 words  
Categories: Reviews, Books, Science

Fantastic Voyage : Kurzweil and Grossman

Fantastic Voyage: The Science Behind Radical Life Extension, is a bit of a weird book.

Much of the book is essentially a diet plan, believe it or not. Take the Atkins diet, remove red meat and add alkalinized water, your least favourite vegetables in a blender, and... supplements, supplements, supplements. Grossman, for example, takes quite a few supplements per day - in the handfuls.

There seems to be more than a smattering of credulity for some alternative health cures, but these two are a little bit older, and I think I can somewhat forgive them for trying to pull out all the stops so that they can still be alive for the medical advances that will actually start to be able to extend our lives.

This somewhat nasty regime is called "Bridge One": it's essentially what we are limited to doing with current technology. "Bridge Two" comes from the results of the next wave of medical research. Things like meat genetically engineered to have more omega-3 fats than omega-6 fats. "Bridge Three" is the fantastic stuff, the stuff we expect from Kurzweil, and involves more than a smattering of nanotechnology.

So essentially, put up with this awful, hard-to-stick-to, yet good-for-you diet until science gets to the point of either making the crappy stuff good for you, or enabling you to eat crappy stuff and excrete the worst of it :) Then you might live long enough for technology to be able to keep you alive forever.

The "Bridge Two" interludes come with references to technology that's on the go right now, so it makes for pretty interesting reading, especially since a lot of folks writing the sort of similar diet plans to this you see would probably run away screaming from any of the Bridge Two breakthroughs listed :)

The section on heart problems was actually pretty good, and covers a lot of the more recent things about inflammation and soft plaques that we have discovered: that by and large, the worst danger is from rupturing soft plaques, not the hard calcified ones that are routinely replaced or stented in heart surgery.

For those who don't want the handfuls upon handfuls of supplements that these two take, they do at least have a reduced list near the end, somewhat sorted out into what they help with.

An interesting, albeit weirdly dietarily proselytizing book.

No feedback yet