London Futurists

The Death of Death, with José Cordeiro

July 19, 2023 London Futurists Season 1 Episode 48
London Futurists
The Death of Death, with José Cordeiro
Show Notes

An intriguing possibility created by the exponential growth in the power of our technology is that within the lifetimes of people already born, death might become optional. Show co-hosts Calum and David are both excited about this idea, but our excitement is as nothing compared to the exuberant enthusiasm of our guest in this episode, José Cordeiro.

José was born in Venezuela, to parents who fled Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. He has closed the circle, by returning to Spain (via the USA) while another dictatorship grips Venezuela. His education and early career was thoroughly blue chip – MIT, Georgetown University, INSEAD, and then Schlumberger and Booz Allen.

Today, José is the most prominent transhumanist in Spain and Latin America, and indeed a leading light in transhumanist circles worldwide. He is a loyal follower of the ideas of Ray Kurzweil, and in 2018 he co-wrote "La Muerte de la Muerte", which has since been updated and is being published in English as “The Death of Death”. By way of full disclosure, his co-author was David.

Selected follow-ups:

Forthcoming anti-aging conferences:
New York, 10-11 Aug:
Dublin, 17-20 Aug:
Johannesburg, 23-24 Aug:
Copenhagen, 28 Aug - 1 Sept:
Anaheim (CA), 7-10 Sept:

Topics addressed in this episode include:
*) An engineering approach to improving health and longevity
*) Some cells and some organisms are already biologically immortal
*) How José met Marvin Minsky and Ray Kurzweil at MIT
*) Does death give purpose to life?
*) Why people have often resolved "to live with death"
*) Potential timescales for the attainment of longevity escape velocity for humans
*) Examples of changing lifespans for various animal species
*) The significance of the Nobel prize-winning research of Shinya Yamanaka
*) Limits of the capabilities of evolution
*) Different theories as to why aging happens: wear-and-tear vs. built-in obsolescence
*) Learning from animals that have extended lifespans - including anti-cancer mechanisms
*) Exponential progress: more funding, more people, more resources, more discoveries
*) Why longevity may soon become the largest industry in the history of humanity
*) The Longevity Dividend: "making money out of people not aging"
*) The role of politicians in accelerating the benefits of the Longevity Dividend
*) Which bold political leader will change history by being the first to declare aging as a curable disease?
*) The case for a European anti-aging agency
*) Things to say to people who insist that 80 to 85 years is a sufficiently long lifespan
*) The case for optimism, from Victor Frankl
*) The prevalence of irrational attitudes toward curing aging vs. curing cancer
*) How the MIT Technology Review changed its tune about longevity pioneer Aubrey de Grey
*) The three phases in the reception of powerful new ideas
*) Aspects of our present lifestyles that will be viewed, in 2045, as being barbaric
*) The world's most altruistic cause

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration