Also, I suppose we’re not... We're not bad for four aging queens, are we?
Freddie was to die five years later, by a HIV induced pneumonia.
There are far too many sci-fi books, not to mention more serious literature, reflecting upon what would be a future without death. We look intent on making sci-fi real, as our attempts to cheat death get ever more serious and profitable, as witnessed by those sprawling biotech companies near Bret's home.
De Grey, our bearded main character in this last linked article, looks to believe that the first person who will live to be 1,000 years old has already been born:
"Oh absolutely, yeah,” de Grey assures me. “It’s highly likely.”
Or rather, he does not, as the other people working with him assure us:
"I have to tell you Aubrey has two hats,” she says, smiling. “One he wears for the public when he’s raising funds. The other hat is when he talks to a scientist like me, where he doesn’t really believe that anyone will live to 1,000 years old. No.”
Actually, Aubrey had in past raised the eyebrows of significant researchers in the field, who once wrote an article acusing him of selling pseudoscience:
In 2006, the magazine MIT Technology Review published a paper called “Life Extension Pseudoscience and the SENS Plan.” The nine co-authors, all senior gerontologists, took stern issue with de Grey’s position.
But happily we learn they worked it out, for the greater good of science. Or better yet, for the greater good of funding for science:
More than a decade later, Tissenbaum now sees SENS in a more positive light. “Kudos to Aubrey,” she says diplomatically. “The more people talking about aging research, the better. I give him a lot of credit for bringing attention and money to the field. When we wrote that paper, it was just him and his ideas, no research, nothing. But now they are doing a lot of basic, fundamental research, like any other lab.”
It may be that Aubrey was getting skepticism from an older generation of researchers who saw his popular proeminence with a bit of envy.
Or it may be that, as evidenced by Aubrey's alledged two hats, science these days is a lot more about funding than it is about truth. Has Aubrey's lab turned more "like any other lab", or has any other lab turned more like Aubrey's?
That's a good question for that one-thousand year friend of ours to ponder, in his centuries of boredom.