Zoltan Istvan Interview – Transhumanist Technologies to Live Forever

We’re talking about life expectancy and how
that will be increasing. GIve me some predictions based off some technology that you’re looking
at and were working with now and then maybe a little overview of what you do to stay healthy?
Sure, well you know, the most important technology right now is the transhuman world, in my opinion,
are ones that are extending life spans. And there are a couple different drugs coming
on the market, I think there are two FDA approved over the last six months, what are some of
the very first what we consider anti-aging drugs and so I think those will be big hits.
But i think more importantly the technologies I see as revolutionary deal with bionics and
bionic organs. Most people die from organ failure, so we’re in this kind of age where
in the next three to five years, you’re hearing this already, there are robotic kidneys there
are robotic pancreas, buts its really heart disease thats the number one killer in the
world. Kills about a third of everyone we know. So its really the robotic heart that
becomes I think the holy grail of modern medicine, and starts to change almost everything that
can be out there. Besides the idea that you can control your bionic heart, you can slow
it down when you sleep, speed it up when you want to have crazy sex or do crazy stuff like
that, or go surfing. But the idea is really that we need to start looking at replacing
our organs with something that’s better. And something that is probably machine like but
something that might also be just entirely synthetic biological material. But the point
of this story is really that we are starting to introduce those things, there are a number
of companies, dozens of companies out there that wanna bring these bionic organs. The
problem is that the process of getting them approved is so long and laborious, and I completely
oppose this laborious process, especially from a libertarian standpoint. But I think
that’s the thing over the next ten years you’re going to hear a lot about. When do you selectively
go in and replace your heart or replace even an eyeball, something that will probably definitely
happen within ten years. Some people already replacing eyeballs that have bad eyesight
or what not, with FDA approved mechanism. But what, to answer the other part of your
question, outside of bionic organs which is the one that I really love to promote and
say we need more investment, is that I’m forty-five luckily not having to suffer anything major,
so I try to run a lot, I work out all the time, I still pretty big on swimming, at least
a few times a week, and I would say other than that, I try to eat well, I don’t eat
too much meat, I’m not a big meat eater, and I try to avoid synthetic foods, anything that’s
organic is definitely better for you in opinion rather than a bunch of drugs being used to
create crops, and sometimes I take nootropic pills and sometimes ill even done some stuff
like neurofeedback, but mainly at age forty-five I just try to stay healthy by exercising and
eating properly. Do you meditate? Say it again? Do you meditate? Oh, I’m sorry, do i meditate,
oh that’s a tough question, so I used to meditate, the problem is, the big problem with meditation,
is I would like to meditate, is that wow I can barely find five minutes anymore to do
anything, I’m so always behind and I now have two kids and married and all these other businesses
and what not. So if I was living in a perfect world I would have more time, and I think
I would very seriously meditate, I used to in my twenties and its great. I hear the saying
to something to the effect of, if you can’t find five minutes you should meditate for
ten, but I’m not great at it either so I can’t really talk. So it seems like you’re biggest
on bionics in terms of life extension, why that versus something genetic engineering,
CRISPR, or potentially even uploading consciousness. A quick aside for people who aren’t familiar
with CRISPR. CRISPR is the technology that allows humans, essentially as simple as working
with Microsoft Word, to edit genetic sequences, we can find, edit, cut and replace in a copy
paste type manner, it’s really quite terrifying, the genetic code of life. We will be doing
another episode on CRISPR coming up later on, but that was just a quick aside, it is
one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of our species, in my opinion. So genetic
editing in CRISPR will probably be the second and probably very close in terms of what is
better than bionics. The problem though is with CRISPR is we really haven’t, even though
we know its the most important science of the twenty-first century, and certainly more
than AI, more than bionic organs, what not, we still haven’t figured out as a society
if we’re going to move forward with it radically fast and we also aren’t sure given how radical
it is that we can literally grow eyeballs on the back our head and things like that,
whether we can use it to actually reproduce organs, but at the end of the day I still
don’t want another Zoltan heart, I want a machine heart that is going to be far superior
to my heart. I want an eyeball that has the telephoto vision of fifty miles versus my
normal eyesight and microscopic vision. There’s no question that while biology is good and
we can make biology better, I think at the end of the day, its always going to be something
machine and ones and zeros connected to the cloud that’s going to be the most sophisticated,
and so I’m still holding out for the bionic heart rather than growing either through genetic
editing, or through organs of pigs. Which I have a friend who runs that kind of company
and these kinds of things. I mean these are great ideas and they’re definitely important
to pursue and money should be going into them, but I’m still a big believer that I want actual
medal and bionics and internet and ones and zeros inside my body and not just biological
reformations, whatever we get from genetic engineering. This has been another in our
FRINGEFM miniseries where we take long-form interviews and condense them down into high
impact topics. If you would like to get the full interview, check out the show notes or
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