Biologist Aubrey de Grey stated that “age is repair and maintenance”. He compared the human body to that of a car or a machine. The body is a complicated machine but we are learning more and more every day and with rejuvenation therapies, we can see the chance for extending our lives within the next ten years. I asked Mark what he thought of this and also the fact of overpopulation. “Death in other cultures is viewed very differently than how it is viewed here”, he explained. “Our culture is youth obsessed and has a fascination with longevity” he went on to say. Some things that they are looking into are reducing our proportions per meal and calorie restrictive diets. Our society’s proportions are out of control, children are even faced with obesity problems and diabetes, and our calorie intake is through the roof. I remember as a kid that we always got balanced meals and you rarely saw anyone overweight because every one was always outside playing.
The computer age along with video games have made today’s youth sloth ridden and all of this needs to change. I work out every day and have found it something that I look forward to. I also have reduced my calorie intake and proportions so I’m speaking first hand when I tell you that there is something to this way of thinking. In fact, Mark told me that even the health insurance companies are looking to increase rates for their obese clients. I think this is a good idea because I think this would force people to get healthy. Now if everyone is healthy and fit and living longer, will we become an overpopulated nation? A good point that both Mark and Aubrey said was that it will work itself out because it always does. When the average life span went from 40 years old to 75 years old, they figured it out so in turn the same will happen as we extend the life span to 100 years old.
Cryogenics was another topic shown in the movie where people are currently having themselves frozen until the day when research can find a cure for whatever they have and bring them back. People are placed in sleeping bags and then are strapped in and stored at the facility. This really had me thinking two things. The first was that for the people that believe we all have souls and that when you die your soul leaves and goes to heaven, how could the cryogenic labs bring you back to life? Is your soul hanging out in heaven with everyone until it’s time to go back into the same old body? The second thing I thought was even for people that don’t believe that, the question still remains, how do they bring you back to life? If you’re dead, you’re dead. What if you were a coma patient? Could you take that body and freeze it until there was a cure thus leaving the soul intact? I asked Mark this question and he had a good point that the body would still die due to freezing to death. So again we are back to the same question of how do they bring you back? They still don’t have an answer for this but are working on one so for now, people are paying for this and will wait until they figure it out.
The Japanese culture has always been known for having very long lives. Mark took a look at the Okinawan’s way of life. He found that they do live longer and are healthier. They have a diet that is low calorie and nutrient rich. They have active lives through gardening, dancing, walking, daily things like this that are just part of their lifestyle no matter what their age is. They have a reason to get out of the bed in the morning and are relaxed and happy go lucky. They go at a slower pace than we do and I think that’s one thing we have gotten away from in this country. Everyone’s in such a hurry that it affects everything. The rushing itself is stressful, then you don’t have time to make something to eat so you get something on the run that is usually not healthy, then you worked so many hours you don’t have time or are too tired to exercise. The cycle continues day in and day out. No one stops to smell the roses anymore. Mark told me that he’s finding that people are seeking alternative ways to relax and are trying to slow down a bit. He’s finding that as people are getting older, they are trying to put things in perspective and slow down. I have to agree with him because as I talk with people, I’m finding the same thing. Maybe our society has found that it has come to a point where we are trying to put on the breaks before crashing. I really hope so. “The formula for longevity used to be 70 percent genes and 30 percent lifestyle”, Mark explained; “Now they’re finding that it’s 70 percent lifestyle and 30 percent genes”. Well, I’m not a scientist but this sounds about right to me.