TED Conversations

TED Book Chat

This conversation is closed.

Discussing "The Science of Radical Life Extension" with TED Books author David Ewing Duncan

Continuing with our series of TED Book Chats.... How long do you want to live, and why?

For the next two weeks, we'll be discussing David Ewing Duncan's new eBook, "When I'm 164", on the science of radical life extension. Duncan surveys the increasingly legitimate science — from genetics and regeneration to machine solutions — and considers the pluses and minuses of living to age 164, or beyond. We'll look at everything from the impact of extended life on cities, services, and the cost of living as well as what happens to love, curiosity, and general health.

The book is available for Kindle, Nook, and iOS devices (which have a great new custom TED Books app):

Kindle copy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008XB16ME/
iOS app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted-books/id511071050?mt=8

The New York Times also published an excerpt this week, you can read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/sunday-review/how-long-do-you-want-to-live.html

Finally, author David Ewing Duncan will be joining us for a live Q&A at 4pm EDT on September 11th!

Looking forward to our discussion!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 11 2012: Thanks David! I'm curious, since you mentioned participating in all those tests... what are your thoughts on the value/ethics of using genetic testing to predict future health? Have you seen the movie Gattaca? ;)
    • thumb
      Sep 11 2012: I wrote a book about this - Experimental Man! I was first tested for my DNA proclivities in 2001 for a Wired story, and since then I've had over 24,000 genetics traits identified. (Check http://www.experimentalman.com for details). So far, all of this genetic info has not told me much, since the science is still young. But I have learned a few important genetic risk factors - and more are coming in as gene markers are validated and interpreted. One's genetics will become increasingly important in predicting and diagnosing disease, though it's important to note that Gattaca was wrong - genes are not necessarily you're destiny. The role of the environment is also crucial.
      • thumb
        Sep 11 2012: Excellent! Though, from what I remember, I think that may have been the moral of Gattaca, as well... that one can always defy the odds and live a life beyond what the tests predict. Still, it's hard to imagine society NOT turning in some way into that dystopia of genetic pre-determination... what parent, presented with all the numbers, wouldn't want to give their children every possible advantage?

        Anyhow! Sorry for the digression, apparently that movie made an impression on me. :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.