Oliver Rowland

Nice, France

About Oliver

Bio

I work as a journalist for a newspaper for English-speakers in France. I am English, with a degree in French and Italian.

Languages

English, French, Italian

Comments & conversations

45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted about 1 year ago
Aubrey de Grey: A roadmap to end aging
Actually Aubrey de Grey does believe we can rejuvenate people back to the prime of health and youth. And I believe him, it's just a question of how long it will take before the technology is there... but he also talks of "longevity escape velocity" in terms of the first technologies slowing aging enough to buy people time to still be around when more powerful ones come along etc. Yes, at first the technologies are likely to be most affordable by the rich, but like most things they will become more affordable - look how many people have mobiles now, that were a luxury item 20 years ago or so.
45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted about 1 year ago
Aubrey de Grey: A roadmap to end aging
Is achieving "greatness" the be all and end all anyway? The main thing is having an interesting and constructive and hopefully reasonably enjoyable life and if you happen to be very good at something, or lucky, and achieve something especially unique and famous, good for you, but if not so what? On the whole I think humans with the accumulated knowledge and experience of centuries would achieve a lot more than most people do now. There's no reason to assume you wouldn't be motivated to do anything.
45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted over 3 years ago
Chris Anderson (TED): Questions no one knows the answers to
Thanks, yes, it's certainly one of the things that intrigues me most, and I think it will be important for future physics. It's not nothing, as it has dimensions. Nor is it just the stuff that's in it, however many bits of particle and rays of one kind or another may be found out in deep space; the actual fabric of space is a thing in itself, but of a different kind, that I don't think can be properly described yet.
45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted over 3 years ago
Chris Anderson (TED): Questions no one knows the answers to
Sam's book is available very cheaply as a Kindle version. I find his argument persuasive. It's an interesting thought, that maybe we don't actually have any choice about how things unfold in our lives after all. I guess it can still be interesting though, like a book is, even though it's written and we can't change it. And it is humbling to those who think their success is all down to their own brilliance, or comforting to those who beat themselves up a lot about things going wrong.
45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted over 3 years ago
Chris Anderson (TED): Questions no one knows the answers to
What sort of answer is that? Religion answers mankind's wish to live on eternally by making up mutually contradictory and unproveable stories. However the almost ubiquity of such cultural constructs around the world does show strongly the fact that surviving death is a deep seated wish of our species. I do think that one day science will make it a fact whereas for now religions just offer wishful thinking, or vague possibilities at best.
45883
Oliver Rowland
Posted over 3 years ago
Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future
It's important to see what definitions are being used when people talk about poverty figures. 100 years ago poverty in the west was eg. families of 15 living in one or two rooms, a tin bath and a shared outdoor toilet, with a continual struggle just to feed and clothe themselves, with life expectancies of 40 or so, high illiteracy and and childhood and maternal mortality. People had to darn their socks and patch their clothes; sometimes children went barefoot because their parents couldn't afford shoes. Now most people who would be defined as poor have a reasonable basic standard of living with good clothes and varied food, good educational opportunities, adequate accommodation with central heating and decent plumbing, access to healthcare and entertainment, communications technologies, transport etc. And I know, for example, the UK government defines "poverty" as having an income below a certain percentage of the national mean, so in that case all it takes is for there to be more millionaires and billionaires and suddenly you have more "poor" people. Not to say too many people don't still struggle for a decent standard of living for themselves and their families, but in absolute terms, things have demonstrably improved.