(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
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A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
For reasons that his memory cannot now retrieve, de Grey has been convinced since childhood that aging is, in his words, "something we need to fix." Having become interested in biology after marrying a geneticist in 1991, he began poring over texts, and autodidacted until he had mastered the subject. The more he learned, the more he became convinced that the postponement of death was a problem that could very well have real solutions and that he might be just the person to find them. As he reviewed the possible reasons why so little progress had been made in spite of the remarkable molecular and cellular discoveries of recent decades, he came to the conclusion that the problem might be far less difficult to solve than some thought; it seemed to him related to a factor too often brushed under the table when the motivations of scientists are discussed, namely the small likelihood of achieving promising results within the period required for academic advancement - careerism, in a word. As he puts it, "High-risk fields are not the most conducive to getting promoted quickly."
De Grey is a familiar figure at meetings of scientific societies, where he has earned the respect of many gerontologists and that new variety of theoreticians known as "futurists." Not only has his work put him at the forefront of a field that might best be called theoretical biogerontology, but he swims close enough to the mainstream that some of its foremost researchers have agreed to add their names to his papers and letters as coauthors, although they may not agree with the full range of his thinking.
His tireless efforts at thrusting himself and his theories into the vanguard of a movement in pursuit of a goal of eternal fascination to the human mind have put him among the most prominent proponents of antiaging science in the world. His timing is perfect. As the baby boomers - perhaps the most determinedly self-improving (and self-absorbed) generation in history - are now approaching or have reached their early 60s, there is a plenitude of eager seekers after the death-defiant panaceas he promises. De Grey has become more than a man; he is a movement.
1. Loss and atrophy or degeneration of cells.
2. Accumulation of cells that are not wanted.
3. Mutations in chromosomes.
4. Mutations in mitochondria.
5. The accumulation of "junk" within the cell.
6. The accumulation of "junk" outside the cell.
7. Cross-links in proteins outside the cell.
When I raised the question of ethical or moral objections to the extreme extension of life, the reply was similarly seemingly logical and to the point:
If there were such objections, they would certainly count in this argument. What does count is that the right to live as long as you choose is the world's most fundamental right. And this is not something I'm ordaining. This seems to be something that all moral codes, religious or secular, seem to agree on: that the right to life is the most important right.
And then, to what would seem the obvious objection that such moral codes assume our current life span and not one lasting thousands of years:
It's an incremental thing. It's not a question of how long life should be, but whether the end of life should be hastened by action or inaction.
But the most likable of eccentrics are sometimes the most dangerous. Many decades ago in my naïveté and ignorance, I thought that the ultimate destruction of our planet would be by the neutral power of celestial catastrophe: collision with a gigantic meteor, the burning out of the sun - that sort of thing. In time, I came to believe that the end of days would be ushered in by the malevolence of a mad dictator who would unleash an arsenal of explosive or biological weaponry: nuclear bombs, engineered microörganisms - that sort of thing. But my notion of "that sort of thing" has been changing. If we are to be destroyed, I am now convinced that it will not be a neutral or malevolent force that will do us in, but one that is benevolent in the extreme, one whose only motivation is to improve us and better our civilization. If we are ever immolated, it will be by the efforts of well-meaning scientists who are convinced that they have our best interests at heart. We already know who they are. They are the DNA tweakers who would enhance us by allowing parents to choose the genetic makeup of their descendants unto every succeeding generation ad infinitum, heedless of the possibility that breeding out variety may alter factors necessary for the survival of our species and the health of its relationship to every form of life on earth; they are the biogerontologists who study caloric restriction in mice and promise us the extension by 20 percent of a peculiarly nourished existence; they are those other biogerontologists who emerge from their laboratories of molecular science every evening optimistic that they have come just a bit closer to their goal of having us live much longer, downplaying the unanticipated havoc at both the cellular and societal level that might be wrought by their proposed manipulations. And finally, it is the unique and strangely alluring figure of Aubrey de Grey, who, orating, writing, and striding tirelessly through our midst with his less than fully convinced sympathizers, proclaims like the disheveled herald of a new-begotten future that our most inalienable right is to have the choice of living as long as we wish. With the passion of a single-minded zealot crusading against time, he has issued the ultimate challenge, I believe, to our entire concept of the meaning of humanness.
- "Do You Want to Live Forever?" Sherwin Nuland, Technology Review http://www.techreview.com/, February 2005 http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/02/issue/feature_aging.asp?p=1
File Name: sherwin_nuland200502 (7,654 words)
Post Date: February 27, 2005 at 8:55 AM CST; 1455 GMT