Slow, Steady, Fast: Sorry, Furious

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It’s quite possible Silicon Valley is going about the issue of longevity in an unnecessary and wasteful way.  Millions of dollars are flooding into research on how to make people live longer.

Last fall, Unity raised a hundred and sixteen million dollars from such investors as Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel, billionaires eager to stretch our lives, or at least their own, to a span that Thiel has pinpointed as “forever.”1)

1) Why is Silicon Valley so fixated on extending life to infinity and beyond?  (Theory: white collars have settled for a very high paying job that just doesn’t give them the time to spend their wealth and do the things they enjoy doing.)

2) What will the world look like when only the rich can afford to live forever?

3) What if we spent millions in researching the longevity practices of the Blue Zones?2)

From The New Yorker article we learn some people are pursuing immortality while others just want to make older age more bearable.  But what both approaches have in common is taking action.

I already posted about fasting.  But here’s another video featuring Dr. Fung that offers a unique perspective.

(Are 100 calories of candy corn going to have the same metabolic affect on your body as 100 calories of broccoli?  Calories in does not equal calories out.)

Masanobu Fukuoka’s method of Do-Nothing-Farming3) echoes Dr. Fung’s wise approach (30:15) to lose weight: do nothing.  Don’t eat.

Let’s take the idea doing nothing and question the other areas of our life:

  1. Are we over-extending ourselves by doing too much (like flooding millions of dollars into longevity research)?
  2. Have we bitten off more from the broccoli than we can actually chew?
  3. Where else have we gained excess social weight?  How many of society’s problems exist because we have taken too much action?

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

–  Blaise Pascal


One of my first mentors had an interesting philosophical perspective.  In Temple’s Cardiovascular Research Center, we were both in our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and he was showing me how to ultrasound our post-op mice for heart function visualization.  Through his surgical mask with his thick Chinese accent, he asked me in English if I believed in reincarnation.  I was taken aback that he knew the word.  “Maybe, yea. Why?”

“What if maybe we will die and come back as mice and maybe researchers will do operations on us?  Maybe it is our karma since we are mouse killers.”

Surprisingly, it didn’t freak me out too much.  What goes around comes around, right?

Another one of his interesting ideas was in regards to our heartbeat:

“What if we are born with a certain number of heart beats, and once our heart beats that number of times, that’s it.  That’s our life.  We die.”

It made me question my interests in physical activity – ultramarathons, Ironman, sprints.  Am I using up my gas tank of heartbeats?

Maybe there’s a reason old people move so slow.  Maybe old people and Blue Zones can teach Silicon Valley a thing or two about longevity.4)

Are there lessons to be learned from the slow moving giant tortoises and Greenland sharks?6)


Slow down.  Save your life.  Maybe a ‘Speed Limit’ sign will have new meaning.

The slower you go, the faster you’ll get there.

– Uncle


References   [ + ]

The Three-Foot World of the Emoting Machine. Think with the heart. Live hard, train harder, die easy. =」

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