Archive for February, 2010

What a biologist told me

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I finally had a chance to talk to a biologist, as I promised I would do.  She is a leading investigator into what is called “the aging clock.”  According to this theory — and, she hastens to add, it’s only a theory — advanced organisms have a type of programmed aging built into their systems.  This can be seen most dramatically by comparing common pigeons with a similar sized bird called the Japanese quail.  A Japanese quail begins age at a year and a half, losing tail feathers and so on.  But in a pigeon, those signs don’t appear for about fifteen years.  That’s a factor of ten. The birds are otherwise very similar, and so it is reasonable to hypothesize that the difference in life span is due to a built in biological control mechanism.  Now, if we apply the same factor of ten to ourselves, might we not come up with someone who seems in a practical sense “immortal?”  Or, what if in some of them the aging clock is stopped entirely?  A person like that would never age at all.

It would have to be a rare mutation (or set of mutations.)  But it is not impossible. Even a dyed-in-the wool skeptic like me can consider a possibility such as this.

And, if such a set of mutations were discovered, it could lead to an intervention: Using a gene altering retrovirus, these genes could in theory be inserted into ordinary mortals, like you and me. (Biologists already know how to build retroviruses to deliver a genetic payload, though some practical problems remain.) — Stephen

Personally

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Glenn thinks immortality turns them into power-mad Illuminati. Stephen thinks that childhood trauma will make  them hate themselves. Personally, I think they all become total narcissists, like our Immortal Aussie.

That is, if they’re all as beautiful as he is. Beautiful, and forever.  – Flyss

Not Necessarily

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Our friend Glenn always sees secret organizations.  In his response to Kate’s most recent post, he jumps straight from childhood trauma to ruling the world.  I trust Kate was referring to something vastly more mundane: that an immortal person might very likely end up regarding himself as tainted by the devil, once all his fellow villagers did. — Stephen

Now that raises a world of questions

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Kate’s most recent post raises a world of questions.

If, 500 years ago, or even 200 years ago, your neighbors noticed you didn’t age, I have no doubt they’d set the pitchforks on you.  (Still today, in some backward places it wouldn’t be p.c. to name.) Which means that most Immortals would have grown up in circumstances where the slightest chance of getting discovered would mean certain death.

Implication: They’d band together in organizations to defend themselves from the rest of the world.

And the best way to do that would be to try to control the rest of the world …  – Glenn

Kate’s a Genius

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

OK, I admit it. Kate’s a genius. (No news there.) It always pays to pay attention when she goes off psychobabbling, because there are pearls in the babble.

Not only does our “Immortal Aussie” have a guy following him, like she predicted, but that guy’s a sitting duck.  Unlike the Aussie, the Bounty Hunter (as I call him) doesn’t bother to change his name when he wanders around. He doesn’t make himself invisible. He rents cars under his own name, uses credit cards, all that.  Stephen’s digging online, and I’m snooping in person.  Hoping for great things soon. — Flyss

When would you first notice it?

Friday, February 19th, 2010

When would you first notice that you weren’t growing any older? Thirty-five?  Forty?

If this happened five hundred years ago, what would your neighbors say?  What would you think about yourself?

Could you ever get over it? — Kate

As good a place as any to mention some ground rules.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

This is as good a place as any to mention some ground rules of the site. What we don’t want to do is post so much that it gets in the way of our investigations.  For example, it would have been a mistake  if Flyss (in her post just below) had mentioned the name of her “Bounty Hunter.”  I often search the Internet for my own name to see who might be stalking me, and he might do the same.  The moment he found out we’re tracking him, our chances of succeeding would fall through the floor.

True, at some point the people we’re after will discover our site.  But, right now, chances are they haven’t.  And, even if they do, we’ve taken the precaution of withholding certain details and falsifying others.  The goal is to mislead and misdirect.   They have certain natural advantages.  We need to protect ourselves. — Glenn

Someone does fit the description!!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Kate is right, as always. Yes, there are signs of someone else going after our Aussie, a bounty hunter sort of guy asking questions in the same places. From what I hear, he’s a big, scary bloke who looks like he could kill you and stuff you in a trunk without losing his appetite for pancakes. I’m working on tracking him now.  He might know things we don’t.  – Flyss

Does Anyone Fit the Description?

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Catching a rumor of immortality/

He hungers for it.

He grasps for it/

aching to hold it close/

To steal it if he can.

||Is he near?||

– Kate

If I didn’t have to age?

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Re: Kate’s question and Flyss’s answer.

It would change a lot for me, Flyss.  Now, of course it would for someone of my extremely advanced age,  but, seriously, even when I was your age it would too.  Maybe it’s a male thing, but I had ambitions, and I knew I didn’t have all the time in the world to accomplish them.  On the other hand, if I knew I had all the time in the world, maybe I wouldn’t have done anything at all.  – Glenn

How would it change the way I live now?

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

If I didn’t have to get old later, how would that change the way I live now?  Hey, Kate, I’m 23. It doesn’t seem all that real.

– Flyss

think about it from their side

Friday, February 5th, 2010

If you didn’t have to get old later, how would that change the way you live now?

What’s your best trick for pretending you’ll live forever?  What if you didn’t have to pretend?

What would it be like to be one of them?

– Kate

More of a journalist type

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Stephen is a mathematician and Glenn is a really old guy who mostly leafs through piles of old photos.  Not that I’m a triple agent for the CIA or even a gum-chewing gumshoe, but I get out there. You can think of me as a journalist type.  I’ll post fresh stories along with photos, sound and video.

Of course, they won’t rejoice at getting blogged. But never fear, good readers, I don’t plan to get caught.  No good getting snuffed before you post the good stuff, as an old friend used to say, before the Trilateral commission caught up with him.   (Just kidding about who caught up with him.) — Flyss

The conspiracies I believe in

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a typical conspiracy theorist.

What most typical conspiracy nuts don’t know is that half their theories are just antisemitic propaganda. The Shadow Government and New World Order set of theories, for example, simply extend the  Rosicrucian / Illuminati / Freemason / Rothschild / Rockefeller / Federal Reserve /Protocols of the Elders of Zion chain forward, so that they now  include the Trilateral commission, the World Bank, the IMF,  the Bilderberg Group and the supposed “fact” that the Mossad arranged 9/11. Above and beyond the antisemitism, this is mere dullard credulity.

The conspiracies I believe in, rather, simply  assume that the richest and most powerful of any age will naturally do their best to manage the world to their liking.  That’s just human nature.   But such people would not often nor ever entirely succeed; nor, more importantly, is it plausible that subsequent generations would be more faithful to an ancient vow than to their present interest.  The power-hungry are, as a rule, far too practical for that. Thus, if there is a  connection between the assassination of Lincoln and the assassination of Kennedy, as I believe, it is not to be found in a secret society with code rings, initiations and special costumes, but rather in a recurrent nexus of self-interest.

Or,  rather, that has always been my stance.  This new discovery takes me aback.  Perhaps, there truly is a longstanding historical conspiracy:  Not by a an secret order that perpetuates down through the centuries by binding new members to ancient oaths, but by individual people who themselves persist.

That’s what we’re looking into, anyway – Glenn

A natural phenomenon, certainly

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I hasten to add that I don’t mean to suggest there are supernatural beings in the world. Rather, it is simply the case that there is an “aging clock” built into organisms that makes them get old on a certain schedule depending on the species. A mutation might shut down the clock. Such a person would grow to maturity, and from then on have the appearance of someone in their mid-20s forever. (That is to say, unless they are injured.)

I’m going to interview some biologists to get more information on this essential topic, which I will post soon. — Stephen

Skepticism given pause

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I was born a skeptic.  I’m the opposite of a conspiracy theorist, and  I don’t ever believe this sort of thing.

Not that I believe it now.  The existence of immortals in the world certainly  hasn’t been proved true.  Far from it. But it’s been proved possibly true.  And as much as my skeptic’s heart ridicules the entire theory, my reason tells me I have to consider it.

On this blog, then, my contributions shall record the progress of our investigations as seen from a thoroughly skeptical perspective.   I hope (but do not quite trust) that we soon shall show this all to be nonsense.

– Stephen