In my last post and the one before, I wrote of the first half of Glenn’s quest: the secrets of the Veterans War Memorial in San Francisco. I will return to that subject soon. But first, I want to turn to Glenn’s second quest — and, more importantly, the new power it represents.
We think that Glenn was seeking healing for his diabetes, though from whom we do not know. But he invoked the name of a five star general of the life extension movement: Aubrey de Grey. Grey’s project is called Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, abbreviated SENS. SENS employs seven tactical approaches. Among these is a plan to move mitochondrial DNA out of the mitochondria, where it is exposed to damage, into the deep protection of the cell nucleus. This kind of engineering solution at the microscopic level sounds like science fiction. But science fiction comes before science.(OK, science fiction is my other passion, after military history.) Stem cell regenerative therapy, another pillar of de Grey’s program, was the stuff of scifi magazines not long ago. However, Flyss found the following poster up in an alley not far from the Veteran’s Memorial:
The smaller caption reads “Delivering stem cell therapy to the clinic.”
To a clinic near you!
On one level, as Flyss points out, this indicates that Glen’s hope of physical salvation through early use of stem cell treatment was not so unrealistic as we thought. But my focus here is on the deployment of force over time. And of all the forces loose in the world, the untethered force of science is surpassed by none. It is newer than any other, explosively growing, difficult to control, and distributed globally. The masters of science are the new wizards, necromancers, sorcerors and magicians. The tentacles of Google are the fingers of science. The military will in the future and already to a large extent now fights with robots. I have a smart phone that can translate my speech — can break down the Tower of Babel. And science will inevitably find a way to make us live forever.
But perhaps I should return to what I know much better than medicine, and close with this additional image from the Veterans Memorial:
I think of them as a kind of incantation: Alamogordo (Trinity), Eniwetok, Novaya Zemlya, Semipalatinsk, Bikini Atoll. Even the most ancient of immortals must fear this power, for what could even they do if we little mortals were to unleash nuclear weapons? What ancient god can even hold a candle to that terrible light?– Strattera