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When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds (Kindle Single) (TED Books Book 18) [Kindle Edition]

David Ewing Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

How long do you want to live, and why? These are the questions that bestselling author ('Experimental Man') and science writer David Ewing Duncan explores, with surprising results. 'When I'm 164' surveys the increasingly legitimate science of radical life extension — from genetics and regeneration to machine solutions — and considers the pluses and minuses of living to age 164, or beyond: everything from the impact on population and the cost of living to what happens to love, curiosity, and health. Concluding that anti-aging technologies will probably succeed in the next 30 to 50 years, Duncan brings us back to the age-old question posed by the Beatles in their classic song: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m … ”


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The premise of David Ewing Duncan's When I'm 164 is quite simple: it asks the reader, "how long do you want to live?" The topics he explores to support the reasoning behind each of his possible answers--80 years, 120 years, 150 years, or forever--however, are anything but simple. Duncan, a best-selling author and correspondent for Atlantic.com and NPR, goes beyond simplistic explanations like being able to spend more time with family and meeting great-great-great grandchildren in order to touch on the scientific, cultural and socio-economic impacts of extreme aging. Accessible and engaging explanations of breakthroughs in the fields of medicine and technology help to illustrate how each answer to the question of desired lifespan is actually plausible (yes, even the desire to live forever is plausible--to some degree). From Silicon Valley think-tanks to growing new organs in petri dishes, Duncan explores the science of anti-aging that could make very long lives possible. He also provides a balanced debate between the anti-agers who believe that longer lifespans are better and those who are concerned about what extended lifespans will do to society--not to mention the planet's economies and resources. Based on a TEDx talk given in Brussels, When I'm 164 is a fascinating picture of the anti-aging technology available today, what may be on the horizon tomorrow and what that means for society as a whole. --Malissa Kent

Product Details

  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 66 pages
  • Publisher: TED Conferences (August 16, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008XB16ME
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,985 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 2/3 of the book did not address its title August 23, 2012
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Increasingly tech-med chatter involves anti-aging discussions, and there's a noticeable uptick in estimations of incredible life-extending miracles happening by 2050. "When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds" would seem to be Johnny-on-the-spot with this trend, and with the cool stamp of TED approval at that, but seems to fall short.

Specifically, here's how the book breaks down:

* 1/3 of the book was about the author's question to people he encounters, and their answers, of why/why not do they want to grow exceptionally old.

* 1/3 of the book is end notes (musings about the author's aging family, thanks yous, citations.)

* 17% centers directly on the book's title: 1. Science of Radical Life Extension & 2. What Happens if it Succeeds. Of 4 sections treating the material in the title, a couple of them were only a few pages long. There are pages about stories & myths about aging, for some reason.

I actually made a pie chart showing the specifics of the content breakdown but cannot show images in Amazon reviews. But if you go to Goodreads and look the book up there, you'll see my review and can see the embedded picture. I wish I knew all this before I bought the book. I learned very little and it was disappointng. There is simply almost no actual solid material in this book.

Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (TED Books) actually treated the topic better and is rich in information (albeit lacking a coherent thesis.) And, while not focusing on anti-aging, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care looks like a good alternative (it is on my to-read list) to When I'm 164.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking About Immortality September 3, 2012
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I thought David Ewing Duncan was a delightful real about a subject that's been around for a long, long time: longevity and immortality.
Some thoughts:

*Not very many people want to live forever. A significant number want to live to be 150 (or 164), a lot more want to live to be 120, the current maximum lifespan of a human being. However, most, 60% want to live the current lifespan of 80 years. He didn't mention the fact that most people throughout history died by their thirtieth birthday.

*Bioscience and technology are beginning to make discoveries which may make living far past the 120 cutoff limit possible. People have began to utilize one form of life extension, cryonics, which may or may not work.

*Mr Duncan a list of positives and negatives about living past the 120 cutoff. Most people would not live to be an extremely old age if it meant a dreary existence of physical and mental infirmary. These people also don't want to a burden on their families and society for an indefinite period of time.

*I believe he thinks that prolonged longevity is probably inevitable for a certain portion of the population. He doesn't really deal with the issue of whether or not a 200 hundred year old person is fully human. I don't think that's much of an issue. I know of an individual who lived to be 109 years old and those who knew her thought she was just as human as any of them were. Even though she outlived her classmates by almost a third of a century.

I think one problem I had is that it assumes that extreme longevity is the goal for most people when it may be to extend out your usefulness by an indefinite amount. The government would have a stake in the good wellbeing of its older members.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me think: what would it be like to live forever? August 26, 2012
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In "When I'm 164" the author asks what seems like a simple question, which he has asked 30,000 people: "How old do you want to be?" He then gives people four possible answers - 80 years, 120 years, 150 years, and forever. While these are a bit arbitrary, it does allow him to get a sense of how people think about a lot of complicated things, including how people feel about their life in their present and their optimism or pessimism about the future; and about how they feel about the future for society. Do people think humans will prosper and solve problems, or are we headed into various disasters that have happened before, like war and plague and economic crashes.It's sup rising how people voted, but I won't ruin it by giving it away here!

For me, I'm an optimist. People have muddled through before, and I think we will in the future. But most of all I'm curious about what will happen in a century, in 1000 years, and beyond. Who knows where we'll be and what humans will even look like?

This book is very short, like a TED talk, but it delivers on making us think about what life really would be like to live to 164. And I love the play on the Beatles' song!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review September 23, 2012
By Nate
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This article is well written, interesting, and flows smoothly. I thought it would be longer and slightly more scientific. It's very philosophical and rather short but a good read none the less.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!! August 16, 2012
It's about time someboyd put a realistic tone to life extension-- it's not sci-fi, not vampire-ish fun and games. It's for real with some real dollars behind it. But-- is it only for the super-rich/super-vain, not thinking ofconsequences to the global, society, and culture? A quick totally worthwhile read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Superficial but decent
A decent introduction to the topic, but really doesn't go into any detail. Basically asks some thought provoking questions, but doesn't provide much in the way of answers, even... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Frank Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
This is very interesting, specultive read surrounding longevity. The author covers most any related topic from living to see your great-great-great-great grand children to the roll... Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. C.
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look on longevity
An examination of long its is possible to live. With the progress in science this book suggest that age 164 is not out of the question. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Wafer-thin
This is a wafer-thin surface summary of the topic for people unfamiliar with any of the things in it. I was expecting more.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. G. Hodgson
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick look into the future, now
What kinds of things can we invent in the future? What kinds of problems will that create? Who wants to live forever? Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nawerd
2.0 out of 5 stars Read with extreme caution
The author misses the point that most of the increase in average life expectancy over the past 150 years has not resulted from extending the lives of those people who reached... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Virginia E. Demarce
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but could be better
Didn't tell me anything I hadn't heard elsewhere. Lots of webpages dedicated to the same topic might be more informative.
Published 19 months ago by Travis
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about living to be 164
A provocative look by an award-winning, bestselling science journalist at the possibility of dramatically prolonging our lifespans. What would it mean to live to 164 years? Read more
Published 20 months ago by SF Journo
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force through the true meaning of the word, "possibility"
When a reporter has this much fun imagining a longer life, you've got to go along for the ride. Some people may disagree with the implications Duncan foresees with life extension;... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Todd Oppenheimer
5.0 out of 5 stars A meditation for Methuselah
Rather than being a report on the current state of longevity research, this book questions why we would want to live so long. Read more
Published 20 months ago by James F. Mcenanly
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