Another Dimension: ‘Zooming Out’
Pp. 142-168 (27)
The quest to find effective therapies aimed at chronic age-related
degeneration has deep and wide ramifications. It is not sufficient to examine physical
or pharmacological interventions which may have an impact on the process. Instead,
we also need to consider more profound evolutionary principles which underpin the
process of ageing. One example is the principle of degeneracy which may be useful in
explaining how we may attain similar functions by using different structures. Another
example is hysteresis, which examines dependence on already established conditions -
a crucial obstacle we need to overcome in the quest to diminish chronic degeneration.
This chapter will be an exploration of certain evolutionary and philosophical principles,
such as a contemplation of the meaning of life, which complement the biological and
medical ones. Concepts relating to resilience, complexity and self-organisation, as well
as a discussion of certain cybernetic principles (such as path-dependency and nudging),
all taken together will provide a suitable and realistic framework for achieving our aim:
to manipulate nature in a way that diminishes the impact of age-related degeneration,
and reduces mortality as a function of age.
Boundary, Complexity, Degeneracy, Health, Homoeodynamic space,
Hysteresis, Life, Lifestyle, Nudging, Path dependency, Resilience, Resilient
ELPIS Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans, London, United Kingdom.