January 15, 2005

Another Technology Review attack on Aubrey de Grey

Jason Pontin of Technology Review has posted a despicable ad hominem attack on biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey:
But what struck me is that he is a troll. For all de Grey’s vaulting ambitions, what Sherwin Nuland saw from the outside was pathetically circumscribed. In his waking life, de Grey is the ­com­puter support to a research team; he dresses like a shabby graduate student and affects Rip Van Winkle’s beard; he has no children; he has few interests outside the science of biogeron­tology; he drinks too much beer. Although he is only 41, the signs of decay are strongly marked on his face. His ideas are trollish, too. For even if it were possible to “perturb” human biology in the way de Grey wishes, we shouldn’t do it. Immortality might be okay for de Grey, but an entire world of the same superagenarians thinking the same kinds of thoughts forever would be terrible.
A number of people have been deeply offended by Pontin's remarks, including myself, WTA board director Giulio Prisco, WTA secretary James Hughes, and WTA Chair Nick Bostrom. Both Nick and James have written directly to Pontin demanding that he apologize to de Grey, and Prisco posted his two cents on Cyborg Democracy.

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