Biohacking: Why I'll live to be 180 years old

From computer hacking to biohacking, Dave Asprey has embarked on a quest to reverse the aging process.

DAVE ASPREY: When I was 14 I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees. And I remember, going home, I was shaken. Because in my mind, as a 14-year-old, I said, look, this is a disease that old people get. And now that I'm 46-- when I say "old people," I'm talking about people that I respect and admire, the sources of wisdom. And I cultivate friends, when I can find them, at least twice as old as I am, because they know all the stuff that I haven't learned yet.

But at the time, I said, I'm young. I'm a teenager. I'm not supposed to be experiencing this. And I was dealing with metabolic issues. I already had stretch marks that still cover me. I hit 300 pounds in my very early 20's. And I started having brain fog in my mid-20's. I was diagnosed with high risk of stroke and heart attack-- very high risk-- as circled by the doctor when I was 29 years old. It turns out I was dealing with all the stuff that normally hits you when you're 60-plus. And I was doing it as a young man. And it scared the heck out of me. And it did that because no one likes to look in the mirror at a time you're supposed to be growing your career and say, I can't remember what happened in that meeting. It's just gone. And I'm so tired. I just can't put one foot in front of the other. But I'm going to do it someway anyway.

It turned out that the people who knew how to fix this weren't my doctor. My doctor told me vitamin C would actually kill me, believe it or not. So I fired him. And for four years, I became my own scientist. Fortunately, I'm a computer hacker, and I know how to do that kind of thing. But then I hooked up with an anti-aging nonprofit group. And I started hanging out with these people full of wisdom who are making themselves younger. And the stuff that they knew, the things I was learning from them and from the top researchers in the world, they made me better.

They gave me the tools of what became biohacking, a movement of people that's now even a word in the dictionary. It didn't exist eight years ago. Well, it turns out that those tools that make older people young make younger people kick ass. And that's been a foundational thing for what I've done with Bulletproof and for what's changed my life in a very dramatic way. I'm about 10%, maybe 10.2% body fat right now. I don't experience hunger on a regular basis. I love what I eat. I have more energy at 46 than I did at 26. I feel amazing. My brain works. I can remember all the things I want to remember. I don't drop words. And it's been absolutely liberating. It also cost a million dollars along the way. And that is completely unfair.

Now, I am very fortunate that I was able to do that, because I worked at the company that held Google's first servers when Google was two servers and two guys. So I had a leg up early on, and I was able to spend myself to wellness, to make a lot of mistakes, to waste a lot of money getting younger, and then to say, all right, how do I go beyond getting younger? And it is that deep knowledge of 20 years of working with the world's best anti-aging researchers and scientists, and reading the papers, and doing the work, and trying it myself that led me to say, with reasonable confidence, look, I'm going to make it to at least 180 if I want to. And that's not the cap, that's the floor.

All right, let me see. Now, if we wanted to be ridiculous and you wanted to be like, here's an anti-aging thing, I can do something like this on camera. I'll just be like, how many people do you know with flexibility like they're teenagers? Do you want to do that? BIG THINK: We just got it. DAVE ASPREY: [LAUGHS] BIG THINK: Yeah.

  • As a teenager, founder of Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, began experiencing health issues that typically plague older adults.
  • After surrounding himself with anti-aging researchers and scientists, he discovered the tools of biohacking could dramatically change his life and improve his health.
  • He's now confident he'll live to at least 180 years old. "It turns out that those tools that make older people young make younger people kick ass," he says.
Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
  • Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
  • Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
Keep reading Show less

The history of using the Insurrection Act against Americans

Numerous U.S. Presidents invoked the Insurrection Act to to quell race and labor riots.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • U.S. Presidents have invoked the Insurrection Act on numerous occasions.
  • The controversial law gives the President some power to bring in troops to police the American people.
  • The Act has been used mainly to restore order following race and labor riots.
Keep reading Show less

Experts are already predicting an 'active' 2020 hurricane season

It looks like a busy hurricane season ahead. Probably.

Image source: Shashank Sahay/unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Before the hurricane season even started in 2020, Arthur and Bertha had already blown through, and Cristobal may be brewing right now.
  • Weather forecasters see signs of a rough season ahead, with just a couple of reasons why maybe not.
  • Where's an El Niño when you need one?

Welcome to Hurricane Season 2020. 2020, of course, scoffs at this calendric event much as it has everything else that's normal — meteorologists have already used up the year's A and B storm names before we even got here. And while early storms don't necessarily mean a bruising season ahead, forecasters expect an active season this year. Maybe storms will blow away the murder hornets and 13-year locusts we had planned.

NOAA expects a busy season

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, there's a 60 percent chance that we're embarking upon a season with more storms than normal. There does, however, remain a 30 percent it'll be normal. Better than usual? Unlikely: Just a 10 percent chance.

Where a normal hurricane season has an average of 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes and 3 of which are major hurricanes, the Climate Prediction Center reckons we're on track for 13 to 29 storms, 6 to 10 of which will become hurricanes, and 3 to 6 of these will be category 3, 4, or 5, packing winds of 111 mph or higher.

What has forecasters concerned are two factors in particular.

This year's El Niño ("Little Boy") looks to be more of a La Niña ("Little Girl"). The two conditions are part of what's called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which describes temperature fluctuations between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific. With an El Niño, waters in the Pacific are unusually warm, whereas a La Niña means unusually cool waters. NOAA says that an El Niño can suppress hurricane formation in the Atlantic, and this year that mitigating effect is unlikely to be present.

Second, current conditions in the Atlantic and Caribbean suggest a fertile hurricane environment:

  • The ocean there is warmer than usual.
  • There's reduced vertical wind shear.
  • Atlantic tropical trade winds are weak.
  • There have been strong West African monsoons this year.

Here's NOAA's video laying out their forecast:

But wait.

ArsTechnica spoke to hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach, who agrees generally with NOAA, saying, "All in all, signs are certainly pointing towards an active season." Still, he notes a couple of signals that contradict that worrying outlook.

First off, Klotzbach notes that the surest sign of a rough hurricane season is when its earliest storms form in the deep tropics south of 25°N and east of the Lesser Antilles. "When you get storm formations here prior to June 1, it's typically a harbinger of an extremely active season." Fortunately, this year's hurricanes Arthur and Bertha, as well as the maybe-imminent Cristobal, formed outside this region. So there's that.

Second, Klotzbach notes that the correlation between early storm activity and a season's number of storms and intensities, is actually slightly negative. So while statistical connections aren't strongly predictive, there's at least some reason to think these early storms may augur an easy season ahead.

Image source: NOAA

Batten down the hatches early

If 2020's taught us anything, it's how to juggle multiple crises at once, and layering an active hurricane season on top of SARS-CoV-2 — not to mention everything else — poses a special challenge. Warns Treasury Secretary Wilbur Ross, "As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season." If, as many medical experts expect, we're forced back into quarantine by additional coronavirus waves, the oceanic waves slamming against our shores will best be met by storm preparations put in place in a less last-minute fashion than usual.

Ross adds, "Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe."

Let's hope this, at least, can be counted on in this crazy year.

Four philosophers who realized they were completely wrong about things

Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?

Sartre and Wittgenstein realize they were mistaken. (Getty Images)
Culture & Religion

Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways. 

Keep reading Show less

Facebook finally adds option to delete old posts in batches

Got any embarrassing old posts collecting dust on your profile? Facebook wants to help you delete them.

Facebook
Technology & Innovation
  • The feature is called Manage Activity, and it's currently available through mobile and Facebook Lite.
  • Manage Activity lets users sort old content by filters like date and posts involving specific people.
  • Some companies now use AI-powered background checking services that scrape social media profiles for problematic content.
Keep reading Show less