Want More Wisdom? Get More Life!


What is the primary strategic goal of anti-aging? Extending not just life, but wisdom!

(Some may sneer that strategia, generalship in Greek, is about war. But life, preserving life on Earth, is a war, and fighting that war, what wisdom leads to.)

In the European Middle Ages, a colossal discovery was made, which made civilization much smarter, wiser, and far-sighted: glasses. Glasses changed everything, by making plenty of other inventions possible. Glasses were an invention amplifier..

By age 40, in the European Middle Ages, aside from the Black Plague of 1347-53 CE, the death rate was slow, but artisans could not engage in precision technological work, because they lost their short distance vision (as people lived outdoors a lot, they tended to be far-sighted, thus lost proximal vision early).

The same vision problem affected intellectuals: they could not read, write, or copy, anymore, by the time they reached their 40s, and the heights of their mental powers.  Mental power is something which grows with age. A cephalopod observes, learns, and then duplicates. On the left below, the mollusk: 

Nothing Here But Us Algae. To Build A Civilization, One Needs The Functional Equivalent Of Hands, But Also Speech, Society And More Of What They Require, Longevity. All These Cephalopods, However Bright, Do Not Have.

Nothing Here But Us Algae. To Build A Civilization, One Needs The Functional Equivalent Of Hands, But Also Speech, Society And More Of What They Require, Longevity. All These Cephalopods, However Bright, Do Not Have.

[Cephalopods have typically 500 million neurons, five times the number of neurons a rat has; they use it to instantaneously mimic the colors and patterns of their environment, not just by changing colors, but even shape, as seen above, for all sorts of dissemblances; and also for manipulation…]  

Reading glasses changed everything having to do with WISDOM. Shortly afterwards, precision mechanisms could be developed by artisans and scientists: the telescope (late 16th century), the advanced mechanical computer (Pascal, early 17th century), and the mechanical clock, which enabled mariners to know where they were (thus enabling the conquest of the world by civilization, and global trade, the excesses of which we are presently experiencing now…)

Glasses were industrially fabricated in Italy by 1286 CE. They were an extension of rock crystal magnification known, and used, for centuries.

The invention of glasses corresponded to the mood of deliberately helping, or even beautifying, life by new technology through national invention programs, the archetype of which was the invention of stain glass windows and metal architecture in Cathedrals, Frankish style. Or the use of giant hydraulic hammers to bend giant iron, one thousand times too strong to be bent by hand, also for cathedral construction.

That mood, of developing technology to facilitate and prettify life, was not new, it dated from the early Imperium Francorum, but gathered momentum as the Middle Ages advanced.   The Tenth Century was full of newly invented (cultivars of) beans. Beans brought lots of proteins without having to go though the less efficient meat production…

So here we are. We went through considerable revolutions in energy and telecommunication, and produced antibiotics industrially (instead of gathering them in the forest, as prehistoric men did).

However, it has been a long time since our civilization made a drastic extension of useful life time. Sophocles was in his nineties when he wrote (or, rather, dictated) some of his work.

Glasses doubled the number of decades intellectuals could spend furthering their studies. It is no coincidence that full-blown printing with movable type appeared within two centuries after the invention of reading glasses: the glasses augmented the availability of books, and the reading of books. Glasses basically doubled the lifespan of intellectuals. Basically doubling the wisdom (doubling the time to gather,.distill and teach wisdom).

The easiest way to double wisdom again, is to double lifespan again.

Further anti-age revolution is needed now to help wisdom. And, as the biosphere totters under the blows of our irresponsible civilization, more wisdom is not just desirable, but necessary.

So extent lifespan. Bill Gates, who got his fortune from his mom’s influence, pontificated recently that the search for life extension, as pursued by, say, Google, was fundamentally “selfish”. Well, no. Bill Gates is an early college drop-out (see mom, an IBM director, above), Bill Gates does not have much formal education. Gates does not have the conception that it takes years to learn esoteric knowledge. And digest it. And forget it. And reconstruct it, to become a master of wisdom.

We need more time. This year, it was learned that Greenland sharks apparently can live more than 500 years. And that some Bowhead whales live more than 280 years.

So why do we live so little? We, the wisest of them all? Because that was the optimization between fast generation renewal and the wisdom we needed to gather, teach and transmit for the new generation, the whole thing protected by enough war-like instincts. So our wisdom, so far has had a lot to do with how to make war wisely, accelerating the evolution of our species.

Well, we need more wisdom, more gathering thereof. We need a different sort of wisdom, of a less bellicose type, a different sort of war, against fate, rather than men. And thus more time, to find out carefully what is really going on, even inside ourselves. it’s not just about ourselves. Earth needs it.

Patrice Ayme’


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11 Responses to “Want More Wisdom? Get More Life!”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    Wow! You are on a roll this New Year! Keep it coming is all I can add just now. (Haven’t read this latest yet.)

  2. Paul Handover Says:

    Have just read this latest post, Patrice. Sitting up in bed at the end of an interesting day dealing with the first significant snow fall since we arrived here in Southern Oregon four years ago. Five inches since yesterday morning.

    Again, your ideas stir my mind around. For I had never thought of wisdom in this manner before. What comes to me is that each of us needs a tighter link between cause and effect. A more direct feedback loop. We need to learn more effectively what helps or harms us using measures that are compatible with what helps or harms our environment. Because Earth needs it NOW!

    There is a desperate need for much more effective government of nations. The democratic process must also have a tighter, more responsive feedback process. Communication technologies offer us the tools to do this now.

    It’s unclear what a Trump presidency will be. But it seems certain that the next four years of American Government will be unlike anything in modern history. As you wrote the timely arrival of a rogue. Fascinating!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Paul! Did I speak of the timely arrival of a rogue? I meant it, but you wrote it!
      Wisdom, Nietzsche more or less said, is a matter of guts. In modern language: wisdom is a matter of how one’s brain is constructed, not logic (in the simplest meaning of the latter).

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Snow is nice. We have to enjoy it while it lasts. It’s often counted in inches, nowadays, where it used to be counted in feet…

  3. EugenR Says:

    Agree, wisdom comes with age. Also war is doing of young males. Seems one of the reasons the Muslim countries are in millitary conflict with others and themselves is caused by too big young population. Add to it lack of proper education, mentality of no questioning doctorines prescribed by some charismatic preacher, and here you have the perfect recipe for violence.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      …And the fact that hyper violent statements in the Qur’an , uttered later, in Mecca, ABROGATE (as every Muslim scholars know) the nice, soft, loving, peaceful part of the Qur’an (written in Medina earlier).
      But it’s a point well known, which you made, I made and others made forever, that young males are programmed, by genetics, to be killing machines, eager for orders to do so. Replacing them by more sedate types will do wonders…

  4. Gloucon X Says:

    “Reading glasses changed everything having to do with WISDOM.
    Glasses doubled the number of decades intellectuals could spend furthering their studies.”

    Well then, something certainly went awry here in the US of A. Our wisdom has shrunk to microscopic proportions over the recent decades. It could be a conspiracy of optometrists. But due to lack of evidence, I blame an historically aggressive business class engaging in a vicious class war, plus a persistent fundamentalist Christian theocracy spreading mass stupidity to a least 25% of the population which is concentrated in the red states. A totally degraded humanity is the goal of those two dominant forces. That goal is nearing completion. It’s a dark time for those of us who care about love and truth.

  5. Gmax Says:

    Older, smarter? Advances in aging seem stalled

  6. JR Says:

    Earth needs it? Really? Homo sapien sapien sapientiae?

    Should we ever gain the wisdom, we’d do well to just leave the Earth alone.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Welcome JR!
      We are the gods, whether we want it, or not, whether we recognize it, or not. Yes, we could sit down, and decide not to breathe anymore. Still, it won’t happen. We will breathe, whether we decide not to, or not. Just the same, we will mess with Earth, whatever we decide, we are Earth. We can only struggle more to be a sustainable Earth!

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