Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

General discussion about learning languages
lichtrausch
Orange Belt
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:21 pm
Languages: English, Japanese, German
Learning: Mandarin, Korean, French
x 239

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby lichtrausch » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:06 pm

zenmonkey wrote:No, they show metaplasia, which is indeed an ageing mechanism and a response to changes in environment. It's a reproductive mechanism of re-simplification. Individual cells still age and die. And these jellyfish are incredibly difficult to keep alive. It's an interesting mechanism because it demonstrates that differentiated cell lines may be coaxed back to stem lines across cell specialisations (something that rarely happens in humans).

I should have said biological mortality.

In what sense is metaplasia an aging mechanism? Does morbidity from age-related diseases increase in its wake? By the way, one of the most interesting anti-aging interventions in development are "senolytics", drugs that remove senescent cells from the body.

Researchers demonstrate senescent cell burden is reduced in humans by senolytic drugs

I do think the overall subject is interesting with regards to language learning but the drive toward immortality is both older and less further along than we might think. What is Frankenstein (1800's) but a tale on immortality (and a cautionary moral story)?

It goes back a lot farther than that. The difference now is the incredible tools available to us and the fact that increasing numbers of reputable biologists are convinced of its feasibility.
0 x

User avatar
zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 4971
Contact:

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:14 pm

lichtrausch wrote:By the way, one of the most interesting anti-aging interventions in development are "senolytics", drugs that remove senescent cells from the body.

Researchers demonstrate senescent cell burden is reduced in humans by senolytic drugs


I don't see this as being such a magical pill. I think you are talking about a clinical trial where the endpoint is a possible improvement in a 6 minute walking test. The trail ends in December. If this is an early article by Mayo on that study...

EDIT:
Found the trial. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT ... =US&rank=2

In other words, eat your strawberries! They are good for you. But this drug isn't going to significantly magically give you years of life.
A lot of hype and over-promise.

The fact is that life expectancy improvements have slowed down in the last 10 years over the prior 10 years - in fact, due to lifestyle choices, they've basically plateaued in the US and the UK. Medical advances, while having a lot of promise, aren't delivering yet.

They most certainly will, I'm still skeptic about singling out any one tech or method - I strongly believe that we don't know what we need to know to see which part of the field will be the real breakthrough. A yardstick of a current moonshot in life extension would be to add what? 5, 10, 25 or 50 years of life expectancy? Radical life extension right now beyond those "moon shots" is still a dream.

Edit, Edit: Maybe it is going to be something like this: https://singularityhub.com/2019/09/17/t ... gical-age/

Who knows?

The funny thing, is I was just asked to give a talk on the topic of efforts around human ageing here in Frankfurt. Obviously, I do not feel sufficiently educated on the topic to address an audience. Certainly it isn't a topic I'm actively researching. But, if it is of interest to you - Singularity University will be holding several talks about it all over the world.
1 x
Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

User avatar
leosmith
Blue Belt
Posts: 570
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: N:English
~C1: Spanish
~B2: French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Tagalog, Thai
was ~B1: Swahili
x 1217

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby leosmith » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:11 am

lichtrausch wrote:I thought it would be fun to imagine how this new situation would affect our language learning goals

I'm currently assuming that my mind will be sharp into my 90's and that technology won't advance so much that it will affect my language learning motivation. So I have over 30 years to play with, which may even be enough for me to reach my "wildest dreams" scenario - in the C's in 15 to 20 languages.

I don't think I'll see a significant life increase while I'm alive; after all our lifespans have decreased the last couple years (if you believe Andrew Yang). But even if I was immortal, there must be 1000 languages I'd like to learn. Wouldn't that finally be limited by the brain (assuming it doesn't get improved)? I remember reading that a human brain can handle 100 languages...but how about 1000?
1 x
https://languagetools.io/ - try our free multi-language reading tool

白田龍
Yellow Belt
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:54 pm
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, French, Persian, Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese.
x 111

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby 白田龍 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:39 am

The AI will teach you languages a lot faster too. You will learn a language just by having a conversation with the AI, which knows exactly everything you have learned so far, and introduces new content naturally and incidentally.

But that is in a world where humans have become obsolete...
0 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3412
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 9956

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby Cavesa » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:30 pm

Life extension is not the problem. It's already been happening. Just look how the life expectancy has changed in the last few decades, or the last half century. The theories about ageing are numerous (the telomeres are just one of the things participating), it is a complex process. But without any doubt, the improvements in healthcare, the abundance of food in a large part of the world, and other factors have already been doing this. I've read theories, that we might have the potential of reaching 140 years. I don't find it unrealistic, unless our civilisation ends earlier.

The problem is not primarily there. The problem is radical extension of the time we can spend with our cognitive functions intact. If we could change this, a much bigger part of the population would be learning languages for ten or twenty years longer without any need for an overall longer life.

It's not just about the neurological conditions, such as the Alzheimer's disease, or other not that hard to describe issues. The mental health is gonna be a huge challenge. The issue is more and more important (gerontopsychiatry is one of the specialties with bright future), and the long life will affect us in many ways (such as allowing us to accumulate much more trauma, more toxicity, and giving us more time to present stuff we've got predispositions for).

But the whole idea "what would change, if we had much more time to learn languages" is certainly fascinating, and it has already been explored in literature. I love scifi and related genres, as a sandbox for such ideas. A typical old vampire from modern popular literature is likely to speak several languages (lots of time, and lots of motivation to move between countries at leastevery few decades), and one or two dead ones. Too sad they don't have many other people to enjoy the language with anymore. And it's not just the vampires, but other such individuals too.

But a whole society reaching such longevity, that might be different. I personally guess we'd have too much time for homogenisation. Everybody would have enough time to learn English, I suppose the International Broken English would be the prevailing dialect, so the other languages would die out sooner than their natives.

Any benevolent AI would just further speed up the homogenisation, I guess. Or, we could reach a situation from a scifi book the name of which I cannot remember anymore, where all the education was happening just by uploading a cassette inside the brain. A very economic and fast way to get trained workforce. However, it came with some downsides, caused by the inability of most people to learn new things on their own, to improve the old ideas, or to think differently from the rest. So, if we could just have a language chip implanted, I don't think it would be such an awesome thing for our civilisation, even though most employers would love that :-D
1 x

User avatar
zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 4971
Contact:

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby zenmonkey » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:52 pm

Cavesa wrote:Life extension is not the problem. It's already been happening. Just look how the life expectancy has changed in the last few decades, or the last half century. The theories about ageing are numerous (the telomeres are just one of the things participating), it is a complex process. But without any doubt, the improvements in healthcare, the abundance of food in a large part of the world, and other factors have already been doing this. I've read theories, that we might have the potential of reaching 140 years. I don't find it unrealistic, unless our civilisation ends earlier.


Radical life extension (as expressed by the OP) is not about that but the (SciFi) idea of hundreds and hundreds of years of life. It's an exponential change, not the slow improvement in life expectancy that is occurring.

Now, if you can take that leap of faith.... the OP is wondering how that impacts your language learning.
0 x
Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3412
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 9956

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby Cavesa » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:46 pm

zenmonkey wrote:
Cavesa wrote:Life extension is not the problem. It's already been happening. Just look how the life expectancy has changed in the last few decades, or the last half century. The theories about ageing are numerous (the telomeres are just one of the things participating), it is a complex process. But without any doubt, the improvements in healthcare, the abundance of food in a large part of the world, and other factors have already been doing this. I've read theories, that we might have the potential of reaching 140 years. I don't find it unrealistic, unless our civilisation ends earlier.


Radical life extension (as expressed by the OP) is not about that but the (SciFi) idea of hundreds and hundreds of years of life. It's an exponential change, not the slow improvement in life expectancy that is occurring.

Now, if you can take that leap of faith.... the OP is wondering how that impacts your language learning.


That's what I've written about later in that post. In case of this change being society-wide, I suppose it will lead to linguistic homogenisation. Given enough time, everybody will learn the one (or one of very few) prevailing language.

But yes, I guess that people without so much experience with how fragile life is might not consider 20 or fifty years to be a radical life extension. No offence meant, I really hope you'll be allowed to keep your naivety for many more years.
0 x

User avatar
zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 4971
Contact:

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby zenmonkey » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:35 pm

Cavesa wrote: But yes, I guess that people without so much experience with how fragile life is might not consider 20 or fifty years to be a radical life extension. No offence meant, I really hope you'll be allowed to keep your naivety for many more years.


No real offence taken since you don't know my life experience or, in this case, seem to be confusing what the OP has written as my own personal opinion.

Radical life extension has a specific meaning - it is really a term being used (with some woo) to mean extension of life to an extreme length - along with transhumanism, cyborgs, cryonics, mind-uploading, singularity and all that, it is all in the futurology of the "what if". You'll note in my post that I consider it to still be in the domain of SciFi. It's a theoretical - it has nothing to do with now.

It is the op's freedom to consider the question of (semi-)eternal life - and to consider whether that is likely or not to come in the near future. 50 years extension would actually be a fantastic advancement - I think there is a large multimillion prize intended to the group of people that can achieve that leap - never mind RLE.

I have no naivety on the subject.
1 x
Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

lichtrausch
Orange Belt
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:21 pm
Languages: English, Japanese, German
Learning: Mandarin, Korean, French
x 239

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby lichtrausch » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:46 pm

leosmith wrote:But even if I was immortal, there must be 1000 languages I'd like to learn. Wouldn't that finally be limited by the brain (assuming it doesn't get improved)? I remember reading that a human brain can handle 100 languages...but how about 1000?

Yeah, that's a really interesting unanswered question. Personally I think people tend to underestimate the number of languages that can be learned to a high passive level, and overestimate the number of languages that can be learned to (and especially maintained at!) a high active level.

Cavesa wrote:But yes, I guess that people without so much experience with how fragile life is might not consider 20 or fifty years to be a radical life extension. No offence meant, I really hope you'll be allowed to keep your naivety for many more years.

I have no illusions about the fragility of life, but let's ask ourselves, what is the main cause of that fragility? Aging! In developed countries, people in their 20s don't have serious health issues unless they're very unlucky and/or make bad choices. But this equation gets worse and worse with age, to the point where the serious health issues of people in their 90s can rarely be blamed on bad luck or bad choices.

zenmonkey wrote:Radical life extension has a specific meaning - it is really a term being used (with some woo) to mean extension of life to an extreme length - along with transhumanism, cyborgs, cryonics, mind-uploading, singularity and all that, it is all in the futurology of the "what if". You'll note in my post that I consider it to still be in the domain of SciFi. It's a theoretical - it has nothing to do with now.

While there is obviously some level of speculation involved, assuming that computing, machine learning, nanotechnology, and biology are going to continue to converge and that there will be some moderate advances in the individual disciplines is enough to make some of the futurist ideas appear quite feasible. I think the degree of skepticism that some of these ideas are met with among some experts is unwarranted and due in part to a paucity of experts with the interdisciplinary background needed to fairly evaluate their feasibility.
1 x

User avatar
zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 4971
Contact:

Re: Radical Life Extension and Language Learning

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:09 pm

lichtrausch wrote:
zenmonkey wrote:Radical life extension has a specific meaning - it is really a term being used (with some woo) to mean extension of life to an extreme length - along with transhumanism, cyborgs, cryonics, mind-uploading, singularity and all that, it is all in the futurology of the "what if". You'll note in my post that I consider it to still be in the domain of SciFi. It's a theoretical - it has nothing to do with now.

While there is obviously some level of speculation involved, assuming that computing, machine learning, nanotechnology, and biology are going to continue to converge and that there will be some moderate advances in the individual disciplines is enough to make some of the futurist ideas appear quite feasible. I think the degree of skepticism that some of these ideas are met with among some experts is unwarranted and due in part to a paucity of experts with the interdisciplinary background needed to fairly evaluate their feasibility.


I don't think we drastrically disagree. Well, the point where we might not really quite have the same definition is with the use of "moderate" above.
1 x
Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Angelogaict and 2 guests