I was recently asked to comment on an Immortal Life debate/discussion thread about whether governmental or private approaches to funding and motivating research on indefinite life extension are best.
Mine is definitely a libertarian view. I do not support advocating for government funding for life extension, unless the funding is combined with larger reductions in military spending or other destructive government spending. I discuss this issue in two of my videos:
The danger of government funding of life extension is that it comes with many political strings attached, and may lead life-extension research itself to be shackled by politically influential opponents of technological progress.
The great weakness of politics as a strategy is that it requires consensus among elites and some connection to majority approval, as well as the overcoming of numerous bureaucratic hurdles and obsolete habits. Private action, as long as it is lawful, can simply be pursued irrespective of how many people agree. There is thus much more flexibility and potential for quick deployment with private approaches toward radical life extension.
Private investment into life-extension research can occur in many ways, both for-profit and non-profit, both direct and indirect. Seasteading is indeed a highly promising approach for experimenting with novel medicines and therapies that might take over a decade to be approved by the FDA in the United States or similar “screening” agencies in other countries.
At the same time, Tom Mooney is correct about the need for a grassroots education campaign. By the time radical life extension begins to become a reality, there needs to be a strong current of public opinion supporting it. Otherwise, the “bioconservatives” might just manage to obtain enough support for their agenda to thwart this vital progress.