2022: The Year of the Great Filter – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

2022: The Year of the Great Filter – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II

2022 is the year of the Great Filter. There has never been a more dangerous time for our species before, and there will not be again, if we survive this year.

The war in Ukraine has brought the world to the edge of nuclear calamity, because neither side wishes to negotiate or make concessions. The Russian regime makes reckless nuclear threats, Western/NATO powers recklessly ignore them, and continue to supply offensive weapons to Ukrainian forces, whose ideology favors recklessly dying for their country instead of prudently choosing to live for themselves. The risks of especially unintended, accidental escalation continue to accumulate the longer this war drags on with no clear end in sight.

The one ray of hope in all this is that I am firmly convinced that this is a unique, non-repeatable situation. If humankind can avoid extinction arising from reckless escalation here, then our species will never be in this much existential danger again, at least not from manmade causes. Here I provide my top ten reasons for holding this outlook.

1. Vladimir Putin’s misguided ideology and complete misunderstanding of the military and geopolitical situation in Russia and Ukraine led to this disaster of an invasion, but Putin is not in good health and thus his days in office are numbered. Any other person in power would not be locked into Putin’s must-win situation and may likely try to undo the damage and even try to bolster his reputation for doing so. The key is to avoid escalation while Putin remains in power, to prevent Putin from seeing no reason not to take the world down with him. If we wait this out, Putin will either succumb to his illness or be “encouraged” to retire by his inner circle. But in order to avoid the scenario where he behaves like a cornered rat, we need to allow this to happen on its own.

2. The stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a uniquely insane climate of public opinion, including in the West (while also contributing to the irrationality of Putin). Norms of civility and the valuation of peace have been significantly eroded, particularly among the neoconservatives, the establishment Left, and nationalists of all stripes (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Baltic, et al.). Accordingly, the preponderance of warmongers among the populations of Europe and America is at a historic high. However, in the coming years, as the pandemic recedes and people gradually regain a sense of normalcy, war fervor will subside, since most of the same people were not advocating war 10 years ago and, under the right circumstances, could become largely peaceful again. Americans were overwhelmingly tired of war through 2021. If we wait this out, war fatigue will become the dominant view again not too long from now.

3. We were on the verge of the Transhuman Era circa 2015 based on the trajectories of various emerging technologies. This, however, was derailed by the Left-Right hyperpolarization from late 2015 onward, by the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 onward, and now by the war in Ukraine in 2022. All of these developments benefited the legacy ruling elite, whom the Transhuman Era would render obsolete; they used these crises to turn ordinary people and innovators against one another, when we should have all been working in concert to build the Transhuman Era. However, if we avoid world war and nuclear annihilation now, then the progress of emerging technologies will still gradually displace the legacy ruling elite and inaugurate the Transhuman Era, at which time humans will become too prosperous and enlightened to be willing to tolerate the risk of species extinction.

4. Averting nuclear war in 2022 will lead to the widespread recognition of how close we came to calamity from the potential of a pointless local conflict to engulf the world. The phrase “Never again” will henceforth be applied to nuclear brinkmanship, and a concerted push for worldwide nuclear disarmament could be made by a coalition of activist groups who are already sympathetic to this cause. They will have a lot more political capital once people are able to take a breath and come to their senses.

5. Artificial intelligence and nanotechnology will never pose the same existential risk as nuclear weapons, because their modes of functioning are much more sophisticated, and thus there will be many more places along the chain of events leading to calamity where human intervention could stop that chain of events. AI and nanotechnology of the future will be “smart”, which will make them safer. Nuclear weapons are “dumb”, combined with awesome destructive capacity, which makes them the most dangerous technology of all history, past and future.

6. Climate change, too, is a much milder and even non-existential risk, compared to nuclear war. This is a risk that will play out over decades, allowing for mitigation and reversal through emerging technologies, as well as adaptation to any lasting climate shifts. This is not to say that climate change would inflict no damage, but rather that the damage would be far from enough to destroy the species or even significantly slow down our technological and economic progress. If we can avoid nuclear war in 2022 (which would also bring about the worst climate change of all – a nuclear winter), then it will be much more feasible to devote more resources toward the development and deployment of technologies that would counteract climate change.

7. For all of the irrational panic regarding the alleged threat of China, the fact is that China has orders of magnitude fewer nuclear weapons than Russia or the United States. The Chinese government knows that it would lose any nuclear war decisively. Hence, China will never attempt or provoke a nuclear war. When it comes to the risk of civilization-ending nuclear war, only a conflict between the United States and Russia would pose that risk. Moreover, China is so globally interconnected through trade, especially with the United States, that it would never risk a military conflict which would be tantamount to economic suicide.

8. If nuclear war is avoided in 2022, Putin’s regime will atrophy by 2025 (as long as the Western powers do not try to overthrow him or invade Russia, an attempt which would paradoxically strengthen Putin’s regime, just as the sanctions against Russia have done by rallying Russians through a sense of being attacked and targeted by the West). Once Putin’s regime atrophies and is discredited within Russia, it will be possible to support more humane politicians in Russia, who might continue the policies of Gorbachev and seek at least a phased nuclear disarmament. As noted above, among geopolitical conflicts, only the US-Russia nuclear standoff poses an existential risk to the human species. Nuclear disarmament of Russia, or even a determined move in that direction, would essentially resolve that risk.

9. With enough time during which peace prevails, the Transhuman Era will see the creation of technologies that would help avert other existential risks, such as asteroids, supervolcanoes, and any yet-unforeseen consequences of future technologies. Existential risk will decline with each peaceful year from now on.

10. Surviving 2022 will give humankind an impetus to pursue the rejection of the Cold War mentality, of militant nationalism (especially ethnic nationalism, which is the most pernicious), and of Left-Right polarization. Getting rid of those three terrible mindsets will be largely enough to render most of humankind constructive again. It is only because of those mindsets that we have not reached the Transhuman Era already. Just as the aftermath of World War II rendered certain ideologies unacceptable, so I hope that the narrow avoidance of World War III will render Cold Warriorism, Left-Right militancy, and ethno-nationalism unacceptable in America and Europe at the very least. (The rest of the world could help us in overcoming these perilous mindsets. One consequence I hope to see in the coming decades is a multi-polar world with a greater prominence for Asian, African, and Latin American countries, to broaden our perspectives on the considerations that should matter for the future of humanity.)

So, essentially we just have to survive 2022 without a nuclear war in order for history to turn toward the long arc of progress once again. However, we absolutely have to survive 2022 – and this will entirely depend on whether public opinion will be able to restrain the war fervor of Western hawks in particular. A combination of reckless overconfidence, intransigence, and moral self-righteousness (on both sides) has placed our species into unparalleled danger. Perhaps this was the kind of moment from which many alien civilizations have not been able to emerge successfully – hence, one potential explanation for Fermi’s paradox. Will we have enough prudence and basic love of life to avoid that fate? We will find out in the next several months. If we pass this Great Filter, a future of boundless possibility and growth awaits our species. Do not throw this future away over a local conflict. What humans do now will be most consequential for the future of the entire universe.

This essay may be freely reproduced using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License, which requires that credit be given to the author, G. Stolyarov II. Find out about Mr. Stolyarov here.


Somber Variations, Op. 93 (2022) – Musical Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Somber Variations, Op. 93 (2022) – Musical Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II

This composition is most certainly influenced by the ongoing troubles of the world, but it endeavors to be melodic and structured while conveying the tumultuous, agitated, and tragic character of our epoch. While Mr. Stolyarov uses some similar techniques in this piece to several of his earlier “Neo-Baroque” compositions, this one is more somber, as the title implies. It follows a theme-and-variations format; one of the variations is not actually somber, and the listener will clearly hear which one. In protracted periods of tragedy, there are still good times to be encountered on occasion, and this piece conveys that as well.

Watch the video on YouTube here and on Odysee here.

This work was composed by Mr. Stolyarov on March 30-31, 2022, and is played using the MuseScore 3.0 software.

This composition received an Honorable Mention at the 2022 Rodrigo Landa-Romero International Composition Competition.

Download the MP3 file of this composition here.

Find the score of this composition here.

This composition and video may be freely reproduced using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License.

Remember to LIKE, FAVORITE, and SHARE this video in order to spread rational high culture to others.

See the index of Mr. Stolyarov’s compositions, all available for free download, here (chronological order) and here (reverse chronological order).


Gennady Stolyarov II and John Kerecz: Reflections on 2021, Anticipations for 2022

Gennady Stolyarov II and John Kerecz: Reflections on 2021, Anticipations for 2022

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Gennady Stolyarov II
John Kerecz


On January 14, 2022, U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II was interviewed by U.S. Transhumanist Party Director of Energy Issues John Kerecz on OSH Radio, for a retrospective conversation about how 2021 turned out relative to prior anticipations, as well as key developments to watch for in 2022. Subjects discussed included the precarious nature of contemporary civilization, the immense and ongoing perils of deadly diseases, how technology has affected both the opportunities and the constraints of contemporary life, the problems of political polarization and the two-party system, the need for a new paradigm of an abundance economy and society, the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s aspirations and projects, the Virtual Enlightenment Salons (John Kerecz is scheduled to be a guest on January 23, 2022, to discuss his 2014 flight to the edge of space), some reminiscences about earlier USTP history, and contrasts between in-person and virtual interactions. In this interview Mr. Stolyarov discusses his understanding that we live in a make-or-break moment in human history, and that the future trajectory of the human species will depend on what we do in 2022.

Watch this video on YouTube here and on Odysee here.

References

– “A Simple Plan to Solve All of America’s Problems” – Article by Derek Thompson – The Atlantic – January 12, 2022 –
– U.S. Transhumanist Party Free Membership
U.S. Transhumanist Party Website
– U.S. Transhumanist Party on Twitter
– U.S. Transhumanist Party on Instagram

U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Zach Richardson, Jason Geringer, and Ben Ballweg – July 25, 2021

U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Zach Richardson, Jason Geringer, and Ben Ballweg – July 25, 2021

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Jason Geringer
Ben Ballweg
Zach Richardson
Gennady Stolyarov II
David Shumaker
Art Ramon Garcia, Jr.
Alexandria Black


The U.S. Transhumanist Party Virtual Enlightenment Salon with Zach Richardson, Jason Geringer, and Ben Ballweg of July 25, 2021, is now available for viewing on Odysee here.

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 4 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time, the U.S. Transhumanist Party invited its new Officers, Zach Richardson (Director of Publication), Jason Geringer (Legislative Director), and Ben Ballweg (Director of Longevity Outreach), to discuss some of their ideas, planned initiatives, and perspectives on the current condition of the transhumanist movement. The discussion focused on improving the internal functions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, attracting volunteers, and raising the visibility of transhumanist projects and causes. An interactive discussion transpired about ways to bolster the publication and legislative-tracking activities of the USTP. The conversation also extended to subjects of general interest to transhumanists, futurists, and those seeking to learn about the transhumanist movement.

Read about Zach Richardson here.
Read about Jason Geringer here.
Read about Ben Ballweg here.

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free, no matter where you reside.

NOTE: Even though the U.S. Transhumanist Party is staunchly pro-vaccine and expressed such views during the Virtual Enlightenment Salon, YouTube algorithmically censored the video, most likely with no serious human involvement, and algorithmically rejected our appeal as well. The U.S. Transhumanist Party strongly condemns such censorship but also sees an opportunity here by encouraging people to watch and spread this video for the purpose of overcoming arbitrary barriers put forth by unintelligent and unaccountable algorithms.

 

Ben Ballweg, U.S. Transhumanist Party Director of Longevity Outreach
Louis Moreau Gottschalk – Weber’s Oberon Overture, J. 306 – Transcription for Piano, 4 Hands, Op. 83 – Recording by Gennady Stolyarov II

Louis Moreau Gottschalk – Weber’s Oberon Overture, J. 306 – Transcription for Piano, 4 Hands, Op. 83 – Recording by Gennady Stolyarov II

Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s piano transcription of Carl Maria von Weber’s 1826 Oberon Overture for four hands has seldom been performed in public, and no known recording existed of it until now. Gottschalk (1829-1869) created it in 1857, and the last documented public performance was by Eugene List (1918-1985) in Spring 1979, as briefly mentioned in a May 4, 1979, New York Times article by Joseph Horowitz.

While there exist many transcriptions of the Oberon Overture, Gottschalk’s is absolutely, monumentally unique in its extent of ornamentation, thunderous intensity, and virtuosic passages (which will be unmistakable to the listener). Perhaps the demands that this piece would place on human performers explain the rarity of any attempts to play it. It is likely that only a few remarkable pianists throughout history, including Gottschalk himself, would have had the skill, endurance, and proto-transhuman mental processing power needed to carry it out without fail.

Fortunately, with musical notation and composition software, combined with increasingly realistic digital instruments, the limitations of the human hands can be transcended, and this work can be made available to listeners as Gottschalk intended it to be heard. This recording was created using the MuseScore 3.0 by Gennady Stolyarov II between June and December 2021; the transcription itself required approximately 36 hours of meticulous work, spread out over half a year. However, elevating this piece into public awareness is certainly worth the effort. This is heroic music showing the impressive heights to which human achievement, ingenuity, and virtuosity can rise, and it is a marvelous gift from Gottschalk in 1857 to our era.

Watch the score video on YouTube here and on Odysee here.

Download the MP3 file of this composition for free here.

Download the score (published in 1901 – now in the public domain) here.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk – Pensée Poétique – Nocturne, Op.18 – Recording by Gennady Stolyarov II

Louis Moreau Gottschalk – Pensée Poétique – Nocturne, Op.18 – Recording by Gennady Stolyarov II

Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Commentary by Gennady Stolyarov II: This Pensée Poétique (Poetic Thought) was composed by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829 – 1869) in 1852-1853. It is a short nocturne – Gottschalk’s Opus 18, different from Gottschalk’s more famous Pensée Poétique, Op. 62.

To my surprise, I am unaware of any readily available recording of this quite interesting nocturne with some strong Chopin influences. Therefore, I created a rendition using MuseScore 3.0. This video follows the original Gottschalk score, to which I hope to have done justice. The last third appears to be rather virtuosic (as is much of Gottschalk’s work), and I am glad that we live in an era where programs allow us to experience these kinds of compositions in spite of the difficulty for a human to learn them.

Watch the video with the score on YouTube here and on Odysee here.

Download the MP3 rendition by Gennady Stolyarov II here.

The sheet music is in the public domain and is available here. (IMSLP page.)

Description from Gottschalk.fr (English translation):

“Rather ‘classical’ piece with a beautiful lyrical line. Found by John Doyle in Brazil. (‘A bibliographic study and catalog of works’). Published by Chabal, Paris; it can also be found at the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid, from where it was extracted.”


The Vindication of Dr. Aubrey de Grey and the Dangers of “Strategic Conservatism” in the Aging-Research Community – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

The Vindication of Dr. Aubrey de Grey and the Dangers of “Strategic Conservatism” in the Aging-Research Community – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II

It appears that the Board of Directors of the SENS Research Foundation saw fit to release an Executive Summary of a second Investigative Report that was undertaken after that Board had summarily terminated Dr. Aubrey de Grey without due process. Those who followed this matter know that I did not think highly of the first “Investigative Report”. The second report is still methodologically flawed, in my view, but that is not the point, and so I will not fixate on that. The point is the conclusion, which is what I and many others anticipated: “In the end, after extensive review – and except as otherwise identified by the Firm in this Executive Summary in paragraphs one through seven, as well as in the separate Executive Summary dated September 10, 2021 concerning the Initial Investigation – we do not find evidence Dr. de Grey engaged in conduct that constituted unwelcome sexual conduct towards current or former SRF employees, or any person associated with SRF, since the founding of SRF.”

So, other than the initial allegations against Aubrey de Grey, which, at worst, would have consisted of him sending two questionable e-mails (which were overlooked by the recipient for nearly a decade) and making a joke in poor taste (which there is no evidence that he made), there is… no evidence… of any unwelcome conduct! So this was all… much ado about nothing! It was all… a tempest in a teapot, stirred up to displace Dr. de Grey from his position on the eve of his success in raising an unprecedented $28 million for true rejuvenation biotechnology research. As many have suggested, and as I will reiterate, any harassment allegations here were just a pretext. The real motive is the power struggle within the field, between the initial visionaries like Dr. de Grey who built it up from ideas alone to a vibrant network of organizations, and those who came later, riding on the visionaries’ coattails, and who mistakenly wish to “mainstream” the field by appealing to the gatekeeper institutions through rhetoric of “strategic conservatism” (one of Celine Halioua’s favorite terms – indeed, the underpinning of her goal to turn aging research into a “boring” field that gets rid of the radical-life-extension aspirations). The “strategic conservatives” cannot have a man with a long beard, who speaks of 1,000-year lifespans, as the spokesperson for this movement, so they needed to find a pretext to oust him. Not only that, but they managed to hoodwink those of more left-leaning sympathies by exploiting the tendency to automatically believe women who accuse influential men of harassment – even though believing such allegations here plays right into the hands of the same interests who would wish to corporatize and render exclusive the pursuit of longevity research, to “tone it down” so that gatekeeper institutions provide their grants and imprimatur of “respectability” while the general public gets no say and no benefit. Those on the Left who wish to support harassment victims have understandable motivations, but it is so, so easy to twist those motivations to the service of one of the very corporate networks whom those same left-leaning individuals profess to despise, often quite explicitly.

What the “strategic conservatives” did not realize is that the grassroots movement that has emerged over the years to support the vision of SENS and the pursuit of longevity escape velocity is simply not inspired by the timid focus on “healthspan” or “compression of morbidity”. By getting rid of the ambitious visionaries who lit the spark of this movement, the “strategic conservatives” also undermine the foundation beneath themselves. They will not succeed in “mainstreaming” anything, because the gatekeeper institutions and their spokespeople see right through any version of the toned-down rhetoric anyway. What they may succeed at, unfortunately, is in ruining the crucial philanthropic sector within longevity / rejuvenation research, which will be needed for a long time to bridge the gap between early-stage academic research and late-stage commercial application. We need for-profit corporations and investors in the field as well, but the “strategic conservatives” wish to corporatize everything and remove the role of philanthropy and grassroots support altogether. That would spell suicide for the longevity field.

The SENS Board stated, “Our respect for Dr. de Grey and his work remains deep and unwavering. His accomplishments are singular; he brought this Foundation — this profound scientific moment, truly — into being. While our separation was necessary, we intend to move forward with SRF in a way that honors his legacy.” Of course, this leaves open the unanswered question of why the Board considered the “separation” to be “necessary” – and why they wish to relegate Dr. de Grey merely to having a “legacy”. (He is very much alive and active, after all!) Most likely, some of them do actually regret this course of action, but their thinking may be along the following lines: “Aubrey de Grey got this movement this far, but from now on he is more of a liability than an asset. We can take it from here.” Well, no, they cannot. In order to have even a slight probability of success, the SENS vision requires support from at least appreciable segments of the general public and from the dedicated core of activists within the life-extension movement. Without them, there is no movement – just stagnation. But there will be a movement wherever Dr. de Grey goes. The SENS Research Foundation Board of Directors would be wise to invite him back.

Thank you to Immortalists Magazine for featuring this article, which will be republished in its blog in November 2021.

Aubrey de Grey Did Not Receive Fair Treatment in the Investigation Commissioned by the Board of Directors of the SENS Research Foundation

Aubrey de Grey Did Not Receive Fair Treatment in the Investigation Commissioned by the Board of Directors of the SENS Research Foundation

Gennady Stolyarov II

I have read the “independent” investigative report that was commissioned by the Board of Directors of the SENS Research Foundation – the same Board that fired Dr. Aubrey de Grey before the investigation was completed and now, it seems, is using this report as ex post justification of its preconceived decision. Here are the insights I can glean from reading this report; not all are original to me, and many have pointed out some of these observations already. However, it is useful to summarize them here to spread understanding of just how flawed this report is.

1. This report underscores the essentially ubiquitous fact that, in corporate America, “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. There is no true possibility of a neutral, independent investigation when the investigator is financially compensated by one of the parties with a preconceived interest in the outcome. Whatever the personal ethics of the investigator, it would remain the case – and this is true for any paid professional contractor – that she would be concerned about where her future revenue stream would be coming from. Releasing a report that challenged or undermined the well-publicized intentions of (and actions already taken by) her clients – the Board of the SENS Research Foundation – would have jeopardized her future opportunities to be retained by the same clients or similar corporate Boards, whose interest is not so much in the objective truth, but rather in ratifying the legitimacy of the Board’s actions after the fact and mitigating adverse publicity.

It was naïve for many of us to give this investigation the benefit of the doubt and hold our peace while it proceeded, with the hope that it might have actually shed light on the situation in an impartial manner. Indeed, the mistake that we supporters of Aubrey de Grey have made is to assume throughout this process that all sides would have the intention of bringing the facts to light and making proportionate conclusions based on the evidence. Instead, the far more typical calculus of “cui bono” and motivated reasoning were clearly in play here.

2. The standard of “preponderance of evidence” utilized in the report is incredibly weak and subjective – essentially amounting to whether, in the opinion of the investigator, a given event was more likely than not to have occurred. This is not proof; it is not beyond reasonable doubt; it is not even clear and convincing evidence. Essentially, all of the assertions in this report are the investigator’s personal opinions that some chain of events was plausible. But the report does not actually bring any fundamentally new factors to light. None of this would hold up in a court of law or any official investigation by a governmental body (and even such an official investigation would not be warranted in any event, because no violation of law was ever made or even alleged).

3. It remains the case, based on what the report was actually able to corroborate, that the only definite actions that Aubrey de Grey was known to have taken were the sending of two ill-advised e-mails nearly a decade ago, which were poorly worded and definitely had a high likelihood of being misunderstood. To be sure, I consider those e-mails to have been a mistake on Aubrey’s part (and he does as well), but they stemmed from his own European cultural context, in which the sentiments expressed would have been considered far more innocuous than they would be in the United States of 2021. To punish a person with a loss of a prominent position and jeopardy to that person’s career, retroactively, for statements that would not have been and were not considered offenses a long time ago when they were made, and which are not at all criminal, civil, or otherwise actionable offenses even today, is a draconian perversion of justice. It implies that not only is anyone vulnerable to incredibly harsh penalties for any mistake or minor lapse in judgment, but even that a comparatively mild statement that would have been dismissed or overlooked in the past could become career-ending retroactively if societal norms change many years later. The fact that “Complainant #1” actively collaborated with Aubrey de Grey for nearly a decade after the ill-advised comments were made suggest that those comments were reinterpreted much more recently to have a motivation that nobody attributed to them in the past.

4. The allegations that Aubrey de Grey “interfered with the investigation” ultimately disregard the possibility that Aubrey could have been genuine in his stated motivation to help rehabilitate the reputation of “Complainant #2” after she made unsupported allegations which could, indeed, have jeopardized her career. The investigator interprets Aubrey’s e-mail to an intermediary as a threat to the career of “Complainant #2”, when Aubrey was much more likely expressing an objective fact – that few people in the longevity industry would be willing to work with someone who makes allegations of predation so lightly. The “Why risk it?” consideration is likely going to lead many in the community to tread extremely lightly around the accusers for the indefinite future. Aubrey himself could have been able to avert that particular outcome if the misunderstandings that prompted the allegations had been resolved.

5. Moreover, if Aubrey de Grey sensed that the investigation was not conducted in an objective or impartial manner, and that the actions of the SENS Research Foundation Board already placed the punishment before any official determination of guilt, then he would have had a clear and highly understandable incentive to attempt to tell his side of the story through channels outside of the investigation. If he had fully complied with the investigator’s admonitions, the outcome would have likely been the same; a determination of his guilt was a foregone conclusion based on the “he who pays the piper” principle. In that situation, Aubrey would have simply quietly acquiesced to his own professional destruction. Perhaps he would have been shown some leniency, perhaps not; the history of show trials demonstrates that compliance and even confessions by the accused seldom improved their outcomes and indeed lent legitimacy to the severe penalties that were imposed.

6. Even this report exonerates Aubrey de Grey from having interfered with the funding of the doctoral research position of “Complainant #2”. This would have been one of the principal allegations explaining the resentment that “Complainant #2” felt against Aubrey de Grey. If the rest of her actions were precipitated by that perception, and the initial perception was mistaken, then it is reasonable to expect that the rest of the narrative motivated by that perception would unravel under closer genuine scrutiny.

7. Moreover, this report, in its own telling, fails to identify any other concrete allegations against Aubrey de Grey beyond the relatively mild allegations which were made by “Complainant #1” and “Complainant #2”. There is no pattern of harassment or abuse, no legions of women who were somehow preyed upon. Indeed, the characterization of predation made by “Complainant #2” against Aubrey de Grey can be seen as clearly libelous even if the investigator’s understanding of the facts were ultimately shown to be correct. The term “predator” should be reserved for the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, not someone who made a few poorly thought-out attempted compliments from which no other actions ensued – especially considering that many of the years between 2012 and 2021 contained no incidents of any nature documented within the report.

8. The report is sloppily written and has obvious errors in dates. On page 14 of 16 of the report, three e-mails addressed to Aubrey de Grey are mentioned as having dates in July 2019, when the events to which the e-mails refer could clearly only have taken place in July 2021. It seems that the motivation to release a report with these conclusions was so strong that shortcuts were taken in proofreading the report for basic accuracy. While anyone can make typographical errors, a robust internal editing process should have caught them. This also raises the question of what other, more fundamental errors were left undetected in the course of the internal review of drafts of this report.

9. I am left with no option but to conclude that the SENS Research Foundation Board acted in a deliberate and premeditated manner to displace Aubrey de Grey from his Chief Science Officer position, despite Aubrey de Grey being the originator of the SENS program and an indispensable presence to the research efforts that comprise this program. Instead of seeking to facilitate a truly independent investigation that could have brought genuine facts to light and resolved this immense misunderstanding, it is my impression that the SENS Research Foundation Board conceived of the investigation as a tool to validate and ratify the preconceived intention to remove Aubrey from his role. This is why the punishment came before the determination of guilt. This is why the Board failed to utilize the plethora of milder measures that were available to address any concerns of interference with the investigation on Aubrey’s part. I have no doubt that multiple members of the SENS Research Foundation Board are good people and did not intend any harm to Aubrey; I believe, however, that they were tragically misled by those who did have such motives. Perhaps they, too, naïvely believed that the investigation could be truly independent and impartial, rather than motivated by the agenda of whomever got the idea to engage the firm in the first place. Perhaps they thought that an independent investigation that exonerated Aubrey would be trusted more in the court of public opinion than an approach of the organization standing resolutely with one of its own (which is what should have been done, if for no other reason than loyalty to Aubrey and deep respect for his tremendous contributions to aging-research and advocacy endeavors for over two decades). The fact remains, though, that the cynical among the Board members were able to lead the rest along with a plan for the premeditated destruction of Aubrey’s career and reputation. By doing so, they irreparably damaged the standing of the SENS Research Foundation and made it unworthy of the tremendous dedication and trust placed in it by thousands of donors and activists within the longevity community. We always donated and stood by the SENS Research Foundation because of our admiration and support for Aubrey de Grey, not for the people who ousted him. We always understood Aubrey’s efforts to be the impetus behind the SENS Research Foundation; what remains is an empty shell. What could have motivated some on the Board of the SENS Research Foundation to remove Aubrey? The recent immense success of over $28 million collected via the PulseChain Airdrop fundraiser would certainly have been a tempting prize. Those who might have considered Aubrey to be too outspoken, too eccentric, too liable to “damage the respectability” of aging research with establishment “gatekeeper” institutions, would have seen the allegations against Aubrey as a convenient way to sideline him and then take custody of the funds. The tragedy is that now the funds raised through enthusiasm for the cause of longevity are at risk of being directed into more status-quo-acquiescent channels.

10. At this stage I am of the view that Aubrey de Grey should proceed to create a new foundation, where he remains in complete control, and there is good reason to believe that the researchers and new donations will follow his lead. It is unfortunate that the SENS Research Foundation Board has chosen to consign its organization to irrelevance, but we cannot let faux-outrage over some mildly inappropriate comments derail the far more essential mission of saving over 110,000 people who die per day of the diseases of aging. This entire episode also illustrates the folly of setting up organizational boards that are outside the control of the founders and prime movers of the organizations. In such situations, petty, short-sighted, fear-driven, and narrowly conventional motives come necessarily to predominate over the original vision and ambition of the founder(s). After so many stories of founders being displaced by the institutional machinery they have acquiesced to, surely it is time to learn the lesson – both for nonprofit organizations and for-profit startups. An organization succeeds because of the merits and vision of its founder(s); without the founder(s) the organization becomes a mere husk, replicating conventional patterns until it fades into the background with millions of other similar organizations. What we seek, on the other hand, is an organization that will bring humankind into the era of longevity escape velocity. We should all support any efforts by Aubrey de Grey to create such an organization.

Musical Prime Numbers in Base 7, from 2 to 20021 (4817 in Base 10) – Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Musical Prime Numbers in Base 7, from 2 to 20021 (4817 in Base 10) – Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II

You have never heard music quite like this before.

This is the musical expression, in Base 7, of every prime number from 2 to 20021 (4817 in Base 10). The video displays each prime number in Base 10 and Base 7, alongside the corresponding notation. It also presents the system for musically mapping the prime numbers, explains the rules for composing within this system, and discusses some of its possibilities.

This is not an entirely algorithmic composition, since the human-driven approach to splitting the notes representing each prime number enables the music to be as consonant as possible while adhering to the rules of the system. This work was composed by Gennady Stolyarov II between February 12 and March 4, 2021. It is played using the MuseScore 3.0 software. It is likely unplayable by a single human pianist, although two pianists might succeed in performing it.

Download the MP3 file of this composition here.

This composition and video may be freely reproduced using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License.

Remember to LIKE, FAVORITE, and SHARE this video in order to spread rational high culture to others.

See the index of Mr. Stolyarov’s compositions, all available for free download, here.

 

 

Allegro Risoluto, Op. 91 (2021) – Musical Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Allegro Risoluto, Op. 91 (2021) – Musical Composition by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II

This composition by Gennady Stolyarov II coveys the sense of proceeding with swift determination, even through challenging settings and terrain. Occasionally there is an opportunity for respite to enjoy the scenery. Watch the video on YouTube here and on Odysee here.

This work was composed by Mr. Stolyarov on January 22-27, 2021, and is played using the MuseScore 3.0 software. This composition received an Honorable Mention at the 2021 Rodrigo Landa-Romero International Composition Competition

Download the MP3 file of this composition here. (Left-click to listen, right-click for download options.)

Find the score of this composition here.

This composition is intended to be playable by a human on piano, and those with pianistic abilities are encouraged to try and free to record and publish videos of themselves doing so.

Photographs taken by Gennady Stolyarov II from the trails of C-Hill above Carson City, Nevada, on April 26, 2018.

This composition and video may be freely reproduced using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License.

Remember to LIKE, FAVORITE, and SHARE this video in order to spread rational high culture to others.

See the index of Mr. Stolyarov’s compositions, all available for free download, here.