Jul 12, 2014

Online anonymity, privacy, and longevity

Posted by in categories: life extension, privacy

Or: Relinquish your privacy if you want to live longer

At first, it may appear strange to suggest that living longer has something to do with using pseudonyms online. However, it is true. I am suggesting that people who are well known online, those who are hyper-connected, and those who facilitate others to have access to relevant and meaningful information, are more likely to live longer.

It works like this: Humans are continually evolving and adapting to their environment. Our current environment is one of technology, digital communication, intense information-sharing and hyper-connection. Within this society we are exposed to vast amounts of both trivial and relevant information, which reaches our brain and may alter our basic biology causing a series of beneficial cellular and molecular changes which promote healthy lifespan (").

Looking at this from a different perspective, it is known that agents which are useful to the collective are retained longer within the system ( This can be true of any agent (i.e. any autonomous actor) such as a computer node, a human neuron, or an entire human. In this case, humans are digitally connected to other humans within a higher entity called the Global Brain (…l-brain/). The more well-connected you are, and the more useful you are to the evolution of the Global Brain, the more likely it is that you will be retained by the system, i.e. you will live longer within this system.

It follows, that in order this to happen you need to be hyper-connected and share meaningful and insightful information.

First, in order to hyper-connect you need to:
• Develop a strong social media base, in diverse forums
• Stay continually visible on line
• Be respected and valued in the virtual environment
• Increase the number of your connections both in virtual and in real terms.
• Increase the unity of your connections by using only one (user)name for all environments and across all platforms.

Second, in order to facilitate the flow of meaningful information you need to:
• Avoid spending too much time on trivial use of internet platforms
• Share your thoughts with your peers
• Create and share meaningful information that requires action
• Don’t worry too much about privacy

The issue of privacy is contentious. However, it is also grossly overrated. As long as you stay on the right side of the law, you have nothing to fear. If the CIA knows how many cups of coffee you have each day, or if your photo has been shared by others (for legal purposes), or if the world knows that your birthday is today, this is hardly important to anyone. The only limited area where privacy becomes relevant is when it is abused for criminal or illegal purposes. But, let’s face it: how frequently does this happen? It is like arguing for the suppression of knife sales in case a knife is used to injure you.

As we develop more technologies and become increasingly more involved with them, our society and culture will change, and this will have a direct impact upon our biology. It is inevitable that this will eventually lead to an increasing lifespan, in order to accommodate basic evolutionary principles.


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  1. J.M. Porup says:

    “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”

    –Cardinal Richelieu