Advice – How to be a successful heretic

Aubrey de Grey – Advice & lessons learned – How to be a successful heretic.

My advice is best encapsulated in the talk that I gave few times over the years. It’s called “How to be a Successful Heretic”. It basically says BE RIGHT…in other words do your homework before you start going out there and saying that the main stream is wrong.

Be indomitable, be charismatic, be witty, be energetic, be energetic, be everywhere, travel enormously you know. I think I said once a punch is worth a 1000 words. So you can get the idea you know they’re random things that are obvious really.

Lessons learned…I haven’t learned a lot of lessons to be honest. There are some. One lesson I’ve learned is that people are absolutely petrified of peer pressure. Even people who I expect not to be, they will absolutely run a mark (?). So I’ve made some very controversial proposals about how we might get the first 30 years of life.

The work that we do is very cutting edge, very early stage, very…you know questionable whethr it’s going to work. Finding people to criticize that, they don’t. What they criticize is the next part the longevity escape velocity part, how we get from one point today to one step ahead of the problem.

To my mind that is ridiculously uncontroversial, indisputable but the sticker shock of longevity is huge and people run a mile from that. So I guess I learned to be a bit more sensitive to people sensitivity.

Marzena Kmiecik: Do you feel that your personality is flexible?

No I feel like I am a very inflexible person that way.

Marzena Kmiecik: How is that possible then to embrace different points of view?

Well I guess it depends on what you mean by flexible. My personality is a rock upon which I build right you know. I know I’m right. I have all these evidence to help me to give you the strength to be constant and to rebirth all of these pressures.