My Reflections on "Meditations on First Philosophy"

The first thought associated with René Descartes is his quote, "I think therefore I am". Like the work of most musicians the best songs are not the hit singles but the ones found deeper in the album. For Descartes what resonated with me was not his flashy quotes or his conjectures about the existence of God but the points of information asymmetry he had and how that influenced his argument.

To preface this article, this past week I read Descartes magnum opus "Meditations on First Philosophy". It took me 5 hours to get through 70 pages. There was a lot…

Examining the Value Chain of Plastic

Over 8 million metric tons of plastic are leaked into the ocean every year [Geyer]. That is equivalent to a garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute. Projections estimate that plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050[WE Forum]. Why is this happening? How is this happening? Is there anything we can do to stop it?

My friend Sabeeh and I were recently exploring some of the Global Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Among these goals include reducing water scarcity, ending open defecation, and improving global literacy rates.

One of the problems…

David Hume (1711 -1776)

David Hume was an 18th century Scottish philosopher who was best known for his skepticism and empiricism — using experience and observation to inform philosophy. Over the past week 2 ideas have stuck out to me in his body of work : his thoughts on motivation and response to the Watchmaker's Analogy.

#1 Feelings Over Facts

Hume argues that motivation is not due to rationality but the feelings that underpin rationality. For example, if you are overweight you can clearly rationalize that doing exercise will reduce your weight. However, if you do not have the desire to have a better body — which is…

One of the most profound thinkers of the last 2 centuries

Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most influential philosophers of the last 200 centuries. His work investigates many aspects of the human condition — our motivations, thought processes, and goals. In an effort to understand and synthesize Nietzsche’s philosophy, I wanted to find 3 actionable takeaways one could deduce from his philosophy.

This is difficult because Nietzsche’s philosophy has been misunderstood and misrepresented throughout history. Some associate Nietzsche with nihilism — the belief that nothing has any inherent importance and that life lacks purpose — whereas in much of his work he discounts nihilistic thinking. …

There are a number of theories that delve into the question — why do we age? Among the most popular theories is the stem cell theory of aging. The Stem Cell Theory of Aging argues that as we age our stem cells lose the ability to replenish and maintain tissues. Contrary to other theories of aging that cite the source of the damage as the reason we age — DNA Damage Theory of aging and the Free Radical Theory of aging, the stem cell theory contends the response to the damage is the reason we age.

Stem cells (SC) are…


On average it takes 10–20 years to develop a drug and costs 0.5 to 2.6 billion dollars 🤯. Drugs that do pass the pre-clinical trials phase have a success rate in clinical trials of only 6.2%. That is the worst part. Companies and institutions invest all this time and capital into a drug only for it to fail in phase III trials.

This is the current outline of how drug development works.

Nir Barzilai and the TAME study that has major implications for longevity

The key to longevity is balance.

After reading the paper Hallmarks of Aging, which I would say is the hallmark paper of longevity, that was my main takeaway. For the majority of the therapies, whether it came down to stem cell repletion, senescent cell eradication, or inhibition of mTOR, the key was to have the right amount of the given substance. There seems to be a “Goldilocks zone” for every hallmark and the key to longevity is maintain our bodies in that zone for as long as possible.

This principle holds true for AMPK and metformin which is the topic…

Last week I attended a conference called Longevity2020 where some of the top researchers and entrepreneurs gave talks on their latest pieces of work.

One talk however, stood out to me for how “against the grain” its topic was. The talk was given by Reason (yes that is his name) who is a founder at Repair Biotechnologies and writer of the blog Fight Aging! His talk was interesting because he said that a lot of the current research that is being done into longevity is only gaining marginal increases into total lifespan. Research into rapalogs, STACS, and other small molecules…

6th grade in an interesting time if you liked to read as a kid. It was perfectly in the middle of the days where you would LOVE to read: and reading was not considered a chore. Then came middle school and the burden of 75 minutes of reading per week took the joy out of reading.

I think this is an experience that a lot of people can relate to. It is not very common today to see kids of my age reading books for fun. …

Lessons from David Sabatini — the world’s expert on mTOR

Your body is the craziest piece of technology you own. More than the Internet that connects the world, the transistors that power phones and computers, or artificial intelligence embedded in the products we use.

Recently, I have been really interested in the molecular biology of our body and how it changes as we age. Only after researching this topic have I gained a true appreciation for how complex and numerous the biological pathways that comprise our body are.

Even though our body as a whole is more powerful/complex than the average computer, a computer makes a very nice analogy to…

Aaron Lewis

16 year-old AI and human longevity enthusiast

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