with Spencer Greenberg
the podcast about ideas that matter

Episode 040: History and Longevity (with Will Eden)

May 9, 2021

What are the benefits of studying history? How do we find useful historical analyses? Can learning about history save us from repeating it? Is America decaying as a nation, empire, and/or leading world power? Generally speaking, what causes empires to fail? Is the aging and decay experienced by organic bodies analogous to the aging and decay experienced by an empire (or by any complex system, for that matter)? What are all the reasons organisms age, decay, and die? What are the most promising avenues of exploration in longevity research? What kind of stressors on our bodies are beneficial? How accurate is the efficient market hypothesis? What kinds of catalysts force a market to value assets at their "intrinsic" value? How rational are markets?

William Eden is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at biotech founder and investor Errik Anderson's family office, Ulysses Diversified. Previously, he worked with Peter Thiel for six years and jointly led the Life Science Investments group at Thiel Capital focused on early-stage breakthrough biomedical technologies. His previous roles include the Chief Analytics Officer of Azumio, a digital health startup, and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the 2008 global financial crisis. His Twitter handle is @WilliamAEden, and he and his wife have additional essays and podcasts and more at their blog.

NOTE: After the recording, Will contacted us with the following correction. There is a family lineage with a congenital growth hormone deficiency called Laron Syndrome that lives in villages in Ecuador, but he had incorrectly identified them as indigenous people. They actually migrated there from Spain, where other members of the family still live with the same genetic mutation. They suffer from fewer diseases of aging like cancer and diabetes, but their lifespan is indeed no longer than average due to vulnerability to accidents and injuries. This serves to demonstrate the tradeoff between longevity and robustness under free living conditions for these types of anti-aging interventions.

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Spencer Greenberg

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