The Man Thats Ageing Backwards: “I Was 45, I’m Now 18!” - Bryan Johnson
- Bryan Johnson spends two million dollars a year on slowing and reversing his ageing.
- He has biologically regressed to the age of 18.
- His goal is to live to 200 years.
- Johnson follows a strict regimen including an algorithm that dictates his lifestyle and diet.
What's your mission (00:02:08)
- Johnson's mission is to ensure the survival and thriving of the human race.
- He became an entrepreneur to generate funds for large-scale human improvement.
- Sold Braintree/Venmo for $800 million at age 34.
- He seeks to make a century-scale impact on humanity.
Early context (00:04:20)
- As a student, Johnson was friendly and enjoyed connecting with diverse groups.
- He made a social map of his entire school to become friends with everyone.
- His approach includes creating detailed information maps when tackling problems or meeting new people.
Your faith starting to fall apart (00:07:38)
- Leaving Mormonism was a highly emotional and rational challenge for Johnson.
- He faced chronic depression in his early 20s.
- This period led him to question the reliability of his and others' thoughts and authorities.
- His experiences prompted a reconstruction of his reality and pursuit of stable knowledge.
Your depression (00:09:56)
- Bryan Johnson's depression began at age 24 and lasted for a decade.
- The depression was attributed to various stresses, including caring for a newborn, struggling with a startup, marital issues, and leaving the Mormon faith.
- Financial strain and lack of sleep exacerbated his struggles.
- The critical change came when his marriage ended, and he left the Mormon church, which lifted his depression.
Life after your religion (00:15:02)
- Post-Mormonism, Bryan experienced significant changes: he sold his company Braintree, divorced, and overcame depression, all within a year.
- He embraced the freedom from his prior constraints by dancing for hours at warehouse parties in Brooklyn.
- The most important consideration for him was pondering what would matter in the long term, centuries into the future.
Moving away from social norms (00:19:23)
- Bryan discusses the pressure to conform to society's norms and his resistance to being pigeonholed.
- His resilience was shaped by his religious experiences and his desire to maximize his potential far beyond the expectations of others.
- He explores societal norms and the loss of potential due to conforming to these norms.
- Bryan found inspiration from biographies, noting historical figures who challenged the status quo and understanding the predictable cycle of societal resistance to change.
Introducing the new idea of "don't die" (00:24:11)
- Introduces the simplistically profound idea that the central objective for humanity in the 21st century should be to not die
- Unpredictability of the future and the inability of current human intellect to model or anticipate upcoming challenges
- The necessity for humans and AI to cooperate for the sustainability of the biosphere and human existence
- “Don’t die” is not just about individual longevity, but also about the larger goal of humanity not destroying itself or its environment
What was your health like before you started this mission? (00:26:35)
- Reflects on a childhood and youth characterized by poor dietary habits and unhealthy practices in the cultural context of 1980s America
- Admits a self-destructive pattern during 20 years of entrepreneurship and personal turmoil, with lasting regret over past damage to his health
When did your perspective change? (00:29:04)
- Radical change in health perspective occurred after a poignant phase involving divorce and depression
- Devised a philosophy that externalizes decision-making authority regarding health to an algorithm informed by organ health data and scientific research
- Trusts body data and AI over his mind for making health-related decisions
Why we should let our bodies run the show (00:32:35)
- Proposes cellular cooperation and aligning the 35 trillion cells in the body towards the unified objective of slowing aging
- Redefines acts that expedite aging or harm the environment as self-destructive violence
- Views the brain as an adversary when it encourages behaviors that conflict with the longevity of cells
- Suggests that if death is no longer seen as inevitable, society would radically shift its approach towards preservation of life
- Envisions Project Blueprint as an application of the "don't die" philosophy applied across all levels of society and the planet
What stands the greatest chance of killing us? (00:38:13)
- Driving is one of the highest risk factors for mortality we encounter regularly.
- A ritual of reminding oneself that driving is dangerous can increase attention to safety.
- Statistical models by insurance companies assess the risk of various activities.
- Cultural norms facilitate a society addicted to various harmful habits and substances.
Cultural norms and society [merged section]
- Society has surrounded individuals with addictive temptations such as fast food, sugary drinks, pornography, infinite scrolling on social media, Netflix binging, alcohol, smoking, gambling, and nicotine.
- The collective force of these temptations makes it difficult for a person to resist, leading to a feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Individuals struggle with health issues like sleep deprivation, inability to exercise, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and various addictions because of these environmental factors.
- The manipulation of brain chemistry, often driven by corporate greed, exacerbates these problems, leading to a range of societal health issues.
- There is a need for empathy towards individuals struggling to maintain health within this challenging societal framework.
How to achieve perfect sleep (00:41:54)
- Emphasizes sleep as foundational to health.
- Claims perfect sleep for four months using Whoop tracker.
- Prioritizes sleep at the same time nightly with no exceptions.
- Last meal of day at 11 AM, leading to improved sleep on an empty stomach.
- Adjusts lifestyle to protect sleep schedule; friends and family accommodate.
- Room temperature and presence of light or noise are controlled for optimal sleep environment.
- Believes separate sleeping arrangements can improve sleep quality.
- Suggests compromise is needed in relationships for sleep hygiene maintenance.
- Sleep routine includes wind down time, avoiding certain foods, and using sleep to solve problems.
Cost of Perfect Sleep and Lifestyle Changes [No specific start time provided]
- Bedtime at 8:30 PM restricts social activities and participation in events.
- Schedule has become normalized after initial tough adjustments, making it easier.
Sleep Habits and Impact on Relationships [No specific start time provided]
- Strict sleep schedule is at the top of the list of potentially off-putting personal habits for romantic partners.
- Other personal rules include dietary restrictions, and a preference to avoid small talk, especially in the morning.
Pre-Sleep Ritual and Dietary Considerations [No specific start time provided]
- Maintains consistent bedtime with specific ambient temperature.
- Aware of potential disruptions like sound and light; takes measures to mitigate them.
- Acknowledges the negative impact certain foods and alcohol can have on sleep quality.
- Avoids work right before bedtime and designates sleep time for subconscious problem-solving.
Reflections on Sleep Optimization and Personal Experiences [No specific start time provided]
- Considers his sleep optimization efforts potentially among the best, supported by data from his tracking device.
- Questions the lasting impact of earlier poor sleep habits and whether others may naturally sleep better due to less damage from past habits.
- Believes no one tries harder to achieve perfect sleep within his circumstances.
The importance of heart rate variability (00:57:13)
- Heart rate variability (HRV) represents the nervous system's balance between its parasympathetic (relaxation) and sympathetic (stress response) components.
- High HRV is associated with better stress management and indicates a healthier autonomic nervous system.
- Bryan Johnson achieved a meaningful increase in HRV from the mid-30s to low 60s over 500 days but aims to improve it further.
- HRV is measured in milliseconds and is the interval between heartbeats, with higher intervals being preferable.
- Various devices and methods have been tried to improve HRV, including sensors and stimulators targeting the vagus nerve, but sustainable improvements have been elusive.
- Bryan previously drank alcohol to manage stress but stopped due to calorie concerns and potential negative impacts on sleep and overall health.
Are you happy? (01:01:54)
- Bryan Johnson is mission-driven, prioritizing the thriving of intelligent existence over all else.
- He feels fulfilled, stable, free, bold, and is experiencing the most alive moment of his life.
- Once suffering from severe depression, he now views life as a self-chosen playful game and disregards others' expectations or acceptance.
- Recent dark days have been rare and related to undisclosed personal matters.
- Negative feedback is usually energizing for Bryan, but harsh criticism toward his father regarding a public health choice affected him deeply, highlighting his protective feelings toward his dad.
Using my sons blood to reverse ageing (01:06:44)
- The speaker, Bryan Johnson, engaged in plasma exchange experiments with his family, where he donated his plasma to his father for cognitive decline treatments.
- The idea stemmed from research on longevity, where plasma exchanges showed potential benefits for cognitive issues like Alzheimer's.
- Although the science is still emerging and the results on humans are inconclusive, mice studies suggested some efficacy.
- Johnson's father reported feeling phenomenally better, although objective data were still pending.
- The process became a family bonding experience, contrasting with their past division due to religious differences.
- Johnson emphasized the alignment with the 'blueprint' concept, which values biological control systems over divisive mental constructs.
What do you eat in a day? (01:12:52)
- Johnson consumes a highly controlled diet, designed to optimize health, consisting of 2,250 calories per day where each calorie serves a specific purpose.
- His meals include "super veggie” with various vegetables like broccoli and lentils, seasoned with potassium chloride instead of salt, and paired with high-quality, heavy metal-tested dark chocolate.
- Another dish is "nutty pudding" made from macadamia nuts, flaxseed, pomegranate juice, berries, and pea protein, consumed along with additional meals varying daily.
- He also ingests 111 pills throughout the day, 60 of which are taken in the morning alongside a drink called "Green Giant."
- His dietary principles focus on caloric restriction and the inclusion of nutritionally dense foods that undergo a rigorous selection process.
- Johnson treats his diet as an autopilot system directed by an evidence-based algorithm, which he compares to the efficiency of an autopilot in aviation versus manual flying.
The number of pills you take (01:19:20)
- Takes around 111 pills daily, including vitamins and advanced drugs.
- Supplements include basics like vitamin D, C, and advanced compounds like metformin.
- Uses NAD+ modulation to maintain younger biological age.
- Tested both NR and NMN supplements to elevate NAD+ levels, with both proving effective.
- Aims to achieve NAD+ levels akin to an 18-year-old, regardless of actual chronological age.
What should we be doing so as not to age poorly? (01:21:36)
- Focus on increasing health span with an effective protocol.
- Suggests following the published blueprint, which is claimed to be the best health protocol available.
- Skeptical of the numerous health gurus who offer conflicting advice and emphasizes the need for personal data and measurement.
- Recommends zero sugar intake, managing testosterone levels with supplementation to stay within the normal range, and overall, emphasizes systematic experimentation and iterative improvement based on one's own health data.
What to do if you start losing your hair (01:24:31)
- Advocates for actively fighting hair loss.
- Uses a custom formulation with minoxidil, red light therapy cap, PRF treatments, and specific supplements for hair maintenance.
- Emphasizes incorporating routines to make regimens less burdensome, prioritizing habit formation and simple daily procedures.
- Addresses concerns over sexual side effects from hair loss medications by adjusting dosages and monitoring libido.
- Uses a high-frequency electromagnetic stimulation device to improve pelvic health and inadvertently noted an increase in nocturnal erections.
The importance of posture (01:28:49)
- Bryan Johnson emphasizes posture due to its impact on blood flow and brain health.
- He discovered he has narrow internal jugular veins, affecting blood flow from the brain.
- Poor posture can exacerbate intracranial pressure, adversely affecting the brain.
- Measurements revealed high intracranial pressure and white matter hyperintensities in his brain.
- His team focused on posture to alleviate these issues and prevent potential catastrophic events.
- He mentions the difficulty in maintaining good posture and its potential link to health outcomes.
How we can use AI to enhance our health (01:33:03)
- Bryan discusses the necessity of aligning with AI, using a thought experiment on future perspectives.
- He speculates that a 25th-century AI might observe the principle of preserving life, reflecting how our current actions may influence it.
- The cooperation between all forms of intelligence is seen as essential for survival.
- He suggests that humans need to adopt a singular goal of existence to coexist with AI.
- Bryan challenges the cultural acceptance of death and promotes proactive efforts to extend life.
- He suggests rethinking authority structures and prioritizing life over competing human desires.
- There is a consideration for control systems beyond human capacity for long-term survival.
- Bryan talks about the usual counterargument against extreme life preservation measures and questions the supremacy of the human mind over the body.
Why your mind needs to stop making the decisions (01:43:33)
- Bryan Johnson believes that individuals must strive to eliminate self-violence and internal conflicts.
- He foresees artificial intelligence as the new dominating force on the planet, superseding human intelligence.
- Johnson views the challenge of our time as the need for cooperation and harmony, both individually and at the species level.
- He's focused on solving broader existential threats personally—such as climate change, AI alignment, and social cooperation.
- In developing his philosophy, he aims to be a one-person example of solving complex system problems, a concept he refers to as "blueprint."
- Johnson does not feel optimistic about the human mind solving these issues alone, hence the urgency in his work.
- He believes we have less time than expected to counter existential threats and that proactive measures should be taken immediately without waiting for potential catastrophe.
You think differently (01:49:52)
- Johnson acknowledges he thinks differently compared to others, citing neurological divergence.
- He perceives the world as generally illogical and is often surprised at how different his viewpoint is from the majority.
- There is mutual sentiment, as the world views him as unusual, but he believes the societal status quo is more peculiar and irrational.
The most important thing people need to know (01:51:20)
- The essential message from Johnson is that humanity has a unique opportunity to evolve and experience extraordinary existence.
- Significant sacrifice and a paradigm shift from sacred societal beliefs will be necessary for this evolution.
- He emphasizes internal revolution through daily self-care acts such as proper sleep, healthy eating, avoiding addictions, and responsible engagement with technology.
- Johnson promotes the importance of personal responsibility and action rather than attributing blame externally for societal issues.
- He exudes a sense of satisfaction from dedicating his life to identifying and promoting a philosophy that could potentially benefit humanity.
Are you misunderstood? (01:54:53)
- Brian Johnson is often labeled as narcissistic and self-centered because of his attempts to reverse aging.
- The public perception of Johnson as seeking eternal youth for selfish reasons, such as dating younger people, differs from the reality of his motivations.
- Johnson's actual goal is more focused on advancing human well-being rather than personal gain.
- He cares deeply for his family and is trying to improve their health and longevity.
- Johnson's father, at 75, has been a particular concern for him, as he has faced the fear of losing him to death.
- He actively sends his parents health supplements and advice to help prolong their lives, though they sometimes find it overwhelming.
- The interviewer acknowledges the value in Johnson's unique perspective and his atypical way of thinking.
- It is important to have diverse thinkers in society, as they bring innovation and new perspectives that can benefit human progress.
- Despite societal pressures and judgments, Johnson remains committed to his mission.
- The interviewer expresses respect for Johnson's courage to ignore criticism and pursue his path.
- Both the interviewer and Johnson appreciate the open, non-judgmental dialogue they shared during the conversation.
- Johnson's experiences with close-mindedness in interviews have made the understanding and open-minded approach of the interviewer particularly meaningful to him.
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