Just because I think superlativity tends to distort dialogue and make it difficult to focus on what can actually be done in the real world does not mean I disparage the power of human imagination or our capacity to change things for the better.
When I say that superlativity is annoying and damaging to longevity-medicine dialogue, I am saying that no, it will not in any way, shape, or form help your grandmother live longer if you go around spouting off and gesticulating about how someday super-AIs will be able to extract the molecular patterns of people long-dead out of the atmosphere and reconstitute those people in some strange zombie homeopathy.
What will help is advocacy to improve elder care so that people don't end up wasting away in nursing homes. What will help is good, solid research. What will help is a shift in attitude away from judging people on the basis of how many hours they can put in the cubicle farm and toward greater valuation of all kinds of people, regardless of age or disability or anything else.
I'm sorry if that sounds plodding and boring, but I actually want people to live, and I am not getting the sense from actually looking at reality that engaging in homeopathic zombie and upload fantasies in any context outside science fiction or salon philosophy is going to help anyone actually live.
The whole piece is over at Anne's blog, Existence Is Wonderful.