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Go to Kitty Reflects11/3/02

Most people who are familiar with Tom Matthews would be surprised to learn that biochemistry, even as it relates to anti-aging, is not his primary intellectual interest. Despite the fact that he has spent the major portions of the past 12 years studying and applying his skills in the general field of life-extension, he would rather be doing something else - delving deeply into the foundations of physics, mathematics, and philosophy.

Tom (Paul) is very analytical, a characteristic he can recall from childhood. He relates the pleasure he experienced when doing pages of algebra or trigonometry problems, or answering all the science questions in the textbooks, including those not assigned.

During his post-graduate studies at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, at New York University (Washington Square) in 1961, he enrolled in an extra curicular course from The American School of Economics. While attending these lectures on freedom oriented economics (by such notables as Ludwig Von Mises and Henry Hazlitt), he overheard a conversation about The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. After he and his wife read the book they were "hooked" and began to read everything that was associated with her. However, at this time in his life Paul was totally immersed in a life of family, home, and career and had little time to pursue, or even originate, independent thought. It was only after his marriage breakdown in 1972 that he began to be aware of the remainder of the writings on the philosophy of freedom, and over the next 10 years, read many of the classical liberal thinkers and contemporary libertarians. His original views that, an oligarchy of the wisest should govern, changed to seeing that only the individual can judge what is in her/his own best interest and is bound only by the natural law not to initiate force or fraud on another.

Just as the fields of physics and mathematics are not simple, in the sense of easy to comprehend, yet they still have underlying principles that once understood allow one to effectively use them for practical purposes, so also does the nature of man and his interactions with reality including other men. Enormous strides have been made in the understanding and application of physics and mathematics because they have been approached in a scientific manner. While there is no apparent boundary to what can be learned in these fields as the fundamental principles are better understood, the science of human actions is woefully lacking, despite the important contributions of Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Spooner, Hazlitt, von Mises, Rand, Rothbard, and other thinkers who recognized the value and nature of the human mind. The growing "success" of governments to manipulate the individual through propaganda and blatant acts or threats of force is evidence that vast numbers do not fully understand the conditions under which human beings can best survive and prosper as individuals and members of freely associative groups.

During the late 70's when Paul was studying the works of freedom proponents, he was spending much of his time and money on the fledgling Ontario Libertarian Party and Libertarian Party of Canada for which he became president and succeeded in running 50 candidates to make it a Federally registered party. However, as he swung away from a limited government approach, he also concluded after a few years that more than a single life-time of current length would be needed to bring about the change in thinking necessary for a non-government society guided solely by the non-aggression principle (which prohibits the initiation of force or fraud). He began to investigate the just emerging field of life extension while he spent long hours at his computer business, which afforded him some problem solving pleasure but far from the fundamentals he loved. At the end of 1990 he sold that business and after a very chopped up year of attempted biological preparatory self-training, spent the next five years, supported by his savings, learning first hand some of the "art" aspects of cryonics and promoting an increase of science method into this area, which at that time he thought had more prospects for getting one to a future of aging prevention and renewal than did nutritional science and supplementation. Into the companies with which he was involved (at no pay), Paul invested more than $100,000 of his assets from the computer business, on which to this day he has seen no monetary return. Eventually, discouraged at the lack of trust and appreciation for his efforts and at the growing lack of cooperation he received once his investment monies were exhausted, Paul turned his primary attention to the biochemistry of nutrition and supplementation with the goal of slowing age-related degeneration. (He adopted the name Tom Matthews to use for the LEF Forums, which he started at the time, chiefly to keep his prior cryonics activities (one crucially important project of which was still ongoing) completely separated. The curriculum vitae of both Tom and Paul were virtually identical and on the occasions when asked directly if these two were the same person, he always responded affirmatively.) Tom (Paul) spent long hours reading basic textbooks, and utilizing his analytical skills on the biochemistry underlying nutrition, exercise, and supplementation for the purposes of preventing disease and lengthening life. Much of it was done for answers to questions posed to him on The Forums or newsgroups, but most in the beginning was for his own personal knowledge to improve his own chances for surviving in a healthy state until scientific breakthroughs can make available radical measures for extensions in life span.

Unfortunately, the actions of governments, and all those who actively support, or even acquiesce to them, make it extremely difficult for individuals to take many actions that they determine will improve their prospects for a long healthy life. The mindset that governments know best is one that Tom (Paul) has decided can not be ignored if he - and I - want to be alive and vigorous at age 100. Through the Outlook and Interpersonal sections of MoreLife, he will be writing on the most fundamental of all intellectual subjects - philosophy, specifically the principles necessary to determine the proper role and the most effective actions of human beings. This is an enormous task even with the large numbers of writers whose works he will use as a starting point - as he did with Henry David Thoreau. The positive aspect is that this is the kind of writing that Paul really enjoys; a subject fundamental to intelligent productive life itself. Significant life-extension progress can not be realized in a society that does not respect the fundamental needs of the individual to make his own decisions and be responsible for his own life, as long as he does not initiate force or fraud on others.

Towards the goal of making these ideas more widespread, Paul has recently and will continue to reserve his time for the Life Quality aspects of MoreLife based on rational philosophy, as well the Life Quantity portion comprised of science-based information on aspects of health. He is now doing more of what he loves in order to help bring about a world where living longer is possible, so that he can do more of what he loves. And I'll be helping every step of the way.


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