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Biotech Medicine Idle Science

'Longest Living Human' Says He Is Ready For Death At 145 (telegraph.co.uk) 314

Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes an article from The Telegraph: An Indonesian man who claims to be the longest living human in recorded history has described how he "just wants to die". Mbah Gotho, from Sragen in central Java, was born on December 31, 1870, according to the date of birth on his identity card. Now officials at the local record office say they have finally been able to confirm that remarkable date as genuine. If independently confirmed, the findings would make Mr Gotho a staggering 145 years old -- and the longest lived human in recorded history.
"One of Mr Gotho's grandsons said his grandfather has been preparing for his death ever since he was 122," according to the article. Though he lived long enough to meet his great-great grandchildren, he's already outlived four wives, all 10 of his brothers and sisters, and all of his children.
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'Longest Living Human' Says He Is Ready For Death At 145

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  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @12:53PM (#52785277) Homepage

    I was born on December 30, 1870 and as soon as my birth certificate arrives in the mail I'll be able to prove it.

    • I was born on December 30, 1870 and as soon as my birth certificate arrives in the mail I'll be able to prove it.

      Big deal. Your 6-digit id would seem to indicate that there are those older than you here on /. - but not me :-)

      • Re:December 30th (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @04:45PM (#52786129) Homepage Journal

        It me, fam.

      • by knewter ( 62953 )

        6 digit IDs are for suckers.

      • Big deal. Your 6-digit id would seem to indicate that there are those older than you here on /.

        You know that your userid is not tied to your age right? And not all people stick to one account for their whole lives.

        • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday August 29, 2016 @03:10AM (#52788019)

          Big deal. Your 6-digit id would seem to indicate that there are those older than you here on /.

          You know that your userid is not tied to your age right? And not all people stick to one account for their whole lives.

          Ya. It's a /. meme. But I guess you might be too young to know that -- having a 7-digit uid and all. :-)

    • I'm here to let you know it's on it's way. It was lost in Montana for awhile, and the crossing the Rockies was a bit rough. But it should be getting to you any day now!

      The only thing left is to confirm your current address. Unfortunately, I can only time travel forward so letting them know where to send it in 1884 may be a challenge.
  • by destinyland ( 578448 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @12:56PM (#52785285)
    "The problem with immortality is that it's boring."

    (There's an episode of the original series where a man gives up immortality to be with the woman he loves....)
    • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:22PM (#52785349)

      Well - no.
      The person in the article has a sharply declining quality of life - having to have help going to the bathroom, and significant amounts of care, being able to do very little for himself, as well as being blind.
      Many people in this condition - even at a much, much younger age, would contemplate ending it.

      • Precisely. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        People want to believe that he is depressed because his kids and wives are gone. It is romantic to be depressed when you have no family or lovers.

        Smart people don't make others responsible for their own happiness. Wives and kids come and go (especially today, thanks to the divorce revolution). Once you can find the natural wellspring of joy within, you are no longer dependent on these ever-changing circumstances to be happy.

        But...when your daily routine is an ongoing repetition of pain and indignity, wit

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Wives and kids come and go (especially today, thanks to the divorce revolution).

          Holy shit, nice hand-wave!

      • Absolutely. If he still had a 30 year old body, he would probably not want to die.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:31PM (#52785379)
      But immortality with a limited memory loss keeps the fun in it!
    • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:34PM (#52785389)

      Quoting without permission Rob Landley:
      http://lists.celinuxforum.org/... [celinuxforum.org]

      "I'm sorry, I'm confused by the CONCEPT of having a shortage of TODO items.
      This is just the top of my head _Linux_ stuff, and doesn't include purely-me
      items like learning LUA. I want to get a mac and learn THAT stuff. I want to
      get my master's degree so I can become a full-time college professor when I'm
      ready to retire from programming. I want to write multiple books. I want to
      start a third convention so I have an excuse to wave the Cartoon Guide to
      Federal Spectrum Policy at people
      (http://www.newamerica.net/files/archive/Pub_File_1555_1.pdf). I want to learn
      to draw so I can start a webcomic. I have enormous stacks of books to read.
      I need to watch the rest of Mythbusters, catch up on the new Dr. Who, and play
      Dragon Age. I want to garden and cook and bike and swim. I want to get rich
      and start the world's largest nudist resort. I want to dig up the recording
      of the time I got Neil Gaiman to say "By Grabthar's hammer, you shall be
      avenged" into a microphone (after his reading of Crazy Hair at Penguicon 2)
      and also get Ralph Nader to say "Luke, I am your Father" into another
      microphone. I need to completely redo my website (and make a "random cool
      stuff" page listing http://sidhefaer.livejournal.c... [livejournal.com] and
      http://theglen.livejournal.com... [livejournal.com] and so on...)

      Theres... a shortage of stuff to do somewhere?

      Really?

      How does that work?
      "

      • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:38PM (#52785409) Homepage

        "Living forever isn't boring, you are."
        -Me.

        • "Living forever isn't boring, you are."
          -Me.

          I'm suspicious as to whether or not you're qualified to judge if that's the case.

          Do you have a birth certificate proving you've lived forever?

      • So maybe all that minor stuff on your list would take 20 years. Maybe. Lets triple it and say 60.

        you still have infinity more years. What will you do for the next thousand? the thousand after that?

        I mean many writers have touched on this. For me, I often can picture of the "apathetics" in the movie Zardoz. Who just kind of froze up one day.

        "First they stop by a colony of outcasts called Renegades. These are Eternals who, through boredom, malice or discontent, repeatedly violated the rule of law and as a res

        • My list is currently expanding asymptotically.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

          Given a young healthy pain free body, you would never finish your interests.

          There would always be new "pokemon go"'s coming along to get excited about.
          New musical instruments to master.
          New places to see (because they are changing if you live long enough. The world today is almost completely different than it was in 1935.
          New inventions to be excited about.
          A much longer investment horizon mean you'd probably go through being wealthy and being poor multiple times (I was wiped out in the panic of 2160, 2310, 2

          • I support this way of thinking. New and interesting stuff (and people!) will always keep coming along.

            I wouldn't mind a several-thousand-to-effectively-infinite lifespan, as long as I had someone to share it with.

        • For the first thousand years, contemplate the number one in complete fullness. For the next thousand, the number two, and so on.

          Never run out of 'new and interesting things to think about'.

    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @02:35PM (#52785607) Journal

      My father was 100 years of when he died. Up until the last 4 months of his life, he was living semi-independently. He lived in his own house, with people coming in to help him with such things as cleaning and preparing meals; other than that, he looked after himself.

      I am terrified of the prospect. As some point, I should start living a more risky lifestyle, since 3 out of 4 of my grandparents lived well into their '90s. Maybe I can kill myself in my early '90s through a skydiving accident or something.

      • I am terrified of the prospect. As some point, I should start living a more risky lifestyle, since 3 out of 4 of my grandparents lived well into their '90s. Maybe I can kill myself in my early '90s through a skydiving accident or something.

        Don't worry. It doesn't always work out that way. My wife's parents both lived until they were in their 90s -- father died of Parkinson's and mother died of Alzheimer's'' (both within a fairly short time after becoming debilitated), but Sue [tumblr.com] died at 61 of a brain tumor (just 7 weeks after diagnosis). I was 42 at the time, now 53. Both of my parents are still alive and healthy in their 70s. I don't know what's in store for me going forward, but at least I'm not afraid of death - because Sue is there somewher

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        Oh yeah! Mid 40's here and have been skydiving since 2012, and really gearing up on flying a wingsuit out of the plane for the last couple of years. Funnily enough life's been pretty awesome since then, so I'm in no hurry to rush into BASE, much less Wingsuit base, which seems like it has a ridiculously high fatality rate. I know three amazing wingsuit pilots, one who was my AFF instructor back in 2012, who have gone in this year. I think they were all trying to fly that ridiculous run in Charmonix. Cave d
      • by murdocj ( 543661 )

        You're terrified of living a long time and being relatively healthy and independent up to the end? Just what are you scared of? I'm scared of spending years just lying on a bed semi-comatose. That would be hell on earth.

      • Yeah - I had a neighbor who died at 98 and was still not only living on his own but DRIVING. As a matter of fact that's how he died. He was getting out of the truck to check his mail and didn't have it in park - ended up accidentally running himself over. Now, that incident itself probably proves he SHOULDN'T have been driving, but he was certainly in good spirits, independent, and was mentally sound all the way up to the end.

        Granted, if this story is true (big IF), he was still 47 years younger than thi

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        "I am terrified of the prospect. As some point, I should start living a more risky lifestyle, since 3 out of 4 of my grandparents lived well into their '90s. Maybe I can kill myself in my early '90s through a skydiving accident or something."

        Perhaps that is why there are so many first time 90+ year old skydivers. Interestingly, there are almost no second time 90+ year old skydivers.

        "The problem with immortality is that it's boring."

        I think that is only a problem for boring people. I find life fascinating an

    • "The problem with immortality is that it's boring."

      (There's an episode of the original series where a man gives up immortality to be with the woman he loves....)

      I've been saying for 25 years now that I may not wanna live forever, but 70 years or so is wayyyyy too short.

      I could live a few thousand years eating cheeseburgers and chocolate.

      • It's not how long you live. It's how long you live relatively healthy. Once you've lost independence, mobility and a significant amount of your senses live quickly loses it's appeal.

        Keep going on those kale smoothies!

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          That's fine if you actually like Kale. Otherwise, you're just torturing yourself for no reason. Kale isn't even the only Brassica.

    • It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth---and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up---that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. -- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

      Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it. -- Ray Kurzweil

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @12:58PM (#52785293)
    "If independently confirmed" - which is unlikely.

    Regardless, he'll still be around for quite a while yet. In an interview with Wired, he said he just wants to live until the year of Linux On The Desktop.
  • Painful Life (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:24PM (#52785355)
    People don't dwell on such things. I had a neighbor who passed just a few weeks shy of 100. Things that all of us consider normal were simply impossible for him such as keeping in touch with his school friends or most of his family as they had all passed away. How many people wanted to talk to him about the way life was in 1880? It is as if the man's entire universe left town and moved too far away.
    • Re:Painful Life (Score:4, Interesting)

      by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday August 29, 2016 @08:47AM (#52788877)

      My great aubnt lived to be 115 and was at one point the oldest know living person in the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      Many people wanted to talk about life then. She lived inb a time people in the Netherlands lived in "plaggenhutten". When people asked if she kne when the first cars came, she laughed and said she remembered when the first bikes came. Imported from the US.
      She lived alone till she was 106. She was always positive minded, even though almost all she knew had died.
      She wanted people to learn and she gave her body to science. From that came the knowledge that alzheimer is 'just' a dissease and not something everybody will get when you get old. She was the basis for other discoveries as well as a push to do research with 100+ year olds.

      She wanted the knowledge that came from her body to be her gift to some students that would cut her open or look at in a bottle. She never thought it would be such a success and she would have been delighted.

      She never gave the impression that her universe left town. More that she was welcoming a new universe of things to learn. With that I learned that contact and optimism are very important. She always wanted others to learn and that is why she open-sourced her body. She insisted that the knowledge should be used by all. Again: she open-sourced her body.
      An other thing the found : https://www.newscientist.com/a... [newscientist.com]

  • by Steve1952 ( 651150 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @01:38PM (#52785403)
    It would be interesting to use DNA analysis on the 145-year-old and his relatives (living or dead) to verify his age. If his story checks out, then (for example), it could be verified if he is indeed the father or brother to various other people, some long dead, with known dates of birth or death.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @02:03PM (#52785485) Homepage Journal

    ... extraordinary evidence.

    An identity card whose date has only recently been confirmed isn't enough.

    You still need to confirm that the card-holder is the person who matches the genuine records.

    You also have to assess the credibility of those in the records office and answer questions like "why wasn't this confirmed long ago, like when he applied for a penson (no pension? okay, I'll accept that) or when he hit age 100 (not important enough? okay, I'll accept that), age 110 (you better have a darn good answer) or when he got to be the oldest man in his country (every month of delay in searching for accurate records from this point on makes his claim less and less credible).

    It's been 30+ years since he would've been the oldest person in the world. If there haven't been serious, continuous, diligent, credible efforts to find and authenticate his age since the mid-to-late 1980s, then it will take something extra-ordinary, such as confirmation that he fathered someone known to be born more than, say, 120 years ago, for his claim to be accepted. Even if there has been a serious, continuous, diligent, credible effort to find proof of his age for the last 30 years, the fact that it took so long to find it hurts his claim.

    • by Ken McE ( 599217 ) <[ten.pocmaps] [ta] [ecmnek]> on Sunday August 28, 2016 @02:50PM (#52785647)
      Occams' razor is politely suggesting that at some point the ID card belonging to Mr. Mbah Gotho Sr. was passed along to Mr Mbah Gotho Jr. That appears to be what happened with all those ancient rural Soviets. Some of those back country/outside all their life people age fast. If they took Dads card after he passed, they could skip the draft. Voila, country towns with a lot of 104 year old men.
      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Indeed. But Occam's Razor only applies to a conclusion's relation to the information you have at hand. It is conceivable that if you collect enough information the same heuristic can lead you in a different direction.

        It should be able to confirm his genetic relationship to his putative great-great-great grandchildren, and thus let a lower limit on his age. That and other documentary evidence of him and his descendants could make his age seem plausible. In a world with seven billion people, outliers can

        • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @03:40PM (#52785829) Homepage

          "outliers can be very unusual indeed."

          There's outliers and there's statistical impossibilities. The chances of him having lived 23 years (almost a 3rd of the average humans lifespan) longer than the next oldest person I'm afraid are so close to zero that you couldn't tell the difference.

          • Of course you also need to factor in desire for fame - could be lots of people older than the established oldest who just never saw the point of trying to claim the title.

            • There's always a relative who wants to cash in. The documentation in most of the world wasn't very good in the 19th century so it's likely that somebody has lived longer than the verified oldest, but 23 years longer isn't really statistically plausible.

            • As I posted the link above, that's not about fame, it's a simple actuarial reality that above ~105, you're more like to die than to survive every next year. So this "could be" is I guess something like like p0.000000000001 for this guy.
        • Indeed. But Occam's Razor only applies to a conclusion's relation to the information you have at hand. It is conceivable that if you collect enough information the same heuristic can lead you in a different direction.

          It should be able to confirm his genetic relationship to his putative great-great-great grandchildren, and thus let a lower limit on his age. That and other documentary evidence of him and his descendants could make his age seem plausible. In a world with seven billion people, outliers can be very unusual indeed.

          The thing is that age isn't the result of one thing. It's the confluence of multiple systems that only evolved to keep us going until 65 or so. With modern conditions that's closer to 85, but after that all our different systems start to fail, and fail hard. You need a lot of luck (and genetics) for each one of those systems to hold up.

          Lots of people make it to 90, a few to 100, some exceptional ones to 110, if you make it to 113 you might be the oldest in your country, 115 and you might be the oldest on th

    • by dohzer ( 867770 )

      Cut him open and count the rings!

      • I wonder if they can count otolith rings [myfwc.com] like they do for fish? There probably is some sort of (posthumous) dating method short of Carbon 14 that would work on this gentleman (assuming, of course, he agrees to such things).

        • C14 dating only works on dead matter, i.e. telling you how long dead matter has been dead. I'm fairly sure when he dies we'll know down to the day, if not hour, when this happened.

    • ... extraordinary evidence.

      An identity card whose date has only recently been confirmed isn't enough.

      Don't worry, I heard that a UFO took dental records when it abducted him in 1923.

  • by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @02:52PM (#52785659) Homepage
    He probably has the same name as his father, and somewhere long the lines their identities got switched up?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not surprising to see the western media censoring the second most remarkable fact about this fellow -- he still smokes video [youtube.com]. Similarly, the officially recognized longest living man and woman on the world and only two humans verified to have lived beyond 120 years of age were both smokers (Jean Calment [wikipedia.org] and Shigechiyo Izumi [wikipedia.org].

    Unlike that non-English video where he smokes almost throughout, in this English speaking video [youtube.com], they blur his cigarette in a crude attempt to hide the fact that doesn't fit in our a

    • It's not surprising to see the western media censoring the second most remarkable fact about this fellow -- he still smokes video [youtube.com]. Similarly, the officially recognized longest living man and woman on the world and only two humans verified to have lived beyond 120 years of age were both smokers (Jean Calment [wikipedia.org] and Shigechiyo Izumi [wikipedia.org].

      Unlike that non-English video where he smokes almost throughout, in this English speaking video [youtube.com], they blur his cigarette in a crude attempt to hide the fact that doesn't fit in our antismoking Matrix. With the reporter's strong antismoking position thus clear, the implication is that he couldn't get several minutes of continuous footage without the old timer lighting up i.e. the fellow must still be practically chain smoking (not unusual among Indonesian man).

      Tar is a pretty good preservative. Cf, the LaBrea Tar Pits....

    • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @04:56PM (#52786173) Homepage

      There's absolutely nothing remarkable about somebody that age smoking. Everybody did for most of their lives. And no doctor has ever claimed that smoking is 100% fatal.

    • Likely though he's getting better shit than we do. I'm still not so convinced that it's the tobacco that kills you rather than the various "perfumes" that get added to cigarettes around here.

  • Although there a many doubter, to me it doesn't matter whether this one person reached that age (his relative may argue or not), what matters is that it won't be uncommon in 70 years (those in their 50 and 60 could go beyond that). A number of technologies are reaching their tipping point.
    • For it to be not-uncommon in 70 years, a lot of 76 year olds now living will have to still be alive then.

    • Although there a many doubter, to me it doesn't matter whether this one person reached that age (his relative may argue or not), what matters is that it won't be uncommon in 70 years (those in their 50 and 60 could go beyond that). A number of technologies are reaching their tipping point.

      So far we have not come up with a single intervention of any kind, "technology" or not, that increases the human maximum lifespan by a single day. Nothing that actually slows down aging in humans. Nothing. What we are doing is preventing premature death. We are having a greater fraction living to the same maximum longevities already observed.

      So far the only interventions that actually extend observed maximum longevity in rats are regimes of privation that would be considered torture in humans, and could onl

    • So what miracle invention are you expecting in the next couple of years to make this viable? currently absolutely nothing is close to making what you're suggesting a reality, especially in such a short time frame to permit current old age individuals to suddenly double their lifespan from being at the tail end of their lives. I am 42, I doubt their will be anything by the time I reach old age, though I hold some very slim hope it would have to happen in the next few years to give today's young a chance.
  • Some day I won't remember to pull the ripcord.

    That's my insurance against living too long.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @06:09PM (#52786517) Homepage

    The big problem with living a long time is that your body deteriorates. I'm 41 and my body isn't what it was when I was 21. When I'm 61, I'm sure I'll be wishing I still had 41-year-old-me's body. But if I was 145? The problems I'd face simply because the human body doesn't handle that extreme level of aging well? I'm sure death would be preferable.

    If you could guarantee me immortality with my body frozen at 21 (or even 41), I might jump at the chance. Yes, I might regret it when everyone I knew passed away, but I'd constantly be able to see what's coming up next an could forge new friendships. But aging to 145 seems too long for me. Not that I'm looking forward to death, but I have a feeling that I'd be eagerly waiting it way before I hit 145.

  • by phrackthat ( 2602661 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @07:28PM (#52786795)

    However there are only about 35 people in the world over the age of 112. I'd say that having an identity card is a little short of absolute proof that this guy is 145.

    Between 2008 and 2011, there were over 4,000 people who applied for jobs using SSNs for people who were born before the 20th century.

    http://insider.foxnews.com/201... [foxnews.com]

  • An Indonesian man who claims to be the longest living human in recorded history has described how he "just wants to die"

    Get this man to a mental hospital immediately! If he wants to die, he's obviously insane and must be committed! He could potentially harm himself or others!

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @08:16PM (#52786941)

    The Unix Epoch is 01/01/1970, this guy is recorded as being born 31/12/1870.

    Perhaps someone was born 31/12/1969 and some function was trying to translate timestamps from one system to another.

    One day before the epoch is a bit of an edge case, and timestamp conversions can be funky. So instead of subtracting 1 from the 70 the function subtracted it from the 19 and now you have an official, but nonsensical, piece of identification in the system.

    Of course it clearly doesn't match the guy born in 1969, but surely someone noticed and "fixed" the problem by associating the record with it's rightful recipient, the oldest guy in the village.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday August 28, 2016 @08:21PM (#52786959) Journal
    I am from India. My uncle suddenly lopped off 25 years from his age.

    He was working as a village karnam a hereditary village official assisting land tax office and other official government work. A coupld of decades after the independence, the government decided to abolish the heridiatry position and regularize them all as "village officers". Part of the application process was filling documents for age and dates of birth. My dad told him government retiremnet age was 58 and he would be retired in 13 years or so. He did not want to suffer the loss of income. One of the official forms of documentation for date of birth was an affidavit fron the village karnam. So he issued himself an affidavit proclaiming him to be 20 years old!. Only adverse consequence was his traditional Hindu ceremonies he had to do as he turned 60 all had to be done in secret, lest the government becomes aware of his true age!

    Was thinking all the birthers could have gone to Kenya. The could find a local dynamic_cast(village karnam) to issue birth certificates for any one for any date.

  • Something about neural degradation in the brain? Been a while since I looked into such things.

    If he really is 20-some years past that, I'd sure like to know how/why. I'd like researchers to know how/why even more, and then put their findings to the best conceivable use - keeping me around longer.

  • What's more likely? That the record for oldest human has been shattered by 23 years, or this guy is full of shit? I know which I find more plausible.

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