Unless we can make anti-aging research more "sexy" and "cool" we should point most advertising efforts toward the baby-boomer nerds, who may feel more of a need to fund the MMP - given their age.
Ahh, good point. I'm 26, and I have to admit that I don't feel a lot of personal pressure. Whether the MMP starts building significant momentum in five or eight years, or in the next one or two, I'm convinced that scientific progress will be sufficient that I won't have to worry about aging. I've got 40 years for us to figure out how to dramatically slow aging, or repair/replace age-damaged organs; from there, another 30-40 years for us to figure out how to stop aging. Beyond that, well, I've got all the time in the world.
But my parents, and my wife's parents, and a few
other people out in the world, are in their 50's or 60's or older. It's for them that I seek to push this as quickly as possible. It is for their sake that I consider this research so urgent. I can wait. A lot of them can't. If we can't help them reach actuarial escape velocity, we should at least try to give them a couple extra decades, if we can.
And yes, I do realize that a certain degree of patience is necessary. From a PR perspective, the MMP will have fulfilled its job once a mouse has had the last third of its lifespan extended by a factor of [3 according to de Grey, but I speculate at least 4]. However, once its PR role is completed, its scientific goals will just be reaching their stride. And I suppose that as long as new mice continue to break the records, the PR value will be important to keep the pressure up on the scientists and the politicians.
So I realize we're in this for the long haul, and I'm willing to dedicate myself to this cause for 25 years. That's why I'm not too disappointed in the number of people that have signed up for The Three Hundred so far.
Having said that, I still feel the urgency. As many have pointed out, every year sooner that we bring a cure to aging, we "save" 50 million people. Given the incremental advances in age retardation that we'll probably have to make along the way, I figure the actual number will be far lower, perhaps 10 million people. But that's still a hell of a lot of people. Every day sooner that we have the cure, we save 30,000 to 150,000 people.
In my own family, that urgency is expressed as heart-felt advice about health. My dad finally has his diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure under control. He's exercising more (his body fat is down from 25% to 18%), taking his prescriptions, and using appropriate supplements (like CoQ10 to counter the side effects of his Zocor). CR would help even more, but I'll settle for getting him to stop damaging himself further.
This research becomes more urgent when there's a human face attached to it, and it's hard to suppress that urgency and take the patient road. I know that I need to work on my patience. But I feel that an infectious sense of urgency will help keep us all motivated.
That sense of urgency is expressed in the idea of the Methuselah Fly prize. Whether that urgency will help or hinder the Mouse prize, I can only speculate. That's why I'm looking for feedback, and I appreciate the feedback I've gotten so far.