"Life Extension" is a Narrow Brand

I'm noticing, now that the discussion of healthy life extension research is spreading, that "life extension" - as a label for the sort of results we'd like from medical science - is a pretty thin brand. Run a Google news search or blog search for the term every few days for a month or so and count the number of distinct talking heads; there aren't that many. In the past year, writers in the mainstream press have settled on any number of other terms to describe the lengthening of the healthy human life span; "life extension" has little mindshare out beyond the core community of supporters.

This means that it's pure speculation as to the banners under which the future of meaningful anti-aging research will be conducted. "Anti-aging" would be the obvious contender if not for all the history and baggage it drags with it. "Life extension" is all but falling by the wayside in the wider discussion. As an example, take a look at the Longevity Dividend article in The Scientist - each term is mentioned once, and only where it couldn't be avoided.

So what shall the brand of the future be? Speculation is encouraged.

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When life extension finally catches on, there'll likely be a short word we all use, no more than two syllables. When automobiles first appeared, they were called horseless carriages. But now we call them cars (shortened from the word "carriage"). Shorter monikers are almost always adopted over longer choices, even if people need to invent new words. People invented the word "fridge" rather than using "refrigerator," and "phone" rather than "telephone," and "PC" took root over "personal computer."

"Life extension" has no chance, and neither does "anti-aging" -- both are too long. If nanotechnology becomes a key player in life extension, then the word we all end up using 50 years from now may come from that industry. A word like sens might also have a chance to be The Moniker.

Posted by: Scott Miller at March 15th, 2006 8:06 AM

I suggest we brand it the quickening (but there can be more than one).

Posted by: Jody at March 15th, 2006 6:11 PM

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