Hourglass VI

The sixth edition of the Hourglass blog carnival on aging and longevity science is up at Ouroboros. One of the linked posts is a series of thoughts on the way in which we humans cut ourselves short by discounting the future: "The best example of human’s irrational dealing with the future is what is called hyperbolic discounting (also called: temporal discounting, or future discounting). Hyperbolic discounting is the human preference for small immediate reward over larger future payoffs. The further the time in the future of the reward the greater the discounting ... Humans are generally bad at delaying rewards and hence we too easily take the immediate smaller reward rather than delaying our immediate gratification for a greater reward in the future. ... I propose here that unless humans soon become better at thinking about the future - and not discounting it so much - we might not be able to make the changes we need for a better world and society. ... The same could be said about longevity research - if we can not imagine ourselves living longer and healthier lives - and not imagine it as only happening to a 'stranger' we [are] unlikely as a society to invest in this imagined future."

Link: http://ouroboros.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/hourglass-vi-a-carnival-of-biogerontology/

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