For Most People Conformity Today is of Greater Value than More Healthy Life in the Future

Here is a theory as to why, in this era of rejuvenation research and a growing longevity industry, most people continue to say that they would not wish to take advantage of medical technologies that allowed for a radical life extension of decades or centuries. We as a species discount the value of future gains quite aggressively. Being alive and in good health three decades from now is just not worth that much to the processes in our minds that assess values and balance them against actions and goals. Conforming to common behaviors in the primate hierarchy here and now, such as by not saying things that are too far out of the ordinary for one's demographic and peer group, will tend to win out. Most people will value present declarations of conformity more than they value any future gain in health and longevity.

Biomedical technology holds the promise of extending human life spans; however, little research has explored attitudes toward life extension. Investigated attitudes toward life extension about young adults, younger-old adults, and older-old adults. This survey asked young adults (n = 593), younger-old adults (n = 272), and older-old adults (n = 46) whether they would take a hypothetical life extension treatment as well as the youngest and oldest age at which they would wish to live forever.

Age cohorts did not vary in their willingness to use life extension; however, in all three age cohorts, a plurality indicated that they would not use it. Men indicated a higher level of willingness to use the life extension treatment than women. Younger-old and older-old adults indicated that they would prefer to live permanently at an older age than younger adults. If a life extension treatment were to become available that effectively stopped aging, young adults may be likely to use such a treatment to avoid reaching the ages at which older cohorts say they would prefer to live forever.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2021.100931

Comments

The event that mobilized a movement, focusing tens of billions of $$$ on the issue, and turned HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a livable condition, was putting ACTUAL people with HIV/AIDS at the front of the movement.

Aging does not have that figure head - not AdG; not Sinclair; not Barzilai; not "young looking" Reason :) ; not all of these 20-something Facebook advocates who "want to live forever!"; etc....

Though you may not want to hear it, the space is still just a disparate group of people, running in dozens of directions - that won't get it done

Until that happens, the majority of the public with not believe and not care

Posted by: Roger Shermer at June 14th, 2021 6:45 AM

All the more reason to abandon the ideas: of saving the world, undoing the FDA, and promoting widespread interest. Focus on the authentic potential demand, the detailed availability of funds and talent, and the most plausible 'time and commitment' expected from therapies as a service to be sold. From this focus, one can realize the likely frugal but essential path to incremental but consequent improvements. Identifying priority techniques and high impact lines of research; pooling cash to expedite. Facilitate collaboration on fewer objectives but intensify proportionately. Pinpoint real bottlenecks such as money, staff, and equipment, not ephemeral conceptualizations such as regulation and political choices on other worldwide issues. Treat it like a start-up not a PBS fund-raising campaign. The real money and demand is out there - but they do not suffer activism, causes, and political maneuvering.

Posted by: Jer at June 14th, 2021 7:00 AM

There is a huge bias that people don't really believe the treatments are possible so they subconsciously mix availability with desireability.
This is partially a coping mechanism with grim inevitability is slow and ugly decay

Posted by: Cuberat at June 14th, 2021 7:25 AM

To add - to what the three bots said - ;;;;;
Although entirely feasible, rejuvenation sounds like science fiction, and so scientists and modern academics, notoriously circumspect and risk-intolerant, dare not become "advocates." Many ethics boards, regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical corporations object to therapies that would interfere with the goal of "500 million people living in balance and harmony with nature." Indeed, this is a Malthusian luddite death cult you're up against, not a loose-knit collective of doddering, ill-informed policymakers who can be dissuaded with facts and logic.

The scientists are total pussies, it appears. Not only did they assent to the coronavirus nonsense and help push it without the slightest resistance, but they have been instrumental in the past 60 years of relentless psy-oppery against the civilian populace. Who was the last scientist who mentioned race and IQ? What about the last scientist to object to circumcision as a legitimate medical practice? Child sex changes? Modern science is 100% controlled by the emerging global tyrannarchy.

The discoveries and ventures made today first had to be permitted by those with next to zero understanding of anything, let alone physics, medicine, nanotechnology etc. For instance, John McCain was paid by HBO to sabotage the then new sport of MMA. Why are some so naive as to think corruption could never touch the medical sector? Without submissive servants, commanders such as the FDA would hold no power at all.

And the pussies, they most likely think they're not permitted optimism because of ethics, or because they've been conditioned to think that pessimism is tantamount to intellectualism, and so that intellectuals must espouse defeatism at every turn to receive respect and funds. That kind of socially inept aspergery is expected of brilliant, high-achieving minds. Unfortunately, those minds are like putty for those psychopaths in governments who possess great social tact and middling intellect.

Very few scientists and medical start ups will dare venture far beyond diagnostics and the trap of infinite data collection. To suggest that data can be used to treat people might be interpreted as "starry-eyed" or even delusional. "We can diagnose that you will die, and this data tells us precisely how long you have left to live. No, sorry, we can't prevent your death, but rest assured in knowing that it will form part of a new statistic that MAY one day be used in diagnostics that could make better statistics..." that's the lack of an engineering mindset you've spoken of before. Medical researchers are trained in research only, thus passively looking at and describing things is all they're capable of. And you can be damn well positive that if they ever deviated from that, then government-funded "I fucking love science" shills at PBS and pop-sci magazines, the globohomo-funded "skeptic" shills like Bill Nye, Michael Shermer, and DeGrasse-Tyson, will come out of the woodwork to steer that slice of futurism back in the direction that the showrunners want it to go in-back toward promoting death and suffering (covid wasn't an accident; neither was 9/11... just ask Lucky Larry Silverstein).

Posted by: John O. Brennan, CEO of Blackrock & Sons at June 14th, 2021 9:04 AM

The real question the article does not answer is whether the survey respondents advocate forcing people such ourselves to conform to the consensus on antiaging life extension.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at June 14th, 2021 11:03 AM

Once the option for radical life extension is here nearly everyone will take it. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Posted by: Fitzy at June 14th, 2021 11:41 AM

@Fitzy
If the that option read available I am wouldn't give a rats ass about those opinions. However, this mindset actively impedes the anti aging research and finding.

Posted by: Cuberat at June 14th, 2021 11:51 AM

p.s.
i have squandered my edit grace period. not that mi was saying something profound anyway

Posted by: Cuberat at June 14th, 2021 2:02 PM

Most people shouldn't live forever. Good to hear that they don't want to. At least there won't be need for drastic measures to get rid of the buggers.

Posted by: Jones at June 14th, 2021 2:24 PM

There is a growing segment of the population that are nihilists, and others who having seen decades of descent into tyranny, have given up. Mike Adams of NaturalNews came out today saying he thinks that there may be many who simply and quietly wish they were dead. We should work to make the future something people look forward to, the the parallels to dystopic science fiction are all around us. George Orwell's "1984" is on the best seller list.

I was at the pool with my 7-yo twins yesterday thinking about how fine one of the little girls they were playing with would be as a mother of my grandchildren.

Posted by: Thomas Mark Schaefer at June 14th, 2021 3:05 PM

Mike Adams is a bit around the bend. But he does say valid things from time to time. Mike Adams frames it in a Christian context. But it is a context that even I as the hard core Randian atheist can completely relate to.

I think he is on to something. He thinks its all driven by a desire for fame and social recognition. I actually think its much darker than that. Many (most?) people simply do not feel they have anything to live for and, consequently lack the desire to continue living. Call it a form of ennui. We used to discuss this at Alcor meetings back in the late 80's. We never had an answer for it as we saw the philosophical gulf between ourselves and the rest of humanity as being fundamentally unbridgeable. Nothing I have experienced over the succeeding 30 years has changed my mind on this issue. That's why I have no answer to it and cannot (and do not) speak to "normal" people about these issues. This is what makes it so "dark" for me.

As long as the cost and access to resources are available to us to cure aging (and develop any other technology that we may want) are available such that we are able to do it all on our own, I've decided that the attitudes of other really don't matter at the end of the day. .

Just like that old Nike ad: We just have to Do It.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at June 14th, 2021 6:02 PM

+100 for John O. Brennan's post, now that's some unfiltered raw common sense and an accurate diagnosis of today's societal sickness that's holding back human progress in many ways, not just the medical sciences.

We've got a billion highly educated conformist zombies, but very few willing to boldly face the hard problems (in every science or social issue) and dare choose some outrageous goals to work on.

Posted by: Sanchez at June 15th, 2021 9:33 AM

I agree with cuberat this is primarily a coping mechanism

Posted by: JohnD at June 16th, 2021 12:06 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.