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Aging Is a Disease; Treat It Like One

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the can-i-take-sick-days-for-aging,-then? dept.

Medicine 625

theodp writes "In a letter to Sergey Brin, Maria Konovalenko urges the Google founder to pursue his interest in the topics of aging and longevity. 'Defeating or simply slowing down aging,' writes Konovalenko, 'is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet.' Calling for research into longevity gene therapy, extending lifespan pharmacologically, and studying close species that differ significantly in lifespan, Konovalenko says 'it is crucial to make numerous medical organizations recognize aging as a disease. If medical organizations were to recognize aging as a disease, it could significantly accelerate progress in studying its underlying mechanisms and the development of interventions to slow its progress and to reduce age-related pathologies. The prevailing regard for aging as a "natural process" rather than a disease or disease-predisposing condition is a major obstacle to development and testing of legitimate anti-aging treatments. This is the largest market in the world, since 100% of the population in every country suffers from aging.'"

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Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589015)

More people living longer by artificial means.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44589045)

That's actually exactly what the world needs the more our society becomes knowledge-oriented. If you could double the active lifespan of a (sane, healthy) individual, you'd get twice the amount of wotk for the same amount of high-school and college man-years. It's simple economy of scale.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589129)

at the same time we're resource bound if people's life spans increased significantly and suddenly and our rate of growth stayed the same we'd starve ourselves in no time.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589321)

That sounds like a good reason to limit reproduction, not a good reason to make me die. I don't recall ever having made you die. What's your beef?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (5, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44589447)

Actually, if people continue to have the same number of children they do now, and our lifespan doubled (or tripled), we'd have a brief period of doubling or tripling the population, and then the rate of growth would fall back to original levels as people started dying again.

For most longer-living and/or higher educated cultures, the birth rate is already closely tracking the death rate. For those with a shorter lifespan, women are already limited to the number of children they can have in their lifetime, and the number wouldn't change.

Short story: the sooner we expand our lives, the better, as we can sustain doubling the population _now_, but that might not be the case after we travel further along the growth curve.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (2, Insightful)

onix (990980) | about a year ago | (#44589571)

If the suddenly lifespan tripled, and people died at the same rate as born, then the population would triple before it would stabilize. If lifespan tripling was also accompanied by our current population growth, then it would much more than triple. And if lifespan tripling also meant reproductive years tripled, then woah, we really have a huge population crisis on hand.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589141)

So much for the theory. And now look around you.

Essentially, it would give 90% of the population more time to waste, nothing else.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44589217)

What if there is knowledge that can only be revealed to those who amass a critical amount of knowledge and experience, or that is much more difficult to recover in any other way? What if there is such knowledge that nobody can open to us because we live too short a time? What would have happened if, e.g., Antonín Holý could have lived for another fifty years? I'd gladly trade this for some people having leisure time, as long as their net contribution isn't negative.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (3, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about a year ago | (#44589411)

The opposite is likely more true. For example, Einstein wrote all is great papers in his 20's. It is often said that the only way for science to move forward is for the old scientists to die. If we old farts stick around too long, we'll crush the crazy out-there creativity of the young. There's a reason we age and die: because it is better for the species. We here on slashdot have mostly become experts at something. I'm considered something of a "place and route" guru. Now I'm doing web programming instead! I love doing new stuff, but holy cow! The next generation of programmers need to grow up with this rat-bastard twisted way of accomplishing very little each day. I can hardly stand it. If geeks like us refuse to die, we'll stall this age of incredible progress.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (3, Interesting)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about a year ago | (#44589477)

The opposite is likely more true. For example, Einstein wrote all is great papers in his 20's.

Maybe if Einsteins 20's lasted 100+ years he would have accomplished more.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44589507)

Even if this were true, you'd have a smaller proportion of youths in the knowledge worker population, but at the same time, it might be feasible to sustain a larger absolute population of knowledge workers world-wide in the improved economy so it could at least partially balance out.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

skids (119237) | about a year ago | (#44589527)

It is often said that the only way for science to move forward is for the old scientists to die.

Sure, but where is the scientific proof of that. Also, were this proven, fields could just implement "term limits." Many would rather reskill than die.

As to the "all great works before age X" that is just a rule of thumb, some great things are introduced by the elderly, and as long as longevity is acheived in a way that avoids prolonged states of senescence, many would be acheived by longer living humans.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (2)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#44589231)

This. Imagine the absolutely huge amounts of crappy, useless posts now on ./, and then scale it infinitely. A veritable Ghraham's Number of useless, meaningless ./ posts.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589299)

Right. Whenever you ponder the advantages of longevity, read my posts and realize that given infinite life, I'll make them forever!

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589497)

Why are you make that sound like a bad thing rather than the best possible thing?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (-1, Flamebait)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44589193)

And far more people exploiting our natural resources. We're way beyond capacity as it is. I doubt the planet could sustain a mere 100,000 first world consumers, and we're orders of magnitude above that and climbing. So drastically increasing the number of people on the planet, and drastically increasing those who are first world consumers doesn't help us. But hey, on the bright side, it's probable that we're well beyond the decision point to stop or reverse the effects of thousands of years of destroying the environment, so why not? Let's just go out in a blaze of glory!

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589225)

And far more people exploiting our natural resources. We're way beyond capacity as it is.

No, we're not.

The doomsayers have been doomsaying for thousands of years, and we've always figured out ways to avoid the doom they're saying. But, hey, if fantasizing about doom makes you feel good, keep on doing it.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (-1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44589331)

I'm sure you're right. Our exponential appetite for natural resources will be solved with a little creativity and technology without ever running out, right? I mean, what's the worst that could happen if I'm wrong, besides the end of our species? Might as well not try to save the world and continue consuming, polluting, and eating everything in sight. Good point.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589381)

Yes, it will. The only thing that will 'end our species' is listening to the doomsayers.

But, as I said, if dreaming of global doom gets you off, keep at it.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589459)

You Sir, are a fucking idiot.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44589549)

Population size has always been one of the strongest catalysts for economical and technological progress. Having said that, why do you assume that keeping the population in check while prolonging the active phase of life would be impossible?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44589485)

I take it you have problems understanding the concept of an exponential function.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589539)

Just because the doomsayers have been doomsaying for thousands of years doesn't mean they can't eventually be right. There's good reason to be concerned about carrying capacity and what would happen if vital resources (like oil or water) become scarce suddenly or not gradually enough for graceful (or any) adaptation. At the same time, I'm with ya. There's a lot of doomer porn out there, and some people really get off on it. It's a scary way of looking at the world and our fellow creatures here below.

I'm somewhere in-between the Olduvai Oil Crash Club and the Singularity-obsessed "technology can always save us!" group. We're not inherently screwed, but it's naive to feel certain that we'll always be able to bail ourselves out of every global mess we make with more cool tech and toys.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#44589515)

Why is this modded insightful?
Are some non-hippy people seriously considering negative growth and other absurd anti-globalist options as viable?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589205)

This world needs people to die to make room for new people.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

Eddy_D (557002) | about a year ago | (#44589319)

Kind of, yeah. Nature's feedback mechanism.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589371)

Any couple that has four children is already doing more harm to the population than one person living forever. Should we force-sterilize people at two or three kids per couple?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (3, Interesting)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#44589419)

Any couple that has four children is already doing more harm to the population than one person living forever. Should we force-sterilize people at two or three kids per couple?

If only my modpoints would not have expired yesterday.

You, sir, are 100% spot on. I have 1 child, exactly for this reason. We can slice the world population in half within a generation and save the earth, rather than this energy conservation bullshit. There is enough to support 3 billion people.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#44589475)

I say sterilize after one. And heavy tax burdens for families with more than one child. Irresponsible breading will be the death of us all.

I absolutely agree (5, Funny)

Isara (869637) | about a year ago | (#44589575)

I say sterilize after one. And heavy tax burdens for families with more than one child. Irresponsible breading will be the death of us all.

You would not want to fry the population with mass-produced tasteless breading. To bread the right way, I suggest the following:

1 dozen eggs (per human)
1 lb flour
3 boxes of bread crumbs
herbs and seasonings to taste

1) Mix seasonings in bread crumbs.
2) Coat a damp human in flour.
3) Dunk human in eggs and then roll it around in the bread crumb mixture

Then you can fry and bake the human, but make sure that it's fully-cooked. You can get diseases from undercooked human.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589325)

And you'd get half the innovation. People get set in their ways before their brains start to physically deteriorate. Almost all the innovation comes from the influx of fresh eyes looking at the world their emerging into.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44589463)

If you could double the active lifespan of a (sane, healthy) individual, you'd get twice the amount of wotk for the same amount of high-school and college man-years.

So what do you do about the rest of us?

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589465)

assuming brain continues to be productive.

How about we try to slow down the population growth.

Re:Yeah, that's just what the world needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589117)

Yeah, and immortal autocrats and overlords.

That's so sad. (1, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | about a year ago | (#44589025)

Aging isn't a disease; it's a gift.

I pity the people who can't see this.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44589043)

If aging is a disease, fetuses are parasites.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589091)

They are a parasite no matter how you look at it.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589313)

You are confusing "parasite" with "helpless". One implies permanence, the other does not. Fetuses grow up into entities that are not only no longer helpless, but have every potential to just as positively contribute to society as the one on whom it once utterly depended on for life itself.

Re:That's so sad. (2)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#44589503)

No, they are parasites. For the term of gestation and for 20 or so years after birth at least.

Re:That's so sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589053)

feel free to have my "gifts" then

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589157)

I feel compelled to point out that the word "gift" is, with the same spelling and pronunciation, the word for "poison" in German.

Re:That's so sad. (3, Funny)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#44589255)

German is a funny language.

In the card game Magic the Gathering, there are cards that do points of damage to players.

In German, the word used translates not to damage, but to "suffering."

As in, "I play a lightning bolt against you. Take three points of SUFFERING!!!!"

Re:That's so sad. (1)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44589263)

That's nice, but he isn't speaking German, he's speaking English and in English it doesn't mean poison.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589333)

Depends on the gift, obviously. And as always, on the amount you get.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

FreeUser (11483) | about a year ago | (#44589401)

That's nice, but he isn't speaking German, he's speaking English and in English it doesn't mean poison.

Ah, but English is a Germanic language. Aging beyond young adulthood is deadly. If it is a gift, then it is a poisonous one, so the interlingual play on words is quite apropos.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year ago | (#44589427)

And in Danish it can mean both "poison" and "married" ...

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589095)

Aging isn't a disease; it's a gift.

I pity the people who can't see this.

Aging is a gift and then a disease. The disease part starts at about age 25.

Re:That's so sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589351)

I believe you are conflating aging with maturing.

Re:That's so sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589163)

Do you mean the experience that comes with age?

Do you mean the decrease in pressures on resources that come with the death caused by aging?

Aging makes you get old, makes your body fuck up. Detrimental by definition.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589221)

Sorry. I intend to live forever.

Re:That's so sad. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589315)

Why is this comment modded up? Suffering from disease, disability and decrepitude on both physical and mental levels is a gift?? Then even being in disease and disability at any age is a gift. Why bother treating them at any age?

Parent comment is so bad it's not even wrong (to word it like Wolfgang Pauli)

Re:That's so sad. (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589363)

Fortunately, the people who believe death is a gift will rapidly die out, and only us aspiring immortals will be left.

Ah excuse me?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589511)

Fortunately, the people who believe death is a gift will rapidly die out, and only us aspiring immortals will be left.

Who is this "us"?

There can be only one! And it's gonna be me!

And I saved ALL of my Queen albums!

You're doomed Highlander!

Re:That's so sad. (3, Insightful)

deesine (722173) | about a year ago | (#44589557)

This comment is modded up by young people who have almost zero exposure to death and disease.

Re:That's so sad. (1)

heteromonomer (698504) | about a year ago | (#44589397)

Sorry. Nobody wants to die in misery. May be you do. In constant pain, disease, disability, mental decline. I think you are confusing wisdom with age. You can gain experience without aging in the current sense of the word. http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/konovalenko20130227 [ieet.org]

Re:That's so sad. (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#44589513)

Right on, Brother!

Watch out what you ask for! (5, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#44589031)

How fabulous! If we cure aging, then we'll get to have WAR all of the fucking time because of the population pressure.

Or we can reserve anti-aging treatments for the rich and privileged.

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589089)

I'm not so sure about that. When you have an indefinite life span you have an awful lot more to lose.

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589155)

You also have a much longer time horizon. People don't much care what's going to happen a century from now since it won't affect them. Immortals very much do care, because they expect to be around at that point.

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589285)

You also have a much longer time horizon. People don't much care what's going to happen a century from now since it won't affect them. Immortals very much do care, because they expect to be around at that point.

Yeah, because people are so good at planning for their retirement and old age now. Good joke. LOL

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589309)

What does that have to do with anything?

People don't worry about retirement planning because they expect the government to bail them out. People in societies without welfare programs have been worrying about old age and retirement for thousands of years, that's why they used to have so many kids.

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589175)

Don't worry, everyone who has a lot to lose won't get to fight in the war.

Seriously, why do you think that would change?

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589125)

I. Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck.

Re:Watch out what you ask for! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589153)

I. Agree. With. You.

Furthermore. I. Believe. That. The. Population. Pressure. Will. Not. Come. About. Because. Of. A. Reduced. Birth. Rate.

As. Churchill. Once. Said., "Live. Long. And. Prosper."

%s/aging/stupidity/g (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589037)

FTFY

over population (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589063)

Aging is not a bug, it's a feature.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589087)

Aging is not a disease, no matter how much you as an individual may fear it. Aging is an essential process in the cycle of life. Whether or not it is a disease, stopping aging would hardly be useful to the people of the planet. You are not going to stop people from reproducing, so if you stopped them from aging, it would be disastrous. If you stopped both reproduction and aging, that would be equally disastrous.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589169)

If you stopped both reproduction and aging, that would be equally disastrous.

Actually, that would be perfect. Then I wouldn't have to worry about those damn kids being on my lawn for the rest of my long, long life!

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589273)

You are correct. However, if you want to do something equally challenging and far fetched as to "Cure aging" then one might find it quite helpful if you wanted to do something like colonize other galaxies or the whole universe. In this sense not every getting old could really be beneficial. But I completely understand how unlikely and ridiculous this argument sounds. Fun to imagine, but more science fiction then science future currently.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589281)

People in more developed countries already reproduce less. Why? I don't know. Because they can. Because they have birth control. Because they have time to put it off. Because the modern world offers options for entertainment and intellectual pursuit that make reproduction less interesting. Take your pick.

Aging wouldn't be helpful to the people of the planet? I am one of the people of the planet, and I would be fucking helped. My likelihood of growing old and dying is not your business, and should not be controlled by your nonsensical philosophical beliefs about "nature" or the "purpose" of various biological processes, or your unresearched, preconceived ideas about oft-disproved Malthusean limits.

How about this: everyone who gets their tubes tied gets the "live forever" pill, and the rest of you can keep poopin' out babies. Fair, right? Your wailing offspring won't have to compete with mine for jobs. They'll just have to compete with me, and my vast experience.

The world isn't full of fungible "people"-substance that needs to be purged to make way for more. It's full of actual living, breathing, feeling human beings, many of whom don't want to die, or watch their loved ones die, or have to take care of their spouse as dementia sets in and the personality they fell in love with sinks dissolves a cloud of blind, terrified animal suffering.

The sheer, inexpressible horror of the world and destiny left to us by "nature" has stripped it of any say in the matter.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589387)

You are correct. However, if we could "Cure aging" then we might find it quite useful for another equally challenging and far fetched, such as, colonize another galaxy or even the entire universe. Never aging could be quite useful for this purpose while also being " hardly be useful to the people of the planet." Yes, I do understand how ridiculous and unlikely this argument is. Is it fun to imagine, sure, but more science fiction than science future at this point.

Tithonus (5, Interesting)

jonyen (2633919) | about a year ago | (#44589105)

Make sure you ask for eternal youth.

"when Eos asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal, she forgot to ask for eternal youth. Tithonus indeed lived forever 'but when loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs, this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in a room and put to the shining doors. There he babbles endlessly, and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his supple limbs.'" (Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithonus [wikipedia.org]

Re:Tithonus (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#44589277)

This is an important point. If you are ever confronted with a genie granting you wishes, take a long time to consider thoughtfully your answer.

pandora's box (5, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44589111)

As much as I like the idea of a longer life, there is simply no way our planet will support it. Which means it would be a perk for the wealthy and influential, rather than the unwashed masses. Nothing good could come from that.

Re:pandora's box (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589185)

Who cares what 'our planet' will support?

99.9999999999999999999999999999% of all the resources in the universe start a few hundred thousand miles above our heads. The Earth is insignificant in the long term, and as immortals you have to think in the long term.

Re:pandora's box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589327)

Good point. We just need to refine our recycling ability, and it would be no problem for people to travel to any distant place even at our current slow maximum possible speed if they don't age.

Re:pandora's box (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589261)

Maybe the faggots will all die of AIDS and we can free up some room.

Re:pandora's box (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44589517)

As much as I like the idea of a longer life, there is simply no way our planet will support it. Which means it would be a perk for the wealthy and influential, rather than the unwashed masses. Nothing good could come from that.

How many people do you know that "live out their years"? Longer life really wouldn't affect us much; most people would still die by heart disease/stroke/cancer/car crash/etc. And as you live longer, the law of averages catches up with you. Longer cellular life just means a higher chance of death by violence or suffering. You'll still see very few people live past 130.

Missing a step (4, Insightful)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year ago | (#44589119)

You're going to have to "cure" starvation due to crushing population growth first.

Re:Missing a step (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44589265)

No need to worry, it's highly doubtful that the peasants will be invited, this is most likely supposed to be a toy for the rich and famous.

Just 'cause it's possible doesn't mean that we'll get it.

Re:Missing a step (1)

heteromonomer (698504) | about a year ago | (#44589367)

Yeah. We solved world hunger before we went into space.

Re:Missing a step (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44589543)

You're going to have to "cure" starvation due to crushing population growth first.

No, that problem is self-correcting.

quality, not quantity (4, Insightful)

dltaylor (7510) | about a year ago | (#44589121)

The statement "Defeating or simply slowing down aging is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet." is nonsense, if we do not first deal with the issues of , oh, for example, sex slavery (wouldn't it be GREAT to be forced to live 150 years as a sex slave?). How 'bout getting more people to a healthy 70, free of autoimmune diseases and cancer, well nourished, with a decent roof over their heads, and decent care for injury and illness? Could we, somehow, free the millions (if not billions) of women trapped in archaic, abusive societies?

We don't have enough decent-paying employment on the planet to support the population we have now, and you're going to double the number of years someone has to support themselves? Where do we find those jobs?

Maria Konovalenko has a serious case of aerobic encephalitis.

Re:quality, not quantity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589455)

... oh, for example, sex slavery (wouldn't it be GREAT to be forced to live 150 years as a sex slave?).

I think the career span of a sex slave would be considerably less than 150 years. They'd probably lose their looks by 120, or so.

Re:quality, not quantity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589533)

We get the jobs from a reduced birth rate. We lessen injuries and illness, because both of thos e increase sharply as the body ages. The vast majority of most people's health-care costs, the enormous burden that's suffocating g the national budget, is the result of aging, which also removes people from the workforce. Right now, you spend twenty years contributing little or nothing to society... work for forty-five years, then spend ten more costing yourself and everyone else a fortune, suffering in the process, and then you die. If you doubled the human lifespan in a way that kept people working, it would do nothing but good for that ratio of years, especially if you had to forswear reproduction to get it.

Do you want more tax money to spend on the other problems you mentioned? How about increased tax revenue from a healthy hundred-year-old who still goes to work? Do you think it's cheaper to let him suffer and die, at great cost, then replace him with a useless baby that needs twenty years of time, money, and taxpayer funded education before it can even get hired as a receptionist?

I'm hoping it happens but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589135)

The problem is that there are a lot of idiots out there and they tend to breed A LOT without thought. Anti-aging is essentially what may cause Idiocracy to come true. However, I don't really care, if it ever ends up in a war between those idiots and the more intelligent kind then so be it. I'll keep fighting to stay alive for as long as I can. Hopefully my generation can make it to immortality but we might bankrupt ourselves before we even find that possibility.

Prevent aging, on ONE condition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589179)

You must leave earth. You get to live forever, but get on a space ship and go fucking explore the universe. Don't over crowd this tiny planet.

Re:Prevent aging, on ONE condition... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44589201)

You must leave earth. You get to live forever, but get on a space ship and go fucking explore the universe. Don't over crowd this tiny planet.

Isn't that pretty much the plot of the recent Neill Blomkamp movie?

Except there it was supposed to be a bad thing.

don't take this the wrong way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589191)

But I'm hoping more of you are dying faster. I needs me some resources.

better with age (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#44589197)

1. liquor. 2. cheese. 3. and even human *beans*. aren't grandparents mostly wonderful? mostly?

100% of the population of *EVERY* country, really? (1)

Doub (784854) | about a year ago | (#44589219)

Yes, sure, go tell the people in Angola or the other dozen countries in Africa that have 30 years less to live than you on average that aging is a problem. Or maybe the OP was talking about 100% of the population of every country a typical north american high schooler ever heard about.

Wrong, it's a trade-off (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44589247)

Aging is a tradeoff. Cell reproduction and functions build up more errors at higher churn rates (metabolism). The end result is cancer. The alternative is to slow processes down to reduce the error rate, but slowing stuff down means parts start to not work right. Thus, we either die of organ failure or of cancer. There's no free lunch.

The only "fix" would be artificial error correction so that metabolism can be set to normal (30-year-old-like), and that's several decades away, at least.

Re:Wrong, it's a trade-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589329)

Can you explain how two thirty year old adults are able to form a zero year old baby?

Re:Wrong, it's a trade-off (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#44589501)

Or two forty year old adults, for that matter.

No, I can't, and that's a fascinating question.

faugh (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44589301)

is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet.

Most people won't be able to afford gene therapy or "phamacology". Lots of people can't even find enough to eat and/or can't stay well long enough to die from our current old age.

People who die young never "suffer" from aging. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44589347)

"This is the largest market in the world, since 100% of the population in every country suffers from aging."

This is completely false. Aging is only a problem once people are past their prime, and many people die before they get there.

IMO this should be our priority, not aging. There are many people who die or suffer drastically reduced quality-of-life because of problems we know how to fix, and can often fix cheaply and easily. We can get a much better QALY-increase-per-dollar by addressing the problems we know how to fix than we can by researching a cure for aging.

Insanity, pure insanity. (1)

cb_abq (894167) | about a year ago | (#44589377)

If we cure narcissism, then we don't have to worry anymore about people who believe themselves so valuable as to be needed by the world forever. There is no mathematical reasoning that supports an immortal species, or even one that has extended their lifespan beyond three or four generations. Nature, at least on this planet, will not allow it.

Caveat (1)

src1138 (212903) | about a year ago | (#44589385)

Wow - people have more faith in Google than I thought.
I thought this was a joke story at first. I interpreted it as "mortality is the number one cause of death in the world".

At least put some sort of qualifications in place lest we preserve a planet full of douchebags.

src1138

The stupides and most egoistic idea ever (0)

pesho (843750) | about a year ago | (#44589565)

There is no greater harm to humans as society and species than extending needlessly our life span. First it is impractical - how are you going to prevent the accumulation of somatic mutations? Second, from society point of view, what's the point of extending the life span in the context of exponentially growing population? We already have pretty heavy footprint on the environment. Imagine what would happen if we linger around for another 100 years or so along with our grand and grand-grand children. Third, from biology point of view species that have faster turn-around are more adaptable. Spawn, make sure your progeny survives and then get out of the way has always been the winning strategy. Finally, who the f*ck is Maria Konovalenko and why should anybody listen to her?

Disclaimer: Extending the life span may make sense for certain purposes like conducting deep space missions to other planets and solar systems.

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