'Promote Life Extension'

Ronald B. Keys J.D. Ph.D rkeysphd at pipeline.com
Thu Mar 2 22:30:40 EST 1995


Dear Don, EBB Moderator & Interested Others: 
 
CLEAR THINKING ON PROMOTING LIFE EXTENSION: 
 
DEFINING THE PROBLEM: There is both life extension science and culture. The
problem is moving it from the fringe to (1) mainstream science and (2)
culture.  Some people perceive it even as being a lunatic fringe.  The life
extension sciences can be divided further into (a) life extension academic
science and (b) its related clinical sciences.  Life extension clinical
sciences can be divided further into mainstream pharmaceutical medicine,
nutritional pharmacology, herbology, homeopathy and other
sub-classifications.  Life extension, at this time in human history, is in
its infancy and is both a fringe science and culture.  
 
JUST A START:: HOW TO MOVE IT FROM THE FRINGE INTO MAINSTREAM: 
 
1. POLITICAL PROCESS: Influence the mainstream political process in our
state and federal congress by turning up the heat in its kitchen where its
ovens are located. Ask and encourage politicians and would-be politicians
to take positive positions supporting bills in our legislatures that
promote all of the different aspects of life extension science (funding
research projects) and culture (educational programs in our elementary,
junior, senior high schools, medical schools and law schools).  Find
politicians, develop mentor-protege relationships and forge
power-relationships with them since people will benefit with LONGER 
FUNCTIONAL LIFESPANS. Educate those who you speak with that the emphasis is
prolonging longer functional lifespans, enhancing range of function of
those currently disabled, enhancing treatment outcome and quality of life. 
Educate people that its time to retire the concept of "retirement" as we
know and experience it, today. Influence the political processes at all of
our local universities to incorporate basic concepts of the life extension
science and culture into mainstream academic and training programs, now.
This includes nursing, the entire dietary and food management industry,
accounting, law and particular, estate planning, clinical medicine in all
of its forms, art, science, literature.  There is a political process that
operates clearly at all colleges and universities that is connected to the
political process at state and federal levels.  It is all part of the same
continuum that requires a comprehensive political stratetgy. 
 
2. EDUCATIONAL PROCESS: Specialized educational curricula, age-specific
computer programs and teaching materials have to be developed for  children
at the youngest age that includes appropriate reading materials, coloring
books, dolls that show  shifts and changes in shape, body compartments and
changes in lean body mass as a function of age, changes in skin integrity
as well as video materials. Children have the capacity to understand life
extension science and culture(developing a new concept of personal hygiene
for children)  but do we have the capacity to teach it?  Teaching materials
have to be modified for continuing the flow of information from our
research computer databanks directly to our junior and senior high schools
and then to our medical and law schools. Bioethics of aging have to be
incorporated into basic literature coursework, into our law school property
and estate planning courses, and into mainstream clinical medical and
nutritional practice.  
 
3. POPULAR CULTURE: Screen and TV script writers should be encouraged to
develop more material about the positive aspects of a continued functional
lifespan well into the 80s, 90s and beyond since their works have such a
substantial impact on popular culture. More talk shows should cover this
subject without turning it into a freak show only for laughs and ratings. 
So, take a screen and/or TV script writer for dinner or lunch some time. 
Search out and talk to upcoming local reporters, TV and radio personalities
and develop credible, personal relationships with them. Encourage
playrwriters to develop drama materials that puts the process of aging in a
positive, constructive light. Develop graphic arts projects and comedy
shows that can be used in the media to teach, educate and entertain the
masses on positive aspects of aging.  The soil of popular opinion can be
influenced to reflect the exciting changes and ideas increasingly coming
off of the studies in our science computer databases. Life extension
science and culture is not just for oddballs but for everybody, if the soil
of popular opinion is cultivated. 
 
 
When the soil of popular opinion is properly cultivated, resources and
funding will come for further scientific research and the  evolution of
life extension science and culture.  Avoid a "true believer" (book by Eric
Hoffer) mentality and keep your center as you move forward, striving to
advance (1) functional ranges in aging people, (2) clinical outcome and (3)
their (your) quality of life. 
 
The children can learn, but, will we teach them?  
 
 



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