Tenovus Scotland, an organization that funds junior scientists, has apparently scored a winner with the use of genes to directly attack cancer without trashing healthy nearby cells.
This is MUCH more important than it sounds — and it sounds great. As previously stated, the aging process appears at rock bottom to be a defense against cancer. It’s more complicated than that, of course — junk accumulates (some of it, oddly, glows in the dark), but anything that can be done to simply smack down cancer the way an HIV+ patient currently goes “wake up, take pills, drink coffee, continue with life,” is a serious step forwards in the greatest battle of all — to stop the constant carnage of aging-related accidents and the continuous loss of human expertise and relationships that is entailed.
And that affects everything.
- Triple the human lifespan, and we can go to the stars — with today’s engineering technology (and today’s engineers!).
- Long-term thinking and planning: I have a friend in Arkansas who says it really takes about forty years for people to figure life out. I can’t argue — she’s got common sense coming out of her pores. Would you buy a shit-quality chipboard house, if you thought you might be living in it for eighty years? Or would you save up to build something that’ll actually last?
- Arts and Culture: we work in order to survive. We play for human enjoyment and enlightenment. As Brian Sutton-Smith so famously said, “the opposite of play isn’t work: it’s depression.” If humans can live long enough to amass the capital needed to engage in constructive and meaningful activity, and political ramifications don’t stop them, they will. After all, a quarter of peoples’ income goes to taxes… but the next 20-50% goes directly to simply taking up space. Pay off a mortgage while you’re still healthy enough to do things, and everybody around you benefits.