POLL : Aging research booster

by blogospheroid1 min read2nd Nov 201210 comments


Personal Blog

I wanted to take a poll among LW folk since this question I had didn't seem to have a straight forward utilitarian answer. Please correct my impression, if wrong.


A government has a limited budget of USD $10 Billion, which it will award in 10 years with which it plans to encourage aging stoppage/reversal. It plans to do this in a relatively fair manner by announcing a competition in which various therapies will be evaluated.

The methodology is simple. The photographs of people who have undertaken the therapy and a control group are shown to people and they evaluate whether this person looks B years old or B + I years old. Similar checks are done with the blood and various other health checkups. These are evaluated by doctors, who answer the same question. Does this look like the report of one who is B or B+ I years old. All possible blindings are done correctly.

B is the base year against which the therapy will be evaluated and I is the increment of years for which the therapy should work.

For eg. the competition announcement can be. The government will offer the prize of $10 Billion to the team that demonstrates stoppage of aging from the age of 30 to 40. (Here, B is 30 and I is 10)

What do you think are the optimal values of B and I, given the constraints mentioned above (There are actually two variables which I assumed constant for this , the amount of the prize A and the time in which the research has to be done T.)

The reason I thought this wasn't a straight forward question is that there seem to be tradeoffs between whether to increase the work life time (eg. 30 to 45) or should we cease aging at retirement time (eg. 60 to 75), allowing for greater leisure.

Assume that this therapy is tested on women. 

[EDIT : Confusion with the poll system. The polls are in the first comment]


10 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 4:19 PM
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Base Year


Increment in Years


Why focus on appearance and not something more directly health-related?

Appearance is the aspect where ordinary people will be doing the judging.

I have explicitly mentioned that health reports will also be taken and assessed by doctors.

Why did I choose appearance?

There were a few triggers.

I had heard a comment about Ray Kurzweil in which the person commenting had mentioned that " If he says that his body is that of a 30 year old, why doesn't he look 30 years old". For some reason, this comment stuck with me much longer than an arbitrary internet comment should have. Appearance is something that is easily gauged and difficult to really fake, atleast over a good period of I like 20 years (the median value in the survey as of yesterday)

Also, having an aspect of the study being done by ordinary people increases the populism of the proposal, increasing the probability of it being accepted.

Good answers - and I did miss the health reports part.

A kind request to those entering fantastically large values in the increment field.

The point of such a prize would be to reveal therapies that overcome the barriers to acceptance of the possibility of genuine aging reversal/stoppage. This prize is not envisaged to be given at a time when these therapies are mature and common knowledge.

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Cypher in ro13 after you've voted:

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Gunaxf sbe lbhe vachgf, Qn Senaxre naq Zvyrl.