Who remembers the Who song “Hope I Die Before I Get Old?” Brian Bergstein does, and came up with that witty title for the piece he commissioned for Neo.life, a new publication aimed at “making sense of the neobiological revolution”: how emerging technologies like mapping the brain, gene editing, and decoding the microbiome are changing medicine, society, and maybe even what it means to be human. Life extension is a big piece of this new landscape, and it’s typically framed in anti-aging terms. Here’s my take on why longevity science should embrace aging instead.
An excerpt: “Perhaps, not too long from now, we’ll be able to make the body of an octogenarian function as well as of that of a 30-year-old. That’ll be fantastic, especially if the advances become accessible to all. But 85 won’t be the new 30. It’ll be the new 85. And even the fittest octogenarians will be second-class citizens until we challenge the last socially sanctioned prejudice. Making the most of the new longevity means ending ageism.”
One thought on “Hope I Get Old Before I Die”
Thanks for focusing light on ageism. I’m tired of seeing stereotypes of elders that depict us as either crazy purple hat ladies, gouchy old men or generally feeble. I’m very interested cross-generational connection and breaking down some silos. We can all learn from each other and we don’t all have to be put in box.