Jan 8, 2019

Mental Candy Is Also Unhealthy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension, neuroscience

We take a somewhat humorous look at the messaging and the comfort stories people tell themselves to distract themselves from seeing why age-related diseases and dying from them is a problem that needs solving.

Here’s what might be considered a paradox: right now, the Facebook page of Death Cafe—a place where you go to talk about death—is a rather lively place, whereas pages about life extension are comparatively rather dead places. This screenshot shows the activity of a Death Cafe post:

There is no doubt that the subscribers of the Death Cafe page are quite engaged, but if the average message that the page aims at conveying is the same as in the text snippet above, then there is no paradox at all. The core of that message is “don’t worry, death is nothing to fear” (which, incidentally, implies you don’t have to engage in any extra effort to prevent death), whereas the core message of a life extension page is, “death is a problem, but hey—with some effort, we can beat it. Maybe.” That’s a bit like a kiosk giving candy away for free right next to another kiosk that first serves you overcooked broccoli and then says that you might get a nice present decades from now, assuming that you work hard enough for it—where do you think most people would flock to? Exactly.

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