The Future – Stay focused on what matters

Aubrey de Grey – The Future – How to stay focused on what matters while fighting the small battles.

Marzena Kmiecik: Can you find a cure for aging?

I always like to be careful with the word cure because the word cure has connotations that come from the word that we develop medicines for infectious diseases when we expect to eliminate them from the body and a big part of the problem we have today is people think about the possibility of cures for the diseases of all age like Alzheimer’s. That’s the wrong way to think because it lead people into attacking the pathology symptoms of Alzheimer’s when in fact we can see very easily if we stand back that that’s never going to work and we need to actually attack the causes of the diseases but if we ask question in the way you meant it…I could just say all we’re going to bring out under comprehensive centrally complete medical control so that people will be able to stay as functional, medically and physically as you and I are however long we live and how are we going to achieve that within our lifetime, then I think yes I think we got a good chance. I think we’ve got at least a 50/50 chance of going to that kind of plan within as little as 20, 25 years.

Of course that’s extremely speculative because any time you’re pioneering technology you never know what new problems you’re going to encounter. I would say at least a 10% chance that we won’t get there for 100 years but you know a 50% chance is worth fighting for and so yeah I think we’ll make it but the point is it doesn’t really matter because I don’t think in terms of the benefit to any particular person whether it’s me or you or my wife or my girlfriend I think in terms of benefit to humanity. I think in terms of the 100,000 people that are dying every day. If you think about those terms you don’t care about which 100,000 die bringing the thing forward then it’s much more motivating.