On Dec 22, 2014, at 5:49 AM, Reason wrote:
> On 12/22/2014 04:21 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>> Tom : while your desire to develop a professional documentary is admirable, I would suggest that any such move be coordinated with organizations already doing that work.
> This is an odd thing to say. The community definitely needs more independent efforts with their own points of view and their own approaches. Diversity is very necessary in advocacy; it is the best way to raise the odds of landing on a good strategy or outcome that can inform other efforts. Given the present trend towards greater public awareness and appreciation of aging research, this is certainly the time for more independent efforts rather than fewer.
Discussion of strategy can figure some things out without having to try everything. It’s much cheaper to eliminate some strategies intellectually instead of experimentally.
When a discussion reaches unanimous agreement, the conclusion is fallible but still better than experimentally trying out something contrary to that agreement. If everyone thinks something isn’t worth trying, it’s not worth trying. If someone can learn a reason something isn’t worth trying, and lose interest in trying it, that’s good. (Even if they are mistaken sometimes, on average learning and judgment are good.)
Unanimous agreement can be difficult to come by, but can still be much easier/cheaper than than having a bunch of organizations trying a bunch of things out.
Further, empirical results of fundraising projects often do not settle disagreements or lead to much learning. There are no guarantees there.
It’d be hugely more efficient if everyone would take a big interest in discussion, and get all the verbal criticism they can, before putting resources into projects. Don’t say diversity is good (true in some ways) as an argument for doing projects that haven’t been thoroughly exposed to critical discussion (why? not efficient!).
There is also a problem where the actions of one group can give the whole anti-aging cause a bad name. Reputation crosses over between groups somewhat (this can be mitigated if one group repudiates another publicly, but that’s a huge mess, so you have to live with some shared reputation). So it’s dangerous to have loose cannons who don’t want to participate seriously in in-depth intellectual discussion to learn about any ways their projects may be counter-productive.