Perhaps you have been wondering about this too. I have been spending a good deal of time in research, thought and writing recently in order to generate long technical blog posts such as those in the recent three-part series on Auto-immune diseases and lymphomas. This has led me to ask myself again why I am doing this work. What I am up to with this blog and the Anti-aging firewall treatise in general? I am not being paid to do the work and I am not getting university or institutional credit for doing it. And I am not accepting advertising on my web sites. So why am I doing it? I could be seeing good movies instead. I share the answers I came up with here.
Having defined myself as a research-synthesizer in the longevity sciences, the work I do, the researching, the thinking and writing the blog entries and updating my treatise serves me in several ways. The work helps me:
· To develop a working familiarization with the basic scientific disciplines relevant to longevity, including human biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, nutrition, genomics, and several areas of medicine What I am learning would require many years of undergraduate and graduate study, important for me since my college and graduate school study back eons ago was concerned with other topics.
· To develop a working understanding of the forefront areas of longevity science and relevant developments in the many collateral fields and research areas involved (like advanced molecular biology, genomics, proteomics and the other “omics”) including a capability to read, understand and digest relevant research publications in these areas.
· To be comprehensive in my coverage of longevity sciences. This entail exploring and developing familiarity with important areas peripheral to longevity, be these specific disease processes, bimolecular pathways, genomic and stem cell developments, methods of biotechnology engineering, or nutritional substances with extraordinary capabilities.
· To develop a capability to synthesize understanding across several disparate fields and areas of scientific research so as to be able to see emerging new patterns in the longevity sciences and what it will take to achieve extraordinary longevity.
· To communicate my understandings, realizations and new syntheses freely to others who might be interested, documenting what I write meticulously with research citations and maintaining a high standard of intellectual integrity. My writing is targeted to health professionals and individuals seriously concerned with the sciences of aging.
· Through this process to gradually build up a constituency of readers who follow my work. As of the time of this writing between 500 and 800 people with unique URL identifiers visit my blog and treatise sites and view at least two web pages every day. (My whole treatise is defined as a single page).
· Through this process, to realize feedback, suggestions, encouragement and collegial relationships with concerned parties.
· Through this process to achieve a growing level of legitimacy in the anti-aging science community which will in time allow me to develop institutional affiliations, speaking and consulting engagements, and income streams.
· To maintain and expand my own intellectual capability as I age through applying it on a daily basis in a most-challenging area of emerging knowledge.
My commitment to researching, thinking, writing and publishing an almost-daily blog has been a way of forcing myself into the discipline necessary to move forward as above. Writing for purposes of sharing forces me to think clearly. And having a significant reader constituency is forcing me to be creative, relevant and interesting. My readers, I thank you for being my professors. And please let me know what you think and what you would like to see more of.