LF07 | Triple Shot - Dec 21, 2022
Three interesting things: Cognability measures local cognitive health, NfX on longevity startups and the word 'Spandrels'
This week’s quick Triple Shot by Looking forward covers three interesting things
Tool of the week: Cognability. This rather ungainly word has been coined by a University of Michigan research team to see how supportive the community where you live (using a Zip Code) is to your brain health as you age. Its model looks at the positive opportunities for physical activities (parks, walkability), social connection (civic orgs, senior centers, restaurants and cafes) and cognitive stimulation (arts and libraries) while minimizing hazards (fast food, highways and pollution). It’s an exciting manifestation of last week’s Brain Healthy Cities vision - the Internet moves fast. [Thanks Kelly for the tip.]
Article of the week: Why we need longevity startups. Silicon Valley VC NfX has been a thought leader around network effects and I profiled them in last week’s Triple Shot due to their pithy summary of generative AI. They feature this week with a new call for innovators in longevity, ideally companies that offer: game-changing breakthroughs, new ways to address the information theory of aging, something relevant to today’s problems and something that has a clear indicator of effectiveness (how do we know it works?). The article ends with a powerful stat that “delaying the onset of age-related chronic disease to give each US resident an extra year of healthy living unlocks $37 trillion in present value for the US alone”.
Word of the week: Spandrels. Found in this article about the point of beauty. I like the fact that it sounds a bit like my favourite dog, but more importantly, it conveys a profound idea, that some things that we think are there there for a reason are just by-products of something else. For example, beauty (not that useful objectively) is a by product of sexual attraction (something with useful survival benefits). Similarly, the chin, language and music are believed to be byproducts of other more useful things.
Ok that’s it for this week. Wishing you all happy holidays and Merry Christmas for those who celebrate it. This Friday Looking Forward will be busy roasting potatoes so will skip a week and come back for a year end finale on Dec 30.
Feel free to spread the word about Looking Forward to those who might benefit. Meanwhile, wishing you all a healthy, productive and cognitively healthy week.
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