Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

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Ego
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Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by Ego »

https://philosophicaldisquisitions.blog ... hical.html

He thinks we need to accept that everything in life (peak productivity; cognitive capacity; physical prowess etc) is finite and subject to decay. We need to build a conception of a meaningful life that recognises and makes space for that finitude.

That sounds good in theory, but might be hard in practice. One reason it might be hard is because this whole line of argument assumes that people can simply pick and choose their own values rather than having them imposed from the outside. The great tragedy of ageing in the modern world is that devaluation results from the imposition of values and standards from the outside. How do you deal with that problem?

One way to cope with that problem is to take solace in the fact that if you are no longer perceived to be valuable in the eyes of others you are both (a) more free to determine your own value in life and (b) exempted from the burdens and expectations that are imposed on younger people. This can be liberating and uplifting.

IlliniDave
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by IlliniDave »

Hadn't had a chance to read the original blog, but regarding the excerpt, I don't recognize the pressure describes as being applied to me. Maybe it's an introvert thing, but I had to learn long ago that adopting all the conventional values didn't take me to a good place. A couple other quick thoughts are that there really isn't a universal source of outside values, so a person has latitude in where they draw influence/inspiration; and that there's sort of a generational aspect to it. Many people formulate their values at a fairly young age and often the societal values and standards leave them behind. I don't know if I'd say it's the same as being perceived to be non-valuable, but the road leads to about the same place.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Chicken-sh*t, fat, broke, or old? I know which one is most likely to keep me from doing what I want to do.

ertyu
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by ertyu »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:33 am
Chicken-sh*t, fat, broke, or old? I know which one is most likely to keep me from doing what I want to do.
all of the above for me lmao

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@ertyu:

In my experience, the order of primary limiting factors would be:

1) chicken-sh*t
2) fat (widely defined)
3) broke
4) old

And I think most professional lifestyle designers, including jacob, would agree.

ertyu
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by ertyu »

Do these work in combination? Like, better a skinny old than a fat young, as fat comes before old

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Right. It is better to be an old person who has a good handle on functioning out to "skin I'm in" level, than a young person who doesn't. However, this doesn't necessarily relate directly to adiposity. For obvious example, a miserable anorexic teenager is in worse shape than a pleasantly plump 70 year old with enough muscle in her legs and pep in her step to complete any desired bird-watching hike. However, if the pleasantly plump 70 year old was too chicken-shit to go skinny dipping with her bird-watching hike companions just because she was pleasantly plump, then she would be as bad off as the teenager.

This is a bit of an issue for me at the moment because I am trying to decide to what extent I can/should move boldly forward with my recently acquired post-menopausal pudge. I keep thinking about a bit of advice I once read along the lines of "If I had known what my body was going to look like in my 70s, I would have had a lot more sex in my 50s." IOW, I can't decide to what extent I need to adjust my fitness regime vs. my rational personal aesthetic.

ertyu
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by ertyu »

Hn. Thoughts:

"can" - the worst you'll get is no. Anything else that isn' a clear yes or no isn't about you it's about the sender.

"should" - what on earth is behind that?? why shouldn't you?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

ertyu wrote:"can" - the worst you'll get is no. Anything else that isn' a clear yes or no isn't about you it's about the sender.
No, the worst I am going to get is something much more horrifying and depressing which would be some very gracious form of rejection from a once devoted lover who used to unwrap me in bed like a boy anticipating a Red Ryder BB gun on Christmas morning. For me, it will be like I am forced to face Borges' imagined blackboard of tally marks enumerating specific life experiences left remaining and fully realize that will never happen again.
"should" - what on earth is behind that?? why shouldn't you?
Good question. Will ponder.

Toska2
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by Toska2 »

1. Broke
2. ?
3. chicken shit
4. fat
5. Old


36 and fit. Will read article later.

ertyu
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by ertyu »

@ 7w5: 2 thoughts re "can":

1. a once-devoted lover hopefully likes you. Imo it's not at all unreasonable to tell a longstanding partner (lsp), hey, i've been feeling bummed out about getting old, can you dial up the foreplay and the compliments. If they refuse, they're a jerk. Also, if they're a longstanding partner, they're likely not getting any younger either.

2. if the gracious rejection is because lsp isn't attracted any more once confronted with your ageing body, i still think the issue here is their relationship with their own ageing and not the fact that you have aged.

thought 3: ageing does suck sore and does deprive us little by little. better not deprive ourselves preemptively.

ofc operating without in-depth knowledge about actual situation/circumstances so these thoughts may or may not check out

ertyu
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by ertyu »

I'm 38 and for me, fat(adiposity + as a stand-in for unfit + probable resulting low mood through inflammation) + broke vie for first place. I keep telling myself if i weren't broke i could do something constructive about fat.

chicken-shit: in denial about this. this applies to other people

old: nothing i can do, so in denial about this also

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

ertyu wrote:2. if the gracious rejection is because lsp isn't attracted any more once confronted with your ageing body, i still think the issue here is their relationship with their own ageing and not the fact that you have aged.
Well, it's more like I got fat than I aged, although I am blaming it 50% on menopause, especially due to fact that I now have pudge on my belly as well as my ass. I could live with the extra ass pudge. It's the belly pudge that is getting me down. I once read a book on the topic of mid-life fashion written by a model who even though she stayed otherwise very slender, ended up with perma-pudge on her belly after menopause. So, I reckon there is some extent to which I can/should directly address the pudge and some extent to which I am going to have to reconcile myself to it moving forward.

Anyways, I talked to one of my sisters who has history of losing weight and then putting it back on and she said "I know exactly how you feel. Just arrive early and have as many drinks as you need to get through it." I am also considering "starve myself until the date" and spanx and/or corset as options. He's a very considerate lover, so asking for foreplay and/or compliments will not be necessary if he is still interested. Also, it's more the ramped up mutuality of desire feedback I am pre-emptively mourning due to not feeling terribly sexy, more than need for validation. Like somebody has to bring the wood and somebody has to bring the kerosene and somebody has to bring the matches, and the older you get the harder it is to rustle up all these components at the same time.

George the original one
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by George the original one »

I've found enthusiasm trumps most any negative.

enigmaT120
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by enigmaT120 »

Consent is my fetish.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Yeah, my fate could be worse than looking (and behaving!) more like a chubby teenager than most women my age. I think most men who would do Britney Spears' Trailer Park Aunt might still be interested. However, I would still prefer to be looking more like Grade C- Aging Hitchcock Blonde.

Jason
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by Jason »

I couldn't help notice that #1 in the popular page column on the right of the article was a John Stuart Mill piece because the author of this linked column on the elderly contextualizes the human being within the philosophical framework of utility. It's the dark side of the transition that occurred in the 18th century when the scientific method replaced metaphysics as the focal point of philosophy and the conversation turned away from the inherent dignity of man to his value and utility (see Holocaust). When one's identity is based on his/her value to society and society no longer deems them as valuable, well, if they are spared from the ovens and merely cut loose, it's time to go off and find their esteem, whatever that is.

That being said, if you look at recent presidential debates in the US, arguably the pinnacle of utilitarian values, it appears that being objectively fat (Chris Christie) is a deal breaker whereas being relatively fat (Trump playing golf is like watching a beached whale in chinos/Hillary's lower level) is acceptable. Chickenshit (little Marco Rubio/Flailing Beto O'Rourke) is a ticket to the exit whereas old (Trump/Sanders/Biden/Warren) is not. With regard to wealth, it's best to be super-fucking-rich (Trump/Bloomberg) or broke (Mayor Pete) as opposed to merely rich (Warren/Biden/Clinton/Sanders) or relatively well off (I'm tired of giving examples). For the most part, it appears that possessing the qualities to live in an exclusive senior day center is the best bet. Well, as long as you can still throw your food without requiring assistance and you don't need to be hooked up to a diabetes machine.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Jason:

Salem witch trials. Interesting how mostly older women with few surviving children were deemed to be of low utility to highly religious community. In general, it seems like highly religious communities have had little difficulty in getting around “inherent dignity” of those who are only deemed to possess 3/5 of a soul or one currently in the possession of Satan.

Jason
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by Jason »

Salem Witch trials wasn't utilitarian. It was theological i.e. witches were a real thing and women during the Medieval period suffered as well. Utilitarian concepts weren't around. Pointing fingers at the other side and going ad hominem doesn't negate the argument. The word genocide wasn't coined until after WW II. That is not a coincidence. And there is no argument that the great totalitarian regimes of the early 20th century were made possible by a utilitarian value system. Jews were persecuted during the Medieval period for their theological beliefs. They could have converted. They were persecuted during the 20th century because of their "Jewishness" a genetic inferiority of which their was no escape. That's not happening until Darwin/Mills. So if you think from the perspective of system and not practitioner, within a utilitarian framework, discarding the elderly makes perfect sense within that specific system. It's as consistent as a farmer throwing away fruit that cannot be eaten. Whereas, if the elderly are discarded in a Judeo/Christian framework or a system that starts with a position of human dignity, its hypocrisy. One is intellectually systemic. The other is not.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Jason:

Gotcha. However, it seems to me that you haven’t read On Liberty” if you think J.S. Mills would have been pro-genocide. Darwin and Mills very much weren’t black and white linear reductionists. They called for consideration and respect for complexity. Complexity is difficult to measure, but it is somewhat inherent in language. Any instance in which we exhibit respect and value by assigning unique name, we are recognizing complexity. Any time we generalize, we dismiss complexity and value, and also less consciously dismiss our own ability to achieve greater level of knowledge or empathy.

It is easy to recognize that each individual human is unique and complex enough to deserve his or her own name. Hello Jason, you are clearly one of a kind.

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