Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

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Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by Ego » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:48 am ... 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.

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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:10 am

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.

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Re: Age and the Tyranny of Opinion

Post by 7Wannabe5 » 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.

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