Defining the ‘O-Generation’
I can't answer everything you have written in response to my point of view. Sorry.
You made some good specific points but nothing that addressed the general gist of my posts. You mention fluoride and other environmental factors that you figure have dumbed down younger people. I could mention just as many, like access to the Internet, which may have an opposite and therefore neutralizing effect.
Again, can you cite any studies that show access to the Internet improves intelligence?. I am unaware of any. In fact, if you talk to teachers and especially university professors who have been teaching for several decades, they will all tell you, virtually to a person, that the quality and intellect of the average student nowadays has declined.
People who grew up with the internet are much more savvy when it comes to associative thinking, pattern recognition and analytical skills that arise more out of the realm of impression than out of the arena of sequential logic.
Again, can you cite some studies? I'm not aware of any evidence to support your contention. The Google generation can find information more quickly but in terms of retaining information without having to look it up and creative problem solving skills that transfer into real world benefits (such as generating useful inventions), they don't seem to be faring as well as previous generations. Also, ask some younger people to do math problems in their head. Most of them are not very good at it. In a survival situation, without access to a computer or the Internet, I fear for their adaptive capacity (or lack thereof).
Plus, younger generations have not been exposed to pesticides like DDT, like 'we' were. I am assuming you are roughly my age or of my generation.
Actually, they're exposed to much greater pesticide usage. For example, this article shows how pesticide usage increased from 100 million to 400 million pounds annually in less than a decade.
Also, there's no evidence that DDT has any effect on cognitive function. A professor that I had at Rutgers University (who was older than dirt) used to ingest a tablespoon of DDT each year in front of his class to show how low its toxicity was for human consumption. Now I'm not saying it's a good idea but he remained sharp mentally to a much later date than most.
I do think that in a world where contraction is required, you pretty much have an emergency situation and a jobs crisis that should preclude boomers gazing at their navels, with a "what color is my parachute?" attitude, when they are well past their prime AND don't need the money. Frankly, it seems kind of immature to me.
Calling their choice "selfish" and "immature" is an opinion, and to me, a rather misguided and insensitive one. Most of them do need the money. And who's to determine when their prime is? Prime isn't achieved, for most skilled jobs, immediately upon entering the workforce. They certainly worked before their prime. What is so terrible about working past their prime, especially if they need the money.
From what you have stated, you seem to have more than enough money. I would therefore recommend you generously give part of your money to those who don't have enough. In doing so, you can do your part to counter the selfish boomers who don't wish to give up their job. Create the world you want to live in. You can't change other peoples' behavior but you certainly have control of your own behavior.
Interesting that you mention dentistry. The only dentist practising in my area is in his late sixties and is considered by some of his former patients to be almost a hazard, as he insists on working when he should be retired. He has had major health problems that have to affect his manual dexterity and his judgement.
Obviously, that dentist should retire. But my dentist on the other hand, is doing very well. In fact, he is so busy, he doesn't accept new patients. And there is a lot of competition in our area. That says something right there.
He is trying to sell his practice at the present time but won't sell it to "just anybody". The reason stated is because he wants the next dentist to deliver just as high a standard of care as he has always delivered. That is a direct quote and underlines the other generalization I made. He's past peak self awareness.
His best before date is clearly stamped all over his slipshod root canals, but he doesn't see it. Why? The dude is old and not well — like a lot of people his age. We start to acquire all sorts of minor and major maladies as we age. Wisdom is understanding this and confronting reality. We're not as sharp and no matter how many crossword puzzles we do, nothing changes this general pattern.
The problem is with wanting to apply the general pattern to everyone. There are many exceptions to this pattern. For example, Jack LaLanne, at age 70, could bury most 17 year olds with his workouts. Arnold Schwarzenegger called him an "animal" after the 54 year old Jack badly beat the 21 year old Arnold in an informal physical contest. Here's an example of what he did at age 70.
- 1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.[37
From what you say, you notice your cognitive function is declining. That is the norm. Most people follow the norm but the norm is not the optimal. I've found that with regular exercise ranging from low intensity to high intensity, consuming neutrophic nutraceuticals (turmeric, phosphatidyl serine, phosphatidyl choline, lecithin, food based B complex, pure omega-3s heavy in DHA, etc), eating a wholesome diverse organic and wild foods based diet, lifelong meditation, qigong, etc., etc., my IQ now is actually slightly higher than it was 40 years ago. Here's just one guideline to how I achieved this status.
My daughter has a neuropsychology professor who is still teaching at 75 and I think his course is one of the best I've ever seen. He's quite an intellect. It would have been a shame if he retired young.
So if you and your husband retire young and give some of your assets to some of the less needy, I think that is wonderful. As this discussion has proceeded though, I'm not necessarily convinced that the sole reason your husband retired was to make way for the younger generation. Almost everyone I know who really loves what they're doing continues wanting to do it. Was that his reason or were other factors involved? Regardless of the answer, I also think that an older person who has something to contribute to society and wishes to continue working should be allowed to do so without suffering accusations of selfishness and immaturity and both subtle and overt expressions of antipathy towards them simply because they are older.
At this point, I'm really not interested in commenting any more on this subject so you may have the last word.
Hi again Ex,
I limited my criticism to people who clearly don't need a job, pigging out at the employment trough. It would be pretty darned cruel to suggest people who need income not work or quit work to make way for someone else.
My husband is a journalist by training. He has started a non-profit and we are planning to donate around 15% of our income and much of our time, to it.
In the last two or three years I have spent maybe 2000.00 in total, on myself. I cut my own hair and could fit everything I own, besides furniture, in two trash bags. Seeing as I'm not working I can be a bit of a slob and am able to do much of my clothes shopping at second hand stores.
In that same time period my husband and I gave close friends over 5,000.00 to help them out. We also helped a couple of kids who would have ended up homeless, by providing them with a place to live AND a little walking around money until they landed on their feet.
After my husband had a heart attack about 3 years ago, he spent his recovery time volunteering for Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.
Believe me, my husband and I ARE trying our best to create the kind of world we want to live in.
I hear you about some of the intellectual deficits that computers have helped to create. But I really do think that so many young people just think differently. They have attributes that we don't have. They certainly don't interact in the same way we do. I'll concede the point. Maybe we are devolving. I just don't know. I don't have a sense of that.