The Aging Mind

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Here’s a bit of good news, courtesy of US News & World Report.

Know also that there’s more to the aging mind than its decline. Some cognitive functions—like vocabulary and arithmetic abilities—tend to hold steady. So does well-practiced expertise like playing chess or the piano. In two areas, elders are distinctly better than younger people. With age, temperament mellows and emotions even out. Older folk generally pay more attention to their own and others’ emotional well-being. Perhaps that’s because wisdom grows with age and experience. Yes. When it comes to wisdom, seniors excel, consistently scoring higher than younger adults on tests of life choices, handling conflict and ambiguity, and setting priorities.

In contrast, wisdom is not a strong suit of younger people. As Francis Bacon observed, they take on more than they can manage, “stir more than they can quiet,” and are better at invention and execution than at judgment or advice. The Baconian answer calls for using the mental qualities of both young and old, allowing the strength of one to compensate for the other’s weakness. That’s good counsel and good practice, if we reckon our parents today will shortly be ourselves. (Emphasis mine).

So, the old pocket watch still has a few turns left, and I know how to make better use of the time. Still feel like a three legged nag at the Kentucky Derby…….

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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