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What the hell is wrong with people who want to live a long time?

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posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:07 PM
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I don't resent old people, I don't want to kill anyone, nor do I want to deprive anyone of care or assistance that could enable them to go on living. Cool your jets grandma, I'm not taking you to the soylent green factory. (Not that our dinner from Carl's Jr was a lot better than that, but it's still different)

But I do think that for a very large number of people, dying on your own terms sometime before the age of 60 would prove to be a superior alternative, and that this would also improve the social status of those who do choose to take the downhill ride all the way to the end.

I spend a great deal of time around my grandmother, who is a widow in her 70s. She is still able to walk, drive, see, operate most modern electronics about as well as the average pre-teen, she has even liberalized her views considerably and accepted a lot of things that she might have considered unforgivable in past decades. She's still able to live well.

Unfortunately she doesn't seem to enjoy it most of the time. She spends most of her time complaining that the government is going to let her die, that her children don't love her, that her grandchildren are screwups, that her church is being taken over by Pentecostals, that she's going to have to take a dead-end entry level job to get by because her savings isn't worth what it used to be and she's no longer capable of being a nurse, etc etc etc.

I've always tried to treat her more like my mother- I challenge her with my real opinions rather than giving her the annoyed "yes grandma" that you hear so often, I've kept discussing new things with her and not treat her as if she was somehow a separated from the year she is living in, but it's getting harder and harder. She's a near-constant bring down at this point and it seems like she is less and less inclined to cling to any of the joys that used to balance out the pessimism and the distinct mean streak which can be traced at least a century back in her branch of the family tree.

Through her, today I met another old couple which brought this issue to the fore. They are quite nice and pleasant, but both suffering significant medical problems and with it a great deal of indignity. Their grown son seemed to be quite the sad sack- his treatment of them can only be described as burning karma like a teenager with a platinum card, and I hope that when his parents eventually pass away that he is crippled in a car accident and lives forever afterward.

This reaffirmed my belief that getting old is not for me. I've always referred to the money I spend on cigarettes and whiskey as my retirement plan, and insisted that if that doesn't get the job done before the down hill ride is underway, then I will probably take up demolition derby, gunfighting, or some other activity that can't possibly end well. But it also made me think it over in a less cavalier and more philosophical fashion.

When and how exactly should one hope to die, and to what extent should one actively pursue that goal? Obviously the answer will be different for every person. At least a few people are probably meant to hang on for every day that their heart can possibly beat. Perhaps my grandmother is one of those- her mother might have lived forever if she hadn't mistakenly trusted a bus to break hard for her when she was in her mid 90s, and for all the unpleasantness of the recent years she has never ceased to be willing and able to be a pillar in the family.

But a lot of us hit diminishing returns sometime late in middle age, and might want to put some thought into the social-capital we could raise by cashing ourselves in at some point.

1. As i alluded to earlier, just by virtue of a natural death ceasing to be the norm and becoming an unconventional choice, those who do pursue it despite the drawbacks would probably gain an extra measure of respect and recognition of their value, not to mention that the resources needed to properly care for them would be more available.

2. For those who do not hang on to the bitter end, there would be a certain liberation. You could probably get a lot more done the year you chose to die then you otherwise would in the whole remainder of your life.

My grandpa died in a fistfight with a burglar. He could have called the police- he knew something was going on when he went out to that garage- but that was never his style. He was the kind to give you an out, and if you wouldn't take it, to knock you upside the head and offer it again- a cowboy to the very end (somewhere up his family tree, an uncle or some similar relation of his had knocked Frank James out cold, and was nearly shot for it on the mistaken impression that Frank James was dead- at least that's the story that came down to me).
Sure it didn't work out so well for grandpa that last time, in his 70s- or maybe it did- the autopsy revealed that he had cancer, although he had told the family that he'd gotten his biopsy and was told he was fine- but either way before he finally crapped out he had a long winning streak of straightening out young men who were making the world a worse place- there are several stories of him facing down creeps who were harassing young women walking home from the highschool down the street- who knows, maybe he even nipped a rape or two in the bud.

Then there's the larger social picture to consider. Most of us aren't going to stand up to the government no matter how far out of control it gets- we've got too much to lose. But what if old people, instead of just being obsessed with voting, were notoriously likely to bludgeon congressmen with their canes?

3. Entertainment. Let's face it, danger is a hell of a lot of fun, but we usually don't go all the way out to the edge, for fear of going over. Imagine how much we'd learn about what a person could really do if large numbers of people in their late 40s to early 60s began a slow deliberate career of finding exactly where the edge was in the only way really possible? The printed record book would probably become obsolete.

So there's a start. Perhaps more to follow.




posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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ah i didnt go through your whole post but i guess i get the idea from the title. People are afraid of losing their stuff/relationships. So they stretch life too far, but the thing is old age will still take everything away too- even your dignity.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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But what if old people, instead of just being obsessed with voting, were notoriously likely to bludgeon congressmen with their canes?


Thats the plan.. youngin'.


As I get older and we hang around people our age I keep telling my husband how absurd it is to do all of this stuff to LOOK young as many of our friends do.. and still die at the average age. Even the health food nuts.. good old juice man died anyway. Illness and death is inevitable. I agree with your retirement plan and suggest you take up duelling rather than gunfighting. I want to be sick and done with living when its my time and dont want to die healthy and pretty.. and I want to take some morons out with me. Youll know the revolution is on when you see all of the elderly shuffling with a battle moan and canes raised rushing the capitol. It'll be like a zombie apocalypse, but the zombies will be the good guys.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by Advantage
Youll know the revolution is on when you see all of the elderly shuffling with a battle moan and canes raised rushing the capitol. It'll be like a zombie apocalypse, but the zombies will be the good guys.


Dear God is that funny, and right up my alley. I'm not old enough to be one of the zombies yet, but a zombie story also needs a band of ill-mannered misfits who force their way into the shelter and eventually do something that leads to the zombies getting in... I'd be happy to volunteer my services when the time comes.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:38 PM
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My old age retirement plan, drag racing, drinking to excess, possibly some illicit substances. Might just flame out early but it's gonna be fun!



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:40 PM
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Isn't that the whole point of getting old, you get to bitch & winge as much as you want to. I thought so. I for one can't wait to be a cranky, whiny old lady, getting grumpy at the kids. Lol gees the supermarket shoppings gonna be fun when I'm old, pushing in line, snarling at young parents that can't control their kids or snarling at young parents are using discipline !! Hm whatever I feel like grumbling at on any day I will.

Now as for being able to end ones own life due to incureable illness , dementia or whatever the reason. I'm not oppose to that either
doing this in some kind of fun way if you choose or for the greater good of your country or the world. Why not
edit on 4-7-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-7-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond

Originally posted by Advantage
Youll know the revolution is on when you see all of the elderly shuffling with a battle moan and canes raised rushing the capitol. It'll be like a zombie apocalypse, but the zombies will be the good guys.


Dear God is that funny, and right up my alley. I'm not old enough to be one of the zombies yet, but a zombie story also needs a band of ill-mannered misfits who force their way into the shelter and eventually do something that leads to the zombies getting in... I'd be happy to volunteer my services when the time comes.


All you have to do is throw down a trail of polygrip, butter cookies, peppermint candies and chocolate flavored ensure ( in that order) .. and you have a zombie hoard ready to knock some heads wherever the trail ends.


I think this is actually feasible....



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:43 PM
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I don't resent old people, I don't want to kill anyone, nor do I want to deprive anyone of care or assistance that could enable them to go on living.



I spend a great deal of time around my grandmother, who is a widow in her 70s....She's still able to live well.



Unfortunately she doesn't seem to enjoy it most of the time. She spends most of her time complaining,



She's a near-constant bring down at this point and it seems like she is less and less inclined to cling to any of the joys that used to balance out the pessimism and the distinct mean streak which can be traced at least a century back in her branch of the family tree.


BIt funny that, a rant complaining about old people complaining and why they should want to die by 60.

It's the right of the elderly to complain like whiney old fogeys, they've lived their life and probably had hopes and ideals leading up to the point of realisation that "Hey, it's all gone screwy... Damn it!" and who are we to say they can't?

But I do agree with the idea of having the voluntary choice to say enough is enough. When my time is up, no one will tell me otherwise. But that may be when I'm 60, 90, or when I end up with a terminal illness, or uncurable affliction that affects my quality of life. No damn god botherer or government slackjaw will tell me I have to keep on kicking.

When we're young we look to the future. Expectation creates desire. But when we're old, you look to the past. And lost dreams leads to misery. I'm going to make sure I'm a cranky old fart and give back what I took.


** This post in no way advocates the Curmudgeon party. 8]



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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I wonder the exact same thing... I even wrote up my thoughts on this sort of thing in this thread: The Capitalism of Longevity

My basic conclusion is that most everyone is afraid to die for one reason or another and thus they try to extend their lives to delay the realization of their fear.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by biggmoneyme
 


That's certainly a part of it. If you wanna know about clinging to life, just pick up a small animal and try to clutch him in your hands no matter how hard he tries to get away.... either he will cause you a lot of pain and escape anyway or you'll crush him and end up with a hand full of blood and fecal matter.

But beyond that there's the alternative (death) to consider. I think a lot of people aren't so much afraid to die as they are just way too deep into the habit of living- the idea of seizing death and making something of it in the same way you do with life may honestly not have occurred to some.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by mainidh
 


The irony is not completely lost on me. I recognized the description of myself immediately the first time I heard George Carlin's distinction between an old man and an old fart, which included the fact that some people are old men in their 20s. In that respect I've actually been getting younger throughout my 20s.

The thing is, I'm not saying that everyone should want to be dead in their 60s, I'm just advocating that people give the idea some healthy consideration and choose their own path, because there are people who would hide or obstruct some of your options, telling you that you have to keep living.

In so doing, they reduce life to a default state- they treat living like it is something that happens to you rather than something you do, and I think they do this because they want your life to be about the things they do to you- like taxing you and selling you stuff- instead of about things you do, like going out onto 'their' streets and having fun in ways that might cost them money. They'd rather zombify old people rather than hire somebody to clean up the peppermint wrappers.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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So an attractive 30 year old lady falls in love with a kind hearted 43 year old man. What happens when his time is punched out and she has to live her last 17 years in misery missing him?
Your underestimating I think the value an older person can give, what they mean to different people, who loves them and what they leave behind. Your view is fine, for yourself, but other people may just start having a world changing epiphany on their 61st Birthday.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 12:37 AM
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I'm just going to answer your question from my own standpoint because I'm one of those people that wants to live a long time. For me, it's a phobia of death. My reasons are a fear of oblivion. I can't wrap my mind around not existing or having a consciousness. I'm afraid that there is no heaven, hell, or afterlife and so that's why i want to live as long as possible. I know this, I don't know death. So, my simple answer: I'm scared.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
They'd rather zombify old people rather than hire somebody to clean up the peppermint wrappers.


Lmao, that made me laugh out loud


I know of retirement homes that fit that exactly. I heard of one that used 1 chicken to feed about 40 people. They are nothing more than pension paying commodities to these places. They are told life is precious, only god can know when your time is up, yadda yadda yadda, every day is a blessing, while these elderly people are drifting off into dementia to never recognise a loved one, if they even still have visits from them, let alone have any quality of life that gives it meaning. It's a daily suffering of forced necessity. So I do get you.

But by the time you're 60 you don't suddenly change your attitude. You're still feel like the same person you were at 20. You often can't just decide that it's time. Or for some, considering it is out of the question.

I know I still act like I'm in my 20's a lot of the time. And my 40+ year old body reminds me of it every single time, but if someone were to say think about offing yourself, well I've been doing everything to stop thinking like that lol.

I know when my time will be however, and I always clean up my own peppermint wrappers



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by Myomistress
I'm just going to answer your question from my own standpoint because I'm one of those people that wants to live a long time. For me, it's a phobia of death. My reasons are a fear of oblivion. I can't wrap my mind around not existing or having a consciousness. I'm afraid that there is no heaven, hell, or afterlife and so that's why i want to live as long as possible. I know this, I don't know death. So, my simple answer: I'm scared.


you wrote out my exact thoughts. I've come to realize that this is it.
The moment you stop breathing, you've taken your last breath for all eternity.
We are in between eternitys, living one fleeting moment, to return back into the nothing from which we came.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 04:50 AM
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reply to post by Qumulys
 


You're missing the point about choice. Of course it is possible to have an attractive younger wife and still want to die- either because she's an evil gold-digging skank or because your doctor refuses to prescribe viagra or for completely unrelated reasons- but I don't dispute the right of anyone to stick around and enjoy that relationship either.

Also on the flip side, I recognize the right of the attractive young woman to attempt to climb the Empire State building with home-made suction cups, even if the result is that some old man loses the catch of a lifetime- a consideration which will hopefully make for better husbands and better treatment of women.

Edit to add:
In response to your other post, and the point of still thinking and acting young occasionally despite the consequences- that's just the right spirit. Don't start playing it safe just for the sake of staying alive- keep on living even if it eventually kills you. One day the reminder might be a heart attack- but whatever there is after that heart attack that you will be missing will probably pale in comparison to all the fun you had before hand, since you didn't waste the second half of your able years staring out the same window in front of an exercise bike trying to prolong the inevitable in the safest possible manner.


edit on Thu 5 Jul 2012 by The Vagabond because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 06:10 AM
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reply to post by yourmaker
 


Oblivion is something I've had to wrestle with too. I used to expect my mortal life to be perfected in heaven and go on forever... then as I started figuring out that nothing is perfect or lasts forever, I started to worry that heaven might actually get boring and that I might prefer oblivion- which was depressing.

After a couple of decades and several very different phases of life behind me I started to adjust to the idea. We're always losing and gaining cells, thoughts, relationships, possessions- death and reincarnation is an ongoing process.

16 year old Vagabond is dead. Most of his thoughts, opinions and passions are forgotten, myths and misunderstandings of him have arisen, his friends have moved on, his possessions are scattered to landfills and storage auctions, his writings are lost to history. That life is over.
His DNA lives on. Few mutations that have occurred in the last decade or so- he's not as far gone as the last generation, but he's going that way and making good time.

Yet some of the matter from him is in me, along with some matter that was in other living things, and there is still a consciousness attached to that matter which I consider to be "myself" just as he was once "myself" despite the changes between.

So my physical being rearranged and went on, so did consciousness. New people and things and ideas clung to me and became as much "my life" as the old things that are lost forever and the things yet to come.

So, I've become a believer in reincarnation of a sort, not in the sense that I will plop into a new body with the same old soul, but in the sense that there will be an unbroken chain between the old state and the new state which somehow has preserved "me" despite the obvious end of just about everything that once defined me.

This can be understood in many ways.

Some will consider themselves in the 4th dimension as they do in the 3rd dimension- their children and even the unrelated stranger who ate the fish that ate the worm that ate their rotting corpse are no more disconnected from their current self than their torso is from their head, and therefore there is no reason to expect the experience to stop at death, anymore than there is reason to expect that your head will not experience whatever happens to your torso. Imagine being able to see the path that every single particle in existence had taken to get where it currently is, and the path that it will take next connecting everything, effectively giving you a view of all of time at once, and simultaneously showing you how profoundly connected everything is- how would you then decide where one entity ended and another began?

This leads us to the next way of looking at things, because the whole world would begin to look more like a single organism from that view, and the things within it like organs. You don't stop being you when you get a heart transplant- although some say it changes you a bit, but let's face it, you're not the heart of the universe. You're probably more like a single blood cell. Death is a pinprick.

Which leads to yet another way of understanding- because this larger organism you help make up probably has a larger consciousness that you make just a very small contribution to, and will generate something to pick up your slack when you have moved on- and consciousness may be more of a top-down thing that you get from the universe rather than giving to the universe.

Others will prefer to just see that as consciousness not being native to the flesh. Perhaps the brain does not create consciousness but merely receives and relays it. Figuratively speaking, you get a new computer, but you keep posting the same theories on ATS, and only enjoy the experience more courtesy of your more evolved machine.

Which gets to the transhumanist view on the matter. Imagine having computer hardware to expand your brainpower hundreds of times. When you died the computer would still be there, and so most of you would still be there- dying would be like losing a toe nail- painful but almost meaningless.

And you can apply these ideas together or separately. The point is that there is no real oblivion- there is no black void of permanent sleep, with or without dreams. There is existence and consciousness and experience that connects and changes forever- and therefore the fears some might have about cheating themselves out of an afterlife by destroying or isolating their corpse are just as well realized on a temporary basis by clinging to a finished life, and if you let go you can get on to enjoying the fruits of your life's work- which are not done just for the fleeting moment, but which we are naturally compelled to build with a self-interested eye to the future, despite impending death. That natural impulse must serve a purpose.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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People always say stuff to me about eating healthy, telling me im going to die anyway. Well, since Im going to die anyway, I can just bend over and take food colors, chemicals and junk right up there. Sorry, its not about that for me, I dont think companies should be chemicalizing our food no matter how long we live. Its a moral,principle kinda thing. I know this thread isnt about my rant but the food situation (no help from obama) is sick and decrepid...
edit on 5-7-2012 by avatard because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by The Vagabond
 


60? That's funny and sad and shows your age. I know just as many bitchy idiots who are young as old ones. Perhaps you are simply refering to a**hats in general who bitch a lot. Most people who are in the age group of 14-35 are complete morons who bitch and moan more than any other group. If you really believe any of what you are saying, you have a sad life.

CJ



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by The Vagabond
 


Hmmm. The attractiveness of the younger lady in my scenario of the couple was more about the fact the guy chooses to die at 60, but she still loves him, he still loves her too, but his selfish choice leaves her devastated. It's my fault I named her 'attractive' and that really had nothing to do with the argument I was trying to put forward.
So your response was more about her looks, whereas the point I was trying (but failed) to make was about the world not that he leaves behind, but about the world left to mourn for him. (talking in the family/friend type sense of 'world' here).

Sure many old people are miserable jaded ninny's, but for maybe 2 minutes a grand-daughter might jump on their knee and ask advice about the old days.
Those 2 minutes will keep that jaded old ninny smiling for the next 12 months.



I guess I am biased here, a work accident completely changed my life and the damage left me living with a time-bomb like cyst inside my spinal cord restricted to a wheelchair. Man, the things I wish I could do again, the things I'd love to be able to do more for my 2 kids (read my sig's thread if you like, I try!).
It's just hard to explain, but if some crusty knob is that jaded with life at 60, I'll take his bloody legs and turn them into a mountaineers set of legs.
edit on 5-7-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)

edit on 5-7-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)




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