Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Philosophy Wire: Old age. Young people. Stupidity. In that order...


Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2014-11-11]: The average age is rising in most nations, as people live longer and birth rates fall. This process is most advanced in industrialized nations. Germany has a fertility rate of 1.4 children per woman and a life expectancy of 80. Half the population is aged 46 or older, a world record shared with Japan. Germany has 60 per cent more people aged over 65 than under 14, and a a report earlier this year for the German finance ministry warned that the costs of ageing and declining income-tax revenues could cut the country's GDP by 3 per cent.

But greyer could mean greener, according to a detailed study of consumption patterns by age group. Fanny Kluge of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, and colleagues found that per-capita CO2 emissions in Western countries rise steadily as children become adults and as adults become more affluent. But after the age of 60, emissions decline by roughly 20 per cent when individuals retire and travel less.

The positive effects don't stop there, Kluge says. The alarming scenario in which pensioners outnumber those in work may have been overstated. The proportion of those aged over 65 in Germany is expected to rise from 21 per cent today to 33 per cent by 2050. But the need to support more pensioners will be compensated by a rising proportion of working women and a fall in the proportion of children. [1]

We search everywhere for solid benefits.
But the most serious benefits are immaterial.

In the old days the old people were the wise people. Everyone respected them.
Now the old people are the cast-off of  a society which wants to stay forever young.

One day we will fight off old age.
And only then will we realize that we needed it.

Not because they reduce carbon emission.
Just because... well because!
You will learn when you get old, that the most useful things have no reason to be useful.
Lokk at the old man next to you. He is you. You are him...

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