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How old are you?

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How old are you?  

709 members have voted

  1. 1. How old are you?

    • 18 or below
      123
    • 19 - 25
      276
    • 26 - 30
      74
    • 31 - 35
      51
    • 36 - 40
      30
    • 41 - 45
      31
    • 46 - 50
      16
    • 51 - 55
      11
    • 56 - 60
      9
    • over 60
      12


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How about the range 26-35 then?

I'm really just trying to defend the aged from your unprovoked attack on our ability to figure out all this new-fangled gadgetry.

I'm not questioning ability, just willingness. I figured that if you've gotten along without something for a long time, there's little reason to go out of your way to learn it. Also, I'm talking tendancies, not causality-- there are obvious and numerous counterexamples to the behavior I'm citing (my own grandfather being one of them), but that doesn't negate the trends I've seen.

I'm not trying to diatribe against the elderly here-- just looking for possible explanations for the poll results. :)

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Also true. The tricky thing about looking at statistics is that any given causative explanation may not be exclusive. I see no reason why it could not be a combination of these factors-- they certainly both seem plausible.

In fact, after thinking a little more about it, my explanation may not hold water. I may be improperly inferring that characteristics shared by most older people (ages 40-70, to answer your other question) are shared by older Objectivists. Most older people I know are uncomfortable checking their email, let alone participating in an online forum. Because it's easier to learn new technology young (when you aren't "set in your ways," so to speak), it makes sense to assume that older people are less likely to participate in an online forum. However, I'm not at all sure that this would be the case, since I imagine that Objectivists (the primary participants at OO.net) would want to be at the forefront of technology.

I'm 55 and signed up for this forum because I have recently re-read Atlas Shrugged (about 5th or sixth time), and started looking on-line for information about the upcoming movie. The forum is relatively easy to find, and signing in and voting (my age) were part of my renewed curiosity. I have two comments - 1) older people who are immersed in business are usually quite involved in emails and the internet - and for any leaning towardss objectivism, it's immense value as an informational resource is abundantly clear and enticing. 2)older people, who have probably read Ayn Rand years back, haven't necessarily moved away from the philosophy, but have -as should be expected - nevertheless moved on with the focus of their lives, and so do not always seek out objectivist sites. My re-reading of AS renewed my interest and curiosity, so I've checked back in. Unfortunately, I work 60-80 hour weeks right now, so I know I won't be as active on this list as some.

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This particular poll might have more to do with who participates on internet forums rather than who Objectivists are. I suspect any older Objectivists would be less likely to use an online forum just by virtue of not being as familiar with computers.

Ha ha. Computers have been around long enough that even old codgers like me (42) know how to use them. More likely the reason is that college age is when most people discover Objectivism and are most actively involved in it. That's how it was for me, only we didn't have online forums then.

(I learned how to type on a manual typewriter, how to calculate on a sliderule, and how to program using Fortran coded onto Hollerith cards. Growing up, hi-tech was color TV and touchtone phones.)

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You want to feel old and really have time fly past? Wait until you have kids. My daughter is going to walk across the stage tonight in a cap and gown as she graduates from high school. This Fall she's off to dance and go to school in NYC. It just seems like yesterday when she was a little crumb-crunching monster running around the house....

Oh, my...don't say that....Alec's only a week and a half old....I don't even want to think about that now...(or what it means for me....) :)

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(I learned how to type on a manual typewriter, how to calculate on a sliderule, and how to program using Fortran coded onto Hollerith cards. Growing up, hi-tech was color TV and touchtone phones.)

IN the Army we still use typewriters for some things. I have to admit, I felt pretty young (and pretty stupid) when I sat down at it and said,"now how does this thing work?"

I had used them in my youth (my dad STILL has his), but not from about 10 and on...so at 21, sitting down to one was a frightening experience. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm 17 years old :). I'll be 18 in... 24 more days, 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 8 seconds... hehehe (and so will my twin sister). I'm looking forward to that, if you couldn't already tell :lol: . I'm hoping that once I turn 18, people will stop discounting my views using ad hominem - just because I'm 17, doesn't mean I can't be rational, hmph! In my opinion, I consider myself to be more mature and to have a much firmer grasp of my own views/conclusions then most of those that I've met that exceed me by many years.

In my experience, no matter how strongly you defend your convictions when you're young, they are considered to be unequal to those made by someone who is more advanced in years. I've even had older family members laugh in my face when trying to have a rational discussion, and even then they didn't feel the need to tell me directly, just: "Isn't that funny? She thinks she can know about that at such a young age! hahaha!" :huh:

I guess this is due to the fact that most teenagers don't have a true sense of self yet, or because they see teenagers as being influenced by the smallest thing... changing their mind with each passing "phase" or something. I guess I just don't understand how this can still happen if the young person in question provides sufficient evidence and reasons for everything they say, and conveys an understanding of the subject that surpasses most of those who are of similar age.

It makes me so mad - after 5 minutes of defending myself, and pointing out the errors within the other person's statements, with reasons - to recieve a smile, and to be told: "Well, you're still young. Your ideas will change when you get older, I'm sure." It seems this is considered a valid argument that simply stops the discussion then and there, and no protests of "... but my age has nothing to do with what I've said. Everything still stands, regardless of how old I am," will change that. I was just curious if anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this? (other then slamming my door and playing loud, screamy music, and dying my hair purple as a rebellious statement :huh: )I'm sure you can see how I wouldn't appreciate being told that I'll outgrow Objectivism, and that it's a phase of some sort.

Just to clarify - I do realize that you're more likely to have a greater understanding of everything the older you are, simply because you have had more time to study, learn (from mistakes and otherwise), and experience things first hand. But obviously it's quite possible for those of a younger age to be more knowledgeable (or as knowledgeable), as a person who is older in one or more (or all) areas.

I hope I'm still sticking to the topic here :nuke: , after all - I'm curious as to how someone could think a person could "outgrow" Objectivism... I strongly doubt that could happen to me, even if I am at the "questionable" age of 17 :P . Also, do you think age has a lot of impact on anything of importance, really? (Aside from children/youth who are unable to make rational decisions, contracts, ect..) For instance: do you think in general, that teenagers can determine what is "best" for themselves? Or that a 14 year old couldn't be a responsible driver, or live on their own? What if the teenager in question was an Objectivist - would that change anything, because they are using a process of reason the same as an Objectivist of any age? I find this quite interesting. Especially all those scientific studies about how you reach certain mental capabilities around certain stages of growth... but anyways, I've written more than enough already... I've got to learn how to write a short post one day... :lol:

Edited by nofearnolimits
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When I turned eighteen, all of a sudden God spoke to me, and I no longer believed in Objectivism. Also, reality ceased to be real, altruism became a virtue, Communism became the best social system, and Kandinsky and Joyce became deep and profound. :nuke:

Actually, I think the best way to deal with such people when they imply that your ideas are not valid because of your age is to point out that they are not offering a real argument. You could also ask them how they formed their ideas, and what caused them to change their mind. Most people, young or old, don't have active minds and will simply repeat whatever bromides they've grown up with. There's no way to reach an inactive mind.

If none of these suggestions work, you can always try this: :lol:

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When I turned eighteen...

hehe :lol:

Actually, I think the best way to deal with such people when they imply that your ideas are not valid because of your age is to point out that they are not offering a real argument.

I've tried pointing out that what they're doing is ad hominem... but it suddenly feels like I would be "out of place" to try and continue the discussion. Mostly, I'm at a loss, so I just end up looking around confused at how anyone could consider the discussion to be "over". It was odd - this happened with my grandparents last week, and they said: "Don't worry, we still love you no matter what you think." :o Needless to say, I was quite speechless...

If none of these suggestions work, you can always try this: :dough:

Let's call that "Plan B" :D

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I'm 23 and nofearnolimits reminds me a hell of alot of my experiences at 17. The only reason I can see to justify such age based attacks is the tendency for teens (at least those in my old debating team) to adopt a veiw with great enthusiasm without any real knowledge of the issues. If I had a penny for every Marxist 18 year old who has never actually read Hegel, Christians who have never read their own Bible (cover to cover, even once), Objectivist who has never read... a readable summary of Kant, I would be a wealthy man.

A further problem is that some philosophies (in my experience) have a stronger effect on some ages then others radical philosophies like Marxism and Objectivism appeal to the optimism and intelligence of the young while ideas like Christianity appeal to the older - this tendency does not help us.

Keep in mind I'm talking about general tendencies not absolute rules here.

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In my experience, no matter how strongly you defend your convictions when you're young, they are considered to be unequal to those made by someone who is more advanced in years. I've even had older family members laugh in my face when trying to have a rational discussion, and even then they didn't feel the need to tell me directly, just: "Isn't that funny? She thinks she can know about that at such a young age! hahaha!" :huh:

...

I hope I'm still sticking to the topic here :worry: , after all - I'm curious as to how someone could think a person could "outgrow" Objectivism... I strongly doubt that could happen to me, even if I am at the "questionable" age of 17 :P . Also, do you think age has a lot of impact on anything of importance, really? (Aside from children/youth who are unable to make rational decisions, contracts, ect..) For instance: do you think in general, that teenagers can determine what is "best" for themselves? Or that a 14 year old couldn't be a responsible driver, or live on their own? What if the teenager in question was an Objectivist - would that change anything, because they are using a process of reason the same as an Objectivist of any age? I find this quite interesting. Especially all those scientific studies about how you reach certain mental capabilities around certain stages of growth... but anyways, I've written more than enough already... I've got to learn how to write a short post one day... :lol:

"On the human imagination events produce the effects of time, thus he who has travelled far and seen much is apt to fancy that he has lived long."-James fenimore cooper first sentence of his deerslayer novel.

I've always loved that quote. Life really is about your experiences. 28 years in front of the television will not make wisdom as fast as 3 years experiencing the world first hand. Unfortunately, though I would like to tell you that 18 is a magic age where people take you seriously, I can't because it isnt. It will happen gradually and if your experiences are at all like mine, you might start to notice a slight difference in treatment by the time you are 25 or so.

In general you will have great difficulty changing peoples minds, but this is especially true when they are older then you. A couple dynamics are at work there. First when you are young and have your life ahead of you, you tend to be looking at what will work for your future. This, for most people tends to alter to trying to justify what they have already done as they age. It is really difficult(though not impossible) to make great mistakes and carry heavy regrets by the time you are 17. 72 years of living according to faulty philosophy and its almost guaranteed. So what Kind of philosophy do you need when you have made mistakes that damaged your life or others lives? One that a)forgives you and b)is sufficiently vague that you can alter it to fit the actions in life. So any attempt to ask someone to give up the one thing which allows them to live with themselves far after the mistake can be ammended, is all but certain to fail.

The other thing is that your parents and grandparents are supposed to know more then their children and grandchildren and unless they are possessed of great self esteem will not stand being educated by thier students. Same applies usually with trying to teach your highschool teacher or college prof.

My best advice is to not take any of it seriously. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their insecurites. Imagine if you were speaking to a 46 year old government employee and trying to convince him that the overpaid government job he has held for the last 20 years amounts to little more then foodstamps and a welfare check and that he ought to go out and try working for a living in the real world. If you were unable to convince him(which you would be) it would have nothing to do with you, your age, your method of explaining, or your overall knowledge of objec tivism. There is nothing you could say that would change his mind because for him to do so would obliterate his self-esteem. So when you find that someone you are speaking to seems completely incapable of accepting reason, start asking questions to find their vested interest. Once you find that, then you know whether you need to give up and stop wasting your time or how to put it so that they can change their mind and agree with you without having to admit to mistakes in their life.

Hope that helps,

Best regards

Gordon

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I'm curious as to how someone could think a person could "outgrow" Objectivism...

Here is Miss Rand's answer: ;)

It is not the nature of man - nor of any living entity - to start out by giving up, by spitting in one's own face and damning existence; that requires a process of corruption whose rapidity differs from man to man. Some give up at the first touch of pressure; some sell out; some run down by imperceptible degrees and lose their fire, never knowing when or how they lost it. Then all of these vanish in the swamp of their elders who tell them presistently that maturity consists of abandoning one's mind; security, of abandoning one's values; practicality; of losing self-esteem. Yet a few hold on and move on, knowing that the fire is not to be betrayed, learning how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever the future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential.

When a person says something like "I read Atlas Shrugged as a kid and was quite impressed, but now I ... <insert excuse>," they are in effect saying: "I have given up on my life." When somebody tells you that you too will "outgrow" Objectivism, they are saying: "Sooner or later you'll give it up too." They are saying that the ideals of Objectivism do not work in reality, and that growing up is the process of "learning" this; that your noble vision of life is a childish mistake; that your ambitions will not stand the test of time.

Your mission is to prove them wrong! :D

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Two things I've noticed as I've gotten older. One is that you are constantly confronted with the absolute stupidity in your fellow human beings as you go about your day. Just spend a little time watching how people act on the highway. Get in a philosophical debate with your coworkers who have more college education than you do. It wears on you after a while. The other is you start marking the march of time by; It's payday, rent's due, car's due, electric's due, phone's due, rent's due again?, kids are out of school? It's summer? Living can sap the spirit and drive right out of you if you let yourself get stuck in that rut. So then it becomes your job, your duty, to stamp on and kill off that enthusiasm you lost when you see it in the young, because you know 'how the real world works'.

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I reply, finally:

28 years in front of the television will not make wisdom as fast as 3 years experiencing the world first hand.

Hmm, but we are all technically "experiencing the world first hand" - are we not? Even when you're still in highschool, you're just experiencing that particular experience within this world. It's not as if highschool is one world, and college is another. I'm sure it changes your life and your daily routine if you go from highschool, straight into working full-time. But that just adds the "working full-time" experience to the list. It's possible that one person could be rich enough to not have to work, and they decide to basically live infront of the television for 2 or 3 years... Another person could start working, carelessly, without a new thought in their head... perhaps they also save some money and travel, aswell - yet they spend the time lazing around on beaches, or looking at artwork which they don't try to understand or have an opinion about, just mimicking previous reactions. Now let's say the first person watches "educational television": biographies, history, science, math, and some carpentry/cooking/philosophy videos... it's possible that the television-watching person could learn more, and be more prepared - or have more "wisdom" - then the other person. It depends on how you take things. You can take them in, you can think about them - or you can not take them in any way at all save noticing and then forgetting at the first convenience...

Unfortunately, though I would like to tell you that 18 is a magic age where people take you seriously, I can't because it isnt.

That's good, actually. I don't expect to suddenly be treated as "an adult" instead of "a teenager" the moment I turn 18 (in 4 days now :) )... rather, I can point out that I'm legally recognized as "an adult". And I'm hoping that means something! But, *sigh*... it probably doesn't... even if it should considering their reasoning. Oh well. I think if they've made up their mind that I'm too young, meaning I can't possibly be right (unless I agree with them, of course. Heh. :glare: ), then I have pretty much no chance in convincing them otherwise. Now I wonder why I'd bother wasting my time trying to have a discussion with them, if they don't even take me seriously...

But I'm glad that is not how it works, literally. If I was to be ignored the day before I turn 18, and then listened to the next day... that would be so wrong. Perhaps my strong feeling of injustice comes from my seeing many adults well over 40 just living out the rest of their days, as they had lived the previous 40 years - aimlessly, without purpose, without care. And then I'm to be told by them that they understand more than I about life, who am I to judge them?, because I don't know how hard life can be and they do. I take myself very seriously - so when I'm not taken seriously, it gets to me. Then I am to see the aforementioned type of people being treated with respect, with a seriousness that I could never command, because they have over fourty years of life experience. I've tried to convince myself that they're being treated that way for another reason - not just age - but if they are, I certainly can't see it.

The other thing is that your parents and grandparents are supposed to know more then their children and grandchildren and unless they are possessed of great self esteem will not stand being educated by thier students.

Yes, my grandparents are very old-fashioned. They feel they know best - no ifs, ands, or buts. My parents are... uhh, crazy? To put it nicely. I can see how both are very very stuck in their ways. I think if it was anyone else, I would give up this quite futile effort - but I do care about them (well, almost all of my family), and I think if I steadily hold my position, they've got to accept it eventually! Maybe before I'm 28... but I don't think I can stop trying with them :). I'm just too stubborn for that...

My best advice is to not take any of it seriously. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their insecurites. Imagine if you were speaking to a 46 year old government employee and trying to convince him that the overpaid government job he has held for the last 20 years amounts to little more then foodstamps and a welfare check and that he ought to go out and try working for a living in the real world. If you were unable to convince him(which you would be) it would have nothing to do with you, your age, your method of explaining, or your overall knowledge of objec tivism. There is nothing you could say that would change his mind because for him to do so would obliterate his self-esteem. So when you find that someone you are speaking to seems completely incapable of accepting reason, start asking questions to find their vested interest. Once you find that, then you know whether you need to give up and stop wasting your time or how to put it so that they can change their mind and agree with you without having to admit to mistakes in their life.

You're right, thank you. I've recently had a debate with my friend's sister, who is a vegan/environmentalist/PETA member. It felt like banging my head against a wall, really. She told me that "believing" that humans were superior to "non-human animals" was just my "religion" :huh: . My friend is a few years younger then her, and fortunately more reachable. I think it makes a lot of sense that it would be harder to let go of your ideas - even if they're wrong - the longer you've held them as your own. They would become part of you, I think, in some way. Even though I would toss out any conclusions the moment I found them to be false, it seems most people hold onto them long after that. I'm not naive enough to think that I could change my grandparent's (or even my parent's) views. But I simply think that with a lot of effort, I can make them accept that mine aren't changing. This isn't that important, of course, as long as I know that. But I don't like to be the target of anyone's crusade.

Here is Miss Rand's answer: ;)

When a person says something like "I read Atlas Shrugged as a kid and was quite impressed, but now I ... <insert excuse>," they are in effect saying: "I have given up on my life." When somebody tells you that you too will "outgrow" Objectivism, they are saying: "Sooner or later you'll give it up too." They are saying that the ideals of Objectivism do not work in reality, and that growing up is the process of "learning" this; that your noble vision of life is a childish mistake; that your ambitions will not stand the test of time.

Your mission is to prove them wrong! :D

I'll do my best ;)!

Two things I've noticed as I've gotten older. One is that you are constantly confronted with the absolute stupidity in your fellow human beings as you go about your day. Just spend a little time watching how people act on the highway. Get in a philosophical debate with your coworkers who have more college education than you do. It wears on you after a while. The other is you start marking the march of time by; It's payday, rent's due, car's due, electric's due, phone's due, rent's due again?, kids are out of school? It's summer? Living can sap the spirit and drive right out of you if you let yourself get stuck in that rut. So then it becomes your job, your duty, to stamp on and kill off that enthusiasm you lost when you see it in the young, because you know 'how the real world works'.

Hmm, I've been exposed to the first one somewhat. But it's slowly getting easier to deal with. As for the second one - that sounds truly awful, if life would pass you by like that... in that haze of obligations. No doubt that would sap the life right out of you. All of those things are the unimportant things, though. They surely shouldn't be "marking the march of time" in any significant way, or be considered as an important event in your life. Maybe I'm just a young, naive, teenage optimistic ;), but I think it would go more like this: It's payday - the earnings of my productive effort for the week, at the job I've chosen willingly, to be spent in whichever way I see as enhancing my life the most, rent's due - it feels good to have a place to call "mine" in this world, and it's good to know I have it for another month... bills are due (not very important), kids are out of school - they're growing up so fast... the world is theirs for the taking, every day I have complete control of what I do or don't do, I can finally afford what I've been saving for - what I've earned, spending the weekend with my loved ones, having debates/discussions, hanging out with friends (even if we don't have a lot of time for that) - friends whom I can admire and be myself with, reading/posting on OO.net, reading AS for the 56th time :lol: , waking up to a new day, going to sleep at the end of one.

The things you listed should be no more important in one's life than that of glancing at the clock to note the time. It is not those things that you will remember if you reflect on the past day, or the past week, or the past year. I suspect you would think instead, of: a good conversation, a significant moment, a goal reached, goals yet to be reached, a tiny detail which broke the "daily routine", and what you love most in your life. If I'm wrong though, and you feel the need to do your job and kill off my enthusiasm... well, first of all, good luck. Secondly, I don't think it could be true, not if you love your life. Thirdly, the "real world" works exactly the same as it always has - regardless of age. It exists, and will continue to do so, but it can't be experienced in the exact same way. Usually people of the same age would be experiencing it in the same way, generally. Atleast they are likely to have more in common, but there are exceptions. If being in the world for a longer time means I will get used to it and therefore appreciate it less somehow, I think you're wrong, though. :)

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Ah, good post. Let me comment from my slightly older position (+5 years).

Perhaps my strong feeling of injustice comes from my seeing many adults well over 40 just living out the rest of their days, as they had lived the previous 40 years - aimlessly, without purpose, without care.
Yep, right to the point. How is it that they live so bad, and yet feel that they can judge you? Based on their experience? No, that is nonsense, if they are living badly, then they can't judge you. Though, they do anyway, b/c they feel the age has given them something they didn't have.

Really, no kidding. Imagine someone who is stuck with a wrong idea. At the age of 15-20, they don't feel that good about it, b/c they are not old enough to be certain. But then as they get older into 30+, they suddenly feel that their age has given them permission to feel that their wrong idea has somehow turned to be right.

The usual flawed logic is: "Well, by 30s I should know what I'm doing [though I don't feel right], but I should, so it has to be so [but it's not]." The only solution their mind can give is to construct a mental block over it.

Admitting that you were wrong about something for 10-20 years takes courage, but feelings get in the way and they wouldn't let themselves feel bad about themselves for being wrong. So, they deny it.

And then I'm to be told by them that they understand more than I about life, who am I to judge them?, because I don't know how hard life can be and they do.
You might as well ask yourself who are you to say that A is A. The bottomline is you have a brain, you are capable of logic and reasoning. If you can't judge based on your logic, then what else could you do?

You are in position to judge.

I've tried to convince myself that they're being treated that way for another reason - not just age - but if they are, I certainly can't see it.
That's b/c the reason is the age.

Here's a usual flawed logic here. How can you know how this is, unless you have experienced it firsthand? Or how can you know me if you have not seen everything I do for past 10 years [or whole life]? One might as well ask "How do you know all apples are attracted by gravity if you have not seen all apples?"

B/c you have logic, and you can build abstract concepts. Those who are in denial with their life, had very likely damaged their logic. Thus, they can't use it to build abstract concepts. Thus, they don't get how you have come to think what you think without all experiences they have had. Thus, they turn to your young age as your fault. [Which it isn't anyway.]

Hmm, I've been exposed to the first one somewhat. But it's slowly getting easier to deal with. As for the second one - that sounds truly awful, if life would pass you by like that... in that haze of obligations. No doubt that would sap the life right out of you.
Luckily, it's your choice. Just like in Atlas Shrugged: you can feel bad and pity those who don't want to live [in proper meaning of the word] and thus giving up your energy on them. OR you can concentrate on your life and what you like to do and do it.

I have found from studying others that they often don't know what to do, but they really want to feel like they know their goals. Instead, they end up following someone else's goals, and never discover their own.

The things you listed should be no more important in one's life than that of glancing at the clock to note the time.
Yep.

I suspect you would think instead, of: a good conversation, a significant moment, a goal reached, goals yet to be reached, a tiny detail which broke the "daily routine", and what you love most in your life. If I'm wrong though, and you feel the need to do your job and kill off my enthusiasm... well, first of all, good luck. Secondly, I don't think it could be true, not if you love your life.
Good. Enthusiasm is your energy, don't let anyone break your concetration and waste it on meaningless things and worries.

Thirdly, the "real world" works exactly the same as it always has - regardless of age. It exists, and will continue to do so, but it can't be experienced in the exact same way.
"Real world" is a construct other people use to show their apparent wisdom. [those people of whom I talked about above]. You've probably heard of many more similar claims: "Wait till you get a girl-/boy- friend, and you won't have anytime free time left," "Just wait till X, and you will find you've lost Y."

You are right, there is no real/surreal life. If you open your eyes and look, you'll find it the way it is.

What is really scary, is that they basically, preaching non-thinking. "Oh, you can't be smart enough yet, don't think about this." Keep your eyes on these things, and don't let yourself accept them.

Usually people of the same age would be experiencing it in the same way, generally.
It's true in many cases. However, for us who think, it is meaningless, since most people think little or none.

With age, you can clear see how people who think and who don't, grow further and further apart. It astonishes me to see this. However, I keep watching myself not to expend my energy trying to change them.

We, who think use reason, those who don't - don't use it. So, if we try to teach them, we can only use reason, and they don't get reason. So, you will be figthing a brick wall. I've become to quickly judge how logical a person is before any attempts to help them see anything.

They do follow religion pretty well, however. It doesn't use logic, it doesn't make you think, that's why many who don't think like it. Religion speaks their language.

Atleast they are likely to have more in common, but there are exceptions. If being in the world for a longer time means I will get used to it and therefore appreciate it less somehow, I think you're wrong, though. :glare:
Yep. If you keep improving yourself [this includes logic], you'll find it is easy to identify such things. Luckily, it's also possible to identify the good things and people and stick around them.
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  • 2 weeks later...
I reply, finally:

Hmm, but we are all technically "experiencing the world first hand" - are we not? Even when you're still in highschool, you're just experiencing that particular experience within this world. It's not as if highschool is one world, and college is another. I'm sure it changes your life and your daily routine if you go from highschool, straight into working full-time. But that just adds the "working full-time" experience to the list. It's possible that one person could be rich enough to not have to work, and they decide to basically live infront of the television for 2 or 3 years... Another person could start working, carelessly, without a new thought in their head... perhaps they also save some money and travel, aswell - yet they spend the time lazing around on beaches, or looking at artwork which they don't try to understand or have an opinion about, just mimicking previous reactions. Now let's say the first person watches "educational television": biographies, history, science, math, and some carpentry/cooking/philosophy videos... it's possible that the television-watching person could learn more, and be more prepared - or have more "wisdom" - then the other person. It depends on how you take things. You can take them in, you can think about them - or you can not take them in any way at all save noticing and then forgetting at the first convenience...

Technically, yes. Television is a real thing in the real world. What I was getting at was that watching 2 dozen movies about some love story or other, while informative in some ways will pale in comparison to a real life romance of your own in terms of what you learn about yourself. Watching Rocky 1,2,3,4, and 5, will not allow you to understand what it feels like to take a solid punch to the head nor will it teach you how to minimize the damage. They are second hand discriptions of real experiences. You have no vested interest in them yourself and no direct contact with the causes or consequences of actions. The best they can do is open your eyes to what sort of values are available to you and how they affected other people to some extent.

Regarding the educative channels and education in general, they are real experiences and have value but not the same value that the application of that knowledge will have later. Learning how to balance a checkbook or write up a budget are great skills that can be learned without being responsible for your own upkeep or having a checking account. But that lesson is not as dificult a lesson to learn nor as helpful as discovering that the full time job paying $20k/year means you get to take home $13k and that with that and another full time job you can get by. Then finding the will power in yourself to do so. Even reading Atlas Shrugged, as beneficial as it is in other ways, won't teach you as much about running a railroad as would 6 months as an assistent manager of a convenience store.

Again, I agree, technically with your statement

" Another person could start working, carelessly, without a new thought in their head... perhaps they also save some money and travel, aswell - yet they spend the time lazing around on beaches, or looking at artwork which they don't try to understand or have an opinion about, just mimicking previous reactions."

The actuality is that when working and responsible for yourself it is very difficult to do so without a care in your head. Reality demands your consideration. As Miss Rand put it, "We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality". So when you make decisions for your own life and deal with the consequences of those choices, you gain the actual wisdom that experience provides that the people you refer to believe, comes with age automatically. You can learn things about the world factually from second hand sources, but you can't gain wisdom that way.

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happy belated birthday nofearnolimits! :)

About people not listening to your arguments/opinions when you are young. It happens to everybody. I hope you are not trying to debate anything with your parents, as they will always see you as their child, and probably wont take you too seriously until you're changing THEIR dipers <_< . It is definately possible to be smarter and more rational than people who are older than you, the age of a brain means nothing if it's empty.

A better approach to talking about serious issues with 'older' people might be to take the Socratic approach rather than trying to come up with proof as to why they are wrong. Question their beliefs, why do they think this? how did they come at that conclusion? This type of approach might make those who would normally dismiss you because of your age engage in serious discussion with you because they will think they are teaching you something, and maybe you'll learn something too.

Most of the people you hear those Ad Hominem arguments from are probably people who don't understand logic in the first place. Ask them what a syllogism is and they'll probably think it's some kind of raunchy sex act. I think its a good thing to get into these ideas when you're young because then you will be able to see though all of the false people in the world and ultimately not lose sight of your dreams.

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of Freedomain radio podcasts by Stefan Molyneux (Anarchocapitalist, but still heavily influenced by Rand) and he argues that its not even worth it to debate with these people. You should spend your time looking for people with open minds who are genuinely interested in seeking the truth, because in the end you will have much better conversations with these people, rather than getting into confrontational arguments with close minded individuals (remember that you gain nothing by engaging in a poor conversation).

But if you want to be taken seriously, you have to prove that you're capable of something. Once you start doing things that people think you are too young to do, they'll start to listen.

edit: I'm 20 if anyone's interested.

Edited by RI1138
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I'm curious as to how someone could think a person could "outgrow" Objectivism...
Here is an article by Onkar Ghate addressing this point: http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4115

Dr. Ghate is a resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute where he teaches in the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center. He has lectured on philosophy and Objectivism throughout North America.
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