The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Opening a new line of discussion

Found this meme and posted it on Facebooger.

Got lots of snarky replies. I strongly suspect a lot more people saw it and got bent. Got one "No" as an answer with no explanation.

No one else bothered to offer an explanation.

The only reason I can see for saying "no" to the first two questions is the matter of age. Is age a biological function? Hrm. I don't think so. Rocks age, but there is no biology involved. But yes, it is too. Those same rocks can be eroded away over time by lichens which dissolve the rocks to extract nutrients.

arg. arg. arg.


So to the third question - where do we draw the line? Based on the first two questions, the line in the sand is age.

An arbitrary marker, in other words. A construct. A fiction. Yes, it is fiction because it was invented to create division. Age discrimination is built into the laws of the United States and a lot of other countries. Why do we determine that one Terran evolution around the sun is 1 year of age? Why not age by seasons? Why not age by two revolutions?


So why do we have such division? Why can an 18-year-old fight and die in war, but not buy a beer at the corner store in the US?

Maturity level? Please, dump that BS in your rose garden. You and I both know people at 17 who are more mature than some people who are 35.


Is a better question: why do we draw a line? I know! I know! The answer is because we must have artificial markers, fake boundaries and created limits. Bring order to the chaos! Tame the wilderness.

Tell that person they can't belong!

Yeah. That's why we have these lines. So we can intentionally and with malice aforethought prevent certain people from belonging. Period. Don't think so? Then you tell me why.


This is an age where gender and sexuality, traditional markers for an individual human, are more flexible than a rubber band on a hot day.

If these two markers are now considered flexible, why does age have to be fixed and immutable? More accurately, why must our reaction to age be so fixed and immutable?

Age is not the same artificial marker everywhere in the world. Children are married to children in other countries. Young girls are married to middle-aged men in parts of the world. The drinking age in some countries is much lower than in the US or non-existent. 90-year-olds run marathons.

The ability to tap into government resources is not limited by age, even in the US. As for the movie theater offering a discount, that's a private business. Unless you own the business, it's not your concern.

As the meme points out, today gender and sexuality are entirely what the individual wants these characteristics to be. Cool. Really. Not kidding. You do you, as a great friend of my says. As long as you are not harming anyone (harm is not the same as hurt), go. You do not need my permission, confirmation, warranty or acceptance. Go ye forth and be. (And I genuinely hope you are happy in doing so.)

Ever heard of ProgeriaTurritopsis dohrnii anyone? Biological immortality? What happens if humans become immortal?

And lo, a can of worms is thusly opened. Sandwiches all around.


Mutable gender and sexuality did not open a door. It ripped the door out of the frame. I'm good with that too. Closed doors bother me. Closed doors represent absolutes and absolutes drive me past reason into the realms of insanity.

Someone is going to say we must have age-defined limits. Why?

"Baker. Stop being obtuse! We can't expect a 9-month-old baby to drive a semi."

Agreed. But is that a function of age or ability? At 5 years old, I was driving vehicles with far more power than the average driver today will ever experience. I was driving passenger vehicles when I was 10-11. I was going off in the family car by myself well before I was old enough to have a driver's license according to the legal age limit. A person can get a pilot's license in this country before they are ever old enough to drive a car. Islamic extremists have used children as suicide bombers.

Please tell me again why age matters more than ability and experience.


The problem as I see it is:

People want to be an individual. They want to have the gender they feel is right. They want to have sexual relationships with the people (and things) they feel attracted to. These are feelings. I am not judging right or wrong. I am quantifying. A second of time can be empirically measured. Can a feeling be so tracked? If we are to allow people to live based on a nebulous concept of "feeling," where do you draw a line? Why do you draw a line?

Prejudiced much?

(Again, I say cause no harm and yer good ta go. I'm not here to judge. I am here to ask questions so I can learn.)

But these people also demand to be a part of group so they can exclude other people. Groupthink. Age is a good way to divide people. It just so happens that we all get the same amount of time for one rotation of the earth. This makes a good dividing line because it is Terran (not universal).

Sort these rotations into larger segments. Use the rotation of the earth around the sun as another marker. That works. It can be applied Terranly, which makes it even handier.

But why? Why must we look at people in view of how many times the sun has risen and set, the earth rotated around the sun since they began a non-direct parasitic existence (being born)? Why can't people be individuals? Why can't people be considered on their own merits? Why must people be segregated by age?

Convenience. Pure and simple. We make groups, we segregate, we divide because it makes people easier to handle. Handling a group is easier than dealing with an individual because a group can be dismissed as a nebulous entity. Don't know, don't care. Taking it one person at the time puts a face on the prejudice and that's very hard to deal with. Age is a handy segregation tool.


After all this writing, I think I have the reason.


A person, with access to the correct medical processes, can change gender physically. A person can control whom he or she has relationships with.

This artificial marker of age is something that can't be controlled. We all age. We age at the same rate. One Terran year for a gay, left-handed, redheaded, transgendered stepchild from Mongolia is the same Terran year for you and me. We cannot control it. We all age, based on our time units, at the same rate.

No control.

But we want to. We must. We have to. We can effect control by creating segregation, boundaries, exclusionary limits based on age. We've got to have our hand on the reins of this runaway carriage, never mind we ain't got a prayer of stopping it; we're getting older.

The artificial division by age gives you the appearance of control. You aren't in control.

Age allows every one on the planet to point a finger at everyone else and say "You're different."

Age allows you to be prejudiced and baised on this shared reality we call time.

But, does that make being prejudiced right?

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