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  1. #1
    Junior Member CleanCuteNFP's Avatar
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    Default the decline of mental faculties as we age into our 20's

    TLDR Summary: As I get older, I can no longer perform mental tasks in the same way as I used to and I do not feel any wiser.

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    Wisdom comes with age is how the old adage goes, but I have come to realize that this might not be true as a whole.

    As I close in on my 26th anum of existence here on this turbulent organic sphere, I find that I am no longer as intelligent as I used to be. There are many facets to this and I can not do them all justice here. One of particular interest is the fact that I no longer possess the capability to compose coherent arguments like I used to back in college. Sure, many of you can argue the fact that I no longer have to perform this task on a regular basis has contributed to this rather apparent decline in cognitive faculties; yet I would counter argue, that we as a society judge intelligence based on the ability to perform in regards to certain mental accumens, and writing is one of them. Thus, the lack of practice, should not be heralded as an excuse, rather a direct sign of decline due to lack of interest. What do I mean by all of this? I guess, my greatest wish is to convey the fact that as I grow older, I do not feel much wiser, but I do feel like I have lost intelligence. Do any of you feel the same?

  2. #2
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    26 is old now?
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  3. #3
    Junior Member CleanCuteNFP's Avatar
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    perhaps not, but mentally I feel exhausted. I no longer possess the quick wit I used to wield and no longer can attack complex pattern recognition riddles.

    I am just wondering if I am reaching my high mileage point before my time?

  4. #4
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    I used to feel this way but I think it was because I stopped developing heuristics and tried to keep thinking of things using the same 'pieces' that I used 20 years ago, which just doesn't work.

    I think we have the ability to continue growing in knowledge and intelligence, up until the brain starts to conk out (we're talking OLD here. Old in the sense of having grand children that are also old)

    Humans have amazing heuristic ability that doesn't seem to diminish much, so long as it is exercised.

    Consider the game of Go for example. The best Go computer is not even close to beating the best humans right now.

    Even Roadrunner, the worlds most powerful super computer, would take five days just to make a strong move on a professional level - not even the BEST move, just one that is good. Yet, a human can see this move in seconds, because humans don't have to go through all the linear iterations. We can glance at the board and just see it based on encapsulated concepts.

  5. #5
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleanCuteNFP View Post
    perhaps not, but mentally I feel exhausted.
    Maybe the key here is in your choice of the word exhausted. What's got you so tired? Perhaps the alleviation of that will return your mental nimbleness ...
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  6. #6
    Junior Member CleanCuteNFP's Avatar
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    Touche'

    I think you may have struck the heart of the matter here, and to be honest I am no closer to this answer which eludes me as of now, than I was at this time a couple of years to the past.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    26 is old now?
    FML.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleanCuteNFP View Post
    perhaps not, but mentally I feel exhausted. I no longer possess the quick wit I used to wield and no longer can attack complex pattern recognition riddles.

    I am just wondering if I am reaching my high mileage point before my time?
    It's unlikely to be age related. Stress, sleep, SAD, diet, environment change, bad shoes, relationship changes... so many things can cause a change. It can also be psychosomatic as it is easy to perform worse because you believe you will. FWIW, I do better now than I have in the past. Some of it with better heuristics due to experience, perhaps, but otherwise no change. Any change you see between 25-35 should not be noticeable individually, small things between 35-45, maybe, and you'll probably notice it from there (memory, etc.).

    There are also a lot of things you can do/avoid to help yourself... naming the top two; don't drink, exercise.

  8. #8
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    I'm in my mid 50's. It's a wonder I can put one foot in front of the other.
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
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  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Your argument is pretty weak, considering that if you wanted to make a "study" which tries to relate a specific usage of mental faculties to age, you would have to correct for "practice" (typically you would have to correct for number of years you haven't been in school, even though it does not necessarily work perfectly well as an indicator).

    But yeah, in any case, crystallized intelligence should still show an increasing pattern, what would actually slow down is the rate of increase of crystallized intelligence (both because you have more overall knowledge, so the "denominator" gets bigger, and because the speed of learning progressively slows down).
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #10
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    - perhaps this is health related rather than age related? how is your diet/exercise compared to when you were younger?
    - it sounds like the majority of your argument could be summed up as "society judges intelligence based off of the ability to debate and write academic papers"....okay, this doesn't mean people become less intelligent with age. it means that people misconstrue said abilities with intelligence when in fact they aren't (and, in my opinion, the second is rather useless once one is outside of college). they are skills.
    - laziness is a big factor too. when you're young you're at the bottom of the totem poll of knowledge, competence and life skills so you have to work a lot harder. when you're older and have a steady career, life becomes more predictable, there is less thinking on your feet and less of a need to learn large amounts of new information. thus, your mind isn't getting stupider, just more and more out of shape from too much staying in your comfort zone and not enough mental challenge.
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