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2020 April - Gerontocracy. Nobody Touches the Elderly

Updated: Jan 25, 2021



April - Welcome to the second quarter! At that point, we were allowed to leave our flats. Great days! So we celebrated by walking and taking movies of the river. I also discovered that I could get to Brooklyn and back with just 1,5 hours of walk. Since then, I've done this was probably 100 times. I got over my denial and started setting up some work from home infrastructure. The first part was an ultra-wide screen, which made Lina go nuts and start shouting that we don't have enough space. Once again. Other stuff kept arriving, like hacking toolkits and more musical instruments. So I solved that problem by moving things to a nearby storage facility. Was paying for it an implicit pay cut? Was buying the screen a pay cut? The extra heating and air conditioning? I guess it was, wasn't it?


The wide screen needed a good graphics card. While in the UK, I've bought a laptop with some good GPU to do some ML training for cheap. I found that laptop, and it was conveniently able to drive the screen. A side effect was that I started playing some video-games I've bought in the past but never played. Like Portal, Portal 2, and Doom. Cool! I'm catching up with the rest of the world. At about that time, NY shops were boarding up and closing. They were afraid of looting, which happens when Police are overwhelmed. In one month's time, their prediction would turn right.


By the 18th of April, still, scientists, politicians, the media, and of course, everyone else didn't know what they were talking about. But there was one thing that was certain—this table. As you can see, there is a clear cut between two distinct groups of people. It made me so optimistic. At that point, nobody knew if we would have vaccines within the next 2 or 5 years. But this table, for me, was as much of a solution as a vaccine. The death rate for "old" people is significantly larger than that of young people.

There is another table with how risky certain activities are. Tennis and Golf are low-risk activities, while going to the gym or going to the bar are high risk. So it's quite obvious to me that you can take this table and combine it with the other, and then you have a world where everyone above 50 years old can play tennis and Golf. But if they try to take the subway, go to the gym or a bar, they will ask them for ID, and they will kick them out. And covid, over. Of course, there would be many details to sort out, like when generations living under the same house. Maybe the kids should take some money and rent somewhere else, or something like that? At the same time, the US was issuing trillions of debt to bail-out airlines suffering from market collapse. Helping children leave their parents' house sounded both cheaper and a good thing to do.

Hey - older people are sensitive. Let's protect them! Let's reduce their activity a little bit. Make sure they're safe.

Hold on a second, you will say. Those are essential people of the workforce! They shouldn't be. They should be retired or almost retired. I know they're in debt because they spent beyond their means for decades. Well, maybe it's time to cut the struggle and downsize.

But they're full of energy - they feel great! Sure they are! It's the drugs! People die of heart attacks on their way to work, feeling great and full of energy! What everyone feels is not relevant anymore. They can spend their energy playing Golf, which is safe!


But they're full of wisdom! No - their wisdom is valuable for a world that no longer exists. I don't understand Tik Tok too, and every year I will understand less and less, but I promise, I won't try, from a position of power, to lead the world backward. I will step down and retire. And leave some space for younger people.


I had two incidents - back on the days that New York hasn't yet concluded that everyone should wear a Biden flag, sorry, I meant a mask while outdoors. I had two incidents of grannies telling me that I should wear a mask. No scientific evidence whatsoever. They were far away - open space. These women shout that I should wear a mask. Inviting me to a discussion where if I were about to get involved and were infected, I would spread my droplets all over them and put them at risk of death. So those women were so afraid about their life, that they were out, full-steam, chatting strangers.

Well - it would only seem fair to me to say that they should reduce their activity a bit. Stay at home, ask their children to pay their rent, and bring them food. Shrink a bit and let, at last, humanity heal.


But no. During the pandemic, they held the entire humanity hostage. The whole world wasted a year to make them feel good. They couldn't reduce their activity to protect themselves, but they needed to feel equal in a year that they physically weren't. So, the whole world had to stop and reduce its activity. They asked their children to stay at home and stop working. They devastated their families and countries with debt. No politician could even propose that they should be the ones to stay at home. No business was able to tell them that it's them that had to not go to work. All those billions got wasted because it couldn't be them that joined from Zoom while everyone else was in the office.

This might look like an isolated incident, but it's not. It's part of a greater thing called gerontocracy, and we see that both in governance and in business elders had always bean in leadership position. But this was assuming this population pyramid, pure people who were supposed to be making it to larger ages. And this used to mean something. It used to be greater their wisdom and greater fitness. It's reasonable to think of this part as an engine on the machine of the society and this as the brain. But as we see throughout the years, so there has been aging population and not enough children born. So the distribution now changes, and being older doesn't mean wisdom.


In 2010, it was already much worse. And it does look nothing like a pyramid anymore, right? There's lots of people missing there. But by 2040 this also becomes way worse. And this has implications. Let's take me, for example, in 2010 I was right here. And if you ask me, what do you want for this world? I would tell you I want a better world. I want to learn. Equality. I want all the good things, growth. I want to travel. I want to build stuff. So full of energy. This is what I was representing back then. But if you take me to 2040 probably I will be somewhere there. And I would look something like that and the things I would care about will be completely different. More specifically, I would highly likely be like I want you to protect my 401k. Bail out the banks. Take more debt so I can have a source of income. Don't change anything, you know. C++ 2010 is a proven language, is 30 years old. Let's use that. We know how it works and I'm potentially in management. So I will tell you how to do the things .You should have worked harder and pay for my healthcare.


And in both cases, I'm a good person, right? I just represent a completely different point of view. Perfectly legit and good willing but different perspective, and you can see those two different points in time. The head has a completely different size and is much louder asking from the same engine to do much more. So in this case, those people feeding those people is fine. But now those people having to feed all those people, this is going to be the root cause that we have already started seeing us causing so much problems.


Because there's something fundamentally wrong with those values. So if I was about to tell you go live in a country where those are the prominent values you could say "I'm not very optimistic about them". Whereas if you were about to live in this country, you would say, like I so much prefer to be on the left side here, right? So those values are much better than those values. But our future is becoming more and more of these.


And you can see that when you see what people vote for. So already we vote for very, very old people. Why? Because the parties want to feel that they represent the people the parties care about, right. So if you are 60 or 70 years old, you want to say a I want to see a leader that understands me, although they don't understand you but whatever.


So I guess if we don't sit down and speak and understand, the problem that I'm showing right here by 2040 will have probably a 95 year old president, and then you will have a very small population of slaves trying to feed everybody else. And in the process, everybody under 85 year old being in a corporate environment trying to pretend they are as productive and up to date as those people so they can get health care benefits. So what we see now might seem like an isolated incident. But my view is that we will see more and more of it unless we do something about it.

And here's the good news - my big fat Covid ranting for this year is over. That was April. Doom, Portal, and Nobody Touches the Elderly


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