Cognitive dissonance

On the one hand, the current state of things is a convincing argument that old, white men should just STFU for the next couple of millennia.

On the other hand, I am an old, white man who likes to write, if not talk, although I do that sometimes, just not on the telephone, if I can avoid it.



I have been told amplifying non-old, white, man-type people is good. Unfortunately, my megaphone is tiny, but I will do what I can.

I have also been told, for example by my therapist, and other women I respect, to just fucking relax, so I will also be working on that.

When I was younger I read only books (and consumed only art and other cultural output) by heterosexual CIS-males, because it was more relatable for me.

Now that I try to broaden my cultural consumption, that old stuff often feels really shallow when I return to it. Maybe that is just a function of getting older, though.

There was a tweet (? i think?) where an old dude said his hardware was old, white, CIS-male dude, and he was stuck with that, but his software had been updated multiple times.

I guess that’s one thing you can do, get your head out of the seventies, or whatever.

I was talking to someone about the acceleration of time as a function of age, and how to ameliorate it. All I could come up with was mindfulness, paying attention, remaining curious, which I guess you accomplish through meditation and related practices, or doing scary things beyond your fear threshold, or things you love, or things that fascinate you, whatever gets you in the flow. (My only relative who lived to be over 100 was a curious, friendly, artistic type all her life… and an early feminist…)

Concentrate on things you love. What else?

This is good news for me, bc as a person governed by anxiety for most of my life, there are plenty of options beyond my fear threshold. Maybe this world, the old known world that just speeds by, is my safe little lobster trap, while that world, the scary, interesting one, with sharks and mermaids and things with teeth and things that glitter, where time slows or stops entirely, is unknown but has so far not killed me, either.


I mean, both get you eventually.

Maybe I’ll try to talk my wife into skydiving. If it works for her I can try it.

Have you tried something beyond your threshold of fear? What was it? How did it turn out for you?

4 responses to “Cognitive dissonance

  1. Karan

    At first, almost everything new I  tried terrified me but as I’ve gotten old(er) and have the advantage of looking back at past outcomes, nothing seems as scary as that first effort. My courage has grown but the fear of not knowing is still there niggling at me. Luckily, age and experience are my friends so that ‘why not’ is now the last thought before I leap into the abyss.

  2. TH

    No. I’m pretty much a coward.(Which explains why I haven’t been to Vienna for more than a few hours the last 18 months)

    But I do new things, I play with new things, I learn new things, sometimes even staying with it. Regular updates to the brain software are as much a necessity as with silicon hardware. Including the possibility of crashes. Just please no existential crashes, I’d like to survive to cash in that sweet pension money I’ve been paying for.

  3. mig

    Oh, I hadn’t considered the possibility of crashes…

  4. mig

    …nor of retirement… :-(