I started this a while back (maybe a week or two) and forgot about it. I hope to learn some more about my life in really thinking about the answers to these questions. Some smart person thought of them so I figure they must be better than the random surveys that float around the internet.
I stopped after question 5 last time, so I’ll pick up at the most obvious point.
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or the body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
Let’s unpack this a little. When you’re 30, either your mind or body stops aging. The obvious answer is to keep a young mind. But I feel like it’s a trick. A 30 year old mind isn’t bad but it hasn’t reached its peak. I feel like it’s saying you can’t get better than you were at 30. You can learn and stuff, but you can’t change how your brain processes information. Essentially, it freezes in time. Maybe I’m interpreting it wrong, but that’s how I see it. Without any disease (decent odds), you’re brain is pretty strong late into life. Most of the smart people I read are older (and male and white, but I’m assuming some socialization is the cause of that). Now is that purely experience or some late brain development? My guess is both. I think it’s a safe bet that a 50 year old brain looks different than a 30 year old one. As for the body, I worry a great deal about not being able to move. My limited experience shows me a lot of older people seriously hurt themselves by falling. I have a fair bit of personal experience with this thanks to some lovely grandparents who refuse to use walkers and wheelchairs. (Understandable, really.) True, dementia and such are terrifying (possibly the worst things possible), but the odds aren’t super high. They do increase as you get older, but still, there’s a good chance I won’t get it. So it comes down to weighing the risks.
a) Choose a young brain and never mature past a 30 year old. Ideas may be limited, as well. How many high quality work is done by 20-somethings? Most are still struggling through grad school. (Darwin was 50 when he published Origin and Newton was 44ish when Principia was published.)
In addition, hope no serious physical disorders develop. And constantly worry of injury.
b) Choose a young body. Eliminate the risk of dying from a silly accident. No brain damage from tripping on the sidewalk (friends grandma), no death from tripping over a dog (Kurt Vonnegut). And no hospital visits for the numerous from things like cancer (the number 1 risk is aging, and presumably your body isn’t aging). I’m going to ignore the paradox of having a body that doesn’t age but having a brain that does. The brain is part of the body, so you shouldn’t be increasing your risk of dementia as you age on top of the cancers.
But assuming that’s still a risk… hope no serious mental deterioration occurs and no diseases. If I had the actual numbers, I might consider them.
Surprisingly, I think I would pick a young body. When I read this question I didn’t think there was a conversation to be had over the best choice. This is fairly surprising. Of course, I’ll get Alzheimer’s and regret my choice, but that’s what happens when you take a risk.
I’m going to end it here, because that took way more time than I expected.
Have a nice night, and if you’d like to answer the questions yourself, they are right here-ish https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/open-gently/201310/36-questions-bring-you-closer-together