Download PDF by William Ian Miller: Losing It: In which an Aging Professor Laments His Shrinking

By William Ian Miller

ISBN-10: 0300171013

ISBN-13: 9780300171013

In wasting It, William Ian Miller brings his inimitable wit and studying to the topic of getting old: too outdated to subject, of both rightly wasting your self belief or wrongly retaining it, culpably refusing to stand the truth that you're wasting it. The “it” in Miller’s “losing it” refers typically to psychological faculties—memory, processing velocity, sensory acuity, the potential to concentration. however it contains different facts as well—sags and flaccidities, aches and pains, failing joints and organs. What are we to make of those tell-tale indicators? Does ageing gracefully suggest greater than easily refusing unseemly beauty surgical procedures? How will we face decline and the ultimate drawing of the blinds? can we recognize if and once we have lingered too long?Drawing on a life of deep research and concerned remark, Miller enlists the knowledge of the ancients to confront those vexed questions head on. Debunking the smooth new photograph of outdated age that has followed the graying of the child Boomers, he conjures a misplaced international of getting older rituals—complaints, taking to mattress, resentments of one’s heirs, schemes for taking it with you or settling up debts and scores—to remind us of the continuing dilemmas of outdated age. Darkly clever and sublimely written, this exhilarating and whimsical e-book will increase the spirits of readers, old and young.

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Additional resources for Losing It: In which an Aging Professor Laments His Shrinking Brain..

Example text

Far be it from me, though, to impugn the wisdom of proverbs. The fields of social psychology, sociology, and behavioral economics mobilize reams of paper, and legions of undergrads, to confirm proverbs, or tell us what we already knew, but without even a dash of wit. The true wisdom of folk wisdom, though, does not lie so much in the aptness of any particular proverb as in its great concession to practicality: wisdom demands attending to the particular and micropolitical. That is why sometimes you are wise not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and at other times it is wise to check to see if there are armed Achaeans inside it.

But we make mistakes sometimes and misread the situation. It is one thing to misread by ten minutes when we should have left a dinner party, and quite another to misread by ten years when we should have left the job, or by thirty years when we should have left off breathing. Since age takes its toll on our perceptual acumen, we may lose the capacity to discern even the heaviest-handed of hints, nor are we in any mood to take the hints we do perceive. Instead of taking our leave, we mobilize politically and demand third and fourth helpings, to be put up for the night too, thirty more years of nights, our bodies still insisting on staying long after our minds have lost the ability to know we have put our hosts in the poorhouse.

They did not have the good manners to know when to die; and if some young did not harbor such wishes, the old suspected they did, their suspicions being anything but paranoid. Among the nobility sons warred against their fathers, among the lower OLD VIEWS OF OLD AG E 43 orders they stinted the frail old parent of his food and warmth when he, Learlike, had handed over the farm (or kingdom) to his children in exchange for care and maintenance. 15 Though a woman burned as a witch might disagree, it might be better to be seen as Saturn (Cronus), a terrifying eater of his own children, than as Santa, for the reason just noted: Santa must make gifts.

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Losing It: In which an Aging Professor Laments His Shrinking Brain.. by William Ian Miller


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