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The Python Is Blessed


A bunch of tuned-up and toned-up baby boomers could be a force to contend with.

The baby boomers—everyone born between 1946 and 1964—has been likened to a pig moving through a python. The marketplace has long been profitably riveted by their evolving wants and needs. However, when the leading edge of this cohort turned 65 last year, panic began to set in. Retired people want less and need more. Uh oh. Time for the ice floe.

I refer to the myth that the Eskimos abandoned their elderly on chunks of ice. The cost of Medicare and Social Security will burgeon over the coming 18 years as the 76 million or so baby boomers inexorably move into retirement, but there is no escape for the python. It will just have to digest.

On the bright side, the boomers have in general been better educated, healthier, and better off economically (before the recession) than previous generations; and they have become accustomed to dominance.  It was assumed that they would transform old age to their liking, and they may yet do so in very positive ways. This demographic is moving into the time of life when the “wisdom” centers of the brain begin fully to develop, and we are at a juncture in history when that could be extremely valuable. Perhaps the nation will be blessed by the aging baby boomers.

I speak of “them,” because I’m a year older. I’ve decided that entitles me to be a bit of a leader. As I wrote in my last post, I began working out in January to recover from an injury and am really enjoying the development of muscles. Muscles make you feel good about yourself. Then just the other day, I was blessed with a lead on a way to develop brain power as well. This is turning out to be even more fun.

I am referring to The Human Cognition Project, a research program involving scientists from Stanford, Berkeley, and Harvard. At www.lumosity.com one can sign up (for a fee) to become part of the program, which has so far involved over 14 million people worldwide playing games on the computer designed to enhance brain performance. I am enjoying this so much that I could well become addicted. If you’re not happy with your score on a particular game, you can replay it to improve. The desire to achieve endures, and I have had to establish a rule—no more than one repeat, ever.

In some respects my brain already seemed to be working better than ever before. Like everyone in my cohort, though, I have lapses with what I call “trivia.” Still, my telephone number may come in handy someday, and I need to rev up the applicable neurons.

There’s no way to avoid aging, of course, but aging well affects not only the way you feel but also the way you’re treated. A bunch of tuned-up and toned-up baby boomers could be a force to contend with. Let’s do it.


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