On Ageism

Published on April 16, 2023 (↻ October 3, 2023), filed under and (RSS feed).

One may argue that the big “-isms”—like sexism, racism, ageism—go back to speciesism, the idea that one was “better” than other living beings, or that other beings were inferior. *

With that idea warranting a post by itself, there are two things that make ageism particularly stupid; so stupid that I’ve felt like briefly venting about it. You’re certainly aware and I understand you to be no ageists, but let’s call these two things out:

1. Everyone Gets Older

Everything is aging is how things work in our reality system. With the passing of time, we all get older, which means that sooner or later, we’re all, without exception, subject to ageism.

That means that discriminating against age is discriminating against oneself.

That is stupid.

2. Experience Has Tremendous Value

Also a perk of time, age usually comes with experience, which usually is valuable, and which usually can be shared. (Age correlates with experience and experience correlates with value, but it’s possible not to have learned much of interest in a life time.)

With that, discriminating against age is a waste of learning and growth opportunities, forcing oneself and ourselves to learn things a hard way what others could have taught a soft way.

That may not be surprising, but is still stupid.

❧ It seems to be in our interest to respect aging in general, and to honor the old specifically. (There were and there are groups of people who’ve been successful with that.) That would not only help prevent from sowing something one oneself would later reap; it would instead enable us to benefit more from the wealth of experience and wisdom age brings.

That is, how about we all cherish aging, and cherish the old,—and cherish saying “no” to ageism.

* That is, it seems easier to be a sexist or racist if one’s actions already lead to the suffering or death of other living beings—actions which, ruling out gross ignorance or negligence, appear only possible and tolerable if one deems oneself superior to others. Which is the assumption uniting the big -isms. (Per this thesis, there would be a substantial difference between, say, the percentage of vegans who are racists, and the percentage of omnivores who are racists. It doesn’t say, however,—for it doesn’t follow logically—that all omnivores were racists, or that there were no vegans who are racists. That is nonsense.)

Toot about this?

About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma. I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!