Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Defending the Ancients

The issue of a hand-delivered message being disparaged by comparing it (negatively) to an e-mail is another backhanded slap at McCain’s age and geezers, in general. Does anyone think that important diplomatic treaties will be recorded solely in e-mails? Maybe McCain wanted a signature of agreement? And don’t confuse the issue with “electronic signatures”, they are in their infancy and not yet universally accepted.

Obama is younger than McCain so that’s reason enough to vote for him? There is no advantage gained by McCain’s life experience? Apparently not in most young minds.

The thing is, we geezers can understand why young people think that way – after all, we really were once young – and we thought we were a lot smarter than those older than us then. It has always been that way; it will always be that way.

Young folks think that they understand all aspects of an issue, but they can’t. It’s true that they understand the words, but they can’t truly empathize with others on an issue never having experienced that issue. For example, a twenty-one year-old single civilian knows the definitions of “marriage,” “raising a child,” or “fighting a war.” But anyone who has experienced any (or all) of those things understands that comparing the textbook definitions of those terms to real-life experiences is like comparing an Etch A Sketch to the Mona Lisa.

To help younger folks understand the concept: Consider the disk space necessary to store one’s knowledge of those three life events.

That twenty-one year-old’s complete data set on those three items (the words and definitions) might require 100KB of storage, while storing all of the images, sounds, descriptions of the joys and sorrows, and all of the other emotions that were part of the experience could take thousands of gigabytes (perhaps terabytes or petabytes – who knows?). The point is that the young would be wise to grant McCain some respect by just acknowledging that his life experiences can be valuable to decision-making.

No comments: