Re: poly: Why Oldies Stations?

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 10:02:50 PST

Hal writes:
>As a variant of (2), there are social pressures to stabilize your
>preferences as you become older. An older person who changes careers or
>musical tastes is considered something of an oddball (present company
>excepted). People shake their heads when a friend goes through a
>"mid life crisis", a matter of considering significant changes.
>The middle-aged guy who tries to dress like a teenager is a joke.

OK, but the question is *why* are older people who make big changes
considered oddballs? If it's just because most older people don't
that just begs the question of why they don't. Do older people
who consider changes tend to have failed more in their previous mode,
so people don't want to be percieved as failures? Are older people
who change more less likely to maintain long-term relationships, so
people don't want to associate with them as much?

>Another possible theory is biological. Young people are said to have
>an easier time learning new things. ... I'm sure someone could
>invent vaguely plausible evolutionary reasons why brains might be
>like this.

Note that any such explanation would also be a direct explanation of why
older people change less, at least if the same sort of feature is in
our social environment now. So please do invent such a reason.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Fri Apr 3 18:07:41 1998

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