Tag Archives: ageing

George Carlin’s Last Interview

Shorty before his death last year, comedian George Carlin gave what was to become his last wide-ranging interview—with Jay Dixit, senior editor of Psychology Today.

Carlin discusses many things in this interview; from detailing his method for coming up with material to his use of technology and this on the advantages of being an older comedian:

A 20-year-old has a limited amount of data they’ve experienced, either seeing or listening to the world. At 70 it’s a much richer storage area; the matrix inside is more textured, and has more contours to it. So, observations made by a 20-year-old are compared against a data set that is incomplete. Observations made by a 60-year-old are compared against a much richer data set. And the observations have more resonance, they’re richer.

[…] Now at this age, I have a network of knowledge and data and observations and feelings and values and evaluations in me that do things automatically. And then when I sit down to consciously write, that’s when I bring the craftsmanship. That’s when I pull everything together and say, how can I best express that? And then as you write, you find more, ’cause the mind is looking for further connections. And these things just flow into your head and you write them. And the writing is the really wonderful part. A lot of this is discovery. A lot of things are lying around waiting to be discovered and that’s our job; to just notice them and bring them to life.

Thanks, Andy

Social Cognition and Staving Off Dementia

A longitudinal study of health and mental lucidity in the aged—focusing on the huge retirement community of Laguna Woods Village south of Los Angeles—is starting to show some results.

From studying members of the so-called ‘super memory club’ (people aged 90+ with near-perfect cognitive abilities) it is being suggested that not all mental activities are equal when it comes to staving off dementia, and social intereactions may be vastly more important that previously thought.

The researchers have also demonstrated that the percentage of people with dementia after 90 does not plateau or taper off, as some experts had suspected. It continues to increase, so that for the one in 600 people who make it to 95, nearly 40 percent of the men and 60 percent of the women qualify for a diagnosis of dementia.

So far, scientists here have found little evidence that diet or exercise affects the risk of dementia in people over 90. But some researchers argue that mental engagement — doing crossword puzzles, reading books — may delay the arrival of symptoms. And social connections, including interaction with friends, may be very important, some suspect. In isolation, a healthy human mind can go blank and quickly become disoriented.

via Mind Hacks