Age and the Window for Adventure

Does Age Quash Our Spirit of Adventure? is a recent segment from NPR. And it’s awesome! It’s why I love science. Got a question? Let’s answer it. The question posed by the scientist, Robert Sapolsky, is - Why do most people lose their sense of adventure as they grow old? He did three studies with music, food, body piercing. Other questions that budded off the original were…

What’s the connection with youth and novelty? Why do folks look to the familiar, the repetive? Are they looking for something solid in a life of change?

So who retrains their sense of adventure? Apparently if you’re at the same job for a long time and you’re good at it, your adventure windows get shut. Very interesting.

DavidExperiments08/18/06 1 comments


Dad • 08/18/06 9:44 PM:

Maybe it’s not what aging people lose, but what younger folks lack: a sense of responsibility. I’m not knocking adventure and variety (which is the spice of life), I’m only saying that many of the activities of the young can be explained by their lack of common sense and perspective. Take tongue piercing. Please. For that matter, take Bob Marley too.

Don’t get me wrong. I think a willingness to try new things is a real asset when these new things don’t involve permanent disfigurement or risk of death. Music? I’m all for eclectic tastes. Art? Same thing. Food? That too. But for all of these potential new interests there have to be positive aspects other than the sound of a metal post clicking on your teeth.

As for biology and it’s effects, I have just one word: death. Yes folks, we all deteriorate and eventually die, and the older one gets the more one realizes that immortality is not in the cards. If that causes older folks to be more risk averse, then isn’t that really common sense? And isn’t that just what those young, tattooed, green-haired, punctured punks don’t have?

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