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rk's Journal: Cognitive Decline 8

Journal by rk

So on the main page, there was a story about cognitive decline starting as early as 45. As a 44-year-old, I can testify personally that it starts much sooner than that, though it's in baby steps.

There's nothing I can't do now that I couldn't do when I was 20, but it's somehow different. Learning new things requires a little more effort on my part, and it takes a little more time. Nothing too onerous, but it's certainly a change. I'm still a sponge for new knowledge and skills, but where I used to be a dry sponge, I'm a fairly damp sponge.

What about you?

ps - It took me 10 minutes to find how to write in my journal. Is that due to cognitive decline, or the stupid interface that puts the "Write in Journal" only at the bottom of my list of journals, completely breaking the temporal organization of the page? Presumably, any journal I wish to write now will be more recent than any journals I've already posted, at least until I perfect that time-traveling web browser I've been working on (homepage set to powerball.com, natch).

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Cognitive Decline

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  • About the same time my tolerance to large amounts of alcohol went away. I'm not sure there is a link, though I have also been sleeping more (need about 10 hours when I only have time for 8 on a normal basis) as well.

    Writing in your journal though- they changed the interface on us old timers a couple of years back - and they keep messing with itl.

  • The most easily accessed memory storage pathways for storing the holographic biochemical engrams are used first.

    Even though they act as the boot code of your language skills, you can't really remember what you learned until you were two, because you lack the translation software, since that is what it was storing.

    Later memories use less prime "locations" and access becomes more difficult.

    Think of it as a warehouse full of CDs and DVDs, filed mostly without organization. When young, there aren't as many CDs

  • Right now for me (age 37), I'm finding my mental faculties pretty much the same. However, my body's definitely giving out in subtle ways. I hadn't realized how much I relied, day to day, on my above average size, strength and resistance to damage. Especially as I'm a keen DIY enthusiast, It's going to really suck when I can't "cheat" anymore and have to actually have other people help me out on jobs I would have easily managed by myself in the past.
    • by rk (6314)

      I'm the same way physically. I can do the same physical tasks I used to, but I pay for it more, and for a longer time. Case in point: I dug a few post holes on Saturday, and the soreness started in my back and shoulders that night and is still ongoing. I can pretty much tune it out, especially if I'm occupied, and it never even rose to the level of taking any sort of pain killers, but when I was younger, I might have had some soreness the next morning that would've fizzled out by late afternoon. It's 4

  • turned 43 on Saturday - but it's been going on for a while. I have a harder time figuring things out. I have a larger set of experience to draw on - so that compensates some. But learning new stuff takes a lot more work. I'm glad I live in the future where I can have so many mental crutches.

    As for physically - forget it. I'm a mess and have been for a long time. Bought reading glasses a few weeks ago.

    • by rk (6314)

      Well if we're going to drag vision into it, mine's been shot since I was 11. :-) I'm about 20/400 in each eye. I got contacts a couple years back, to find that when I wear contacts, I need... READING glasses. Sort of defeats the point of wearing contacts in the first place, so I'm back to glasses again. I find I take my glasses off more and more for close-up work, so bifocals are not far off... at least until I can get that lens replacement mcgrew had done. :-)

  • by mcgrew (92797) *

    It took me 10 minutes to find how to write in my journal. Is that due to cognitive decline, or the stupid interface that puts the "Write in Journal" only at the bottom of my list of journals, completely breaking the temporal organization of the page?

    It isn't you, it's slashdot. What's worse is it looks completely different at work on IE7, on the notebook with FF on Win7, and that's even different than FF on kubuntu.

    I'd hate to be the guy who was supposed to keep all that code straight.

    As to the getting old

  • ...there sure are a lot of old farts around here. I'm 45 and haven't lost a thing. Maybe it's cuz I'm in programming, and it's constant learning/relearning.

    I'm the same as I've been all my life -- new computer languages and things tech quickly find an orderly place in my mind, but learning the business and problem domain and terminology etc. of a given employer's has always taken me *much* longer than most.

    I recently retrained in C# and .NET in this economic downturn, and sailed through it easily, esp. comp

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