Archive for July, 2010

Aging

July 30, 2010

I was in Stockholm yesterday. I wasn’t really sure about how the subway system worked, so I inquired the lady behind the counter about it. Laying out some information about it, she mentioned that people 20 and over travelled cheaper, but said I was surely over 20. My answer was no, and she seemed quite surprised about it. I suppose I seem old. I’m not sure why, perhaps my receding hairline and my moustache has something to do about it. A few years ago, I must’ve been 15 at the time, I had PRAO at Stockholm’s university with my sister and the student council there (I think?), and at some point one of her colleagues proposed I follow her with some class from one of the schools in Stockholm on a little tour there. Sure enough, I went there. The class seemed a bit rowdy. Anyway, at the end of it it seems at least some of them had thought I was a teacher at the university…

Now, today one of sisters have her 29th birthday. Tomorrow will be my grandmother’s 86th birthday, which is why I’m up in the north again. I’m currently 18. I do not feel I have the emotional maturity of a young adult. And when I turned 18, suddenly I have been started to be treated as a responsible human being overnight. I guess I have that teenage feeling of, at the one hand, having left behind my childhood and, at the other hand, must enter the grown-up world.

In the past, adolescence was quite different from the modern way. It was less of a struggle to enter the world of adults, and more of an age of work. In this sense, our current times has both more and less responsibility. I get a feel from the class I’m in that a “successful” person of my age not only gets good grades, but also has a job and an extensive social network. More balls to juggle. And one is expected to distance oneself from one’s family eventually in a way which was not the same in the past.

I’m wondering why I feel old, or am afraid of getting old. It’s not about inevitably dying. It does not faze me, and is a somewhat silly thing to be worried about because it is inevitable. I think it is more about what I mentioned earlier, that I’m not really sure where I’m going and what I’d like to do. I’m starting the third and last year of upper secondary school this year, and after that I have to have chosen a university to attend or a subject I want to pursue (it’s not obligatory, I suppose, but I think going to the university right afterwards is the safest way). And then there are other questions, as to where am I going to live, how am I going to make ends meet, and so on. It is something I feel really insecure about. Also the bonds I have with my family are subtly stretched more and more. I suppose this is a symptom of post-fordism.

Aging has been described as a sort of process of humiliation as one’s body is gradually becoming degraded. I guess one has to experience it to really be sure of how it is, but it doesn’t seem to worry me very much. I guess I’m about to reach a zenith, where my body is at greatest capacity. No matter. I guess a lot of it with many men is that they start to become less virile sexually. Obviously, this wouldn’t have much of an impact on me.

OK, it’s pretty late at night and this isn’t really the best piece I’ve ever written. But I hope it has inspired some thought.

Political Compass Tests

July 2, 2010

I took some political compass tests. I dare you to try them out as well, at least the first one.

The test I think most are familiar with is the Political Compass Test. I’ve taken this test a few times, and I seem to slide more towards Left and Social Libertarian each time. This time, I got Economic Left/Right -10.00 and Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -8.26. It’s the first time I got a clean -10.

I have a few questions, though;

Abstract art that doesn’t represent anything shouldn’t be considered art at all.
Astrology accurately explains many things.
Some people are naturally unlucky.

What does this have to do with anything? And why is the charity question in the religious section?

Politopia. A test more directed at the American electorate. I felt that I would have answered differently on many of the questions if there were more options to choose from. I voted for Ralph Nader because he seemed harmless enough. I got Jesse Jackson mixed up with Jesse James at first…

The OkCupid’s test (A site I don’t use, before you think anything) says my “True Political Self” is Social Liberal 61% Permissive and Economical Liberal 3% Permissive, and I am best described as a Socialist. The test has a few eyebrow raisers:

A person cannot be truly spiritual without regularly attending church or temple.
Something like the theory of Natural Selection explains why some people are homeless.
It bugs me when somebody names their child something like ‘Sunshine’ or ‘Charm’.
The ‘Word of God’ exists only as human beings interpret it.
It should be legal for two consenting adults to challenge each other to a duel and fight a Death Match.
It bothers me that many American companies have moved jobs overseas. [Americentrism]
Being poor and black is an advantage in getting into college.

Pretty damn strange quiz, if you ask me.

Typology. One thing I found weird was the statements about one’s financial position, why would that in itself have anything to do with one’s political stance? And it seems to assume that Democrat/Independent(as in, between the two)/Republican are the only political parties one can support, and Liberal/Moderate/Conservative the only political afflications in general. Fairly questionable statements, as well.
And Americentric as hell. I sure as [expletive removed] am no liberal except in a very very loose sense of the word, it just happens to be the most left-leaning “type” in this test, it appears.

Political Spectrum Quiz. I must say the “How much does this issue matter” questions are really annoying, as it really makes it hard to think what to answer to that. That test was a bitch to take. And it’s Americentric. I got Left: 8.73, Libertarian: 2.61.

Conclusion: These tests perhaps say more about the test makers than the test takers.

See also: the funny Satirical Political Beliefs Assessments Test. I actually agreed with the Archconservative at one question (television is clearly the opiate of the masses 😛 ).