Few very interesting and thought-provoking articles appeared in New York Times over the last few days
Talks about the good and bad news. The good news is that “we are all living longer and healthier lives than ever before” and then comes the bad news “at this rate we also cannot afford to live so long!”.
Source of this article as been the Global Aging report from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) titled – “Global Aging 2010: An Irreversible Truth”
Few thought provoking points from this article –
- For the first time in human history, people aged 65 and over are about to outnumber children under 5.
- The average life expectancy of human beings around the world has nearly doubled since the start of the Nineteenth century (around 47 in 1900 to about 80-82 in 2010)
- However, in the same period the retirement age across the globe has merely increased from about 58 to about 62-63 years.
- As the article says – no other force is likely to shape the future of national economic health, public finances, and policymaking as the irreversible rate at which the world’s population is aging.
On the side note – the way NY Times reported this concept of imbalance in age group across the world in a pictorial format is commendable. I am linking it to the same below.
Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard describes nicely how certain numbers (he calls them as the magic numbers) don’t just dominate our thoughts and dictates our words; but also drive our most important decisions.
For example –
- Weekly or the 10 day medicine prescription dose given by the doctors are most of the times not driven by any scientific or medical evidence – but more from the psychology around the comfortableness around certain numbers.
- Stock prices typically tended to be clustered around numbers around 5 or 0.
- Sound of how the numbers sound to the ear can influence our decisions many a times.