Life with a higher resolution
I think the way we measure ageing is quite critical on how we make life-time decisions, and this could be improved. In fact, it should be improved.
Ageing is often defined as accumulation of changes in a person over time. Physical and psychological changes; highly dependent on biological changes in our cells. The way we understand and use the term “age” today is universally same; 1 year.
What’s 1 year? It’s orbital period of a planet around a star; Earth around Sun specifically.
Today, if you ask a Spanish girl how old she is and she’ll likely answer with a two digit number; such as “29". That’s nothing more than the number of orbital tours of Earth since she was born. That’s fine and it all makes sense; to count a quantity with another fixed quantity. Comparison and relation — this is how how we understand things; 2 meters, 87 kilograms, 2900 Euros etc.
My point is though, this particular fixed quantity (one orbital period, 365 days) for human life is no longer a great scale for reflecting lifetime milestones of most people. It’s a very low resolution to capture things that matter. Here are just couple reasons:
Travel: We probably travel hundred times (if not more) more than an average human centuries ago. Just to compare 3 successive generations; I believe my dad has been to 3 or 4 countries in his entire life so far. I've been to 11 countries on the first half of this year. My grandfather? 1.
Learn: Today, access to almost all information is almost instant and almost free. This wasn't the case any-time in the history. Yet, schools are still organized around the same length of time; a new orbital tour of Earth means you can now move to next class and learn more!
Communication: Again; almost instant, almost free. First time ever in human history. Speed and cost of communication, of course, has a multiplier accelerator affect on almost every decision in life. I know people who broke up over SMS.
As much as it is seemingly irrelevant, low resolution of counting time, really impacts the way we live, think and make decisions. Slows us down, causes people to postpone many decisions; till the next tour of Earth around Sun. Many corporations today have already improved the time resolution that they operate in; they define/measure their goals on a quarterly basis to be faster, be more adaptive.
Next time; when you need to postpone something that matters to you; try to decide in a higher resolution. Don’t unnecessarily delay it even couple more weeks. When someone asks your age; try to answer in a much higher resolution. Age in Days would probably be a very high resolution; but do it maybe in quarters; such as 116 quarters old. That sounds older, but hey, it also means more birthdays to come:-)