Projecting Our Declines

Packer reflects on the aging process:

One of the biggest problems with getting older, other than the place where it’s headed, is a massive projection about the state of the world: by fifty, the obvious fact of your own decline is easily mistaken for an intimation of the world’s. And, since there’s never a shortage of evidence that things are, indeed, worse than they used to be, it’s incredibly satisfying to indulge the idea, and easy to confuse it with a veteran’s seasoned judgment. That’s the impulse you have to resist if you want to retain your credibility while you lose other features.