Serge Schmemann

The experts we corralled for our “Conversation” on aging, as you are about to discover, agree that we are pushing death farther and farther back, so that many of us may now expect to live a century or more. I find this most heartening, sharing as I do the common fear of the Reaper. But I am also aware that I and my fellow centenarians will pose some difficult new problems for our 80-year-old kids and 60-something grandkids, problems memorably identified by the Beatles back in the day: Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m one-oh-four?
That, in effect, is the ambivalence of our time: We are hurtling forward at ever faster rates in technology, science and medicine, but every leap forward seems to throw us an equal distance backward. We devise ways to squeeze hydrocarbons from the deepest rocks, and ensure more fuel for global warming. We invent gadgets to communicate all the time with everyone, and find our governments eavesdropping. Are we rushing forward or backward, or both?

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4 Responses to Serge Schmemann

  1. shinichi says:

    The experts we corralled for our “Conversation” on aging, as you are about to discover, agree that we are pushing death farther and farther back, so that many of us may now expect to live a century or more. I find this most heartening, sharing as I do the common fear of the Reaper. But I am also aware that I and my fellow centenarians will pose some difficult new problems for our 80-year-old kids and 60-something grandkids, problems memorably identified by the Beatles back in the day: Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m one-oh-four?

    That, in effect, is the ambivalence of our time: We are hurtling forward at ever faster rates in technology, science and medicine, but every leap forward seems to throw us an equal distance backward. We devise ways to squeeze hydrocarbons from the deepest rocks, and ensure more fuel for global warming. We invent gadgets to communicate all the time with everyone, and find our governments eavesdropping. Are we rushing forward or backward, or both? “Time is not linear,” suggests our Globalist, Roger Cohen, in the opening essay. “It circles about.”

    “Turning Points” is the theme of this year-end magazine as we gaze with equal measures of anticipation and alarm into 2014. Daniel Yergin, whose studies of energy have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, proposes three scenarios for our energy future, ranging from the hopeful to the dismal. Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the crises we have been living through, warns that if the countries in the euro zone don’t deepen their ties, they could lose the entire European Union. Peering into cyberspace, Misha Glenny describes dark webs most of us are not even aware of, while Jaron Lanier, the man who coined “virtual reality,” bemoans our passivity in the face of voracious data mining. Ioan Grillo, a journalist who has written extensively about Latin American drug wars, writes that 2014 may witness a fundamental shift in thinking about narcotics.

    But we do not see the future entirely in bleak colors. John Grotzinger, a participant in the NASA Mars exploration program, writes fervidly of what awaits us on the Red Planet. Four artists who have harnessed technology to creativity explain the inspiration for their art. We have asked several prominent women and men to identify their model for the future, and we have sought out people who believe that the world can be improved and who work to do just that. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist and Nobel peace laureate, and Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Gates Foundation, describe ways in which women can better their lives and the world. Diane von Furstenberg, she of the wrap dress, sees technology rendering the world of fashion more creative, more open and more transparent. Two other writers, Yoani Sánchez and Emily Jane O’Dell, share very personal Turning Points  —  the former about returning to Cuba, the latter about her search for her roots.

    In any case, it is not our intention to unduly rouse your hopes or your fears. Whatever happens in 2014, there will be things to laugh about and to cry about, and since laughter is usually better, we round out our package with some satirical offerings: Ursus Wehrli, a Swiss artist who likes to straighten out messy images; Marcelo Tas, a Brazilian comedian; and our own Patrick Chappatte, who takes us on a visit to one of the more preposterous capital cities on this curious planet of ours.

  2. shinichi says:

    When I’m Sixty-Four
    by Paul McCartney
    Beatles

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDt26gJYVB4

    _________________________

    When I get older losing my hair,
    Many years from now,
    Will you still be sending me a valentine
    Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

    If I’d been out till quarter to three
    Would you lock the door,
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I’m sixty-four?

    oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo
    You’ll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah)
    And if you say the word,
    I could stay with you.

    I could be handy mending a fuse
    When your lights have gone.
    You can knit a sweater by the fireside
    Sunday mornings go for a ride.

    Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
    Who could ask for more?
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I’m sixty-four?

    Every summer we can rent a cottage
    In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
    We shall scrimp and save
    Grandchildren on your knee
    Vera, Chuck, and Dave

    Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
    Stating point of view.
    Indicate precisely what you mean to say
    Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

    Give me your answer, fill in a form
    Mine for evermore
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    When I’m sixty-four?

    Whoo!

  3. shinichi says:

    (sk)

    Beatles には興味がなかったので、こんな曲があることさえ知らなかった。

    それにしても、こんなに短いあいだに、

    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    when I’m sixty-four?

    が、

    Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
    when I’m one-oh-four?

    になってしまうなんて。。。

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