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Commenting on Appearance

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930310
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Posted by: @josia9353

Still a way's away from being a centenarian, but still, for his age, this guy looks fantastic, and not just on the outside! Compare this to the just 2 years older Noam Chomsky for instance, and you'll see what I mean..

 

https://twitter.com/WilliamShatner/status/1506284565970632704?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

As I have said elsewhere, commenting on the appearance of people is unprofessional.


   
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Josia9353
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Well... that's gonna be mighty restrictive.. Ability to walk, for instance, seems to be of a piece with other types of appearance... 

Note that appearance is one of the best indicators of longevity we have, so if we want to comment on anything related to their (future) longevity, looks are an indispensable tool. 


   
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930310
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@josia9353 Why should we comment about their potential future longevity? Predictions about potential future health are unnecessary in this instance.


   
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Josia9353
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Because this forum revolves around the fact that we are happier to see people reach higher ages, and unhappier if they pass away. (Obviously we want to know in which cases we can expect to be happier, and hence, we want to follow-up on certain individuals over others. Why else follow Kane Tanaka, and not Justin Bieber..?)


   
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930310
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@josia9353 this is a forum for supercentenarians and longevity. It's great that people are enjoying a higher quality of life at advanced ages but it is not fair to judge and make predictions based on people's appearance. 


   
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Josia9353
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This forum is (or should be, in my strong but humble opinion), as any scientific inquiry, not immoral, but amoral. Thus, 'fairness' never enters the picture here, only truth and probability do. 

I don't know what you mean by 'judge' here, but if you are implying I was making any value judgements on the part of any individual, you are sorely mistaken. Confusing (moral) value with longevity is a mistake you may have made, but I would never. 


   
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Josia9353
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Yes, good idea of the admin to move the post here, as I think it's important we reach some sort of consensus on this topic going further. I hope we can have a rich and honest, as well as a dispassionate—I'm afraid I dropped the ball on that one in my previous post, apologies ;)— discussion about this! Could be a lot of fun, rather than a pain 🙂


   
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930310
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@josia9353 By stating that we can expect person A to live longer than person B based on how they look, we are making a prediction. Everyone was convinced that Jeralean Talley would outlive Susannah Mushatt Jones since Mrs. Talley was still up and walking while Mrs. Jones appeared to be much more sedentary. They were proven wrong.

What value is there in making these assessments? It's better to enjoy today for today than to wait until tomorrow.


   
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Posted by: @930310

@josia9353 By stating that we can expect person A to live longer than person B based on how they look, we are making a prediction. Everyone was convinced that Jeralean Talley would outlive Susannah Mushatt Jones since Mrs. Talley was still up and walking while Mrs. Jones appeared to be much more sedentary. They were proven wrong.

What value is there in making these assessments? It's better to enjoy today for today than to wait until tomorrow.

It's true that noone can know how long a person will live, especially in those extreme ages; a frail person can continue living for many years in a stable condition, while a person in incredibly good condition, can have a sudden death due to a sudden decline or some kind of misfortune. (We must say though that generally someone robust has better odds to live more)

 

However, commenting on someone's current good shape, doesn't necessarily mean that you expect them to surely live for X years in the future, it could mean that you are simply appreciating exactly their current good shape. 


   
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Ell
 Ell
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I think a better way of viewing this would be to try and imagine what would happen if a person's family/friends happened upon the forum and viewed the comment. Saying that a person seems to be in good shape is a positive statement - it's not going to be viewed negatively I don't think, however expressly pointing out that somebody is in bad shape (or making comparisons like person X looks much better than person Y) is probably something we should avoid in public as that could be hurtful if family/friends viewed the forum.

In private sections, there's probably more room for (tactful) discussion, but in public there needs to be stringency.


   
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Josia9353
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@ell Noam Chomsky is a huge public figure. Do you really think that this is the worst thing that they ever read about themselves?? 


   
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Posted by: @ell

I think a better way of viewing this would be to try and imagine what would happen if a person's family/friends happened upon the forum and viewed the comment. Saying that a person seems to be in good shape is a positive statement - it's not going to be viewed negatively I don't think, however expressly pointing out that somebody is in bad shape (or making comparisons like person X looks much better than person Y) is probably something we should avoid in public as that could be hurtful if family/friends viewed the forum.

In private sections, there's probably more room for (tactful) discussion, but in public there needs to be stringency.

I agree 100%. I think the rule about commenting on physical health/appearance should be “would you be happy for the supercentenarian or their family to see this post?”

If yes, fine. If no, don’t post.

GRG Administrative Assistant for Database Administration (27 February 2016 – 18 November 2022)


   
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Jef
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I think commenting on appearance is perfectly fine as long as it's not disrespectful in a really major way.

 

When I talk to relatives I even say things like "x looks great!"

 

 


   
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Jef
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Posted by: @930310

@josia9353 By stating that we can expect person A to live longer than person B based on how they look, we are making a prediction. Everyone was convinced that Jeralean Talley would outlive Susannah Mushatt Jones since Mrs. Talley was still up and walking while Mrs. Jones appeared to be much more sedentary. They were proven wrong.

What value is there in making these assessments? It's better to enjoy today for today than to wait until tomorrow.

Commenting on appearance alone isn't a prediction of longevity.

Saying someone looks great/healthy/strong is just a compliment.

I see it the same as meeting someone of any age and complimenting their appearance.

When I say a 20 year old looks "great today" - that's not a prediction of longevity. It never is.


   
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930310
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@jef You missed the point. I said that by stating that we can expect person A to live longer than person B based on how they look, we are making a prediction.

 


   
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Jef
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Posted by: @930310

@jef You missed the point. I said that by stating that we can expect person A to live longer than person B based on how they look, we are making a prediction.

 

Oh yea that's a different thing, but I thought I recall you responding to someone who said "x looks strong" or something. Maybe I remembered the wrong thing.

By the way, is there a private prediction section for this forum?


   
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Admin
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Posted by: @jef

 

By the way, is there a private prediction section for this forum?

Hi Jef,

 

No, there isn't. When I created this forum, I did not have the prediction section in mind (seeing it's caused a lot of conflict elsewhere).

 

However, as the majority decides - democratic forum! - I will add this subforum if more members feel this will be a wonderful addition.


   
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