Template Aging Strategy (DRAFT/Consultation)

Saturday, August 1, 2009 9:41 | Filed in Funnies, Life, Standards
1. About this document

This document describes how and why it has been necessary to replace the traditional mono-chronological method for determination of age.

It covers:-

  • Mono-Chronological Age Determination — what is mono-chronological age determination, and what are the problems with it
  • Objectives and metrics — potential alternatives and how these are to be calculated
  • Risks and mitigation — potential risks associated with replacement of mono-chronological calculations
  • Recommendation — formal recommendation for replacement of mono-chronological age determination
2. Mono-Chronological Age Determination

The traditional mono-chronological age determination is based on assessing how many years have elapsed since the date of your birth, and taking the count of elapsed years as your age.

If Sarah was born on 2nd August 1979, she would be:
2009 – 1979 = 30
…but until it has reached the day of her birth in that particular year, we need to deduct one, so as at 1st August 2009, she would only be 29.Example

This is the traditional model for mono-chronological age determination which is used in the Western world, but other age determination methods exist, such as East Asian age reckoning, which takes the time between conception and birth into account, and reckons children are born at age 1, and treats the date of the new year as the time when they age by one year, as opposed to a single specific ‘aging’ birthday per person.

Other systems are also in place — many people are familiar with the concept of “dog years” and use a simplified 1 to 7 calculation method for this, although a more accurate representation is slightly more complex:

The formula is: 10.5 dog years per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human year for each year after.Online Conversion: Dog Years Calculator

Another one of the problems with the mono-chronological method is that all years are treated equally, irrespective of whether or not one year should be considered differently because different activities were carried out during the year, or because the year was somehow inherently “different”.

The phenomenon of time dilation relates to how ‘local time’ may differ between observers if they are travelling at different speeds. For example, time passes more slowly (relative to an observer under different conditions) for an observer in a gravitational field — such as proximity to a planet — but more commonly people are aware of the effects associated with high-velocity travel:

Time dilation would make it possible for passengers in a fast-moving vehicle to travel further into the future while aging very little, in that their great speed slows down the rate of passage of on-board time. That is, the ship’s clock (and according to relativity, any human travelling with it) shows less elapsed time than the clocks of observers on Earth. For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel as far as light has been able to travel since the big bang (some 13.7 billion light years) in one human lifetime.Wikipedia: Time Dilation

The problem with mono-chronological age determination can be seen most easily under these conditions: if an astronaut was to return to earth billions of years after leaving, it would not be appropriate to describe their age as being billions of years old, as less time would have passed relative to them. Similarly, the mono-chronological aging calculation is based on earth’s solar year, and assumes that each year is constant, whereas the length of an astronomical year is actually increasing by about 1.25 microseconds per ‘year’, adding a certain degree of unreliability; in addition it is obvious that if humans were to colonise space it would be impractical and inappropriate to continue using a calculation method based on a far-flung planet’s solar year.

In addition, the mono-chronological age determination can result in discrimination, and can cause other problems as people with a mono-chronologically determined age may be felt of as “too young” or “too old” for a particular purpose, and indeed people may be upset or dislike their mono-chronological age determination. We therefore need to adopt a calculation method which is appropriate for the specific person, rather than use a mono-chronological calculation system which assumes that ‘one age fits all’.

3. Objectives and Metrics

The mono-chronological calculation method is based on Earth’s solar year, which as we have seen is impractical in the longer term because of the inherent limitation around Earth’s solar system and because the length of a year is not a constant.

The long-term solution must be therefore to describe a template age determination strategy which is appropriate to the individual and could be observed and measured locally as being the same at any particular point in space, or time, and would not differ based on the relative speed or gravitational field in which it was measured.

Potassium-40 will decay into Argon-40 with a half-life measured at around 50 billion (mono-chronological) years. This particularly long term decay makes this suitable for extremely long-term calculation methods. Furthermore, radioactive decay can be used to accurately establish how much local time has elapsed. If each person were to carry around a particularly stored sample of Postassim-40 since their birth, their own personal age could be calculated at any time.

ratio of the amount of 40Ar to 40K is taken a being directly related to the time elapsed since the rock was cool enough to trap the Ar by the following equation:
Wikipedia: Potassium-Argon Dating

Because ‘age’ is traditionally associated with the solar year, we need therefore to calculate and measure the level of radioactive decay which would be associated with a single solar year, and then standardise based on this level of decay so that a year can be measured for the individual correctly irrespective of their locale or velocity.

There are some problems with this: while the long half-life means that the measurement of age can be extremely specific over longer periods of time, but instruments are not currently be specific enough to measure the levels of decay over considerably shorter periods of time — over a human lifespan. This is therefore the calculation method which should be used when technology is sufficiently advanced to allow this measurement.

Until this time however it is important to establish a age calculation which is appropriate to the individual. It is not therefore always possible for each aging template to be appropriate to everyone, but I have designed some aging calculation methods which may be appropriate for different times.

Age Calculation 1: East Asian (Appropriate From Birth)
This method is appropriate until age 20 and is based on the East Asian Age reckoning, where a person is reckoned to be 1 year old at birth, aging a further year every time there is a New Year (because this is based on a solar year, this system is not appropriate for calculations off-Earth). The main advantage of this method is for the people in this age group, who would therefore be legally able to purchase alcohol between 1 and 2 years earlier than they would be able using the traditional mono-chronological method.
Age Calculation 2: Mono-Chronological Solar (Appropriate From 20-29)
Once you have been calculated as being 20 years old using East Asian Age reckoning, you would then need to shift temporarily to standard mono-chronological aging. This would then take you from 18 or 19 through to the age of 29.
Age Calculation 3: Gravitationally Adjusted Mono-Chronological Solar (Appropriate From 30-54)
To reflect the fact that you have now spent a longer period of time in a gravitational field which has a time dilatory effect, it is appropriate to discount a certain percentage of solar years from this count. In this case, the ‘leap year’ is a convenient and effective method as it is not a proper year anyway. Here the calculation is based on the number of solar years which you have lived, not counting leap years.

A person born in 1975 would have encountered leap years in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008, and therefore in 2009 would be ((2009 – 1975) – 9) = 25 years oldExample

When you have reached 54 years old using this calculation, this is approximately the equivalent to 72 years using the mono-chronological calculation method.

Method 4: Gravitationally Further Adjusted Mono-Chronological Solar (54 onward)
Once you have been counted as 54 using the Gravitationally Adjusted Mono-Chronological Solar method, it is appropriate to take account for the additional gravitational effects you will have experienced, and so he the method of discounting leap years is reversed, and the age calculation is based solely on the number of incidences of the 29th February which you have lived through. For example, someone born in 1933 C.E. would have lived (as at August 2009) through 19 incidences of February 29th, and therefore would be 19 ‘years’ old using the Gravitationally Further Adjusted Mono-Chronological Solar method.
4. Risks and Mitigation

There are no overall risks with this system, although each individual may have specific concerns about their method. For example, some people may allege that an individual has determined to use a specific calculation method simply because they are unhappy with the result of their mono-chronologically determined age. In these situations, explaining the problems with this method of age calculation and the potential benefits of the alternatives may well be sufficient to ameliorate these problems.

A second issue that users of the Gravitationally Adjusted methods may wish to consider is the effect upon certain issues such as car insurance (usually cheaper if you are calculated to be 25 or over) and the effect upon pension payments, which are normally not payable until a minimum age of 60. Each individual should therefore carefully assess which calculation method is most appropriate to themselves as an individual. [This may also help reduce the problems of the 'credit crunch' as there may be scope for experienced individuals to provide consultancy in this area].

5. Recommendation

The recommendation is to replace the inherently flawed mono-chronological method of age calculation as soon as possible. The ideal replacement would be to provide users with sealed samples of Potassium-40 rock at birth, and ensure that these users keep the sample with them at all times, in order to allow the measurement of the radioactive decay to Argon-40 and determine the local age of that person.

However, until the practical issues related to this can be overcome — accurate measurement of small amounts of radioactive decay over a human lifetime; methods of obtaining and appropriately sealing Potassium-40 loaded rock — it may be more appropriate to use a variety of different calculations, as provided above, based upon your calculated age and apply the appropriate gravitational adjustment.

6. Further Consultation

This document is a consultation document issued in DRAFT. No assumptions should be drawn that any of these methods will be formally or legally adopted at this stage. Comments are sought to improve the calculation methods and ensure that we have wide consensus approval of the gravitationally adjusted methods before seeking formal approval.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Comments to Template Aging Strategy (DRAFT/Consultation)

  1. Sarah Lay says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 9:55 am

    This is an excellent proposal which covers many societal problems with ‘traditional’ methods of measuring age.
    However, there may also be an educational / training issue which has not been addressed in this draft. While the specific method of measurement can be assessed and implemented by the individual *exactly* when changes between systems occurs should be clearer.
    For example, if it were to be my thirtieth birthday tomorrow (as measured in the mono-chronological age determination model) but I were prepared to switch to the gravitationally-adjusted method should my birthday cards come with ‘You’re 30′ or ‘You’re 22′ badges?

  2. JackP says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Good point. I think perhaps for purposes of clarity you should not introduce a new method on an actual birthday – possibly method shifts should be allowed only in the six-month period immediately following a birthday — keeping a six-month protected period in advance of it in order to help ensure clarity?

  3. Gary Miller says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Wow…err…have you been at the waccy baccy again…:)

  4. Sarah Lay says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I think the six-month period could work. I will try to get funding in order to run a pilot so we have empirical data on which to base further recommendations.

  5. FIFA 12 Ultimate Team Hack says:

    March 1st, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    FIFA 12 Ultimate Team Hack…

    [...]Thank you for every other great post. Where else may anybody get that type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such information.[...]…

  6. Purchase Proposal Template says:

    March 19th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this, I feel fervently about this and I like learning about this subject.

  7. olympic games schedule says:

    April 5th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    olympic games schedule…

    [...]Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to offer one thing back and aid others such as you helped me.[...]…

Leave a comment