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Act your age

We shouldn’t be ashamed to call ourselves “middle aged” or “old”

A taste of the latest from Prospect online: Julian Baggini

When I turned 30, too many years ago to mention, I raised a glass and toasted my entry to middle age. Everyone else was shocked, thinking it was premature. Perhaps the real reason for their recoiling was that if 30 was middle aged, that made the rest of them either middle-aged themselves, too close for comfort or—god forbid—old.

To me it was simple mathematics. My life expectancy at birth was not much more than 70, making its midpoint 35. Even if I now have an odds-on chance of making 90, the middle part of that would be from 30 to 60. What bit of “middle” can’t people understand?

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: More than a dozen writers critique the current state of economics, suggesting there are still lessons to learn more than a decade on from the financial crash. Howard Reed writes that the ideas we hold about the way economics works need to be ripped up. Ten of the world’s best living economists explain what, in their view, is the single most important lesson economics still has to learn, and Linda Yueh suggests what three of the past masters would think about economics today. Elsewhere in the issue: Vernon Bogdanor outlines why Brexit could cause a constitutional crisis in Britain; Jean H Lee explains why young South Koreans don’t want their country to reunify with their Northern neighbours; Sian Norris writes about the coming battle over abortion and shows where the UK ranks among its European peers; and Sonia Purnell profiles Jacob Rees-Mogg.