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Thread: Old People and jail

  1. #1 Old People and jail 
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    I think this might belong here...

    My Sci fi story idea.
    Future societies will be able to manipulate aging, and now instead of throwing people in jail for law breaking we age them so they are slow and frail. once their time is served they're restored back to their youthful appearance with all faculties restored. I think this would be a decent sci fi premise. The idea would be that everyone who is old is a criminal of some sort but because they are made to be old and frail they are no threat and can wander about society without people being scared of them. Plus, with them being old and slow society feels bad for them instead of holding them with contempt. When their time is served they are restored and therefore no stigma cause they no longer look old.

    Old folks homes would now be "prisons" but we wouldn't need guns or guards or anything just high school kids that need an after school job...


    thoughts?


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I think this might belong here...

    My Sci fi story idea.
    Future societies will be able to manipulate aging, and now instead of throwing people in jail for law breaking we age them so they are slow and frail. once their time is served they're restored back to their youthful appearance with all faculties restored. I think this would be a decent sci fi premise. The idea would be that everyone who is old is a criminal of some sort but because they are made to be old and frail they are no threat and can wander about society without people being scared of them. Plus, with them being old and slow society feels bad for them instead of holding them with contempt. When their time is served they are restored and therefore no stigma cause they no longer look old.

    Old folks homes would now be "prisons" but we wouldn't need guns or guards or anything just high school kids that need an after school job...


    thoughts?
    It's a small world. Did ya know I had an idea where an alien race is almost immortal? All they have to do is be shocked with electric current, since that turns back the biologically clock on them. Without it, they will age normally.

    I never incorporated this, since I thought the aging thing god-modded them too much, and I didn't want to have to characterize a realistic personality of a person who is has 200 years of experience. It's just too mind boggling.

    But your idea is just that-an idea. It's all in how you execute it that makes it interesting. Whatever you do, don't make it a chore to read.

    Generally, if you read your chapter and it feels like a chore to read, so will the reader. But if you enjoy it, then the reader will too. As writers we can be very bias towards our own work. But I think it's good to read your work as if you knew nothing about it, AFTER you have completed about a chapter. After about 4 chapters of ink, then you can post it.

    By then you should know where you're going. Don't write for the readers, write for you.

    Once your happy with your work, someone else will be too.


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  4. #3  
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    Thanks for the advice, unfortunately I rarely get passed the idea stage. right now I'm having a problem with coming up with a plot for said society or what the antagonist and protagonist would even look like. somebody wants to be old with out being a criminal...? what does death look like? is the government corrupt and singling people out for oldness that way the populace doesn't get too strong... euthanasia obviously would need to be practiced to keep the population in check,
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    It may seem counter intuitive, but I find it best to not let outsiders (like me) have ANY effect on the plot. Only you can decide a story that you think needs telling.

    A story worth reading is a story worth writing.

    Your technology and society should be shaped around your plot and characters, not the other way around.

    So whatever you want to happen, just make the situation so that it does. Remember that characters effect the plot in a huge way.

    In my writings, one character is essentially me, so I already know what he would do. But others are not. That will effect what happens in the story.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorbo View Post
    It may seem counter intuitive, but I find it best to not let outsiders (like me) have ANY effect on the plot. Only you can decide a story that you think needs telling.

    A story worth reading is a story worth writing.

    Your technology and society should be shaped around your plot and characters, not the other way around.

    So whatever you want to happen, just make the situation so that it does. Remember that characters effect the plot in a huge way.

    In my writings, one character is essentially me, so I already know what he would do. But others are not. That will effect what happens in the story.
    thank you.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I think this might belong here...

    My Sci fi story idea.
    Future societies will be able to manipulate aging, and now instead of throwing people in jail for law breaking we age them so they are slow and frail.
    I'm wondering about your perceptions of aging...and guessing it's far removed from reality.
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  8. #7  
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I think this might belong here...

    My Sci fi story idea.
    Future societies will be able to manipulate aging, and now instead of throwing people in jail for law breaking we age them so they are slow and frail.
    I'm wondering about your perceptions of aging...and guessing it's far removed from reality.
    My perception of aging is that of an old folks home where people wander around in walkers and are all arthritis ridden and are a threat to no one... I thought I mentioned that in the run up.
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  10. #9  
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    Hey! get back here with my ******* teeth you insolent pup!

    Ah well, I love when science fiction actually introduces scientific concepts instead of just phlebotinum

    *
    Applied Phlebotinum
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a completely ad-hoc plot device"David Langford, "A Gadget Too Far", as a corollary to Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law

    Phlebotinum is the versatile substance that may be rubbed on almost anything to cause an effect needed by a plot. Examples include but are not limited to: nanotechnology, magic crystal emanations, pixie dust, a sonic screwdriver, and Green Rocks.In essence, it is plot fuel. Without it, the story would grind to an abrupt halt. It's science, it's magic, it's strange things unknown to science or magic. The reader does not know how Phlebotinum would work and the creators hope nobody cares.According to Joss Whedon, during the DVD commentary for the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the term "phlebotinum" originates fromBuffy writer (and Angel co-creator) David Greenwalt's sudden outburst: "Don't touch the phlebotinum!" apropos of nothing.Fun Fact If the phlebotinum in question is simply a physical substance with unusual/extreme properties you are almost certainly dealing with the elementUnobtainium.A.K.A. Handwavium. Compare Author Powers, Hand Wave, MacGuffin, Deus ex Machina, and A Wizard Did It. Contrast Misapplied Phlebotinum
    ~http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    My perception of aging is that of an old folks home where people wander around in walkers and are all arthritis ridden and are a threat to no one... I thought I mentioned that in the run up.
    As I thought--our vision of the elderly is often quite distorted. Here's what it's really like: Most don't live in such places ("old folks homes"), Only 5% of those above 65 live in such places, you have to go above 95 years old to get above 50% living there. The rest are dancing, bicycling, still having sex, splitting wood, constantly working on the old house they probably live in (a never ending chore), tending large gardens, sailing, active members of their community, running businesses (where real crime happens...teehe)--some are even more active. Artificially aging people to the feeble condition would also dramatically increase medical cost far beyond current levels.

    Lastly propensity to do crime has a lot more do with maturity, than physical age and capability--most crime happens among people before lower 20's, before the judgement centers of their brains are fully developed and long long before their physical peak of around 30 (in developed countries), Improve their brain development at a younger age, would probably be far more effective.
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  12. #11  
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    My only interactions with people over 80 are family members and while they may be mentally sound their body is old and slow as hell.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    My only interactions with people over 80 are family members and while they may be mentally sound their body is old and slow as hell.




    . Mercola
    Sy Perlis already holds titles as the 2009 state weightlifting champ and the 2010 and 2011 world champ in the 181-pound weight category in the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters.
    But earlier this month he accomplished an even bigger feat: when he lifted a 187.2-pound weight, he broke the world record of 135 pounds, which had been in place since 2005. It’s a remarkable victory for any athlete, but what makes this story particularly noteworthy is the fact that Perlis is 91 years old.
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    What about crooks and conmen? Ageing wouldn't stop them from any murky business they might be up to. Unless it affects their smarts, of course.

    On a side note, have you seen Zardoz? It's a post-apocalyptic film about an ideal society of scientists cut off from the rest of the world where you are made to age if you break the rules.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    My only interactions with people over 80 are family members and while they may be mentally sound their body is old and slow as hell.
    You almost got it. A couple things though. Don't assume your relatives represent the norm...genetics play a heavy card in how we age. (the rest is luck and lifestyle). With the exception of a few heavy smokers, most of mine are the at the opposite end of that spectrum--my grandparents used to routinely take 30 mile bike rides into their early 80s and spent a lot of time riding horses.

    Did your relatives lead lives of crime through their healthier years? Say into their 60's? (I'm kidding to make a point because I hope they didn't). And even so a granny with a handgun is quite capable of violent crime while white collar crime can be done at any age (and often is).)

    What makes your mentally sound relatives law abiding citizens isn't' their physical well being but their mental state and ability to make good judgements.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; February 9th, 2014 at 06:43 PM.
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  16. #15  
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    Being old won't stop you from inspiring others to commit crimes on your behalf. You don't have to be physically active to be the boss. There's been a lot of movies showing old people that control fortunes made from criminal activities. Once you lock yourself into a life of crime it's very tough to convert yourself back to a law abiding citizen. The fact is if you are ever able to harm other humans for your own gain you are a criminal regardless of how old you might be.

    Somehow as a tax payer, I don't want to support old criminals by taking care of their medical cost and providing a nice place for them to live. If a person isn't a productive citizen most of his life why should I be required to provide for them?
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  17. #16  
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    I like the idea, but be careful. It suggests that getting old, is a punishment. We will all be weaker someday. We will all need the assistance of others, someday. Some may find themselves in a nursing home, someday. I tend to think of the elderly population as wise and it's a shame that our culture diminishes them to being worthless, simply because they're not as 'quick' physically as they once were in their youth. Again, it's a good plot idea, but it has its flaws.
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  18. #17  
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    Opinions are just that. Opinions.

    If you write well enough, you can write a story about a guy making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and people will still enjoy it!.

    Substance over style.

    Whatever it takes really..

    Stories need plot. But along with that they need character. Technology and society are just a nice flavoring to it all. But they aren't the meat. Not unless your' making a video game. But far as I can tell, this is not a video game.

    So it doesn't matter if people hate your idea or love your idea. If you listen to other people on how to write your story, it WON'T BE your story.

    Figure it out. You don't need our opinions. Bad and good ideas are perception when it comes to stories. Any story can work if told well enough.
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  19. #18  
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    Ooops!
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  20. #19  
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    Does he represent the norm or the exception?


    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    My only interactions with people over 80 are family members and while they may be mentally sound their body is old and slow as hell.




    . Mercola
    Sy Perlis already holds titles as the 2009 state weightlifting champ and the 2010 and 2011 world champ in the 181-pound weight category in the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters.
    But earlier this month he accomplished an even bigger feat: when he lifted a 187.2-pound weight, he broke the world record of 135 pounds, which had been in place since 2005. It’s a remarkable victory for any athlete, but what makes this story particularly noteworthy is the fact that Perlis is 91 years old.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Being old won't stop you from inspiring others to commit crimes on your behalf. You don't have to be physically active to be the boss. There's been a lot of movies showing old people that control fortunes made from criminal activities. Once you lock yourself into a life of crime it's very tough to convert yourself back to a law abiding citizen. The fact is if you are ever able to harm other humans for your own gain you are a criminal regardless of how old you might be.

    Somehow as a tax payer, I don't want to support old criminals by taking care of their medical cost and providing a nice place for them to live. If a person isn't a productive citizen most of his life why should I be required to provide for them?
    You all make excellent points. I was thinking more along the lines of violent crime. Old slow people can definitely mastermind crime and manipulate others but they aren't out raping and beating the crap out of others.
    I like all of the feedback, though
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorbo View Post
    Opinions are just that. Opinions.

    If you write well enough, you can write a story about a guy making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and people will still enjoy it!.

    Substance over style.

    Whatever it takes really..

    Stories need plot. But along with that they need character. Technology and society are just a nice flavoring to it all. But they aren't the meat. Not unless your' making a video game. But far as I can tell, this is not a video game.

    So it doesn't matter if people hate your idea or love your idea. If you listen to other people on how to write your story, it WON'T BE your story.

    Figure it out. You don't need our opinions. Bad and good ideas are perception when it comes to stories. Any story can work if told well enough.
    I agree with you but other angles can certainly lead me in other directions I had not thought about which would still make it my story.
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  23. #22  
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    I tend to think of the elderly population as wise and it's a shame that our culture diminishes them to being worthless, simply because they're not as 'quick' physically as they once were in their youth.
    I think that's romanticising the elderly a bit. People who were nasty bullies at work or neglectful parents or mean-minded neighbourhood gossips get old just like everyone else. Those old people whose family never visits them in the nursing home? Their children and grandchildren might be selfish or uncaring about the elderly, that's possible. It's also possible those old people who are now a bit cranky were actively horrible when they had more energy to put into it and it serves them right for being unloving and unlovable.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  24. #23  
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    There have been cases of old people murdering each other in nursing homes here.
    Nursing-home violence a growing concern, with 11% of residents classed as ‘aggressive’ | Toronto Star

    Maybe something for Grumpy Smurf to put in his book.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I tend to think of the elderly population as wise and it's a shame that our culture diminishes them to being worthless, simply because they're not as 'quick' physically as they once were in their youth.
    I think that's romanticising the elderly a bit. People who were nasty bullies at work or neglectful parents or mean-minded neighbourhood gossips get old just like everyone else. Those old people whose family never visits them in the nursing home? Their children and grandchildren might be selfish or uncaring about the elderly, that's possible. It's also possible those old people who are now a bit cranky were actively horrible when they had more energy to put into it and it serves them right for being unloving and unlovable.
    That's absolutely true. But, I don't believe that catapulting people from their 20's/30's/40's etc into their 80's for example, should be seen as a punishment. (in terms of the OP's plot concept) While what you say is true, I think it can be seen as insulting to an entire segment of the population, that which we all will be a part of, someday. I think that it runs true to what we see in our global culture, however--aging is seen as a depressing passage from youth. So, it's really not that ''sci-fi'' at all. (sadly)
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    I think that it runs true to what we see in our global culture, however--aging is seen as a depressing passage from youth.
    Mostly by the young. Plenty of aging people - at least the better off among us - are simply having a lot of fun and a lot of freedom from child raising, free to do as much or as little paid or volunteer work as they want to. Just ask a travel agent or a camping/ caravan sales place.

    Though I have to confess, even some old people make the mistake of confusing aging with illness or disability. Some of my relatives would sometimes remark when I was in my 40s that I seemed worse off/ older than several of them in their 70s and 80s. Whaddya know? I was. They were fit and healthy going off to golf at silly o'clock every morning while I could barely drag myself out of bed to deal with the (very small) children and get to work. They went out partying on weekends. I stayed home for some R&R to get ready to face the next work week.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I think that it runs true to what we see in our global culture, however--aging is seen as a depressing passage from youth.
    Mostly by the young. Plenty of aging people - at least the better off among us - are simply having a lot of fun and a lot of freedom from child raising, free to do as much or as little paid or volunteer work as they want to. Just ask a travel agent or a camping/ caravan sales place.

    Though I have to confess, even some old people make the mistake of confusing aging with illness or disability. Some of my relatives would sometimes remark when I was in my 40s that I seemed worse off/ older than several of them in their 70s and 80s. Whaddya know? I was. They were fit and healthy going off to golf at silly o'clock every morning while I could barely drag myself out of bed to deal with the (very small) children and get to work. They went out partying on weekends. I stayed home for some R&R to get ready to face the next work week.
    Age is relative, perhaps. I think that 'how' we live our lives often dictates how we feel about certain ages. There are people who yes, feel older before their time, but that doesn't mean they have health issues, it could mean that the stress in their lives is wreaking havoc upon them. I'm imagining, all things being equal, that the OP is speaking of old age as a bad spot to be in, and not of the elderly population who is in stellar health, and living healthy lifestyles, thus is being deemed a 'punishment' for those incarcerated. But, I still find the entire premise to be problematic because there are a lot of exceptions to the rule, not just a few. People are living healthier, high quality lives well into their 80's...so, it might not be such a punishment. I think to 'jump' from 20 say, to 80...could be seen as a punishment, because the person being punished would have missed his/her entire lifetime. THAT, would be a worthwhile storyline, rather than emphasizing the fact that old age is in and of itself a punishment. ''Losing'' one's life right before his/her eyes, but still being alive...eeeek. That would be frightening, indeed. I like your replies adelady. I may not always chime in and respond in various threads, but I tend to gravitate towards your replies, for they are always so...I don't know...down to earth. Real. From your heart. That's it...from your heart.
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