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Old Indians

The following is only opinion:

A stereotype of Native Americans was their ability to live in "harmony with nature."  However, from a technology perspective, that may be a misleading metaphor.

Prior to the European invasion, and the resulting genocide of Native Americans, the typical Native American had an average lifespan of about 45 years.  Unlike Europeans where a common cause of death was disease and warfare, the major reason for the short Native American life span was not disease or warfare, but "technical self-destruction."

Pre-European Native Americans not only lacked much of the technology that we take for granted, other than fire and the lever they lacked common European and Asian technology tools such as metal implements or the wheel.  Because they lacked horses, they transported their goods on their backs, on the backs of dogs, or by carrying them on a primitive travois dragged behind a person or dog.  While some tribes had written languages, most communication and history transmission was oral.   

They did have the ability to harvest wild grain (maize) and used flour from that grain to bake bread.  Native Americans typically produced flour by grinding the grain between two flat rocks, however, the process of grinding that flour also baked sand ground from those rocks into the bread.  Typically, by the time Native Americans were in their early to mid-40's that sand had their worn down teeth to the point that they could not effectively chew food.  As a result, pre-European Native Americans typically died by age 45, not from disease or warfare as did their European counter-parts, but from starvation caused by their inability to chew.  Lacking the understanding as to what was causing teeth to be worn down, it was assumed by Native Americans that "old age" and death from starvation were synonymous.  "Old Indians" were expected to wither and die. 

Our Technology Dependent Society assumes that vision and comprehension loss are synonymous with "old age,"  but comprehension is subjective, and hopefully our brains still function with "old age."  What changes the most with age is the ability of our eyes to provide a clear, undistorted image.  It is likely, and unfortunate, that because many Optometrists and Ophthalmologists retire at about age 55, it is assumed to be normal for people past age 55 to lose much of their reading comprehension skills.  As a result, our Technology Dependent Society tends to treat "old readers" much like Native Americans treated "old Indians"  in expecting that "old readers" are mentally supposed to wither and die.

What many "old readers" are really suffering from, however, is the Induced Dyslexia caused by their inappropriate glasses.  The problem is with their vision, not their mind.