The Alpha acids oxidize at room temperature and become less usable. The Beta acids oxidize and become more usable. In some hops, mainly the noble hops, the two rates balance out. There a couple hops that aren't normally used until they oxidize and turn brown.
If the hops are sealed and kept cool, they last for months. If frozen, for years.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"
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