Stephen Graham Jones, novelist, is 37 years old. That’s about the age that your typical novelist produces his seminal work. That’s pretty interesting right there. Now why is that? Because, novel writing is creative writing, and as such it may require high fluid intelligence. Music, poetry, math, science, songwriting, art, etc. also often tend to peak early. They do their best work when they are young. Think about it. Think about the best rock musicians. Best work done at the start of their career, right? After that, then what? Not a lot. Some novelists continue producing great stuff into their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. I don’t know about 80’s, but I guess it is possible. Fluid intelligence is related to sheer raw brain speed and peaks at about age 23. Curiously, that is also the age at which we have the highest number of brain cells. Or maybe that is not a coincidence after all. The other type of intelligence is called crystallized intelligence, and tends to peak later in life. It is often still increasing in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and is often still high in the 70’s and 80’s. These are the professors and emeritus professors, especially in the humanities, where the sheer brain speed of hard science and math is not needed so much. This may be thought of as “wisdom”, accumulated knowledge, knowledge, what we know, how we know it, why we know it, and how we know it’s right, etc. It is not just what we know. Wisdom is life experience plus knowing lots of things. Further, as you age and know more and more things, you are able to see connections between things better. In addition, years of reality testing and hypothesis testing (same thing, sort of) has shown you which theories and patterns have tended to pan out and which have tended to not pan out. Therefore, you can not only connect with and see patterns among various bits of knowledge and theories about this and that, but you can also start to see which lines or reasoning or even behavior will tend to lead to productive inquiry and which will tend to lead down dead-end roads. This is why the world has always been ruled by old men. Elders, usually male elders, probably more because men have always run things rather than that we are superior. Many primitive cultures value female elders as well. The elders really are the best at running things. There is a reason why we have set out minimum age of President at 35 and it’s not ageism. If you let the 23 year old’s run things, wow. Sure, they’ve got the fastest brains on Earth, but they are also the biggest idiots. Speaking as one who loved being 23. They would make executions legal, and they would all gather around and cheer for them. There would be all sorts of killing. Lots of fucking too, but lots of killing to even out the fun. So, sure, maybe you get laid a lot, but then you might end up dead, too. Maybe even in the act itself. Just about everything would be legal, and that would be a clusterfuck. Nevertheless, there would probably still be some kind of a dictatorship, because people that age are natural totalitarians. There would be little sense in policy, since young folks think they know everything, even though really they don’t know shit, but of course you can never tell them that. Extreme overconfidence among policy-makers would lead to periodic international catastrophes. There would be periodic crazes, mass hysterias and witch hunts, since that what young folks do since they don’t understand human nature and human psychology very well. Such and understanding is typically not really achieved best until maybe after 40 or so, through life experience.
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