[Baypiggies] Chompapps Position - from Issue 31

Peter Trudelle trudelle at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 18:59:54 CET 2009

Age discrimination is a very difficult subject, but there is no basis in 
the study cited for any overall "brain level", let alone its declining 
with age. Some abilities appeared to decline while others increased; in 
fact, "abilities based on accumulated knowledge...increased until age 
60".  This last detail is misleading, as the study did not include 
anyone over 60, so all they found was that it kept increasing. 
Programming ability is affected by accumulated knowledge, and it is also 
much more complex than solving puzzles, recalling words and story 
details and spotting patterns in letters and symbols, so I'm not sure 
how applicable this study is to it.  BTW, the last paragraph contains a 
logical fallacy; "virtually everyone agreeing" on something does not 
make it true, as implied. I find it odd that anyone would expect a 
recent graduate to outperform someone who may have spent their entire 
life honing skills the graduate has barely started to develop.  FWIW, 
the only 80 year old programmer I ever worked with could code rings 
around the recent graduates.  And why not?  He had 50+ years of 
experience, we had none.


On 10/29/2009 12:00 AM, resmith at runbox.com wrote:
> Age discrimination is a difficult subject.  People work till they are in their 50's and 60's, and even 70's. And companies should treat them or consider them as candidates equally that entire time as they do a much younger person according to the law. But does their brain stay at the same level the entire time? This study says that it peaks at 22 and starts to dwindle at age 27:
> http://www.thirdage.com/brain-fitness/when-does-your-brain-function-peak
> Virtually everyone would agree that an 80 year old person would  underperform a 22 year old college graduate in a programming assignment. But at what point did the person 80 start to underperform the 22 year old? Was it at 70? 60? 50? 40? 30?   If the answer isn't 70, then there is a problem.
> Rob
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