Re: [VOID] Thirty-one, rest, and motion.

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 16:25:29 PST

'30', as evidenced by the mathematical '25', is probably relative to a field.
Few doctors have the experience to innovate drastically at 30. Of course, in
the medical field innovating is tough in any case. Ice skating and gymnastics
place that number far lower, although it may be the coaches who are innovating
sometimes through others.

Not to mention exceptions to this everywhere.

Certainly the distractions and responsibilities of a family between late 20's
and early 40's makes a big difference to large numbers. The latter makes risk
taking seem selfish to most.


Dave Long wrote:
> > The "Thirty Hypothesis" is the belief that one's useful life ends at
> > 30. This rule was first proposed by Rohit as the "Mathematician's rule
> > of 25," which states that anything that was ever useful in mathematics
> > was discovered and/or proved by a person by the time s/he was 25.
> Aristotle (Rhetoric) says young men would rather do noble
> deeds than useful ones, but old men would rather do useful
> than noble[0]. By his definitions then, this hypothesis
> should read "one's noble life ends at 30", for I believe
> the reason that the young people make all the discoveries
> is the older ones are too busy exploiting what has already
> been discovered.
> Kaufmann (The Origins of Order) points out that on rugged
> fitness landscapes, those which have a large number of
> local optima, adaptation shows two phases. In the first
> phase, the initial point is poorly adapted and variants
> in its vicinity are only slightly fitter, but variants
> at a long jump away can be very much fitter. Once a fit
> segment of the space has been discovered, however, the
> variants at a distance are usually less fit, whereas the
> variants found locally may be slightly fitter, and so
> adaptation climbs a local hill in the second phase.
> Young mathematicians and engineers are in their first
> phase, so they make the long jumps, the "discoveries".
> Older ones have a sense of gradients in the landscapes
> of their fields, as well perhaps as a sense of their
> own fortes and foibles, and so limit themselves to the
> main chance[1] with the goal of doing useful work.
> -Dave
> [0] "They are too fond of themselves; this is one form
> that small mindedness takes. Because of this, they
> guide their lives too much by considerations of what
> is useful and too little by what is noble -- for the
> useful is what is good for oneself, and the noble
> what is good absolutely."
> [1] "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle
> to the strong, but that's the way to bet."

Stephen D. Williams         Insta, Inc./Jabber.Com, Inc./CCI
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax  Dec2000

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