May 2008

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« Making Decisions | Main | Ultimate Single Story House - update »


Daniel Wood - Perth, Western Australia.

I'm from Australia and believe you have a very very small pool of which to pick your President from, from what I see, you need bags and bags of cash, no real political agenda other than trying to please just about everyone and you certainly don't need any mental ability to be President of the United States, look who the current President is.

Daniel Wood - Perth, Western Australia.

I'm from Australia and believe you have a very very small pool of which to pick your President from, from what I see, you need bags and bags of cash, no real political agenda other than trying to please just about everyone and you certainly don't need any mental ability to be President of the United States, look who the current President is.


The pool of potential candidates for the job of President is really quite small, self-limiting, and self-selecting. First, you have to want the job. Then you have to be famous enough, usually having spent many years in politics. Then you need money, truckloads of money. Follow that with having a squeaky clean record, no recorded opinions that are too out of the mainstream, and the ability to give the same speech, promising everything, saying nothing, but saying it fervently in 185 cities in 6 months.
Do this knowing that since the advent of 24/7 all news television, every moment you can be recorded, you will be, and a single slip of any sort will be played over and over so that the world can watch you squirm out an apology.
Nope, small pool of people. And I think wanting the job should disqualify you immediately. It would be better to let a computer pick a dozen people at random and give them each $50 million to run a campaign.

Earnest Iconoclast

The applicant pool for President is actually incredibly small. Currently, it's at three realistic candidates. As of a few months, it will be down to two realistic candidates. When voting, I will have to choose one of two candidates. While age is certainly a factor, it is relatively minor compared to many other factors.

Also, the statistical intelligence/flexibility/mental acuity/etc... of 71 year olds is irrelevant when we are considering a specific 71 year old. All we need to know is what is John McCain's intelligence/flexibility/mental acuity/etc...

Likewise with his health. I'd love to see all Presidential candidates given a thorough health screening and mental examination with results posted for everyone to see and compare.


Oh, yes, I do think that age generally matters in determining one's intellectual capacity and mental agility. Of course, there are a few notable impressive exceptions, but most of the time senility and debility set in relentlessly in the twilight years, and render the senior citizens incapable of independent thinking, profound reasoning and informed decision-making. Even a giant philosopher like Kant was known to have dwindled irreparably in his last years. Old age is often merciless.

I am from Singapore, and our most prominent politician is, indubitably, Minister Mentor (I must remark briefly that this is the first time a supposedly democratic country has such a position, which effectively allows the same politicians to remain in power by changing from being ministers to mentors after retirement) Lee Kuan Yew, who made enormous contributions to the development of our nation from a backward fishing village to an advanced and affluent cosmopolitan state. But even a mentally robust man like him cannot seem to escape the clutches of old age, for he is now known to be sometimes guilty of clumsy speech and imprudent remarks, which have, on several occasions, offended our South-east Asian neighbours.


The Commander in Chief is more a manager than a doer. His job would be to direct the energies of those around him, listen to their ideas, keep them on track when they start to wander and choose among the options presented to him.

A 71 year old was unlikely to come up with the idea of an i-pod but might very well have been the project manager of the team that did.

I'm not sold on McCain, but his age would not keep me from voting for him.

David S

Yes, I would vote for a 100 year old if he was qualified and I liked his stand on important issues more than his opposition.
But then, I'm still young enough to be flexible and not closed minded when it comes to age and ability.
Unlike you, you narrow-minded ageist.

P.S. his VP choice might be a bit more relevant than usual...


Scott wrote "The odds of being exceptional are much lower."

What do odds have to do with it? We're not faced with choosing whether to vote for for an average 71-year-old, or a typical 71-year-old. We're faced with choosing to vote for a SPECIFIC 71-year-old. While it's true that 71-year-old John McCain may be slower and less flexible than 45-year-old John McCain, he won't be running against 45-year-old John McCain. He will be running against a specific Democratic candidate.

People will be able to judge whether they think he is more or less competent than his opponent. I happen to think he isn't but that has nothing to do with his age.


Well, I gotta tell ya that, being 71 years of age, I sometimes forget where I set my cup of coffee, and that alone tells me that I shouldn't be in the position of what George Duhbya Bu$h calls "Commander in Chief". Being a grayback may make you a leader in the Gorilla world, but as we know, they are on the edge of extinction and don't have to compete with a female for their position of superiority. Beside that, I've been around long enough to know that the leader of any country on this planet is not the guy that calls the shots, especially if he isn't the brightest street light on the block. So when I go to the polls, I keep in mind that I'm voting for someone who had to spend vast amounts of U$ dollars to even become nominated, and when actually elected into office occupies a seat where reality becomes superficial. The projected media image is what is important and all the decisions are allready made, so even if the words have to be fed into an earphone, the image shown to the sheeple appears to be one of their own...G:


Ageism, unrecognized as such, is already well and alive in the Democratic primaries:
Obama: "old, old, old". Who do you think is he talking about?
Obama: "me new, new new."


I do a little hatchet work for the new world order and they asked me to tell you that when you mention McCain in print your are supposed to say:
John McCain, war hero and proven foreign policy expert, bla bla bla.
likewise when mentioning 911 you must always say:
911, when islamofascists hijacked airplanes and knocked down the world trade center, yaddida yaddida ya...

It's a pain in the ass I know, I have the same problem in my publication when I use Carmen Hart (this months centerfold) I have to say:
Carmen Hart, Wicked Pictures contract star, lah de dum lah dee dah...

BTW you got hoodwinked on your thousand dollar bet. The surge didn't work: have you checked food prices from when it started till now? Oil Prices? US police per square mile? The national debt? Number of people in US prisons?
But most importantly (to me) the surge didn't bring any of the troops back to Fayetteville or Jacksonville where I am being hurt financially by this god awful war. Those boys should be tipping strippers and buying liquor not killing foreign civilians in their home. Make love not war. Please buy ads to that effect.

titch the clown

How about a drunken lemur as president?

Think about it - You know it makes sense

1) Managers are like drunken lemurs
2) the President of the United States is the Arch Manager
3) I come from Australia so despite the obvious world wide impact of who is in charge of that large army, navy airforce and all those nuclear weapons I don't get a vote.


I'd like to know the physical age of those folks who posted up comments about the house design here in the "Ageism" comment thread... :)

Regarding the comment about it seeming like anybody under 50 is a young hot-head, well, having just entered my 50s recently, I must say that until you've reached 40 you just flat-out haven't had your nose rubbed in it enough to have sufficient perspective.

It's remarkable the number of people I encounter who hold a strong opinion about something that I can tell for certain clearly don't know enough about the subject to even have an opinion.

I think it's tied to that aspect of human nature that causes everyone, regardless of their level of intelligence (or sometimes in spite of it) to hold the opinion that they're smarter than everyone else. Were this not the case, we wouldn't get all those amusing news stories about people holding up banks and writing the hold-up note on the back of one of their own deposit slips.


No Master Bedroom door? No kids huh?

John S

I just think the independence of the American colony should be revoked and control handed back to the UK. After the last 2 elections I don't think Americans can be trusted with democracy anymore.

Some 72-80 year old running the country? I guess Fidel Castro made it, but only just. The thing is though, the current president has made a lot of dumbass decisions. One would assume that the chances of making a dumbass decision is inversly proportional to experience, which people associate with age, so voting in some old guy might be a reaction to the current situation.

I could ramble on more, but I'm a bit late in reading this post and nobody is going to read my comment anyway.

You know what I would really like to see? Both of these, given time:

A) A young intelligent heavily science orientated person voted in as president.

B) A hot young blonde 25 yr old chick voted in as president.

What difference would there be?


I too worry about his age. Mainly since Huckabee seems likely to get the veep nod. Do we really want to be one stroke or heart attack away from **President Mike Huckabee**?



Average life expectancy has nothing to do with it. 'Average' does not necessarily mean 'typical'. It depends on the distribution. In other words, just because average life expectancy is 40, you shouldn't expect to die at aound 40. Perhaps it is so low because a great deal of people die in infancy, whereas anyone who makes it past 35 has a good chance of living to 90. The average life expectancy figure alone doesn't give us enough information to predict when people are likely to die.


Reading through all the comments, I'd have to say that agism is definitely present in this debate. But not against the elderly.

I personally agreed with your points about aging candidates. There are always exceptions to the rule, and McCain might very well be one of those exceptions, but I think it stands as a valid argument. More to the point, I'm a little alarmed by how anti-youth (though since when has 30 been considered young?) the tone of this comment thread appears. There seem to be all these implications that anyone under 50 is hot-headed and impulsive and completely lacking in wisdom. If people are going to point out that there are lots of elderly people who are mentally spry and quite healthy, then dammit, there are plenty of young people who are much wiser and with more valuable life experiences than octogenerians, too!

It just reeks of a whole set of baby boomers not wanting to confront the fact that they're getting older and out of touch.

All the comments claiming that there isn't a large pool of applicants for the presidency are also completely missing the point - the idea is that anyone can become president. But, much like American Idol, most of them get culled in the early auditions. That's like complaining that there's only twelve finalists in the TV show, despite the fact that thousands might have auditioned. We're looking at the short-listed ones, as it were. That argument is invalid.

On a side note, one pleasant thing I have noticed about Obama is that he's running a very positive campaign. He doesn't appear to be trying to win by destroying his opponents' reputations, but instead by relying on his own merits. Do you think this will make a difference in how voters respond to him?


Its funny how so few of your readers agree with any of your political or philosophical viewpoints.


I don't care how old he is, as long as he doesn't eat mashed potatoes or drive anywhere near me.


I would vote for a 100 year old Prez. But only for the jokes.


Do you ever wonder how else Scott uses the intellectual evasiveness he exhibits here all the time?

Wife: "I just saw video of you tapping the babysitter!"

Scott: "It appears you have three reasons for objecting. One, you think since I am married I should not be allowed to ever look at another woman under any circumstances. Two, you object to infidelity ON PRINCIPLE. These are not worthy of a response.

But three, I should have gotten consent to tape, and I am sorry about that, let's talk about it..."


Move the guest bathroom closer to the common area. If you are talking with a friend in the kitchen and they have to use the restroom you have to direct them to the other side of the house. maybe a 1/2 bath off the office or garage.

Open English

I literally laughed out loud when I read the iPod comment. Honestly, I don't think it was worth your time to write this post.


I am not sold on the location of the cat bathroom. You would have to leave the bedroom or closet door open all day so the cat has access in and out. This doesn't help with privacy. Maybe a cat door from the common areas that gets the cat to its bathroom.

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