I'm Jon Olick. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I presented Sparse Voxel Octrees at Siggraph 2008.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Presidential Age Requirement


What is wrong with this video? All of the presidents are seemingly getting younger as time goes on. But are they?


The average age of every president is 55 years with a standard deviation of 6.25. Presidents have *not* been getting younger. They are all about the same age. Barack Obama for example is 48 whereas president Ulysses S. Grant (who was president over 100 years ago) was 46.

I think there is something that is not as it was originally intended. The minimum age of a US President or Vice President is 35 years old. I believe the original intent of this was to make sure that the person had enough life experience to rely on in order to run the country. However, something has changed since that requirement has set that should affect that 35 age requirement. People are living longer. Much longer in fact, but the age requirement of a president has not increased appropriately to accommodate this change. For example, in some parts of the world, the life expectancy is increasing by 6 months every year.

There are some potential benefits to having older presidents. For one, they may be more concerned with the future of the country as their personal future is coming to a close. If they make changes to the government which benefit them, but hurt the public, they quite possibly have little to personally gain by that, seeing as that their life is coming to a close. As such they may not be able to significantly personally gain from it or if they do it may not matter as much. Unfortunately, while the concept initially sounds good, this doesn't always work. There are plenty of occasions where presidents live to be very old indeed. What about family? One might think that they could still make sure that their family is well off. While that is true, the older a person is the more diverse of classifications of descendant family they would have to improve, some of which may be hard due to the unpredictable nature of those results. IE, some of their children's children could be in poverty while others would be in riches, so that the decisions of who to help and who to hurt are harder. This effect would improve the decisions of presidents as the average life-span of a person continues to improve over time. Therefore older people may have more of the best interests of the future of the people of the country in mind. This concept shows the most promise, however has yet to be verified by taking a look at descendants of presidents of a few generations. I suspect that it might be true some of the time, but not all the time. If I remember correctly, the richer you are, the less children you tend to have, which would directly limit this factor. Still though, I hope I'm wrong and this is maybe a 50/50 chance of being correct.

In any case, I think we should call some attention to this oversight and bring to light these changes and the future changes that this country faces. I do believe this change would be a change for the better.