Whoa there, Ron Baker: Old dogs don't create? (Accounting Today, Sept. 26-Oct. 9, 2005, page 33.) I know the point was supposed to be about invigorating accounting firms before they dry up and blow away, but Ron, are you also a racist and bigot to the other classes in the workplace?Let's give it a test and replace "old" with "black" and "young" with "white," or "young team members" with "Hitler Youth."
Was I offended? Oh yes.
Ron only gave Benjamin Franklin credit for skewing his average. I quote Franklin: "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing."
Franklin was 46 when he performed his kite experiment, leading to the invention of the lightning rod. He also created bifocals, invented daylight savings time and the odometer, and discovered the Gulf Stream.
Mr. Baker calculated the average age on the Manhattan Project as 25? I came up with 41.71, averaging Niels Bohr, Glen Seaborg, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Enrico Fermi, Gen. Leslie Groves and Albert Einstein.
There is another quote, attributed at various times to Benjamin Disraeli, Alfred Marshall and Mark Twain: "There are three types of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics." Feynman was the youngest at 24 on that project, but in 1986, at age 68, NASA asked Feynman to determine the cause of the Challenger explosion, and was amazed when he told them it was the O-ring.
To have a vibrant, creative company, you need to hire for it, evaluate for it, promote for it and be sure you are hiring diversity. This way, you have all the strengths, intelligence, creativity and knowledge, not just one strength - more potential birthdays.
By the way, congratulations are in order. I'm a new CPA and next month I will turn 57.
I really resent your ageist article, just as I did the gender bias from Harvard [University president Larry Summers] about science and women. You could have made your point some other way - if you were creative.
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