Saturday, 24 January 2009

Aging Handicap

I'm a little depressed, not because the gambling gods have been unkind or anything like that, but because I've been reading an excerpt from a cheerful book called "The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead", by David Shields.

I'm now starting to wonder how much longer I have at this trading game. According to the book, my IQ peaked at some time between the ages of 18 and 25, and since then my brain has "started shrinking, losing weight, and filling with fluid". (It doesn't say what fluid, but I suspect that beer is a distinct possibility in my case).

As I have aged, my "response to stimuli (of all kinds) becomes slower and more inaccurate, especially in more complex tasks". My creativity peaked when I was in my 30s, and whilst "everyone has talent at 25, the difficulty is to have it at 50".

And that's just the mental side of things. Apparently when I get older, there will be physical effects too. Wrinkles and hair loss. Imagine! And decreased aerobic power. Shorter notice that you need the loo. Muscles wasting away. It's not good news.

But every cloud has a silver lining. Apparently as one ages, one loses ones odour. Think of the money to be saved on deodorants! And our vocabulary increases as we age.

When the group was selected for the Million Dollar Trader show, I wondered how Simon (by far the oldest) would fare. The answer, as we found out this week, was 'not too well'.

Perhaps by keeping the brain busy with on-the-fly mental computations trading in-play nearly every day, I can postpone the day when my brain really does turn to mush and it's time to give up. I want that million first though.

Trying to work out the Premium Charge has got to have helped. For those on Betfair, they now provide a spreadsheet by the way:

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