Jack Weinberg

Back in 1964 Jack Weinberg a graduate student of mathematics at the esteemed University of Berkeley mentioned during an interview “Never trust anyone over thirty”. The San Francisco Chronicle then picked up the quote. It was a quote that would then reverberated through the next two decades.

I actually never knew who Jack Weinberg was until a few hours ago. I was just trying to figure out the origin of don’t trust anyone over forty. It was a phrase that was used many times during my schooling. Why I rember forty and not thirty is unknown. Maybe at some point the speaker was 32? Any way the quote was used to justify many a decision.

Now that I have gray hair I have become a teacher. I think back to the days of being a student for inspiration. Who were my favorite teachers, and how did they teach? My first realization was that my teachers were younger than I. Then there was this, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach” This is especially poignant as I have failed at my dreams. Still life is good, I have succeeded at so many things. Life is relative.

Personally I do not think I ever used the quote don’t trust anyone over thirty or forty to justify a decision, I may have used it for a punchline a few times back then. Yes when the Boomers were young it was the age of flower power and hippies. Counter culture protesting was the rage. Woodstock defined the age.

I wasn’t hip, I played with cars. I listened to the stories told by the over 30 group. Or was it the over 40 group. Basically the older a person was, the more stories they had to tell. I especially liked it when they had car stories. But any story would do. I was not an especially social person.

I would not really mention this except that the same people that said do not trust those over thirty are now in their sixties. The amazing thing is, the think they know more than those under thirty. Hypocrisy is now the hallmark of the aging hippies. I say this because I believe that our leaders and teachers live in the seventies. This is what brings me to the conundrum.

Now that Jack Weinberg is a old person, he says that he was wrong in in his youth. So who is right, the young or old Jack? Our aging leaders and teachers still have the beliefs of their youth. Yet in their youth their belief was to not trust the people of their now advanced age. Today, what is a young person to think?

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