Are you surprised by the amount of very intelligent teenagers in Quora?

Am I surprised?

Well, let me put up my latest reaction when I discovered a correspondent was a teen. And she’s been very, very far from the first:…

> Anyway, with regard to your question: I am seventeen, so only a year older than you.



What is it in the water these days?! I was convinced you were in your thirties.

(That was intended as a compliment btw. But yes, I am shocked.)

Dr Nick. Smooth as ever.

But yes, I am surprised.

There’s a great old Greek expression “your brains have not yet congealed” (δεν έπηξε ακόμα το μυαλό σου), meaning that you don’t yet have the impulse control or “maturity” of an adult. Unfortunately neurology confirms that impulse control doesn’t settle until one’s mid twenties. Which is why Australians will maliciously say that a computer program “crashes more often than a 20-year old in a [Ford] Commodore”.

I will say that I very occasionally espy some elements of emotional immaturity among the intellectual teens I follow here. (And it reassures me when that does happen, that I’m not caught in some Hyperborean simulacrum.) But it’s actually quite rare. Quite astonishingly rare.

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