There has been a rash of heated discussion in my Linked In feed this week debating whether 50+ thinkers and executives have the right or indeed the ability to write and speak about the current business and technology environment with authority.
Is an old thought leader still a thought leader, or should he or she stand back and let the younger folks hold the stage?
On the negative side - and this is where the weight of argument has seemed to lie, certainly in terms of strength of opinion and number of comments - the sentiment is that age does not in itself confer wisdom, and more specifically that the perspective of commentators who may not entirely grasp the nature and impact of, for example, disruptive technologies on the current and future landscape is suspect.
There isn't much to say on the positive side really, except to point out that many of our wisest, most sophisticated and, I should add, witty and humane thinkers are well into middle age.
There is a real issue here, and reasons for concern. But the problem is not per se one of age, and to frame it in the dangerous language of ageism does nothing but damage to the cause of quality thinking and its availability.
Looking beyond the well-understood challenges facing professional men and women as they slip past whatever we might think of as their "prime", and also sidestepping the historic struggle between age and youth for primacy, the problem that is being discussed is not in fact about age at all.
It's to some extent about structure, in that the way societies and organisations have been set up has tended, depending on the usual variables, to favour beauty over age, or energy over insight and experience.
The stranglehold that the old farts have held over "the way things are" in institutional environments is a source of justified frustration to anyone with a mind and a conscience, of course.
Equally, the youthism that has come to dominate so many of the more image-based sectors - music, television and of course media and advertising are all too familiar examples - while depriving many excellent minds and souls of gainful employment, has also led to a loss of depth, rigour and other important qualities that come only with passing years.
But this conundrum is, above all, about attitude. For a person of a certain age and profile to continue to insist, for example, that nothing's really changed as a result of the digital revolution and that the same old rules apply is deeply irritating, not least to those who dedicate their lives to clarifying and communicating the nature and meaning of such changes. This, by anyone's standards, is good old bullshit and should loudly be hailed as such.
However, there is - and I number many of these types amongst my closest friends and most valued colleagues - nothing more refreshing and valuable to any cause than an experienced mind that is open, curious, and emotionally robust enough to live in a state of "constant hypothesis".
Ready, in other words, to consider, accommodate and advocate the best of the new, while retaining a critical, even skeptical lens that ensures that we are not simply intellectual mutton dressed as lamb.
Not to say that these precious individuals are easy to find. Nor to say that any old fool - and by the way there are many more young ones - who cares to claim the increasingly vague title of Thought Leader should have it for the taking.
The thing about the activity of thought leadership - and it should be considered a practice, rather than as some sort of badge of honour - is that it demands a lot of thinking, and a lot of leading.
Old or young makes no difference at all, in the end. Humility without hubris wins the day.