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'Children Resourceful', Report Finds. Lawmakers Outraged

By Signal 11 in Op-Ed
Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 05:55:35 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Children who can do everything adults can are becoming increasingly common, a new report warns. The report lists breakdowns in public education and the loss of "family values" as the leading reasons for the increase. The internet was also high on the list, as kids online have access to state-of-the-art communication technology to share the latest pieces of stolen knowledge with their peers. "It's shocking," declared one US Senator.


The new report, issued by the Ministry of Truth, was released amidst increasing public outcry over youth access to pornography, N'Sync pictures and biographical information, websites on drugs, and subversive materials such as the collective works of Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr. Authorities have expressed outrage that children have begun to think "more like adults" at younger than ever ages. Children as young as 14 these days are requesting breast implants, getting pregnant, have better access to drugs, and are listening less to the pragmatic dogma of their elders than ever before. Quoting the Christian Coalition, a recently displaced "youth role model" (they have now dropped to 9,384 on the list of effective rolemodels, with 'Ranger Rick' now holding that position), said "the disturbing lack of family values is worrisome -- soon these kids will even be demanding the same rights as adults!" So far, legislation designed to prevent children from working (and hence becoming an economic powerbase) have been effective.

The internet has also been seen as problematic; 97% of all material online is sexually related, including references to cucumbers (grocery stores) and N'Sync (need I say more?). The Youth Control Act Of 2001 was recently passed in an attempt to force responsibility onto corporations. It is hoped that children will be deterred by "WARNING: 18 or older only" and "What is your age?" pages online will scare them off. Currently, only 17% of children are able to lie about their age online. By comparison, 96% of adult women are able to lie about their age.

Other public institutions have been given orders by the Ministry to increase their production of propaganda as well - schools are now required to have large signs in the hallways -- "If You Use The Internet, You Will Get Hairy Palms" and doctors are now encouraged to ask children if they surf online and have access to guns (a recent study said most children who kill had access to the internet) and report them to the authorities for re-education if they exceed 4 hours use per week, or use the internet unsupervised. In an attempt to reduce the amount of adult-like activities in public such as smoking and drinking, tough new federal legislation has been passed, making it mandatory to card anyone who appears to be less than 83 years of age. "It's an excellent deterrent," says Chicago police chief Keystone. "Most kids aren't smart enough to ask their older brothers or friends working at convenience stores for these things, so we should be safe for now."

The report did have some positive news to report, however - file sharing services like Napster have been severely crippled by unrelated legislation by the RIAA and MPAA, part of the fledgling new Adult Control Movement (who believes that consumers under the age of 40 and/or who earn less than $100,000 per year should be treated like children), due to recent tough new legislation and a string of mis-carriages of justice. Also double-plus good was Adobe's prosecution of criminal hacker Dimitry who recently used a captain crunch secret decoder ring to subvert computer security protocols and give the blind access to unauthorized "Sight-Enabled Content". It is hoped that additional violence and severe, random punishment will continue to deter such criminals.

In other, unrelated news, drug companies reported a 15% increase in profits this quarter, due primarily to a dramatic increase drug prescriptions for mental disorders amongst youths. "We particularily enjoy how boyhood is being pathologized -- these kids definately need more drugs to turn them into girls -- isn't it obvious they are the Right Sex," a random Ministry of Truth official said.

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Poll
Most Independent Thought Alarms are triggered by:
o Viewing pornography 3%
o Listening to rap music 2%
o Reading a book 43%
o Drug use 8%
o Use of a computer 19%
o Creative escapes (such as art) 22%

Votes: 113
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by Signal 11


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'Children Resourceful', Report Finds. Lawmakers Outraged | 65 comments (55 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Most excellent (3.20 / 10) (#2)
by baptiste on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:31:18 AM EST

And sarcasm aside - true enough to be REALLY scary
--
Top Substitutions For 'Under God' In The Pledge Of Allegiance
Rap music? (3.42 / 14) (#5)
by Inoshiro on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 10:02:46 AM EST

Rap music hasn't been creative since Grandmaster Flash stopped rapping about drug use in the hood, and every random black R&B started ryhming about gapping some hoodies gangsta style. The commercialization of that part of culture has removed any redeeming value from it.



--
[ イノシロ ]
exactly, 100% correct (3.60 / 5) (#21)
by Ender Ryan on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 08:26:43 PM EST

As a long time listener of (c)rap music growing up, I have to agree entirely.

When I listened to rap, rappers rapped about real life. Most of them actually grew up in ghettos, saw drive-by shootings, got the shit beat out of them by gangs, etc.

Back then, their music portrayed pain, anguish, misery, doubt, fear, anger, sorrow, depression, and also hope.

Now it is just a bunch of morons rapping about how "You betta watch yo back Everlast", or "East side", "west side"(wtf is that about, damn that's immature), how they want to kill people, etc. etc.

It's really sad that people today listen to all that crap. There is absolutely no redeeming value to any of it. They're a bunch of whiny babies with their 40 million dollar mansions rapping about how cool it is to be gangsters. And then they really do carry guns and shoot each other. How many rappers have been killed in the past several years? They're constantly threatening each other in their "music". Managers in their labels publicly make threats against each other...

Pure, worthless, shit.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

90's Rap == 80's Metal (4.00 / 5) (#29)
by ca5e on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 11:56:04 PM EST

To make such a sweeping comment is to discount a lot of incredibly socially conscious rap (Note: I will be using rap to refer to both rap and hip-hop, though they are arguably different) artists. Rap is right now going through a very intense process of exploitation by the recording industry. The rap on MTV and, to a slightly less extent, BET is the equivalent of the "hair metal" of the 80's.

Their ryhmes about expensive cars and hot girls and drugs, drugs, drugs, are the same in basic content as the mindless songs of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll from the late 80's. To say that "all rock music" (and rap is a multi-faceted genre that is just as diverse as rock) of the 1980's was superficial is to do 1980's rock a great injustice. The same goes for saying "rap is crap".

Jurassic 5 raps about the fakeness of Los Angeles just as vehemently, and a lot more eloquently, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Talib Kweli has a song about abuse and rape. Tupac rapped about "changes" and teenage pregnancy. That's just the very very tip of the ice berg of socially relevant rap music (I just started getting into hip hop). Sure, there are just as many, if not more, examples of superficial (ergo worthless) rap songs out there. But you can definitely say the same thing about any other genre of music. Hell, is there an R&B song that isn't about love?


-ca5e
[ Parent ]
Woo! (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by beergut on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:35:09 AM EST

White Lines... God damn, that was a good song.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

It's not children have the competence of adults. (4.25 / 16) (#8)
by marlowe on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 01:00:02 PM EST

It's that too many adult-age people have the competence of children. This makes the children seem versatile by comparison.

When I was a pup, I thought most of the authority figures I ran into were friggin' idiots. When I got to be their age, I realized I had been right all along. But enough about the public school system.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
exactly (3.33 / 3) (#19)
by Ender Ryan on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 08:16:08 PM EST

Sounds like your schooling experience was similar to mine.

But I think it may be more than appearances though. I think the fact that so many adults today are so child-like is forcing many children to grow up faster in order to take care of themselves.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

Have either of you read... (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by beergut on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:31:13 AM EST

... Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley?

Part of the basis for the society in that book was the utter infantilization of the populace. They bought things, and didn't take any responsibility for themselves or their own actions.

Sound like any modern-day societies?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Or... (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by Mafu on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 05:59:21 PM EST

Try We by Yvgeny Zamyatin. It predates both 1984 and BNW and was suppressed by the communist govt. The kids are all spies for "the leader" and their parents are terrified of them. Excellent read.

[ Parent ]
Pretty funny, but some shots miss target (3.50 / 10) (#10)
by mkc on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 04:32:49 PM EST

Overall this is pretty funny stuff, but I think some of the shots are off-base. For example, you seem to be lampooning the idea that Congressmen think there's something wrong with 14-year-old's wanting breast implants. On this point, I'd agree with them--it does seem problematic that young girls are thinking this way.

-- Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a day. Give him a patent on fishing and he can enjoy watching everyone else starve every day.
Breast implants? (4.00 / 8) (#40)
by Signal 11 on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 12:44:44 PM EST

it does seem problematic that young girls are thinking this way.

It's symptomatic of what society wants out of girls. Attack the root cause - misguided feminism and popular media, instead of the effect, younger girls wanting breast implants.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

"I'm under 18, you can't do anything to me!&q (3.55 / 9) (#13)
by Tapestry on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 06:54:14 PM EST

I agree with the fact that children are thinking more like adults and becoming very resourceful too. Thanks to the media and internet.

But, the problem is, they aren't taking responsibility for their actions. I know that I knew more information on sex and drugs than my parents did at age 12. It's scary, to think that 14 years old girls wanting implants and are pregnant.

The other day in Pittsburgh, PA, a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to 28 years in jail for killing his teacher last year. People were enraged that they trailed him as an adult, saying he is too young, and can be rehabilitated. I think not. If a child is capable in taking a gun (knowing actually what that weapon is able to do) and shoot someone to kill. They are mature enough to handle the consequences.
~Estry

The law (4.50 / 6) (#14)
by Signal 11 on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 06:57:41 PM EST

they aren't taking responsibility for their actions.

Legally, they cannot enter into legally binding contracts, and cannot work like adults can. But they can be held responsible for any criminal acts...

Note the double standard?


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

I see your point. (4.00 / 5) (#15)
by Tapestry on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:05:21 PM EST

Just doesn't make sense that some people are letting or willing to let children get away with murder.
~Estry
[ Parent ]
"getting away" with it (4.00 / 4) (#17)
by ToastyKen on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:41:54 PM EST

Just doesn't make sense that some people are letting or willing to let children get away with murder.

I'd just like to point out that no one wants to let the children "get away" with it. Rather, it's about sending them to juvenile hall, trying to rehabilitate them, keeping them on watch in case they tend toward more violence, and, most importantly, giving them a second chance on life.

[ Parent ]

Puh-fucking-lease... (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by beergut on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:27:54 AM EST

...giving them a second chance on life.

Tell me, did he give this teacher a second chance at life?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Playing the blame game... (3.75 / 8) (#42)
by Signal 11 on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 12:51:14 PM EST

Tell me, did he give this teacher a second chance at life?

Tell me, did that teacher give his students a second chance to pass his classes? How about your late rent payment - did your landlord give you a second chance?

What's done is done, you have to focus on the present not the past... too much of our criminal system focuses on punishing people for past mistakes when they can still make future contributions that would more than erase them. There is some good even in people who kill.

Or perhaps we can just say it's all their fault, because it's easier to do that than look at the bigger picture - that we are in this all together, and each share responsibility for the state of affairs we are in.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Should he have? (3.50 / 4) (#45)
by ToastyKen on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:51:06 PM EST

Tell me, did he give this teacher a second chance at life?

Tell me, should he have given his teacher a second change at life? Would you rather act like this kid who killed his teacher, or would you rather act differently? Please see also Signal 11's reply, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

[ Parent ]

Trialing as adult (4.28 / 7) (#16)
by ToastyKen on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:39:12 PM EST

If a child is capable in taking a gun (knowing actually what that weapon is able to do) and shoot someone to kill. They are mature enough to handle the consequences.

I would say the exact opposite: that a child shooting someone shows that they are more than likely immature. I would say they they do not "know actually what the weapon is able to do" to the same extent than an adult does. That's the whole point. Your arguments sound like you assume that killing someone is a sign of maturity, so anyone capable of killing someone is therefore mature. That's very circular reasoning. Either that, or you're special-casing your argument for mature children, implying that most children who kill are mature, when that is most certainly not the case.

If a 12 year old grabs the wheel of a car and gets into a car accident, would you say that the fact that they went ahead and were capable of driving a car No! One of the most unbiased sources of information (ironically) is the insurance industry: Insurance costs a lot more the younger a person is. Why is this? It's because they get into accidents more. Why is that? It's because they're immature.

Now let's take a look at the purpose of criminal punishment: There are usually 3 purposes involved: (1) Getting the criminal off the streets so they can't do it again. (2) Deterrence. Knowing you'll be punished makes you less likely to do it. (3) Rehabilitation.

In trialing someone as an adult and increasing the punishment, you increase the amount of time they're off the street, and you add to the deterrence factor, but you don't help rehabilitation any.

Now, thing is, children are less mature than adults, so they do not think through consequences as thoroughly. (In fact, I'd argue that their killing a person only reinforces that statement.) That means they won't be as responsive to deterrence, even if the punishment is greater. I'm not arguing against deterrence in general, but I'm saying its effectiveness on children is less than it would be on adults.

Getting them off the street for decades instead of trying to rehabilitate them is also very unwise because children are more malleable than adults, and they're far more likely to be receptive to rehabilitation than adults, so it would be far more wise to try to rehabilitate them, and let them go earlier (perhaps on parol on probation, if you like), because they are more likely to get better than an adult, more set in their ways, would.

The upshot? Trialing children as adults does the exact opposite of what would be more effective for kids. It increases deterrence when deterrence is ineffective, and it ignores and hampers rehabilitation when rehabilitation is most effective. Furthermore, it certainly does nothing to help the victim other than giving a sense of vengeance. (Let us not forget that vengeance is also meant as a form of deterrent.. it serves no other noble goal, though it purports to in order to get more ingrained in society. And if you think vengeance alone is effective, you clearly haven't watched enough mafia movies. :P)

Of course, perhaps we have different goals in mind. I want to try to turn people who make mistakes into good citizens... I don't want to damn anyone who does something bad to an eternity of pain when there is an alternative.

So yes, I think children should be tried as children. They're not "getting away with it". Rather, we should try to help them grow and turn them into productive citizens instead of ruin their lives when they aren't even fully cognizant of what they've done. We should apply the laws that are most effective for who they are.

[ Parent ]

cast mirror image at ToastyKen (4.00 / 3) (#25)
by kaatunut on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 09:50:47 PM EST

I would say the exact opposite: that a child shooting someone shows that they are more than likely immature. I would say they they do not "know actually what the weapon is able to do" to the same extent than an adult does.

So are you saying shooting people is immature? You also seem to be assuming kids only shoot people because they don't know what the weapon is able to do. Ever considered they might consciously decide they want to take someone else's life? Are you saying adults who shoot people are immature too? So how do you define maturity? Conforming to moral standards?

Unnecessary as it may be, I'll note that I didn't say shooting people is OK. I'm simply saying it seems to me your argumentation is as arbitrary as his. As nasty as murder may be, it's still just a social convention. As far as I can tell, maturity is about capability to understand actions, their consequences and moral implications, not being subscribed to some particular values (as common/sensible/necessary to society's functioning as those values may be).

so they do not think through consequences as thoroughly. (In fact, I'd argue that their killing a person only reinforces that statement.)

Hmm. I'm immature so I'll have to clarify the implications of this statement a bit.

  1. "mature" <=> "able to think through consequences thoroughly"
  2. "Killing a person" => not "mature".
  3. Therefore, "able to think through consequences thoroughly" => not "killing a person"
Did I get that right?


--
there's hole up in the sky from where the angels fall to sire children that grow up too tall, there's hole down in the ground where all the dead men go down purgatory's highways that gun their souls
[ Parent ]

Bullshit. (2.20 / 5) (#31)
by beergut on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:25:54 AM EST

This kid knew what guns are capable of, when used the way he used it.

He was "mature" enough to:

  • Get suspended for mouthing off to his teacher.
  • Formulate a plan to exact revenge.
  • Steal the gun.
  • Steal the ammunition.
  • Load the gun.
  • Take the gun to school with him.
  • Find the teacher.
  • Point the gun at the teacher's head.
  • Cock the gun.
  • Pull the trigger.
This sounds to me like a kid who was mature enough to formulate and execute a pretty concise plan for doing away with this teacher.

In doing so, he robbed the teacher's wife and kids of their husband and father, and traumatized his classmates.

I, personally, want this kid to be fucked in the ass by a troup of inmates, day in and day out, for each day of his twenty-eight years. That oughtta "mature" him some.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Your argument misses the point (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by mcherm on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 09:23:30 AM EST

This kid knew what guns are capable of, when used the way he used it.

He was "mature" enough to:

  • Get suspended for mouthing off to his teacher.
  • Formulate a plan to exact revenge.
  • Steal the gun.
  • Steal the ammunition.
  • Load the gun.
  • Take the gun to school with him.
  • Find the teacher.
  • Point the gun at the teacher's head.
  • Cock the gun.
  • Pull the trigger.
This sounds to me like a kid who was mature enough to formulate and execute a pretty concise plan for doing away with this teacher.
I think you are missing the basic point. A clever 8-year-old can do all of that! The ability to pull a trigger is probably developed at age 2. The ability to cock a gun a little later... maybe 3 or 4 if shown how (BAD IDEA!!). ToastyKen has said that this child did not demonstrate maturity... you argue that the ability to successfully get suspended and successfully steal a gun is a demonstration of maturity?

I think you're missing ToastyKen's point. You are welcome to argue that a child who commits murder is EVIL and should be PUNISHED, perhaps for retribution, but I see no convincing argument that they are MATURE.

So the REAL question becomes a deeper one: *IF* we have a criminal who did a very bad thing (all admit this), but who is not mature enough to be fully responsible, what do we do with them? Do we punish, or do we try to rehabilitate? Because in such a case, (IMHO) the way to punish and the way to rehabilitate are different, so we can't really do both.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

What? (3.66 / 3) (#36)
by delmoi on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 04:30:59 AM EST

If a child is capable in taking a gun (knowing actually what that weapon is able to do) and shoot someone to kill. They are mature enough to handle the consequences.

Huh? a 3 year old could shoot a gun. They would probably hurt themselves, but they could do it. What does the physical ablity to use a tool have to do with it's actors maturity?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
You're misinterpreting... (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by Jazu on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 11:23:42 AM EST

That's not what he said. If you can willfully decide to commit murder and then carry it out, you should be able to figure out that it will get you sent to prision.

[ Parent ]
Did that 3 year old know what it was? (4.00 / 3) (#43)
by Tapestry on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 01:04:02 PM EST

I stated "knowing actually what that weapon is able to do". I don't think that a 3-year-old knows what a gun is. Just a play thing that was there laying around for him to play with. Why wasn't anyone watching him? Did you know what you were doing at age 3?

I was talking about the children that know what guns are and know the damage that one can cause. Plus, guns in a house should be put under lock and key and hidden from little sticky fingers.
~Estry
[ Parent ]

Heh. Now we know how old Signal 11 is! ;) (4.75 / 8) (#18)
by gromm on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:59:37 PM EST

I'd guess about 14 or 15, but even then he's damn smart and knows a thing or two about people.

My own sarcasm aside, I wanted to say something in response.

So far, legislation designed to prevent children from working (and hence becoming an economic powerbase) have been effective.

No, these child labour laws prevent children from being brutally exploited as a source of dirt-cheap labour. Since most kids under the age of 13 don't know enough to ask "isn't that lower than the minimum wage?" and even if they did, they'd be too afraid to ask. If you were to take a look into history, back into the 19th century and beyond, you'll notice that even in the "softer" industries (banking and other office jobs), children and women were paid half or less what men were paid. And in heavy industry, children were often working in highly dangerous positions like cleaning machinery while it was still running, mostly so that they didn't have to shut the machinery down. (while being paid half or less what men were paid)

Also, if the law ensures that children are not working at the age of 8 or 9, they are much more likely to stay in school, where they can learn *real* skills, like those needed to become a programmer or a doctor or an engineer, thus earning much higher wages than they would if they were kept in grinding poverty, working as labourers and sending their own children off to work in the factories at the age of 9 in a desperate bid to pay the bills. Ironically, not only do these laws break that cycle of poverty, it also makes the average IQ go up, which makes the populace more productive. Funny thing that.
Deus ex frigerifero

nitpicking (3.85 / 7) (#20)
by roju on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 08:22:58 PM EST

isn't the average IQ by definition 100? How can it go up?

[ Parent ]
Wrong. (2.50 / 6) (#39)
by Signal 11 on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 12:42:01 PM EST

I'd guess about 14 or 15, but even then he's damn smart and knows a thing or two about people.

I'm 21. My views on this kind of thing haven't changed since I was that old, but you guessed wrong on my age.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

government does not protect kids. (2.75 / 4) (#47)
by coffee17 on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 09:26:40 PM EST

Granted it was to pay the medical bills after a minor bit of assault. And do you want to know what the options were. Either find a job on my own, or do community service at half minimum wage (less taxes of course). This was way back when minimum wage was 3.25 . Yes, I'm 14 and a *real* effective use of my time would be to paint park benches for 1.63 an hour. government protecting kids my ass. Instead I got a job at a greenhouse (the only jobs a 14 year old can get are semi-agricultural) for 3.75 .

[ Parent ]
Power Base (3.44 / 9) (#22)
by Elkor on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 08:31:46 PM EST

Actually, what prevents children from becoming an Econimic Power Base isn't that there aren't many of them.

Rather, it is their inability to vote. This, coupled with the ability of parents to enforce biased rules (overbearing fascist regime?) and the government's ability to tax their income makes minors the largest group of people without representation in our legal system.

15-17 yos do not have the legal authority to demand fair treatment under the law. The right to deman later curfews, more raves and chocolate milk with their lunches!

Yet they are still compelled to pay 1/3 their wages to the government that oppresses them.

"Taxation without Representation" and all that.

Regards,
Elkor



Re: Power Base (3.50 / 6) (#23)
by unknownlamer on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 08:54:48 PM EST

Quite true indeed. If I pay taxes, I should have the right to vote. Why should the people over 18 only have the right to vote? I have nothing wrong with child labor laws (they protect people, not hurt people), but the fact that if I work, I pay taxes, and I can't vote...I mean, the taxes are used in ways that maybe I don't want. If I could vote, I could vote for a person that I believe would use them in ways that I wanted them to be used.
--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Power (3.60 / 5) (#24)
by brandonne on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 09:20:30 PM EST

what prevents kids from taking over is that in 10 years they become the adults trying to rule over a whole new generation of kids. No one staays a kid long enough to really apprreciate how bad it sucks.

[ Parent ]
Of course they do (3.50 / 4) (#37)
by Steeltoe on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 10:57:15 AM EST

They remember how they were like when they were kids, and have no wish to be their own parents. Also, becoming a parent is a role. You're expected to behave accordingly by society and peers. It's easy to criticize until you become a parent yourself.

- Steeltoe
Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
When will it stop? (3.44 / 9) (#28)
by jabber on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 11:42:23 PM EST

Alright, it's funny. You take a current trend and wrap it in an Orwellian context that I've seen on Babylon 5.. So what? It's preaching to the choir, and it's just as much karma-whoring as if you were getting points for it. It's only amusing the first several dozen times.

Yes, the net is a Good Thing. Yes, it gives otherwise repressed minds a voice equally loud to that of a major corporation or a government. So what?

K5 needs a "Fiction" section, where the non-humour stuff like this can go. It is funny, it's a good read, but it's just a circle-jerk after you get through it a few times.

Yes, age limits are an arbitrary thing drawn across lines of statistical maturity? What's your point? The line is moving down? Well, I'm sure all those politically aware 18 year old voters will take care of that, and if they don't, there will be many angst-ridden 16 year olds. What IS the point?

Yes, sharp minds are held back by the system which caters to the lowes common denominator - everyone on K5 is here by choice, so catering to ability is also a matter of choice. Once the drones are done sucking on you for 8 hours a day, you can feed your head how you choose, thanks to the Internet - Praised be Allah and all that.. So What?

Yes, kids with access to the net get to stimulate their minds more than their mainstreamed, MTV watching peers, and it is a trend for the future. Technology and access to information does let kids make better use of their intelligence. So What? Really, trying to get everyone fired up about how unfair The Man is is getting old and pointless. Censorship bad, smart young people good. Ugh.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Patterns (3.16 / 6) (#41)
by Signal 11 on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 12:47:41 PM EST

It's preaching to the choir, and it's just as much karma-whoring as if you were getting points for it. It's only amusing the first several dozen times.

I'd like to point out that if you disagree with the culture of Kuro5hin you should go somewhere else. We discuss these issues because they are still relevant today, just as they were the "first several dozen times" they were brought up. I don't complain after the six thousandth person asks me what I do for a living, and what you're saying is tandamount to that - the fact is there are people here who are not you and have not heard this before.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Anit-patterns (2.33 / 3) (#52)
by jabber on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 10:22:50 AM EST

And I'd like to point out that this sort of article and post is exactly what drove you to leave slashdot, in a very dramatic and self-righteous puff of virtual smoke. And now you're bringing that same crud here, effectively trying to make the much superior K5 into /.! BAH!

I'd also like to point out that, since K5 is an open forum, I can reply to you in a post, even if I do not agree with you. If everyone here only replied in agreement, and left the community if they do not agree with a posted article, K5 would quickly become even worse than /.! Double BAH!

I would finally like to point out that if you find my comment worthless, you are free to rate it down. Or, you can just go along with all the other self-righteous, holier than thou, whinny ass grandstanders, and rate me down because you simply disagree with what I have to say. You have an opportunity to censor dissention here Sig, don't let the fleeting sense of power pass you by.

You see, discussion is the whole point of K5, and you can not have a good discussion without some degree of disagreement. While discussing and disagreeing within the scope of the article is all good and fine, I disagree with the very premise of the article. It smells of what crippled slashdot, and I feel protective of one of my favorite islands in the net. I chose to take the article discussion to a meta-level, and if you are so insecure that you can not handle a little scrutiny, I'd like to point out that you too are free to take your ball and go home.

Have you ever considered openning a weblog, at someplace like i.am or something? You could link to it in your sig Sig, and post totally innane "Me Too" messages, in the hop ethat people would find them of adequate value to click through to the more sophisticated rants in your weblog.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

legality (3.14 / 7) (#30)
by slothman on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 02:57:37 AM EST

If someone can't vote then they must not be responsable. If they were responsable then they would be able to vote. I want to know why people(read parents, media, and victims) think a child is smart enough to determine whether a law should be broken but not smart enough to know whether a potential congressman(or woman) should know if a law is good.

this is embarassing... (2.66 / 9) (#35)
by BlackStripe on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 03:46:49 AM EST

my first day back to kuro5hin and this thing is at the top of the front page? poorly written, uncited, no links, weak voice, and not even particularly interesting. the angle is "dude, look at these dumbass adults telling kids the internet is bad and look at them carding everyone, i mean, man, what's up with that?" this certainly isnt interesting material on its face, and provides no interesting angle or voice to make up for that fact. what angle existed whas just an abnoxious childish angst so miserable it doesn't warrant any response whatsoever. ive wasted enough of all our time already.

The point of the story (3.66 / 3) (#49)
by Xen0cide on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 12:32:18 AM EST

While I admit it took me a while to figure it out, and its still widely undirected and confusing, this is supposed to be a satire article. Hence the Op-Ed heading. Of course, it still sucks. It really needs some work and I've not the slightest clue why its on the front page.

[ Parent ]
Kids do grow up too fast (3.80 / 5) (#44)
by cod on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 01:27:06 PM EST

All sarcasm based on Signal11's posting history aside...kids do grow up too fast today and kids do exibit a scary lack of respect for authority. Note, when I say kids I mean 6-12 year olds. Teenagers have always had a problem with authority, its a normal, healthy part of the transition to adulthood.

The public elementary school in my neighborhood teaches drug education to 1st graders. Why force that crap on six year olds? Don't talk to stangers, and don't eat or drink anything unless it comes from a parent or teacher should pretty much cover it for a six year old. And if your doing your job as a parent - your six year old should have very limited opportunity to come into unsupervised contact with a stranger in the first place.

The 2nd grader next door regularly shouts "F%ck you" at her parents, and I even witnessed her screaming "bitch" at her grandmother. Beyond the obvious blame you can lay on her parents - 2nd graders shouldn't know those words in the first place and shouldn't feel the need to rebel at authority yet. It ain't healthy for the kid, or society in general.

I'm not taking once kid and assuming a societal trend here - I see this behavior all the time. It's one of the primary reasons we are homeschooling our kids - gives them the chance to stay kids a little longer and not deal with this crap until they are a little older and better equipped emotionally to deal with it.

Good choice, but wrong situation (4.66 / 3) (#50)
by Nezumi on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 09:07:23 AM EST

Personally, I think homeschooling is a great thing, particularly now that the internet is widely available to add a great deal to the curriculum. However, I don't believe it has much to do with the problem you bring up.

The big reason that kids (and a goodly number of adults) have lost respect is the simple fact that North American society (Canada, too, but not quite to the same extent as the US) has fallen for the fiction of the "nuclear family", which is of great benefit to advertisers and legislators, but discourages interconnectedness within communities. Without communities, there is no connection for the child to learn, and no feeling that s/he is a part of any larger group. So if the child never learns this important lesson, is it any wonder that the child will not care about the rest of the group?

There's no easy solution to all of this. The anti-community message is heavily pushed in advertising and other media, and has become an integral part of NA society. Which is a real pity, because we're throwing away a very valuable resource in exchange for making ourselves easier to control.



[ Parent ]
I agree with Cod and Nezumi; sig11 can fuck off (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by johnny on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:13:01 PM EST

Lurking in sig11's post is the notion that there IS no difference between children and adults.

This obvious falsehood is the position favored by child-haters, child-exploiters and selfish lazy people the world over. So I really make no distinction between the sig11's of the world and the Disneys and others whose only agenda is to turn children into consumers ASAP. For if children are, in fact, adults, how much the better for us libertarians! How much the better for us capitalists! Fewer taxes to take care of the little shits, and no restraints on our turning them into little productive little cogs. To hell with childhood! It's a far-right Christian myth! Bring on the porn and sugar-cereals! Let the little ones decide what's right for themselves!

Sig11's puerile troll to the contrary, the fact that children ARE children, that their bodies, brains, psyches etc require nurturance is a simple attribute of their being mammals. That this nurturance requires time, patience, money and love is a simple consequence of their being people. Sig11 don't like it, Corporate America don't like it, Joe Random Child Molester don't like it. It is, however, true.

People of goodwill and concern can and do disagree about the best way to help children survive the rapacious environment all around them so that they can grow in to healthy adulthood.

But those people who deny the very notion of childhood -- and therefore conveniently deny the concomittant responsibilty borne by adults to children-- those people can go to hell.



yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]

funny you should mention (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by eLuddite on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:33:11 PM EST

For if children are, in fact, adults, how much the better for us libertarians! How much the better for us capitalists!

From the Internet's premier troll site, http://www.lp.org/organization/history/platform/1994/cr.html

Libertarian Party 1994 Platform, Children's Rights

Children are human beings and, as such, have all the rights of human beings.

We recognize that children who have not reached maturity need guardians to secure their rights and to aid in the exercise of those rights. We hold that guardianship belongs to those who most love and value the child and his or her development, normally the parents and never the state.

We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them "wards of the state" or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. We oppose all legally created or sanctioned discrimination against (or in favor of) children, just as we oppose government discrimination directed at any other artificially defined sub-category of human beings. Specifically we oppose ordinances that outlaw adults-only apartment housing.

We also support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable to children for which adults would not be similarly vulnerable, such as curfew, smoking, and alcoholic beverage laws, and other status offenses. Similarly, we favor the repeal of "stubborn child" laws and laws establishing the category of "persons in need of supervision." We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We seek the repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people. We further favor the abolition of the juvenile court system, so that juveniles will be held fully responsible for their crimes.

Whenever parents or other guardians are unable or unwilling to care for their children, those guardians have the right to seek other persons who are willing to assume guardianship, and children have the right to seek other guardians who place a higher value on their lives. Accordingly, we oppose all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services or those forcing children to remain in the custody of their parents against their will.

Children should always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians and assuming all the responsibilities of adulthood.

To paraphrase John Maynard Keynes, who originally made the following point for capitalism and which I've rewritten without loss of generality, "libertarianism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."

---
The NRA Song: I got a gun, it's a meanie, it makes up for my teenie weenie.
[ Parent ]

just when I think. . . (2.00 / 2) (#58)
by johnny on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 08:38:38 PM EST

that Libertarians might have a point, some kind soul sends me something like this to bring me to my senses. Thank you, eLuddite.

Cheesus H. Fucking Christ on a pogo-stick, what child-hating foolishness! What ideology masquerading as logic, what cruelty masquerading as decency! "Wicked," indeed.

Questions for any Libertarians lurking:

were I to invite to dinner, as my guest in a public restaurant, the fucking dickwadd who wrote the claptrap cited by eLuddite, above-- the menu, having been selected by me, being soup-- and

were I to suggest to a three-year-old aquaintance of mine, also my guest, that she (of her own free will, of course) piss into the Libertarian policy writer's soup, and,

were she to do so, but in so doing, deliberately piss on the Libertarian policy writer's face, then,

  • would said soup-and-face-pissing constitute assualt?
  • if so, would the state have any proper role in arresting the assualter and sending her to jail or prison?
  • would the Libertarian policy writer be justified, by way of quid-pro-quo, in pissing into the nippled bottle that my three year old friend prefers (of her own free will) for consumption of liquid food?


  • yr frn,
    jrs
    Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
    [ Parent ]
    Kids & Community (4.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cod on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 04:24:34 PM EST

    The big reason that kids (and a goodly number of adults) have lost respect is the simple fact that North American society (Canada, too, but not quite to the same extent as the US) has fallen for the fiction of the "nuclear family",...

    I disagree completely. The lack of respect comes from an overemphasis (in the US anyway) on group mores and attitudes. Advertising, the public school system, etc all teach that what group you are in is far more important than individual thought. Who you are is defined by your friends, your car, your shoes, everything except what really matters, which is what you think.

    [ Parent ]

    You're kidding, right? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Nezumi on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 08:23:33 AM EST

    Advertising, the public school system, etc all teach that what group you are in is far more important than individual thought. Who you are is defined by your friends, your car, your shoes, everything except what really matters, which is what you think.

    You can't seriously think that this is the same as community. These same advertisers also promote the American religion of over-individuality. The individual is all, and that's what advertisers play to. The fact is, advertisers want to fool large groups of people into thinking that buying the same things are an expression of how individual and independent you are, despite the fact that everyone else is lured exactly the same way. Look at the Sprite "Obey Your Thirst" campaign for a very good example of this. Or just about any SUV ad.

    But none of this is the same as community. Nowhere close. Community is interconnectedness with a group of people who have some connection other than status. The ability to rely on people. But the media, the advertisers, the lawmakers and just about anyone else who wants to throw power around doesn't find this anywhere near as convenient as breaking these bonds down and reassembling them in the artificial mold of the "nuclear family", in a package of manufactured mores euphamistically referred to as "family values".

    For an instructive example, take a look at Japanese culture over the past several hundred years. You can't deny the presence of a staggering level of group-think and social stratification. But at the same time there has, until very recently, been a strong sense of community as well. And guess what, they've never had the epidemic problems with children's behaviour we see in North America (again, Canada too, just not so dramatic). Which suggests that the heart of the problem is not group identification, as you suggest. But it may be the breaking down of community in order to enforce an entirely artificial and shallow form of it.



    [ Parent ]
    RE: Your kidding, right (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by cod on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 09:41:01 AM EST

    . Which suggests that the heart of the problem is not group identification, as you suggest. But it may be the breaking down of community in order to enforce an entirely artificial and shallow form of it. I don't think we disagree as much as you think. The point I was trying to make is very similar to yours - that real communities are much harder to form and and maintain, and that pop culture's emphasis on group identity is a big part of the problem.

    [ Parent ]
    I see what you mean now (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Nezumi on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 10:18:54 AM EST

    But I wonder if it's group identity that you really mean. I think a better fit would be the forcing of people, by means of advertising and other cultural bullying, into tight demographic and consumer groups. It's not so much identifying with the group as being pressured into buying (or voting, or whatever) the same as the rest of the group. You're encouraged, even demanded, to identify with the idea of Individuality, but the individuality is a total sham.

    But I do agree that communities are hard to form, particularly when most of the influences that act on its members are actively discouraging that formation. Communities do spring up regardless, though, here and there. It's a hard thing to kill, particularly when humans are so suited to forming them.



    [ Parent ]
    Shit Shit Shit! (4.00 / 1) (#57)
    by oleandrin on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 06:50:53 PM EST

    In second grade, I said all kinds of words. Seventeen years later, I'm sitting here listening to Regurgitator's "Fuck the Goddamn World".

    And yet, if at any point during the intervening years between then and now I'd told my parents to fuck off, very bad things would have happened. The real problem is that stupid kids will grow up to be stupid adults, and thus still not have a proper idea of appropriate expletive usage.

    [ Parent ]

    Drug Education (4.00 / 1) (#62)
    by bobby on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 04:13:12 PM EST

    The point of drug education for 1st graders isn't, as you seem to imply, to stop 1st graders from using drugs. The reason for it is to start indoctrinating them as early as possible so that when they do reach the age at which they are likely to start using drugs, they are less likely to do so. Of course, it doesn't work (thankfully), but that's the motivation.

    [ Parent ]
    RE: Drug Education (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by cod on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 05:03:38 PM EST

    No, I was not implying that first graders are doing drugs, although I'm sure a few are. My point was that first graders, even in todays world, shouldn't have to worry about that crap yet and we should not be forcing it on them at that age. If anything - it probably causes more drug curiosity than it stops.

    [ Parent ]
    Nothing New / Social Change (4.00 / 2) (#48)
    by AArthur on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 11:13:25 PM EST

    The attitudes poked fun of in this satire, are nothing new at all.

    Vice President Spiro Agnew in late 60s called music of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabit", the music of the devil. He also proclaimed that much of the music on the radio (and in the last few months before he resigned worked towards giving powers to FCC to regulate music on the radio). Nixon was gone a lot, so Agnew got a lot of power, and Nixon, while not totally supporting him, felt most of his actions where neccessary to keep conservatives voting for him (eventhough he was quite liberal), and not deflecting to George Wallace -- who was a threat in both '68 and '72, and almost cost Nixon the election in '68. Of course, that's not the only time music was banned or investicated for violence and sucidical messages. Barry McGuire's (backed by Roger McGuinn) "Eve of Distruction" was banned from several radio networks, and was formally investigated by Congress. Of course, we now know as it as an anti-war song, but in '65 it was about sucide and self distruction.

    Social change happens rapidly, and it often is violent. That's why it's so scary. Usually it's for the better, but not always.

    Minors are getting more and more rights (at least different ones), as people are usually more open minded nowdays. That can be scary. Then again, it's good to encourage people at a young age to work towards becoming productive members of society.

    Extermists get all of the attention, and moderates often get overlooked. So when a few people enage in really bad behavior, we fail to see the rest of the hard working people in this world.

    Working restrictions are okay, they are for the protection of minors (there are still many poor people who would if they could sell their kids into slavery). It's not like they won't grow up past 16 in a few years. Numeric restrictions are kind of silly (digital rarely converts to analog well) -- as some people mature faster then others. There are 21 year olds who shouldn't be driving, and 14 year olds who would be very good drivers. We have to set a standard.

    What kids are exposed to are the choices of the parents, and should remain that way. 40 years ago, if somebody dare say something else, they would have booed of the stage.

    Does information hurt? No. Information allows for informed choices, rather then blind (and potentially dangerous choices). Will we support all of the choices youth make? Probably not. But they are the future. The direction they take us, is where we will go.

    Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264

    Simply shifting the censors (4.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Belgand on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 02:06:33 AM EST

    "What kids are exposed to are the choices of the parents, and should remain that way."

    Basically you still advocate the same level of censorship, except you resign it to the parents. This does nothing to help intelligent, otherwise enlightened children unfortunate enough to have extremist parents. Such a child misses out on these basic freedoms merely because it's accepted that the parents ought to have ultimate authority to dictate what they can be exposed to and filter anything that they might interact with. Sometimes it can be helpful, but in the end it doesn't help to have a free society if you happen to have close-minded parents.



    [ Parent ]
    Pretty funny, but... (none / 0) (#53)
    by MrSmithers on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 11:06:21 AM EST

    Who do you think you are Siggy -- qpt?

    Resection to humor and I'll vote it up

    Errrrr, wait...

    Damn funny article, though :)



    Kids?? (2.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Desterado on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 02:23:02 AM EST

    Ok, I come into a lot of contact with Kids. I am a teenager, a junior as of this September. Whenever I goto the mall or ANY public place, I see kids, possibly 9-12 years old, who act..for lack of words "tough". These kids, might I add who are about 4 feet tallk. Talk "shit" to me, and basically act like they own the world. I have NO problem with children that age having independent though, but never was I, nor will I ever present myself like that. These kids have no idea how easily I could injure them if I desired. The good thing is, most kids like that WILL learn there lesson when they talk shit to the wrong person. I could go on and on, but all I have to say is Kids are becoming not more intelligent and knowledgable, but more...rude.

    You've got the flag, I've got your back.
    'Children Resourceful', Report Finds. Lawmakers Outraged | 65 comments (55 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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