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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:49 pm 
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weatherwax wrote:
AlternateTorg wrote:
Can we first decide what exactly a "capable adult" is supposed to know/be capable of before we decide if the age of majority should be raised?


I suspect that will prove an even more difficult question. As a math bigot and fan of Lazarus Long, I would put the line somewhere around the ability to perform single variable integral calculus.

I was going to write up an argument about how whatever judgement needs to be easily applicable to a large group of individuals, because it is unreasonable to expect an in-depth test of each child vying for adulthood. Then it struck me that I just described a rite of passage. Running with this idea, I conclude that a 'capable adult' is an adolescent sufficiently versed in what is valued in his or her tribe to successfully perform a complex task typically expected of an adult.

If your society is a hunter/gatherer, it might be to bring down a particularly large game animal or collect some prized rare supply. If your society is agrarian, it might be to raise a stock animal succesfully (4H). Age of Sail navies had seamanship exams for either the title of rated or induction as an officer. In our own society, passing the SAT serves as an indicator that one has mastered the complex knowledge and functional requirements of modern life.

However, passing a rite of passage only grants the status and responsibilities of an adult. Even the most cursory glance at literature and history indicate that few societies have expected a newly minted adult to get it right from then on. Such tests are, at best, an indicator that one is far enough along the developmental scale to start accepting adult responsibilities.

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:33 pm 
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waffle wrote:
I suspect that will prove an even more difficult question. As a math bigot and fan of Lazarus Long, I would put the line somewhere around the ability to perform single variable integral calculus.


I once saw a book purporting to be able to teach calculus to seven-year-olds.

Turns out that it's listed on Amazon. Listed as 'out of stock', but lited nonetheless.

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:18 pm 
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weatherwax wrote:
AlternateTorg wrote:
Personally, the thought that I will one day be legally responsible for the actions of a person with fully-functional sexual organs scares the ever-living crap out of me.


Yet another reason not to have kids. I'm adding this one to the list of why-nots I show my mother from time to time.

I'm curious what is on the list. Maybe a new thread?

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:53 pm 
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It's funny, I just started a new job as a programmer at a large firm (a very different environment for me) and I have the oddest and most unexpected sense that in some ways I'm more of an "adult" than most people there (of course, I -am- older than many of them). I'm definitely a big nerd, but I just can't find it in me to get as excited about video games, comic books, old movies and toys for adults (note: NOT "adult toys") as everyone else seems to.

It occurs to me that the reason for modernity's extended adolescence is probably because we don't really have enough meaningful work to keep people busy in our affluent society. Most corporate jobs are padded with busywork, and people at this income bracket don't have to struggle all the time just to keep a roof over their heads. If they weren't playful, what would they do to fill their time?

I think the reason I feel more "mature" is not anything intrinsic --it has to do instead with the fact that between raising my kids and the kinds of projects I'm involved in, I have almost no time that I consider "free time."

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:05 pm 
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Steave wrote:
weatherwax wrote:
AlternateTorg wrote:
Personally, the thought that I will one day be legally responsible for the actions of a person with fully-functional sexual organs scares the ever-living crap out of me.


Yet another reason not to have kids. I'm adding this one to the list of why-nots I show my mother from time to time.

I'm curious what is on the list. Maybe a new thread?


Oh, it's not that extensive:
1.)I feel I'm too angry a person to have children. I was raised by angry parents, and it's unpleasant. I never want to be the type of mother that the kids have to walk on eggshells around, so until I feel confident that my anger is dealt with, kids are a no-no. (I am getting better over the years...)
2.) I like my freedom, like, a lot. I really, really like being able to do practically whatever I want to with my free time without worrying about someone smaller than myself.
3.) I like not having to worry about the type of job I have at any given time, because the only people in my family are Ridcully and me. We can live off ramen if we need to, and wanted to do something crazy like spend all our cash on tickets abroad for two months (something we've considered). A child puts a damper on things like not having regularly balanced meals to save for massive trips.
4.) I know how exhausting it can be because I'm the oldest of 6 and I witnessed it first hand. Kids are awesome, but they're also loud, need constant discipline and supervision, and do just SO MANY stupid things because they don't know any better yet. I don't want that kind of exhaustion right now in exchange for the benefits having of tiny, awesome people in the house.
5.) They grow up and become their own people, and sometimes those people are great - and sometimes they really, really aren't. A lot of that has to do with proper raising, but man, sometimes even good parents turn out asses. And even if they are good people, I live in fear of producing people who are just really, wildly different from me - unrelateable people who do things like, like...go to baseball games and join sororities and buy boats. I mean, there's nothing WRONG with these things, far from it, but I'd HATE to not be able to relate to my kids. I mean, I'd make an effort, and I'd certainly never tell them that I don't get them, but it would be so disheartening if they come out as, like, the type of people who take cruises and sell costume jewelry on the side and really want to live in an HOA with a manicured lawn. So, basically, I don't want them to be like my coworkers - nothing wrong with any of these things, just not who I am, and selfishly, not the kind of kids I want to produce.
6.) They'll have working sexual organs that I'll be responsible for until they're 18. (Thanks for that one, AT!)

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:01 am 
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kitoba wrote:
It occurs to me that the reason for modernity's extended adolescence is probably because we don't really have enough meaningful work to keep people busy in our affluent society. Most corporate jobs are padded with busywork, and people at this income bracket don't have to struggle all the time just to keep a roof over their heads. If they weren't playful, what would they do to fill their time?


Well, sort of. I think you're on to something when you say working hours decrease when countries grow richer. This data seems to show thatlower income countries such as Mexico, Chile and Hungary tend to have longer working hours than rich countries. (South Korea seems to be an outlier - they work insane hours but their video game obsession is legendary). Also, US data shows that male labour force participation has been declining since at least the 1940s. (The data for women is different, due to feminism).

Yet I don't think it's a case of people working in cushy office jobs and then going home to play video games. It's more that young people who aspire to better paying jobs have to stay in school longer and longer to get the requisite qualifications, and therefore have more free time to pursue hobbies once considered childish. And young people who don't or can't aspire to climb the career ladder often end up involuntarily underemployed due to slim employment pickings - minimum wage part time retail jobs - so that they have to live with their parents for longer. So they too have enough time to spend on 80 hour long video games.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Hobbies often have demographic connotations, that to me often seem pretty arbitrary. Grown ups playing a traditional card game such as Tarok around here, or as it seems from TV Poker in the US and no one bats an eye. (Though Tarok is for lower class males and Bridge is for upper class females) Compare that to them playing some modern boardgame of similiar complexity.

And there is not all that much difference really to get excited about some geek stuff or about the usual passive sports of proles in your area.

And thoose hobby-demographics maps have large regional, subculture and generation differences. So i don't think hobbies are a good indicator for maturity.

I think at least to some degree the lack of maturity of modern adults is more a misleading apearence then actually the case. I think the percentage of the population, that has "non frivolous, hard working" as part of their identity has decreased. Today we have more people, who are no less mature and responsible, then the non frivolous hard working crowd, when we talk about, where the rubber meets the road, rather then outwards symbols. But their identity and what they communicate to the outside is "that's just my dayjob to pay the rent. In my sparetime i am still like a student".

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:16 am 
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I agree with arcosh, that adults playing games is nothing to do with changes in society, because it's not new - at all. Adults have always played games. Take Mancala, a game (or rather, a family of related games) which is very popular today in parts of Africa and the MIddle East, and which archaeological evidence suggests has been played in East Africa for well over a millenium.

Look at societies where people spend the longest proportion of their time working, like industrial era England. What did workers do when they did have some time off? They played dominoes, and darts, and bar skittles, and football, and cricket.

If you want to look for an origin of humanity's extended adolescence, then the appropropriate place to look is somewhere in Africa several million years ago. You won't find an explanation in modern working practices for something that has been constant throughout recorded history.

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:44 am 
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I think what's happening is that the culturally constructed dividing line between "children's pastimes" and "adults' pastimes" has been blurring in the case of geek hobbies. In Hong Kong it's not considered bizarre for a grown woman to collect stuffed animals or to put a Hello Kitty keychain on her purse, but you'd definitely get a few odd looks in the US if you did that.

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:36 am 
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I do not for one moment claim to be an expert on this, but isn't there a perceived attractiveness of juvenile appearance and behavior in women in some Asian cultures which might partially explain that (kawaisa in Japan, for instance)?

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:02 am 
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That exists, but it's also more complicated than that. Women don't collect stuffed animals in order to be attractive to men, but liking cute things is socially acceptable when the general culture plasters cartoon mascots on EVERYTHING. Even subway safety PSAs. Grown men can like Thomas the Tank Engine without being thought freaks. It isn't unknown in American culture either - see: Bronies.

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:28 am 
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I don't know that I'd put Bronies in the same category of 'acceptability'. I know more than a few people who would be put off by this situation for example.

Fandom is fandom is fandom. I think it's more that geek/nerd culture in general has slowly become more and more mainstream than anything else. It's interesting looking at the subsets of gamers and players though. Speaking as someone who is actually a part owner of a card/miniatures game (or as kitoba puts it, 'toys for adults') store, I see a lot of of them. From what I've seen...

Magic: The Gathering players: highest age range, but mostly young - high school or college, with a few young players brought by parents as well as a few older guys.
Yu-Gi-Oh: Pretty much all high school to college.
Warmachine/Hordes: All college age, mostly grad students, some post-grad.
Warhammer 40K, Fantasy: College age+
Flames of War: Our oldest clientele, a lot of of them army veterans (Flames is WWII based), at least one college professor.
Board gaming: Pretty much a mix of everyone, depending on the game being played.

They all act differently, too, as if playing a certain game influences how they act... or the game attracts certain types of people.

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