The All Knowing Infant

I didn’t realize until a couple of days ago the big problem with the “divine infant” syndrome, where infants and children are assumed to be the voice of wisdom, reason and knowledge.

We’ve all laughed at the woke eight year olds — it’s always eight year olds — who talk about how terrified they are for the election of a Republican, or the potential repeal of Roe vs. Wade, or whatever it might be. I mean, let’s talk about it, shall we? I’ve heard of “woke eight year olds” terrified of the repeal of net neutrality, okay?

And we giggle when they say something like “that’s a micro aggression, because my ten year old told me.”

But the biggest problem, in the way of the paved way to you know where, is that this has seeped into the culture, everywhere since the sixties.

If there is something done and established, and something supported by the youth, well then the youth stuff must be better.

This might have made some sense in a time of rapid techno development, but it makes zero sense in modes of living and being in the world.

I mean, sure, if I’ve just acquired a new gadget and can’t for the live of me figure out how to make it work (doesn’t actually happen that often because I’m a fairly competent non-techy) my son is likely to know. well, if my husband isn’t available.

The only other thing I will lean on my sons for is media trends, from games to comics. If I think I’m impinging on an area that might have a deep history I know nothing about, then I ask the boys. Or my husband. Because al of them watch/play/do more visual stuff than I do.

You know what I don’t do? Find the youngest person who can speak and ask them what I should do about some moral dilema. Or if abortion is right. Or what to believe about anything.

The problem, if you look at practically all visual media, the child is the “smart one” and the one who is “wise.”

And this has primed us for ridiculousness. Most of those teachers wanting to talk to kids under five about their sex lives are seeking absolution. No, seriously. In the back of their brains, if the kid agrees, they’re obviously okay.

And of course, it allows a lot of sometimes confused, not actively malicious parents to believe that their three year old “really” know they’re the opposite sex, despite physical evidence to the contrary.

Because, you know, kids know!

This bizarre illusion would be funny if it weren’t having such disastrous results. I’m not exactly sure how it started. I know in medieval poems and ballads the “infant at the breast” speaks, and always tells the absolute truth, but part of that is that a) the child was innocent and therefore a conduit for G-d’s grace; b) it was a miracle, which clinched it.

If I had to guess at the new cliche, I think it comes from wanting to subvert expectations. Same thng that gave us the “wise and all knowing homeless lady” for a while. But while you can play with those particularly in SF and fantasy. (This is why you guys haven’t forgiven me for killing a certain gator) it didn’t take like the “all knowing infant” has. Because all knowing homeless is obviously crazy and dangerous, but everyone likes kids, and kids do sometimes SEEM to have amazing insights.

Seem to? Well, within their limited knowledge they might surprise you with something like “Mom, you’ve been sneezing since we changed our pillows.”

You know what your kid — even a very smart one — won’t surprise you with? “Mom, the approach to space colonization is all wrong.” (Okay, fine, my son said that at 8, but he still hasn’t built the space/time travel machine he promised if only I bought him more K’nex. I’m starting to think he just wanted to scam me out of more K’nex.)

I don’t know if the reason we’re all falling for this is a result of a life soaked in story and narrative, but for the record, there are things kids know and things kids don’t know.

They might be experts in something they do every day and you never do. They might notice things that you know are unimportant, but they think are all important. This will allow them sometimes to notice, say, that you missed something in the cake you’re baking. Particularly if they saw you making it before, or the recipe is in a video. But they won’t tell you you’re using the wrong type of flour, unless they can read and are obsessed with cooking. And even then he won’t be 3.

Kids are human. They don’t have extra-sensory ways of acquiring knowledge. So in general they know less than adults do, and often rely on their parents for their opinions. And sometimes think their parents’ opinions are not what they are, but they misinterpret the signs.

A little kid has no clue if he’s “really” a girl, because he has no clue what a girl is, not inside. Which is why he concentrates on the stereotypes. They might want to wear pink, or play with dolls or whatever but that’s a really stupid reason to castrate a boy and destroy his future. (And for the record every little boy at some point wants to do something profoundly girly. One of mine wanted to learn embroidery. He likes making things. And every little little girl becomes smitten with a set of playing cars or a train set.) Also, I hate to say this, but almost every kid at some point wants to be a cat, a robot or a car. Because they don’t know any better, not because they’re all-knowing.

They particularly do not understand how society should be organized. How would they have come by that knowledge?

Remember the old “The kids are our future” — well, self-obviously — but they are not magical, and they’re not all-knowing.

It’s time for the kids to be kids and the adults to be adults again, before this crazy train goes over the cliff and onto the flaming dumpster fire.

Consuming stories is all very find, but you really shouldn’t believe fiction. And writing stories is great, but drinking your own ink is toxic.

Remember reality and don’t be fooled by pretty dreams.

254 thoughts on “The All Knowing Infant

  1. Could not help but go immediately to that entitled little witch, Danish if I recall correctly, that the woke elevated to pseudo sainthood due to her shrill pontifications about how we all simply must submit to her demands to embrace her version of the Green movement. Might just have been me but I was over her about three minutes into her foot stomping demands. Who knew that Greta was Danish for Karen.

      1. “ (Okay, fine, my son said that at 8, but he still hasn’t built the space/time travel machine he promised if only I bought him more K’nex. I’m starting to think he just wanted to scam me out of more K’nex.)”

        Is this a typo? I thought you said “Kleenex” on the podcast. Yes, K’nex (if it’s what I think it is) makes more sense. My ears fail me sometimes.

        1. One of those build it from piece parts toy systems. Think Legos but different structure.

              1. So does this reader. We had a marvelous set from the 1930s that had belonged to Dad as a child. We played with it when we visited the grandparents – all those little beams, parts, nuts and bolts and a little electric engine what still worked!
                Alas, it was one of the things in my parents’ garage, when their retirement place burned to the ground in 2003, otherwise, there might have been another generation or two playing with a vintage set!

                1. Oddest thing the Reader ever built with his Erector set – a custom armature winding system to rewind and balance the rotors from his HO race car set. Rewinding them with heavier gauge wire gave a significant performance boost over the stock motors.

                2. Still have my father’s large wooden erector set box, filled with erector set parts from 90 years ago. It “helps” to be a packrat from a packrat family.

                  Books over 150 years old, thousands of science fiction books and magazines,(those are my fault). An ear of corn I picked at the actual field of dreams in Iowa 25 years ago. More history books than most libraries. World Almanacs back to 1930. I estimate 12,000 books. My wife threatens a “bonfire” when I die. She is the minimalist.

                  1. We had a set when I was a kid (youngest of three sons), but I assume it got sold off when Mom was selling the house. The old place had lots-o-storage, but not the next house. (Mom was big on paring down; when she passed away, I learned that I’ll be getting the last dozen of the Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates. Used to be a bunch, many of which are now mine.)

                    Building toys were common in the household, though I don’t recall mixing the Lincoln logs with the Erector set.

                  2. I grew up like that. Enter, moving to another country and MOM. Mom burned most of the stuff left behind in grandma’s house as “rubbish.” So, you know….

                  3. An ear of corn I picked at the actual field of dreams in Iowa 25 years ago.

                    I don’t sportsball, but…tickets for major league baseball game II at the Field of Dreams are now on sale, for folks with an Iowa address.

                    We’re now at six kids into wearing the little winter-weight jean jacket I was the first of three to wear, which mom got at least third hand.

              2. Erector sets are superior to K’nex because they translate to real world mechanics better. At least until Detroit, or Korea, developes snap-together electric cars.

                1. Agreed. However, K’nex were a godsend for the Reader’s son who had limited manual dexterity due to cerebral palsy. With K’nex he could assemble things in his mind’s eye with a minimum of help from the Reader.

                  1. Marshall loved nuts and bolts things, too, and saved all broken machinery. (Now I think about it what powered the helicopter might have been the motor from a defunct battery egg-beater.)
                    BUT k’nex allowed him flexibility because the pieces were bendable.

                  2. It took a while to remember the name, but some of my friends had the wooden spool & rod Tinker Toys. Seems to be the ancestor of K’nex.

                    1. Hubby has a story from when he was a child. He was 8 or so when Santa brought, not one, but two Erector sets. He, naturally presumed, one set for him, one for his older (by 5 years) brother. Older brother claimed both sets (presumably based on the 10+ designation). Hubby still, at age 70, his set was stolen from him. 🙂 Both boys were known to disassemble and attempt to reassemble anything they could get their hands on. Naturally both sets are long, long, gone.

              3. Younger son did build an helicopter with it, and power it with the motor of a recently deceased battery powered car.
                That is the answer to “what happened to the antique chandelier in the living room, and why does it look like someone took a bite out of it.”
                And that’s a thing about eight year olds. He had an entire Victorian, with twelve foot ceilings to build that helicopter in. WHY under the chandelier?
                (Pale and trembling, as I came running: “Mom, I swear I never thought it would work.”)

                1. When I first heard that homemade helicopter story it took me a couple of minutes to convince myself you were serious. I mean, blowing craters in the yard I could kind of see, but that sounded so over-the-top I had trouble believing it.

                  1. It sounds perfectly normal to me, but then I raised him and he’s a lot as I was at his age. And it was miles better than his Frankenstein of insects phase. I kept finding jars with weird liquid filled with insect pieces. Yes, he was trying to bring them back to life. I think he was about six when he stopped it, thank heavens. I VAGUELY remember going through a similar phase. How mom didn’t kill me is a mystery.

              4. And fewer cuts from the structures :-). Some of the K’nex sets have motors. Also like they old erector sets they have a bunch of basic things you can build from the set that can act as a start for other things. And no I never had an Erector set they were seriously expensive as a kid. I had to get my cuts from my (well off) buddy’s set and content myself to splinters from the planks for my Lincoln Logs 🙂 .

                1. The gear-motor from our Erector set had some serious grunt. A good friend had the euro Mecanno(?) set, though the difference from Erector escaped me, beyond lack of compatibility.

                  1. Heard of but never seen a Mecanno. My understanding was Erector was sold by A.C. Gilbert (of chemistry and other science sets fame) out of New Haven CT which is why I used to see them everywhere. Meccano was a similar idea, a bit earlier and ultimately they bought the rights to erector in the 2000 (
                    And yeah the little electric motors, especially the older ones were quite tourquey…

      2. And groomed by the media and will be dumped the second she’s deemed no longer useful. Her youth is used as a sword and a shield. They like to portray her as bluntly speaking the truth, like the kid in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and whenever she’s criticized the climate cultists will make fun of you “for being a grown man afraid of a little girl.” She’s a child-hero who will go forth and bravely do battle with evil and she’s just an innocent little girl how dare anyone attack her.

        When that Asperger’s kid finally grasps how cruelly she’s been manipulated and used I hope there is a camera present.

        1. Bingo.

          The appalling thing about an all-knowing child like Greta is not presumption on her part. The appalling thing is that she’s been the target of repeated lectures by Communist propagandists without having first been taught about logic and fallacies. In other words, someone, several someones, are brainwashing our kids to support evil. And that is both child abuse and a direct attack on the foundations of democracy.

          1. As if even 21 year olds know much of anything about the world…I sure didn’t…

        2. Look, if it’s an either/or, I’d rather be a grown man afraid of a little girl than a grown man abusing a little girl. The so-called adults surrounding that kid have a lot to answer for.

            1. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least, given the irresponsible nature of the parents, as they’ve clearly demonstrated more than once. Of course, the alcohol-while-pregnant problem has only been known for what, 50 years? And they’re “entitled” so it shouldn’t affect them… 😦

    1. sic semper idiotae

      Those looking to kids for enlightenment might want to consider how the Children’s Crusade turned out.

      Or the 60s.

    2. And mentally handicapped.

      Remember whenever someone touts youthful wisdom that children can not be diagnosed as sociopaths because acting like a sociopath is not considered abnormal at that age.

    3. Obviously on the spectrum, terrified by what I can only describe as abusive parents who wanted the limelight.

      1. Didn’t she recently say that global warming was a scam, or something like that?

  2. Speaking as someone who works with kids all the time, some kids are very observant, some kids are remarkably clueless, but any of them will stick beads up their noses. This is not where I would expect to find great philosophical truths.
    I think children see things in very simplified ways and a certain type of adult wants things to be simple. So if the children say it, it sounds profound to them. If reality disagrees, it must be reality that is wrong.

    1. Simple rules learned in childhood are still quite useful into adulthood. But it gets messier beyond be nice, share your excess, help out, etc. Mostly because the other people you’re dealing with have hidden agendas of their own.

    2. Actually not all kids will stick beads up their noses. My brother did, and it never occurred to ME to do it. (Not wisdom, it just was not something I thought of.) OTOH I would eat anything. I think there was a near save with an earthworm. My parents had to watch me like a hawk. I remember sneaking fistfuls of sand when they weren’t looking. Heaven alone knows why.
      (This probably explains my weight issues.)

      1. I spend a large percentage of my life pulling weird things out of noses and ears.

        1. You’ll probably empathize with my SIL who on one of her ER nights (every doctor in Portugal has an ER night a month, I think?) was presented with a patient with a bean plant growing out of his ear.
          When she pulled it (and the bean!) out he was horrified. He just wanted her to PRUNE it.
          (Yes, it was a psych referral. But for some reason it still strikes me as LOL.)

            1. Yeah, I suspect yours are more like when my brother broke mom’s prized pearl necklace and managed to get three of the pearls up his nose. Now, I have a BIG honker of a nose, and could see doing that, but he doesn’t, so it’s a mystery.

              1. In Mexico your nose would be called a chata nose, my mom has one like yours, I think it’s cute.

                  1. Lol that is amusing. Like the word “concha” in different Spanish speaking countries.

          1. One of the post-mortem miracles at St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s tomb was the miraculous removal of a bean from a toddler’s ear. She was going deaf, so it was a real problem. Also, everybody who knew the girl had tried to get it out, so she was getting traumatized by ear diggers.

            The hilarious thing was that when the bean came out, the first thing the girl’s brother did was deny having touched her, IIRC.

      2. Mine was a coffee bean. I liked the way they smelled and thought it would be an excellent way to take the smell with me. My mother was…less than amused.

  3. The other reason the statist lefty sorst like kids is that kids still believe in the power of Mom (or possibly Dad) to step in and fix things. Since these sorts also believe in the power of big mommy government to step in and fix things they like being told by children that they can let Mommy fix it

  4. There is now a class of sarcastic conservatives (Kurt Schlicter is notable) who regularly parody the, “My four year old came to me and said–” posts on Twitter.

  5. I still remember my high school civics teacher back in 1972 solemnly telling me the Youth of America (you could hear the capitals) were the future. Of course, she was gently trying to persuade me to support a less objectionable candidate in the upcoming mock Presidential primary.
    Said candidate got more votes than any other, though not a majority.

    1. I got a kick out of how many older-than-my-parents folks used Appeal To The Youth to try to change my mind… when I was a kid.

      Right up there with being told that “no women think” a thing that I, a woman, think. 😀

      1. That reminds me of why a certain famous SF author is considered a boor even if he invites himself to Cons. I’ve forgotten the details, but the panel discussion was about a society of women, and a dilemma was proposed as a hypothetical.

        My wife from the audience said, “Obviously, they’d just do x.”

        Mr. You’d Never Recognize Yourself Even if I Named you, quickly said, “No woman would ever think of that!”

        Sharon wanted to challenge him to take it outside with her, but decided that was unladylike.

        1. MEH. I would totally do that. In fact did it to Gardner Dozois once, and got him to admit that “Peaceful society of all women” was an excuse for lesbian sex/titilation.
          I couldn’t get him to believe most women aren’t turned on by Lesbian porn.
          Talk about living in your own head.

      2. > “Right up there with being told that “no women think” a thing that I, a woman, think.”

        Well, that obviously means you’re a male trapped in a female body.

        Don’t worry, young man, we’ll schedule you for transgender surgery and get you fixed up right away.

  6. For the record, the Biblical quote is: “Out of the mouths of babies and nursing children, you have ordained strength” [ie, loudness/homage/praise], “on account of your adversaries, to silence the enemy and the vengeful.” (Ps. 8:3/8:2)

    But first of all, this is about Things God Does, not about humans meddling in human affairs. As Sarah points out.

    The whole thing reminds me strongly of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown story, “The Oracle of the Dog,” which is sort of a sideways comment on the Holmes story “Silver Blaze,” but also on people who insist on treating their dogs as either human babies or magical fabulous beasts.

    1. “Yes,” said Father Brown, “I always like a dog, so long as he isn’t spelt backwards.”

      … “The truth is, I happen to be awfully fond of dogs. And it seemed to me that in all this lurid halo of dog superstitions nobody was really thinking about the poor dog at all.”

      Not going to give any spoilers, but here’s the final soliloquy:

      “All I complain of is that because [the dog] couldn’t talk, you made up his story for him, and made him talk with the tongues of men and angels. It’s part of something I’ve noticed more and more in the modern world, appearing in all sorts of newspaper rumors and conversational catch-words; something that’s arbitrary without being authoritative. People readily swallow the untested claims of this, that, or the other. It’s drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it’s coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition.” He stood up abruptly, his face heavy with a sort of frown, and went on talking almost as if he were alone. “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can’t see things as they are. Anything that anybody talks about, and says there’s a good deal in it, extends itself indefinitely like a vista in a nightmare. And a dog is an omen and a cat is a mystery and a pig is a mascot and a beetle is a scarab, calling up all the menagerie of polytheism from Egypt and old India; Dog Anubis and great green-eyed Pasht and all the holy howling Bulls of Bashan; reeling back to the bestial gods of the beginning, escaping into elephants and snakes and crocodiles; and all because you are frightened of four words: `He was made Man.'”

    2. The Bible also says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

  7. When I was eight, if I had an opinion, my parents told me about it. I have all sorts of opinions now, but I can’t say they are better than the early ones.

      1. There is a commercial I’ve heard (maybe it was on the TV) with kids proposing ideas to save the earth from climate change. At the end there was a part about, “I’m just a kid. You figure it out.” That always struck me as odd. Just because you have an idea as a child doesn’t mean it’s feasible. It’s like these people are still coming up with children’s ideas and expecting other people to figure out how it works. “But gosh darn it, I thought of it, so it should work perfectly!”

        1. This seems to come out in politics as well.

          The idea, well we can have everything read by the “police” if they want to, but at the sane time it will be encrypted and safe from unwanted reading, They keep telling us it can not be done, but If we say this is how it work, someone will figure out how to make it work.

          Oh lets make rules on how efficient cars must be, 10 Years later success see It works if you set the rules some smart person will figure out how to make it work, while ignoring the increasingly large market in vehicles that are not covered by those rules, Ie trucks, suv.

  8. USians have been brainwashed, since radio days, at least, that dad is dumb, mom is smarter, the kid is wise, and the dog is the family Einstein. IB a brief survey of TV ads for consumables will confirm this thesis. The exceptions are if someone or something in the chain is “underserved” or can be identified with the “oppressed”.

    1. Oh yeah… There is a paint commercial on TV currently that has ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ arguing over several paint samples on the wall and the eight year old kid comes in and see looks at it all for a couple of seconds and then says: “I like this one.” while pointing at a specific color. Next scene and the room is that color and the kid has just hung up a picture on the wall while the parents beam from the couch.

      Right – I’m going to let the kid pick out the color for the living room. While I may solicitate an opinion or two and on some occasion even use the opinion, the kid does not get the final say.

        1. Agreed, “the kid randomly picked this color from the ones that were strong contenders” is as good a reason as any– like answering “where do you want to eat?” with “I don’t know, do you feel like Chinese or tacos?” and then the back seat goes nuts for Panda Express.

      1. My folks tried doing that with me (granted I was in my mid-20s at the time, but still) when they were trying to paint the front hallway. They couldn’t decide between various shades of green, gray, and brown, and they’d painted sample splotches on the wall. I told them I liked the camo theme they had going so far and suggested they do the entire hallway like that. They didn’t. Oddly, I can’t remember what color they decided to go with (probably off-white).

        1. Oh, that’s creepy! I had just gotten to “green, gray and brown” and my instant thought was “camo!” Then I read on. Oy…

          Were you a Marine, by any chance? 😉

            1. Sorry, didn’t mean to drag up stuff you’d probably rather forget. It was the “camo” line…

              1. No worries! Doesn’t bother me at all: I’ve been at peace with it for a long time (sucked when I was in high school and was actively looking at how to enlist, though). And given that I’d have been in right at the peak of the Obama-Era Stupidity and Social Engineering, it was probably for the best anyway.

                Wasn’t being brief because of sadness, but rather because I was desperately trying to squeak the comment in before I had to clock in for work.

                1. OK. I was in from ’63 to ’67, so I didn’t get involved with the wokie socialist crap, and even Da Nang in ’67 was both better and safer than DC today.

  9. Oh yeah. The Golden Child is a useful tool in storytelling, but not so useful in the real world. That’s why I have to laugh and shake my head at the exploitation of such great spokesman as Greta, Malala, and Harvard Hogg. They may have good intentions, but we all know, or should know, where that road leads. Even if I may agree with some of the various views these children espouse, without life experience they have no clue as to what the effects of the things they are calling for lead to. They just know what the adults in their lives allow them to see.

    I remember being in 2nd or 3rd grade and thinking, “I wish I were a girl, because all of the social constructs I’m dreading in the future I wouldn’t have to deal with.” But, there were all kinds of other social constructs that the girls had to deal with I wasn’t aware of then. And the physical stuff definitely favors men, IMHO.

    Other than thinking girls were fun people to play with, and I enjoyed being around them just as much as the boys, I wasn’t thinking about them in terms of who I wanted to have sex with back then. It was more that they had different toys and different types of conversations. I’m not aware of anyone who was thinking about who to date/marry/have sex with back then. Naked people in media was a big deal because of how taboo it was for our age, not because it aroused us. Rather like alcohol, and smoking. We might have mimicked some of that stuff because it’s what we saw around us, not because we were actually interested in the activity itself. So I think anyone bringing subjects like sexuality, abortion, etc. up to little kids is doing it not for the sake of the kids, but for their own sake because they view the kids as a useful conduit to getting what the adults want. Kids just want the rules of life to be easily identified and fair so that they know what to expect. Everything else is exploitation. And unfortunately, our public schools are more about indoctrinating and exploiting our kids on what to think than teaching them how to think.

    1. When I was about four, my family was watching the Dukes of Hazzard on TV. Every time Daisy Duke came on the screen, the feeling in the back of my mind was along the lines of, “There’s something awesome about this, I just don’t know what it is.” Later on I figured it out, obviously. 😉
      But yeah, at that age, I would play happily with boys or girls.

  10. It wasn’t until I was a parent myself – of a fairly sharp and observant 11-year old, that the all-wise child in TV shows and movies REALLY began to annoy me. All those shows with the knowing, sensitive, wise kid, and the dumb*ss parents learning lessons from their child … really pissed me off. Still does, too.
    Way to undermine my authority as a parent, you despicable people!

    1. That starts drifting into Young Pioneers and Red Guards and the Soviet child martyrs and heroes (who ratted on their parents to the NKVD and so on) reeeeallly quickly.

      1. Something I didn’t get until I was a grown up… some of those kids who ratted out their parents surely did so with the cooperation of their parents. You are a parent with a talented kid but no party connections or highly placed friends who could see that she gets the schooling and opportunities she deserves. Maybe you find out you are dying of cancer too. Then you think of one way you could make your kid a hero of the party and ensure she gets the leg up associated with being a young Party darling….

        Odd it took me so long to realize that probably went on since that was how Dara infiltrated the Party in Patterns of Force

        1. Some kids reported their fathers had stood over them while they wrote the denunciations and demanded more passion.

          Pavlik Morozov, OTOH, appears to have denounced his father after he abandoned the family, at his mother’s urging. No uglier than some American divorces.

    2. When my kids have given me a very sharp, spot-on answer for something, I dig to see where they came up with it. Usually, it came from prior conversations with us or with teachers or with church leaders or neighbor parents. Sometimes, it came from books they had read (you know, written by adults). I could track the seed of the idea, at least, back to an adult teaching them or sharing their thoughts with the child and then the child putting it all together.

  11. Occasionally a child will notice something adults have overlooked, or mention the elephant in room that none would speak of, or such, and it helps bring clarity to a situation. But betting on it being the case all the time isn’t any way to run a functional society.

    1. And it’s rarely because the child is wiser or actually more observant than anyone else. Usually it boils down to ‘fewer filters’ or ‘not understanding that there are somethings you Just Don’t Say.’ The Simplton often was used the same way in fairy tales.

      1. Indeed. Filters when searching through visual clutter can usually accelerate one’s search. For example, most people I know, if they’re trying to find the Coke in the soda aisle, aren’t so much looking for the words Coca-Cola as for the red and black first, then looking to see if it says Coca-Cola. If Coke change their packaging to purple and gray for some special promotion, and you’re looking for the red and black and having no luck, but a kid is actually searching for the words Coca-Cola, they might find it first.

        Or if the adults are busy looking down a row of rental car company counters, all with similar sized and positioned signs, a kid might notice the differently-sized and positioned sign that says something like “Hertz, Enterprise, and Budget through here.”

        Not brilliance, just cases where the filters adults use may cause them to miss something, or take longer to notice.

      1. Only when they WON’T get in trouble for being “brutally honest”. 😉

        1. There are times to use the “children will be brutally honest in hilarious ways”. There are times that it is prudent to protect children instead.

          We used our 5 year old and his 5 year old cousin shamelessly when we took them to Yellowstone NP.

          “Why is that man not on the walk?” said two 5 year olds, whispering, and pointing. Note, 5 year olds do not whisper. Us. “Sometimes people are stupid. What are the rules?” Them, again whispering, in chorus: “Do not run. Stay on the walk.”

          “Why are they trying to pet the bear/cow” ( known by everyone else as bison … but 5 years old).

      2. Ooooh boy, yes, don’t I know it!

        My poor mother explained a lot of stuff that was followed by “and YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS, is that understood?”

    1. The Harcesis Shifu, while playing to the stereotype, at least had an in-universe explanation, in that he had all the Goa’uld knowledge, and had then been tutored by an ascended being.

      1. Still an awful cop-out of “you can’t use advanced knowledge to defend Earth, it’s Evil”. Which cropped up a lot in the show. For a story that supposedly was about science….

        1. As much as I loved Stargate, they did cop out a number of times with respect to getting tech that could benefit Earth’s defense. Not as bad as the castaways on Gilligan’s Island missing opportunities to escape, though. Also, the NID plots to steal such devices were also so blatantly counterproductive, too, pissing off powerful friendlies and neutrals in a vain hope of being able to use the devices or reverse-engineer the tech of the devices they stole.

          1. > “As much as I loved Stargate, they did cop out a number of times with respect to getting tech that could benefit Earth’s defense.”

            I remember I kept thinking “Go get a sarcophagus, you fools!” Yeah, I recall the drawbacks, but you can minimize that by only using it for things your own medical tech can’t handle. And even if you don’t use it, having one to study could greatly advance said medical tech.

            At least they eventually got FTL starships.

            1. > “As much as I loved Stargate, they did cop out a number of times with respect to getting tech that could benefit Earth’s defense.”

              Agree. Just did a full (well mostly full, skipped some) rewatch of Stargate Atlantis, and doing the same with SG-1. Xfinity Comcast. Former via Pluto App (free), latter because of Neflex (T-Mobile). Hey better than the news.

              eventually got FTL starships

              Yes. Because the Asguard gave it to them. Even then an Asguard had to have one of them aboard each of the ships, at least until the last Asguard died.

        2. IIRC, the advanced tech in the episode was fine. The problem was that all of the tech came from an individual who was effectively a Goa’uld in human form and had subverted it.

  12. The Golden Child is one in a billion.
    But billions of parents don’t understand that their kid, no matter how bright they seem, isn’t the Golden Child.
    Greta Thunberg is no different than Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; just a screeching, ignorant, spoilt poster child for the Green Ripoff Cabal.

    1. Frankly I think Miss Salt would have been superior. At least she would inherit Daddy’s wealth 🙂 .

        1. Fair point, though Mr. Salt was supposed to be one of the richest men in England and perhaps the world

  13. The Leftist obsession with the wisdom of children makes perfect sense.

    Leftism is essentially a desire to return to childhood, to have a parent (the state) care for you and protect you. It’s very paternalistic (which is why “The Patriarchy” is its foil, a system where the head of the family instead of the head of state is the protector). Thus, children often spout undigested leftism because they are children.

    For the masses of leftists, this is a validation of their beliefs. For the leaders of leftists, it’s one more thing to exploit.

  14. And then there’s the perennial cry of the Utterly Misguided Child: “It’s not fair!”

    A lucky child will be told that life isn’t fair.

    An unlucky child will have a parent who bends over backwards to meet the child’s conception of “fair,” and will grow up to be a liberal.

      1. Oh, it’s a lot like a fair. You keep paying and paying to throw three balls but for some reason never win a stuffie.

    1. Eldest son picked up “it’s not fair” somewhere.

      EVERYTHING is not fair.

      So we’ve started explaining, in detail, what “fair” would be… I think he’d rather be swatted, honestly.

    2. Blaming “life” when you are, in fact, being unfair to the child is imprudent because the child will figure it out.

      1. That saying about “life isn’t fair” isn’t specific enough; you need to distinguish between people and nature. It is reasonable to expect PEOPLE to be fair – or at least try to when they can – and judge them harshly when they don’t. Nature is a different story.

    3. Reminds me of the Calvin & Hobbes strip where Calvin declares he wants life to be unfair in his favor.

      1. IOW, he expressed a (nearly) universal desire… 🙂

        I think Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite of all time. Especially all the weird snowman panels…

  15. I have often had to chuckle when encountering ‘aspiring arts’ (i.e., makers of artwork, literature, music) who are otherwise void of knowledge much less any wisdom. By my reasoning, one must possess a body of knowledge and have acquired some wisdom in order to create creativity. Infants and children have no capacity to create anything, they can only ‘feel’ (and with very little context).

    1. “I don’t read older works/in my genre because I don’t want to be contaminated by old ideas.” Or whatever the current version of that line is. No, kid, you study the Old Masters and Great Authors in the Field so that you know what worked, what didn’t, and what’s been done to death and how. You learn how they did it, then go find other ways to do it. Like the shift from Renaissance painting in Northern Europe to Baroque painting in Northern Europe. Jan van Eyche to Rembrandt.

      1. I don’t read older works in my genre because I know, deep down, that I’m not talented enough to produce such a thing, nor am I willing to put I. The time and effort to develop the skills so I and my equally untalented, lazy friends will do it down so we don’t suffer by comparison.

        1. Don’t forget “I’m afraid that I might learn something, or think something, or feel something, that is unapproved for Current Week. And then my friends would stone me to death.”

          OTOH, I just noticed that somebody had written a story about not being manipulated unfairly, right after somebody on their social media had manipulated them unfairly (as an approved victim, in the approved SJW fashion). I don’t think the person allowed himself/herself to realize consciously what had happened, because the manipulation post was allowed to stand. The story’s subject matter was very different in appearance.

          But I’ve never seen a clearer case of the Muse sticking up a middle finger.

        2. Similar, so I generally stick to people doing different things, or who are objectively miles above me. Even if I copied them directly, odds are it would not be recognizable, so no worries about trying to understand why the illustrator made the choices he did. Maybe trying them myself, clumsily. Time in grade is huge, and results are incremental, though, so it is easy to get discouraged.

          Talent is overrated. If you are willing to put in the time, you can still be “good enough”. And if you love doing the thing for its own sake, why not? (Not a rhetorical question)

          The book Taran Wanderer answered that question by the way.

          Having peers to share the road with is above rubies, btw.

      2. Creativity is partly trainable skill, and you need to study the prior art, or you are utterly screwed.

        You would very likely produce only inferior works along paths well trod many times prior.

        1. God creates. The rest of us think creatively by combining things that never went together before. The Wright brothers built bicycles and studied birds. What they made was neither, but something totally new.

          1. And involved figuring out that the prior tables were wrong and that nobody really understood air flow on wings and flying bodies. And then spending a lot of time building a really exact wind tunnel and redoing everything.

            I mean, it’s sickening to realize that everything is wrong. But OTOH, you then know that you are on to something.

  16. Sylvester Stallone and his knitting…

    Though I suspect it is more to do with isolation and wanting to be part of a group that drives the current alphabet soup thing.

  17. The Divine Infant, the Wise Latina, the Magic Negro, the Lifesaving Dog, the Wise-cracking Parrot, and God-only-knows-how-talented the Itsy Bitsy Spider! Sounds like the dramatis persona for an upcoming Sarah Hoyt fantasy romp.

    1. What no aristocratic cats? Don’t you know everybody wants to be a cat?

    2. You might try for “Wise Infant” you’re more likely to get Wesley Crusher. Did they honestly thought promoting Greta would cause all us skeptics and snarkers have a praise Gaia moment? She’s a joke at best, a despised Scrappy at worst.

  18. It seems to be partly related to critical theory.

    Critical theory is an insane conspiracy theory, that seems to assume information flow opposite of real world information flow.

    In reality, comprehensive lies by totalitarians do not involve perfect predictions about various events, and so pretty immediately are proven false, and obviously false, in many eyes. And, the propagandists would not, at least initially, have chosen their lies with the expectation of being immediately discredited. Early regime totalitarian propagandists would seem to have some remaining pressure on them, from the memory of trying to compete with more honest sources for public credibility.

    Also reality prediction, information actually has to come from somewhere, generally propagates at no more than light speed, communication between humans is hugely lossy, as is usually between humans and machines, and information storage is not perfect.

    (The left tries to make out Hitler to be special, and in need of special measures to defeat. The reality, he had all of the issues of every totalitarian, and was screwing the regime over by doing stupid totalitarian destructive crap.)

    The critical theory implies that big deceptions can be carried out, and sustained, over centuries and millennia.

    They think that civilization is all a big lie. That it is all a big fraud, that it is /worse/ than the alternatives, and that people are learning too much ‘bad’ behavior somehow, and becoming civilized despite their best efforts.

    Now, they largely feel that the roots of civilization are in ‘gender roles’, or whatever, and that if they pull those out, they finally get their barbarian utopia.

    It isn’t accidental that the spree shooters have the left’s fingerprints on them, and almost never have a well founded extreme right ideology. In part, because there is not really such a thing as an extreme right ‘ideology’. You have people who practice a religion compatible with real modern civilization. You have people who were engrained with a culture compatible with real modern civilization. Left calls these ideology, but this may be purely more leftwing backwards upside down inside out taxonomy, that correlates real more accidentally than on purpose.

    Children have learned less of whatever it is that goes into modern civilization, and so the left feels that they are purer of the ‘witchcraft’ that folks are still ‘somehow learning to do’, no matter what the left tries. Somewhat predictive, because older correlates somewhat with seeing through current left bullshit. Somewhat not predictive, because information collection and analysis habits can be early habit, are not uniform across cohorts, and some older cohorts often fall for stuff that folks in younger cohorts can (but not must) see through more easily.

    ‘the workers’ -> Gramsci’s third world replacement for the workers -> the children.

    Children seem to be their version of Hitler in the bunker.

    And folks who are not reality blind as a result of theory obsession, very well know, after the sexual revolution, that sexual abuse of children has fairly significant costs. They don’t buy the ‘everyone has fun if you get rid of that unfair prudish stigmatization of sexual activity. promiscuity uber alles.’ narrative that can seem plausible to stupid theory obsessives.

    And childless teachers can significantly underestimate the level of parental investment in their own children.

    PS Degreed teachers, and fresh out of school are probably mistakes. It would actually not be terrible for there to be an expectation that one only teaches primary and secondary after having raised one’s children to adult hood, and homeschooled them to functional adult hood. For all that them being other parent’s children would greatly confuse the issue.

    1. “And folks who are not reality blind as a result of theory obsession, very well know, after the sexual revolution, that sexual abuse of children has fairly significant costs. They don’t buy the ‘everyone has fun if you get rid of that unfair prudish stigmatization of sexual activity. promiscuity uber alles.’ narrative that can seem plausible to stupid theory obsessives.”
      I really feel sorry for my contemporaries who bought in the the Sixties sexual revolution. For real fun, I prefer a woman who has spent decades learning all my buttons, and how to find them in the dark.

  19. I chalk it up to Leftism’s ancestry as a Christian heresy. “The wolf will lie down with the lamb, and the lion will feed on straw, and a little child shall lead them.” That’s their vision of paradise too. Obviously the way to get there is to ban the lamb’s horns, and make everyone eat vegan, and follow the endless succession of St. Gretas.

  20. I once.thought Terry Goodkind’s book Naked Empire was poorly-written, ham-fisted and described beliefs impossible for a society to hold.

    Wrong about the last part, but it was still poorly written and ham fisted.

    1. I liked the series to begin with, but eventually got tired of his endlessly preaching the glory of the human spirit while wading through rivers of human blood and piles of human gore.

      1. It also doesn’t help that he’s one of those writers who think they’re so much smarter and better than the genre they choose to write in. His interviews where he talks about the fantasy genre and fantasy readers are cringe-worthy. The man thought he was changing the world with utterly unique themes that no other fantasy novel explores.

        Same with The Magicians and Grossman’s oh-so modern and edgy takes on fantasy and the “literary” takes on Lovecraftian horror.

        Heck, even Mercedes Lackey irritated me with her characters who reflect on how much smarter and more mature than those dumb fantasy tropes and plots – these are character who are literally chosen by magical white horses cause they’re just so special.

        But in lieu of those dumb tropes she helpfully provides hundreds of pages of exploring your feelings, interspersed by finger-wagging lectures – then a villain shows up and gets defeated in the last 20 pages or so. Maybe they’re not all like that, but that’s a commonality in the books of hers that I read.

        Pratchett’s Cohen had some thoughts about those who had this kind of attitude toward “dumb tropes”

        “There was, there always was, at the start and the finish … the Code. They lived by the Code. You followed the Code, and you became part of the Code for those who followed you. The Code was it. Without the Code, you weren’t a hero. You were just a thug in a loincloth. (…) Forget the Code, dismiss the Code, deny the Code … and the Code would take you.”

        1. There is a delightful little book called ‘the Ordinary Princess’. It is at once a spot on classic fairy tale. And a gentle romping laugh at the same. She winds up with a ‘blessing’ from a disgruntled fairy that she will be ORDINARY. And so she is. And Amy (because what could be more ordinary than that?) and her Man of All Work have their happily ever after.

          1. I … resemble that remark.

            Though as an update to my extraordinary news: baby has no trisomies and is male.

                  1. There’s not much belly to pat. One of the trade-offs of being tall.

                    But on Saturday, I’ll be dressed as Annoia, goddess of utensil drawers, so I’ll be easy to spot.

                1. There is a secret fraternity of those who suffered severe infertility. We empathize with each other, help each other, and rejoice when any of us manages to have a baby.

                  1. 100%

                    I am past the baby envy of the super fertile … but there for awhile.

                    Any comments about abortion? … I am not rational. I walk away.

                    1. We thought we couldn’t have kids for only a year, roughly.

                      On me. I just…nothing started. Reproductive wise.

                      So I have an idea, though not the years of unfilled hope.

                    2. When we were trying fertility drugs and IVF were relatively new. Medical would not intervene with either unless there was a diagnosis of infertility and either would work. My sister had a clear diagnosis of infertility with a reason. They tried IVF (failed), then adopted, had 5 (3 successful) pregnancies. Me? No diagnosis. Not an inkling of why. Would not prescribe anything more than what could have resulted in twins. That after tears. Didn’t luck out and have twins. Thrilled with the one. (8 years of disappointment.)

                      Fast forward, 30 years. Sister’s oldest biological. Two years, no clear diagnosis. They went to IVF. Their daughter is 6 months old.

                    3. I morally oppose IVF, but it’s one of the things that I have zero trouble seeing why people do it.

                      Congratulations on the great-niece!

                    4. morally oppose IVF

                      I get it. Slippery Slope. Embryos are still babies. In their case they have frozen the extra eggs without fertilization. They had two taken to embryos, and implanted both. Only one implanted.

                      Thank you. Logan is our 9th (? we think, not sure of all of them on hubby’s side) great-niece/nephew. Ages ranging from 25 to 6 months. Heck nieces and nephews range from 51 to 21 … (Hubby’s siblings are a bit older than I am). Would not shock me to learn we have great-great, given the non-communication from some.

                    5. I get it.

                      :full Japanese style bow:

                      Thank you.

                      I know it hurts. I wish I could make it not hurt. Thank you for not showing upset at me.

                  2. > “There is a secret fraternity of those who suffered severe infertility.”

                    Well, not any MORE there’s not.

                    Damn it, Sarah, the first rule of Infertility Club is…

            1. Yay for good baby news!

              On the name. I had to check her full name was Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne. (Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about Princess names in that world.)

              The line from the book, was where they were dealing with the fall out of the ‘curse’ of ordinaryness. “She never went by her grand name now. They simply called her ‘Amy’ and what could be more ordinary than that?”

              1. Just posted a link to the first pictures at the bottom of the page. WPDE.

  21. Being precocious doesn’t necessarily mean anything in later life. Some of the smart + early development stuff can result in hitting a plateau and stagnating later on. A foundation from moving through more fundamental stuff quickly can not be robust enough for doing a lot of advanced work later.

    Anyway, so I was a bit precocious. Very strong analytical gifts, and that broad creativity in applying them. Most of the people around me did not have the same gifts, or had gone done a different pathway in developing their habits of thought. So I thought about some of the information that others provided me, and was able to combine it in ways that they hadn’t put together themselves.

    But, I am very clear from analyzing my memories that I did not spontaneously generate information from thin air, and that there were basic information collection, retention, and perception skills that I did not have originally, that were slowly developed over time.

    I was also fed bad information, and the results of that were not entirely sound. I mean, I remember reading about negro, caucasian, and mongoloid races in a book. IIRC, it was one of the ones that wasn’t deep into questions of inferiority and superiority, and at the same time predated the later PC effort to eliminate negro. I think I talked to my mom some weeks later about it, and then learned that race was less of a discrete thing, and that the people very impressed with it were sometimes really off. (Still took me many years to work up to a proper degree of skepticism towards books.)

    Anyway, I went from ‘moderns would consider it racist’, to what then passed for PC woke on race, and wound up at very different ‘moderns would consider it racist’.

    I did learn important things in childhood, that are still sound even with my current skillset. But, I was much too indiscriminately trusting, and very much did not have foundational skills to understand what I can now.

    I reflect back on things I was profoundly wrong about, simply five or ten years ago.

    I had opinions about adult politics when I was literally eight years old. They were incorrect opinions, and also arrived at through a process alien to anything that an adult should be obligated to respect. They were garbage opinions, and based on timeslots that I thought were owed to cartoons. I knew nothing of money, and wanted to spend more time watching cartoons.

    So, as an adult I have never respected the appeal to the opinions of children. Frankly, if the folks making such claims are honest, they are child abusers.

    I may care about the opinions of children, and talk to them about stuff. But I don’t treat them as authorities, except sometimes where they themselves are concerned.

    1. Opinions on politics from little kids? I have a memory of my parents bringing in the mail and seeing one of these political extra-large postcards on the table. It had to be for the ’88 election, and it had Reagan and some other guy on it. I’d seen Reagan on TV, and decided I liked him. Then I got out a pen and drew an X over the other guy’s face (most likely George Bush). Years later I remembered doing that, and amusingly figured eight year old me was probably right.

  22. Hopefully the all knowing infant is the end of a pendulum swing that started back when we decided that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ was absurd. The problem I have, being hopeful ’cause of that; my observation, the midpoint of any an all pendulum swings seems to be moving farther to the left or deeper toward crazy.

    1. I am developing an appreciation for “Children should be seen and not heard” that I never had as a child. If the only time you are together as a family is at the table, sure seems like everyone should get to interact. Say, Mom’s home, Dad’s at work, and the children are at school.

      It’s a bit different when Dad is home, but working, Mom is home, and the young kids are underfoot all day. Then mealtimes are for: Mom and Dad to communicate about important things, Mom, to have some adult level interaction, or a quiet interlude.

  23. That immediately made me think of professional speaker Wilfred Coker’s words in John Wyndham’s 1951 novel ‘Day Of The Triffids’:
    “Do you mean to say we could have had lights all the time we’ve been here?” asked the girl.

    “If you had just taken the trouble to start the engine,” Coker said, looking at her. “If you wanted light, why didn’t you try to start it?”

    “I didn’t know it was there; besides, I don’t know anything about engines or electricity.”

    Coker continued to look at her, thoughtfully. “So you just went on sitting in the dark.” he remarked. “And how long do you think you are likely to survive if you just go on sitting in the dark when things need doing?”

    She was stung by his tone. “It’s not my fault if I’m not any good at things like that.”

    “I’ll differ there,” Coker told her. “It’s not only your fault — it’s a self-created fault. Moreover, it’s an affectation to consider yourself too spiritual to understand anything mechanical. It is a petty and a very silly form of vanity. Everyone starts by knowing nothing about anything, but God gives him — and even her — brains to find out with. Failure to use them is not a virtue to be praised; even in women it is a gap to be deplored.”
    Children know nothing except what they’ve been told. They have to be taught to think, and corrected when their thinking goes off in irrational directions.

    But some folks make a virtue of ignorance, and pretend they’re better than us because of all the things they don’t know. ‘A petty and very silly form of vanity’ indeed.

  24. I’m reminded of a quote from H Beam Piper’s The Cosmic Computer

    “Conn, I was kind of worried, down there. You were being a little too positive. You know, you’re only twenty-three. As long as you agree with those people, you’re a brilliant young man; you start getting ideas of your own, and you’re just a half-baked kid. You let the older and wiser heads run things. You can’t begin to hope to foul things up the way they can. Look at all the experience they’ve had.”

  25. It’s a corollary to the noble savage idea of your bestest buddy Rousseau. Children haven’t been corrupted and are seen as innocent (hence the shock when kids are killed in evil fashion), so if they say something it’s the historic innate truthiness of our genetic memory of when we were pure and uncorrupted by capitalism.

  26. I would like to know exactly who thought 18 year old children were wise enough to vote. Not me. I remember being 18. We make 18 year old males sign up to be drafted, knowing they will not be hesitant to put themselves in harm’s way. We are lengthening childhood by making them dependent on parents longer while at the same time expecting children to be wiser than adults. It makes no sense and many of us know it. (yes, I do believe some are wise enough to vote at 18, and some are never wise enough to vote.)

    1. Democrats in the sixties. They keep wanting to lower it to 16. I wish they’d raise it ten years. kids are about 10 years behind where I WAS in development. They start working later, etc.

      1. Yeah, I really knew that, I didn’t like it then either because I had to wait until I was 21. I think young people of today see it as one of those “that’s the way its always been” rights.

    2. The argument was, “Old enough to die. Old enough to vote.” Of course the draft was abolished (OK, mothballed) almost as soon as that passed. And somehow the argument, “Old enough to die. Old enough to drink yourself stupid,” never prevailed. I certainly made plenty of stupid votes. What I didn’t have was invincible certainty. I may again make many stupid votes, but I live in California, and my vote never prevails anyway, so how would anyone ever know?

      1. Apparently, the ages for drinking, smoking, and owning guns needs to keep being raised, but the age for voting needs to keep being dropped, because…….

        1. as if the kids who want to do any of those “evil things” aren’t already doing them. good lord, do you know how many kids in high school have access to “illegal” drugs? It just makes it all the more desirable when it’s made illegal or taboo.

        2. The early ’70s were odd for various age limits. I voted in the ’72 election as a 20 year old, and roughly at my 21st birthday, the state authorized an 18 year old limit for alcohol. (OTOH, in Michigan at that time, 16 years was the mark. AFAIK, 21 for booze is now nationwide.)

          I think the draft was suspended as of early 1974. My 2S student deferment morphed into a 1H(?) reflecting the suspension.
          FWIW, it wasn’t until I was 30 that I started voting regularly for ‘pubs. I did vote for the R incumbent for governor since I didn’t trust the Dem candidate. (Who ended up in the federal slammer, following a rich tradition in that state. FWIW, the R was one of the few who didn’t end up in jail.)

      2. My arguments “Old enough to pay adult prices, old enough to see adult movies” never won over the box office staff either.

      3. No, the drinking age argument did prevail.

        There were two things that coincided with the end of retailer willingness to sell alcohol to people of any age, who had the money to pay for it.

        One was the start and end of prohibition, and the transition to the bar system. This may be entirely accidental, with the real force being growth of federal regulatory state, and ability for federal regulators to put local businesses out of business.

        The second was the combination of child labor laws, and mandatory school attendance laws, doing much to eliminate the ability for a young teen to do an adult’s share of work, and earn an adult’s pay. Without that adult’s pay, retailers had much less reason to consider the transaction.

        1. My older brother could legally drink at the age of 19; and therefore our college had a pizza place that served beer, and a Greek place that served wine. Similarly, the university close to our house had a Rathskeller in the basement that served beer.

          I’m a couple years younger than my brother, and had to wait until I was 21 to legally drink out in public. And therefore, I never got to drink while at college, except during my final year. Which was why universities in our state slowly began to drop their liquor licenses, except possibly for faculty functions.

    3. I was reasonably rational at 18.

      I was philosophically more rational at 16 than a good quarter of the Boomers I knew well enough to judge their political philosophy. (Roughly, it hadn’t changed since they were 16.)

      It’s not the age. It’s the philosophy.

      1. I was intellectually mature and an arrogant [member of the genus equus] at age 18. I got that last bit pounded out of me in my 30s. But agreed, it is philosophy and being trained and disciplined enough to think things through and listen to what multiple sides are saying, then sort the wheat from the chaff. (Like deciding not to vote for X in a primary because while I had no problems with him, his aids that I crossed paths with were real jerks and had some very unpleasant attitudes towards women in general. Someone who attracts and keeps people like that around might not be the greatest person to have in national office.)

        1. . I got that last bit pounded out of me in my 30s.

          :chuckles: The retirement age 16 year olds had been doing that to me for years by the time I was 18. :wry: There’s a reason I try to suggest to people that Kids These Days that have a decent bit of social sense will just not say anything.

          Someone who attracts and keeps people like that around might not be the greatest person to have in national office.

          Tactically, if nothing else.

          No need to give the twits an easy win?

    4. Voting age became 18, because “old enough to draft at 18, they are old enough to vote”. The following was never considered “If not old enough to vote at 18, how can they be old enough to be drafted?”

      I voted the first time at 18, two years after the law changed (in Oregon).

      1. My first Presidential vote was for Ronald Reagan back in 1980 (much to the shock and horror of my parents; caucus night was a literal scream from my mother). I’d been legal for barely a month.

        1. I’d been legal for barely a month.

          Me? Legal by just under 4 weeks 🙂 Back then the registration had to be filled out about 8 weeks before the next election. Not 18 to vote in the primary. Legal to vote in November. Late-ish Oct, not quite Halloween, baby. It was the midterms VS presidential, but still.

          1. Me – just legal to vote for Nixon in 1972. Not because I was particularly keen on him, but considering the alternative… and Mom was then a die-hard Republican. (Although I must confess that it seems like she has fallen for the PBS/BBC propaganda line since then.) Dad was also a die-hard Rep, but since he was also a Rush L. fan and a Tea Party sympathizer, he might have gone hard conservative like me in the last couple of years. Yes, we don’t discuss politics with my remaining family and Mom – why do you ask?
            The most vivid memory of that election was when I volunteered to spend a day at the local Rep HQ (yes, there was such a thing, way back then) and spent the afternoon listening to the amazing yarns from the other volunteer, whom I think had been voluntold by his wife.
            He was a guy in his nineties (who looked a well-preserved and fit sixty-ish or so) who had been born in Montana and sent to school when barely a toddler on a horse. A one room schoolhouse, of course. Dad put him up on the horse at the crack of dawn, the horse trotted obediently away and delivered him to school, the teacher lifted him down at the other end. And repeated the process at the end of the day.
            Not the most amazing – he had been in the Army for the expedition into Mexico chasing Pancho Villa after the raid into New Mexico. The punitive expedition farted around in Mexico without any result… and this gentleman was later detailed into France at the start of our involvement in WWI with a call into his commander’s office, who broke the news to him that he was now instantly commissioned and promoted to being a second lieutenant, with orders to France…
            Wish I could recall his name, and be able to double-check on this all. But he was back in the Army cavalry in the day when they really were horse-cavalry. It reminded me then and now of how really, really, close that we are to history, if we listen to the stories that the oldest person that we encounter has to tell.

  27. I found children’s opinions mal-formed and full of…excrement…when I was a child, and only knew more than other kids because I was curious, knew that adults lied to kids or dumbed things down to wrong-ness, had a stupidly high reading comprehension, fast reading speed, and looked into the things the kids parroted their parents about (and usually totally misunderstood). What I didn’t get was why all of my peers were so stupid and wrong about so many things.

    As a parent, I find my kids have opinions on things they don’t understand, and are willing to admit they were wrong when the things they’re trying to pontificate about are explained to them in greater detail. Usually, they’ve been listening to people who don’t know any better, and/or…well, not really understanding what was going on in the first place. It takes a lot of correction and a lot of patience to dislodge the really stupidly wrong information and put corrected stuff in place. Mine respond well to that, I think partially because I back up what I tell them, and teach them how to find the information for themselves when they don’t want to believe that their teachers or curriculum were wrong.

    To wit: kids aren’t stupid, but uneducated. They aren’t noble at all, and are savage little self-centered monsters that take a lot of time, patience, effort, and resources to train to be human. And a lot of education to make sure they’ve got the foundation to be functional as adults, rather than destructive psychopaths flailing because the world doesn’t work the way they want it to.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody bothered with a lot of leftists.

    1. Well stated!
      Some people have seen too many selective clips of a child saying something that sounds profound (like on Kids Say the Darnedest Things) and never realized how many nonsensical things were said for every “brilliant” one (sort of like the infinite monkeys eventually typing Hamlet.)

  28. They chose to venerate ” The Child”, because they chose as their weapon

    The Tantrum

    1. Good call. Now if only they would hold their breath until they turn blue. And about 5 minutes longer…

  29. I was one of those precocious know-it-alls. Mom would brag about me to her friends and neighbors, and often exaggerated. I was her golden child. And, all these adults were telling me how smart I was. Sure, it went to my head. I was ahead of most of the kids my age and older.

    My siblings didn’t like what they saw as favoritism. Not surprising. Sometimes, they ganged up on me, and blamed me for stuff I didn’t do, so I would get in trouble. Big sister often shooed me away when I wanted to play. So, I became a loner for a while.

    Luckily, my first grade teacher took an interest in me. She was strict, but fair. If I ignored her by staring out the window, she’d say – Pay attention. If I interrupted the other kids, she’d say – Wait your turn. She was a tower of efficiency.

    I was also large and in charge on the playground. But then one day, one of the boys stood up to me, and I tattled to my teacher that he was being a bully. But, knew me very well. She got the whole story out of me, and made me see I was being unreasonable. She was a great teacher.

    The best news for me was when my Mom remarried. My new Dad had the patience of a saint. He made me want to be a better person. Not that I’ve completely reformed, but I think I’m more aware. I enjoy spending time with precocious children, especially when they are eager to learn.

  30. Russia through its state media has effectively declared outright war against the USA and NATO, stating that they intend to “demilitarize us”. They also conducted a very large scale nuclear war drill today.

    Does anyone have any confidence that Team HarrisBiden won’t goad Putin into actually launching nukes (no opinion being offered on how many of them actually work)

      1. Considering how much maintenance is required, and how inept the Russian military seems to be, that’s a fair guess (althought I don’t want to see it tested, because of the assurance of local contamination by a “fizzle”, if nothing else).

    1. I suspect Russian State media is both trying to keep their jobs and trying to encourage themselves, they need it after all. It’s like China with Taiwan. They’re all compensating for something.

    2. The Russians don’t even have the infantry to exterminate the Ukrainians.

      They are nuts if they think that they can get us all.

      They are nuts if they think that they can keep us demilitarized, should they manage to accomplish it.

      They are nuts if they think that after doing that to us we would never come back and make sure to kill them all.

      That said, it has been obvious for some time that the Russians are nuts. And, that the current regime there would drive its propaganda organs nuts, and into pure nonsense mode.

      1. Probably an accurate summation. FWIW, I believe I mentioned in a previous blog comment that I really don’t like living in a Clancy novel, or a Ringo novel. And living in a Kratman novel is Right Out.

  31. At least four killed in Tulsa, OK clinic says the Wall Street Journal. We’re in Tulsa. At least there won’t be a trial on this plane of existence. The shooter seems to have taken care of that already.

      1. Alas, when I read that, my first thought was “crime of passion.” That’s what so many hospital shootings that are not “gang-on-gang that flowed into the ER” seem to be.

        1. Apparently the reason was that the doctor had performed spine surgery and the patient was still having pain / problems that he felt were not being addressed, One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is what role the hospital / doctor’s pain management practices may have played.

          Note: I’ve had spine surgery, I still have pain; I’m just lucky that I haven’t had to take major narcotics. If my pain needed major narcotics and the current opioid controls prevented me from getting adequate relief, I’m not sure how well I would handle it.

            1. Well, the same principle they use for GUNS has been applied to opioid prescription: “We don’t care that all the evidence shows that the law abiding aren’t the issue; we’ll punish them because they will obey.”

  32. In the 1980 Presidential debate, Jimmy Carter claimed that he asked his 13-year-old daughter, Amy, what her biggest worry was and she said “Nuclear proliferation”. That led to numerous jokes about Amy being the one actually running the White House.

  33. When you wrote about what your son won’t approach you with, but did(“Mom, the approach to space colonization is all wrong.”), it reminded me of a pseudo-argument I had with my eight year old about gravity(she’s super-big into space and wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up…of course, she was eight(just turned nine) and may want to be a fashion designer next week). After we watched an episode of How The Universe Works, Amelia started talking about gravity as an effect rather than a force since the warping of space/time is what causes objects in space to roll towards them, meaning it was not a fundamental force of the universe, but rather a side-effect of that warping. I had to admit she had a point. ;-P

    1. She might be right.
      To be fair, kids can be super-involved in the thing they are obsessed with. Like my older son was into Rome. So at one point husband came in and we were having a knock out drag out fight over Augustinian monopolies. He turned around and went back to bed. I THINK kid was ten? eleven?
      But that’s different than understanding CURRENT politics, when you can’t find every detail in books.

  34. When you wrote about what your son won’t approach you with, but did(“Mom, the approach to space colonization is all wrong.”), it reminded me of a pseudo-argument I had with my eight year old about gravity(she’s super-big into space and wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up…of course, she was eight(just turned nine) and may want to be a fashion designer next week). After we watched an episode of How The Universe Works, Amelia started talking about gravity as an effect rather than a force since the warping of space/time is what causes objects in space to roll towards them, meaning it was not a fundamental force of the universe, but rather a side-effect of that warping. I had to admit she had a point. ;-P

  35. I have to think that this focus on the 8 year old is actually lefties looking toward more mature people. Today, a bunch of eco -mentalists broke into the parade back from trooping the colour — Irish Guards, my uncle’s old regiment — with their spokes whatever saying that the royals stopping dairy farming would save billions of animals, what, exactly, do they think will happen to these cows if there’s no economic use for them? This is child thinking.

    1. There’s a lot of magical thinking on the Left. And some on the Right, too, but it seems to be more baked in on the Left.

      1. Protip: DON’T look up MRIs of fetuses. Some of those pics are creepy enough to turn one pro-abortionist.

        1. Eh, I find MRIs fascinating– possibly because I’ve seen so many ultrasounds, with checking baby’s kidneys and such.

          1. Me too, and sometime quasi boyfriend (I didn’t realize we were dating/he was interested, OKAY? Never mind) and brother’s best friend was a fetal cardiologist, who did heart TRANSPLANTS and heart surgery in babies not yet born.

  36. Except of course for the precocious strategist Ender Wiggin, who saved Earth.

  37. Apparently the Vtuber Sleeping Devil Porin really was kidnapped and enslaved and rescued, because the Chinese government and police just announced that no such thing had happened, and her entertainment agency insisted that believing Porin was harmful to society.

    Also, both of Hero Hei’s brief videos on the matter have been swamped by commenters who are strangely passionate about defending the CCP’s truthfulness and Porin as a liar. They seem to have been nonplussed by the American commenter who said human trafficking in the US had happened in her own town.

    Hopefully Porin will be all right, but….

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