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Hacker News vs. Taking Children Seriously

Hacker News doesn't like Taking Children Seriously (TCS). My thoughts follow quotes.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=416432
If you substitute in someone with the same level of rationality and decision making skills as a young child.. let's say.. a meth addict, does it [TCS] still work?
Logical appeals on a young child would work as well as on a dog.
How ignorant children are, and how unable to make decisions, and how to deal with that, are perfectly legitimate and interesting subjects. But comparing children to dogs and meth addicts is not a way of delving into them.
Parents are meant to make decisions for their children and children are meant to do things they don't want ... That people think otherwise scares the bejesus out of me, but perhaps explains why kids are so pampered and spoiled nowadays.
Wow, is that [TCS] creepy.
thanks qqq [aka curi]. thanks for inflicting yet another monster on society, who thinks the world needs to justify itself to her. Hopefully the creature's teenage years will be a punishment enough for you.
TCS is unnatural, scary, and creepy, they say. And causes children to become stereotypical "spoiled" kids. "Spoiled" kids are commonly created by conventional parenting. TCS is different. Why expect it to have the same kind of results as parenting within the conventional spectrum? And if it would have conventional results, why is it especially creepy or scary or weird or anything?

Notice the hatred. The main theme of my comments was that I didn't want anyone to be hurt. In return someone hopes that I be punished.
Dr. Foster: Would you please tell your son to stop?
Ned's Dad: We can't do it, man! That's discipline! That's like tellin' Gene Krupa not to go [starts banging on the desk] "boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom boom bam ba ba ba ba, da boo boo tss!"
Ned's Dad: We don't believe in rules, like, we gave them up when we started livin' like freaky beatniks!
Dr. Foster: You don't believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned's anger.
Ned's Mom: Yeah. You gotta help us, Doc. We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas.
This person hasn't made any attempt to understand what TCS does advocate.
My daughter is 7 and she will take your eyes out before she lets you poke her with a needle --- and that's after the inevitable well-reasoned, polite, non-patronizing conversation about why vaccinations are important, which she of course understands and appreciates.
Based on the outcome, we can conclude the daughter did not gain the necessary knowledge of how to get through a vaccination from the conversation. That means either the conversation didn't contain the knowledge, or the daughter didn't understand it. Either he has made the mistake of thinking his daughter understood his explanations, when she didn't, or he has not given good enough explanations. So from his own story, we see the parent was wrong about something. Somehow he concludes that children are irrational and must be controlled by their parents who are better at life, and also that children finding vaccinations distressing could not be avoided.
Please stop guys.
- Paul Graham (site owner)
Apparently there's a limit to how much discussion is allowed. I think the limit only applies in cases where not everyone agrees. I think it's sad how pessimistic people are about creating agreement. It's not just children they think can't be persuaded of anything. It's also adult forum posters.

Elliot Temple on January 2, 2009

Comments (1)

I liked the ending here, very much and agree!

There's a lot of "let's not fight"-mentality around moderators and others from time to time. Sometimes learning and reaching agreements take time and even some outbursts(unnecessary, but that still happens :-) ), at least when it comes to adults who try to understand TCS, or think they hate it or adults who already get it but are having a hard time and are in need of other TCSrs for support and ideas. I think it's important to keep focusing on the discussion and what really is possible: finding good solutions, even if bad words are changed and the content + the arguments seem bad. Keeping calm when "everybody" else is "shouting" is a very good approach. Instead of ending the discussion or dismissing people.

Cheers,
Kristel

Anonymous at 9:24 AM on January 22, 2009 | #1726

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)