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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 12:32 pm:   

In my humble but grandiose opinion, my latest blog entry is my best ever. It's about how the term "childish" is no longer an appropriate insult and should therefore be replaced with "adultish".

Click here if you wish to read it:
http://rhysaurus.blogspot.com/

Includes photos of me in "dictatorial" and "mature" modes... Also includes a mildly disguised reference to Gary McMahon.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 12:43 pm:   

Never before in my life have I been called a "serious individual"...I'm not sure whether I should feel absurdly proud or hunt you down and smack your bottom in a stern, Victorian-fatherly fashion. Perhaps I'll do both.

Btw, a blog post like that makes you comes across like a feotus.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 12:49 pm:   

ps - I really enjoyed reading that.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.123
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 12:57 pm:   

Only a foetus would spell it that way.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:03 pm:   

Or a man typing very quickly, with a tiny minimsed screen...
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:04 pm:   

If we're bing pedatnic, I doubt a feotus could actually type. You'd struggle to fit a keyboard up the average woman's fanny, anyway.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:04 pm:   

being
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:05 pm:   

pedantic
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:05 pm:   

I fucking give up.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:13 pm:   

Very stimulating polemic, Rhys!
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.123
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 02:07 pm:   

Yes, a great blog, Rhys.
And I'm bigoted not pedantic.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 02:12 pm:   

You may be a bigot but I'm a big git.
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 02:38 pm:   

No, you're a peed ant.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 02:53 pm:   

Whe-hey!
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 64.180.64.74
Posted on Saturday, May 08, 2010 - 04:36 am:   

Personally, I spell it ftus, but then I'm not only pedantic, I'm positively Georgian.

I also enjoyed reading that post this morning, Rhys. Thoughtful and thought-provoking. Or possibly just provoking. Maybe just poking. The last is certainly easier to spell, even for big gits.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.165.34
Posted on Saturday, May 08, 2010 - 04:50 pm:   

Just read your post, Rhys - great fun, as always. However, it may be simply an article of faith on my part, but I do believe that most of the behavioural acts which we generally describe as 'childish' in adults are indeed rooted in childhood. The physical strategies by which adults go about expressing this 'unfinished business' is perhaps uniquely 'adultish' - eg, the juvenile tantrum becomes, say, an attempt to overthrow the board of directors for similar reasons: egocentrism (in the sense of commanding the immediate environment in an unchallenged way)! But I'd nonetheless argue that the underlying lived projects are fundamentally rooted in earlier experience.

Maybe what I mean is this: aren't you directing your 'adultish' description towards manifest behavioural strategies rather than underlying motives/projects?

Just asking, like. :-)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.129.15
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 10:17 am:   

I'm inclined to think that grown-ups aren't even such a thing, that childishness actually lasts to the end of our days. Only the precious few become 'adult'. Adulthood is a kind of decayed childishness where only the bad traits really shine through; those that let the good sides of being a child i.e. the sense of playfulness and wonder at simple things become or stay stable.
I wish I could write articles that poshly, Rhys.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.165.34
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 10:19 am:   

>>>Only the precious few become 'adult'.

Yes.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.129.15
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 10:51 am:   

Hm, I meant 'generally' adulthood is a decayed childhood. But it looks like you got what I meant!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.165.34
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 11:00 am:   

Adulthood is blighted by unfinished business. But it's far harder to finish at, say, 30 what you needed to achieve by 7. When we're kids, it's a joint action - others should help. When we're adults, we're invariably alone in the process.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.129.15
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 11:02 am:   

And, it's true, but you get more scared as you get older.
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 02:01 pm:   

Tony: I learned to be "posh" in the Pygmalion School of Hard Knockers... That puerile joke is adultish, folks, not childish. Knockers are more important to adult men than to boys.

Gary: I agree with you. My position is basically this: whatever is the right answer at any time is my answer too. I'm flexible, adaptable.

The point I was trying to make is that maybe so-called "petulant" behaviour is actually the default setting of the human condition. Nature, not nurture.

However, let's agree with your assertion that nurture is more important. So yes, our adult actions are heavily influenced (perhaps exclusively so) by our childhood experiences... But why does that necessarily mean we have to label the adult actions by the childhood term? That's just a causality-bias. The logic of it seems to run like this: The childhood experiences come first, so the adult response (which comes later) must be labelled "childish".

As the great philosopher David Hume pointed out, causality is a psychological convention and not an absolute physical phenomenon, so there's nothing to stop the cause being defined by the effect. In other words there's no good reason why the earlier (childhood) behaviour can't be given an adult-oriented tag ("adultish"). The fact the chilhood behaviour comes first isn't enough by itself to make it absolutely necessary that it is used to define that behaviour.

And remember: adults are the ones who refine perulance, egotism, bullying, etc. The children are just the apprentices; we are the masters. Surely the best word to describe something is that of the stage of its greatest progression? We say that Mozart was a great composer, not that he was a former child prodigy.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.164.127
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 03:40 pm:   

A great essay, Rhys. I'm sure you're right that most childhood misbehaviour is mimcry of adult behaviour. Though I find Gary's developmental perspective quite useful.

Tony, 'Adulthood is decayed childhood' is a beautiful aphorism, but it may depend a little on your experience of childhood. My life started when I left home. I only feel connected to my childhood at the worst times. There's nothing there I want to remember. And no, I wasn't abused or even mistreated just maladjusted and unhappy for reasons I won't go into. My own development took me forward from all that: my 'inner child' is still both forlorn and destructive.

My own version of your statement would be 'Children are adults on fire.'
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.165.34
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 04:28 pm:   

>>>But why does that necessarily mean we have to label the adult actions by the childhood term?

Indeed. But as I suggested, the actions may be 'adultish', but is the underlying project?

My view is that the term 'childish' is invariably used to denote those adult behaviours which we intuitively perceive to be driven by underlying projects which are clearly rooted in unfinished business from early life. We just kind of know when this is the case.

I agree, however, that the manifest behaviours associated with this could be redefined as 'adultish' - they are, after all, styled and tempered by adult experience and expectations. Nevertheless, I maintain that the underlying projects which drive such behaviour are inherently childish. If we redefine those as 'adultish', then the term 'childish' means nothing except 'the actions of children'. And why would we need that? I mean, whenever my dog pisses against a lamppost, I never say it's being 'doggish'. It's just what dogs do. Ditto children being an irritating pain in the arse. :-)
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.123
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 04:51 pm:   

Has anyone yet further distinguished between childish and child-like?

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