Wednesday, 26 February 2014

This Blog Endorses...

...This nice little rant over at Aimai's I SPY... blog.  In particular, the phrase "People really don't take any moral or intellectual responsibility for the logical implications of the acts they support or the legislation they write." should be written in the sky in blood-coloured smoke over the house of person who supported this bill. Except it shouldn't, because actually that would contribute to climate change!  DO YOU SEE HOW THIS WORKS, PEOPLE?

Also, too, this: "They are acting from what they perceive as a position of weakness, like a child that strikes out at a parent, breaks a lamp, and then wails "I didn't mean it!"" is deadly accurate.  The insistence among children and teenagers that they should only be held responsible for premeditated acts is one of the more frustrating elements of teaching. I have a friend who sometimes tells a story about the day he taught temperature curves by having kids heat water and regularly measure the temperature. "Don't put the thermometers directly into the flame for no fucking reason", he told them clearly (I may not be quoting him perfectly, though I imagine that's how he told the story to me).

So one kid decides to do just that, because of course he does.  A few seconds later he's showered in broken glass and hot mercury.

But it wasn't his fault. No-one had told him a thermometer explodes when placed in a flame!  He didn't know the specific bad results of his action.  He knew there would be some, because the man charged with his safety had told him so.  But he didn't no the actual bad thing that would happen, so deliberately causing it to occur can't possibly have been his fault!

The kind of conservative mind who gloms onto this kind of bill is no more developed than that second-set Year 10 chemistry student. It's entirely reasonable to do something others are warning have bad consequences so long as you don't know - or even work out; a kid of that age and intelligence has no business claiming he couldn't predict glass under heat would expand and shatter - exactly what will happen.  Possible problems don't count. Warnings from people who've thought about this more than you have don't count.  You are not responsible for what you do, only for what you intended to do.  And if you spend your life refusing to consider your intent beyond wanting to feed the beast of superstition and tribalism that has wrapped itself around your cortex, that leaves very little motivation for analysing your intent.

So nothing needs to be considered, and nothing can ever be your fault.  Thus does a culture drown itself.  Thus do the teenagers burn down the world.

No comments: