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KichigaiKitsune

A Great Big Sigh-Generator/Voting

"these kids are so smart, I'm serious.. they are smarter then most teenagers." - commenter on a YouTube video.

Leaving aside the obvious jab at the fact the guy said "then" when he meant "than" (no small error, okay, don't embarrass yourself by claiming it is)...

Look, the kids in question are going to grow up. Smart kids grow up into... smart teenagers. They don't suddenly lose their wits, as is implied by this comment.

The comment in general is just a great big sigh-generator for me. The simple fact is, kids are smarter than people give them credit for. Teenagers too. Some of the wittiest, most amusing dialogue I've heard was from when I was in high school (university is a close second, but in the workplace it's mostly just adults moaning and bitching - often about their deluded idea of "kids these days"). My yearbook had a selection of quotes the wit of which I scarcely ever see matched in the daily grind of the adult world.

But, beyond even a general statement, it's astounding that people forget that there are, and will always be, exceptionally smart young people. I've been lucky enough to deal with many of them, of a wide variety of ages.

Believe it or not, this isn't just some random "youth rights" related rant - I once had to deal with a critic who insisted Tai and Mike were too intelligent for their ages.

Pity I based their intellectual ability on actual kids that I've known in real life, eh wot?

I know some authors on the internet pull shit out of their ass, but most of us only devote a third of our "Author Time" to actually writing - the rest is god damn research and going out and actually experiencing life, so we can draw on that experience later.*

In fact, let me get the old Pablo quote out again:

“What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes, if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far from it; at the same time, he is a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference, to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, (Art) is not done to decorate apartments. (Art) is an instrument of war.”— Pablo Picasso

In other word, I kinda know what I'm talking about. Sometimes. Vaguely. About certain stuff.

At any rate, seriously folks, smart kids become smart teenagers and then smart adults. But that said, it's doubtful that the kids in that video are smarter than the average, or "most" teenagers. Fact is, your typical teenager is likely even smarter and would leave you just as offensively "surprised" if you gave them half a chance. They're just both smart, period.
Hell, generally speaking, people are cleverer than other people give them credit for - that guy in your office is probably not an idiot, and the guy that cut you off on the highway is probably not one either (maybe a bit of a dickhead though).

The last thing the western world needs is to kick up the old herring again about children somehow being smarter than teenagers, because "hormones make them dumber" or some easily disproved nonsense. It's surprising how much this seems to be believed in one form or another.

If you were a smart kid, you're only gonna get smarter when you enter your teenage years. You're gonna get smarter than people will admit, faster than they realize.

After all, you're perfectly capable of, albeit prevented from, voting when you're sixteen, as a matter of fact.

(Choice quotes: "... the age trends within adolescence for correct responses for four questions assessing civic knowledge suggest that 15- and 16-year-olds knew more than did 19- and 20-year-olds for three of the questions."
"{Figure 7}... indicates that for most of the indices of citizenship discussed in the preceding pages, 16-year-olds are at or near adult levels."
"16-year-olds apparently know as much about the American political system as do many young adults; indeed, the average score for 16-year-olds is higher than the averages for civic knowledge for 19-, 21-, and 23-year-olds, all of whom are entitled to vote."
"... findings from other studies generally indicate that 16-year-olds are as cognitively sophisticated as young adults."
)


* - Editing is a separate process that takes up twice as long and several years off your life expectancy.

EDIT: Aww heck, here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuJt0NF7soA&feature...
Thanks to Squirrelfox for pointing this out to me. Those kids rock.
Viewed: 39 times
Added: 7 years, 2 months ago
 
aldreyachan
7 years, 2 months ago
In other word, I kinda know what I'm talking about. Sometimes. Vaguely. About certain stuff.

Glad to hear you recognize Twilight Sparkle is best pony. =D

I mean, er... something relevant. >_>

... Rainbow Dash is a close contender.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
You're drunk, aren't you? >:3
aldreyachan
7 years, 2 months ago
Workin' on it.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
Here I am goin' sober, you bastard.
indorri
7 years, 2 months ago
Don't really have anything to add to that. Though that part about the 16-year olds having betting civic knowledge than 19-23 year olds or whatever was quite surprising.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
As I said over IM: You have just proved my point.
AvaBun
7 years, 2 months ago
Yeaaah... I was 16 when bush's second election came around and I was very highly dissatisfied knowing I still couldn't vote...

This all seems circumstantial, though. I mean, I would assume that everyone knows not every kid comes out that bright... We also know that people in general, child and adult, can be influenced into losing sight of what makes sense as well. I mean, until charter schools started becoming in our area, there really existed no means of a higher, more challenging version of public education for the first 8 years of schooling. A lot of bright kids were lost to influences introduced by the not-so-bright/educationally uninterested ones, like drugs, sex and purposeless gangs.

I just can't see lumping everyone to one expectation or another while remembering my own childhood (which was still not very long ago, i'm only 22), and it seems so tough to do anything other than properly gauge each child as an individual and make something suited to their level.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
"I would assume that everyone knows not every kid comes out that bright..." I'm not entirely sure what it is you're referring to, the voting or the general comments before that.

We have lost, and will for the foreseeable future be losing, youths to gangs and drugs and other things (thankfully not so many nowadays) we all wish would just go away, but generally speaking a smart child will be a smart adult. It's up to society and parents to educate and empower youths to be aware of and avoid these dangers. Their brain cells don't, however, magically melt when they turn thirteen.

"it seems so tough to do anything other than properly gauge each child as an individual and make something suited to their level."

Correct, but you're forgetting what the study shows: that they're just as capable ON AVERAGE as young adults who ALREADY have the ability to vote. In short, you don't need to gauge a teenager's aptness to vote individually any more than you need to do so with young adults. It's true of everyone, every age: we can't always make judgements on a case by case basis, but as I said before it changes nothing here.
As always, the "average" is just higher than you might think. That's all. There are going to be stupid teens, but most of them are going to be average or smarter, and the average is as capable of voting as the average young adult like you or I. The logic is that simple.

Not to mention that, once given the vote, schools would be encouraged to educate and engage youths in civics, politics and ethics even more than they already do, and the youths would be more inclined to study them. In other words, their "civic knowledge" would increase.

Though I admit a "Stupidity Filter" or "Ignorance Test" would be nice when it came time to call the population of a country to vote. I mean, I don't need to mention Bush again when you already have. -.-

Also, people who aren't interested or knowledgeable about politics aren't likely to vote at all (the benefits to your voluntary voting - everyone, even the idiots, the apathetic and the insane have to vote here), so they won't screw anything up any more than the adults who are similarly ignorant would.

Here, people get elected because their names were first on the ballot ticket. Because nobody gives a damn and just goes down the list in order of preference. F*ck sake.

... Or, you know, draw doodles all over the ticket for five minutes.
AvaBun
7 years, 2 months ago
Haha, quite true. Oh! And the vote-comment was an aside mostly, don't have to pay it any mind. ^^;

Oh, by the way, what exactly is "Civic Knowledge?"
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
In the article, it is defined as: "...knowledge concerning the political processes of the United States ({knowledge on}... the branches of government, the names of leaders of different institutions, and so on)."
It was one of several factors tested in the study.

Basically, the sort of stuff you learn in a politics/civics class like the ones that are (or should be) available at most junior high/middle schools.
AvaBun
7 years, 2 months ago
Aah, I see. Yeah, it JUST became a state-mandate for us to get those classes 4 years ago, so I suspect that everyone before it in my area doesn't know anything unless they've taken a class or had it in university. xD

Ah well. I guess it's a sign that things are looking up ^^
aldreyachan
7 years, 2 months ago
The thing with voting (properly) is that it's not about who's smarter but rather who's done their research. A 16-year-old who makes a hobby out of reading politics* is certainly a better candidate for a vote than a 25-year-old who doesn't give two fucks (three if you count the sideways one). That's not to say either one is inherently more or less intelligent than the other, but that proper education (research = self-applied education) is where the real qualifier lies.

*Like... say... Mr Kitsune himself was? And notice how the only thing that's changed in seven years is that he now happens to be 23? You don't magically change when you get older, and chances are if you "grow out of" something it probably wasn't that good to begin with.

Edit: Having said that, I do agree that actual intelligence is a factor. Understanding the facts behind something doesn't always mean you can determine if it's good or bad - that takes an entirely different kind of research, and an inkling of intuition.
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 2 months ago
Correct, but not all issues are complex ethical battles, like abortion or such.

When it comes to voting on issues and representatives at the local or state level, it could be about much more mundane issues that affect a neighborhood or town. Involving youths in these issues are very different, and would make a much bigger difference (and improvement) to their lives, than involving them on debates against gun control or abortion. Many of these issues affect youths directly, and yet they're not being given any say in the decision making process - often not even being consulted - when they obviously should.

Perhaps I wouldn't ask a typical sixteen year old to debate me on complex economic issues (then again, the typical adult would be pretty clueless too) but I would ask him what he thinks about curfews, or the banning of books from his school library, or whether religion should be forced down his neck at school, school leaving age, road rules and the emplacement of traffic moderators in an area, or whether the disgusting, ageist inadequacy of youth wages that prevent emancipation and harm families that rely on the income of their older teenagers needs to be addressed... and many more.

These are all issues that need to be voted on as well and the ones affected by them need a say in the process. The typical teen is not an idiot and is a law-abiding, sympathetic human, so they can and should bloody well be able do this.
indorri
7 years, 2 months ago
As already mentioned, we already grant universal suffrage to everyone over 18 regardless of their aptitude. Handling those under that age as individual cases seems rather arbitrary given we have evidence that they are no less apt on average than adult voters.
squirrelfox
7 years, 2 months ago
What can I say?  Some people just don't know shit about kids.
squirrelfox
7 years, 2 months ago
Hope I'm not among them... XP
Manafox
7 years, 1 month ago
Yes, there are smart kids, average kids, and dumb kids. The same way there are smart teenagers, average teenagers, and dumb teenagers. Same goes for adults. We're getting smarter and smarter on average, but, over here, I fear for the next generation, mostly blaming mass media for my worries.

Quick question: What grade are people expected to know the difference between "then" and "than" (for example) in countries where English is the official language?
KichigaiKitsune
7 years, 1 month ago
I would expect them to differentiate between them by the fourth grade. They're completely different words; I can almost understand the "could of" one, but when I first saw someone confuse "then" and "than" I was genuinely surprised.

In general I advise not worrying too much about what "the media" is doing to any country. If it's not actually hurting Australia or America, I doubt Sweden will somehow have a MORE inane mass-media that's causing damage.

In short, America is the king of stupid bullshit in the media and they are, contrary to popular belief, getting smarter over there.
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