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Give children the vote

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Looking at the array of ignorant and vindictive old men attacking Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists, the case for lowering the voting age is just about unanswerable. Anything that could be urged in justification of stopping 16 year olds, as a group, from voting, is equally applicable to those over 60 (a group to which I belong). Over 60 voters are, on average, poorly educated (the school leaving age in Australia was 15 when they went through and I assume similar in most places), and more likely to hold a wide range of false beliefs (notably in relation to climate change).

Worse, as voters the over 60s have ceased to act, if they ever did, as wise elders seeking the best for the future. Rather (on average) they vote in a frivolous and irresponsible way, forming the support base for loudmouthed bigots and clowns like Trump, Johnson and, in Australia, Pauline Hanson (the last of whom, unsurprisingly, supports an increase in the voting age). Substantively, they respond to unrealistic appeals to nostalgia, wanting to Make America Great Again, and restore the glories of the British Empire, while dismissing concerns about the future. If my age cohort were to be assessed on the criteria applied to 16 year olds, we would be disenfranchised en masse.

Of course, we can’t do that kind of thing in a democracy,. That’s why we should act consistently with the core democratic principle that those affected by a decision should have a say in making it, unless they are absolutely disqualified in some way. In my view, that makes an open-and-shut case for lowering the voting age to 16.

But where should we stop? If we set the bar at the level of emotional maturity and intelligence shown by say, the crowd at a Trump rally, most 12 year olds would clear it with ease.

So, how about giving everyone a vote? For young children, that would amount to giving parents an extra vote, though it’s worth noting that opponents of womens’ suffrage made the same claim about husbands. In any case, the assumption that parents would vote in their children’s interest seems much more defensible than the idea that the old, as a group, will vote unselfishly about decisions (Brexit, for example, or wartime conscription) that will have little effect on them, but drastic consequences for the young.

More importantly, the age at which young people stop doing as their parents tell them is well below 18. Allowing them to engage directly in the democratic process would be an unambiguously good thing, whether or not they chose more wisely than their elders.

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DuskStar
89 days ago
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Why not do the opposite, and limit voting to people who have demonstrated knowledge about the issues at hand? You could even eliminate the age requirement at the same time!

And it's not as if teenagers are particularly well known for their long term planning abilities, regardless of the incentives involved.

So, is giving the vote to a large population of people who will almost certainly follow trends with minimal questioning *really* a good idea?
Ann Arbor MI
MotherHydra
88 days ago
The only sane answer is drastically limiting who can vote. Letting people vote before their prefrontal cortex needlessly complicates the issues at hand has proven disastrous.
srsly
87 days ago
> "And it's not as if teenagers are particularly well known for their long term planning abilities, regardless of the incentives involved." Bah, it's like you've never even met a member of Gen Z!
64 days ago
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popular
90 days ago
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llucax
88 days ago
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Interesting thought
Berlin
mareino
90 days ago
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I spend a ton of time doing stuff at my daughter's elementary School, and I'd say 8 is a good voting age.
Washington, District of Columbia
fxer
90 days ago
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I’d be interested to see if it affected voting rates, because as it is young people simply don’t vote, they’re not a reliable block. Maybe by the time you hit 18 and you’ve never voted so you just DGAF about voting and continue that way until your 30s-40s. Perhaps it’d be different if you’d been able to vote every year you’d been alive, voting being more ingrained.
Bend, Oregon
ejp1082
89 days ago
My guess is under 18 would become a huge voting block simply because election tuesday is a school day and most schools serve as polling stations. It'd probably drop off a bit after high school, though it'd probably stay higher than it is now since they'd already be registered and know where to vote and stuff like that.
fxer
89 days ago
Several states, and prob more to come, have transitioned to only vote-by-mail which may change that math
cjheinz
91 days ago
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Good idea. #Tweeted
DGA51
91 days ago
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The line about the average emotional age of the crowd at a Trump rally is priceless
Central Pennsyltucky

Icon Swap

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Someone's probably working on an eBook app where, if you stop reading right before some plot twist happens, the app will wait a while and then send you a breaking news alert about what's happening, prompting you to open it and read the next few pages to learn more.
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DuskStar
108 days ago
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Manual alt-text bot to the rescue again:

Someone's probably working on an eBook app where, if you stop reading right before some plot twist happens, the app will wait a while and then send you a breaking news alert about what's happening, prompting you to open it and read the next few pages to learn more.
Ann Arbor MI
zippy72
105 days ago
Well now I want that app...
infini
97 days ago
me too
spongbeaux
93 days ago
Such a great idea
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Spreadsheets

9 Comments and 24 Shares
My brother once asked me if there was a function to produce a calendar grid from a list of dates in Google Sheets. I replied with a single-cell formula that took in a list of dates and outputted a calendar. It used SEQUENCE(), REGEXMATCH(), and a double-nested ARRAYFORMULA(), and it locked up the browser for 15 seconds every time it ran. I think he learned a lot about asking me things.
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DuskStar
115 days ago
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Once again, the alt-text bots have died.

"My brother once asked me if there was a function to produce a calendar grid from a list of dates in Google Sheets. I replied with a single-cell formula that took in a list of dates and outputted a calendar. It used SEQUENCE(), REGEXMATCH(), and a double-nested ARRAYFORMULA(), and it locked up the browser for 15 seconds every time it ran. I think he learned a lot about asking me things."
Ann Arbor MI
popular
115 days ago
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tedder
96 days ago
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Raise your hand if you've implemented a website that was originally managed by an MBA with a sheet like this.
Uranus
64 days ago
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farktronix
111 days ago
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This is my life right now.
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
skorgu
114 days ago
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The global financial system is, to a first approximation, innumerable spreadsheets communicating via bids and asks.

Don't ask how many of them use VBA.
DexX
114 days ago
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The alt text is WONDERFUL.
Melbourne, Australia
denubis
115 days ago
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This is getting pasted into so many slacks I'm in...
Sydney, Australia
Brstrk
115 days ago
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Oooooh, query(). The forbidden fruit. Seriously, it's the best thing.

Coordinate Precision

4 Comments and 13 Shares
40 digits: You are optimistic about our understanding of the nature of distance itself.
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DuskStar
138 days ago
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https://goo.gl/maps/2QsCnUMicZ2QAB6RA

For everyone interested, It's a Delta at KSC's Rocket Garden.
Ann Arbor MI
jonathanpeterson
136 days ago
ohhh, pointy
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cjheinz
138 days ago
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Useful.
alt_text_bot
138 days ago
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40 digits: You are optimistic about our understanding of the nature of distance itself.

Girl Genius for Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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The Girl Genius comic for Wednesday, June 26, 2019 has been posted.
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DuskStar
143 days ago
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I really should have expected this to happen.
Ann Arbor MI
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jlvanderzwan
143 days ago
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You know this thing with double, triple, etc. reverse psychology? There should be a term like that for betrayal. Like a double betrayal that ends up neutralizing itself.

Because I think that's what's happening here.

Sleepless Domain - Chapter 12 - Page 32

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New comic!

Today's News:

Sleepless Domain Volume 1 Kickstarter!

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DuskStar
162 days ago
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Oh that's a wonderful choice
Great idea
Nothing here can go wrong
Ann Arbor MI
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