Monthly Archives: June 2007

Adulteen Category

[Yet another old draft.]

Seems to me, there’s an age category that we could call “adulteen.” People who are technically both adults and teens. Ages 18 and 19. Not yet 20 but 18 and older. In many contexts (voting rights in most places I know), they are legally “of age” (what, in French, we call «majeurs»). Yet, the mere fact that the numbers “eighteen” and “nineteen” bear the “-teen” suffix, they are teenagers. If I got this right, this is the “barely legal” category some people seem to be talking about, especially in the adult industry.

Sexuality is certainly important in defining this category as sexual relationships with 18 year-olds is usually not considered paedophilia. In the U.S. especially, paedophilia tends to be rather high on the list of taboos. I have no idea what the numbers are but it seems to me that, within the larger category of rape victims, many people are women younger than 20 years of age.

In the U.S., adulteens are not yet allowed to drink alcohol. They can vote, bear arms, drive (since a much earlier age, actually) but they cannot consume alcohol outside of parental supervision. This, they share with 20 year-olds. But “20” seems to be more adult-sounding in many cases.

What’s striking, to me, is that 18 is already a bit old as defining adulthood. Not too long ago, people who had children at age 16 were quite common. Maybe I’m completely off but it seems to me that “it really wasn’t a big deal, back then.” Especially for young girls/women. Those women who had children at such a young age don’t seem particularly scarred from the experience, AFAICT. I don’t even think there were much of a social stigma about being a mother at age 16. And it seems to me that becoming a parent is as adult-like as can be.

Of course, people also entered the workforce at an earlier age, on average. These days, beginning a career at age 18 is somewhat uncommon. Much of this difference has to do with formal education. At least in North America and Europe, compulsory schooling tends to last until age 16 and it’s often very hard to find work leaving school before age 19. In Quebec, for instance, there are ways to do a professional degree at the end of high school but majority of people go to Cegep which brings them to age 19 or so.

At age 34 (and turning 35 in just a few days), I find it funny to think that, technically, I could have been a grand-father at this point in my life. That is, I technically could have had a child at age 16 who could have had her own child at age 16 so that I would have become a grand-father at age 32. I’m not even a father yet. And I’m not that far outside the norm, at least for academics.

Funny thing is, age does tend to matter to me. Not in terms of “feeling old,” really. More in terms of significance, symbolism, social roles.

There’s a whole thing I’ll need to blog about generation gaps. For now, I just want to let this entry stay as it is.

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My Favourite Café

[Another old draft. Gotta “clean the attic.”]

I won’t mention the name I had in mind as it doesn’t seem to be in use for a café yet. But it’s a name that could work in both English and French.

It would be a small café. At least at first. Cozy, well-lit, fun, warm, friendly, and open in many ways. Open to anyone of any age, of any background. Open 24 hours a day. Open WiFi access. Open discussions.

It would have some geeky features yet would welcome more “old school” attitudes toward technology. It could serve as an Internet café yet would be populated by people who favour face-to-face interactions. It would host a server for open distribution of content but that dimension would be quite discreet.
Coffee would be put to the fore. As many different types of coffee and brewing methods as possible. Press pots, moka pots, vacuum pots, AeroPress, Clover… Espresso would be pulled from different blends

Many thoughts for artisan breads and beers, shows, meeting place for artists, connections with other cafés in other places, social networking at its fullest.

We’ll see.


How Geeks Think

[Drafted this a long while ago but I need to clear out my stuff…]

Was listening to the TWiT show on Apple’s 30th anniversary during which Leo Laporte interviewed early Apple employees, including Steve “Woz” Wozniak. Got me thinking about the peculiarity of the “geek mindset.” As a wannabe geek, I say this with a lot of respect.

Will definitely need to blog about this. Especially in connection to craft beer culture.  And Richard M. Stallman.


Beer and Sophistication

I will certainly revisit this article on beer-related travel in the not-so-distant future.

Wine country too pricey? Try brewery hopping – CNN.com

As is often the case in the United States, beer is compared to wine on a scale of sophistication and snobbery. It would be quite different in Europe, but it does make sense.

I have a lot to say about this but it will have to wait.  Some quick notes, maybe…

  • Beer/wine as a gender divide
  • Beer travel and beer geekery
  • Beer knowledge and the geek crowd
  • Beer sophistication through diversity
  • Seasonal effects on media exposure for beer
  • Many shapes of “craft beer culture”
  • Beer and coffee
  • Craft beer marketing
  • Beer as a local product
  • Beer-related expenses (beer paraphernalia)
  • Regional tastes in the beer world
  • Social networking through beer-related travel
  • “Every major city has a brewpub” redefining inter-local networks
  • Beer and friendship
  • International beer travels
  • Beer imports
  • Beer diversity in experience

Blogged Librarians

Is it just me or is there an increased presence of librarians on the blogosphere, these days? Not just as authors but as subjects.

For instance:

I know the connection between libraries and blogging is pretty obvious and information scientists are as blogworthy as anyone can get. So it’s probably just that I notice librarian blogging more, these days. Thing is, on the Web, perception is worth a lot, however accurate it may be.


Students≠Products

Ranking systems for universities and colleges are a rich topic for discussion, especially in the United States. Read my previous blog posts on the subject here and here for my pretty non-radical take.

For an illuminating approach to the topic, from a very adept source

Tenured Radical: Who’s On First? College Ranking Systems

Ranking and assessment assume that a college or a university is good when it can promise, in four years, to turn out a student who is a certain kind of well-functioning product. But students are not products: they are people who are evolving into citizens, workers and neighbors. Thus, students and their parents should not be comparing schools to each other. The correct comparison is to match up what the school offers with what the student herself thinks she wants. (Emphasis mine)

Despite the U.S.-centric perspective, this is one of the most blogworthy statements one could make about the disconnect between rankings and learning.


Courses on Blogging and More (Montreal)

Montreal blogger extraordinaire Hugh McGuire (also the founder of LibriVox) is looking for people to give courses on diverse online activities, at the Atwater Library.

hughmcguire.net · wanna give courses on blogging (etc)?

Sounds very interesting and 15$/hour is reasonable for this kind of gig. Wish I had time to do this. Perfect community-outreach project for teaching geeks.