2016-01-06 Wed


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I collected a slew of maps and the like when I headed off Daisy-Chaining a few weeks ago.

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This is the map handed out at the Information Booth in Dundas Square. To be fair, the booth sells tickets to the double-decker tourist bus that rumbles around downtown Toronto.

But the PATH map is too tiny to be readable to any but the sharpest-eyed teenagers, and would certainly present a problem to an older traveler, especially a stranger to this country and city.

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Down at the York Concourse the GO associate handed me a new map; this map too sports a PATH map, and it is larger, but it is still too small to be easily used by a visitor to the city.

Or for that matter by a 70-year old resident of the city.

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Here by comparison is the PATH map printed and then hidden away by the city. This is that map that costs so much to develop and print that Toronto City puts an impossibly high price on it, so that the money spent doesn’t get returned.

A fortune has been spent (millions of dollars, easily) on developing the PATH system – thirty kilometres of connected pathways under the city; and hundreds of thousands have been spent developing, designing and printing the map.

But Toronto City then installs obstacles to its use.

How do I know this?

(1) By the number of visitors who readily accept my help in navigating the PATH

(2) By conversations I had on Monday, December 28, 2015 with three of my colleagues, long-term residents of Toronto, who all claimed that the PATH was only good for “getting lost in”.

Clear Thinking

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(1) I do not believe that adults typically hit children. I believe that from time to time adults spank children. My OED defines “hit: strike with a blow” and “spank: hit with an open-hand, usually on the buttocks”. An open hand spreads the impact over a larger area, a closed fist results in more energy per unit-area. The buttocks are a sensitive area, especially in terms of psychology; consider the difference between stroking your colleagues shoulder and stroking your colleague’s buttocks. I feel sure that while some adults HIT their children, most physical contact is that of SPANKing, that is, the lesser impact physically.

(2) I do not believe that most parents have a usually short list of parenting skills. There are far too many well-adjusted social and sociable adult human beings to prove otherwise. With certain exceptions.

(3) I do not believe that most parents who spank are acting out of rage. This was the typical monologue from my childhood:-

(a) Don’t do that

(b) If you do that again you’ll get the strap

(c) (sound of strap whistling through the air)

That is not a monologue of rage; that is a pre-determined and consistent pattern that even a dolt like myself at six years of age could understand.

(4) I do believe that I grew up learning right from wrong, and that a good part of that was learned in obeying my parent’s instructions on how I was to behave in the society of human beings and other animals. I learned that it was wrong to pull the cat’s tail or to bit the dog’s ears. I also believe that this training is a valuable thing to pass on. I was taught to stand and offer my seat to a grown-up (note that I was taught to FIRST stand and THEN offer). Such training has gone by the board now with the attitude that all humans are equal, and that children ore the peers of their superiors a fallacy for sure!

(5) I believe that “corporal punishment ... of the vulnerable” includes the imprisonment of those humans who have not, or can not learn that robbery and murder is wrong. I believe that if you are incapable of learning to leave my stuff alone, then either you should be spanked or locked up, depending on your age. Both are forms or corporal punishment in that they affect the corps or body of the offender.

(6) Bullying is defined in my OED as “coercion by fear”. Now you can’t have it both ways. If the parent is bullying, then the parent is in fear of the child, and that refutes the argument of the power that the parent holds over the child. Spanking a child to induce good behaviour is not a manifestation of fear (excepting the distant and remote fear that “you will not grow up to be a nice person”). The use of the term “bullying” can be seen as a form of bullying, in that the user of the term suggests fear on the part of the writer!