2016-03-09 Wed

Clear Thinking

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The article discusses the right of a person to choose when to end their own life, but I am interested here in the concept of adulthood.

“Management Measures” is a valued dictum, and it travels with four quantifiers – Numeric, Geographic, Boolean and Date/Time. Here we are concerned with Numeric.

The easy way out of assigning the qualifier “Adult” is to pick a number. S typically a nation or other political group will decree that one is an adult when one reaches 18 years of age. Or 21 years. One can be licensed to drive a car on reaching the age of 16, or 17, or 20.

One is allowed to purchase intoxicating drinks at the age of 18. Or 21.

And so on.

That is the easy but unsafe way out.

A better definition of Adulthood is that time when a child moves out of the parent’s home and begins a self-supporting existence.

Simply put: You are an adult after six months of demonstrating that you can hold down a job to earn enough money to pay rent, food, telephone costs and the like.

A child is a child because the child depends on its parents for shelter, food, clothing and education.

A child cease to be a child when the child no longer depends on its parents for shelter, food, clothing and education.

A child becomes an adult when the child has demonstrated for six months (or 12, or 18, but you get the idea) that the child no longer depends on its parents for shelter, food, clothing and education.


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I remember this period well.

I was horrified that Toronto’s solution to the NIMBY problem was to dump garbage in the USA’s backyard.

I found it hard to believe that a province the size of Ontario didn’t have SOME area that could be used to dump garbage.

I was more horrified that nobody spoke up and said “We have to stop producing garbage”, or at least “We have to stop lugging packaged goods and foodstuffs home and tossing the packaging”.

That is, don’t buy stuff in packages.

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I was especially horrified at the sight (they were easy to spot by smell alone) of these massive trucks barreling westward down Highway 401, a four-hour trip from Toronto to the border, an hour or so to cross and dump and re-cross, and then a four-hour trip back to Toronto.

I was especially especially horrified at 140 trucks a day coming back, as I supposed, empty. After all, what kind of a return load can you put into a smelly truck that is heading back from Michigan to Toronto?

A colleague suggested that the trucks were bringing back hazardous waste from Michigan to Toronto. But if so, why were we exchanging common harmless household garbage for ? Nuclear Waste? Heavy Metal Waste ? Toxic Industrial By-Products?

And surely we weren’t trucking 140 loads of deadly crap into the province?

And if so, were was it going that the 140 truckloads of household garbage COULDN’T GO?

It just didn’t add up. Most especially the vision of trucks barreling back empty to Toronto.

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This article suggests that it was not household waste that was being trucked out, but industrial waste.

I think that my arguments still hold. What can you possibly truck back to Toronto in a smelly albeit empty smelly garbage truck?