0073 - Adolescence. - 2019.02.25



Adolescence, as we know it, is a fairly recent invention.

Oh, I'm not saying that kids used to work harder and get married earlier and die younger in the olden days, that's a fiction of historical statistics. (The next time you see some statistic that claims that people in the Roman empire only lived to be 32, remember that childhood mortality used to be worse, and that's gonna skew the average.) What I'm saying is that, as technology increases, it takes longer and longer to make an adult.

It used to be, you could get out there and start working at 12 and make something of yourself - and certainly, in theory, that is possible - but most people will tell you today that if you want to have a real job, you need to finish high school... and if you want a career, you need to either get a degree or put 10,000 hours into your hobby. In a world where you simply can't go to McDonald's and flip burgers (who would pay you minimum wage when they can just get a robot to install a robot to install a robot that'll do the same job for house current?) the market is all careers, no jobs... and careers are getting more and more specialized, and therefore require more and more preparation.

So yes, I'm going to say that adolescence, as we know it, is a result of both technological progress and material wealth ("teenagers" weren't invented until the fifties, after all), and it therefore follows that more technology and more wealth equals more adolescence.

As a result of extended adolescence - this prolonged pseudochildhood that is under no obligation to end - adulthood begins to look worse and worse. We see this in popular culture today, particularly in pop music. Twenty-year-olds are absolutely going to drink and party and have sex, and, if they're not yet adults, then those things apparently must not be adult behaviour. When someone says "I'm doing adult stuff today", they probably mean getting a root canal and filling out their insurance paperwork. Adulthood is boring and scary and ugly and bad - and, if you're told you can put it off indefinitely, why wouldn't you?

...well, of course, the answer to "why wouldn't you" is that some people are motivated by things other than comfort and amusement. Some people have a goal other than to consume media and melted cheese. One might even argue that having a goal, regardless of how silly and arbitrary, is an important element of psychological health.


0073 - 2167/07/06/11:46 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
Zoa (now standing) [data connection]: Okay, so... avoid trauma. What else?
Doc [data connection]: Lee is, to a very large degree, dissociated from their own physical body. They don't like how it looks or how it feels, and they seem to be under the impression that until they get a body they like, their life hasn't actually started yet.
Zoa [data connection]: So... find a way to convince them that their life is already underway, whether they're ready or not?
Doc [data connection]: Oh, C, no. Lee is entitled to a childhood, a period of becoming. Thrusting them into adult obligations&pressure too soon could be intensely damaging.
Zoa [data connection]: Well, at least 1 obligation is now in the mix & more are coming, but I'll try to keep the pressure off of them as much as I can.
Doc [data connection]: And I don't know what sort of sales pitches you've been giving them for your... services, but you'll want to keep those toned down as well. Lee likely still isn't ready for any sort of confrontation with their own physical sexuality.
Zoa [data connection]: Out of curiosity, how old is Lee?
Doc [data connection]: 29. What does that have to do with anything?