An English In Kentucky


















Friday June 7th 2019Tim Candler9


    A Posteriori is the basis of empirical thinking and you can call it From facts to General Principles. The trouble is, if your facts are shall we say a great deal less than accurate, your general principles are extraordinarily unreliable and once stated a badly flawed general principle inclines toward a poor relationship with reality. With us people this doesn't really matter, just so long as we're all on board the lesson learning bus. Fortunately, I guess, there are some in our number who cantankerous of personality possess a contrariness that no matter the accuracy or otherwise of a general principle will instinctively dismiss it as an affront to goodness and light, a cruel and unusual stain on the block of existence, a gross infringement of personal liberty and basically all hell breaks loose. You learn this from extended contact with grandchildren, and you understand completely the Edwardian struggle to reappraise the more Victorian, and in my view still very tempting, 'seen but not heard' general principle with respect to anyone of tender age. Then when general order resumes, you have to wonder a little at the definition of tender age. Not certain there's a hard and fast rule, could be tender age is a convolution in meaning designed around the idea of gentrifying pain in the neck and downright aggravating behaviors from particular age groups, a title that attempts to call forth a chivalry from within the darker less nurturing souls. And when those same behaviors remerge in the more geriatric, as they seem to be doing more and more, they demand a less forgiving and more satisfyingly visceral and usually unprintable title.



   Thomas Paine, of "these are times that try men's souls" and Founding Father of United Paternalistic States fame, might have used the word non-age instead of tender age. His quote "The bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation."  Aside from the propagandist tone, does add a little something to the very ancient notion of the role played by 'beginnings.' You got the whole monotheistic, Almighty God's got a beard, Adam and Eve, I will be your shepherd and guiding light thing to work on as you attempt to dissuade a two year old from popping the desiccated carcass of a partially digested rodent into his mouth. Then briefly 'it takes a village' leaps into the foray and yes indeed you can easily convince yourself that the true, lasting and most reasonable lesson to be learned for the consequence of this action could well require the cooperation of an emergency room followed by several months in an isolation ward hooked up to a life support system, and here to avoid a personal culpability I'd be quite certain to produce a general principle out of facts that had absolutely nothing to do with the word true. Not that it would have fooled anyone, and as an act of negligence on my part it surely wouldn't have been one of those 'we're all sinners' type things. Very fortunately, or unfortunately, a two year old will drop anything to chase after and attempt to destroy a passing Butterfly, yet another primal characteristic the tender aged share with The Kitten and others of the tyrannically minded set.


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