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Birthday Cvlts as Asch Line Tests
Submission to bizarre discourse surrounding popular birthday cvlts is tantamount to failing the Asch line test
Which line here is the longest?
Solomon Asch asked people this in classic experiments starting in 1951. He was trying to measure how conformist people are. In control experiments, he found that everyone could identify matching lines, longest lines, shortest lines, and so on. But when he hired paid shills to lie about which lines were which, 75% of people went along with the lies. In his opinion regarding the study results, Asch put it this way: "That intelligent, well-meaning, young people are willing to call white black is a matter of concern."
Who here is an “adult?” Who here is a “child?” A study where participants are shown images like these with and without ages has not yet been performed. Nonetheless, we have a scientific answer, and it is easy to find discourse which contradicts this scientific answer. The scientific answer is, of course, that the 12 year old is a child, and the other two are young adults. This seems pretty obvious to the naked eye, and I’m betting if 100 people were shown three images, with one image each randomly sampled from a pool of images consisting of 12 year olds, 17 year olds, and 22 year olds, that those 100 people would give the scientifically correct categorization more than 95% of the time. If they were given ages along with the pictures, I’m betting that figure would drop to as low as 25%, based on the Asch Line Test’s results.
This would happen because of the 18th birthday cvlt. Here I use “cvlt” in the ancient sense — a cvlt is a broad group of followers that revere some common idol. There were cvlts of the Roman emperor, cvlts of Bacchus, cvlts of Jupiter, and, most relevant, cvlts of age-gods like Picumnes, the god of infants, and Juventas, the god of youth. An infamous part of paganism is that people would often belong to multiple cvlts. It was a grab-basket of dead pseudo-spirituality.
Now there are politician cvlts, celebrity cvlts, and so on to replace the cvlts of old. The 18th birthday cvlt (and associated minor birthdays like 16, 21, and 25) is simply the replacement for the cvlt of Juventas. Followers of Juventas had their social constructs — they believed that a boy was a man when he donned the toga virilis for the first time. Likewise, followers of the 18th birthday cvlt believe a boy is a man when he is precisely 18.000 years old.
That isn’t to say that the 18th birthday cvlt is equivalent to the cvlt of Juventas in terms of irrationality. Ancients couldn’t afford prolonged infantilization. The toga virilis was put on sometime between the age of 14 and 17, as chosen by boys and their families. This is in line with biology, since males become young adults scientifically speaking with the end of puberty in between 14 and 16 (mean=14.9 yrs, SD=1.1 yrs, distribution is basically Gaussian). In contrast, a necessary part of the 18th birthday cvlt is belief in what basically amounts to transubstantiation. By the eyes, most 15-17 year olds are clearly young adults — but in substance, the 18th birthday cvltists remind us, they are children. Only the the moment when the body is 18.000 years old can wipe the inner child away, as precisely at that moment, adulthood enters the body from beyond and begins to reside.
This is why the answers to the test above would differ depending on whether or not the ages were given. Perhaps most people subscribe to the cvlt of the 18th birthday, and when they see a young adult is 17 years old they correct their eyes and label the young man a “child”, because they believe the substance of adulthood has not yet entered the body from beyond, as this happens on the 18th birthday. Non-cvltists like me, on the otherhand, are filthy heretics, age-materialists — I don’t believe in the substance of adulthood or its entrance into the body on the 18th birthday or any other birthday. Rather, I merely subscribe to a scientific portrait of how psychometric scores and physical developmental metrics change over time. There are slurs related to being a heretic of this cvlt, but we will leave those for another time.
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