All of ChangeMyMind's Comments + Replies

A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

I don't normally mind children (if they are taken outside once they begin screaming loudly) and don't have strong sensory issues. I grew up in environments with plenty of children around, typically regarded most of their noise as more amusing than the people around me seemed to, and rarely minded them making noise since people were polite enough to take them outside if they were throwing a full tantrum. I typically expect this response from parents. Are cultural norms normally different in that regard in California?

I was sitting at the circular tables in t... (read more)

Because I didn't perceive a significant disruption to the event, I was mentally bucketing you with people I know who severely dislike children and would secretly (or not so secretly) prefer that they not attend events like this at all; or that they should do so only if able to remain silent (which in practice means not at all.) I suspect Anders_H had the same reaction I did. It sounds like the reality is that the disruption was much more significant in the back of the hall than the front, where I was sitting with the choir. It's hard for me to form an opinion on a qualitative question like this without having experienced it myself. But I now appreciate that probably for much of the audience, the distraction was more significant than I was giving it credit for. I also believe I may have met the child and the child's parent at one point during the festivities, so I admit I'm reacting with a certain amount of defensiveness on behalf of a person who seemed nice enough when I met them in person, as to the complaints of someone I only know online. This is obviously to a large degree a tribal and not a rational response. I guess that, contra taygetea below, my perception of some of the geek communities I have spent time with, which are made up primarily of non-child-havers, (not this one specifically) is that children are generally disliked and their parents are expected to take any steps necessary to ensure that they don't inconvenience anybody who doesn't have children themselves. But I think this may be down to a few loud and prickly individuals, combined with held-over feelings from before my peer group started having children, which are now dissipating but at a variable rate.
A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

I typically don't mind children being present at events (if taken outside if they begin screaming) and don't have particularly strong sensory issues. I imagine that people with either of those would have had an even worse time than I did.

A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

I agree with you that having community events be family events is a very good idea and am also fully against the idea of banning children. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between some children making some noise during an event and a single child consistently talking and throwing fits interrupting half of the entire presentation while their parents don't remove from hearing range.

A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

The young child who ran through the entire area multiple times during the performance, was talking very loudly in multiple presentations (including through half of Ben Hoffman's speech), threw at least two tantrums, was taken to the back for a while but was still in an area that was fully audible to people in the presentation hall, and was later taken to the upper deck while still making plenty of noise up there.

I saw an infant taken outside of the presentation once but barely noticed any noise from that child at all. I'm glad to see families at events and... (read more)

A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

The only extremely weird thing at the solstice was the constantly screaming and crying child that interrupted half of the presentations and was never taken outside of the building. It honestly ruined the entire celebration for me and made the whole thing extremely disappointing as an event I flew all the way into San Francisco to attend.

I attended in the Bay last year and also had a bad time because of the screaming child. Thanks for being willing to complain about this in the face of social pressure not to.

The kid was Katie's kid. The difference is that I can name and shame because although I am in literally Australia I heard feedback that Katie's attitude of "not interfering" towards her kid was problematic for other people's experience of the solstice.

I have also been made aware that no one is willing to talk to Katie because they will be hit by a raging onslaught of ridiculous and insane behaviour. That's fine, I'd rather have people come to Australia and tell me off for naming and shaming than to remain silent when I know information.

In futur... (read more)

At the New York Solstice, we tried an experiment that got overall positive feedback this year, to address both children and "people who don't like the dark section of the night where it gets sad."

We divided the event into two sections, with a roughly 10 minute intermission (the intermission went longer for practical reasons - there were too many people who needed to use too few bathrooms). The first half was explicitly and completely childfriendly. The second half was "explicitly sacred, sad and dark", which would give parents judgment ... (read more)

Hm, I did notice a child -- I suspect and presume the same one you mean -- who made a number of loud comments during the performance. (That one couldn't have been Alicorn's, who is too young to make comments.) At least for the comments that happened while I was on stage with choir, I felt like they got a laugh from the audience, and I found the whole thing mildly entertaining. The rest of the time I didn't really notice them well enough to recall details. But I can totally see how they could be distracting and bothersome to others. I fear, though, that -- if you feel that the event was truly 'ruined' by this -- it may be hard to find sufficient common ground between you and child-havers for both to be happy attending the same event. As a non-child-haver myself (and a non-child-wanter) who doesn't especially dislike children, my suspicion is that you are a significant outlier on the "degree of annoyance" spectrum? But I now find myself interested in data on this. (EDIT: I just realized that it's possible that the child was much closer to you than to me, so we might have had different experiences that might color my views differently if I were sitting where you were.)
While I understand that some people may feel this way, I very much hope that this sentiment is rare. The presence of young children at the event only adds to the sense of belonging to a community, which is an important part of what we are trying to "borrow" from religions.

There were two children and one of them was mine; I'd like to be well-calibrated about how much fussing is bothersome to others, do you happen to know which child was the one who annoyed you?