Are you a functional, competent adult, who is sick of all the permalescents around you, continually failing to step up and actually take their place even on the starting lines of the maturity race?

Or are you a permalescent?

Well, Glenn Reynolds has a podcase for the rest of us, that functional majority who is sick to tears of watching those who refuse to step up take any responsibility for their own actions, well into their grey and balding years…. plus, a test! Of course, if you’ve read this far, you probably already qualify…  of course, does this mean that we should abolish high school?

Leave a comment


  1. Anna

     /  April 12, 2007

    Apparently, you can rest easy. I am an adult, but not 100%, so I still put up with you…:-)

  2. Ooh! Ow! Wench twists the knife!!

  3. Mike

     /  April 12, 2007

    I am adult most of the time. I kinda revert when the 4th of July rolls around or I get a new toy (like my new Remmington 700 bolt action 30.06 with scope. I love not being married sometimes).

    But most of the the I time I pay taxes, live on my own, do my work, save my money, and take responsibility when something goes a bit off on my watch.

    Sooooooooooo, do I qualify?

  4. Mike

     /  April 12, 2007

    I read about this earlier today. When exactly did people STOP wanting to leave the house ASAP? I mean, I couldn’t wait, none of my friends could wait, my sister certainly couldn’t wait, and none of her friends could wait.

    Maybe its the water? Global Warming?

  5. Anna

     /  April 12, 2007

    Mike, marriage does not disqualify buying of weapons, you should know it by now knowing Russ and me…:-) I am usually encouraging him to get those, be it gun or bow…just ask him.

  6. Anna

     /  April 12, 2007

    Must be the water. On the other hand you don’t really have to leave the house to be independent I think…that’s from my experience from Hungary where living with one’s parents for quite a while is kind of par for the course for several reasons, most of them economic/financial…

  7. I had 85% Adultness Competency Score overall. What I got 100% were these:

    Handling Responsibility: 100%
    Managing Work and Money: 100%
    Personal Care: 100%
    Self Management: 100%
    Citizenship: 100%

    Two categories were at 78% (Sex and Physical Abilities). The rest were at 89%.


  8. happycrow

     /  April 12, 2007

    Part and parcel of adulthood, per the test, is one’s ability to function independently. So, Mike, I’m guessing you qualify… but that,by the same notion, would suggest that simply leaving the house by itself is nowhere near enough to qualify as an adult.

  9. Mike

     /  April 12, 2007

    I am at 90% adult.

    I don’t think my mom would agree though…

  10. Steph

     /  April 12, 2007

    I liked the “abolish high school” article. Found it especially interesting since in my weird imagination, the schools seem to be pumping heavy doses of algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry, etc into kids at an earlier age than I recall. If only they could write and speak well, and have some semblance of self-respect.

  11. Mike

     /  April 12, 2007

    It would help, but when you have 8 ad 9 year olds trying to dress like Brittany Spears and Snoop Dogg you are going to have some problems.

  12. Steph

     /  April 12, 2007

    Explained tidily by this statement in the article:

    The social-emotional turmoil experienced by many young people in the United States is entirely a creation of modern culture.

    I heard the local school is requiring uniforms beginning next year. Hope they actually enforce it.

  13. Steph

     /  April 12, 2007

    This blurb from the podcast website also hits the nail on the head:

    Find out how your teen’s exposure to school and Western media may be setting him or her up for incompetence, poor judgement and social-emotional turmoil.

  14. Hrm… I took the test – and scored 89%. So I decided to find out why… apparently here’s where I went wrong:

    Is it necessary to be loved in order to be fulfilled as a person? Apparently not, according to the test.

    High grades in school pay off with better salaries and more opportunities. Do you agree? Not necessarilly, skills, communication and ability lead to better salaries and opportunities. High grades may be a good indicator.

    High school graduates earn less money than college graduates. Do you agree? Statistically by group of individuals or statistically as a total of all individuals in a group. I’m wondering how exactly to answer such a question – do Bill Gates (56 billion) and Larry Ellison (18 billion) count?

    Or is this simply income reported? Do we include the illegal drug empire in these numbers? Do plumbers get included?

    To become an officer in the military, you need a college degree Non-commissioned and warrent officers, apparently, don’t count.

    By the way, you can’t make a 100%. Hahaha!

  15. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    Warrent Officers and NCO don’t count as “Officers”. Its really a language usage arguement, but technically speaking a Warrent Officer is a “Warrent”, not a full “Officer”. He has privledges of officers and is called sir, but is not a commisioned officer. He/she is a Warrent Officer. Minor point it may seem, but in the chain of command and responsiblity it makes a HUGE difference. NCOs are not commisioned officers, they are Non-Commisioned Officers (hense the abbrevation). Again this may seem like word play, but in the chain of command and responsibility this again becomes a major factor. And to be an officer you must have a college degree.

  16. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    But I would say to be an NCO, Warrent or Officer you do need to be an adult. Dodging of responsibility is not something that will get you in the military.

    Of course, I can think of some folks that a dose of basic training might “grow up” some.

  17. I can name three or four right off the top of my head…

  18. Hrm.. I was confused. You’re right that officers are required to have degrees, but I had read about the enlisted receiving “battlefield commission” and assumed that it equated the two “types” as commissioned officers, and that it was more common.

    I know that Chuck Yeager (no degree) had received a battlefield commission and after retirement received a title of Major General – so I assumed it was possible to be an officer without a degree, basically.

    I didn’t realize the difference was much more than a matter of pay grade. Basically, if I understand this right – a NCO is not an actually an officer, despite the word play.

  19. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    You are correct, words aside an NCO is not a commissioned officer. And the Army used to do battlefield commissions, but that hasn’t happened since the Korean War. Same with all other services. Even through you could be an officer without a degree back then, you couldn’t be promoted until you got one. But even that has gone away. You can’t be an active duty officer without a 4 year degree and you can only be a reserve officer with a 2 year associates degree if you are working on a 4 year (basically you can be a weekend soldier and a full time student and then be active).

  20. Alex

     /  April 13, 2007

    I declare shenanigans on this test. There is some weasel wording that I think gives lower scores because the answer cannot be just yes or no unless the question is fully worded.
    That said I’m an 84% Adult – but I got 100% on Leadership, Handling Responsibility, Managing High Risk Behaviors, Managing Work and Money, Education, Personal Care and Self Management.
    Yes – I am that uptight. They didn’t call me the Diamond King for nothing back at the “I”.

  21. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    Well, maybe it is a test for younger adults that haven’t had that “lots of grey in the world” experience.

  22. Hey, I contacted the good Dr. Epstein, and he has corrected a minor scoring problem with the test that I noticed.

    I also brought up the point about commissioned officers – which should be fixed as well. Though from our conversation, “officer” should suffice to those that know the difference – I think it is clever nonetheless.

    Thanks Mike, for clearing that up!

  23. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    No problem and I am glad to clear it up so we can all figure out if we are adults.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and play with my cannons.

  24. I am disturbed that I am the highest scoring adult (98%) here.. I mean seriously people.. WTF..

    I scored 100% on all areas except Sex (89%.. not sure why) and the last one.. Citizenship? I was like 79% or 89% on that..

    I call BS on some things though.. I’m pretty certain I answered all the sex questions right.. That is unless this genius thinks women can get pregnant from giving head or can’t get pregnant during their menstrual cycle..

    As for the citizenship one, I find two questions vague:

    “Everyone in the U.S. has to pay taxes of some sort. Is this true? ”

    No, it isn’t true. Children do not pay taxes of any sort. In addition, some adults living in states with no income or sales taxes that are below the poverty level pay no taxes. Sure you could make arguments about ‘what about gas?’ but then I would argue that one of those poor SOBs has no car, etc.. ‘Everyone’ is too strong a word.

    “In the U.S., all government officials are elected by voters. Is this true?”

    No, it isn’t true. There are lots of appointees. Again, one could play semantic softball and say “ah but they’re appointed by people who were voted for” but then we’re playing some weird ‘transitive property of the electorate’ game.

    What an annoying test. It should have a better payoff.

  25. You couldn’t score higher than 92% previous to the fixes today to the scoring program.

    Subject: Re: EDTA Test
    Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 19:13:26 GMT (14:13 CDT)

    Whoops! Just double checked! There WAS a scoring problem, which has now been corrected. NOW a perfect score is possible. Thanks very, very much! Cordially, /re

  26. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    I agree with SB. We are all scoring way to high as adults. So lets fix that and go do something immature.

    I recommend homemade fireworks and black powder cannon. Crap, that wouldn’t work because we are all to mature to actually build something dangerous. Our stuff would work.

    Maybe we could drink while doing it?

    Any other ideas?

  27. Alex

     /  April 13, 2007

    I dunno…vote Republican and/or Democrat. Sounds pretty reckless to me.

  28. Mike

     /  April 13, 2007

    How about go to a NAACP convention wearing a IMUS T-shirt?

  29. Post pictures of yourself on the internet with an angry look on your face while giving people the finger with one hand, beer in another? That seems to be pretty popular, and WAYYYY more infantile than I’d normally consider…

  30. Mike

     /  April 14, 2007

    That is pretty infantile. I think we have a winner.

  31. Alex

     /  April 14, 2007

    And it probably describes 95% of the Facebook and MySpace pages out there.
    Although Mike – your TShirt comment reminds me of a great Simpsons Moment: Krusty the Klown hosting the Krusty Komedy Klassic at the Apollo.
    Imagine the scene where Krusty shows up with the giant letters “KKK” behind him as he walks on stage and then simply looks behind him and with a drooping face says “Whoa boy…this isn’t going to be good.”

  32. Mike

     /  April 14, 2007

    I think we have another “adult” qualifier here. Anyone with a Facebook or MySpace page doesn’t qualify.

    Of course having said that, I will now find out that I am the only one in this group that doesn’t have one.

  33. Alex

     /  April 14, 2007

    You’re not the only one – I don’t have one, nor any desire to set one up.

  34. Well, I took the old test and scored an overall 94%. I tend to be an anomaly anyhow.

    I generally do not do well on multiple choice questions because I tend to over-think the questions and then I have to pick the option that is a closest match. A lot of the time there is not one.

  35. Funny. I thought taking this type of test in the first place is a pretty solid marker of being a permalescent.

  36. Mike

     /  April 16, 2007


    Oops, we have all been busted.

  37. happycrow

     /  April 16, 2007

    I think he’s right about something, though: if adolescents score very well on his test, and we legally bar them from the activities that would give them real-world experience and an improved sense of personal responsibility (one that is taken away from them, from not being able to enter into a contract, to needing permission to take a leak during the schoolday)… then a lot of this isn’t these folks’ fault.

    Doesn’t mean they don’t need to grow up fast, but a lot of “teens” are being denied the opportunity to grow up, and are then being castigated for not having done so… serious double-standard time.

  38. ::insert rant against the current U.S. public high school system here::

  39. This may not be an excuse, but in this aspect, the US system is not really any worse than any other country. Go to China, Japan, Germany, or any other country, and the demand on maturity is not any higher. There is a higher workload in these countries’ school system, but a higher workload does not translate into maturity. Getting a heavy does of theoretical knowledge certainly does not translate well. If anything, there might be more opportunity in the US for students to participate in the “activities that would give them real-world experience and an improved sense of personal responsibility,” with students who want to get a better education have to be more entrepreneurial in the pursuit.

  40. Mike

     /  April 16, 2007

    You know, this could be one of those things that you trace back to “the move from the rural to the urban” trend. I know people who grew up on farms or in rural communities had a lot more responsiblity at an early age. It wasn’t anything “circle of life and growing up” really, it was just how it was done. Using myself and my sister as examples, we were both driving standard tractors by age 8 to 10 (my recollection is hazy, but I remember learning how to run heavy machinery while in low grad school and my sister got the same treatment). It was becuase my dad needed us to help and so we got taught how to and trusted to. And we got chewed out when we damaged or wrecked things (and we both did, but it was regarded as part of the process).

    It is kinda hard to keep a 40 acre field that needs irrigation in the suburbs just so you can have your grade school child learn to drive a tractor and how to be responsible with it (although being able to outdrive any city kid with a stick shift is awsome).

  41. Yep – I got the same treatment basically. Working livestock, driving trucks and riding horses taught me a lot.

    Our place was very, very large – so loosing an animal translated into a huge effort to retrieve said animal.

    Since I spent my school year in the City, I did notice that others which were served well worked with father or mother. Mostly family businesses, but also flexable jobs such as delivery, mechanics, science and math competitions, sports.

    Simply put – it’s the parents responsibility to jump out there and get Junior interested and doing something. Trusting others to form and mold is a huge leap of faith and trust. Especially if your child isn’t a whiz in school – as teachers (and people) by nature aren’t always interested in investing the effort.


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