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The Creeps


nbohr1more

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In my neighborhood there is another single-child family like ours except the parents are exceedingly old. Their "son" (I am incredulous that people who look this old could have had him...) is about to enter kindergarten this fall along with with ours...

 

The family creeps me out.

 

There are always scores of ancient looking folks visiting their house as if it were a senor citizen version of a half-way house. I fear that this may not be a healthy environment for their "child". I'm probably just being age-ist but I feel like I should call up social services on them. They always seem kind spirited but there is this creepy aura to the whole family dynamic. The father calls his son "honey" in his shaky old man voice in a way that a grand-parent would do. Maybe it's just a tax scam so the kid can go to a better school district... My imagination often gets the best of me and I conjecture the group of old folks as a coven of molesters.

 

I really fear the idea of my son getting older and asking to visit there un-supervised...:unsure:

 

I am tempted to sneak out at night and try to spy on their behavior to confirm my suspicions.

 

Recently I diagnosed the "father's" laptop (a little side-work) and found the hard-drive to be faulty. The whole walk back to my house I was afraid I would find "xxxxx porn" on there...

 

The next night I had a night-mare about homeless crazy ladies digging up graves of Catholic religious officials and putting on their fancy robes then strolling into church and raving and rambling to the dismay of the clergy (who I felt were also molesters... and the actions of these crazy ladies was God's way of showing them the jig is up...)

 

1) Should I do something ?

 

2) Am I morally obliged to follow-up on unfounded suspicions?

 

3) Are "gut-feelings" enough to put people into a moral dilemma or is the greater immorality my own prejudice against the old?

 

This is quite unsettling to me because I often admire old folks like Gandalf in LotR or the cranky old technician at my workplace. I used to want to dye my hair grey in high-school to have the Richard Gear look :laugh:.

Edited by nbohr1more
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Paranoia should not be fed...

 

That's why I was so blunt.

 

I mean, I'm constantly goofing around here -- rambling, and being cryptic, and more and more lately; and I'm also occasionally quite seriously in rant mode...

 

But that is some serious nonsense you just came out with, nb.

Edited by aidakeeley

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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Parents are often irrational for the sake and security of their children...

 

But I quite agree with anyone scolding me for letting my imagination get the best of me.

 

Be as blunt as you like. :P

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Humans have evolved over eons to detect subtle cues of creepiness in other people. Like all cognitive frames & biases, it's often a fair rule-of-thumb shorthand for many purposes, but you'd want to do more hard research before you bet on it because they do have false-positives (and false-negatives).

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Yeah... Not to dig myself deeper but the father specifically strikes me as odd. He's an unemployed RF engineer yet he speaks as if his IQ lost a digit...

 

I just wish I could shake the guilt I felt the other day...

 

I heard their boy crying inside the house while I walked our dog past their home...

 

Again, no rational reason to believe that it was anything other than a proper scolding or a tantrum but...

 

(shivers...) :unsure:

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It could just be that your suspicions are the result of years of 'paedo' fear put out by mainstream media. You've put the words 'son' and 'child' in double quotes, does this mean he's not their child by birth, adopted / foster parents maybe? You might find they could never have children for whatever reason, got too old and decided to adopt as they felt like they had missed out on not having children. Nothing really wrong with that. I wouldn't call social services unless there was something much more blatantly wrong that you could identify.

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Definitely. The child could certainly be adopted thus making my paranoia even more monstrous.

 

I was mainly concerned about whether I am morally accountable in any way to look into things that trigger irrational suspicion...

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You don't have kids do you? If you did, you would know that your gut feeling is right about everything and that these people are obviously paedophiles and you should tell all your neighbours and put bricks through their windows and burn down their house.

 

</scared_idiot_parent_mode>

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shipment.jpg?w=500

 

Sorry, but there's really not much else to say to that.

 

 

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My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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It could just be that your suspicions are the result of years of 'paedo' fear put out by mainstream media.

Yeah. The way paedophilia has been painted by media and governments into a menace lurking behind every tree and in every stranger near children has utterly surpassed the danger it has ever posed to society.

 

I think if you have fears about your neighbours, the best way to put them to rest (or, come the worst, confirm them) is to get to know them better. Speak to them, maybe invite them for a barbecue etc. They might be completely nice people.

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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I'd say mind your own business.

 

Seriously, if all you have is 'a creepy feeling' and you heard the kid cry once... Not exactly a case for sending in the police, making someones life harder than it has to be, etc...

 

Nazi Germany is over.

 

Lot's of people give me the creeps, your first post gives me the creeps. Should I alert the authorities?

 

I mean it's one thing to report the kid being covered in bruises and screaming all the time. Or seeing a parent hit them...

 

So they're old, maybe a kid wasn't the best choice. I went to high school with a kid with really old parents, he was really reclusive, a bit out of touch, seemed like he was from the 50's. But that's their choice, and if he's adopted they were probably checked out to a degree and deemed safe.

If he talks weird, well, age does weird things to you.

 

Old people that have old people visiting them? How odd.

 

-disclaimer,

 

sorry I'm bored enough to post this.

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Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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does the guy like wearing pink shirts and cardigans.

does he have a copy of disneys fantasia and beatris potter books about peter rabbit and his frends.

 

This is why I love the internet. Even the darkest subject matter can become comedy gold in the right hands :laugh:

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Not that I will garner any redemption from this community for this but I feel I must "clear the air" here.

 

I have not yet, nor plan in the future, to call child protective services. My gut instinct says that it is warranted but I have yet to listen to it. My main reason for venting here was to see if my inaction or apathy for the other child's well-being can be morally absolved because it has no empirical (and therefore rational) foundation. The community response is overwhelmingly in favor of apathy in the face of instinctual concerns (gut feelings).

 

Except for Melan and Demagogue, who gave me the moral burden of "getting to know" these folks (with Demagogue providing the excellent evolutionary take on the origin of un-founded social discomfort or fear).

 

I usually take a detached POV on moral issues but I often fear that I go too far into the emotion-less robotic direction. To ensure that I do not verge too far into Commander Data territory I look for a community gauge for what emotions should be responded to.

 

I thank any voice that has condemned my concerns as I will defer to your statements as "community evidence" that I have no responsibility to investigate further as this is not a rational way to proceed. If something happens to, or is happening to, this child you will bear the burden of "dismissing my irrational gut instinct" (thanks again). :)

 

To ad further food for thought:

 

If I were in need of a baby-sitter and this family was the only viable option would I be a "moral hero" if I left my child with them (because I am overcoming an irrational prejudice)?

 

(Not that I'm religious)... but would God approve of me working towards apathy and doing my best to quiet these internal concerns? Or would I be deemed immoral if I didn't act on irrational fears in some manor because in my heart I felt them to be true (even if they were false)?

 

(Meaning, are we judged on the moral path we choose when faced with extremely limited information)?

 

So, as you can see, this is mostly academic for me (now that my conscience is clear).

 

But again, thanks for the example of community standards for sanity and the absolution.:)

Edited by nbohr1more

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The community response is overwhelmingly in favor of apathy in the face of instinctual concerns (gut feelings).

 

It's not apathy, it's a recognition that you don't take significant, potentially harmful actions based on *completely* unsupported "gut feelings".

 

The only supportive evidence you present for your reaction is that the parents are "old" and have "ancient-looking" friends. You admit they seem "kind-spirited" but you're creeped out because they have a "shaky old-man voice". Oh yeah, and you had a bad dream that night.

 

My advice is to take up another hobby, as you've clearly go too much empty time with your thoughts.

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it's a recognition that you don't take significant, potentially harmful actions

 

Wow...

 

So, for example, following Melan's advice of getting to know these people is a "significant, potentially harmful action".

 

(my original post said "Any course of action")

 

I never specified any course of action I ever had in mind in the original post other than metaphors for my emotional condition.

 

It seems that something portent in the tone of that post implied that I was ready to take up arms or pitchfork?

 

I was looking for a way to navigate what I feel is a complex moral issue.

 

Demagogue and Melan have provided the solution that I feared (the hard way) but I am taking the easy way as society on whole seems to find it more rational.

 

And I certainly don't mean to use apathy in a negative connotation. If I am apathetic to the color of a wall that has no bearing on my character. It's hard to find the correct vernacular when you are examining the very nature of apathy itself.

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So, for example, following Melan's advice of getting to know these people is a "significant, potentially harmful action".

 

(my original post said "Any course of action")

...

I never specified any course of action

 

Actually, your original post said:

 

I'm probably just being age-ist but I feel like I should call up social services on them.

...

I am tempted to sneak out at night and try to spy on their behavior to confirm my suspicions.

...

Should I do something ?

 

Both of the specific things you suggested are "potentially harmful".

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criminal profilers in england came up with a theory and produced a bunch of posters showing that 10 every day items could be used to identify certain criminal activites, like terrorist buying lots of bleach, and heroin users buying lots of spoons, or living in places where there were lots of spoons and a mattress, and candles and lots of tins of soup, and child molesters wearing pink shirts and cardigans, watching fantasia, and reading beatris potter books, although someone pointed out that sixty percent of the items on the child molester poster could be used to describe someone who was gay. I've only seen these posters once and as far as I know they're not available in the public domain because they would cause more harm than good.

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[idiot disclaimer: ATTENTION! This is a JOKE and a free FM mission plot for someone!]

*Sneak in their house and find out what they are hiding.

*Collect 1500 worth of loot while your at it.

*You'll be in trouble if they find you out: no blackjackings, do not raise an alarm.

[/idiot disclaimer: ATTENTION! This is a JOKE and a free FM mission plot for someone!]

 

But seriously:

 

You seem to make this into a big problem. If it really bugs you so much, next time you see them go have a chat. Talk about the weather and such. Then make the move: subtly approach the topic you want to find out and try to learn something about their current situation. People usually love to talk about themselves and this kind of information picking is relatively easy. Just don't ask too direct questions, but maintain a casual but steady steering of the conversation to the direction you want. You'll probably not get direct answer to whether they are paedofiles or not, but obvious things may come up, for example why a kid at so old age.

 

You do not have to get too friendly so do not invite them to your home.

 

According to your CPU upgrade caper thread you should be accustomed to subterfuge so I sure it is easy to pull off. You could even prepare for the interrogation by thinking conversation topics and the general flow beforehand.

 

OR you could just mind your own business and try to relax.

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I'm sorry to add anything more here but:

 

I'm probably just being age-ist but I feel like I should call up social services on them.

...

I am tempted to sneak out at night and try to spy on their behavior to confirm my suspicions.

...

Should I do something ?

 

I would presumed that the first two qualifiers (I feel, am tempted) would indicate that these are descriptions of emotional states.

The word "something" I would presume is "up for grabs" and is not necessarily inclusive to those two statements (eg. I am not directly asking if I should do either of the former).

 

Given the community response I suppose that my use of language leaves much to be desired :(.

 

 

For the record:

 

I would say that I am probably a pretty creepy looking fellow myself :ph34r: so perhaps this all karma for the discomfort I inflict on others :laugh:.

 

Finally, again my apologies for prolonging an already well dead, topic but perhaps a "Way Off Topic" for folks brave enough to discuss things with our less-than-stable members (unless I'm the only crazy one here):laugh:

 

(you could move any threads that you feel are sufficiently crazy there...)

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