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9/11/2006 11:17 am

Just in case I actually have some english-speaking readers, the title is a recent swedish concept meaning "grown-up points". It means that you assign how much of a grown-up you become by doing certain things. The notion is very irreverent and actually boils down to making fun of the idea that you are a mature and responsible adult if you own a lawnmower for example. I think I've come up with a few ideas relating to this. Think of them as shortcuts to be perceived as an adult.

Reading books is a pretty good one. It is mainly the volume of books you read, not the content of them. If all you read is Tom Clancy and that guy who only writes about lawyers, that's fine. If however you read one book a year and that is "Faust" by Goethe, you're losing out. People like myself who mainly read magazines and technical books can gain much by reading... "Self-esteem now! A personal coach shows you how." which is the best-seller at a randomly chosen internet bookshop.

Traffic is another good pivot one can use. Complaining about how other people park, drive or do anything in a car yields many "vuxenpoäng". If a car drives out in front of you and makes you slam the brakes, then you look at the sign and see that you were supposed to yield, don't admit that. Not even to yourself! In those circumstances it is necessary to blame the other party. Atleast if you want to score more points.

The real "slam dunk" is of course the cost of heating. People who have no greater thought in their mind than the cost of heating their house, they are the most grown up of all! They should flip right past the articles "Comet heading for Earth" and "War looms" to read about some way to lower the cost of heating. Other forms of maintenance are also acceptable, like carpentry or plumbing. The main issue is of course the cost of having it done, not how much one knows about it personally.

I think we can find some patterns in the realm of politics as well. One should never be satisfied with politics or say something like "I think our politicians are doing a good job". But don't fall into the trap of suggesting large changes to the economy or the political system. If you propose a switch from market- to plan-economy, you will only be perceived as a naive idealist. Propose one limited change! It should be something like a 10% reduction in VAT on motorcycles or the merging of two useless sections of regional government.

If someone wonders why I wrote about this here, I can conjur up some semi-plausible train of thought. This site is about interaction between people. It is much about gauging people with respect to one's own expectations. That brings us to the games we play to live up to a certain image. This has been about one aspect of the image we wish to project.

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