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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I would strive to help my child do what is best for hir. If harming someone else were the best solution, then I would support hir in it.</td>
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Please tell me you didn't mean this like it sounded.
 

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usually i would not want to hurt another person either, but it occurs to me that i've taken self-defense and assertiveness classes which have taught me how to hurt another person as a last resort to protect myself. i would encourage my child to develop assertiveness skills responsibly and be able to use them to avert a threatening situation and avoid harm. i feel more comfortable moving in the world knowing that there are some things i can do to protect myself. as i've been thinking about this thread i realize that i accept that i would hurt someone if i thought i would be protecting myself by doing so.
 

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So if the family has planned an outing and child A decides on the day of the outing that they do not want to go, yet the entire family wants to go - discussions take place and still child A does not want to go - What would happen?<br><br>
Certainly TCS would state that there is always a solution - but I would say that the solution is likely to be a compromise - not always a common preference.<br><br>
For example, let's say you are a single mother of 3 children. You work all week long and don't have much time with your kids. As a family you all plan a special trip to the zoo, bought special tickets for a special animal show. On that day, Child A decides that he doesn't want to go. Discussion takes place and no health problems are present, so child A simple doesn't want to go.<br><br>
TCS - would advocate leaving the child at home with another care giver - that is assuming the mother can even afford a babysitter, since she just broke the bank buying the special zoo tickets. Mother is still going to be disappointed and ultimately this is a compromise, because Mother had planned for this to be a special event for the whole of their family.<br><br>
In my opinon, Mother would be self-sacraficing her happiness for her sons, in an effort to not coerce her son.<br><br>
Or she could remind him of his committment to his family and advise him to get into the car.<br><br>
Help me - am I missing something?<br><br>
Also - as for self-sacrifice - it is easy if you are a middle-class, two-parent family of one child to spend a great deal of time and energy trying to find common preferences and working towards consent.<br><br>
However, if you are a poverty-stricken, one parent family with 3 children all under the age of 4, including one special-needs child - some things go by the wayside.<br><br>
Certainly I would advocate that we should all strive to work cooperatively with our children, but in a family dynamic, in which there are many children or children with special needs, sometimes compromise is the best alternative we can offer.<br><br>
Tell me, does TCS have any recommendations about family size or child spacing?
 

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part of my original quote:<br>
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I would strive to help my child do what is best for hir. If harming someone else were the best solution, then I would support hir in it.<br>
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jbcjmom responded:<br>
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Please tell me you didn't mean this like it sounded.<br>
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If you can tell me how it sounded to you, I will be better able to answer your question. In my original message, I qualified this statement with an example further on to illustrate that there are times when coercion (harm) of another is the best solution for a problem. Self-defense or defense of one's property are examples.<br><br>
Netty
 

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Larsy wrote: "I think that all reasons matter, to the person who has the reason (to do or not to do whatever), and that the person and their reason is to be respected."<br><br>
As your post further illustrated, Larsey, what you are saying is that, other than our own self interest, our reason's do not matter, it is our actions which matter. It does not matter *why* a the child changed their mind about the trip. It does not matter what prior agreement had been made.<br><br>
All that matters is their action (to choose no to go). Larsey, you use reasons as ways to enhance our thinking about this situation (You wouldn't mind staying home if the child is sick, why mind if they just don't like the destination etc). Yet the reason *DOES NOT MATTER*, because you say one cannot qualify the child's decision due to their "reason".<br><br>
Correct?<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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Larsy wrote: "The thing about coercion- that is, the psychological state of enacting one idea or impulse while a conflicting impulse is still active in one's mind- is how coercion can harm learning and the ability to think rationally and solve problems. "<br><br>
Coercion is essentially the use of force (check the dictionary). Period. What you have added on about it being a psychological state is *purely* a TCS related description. However, having pointed that out, I would also disagree that the human mind is at all harmed by the TCS definition of holding two conflicting idea's in place. In fact, I would suggest such a state (temporarily) could be a stimulus for creative thinking.<br><br>
Larsy wrote:"As autonomous learners, we believe and experience that people are learning all the time. I have yet to find an instance where coercion is a good idea, that is, causing this psychological state of coercion in my own or another person's mind, deliberately."<br><br>
Again, your feelings. For myself, I can imagine a number of ways coercion does not harm.<br><br>
"You can decide that coercion is damaging in one capacity yet beneficial in another. "<br><br>
Larsy responds :"For instance?"<br><br>
I think it would be damaging to be coerced into hurting myself.<br><br>
I think it would be beneficial to be coerced into survival.<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by heartmama</i><br><b>Coercion is essentially the use of force (check the dictionary). Period. What you have added on about it being a psychological state is *purely* a TCS related description.</b></td>
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But this is a TCS thread, therefore it follows that we would be using TCS definitions of terms which TCS clearly defines on their website. Bringing a dictionary definition into play doesn't really make sense, as we know, and TCS has acknowledged, that it uses said words in an unconventional fashion.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>Larsy wrote:"As autonomous learners, we believe and experience that people are learning all the time. I have yet to find an instance where coercion is a good idea, that is, causing this psychological state of coercion in my own or another person's mind, deliberately."<br><br>
Again, your feelings. For myself, I can imagine a number of ways coercion does not harm.</b></td>
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In the examples you give below, it is assumed that you did not put yourself in that situation deliberately. For example, no one plans to be mugged. But if a mugger comes along, they are expected to make an attempt to protect themselves.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>"You can decide that coercion is damaging in one capacity yet beneficial in another. "<br><br>
Larsy responds :"For instance?"<br><br>
I think it would be damaging to be coerced into hurting myself.<br><br>
I think it would be beneficial to be coerced into survival.</b></td>
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Both of these are very valid and logical points, which, if you have been following this discussion closely, you would see that you and TCS are in complete agreement. TCS is very much for self-preservation.<br><br>
Can you think of any other examples not involving self-preservation where you think coercion is necessary or not harmful?
 

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Paula Bear said: "But this is a TCS thread, therefore it follows that we would be using TCS definitions of terms which TCS clearly defines on their website. Bringing a dictionary definition into play doesn't really make sense, as we know, and TCS has acknowledged, that it uses said words in an unconventional fashion."<br><br>
Actually, there is quite a debate here already about how well TCS really does define coercion. Assuming that they did, however, define it to everyone's satisfaction, I think you have made a very valid point. I must admit that I doubt sometimes every person I debate TCS with *realizes* how liberally they apply "coercion" to situations that are, traditionally speaking, not coercive. But, I think I'm rambling if I take that farther...<br><br>
Paula Bear said "In the examples you give below, it is assumed that you did not put yourself in that situation deliberately. "<br><br>
Why assume that?<br><br>
Paula Bear said "Both of these are very valid and logical points, which, if you have been following this discussion closely, you would see that you and TCS are in complete agreement. TCS is very much for self-preservation"<br><br>
Really? You think TCS parents here are in complete agreement with the statement<br><br>
"I think it would be beneficial to be coerced into survival"<br><br>
Not '...a necessary evil to be coerced into survival"<br><br>
Not "...sometimes unavoidable to be coerced into survival"<br><br>
but..."BENEFICIAL"?<br><br>
Because every TCS parent I have debated with, who finally conceded they would yank little Johnny out of the path of an oncoming car, or commit some other coercive act, was very clear in that they would apologize later for "having to do that". They would assume the coercion was the result of failing to find common preferences. I have never heard a TCS parent say coercion was actually beneficial.<br><br><br>
Heartmama
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Because every TCS parent I have debated with, who finally conceded they would yank little Johnny out of the path of an oncoming car, or commit some other coercive act, was very clear in that they would apologize later for "having to do that".</td>
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If I was walking along with an adult friend and I noticed this same crazy car bearing down on my adult friend and I decided that the only course of action is to push them so hard it knocks them down flat and they hit their head hard, I would apologize for having to do that course of action, but that I thought that could not think of any other course of action in the amount of time I had.<br><br>
Same with your scenario with the child and the car.<br><br>
And same with any other scenario when I find myself coercion another.<br><br>
Pat
 

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I guess I just don't get it. Maybe it's just another semantics problem, but I'm not sure I see setting boundaries as being coercive; if the child knows the consequences, he is still free to follow his desire and accept the consequence. After all, I don't feel coerced by the fact that my freedom of speech is restricted by the fact that I can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. I don't feel coerced because there are sppedlimits (well, not much). I reap the benefit of being able to attend the theater and drive on the roeadway by agreeing to abide by these rules. I think households require similar rules in order to function efficiently and to meet the needs of most of the members, most of the time.<br><br>
Also, I'm sot sure I agree with the premise that the relationship between parents and minor children is, or should be, a relationship of equals. At least certainly not before a child has reached the age of reason. After all, my husband would never invite me to dinner and a movie, look forward to it all week, and then refuse to get dressed when it's time to leave...<br><br>
It was mentioned by someone that it is silly to think about asking for "permission" from one's spouse before doing somethiing, although the spouse's preferences should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Well, I'd be the first one with "a hair across" if my husband ever *forbade* me from seeing friends, watching T.V., etc, but I guess if he forbade my having an affair or opening a brothel over the garage, I'd see his point. After all, those things would go against our marriage vows. Well, children, like it or not, by virtue of their birth, have been entered into the social contract.<br><br>
So, even if I were willing to accept the whole TCS thing in theory, and I'm not sure I am, I don't get how it can actually survive the test of real life. When we are out of bread, milk, and cereal, we have to go to the market. If one of my three children simply refuses to go and is not old enough to stay alone, my allowing her to keep the rest of us from going means allowing her to decide that her siblings (and parents) will have no breakfast. How ell does that go over in a TCS home? 'Cause I can tell you everyone at my house (including the child who refused to go to the store) would be blqming Mom in the morning.<br><br>
it seems to me that the problem lies in the fact that no matter how seriously we take our children and their desires, and no matter how kindly and respectfully we treat them, there are times when they act just like, well, children. And it is at those times that parents need to act most like adults.
 

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Icicle Spider Wrote: "If I was walking along with an adult friend and I noticed this same crazy car bearing down on my adult friend and I decided that the only course of action is to push them so hard it knocks them down flat and they hit their head hard, I would apologize for having to do that course of action, but that I thought that could not think of any other course of action in the amount of time I had. "<br><br>
So then you agree with my statement that being coerced into survival is beneficial?<br><br>
I could see giving the token "Gosh sorry you hit you head. Did you see that car?!?".<br><br>
I could not see "I'm very sorry that I had to save your life. I wish I could have done this another way, I know that must have hurt your feelings that I acted that way to you, and I want to apologize for what I just did... etc"<br><br>
The difference is pretty clear. And in every TCS example I hear, the parent has the spirit of the latter not the former.<br><br>
A necessary evil, not darn' good save.<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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I could see giving the token "Gosh sorry you hit you head. Did you see that car?!?".<br><br>
I could not see "I'm very sorry that I had to save your life. I wish I could have done this another way, I know that must have hurt your feelings that I acted that way to you, and I want to apologize for what I just did... etc"<br><br>
The difference is pretty clear. And in every TCS example I hear, the parent has the spirit of the latter not the former.<br>
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Could you please offer *one* example of where a TCS advocate has said this? or claimed that an apology for coercion should be given in the "spirit of the latter not the former" examples you have provided above?<br><br>
I certainly don't speak like that to my children. I don't see anything wrong with doing so, btw (coercion is far worse), but it's not my particular style. I wouldn't, though, coerce my child (or my friend) without apology.<br><br>
Netty
 

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Just Wondering wrote:<br><br>
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It's easy to have theories. But sometimes when they are tested, experientially, the theories come up very short on reality.<br>
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Yes. This is--as we have often said--no doubt true. There are times when we find ourselves coercing (self or other) because we cannot find/create a common preference. But I think the theories behind the actions matter a great deal. If someone is acting on the theory that it is okay (even *good*) to coerce children, s/he will be far less likely to seek common preferences (after all, being forced to do things you dislike or don't understand is just part of being a child, right?) than someone who acts on the theory that it is wrong and harmful to coerce children (after all, if *I* were forced to do things I disliked or didn't understand I'd certainly protest and be supported as an adult). If I had my choice, I'd most certainly choose the latter rather than the former as my advocate. If you wouldn't, could you explain your reasons?<br><br>
Netty
 

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Heartmama wrote:<br><br>
"As your post further illustrated, Larsey, what you are saying is that, other than our own self interest, our reason's do not matter, it is our actions which matter. It does not matter *why* a the child changed their mind about the trip. It does not matter what prior agreement had been made. "<br><br>
Our reasons why we do things, our theories about our actions, matter very much. I see people's theories/reasons as the basis for action. Unless a person gives up their autonomy, and does what others tell them to do, not knowing what their own theories/reasons are.<br><br>
Prior agreements: my experience is that it is good to be flexible and to plan ahead and have contingency plans.<br><br>
"All that matters is their action (to choose no to go)."<br><br>
Their reason for not wanting to go is the crux of the matter, isn't it? That is part of any problem that needs to be solved. The theories behind the action are important.<br><br>
"Larsey, you use reasons as ways to enhance our thinking about this situation (You wouldn't mind staying home if the child is sick, why mind if they just don't like the destination etc). Yet the reason *DOES NOT MATTER*, because you say one cannot qualify the child's decision due to their "reason". "<br><br>
I don't understand what you mean by 'qualify the child's decision due to their "reason" '.<br><br>
Understanding a person reason for doing what they want to do- like stay home- helps everyone meet their preferences. The person's reason might turn out to be a mistaken theory about what was going to happen that day, and by getting more information, that person might change their preference to 'let's get going!' If the others involved never took the time to listen to that person's reasons, they can't have the opportunity to supply more information and everyone misses the opportunity to learn and problem-solve non-coercively and effectively.
 

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Netty wrote: "Could you please offer *one* example of where a TCS advocate has said this? or claimed that an apology for coercion should be given in the "spirit of the latter not the former" examples you have provided above? "<br><br>
Before the boards were down, this was the spirit in which I was told by a TCS parent that they would apologize for coercion. Incidentally, my point with the former apology was to illustrate a token apology of no bearing on your attitude toward coercion. I added it to better illustrate the uniqueness of the TCS approach to apology after coercion.<br><br>
Netty said: "I certainly don't speak like that to my children. I don't see anything wrong with doing so, btw (coercion is far worse), but it's not my particular style. I wouldn't, though, coerce my child (or my friend) without apology. "<br><br>
In all honesty, I think you are splitting hairs.<br><br>
You ask me to give an example of a TCS parent who would "talk like that". Then, you said in fact it doesn't sound wrong to do so, and further confirm that you would never coerce without apologizing for it.<br><br>
Your making my point for me.<br><br>
Additionally, can we address whether a TCS parent actually "could" coerce without a sincere apology, let alone share my belief that "it is beneficial to be coerced into survival". Paula Bear said TCS parents agree with that statement. I doubt it.<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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Larsy wrote "Our reasons why we do things, our theories about our actions, matter very much. I see people's theories/reasons as the basis for action. Unless a person gives up their autonomy, and does what others tell them to do, not knowing what their own theories/reasons are. "<br><br>
You are re confirming what I already responded too, no? That our reasons matter to ourselves. Our actions are what matter to a TCS family.<br><br>
Larsy wrote: "Prior agreements: my experience is that it is good to be flexible and to plan ahead and have contingency plans. "<br><br>
And why is that necessary? Do TCS families have that tough a time following through with prior agreements?<br><br>
Larsy wrote :Their reason for not wanting to go is the crux of the matter, isn't it? That is part of any problem that needs to be solved. The theories behind the action are important. "<br><br>
Hold on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I'll respond to this below....<br><br>
Larsy wrote: "I don't understand what you mean by 'qualify the child's decision due to their "reason" '. "<br><br>
Read on...<br><br>
"Understanding a person reason for doing what they want to do- like stay home- helps everyone meet their preferences. The person's reason might turn out to be a mistaken theory about what was going to happen that day, and by getting more information, that person might change their preference to 'let's get going!' If the others involved never took the time to listen to that person's reasons, they can't have the opportunity to supply more information and everyone misses the opportunity to learn and problem-solve non-coercively and effectively."<br><br>
Larsy, your comments here illustrate the critical importance of communication to better understand one another. I agree this is vital, and in fact, one of the most important factors in family life.<br>
We agree with that.<br><br>
What I need to separate, so that we don't go in circles, is that our past posts to each other focused on the issue of a family making a prior agreement, and upon the hour of it's being followed through, a family member changes their mind. Especially where cohesiveness was critical to success in the agreed upon activity (in other words, without dad to drive, the trip would not happen, or with son being only 8, and no sitter to stay for the week, mom/dad must give up trip to stay home) the *reason* for that person to back out, in my opinion, and in the opinion of most people, can be fairly judged by the family as either acceptable or unacceptable. Generally speaking, an acceptable excuse would be one beyond the persons control (illness), and unacceptable would be something self centered reflecting their own desires (doesn't want to travel after all). If the excuse is unacceptable, that person is expected to hold to the prior agreement.<br><br>
Our entire discussion up to now has centered on this:<br><br>
With TCS, it does not matter *why* the person has gone back on their word, there is *no* reason that is "unacceptable". Any and all reasons validate the decision to ruin the trip for others, and stay home. Assuming the family fails to find a common preference, the solution is to cancel the trip, instead of forcing the reluctant traveler into the car.<br><br>
This is where we are at Larsy. That is what I refer to when I say "the reason does not matter." Once a member of a TCS family makes a decision (action) there is no room to disqualify (or qualify) it. You have to take it as a fixed condition and re arrange your life accordingly.<br><br>
That is all I am trying to debate with you, and we seem to be wandering back to where we started. What I am asking for is confirmation of this reality as acceptable for a TCS family. Others have asked about it, and we go in circles. Why? If this is how a TCS family works, then so be it. But don't make it so difficult to get a confirmation! Please? Because it is impossible for me to bring anything to this discussion if you continue to challenge the dynamics I assume of TCS family life in order to illustrate a criticism of TCS theory. If I assume something wildly off base, call me on it, but if I assume a scenario that is at all possible within TCS theory, could we just move forward with it and discuss what point I might be trying to debate within that scenario?<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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larsy wrote: "Would a parent coerce their child into survival? don't children want to survive?"<br><br>
Larsy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
*Your* the one who feels compelled to apologize if they do.<br><br>
Heartmama
 

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I agree totally, JW. It's a lot like discussing religion. I was compelled to come out of lurkdom though because I get just a tad miffed when TCSers imply (gently) that when children are "coerced" (not allowed a choice) in any given situation that their rights, desires, feelings, and ability to decide what's right for them is completely ignored. Just because we as a family will follow through on our commitments or accomplish X-errand when I (as parent) say it needs to be done does not mean my children cannot express their dissatisfaction or discuss alternatives for the future. They are free to discuss anything with me, but are not free to make *all* decisions in *all* areas of their lives. In fact, I think they come to me sometimes literally begging (in an indirect, child-like way) for limits in certain areas. As I said before, limits provide *freedom* for children to be children.
 

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JW wrote:<br><br>
****That is always the problem in these discussions. There is no agreement, ever, about definitions, except amonst non-TCs people.****<br><br>
That is because we are discussing TCS theory. If I were discussing opera singers, I would be using the word "tenor" very differently than I would be using it if I were discussing literary theory. When I discuss existentialism, I use the term "consciousness" differently than when I am discussing medicine. Definitions are *created* and language *evolves* according to how it is being used. If you want to discuss a different theory than TCS, I suggest you go to any other thread than the one designated for TCS theory.<br><br>
*** To find common preference of definitions with TCS people is like trying to catch an eel in pouring rain...coz they only want their definitions, and can't see what anyone else is saying.****<br><br>
I disagree. I think the TCS advocates strive to define their terms clearly and consistently. I don't see others doing the same when discussing their own theories. We may not agree with what others are saying, but that does not mean we do not understand it. And if you feel that there is a misunderstanding, please clarify your meaning for us.<br><br>
***IMO they think that they are the ONLY right ones around....****<br><br>
I disagree. I think that the TCS advocates are the ones who admit fallibility and act in accordance with the theory of fallibility. And we invite and reply to, as clearly as possible, any and all criticism. Of course we think we are right, just as you think you are right. We are both acting on theories which cannot be proven as true or false. Our arguments are either convincing or inot convincing. I don't find the arguments for coercion at all convincing. But I'm still willing to entertain the idea and respond, as clearly as possible,<br><br>
****So I am wondering if it is even worth continuing these discussions, because as someone else said, they just go round, and round, and round, and round..................... in circles.****<br><br>
Yes. I see the discussions continually coming round to the idea that coercion is wrong and unnecessary, no matter how often others try to assert that it is not. this is because the arguments for coercion are not convincing. I have yet to read a convincing argument *for* coercion as being the *best* solution under *any* circumstances. But, by all means, feel free to stop participating in the discussion. I'd personally prefer that this thread could be available for those who are genuinely interested in understanding, and perhaps applying, TCS theory in their lives. I'd also prefer that we not resort to meta-discussion (such as this). But if people want to spend time and energy discussing the attributes of the discussion rather than the actual theory itself, that is their choice. I'll answer when I can, but I honestly don't see the point in this sort of discussion. It is *precisely* this sort of discussion that gets us nowhere and can only go round and round in circles.<br><br>
Netty
 
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