The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Policy on comment posts

This is a family blog: an innocent enough type of publishing exercise one would have thought. However, it has received a wide range of reactions. Some are kind and supportive. Some have been helpful in their advice - particularly one reader who has emailed me privately (she will know who she is) and I am thankful for that. Some express understanding and share their insights into gifted parenting. Some are thankful to me for the help that I have rendered them. However there is another category of posters I need to address. Some are argumentative and some are critical. Some are negative and some are simply angry. A small percentage of posters can only be described as hostile - or worse. I have no idea why: they really take exception to my effort to communicate my experience of my children and their gifts. Most of them appear to be from the land of free speech (the US), as far as I can gather from their IP addresses. All the others so far noted, who have been hostile, come from advanced democracies (such as Holland) where free speech is the norm, and people are supposed to be allowed, indeed encouraged, to speak their mind. It seems that the posters have not absorbed the culture in which they reside - or perhaps that culture is not truly as free as advertised. I don't know which - I can only observe what they do.

As I have said, this is a family blog. My children read it on occasion. My wife does too - and my friends. I cannot therefore allow the posting of hostile comment: it not only upsets me, but upsets my family and friends, it they should read it. Therefore the policy of this blog, on comments, henceforth will be to post all the humane ones, and none of the inhumane ones. The divide is clear because I find that the negative posters tend to the extreme: they stand out by the excessiveness of their expressions and statements. None of this type of post will be posted on my blog - it would not be fair to me, to my children, my wider family nor my friends. Furthermore, I don't think it is fair to my readers to be reminded of all the hate there is in this world. I want to see a world of kindness in which all men and women treat each other well. By enforcing this rule, I make a contribution to that kinder world, here on this blog. Thanks.

(If you would like to read about my scientific child prodigy son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, or his gifted brothers, please go to: I also write of child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:07 PM 


Blogger Jason Jones said...

Easy access to the Internet makes individuals lazy. They forget that they are speaking to a whole community of strangers. Makes me wonder how these individuals are in person.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you for your post, Jason.

Your comment is open to interpretation so I will do my best to address it.

If it is to the posters that you address your comment, in particular, the hostile ones, then I, too, wonder what they are like in person - and don't particularly want to find out.

I feel that no-one who is innately kind or good-natured would ever post in a hostile manner on a family blog. The real world equivalent would be to charge uninvited into a stranger's house and scream abuse. The character of someone who would do such thing is a fearful thing indeed. I think the same thing applies to those who would do so online. As far as I understand people, only someone intrinsically aggressive and disregarding of the feelings of others could ever write in that way. You haven't seen the posts I refer to, but I assure you that they are unprintable, for the sentiments they contain.

It is worrying that such people feel able to write as they do to the world, to a stranger, to someone trying to do something positive.

If you are addressing your comment to me, and I am the one who forgets they are speaking to a whole community of strangers, then I have a different answer.

All writing is an act of communication. Are we to stop writing and live in silence because some people are really unpleasant and nasty and try to shout us down? I don't think that is the answer. For most people the communication has value - both for the communicator and the ones communicated to. The world would be much the poorer if all who wrote were shouted into silence by those who hate, those who speak.

That being said, as someone who tries to treat all he meets with a measure of kindness, I do expect similar treatment in return - for in their place I would be kind. So it has come as a shock to me that there are people in the world who feel compelled to be hateful to people they do not know and have no reason to hold enmity against.

Best wishes to you.

10:18 PM  

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