Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Free hugs!

Touch children and help them to grow up
  [vote for,

The original idea was for a school counselor type person whose only job would be to go around hugging the children who want to be hugged. But this needs to be made available for pretty much everyone in our touch-deprived society. Physical contact is essential to the proper development and maintenance of the human mind and in my opinion modern society is far, far too risk-averse and aloof to allow the necessary amount of physical contact without formalizing it.
Voice, Aug 19 2021

Puppymania! Puppymania
Similar, but cuter. [DrBob, Aug 19 2021]

Deluxe Hugs https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wJfYAJJYMqg
[LimpNotes, Aug 19 2021]

BSA Records https://abusedinsco...m/history-of-abuse/
[MechE, Aug 20 2021]

Wikipedia: Hug machine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hug_machine
Who needs people? [jutta, Aug 21 2021]

The whispering game http://news.bbc.co....agazine/4719364.stm
About those angry mobs that read tabloids [a1, Aug 26 2021]

Whispers or not it does happen & people are murdered. https://www.theguar...ol-police-sentenced
[Skewed, Aug 26 2021]


       <imagining the Venn diagram of the groups {people who would really, really like to go around hugging strangers} and {people who ought to be allowed to go around hugging strangers}...>
hippo, Aug 19 2021

       //Touch children and help them to grow up// Wasn't this tried already by Jimmy Saville and his like?
xenzag, Aug 19 2021

       I don't agree, xenzag. Saville & his ilk were/are predators who prey on the weak & the innocent/naieve. The last thing they want is for their victims to 'grow up'.
DrBob, Aug 19 2021

       I am all for hugging and yes we need this. Of course with all the perversion and pedophiles today people would shut this idea down. it would ruin it to say you must pass a normal test or some thing because hugs should be spontaneous and flowing from the heart. I’m giving you a heart shaped Croissant And a virtual hug.
xandram, Aug 19 2021

       //with all the perversion and pedophiles today// There are no more today than any other era. Just our amount of fear has changed.
Voice, Aug 19 2021

       // There are no more today than any other era. //   

       I don't know. Did the Boy Scouts for example have such an absolutely disgusting number of abuse cases before modern politics forced them to change their policies?
4and20, Aug 19 2021

       I actually don’t know how many perverts existed in each era, but it is widely talked about these days. I agree that there is too much fear today, but one needs to be prudent. There is child theft, child trafficking, child slavery etc. Maybe there always was, but to what proportion of the population?
xandram, Aug 19 2021

       We have a spaniel for this.
pertinax, Aug 19 2021

       // Maybe there always was, but to what proportion of the population?//   

       If it follows literally every other trend of evil behavior there is far less. I'm not going to look into it because the topic depresses me.
Voice, Aug 19 2021

       With the Boys Scouts & Catholic Church & such, I suspect it's a bit of "increasing abuse" but mostly "increasing reporting" of abuse.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 19 2021

       //Touch children and help them to grow up//   

       It's at times like this that I truly miss [Max] & [8th] :( that I'd sit back & wait to see what they'd make of that b4 venturing a response of my own :)
Skewed, Aug 19 2021

       [4and20] Which policies would those be, exactly?   

       But yes, the boy scouts have records of abuse complaints going back many decades.   

       Modern policies including never leaving children alone with a single adult have definitely reduced such abuse.
MechE, Aug 20 2021

       I wonder if it would be as effective if this were done by some sort of humanoid-looking robot?
RayfordSteele, Aug 20 2021

       Sexual abuse is a cycle reproduced by the formerly abused. I don't really believe that the majority of Boy Scout abuse cases go back very far in time, but it's convenient for media sources to imply the same without directly making that claim.
4and20, Aug 20 2021

       See link. They have [had] records of abusers going back to basically the founding. Child sexual abuse is not a new thing, it's been going on throughout human history.   

       Many of the early records were destroyed once the individuals were considered either to old to be a threat, or likely dead, but they still had records of abusers from the late 40s.
MechE, Aug 20 2021

       One decidely one-sided account claims that the Boy Scouts changed their policies in an attempt to root out pedophiles in 1978, only to be more or less forced to rescind their policies in 2015. Someone with more time than I have could look at the difference between abuse ratios during the preventative policy vs. before and after.   

       As a perfunctory sidenote, I have no great love or interest in the U.S. Boy Scouts organization. I find it telling and loathsome that the man heading the organization when policies changed in 2015 was Robert Gates, form Secretary of Defense, naturally, giving chilling support to the theory that the Boy Scouts has a kind of military preparation purpose.
4and20, Aug 20 2021

       //giving chilling support to the theory that the Boy Scouts has a kind of military preparation purpose//   

       Nothing secret about that [4], not a theory, at least at the time of their origins, though any original purpose isn't necessarily what they are now of course.   

       BP basically created the original Scouting movement around 1908 with the express & stated purpose of fitting boys with appropriate skills (self sufficiency, respect for their elders / the chain of command, physical fitness etc along with basic outdoor survival skills) for later army service in what was still then the British Empire // though he & society at large would have considered it wholesome rather than anything sinister back then.   

       Phrased a little differently even you might consider it all a wholesome endeavour even now.   

       Hmm let me see.   


       How does "helping kids to better socialise & providing them with the life skills to better enjoy, participate & succeed in society'" grab you? :)   

       As much as anything else I'm sure that's ^ how he saw it.
Skewed, Aug 20 2021

       Yeah it seems like there's worse things your kids can get wrapped up in.
RayfordSteele, Aug 21 2021


       Personally I just saw it as a whole lotta fun.   

       But now, reading down this thread I feel a little insulted, seemingly it's all so prevalent & I never got molested once! [Shrugs] musta just been an ugly kid I guess.   

       Or maybe it's just different in the US, or just different times.
Skewed, Aug 21 2021

       // I never got molested once //   

       So… Twice?
a1, Aug 21 2021

       Maybe try the ones with the Catholic troop leaders?
RayfordSteele, Aug 21 2021

       Alas your kind advice has come too late [Ray], I suspect I'm sufficiently past my pre-prime (being far past my prime) to be of even the most passing of interest to them now.
Skewed, Aug 22 2021

       Not even thrice.   

       Always the bare minimum one should try something b4 deciding if you like it or not, or so uncle Bertram always insisted.
Skewed, Aug 22 2021

       Uncle B was a troop leader? Or priest?
a1, Aug 22 2021

       Neither, a career politician.   

       We fear his belief in the facility of threes did for him in the end, he was found hanging by a tie from his hotel room door with two other stretched ties beside on the floor.
Skewed, Aug 22 2021

       Ah, I forgot that rather obvious category. Condolences on your loss.
a1, Aug 22 2021

       Controlling ones sexual desires is a down psychology development. Emotional control.   

       I really want a society emotionally advanced enough that this idea and the freedom for little children such they can run around naked without care or abandon.   

       Then again, the normal distribution says, there will always be anomalies we all have to protect against.
wjt, Aug 25 2021

       These annotations remind me of why my fabric blend of moleskin and polyester for children's clothing never took off. It may have been a marketing mistake to call it Child's Moleyester
AusCan531, Aug 26 2021

       I'm just happy the HB isn't so drawn into the hate mob that this idea wasn't boned into oblivion just for suggesting anyone should ever touch a child.
Voice, Aug 26 2021

       [AusCan] I do like a pun with a lengthy lead-up
hippo, Aug 26 2021

       //hate mob//   

       I have a theory about that: after decades of living with the idea that being judgmental was the worst possible thing (except racism), people discovered some time around 1990 that it was still OK, after all, to be judgmental about child-molesters, and so they poured into that one category all of their pent-up desire to judge people (especially if they were, themselves, vulnerable to being judged by others as racist).   

       In the mid-1990s I was living just outside Portsmouth, just around the time when an angry mob attacked the home of a paediatrician, not far from where I was living, because they were genuinely too ignorant to know the difference between paediatrician and paedophile. I was very aware of this at the time, because I'd received verbal abuse from strangers in the street accusing me of paedophilia (because ... I was not from round there? I dressed funny? I was never seen with a girlfriend?)   

       But I don't think any of those people hang around the half-bakery ... do they?
pertinax, Aug 26 2021

       // …mid 1990’s …. when an angry mob attacked the home of a paediatrician… because they were too ignorant to know the difference between paediatrician and paedophile.… //   

       Did you see that angry mob and the attack with your own eyes, or even read about it when it happened (rather than years later)? I’ve read that story elsewhere, but always framed as an urban legend (link). I’d like to know if you have more details. What year was this when you were verbally abused by strangers on the street?
a1, Aug 26 2021

       //genuinely too ignorant//   

       They might have been (not that I'm sure I'm remembering the same incident // or if there was an actual attack involved?), certainly was the tabloids angle (who I never believe about anything these days) but could as easily have been a case of Chinese whispers rather than ignorance of the meaning of the words, though I have known people genuinely that ignorant.   

       Feels like an urban myth now even remembering having read it then doesn't it.
Skewed, Aug 26 2021

       //Did you see that angry mob//   

       The reports in that instance may be exaggerated [a1] & conflated with others but that doesn't change the fact it does happen, though I'd wager as often as not the perpetrators know it's not true & are just using it as an excuse (b4 the event) to kill someone or (hoping for a more lenient sentence) claim to have believed it after.   

       Here's an example of one for you <link>.   

       Probably not the best example as I'm guessing that one was mostly down to good old fashioned racism but I can't be bothered to go trawling old news articles for more for you.   

       It would be far too depressing.   

       Suffice to say it does happen & it's not as rare as we might like.
Skewed, Aug 26 2021

       [Skewed] - No doubt it happens, but I was asking [pertinax] for the specifics of his personal experience in the mid 90's near Portsmouth.
a1, Aug 26 2021

       Given your link I think you already know the answer to that, it would seem his details on this 'specific' event are muddled to the point they're as much urban myth as truth // as would mine have been had I tried to write it down without checking back on old news articles first :)
Skewed, Aug 26 2021

       But usually I hear or read about those things as someone said something and told someone else or it was reported in a tabloid and so on... It's not often someone speaks up to say "I was there, I saw this" - if [pertinax] had a closer view of what really happened I'm interested in the details.
a1, Aug 26 2021


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