On May 29, 2015, at 6:36 AM, Erin Minter <erinm...@icloud.com
> Q: How can I refute the argument that kids need to learn how to deal with real life?
Howard Roark didn't “deal with real life” in the usual sense.
I think Ayn Rand didn’t either. I don’t.
It’s achievable to have a life in which one doesn't "deal with real life”. And it’s better that way. I recommend it.
There was a David Deutsch (I think) post, long ago, which was memorable to me. I only remember the idea clearly, not the details, but it went something like this:
poster: i don’t wanna spoil my child. if i give him stuff he wants, he’ll form unrealistic expectations about getting stuff he wants in life. he’ll never deal with real life.
DD: say you do stuff for your child, give him stuff, etc. and he expects life to work that way. and you keep doing it. then he’ll be right, his life will in fact work that way.
of course, people can also learn to get lots of stuff they want themselves, later on. that’s fine. in any case, wanting stuff and getting it can continue, it doesn’t have to be unrealistic. one can go through all of life that way.
parents do such stupid shit like make a child pick which toy he wants between two, when he wants both. if you’re good at adult life – or even a fairly subpar American – that isn’t realistic. if i want two toys (e.g. two of the real money tanks in world of tanks) i can just buy both. lots of people can do stuff like that. one doesn’t have to be rich to do that, it’s not that hard. you can work at mcdonalds and buy two tanks. but people will like try to train kids to live a deprived life cuz basically the parent prefers to spend more money on himself and very little on stuff the kid wants (people spend a lot on their kids in total, but it’s mostly on necessities like food, and on things the parent wants the kid to have like educational stuff, not on in-app purchases for computer games).
there is a pretty common general trend where the older people are, the more money they have, but less free time and/or energy. and older people will regret not spending more money on stuff when they were younger. when younger, they’ll give up 100 points of value to save $50. when they’re old, they’ll spend $200 for 25 points of value, b/c they don’t expect to get more value out of that money before they die. (they will have opportunities to spend money at a better conversion rate, but only a limited amount of those. they will buy all of those and still have some time and money left over and have to do some less money-efficient activities).
and it’s not that hard to be like top 10% successful. if your parents destroy your mind only 80% as much as the typical amount, that should do it.
if you look at the people playing any popular online computer game, there are tons of really really terrible and stupid players. and being in the top 10% of players is easy for most games.
yeah yeah, i’m good at stuff, you say. but i’m saying objectively it’s just not that hard. if you’re a TCS parent, a smart person, and you have much success, your kid can easily be top 10%. that isn’t some like unobtainable rare thing. if you get anywhere with TCS stuff you’ll get there. you have to suck at life quite badly to be in the bottom 90%. i do a hell of a lot better than top 10% at stuff, you aren’t competing with me to get there.
it’s like, you maybe shouldn’t base your life plan on being top 0.01% at stuff, but it’s completely reasonable to expect to be top 10% and plan accordingly. you don’t have to plan your life so it’ll still work well if you’re 30th percentile. that’s actually kinda pointless since no 30th percentile life works well anyway, and 30th percentile people don’t get their planning right anyway.
the point is, don’t fuck your kid over to try to prepare him just in case he’s terrible at life at has a 30th percentile outcome. aim at least mildly high. do stuff so that if life goes sorta decently well (e.g. 90th percentile), there won’t be these huge regrets. like an example regret would be learning to be rather poor and then ending up with a comfortable amount of money – then you’d look back and be like “well that was pointless and awful”. and like trying to prepare a kid for a bad life really sets him up worse for having a good life, it helps CAUSE him to end up much worse off, it has a big self-fulfilling prophecy element.
tell your kid life isn’t suffering, and demonstrate by helping him as best you can. then he’ll learn more about how to live a non-suffering later. whereas if you’re like “life is full of pain, so practice feeling pain” you’re 1) hurting him now 2) not teaching or demonstrating techniques to make life have less or no pain