The Simple Life is Overrated

From Slashdot | Consumer Electronics Causing ‘Death of Childhood’?

The Simple Life… (Score:5, Insightful)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @01:35PM (#16089892)

was harsh and brutal for many people.

My great-uncle became “man of the house” at age ten, when his father died in a farm accident. Today, he’ld be given counselling; then, he was given a household full of siblings and a farm to take care of. And he did it, because that was his duty as a man. Today, nineteen year old men are still considered “kids”. They’ve had the luxury of growing old without growing up

Two of my dad’s eight siblings died during or shortly after childbirth. Most of my parent’s family ended up with farm related injuries and scars. My uncle is missing a leg from where it got caught in a baling machine. My cousin died down a well, trying to fix it so that his family could have clean drinking water.

We don’t want the simple life back. It would kill half of us, and lead the other half back to an early grave. Kids today aren’t being “forced to grow up too fast”. Try taking on adult experience at age 14. Try getting through life with a grade 3 education, because your Dad made you go to work to earn money for the family before you even finished grade school, like happened to my Dad’s father.

Then try whining to me about how kids are growing up “too fast” compared to their forefathers. I don’t see it. To me, they’re barely growing up at all.

Re:Real programmers are real people too (Score:5, Insightful)
by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Tuesday September 12, @01:17PM (#16089720)

Our mass-media (meme-propagation system) has increased in efficiency tens or hundreds of times faster than our context-supplying instincts.

We evolved in loose groups of 150-250 individuals. If you heard about someone getting eaten by a tiger then, chances are you should watch out because he was likely only a few hundred metres over that way, so the danger to you was very real.

Then we started to hear about things that happened to someone at the other end of the country, and suddenly it seemed like there were murderers and rapists and nutjobs everywhere, because barely a day went past when we didn’t hear of someone getting killed in an inventive or gruesome way.

Now we’ve got the web, and e-mail, and satellite TV, and blogs, and we hear about it if a mouse farts in Buttfuck, Antarctica. And now it’s not even safe to let your kids walk to school for fear of them getting molested, you can’t get on a ‘plane for fear it’ll be bombed out of the sky, and you can’t visit the toilet in your own house without getting abducted and beheaded by terrorists.

The only way to tackle this is by recognising what’s going on and overruling your instincts. They served you well ten thousands years ago when you lived in a tree and had to avoid tigers, but now we’re living in condos and keep small tigers in the house as pets.

Try my patented Lightning Test: Look up the statistics of whatever the latest mania/terror/panic is about, and worry about it if it’s more likely than.. oh… say… getting hit by lightning.

Try terrorism – look up the number of deaths form terrorism each year, then look up the number of people who get hit by lightning.

Now if someone’s advocating taking away civil rights because of terrorism, or locking up our children because of paedophiles, you can apply the simple test: Are they also advocating the compulsory wearing of earthed metal hats and rubber gumboots?

If not, then their little pet crusade is clearly disproportionate and can be safely ignored.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Lets All Get A Fucking Grip Society. Have a nice day.

Re:Sad Sight (Score:5, Insightful)
by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <> on Tuesday September 12, @01:05PM (#16089571)
( | Last Journal: Friday June 09, @09:15PM)

More than a few of the kids present were squatting on the ground, or in car seats, blank expressions on their faces, banging away at portable game machines.

When I was young, my parents always wanted me to go to sports matches I had no interest in. My father in paticular despaired at my complete and utter boredom throughout the games. I would regularly wander about staring at the fences, railings, seats, gravel, etc, etc, rarely taking interest in the game itself. If I’d had a gameboy, I would have played it.

We went to France once. Here my mother stood aghast at my total disinterest in the majesty of the cultural capital of the world. My regard for Paris paticularly offended her. I was bored out of my tree, and if I’d had a gameboy, I would have finished Metroid during that trip.

But in Paris, there was succor. The Musée des Arts et Métiers. Oh such joy! When my parents refused to take me, as they had more “cultured” places to visit, I went alone to what was one of the most memorable expieriences of my life. A menagere of scientific legend awaits all who enter. I went twice. If I’d had a gameboy, I would gladly have smashed it to pieces to get another tour.

I did finally manage to drag them to the Panthéon. They went for the “cultural” expierience, as some great men or other were entombed within. But I went for Foucault’s Pendulum, one of the most elegant experimental proofs ever made. And within also, is a copy of Foucault’s paper on the pendulum, containing his own mathematical equations, explaining the revolution of the pendulum as being caused by the rotation of the earth! Bliss!!

They left France thinking themselves “educated”, and I a philistine, just as you might think that children dragged off to rocket launchings they have no interest in are similarly philistines. The simple reality is that people have different interests, and if you want to encourage your children to put down their gameboys you have to find activities that they find interesting, not activities you find interesting and simply want to force them into enjoying. So lay off sespairing at their lack of interests when you don’t even know what their interests are.

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