Every year or so, there’s one article/essay that stands out from everything I come across. This is one such work. It shows the correlation between violence and repressed sexuality, lack of affection towards children, sensory deprivation and various forms of social damage. It’s a long read, but you can also read just parts of it and I’d wager you’ll still be enriched by this amazing work.
In a surprising move, major American retailer Walmart actually decided to remove from its inventory t-shirts that advocated killing journalists. /sarcasm
The USA has gone completely astray.
By “completely”, I mean the outcome of an election. When a democratic country elects to pursue a certain course, then it is a complete commitment. Yes, there may be opposition, but the overall direction has been set – and in the case of the US of A, I believe that the direction is astray.
By “astray”, I mean that while most of society (world-wide) considers murder to be wrong, the USA has managed to devalue life in such a way that murder can be commercialized with incredibly little public backlash. I believe that the lack of a major social response against the retailers, users and companies that produce such merchandise is due to Americans having been desensitized to violence.
A Stanford University study has shown that children who postponed kindergarten for up to one year showed dramatically higher levels of self-control. The study uses data from Denmark, where children have access to good pre-kindergarten (starting as early as 12-18 months).
The results of this study make perfect sense to me. It’s a confirmation of something I long believed to be true. I think that whatever parents can do to delay the institutionalization of their child (enrollment into the current industrialized educational system) will greatly help any young mind. I believe more studies like this will show up in the coming years. The sooner the better.
There’s been a lot of research in the past years regarding exposing children to screens (of various kinds). The “when and how much TV to watch” debate has been raging on for decades (with clear results but with even harder to apply rules, especially as a lot of people seem to not care about the facts).
However, the new screens available to children today, namely mobile phones, pads, portable game consoles and other such interactive entertainment devices are an order of magnitude more powerful when it comes to influencing brain development.
Alarm bells should start ringing when some of the most famous people dealing with technology try to protect their children from these sort of devices.
Some people are empathy deficient while others have so much of it that it can become overwhelming under certain conditions. But empathy is a skill and like all skills it can be trained. Through practice, we can hone our empathy so that it aligns with our society’s natural tendency towards evolution and success through mutual support.
The fact that empathy is a career-enhancing skill should give parents enough reason to instill it in their children. The fact that empathy can also stimulate a social group’s technological progress through increased collaboration and innovation should give governments enough reason to implement it throughout the educational system.
Even though we evolved emotionally quite a bit in the past centuries our society continues to often exhibit a severe lack of empathy, especially when it comes to the male demographic. Perhaps it’s time for governments to realize that empathic men are more useful than those whose emotions were twisted in order to condition them to become obedient soldiers, ready to slaughter each other to fill somebody’s coffers. Perhaps that made sense last century, but we’re past the point where we can survive a third world war, so any investment in that sort of competition is a recipe for social bankruptcy.
The fact that the educational system is flawed is not news. However, one would think that at least we’re working on improving the situation. Well, not quite. Apparently, in some countries they keep cutting into creative classes and replacing them with reading class.
There has been a lot of talk in the past decades about income inequality and for good reason. Various factors contribute to income inequality, such as the political orientation of a country or its economic status. But at the root of unfair reward systems lies a way of thinking that associates people with the immediate economic benefit that they bring to a group. In other words: no long-term strategy.
Such reasoning made more sense in a past when a famine could threaten the survival of an entire culture. Even though we live in quite different times (many countries are approaching post-scarcity economy), our instinct hasn’t quite caught up yet. This is not entirely surprising given how fast we’ve evolved in the past centuries. Our “firmware” hasn’t had enough time to adapt. So, we’re still prone to terribly pragmatic and survivalist decision-making. Social contribution inequality is the result of this style of thinking. It is the poor rewarding of some members of society because others do not immediately see them as being profitable.