Making a New Habit Easy

All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits,—practical, emotional, and intellectual,—systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be. __ William James in 1892

Our habits make us who we are. Once learned, these habits tend to be unconscious from start to finish. Clearly it is best to learn good habits well, beginning in childhood. Habits of thought, habits of action — the principle is the same.

The typical “habit loop” consists of a “cue” — a “craving” — a “routine” — and a “reward.” Something inside or outside of us triggers a conscious or unconscious cue. This cue calls up a craving which then motivates us to perform a routine. Successful performance of the routine results in a reward. To set good habits for young children, we need to exercise some ingenuity to make the learning of good habits as easy as possible.

Making a New Habit Easy

Jim Cathcart’s tale of the running shoes:

I needed an action that I knew I could get myself to do, so I set a minimum commitment: Even if I could not make myself run every day, at least I could make myself available for a run. I grabbed a piece of paper, picked up my pen, and wrote, “I will put on my jogging shoes and walk outside to the curb every day, no matter what else is going on.” __ The Self-Motivation Handbook by Jim Cathcart

By setting an easy goal, Jim Cathcart built a lifelong habit of health and fitness that served him for 30 years and counting. Once he was at the curb with his jogging shoes on, it was easy to walk or run some distance on suitable days. This allowed him to drop 30 pounds to his ideal weight, and maintain ideal weight ever since.

BJ Fogg’s tale of dental floss:

I asked myself: How can I make flossing easier to do?
I came up with an answer I didn’t dare tell my hygienist. She would have been horrified.
I decided to floss just one tooth.
Seriously.
After I brushed my teeth in the morning I would floss just one tooth. __ BJ Fogg in Tiny Habits

Once you have flossed one tooth, it is easy to floss the rest.

James Clear’s “Make it Easy” advice on habits:

Habits are easier to build when they fit into the flow of your life. You are more likely to go to the gym if it is on your way to work . . .

The central idea is to create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible. Much of the battle of building better habits comes down to finding ways to [make good habits easier and bad habits harder].

When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. __ James Clear in Atomic Habits

Making the Habit Cue Easy and Obvious Reinforces the Behaviour

Putting a full bottle/thermos of water in plain sight and within easy reach makes it more likely that it will be used. The same principle applies to a toothbrush, a bath towel, dish-washing tools, or any other useful cue that helps to encourage a good habit.

Below is another way to look at the habit loop with the emphasis on the “hook” concept that is popular in writing, advertising, public speaking, and political/religious/military recruiting. In this approach, finishing the “habit lazy eight” with an investment, the author turns the loop into a growth tool.

Habit Figure Eight
https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-manufacture-desire/
  • The trigger is the actuator of a behavior—the spark plug in the Hook Model. Triggers come in two types: external and internal.
  • After the trigger comes the intended action.
  • Research shows that levels of dopamine surge when the brain is expecting a reward. Introducing variability multiplies the effect, creating a frenzied hunting state, activating the parts associated with wanting and desire. Although classic examples include slot machines and lotteries, variable rewards are prevalent in habit-forming technologies as well.
  • The last phase of the Hook is where the user is asked to do bit of work… now that the user’s brain is swimming in dopamine from the anticipation of reward in the previous phase, it’s time to pay some bills.
  • __ https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-manufacture-desire/

This approach to habit formation was new to me, but I am beginning to see that what I first thought was a “lazy eight” is actually an infinity sign. Just as in a loop, the infinity loop feeds back into itself, but it includes an “investment” step that raises the performance bar for the next time through — hence the reference to infinity (as in “approaching infinity”).

Remember, once habits are learned they tend to remain largely unconscious as long they fit smoothly into your routine. Newer habits are built on top of older habits or work alongside. Sometimes a new habit will displace an older habit if it seems to serve a purpose in a better way.

Since habit formation is such a crucial part of raising a child, we will be spending more time with the underlying ideas — and findings from cognitive science research that further our understanding of the underlying concepts of habit formation and dissolution.

So far as we are thus mere bundles of habit, we are stereotyped creatures, imitators and copiers of our past selves. And since this, under any circumstances, is what we always tend to become, it follows first of all that the teacher’s prime concern should be to ingrain into the pupil that assortment of habits that shall be most useful to him throughout life. Education is for behavior, and habits are the stuff of which behavior consists. __ William James

Basic Theories of Motivation

Source

“He’s Not Motivated”

Some children hide behind a screen of indifference, boredom, or defiance when encouraged to devote time to their studies or to a new hobby that seems too challenging. This is less common in young children, but grows more common in the teenage years.

To solve the problem of a child’s lack of motivation, we need to return to first principles: Children, when they are not angry or discouraged, want to do well. They want to feel good about themselves—and about others. They want to earn our praise and approval, and they want us to be proud of them. Children say that they don’t care, but they do care.

Sustained effort is a different matter. Our ability to work hard, to sustain effort at any task, requires a feeling of accomplishment or progress along the way, and some confidence in our eventual success. All constructive activity involves moments of anxiety, frustration, and discouragement. Children who are “not motivated” too readily give in to these feelings; __ Source

Arousal Theory

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/theories-of-motivation/

If the milieu of learning incorporates too much “arousal,” if the child feels anxious — or if he is depleted by the environment and feels apathy — he will not feel motivated to learn, nor will he be in a proper state for learning most difficult tasks or concepts.

Most students have experienced this need to maintain optimal levels of arousal over the course of their academic career. Think about how much stress students experience toward the end of spring semester—they feel overwhelmed with work and yearn for the rest and relaxation of summer break. Their arousal level is too high. Once they finish the semester, however, it doesn’t take too long before they begin to feel bored; their arousal level is too low. Generally, by the time fall semester starts, many students are quite happy to return to school. This is an example of how arousal theory works. __ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/theories-of-motivation/

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation

Motivation to learn or to complete a task is related to the full set of incentives that are perceived by the child. A child may respond well in the short-term to external incentives, but in the long run he will be better served by incorporating internal incentives inside himself.

Intrinsically motivated behaviors are performed because of the sense of personal satisfaction that they bring. According to Deci (1971), these behaviors are defined as ones for which the reward is the satisfaction of performing the activity itself. Intrinsic motivation thus represents engagement in an activity for its own sake. For example, if you are in college because you enjoy learning new things and expanding your knowledge, you are intrinsically motivated to be there.

Extrinsically motivated behaviors, on the other hand, are performed in order to receive something from others or avoid certain negative outcomes. Theorists define extrinsic motivation as “engaging in an activity to obtain an outcome that is separable from the activity itself” (deCharms, 1968; Lepper & Greene, 1978). The extrinsic motivator is outside of, and acts on, the individual. Rewards—such as a job promotion, money, a sticker, or candy—are good examples of extrinsic motivators. Social and emotional incentives like praise and attention are also extrinsic motivators since they are bestowed on the individual by another person. __ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/theories-of-motivation/

Good teachers can provide external incentives for learning — a supportive atmosphere for learning — but one cannot always count on having such support in every learning environment. For Dangerous Children self-teaching is based upon a network of intrinsic motivations that are cultivated inside the child from a time well before he can walk or talk.

Mastery and Performance Goals

Mastery goals tend to be associated with the satisfaction of mastering something—in other words, gaining control, proficiency, comprehensive knowledge, or sufficient skill in a given area (such as mastering the art of cooking). Mastery goals are a form of intrinsic motivation (arising from internal forces) and have been found to be more effective than performance goals at sustaining students’ interest in a subject. In one review of research about learning goals, for example, students with primarily mastery orientations toward a course they were taking not only tended to express greater interest in the course, but also continued to express interest well beyond the official end of the course and to enroll in further courses in the same subject (Harackiewicz, et al., 2002; Wolters, 2004).

Performance goals, on the other hand, are extrinsically motivated (arising from external factors) and can have both positive and negative effects. Students with performance goals often tend to get higher grades than those who primarily express mastery goals, and this advantage is often seen both in the short term (with individual assignments) and in the long term (with overall grade point average when graduating). However, there is evidence that performance-oriented students do not actually learn material as deeply or permanently as students who are more mastery-oriented (Midgley, Kaplan, & Middleton, 2001). __ Source

Grades and test scores are often used as motivators. But for many children and youth, the “knowledge” only lasts until the test or the class is over. After that it is almost all forgotten.

Children who are motivated toward mastery will find ways to tie new knowledge to older knowledge — particularly to relevant knowledge that has already been retained for significant periods of time because of its perceived relevance. Needless to say, new knowledge that is incorporated into practical knowledge skills, competencies, and sequences, are more likely to be retained and refreshed over a longer time scale.

More:

Motivation begins with interest. Interest leads to exploration and learning, and to the development of projects. Projects then become ambitions and goals. Like all of us, children want to do what they are “good at.” They want to shine and feel proud. And, again, they want us to be proud of them.

A child’s motivation is also sustained by ideals. Children want to become like, to learn from, and to earn the respect of the people they admire. Too often, we overlook this fundamental aspect of children’s motivation and emotional development. We do not stop often enough, I believe, to consider our idealization in the eyes of our children—how children look to us and look up to us—and how we remain for our children, throughout life, sources of affirmation and emotional support. __ PT

Young children crave the praise and approval of their parents and others they admire. For the purpose of learning most skills, this is enough motivation. As a child gets older, he tends to grow more critical of adult authority figures, but if the parents have treated him fairly and with respect, he will continue to enjoy displaying skill and competence to them, and will enjoy their praise. But with time, his own approval will be sufficient praise to motivate a continued mastery of more skills of living.

John David Garcia Curriculum VII

Original Source

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
10.00 12.00 Gauss’ mathematics and
physics continued; general
thermodynamics, the work
of Boltzman Clausius and
Gibbs, Maxwell’s demon,
the inventions of Edison
and Tesla; the work of
Mendeleev and the
beginning of organic
chemistry; probability
theory as understood by
Gauss and Galton
Construction of AC
generators and regulators,
simple radios, light bulbs,
and recording devices;
begin design and
construction of simple
internal combustion
engine; experiments in
organic chemistry and
synthesis of organic
compounds
The life and work of
Charles Darwin and
Wallace, the evolution of
evolutionary ideas, the
theory of natural selection,
and the three laws of
thermodynamics; the work
of Pasteur continued
Each student gathers
evidence for and against
Darwinian evolution,
taking into account basic
genetic knowledge and
probability
10.25 12.25 Non-Euclidean geometry
and statistical mechanics;
introduction to systematic
probability theory and
statistics; continue work in
thermodynamics and
organic chemistry; the
work of W.R. Hamilton
and Henri Poincare is
studied
Continue work of previous
quarter; construct
interferometers and repeat
the Michelson/Morley
experiments; repeat
experiments of Planck to
derive Planck’s constant;
develop and derive the
special theory of relativity;
begin construction of
automobile; continue
internal combustion engine
project
Neo-Darwinian theories of
evolution and evolutionary
genetics up to R.A.
Fisher’s The Genetical
Theory of Evolution;
explain disease and
parasites in evolution
Do genetic experiments
with fruit flies and molds,
giving evidence for and
against neo-Darwinism,
theories of evolution,
bacteriology; systematic
study and laboratory work
10.50 12.50 The physics of the 20th
century, including the
General Theory of
Relativity up to the
discovery of quantum
mechanics, is presented as
a year course in modern
physics (with an advanced
calculus prerequisite) as it
might have been given at
Harvard, Cambridge, or
Gottingen in 1925;
physical and organic
chemistry, also a year
survey course; finish study
of Henri Poincare
Continue work on
automobile; repeat
experiments leading up to
Bohr atom; handmade
basic tubes for radio and
oscilloscope; construct a
more advanced radio and
oscilloscope using tubes;
make photocells,
synthesize organic
compounds
Introduction to cell
biochemistry and advanced
genetics; begin
chromatography and
electrophoresis for
separating common
biochemical constituents of
mammals
The chemical structure of
the constituents of life;
isolating nucleic acids and
proteins, determining their
properties through
chemical and
spectrographic analysis;
create genetic mosaics
10.75 12.75 Continuation of previous
quarter; relate physical
chemistry and organic
chemistry to biochemistry;
theory of x-ray machines
and electron microscopes
Continuation of previous
quarter; finish automobile;
study of x-ray machines
and electron microscopes;
organic chemistry
laboratory; motion pictures
Continuation of previous
quarter; introduction to x-ray crystallography and
electron microscopy for the
study of large molecules
and viruses
Continuation of previous
quarter; use of x-ray
crystallography to
determine chemical
structure; electron
microscopy of viruses and
large molecules

Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
10.00 12.00 The theories of Marx and
Engels in detail, Das
Kapital and the Dialectics
of Nature; the ideas of
August LeComte and
social science in general;
the psychology of William
James
Critical essay on Marxism
and dialectic materialism;
what is wrong and what is
right about theory, what is
the scientific evidence for
and against the theory; why
is social science so full of
nonsense?
Ethical analysis of Marxist
philosophy and ethics; how
and why Marxism violates
the evolutionary ethic; read
The Brothers Karamazov
by Dostoyevsky
The music of Arnold
Schoenberg, the plays of
Frank Wedekind, the early
paintings of Picasso and
the Cubists; the opera Lulu
by Alban Berg is
performed
10.25 12.25 The philosophy of
Nietzsche and Spencer;
evolutionary ethics as
propounded by Spencer;
ethical Darwinism, an
introduction to the life and
ideas of Sigmund Freud,
the rise of racist fascism in
Europe
Essay comparing the neo-Darwinian ethics with
Marxism; the incipient
Lamarckianism in
Marxism compared to its
ethics; essay on European
racism and fascism
growing out of social
Darwinism
Ethical analysis of neo-Darwinian philosophy and
of social Darwinism; how
and why social Darwinism
and fascism violate the
evolutionary ethic; Freud
as a Newtonian
psychologist looking for
mechanistic explanations
which may not exist;
ethical implications of the
unconscious
The music of Richard
Strauss, Ein Heldenleben,
Also Sprach Zarathustra,
and the opera Elektra; Man
and Superman by G.B.
Shaw is also performed
10.50 12.50 World history from 1910
to 1925; the basic writings
of Lenin and a study of his
life; World War I and the
Russian Revolution, the
world fear of communism,
Leon Trotsky as an
idealized communist;
Freud’s later works
Essay on the origins and
consequences of World
War I; essay on the origins
and consequences of
communism in Russia;
essay on how the brilliant,
ethical Trotsky went wrong
and helped create a
Frankenstein
An ethical analysis of how
the Soviet Union betrayed
its own revolution and
turned into a monster; how
the centralization of power
makes corruption
inevitable; read Darkness
at Noon by Koestler and
Animal Farm by Orwell
The music of Prokofiev
and Shostakovich; the
films of Sergei Eisenstein,
including Ivan the Terrible;
perform the Shostakovich
opera Lady Macbeth of
Murmansk and
Mussorgsky’s Boris
Gudenov
10.75 12.75 World history 1925 to
1939; the basic writings of
Mussolini, Hitler, fascism,
Stalin, and Soviet
communism; a study of
Hitler and Stalin as
complementary
personalities who changed
history; early works of
Pavlov and Jung
Essay comparing the
conflicting ideologies and
economic factors leading to
World War II; what could
have been done to prevent
World War II; why the
United States was so
immune to both
communism and fascism
An ethical anlysis of how
capitalistic greed and the
political cowardice and
vindictiveness of the
European democracies
made World War II
inevitable; Read Winds of
War by Wouk
The music of Stravinsky,
the early art of Dali, the
films of Chaplin, Bu_nuel,
Lang, and Pabst, plus
Academy Award winners;
perform Hindemith’s opera
Mathis der Mahler and
Brecht’s Mahagonny

Cross-posted from Al Fin The Next Level

John David Garcia Curriculum VI

Original Source

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
9.00 11.00 Begin advanced calculus
and partial differential
equations; detailed study
of the work of Lagrange
and Euler, the calculus of
variations from Newton to
Lagrange, elementary
probability theory from
Pascal to Cauchy and
LaPlace; applications in
optics, astronomy, theory
of heat
Begin construction of
simple steam engine,
making from scratch, doing
all machining of parts by
treddle-driven lathes and
water and windmill power;
check the detailed
mathematical models
against astronomical
observations
Conclusion of the study of
human anatomy and
embryology
Conclusion of dissections
and microscopic
observations; the general
functioning of the human
body has been observed
9.25 11.25 Continue work of previous
quarter; detailed theory of
steam engine, the work of
Lavoisier, Priestley, and
Dalton
Continue above project,
switching to electrical
machinery; do early
experiments in electricity
by Gauss, Coulomb,
Amp^ere, and Volta; the
atomic model of chemistry
and experiments
Begin study of animal
physiology and describe
biochemistry through mid
19th century; repeat
experiments of Helmholtz
in biophysics
Experiments in basic
physiology showing how
human body consumes
oxygen and produces
carbon dioxide; human
body as a heat engine
9.50 11.50 Continue work in
chemistry; the work of
LaPlace and Carnot, the
laws of thermodynamics,
the experiments of
Faraday; advanced studies
in partial differential
equations; wave mechanics
in optics; begin study of
the works of Gauss
Continue chemistry
experiments; finish work
on steam engine; test
efficiency using Carnot’s
concepts; begin repeating
the experiments of Faraday
and empirically derive the
basic laws of electricity
and magnetism, including
Ohm’s law
Animal physiology and
biochemistry continued;
the work and life of
Pasteur
Experiments in animal
physiology and
biochemistry continued
9.75 11.75 Maxwell’s work on the
wave theory of light and
the derivation of Maxwell’s
equations and their
applications; continue
study of Gauss’
mathematics and physics
Electromagnetic motors
and generators,
construction of batteries,
transmission of
electromagnetic waves,
early work of Tesla, the
telegraph and the wireless
constructed
A course in botany and
plant physiology; begin
experiments in plant
genetics after Gregor
Mendel
Study and dissection of
major plant species; field
studies, microscopic
dissection, plant breeding
per Gregor Mendel

Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
9.00 11.00 Detailed analysis of the
American and French
Revolutions; detailed
analysis of the writings of
Jefferson and his
correspondence;
comparisons between
Jefferson, Washington, and
Napoleon; how Napoleon
betrayed the French
Revolution in the pursuit
of personal power; how the
U.S. government betrayed
the Libertarian ethic
Write essays comparing
the ethical course of the
American and French
Revolution; relate the
ethics of Spinoza to these
revolutions; relate to
evolutionary ethics and
show where they went
wrong
Artistic synthesis in the
early work of Goethe and
the music of Beethoven;
ethical synthesis in the
philosophy of Lessing,
Goethe, and Moses
Mendelssohn and their
interpretations of Spinoza
Reorchestrate and perform
Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue
for octet; read Goethe’s
prophetic poetry; write a
sequel to the Sorcerer’s
Apprentice
9.25 11.25 The philosophy of Kant,
biography, The Critique of
Pure Reason and The
Critique of Practical
Reason; compare to
Spinoza; Kant’s cosmology
compared to LaPlace;
explain Catholic hostility
Write essays on the
scientific and ethical
implications of Kant’s
philosophy; analyze in
terms of the evolutionary
ethic
Artistic synthesis
continued in the work of
Goethe and Beethoven;
Goethe’s Sorcerer’s
Apprentice and pessimism,
the romantic hope and self-delusion
Produce as a group project
Goethe’s Faust and
performance of
Beethoven’s Ninth
Symphony for several
octets
9.50 11.50 The philosophy of Hegel–how he could be so wrong
and so influential; Hegel
and the misinterpretation
of Spinoza; Hegel’s theory
of history and ethics; Hegel
as the father of Marxism
and Naziism; de
Tocqueville as a visionary
and prophetic historian
Essay explaining Hegel’s
influence through present
times; a comparison of
Spinoza and Hegel–how
could Hegel so
misunderstand Spinoza
and deceive himself and
others? Why was de
Tocqueville so accurate in
his predictions?
The romantic poets, Byron,
Shelley, and Wordsworth;
the art of Watteau,
Houdon, David, and
Degas; the music of
Berlioz and Liszt; Wagner
as the musical equivalent
of Hegel
Write epic poetry on a
hopeful future from a
romantic perspective; do a
musical satire on a Wagner
opera; paint a heroic
romantic painting
9.75 11.75 A history of the world
from 1775 to 1910;
development of major
ideas and philosophies,
with particular attention to
USA, Britain, France,
Germany, Japan, and
Russia; basic economics
from Adam Smith to Marx
and Engels
An essay explaining the
Newtonian model and its
influence on the intellectual
history of the world; why
Islam, India, and China
were so far behind, why
Japan was able to catch up
An ethical analysis of
European and American
imperialism; libertarian
and socialistic ethics; the
ethical turmoil of the age
of liberty and social
obligation; read War and
Peace by Tolstoy; the
paintings of Turner and the
Impressionists
Read and analyze Pushkin,
Melville, Dickens, Hugo,
Balzac, Dostoyevski,
Tolstoy, George Eliot;
study the music of Mahler
and perform Das Lied von
der Erde

John David Garcia Curriculum V

Note: This curriculum is meant to provide concepts and ideas. It stretches the ordinary vision of what young children can understand and what they can do. This enlarging of vision is necessary if young people are to be given a fair go of it.

John David Garcia Curriculum for a precocious age 10:

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
8.00 10.00 Continue with study of
analytical geometry; begin
solid analytical geometry
using Cartesian notation;
study the design of clocks,
thermometers, and
astronomical instruments;
a study of Kepler and his
ideas about nature and the
music of the spheres
Continue with mini-cathedral building project;
build full-fledged
observatory with
telescopes, but in spirit of
Tycho Brahe make
observations to deduce
Kepler’s laws; take two-week ocean voyage on
sailing ship; discuss how
Europe extended itself
throughout the world in the
16th century
Continue vertebrate
comparative anatomy
through higher mammals
and relate to human
anatomy; show how
embryology of all
vertebrates overlaps at
stages; relate to Greek
evolutionary theories
Dissect and study
vertebrate anatomy,
tissues, and organs; go
through modern
systematics for all major
mammalian orders; study
embryology of related
groups with microscope;
the fetal pig and its full
dissection
8.25 10.25 The early basis of the
scientific revolution,
Francis Bacon’s Novum
Organum, Boyle’s studies,
Galileo, the inventions of
Leonardo da Vinci, the
notion of experimental
“proof”; finish analytical
geometry and learn
elementary calculus of
variations, the concept of
limit, and early concepts of
calculus to explain
Kepler’s laws
Continue observation
project, build improved
clocks, finish sextant,
finish mini-cathedral, study
map making and various
forms of map projections;
set up experiments to test
Boyle’s laws, simple gas
laws, experiments to test
circulation of the blood
Human anatomy in detail;
all organs, tissues and
bones, gross structure of
the brain; embryology
using the fetal pig; use
anatomical drawings of da
Vinci and Vesalius, plus
Gray’s Anatomy; these
integrated studies will last
a year
Dissect human cadavers,
male and female; observe
tissues, and relate to other
mammals; show similarity
of all organs for all
mammals; note how
different human brain is
8.50 10.50 The Newtonian synthesis;
full study using modern
notation of Principia
Mathematica and the
Opticks; derive Newton’s
laws from Kepler’s
observations; derive
calculus from the need to
mathematically describe
the laws of motion and
gravity
Begin making windmill
and waterwheel; predict the
orbits of the planets using
Newton’s laws and a few
astronomical observations;
predict the eclipses of the
sun by the moon at
different spots of interest
on the earth; repeat
Newton’s experiments
showing that light is a
system of particles, and
that white light contains
the spectrum
Continue studies of human
anatomy and embryology
Continue anatomical
dissection and microscopic
studies; learn micro-techniques and make your
own slides
8.75 10.75 Derive the calculus up to
the use of simple
differential equations;
derive the formulas for
optics and the creation of
compound lenses; compare
Newton’s and Leibnitz’
approach
Continue work on windmill
and waterwheel; build a
Newtonian reflecting
telescope; built a
chromatically-corrected set
of compound lenses for the
telescope already
constructed; make an
improved microscope
Continue studies of human
anatomy
Continue work of previous
quarter

Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
8.00 10.00 The rise of humanism
leading to the Renaissance
and the Reformation; the
writings of Erasmus,
Luther, and Calvin; the
Council of Trent and the
rise of the Jesuit order;
Giordano Bruno, the
philosophy of Descartes,
and a review of his
contemporaries
Essay on the ethical
implications of the
Reformation; were the
Protestants any less
bureaucratic? mutual
discussion of essays
among the octets; essay on
the ethical implications of
the scientific method and
the new philosophy
The literary synthesis,
Dante’s Divina Comedia,
Cervantes’ Don Quixote,
Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus; the
music of Monteverde and
Palestrina; the art of
Bosch, Leonardo da Vinci,
and Michelangelo
Write an epic poem about
the Christian view of Hell;
write a play about a
modern Don Quixote;
continue study of organ
and harpsichord; compose
and perform music in the
style of Monteverde and
Palestrina
8.25 10.25 Hobbes, Montaigne, and
Spinoza; read Spinoza’s
Ethics without analyzing
proofs and note how this is
a huge leap over the
philosophy of Descartes
and is the first totally
rational treatment of ethics
in history
Apply Spinoza’s ethics to
solving problems in
practical ethics, politics,
and religion; relate
Spinoza’s ethics to
Christianity, Islam, and
Judaism; apply Spinoza’s
model to formulating a
model of the universe and
evolution; write an essay
on the meaning of Spinoza
The literary synthesis
continues; read critically
Shakespeare’s Romeo and
Juliet, Othello, and
Hamlet; study the music of
Handel; study advanced
musical theory and
composition
Continue study of organ
and harpsichord; build a
harpsichord as a group
project; write a last act to
Hamlet in which Hamlet
lives; play the music of
Handel
8.50 10.50 The philosophical
contemporaries of Spinoza,
Leibnitz, Locke, and Hume
on improving the
understanding; world
history from 1000 AD to
1775
Essay on the hostility to
Spinoza; an ethical
analysis of the lives of
Spinoza and Leibnitz;
essay on why Europe
embraced the scientific
method and modern
philosophy while the rest
of the world did not
Spinoza’s ethics,
Christianity, Judaism, and
respect for human rights;
the rise of democratic
ideology; Islam becomes
totally entropic;
conservative belief systems
in the rest of the world;
European predation
Group project to perform
St. Matthew or St. John
Passion of Bach; all learn
to play the Musical
Offering, the Art of the
Fugue, in an octet; each
octet does its own
orchestration for the Art of
the Fugue
8.75 10.75 Human rights and 18th
century philosophy;
Voltaire, Rousseau,
Diderot, and the
Encyclopedists; the
American Revolution; the
philosophy and writings of
Thomas Jefferson, the
social contract, and the
Federalist Papers
Essay on Rousseau and
irrationalism; essay on the
libertarian ideal and the
democratic compromise;
essay on the U.S. founding
fathers allowing slavery to
continue–was losing the
revolution and hanging a
better alternative? Write
scenario on what would
have happened if there had
not been tolerance of
slavery
The artistic synthesis
continues; further study of
the Art of the Fugue and
the music of Mozart; the
pessimistic writings of
Jonathan Swift, a tragic
interpretation of the
democratic experiment
Compose and perform a
conclusion to the Art of the
Fugue; perform as a group
project one Mozart opera
of students’ choice

Original Source

John David Garcia Curriculum IV

Original Source

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
7.00 9.00 Consolidation of Greek
mathematics and geometry
using modern notation;
practical chemistry in
purifying common
elements from their ores
and making chemical
compounds such as
sulphuric acid, nitric acid,
hydrochloric acid, aqua
regia, and gun powder
Use geometry and
mathematics to design a
cathedral using Roman
arches, vaults, and
buttresses; isolate elements
from their ores; make acids
and simple compounds,
gun powder, and paints;
make mortars and cements;
continue modification of
sailing ship
Further study of
microscopic life, protozoa,
mites, worms, and other
microorganisms that live
on and in mammals;
diseases they cause and
symbiosis they provide
Microscopic observation of
microorganisms,
classification in modern
terms; observe sea
plankton, sponges, and
hydra, and observation of
their life cycles
7.25 9.25 Mathematical modeling of
nature through advanced
algebra, geometry, and
trigonometry; derive
solutions to quadratic and
cubic equations; advanced
navigation, the compass
and the theory of the
sextant; advanced
geometry, trigonometry of
arches, domes and vaults
Masonry work, making
stone arches & vaults;
begin construction of small
wooden house with some
masonry; continue to work
with lenses and practical
optics, make large
reflecting telescope, make
better microscope; make
additional chemical
compounds, acids and
paints, dyes and cements;
construction of an
astrolabe; practical
astronomy; finish
modifications on sailing
ship
Animal systematics,
invertebrate zoology,
comparative organ
systems, organ structure
and function, cell theory of
animal structures
Laboratory dissection and
study of the invertebrate
phyla in an evolutionary
context; detailed
experimentation for
function of organ systems
and microhistology
7.50 9.50 Mathematical modeling of
nature continued; quartic
equations; heliocentric
model of solar system
compared to Ptolemaic;
comparison of Viking
ships as fast raiders to
more seaworthy sailing
ships; prepare for two-week ocean trip, theory of
alchemy
Continue work with wood
and masonry in house;
begin construction of
accurate water and
weighted clock; begin
construction of
astronomical telescope
with instruments;
alchemical preparation for
isolating elements and
making compounds; the
alchemical symbols as
archetypes
Continue classification of
invertebrates for all
remaining major phyla,
specifying organ functions
and histology; show how
all metazoa have same
types of cells and all start
as single cell, simple
embryo egg
Laboratory dissection and
microscopic observation of
major invertebrate phyla;
tissue and embryology;
transition species to
vertebrates, tunicates, and
amphioxus
7.75 9.75 Begin study of conics and
analytical geometry; begin
study of the dynamics of
falling bodies and the
pendulum; continue study
of alchemy, showing how
acceptance of wrong
hypotheses impeded
progress; consider
measurements of time,
temperature, and position
Finish wooden house;
using telescope and clocks,
begin observations of
movements of planets and
earth relative to sun, and
deduce Kepler’s laws; take
a two-week ocean trip;
begin construction of
sextant
Continue classification of
invertebrates; compare
with anatomy of simpler
vertebrates; study all
organs and their
physiology and function;
identify cells common to
vertebrates and
invertebrates
Microscopic observations
and dissection of simple
vertebrates and their
organs; observation of
simple embryology and
comparison to invertebrate
embryology; full dissection
of shark
Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
7.00 9.00 The Roman Empire and its
interaction with
Christianity, the Greco-Roman disdain for manual
labor, the Christian disdain
for the natural world, the
Gnostic Christians, the
stagnation and
disintegration of the
Roman Empire until the
rise of Islam
Write speculative essay on
how Roman Empire might
have endured and what the
world would be like if it
had; write speculative
essay on how Christianity
would have developed if
the Gnostics had not been
persecuted
The ethical decay of Rome;
Roman bureaucracy; how
the Catholic bureaucracy
established itself; Catholic
intolerance of deviant
views; persecution of
heretics; inferiority
complex about pagan
knowledge; the destruction
of Alexandrian library;
Hypatia
Finish design of cathedral;
paint Christian symbols
that express what is best in
Christianity; sing
Gregorian chants in Latin
after studying translations;
do an art project
expressing the meaning of
the Catholic church
7.25 9.25 The rise of Islam; read the
Koran; early history of
Arabia to 7th century;
relationship of Islam to
Zoroastrianism, Judaism,
Christianity, and the
surrounding cultures; the
political vacuum in the
Middle East
Essay on why so many
Jews rejected Islam; essay
on why Islam was able to
grow and expand so
rapidly; essay on the
ethical contradictions
within Islam compared to
Judaism and Christianity
Islam as a closed system;
how Islam induces
fanaticism; its comparison
to Christianity; why
Christianity is more open
in spite of church
bureaucracy; Islam and
creativity; the reason for
Islam declining as
Christianity rose
Islamic abstract art; how
lack of representational art
diminishes creativity; draw
abstract designs in the
Islamic style; Islamic
mandalas; paint
representational art of
Islam; compare to Persian
and Mogul art forms
7.50 9.50 The great theologians, St.
Augustine, St. Gregory,
Averroes, Avicena,
Maimonides, St. Anselm,
Abelard; show their depth
and breadth of vision; the
weakness of having
orthodoxy to defend; the
Holy Roman Empire and
its relationship to Islam,
India, and China;
Charlemagne and his
successors
Essays on the “proofs” of
the existence of God and
the ontological arguments;
essay on the humanizing
role of the Church while it
bureaucratically decayed;
essay on priestly celibacy
and its implications; write
your own ideas about God
The dominance of ideology
and bureaucracy over
ethics and truth, the
preservation and distortion
of the teachings of Jesus,
the fundamental power of
the teachings of Jesus in
spite of the negative
elements
Compare Byzantine with
Western religious art and
paint a synthesis of the
two; paint a synthesis of
Christian, Chinese, Hindu,
and Muslim art of the
period; begin study of the
organ
7.75 9.75 St. Thomas Aquinas and
the rise of the Holy Roman
Empire; the feedback
produced by the great
schism; the decline of
Byzantium relative to the
newly emerging West;
Roger Bacon and the rise
of science; the apparent
cultural superiority of
Islam, India, China, and
Byzantium
Write essay on the
theology of St. Thomas
Aquinas, indicating the
holes in his arguments;
essay on Thomistic ethics;
the schism analyzed in
theological and
bureaucratic terms, why
schism was so important to
Western progress
The relationship of rational
theology to mathematics;
the church as an arbiter of
power between barbarian
states; the moral authority
of the church in a world of
brute force; the cathedral
as the synthesis of Western
technology, art, and
religion
Study and do detailed
drawings of major
cathedrals; plan to
implement construction of
cathedral design; begin
construction on scale
model in stone

John David Garcia Curriculum III

Original Source

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
6.00 8.00 The geometry of Euclid
using modern algebraic
notation, introduction to
algebra as it applies to
geometry, use of geometry
and vectors to sail against
the wind; give many
examples of the practical
applications of geometry in
many fields; the Atomic
Theory of matter of
Democritus; other Greek
theories of water, earth,
air, and fire
Use geometry to calculate
size of the earth, distance
to the sun, size of the sun;
use geometry to construct
and use a large catapult;
build a bridge by geometric
design; work with glass
making lenses and mirrors;
begin design of ship that
can sail against the wind;
practice sailing the ship
built last year
Internal anatomy of
vertebrates, fish, frog, rat,
and pig; the true role of
each organ and what
Aristotle and Galen
thought they were for;
Greek theories of evolution
compared to modern
theory; point out how
dangerous it is for
authorities to be wrong; the
value of doubt
Dissection of fish, frog,
rat, and pig; identification
of all major organs and
bones; practice in meat
processing, packaging, and
preservation without
refrigeration; continue
practice in caring for
young infants in first year
6.25 8.25 Continue the previous
work and continue with the
geometry and science of
Archimedes; use modern
algebraic notation and
point out how difficult the
work of Archimedes was
because of notation; theory
of pullies and parabolic
mirrors; show how abacus
gives answers to the
notational problem
Construct a system of
pulleys and a block and
tackle; construct parabolic
mirrors to collect solar
energy by heating water,
and work out schedule for
how mirrors should be
aligned as function of time
of year and day; finish
design of ship
Detailed survey of Greco-Roman medicine and the
modern versions of these
beliefs; the complete guide
to the use of herbs and
medicines for curing and
preventing illnesses;
taxonomy of herbs; review
Greco-Roman theories of
biology
Plant a garden of medicinal
herbs, take field trips to
collect medicinal herbs,
prepare poultices and
medicines as have been
verified by time and
modern usage
6.50 8.50 The works of Archimedes
continued, the school of
Alexandria, and the
continuation of Greek
mathematics, science, and
technology; full
development of algebra
and trigonometry using
modern notation; solid
geometry and
trigonometry, applications
to navigation, the
construction of lenses
The design and
construction of water
pumps, the design and
construction of steam
turbines; practical lens
making continued; begin
modification of ship made
in fifth year to sail against
the wind; glass blowing
continued
Study of preventive
medicine; germ theory of
infection and how hygiene
can prevent it (although
Greeks had lenses, no one
discovered germs for 2000
years), parasites and their
life cycles, the danger of
eating meat, the
importance of cooking and
cleanliness
Use lenses to study small
organisms, examine
parasites in intestines of
animals, show how
maggots hatch from fly’s
eggs; basic entomology
observed; use microscope
to study basic parasitology
6.75 8.75 Continuation of the study
of the science, technology,
and mathematics of the
School of Alexandria
Continuation of the above;
make crude telescope and
microscopes
The study of microscopic
life; how lack of scientific
method inhibited medical
practice for 2000 years;
how to prevent the spread
of disease; viruses as
submicroscopic organisms
not to be discovered for
2000 years
Study of amoebas and
major human parasites;
animals as sources of
infection for humans; the
parasitic worms
Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
6.00 8.00 Greek history from Thales
to the Roman conquest, the
Dialogues of Plato, a
survey of Aristotle, a
survey of the Greek plays
and the fables of Aesop,
the ethical teaching of
Socrates, the Macedonian
interlude and Alexander
Perform one play by
Sophocles and one by
Euripides; write a critique
of Greek culture and why it
failed; write a critique on
Socrates’ life and on
whether Socrates should
have drunk the hemlock;
write an epic poem on
Greece
Ethical analysis of the
teachings of Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle; show
how the lack of love and
the will to power forced
Greece to destroy itself;
consider that the great
thinkers of Greece never
had power nor were they
free of tyrants except at
first
Write a play in the Greek
style on Greek themes,
critique one another’s
plays, finish sculpture in
the Greek style, do a group
art project on the meaning
of Greece
6.25 8.25 Greco-Roman history from
the start of Rome to the
time of Jesus; analysis of
the works of Lucretius;
what the Romans had of
their own and what they
learned from the Greeks;
Roman ethics and theories
of government; how
tyranny can always replace
a democracy by promising
to take from the rich and
give to the poor
Learn Greek and Latin
roots to English and
scientific and technical
terms, emphasis on nouns;
the Greek alphabet, brief
survey of Greek and
Roman grammar and its
complexity; show how
English grammar is
simpler, more practical;
show how as vocabulary
expands grammar can be
simplified; write essay
comparing Greek and
Roman culture
Sexual ethics and how the
Greeks and Romans
related to them; pleasure as
an end in itself; the
exploitation of women,
exclusion of women from
all important decision
making, women as sexual
objects, the absolute
authority of the father;
Roman law and
evolutionary ethics,
subservience to the state
and ethical principles
Design a domed and
vaulted building made of
wood and masonry,
calculate stresses, and
show the use of the arch
and dome; play Roman
music and practice sports,
do a group art project on
the meaning of Rome
under Augustus
6.50 8.50 The history of the Jews;
read all of the Old
Testament, the ethical
principles derivable from
the Old Testament, the
mixing of ethics,
techniques, and ritual; the
Jewish interaction with the
Aryans after the
Babylonian captivity, the
resistance to Hellenization,
the conquest by Rome, the
Jewish bureaucracy,
sampling of the Talmud
Essay analyzing Old
Testament as a historical
account and as a myth;
compare to Iliad and
Odyssey; Jewish laws are
analyzed in terms of their
ethical value and their
political implication; essay
on Judaism as an ethical
system
Ethical analysis of the Old
Testament, personal ethics,
health implications of
many of the Jewish laws;
show how the means
became the ends and how
ritual destroys ethics; the
destructiveness of
becoming specialized in
one’s own religion
Jewish abstract art in the
form of the Menorah and
the Star of David; paint an
art work using Jewish
symbols to express a
Jewish theme without
including the human form
or animals; Jewish music
and Passover songs
6.75 8.75 The New Testament and
the life of Jesus, the ethical
teaching of Jesus, Jesus as
a Jewish reformer and
rabbi, the deification of
Jesus, the teachings of
Jesus in relationship to the
Greco-Roman religion, St.
Paul and Christianity as a
synthesis of Judaism,
Jesus, and Greco-Roman
religion and philosophy
Write an essay on Jesus
and the meaning of his life
and death, essay on the
criticisms of Jesus against
traditions and the Jewish
bureaucracy, essay on
whether Jesus could have
studied in India and/or
Tibet, essay on Jesus’
teaching and the school of
Alexandria
Ethical analysis of the New
Testament, the high ethical
content in the teachings of
Jesus compared to their
corruption by St. Paul, the
mythification & deification
of Jesus in the Roman
tradition by those who did
not know him, analysis of
synoptic gospels showing
how they were all derived
from a simpler, common
source
Draw and paint art
showing the unification of
Judaism, the teachings of
Jesus, and the Greco-Roman religion
(Michelangelo’s Sistine
Chapel is best model);
write a poem expressing
this synthesis; do a group
art project expressing the
essence of Christianity

John David Garcia Curriculum Part II

For age 7 plus or minus as needed…

This curriculum was devised in the 1970s for use with highly intelligent and motivated children. Much of the early years Dangerous Child curriculum is drawn from these guides.

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
5.00 7.00 The smelting of iron and
simple steels, forging iron
and blacksmithing; simple
astronomy and navigation,
advanced sailing ships that
might have crossed the
Atlantic; the iron forging
necessary for controlling a
horse in battle; pre-Greek
geometry and arithmetic
using Arabic numbers,
advanced theory of the
Babylonian abacus
Smelt ore, forge from iron
a complete set of tack for a
horse, plus horseshoes;
forge and make iron sword
and spear; make large clay
jars for storing grain, oils,
and wine; begin one-year
sailing ship construction
project for group; show
how geometry and
arithmetic help in the
above projects, build a
Babylonian abacus
Advanced study of
equestrianship for war,
shooting a compound bow
while riding horseback, the
use of the lance and the
sword from horseback;
mammalian reproduction
in detail, nursing and care
of young mammals;
processing milk into cheese
and yogurt
Horse handling, training,
and riding; grooming and
care of horses, shodding
and equipping the horse,
the use of different bits,
saddles, and stirrups;
mammalian reproduction
and breeding; comparisons
of dogs, cats, sheep, goats,
cows, and horses; cheese
and yogurt from cow’s
milk; extract oil from fruits
and nuts; make and store
wine; optimal physical
training of the human body
5.25 7.25 Continue with projects
begun previous quarter
Continue with projects
begun previous quarter
Continue with projects
begun previous quarter
Continue with projects
begun previous quarter
5.50 7.50 Advanced metallurgy,
casting bronze sculptures
through lost wax process;
making of hard steel
alloys, nails, bolts, and
screws; making advanced
presses and catapults;
fractions and decimals,
empirical basis of
Pythagorean Theorem,
right triangles, circles,
spheres, and
parallelopipeds
Continue work on sailing
ship, do precision bronze
castings; make knives
using hard steel alloys;
make nails, bolts, screws,
presses, and catapults;
show applications of
mathematics and geometry
to the above
Human reproduction,
comparative male and
female anatomy, hormonal
cycles, fertility cycles,
puberty and emotions,
lactation and nursing, care
of infants, normal patterns
of growth for young boys
and girls
Advanced breeding of
animals and plants,
extraction of fats and oils
from vegetables, fruits, and
seeds; extract animal fats
from carcasses and meat;
work in nursery caring for
small children 1-2 years
old
5.75 7.75 The geometry and
mathematics of
Pythagoras, several proofs
of his theorem, the
Pythagorean solids, the
harmonics of vibrating
strings and the physical
basis of music; geometry
applied to navigation,
astronomy, building and
surveying; the technology
of glass, glass blowing
Construct the Pythagorean
solids, use several
approaches to making
dodecahedron and
icosahedron; construct
navigational computer,
advanced abacus; construct
glass bottles, mirrors,
parabolic mirror; finish
sailing ship
Human health and the
Greek medical tradition,
Aesculapius and
Hippocrates; a healthy
mind in a healthy body;
physical culture and
optimal health; diet,
exercise, and health
Gardening and preparation
of food for optimal health,
an exercise plan for
lifetime health, strength,
and energy; construction of
a glass still; care of young
infants
Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
5.00 7.00 The story of Zarathustra;
how he changed the
Persian people and how
they went on to create the
world’s greatest empire
until conquered by
Alexander; the Zoroastrian
religion and myths in detail
Analysis of ancient Persian
history and religion; write
a story of how Persian
history might have been
different if the religion had
been different
Ethical analysis of
Zoroastrian religion and
ethical system, strengths
and weaknesses, and how
it was doomed to failure
Ancient Persian art,
architecture, music;
analyze and reproduce
style according to your
own feeling about this
culture; do a group project
expressing ancient Persian
civilization
5.25 7.25 The story of Confucius and
his teachings and how they
changed China; the books
of Confucius are read,
discussed, and compared to
the philosophy of Lao Tse;
the interaction of Taoism
and Confucianism in
Chinese history is
discussed
Written analysis of each of
the books of Confucius and
stories about Confucius; an
analysis about Lao Tse;
writing of imaginative
stories about life in China;
essay on how you
personally feel about
Confucius and Lao Tse
Ethical analysis of
Confucianism and Taoism
as ethical systems, as ways
to knowledge, and the
civilization they produced;
what was right and what
was wrong and predictions
Ancient Chinese art to
Tang dynasty, analyze and
reproduce style in
sculpture, painting, and
music; use Chinese style to
express your feelings about
classical Chinese culture in
group art project
5.50 7.50 The story of Buddha and
his teachings and how they
changed India and the
East; emphasize the basic
ethical nature of Buddhism
and its tolerant compassion
toward others; show how
Buddhists became
psychosocial specialists
and stopped innovating in
the natural world; compare
to Hinduism
Write essays on the
meaning of Hinduism and
Buddhism and how they
relate to you; how
Buddhism and Hinduism
relate to each other, how
you would feel and act if
you were suddenly put into
a Buddhist or Hindu
society; give evidence for
and against reincarnation,
what impact these societies
have on the world,
predictions
Hinduism and Buddhism in
light of the evolutionary
ethic and the eight Ethical
Principles; the historical
impact and consequences
of those religions; the
ethics of the caste system;
why Buddhism is more
successful as an export;
common Aryan origins of
Hinduism, Buddhism and
Zoroastrianism
Experience directly
Buddhist and Hindu
meditation and its
comparison to autopoiesis;
Buddhist and Hindu art;
draw mandalas of your
own, sculpt in Buddhist
and Hindu style, make up
mandalas, learn to play
Buddhist and Hindu music;
perform dances, do art
works expressing how you
feel about Buddhism
and/or Hinduism
5.75 7.75 Early Greek history to
Thales; the Iliad and the
Odyssey; the story of
Thales and Pythagoras and
how they laid part of the
foundations of Western
civilization; the rational
and mystical as reflected in
those two men; Thales and
ethics; Pythagoras and
religion
Write an essay on the
ethics of the characters in
the Iliad and Odyssey, the
ethics of the mythical
characters and gods, the
attitudes toward women
and their role in Greece;
make up a Greek-style
myth of your own
The warlike Aryan
tradition and how it led to
Greek culture, the
obsession with domination
and personal freedom, the
oppressiveness of a slave-based culture, the extreme
military specialization of
Sparta; why a love of truth
and intelligence is not
enough if there is no love
for others
Geometric art using
Pythagorean and Greek
principles, composition of
music using Pythagorean
theory of harmonic scales;
begin a sculpture project in
the Greek style; Greek
music and dances including
those of Sparta

Original Source

Active Learning of Practical Skills

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” __ Yogi Berra, Albert Einstein, Others

The young human mind is predisposed to learning practical skills

First the child must learn how to eat, see, touch, move, walk, talk, and how to get what it needs. We are given many instincts early in life which assist us in perfecting these practical skills. Many of these instincts are “invisible,” and others are apparent from birth. The “primal cry” at birth is a good example of a healthy instinct.

One of the first practical skills a child must learn is how to suck:

Sucking as a practical skill: A Life or Death Matter

Practical Learning Keeps Children Alive

Practical Avoidance: Learning to avoid dangers such as fire, high places, deep water, edgy-looking strangers, and other hazards of life can keep babies and toddlers alive.

Active Practical Skills: Learning to safely manage fire, learning safe climbing, learning to swim, and learning to manage difficult people can keep older children and youth alive.

The point is that children are predisposed to practical learning, and it is unfortunate that our schools have spurned practical learning in favour of passive rote learning.

Why Schools Chose Passive Learning

Didactic teachers of the passive style of learning can prepare a lesson plan for any number of students, and re-use the same lesson plan over and over. Boys who are unruly can be medicated with drugs, allowing a large amount of material to be presented in the specified time frame.

Teachers of practical methods of active learning must flexibly shape each session to be responsive to the individual students who are present. This approach means that less material can be covered in any given time period. It also places a larger burden on teachers in terms of background knowledge, ability to improvise, and social skills.

A third approach is “independent learning” which incorporates a lot of self-teaching. We see a lot of this in Montessori schools, the Robinson Curriculum, and the Dangerous Child curriculum. The self-teaching approach utilises the natural affinity of young children toward practical skills and competencies.

Children Retain Practical Skills

It is rare for a child to have to re-learn how to walk or talk, once these skills are mastered. The same is true for riding a bicycle — as many adults can confirm after re-riding a bicycle after many years without having ridden. Once children can go through an active sequence of performing a skill — and receive the positive reward that tends to accompany the successful performing of the skill — their brains will tend to become more efficient at that skill with repetition. Such skills tend to be retained.

That type of learning — which is the same type of learning as in habit formation — tends to be almost automatic in childhood. Given how effective that type of learning has proven to be, we might think that parents and schools should emphasise that approach to learning for as long as it proves productive.

It is then difficult to defend the premature leap to “passive” teaching styles in conventional approaches to school. The young mind is begging to learn practical skills and habits that would make it more independently effective, while elitist educational systems are using didactic methods to indoctrinate young minds into groupthink.

Learning Requires a Scaffolding

Actually, learning requires several different scaffoldings, one after another in series. The first scaffolding for learning is innate instinct. Early learning built upon instinct provides a scaffolding for later learning that incorporates more cross-ties with related learning. This more sophisticated learning is then used as scaffolding for more sophisticated learning that begins to incorporate more abstract and second-hand knowledge. And so on . . .

Montessori Learning

Almost a hundred years ago, Maria Montessori developed an “active learning method” that is still wildly popular today. At Montessori schools, children are encouraged to explore — either independently or cooperatively with other children. By learning actively to explore areas of interest, the child engages his own built-in method of strong learning and long retention.

Another school of teaching that uses the active style of learning is the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf School.

Yet another active-learning approach to schooling is the Forest School.

These are all early childhood approaches to schooling, but the methods could easily be employed throughout the grammar school years — particularly in the education of boys, but also for girls.

Dangerous Childhood Training

Early design for the Dangerous Child © curriculum was loosely based upon the John David Garcia curriculum (more here). This type of curriculum is best presented in combination with a “forest school” environment.

As this curriculum evolved, it retained the John David Garcia elements but also incorporated elements from other alternative educational approaches. A lot of practical financial, occupational, and business skills learning was added for teens, to be sure that 18 year olds would be capable of supporting themselves financially.

Other core learning curricula — such as the Robinson Curriculum — can also be utilised. The central elements for all Dangerous Child training include the hands-on practical approach plus the self-teaching approach.

Some high schools provide high quality vocational training, but most Dangerous Children need to seek out mentors by the age of 14, to provide apprentice-style skills training wherever parents or other family members are unable to provide such training.

Practical Skills Mastery Gives Confidence

Being able to support oneself financially three different ways by the age of 18, is a huge confidence booster. That is only possible when a youth has mastered practical skills of various types — skills that are of value to a wide range of employers in the marketplace, and skills that allow a young person to start their own rapidly profitable business.

Theoretical, more abstract skills can always be added to the Dangerous Child’s repertoire of skills and knowledge. Youth and young adults who have already experimented with several ways of making a living — and who have mastered at least three — are in a better position economically and cognitively to pursue further educational goals.

Sources:

Active vs Passive Learning

Early Childhood Education

Albert Bandura

John David Garcia

Remember, practical knowledge incorporates theoretical knowledge. And theoretical knowledge is always built on practical knowledge — whether the learner understands this or not. The combination provides strong scaffolding for further learning in the future, incorporating all forms of learning including self-teaching.

The world of “future work” will include a lot more certification-style accreditation, with less emphasis on degrees if the actual competencies and skills can be demonstrated. In such contexts, the ability to self-teach — learned at an early age in the Robinson Curriculum and the Dangerous Child curriculum — is of great value.

John David Garcia Curriculum I

This portion of the John David Garcia curriculum was conceived for age 6 to age 7, with a highly intelligent and highly motivated child in mind.

Original source

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
4.00 6.00 The concept of the wheel;
smelting metal from ore;
making a simple calendar
from astronomical
observations; counting and
use of Arabic numbers to
1,000 for calendar making,
time-keeping, and other
uses
Making a potter’s wheel
and using it; making an
advanced bellows driven
by a pedaled wheel to heat
a charcoal, earth, and clay
oven; making a spinning
wheel, a sundial, a simple
loom
Advanced gardening; the
making of cloth from plant
and animal fiber; advanced
care and management of
sheep and goats; gourmet
cooking with spices and
herbs using ovens; making
more advanced permanent
shelters of wood and stone
Spinning fiber; simple
weaving of cloth with no
loom; wheat and corn
cultivation; making bread
with & without yeast;
breeding sheep and goats
with seasons; training
dogs; constructing small
stone and wood huts
4.25 6.25 More advanced metallurgy;
the saw and how to use it;
how to cast bronze tools,
nails, the chisel, and metal
hammer; advanced use of
wheels; simple arithmetic;
adding and subtraction
with Arabic numbers;
simple geometry
Construction of wheeled
push carts; construct
bronze tools and show how
inferior they are to steel
tools; use steel tools in all
construction; use pick and
shovel and push cart to
build small irrigation
system and buildings;
show how arithmetic and
simple geometry help
construct these projects
Group design of large
irrigated garden, suitable
for self-sufficiency of 16
persons; advanced looms
and weaving; advanced
animal husbandry and
selective breeding of sheep
and goats; care of chickens
and cattle
Construct and plant
garden; advanced cooking
and preserving of food;
fermentation to produce
alcohol, distillation of
alcohol with copper still
4.50 6.50 Advanced bronze-based
metallurgy and smelting of
other similar metals;
identify related ores and
other rocks; simple glass
technology; building an
oxcart from wood, leather,
and bronze; simple
multiplication with Arabic
numbers; more simple
geometry, right triangles,
and the circle; advanced
calendar-making & time-keeping; how to make a
simple boat with sail and
oars
Smelt and cast advanced
bronzes and similar
metals; make and cast
glass sheets; make mirrors
of metal and glass; build
an oxcart; show how
arithmetic and geometry
are useful; use detailed
astronomical observations
to make a better calendar,
and show how arithmetic
and geometry help; build a
small sailing and rowing
boat
Show how to use a simple
plow and fertilizer to
prepare land; show how to
make fertilizer from
minerals and organic
substances; show how to
cross-pollinate and
hybridize plants and trees;
show how to use advanced
fermentation techniques to
produce wine and alcohol;
discuss effects of alcohol
as preservative and drug;
storage and preservation of
grain
Advanced agriculture and
gardening projects; make
fertilizers, crossbreed and
hybridize plants; grow
grain and grapes; ferment
to alcohol, distill alcohol,
use alcohol as a fuel and
preservative, use as
disinfectant; cultivation of
yeasts, and advanced
baking
4.75 6.75 More advanced arithmetic
and geometry, division of
numbers, simple fractions;
creation of more advanced
sailing craft, the ideas
behind a horse-drawn war
chariot, the compound bow
with metal-tipped arrows,
how to construct the two-person war chariot and its
relationship to the oxcart;
the Babylonian abacus
theory
Show how arithmetic and
geometry contribute to
following technologies
built by groups; build a
more advanced sailing
craft; build a war chariot
using steel, wood, and
leather; show how much
more difficult it was with
only bronze; build
compound bow with
bronze-tipped arrows;
practice with bow until
expert, and practice with
war chariot
Domestication and use of
the horse as a biological
machine, special care and
breeding required by horse,
horse behavior and
anatomy, equipment for
controlling horse and how
to make it
Horse training and use for
farming and pulling
chariots, speed
comparisons, training
horse for chariots and
bareback riding

Psychosocial Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
4.00 6.00 Reading stories in personal
terms about the possible
prehistory of the Sumerian
people; vocabulary
development and the
practical use of grammar
Write stories of fiction and
personal activity using
only alphabet; show how
convenient it is to know
when a sentence starts and
ends, and how punctuation
prevents misunderstanding
The ethics of larger
groups; how it is possible
for several octets to
cooperate if they have
common rules and
objectives; how ancient
civilizations were slave-based and ruled by priestly
bureaucracies
Students construct rules
and goals of cooperative
behavior in order to build
large-scale projects,
buildings, irrigation
systems to benefit
hundreds of persons
4.25 6.25 Realistic but fictionalized
history of the founding of
Sumer and how Sumerians
created their culture up to
the time of the invention of
writing; show how the
religion and its ritual
became overwhelmingly
important, and how by
controlling food the priests
controlled people, warriors,
and kings
Write stories of fiction and
personal activity; write
essays on behavioral
ethics; use proper
punctuation for clarity of
ideas and teach correct
punctuation for students;
have students ethically
analyze in writing the
history of Sumer and show
what might be wrong
The ethics of individual
rights; show that taking
rights away from
individuals for a larger
group damages the group it
is supposed to help; show
how creativity is important
to progress and how liberty
is important for creativity
Students study Sumerian
art and try to express their
own feeling about Sumer
in ceramic figurines similar
to the Sumerians; stone
sculpture project;
reproduction of Sumerian
relics and artifacts
4.50 6.50 Read a simple non-fictional history of Sumer,
show their writing and
accounting systems and
note their defects; show
how clay as prime resource
led to cuneiform;
endurance of clay records;
read full accounts of
Sumerian myths, including
Garden of Eden;
Gilgamesh, and Noah
Write an analysis of
Sumerians’ history and
their collapse; write an
analysis of their myths and
what they mean; write your
own myths to communicate
the same ideas as the
Sumerian myths; write a
creative story of your own
choosing
Ethical analysis of the rise
and fall of Sumer, the
ethical nature of the
conquerors of Sumer, their
strengths and weaknesses,
the weakness of theocracy
and hereditary aristocracy,
why these entropic systems
went on for so long
Creative synthesis; high
Sumerian art compared to
art of conquerors; artistic
group project to
communicate the rise and
fall of Sumer through
music, painting, sculpture,
and dance
4.75 6.75 Read a simple world
history of the Ecumene
from the fall of Sumer to
600 BC; show how little
progress and creativity
there was until then; show
how Aryans spread
Sumerian civilization to
the entire old world and
possibly to the Americas;
read literary examples of
each major culture
Write an ethical analysis of
each major culture and why
they could not significantly
improve on Sumerian
civilization; write an
analysis and interpretation
of their literary works;
write your own story to
express what you feel
about this period of history
An ethical analysis of the
Sumerian religion and
those that followed; show
how ethical vitality in
primitive cultures can lead
to conquest of more
advanced civilizations;
show how religions that
seek reward for ethical
behavior are destructive;
show how it was necessary
to invent morality
The art forms of Babylon,
Egypt, Crete, pre-Confucianist China, and
India; make your own
version of these art styles;
improvise music on the
instruments of these times;
do a group art project on
this period of history

The above curriculum excerpt is republished from the John David Garcia book Creative Transformation.

There is a great deal of flexibility in practise, to match the needs, aptitude, and interest of the child.

John David Garcia Curriculum Starting Out

The first stage of the JDG curriculum is aimed at bright and motivated children between the ages of 3 and 6 years. Such children are capable of far more than they are generally given credit.

Physical Biological
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
1.00 3.00 Cause and effect The lever The human body Body care
1.25 3.25 Clubs and poles Modifying trees and
branches
Animal bodies; small
domestic animals
How to care for a pet
1.50 3.50 Different stones and their
properties
Using stones Edible plants and their
properties
Gathering edible plants
and mushrooms
1.75 3.75 Shaping stone Building simple stone tools Edible animals and fish Hunting and fishing
2.00 4.00 Shaping wood with stone Using stone tools to
modifu poles and clubs
Food preparation and
preservation
Cleaning and preparing
small game and fish using
bone, wood, and stone
2.25 4.25 Handling fire Use of stone and wood to
control fire, use of fire to
harden spear points
Advanced food preparation Cooking vegetables, fish,
and meat on open fires
2.50 4.50 Advanced fire handling
and control combining
wood and stone tools,
theory and design
Hafted axes and choppers
are made; stone fire
carriers, simple weaving
and knotting of vines and
leather
Elementary tanning and
use of bone, vines, and
vegetable fiber
Skinning animals and fish,
preserving leather,
advanced cooking.
preparing vines and
vegetable fiber
2.75 4.75 The bow and fire-making Making bows and starting
fires
Advanced food
preparation; advanced
tanning and bone work
Advanced cooking; clothes
from animal hides; use of
sinew and thongs; hunting
with dogs
3.00 5.00 The use of clay and the
bow and arrow; design of
simple rafts
Making and baking clay
pots on an open fire;
making and using simple
bows and arrows
Advanced food preparation
including drying, smoking,
& curing; health care
Cooking, drying, and
smoking with clay pots;
preparing and using
medicinal herbs and
poultices
3.25 5.25 Advanced paleolithic stone
work of knives and axes;
advanced bow making;
advanced clay work
without wheel; large rafts
Making stone tools to
make other stone tools;
making advanced bows
and arrows; bellows and
advanced pottery; building
a large raft as a group
project
Gathering seeds and
planting edible plants;
basic first aid
Gardening; preparing soil
and cultivation; practice of
first aid
3.50 5.50 Neolithic tools;
construction of shelters;
advanced counting; how to
make a small dugout canoe
and paddle
Construction of simple
neolithic tools; the use of
tally marks and stored
pebbles; building a small
dugout canoe and paddle
The biological need for
shelter; building of lean-tos and simple teepees;
clothes for extreme cold;
simple agriculture
Construction of lean-tos
and teepees; more
advanced gardening;
making bone needles and a
parka
3.75 5.75 How to construct advanced
neolithic tools and work
stone and wood; more
advanced counting and
Arabic numbers to 10; how
to build a large dugout
canoe
Building advanced
neolithic tools; working
wood, simple carpentry,
building semi-permanent
structures; advanced
tallying systems; building a
large dugout canoe
How to make boots and
moccasins from leather and
plant fiber; how to know
when to plant and when to
harvest; taking care of
goats and sheep
Construction of complete
wardrobes of leather, plant,
and animal fiber; more
advanced gardening and
animal husbandry

Psychosocial

Integration
Avg.
Level
Avg.
Age
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
1.00 3.00 How to communicate Exchange of information Ethics of personal
obligation
Free-form drawing and
painting, simple songs
1.25 3.25 Clubs and poles Repeat same message from
different source
Truth and lying, paleolithic
stories
Free-form drawing and
painting, paleolithic
stories, drums
1.50 3.50 Games of information Teams for sending and
receiving messages
Advantages of cooperating
vs competing; paleolithic
stories
Songs, dancing, drawing,
painting, telling stories
1.75 3.75 Making pictures for
information
communication
Drawing picture stories Obligations of making
oneself understood
Free-form art, stick-figure
drawing for stories
2.00 4.00 Advanced picture stories Making up stories with
pictures
Ethics of separating fact
from fiction; paleolithic
stories
Wood carving and free-form painting; paleolithic
stories created and drawn
2.25 4.25 Picture symbols which
stand for complex events
Team communications
games and “charades”
using picture symbols
The difference between a
symbol and the thing it
symbolizes; paleolithic
stories
Charcoal drawing on bark
and stone; universal
religious symbols; creating
stories
2.50 4.50 Advanced picture symbols
and counting
Making up stories by
stringing together picture
symbols which everyone
can understand
Creation myths of
paleolithic people
Making up creation myths
and testing them
2.75 4.75 Rebus writing combined
with picture writing
Making up stories with
rebus and picture writing
Advanced creation myths
of Native Americans and
some religious beliefs,
symbols
Native American art and
what it expresses; free-form art for what students
value
3.00 5.00 The notion of an alphabet
and sound symbols
Stringing sound symbols
together to make a word
The religions of native
Americans and the
evolutionary ethic
Percussion instruments,
music, carving, dance, and
art to express religious
feelings
3.25 5.25 Reading advanced
paleolithic stories with
evolutionary ethical theme
Writing simple stories and
accounts using alphabet,
rebus writing, or pictures
as desired
The importance of
separating truth from
fiction in our writing to
avoid misleading others
Late paleolithic art and
religion; student’s
expression of his own
feelings about them
3.50 5.50 Reading stories and history
of early neolithic life with
evolutionary ethics theme
More writing of stories and
accounts using alphabet,
rebus writing, and pictures
as desired
Simple analysis of
neolithic culture and
religions in light of the
evolutionary ethic
Neolithic art and stone
carving; clay figurines;
self-expression of students
3.75 5.75 Reading more complex
stories of neolithic life
about religion and
creativity in ancient Jericho
and Mesopotamia
More writing of stories and
accounts using alphabet
and rebus writing, but no
pictures, show difficulty of
communicating numerical
concepts over 10
Analysis of why neolithic
culture advanced so slowly
before the beginning of
Sumer; the energy that
went into religious ritual &
the corrupt priestly
bureaucracy
The flute and harp and the
neolithic music possible
for them; advanced
neolithic art and religion;
self-expression in all art
media

The studies and all the activities of the day are integrated so that the child knows what it will be doing and why. Children who wish to follow a different path will be encouraged to do so. After consulting with the child, the home room teachers are obligated to accommodate the elections of each child and try to arrange the child’s day so as to maximize the child’s creativity, keeping the child in safety, and not imposing any activities on the child.

During this period the children are introduced to ethics and why we have an obligation to never do anything to harm anyone, including ourselves, why we should always try to do our best to increase our own creativity and the creativity of everyone with whom we interact. The concept of “creativity” is discussed with all the students, and they give their own opinions on the subject.

The child is introduced in very simple terms to what is creativity and what is harm. The concepts of harm and creativity are discussed by the teachers with all the children in each circle. The children are introduced to the concept of patience, and why we should always wait for our turn. They are taught how to show respect for each other, their teachers, their parents, their siblings, and everyone else.

These lessons are combined with free drawing, painting, and simple songs. The children are taught about the themes they will be studying during the day in physical, biological, psychosocial sciences, as well their integration through ethics, humanities and art. The themes of fire, water, air, earth, the human body, the school, the home, the family, our neighbors, positive and negative emotions, the sun, colors, ego, and ecology are all touched upon and integrated with the sciences, ethics, humanities, and art. This process will continue during all future days of study at SEE, except the discussions shall become more sophisticated and comprehensive. _JDG Lifetime Curriculum

It is important to teach ethics at the same time as one is teaching a child to be competent, conscientious, persistent, and dangerous.

The coming crop of Dangerous Children will be most dangerous to any society that attempts to restrict their freedoms and opportunities unjustly. Sic semper tyrannis.

Note: Al Fin visited John David Garcia at his home in Oregon a number of times — including a three day workshop on “autopoiesis,” attended by roughly 15 other guests. Over the years, most of those who attended JDG workshops were initially attracted by the Garcia curriculum being republished on this blog.

First Al Fin blog to publish this curriculum

Self Confidence and Self Efficacy

The two traits of self-efficacy and self confidence are both useful, and come naturally to the Dangerous Child due to his training and experience.

Self Efficacy

Albert Bandura is arguably the most cited author on the subject of self-efficacy, and he defines self-efficacy as an individual’s beliefs about their capacity to influence the events in their own lives (Bandura, 1977). __ https://positivepsychology.com/self-confidence/

Self-efficacy is closely related to one type of self confidence — confidence in one’s ability to deal with situations as they arise:

… Psychology Dictionary Online defines self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands (Psychology Dictionary Online).

… Typically, when you are confident in your abilities you are happier due to your successes. When you are feeling better about your capabilities, the more energized and motivated you are to take action and achieve your goals.

Self-confidence, then, is similar to self-efficacy in that it tends to focus on the individual’s future performance; however, it seems to be based on prior performance, and so in a sense, it also focuses on the past. __ https://positivepsychology.com/self-confidence/

People tend to enjoy doing things that they are good at. If a person is good at solving puzzles and problems — of whatever type — they will have more confidence and enthusiasm when faced with new puzzles and problems.

Ways to Build Confidence

  • Get Things Done
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Follow Through
  • Think Long-term
  • Don’t Care What Others Think
  • More here

The way to build confidence is clearly to succeed at getting things done, over and over again. It is particularly useful in this regard to get meaningful things done — things that you can take pride in. It is also helpful if one is guided by his own inner compass rather than by outside opinion. Overcoming failure is just part of the experience of gaining confidence through getting things done.

Here are a few attributes of confident people:

  • They don’t seek attention
  • They don’t make excuses
  • They don’t avoid conflict
  • They aren’t afraid to make decisions
  • They seek feedback for informational purposes
  • They are not afraid of failure
  • They don’t ruminate on negative thoughts
  • They don’t broadcast negative energy outward
  • They focus on the task, not on themselves
  • They deal with criticism then move on
  • They know when to take action and do so without asking permission

More

As in self-efficacy, meaningful self confidence comes from proving oneself competent to solve problems and to achieve things that are often thought difficult. Think of it as a “habit of competent achievement.”

When this type of competence is combined with an unconventional vision and genius, we often find persons who are sources of disruptive innovation and change. True disruptive geniuses are rare. Either they arrive on the scene too early (Leonardo da Vinci), or they have a character flaw that limits their scope of vision, or they get caught up in the social milieu of the times and fail to step far enough out of the mainstream.

We are living in a time of hyper-conformity, when most of the public believes that “consensus” is more important than verifiability, accuracy, falsifiability, or precision in science. In truth, consensus is the shite of science, but how are the people to know this in this age of group mind?

And so it should be clear that this world needs a variety of youth movements that lead the young to think independently from the crowd, to immerse themselves in the deep science of pattern, movement, language, and the passions of humanity — past, present, and future. Movements such as the Dangerous Child movement, where youth are financially independent several different ways by the age of 18. Where youth are not intimidated by the appeal to authority or to the majority opinion. Where youth are not swayed by emotional arguments based upon any type of consensus at all — without having worked their way through the arguments and the evidence themselves.

To have a confident future we must have confident youth and young adults with the intelligence, creativity, and hands-on skills to see things through.

Bits of Parenting Advice from the Mainstream

Writer Christina DesMarais contributes to Inc. magazine. Several of her pieces have to do with parenting from a scientific perspective. Some of this advice is quite good. Here is a sampling:

Parents of Successful Kids Do These Things

  • They use an authoritative parenting style.
  • They travel with their children.*
  • They don’t lie*
  • They speak with a certain tone of voice
  • They have conversations with kids*
  • They get kids involved in the arts*
  • They play card games with their kids.
  • They exercise regularly.
  • They eat meals with their kids.
  • They limit screen time*
  • They don’t spank
  • They’re warm and accepting*
  • They make sure kids get enough sleep*
  • They play with their kids*
  • They don’t overshare [about their kids] online

Sources: Here, here, and here

Christina backs up each of her recommendations with scientific sources. None of the advice is bad. I have put a star next to the items which seem particularly good overall.

Below you will find an assortment of other snippets of advice from Christina. Feel free to apply it or not, according to your own situation. The idea is to listen to strategies that work for a variety of people, just in case something they do will also work for you.

Take small but concrete steps to turn large visions into reality

“Large visions or dreams can be very daunting, which is why so many people will live their lives without even attempting to realize them. I have found that taking small but concrete steps towards my visions leads to relatively quick and tangible rewards.

If it can be done in a minute, do it now

“The best productivity advice I’ve received (and put into practice every day) is that if something comes across your desk that will take less than 60 seconds to complete, do it immediately.

Set aside a few minutes each night to reflect on all of the day’s events

“As I do so, I jot down in a journal the biggest takeaways from each day in an effort to retain lessons learned.

Say no often

“Focus on the trade-off. The more I think about what I’m giving up when I say ‘yes’ to something, the easier it is to say ‘no.’

Schedule time for self-care, both physically and mentally

“I specifically designate time in my calendar each day to work some sort of physical activity into my afternoon, and I prefer to spend this time alone. Whether through a full workout or simply a walk around the perimeter of the office, I find that being on my own during this time helps me think clearly without distractions.

Make the bed

“Making the bed each morning is the easiest way to start your day with a win.

Make connections

“I regularly invest 15 minutes in a day to talk with someone whom I typically wouldn’t talk with but is related or has some interest in something I am focused on–this could be either professionally or personally.

Make time for music

“Keeping a positive attitude about work is important to me. Positivity helps you better connect with colleagues, customers, and partners, and it makes you more memorable in their eyes. To stay positive, I make time for music every day.

Get outside your comfort zone

“Embrace the unexpected and pursue the unfamiliar. I try to do, read, listen to, watch (or even eat) something new every day. Whether that’s related to my professional development or personal enjoyment. I’ve observed over my career that those who are able to draw from a vast base of knowledge or variety of experiences have an advantage.

Read before picking up a device

“Every morning, before reaching for any electronic devices, I like to read for 30-40 minutes, generally books on philosophy or a good biography. Most recently, I read Seneca: Letters from a Stoic.”

Stretch, breathe, swim, and set goals

“It’s important to have a clear mind each morning in order to have the most productive day possible. I wake up each morning and have 15 minutes to myself to stretch and be aware of my breathing to relax my mind. Afterwards, I get my body moving by swimming for 30 minutes in order to increase my mental wellness, improve blood flow, and get ready to tackle the day.

__ https://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/31-simple-daily-habits-that-separate-high-achievers-from-everyone-else.html

Remember the difference between a productive innovator and an executive decision maker. Christina’s advice in the article above suggests that she is more of an executive decision maker, constantly distracted by meetings, interruptions, and memos. Deep-working innovators and creators will have a slightly different approach to getting things done.

It is hard enough raising an ordinary child to be successful. How much harder it is to raise a Dangerous Child, with all the sharp but polished edges that implies. So first learn the basics well, then refine your approach with the greater project in mind.

The spirit and determination for a successful life must come from within the child — you cannot provide it. But you can provide the wisdom of your experience to help shape and nurture that spirit and determination as it grows and becomes manifest. __ Source

Conventional Schools are a Poor Fit for Boys

The following article is republished from the Al Fin Next Level blog. Those who are familiar with the topics in the Dangerous Child blog find much that is familiar to them.

Mainstream Coed Schools are Failing Boys

Girls read more books. They outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad. More join the Peace Corps. At the same time, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More [boys] are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. __ The War Against Boys

For some odd reason, modern schools are designed around the needs of girls. It should be no surprise then that girls are thriving in schools from K through university, while in comparison boys are languishing.

Girls are usually better able to sit still and read, able to read and write earlier, and better at literacy in general. When teachers are unaware of these brain differences, they may misdiagnose normal boys as having learning disabilities and conduct disorders. __ http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept06/vol64/num01/Teaching-to-the-Minds-of-Boys.aspx

Boys need more physical activity, more risk taking activities, and more rough and tumble play. Most female teachers are not comfortable with giving boys these needful things. And so schools continue to put boys through hell, which disadvantages many of them throughout their education — which is too often curtailed as a result.

Simple changes to the pace and tempo of the school day, such as incorporating several brief recesses throughout the day, devoting more time to physical education, and including more hands-on activities go a long way towards alleviating some of the natural restlessness of boys and harnessing male energy in positive ways. How much Ritalin could remain on the shelves if we created schools that are ready for boys rather than boys who are ready for schools? __ Lori Day

Boys have a different style of learning than girls. According to a study titled “Teaching Boys: A Global Study in Effective Practices” by Dr. Michael Reichert and Dr. Richard Hawley, eight categories of instruction seem to succeed particularly with boys:

  • Lessons that result in an end product—a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.
  • Lessons that are structured as competitive games.
  • Lessons requiring motor activity.
  • Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.
  • Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.
  • Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.
  • Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.
  • Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.

Source

Most K-12 schools are not boy-friendly, and in the same way most modern universities are not man-friendly. But universities and university departments that still care about competing in male-dominant fields will usually find a way to treat male students in a fair and equitable manner.

Young men may be a vanishing breed on the college campus, but there are some colleges that have no trouble attracting them—schools whose names include the letters T-E-C-H. Georgia Tech is 68 percent male; Rochester Institute of Technology, 68 percent; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 74 percent. This affinity pattern points to one highly promising strategy for reconnecting boys with school: vocational education, now called Career and Technical Education (CTE). __ How to Make School Better for Boys

Locking kids indoors for seven or eight hours each day may be good for most girls, but it is hell on boys. Boys need exercise — lots of exercise. And they need to learn to take physical risks, something that is strictly forbidden at most schools.

  1. We overprotect kids, trying to keep them safe from all physical dangers–which ultimately increases their likelihood of real health issues.
  2. We inhibit children’s academic growth (especially among boys), because the lack of physical activity makes it harder for them to concentrate.
  3. When they fail to conform quietly to this low-energy paradigm, we over-diagnose or even punish kids for reacting the way they’re naturally built to react.

Most boys are rambunctious. Often they seem like they’re in a constant state of motion: running, jumping, fighting, playing, getting hurt–maybe getting upset–and getting right back into the physical action.

Except at school, where they’re required to sit still for long periods of time. (And when they fail to stay still, how are they punished? Often by being forced to skip recess–and thus sit still even longer.) __ Boys Need to Move

Researchers in Finland discovered that boys do better in reading and math when they are allowed more physical activity, with less time sitting in a classroom. Girls did not need nearly so much exercise as boys, according to the Finnish researchers. We should pay attention to the suggestion that boys and girls may benefit from entirely different approaches to schooling and child raising.

Very young children such as toddlers between 1 and 4 years, need at least three hours a day of exercise, broken up into shorter segments of time. Older children are said by various agencies of the US government to need at least one hour of exercise daily, but the real benefits for boys probably come from at least three hours a day of exercise for older children as well as younger ones. This would most easily take the form of roughly 15 minutes of exercise out of every hour of waking time. In other words, short periods of exercise throughout the day, interspersed with longer periods of other activities such as eating, dressing, schooling, homework, and occasional longer exercise periods.

The current guidelines for children 6 to 17 years of age include being physically active for at least 60 minutes or more each day with aerobic, muscle and bone strengthening activities. __ Source

Forest Schools

A unique approach to schooling known as “forest schools” seems to offer benefits for boys (and probably some girls) which cannot be obtained at conventional schools. Here are some possible benefits from forest schools:

1. Building confidence and independence
Building dens, navigating with a compass and using a knife in woodwork are just some of the activities that instil children with confidence and a sense of independence.

“Children feel empowered as they learn more about their own natural environment,” explains Worroll.

2. Feeling empathy for others and nature

Working as a team in a natural setting bonds children as a group. It also makes them aware of the need to care for each other and for the environment.

3. Physical fitness

Running around and climbing trees develops muscle strength, aerobic fitness, and coordination. A Scottish study found activity levels were 2.2 times higher in a typical Forest School day than during a school day that included PE lessons.

4. Health benefits

Studies have highlighted a multitude of health benefits to being outside -sunlight and soil microorganisms boost the body’s levels of serotonin, the chemical linked to feelings of wellbeing, while vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health, is also provided by the sun’s rays.

5. Improved mental health
Today’s children are experiencing increased stress caused by a range of pressures, from school exams to social media. Mental-health professionals acknowledge that maintaining a relationship with nature can be very helpful in supporting children’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

6. Learning by experience
Research suggests young children learn best from experience, by using their senses actively rather than passively, and it’s via these experiences that learning remains with us into adulthood.

7. Exposure to manageable risk

At Forest School, children can run and make a noise, get their hands dirty and experience manageable risk, which is essential for healthy child development, through activities such as supervised fire building and cooking.

8. Better sleep and mood

Children – and adults – sleep more deeply after either playing outside or going for a long walk, and mood lifts just from breathing in a few lungfuls of fresh air.

9. Learning about spiritual meaning
Outside the confines of four walls, without the distractions of electronic devices and excessive supervision, children can move, explore and discover at their own pace, connecting to the natural world – a place not created by man, that had deep spiritual meaning for our ancestors. __ Benefits of Forest School

It should be clear that boys need more exposure to the outdoors and to manageable risks, as well as to rough and tumble play and physical exercise in general. Forest schools seem to offer one possible solution to this puzzle that is caused by innate sex differences in educational needs. Clearly many possible solutions to the needs of boy students are possible — if society chose to make boys as much a priority for the future as it has made of girls.

There is a strong argument to be made that boys and girls should be educated in separate classrooms — if not in separate schools. This is not politically correct, but then most wise and effective ideas and most profound truths in this world are not politically correct in this age. We must do the best we can anyway, and make sure that we outlive the insanity.

We may have to fight some of the most powerful corporations in big technology, however:

Big Tech is Making the Problem Worse

The average age of children given their first smartphone is 10 years, in the US. Boys are often given video games much earlier. These electronic devices can bring unhealthy obsessions — leading to less exercise, more sedentary time, and less direct face to face social contact with family and friends. The impact on children and adolescents of such obsessions with electronic devices and social media has yet to be well defined.

There is a preponderance of evidence that social media and smartphone usage seriously damage the mental health of adolescents. Suicide rates among adolescents and young women have skyrocketed from 2007 to 2017.

Smartphones and social media consumption by adolescents are intertwined. Almost all the social media platforms and smartphones are supplied by the following five Big Tech companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple. These five companies have a total market cap of $3.5 Trillion. They are the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world.

… Big Tech companies use their tremendous influence to suppress information and deter scrutiny of how their products, services, and practices are damaging the health of young people. __ Big Tech Suppresses Information on Its own Harm Producing Impacts

Both boys and girls should have limited contact with sophisticated electronic devices, social media, and uncontrolled access to the internet until at least the mid teen years. The social life of family, school activities, play, as well as their experiencing of the natural world around them — and reading — should take up most of their time. Developing their skills of movement, pattern, music, and language, should take up most of the rest of their waking hours that are not devoted to necessities such as eating and such.

The War Against Boys Continues

Boys are different from girls, and should be raised and educated differently. Modern feminists are determined to continue their war against boys, however. They see no need to accommodate the needs of males at this time, when men are disappearing from so many college campuses.

As long as radical feminists hold dominant positions in government, media, academia, foundations, NGOs, corporate human resources departments, etc., boys and men — and those who love them — will continue fighting an uphill battle. Homeschooling may work in some cases — if it incorporates self-teaching, self-discipline, and self-guidance — as in the Robinson Curriculum.

Vocational high schools and post-secondary schools can provide useful skills that allow boys to generate incomes and experience in the world of money. There are many areas of employment that continue to be dominated by males for strong practical reasons. And there are still some conventional grammar schools, high schools, colleges and universities that try to treat males fairly, overall.

In much of the western world, we are living in a politically correct age of insanity. But these things tend to occur in cycles, so look for your chance to wound this PC turkey at every opportunity — and be ready to finish it off when the time comes.

Boys are Not Girls

This article was previously posted on Al Fin Next Level

Are boys and girls the same on the inside? Are their hearts, lungs, and brains the same? Should we expect to see identical achievement and performance from men and women, once the playing field is leveled?

Perhaps twenty or thirty years ago an educated person might have been excused for denying any differences in structure and function between the brains of human males and human females. But things have changed.

… over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired and how they work. __ Neurobiologist Nirao Shah

SEX ON THE BRAIN: A mammalian embryo is female by default. Males develop when the Sry gene of the Y chromosome is expressed, spurring the development of testes. During fetal development, the testes produce large amounts of testosterone, much of which is converted to estrogen. Both hormones then act on the brain, inducing the cellular process of masculinization.
https://www.the-scientist.com/features/sex-differences-in-the-brain-34758

If not for the Y chromosome gene Sry, no embryonic testicles would be produced. If not for embryonic testicles and their large-scale production of testosterone, no males — and no male brains — would be produced.

Many sex differences in adult brain structure and behaviors are the result of in utero organizational effects of gonadal steroid hormones, in particular androgens and their aromatized derivatives, estrogens, both of which are present in substantially higher concentrations in male fetuses due to testicular steroidogenesis. Brain differences between the sexes can also arise from diverse factors, including the expression of genes carried on the sex chromosomes and discrepancies in maternal treatment of male and female progeny. Together, these factors mediate differences in neurogenesis, myelination, synaptic pruning, dendritic branching, axonal growth, apoptosis, and other neuronal parameters. __ Neuroscientist Margaret McCarthy in The Scientist

Neuroscientists have been homing in on brain differences between men and women for many decades. Thanks to better tools for brain imaging and genetic analysis, our understanding of these stark sex differences is growing clearer and more detailed.

Sex differences in lower animals often reflect sex differences in humans, providing a clue that a large part of human sex differences in brain and behaviour have been programmed in by long periods of evolution.

… animal-research findings resonated with sex-based differences ascribed to people. These findings continue to accrue. In a study of 34 rhesus monkeys, for example, males strongly preferred toys with wheels over plush toys, whereas females found plush toys likable. It would be tough to argue that the monkeys’ parents bought them sex-typed toys or that simian society encourages its male offspring to play more with trucks. A much more recent study established that boys and girls 9 to 17 months old — an age when children show few if any signs of recognizing either their own or other children’s sex — nonetheless show marked differences in their preference for stereotypically male versus stereotypically female toys.

… “These findings have all been replicated,”… Women excel in several measures of verbal ability — pretty much all of them, except for verbal analogies. Women’s reading comprehension and writing ability consistently exceed that of men, on average. They out­perform men in tests of fine-motor coordination and perceptual speed. They’re more adept at retrieving information from long-term memory.

Men, on average, can more easily juggle items in working memory. They have superior visuospatial skills: They’re better at visualizing what happens when a complicated two- or three-dimensional shape is rotated in space, at correctly determining angles from the horizontal, at tracking moving objects and at aiming projectiles. __ Stanford Medicine

A large meta-analysis of brain volumetric studies recently established that there are significant sex differences in the volumes of various compartments of the brain.

On average, males have larger total brain volumes than females. Examination of the breakdown of studies providing total volumes by age categories indicated a bias towards the 18–59 year-old category. Regional sex differences in volume and tissue density include the amygdala, hippocampus and insula, areas known to be implicated in sex-biased neuropsychiatric conditions.

… On average, males have larger grey matter volume in bilateral amygdalae, hippocampi, anterior parahippocampal gyri, posterior cingulate gyri, precuneus, putamen and temporal poles, areas in the left posterior and anterior cingulate gyri, and areas in the cerebellum bilateral VIIb, VIIIa and Crus I lobes, left VI and right Crus II lobes. Females on average have larger volume at the right frontal pole, inferior and middle frontal gyri, pars triangularis, planum temporale/parietal operculum, anterior cingulate gyrus, insular cortex, and Heschl’s gyrus; bilateral thalami and precuneus; the left parahippocampal gyrus and lateral occipital cortex (superior division). __ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969295/

These results can only be considered preliminary, although they came from a large set of compiled data from 126 detailed scientific studies of male and female brain and brain compartment volumes.

Human Males and Females Have Complementary Brain Talents

The study below used brain tensor imaging to look at the brains of 428 young human males and 521 young human females.

Sex differences are of enduring scientific and societal interest because of their prominence in the behavior of humans and nonhuman species (1). Behavioral differences may stem from complementary roles in procreation and social structure; examples include enhanced motor and spatial skills and greater proclivity for physical aggression in males and enhanced verbally mediated memory and social cognition in females (2, 3). With the advent of neuroimaging, multiple studies have found sex differences in the brain (4) that could underlie the behavioral differences. Males have larger crania, proportionate to their larger body size, and a higher percentage of white matter (WM), which contains myelinated axonal fibers, and cerebrospinal fluid (5), whereas women demonstrate a higher percentage of gray matter after correcting for intracranial volume effect (6). Sex differences in the relative size and shape of specific brain structures have also been reported (7), including the hippocampus, amygdala (8, 9), and corpus callosum (CC) (10). Furthermore, developmental differences in tissue growth suggest that there is an anatomical sex difference during maturation (11, 12), although links to observed behavioral differences have not been established.

The study revealed fundamental sex differences in brain structural architectures of young human males and females. Such structural differences will need to be correlated with behavioural differences — such as the differences in choices of occupations which have proven to be so troubling to feminist academics and policy-makers.

Larger Study in Brains of Grown Men and Women Reveals More Sex Differences

In the new study, a team of researchers led by psychologist Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh, turned to data from UK Biobank, an ongoing, long-term biomedical study of people living in the United Kingdom with 500,000 enrollees. A subset of those enrolled in the study underwent brain scans using MRI. In 2750 women and 2466 men aged 44–77, Ritchie and his colleagues examined the volumes of 68 regions within the brain, as well as the thickness of the cerebral cortex, the brain’s wrinkly outer layer thought to be important in consciousness, language, memory, perception, and other functions.

Adjusting for age, on average, they found that women tended to have significantly thicker cortices than men. Thicker cortices have been associated with higher scores on a variety of cognitive and general intelligence tests. Meanwhile, men had higher brain volumes than women in every subcortical region they looked at, including the hippocampus (which plays broad roles in memory and spatial awareness), the amygdala (emotions, memory, and decision-making), striatum (learning, inhibition, and reward-processing), and thalamus (processing and relaying sensory information to other parts of the brain).

When the researchers adjusted the numbers to look at the subcortical regions relative to overall brain size, the comparisons became much closer: There were only 14 regions where men had higher brain volume and 10 regions where women did. __ Sciencemag

The point is not that men have larger brains than women. The important thing is to look at specific brain regions where men’s brains seem more developed, and compare this with the specific brain regions where women’s brains seem more developed. Then you can move forward in the attempt to correlate brain developmental and functional differences with the abundant real-world behavioural differences between men and women.

A Closer Look at the Above Study

… performance on mental rotation tasks (Maeda and Yoon 2013) and physical aggression (Archer 2004) are on average higher in males, whereas self-reported interest in people versus things (Su et al. 2009) and the personality traits of neuroticism (Schmitt et al. 2008) and agreeableness (Costa et al. 2001) are on average higher in females. A full explanation of these cognitive and behavioral phenomena might benefit from a better understanding of brain sex differences.

… There is more to sex differences than averages: there are physical and psychological traits that tend to be more variable in males than females. The best-studied human phenotype in this context has been cognitive ability: almost universally, studies have found that males show greater variance in this trait (Deary et al. 2007a; Johnson et al. 2008; Lakin 2013; though see Iliescu et al. 2016). This has also been found for academic achievement test results (themselves a potential consequence of cognitive differences, which are known to predict later educational achievement; Deary et al. 2007b; Machin and Pekkarinen 2008; Lehre et al. 2009a, 2009b), other psychological characteristics such as personality (Borkenau et al. 2013), and a range of physical traits such as athletic performance (Olds et al. 2006), and both birth and adult weight (Lehre et al. 2009a). __ Cerebral Cortex Ritchie et al 2018

The greater variance in cognitive ability in males as compared to females is another source of concern for feminists in academia, politics, and in both governmental and non-governmental bureaucracies.

Men Dominate at the Highest Levels

Whether looking at the number of male vs. female CEOs of large corporations, leaders of governments, winners of Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, top chefs, most skilled chess grandmasters, the best aircraft pilots, the most dominant athletes, top surgeons, best violinists, most successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, etc. etc. — males tend to outnumber females.

Charles Murray’s masterful book “Human Accomplishment” looked at the achievements of top mathematicians, scientists, artists, etc. between the years 800 BC and 1950 CE. Murray discovered that — just as in contemporary Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals — men vastly outnumber men when it comes to historical accomplishments.

Murray found that women consistently make different career choices than men, which divert them from the path of great achievement time after time.

The women with careers were 4.5 times as likely as men to say they preferred to work less than 40 hours a week. The men placed greater importance on “being successful in my line of work” and “inventing or creating something that will have an impact,” while the women found greater value in “having strong friendships,” “living close to parents and relatives” and “having a meaningful spiritual life.” As the authors concluded, “these men and women appear to have constructed satisfying and meaningful lives that took somewhat different forms.” The different forms, which directly influence the likelihood that men will dominate at the extreme levels of achievement, are consistent with a constellation of differences between men and women that have biological roots.

… Men take more risks, are more competitive and are more aggressive than women. The word testosterone may come to mind, and appropriately. Much technical literature documents the hormonal basis of personality differences that bear on sex differences in extreme and venturesome effort, and hence in extremes of accomplishment–and that bear as well on the male propensity to produce an overwhelming proportion of the world’s crime and approximately 100% of its wars.

But this is just one more of the ways in which science is demonstrating that men and women are really and truly different, a fact so obvious that only intellectuals could ever have thought otherwise. __ Charles Murray

And yet, both intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals in positions of influence and power continue to force destructive policies on institutions such as universities, government agencies, corporations, and others — and are fully backed by the inferior intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals who infest most mass media outlets.

In sports, a dominant female athlete such as Serena Williams would be lucky to reach a male rank of 700, in terms of tennis skill and endurance on the men’s circuit. Men play longer and harder games. In fact, Serena and her sister Venus were both soundly trounced by a smoking and beer-drinking german male tennis player years ago, when both women were stronger and faster.

…the two siblings had something of an inflated understanding of their abilities, developed from their being fresh-faced, and still in need of a few life lessons learned. So they marched themselves into the men’s ATP office to announce rather confidently they were ready to beat any tour player ranked around the Top 200 if someone wanted to take the challenge.

It just so happened that Karsten Braasch of Germany, once a top-40 player, but at the time ranked 203rd, was in ear shot. He thought it would be fun so stepped up to say he’d be happy to take them on.

The date was set and the day arrived. Braasch played a warmup round of golf in the morning, then came to Melbourne Park. The threesome went out to a back court where each sister would have a one-set shot at Braasch. Word had spread around the grounds that the event wsa taking place, which caused tournament officials to restrict admittance to the area to only those with badges.

Braasch would smoke cigarettes and sip beer during the changeovers, and to be honest no longer looked the part of a fit professional athlete. It made no matter. Braasch led 5-0 over Serena before winning the set 6-1, and then posted a 6-2 set victory over Venus.

Society cannot afford to live in a make-believe world where its best women are just as capable in all areas as its best men. It isn’t true, and it is a great waste of talent from both sexes to try to prove the egalitarian ideal.

84% of women fail watered down physical fitness test

And so we are faced with a world that needs the best of all of its talented people — male and female. But our bureaucratic planners and policy-makers refuse to allow our best people to do their best. Instead, these functionaries insist on quotas, mandates, affirmative actions, and a long list of other ruinously expensive and damaging regulations and policies that handicap us from doing our best.

In a large sample of mathematically gifted youths, for example, seven times as many males as females scored in the top percentile of the SAT mathematics test. We do not have good test data on the male-female ratio at the top one-hundredth or top one-thousandth of a percentile, where first-rate mathematicians are most likely to be found, but collateral evidence suggests that the male advantage there continues to increase, perhaps exponentially. __ Charles Murray

A strong dose of reality at the highest levels is needed, but it is not clear who will do the dosing — and whether anyone in need of the dose will be capable of learning anything from it.

Dangerous Children can provide a useful antidote to the zombie world of widespread academic lobotomy and politically correct drone minds that dominate in media, academia, government, corporate bureaucracies, activist groups, and other social institutions.

Social engineers would like to destroy the past and start afresh, programming young minds with the new agenda. But the past is written in our genes and manifest in our brains and bodies, generation after generation. The “new agenda” of the social engineers contradicts what any discerning person can see before their eyes — and today’s new agenda quickly becomes the “old agenda” as new whims and fads for social engineering invariably emerge. Without a solid foundation, such ideologies become like layers of slime upon slime.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

Dangerous Depths vs. the Distracted Shallows

Dangerous Children Must Learn to Work Deep

One of the things that sets Dangerous Children apart is their minds. They learn to think for themselves, and use their own inner compass to determine what to do.

Deep Work is the ability to focus intensely on a problem for hours at a time, bringing all of your cognitive skills to the task — and shutting out almost everything else for that time. This is how difficult concepts and skills are learned. This is how ideas are turned into research papers, books, and inventive products and working systems.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time…. deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep—spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way. __ Cal Newport

Deep Work is the opposite of groupthink, and the opposite of busy work. It is the opposite of distraction and the polar opposite of “social media.” It is where the prolific producers of important new work spend much of their time, and it is where the consistently best students get their secret powers.

Over 300 years ago, the mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

In an intriguing 2014 psychology experiment published in Science, college students often chose to administer electric shocks to themselves rather than to sit quietly with their own thoughts.

Adults will watch movies or TV, we will start an argument, we run to social media, we take stimulants or anxiolytics, we go out to eat and drink too much, we play games, pursue empty relationships, and drive ourselves to the end of distraction just to avoid “being bored” or too much alone.

Dangerous Children cannot afford to fritter away their time in those ways. They have things to do, skills to learn, and provisions to make. You cannot pack the work of a Dangerous Child into 18 early years while distracting yourself in “the shallows.”

The Seductive Appeal of The Shallows

The Shallows is the almost inescapable miasma of the internet, social media, and the constant distracting connection to the largely trivial outside world. After being immersed in the shallows long enough, it becomes more difficult for a person to concentrate deeply.

Over the last few years I’ve had the uncomfortable feeling that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going . . . but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think… I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article… Now my concentration starts to drift after a page or two. I get fidgety, lose the thread, start looking for something else to do… The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle. __ Nicholas Carr in The Shallows

Nicholas Carr is simply describing in himself what is also happening to a large number of other mind workers who have adapted to making their way in the new hyper-connected world of distraction he calls “the shallows.”

It Did Not Start With the Internet or Social Media

This need for constant distraction from deep and difficult focused work is not something new. Throughout history few people ever mastered the solitary task of thinking deeply and bringing complex and beautiful new objects and ideas into the world. Not like da Vinci, Michelangelo, Einstein, or Newton.

But in times past — before radio, TV, movies, and other popular entertainments — there were far fewer distractions from “thoughtful solitude.” And with the coming of the internet and ubiquitous all-the-time communication, time alone to focus and think deeply can be almost impossible to come by.

Why do we throw away our time on superficial distractions?

… it’s not necessarily that we are addicted to a TV set because there is something uniquely satisfying about it, just like we are not addicted to most stimulants because the benefits outweigh the downsides. Rather, what we are really addicted to is a state of not-being-bored.

Almost anything else that controls our life in an unhealthy way finds its root in our realization that we dread the nothingness of nothing. We can’t imagine just being rather than doing. And therefore, we look for entertainment, we seek company, and if those fail, we chase even higher highs.

We ignore the fact that never facing this nothingness is the same as never facing ourselves. And never facing ourselves is why we feel lonely and anxious… __ https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-most-important-skill-nobody-taught-you-9b162377ab77

Most people were never taught any better — either verbally or by example.

We dread the silence of our very existence so we choose aimless distraction… Coming to such a realization can be life-changing. __ Ali Mese

Perhaps reading books such as Deep Work and The Shallows can be life-changing. Learning to devote more of our time to deep focus and deep work — while avoiding as many shallow distractions as possible — can certainly be life-changing for many.

But at what stage in a person’s life should he learn deep focus and deep work? We see how easily the internet and social media have taken over the mainstream media, much of academia, much of government, corporate culture, and many other social institutions — including large numbers of families. Once a person is “truly hooked,” it is not necessarily easy to pull himself back in order to learn to intensely focus on deep work.

If you watch most very small children, they seem to have been born knowing how to focus deeply. How else could children learn to walk, talk, ride bicycles, negotiate to get their way, and do all the other tasks of young humans, so effortlessly?

It is best to keep young children away from “The Shallows” for several years so that they can develop their powers of intense focus for learning ideas and skills, and for creating new concepts and things. Each family will need to work out its own rules and policies, but it is best to work them out before the child is old enough to develop a strong preference.

If a human cannot focus for long periods of time, is he still a human? Perhaps. But he is certainly no Dangerous Child.

Most modern denizens of the shallows do not read anymore. They skim, scroll down, skip in staccato fashion from hyperlink to hyperlink — and miss any nuance in the material they were “reading.” When bored they jump on social media to text or message an acquaintance to discuss “feelings” about yet more of the shallow distractions that make up much of their lives.

Dangerous Children must pack a lot of learning and skill-building into a short eighteen years. Their lives are not filled up by TV, video games, social media, movies, and pulp fiction. They learn to teach and guide themselves through the unique curriculum that fits their talents and proclivities.

By the age of 18, a Dangerous Child has mastered three ways to support himself financially, can speak three non-native languages, has enough academic credits to finish a college degree in a couple of years, is comfortable starting new businesses or organising expeditions, and has the skills to move over most any terrain or through most any neighborhood. And they know how to think for themselves — something sadly lacking among modern college student cohorts.

Intense solitude can be used for many purposes, depending upon a person’s age and current state of existence. Albert Einstein preferred to spend his time alone solving hard problems. That approach worked for him over his lifetime. When he ran out of problems to solve from outside sources, he invented new difficult problems to solve. These problems took a lot of time and deep work.

If humanity is to move forward to an expansive and abundant future, it will need a large number of people devoted to high levels of intensely productive work, based largely on solitude. Networking will be important at certain stages of refining and extending disruptive new ideas and systems. But distraction at too early a stage will kill them before they can be born.

A Residential Trade School in Pennsylvania that Works

The following article is adapted from an earlier posting at Al Fin Next Level

Residential schools can offer a level of immersion learning that is not possible in the hustle and bustle world of omnipresent distractions such as we see in the conventional day schooling environment. When the residential school culture was applied to trade school learning in Pennsylvania, something very interesting emerged.

“With its old-timey rituals, rigorous scheduling, and immersive culture, Williamson has a military-school feel.” But according to the students she interviewed, the prospect of a good-paying career makes the strict rules more than worth it. __ Source

“Full Employment” and Tuition is Affordable

When they graduate they begin working at jobs with starting pay as high as $75,000 to $105,000 per year. Tuition for all three years is affordable and often free, with most students coming from impoverished and troubled families. Each applicant must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), and the school accepts only one out of three applicants.

Williamson College of the Trades is a three year residential institution. Students must “dress up” every day in coat and tie, assemble in chapel, and pledge allegiance to the flag.

It’s a residential institution where 19- to 22-year-old kids from hard-up families line up in ties and jackets every morning to be inspected before going to chapel and pledging allegiance to the American flag, and where anyone who violates the no-drugs-and-alcohol policy is immediately out on his ear, no exceptions. And some might laugh at the notion of promising trade-school graduates starting with pay as high as $75,000, and maybe even $105,000, a year debt-free—a future that many Ivy League grads would envy. __ https://www.city-journal.org/williamson-college-of-the-trades

A tough “no drugs and alcohol” policy goes a long way to keeping a young person focused on present tasks and future goals.

Don’t laugh at the idea of trade school. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced to China or Bangladesh. Understand that these days regular university has been dumbed down so far that at least 25% of “four year college” graduates are doomed to a life of minimum wage jobs, and will never pay back their student loans. Trade school graduates with jobs paying between $50,000 a year and $100,000 a year will have a chance for a better life than a huge number of conventional college-goers who either drop out or end up deeply in debt.

Seventy-four per cent of students graduate in three years. More than 30% of these kids go on to get higher degrees. More valuable than any degree is the sense of pride and competence they get from learning the skills that will allow them to get a job almost anywhere.

… real craftsmanship is itself a source of deep satisfaction and communal respect. “I never ceased to take pleasure in the moment, at the end of a job, when I would flip the switch. ‘And there was light,’ ” Matthew Crawford writes about his early career as an electrician. “It was an experience of agency and competence. The effects of my work were visible for all to see, so my competence was real for others as well; it had a social currency.” __ https://www.city-journal.org/williamson-college-of-the-trades

Video podcast look at Williamson College of the Trades

Williamson challenges conventional wisdom among liberals and in the education establishment about the dearth of opportunity for kids who don’t go to a traditional four-year college and the toxins of traditional masculinity. And partly because of that, Williamson changes lives. __ https://www.city-journal.org/williamson-college-of-the-trades

Williamson offers programs in Carpentry, Masonry, Horticulture, Machine Tool Technology, Painting/Coating Technology, and Power Plant Technology.

Boarding school culture for boys at Williamson is quite different from the free and easy coed culture at most “four year university” campuses. At most universities, college is a place where kids go to binge, fornicate, experiment with drugs, receive a world class indoctrination, and devise clever ways to have fun using “other people’s money” while accruing a debt that will burden them over much of their lifetimes.

Williamson is a 130 year old trade school that continues to do its best to present an alternative approach to preparing youth for a productive future. And if a skilled tradesman later decides to go on to a higher degree and profession, who is going to stop him?

Note that there are other trade schools that can train students for jobs that often provide higher rates of pay. The Utica Shale Academy is a high school that trains students in high paying college-level job skills for the oil & gas trades. This Mississippi high school trains young students in advanced welding and fabrication skills — trades that are in high demand these days across the US.

Dangerous Children © must master at least three skill sets that would allow them to support themselves financially — by the age of 18. But that is another topic. Ordinary youth would likewise profit from the satisfaction of possessing practical skills that make it easier to either start a family, or to go on to higher educational pursuits without the ruinous levels of debt that have become so common among college students.

Immersion level learning is a powerful tool. There was a time in the US when residential trade schools were more common, as were apprentice-style learning situations. Although Williamson College is a post-secondary school, it is time to consider bringing back secondary school level residential training for the teaching of practical skills and trades.

5 Commonsense Rules for Raising Every Child

Not every child can be a Dangerous Child, but every child should receive a sound upbringing. Unfortunately, too many children are being raised by television and electronic devices rather than by wise and loving parents. A strong society must be well made from the bottom up.

Guest Article by Bill Murphy Jr

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Science Says Do These 5 Things Every Day

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Science Says Do These 5 Things Every Day

How hard can this be? There are only five of them.
By Bill Murphy Jr.www.billmurphyjr.com

I think the five daily habits I’ll describe below are among the most compelling.
1. Stay on top of them.

It can be exhausting, and sometimes you think your words are going in one ear and out the other. But British researchers found that parents who articulate high expectations are more likely to have kids who grow up to be successful — and avoid some key pitfalls. ‘

Specifically, a study of 15,000 British girls over 10 years, from ages 13-14 to 23-24, found that those whose parents who consistently displayed high expectations for their children were:

More likely to attend college.
Less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
Less likely to have prolonged periods of unemployment.
Less likely to get stuck in dead-end, low-wage jobs.

The key: The kids didn’t necessarily like hearing all the “high expectations,” and they didn’t always react civilly to hearing it. But at the end of the day, they heard it.

As a press release from the University of Essex put it: “Behind every successful woman is a nagging mom? Teenage girls more likely to succeed if they have pushy mothers.”

2. Praise them correctly.

There are two main ways that parents praise their kids. The first is for their innate abilities. The second is for their effort. Examples:

Innate ability praise: Great job! You’re so smart!
Effort praise: Great job! You worked hard and figured it out!

Bottom line upfront: When you praise kids, praise them for effort, not abilities.

This comes from the work of Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University. Most of her work revolves around teaching the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.

You can see this here: If you praise me for my innate intelligence, you’re praising me for (a) something I had nothing to do with achieving, and (b) something I can’t do anything myself to improve.

But you praise me for my effort, you’re encouraging me to develop exactly the muscles you want me to develop to be successful in life.

3. Take them outside.

This one’s simple. And when the weather’s nice, it’s also highly enjoyable for both kids and for you.

Think about this: Those of us who work in offices hear constantly that sitting all day is killing us. And yet, what do we ask our kids to do for six or seven hours a day? Sit in classrooms.

It’s off the charts insane. Instead, science shows you should encourage them to play outdoors as much as possible.

Researchers in Europe tracked how much outside activity that 153 boys, aged 6 to 8, had every day. The correlation was striking:

“The more time kids … spent sitting and the less time they spent being physically active, the fewer gains they made in reading in the two following years. [It] also had a negative impact on their ability to do math.

4. Read to them correctly.

This one is so important, especially when they’re younger. Parents of highly successful kids are the ones who read to their kids when they were little.

And it turns out there’s a right way and a wrong way to read to them.

The wrong way is simply to read. We’ve all been there (I plead guilty); sometimes you’re so exhausted reading to your kids that you’re almost on autopilot. I could probably recite the entire Ladybug Girl series of books from memory at this point.

But when you can, the more effective thing to do is to engage your child while reading. Ask them to read parts of the books. Ask them what they think will happen with the plot. If they’re too young for that, ask them to turn the pages for you.

5. Make them do chores.

I swear this is a real thing. It comes from Julie Lythcott-Haims, who was the dean of freshmen at Stanford University and wrote the New York Times bestseller How to Raise an Adult.

Lythcott-Haims cites the Harvard Grant Study, a famous 81-year-old longitudinal study, which found that people generally need two things to be successful in life. The first is love; the second is work ethic.

How do we develop work ethic as young kids?

You’ve got it: By doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, walking the dog, cleaning our rooms -; all the stuff that kids often balk at and parents have to nag them about (see #1, above).

“By making them do chores … they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need in this moment.” __ inc

Source of guest article

A sixth essential rule is to make sure the child knows that you mean what you say. They will not take you seriously when you try to follow any of the five rules above unless they understand that there is iron behind your smile, and a granite determination behind your love.

Child raising should be kept as simple as possible. Just a few basic rules can serve for a wide range of circumstances, as long as a parent knows how to improvise within the basic principles. For a more expanded view of character development, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life is excellent — for children or adults.

Make your own list and post it in a place where you can’t help but see it repeatedly every day. Most helicopter parents are that way because they do not understand what is important in child raising. By sticking to the essentials — and modifying them as you gain parental wisdom with your children — you will not feel the need to overcompensate by overloading the child with formal “activities.”

The spirit and determination for a successful life must come from within the child — you cannot provide it. But you can provide the wisdom of your experience to help shape and nurture that spirit and determination as it grows and becomes manifest.

Taking Responsibility: Dave Ramsey, Jordan Peterson, Stephen Levine

Dave Ramsey: Responsibility by the Numbers

Dave Ramsey is an author and radio personality who teaches different ways for people to take responsiblity for their finances: Get out of debt, balance your budget, save for emergencies and special needs, and invest to build wealth.

All of this is not as easy as it sounds, and Dave Ramsey is not afraid to get into the grit and grime of debt and personal irresponsibility in the attempt to salvage a person’s future, self-respect, and financial peace of mind.

Jordan Peterson: Responsibility thru the Word

Jordan Peterson is an author, university professor, public speaker, entrepreneur, consultant to corporations and other large organisations, and increasingly prominent public personality. His message is for people to take on responsibility as a way to make something good and meaningful in the face of the underlying tragedy of human life. Using the power of the word — using ancient myths and modern phenomenon alike — Peterson helps to reveal the predicament we are all in. He then helps us find the many tools that we can use to generate purpose and meaning powerful enough to motivate us in taking responsibility for shaping our futures.

Stephen Levine: Responsibility from the Heart

Stephen Levine was an author, poet, leader of workshops, public speaker, and personal coach to persons who were living through the experience of terminal disease. Levine’s ideas strike deep into the non-verbal experience of confronting and accepting ourselves, on levels that virtually everyone fears to tread — if they are even aware of the places inside of their deeper selves.

Every bit as potentially life-changing as the messages of Dave Ramsey and Jordan Peterson, the teachings of Stephen Levine have the potential of providing a deeper meaning to one’s life than might be imagined, whether a person is dying or not likely to die for a very long time.

Taking Responsibility

Taking responsibility for one’s own life and education is an integral part of Dangerous Child training. The training goes far deeper than achieving financial self-sufficiency and multiple practical skills in the teen years, and mastering a wide range of lethal and semi-lethal skills. It is in the mastery of one’s own self that the Dangerous Child comes into his own. And that self-mastery takes many different forms over many facets and depth levels of the many phases of the person’s life.

It’s never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood, but the earlier begun, the better mastery that can be achieved.

School of Fear, School of Pain

We recently looked at the need to face up to our pain and suffering in order to deal with it and move on with our lives. Now we will look a little more closely at how fear and pain are tied together, and why it is important to break the pain-fear cycle in the early stages.

Pain and fear are both aversive experiences that strongly impact on behaviour and well being. Pain and fear may… become maladaptive if expressed under inappropriate conditions or at excessive intensities for extended durations. __ Trends in Neurosciences

School of Fear

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
__ From Frank Herbert’s Dune

Nothing is more natural or common among humans than fear. Anxiety is merely a generalised and poorly focused form of fear — and one of the greatest driving forces behind societal dysfunctions such as addiction to prescription and nonprescription drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. Fear also keeps people trapped inside their houses, and holds them back from expanding their scope of action and scope of thought.

Pain and Fear

Fear amplifies pain and pain can intensify fear. The connection between the two is intimate in brain circuits and worth studying a bit to understand the connection better.

The relationship between fear and pain is highly complex and there are many mechanisms that facilitate bidirectional influence. There are emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and psychophysiological factors that allow fear to modulate the experience of pain. In addition, the expectancy of pain as well as beliefs about pain can in turn influence fear…

Individual differences in fear of pain are also thought to play a pivotal role in the transition to, and maintenance of, chronic pain conditions. __ Abstract from Neuroscience of Pain and Fear

Put another way: The fear of pain can lead to pain as a chronic condition.

Pain and fear are important under normal situations. They can help us to avoid serious injuries or death. But if allowed to bloom out of control, they can take on lives of their own — and crowd out the freedom of thinking and action of the individual.

Human Memory and Pain/Fear

Memory traces of pain and fear are encoded by distinct but partially overlapping sets of synapses. For example, painful stimuli are highly effective for inducing fear learning [1]…

… acute and chronic pain are often associated with fear or anxiety [2–5]. Brain areas associated with fear, such as the amygdala and the cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices [6–8], are also relevant for the emotional/aversive and cognitive aspects of pain [9–12]. ___ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679540/

Consider that the twin epidemics of “chronic pain” and “opioid abuse” seem to sprout from some of the same neurocircuits of the brain.

On college campuses, the fears of being offended or contradicted are two of the most disabling maladies affecting youth. If young people cannot overcome the fear of seeing the world from different viewpoints, they will be mentally crippled for life. And yet that helpless condition seems to be the goal of faculty and staff at many of the most elite universities in the western world, for their students.

Fear and pain do not have to be taught, they come built in. But in today’s world which tends to coddle young minds excessively, youth must be helped to learn to manage fear and pain — lest these youth become mastered by their own bloated and disabling aversions.

Every child suffers injury of some sort or another. How the child’s caretakers react to these early injuries has a lot to do with whether the child is likely to be crippled by fear and avoidance of physical/emotional/social pain as they grow toward adulthood.

I recall a two year old child brought into Casualty one evening, screaming in fear, with a history of having fallen and hit her head. A few seconds of close, hands-off observation assured me that the child was perfectly healthy. I continued observing the child intensely and as the seconds ticked slowly by I gradually became aware that the child’s father was shouting in my left ear to “do something!!!”

The point of the story is that small children take their cues from the adults around them. The little girl would have never been screaming on arrival had not her father surrendered himself to panic mode and remained in that state throughout the evaluation process. Fear is contagious, and children are particularly susceptible to the displayed fear of their adult caretakers.

Dangerous Children tend to suffer more injuries than the ordinary child, although not necessarily more serious injuries. The risks may be greater, but the risks are well calculated, with proper technique being paramount to the training.

Intense mental concentration leaves little room for either fear or pain, and there are many ways that the mind can bypass or overlook these sensations. The key is to extract the useful information from all of the body’s sensations and all of the mind’s emotions, before moving on to more important matters.

Young children are best given a playful and loving upbringing involving training in movement, pattern, language, and music. Properly done, the training allows each child to bloom in different ways at his own pace.

Aversive stimuli such as pain and fear arise naturally, and children learn to deal with them as they arise, taking cues from their caregivers. In this way, pain and fear — like all the other emotions, sensations, and feelings — become functionally integrated into the normal corpus of existence of the child. In this way the child builds a toolkit for dealing with the full spectrum of existence.

Note: Some have suggested to me that Dangerous Children should be trained to be resistant to torture techniques. That is nonsense. If the Dangerous Child is taught ways to master and bypass his pain and fear in the course of normal life and training, he will be able to adapt his training to a wide variety of circumstances which may arise.

Combat troops, special operations forces, and spies are taught methods of dealing with capture and torture, but these are things you do not want very young children obsessing over. As the child gets older, he learns methods of evasion and escape, and becomes a progressively more lethal weapon in himself as he grows.

You Must Learn to Face Pain and to Suffer

You must, where necessary, learn to face pain and to suffer, in order to destroy and assimilate the pathological material contained in the symptom. (p. 166) __ Perls, Hefferline, Goodman “Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (1951)

In other words, running from a source of inner fear and pain merely prolongs the agony and expands the sense of inner weakness beyond where it has any right to go. Facing the pain and bearing the suffering can shorten the ordeal and strengthen the self — but many children are not open to the logic involved here, on a moment to moment basis.

Dangerous Children do not reach the levels they do by taking the safe and easy path to person-hood. In the act of growing up every child confronts obstacles and suffers many types of pain. Traditional parents often rush to remove obstacles from their child’s path, but parents of Dangerous Children understand that the child must learn to confront difficult, and often painful, problems. Suffering is inevitably involved in the simple process of growing up and gaining a step by step maturity.

We have discussed the use of “mindfulness,” meditation, self-hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and neurofeedback in Dangerous Child training. Different methods of “quieting” or “balancing” the Child’s mind will suit different children for getting over minor emotional bumps. Dealing with more substantial and threatening obstacles can require a more nuanced approach.

Usually the simpler the approach to dealing with emotional blocks to learning, the more easily the child can move on to the next challenge. But simple does not necessarily mean “direct.” A paradoxical approach often yields quicker and more effective results than more “common sense” direct advice or instruction.

Paradoxical Therapies

Example: Paradoxical Intention — Visualizing or practicing disturbing symptoms or situations to the point of absurdity or humor.

Paradoxical intention is a bit like trying to tickle yourself. Consider that you are in control while trying to tickle yourself (or trying to experience a disturbing symptom). This sense of “being in control” makes it difficult to experience the tickle or the troubling symptom, because most of the tickle and most of the emotional symptom comes from not having control in the first place.

This tactic of willfully trying to produce the feared symptom usually impresses clients as absurdly incongruous when the therapist first proposes it. And their bemused reaction tends to introduce an element of humor into the therapy… Such an injection of humor is designed to help clients detach themselves from their symptoms through the very act of smiling or laughing at them. __ Leon Seltzer (p. 59) (see link below)

Or, in the case of the Dangerous Child, posing the experiencing of the uncomfortable emotional symptom as a challenge — better yet as a humorous challenge — reframes the situation completely, and makes it easier for the Child to disentangle himself from the bad feeling, bad habit, or troubling thought. This is not a trick and should not be presented in a sneaking way, but rather in an open and straightforward manner.

Paradoxical techniques are simply tools for teaching, and their efficacy depends upon the trust that the Dangerous Child has in his parent, mentor, coach, or teacher.

The master of paradoxical therapies was the psychiatrist and clinical hypnotist Milton Erickson M.D.. But the basic techniques are practiced by psychotherapists and coaches of many different disciplines and practices.

The pearl of gestalt wisdom excerpted at the top of the page was quoted in a 1986 book “Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy,” by Leon Seltzer. The book describes a wide range of “paradoxical” approaches to therapy from ancient Buddhist thought to Freud to Gestalt Therapy to Behaviorist Therapy to Paradoxical Hypnotic Suggestions.

Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson in his “12 Rules for Life,” emphasizes the importance of facing up to the things that frighten or trouble us, so that we can get past them. He often recommends “desensitization” using an incremental approach — doing as much as you can or taking as much as you can take, then increasing the intensity or duration the next time, and so on.

Peterson also emphasizes the need for persons to take responsibility for the things that are within their power to change and make better. Doing this can give purpose to the individual’s life — and purpose is one thing that can give meaning to life’s suffering (since suffering is inevitable).

It may seem odd that one can run into the same sort of personal growth techniques from ancient Tibetan Buddhists, modern martial artists, Freudian analysts, Gestalt therapists, Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, hypnotists, storytellers, and self-help psychologist-guru-authors like Jordan Peterson.

That should tell you that the dysfunctional avoidance of uncomfortable — but common — situations is a problem that keeps individuals stuck in ruts across all sorts of societies and cultures and socioeconomic classes.

For Dangerous Children, the method that gets him out of his self-made rut and back on the road to Dangerous Childhood, is the best approach for each one.

University is Scandalous: Here Are a Few Alternatives

The delusion that everybody must have a college education finally turned Higher Ed into a racket, when the federal government decided to guarantee college loans — which only prompted colleges to ramp up tuitions way beyond the official inflation rate and undertake massive expansion programs in the competition for the expanding base of student customer-borrowers. Almost all colleges acted as facilitators to this loan racket, though with federal guarantees they had no skin in that game. Now, outstanding student loan debt is $1.5 trillion, and about 40 percent of it is nonperforming, in euphemistic banker jargon. The student borrowers have been fleeced, many of them financially destroyed for life, and they have only begun to express themselves politically. ___ Jim Kuntsler

Those of us who pay attention have known for years that university systems were corrupt. We have known for much longer that university athletic programs were corrupt. As university grievance studies programs proliferate wildly, we can see clearly that these upstart johnnies are likewise corrupt — and worthless for teaching any useful knowledge to students beyond the art of protest and angry grievance. And still the corruption penetrates even more deeply, through the heart of the humanities and social sciences.

Dangerous Children have mastered 3 ways to financial independence by the age of 18. But what can we recommend to ordinary youth who do not enjoy the benefits of a Dangerous Education?

A Few Alternatives to University for Ordinary Youth

We have devoted a number of postings to college alternatives — focusing mainly on first promoting economic and psychological independence in youth by the age of 18. Once they are independent in mind, body, and bank account, the world is at their doorstep.

But here are a few alternatives for ordinary youth from a mainstream author newly awakened by recent university scandals:

The truth is, not every kid is cut out for college nor should they be. With the over-saturation of the college market and growing student debt, it is more important than ever for students — and parents — who think logically and calmly about different options and career paths available A four-year school isn’t the end-all, be-all of a successful adulthood. In fact, the sad truth is that these days it’s hardly even the beginning…

[Alternatives]

1. Teach English in a foreign country. I headed straight to college from high school but I had a few friends who headed overseas to teach English to the students of hopeful and/or rich parents desiring to give their kids an advantage by learning Western culture. Typically, you don’t need any type of special training or education. Often times living expenses are paid for. It’s a great way to earn for a year or two and learn about different cultures and lifestyles firsthand. It’s basically getting paid to be educated!
2. The military. Somewhere in the last few decades the idea that the military was the “last resort” for people who are too dumb or too poor for college became pervasive. This idea couldn’t be further from the reality that military service can be a fantastic conduit to a successful and fulfilling career. Military life teaches discipline and teamwork, two extremely valuable skills in the civilian job market. They’ll also educate you for free and provide healthcare and housing subsidies. There are a plethora of non-combat tracks to pursue that can lead to incredibly elite and specialized careers, including information tech, health services and other support personnel. You can pursue a lifetime career or serve for a limited amount of time and leave with a degree, money in the bank and the very distinguished resume enhancer of having served your country. It is a legitimate career path that boasts some of our greatest minds.
3. Charitable service. The Peace Corps, missions work through a religious organization, volunteering with a UN or WHO organization that provide healthcare and sustenance in third world countries — if you’ve got a child with a heart for serving others and a thirst for new experiences, it might be a great idea to look at volunteering for a fixed time. Again, often the basics are paid for and you’re learning skills in an intense environment that could offer an invaluable advantage in the job market back home. Also, the quickest and best way to find contentment in your own life and a perspective that makes you flexible and resilient is to see firsthand how challenging life is for most of the rest of the world. Like military service it is also a fantastic resume-enhancer. Few things are more valuable to potential employers than an employee who can easily shift gears and refocus when things get tough.
4. Work on a cruise ship. This isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great option for those who endeavor for careers in the arts. Cruise lines need entertainers and often hold mass auditions once or twice a year in port-of-call regions like California or Orlando. They’re always in need of comedians, dancers, singers, musicians and also production staff…pretty much any position in stage entertainment. Not only are your accommodations paid for but you’re also earning a competitive salary, one that often ends up being far and above the yearly income for a struggling artist on land. It can be an adventure and an opportunity to intimately connect with other artists who will no doubt be the one to lead you to more work once your cruise stint is over.
5. Take a gap year…or two. The bourgeois fantasy of a gap year includes travel and adventure, but it doesn’t have to be that. A gap year can just be taking some time off to simply work and get a better feel for what you want to do in the future. It’s also a great way for parents to help their kids when they aren’t in a position to pay for college tuition. You may not be able to pay for four years of college, but you can allow your child to continue to live at home rent-free, get any job they can find and then save their money to pursue something more fulfilling once they’ve figured out what it is. Don’t turn your nose up at a year or two behind the counter at McDonald’s. Some of the wealthiest people in America started right there.
6. Instead of paying for four years of college, pay for a couple of years of living expenses. A young friend of mine decided that she would like to pursue a career in film production. Her parents had some means to pay for schooling but they made her an offer — they would pay for a few years of college or pay for two years of reasonable living expenses and she could move to L.A. and start working her way up the food chain. She chose the latter, found some less than ideal roommates in L.A. and began volunteering for every crap job on every indie film set she could get close to. By the time the two years were up she had worked her way into a steady job in the industry, earned enough money to get her own place and is now a working executive producer in Hollywood for the independent film scene. If you’ve got a child who is disciplined enough to take on the challenge of forging their own way, this is a great alternative to college. There’s no replacement for real-world experience and some career paths aren’t really enhanced by a degree. In some industries, employers only need to know you can do the job. If you can earn while you learn, you should!
7. Trade school. A Gender Studies degree might get you a job teaching Gender Studies to other Gender Studies students but more likely (statistically speaking) it will get you a minimum wage job to help pay the bills while you search for another career path. You know who does work steadily and lucratively? Plumbers. Electricians. Morticians. Mechanics. Even if you’re the type of snob who feels those jobs aren’t “elite” enough, don’t worry…there are actually elite positions in most trade jobs that can satisfy that perverse need. Someone has to fix the toilets at Buckingham Palace. The Queen poops too!
8. Nothing. Let your kid figure out how to pay for school or travel or whatever all by herself. Offer her advice on budgeting, living frugally, give her a timetable for complete independence and then back away. The notion that we parents are obligated to pay for our kids’ higher education is a big part of our debt problem in America. Your children are in the prime of their lives. They have energy to burn. They can go to school, work/party through the night and get up the next day to do it all over again. You remember the days! You (and I) on the other hand are nearing retirement age. Our window for earning enough money to carry us through our later years is closing quickly. There’s nothing wrong with just letting your child pay their own bills and choose their own path while they’re in the physical position to be able to work hard, work long and work smart. Let them take advantage of their youth and concentrate on padding your future so you don’t overly-burden them down the road with the financials of your care just as they’re incurring their own family financial burdens. I know it’s a shocking thought, but it’s really not that crazy to about 99% of the rest of planet Earth. The idea that we’re supposed to provide every single privilege for our kids no matter the cost is embarrassingly Western and relatively new. I’m not saying you have to choose this option, I’m just telling you it is an option and there’s nothing wrong with it.

As my husband and I move toward preparing our son for the next steps post-graduation, we’ve been working to help him suss out his options. If college is his choice, we’ll do our best to support him in that in whatever ways we deem appropriate for our family and our future. That might not be the direction he ultimately takes. We were shocked to find that he was shocked to discover there are all kinds of options outside of college. At the very least, it’s a conversation worth having. __ Kira Davis

The short list above barely scrapes the surface of alternatives to college for ordinary young people today. A realistic list of alternatives for Dangerous Children would be endless, because Dangerous Children invent their own alternatives. And they go right on inventing alternatives for the rest of their lives. That is simply the way they have grown to think and be.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

More:

Dr. Trump threatens to cut deep into university corruption to remove the rot

We at Al Fin have been recommending that corrupt universities be defunded for a long time. Perhaps now the process of cutting out the dead and toxic flesh can begin. Cut deep, doctor. Very deep.

Life Lessons from Playing Chess

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Playing Chess to Learn About Life

Chess is a useful game for teaching tactics and strategy. Compared to poker, chess involves less luck and psychology — and more skill.

Here are a few life lessons that chess can teach a Dangerous Child:

  1. Take the time to learn the basics
  2. Besides the basic rules for each piece, there are “rules of thumb” for basic strategies for opening your game, and basic tactics for capturing and checkmating.
    “Rules of thumb” can save a lot of time in chess and in life.

  3. Think before you play
  4. It is tempting to jump right in and move the various pieces here and there without paying much attention to how quickly things change. But if you want to get better, you will learn to evaluate the board before each play, from both sides of the board.

  5. Consider different intermediate and long term outcomes for each move
  6. Each move involves a lot of choices. Try to make the best move by its repercussions later in the game.

  7. Focus on your goal
  8. In chess, you want to checkmate your opponent. If you can devise a strategy to checkmate in 5 moves, choose that strategy — rather than just slugging it out in a war of attrition.

  9. Develop a plan but be prepared to change it
  10. Every good opponent has the ability to surprise you, and force you to develop alternative strategies.

  11. Don’t waste moves
  12. Every move you make should advance your plan. Playing around moving pieces back and forth just allows your opponent more time to develop his plan.

  13. Don’t sacrifice a piece without getting good value for it
  14. When you sacrifice a piece, you should be “buying” something more valuable than the piece you are giving up, in terms of position or capture.

  15. Take what you can, keeping the above rules in mind
  16. Even if it is just a free pawn, taking your opponent’s material helps to set up advantageous situations later in the game. But always look a gift horse in the mouth.

  17. Use your pieces in ensemble fashion
  18. Chess pieces (and pawns) work best together. Your pieces should defend each other, while also facilitating a “gang attack.”

  19. Chess teaches problem solving and visualisation
  20. Your brain becomes what it thinks. If it is thinking about solving problems and seeing solutions in the mind’s eye, such thinking can become a habit.

  21. Chess is one of the best places to learn from one’s own mistakes
  22. All of us have weaknesses in the way we approach problems. Chess can help point out some of them, as we try to improve.

Teaching chess to young children

Special problems or “mini-games” have been devised to help children and new players to master basic ensemble movement of pawns and pieces, with each other.

These imaginative mini-games help learners to master important situations that may have taken them hundreds (or thousands) of games to learn otherwise.

Chess vs. Poker

It takes more time for a new chess player to become familiar with the range of possible openings, board positions, and endings than for a new poker player to learn the basic hands and strategies. Psychology is involved in chess, but not as much as in poker.

Remember that if you want to be invited back to play more games in the future, you must learn to win and lose graciously.

One cannot become a truly Dangerous Child without learning to master the tactics and strategy of whatever task one sets for oneself. Games such as chess and poker can help one to think in such terms automatically.

In the long run, the world won’t watch out for you. Best to learn to pay attention and to be prepared to deal with a wide range of situations.

Sources:

http://youmeworks.com/whatchessteaches.html

http://www.uiltexas.org/files/capitalconference/Randolph-TeachingChesstheEasyFunWaywithMiniGames.pdf

http://drellenalbertson.com/life-lessons-from-playing-chess/

Lessons from Playing Poker

Dangerous Children Learn Many Games

Children are born with the instinct to play. Kids are happy to play all kinds of games, even games that provide useful foundations for later life — as long as they can understand the rules. Dangerous Children are taught many games, very early in life.

When teaching games of strategy and tactics, it is best to start with simple games, then advance in difficulty as circumstances allow. “Checkers before chess,” might be a useful rule for most children, for example.

http://www.pokerupdate.com/articles/lifestyle/323-five-reasons-teach-kids-poker/

Simple card games can give children the feel of handling the cards, keeping the cards to themselves, and assigning value to the different cards and combinations of cards. By playing card games with simple rules, you should be able to see when the child is ready to move to something more complex. While watching for each transition point to greater difficulty, keep things light, fun, and playful.

What Can Dangerous Children Learn from Poker?

  • Play the cards you are dealt
  • Wishful thinking will make you lose in poker and in life.

  • Learn the value of posturing
  • The skill of controlling facial expressions and body language as a game tactic can be useful in other settings.

  • Learn to handle failure and defeat
  • Poker players are bound to lose a lot of hands — and games. Those who can handle failure gracefully will be in better position to take advantage of new opportunities.

  • Match your play to the situation
  • Some game settings (and some opponents) will require more aggressive styles of play than others.

  • Learn self discipline
  • Learn when to fold a hand, and when to quit for the night.

  • Life isn’t fair
  • You sometimes end up with the worst cards, hand after hand after hand. And then when you get a good hand, another player always seems to get a better one. Accept the caprice of chance without letting it spoil your mood.

  • Pay attention to your opponents
  • Poker is a game of deception. You won’t be able to tell when your opponent is bluffing — or leading you down the garden path — unless you have been paying attention to how he has played his past hands.

  • Be proactive, not reactive
  • Having paid attention to the other players while concealing your own thoughts, you are in a better position to bluff or lull into a trap.

  • Make your own luck
  • Learn to play in a style that maximises your gains and minimises your losses, regardless of the hand you hold.

  • Expect the unexpected
  • Learning to gracefully live with the surprises that luck brings your way — good and bad — helps to build a long term outlook and the ability to step back and enjoy the journey with all its ups and downs.

  • Be the winning player that everyone wants to play with
  • Displaying proper courtesy to everyone, and not cheating, will lead to many more playing opportunities than otherwise.

  • Watch out for cheaters
  • You are the person who is responsible for taking care of yourself. Avoid playing with cheaters if at all possible — unless losing to the cheater is part of a larger strategy.

  • Bet Only What You can afford to lose
  • Manage your bankroll closely and carefully. Walk away before you lose enough to get into trouble.

    Just as important: If you are winning, walk away as soon as you feel yourself losing your “edge.” The euphoria of winning can dull your edge as surely as being intoxicated by chemicals. The same goes for simple fatigue or drowsiness.

  • Don’t be predictable
  • Predictable poker players lose. They may be lucky from time to time, but they will make up for any good luck by playing predictably.

Sources:
https://www.nj.com/onlinegamblingnj/index.ssf/2014/02/10_important_life_lessons_i_le.html

https://charlesngo.com/poker/

http://www.thedistilledman.com/life-lessons-from-poker/

Poker Involves Skill, Chance, and Psychology

You don’t have to be the smartest player at the table, just the best at reading other people. If you can most accurately guess what the other player is holding, you will lose less and win more than the players who have no idea what other players hold.

At the same time, don’t trumpet everything you see and know. Keep it close to the vest. Apply your knowledge strategically, at the proper tactical time and place, and in the most effective way.

Just One Reason Dangerous Children Avoid Degrees in “Fine Arts”

… college grads with a fine arts degree are far worse off than the average high school dropout in the labor market. Even the lucky ones who do have a job are worse off. The rest are not only unemployed, but probably drowning in student-loan debt.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for people with less than a high school diploma is 5.7% – significantly better than those with art school degrees – as America’s employers increasingly turn to the cheapest unemployed resources and train them on the spot. __ ZH

Bankrate via ZH

Fine Arts majors are less employable than high school dropouts. The unemployment rate for graduates in fine arts in the US is 9.1%, while for high school dropouts the unemployment rate is 5.7%!

Too many university departments have become glorified daycare centers for incompetent perpetual adolescents (both students and staff). Much time wasted, certainly. But far worse than that is the destructive indoctrination these youth receive in the place of a useful education. This indoctrination makes them even less fit for work in any productive sector of the economy.

Dangerous Children Aim to Construct Their Own Destinies

Instead of passively absorbing the programming and indoctrination that entraps most youth of today, Dangerous Children start early on the path of self-determination. Early on, they learn to teach themselves and seek out the special mentors they will need for development of special skills. Most Dangerous Children have the equivalent of a college education before the age of 18, and possess the practical skills to achieve financial independence at least three different ways by that time.

Dangerous Children do not train so much for “jobs,” as for innovative achievement in their own right. This means that DC’s are more likely to become entrepreneurs and employers (or coordinators of independent contractors) rather than employees — over the long run. If a Dangerous Child wishes to go on to become a neurosurgeon or theoretical physicist, he will pay his own way.

The Dangerous Child way of thinking is quite different — far more independent — from that of most persons, and is ideally learned quite early in childhood development.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © but the earlier begun, the better.