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

Image Source

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.

Jordan Peterson on Being Competent and Dangerous

In an interview with journalist John Stossel, Jordan Peterson recommends that ordinary people make themselves competent and dangerous:

Peterson says, “It’s very helpful for people to hear that they should make themselves competent and dangerous and take their proper place in the world.”

Stossel scoffs, “Competent and dangerous? Why dangerous?”

“There’s nothing to you otherwise,” Peterson replies. “If you’re not a formidable force, there’s no morality in your self-control. If you’re incapable of violence, not being violent isn’t a virtue. People who teach martial arts know this full well. If you learn martial arts, you learn to be dangerous, but simultaneously you learn to control it … Life is a very difficult process and you’re not prepared for it unless you have the capacity to be dangerous.”

Stossel counters, “By dangerous that implies I should be ready to threaten someone, to hurt somebody.”

“No, you should be capable of it. But that doesn’t mean you should use it,” Peterson finishes. __ http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/27/jordan-petersons-right-become-dangerous-heres/

Jordan Peterson is becoming more and more famous with every passing day. He is in the middle of a multi-continental book tour which adds new cities almost every week. And leftists are beginning to take notice — and learning to fear.

When the left finally realized what was happening, all it could do was try to bail out the Pacific Ocean with a spoon.

The alarms sounded when Peterson published what quickly became a massive bestseller, 12 Rules for Life, because books are something that the left recognizes as drivers of culture. The book became the occasion for vicious profiles and editorials, but it was difficult to attack the work on ideological grounds, because it was an apolitical self-help book that was at once more literary and more helpful than most, and that was moreover a commercial success. All of this frustrated the critics. It’s just common sense! they would say, in one arch way or another, and that in itself was telling: Why were they so angry about common sense?

The critics knew the book was a bestseller, but they couldn’t really grasp its reach because people like them weren’t reading it, and because it did not originally appear on The New York Times’s list, as it was first published in Canada. However, it is often the bestselling nonfiction book on Amazon, and—perhaps more important—its audiobook has been a massive seller. As with Peterson’s podcasts and videos, the audience is made up of people who are busy with their lives—folding laundry, driving commercial trucks on long hauls, sitting in traffic from cubicle to home, exercising. This book was putting words to deeply held feelings that many of them had not been able to express before. __ Why the Left Fears Jordan Peterson

More

Of course the type of “Dangerous” that Jordan Peterson talks about is only a watered-down version of what we talk about here, but it is a good start. And Peterson’s message is reaching millions of people, far beyond what The Dangerous Child movement has managed to this point.

It is only natural that intelligent and wise people would notice the appearance of the life-long adolescent nature of today’s young adults — and a certain lack of competence and practicality in that cohort that casts a pall of decay over the future. If Jordan Peterson, Mike Rowe, and others currently in the spotlight begin pointing out the problem — and its causes in colleges, universities, and high schools — we should not be surprised.

There is much to be done, provisions to be made. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Radical Self-Psychotherapy for Dangerous Children

The Dangerous Child Method approach to self-psychotherapy is not new in concept. But the way it is customised for each child to use for himself is unusual, and even radical.

Al Fin stumbled upon this approach years ago when he was living in a lefty commune, making cheese and beer, smoking pot, and fraternising with naked young girls. During a late night bull session in the common room, Al Fin blurted out to an overly talkative and cynical teenage visitor to the farm: “The end result of cynicism is that it feeds on itself until it grows to a critical mass, then it self-destructs. At that point the person is free to live a more authentic life.”

The youngster reacted in a predictably cynical manner to this sage outburst, but the steadier and more seasoned potheads in the room nodded their heads in agreement with the wisdom expressed.

Since then Fin has often reflected — and sometimes practised — the idea of “supersaturation” with unpleasant feelings and experiences in order to liberate himself from them. This idea is closely related to the common self-help staple of “failing in order to succeed.” It is well known to productive people from inventors to writers to entrepreneurs, that in order to achieve meaningful success a person must experience multiple failures — then learn from each one in order to build and grow to the winning effort.

The human nervous system experiences everything on a relative scale. Consider the optical illusion below:

http://brainden.com/color-illusions.htm

The two pieces A and B are the same colour, although because of the relative shades around them and at the junction, they appear to be distinctly different.

We may be comfortable in an air-conditioned environment indoors on a hot summer day, but after going outside for a time and acclimating, when we return indoors we suddenly feel exceptionally cool. We experience the world in relative terms.

Consider a person living in a cozy part of town, with favourite restaurants, entertainments, and everyday habitual activities of recreation and amusement. After traveling away for a few weeks or longer when he finally returns to his nest he may learn to appreciate new aspects of his almost-habitual lifestyle. Or he may be moved to try new things. The act of placing oneself outside of normal comfort zones perturbs the equilibrium, often leading to change.

Dangerous Child Self-Therapy

In the Dangerous Child Method, therapy is just another form of teaching and training. Past a certain point of development, it is all self-administered with only occasional checks and graduations.

Some very young children have difficulty with the concept of “cynicism,” but they easily understand hot and cold, bright and dark, wide open and closed in, and hunger/thirst vs. satisfaction. Voluntarily putting oneself well outside personal comfort zones for certain minimal periods of time leads to forms of understanding and enlightenment not readily available through verbal instruction.

In the mainstream we see something similar in the act of “sitting” in Zen, or mindfulness practise. For most people “just sitting” is uncomfortable to the point of distraction. It is likely that a significant part of the benefit that comes from sitting or mindfulness is the act of transcending the “discomfort” of stretching boundaries.

For Dangerous Children, it is crucial for the student to understand the relativity of experience. Coming to terms with discomfort, unease, fear, and pain, is a vital aspect of becoming Dangerous.

The training itself goes quite deep, at least for the individual child. It is all relative, and each child can do only so much at his particular stage of development. But what he can do with training is far more than what conventional children are expected to do in the dumbed down world of convention.

Simply put, we take the concept of “overtraining,” and apply it to as many aspects of physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual experience as seems appropriate for the particular child. Just as in the development of particular skills (music, movement, language, pattern etc.), the child himself indicates through subtle signs where and how far the experiment should proceed at a particular time and place.

Nietzsche’s dictum that “what does not kill us makes us stronger,” and Taleb’s concept of “anti-fragility” express an important idea of growing beyond former limitations. But in order to do that, the limitations must be challenged. And doing that is not always fun or blissful, and may not lead directly to happiness.

Life is not really about happiness, not directly. Like finding a faint star in the night sky, one must often use the periphery of vision to find what one seeks.

There is a place for boldness and a place for subtlety. Learning which is which is a skill not often taught in school or university — or virtually anywhere in the mainstream. Rather than experimenting in the public sphere, it is best to set out to learn one’s own limits and points of departure first.

Yes, it often takes a lifetime to become aware, and to know what to do with that awareness. But the earlier one begins, the better.

Avoiding a Society of “Passionate Failure”

Mike Rowe via Legal Insurrection 6/16

Are children born with fixed passions and interests so that all they need to do is to find them — or do they need to build and develop their passions with the application of effort? How a child approaches this question will make all the difference in his future.

Fixed Interest Mindset vs. Growth/Evolved Interest Mindset

Across North America, children and youth are being taught to “find their passion.” It is presumed “the passions” are fixed and built in, and that after one’s passion is found that everything meaningful will come effortlessly in an endless stream of motivation and fulfillment.

Researchers at Stanford and Yale recently looked at the different consequences for children when they believed that their interests are “fixed” and only needed to be discovered, and when the child believed that he must work to develop his passions and put in continuous effort to follow them meaningfully.

In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.

… “If passions are things found fully formed, and your job is to look around the world for your passion—it’s a crazy thought,” Walton told me. “It doesn’t reflect the way I or my students experience school, where you go to a class and have a lecture or a conversation, and you think, That’s interesting. It’s through a process of investment and development that you develop an abiding passion in a field.”

Another reason not to buy into the fixed theory is that it can cause people to give up too easily. If something becomes difficult, it’s easy to assume that it simply must not have been your passion, after all. In one portion of this study, the students who thought interests were fixed were also less likely to think that pursuing a passion would be difficult at times. Instead, they thought it would provide “endless motivation.” __ The Atlantic

Modern educators like to believe that once a child’s passions are found and engaged, that he will subsequently benefit from an endless stream of insight and energy that will allow him to follow the passions to their proper rewards.

This belief in “the fixed passions” is compatible with modern theories of “self esteem” and the abolition of grades, competence hierarchies, and meaningful competition. In this brave new world there is no need to stratify ideas and theories by how well they work in the real world. Every culture is perfect just as it is, everybody gets a trophy, and if science finds differences in aptitudes and achievements between different groups, then by popular proclamation science must be wrong about that.

The “follow your fixed passion” is also compatible with $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in US colleges — much of which will never be repaid. It is also compatible with a rapidly expanding skills shortage in North America and Europe which — like it or not — will result in having to choose between importing skilled workers from abroad, or a gradual scaling back of local skilled services and industries, leading to increased imports of products from abroad.

How to cultivate a “growth” mind-set in the young, future-psychology-experiment subjects of America? If you’re a parent, you can avoid dropping new hobbies as soon as they become difficult. (Your kids might take note if you do, O’Keefe said.) __ Atlantic

The author of the Atlantic piece excerpted above makes a great point: Your example teaches your child far more about how to approach life than anything you may say to him.

And stop telling your child “you’re so smart!” Children who are told how smart they are will tend to begin avoiding difficult challenges so as not to threaten their “so smart!” self-concept. Instead, praise the child’s effort and work ethic.

The underlying idea here is to teach the child — by example, through story/myth, and by reinforced advice — how to embrace and overcome difficult challenges. This is necessary in order for the child to reach levels of accomplishment that will allow him to both build and discover meaningful and purposeful “passions.”

Without this built-in love of overcoming challenge and solving difficult problems, life becomes one series of dumbed down “educational experiences” after another.

And that is exactly the opposite of what you want for your Dangerous Child.

Can Dangerous Children Drive 18 Wheel Trucks?

Driving a truck is not glamorous, holds many risks and dangers, and is not paid as well as many other skills which 18 year-olds can easily master. But for certain types of young spirits, it may be the perfect path to quickly building a useful nest egg and launching pad.

All Forms of Transport Are Important

Ships, trains, trucks, planes, barges, and pipelines, all contribute to the moving of freight within and between national borders.

Stock Image

International freight is transported by sea transport, rail, road, and by plane. National freight rides on river barges, rails, pipelines, planes, and 18 wheel trucks.

The image below displays the disproportionate amount of US national freight that is transported by both local and intercity freight trucks.

Transportation Cost Components US
https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/econ_methods/lcdp_rep/index.htm

What’s In it For a Dangerous Child?

Trucking is an important skill, required by all thriving communities — just as flying planes, operating barges, and navigating sea routes are important skills. As you can see from the graphic above, trucking occupies a key role in US freight supplies. And for most youth, learning to drive a truck is a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive way to achieve a marketable skill — optionally one of at least three skills that a Dangerous Child will need to master before his 18th birthday.

But are the trucking jobs there, for eager young life-builders with a sense of “on the road adventure,” seeking to acquire a cash stake?

There is a Shortage of US Truckers

As it happens, yes.

The industry reports a growing labor shortage — 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years — that could have wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. economy.

Nearly every item sold in the United States touches a truck at some point, which explains why the challenges facing the industry, including trucking companies rapidly raising prices as they raise wages, have special power to affect the entire economy. Already, delivery delays are common, and businesses such as Amazon, General Mills and Tyson Foods are raising prices as they pass higher transportation costs along to consumers. On a recent call with investors, a Walmart executive called rising transportation costs the company’s primary “head wind.” __ https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/americas-severe-trucker-shortage-could-undermine-the-prosperous-economy/2018/06/28/61c19e12-7595-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?

Trucking is not for everybody. It’s a hazardous job — like many jobs that are occupied almost entirely by men. Dangerous Children will have mastered enough skills by age 18 so that they can decide for themselves, based upon their inner sense of themselves.

There were more than 1,000 fatalities among motor vehicle operators in 2016, according to the Labor Department, meaning being a commercial driver is nearly eight times as deadly as being a law enforcement officer.

“It takes a special breed to be a trucker. It’s a tough job,” said Rick Rathburn Jr., the owner of TDDS, a school his late father started in the early 1970s. A trucking company recently tried to buy the entire school. __ WaPo

This Type of Job is a Stepping Stone

There are many reasons why an 18 year old Dangerous Child might choose to drive a truck for a year or few. Building a quick nest egg to finance new projects would rank near the top in a list. There are worse fates than finding oneself a 21 year-old with a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank and no debt.

A Dangerous Child could certainly make more money as a welder or an oil rig worker, but some DCs may want the experience of driving the roads under all conditions, seeing what things are really like in different parts of their country. Also, sitting in the cab of a truck gives a person a lot of time to think, and listen to audio books that are capable of giving him a better general education than most contemporary universities.

After a few years of working, a Dangerous Child might take part of his savings and enter a profession via higher education, or he might choose to open his own business — perhaps expanding on one of the various skills he will have mastered.

Better than Prison or Drowning in College Debt

The skilled trades offer generally higher wages to the 18 year old dangerous child — and there are a lot of them to choose from. Skilled trade jobs may be more likely to open into more long-lasting careers and business opportunities.

Many skilled jobs make it easier for the Dangerous Child to live in one place and establish roots — something that long distance trucking jobs often make difficult.

Only the Dangerous Child himself will know if he can adapt to a life on the road in a big rig, if only for a year or so. If the DC is a writer or songwriter, he is likely to find plenty of material on the road. In the end, it is the experience itself that leads most drivers to stay on the road.

More Jobs of All Kinds in a Prosperous Economy

From 2008 through 2016, the US and much of the western world were bogged down in economic doldrums which were mostly the manufactured result of bad government policy. Suddenly, after the 2016 elections, the US economy is beginning to act as if a heavy weight has been removed from its back. As a result, more jobs of all types are being offered.

CHICAGO – Today marks the U.S. economy’s second-longest [expansion] since 1785, according to new research released by global commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. If this trend continues through July 1, 2019, the expansion of this economic cycle will officially be the longest on record. __ http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en/news/2018/05/us-economy-enters-second-largest-expansion

It may be a coincidence of market timing that current US prosperity began when it did, but if economic expansion suits your purpose, it is best to take advantage. And Dangerous Children will find many ways to take advantage of economic conditions, whatever they may be.

What is the Reason for Living?

Bringing up a Dangerous Child is always challenging, often thrilling, and sometimes terrifying. Most of us have come to terms with the reasons we are doing this and the other important things in our lives. But the Dangerous Child has not had our experiences or had the chance to test different perspectives and attitudes against the real world. An essential part of Dangerous Child training is inserting “big picture” concepts regularly, to make the child comfortable seeing his own life from an eagle’s eye perspective.

Ikigai: Reason for Being
https://singularityhub.com/2018/06/15/the-more-people-with-purpose-the-better-the-world-will-be/

The ability to step outside one’s own life and observe what one is doing and where one is heading, is invaluable in the discovery of one’s own purpose, or reason for being. This purpose or reason is one’s orienting platform and launching pad to the future.

Ultimately, having a purpose ignites meaning and lasting happiness. It means waking up in the morning with a sense of anticipation for the day. After all, a human life is far too precious to be spent on meaningless or mediocre goals. __ https://singularityhub.com/2018/06/15/the-more-people-with-purpose-the-better-the-world-will-be/

Here is an exercise from Peter Diamandis meant to help a person to discover personal goals which they would find compelling and sustaining:

Step one: Write down the top three items you are most excited about or get you most riled up (that you want to solve).

Step two: For each of the three problems listed above, ask the following six questions and score each from 1-10.
(1 = small difference; 10 = big difference)

ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS
1. If at the end of [a given time] you had made a significant dent in this area, how proud would you feel?
2. Given the resources you have today, what level of impact could you make in the next three years if you solved this problem?
3. Given the resources you expect to have in 10 years, what level of impact could you make in a 3-year period?
4. How well do I understand the problem?
5. How emotionally charged (excited or riled up) am I about this?
6. Will this problem get solved with or without you involved?

TOTAL = Add up your scores and identify the idea with the highest score. This is your winner for now. Does this one intuitively feel right to you? __ Motivating Power

The results of this exercise will be different at age 10 than at age 18. And far different still at the age of 30 or 40. But it is crucial that Dangerous Children begin to think in terms of setting self-motivating goals from an early age.

Jordan Peterson is famous for his emphasis on striving for meaning and purpose rather than striving for happiness. Below is a video segment from a lecture, with some ideas on living a meaningful life:

Peterson’s “self-authoring software” and “Understand Myself” self-assessment will help Dangerous Children and others to learn where they are strong and weak, and to better visualise themselves as they set goals and move into the future.

This type of honest self-assessment and realistic projection of one’s goal-driven efforts into the future, combine to provide one with more realistic maps for navigating their lives.

Dangerous Children master at least three different ways of financial self-support by the age of eighteen. But they will not be content with just being financially self-supporting. They never stop learning and they never stop setting goals.

Should Dangerous Children Follow Their Passion?

Once a youth reaches the place where his future is in his own hands, as long as his “passion” is informed by a deep wisdom inside himself, then why not?

In a previous post we looked at Mike Rowe’s advice: “Don’t follow your passion!” But we should be clear that Rowe was talking to today’s average sheltered, pampered, mis-educated young person, with essentially no real world experience or savvy. A Dangerous Child with at least three self-supporting skills mastered and tucked under his belt is in an altogether different category. With his broad range of hard-won competencies, the Dangerous Child has a good idea what to expect in the broader world — and is fairly well set to begin dealing with it.

But for ordinary youth, following their passion is more likely to be a recipe for disaster.

When I say, “don’t follow your passion,” some people get upset because they think I am saying, “don’t follow the goal of being passionate about your work.” But I’m not saying this. Passion is great. I just don’t see a lot of evidence that passion is something existing naturally, waiting to be discovered. It takes hard work and planning to develop.

… we rarely talk about what true passion feels like. The sensation of excitement about a particular idea is often a different sensation than the type of deep passion that drives people into a fulfilling career. Excitement comes and goes. True passion arises after you’ve put in the long hours to really become a craftsman in your field and can then leverage this value to really have an impact, to gain autonomy and respect, to control your occupational destiny.

… there is no special passion waiting for you to discover. Passion is something that is cultivated. It can be cultivated in many, many different fields. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say, “I don’t know what my passion is.” What does make sense is to say, “I haven’t yet cultivated a passion, I should really focus down on a small number of things and start this process.” __ https://www.theminimalists.com/cal/

More: To find the work you love, don’t follow your passion.

As Mike Rowe said in the video above: Don’t follow your passion. But always take it with you.

For generations now, parents have trusted the raising and education of their children to large institutions which are indifferent (at best) to the ultimate fate of these children. Kids deserve better.

What You Do Counts More than How You Feel

In the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” Susan Jeffers confronts the paralysing feeling of fear. Fear will stop you before you can get started, or push you to quit when success is just around the corner.

It is not just negative emotions such as fear that can keep you from setting and achieving meaningful goals. The errant pursuit of positive emotions such as “happiness,” contentment, or bliss can send a person on an impossible quest that can tie him up in so many knots for so many years that he never has a chance to understand what he needs to do to build a life of purpose and meaning.

Fear is Overrated, and So Is Happiness

We live in a “touchy-feely” world of safe spaces, entitled perpetual children, and a constant readiness to take offense for perceived “lack of respect” or “cultural appropriation.” Feelings are given precedence over purposeful and considered action across the public sphere — even though only purposeful and considered action can make our world a better place for everyone.

Across the worlds of academia, media, government, social media, and worlds of work and play, emotions are elevated above a broad competence, a competence which would allow people to invent, create, and produce the things that lead to a more expansive and abundant human future.

Emotions are important, of course. But they are secondary to what you actually do, in reality. For example, “self esteem” comes after competence and accomplishment. “Happiness” is a spontaneous response to particular settings or events which usually required a lot of hard work to set up. “Bliss” is a special experience that usually accompanies a serendipitous juxtaposition of outer events and inner awareness and receptivity. Positive emotions often occur at the culmination of a series of unrelated — and sometimes unconscious — achievements which all required action on your part to bring about.

Feelings and Moods Follow Inner Narratives, Dialogues, and Story Loops

We have some control over our moods and feelings, as long as we are aware of the inner voices and competing intrigues which influence emotions below the surface. The extreme example of this underlying moodmaster, is suicidal ideations. Some people easily fall into repeating images of self harm or personal annihilation, which cannot help but result in depressed mood and despair for as long as the images are allowed to repeat.

Less dramatic examples of unconscious mood controlling narratives and story segments dominate the lives of large numbers of people. Daydreaming — which involves the “default mode network” of the brain — can take over the minds of students in study, workers at their desks, writers at their keyboards, and anyone else who has an idle moment that turns into much more than a moment. Sometimes great ideas occur to a person in the state of “mind wandering.” But that only tends to happen to “prepared minds,” which are struggling with a specific problem, and need a little subconscious assistance.

Kekulé spoke of the creation of the theory. He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is an ancient symbol known as the ouroboros).[13] This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds. __ August Kekule (Wikipedia)

For most people, most of the time daydreaming is a waste of time at best, and an open door to self berating thoughts at worst.

People Can Control Their Own Inner Dialogues

It is the goal of cognitive behavioural therapy to replace dysfunctional “inner dialogues” with more positive inner thoughts which predispose to constructive actions and behaviours.

Likewise, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy modifies a person’s mood patterns and inner thoughts by multiple pathways — including an increasing awareness of what is happening deep inside, and the actual alteration of brain circuits involved in the default mode network’s function.

Neurofeedback can also be helpful in altering brain function toward more productive and purposeful habits of mind, but that approach to mood assistance has barely begun to be developed. It holds immense potential for the future.

For mood modification and modulation, it is generally best to view pharmaceuticals as a last resort — although in certain situations, antidepressants and other mood modifying drugs can be lifesaving. All the same, persons should take advantage of any opportunities they can find to become more insightful and aware of their own internal mood mechanisms.

How Do You Learn What You Should Do?

If actions should take precedence over feelings in most situations, how does a person know what he should be doing? That kind of priority-setting is learned over many years of experimentation, free play, and the repeated discipline of making plans and putting them into action across many areas of life. As the child plans, makes predictions, and experiences results after putting plans into action, he builds a portfolio of increasingly refined expectations.

By the time a Dangerous Child is eighteen years of age, he will have mastered a broad range of skills, competencies, and at least three ways of earning a living. He will also have started and run multiple business enterprises of various types, with roughly ten years of business and money management experience before reaching 18.

A Dangerous Child will learn to deal with success and failure, and will learn to distinguish the two at earlier and earlier stages of project development. By doing this over and over again, he will learn to deal with the emotions and social inputs that accompany both success and failure — long before his livelihood and future is on the line.

Dangerous Children also learn many non-financial skills and competencies. Whether an expertise is in the area of lethal skills or non-lethal competencies, each level of accomplishment is embedded within a matrix of responsibility to the family and community.

The Story Goes Much Deeper than this General Sketch

But even if we were able to portray the full story, we would not do so in this setting. In time, we will fill out enough details so that interested parties can follow the leads.

The primary goal of The Dangerous Child movement is to build networked islands of competence in a broad sea of dysfunction and — too often — malevolence.

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

Discoveries in Learning and Forgetting

UCLA’s Robert Bjork is a leader in applying cognitive scientific discoveries to actual learning practises. Parents and coaches who help to shape the landscape of a Dangerous Child’s learning environment will benefit from a better understanding of the mental mechanisms of learning, as research moves forward.

Here are some excerpts from Robert Bjork’s research, with some links included for further research:

Applying Cognitive Psychology to Enhance Educational Practice

Testing effect

Taking a test often does more than assess knowledge; tests can also provide opportunities for learning. When information is successfully retrieved from memory, its representation in memory is changed such that it becomes more recallable in the future (e.g., R. A. Bjork, 1975); and this improvement is often greater than the benefit resulting from additional study (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006).

Most of us are familiar with the “pre-test / post-test” approach to continuing education. The pre-test functions as an “alerting mechanism” to salient information that will appear in the coming lecture or other learning exposure. The post-test then puts a cap on what was learned — but it also acts as a “prime” for further learning.

New Theory of Disuse

Sometimes people cannot access information that was well learned earlier (e.g., the address of the house where they grew up). And students find that although they can recall information over and over again the day before a test, they cannot always recall it at the time of examination. Finally, sometimes people cannot recall information at one point in time, but can recall it later. In looking at these situations, it seems that our memories work in strange and unpredictable ways. The function of our memories, however, may be predictable. The New Theory of Disuse (R. A. Bjork & E. L. Bjork, 1992) posits that there are two indices of memory strength: storage strength (SS) and retrieval strength (RS). Storage strength is how well learned something is; retrieval strength is how accessible (or retrievable) something is. To illustrate, imagine four possible situations. If something is well learned (e.g., the address where you have lived for several years), it has both high SS and high RS: You know it well and can retrieve it readily. The address of a friend that you visited for the first time this afternoon, however, may only have high RS (and low SS) because the address, although practiced recently, was not well learned. Thus, although you know the address now, you will be unlikely to be able to recall it in a few days because RS will decrease over time, especially for information with low SS. Sometimes information has high SS (due to it having been well learned), but cannot be retrieved (e.g., the address where you lived as a child). If you were provided with this address again, however, you would have the feeling that that information was somewhere in the recesses of your memory, and in fact, you would be likely to relearn it very quickly. Finally, information can have both low RS and low SS. This information would include things that you heard in class earlier today, but did not learn well and cannot recall now.

We are often told that the brain retains everything that was ever learned. The challenge is in the act of recalling what we have learned. Most of the applications discussed by Bjork have to do with a more refined training of recall.

Introduction to Desirable Difficulties

Imagine a scenario in which a teacher has students practice different examples of a single type of math problem for an hour in class. By the end of the hour, it may seem—both to the teacher and to the students—that this type of math problem has been mastered. On a test two weeks later, however, the benefit may not be evident. In fact, much to the dismay of the teacher and the students, performance during training is not always representative of long-term learning.

In contrast to the story told above, in which an easy training method was followed by poor performance later, imagine that the teacher had interleaved many different types of problems during in-class training drills. Recent research reveals that difficult training of this type produces higher scores on the test than the easier version described above (Rohrer & Taylor, 2007), and this is the kind of training that the Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab believes enhances long-term learning.

There are, in fact, certain training conditions that are difficult and appear to impede performance during training but that yield greater long-term benefits than their easier training counterparts.

Dr. Bjork explains that it is beneficial to create study conditions in which learning is slowed down to allow for better memory for the information in the long-term. This creates an unfortunate conflict between the desire to see quick improvements on the side of the learner and the instructional goals of the instructor.

An interesting real world example of “desirable difficulties” in learning was the method that the father of golf champion Tiger Woods used to train young Tiger in overcoming distractions. The father and coach would stand close to Tiger while the boy was trying to achieve a difficult putt, and shout in his ear. Using such distractions and other created difficulties, young Tiger was taught to focus intensely and to ignore the extraneous.

Spacing

It is common sense that when we want to learn information, we study that information multiple times. The schedules by which we space repetitions can make a huge difference, however, in how well we learn and retain information we study. The spacing effect is the finding that information that is presented repeatedly over spaced intervals is learned much better than information that is repeated without intervals (i.e., massed presentation). This effect is one of the most robust results in all of cognitive psychology and has been shown to be effective over a large range of stimuli and retention intervals from nonsense syllables (Ebbinghaus, 1885) to foreign language learning across many months (Bahrick, Bahrick, Bahrick & Bahrick, 1993).

One of many approaches to spaced practise

Generation

One robust and longstanding finding is that generating words, rather than simply reading them, makes them more memorable (Slamecka & Graf, 1978). As an example, this effect is often achieved for single words through the use of a letter-stem cue (ex. “fl____” for “flower”) or by unscrambling an anagram (ex. “rolwfe” for “flower”). The effects of generation on memory are being investigated from many different angles in the lab, from its basic role as a memory modifier (see Desirable Difficulties), to people’s awareness of this role and subsequent use of generation as a strategy (see Metacognition), to the extended effects of generation on related material (see Retrieval-Induced Forgetting).

This approach is a giant step beyond the multiple choice approach, toward a more genuine fluency in knowledge and problem solving. Multiple choice testing and learning provides good introductions and intermediate learning experiences, while “generation” approaches allow for a closer approach to mastery.

Interleaving

Spacing is one of the most robust, effective ways of improving learning. However, spacing calls for intervals of time in between repetitions, and this may not be the most efficient use of time. Imagine you have three final exams to study for. If you were to space out study of three whole courses, you might as well start your course review before the quarter even begins! Particularly when one has several different things to learn, an effective strategy is to interleave one’s study: Study a little bit of history, then a little bit of psychology followed by a chapter of statistics and go back again to history. Repeat (best if in a blocked-randomized order).

The benefit of interleaving is found over a diverse set of stimuli ranging from word pairs (Battig, 1979) to motor movements (Shea & Morgan, 1979) to mathematics problems (Rohrer & Taylor, 2007) and word translations (Richland, R. A. Bjork, & Finley, 2004). Interleaving benefits not only memory for what is studied, but also leads to benefits in the transfer of learned skills (e.g. Carson & Wiegand, 1979). The theory is that interleaving requires learners to constantly “reload” motor programs (in the case of motor skills) or retrieve strategies/information (in the case of cognitive skills) and allows learners to extract more general rules that aid transfer.

Interleaving forces the learning mind out of restricted cubby-holes so that it can make connections and distinctions between concepts and actions. It represents a more dynamic approach to learning which is analogous on a smaller scale to the concept of inter-disciplinary learning and working on a larger scale.

More from UCLA’s Bjorklab

Robert Bjork videos on long-term learning

More videos

Forgetting as a friend of learning — a Harvard talk by Robert Bjork:

Working With Your Hands

A Dangerous Child must master at least 3 different ways of achieving financial independence by the age of 18 years. Given the number of manual skills Dangerous Children routinely learn as part of the training, at least 1 of the 3 skills of self-sufficiency is likely to involve working with the hands, often more. Besides the looming “skills gap” in the manual trades, there are other reasons why young people might choose to put in time working with their hands.

According to the job hunting site Monster, our brain chemistry actually changes when we work with our hands: “By the simple act of using our hands, be it rewiring a home’s electricity, laying bricks, or simply sweeping, we can forge entire new neuro pathways in our brains that could not be made in a less physically active environment.” __ Health Benefits of Working with Your Hands

Physical activity that involves frequent problem-solving, works the body and the brain — often in ways that relieve stress, rather than creating stress as in many office jobs.

Back in 2009, Matthew Crawford related in the New York Times Magazine how he graduated with a PhD in Political Science from U. Chicago and completed a year of postdoc, then began realising that the future looked very bleak if he did not make a change. Over the next year, Matthew spent more time at a friend’s motorcycle repair shop than he did at the university — and thereby learned a new trade as a motorcycle mechanic.

After the postdoc was completed, he took a job in Washington DC at a think tank. But the work was stressful and unsatisfying, so after just 7 months Matthew quit.

After saving up enough money to buy the necessary tools, he quit his job, opened up his own motorcycle repair shop, and is now the author of several books including Shop Class As Soulcraft and The Case for Working with Your Hands. In the latter, Crawford writes, “Manual competence makes you feel better, and behave better.” ___ https://craftsmanshipinitiative.org/health-benefits-working-hands/

Working with his hands was far less stressful and more satisfying than his think tank job. And as a motorcycle mechanic he also had the mental energy to author a number of books, which added to his income and life experience.

Broadly Based Competence Opens Doors

As populations in Europe and the Anglosphere age, skilled workers are retiring at higher rates than they can be replaced — especially during times of economic prosperity with increased hiring needs.

Skilled craftsmen and tradesmen can easily earn into the six figures — without the gigantic student loans and high levels of stress often incurred in a university education followed by mainstream employment.

Dangerous Children are trained to work with their hands in many ways, but they are also trained in starting/running a business, investing and asset management, and in many basic skills of thinking and scholarship rarely seen today even in college graduates.

A strong society requires strong and broadly competent members, a fact which the elites of academia, media, government, and other cultural institutions have seemingly forgotten.

Even if a Dangerous Child makes a living as a plastic surgeon, theoretical physicist, CEO of his own tech company, or homesteading on the Alaska frontier, being able to work with his hands will serve him well in many unforeseen circumstances, and with a wide range of personal hobbies and avocations.

Waiting, Watching, Thinking

Waiting

“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.” __ Voltaire

Waiting is not what we usually think. It is true that standing in long lines, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and waiting for the end of a long hard day, all constitute forms of “waiting.” Whether or not such forms of waiting end up being a waste of our time is up to us.

While Dangerous Children are raised to maintain situational awareness and to make use of every second, most people are not Dangerous Children.

Instead of taking advantage of spare moments to learn something new or to practise mindfulness, most of us simply revert to “default mode network” thinking. The default mode is an automatic state of thinking that often involves “zoning out” as in a highway hypnosis or an unfocused daydream. Sometimes the default mode rewards us with creative thought — as in the case of the prepared mind — but for most of us it is just a way of killing time until something salient happens.

A better way of “mental waiting” or suspending normal thought, is to enter an aware state of mindfulness. It is more restful than the default mode, opens more doors to creativity, and allows us a quicker route to action if something unexpected occurs.

More conventional ways of filling up “empty time” such as listening to music, motivational tapes, or foreign language learning, are also useful.

Watching

While “waiting,” the Dangerous Child is also watching. And watching in a special way.

When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?
__ Ralph Marston

Watching implies seeing. But not everyone who watches also sees. When Dangerous Children watch, they are seeing surface meanings, but also dozens of potential and hypothetical branching extensions of what they see. Watching for a Dangerous Child is not the same as watching for ordinary people.

It is again the “prepared mind” which makes all the difference between mere watching and expanded seeing. Mindfulness opens the door to a more expanded seeing, but only if the mind is pre-pared with fluid mechanisms, categories, and hard knowledge and information.

Thinking

Even while waiting and watching — even while practising mindfulness — the Dangerous Child is always thinking.

“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
Thomas A. Edison

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
__ Albert Einstein

First of all, Dangerous Children are taught contrarian thinking, and inoculated against groupthink. While young and very young children are not especially likely to think many truly original thoughts, if they are raised in the manner described, the more they develop and learn, the more their thoughts will tend to be their own. This is particularly true given the self-teaching mode of most of a Dangerous Child’s education.

This helps the child to think for himself, but it does untangle the knot of mono-layer thinking. Einstein’s quote above exposes the fallacy of linear logic which plagues the modern/post-modern intellectual and pseudo-intellectual realms.

Dangerous Children learn to think on multiple levels and dimensions. One approach to non-linear logical thinking is the “lateral thinking” approach of Dr. Edward de Bono.

Lateral thinking is an unconventional approach to problem solving that requires more of teachers and students than the conventional factory-school rote learning approach of a traditional childhood and university indoctrination. Since it requires effort and can lead to unpredictable (not politically correct) solutions, most teachers and schools of education avoid it like the plague. As a result, most students never know that lateral thinking exists as a powerful tool for solving sticky problems.

There are several multi-dimensional approaches to unconventional thinking and problem solving which are offered to Dangerous Children as they develop. Some of them are likely to prove useful and comfortable, and if so, the Dangerous Child takes them as his own.

Merging Waiting, Watching, and Thinking

The mind cannot ever do “nothing,” since if nothing else, the default mode network will take over. But it is far more useful, enjoyable, and productive for a person to ride the dynamic wave of awareness, if possible.

Rather than spending our waiting moments in daydreaming and mere anticipation of life, how much better it would be to use our prepared and competent minds to ride the waves of awareness to higher levels and unexpected destinations.

We never know what is coming. It is one thing to maintain a store of food, water, fuel for generators, spare parts for critical machines, weapons and ammunition, and hard money and trade goods. It is quite another thing to hone a mind that is ready to make the best use of all tools and all situations that may arise.

If you have to wait anyway, why not ride the wave while making preparations for dealing with the unexpected?

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

Forest Schools and the Dangerous Child

Liberating children from the tyranny of institutional ideology and classroom indoctrination should begin early. The “forest school movement” and the “forest kindergarten movement” are experiencing growth in Europe, the Anglosphere, and in free East Asia.

In a “forest kindergarten,” like the one in the short video above, children spend most of the day in the wilderness, regardless of weather. Toys are replaced by the imaginative use of sticks, rocks and leaves. There are more than 1,500 of these in Germany. __ NYT

Kindergartens, “child gardens,” began to sprout up in Germany and Scandinavia around the turn of the 20th century, near 1900. The two world wars of the first half of the 20th century stalled the European development of this healthy phenomenon.

The concept of “forest schools” was further developed in Wisconsin in the 1920s, in Scandinavia and Germany in the 1950s, in the UK in the 1990s, and in Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.

Wikipedia Forest Kindergarden

Young and very young children appreciate the wild elements of play that are incorporated into the forest school. Boys are more suited for the wild than for the classroom, at least in their first dozen or so years of life.

Advantages of Forest School:

Improved confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, an concentration[15]
Improved physical stamina, fine and gross motor skills [15]
Positive identity formation for individuals and communities [16]
Environmentally sustainable behaviours and ecological literacy [15]
Increased knowledge of environment, increased frequency of visiting nature within families [15]
Healthy and safe risk-taking [16]
Improved creativity and resilience;[16]
Improved academic achievement and self-regulation;[16]
Reduced stress and increased patience, self-discipline, capacity for attention, and recovery from mental fatigue [16]
Improved higher level cognitive skills [17]

In forest schools, play is largely self-initiated and self-regulated. Most rules of play are negotiated on the fly between children and their playmates, and adult supervision is limited.

Forest Schools and the Dangerous Child

Anything that can be taught in a classroom can be better taught in a forest, given adequate preparation. But the immediacy of the outdoors provides resilience-breeding learning experiences that stay with the child far longer than the didactic pedagogy of the classroom.

The Dangerous Child curricula is best taught in the out of doors. Most of the early training should take place in the rural setting — whether in a forest, on a mountain, in a desert, on a farm, or on a waterway, is a matter of choice, discretion, need, and opportunity.

As the child grows and develops competence-based confidence and resilience in the outdoors, he will be better able to develop expertise in more technological and urban settings. But no child ever outgrows the out of doors. By growing up in the wild, a more realistic concept of nature evolves within the child than what most children receive in a classroom indoctrination.

Forest School vs. Montessori and Waldorf

For parents who are unable to lead their own children through the lessons of the outdoors during the formative years, the expanded choices provided by forest schools, Montessori, and Waldorf etc., allow for a somewhat less guilty “farming out” of the young child to third parties than would otherwise be possible.

Each local kindertarten and school facility should be thoroughly vetted before trusting one’s child to their tender mercies.

More:

The movement to incorporate forest school into public school education

A blend of forest school and Montessori

A guide to forest school activities

The Importance of Inoculating Against Groupthink

Gustave Le Bon
quoted in Source

Groupthink is a Mass Contagion Disease

One of the first scholars of “groupthink” was Irving Janis, a research psychologist at Yale and professor emeritus at UC Berkeley. Janis wrote more than a dozen books, including “Groupthink,” and “Victims of Groupthink.” It is instructive to examine a summary of his conclusions from studying the phenomenon.

… what Janis more generally showed through each of his carefully researched case studies was how this form of collective human psychology operates according to certain clearly identifiable rules. Janis several times set out lists of the ‘symptoms of groupthink’, and his lengthy study included much analysis of its other attributes. But for our present purpose, we can draw out from his work three characteristics of
groupthink that are absolutely basic and relevant to our theme. I carefully use here the phrase ‘draw out from’ because Janis himself nowhere explicitly states that these are the three basic rules of groupthink. But they are implicit in his analysis throughout the book, and form the core of his theory as to how groupthink operates.

The three rules of groupthink

Rule one is that a group of people come to share a common view or belief that in some way is not properly based on reality. They may believe they have all sorts of evidence that confirms that their opinion is right, but their belief cannot ultimately be tested in a way that confirms this beyond doubt. In essence, therefore, it is no more than a shared belief.

Rule two is that, precisely because their shared view cannot be subjected to external proof, they then feel the need to reinforce its authority by elevating it into a ‘consensus’, a word Janis himself emphasised. To those who subscribe to the ‘consensus’, the common belief seems intellectually and morally so self-evident that all right-thinking people must agree with it. The one thing they cannot afford to allow is that anyone, either within their group or outside it, should question or challenge it. Once established, the essence of the belief system must be defended at all costs.

Rule three, in some ways the most revealing of all, is a consequence of that insistence that everyone must support the ‘consensus’. The views of anyone who fails to share it become wholly unacceptable. There cannot be any possibility of dialogue with them. They must be excluded from any further discussion. At best they may just be marginalised and ignored, at worst they must be openly attacked and discredited.

Dissent cannot be tolerated.

Janis showed how consistently and fatally these rules operated in each of his examples. Those caught up in the groupthink rigorously excluded anyone putting forward evidence that raised doubts about their ‘consensus’ view. So convinced were they of the rightness of their cause that anyone failing to agree with it was aggressively shut out from the discussion. And in each case, because they refused to consider any evidence that suggested that their two-dimensional ‘consensus’ was not based on a proper appraisal of reality, it eventually led to disaster. __ Groupthink PDF

The document linked above summarizes Janis’ research in the context of the enterprise of global catastrophic climate alarmism, which exhibits a large number of the attributes of groupthink which Janis elaborated back in the 1970s.

It is No Coincidence that “Groupthink” Takes on Orwellian Overtones When Examined Closely

Every Dangerous Child should read George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.” No modern person can claim to be educated without having read that work.

Irving Janus borrowed from the tone of “1984” when he coined the term “groupthink.” Orwell coined similar descriptive terms such as “crimethink,” “doublethink,” and “newspeak.” But it was the imagined society portrayed within the novel which illustrates the concept of groupthink so clearly and graphically.

Dangerous Children Must Be Inoculated Against Conformist Groupthink As Thoroughly As Possible

In order for the child to approach his potential in various aspects of personal growth and achievement, he must be able to stand on his own with sufficient grit and personal competence so that he will not be tossed about by the winds of public opinion or peer influence.

Again, take the example of groupthink in global climate catastrophism:

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2018/02/Groupthink.pdf

We are discovering in today’s university atmosphere of antagonism against free and open expression and dialogue, that it is only the youth who already possess substantive values who are able to stand up against the ubiquitous postmodern indoctrination.

What is true for ordinary children and youth is particularly true for Dangerous Children, who are trained in a wide range of potentially lethal skills. Such children must be highly conscientious, with stable and mature systems of values which they call their own.

Without high levels of conscientiousness or solid, stable, self-made systems of values, it would be irresponsible to train the child to be Dangerous.

The Contrarian Way

Contrarianism is the characteristic of “going one’s own way,” without regard to the direction of the larger herd. And that is a signal characteristic of the Dangerous Child — although he would never broadcast such an inclination to the public. It is his broad competence which gives him the confidence to take that stance.

As we say, there are no secret handshakes, no special tattoos, no identifying rings or pendants or styles of clothing, to identify a Dangerous Child. You may be living next door to one.

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules: Antidote to Chaos

https://jordanbpeterson.com/12-rules-for-life/

All children should be trained along the lines of Peterson’s 12 rules, but Dangerous Children in particular. This valuable book unlocks a treasure trove of deep learning and insight which required Peterson decades of study and struggle to uncover and elucidate. Writing the book only took a few years. Doing the painful and bloody work required to be able to write the book took decades.

The book is something to read, ponder, and read again. Parents who take the time and trouble to do so will be much better people for themselves, their partners, and their children. But it is children themselves — and especially Dangerous Children — who stand to reap the greatest harvest from internalising the dynamic storm of principles hidden behind the rules.

The following rules will appear meaningless to someone who has not read the book. But to anyone who takes the trouble to read and re-read Peterson’s book, the rules are saturated with the deepest of meanings.

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jan/21/jordan-peterson-self-help-author-12-steps-interview

Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back

Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping

Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you

Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world

Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Rule 10 Be precise in your speech

Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Part clinical psychologist, part philosopher, part popularizer of obscure gems of experience and covert iron bulwarks of reality, Peterson is only 55 years old. He is just now bursting into the global intellectual limelight.

For anyone else from his relatively humble background, such a “coming out” into the treacherous world of modern fame would be potentially devastating. But if you look carefully at all the decades of blistering mind-toil Peterson has done arriving at this point in his life, it will be easier to see the solid bedrock beneath his thinking.

Peterson has largely been in the news for his blazing, outspoken opposition to much of the far-left political agenda, which he characterises as totalitarian, intolerant and a growing threat to the primacy of the individual – which is his core value and, he asserts, the foundation of western culture. __ Guardian

If you have not watched Peterson’s interview with feminist Cathy Newman on BBC, it is worth a look. It has already received almost five and half million views on Youtube, and that number is rising quickly.

Ms. Newman tries repeatedly to put words into Peterson’s mouth, and is soundly rebuffed and corrected each time. Peterson comes across as cool under fire because he himself has fought internal battles over these issues of far greater ferocity than any firepower that a mere feminist could mount.

Children need to be prepared in advance for the hostility they will face from a radical leftist zeitgeist at all levels of society and education. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules is a powerful tool to aid that preparation.

Intermittent Blog Blackout: Al Fin Next Level Blog

Update: As of 1 February 2018 AM, the alfinnextlevel blog is back up. We are still trying to get clarification from WordPress as to the root of theproblem.

For reasons known only to itself, WordPress has made the unilateral decision to block all access to the Alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com blog. We are attempting to get more information from wordpress in order to remove the block, but can offer no guarantees to readers.

It will still be possible to search for specific blog posts and retrieve cached versions of such pages from caching services such as found on bing, yahoo, google, etc. or via Wayback Machine at archive.org.

With a blog as controversial as alfinnextlevel (or the original Al Fin blog for that matter), it is likely that people will be offended and complain. Some of those people might be wealthy, powerful, and influential. Others may simply be in a unique position to influence decisions within blog publishers such as wordpress or google.

We live in a politically correct world where using the wrong pronoun for someone’s gender can get a person thrown in prison in some jurisdictions.

Hopefully all of this can be clarified and rectified soon and we will once again be busy at work on Al Fin Next Level, offending fearlessly and with abandon.

Infancy is Now Officially Being Extended to Age 25

Technically, it is “adolescence” that is being extended to Age 25. But in today’s mainstream culture, is there really any difference between infancy, childhood, and adolescence?

“The idea that suddenly at 18 you’re an adult just doesn’t quite ring true,” Laverne Antrobus, a child psychologist at London’s Tavistock Clinic, told the BBC. “My experience of young people is that they still need quite a considerable amount of support and help beyond that age.” __ http://www.medicaldaily.com/adulthood-extended-age-25-child-psychologists-uk-257835

Here is the latest official declaration from the medical journal Lancet:

Perpetual Children
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2430573/An-adult-18-Not-Adolescence-ends-25-prevent-young-people-getting-inferiority-complex.html

An expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies, and service systems. Rather than age 10–19 years, a definition of 10–24 years corresponds more closely to adolescent growth and popular understandings of this life phase and would facilitate extended investments across a broader range of settings.” __ Lancet … via intellectualtakeout.org

Medical and mental health professionals in the UK will be expected to take such declarations seriously. Even in the US under Obamacare, “adolescents” can stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until age 26 as dependents — a tacit admission of extended childhood and adolescence.

Perhaps if they had to wait until age 25 to be licensed to drive, to be able to vote, or to buy alcohol, the entire fiasco might make more sense.

Modern Youth Waiting to Marry

By 2015 the median age for a first marriage in the US was 29 for men and 27 for women. In 1974, the median age for a first marriage was 23 for men and 21 for women. Source

Keep in mind that those who never get married at all do not affect the above statistics — and that number of “never married” is growing rapidly. “Barely half of “adults” ages 18 and older are married.”

And of those perpetual adolescents who do eventually get married by age 30 or beyond, a significant number plan to never have children.

Perhaps It’s For the Best

Most of these perpetual infants are undeveloped in almost every sense of the word, other than physically. After several decades of “dumbing down” the educational systems from K thru U, their minds are untrained or badly mistrained. They have no useful or marketable skills, regardless of the levels of their college loan debt.

If these young eternal toddlers were to marry and have children, what disasters might await society when that newest generation comes of age? Perhaps it is better that they step aside and allow robots and outsiders to attempt to maintain the high tech infrastructure that their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents built?

Dangerous Children Are a Different Breed

The further this grand societal experiment of “eternal infantilisation” proceeds, the clearer the need for Dangerous Children grows. In a society where perpetual adolescent incompetence is the norm — not only up until the age of 25, but indefinitely — the more important the competent and broadly skilled individuals become. Keeping a high tech society afloat is not easy, and nations such as Venezuela, South Africa, North Korea, etc. are experiencing the travails now that in the future will beset more nations of Europe and the Anglosphere.

Dangerous Children master at least three paths to financial independence by age 18, with significant investment and business expertise to boot. By intellect, by emotion, by physical skills, by executive function, and by almost any other measure, Dangerous Children are at least a cut above.

It Is Never Too Late For a Dangerous Childhood

And it is certainly never too early. Whatever it takes to avoid the perpetual dependency and incompetence being displayed by the broad mainstream. A lifelong helpless adolescence is one of the worst fates imaginable.

Perfect Pitch

The following is an excerpt from the book “Peak” by Anders Ericsson and Robert Poole. It illustrates the musical phenomenon known as “perfect pitch,” and explains the “critical developmental window” aspect of the childhood development of perfect pitch. By understanding the time-criticality of the learning of such skills, parents and coaches of Dangerous Children will have a much better idea of how to proceed from the beginning.

The term is “absolute pitch,” although it is better known as “perfect pitch.”

… Beethoven is thought to have had it; Brahms did not. Vladimir Horowitz had it; Igor Stravinsky did not. Frank Sinatra had it; Miles Davis did not.

It would seem, in short, to be an example of an innate talent that a few lucky people are born with and most are not. Indeed, this is what was widely believed for at least two hundred years. But over the past few decades a very different understanding of perfect pitch has emerged, one that points to an equally different vision of the sorts of gifts that life has to offer.

a good deal of research has shown that nearly everyone with perfect pitch began musical training at a very young age — generally around three to five years old. But if perfect pitch is an innate ability, something you are either born with or not, it shouldn’t make any difference whether you receive musical training as a child…

… perfect pitch is much more common among people who speak a tonal language such as Mandarin, Vietnamese, and several other Asian tongues in which the meaning of words is dependent on their pitch… people of Asian heritage who don’t grow up speaking a tonal language are no more likely than people of other ethnicities to have perfect pitch.

… The true character of perfect pitch was revealed in 2014, thanks to a beautiful experiment carried out at the Ichionkai Music School in Tokyo and reported in the scientific journal Psychology of Music. The Japanese psychologist Ayako Sakakibara recruited twenty four children between the ages of two and six and put them through a months-long training course designed to teach them to identify, simply by their sound, various chords played on the piano… The children were given four or five training sessions per day, each lasting just a few minutes, until he or she could identify all fourteen of the target chords that Sakakibara had selected. Some of the children completed the training in less than a year, while others took as long as a year and a half.

Then, once a child had learned to identify the fourteen chords, Sakakibara tested that child to see if he or she could identify individual notes. After completing training, every one of the children of the children had developed perfect pitch, and could identify individual notes played on the piano.

From “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise” by Anders Ericsson and Robert Poole.

Mozart is famous for his “perfect pitch,” which doubtless assisted him in his lifelong work as composer and musician. By the time young Mozart reached the age of four, his father was already working with him intensively on the violin, keyboard, and other instruments. Wolfgang came from a family of musicians, so his genetic complement probably made him more receptive to this training than, say, the son of a chimney sweep would have been. But if started at an early age — and given the right kind of training for a long enough time — even the progeny of chimney sweeps now are thought to have had an excellent chance to develop perfect pitch.

The Book Goes On to Describe Other Unlikely Skills That Can Be Developed or Enhanced by Training

Humans are believed to be limited to about seven consecutive digits of recall, when remembering long numbers. But Anders Ericsson developed a method to extend that ability in college students up to 82 digits — eighty two! There is a big difference between memorising seven digits, and memorising eighty-two digits. The key was in the training that Ericsson had developed.

Proper and Deliberate Practise Transcends Plateaus

Research has shown that, generally speaking, once a person reaches that level of “acceptable” performance and automaticity, the additional years of “practice” don’t lead to improvement. If anything, the doctor or the teacher or the driver who’s been at it for twenty years is likely to be a bit worse than the one who’s been doing it for only fife, and the reason is that these automated abilities gradually deteriorate in the absence of deliberate efforts to improve. __ Anders Ericsson, Robert Poole in “Peak”

Ericsson packs a lot of meaning into the word “deliberate.” Deliberate efforts to improve, or “deliberate practise,” is designed in a particular way to help you break through the barriers, and transcend the plateaus of learning on which you have been stuck. By learning deliberately you combat the natural degeneration of memory and expertise which tends to occur naturally with time.

Consider “Purposeful Practise”

Purposeful practice is all about putting a bunch of baby steps together to reach a longer-term goal…

Purposeful practice is focused . . .

Purposeful practice involves feedback…

Purposeful practice involves getting out of one’s comfort zone …

__ Ericsson and Poole in “Peak

Getting Started Early Makes a Difference

Children who began musical training early in life, had different patterns of brain development as adults than those who did not begin training so early. The age of development when purposeful and deliberate training is initiated and maintained, shapes later development of the brain for life. If the person later neglects his special skill, his brain will regress to an extent, but the traces of the earliest training will remain and will provide scaffolding for building skills if purposeful training is re-instituted.

What is true for music is also true for chess, mathematics, scientific reasoning, and many other skills — many of which are critical assets for success in a modern high-tech world.

Different skills are better learned at different ages, but for most basic skills such as music, foreign language, strategy & tactics, three-dimensional dynamic movement and visualisation, creativity and invention etc., sometime before the age of six, eight, or ten, is best, depending …

And we have known for a long time that the development of pre-frontal executive functions and character should be developed before the age of eight, and as early as the age of four. Executive functions are probably more important than IQ to a child’s ultimate life success.

Do Not Neglect This Time in A Child’s Life

If the development of the child’s mind is left to institutions and society in general, parents will get what they deserve — another groupthinking member of the herd. But if parents want something very special for their child, they will mind the brain calendar and begin playful but purposeful practise at very early ages, according to the skill being developed.

Always remember that each skill requires a foundation, and most early skills foundations are quite easy and fun to teach and learn. But if they are neglected, later training is more difficult and is likely to leave cracks and holes of weakness and vulnerability.

Learning to a Fine Level of Detail

Being Dangerous to a High Level of Precision

Left to society, no children would ever become uniquely and optimally Dangerous, as they were meant to be. Society can never educate and raise a Dangerous Child. Only the Dangerous Child can achieve that, with the help of wise parents and coaches.

The education provided by society operates in two directions at once. It suppresses every nonconformist tendency through penalties of withdrawal of support and simultaneously imbues the individual with values that force him to overcome and discard spontaneous desires. These conditions force the majority of adults today to live behind a mask, a mask of personality that the individual tries to present to others and to himself. Every aspiration and spontaneous desire is subjected to stringent internal criticism lest they reveal the individual’s organic nature. Such aspirations and desires arouse anxiety and remorse and the individual seeks to suppress the urge to realize them. The only compensation that makes life durable despite these sacrifices is the satisfaction derived from society’s recognition of the individual who achieves its definition of success. The need for constant support by one’s fellows is so great that most people spend the larger part of their lives fortifying their masks. Repeated success is essential to encourage the individual to persist in this masquerade. __ M. Feldenkrais p12 in “Awareness Through Movement

Moshe Feldenkrais was an engineer and former student of physicist Marie Curie, at the University of Paris in the 1930s. He trained in judo and became a judo instructor to co-workers at the Radium Institute. On the eve of WWII, he fled to London with a quantity of heavy water and “a sheaf of research material” on nuclear fission from the Institute in Paris.

Working on the slippery deck of a submarine, he aggravated a childhood knee injury to the point that he was unable to practise his judo. During this period of physical convalescence, Feldenkrais developed a unique method of self-healing of soft tissue injury, now called “The Feldenkrais Method.” In this method of healing, the person himself takes over the training, completely re-learning what it means to perform a movement, or integrated suite of movements.

Over the years he has treated thousands of people, from statesmen (Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion) to violin virtuosos (Yehudi Menuhin), with his unique method of movement that—he claims and his disciples devoutly believe—results in a kind of heightened self-awareness and improved physical coordination. __ People Magazine Feature on Feldenkrais

Al Fin has studied the history and theory of this movement and has had the opportunity to observe a few individuals who have undergone the self-healing method for themselves. Although The Feldenkrais Method is not structured to allow it to be studied using conventional research methods — and is thereby rejected out of hand by many — observations of the tangible outcomes for thousands of persons who had been previously disabled by their injuries suggests that something very useful exists at the core of this method.

Feldenkrais Teaches Exquisitely Fine Control

If there is a secret to the success of the Feldenkrais method of brain and body rehab, it is the combination of confidence of ultimate success with the infinitely incremental approach to recovering lost body/brain functions. Baby steps are encouraged and celebrated — then built upon. The reality of this method is far more complex than any short summary, but re-building and re-shaping of both brain and body seem to be taking place for these self-trainers. See Feldenkrais’ book “Awareness Through Movement” for more details. Also visit the webpage Feldenkrais.com for more information.

Dangerous Children Learn Skilled Movement by Similar Methods

For most children, learning to move occurs spontaneously with “growing up.” But that does not mean that the child has developed anything close to “optimal movement” for his body and brain. A playful training in folk dancing helps to expand the child’s repertoire of movements, but to become a truly Dangerous Child one should tuck away many clever tricks of motion and thinking into one’s portfolio.

That is where parents and coaches of Dangerous Children can learn from methods such as that of Feldenkrais. Although these children are not convalescing from injured brains and bodies, they are learning to move in ways which are unlikely to come naturally without a significant amount of self-training and mental control. If the method is to achieve the most it can for each unique child, the training (self-training) should begin early, as a type of play.

We have said this before, but it cannot be repeated too often: For young children, play is an indispensable tool for teaching and learning. For very young children to learn self-training, a playful approach is crucial.

Raising a Dangerous Child is Never Easy

If a parent or coach does the job right in the early years, the Dangerous Child’s brain will adapt to self-training and self-teaching as natural functions of daily life. By the time the child is teaching himself music, languages, creative approaches to story and art, science and maths, and methods of physical dance and self defense, the self-training and self-teaching approach will feel like the only comfortable approach to intensive learning, once an idea has been introduced.

Keeping the child balanced and making sure that opportunities are not needlessly neglected, is difficult. It is natural for the child to dive into an absorbing area of interest, to the exclusion of all else. But that is what parents and coaches are there to guard against. Let the child explore and dive deeply, but always bring him back to what is needful, if he does not return on his own.

Dangerous Child Training is Not Mysterious

There is nothing mysterious about raising a Dangerous Child. If done right from the early days, these children unfold mostly on their own. But the process is detailed and often tedious, and if the parent or coach does not tend to his or her own mental and physical well-being — and maintain a healthy sense of humour and play — turbulence may set in.

The end result of Dangerous Child training — just like the end result of pregnancy and childbirth — can seem miraculous.

Fine Detail Learning is Front-End Learning

You could say that this type of learning has a steep learning curve, or is heavily loaded at the front end of the process. It has high capital costs up-front in terms of time, personal energy, and careful attention. But once the habits are learned to instinctive levels, your child will never be “just one in the crowd.”

Once the habits of precision learning are fine-honed and instinctive, the Dangerous Child becomes a force of nature into the future.

Early Brain Development and the Dangerous Child

Freedom and Competence of Thought Begins Early

The most dangerous thing about Dangerous Children is their minds. Natural contrarians, they are immune to the commonplace brainwashing and indoctrination that often overcomes young people during their formative years. How do Dangerous Children come to possess the thinking skills and self-confidence that allows them to stand against popular delusions and dysfunctional systems of thought and action?

Connection Proliferation 0 to 2 Years
http://www2.palomar.edu/users/rmorrissette/lectures/physio/210Development_files/frame.htm

Brain Development Sets the Stage

Beginning at birth (and sometimes before), Dangerous Children are kept away from mainstream entertainments, and are immersed in special fables, riddles, rhymes, myths, and tales explicitly formulated to help young minds learn to deal with an expanding reality. These “thinking memes” take a wide range of linguistic, musical, visual, and kinesthetic forms. Such memes are incorporated into a wide range of experiences, so that strong thinking skills are shaped quite early in development, and continuously added to. The best early thinking memes incorporate plenty of “hooks” on which to hang later useful skills.

The first few years are a busy time for the child’s mental and physical development. Brain connections proliferate wildly, then are massively pruned by the child’s experiences, over a relatively short time period. The mental structures that remain after this rapid proliferation and subsequent pruning will be the foundation for the child’s mental and psychological development from that time onward.

Secondary Proliferation and Pruning

Puberty is a lesser period of proliferation and pruning, although still wild and crazy — heavily influenced by cascades of sex hormones that bathe the brain during this time.

Ways of Thinking Are Built Upon the Changing Neural Substrate

Dendritic pruning is shaped by the child’s experience, and continues throughout the person’s life to a much less intense degree. The earliest mind structures that survive the prunings will likely be the most influential.

What the child is capable of learning depends to a large degree upon his earliest experiences, which shaped subsequent brain pruning and dendritic tree structure.

Neglect is Commonplace

If a child’s mind is left to steep in front of a television, or if the young child is left at the mercy of caretakers who are ignorant of or indifferent to a child’s critical development windows, the young brain will be hobbled and needlessly stunted compared with what he might have otherwise achieved.

To outward appearances, no significant damage may have been done by surrendering one’s child to daycare or other low level third party forms of child raising. But deep inside the brain, the neglect of crucial experience in the early years will leave subtle forms of mental impoverishment and limitations to learning and development.

Most parents do not know any better, and thus we see a progressive mental and psychic fragility of newer generations of children and youth, raised by largely indifferent third parties. Too many of these youngsters never learned to think on their own, and seek refuge in groupthink and mindless mass movements.

A Dangerous Child’s Experience is Specially Shaped From the Earliest Years

Parents and mentors of Dangerous Children tend to be both more informed and more involved in the Dangerous Child’s formative years. As a result, these lucky children are given the gift of powerful mind-shaping linguistic, musical, visual, and kinesthetic memes that boost their later learning and development to higher levels.

The effect of early childhood interventions may not be obvious to outside observers — even to full-time parents. Consider this example: The First Cut is the Deepest. Even a brief exposure by newborns to a second language achieves lasting brain changes similar to how a bilingual brain is structured. Another interesting fact: some languages can never be perfectly learned unless the child is exposed to it during early infancy.

One would never learn about the critical importance of early childhood exposure from most mainstream sources. Modern societies are too deeply invested in the “two parents working” model to consider whether farming infants and toddlers out to a third party caretaker is the best plan for the child’s future competence and well-being.

And So Fragile Generations Beget Fragile Generations

The more intelligent and educated the parents, the more likely the children will be “thrown to the wolves” without thought for long-term consequences. All sorts of justifications will be given, but the end result is another contribution to the coming Idiocracy.

Dangerous Children represent a partial antidote to this general dumbing down and weakening of society’s complement of brainpower and problem-solving skills. Because Dangerous Children constitute a small minority of all children, the best that can be hoped for over the long term is the creation of “islands of competency” which network with each other to reach a “breakthrough” stage of societal and technological development which allows for a definitive branching out and rising above the dominant skankstream mainstream.