The age of 12 is a magical time of life. Balanced on the pivot between childhood and the furious transition to adulthood often referred to as “adolescence,” a 12 year old requires skills that will help carry him through a transition like no other.
Here are a handful of vital skills that young transitional tweens will need to catapult-assist them along their formative ways:
Know how to clean up after yourself
Know how to grow and catch food, and prepare your own meals
Learn to easily move in and out of your comfort zones
Learn to promote yourself
Achieve mastery in a handful of unique skills that set you apart
Learn to easily network with mentors and like-thinking peers
Master the skills of creativity, from drawing to writing to tinkering to computer coding
Become comfortable inside your own skin — make friends with all of your emotions
Find a peaceful, solid place inside of you
Master skills of traveling by land, air, and sea
Become competent in managing money
Know from experience how to start and run a business
Learn advanced first aid, resuscitation, and rescue
Learn the safe handling, operation, and maintenance of firearms and other weapons
Master the skills of basic combat, evasion, and escape
Know how to set and meet a wide range of personal goals
Learn to get along in at least 3 languages besides your native tongue
Learn to find the answers to anything you need to know on your own
Be able to safely navigate any terrain, from the meanest inner city to the most inhospitable wilderness
Know how to get your ideas across in writing, speaking, and multi-media formats
Be in control of your own education in every sense of the word
Exceed the academic attainments of most modern high school graduates
These are a few things that all 12 year olds should perhaps know and be able to do. But they are only guidelines, and actually apply to an age range between 12 and 14. Dangerous Children learn a much deeper and broader set of skills, of course, but not everyone can be a Dangerous Child.
As we have mentioned many times, a Dangerous Child will have mastered at least three means to financial independence by the age of 18. The list of 12 year old skills above should help most readers better comprehend the trajectory of childhood learning that allows an 18 year old to reach the point of multiple independence.
Imagine a society where each young man and woman is competent to face life on his own terms. That is the world of the Dangerous Child.
Government functionaries live in fear of such a society. But you can live in it, if you choose.
Notice that the sources above refer to skills that “every 24 year old” should learn. Here at the Al Fin Institutes, we believe that if you wait until age 24 to learn these skills, you are more than half-way to a lifetime of perpetual adolescent incompetence.
Children deserve better than the half-assed approach to child-raising and education that most modern societies have settled for.
11 Micah gets going at 06:30, when most classmates are still sleeping off a late night of video games and social media.
Micah Amezquita is not like most sixth graders.
The 11-year-old recently started his own trash-can-toting business to make money so that he can start saving for college and become an aeronautical engineer.
His fledgling business, Curb Cans, provides the service of taking garbage and recycling bins to the curb and back again on trash day. Every Tuesday morning, Amezquita heads out in his neighborhood between 6:30 and 8 to take care of business before school.
Like most small businesses, Micah’s operation started slowly, and is building gradually. He is hard-working and positive, and is not afraid to set goals and follow through on them. These are qualities that most successful businessmen share.
Traits that Parents Should Encourage
1. Early Maturation — Early maturation puts people in the position to socialize with older, more established people. From mentorship to business dealings, a young mature person has more potential of being welcomed by successful people, resulting in exposure to real world dilemmas and an aspirational lifestyle early on.
2. Perseverance — Perseverance. Persistence. Tenacity. Whatever word you want to use, this trait is the most important to have if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter who you are or what company you started, I can guarantee that you’re going to face some low points and have days when you feel alone. When those days come, it’s the determination to reach a high point again that will get you to achieve your goals.
3. The Ability to Put Things in Perspective — Childhood adversity helps entrepreneurs keep things in perspective. When you think about it, experiencing real-life hardship makes all the other problems in life seem minute in comparison. Well, when running a startup you always need to keep things in perspective. From missing your target sales numbers to having key employees leave, problems will always arise and require you to put them in perspective not only for yourself, but your team as well.
4. Having Self Control — Playing off the ability to put things in perspective, childhood adversity most likely drummed up some extreme internal emotions that may never be provoked again. Although too much childhood adversity has correlation to opposite traits of these, most of the entrepreneurs that I know who faced something early on are able to express an incredible level of self-control. Making sacrifices, having difficult conversations, and locking in on your goal are all aspects that I’ve seen exemplified by successful entrepreneurs first hand. Source
Successful Small Business Ideas Vary With Time and Place
For many years, children could make extra money with a newspaper route, babysitting, a lemonade or cupcake stand, or other such modest and traditional endeavours. Times have changed, governments are more intrusive, and successful childhood entrepreneurs need to learn to work around the obstacles and red tape.
But sometimes it helps to look back at the money-making niches that earlier generations utilised:
To earn money, people:
1. Caught and sold fish, clams, and crabs
2. Made homemade fudge and sold it
3. Sold newspapers on the corner. Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself.
4. Started a lunch truck/wagon
5. Grew, picked, and sold berries
6. Road work
7. Shoveled snow on roads
8. Multiple part-time jobs, including housecleaning
9. Chopped wood or harvested driftwood
10. Made and sold handwoven baskets
11. Mowed lawns and other kinds of yard work
12. Door to door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions
13. Made deliveries for stores
14. Made and sold quilts
15. Sold homemade baked goods, like bread or pies
16. Sold eggs for 25 cents a dozen
18. Rented out rooms
19. Mended or altered clothes
20. Washed windows
21. Would purchase produce and re-sell door-to-door
22. Sold apples
23. Loaded coal
24. Piecework sewing
25. Sold homegrown produce
In every case it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.
If people could coax money out of cash-strapped people in a depression, teaching a child to start and run a business in today’s perpetual Obama recession should be a snap!
Kids Need to Build Skills and Competencies to be Successful Child Entrepreneurs
Learning the skills of business is something that takes place both before and after the business is underway. All kinds of practical skills should be learned and mastered before the child even begins to sort through business ideas. Budgeting and money management come before starting a business. But the more practical skills a child instinctively knows, the more versatile his entrepreneurial ventures can be.
There is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Groups and organisations exist for teaching practical and useful skills to children:
Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.
Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.
Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.
The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.
Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.
Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.
Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.
Here is useful list of helpful life skills for kids from Survival Mom:
create a shopping list
find the best deals
use a microwave
read nutrition labels and know what’s good and what’s not
prepare, serve and store food to avoid spoilage
cook a well-balanced meal
know which kitchen tools and equipment to use for which tasks
make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
use an ATM
open, use and balance a checking account
apply for a credit card and use it responsibly
save up to buy a desired item
set aside money for charity
keep track of important papers
how to use a debit card
pay monthly bills, including utilities
complete simple repairs when needed
sew on a button
mend a seam
fold and put away clothing
follow fabric-care labels
do laundry, including treating simple stains
wash and dry items by hand
pack a suitcase
able to clean the house
find the circuit breaker and use it
locate and use water and furnace shutoffs
use a fire extinguisher
perform basic first aid
fix a running toilet
do laundry, including treating simple stains
use all household appliances, like loading the dishwasher the right way
basic auto maintenance
check tire pressure
check oil level and add oil if needed
check washer fluid and add more if necessary
arrange routine maintenance
add air to tires
produce documents if stopped by police
know what to look for in buying their first car
Other Life Skills
change a mailing address
register to vote
how to vote
who to call and what to do in emergency situations
basic first aid or CPR
how to apply for a job
how to select proper clothing for an interview
what to look for in a first apartment
who to contact to turn on utilities
where to have a document notarized
how to use public transportation
A large number of quasi-functioning adults have not mastered these skills. And many others may be able to do the tasks, but cannot be bothered for the most part. This natural ignorance or laziness on the part of much of the population opens up huge niches for child entrepreneurs to meet unmet needs and desires.
The lists above barely scrape the surface, but parents can begin to get the idea. Humans have an infinite number of unmet needs and wishes. The person who can supply those things economically in a timely fashion is apt to get more business than they can handle. At that point, the child entrepreneur will learn to delegate, utilise independent contractors, or learn to deal with “employees.”
Sure, parents and child-entrepreneurs will need to learn to jump any governmental hoops that they cannot avoid altogether. But there is no need to dump the bodies of over-zealous government functionaries in abandoned coal mines in order to co-exist with absurd government rules and regulations. A bit of forethought and cooperation between child entrepreneurs, their parents, and sympathetic businesspersons should provide the working space needed to survive in an age of government over-reach.
Dangerous Children Master at Least 3 Ways to Support Themselves Financially by Age 18
Most of the niche business ideas mentioned above will not provide reliable and consistent financial support for an independent adult over time. But they will provide invaluable experience in budgeting, handling money, devising business plans, dealing with people, and developing resilience in business.
At the same time as they are building their business skills-experiences-reputations, they are also learning needed academic lessons, developing Dangerous Skills and Competencies, acquiring helpful credentials, developing emotional resilience, and making a range of plans on different time scales for their futures.
After age 18 Dangerous Children will use their financial independence to build their base of operations, to further their education in the professions and other highly skilled sectors, to travel and learn new cultures – languages – ways of life, to raise families and new generations of Dangerous Children, to liaise with other Dangerous Children to form Dangerous Communities, and to otherwise work toward an abundant and expansive human future.
We are living in an age of impractical and perpetually incompetent adolescents of all ages. Children typically go through school and graduate from high school or college with no practical skills or experiences. Whatever parents may be thinking when they send their children off to be abused by institutions, the results are turning out very badly.
Here at the Dangerous Child Institute, we are merely seeking to provide an alternative approach to education and child-raising that provides children and youth with a lifetime confidence based upon stacked competencies — beginning very early in childhood. Most people are not ready for us. All the more reason to get started.
Resilience is the virtue that enables people to move through hardship and become better. No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength — if we have the virtue of resilience.
… To master a skill, to build an enterprise, to pursue any worthy endeavour — simply to live a good life — requires that we confront pain, hardship, and fear. What is the difference between those who are defeated by hardship and those who are sharpened by it? Between those who are broken by pain and those who are made wiser by it?
To move through pain to wisdom, through fear to courage, through suffering to strength, requires resilience.
__ Eric Greitens
Greitens’ book is one of the sourcebooks for the course, “The Psychology of the Dangerous Child,” and is mandatory reading for prospective parents of Dangerous Children, and for Dangerous Children in training. From time to time we will publish short excerpts from the book to illustrate important concepts for use in assisting the blooming of the Dangerous Child’s mental and emotional habits.
A quotation that Greitens uses in his book comes from an Anonymous source, but illustrates the importance of “habit-formation” in child raising:
We sow a thought and reap an act;
We sow an act and reap a habit;
We sow a habit and reap a character;
We sow a character and reap a destiny.
The human brain is shaped on a day-by-day basis, from the moment of its fetal formation to the moment of death. The most rapid brain development and plastic change takes place in the first and middle trimesters, in infancy and early childhood, and in adolescence and early adulthood. But the brain never stops shaping itself on the basis of brain activity — sensations, thoughts, emotions, actions. That is why we say “It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.” Because you can always move toward the state of being a Dangerous Child, with the right thinking and action.
More from Eric Greitens:
Every time you act, your actions create feelings — pleasure or pain, pride or shame — that reinforce habits. With each repetition, what was once novel becomes familiar. If you are cruel every day, you become a cruel person. If you are kind every day, you become a kind person. It is easier to be compassionate the tenth time than the first time… it is also easier to be cruel the tenth time than the first time.
When a habit has become so engrained that actions begin to flow from you without conscious thought or effort, then you have changed your character __ Resilience“Habits” Eric Greitens
The same processes of brain-shaping and habit formation take place every day, with repeated choices that we make on what to do, what to think, how to feel/react, and which doors we choose to open or close to the future.
If we avoid strenuous effort, hard work, all potential pain, we close off many of our most promising avenues into the future. If we go further and blame all of our problems and weaknesses on others, we make it almost impossible to achieve any kind of resilience — much less the graceful and ultimately near-effortless resilience that comes from constant practise and intentional habit formation.
We will continue to provide short excerpts from Eric Greitens’ book to help illustrate many of the foundational concepts that underpin the Dangerous Child Method. As mentioned above, the book is mandatory reading for parents of prospective Dangerous Children, and for Dangerous Children in training. But you can read it too, if you are interested in that sort of thing.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
A child is born with innate reflexes, instincts, predispositions, aptitudes, and limitations. When confronted with the outside world, the child begins to assimilate experiences of the world into his internal milieu — and he is permanently changed, every single day.
What Does That Have to Do With Dangerous Children and Politics?
Consider how a child’s experiences combine with his innate dispositions to create knowledge, science, and wisdom — leading to philosophy:
Experience is the first and basic level of knowledge. The Greeks called experience empeiria, which is at the basis of such English philosophical terms as:
empirical: which means based on the data of the senses, especially if that data can be presented in a quantifiable manner.
empiricism: the philosophical doctrine that knowledge consists primarily (or only) in sensations, and that ideas are sophisticated combinations of sensations stored in memory. The most radical and thorough empiricist was probably David Hume (1711-1776)
empeiria or empiria: sometimes used to mean sense experience in general…
Science is the next level of knowledge. This is a knowledge that does not consist in a store of facts, but in general principles of cause and effect…
Wisdom, which the Greeks call sophia is a knowledge of causes and principles as is science, but it differs from science. Science looks for general principles in a certain defined domain. Every new law that a science is able to understand in turn is treated like a principle (a starting point in explanation). However, the scientist is a specialist. His expert knowledge of principles applies within a certain domain. One reason for this is that different sciences apply different methods, and the same methods cannot be used to answer every sort of question. Wisdom is as knowledge of first principles of all being…
Philosophy is the search for wisdom, the discipline that cultivates wisdom, as the knowledge of first principles known by the natural light of the intellect… __ Philosophy and Wisdom
Politics Falls in the Realm of Ideology, Which is Quite Different from Philosophy
The difference between philosophy and ideology is a crucial distinction, for anyone who wishes to understand the world and the best way for him to live in the world.
There are very fundamental differences between philosophy and ideology. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs, doctrines that back a certain social institution or a particular organization. Philosophy refers to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is and the principles governing behind it.
Philosophy tries to understand the world, and to find good ways of living in the world.
Ideology underlies the construction and propagation of organisations for change, such as religions, political movements, and all types of activist organisations. Look for instances of war, genocide, terrorism, enslavement, and mass murder, and you are likely to find an ideology behind them — for purposes of justification if nothing else.
Not all ideologies are put to bad purpose, of course. But because ideological organisations are put to the use of a small number of controlling elites, they can be easily turned to corrupt and cruel ends.
The Dangerous Child Method is Applied in Unique Fashion to Each Child
The purpose of Dangerous Child training is to facilitate the unfolding of the potential of each child according to his aptitudes, inclinations, and the wisdom he is able to develop. Each Dangerous Child will “go his own way,” according to a unique combination of several individual factors. Networking and cooperation with other Dangerous Children and with Dangerous Communities, will usually be ad hoc in nature, for purposes of establishing critical infrastructure which suppports the building of an abundant and expansive human future.
This is quite different from “saving the world,” which is the oft-stated aim of many ideologies. When an ideologue talks about “saving the world,” he is talking about forcing the world to conform to the strictures of his own ideology.
Each Dangerous Child Builds His Own Unique Ideology
The Dangerous Child “philosophy” can branch and morph to take many forms. But when appled to the world in the form of “ideology,” the philosophy builds a unique ideology of action suited specifically to the one child.
Dangerous Children are contrarian in nature when it comes to established modes of thinking. They are allergic to pre-fabricated thinking systems such as established ideologies, and reject them out of hand. Any attempt to indoctrinate, brainwash, or “consciousness raise” a Dangerous Child is apt to be met with polite dismissal, at first. Continued attempts at programming a Dangerous Child are likely to be met with progressively firmer signs of rejection — and any would-be indoctrinator would be wise to desist before the attempt reaches a certain level.
Dangerous Children Do Practise an Ideology, But it is Unique to Themselves
Because they have so much energy, competence, and aptitude, Dangerous Children are moved to act in the world in such a way as to change it in ways that they see as “better” — creating a more abundant and expansive human future while at the same time building a successful base of operations. Each Dangerous Child has his own ideas for going about this task in a peaceful and generally non-confrontational manner.
Remember, by age 18, each Dangerous Child will have mastered at least three ways of supporting himself financially, and will be more than prepared to face the world on his own psychologically and emotionally. And he never stops learning and developing new skills and competencies. This type of independence inevitably generates a certain attitude toward life, an attitude of confidence built upon multiple strong competencies.
And so, other than for purposes of building critical infrastructure of independent living, Dangerous Children do not often bind themselves together for purposes of “change action.” They will cooperate in enterprises of business, research, exploration, and innovation. But they tend to move and grow far too quickly for any currently known political, religious, or activist organisations and ideologies.
The Life of A Dangerous Child Involves a Unique Lifelong Packing and Unpacking of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Philosophy
Think of it as being analogous to the way that DNA is constantly being packed and unpacked in the cell nucleus, to support all the functions of living. Each tissue type enlists different sets of DNA “competencies,” depending upon whether it is liver, brain, heart, bone, etc. In the same way, each Dangerous Child will combine a unique set of competencies, inclinations, and wisdoms to generate his own way of acting in the world — his own unique ideology.
It is not the same, of course. We are born with our DNA and it functions more or less independently of our conscious control. But a wise parent will begin packing a Dangerous Child’s experience and inclination from before birth — even before conception. And the work begins in earnest at birth. But it is happy work — although intense and unrelenting — because each Dangerous Child is learning to pack and unpack his own experience, knowledge, and wisdom in order to find his own best way of living in the world. And that is something that no one else can do for him.
US High School Students Bomb on International Comparison Testing in Maths and Sciences
Some of The Scores Deficit Might be Correctible
American high schools are politically protected from meaningful reform by ideologues within the US Department of Education and by other ideologues in US university schools of education, thinktanks, and nonprofit foundations. But real-world market forces have brought about certain experiments in US secondary education which demonstrate that an American high school education need not be third-rate.
In 2015, six Basis charter schools met the criteria that permitted their students to take the PISA test. The Basis pupils scored higher than students in Shanghai, Korea, Germany or Singapore, not to mention U.S. private and public schools. In math, the average Basis student performs better than the top 10 percent of U.S. public schoolers.
Basis students also stand out when it comes to the one U.S. test that is more closely tethered to reality, the College Board’s challenging Advanced Placement exam, designed to measure whether students have so mastered a subject that colleges will give them academic credit for it.
Basis charter schools were co-founded by Czech immigrant Olga Block, who was shocked at how abysmally bad many American high schools actually were. By designing Basic charter schools, Block and her co-founders meant to give American high school students “a basis” for competency within today’s STEM-oriented employment and business worlds.
Founded in Arizona almost two decades ago, this network of publicly financed charters has grown to number 21 in the U.S. Basis Schools admit students on a first-come, first-served basis or, when demand is high, by lottery, meaning that not all the kids are born top performers. __ Amity Schlaes
What does any of this have to do with Dangerous Child training? The fact is that not all parents can supervise a home “unschooling” for their high school aged children. The best learning is “self-taught” learning, but the skills of self-teaching can be taught very early, and should be actually mastered between the ages of 7 and 10 for most children.
For parents of Dangerous Children who send their children to public or conventional private schools, such schooling often serves as “day care” supervision rather than as a meaningful education. The parent still has to make sure the child learns — but in a more compressed after-school and evening time framework. If the child has learned “self-teaching” from parents, he should be able to compensate for the flakiness and ideological bias of most public and private education.
But wouldn’t it be better if the schools themselves actually served to prepare students to face at least some of the challenges the youth will face in the future? Truly, as long as the child will be spending time there anyway, why not make that time profitable at least in part?
The US public educational system has been dumbed down and corrupted over several decades for many reasons, most of them of a political nature. It is good to know that at least some of the decline can be “rolled back” for at least a small percentage of students.
But on the Whole, the Best Approach for Dangerous Children is Home Self-Taught Learning
The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.) A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students (Ray, 2015).
Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
Among homeschooling methods, The Robinson Curriculum is one of the shining stars.
The Robinson Curriculum is specially designed to prepare students for the SAT – a standardized nationwide test administered by the College Board (not to be mistaken with the SAT Achievement test which does not give you any credit). The Saxon Math and the RC Vocabulary section do an excellent job for SAT prep. For further credit they can take the Adanced Placement Exams for the college they are attending in order to test out of credit courses. This reduces the time and money required to get their degree. 3 of the Robinson children have done all this with great results. They only need a GED if they are going into something that does not require college but does need a “High School” diploma. A transcript generally does you no good. It is the SAT scores that matter. Any other paper is not important except in unusual cases.
Self-teaching is an integral part of the Robinson Curriculum. In fact, teaching the child to teach himself — from the earliest ages — is a key part to overall life success. This is true whether you are raising a Dangerous Child or a more conventional superior child.
Dangerous Child training is about far more than success in conventional schooling or conventional careers, of course. But when so many cultural institutions — including schools — are so terribly misguided and mismanaged, conventional success can seem a great victory to most of us.
The fact that there is so much more to be mastered and attained should be a powerful impetus for grander achievement and success. Dangerous Child training is about packing that “will to mastery” inside the child from his earliest moments of consciousness — and before. It is that “internal driving force” that will propel the Dangerous Child to embark on a lifetime of mastery and discovery.
Author Mark Twain suggested that people should not let their schooling get in the way of their education. That distinction between “schooling” and “education” is crucial for lifelong success. Schooling is only a small part of a person’s education. Still, whatever time is to be spent on schooling, should be spent profitably.
Modern societies in the west tend to value girls much more highly than boys. This preferential treatment is reflected in government policies and spending, as well as much content bias in the media. All of that is in spite of the fact the prosperity and relative ease of living in modern societies are largely the result of of male invention, exploration, industry, discovery, and risk-taking.
It’s been well established that men perform better than women when it comes to specific spatial tasks. But how much of that is linked to sex hormones versus cultural conditioning and other factors? __ SD
Testosterone Helps One to Quickly Find His Way
Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology compared the route finding abilities of men vs. women on a 3D maze skills test. The men were faster and solved 50% more of the tasks set out for them. Men used their hippocampi more, while women used their prefrontal cortices. __ Source
Overall, men in the test group had significantly better senses of direction than the women in the test group.
The scientists went on to compare two different groups of women on “wayfinding tasks.” One group received a drop of testosterone solution under the tongue. The other group received placebo. Not surprisingly, the women who received testosterone performed better than the women who received placebo. Interestingly, the women who received testosterone also utilised their hippocampi more than the placebo women. __ Source
What About Testosterone and Male-Female Differences in Language Skills?
When women (undergoing sex change) are given high doses of testosterone, the parts of their brain most used in language tasks are altered.
The researchers, from Vienna and Amsterdam, worked with 18
female-to-male subjects (27.6 ± 6.4 years), before and during testosterone treatment. The subjects underwent MRI brain scans before and after 4 weeks of the testosterone administration. The results showed that with testosterone treatment the volume of grey matter decreased in two specific regions of the brain, the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, which are mainly responsible for language processing. At the same time, the neuronal pathway (white matter) connecting these two regions via the extreme capsule got stronger. __ https://www.ecnp.eu/~/media/Files/ecnp/About%20ECNP/Press/AMS2015/Hahn%20PR%20FINAL.pdf?la=en
So, when women are given a single dose of sublingual testosterone, their spatial abilities are temporarily improved — although not to the point of equaling spatial abilities in males. And when females are given even larger doses of testosterone over time, the parts of their brain used in language processing lose grey matter volume.
Testosterone and Behaviour
Testosterone appears to influence the typical superiority of males in spatial processing and math, and the superiority of females in language processing and emotional empathy.
Most of the published literature agrees on the fact that testosterone is anxiolytic, anti-depressant and improves spatial abilities. But this picture is oversimplified.
There are too many factors involved in the production, utilisation, and metabolism / excretion of testosterone to recommend testosterone supplementation for persons with normal levels. But for persons with distinctly low testosterone levels — men or women — there are some good indications for testosterone supplementation.
Why are there More Male Geniuses?
… at a super-elite University such as Oxford, where we are looking at a tiny proportion of the brightest students, we would expect there to be more males achieving 1st class degrees. It is not fair but it is also not a mystery. It is a consequence of the male genome (particularly the short Y chromosome), which causes greater genetic variations in men, leading to both good and bad extremes of male behaviour.
There are more male geniuses and more male morons. Presumably this is somehow a consequence of the male genome vis a vis the female genome. And presumably it also has something to do with testosterone.
More On Testosterone
We started off with about 500 of these babies, that’s the cohort, where their testosterone levels are known [from amniocentesis], and we’ve been following them and they’re now about 12 years old. So it’s a story that’s been unfolding whilst we’ve been able to measure the behavior as they grow, and see whether it has anything to do with their testosterone prenatally.
At their first birthday, we looked at eye contact. And I was particularly interested in this, because my main area of research is autism, and children with autism make very little eye contact. Their eye contact is at the extreme, showing very little interest in faces. But we’d already heard from that newborn baby study that there seems to be, on average, a sex difference in how interested people are in faces, and making eye contact, with girls being, on average, more interested in faces than boys, but there’s a whole spectrum of individual differences. And what we found was that the higher the baby’s prenatal testosterone, the less eye contact they made at their first birthday. That was simply measured by inviting the toddler into our lab, videotaping them and then later coding those videotapes for how many times the baby looked up at their mother’s face. That was at the first birthday.
At the second birthday we looked at language development. We got parents to fill in a checklist of how many words does your child know, and how many words can your child produce. We were looking at the size of children’s vocabularies. What we found, which was quite striking to us, was that by two years old, there were some children who had very small vocabularies, only about ten or 20 words, they were kind of at the low edge of normal development; and there were some kids who were really chatty and had 600 words. So the size of the differences in vocabulary was immense. And then we could look back at their testosterone levels.And once again, we found a significant correlation: that the higher the child’s prenatal testosterone, the smaller their vocabulary at two years old. So this same hormone seemed to be related not only to patterns of social interest, whether you look at faces, but also to communication, how talkative you are and your rate of language development.
I don’t want to go through all the steps, but we’ve also looked, when they were four years old, at empathy, finding that prenatal testosterone is negatively correlated with empathy. So again, it’s the same pattern we were just hearing about: that if you were higher in testosterone during the pregnancy, it meant that you were slower to develop empathy as a four year old. And again, there are different ways that you can measure that. You can ask parents to fill in questionnaires about their child’s empathy. You can actually get the child to take various empathy tests, or you can also get information about how easily the child mixes in school with other children. But the hormone, once again, was showing relationships with social behavior at school age.
We were also interested in that concept of systemizing, how strong a child’s interest was in systems of different kinds. Was this a child who liked to collect things, to have the complete set, for example, that makes up a system? Was this a child who loved to take things apart and put them back together again? So, very much interested in construction and assembly and figuring out how things work? Was this a child who spotted the small differences between different makes of cars, or little toy cars, and could tell you the differences between different varieties of system? Again, what we found, but this time the correlation was flipped over, was a positive correlation with prenatal testosterone. The higher the child’s prenatal testosterone the more interested they were in systems of one kind or another.
When they were about eight years old, we figured it was time to invite these kids into the MRI scanner, so that we could look directly at the question of whether testosterone is actually changing the way the brain is developing. Up until now we’d only done what’s called behavioral studies, where we could find relationships between testosterone and behavior. But by eight years old a child is old enough to stay still, which is essential in a brain scan, because if the child squirms and moves around too much, then you can’t interpret the results. These children, by eight, were able to tolerate having an MRI scan and we were able to look at the structure of the brain and see if it had any relationship to prenatal testosterone. And in fact, there are lots of interesting relationships.
As I mentioned, one region of the brain that differs between males and females is that region called the planum temporale, a language area, and that’s related to prenatal testosterone. The hormone is having an effect on the way the brain is growing, just looking at the volume of different regions in the brain. __ Simon Baron-Cohen
So you see that brain differences between males and females are at least partially mediated by testosterone levels — but particularly testosterone levels during the fetal period, when the brain is being most actively shaped.
The radical feminists who rule over modern universities, much of modern media, and much of mid-level bureaucratic organisations such as governments, foundations, government lobbies, inter-governmental and non-governmental bodies, etc., will deny that testosterone levels during pre-natal periods, early childhood, or adolescence, have anything to do with male-female differences in genius, IQ distribution, spatial / math abilities, or anything else.
And yet, these same feminists — when they start to wither and age — are among the first to clamour for testosterone treatments. And testosterone is very popular among the middle aged and older female set:
These treatments can be helpful for the middle-aged and elderly of either sex. But such therapies for women cannot erase the male-female achievement gaps across a broad range of disciplines — from physicists to neurosurgeons to inventors to ace pilots to world class athletes, and more.
Perhaps if testosterone were administered at strategic points in fetal development, early childhood, and in adolescence, such gaps might be partially narrowed. But that would not be wise.
I suggest that we should let girls be girls, boys be boys, and give them both the best chances we can to grow up strong, independent, and competent.
Decline of Russian Testosterone and Sperm Count is Devastating
Both the quantity and quality of Russian men seem to be on a downward turn. Plummeting sperm counts and testosterone levels with falling levels of academic attainment are reducing the Soviet hero of old into an ever more effete and infertile figure, who now can’t even drink properly.
In fact, the Russian man is dying out. Only the UK flounder, North Sea cod and Florida cane toad are losing males faster, and the unhappy conclusions of scientists show that falling numbers of males in these species has led to irreversible cuts in the population.
… The Russian man is subsequently withering before our eyes. He has worse health than women and his educational attainment is worse. Worldwide, suicide rates peak in men in old age. In Russia it peaks twice, in the mid-life crisis years of 45-55 years and the second for the long-lived, at 70-80. __ Importance of Testosterone to National Survival
Decline in male Russian testosterone levels parallels Russia’s overall decline in international strength and vitality.
…in the countries of the former Soviet Union… [they] are experiencing a huge deficit of single, decent, non-drinking, not abusive, marriage minded, family oriented men. There is a large number of Russian women who have absolutely no chance of ever getting married and having a family of their own unless they significantly lower their standards… __ quoted in “Few Good Men Left in Dying Russia”
The same mechanisms that are bedeviling Russian males are also at work in much of the rest of the world’s male populations. Guard your testosterone levels and sperm quality carefully. You never know when you will need them.
Intense Late Adolescent Psychological Re-Orientation Takes Many Forms
Why Is Boot Camp So Intense?
You have to train 18-year-olds to run to the sound of gunfire and perform under fire and the threat of death.
This act defies all logic, goes against all human instinct, and takes one of the most intensive acts of psychological reprogramming to overcome.
… There will always be the need for young men and women who are willing and able to run to the sound of imminent danger and many, to their death. Nations need this. You need this. It is a horrible thing, but the sanctity and security of every nation on Earth requires young men and women capable of doing this.
To do this, however, we need a form of psychological training that is able to forge individuals who can do this. That is why boot camp has evolved to become such a potent tool in today’s military machine.
__ Jon Davis, Marine Sergeant
Sergeant Davis does not mince words. In order to create marines out of raw recruits, an intense form of psychological re-orientation (or reprogramming) is required. Why? Because most raw recruits arrive at basic training fresh from an extended childhood. They have been pampered, sheltered, told they were special, provided with their every need — and often their every whim — just like a child. But real adult life is not childhood in a productive society. “Children” need to undergo some form of transformation before they are able to understand the distinction.
Not Every Form of Rite of Passage Need to be So Intense as US Marine Boot Camp
Throughout the church’s history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions. __ Wikipedia
Missionaries intentionally go after people in desperate situations. On my mission, we’d go into the worst parts of town to talk to the meth addicts and crackheads. Sure, they need help and attention more than anybody, but most of my colleagues were distinctly upper middle class white Mormons. Short of bursting out into an impromptu rap about how “drugs are for thugs,” there’s no way they could have been more conspicuous.
Training for “missionhood” is regimented, with long hours.
The whole thing is divided up like the underclass in some dystopian sci-fi world — we’re separated into wards, zones, and then six-man districts. You don’t associate with anyone outside your zone while you’re training. Every missionary has to be in sight of their companion at all times. For two solid years, our only alone time was in the bathroom. Do not, under any circumstances, picture the state of that bathroom.
… It’s pretty much like The Hunger Games…
Mormon Missionaries are given this intense programming so that they can get results for the church. They must be committed before they begin — because they pay for their training in hard cash and precious time. And on top of all that commitment ant training fees, the church expects a larger return.
Among other things, you’re not allowed to use a computer if a companion can’t see the screen, and you’re never supposed to be out of their earshot. The logic is that you can’t break the rules if you’re never, ever alone…
… We log everyone who shows interest — or even talks with us — and follow up on a regular basis. That’s because the whole “converting souls” thing is very much a competition. The higher ups in the church are obsessed with numbers. They want people baptized, inactive members brought back to the fold, etc. __ Time as Mormon Missionary
The fatality rates among Mormon Missionaries are lower than among combat marines, during wartime. But Mormon Missionaries are always at war against the dark forces of human nature, so there is never any letup.
Much Beyond Religious Conversions Often Emerges From the Mormon Missionary Experience
Being thrown into strange and dangerous settings and experiences forces the young Mormon to think on his feet, to sink or swim. Many missionaries develop robust resilience in the field, which they bring back with them to their subsequent lives.
The notion of the Mormon mission as a crucible is a common one, and the benefits gained from going through it have been used to help explain the prominence of LDS Church members in business and civic life. Mission experience has also helped prepare RMs for later engaging and prospering in non-Mormon environments. __ Wikipedia
Other Common and Usually Constructive Rites of Passage for Late Adolescents
Any intense extended experience — either solo or group — can serve as a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. Immersing oneself into particular occupations can serve the “passage” purpose quite well. Examples may include training as EMT / Paramedic, Search and Rescue, Police or Fire Department training, Commercial Deep Sea Diving, Wild Fire Jumpers …
Not all of the 20 Deadliest Jobs in America would qualify as rites of passage, but one can get a sense of which jobs may be more intense — and transforming — than others.
A Dangerous Child Will Have Mastered Multiple Dangerous Skills Before Age 18
Dangerous Child training is different from the run of the mill “rite of passage” discussed above. Dangerous Child training begins before birth and continues throughout the lifetime. Multiple rites of passage succeed each other, as mastery is applied to mastery, and complementary skills are added to complementary skills.
The point of it all is to help build a more abundant and expansive human future, using networked Dangerous Communities as pivot points and backup systems for larger societies that are too often subject to failure from dysgenic and ideologic Idiocracy.
Faux Rites of Passage
In lieu of meaningful rites of passage, modern children and youth are typically trusted to educational institutions and other institutions of culture and society at large, throughout their formative years. When youth are shunted off to college and university without having faced significant passage rites, they typically undergo what is known as “academic lobotomy,” or a brainwashing / reprogramming process carried out by idologues among university faculty and staff.
Instead of preparing youngsters for productive, creative, and fulfilling lives, such indoctrination only introduces and deepens broadly-held delusions and misconceptions about the underlying mechanisms of the natural and the human universes. Such academically lobotomised persons will find it an uphill battle to see through their brainwashing to the solid world beneath.
Other false rites of passage include a young woman having a child out of wedlock and going on welfare, or a young man joining a criminal gang that brainwashes him and limits his future just as surely as any academic lobotomy.
Rites of Passage Open Doors into Multiple Futures
There is a reason why military-trained persons are considered prime recruits for several types of occupation. The skills and mature attitudes that can be learned in military service prepare a young person for several avenues of productivity.
As noted above, the same is considered true for returned Mormon Missionaries. As a result of being forced to innovate and think outside the box, the returned missionary is of more value to prospective employers, and more capable as an entrepreneur.
Any process that teaches a young person to utilise his knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness under unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances — over a significant period of time — can serve as a rite of passage, if empowering lessons are learned.
But if “lessons of disempowerment and futility” are learned, any passage that occurs is likely to be in a backward direction.
Best to begin the process of serial rites of passage at an early age, and build upon it in a solid and progressive manner.
To Become a Master, Only the Right Type of Practise Will Do
…think about the future of a world that applies deliberate practice on a regular basis and its impact on education, medicine, health, and relationships. Imagine a world where performance in every area of life gets better and better. __ C
Deliberate Practise, to be Specific
Deliberate practice is when you work on a skill that requires 1 to 3 practice sessions to master. If it takes longer than that, then you are working on something that is too complex.
Once you master this tiny behavior, you can move on to practicing the next small task that will take 1 to 3 sessions to master. Repeat this process for 10,000 hours. That is deliberate practice. __ Kathy Sierra (2012) as quoted by James Clear
There is a lot more to “deliberate practise” than breaking complex tasks into masterable pieces. But any coach, tutor, or instructor must understand how to “break things down” for each individual learner — who will usually put them together himself, once having mastered the pieces in the proper way, in good order. More complex skills are built upon the simpler skills that preceded them.
Is Mastery Innate or Acquired?
Some level of talent and ability must be present to give the learner a starting foundation. And the more natural talent, the more quickly the student can progress — at least in particular phases of the training. The mistake that is too often made is attempting to train so quickly that crucial fundamental skills and competencies are left out of the process. This mistake is most often made in training those who appear most talented in the beginning, who then expect everything that comes afterward to be easy.
… when scientists began measuring the experts’ supposedly superior powers of speed, memory and intelligence with psychometric tests, no general superiority was found — the demonstrated superiority was domain specific. For example, the superiority of the chess experts’ memory was constrained to regular chess positions and did not generalize to other types of materials (Djakow, Petrowski & Rudik, 1927). Not even IQ could distinguish the best among chessplayers (Doll & Mayr, 1987) nor the most successful and creative among artists and scientists (Taylor, 1975). In a recent review, Ericsson and Lehmann (1996) found that (1) measures of general basic capacities do not predict success in a domain, (2) the superior performance of experts is often very domain specific and transfer outside their narrow area of expertise is surprisingly limited and (3) systematic differences between experts and less proficient individuals nearly always reflect attributes acquired by the experts during their lengthy training. __ K. Anders Ericsson
Of course we would not expect IQ to be the deciding factor in distinguishing among elite chess players, artists or scientists. If one is looking exclusively at elite levels, several other factors come into play that are more likely to distinguish the best of the best other than a score on an IQ test. Ambition, persistence, sustained energy levels and reserves, smart practise, ego strength to break out of consensual groupthink, conscientiousness, emotional stability and control, and many other qualities that augment and reinforce simple cognitive skills when moving from simple mastery to innovative mastery.
More on deliberate practise:
Deliberate practice is different from work, play and simple repetition of a task. It requires effort, it has no monetary reward, and it is not inherently enjoyable.
When you engage in deliberate practice, improving your performance over time is your goal and motivation. __ Source
Whether deliberate practise is inherently enjoyable or not, is likely to depend upon the person and how his deliberate practise is designed and carried out.
The recent advances in our understanding of the complex representations, knowledge and skills that mediate the superior performance of experts derive primarily from studies where experts are instructed to think aloud while completing representative tasks in their domains, such as chess, music, physics, sports and medicine (Chi, Glaser & Farr, 1988; Ericsson & Smith, 1991; Starkes & Allard, 1993). For appropriate challenging problems experts don’t just automatically extract patterns and retrieve their response directly from memory. Instead they select the relevant information and encode it in special representations in working memory that allow planning, evaluation and reasoning about alternative courses of action (Ericsson & Lehmann, 1996). Hence, the difference between experts and less skilled subjects is not merely a matter of the amount and complexity of the accumulated knowledge; it also reflects qualitative differences in the organization of knowledge and its representation (Chi, Glaser & Rees, 1982). Experts’ knowledge is encoded around key domain-related concepts and solution procedures that allow rapid and reliable retrieval whenever stored information is relevant. Less skilled subjects’ knowledge, in contrast, is encoded using everyday concepts that make the retrieval of even their limited relevant knowledge difficult and unreliable. Furthermore, experts have acquired domain-specific memory skills that allow them to rely on long-term memory (Long-Term Working Memory, Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995) to dramatically expand the amount of information that can be kept accessible during planning and during reasoning about alternative courses of action. The superior quality of the experts’ mental representations allow them to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances and anticipate future events in advance. The same acquired representations appear to be essential for experts’ ability to monitor and evaluate their own performance (Ericsson, 1996; Glaser, 1996) so they can keep improving their own performance by designing their own training and assimilating new knowledge.
The opening question “Why are some people so amazingly good at what they do?” sets the stage for the whole book. Ever since I was in third grade I’ve read biographies and autobiographies to understand how people achieved great success. I was always more interested in learning about the journey than to know what it was like on the mountaintop. This book explains in detail the journey that expert performers go on to reach the mountaintop.
This chapter explains the value of purposeful practice.in expanding your physical and mental capacity for generating greater achievements in the future. It emphasizes the importance of taking small steps on a regular basis and gathering feedback on what you are doing effectively and ineffectively.
Here you will learn how to specifically harness your mental adaptability to develop new skills and move beyond the status quo way of doing things. It also explains how your potential is not fixed, but rather is something that can be continually expanded.
You learn the importance of mental representations, of actually seeing the level of performance that you are aspiring to reach. By visualizing the details of what needs to happen, you are able to see the pieces and patterns that are necessary for a great performance.
This chapter explains in great detail the steps involved in deliberate practice, which is the absolute best way to improve your performance in any type of activity. I would try to explain my interpretation of deliberate practice here, but I think you would benefit a great deal more by really studying this chapter and learning the insights that Anders Ericsson developed over a lifetime of studying deliberate practice.
A great explanation of how deliberate practice can be used in actual job situations regardless of the type of work that you do. I’ve found in my executive coaching sessions that guiding people through the steps of deliberate practice and showing how the principles of deliberate practice connect with their work situations helps them to move forward in a more intentional and effective way.
This chapter shows how deliberate practice can be applied in everyday life situations whether you’re exercising, parenting, or enjoying a hobby. Literally anything you do you can learn to do it better the next time.
If you were ever wondering what it takes for a young person to go on to be world-class in any activity, this chapter explains what is involved. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Literally thousands and thousands of hours of deliberate practice over many years are required to become the best of the best at what you do. But if you’re goal is to be world-class, then this chapter explains how to do it.
This chapter explodes the myth of natural talent. It shows in detail that great performers always got there through extraordinary practice.
In this closing chapter, Ericsson and Pool guide the reader to think about the future of a world that applies deliberate practice on a regular basis and its impact on education, medicine, health, and relationships. Imagine a world where performance in every area of life gets better and better. They close their book with a new concept, Homo exercens rather than Homo sapiens. They wrote, “Perhaps a better to see ourselves would be as Homo exercens, or ‘practicing man,’ the species that takes control of its life through practice and makes of itself what it will.”
Chapter 9 of Ericsson and Pool’s book suggests that a world that applies deliberate practise regularly, would be a better world in many ways. That is probably true. But in the modern world where virtually every institution of government, education, media, foundations, and other cultural institutions are irredeemably corrupt and self-serving, how can productive disruptive change be implemented on a broad scale?
The answer is, it probably cannot be implemented on a broad scale in any meaningful sense — without dumbing it down to impotence.
Sure, if a billionaire such as Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Tom Steyer, Richard Branson, or one of the other “usual suspects” would stop squandering resources on delusional green boondoggles, and begin to invest on the future minds and competencies of new generations, things would likely change. But such billionaires — and virtually all men of power and influence — are corrupted by the taint of groupthink and government rent-seeking. Institutional rot exists not only in large institutions, but also infects all products and forms of output from such institutions.
What is to be done, then? What indeed.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. Best to start the formation of networked Dangerous Communities as soon as practicable.
… grit is hardly distinguishable from conscientiousness, one of the classic Big Five traits in psychology. The study, which included a representative sample of U.K. students, measured grit against conscientiousness. Grit, researchers discovered, accounts for only an additional 0.5% of variation in test scores when compared with conscientiousness. IQ, on the other hand, accounts for nearly 40%, according to Plomin.
Schools in the Anglosphere are spending a lot of money in an attempt to increase the level of “grit” in children. But what is it that needs to be bolstered, and what part does a child’s genes play in “grit?”
Grit is Persistence, Motivation, Conscientiousness, Focus, Impulse Control, and more
The author of a best-selling book on grit, Angela Duckworth, is stepping back from some of the hype that has been propagated in her name.
The consequences of hasty applications of grit in an educational context are not yet clear, but Duckworth can imagine them. To be sure, it’s not that she faults these educators — in many ways, she says, these are the best in the field, the ones who are most excited about trying innovative new ways of helping their students succeed. But by placing too much emphasis on grit, the danger is “that grit becomes a scapegoat — another reason to blame kids for not doing well…
… Grit, as Duckworth has defined it in her research, is a combination of perseverance and passion — it’s just that the former tends to get all the attention, while the latter is overlooked. “I think the misunderstanding — or, at least, one of them — is that it’s only the perseverance part that matters,” Duckworth told Science of Us. “But I think that the passion piece is at least as important. I mean, if you are really, really tenacious and dogged about a goal that’s not meaningful to you, and not interesting to you — then that’s just drudgery. It’s not just determination — it’s having a direction that you care about.” __ Questioning Grit
Duckworth is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur genius grant. She gives TED Talks, has written a bestseller on grit, and has made a good career from promoting “grit” in all its ambivalence.
But it is time to “deconstruct” grit so that we know what we are talking about, and can apply the relevant concepts to helping children develop their potential as individuals and members of various work, social, and civic groups. We know that executive function and personality play as large a role in success as IQ, and that all are strongly influenced by gene expression.
Previous research has shown that a child’s personality can predict a significant, although modest, proportion of the differences between children’s grades at school. For example, a link between conscientiousness and school achievement can explain around 4% of the differences in children’s grades.
… whether or not a person has more or less grit is substantially influenced by their DNA – and explains around a third of the differences between people’s level of grit. We showed that grit is highly similar to other personality traits, showing substantial genetic influence and no influence of shared environmental factors.
… the big Five personality traits – mainly conscientiousness – explained 6% of the differences between exam results of the 16-year-olds in our study. But after controlling for these personality traits, grit on its own did little to influence academic achievement, explaining only an additional 0.5% in people’s GCSE results. __ Conversation
The above comments and research results help somewhat in untangling grit. We know that IQ is up to 80% heritable and executive function (including conscientiousness) is up to 90% heritable. Twin studies suggest that personality is 40% to 50% heritable in the early years, and more so as a person ages.
Grit is usually seen as a combination of self-discipline and persistence / determination. But as Angela Duckworth herself points out, “passion” when seen correctly is a vital part of “grit.” Humans are not robots. They are driven — and drive themselves — by emotion. On top of passion, a sense of purpose is often overlooked when discussing “grit.” For grit to mean anything at all, a person must be “gritty” about something, some purpose.
So if the purpose is unclear, and the passion is weak and opaque, what good is grit?
Additionally, grit can be counter-productive when it fails to adapt to the nuances of particular situations. Persistence, determination, purpose, and passion are important, but they all must be modified somewhat at times by self-discipline, another pre-frontal executive function that is up to 90% heritable. And self-discipline must be informed by wisdom, which is a combination of cognitive aptitude and the ability to learn from one’s own and others’ experience.
The Dangers of Jumping on Popular Bandwagons
Dangerous Children are taught contrarianism, which helps them to avoid the oft-fatal error of bandwagon riding. For example, the mainstream was carried away by Angela Duckworth’s book, Ted Talks, and other contributions to the grit crusade. But since every concept contains multiple errors and pitfalls, carrying any monolithic theme too far without examining all of its components and ramifications, is certain to lead one to overstep himself into a quagmire.
Dangerous Children take grit for what it is, a useful — although ambivalent — trait that parsimoniously incorporates several important aspects of ultimate success.
Grit: Nature vs. Nurture
As mentioned above, IQ is up to 80% heritable, executive function is up to 90% heritable, personality is roughly 50% heritable early in life, and so on. Passion is part of personality, and persistence and conscientiousness are part of executive function. All of them are shaped by intelligence as influenced by experience.
Purpose is the vision, or the guiding light. Purpose utilises all of the above, but contains something extra — something that comes from the turbulent currents and possibilities within the “real world” as the child’s mind sees it. This is where the “community IQ” and “community executive function” influences the child’s intelligence, character, personality, and sense of purpose — via experience, and via genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.
It is impossible to untangle nature from nurture, and neither should be denied its role in the weaving of the character, personality, and life trajectory of the child.
Dangerous Children Do Not Care for Ideology or Crusades
To the extent that “grit” has become a crusade in education and pop psychology, the idea is ignored here at the Institute. But to the extent that the word can be used as a trigger to release a child’s unique orchestra of purpose-supporting strengths, it is invaluable.
The human mind drifts from state to state, from intention to chaos to intention again. The self-management of most intelligent minds can be very difficult unless the flexibly tough integrity is built in from the earliest age. Genes and gene expression will vary between individuals, but all minds can be reinforced and empowered to some degree of increased self-discipline, purpose, strong character, success-promoting personality, and enhanced aptitude across a wide range of competencies.
Modern education and psychology have missed the boat, largely out of a sense of political correctness and groupthink. But there is no reason why you or your children should ride the same bandwagon over the abyss.
A wide range of summer camp experiences are available to young people who may want to go beyond the ordinary campfire singalong experience. For Dangerous Children living in remote or overly mundane locations, such camps may provide them with training, experience, and personal links not available otherwise. Here are a few camps that may be of interest to parents and Dangerous Children:
Outdoor Leadership Camps
Three of the most highly regarded in North America, offering a wide range of outdoor experiences on rock, snow, ice, water, and more:
Your child will build rockets, experience simulated moonwalks and take command of space missions. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, camps range from three to thirteen days in length and you can choose between kids-only or parent/child programs. __ Source
Note: The above camps are only suggestions. You must research each prospect thoroughly before considering signing up your child.
Most Dangerous Children Find These Camps to be Enjoyable Diversions from Training
Dangerous Child training can involve most (or all) of the areas of interest mentioned above. But Dangerous Children in many geographical areas do not have the opportunity to mix with the broad range of other children of different backgrounds and life orientations as are represented at most of these camps. Since their ordinary self-taught education and highly disciplined training are more rigorous than most of the camp training above, the kids and youth are able to spend plenty of time studying their fellow campers and understanding how social groups form and dissolve. They can also form special friendships that may last for years to come.
College is becoming more and more expensive. But the advantages of going to college are diminishing by the year.
After TEOTWAWKI — The End of The World As We Know It — your kids will need an entirely different skill set than the ones that are being taught in college.
And just what is being taught in college? How to binge, fornicate, become indoctrinated in counter-productive ideology (academic lobotomy), and how to live well on borrowed money while avoiding responsibility as long as you can?
Modern economies are built upon the predictable movement of young people into positions of responsibility. The child is supposed to grow up and learn to make a living, get married, get a mortgage, raise children, and teach his own children to follow the same responsible path through life. The entire social security net welfare society is based upon this predictable trajectory.
But something happened on the way to a perpetual motion welfare state utopia. College-educated students are going so deeply into debt that they cannot afford to pay back their student loans — much less take out mortgages and raise families. A greater and greater number of them are moving back in with their parents.
Not only are student loans preventing indebted students from moving on with their lives, they have grown to such a size that they are creating a growing drag on the entire US economy.
Students across the country are trapped by their debts and often unable to take advantage of the freedom that a college degree should theoretically afford them.
… Student debt doesn’t just weigh heavily on graduates. Evidence is growing that student loans may be dragging down the overall economy, not just individuals. Think about it this way: if students have significant debts, it means they’re less likely to spend money on other goods and services, and it also means they’re less likely to take out a mortgage on a house. Consumer purchasing is the primary driver of the U.S. economy, and mortgages and auto loans play a huge role as well. __ http://business.time.com/2014/02/26/student-loans-are-ruining-your-life-now-theyre-ruining-the-economy-too/
How much are these over-educated dead-beats driving down the US economy? No one knows, because the people who maintain the numbers don’t want you to know. And the people who should be holding the government’s feet to the fire to keep us informed — the media — are not doing their jobs.
Going to prison voluntarily, on the other hand, does not require taking out loans. And the skill sets that your children can learn in prison will make them better suited for the “survival of the fittest” world after TEOTWAWKI.
Prisons are full of rough men, and so will the world be after TEOTWAWKI — also known as when TSHTF. After TSHTF your children will need to know how to deal with rough men and rough women, and they will need to have many of the same skills that rough men and rough women have.
If you have the skills to separate from government services, you can live free with your mind and your life still yours to do with as you choose.
But few people want to cut all their strings and fly free — particularly if they do not have either enormous assets or unlimited skills from which to draw. Most people do not want to live off the grid in a converted school bus, no matter how luxuriously it may be fitted out, nor are they entirely comfortable with the idea of sending their children to prison for TEOTWAWKI training.
For those more discriminating folk, we are devising the Al Fin Dangerous Child Method of Education and Child Raising. The Dangerous Child has all the benefits and positive skills of a prison term, plus all the useful knowledge and social skills of a broad based university education. But he doesn’t have all those lifelong debilitating (and sometimes deadly) viruses that often hike along with a person who spends too much time in prison or college.
And rather than accumulating a lifetime’s debt, the Dangerous Child masters at least three distinct ways of supporting himself financially, before he celebrates his 18th birthday. If he wanted a mortgage, he could have it, but he is more likely to build his own house — or pay cash for one already built.
So there you see the three choices:
It is your choice. Consider carefully, since you will have to live with your decision for a long time.
Note: The above article is labeled “satire.” But if you replace the word “prison” with “a skilled apprenticeship” in the dangerous trades, “a military enlistment,” intense training in firefighting, EMS, or other hard core occupation, you will better understand the underlying intent.
A four year college education is only appropriate for about 15% to 20% of America’s youth. Most youth need to focus on developing skills and competencies in business, entrepreneurship, and the crucial practical areas of modern life.
But if one does go to college in America, where might he get his best “return on investment?”
The calculations are for more than 1,300 schools.
The best ROI are at public colleges and universities. “They dominate because of their relatively lower costs,” Bardaro said.
Schools that offer education in science, technology, engineering and math — known as STEM studies — also cluster at the top of the ROI list. Their graduates tend to land jobs that pay a lot more than the costs of school.
“Skills that you get in STEM studies are in heavy demand by employers,” Bardaro said.
The top five schools on this year’s list are the State University of New York’s Maritime College, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Brigham Young University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In percentage terms, their ROIs are 13.2% for SUNY-Maritime, 12.4% for Georgia Tech, Mass. Maritime and BYU, then 12.2% for Missouri University of Science and Technology.
College degrees can be obtained via distance learning, online. One may obtain an education in any number of areas of knowledge, at any age, at any time, from any location — meeting any work or family schedule. There are fewer reasons for wasting one’s time at a bricks and mortar campus, every year that goes by.
The best curriculum for Dangerous Children — and most children in general — is a curriculum that utilises self-directed, self-disciplined teaching. It must include immersion in finance and business, practical hands-on skills from cooking to heavy equipment operations to mechanical skills to the operation of transportation vehicles made for travel on air, sea, ice, snow, and ground.
By the time a Dangerous Child is 16, he already has the equivalent of a liberal arts college degree and multiple certificates of mastery for several practical skills. By the time he is 18, he is fully capable of supporting himself financially at least three different ways. If he wants to go to university for advanced training, he will have a large number of choices to pursue.
Based on the massive amount of remedial training taking place on college campuses today, it is clear that modern society does not take the education of its children seriously — at least not until they are too old to learn at critical depth, effectively. Hence the large crops of academically lobotomised, perpetually adolescent incompetents who naively march forth from college graduations every year, to almost certain disillusionment.
The best education is a Dangerous Education, and that begins before the child is born — and continues until he dies.
Being in Control of Oneself While Being Aware of One’s Surroundings
Avoidance is being aware, understanding the enemy, understanding yourself and understanding your environment. If you are training in a martial art, then avoidance is understanding that art and whether it will stand up to the threat of a real encounter. More than anything, avoidance is having enough control over yourself, your ego, your pride, peer pressure, morality etc. to stop these negative emotions from dragging you into a situation that could otherwise be avoided. __ http://www.aikidoguro.us/fighting/avoidance.html
If you can avoid areas known to be rife with conflicted individuals, that is generally best. Avoid high crime neighborhoods and cities, and gatherings of people where there is a high potential for violent encounters. Even when in relatively “safe areas,” maintain a reasonable level of awareness.
Sometimes it is not possible to entirely avoid conflict. Even so, one should learn how to avoid violence within a conflict situation, if at all possible. When you become aware that a conflict is developing, be prepared to move to a place where you have more control of the situation.
Escape can mean as little as swallowing your pride or controlling your ego, taking your lady by the arm and moving to a place where your company is appreciated. If you are like me, have a little drink at home or go to a nice restaurant thus avoiding the potential all together and stopping you having to look over your shoulder every five minutes to see who is staring at you. If you find this difficult, if for some reason you are stuck in a particular place for the evening and a guy gives you the evil eye, lift your hand up and give the fellow a polite wave. The chances are that he will think that he knows you from somewhere and feel embarrassed that he has stared, he might even wave back. Once you have made the wave do not hold eye contact, this is often seen as a subliminal challenge. __ http://www.aikidoguro.us/fighting/escape.html
When trouble has found you, and it is not possible to move away from it, sometimes one can decompress the situation with the right words and body language. Or, perhaps, one can stall for time while looking for a way out.
When avoidance is gone and escape is no longer possible we are left with verbal dissuasion. Verbal dissuasion means talking the situation down… Therefore, as soon as you are approached in a potentially confrontational situation take up a small forty five degree stance (as illustrated) by moving your right (or left) leg inconspicuously behind you. Simultaneously splay your arms (fence), as though in exclamation, whilst replying with your dialogue. The lead hand is placed between you and the assailant, the reverse hand back, ready to control or attack…
… For the duration of dialogue it is imperative to maintain distance control until you are able to escape, or are forced or strike. If you are forced into an attack situation -this should be an absolute last resort -make it a telling blow to a vulnerable area. Explode into the opponent with every fibre of your being, then run!! __ http://www.aikidoguro.us/fighting/verbal_dissuasion.html
Being aware of your surroundings and avoiding the bad areas is only part of the challenge: You must also know how the bad guys think, and how they go about stalking and attacking their victims.
If you know how the bad guys work it stands to reason that you can avoid him like the plague. These people mainly rely on deception, not so easy now that you know how the blighters work. Avoid at all costs, escape as soon as you see their ritual in play, if that doesn’t work, or the option has been spent .then use verbal dissuasion.
But in reality, bad guys are not restricted to bad areas. They can stalk deeply into your community and into your neighborhood and even inside your very home.
Dangerous Children are taught to keep a part of their minds awake and ready, even while attending to other things, even in reasonably safe environments. Such readiness allows them to move into a necessary response phase more quickly and automatically.
Competence-Based Confidence Makes Choosing Avoidance Easier
Combat flow training and “attack-proofing” allow trainees to become accustomed to the feel of ongoing physical contact, and helps to move them beyond the sometimes paralytic fear of physical conflict. Mastering such fears should allow a person to more easily choose avoidance, evasion, escape, and verbal dissuasion — even when he might easily put the aggressor down quickly and (perhaps) relatively easily.
1. You don’t waste training time memorizing a million moves
2. You can improvise any strike to any target when you need it with full power
3. Hit harder at close range without telegraphing or winding up
4. Fight on the ground against multiple attackers without wrestling
5. Develop hyper-balance plus the ability to control your attacker’s balance
6. Develop a liquid body that eludes blows, locks and grappling
7. Feel what your attacker’s doing before he does it
8. Adapt to both changing attacks and changing defenses
9. Train deadly striking and dirty fighting all the time
10. Train defenses against both
There is nothing like getting hit to clear the cobwebs from your nervous system, at least if you have incorporated dynamic contact into your training. By placing improvisation into the middle of your training, you are not as likely to be surprised by less conventional attacks.
Once there was an app called “Sketch Factor” which was meant to alert newcomers to “sketchy” areas of town that they may wish to avoid. It was based upon user reports, and displayed red bubbles on neighborhood maps where suspected trouble spots existed. After being labeled “racist” ad nauseum, the app died a slow and ignominious death. The new app by the developers is called “Walc.” It is meant as a safe walking guide for cities, to keep walkers from wandering off their intended path.
Clearly there is a need for websites, apps, and services that help to acquaint travelers, visitors, tourists, and newcomers with unfamiliar territory — to keep them out of trouble. Just as clearly, powerful interests in media, the activist community, and the rabble-rousing peanut gallery in general, wish to prevent such useful information from becoming common knowledge — even if innocents suffer as a result. Political correctness and ideological purity are obstacles to living long healthy lives in some situations.
Corrupt influence peddlers and information gatekeepers in government, media, academia, and other cultural institutions want to keep people in the dark just because they can. We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉
The word “reactive” implies that you don’t have the initiative. You let the events set the agenda. You’re tossed and turned, so to speak, by the tides of life. Each new wave catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you scramble to react to it in order to just stay afloat. __ ActivePause
The default state for most humans is the “reactive state.” Coasting in cruise control, people typically spend time waiting for something to react to. This can be true for the surgeon on call, the soldier on sentry duty, the fighter in the ring, the cop on his beat, or students in a classroom. Waiting, reacting, waiting, reacting . . .
When I started out fighting professionally
, I was a very reactive fighter. I used to get beat up a fair amount in the first round, and then typically come back to win in the later rounds (or, I’d just lose, ha).
I was known as a “slow starter”.
So, in a fight, I was reacting more than anything. I’d react to my opponents punches and takedown attempts, then later try and mount my own offense.
I did this because in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to get tired early on, then pretty much be a punching bag in the later rounds due to fatigue. __ Chad Hamzeh
What Chad learned as he progressed in fighting, was that the right kind of proactive exertion in the beginning rounds of a fight can pay dividends toward the middle and the end.
Most “self-defence” training is oriented around reacting to an attack. By honing the reflexes, one can react far more quickly, appropriately, and effectively, than if one does not train his rapid subconscious reactions to unexpected provocations. And there is no getting around the fact that the unexpected happens — life is full of surprises!
On the other hand, taking a broader, more aware, less emotion-laden, and more “proactive” approach to potentially hazardous situations, can deliver results that are closer to optimal.
. . . the image we associate with “proactivity” is one of grace under stress. To stay with the previous analogy, let’s say you’re in choppy waters. Now, you look more at ease. It’s not just that you anticipate the waves. You’re in tune with them. You’re not desperately trying to escape them; you’re dancing with them.
It would be great to dance with the rhythm of life, using the ebb and flow of events as a source of energy. __ Proactive vs. Reactive
This is the essence of Dangerous Child training for dangerous jobs and environments. Not only is the Dangerous Child better prepared for the situation, he is using broader and higher forms of dynamic thinking and moment to moment planning — before things start going sour.
What I call the proactive mindset is the human ability to engage the more evolved neural circuits, and perform a sort of due diligence to improve the quality of the information that we get through the reactive mindset. I am not talking about ignoring our more primitive reactions, far from that. I am talking about building up on these primitive reactions. Instead of reacting impulsively, we use the reactive impulse as a starting point for a more sophisticated process that helps us respond more effectively to a given situation. __ Beyond Reactive
Here is the idea of “proactivity” as described by author Stephen Covey:
Underlying the Habit of Proactivity according to Covey are:
The ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.
Creating opportunities, not waiting for them to come your way
Taking conscious control of your life
Understanding the choice you have in engineering your life
Applying your own personal principles and core values in making decision
Having imagination and creativity to explore possible alternatives
Realizing you have independent will to choose your own unique response.
Do not mistake “proactivity” with a constant wild flailing around merely to have an impact. That is mindless dissipation of resources and potential. Sometimes proactivity takes the form of quiet contemplation and resolution. Sometimes proactivity involves beating the crap out of someone who has long deserved worse. It depends on the circumstances — and having the savvy to know what is best at the time. And, once knowing, then doing.
Proactivity and Reactivity are reflected in both strategy and tactics. The “element of surprise” is often a result of the conversion of proactive strategy into proactive tactics.
We will be looking at proactive tactics and strategy from the standpoint of education, child-rearing, local defence, regional defence, networked defence, politics, innovation, and more, in the future.
The modern bureaucratic mentality — which rules most governments, universities, media, government lobbies, NGOs, and other cultural institutions — is largely reactive in an opportunistic, knee-jerk way. It is important to learn how to anticipate and take advantage of this tendency in most large institutions.
There is no such thing as a fair fight, especially when a small bunch of mice are in conflict with mad herds of rhinoceri. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late (or early) to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Staying Alive is a Dynamic, Chaotic Affair: You Must Learn to Flow With the Go
Get Out of the Box!
Just as Neo needed to understand that there is no spoon in the film The Matrix, you need to realize that there is no box to step outside of. Once you start with a box you have already created something in your mind that limits your creativity because the box doesnt really exist…
… the fight is what it is; it is less about what you want to do versus what you have to do. As we always say to students, “as long as it is within the laws of physics and human physiology don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can’t do.”
… from the basic principles one is able to develop a multitude of responses and you are not limited by them but eventually you begin to learn to manipulate them at will. From there, you are, for the most part, only limited by your imagination because there is no box. __ 188 Contact Flow vs. Combat Flow
Developing an instinctive and effective approach to personal combat is only one part of an integrated survival system. But if you do not pass the test of face to face survival when you or your family are attacked, you will not be able to proceed to the other aspects of the survival continuum. To make the best use of your training time, strip the process to the basics, then go crazy (in a figurative sense).
Some essential aspects of defence and survival:
• PHYSICAL Self-defense, weaponry
• EMOTIONAL Mindset, coping tools
• FINANCIAL Investments, holdings, barter
• MEDICAL Self-help, first aid, food, water
• COMMUNICATIONS, TRANSPORTATION
Notice that self-defence and weaponry are only the tip of the iceberg. Yes, they are the penetrating tip, the sharp point and edge. But they are only the beginning. Developing the underlying foundation is crucial for motivation, focus, persistence, and impulse control.
Combat flow exercises are designed to train your subconscious reactions, so that you will not have to take the time to think about what you must do to stay alive.
Take what works and drop the tinsel wrapping. You do not have the time to waste on empty ritual or tradition which has nothing to do with the fight at hand. Aikido, for example, is an excellent training method to develop the mind and body for many forms of dynamic combat. But focus on what works, and drop the ritual.
Survival is something that often takes place up close and personal. It is important to get out of the mental straitjacket that unrealistic television and movie portrayals have wrapped around your brain.
Close quarters shooting and self-defence:
Videos are Not Training; Training is Not Fighting
Unless you are in possession of “Matrix-class” virtual reality, you need to partner with other persons to train.
Basic philosophy, applications, drills of flowing combat:
You can fast forward to the training exercises roughly 20 minutes in. Learning to close with the opponent is a key aspect of surviving an inevitable attack.
These exercises are very basic and introductory. The purpose is to develop the right instincts in training, so that in case of a fight you will react effectively, instantly. All videos presented here are mere introductions, meant to suggest different approaches to training you may choose to take.
Importantly, avoiding and evading violent conflict is almost always your best bet — particularly when innocents and loved ones are in the vicinity — and it is possible to move them out of danger.
A well-trained, mentally prepared person’s competence shows in his confident bearing and demeanour. Such a person will be seen as a “hard target” by predators. Persons who project fear, on the other hand, will attract conflict and attack. Likewise, persons who behave in an arrogant and antagonistic manner are magnets for violent and unbalanced persons.
How can you possibly expect someone who has spent most of his or her life in a educational system that discourages risk and critical thinking, and which teaches them to stick with the crowd, to exit college with any meaningful advantage?
Armstrong lives in Yorba Linda, California, with his father Kevin, mother Priscilla and brother Dylan. He likes playing his guitar, soccer, flag football, video games, swimming, laser tag and is a member of the boy scouts.
Children are individuals, unique to themselves. Treating them as lumps of clay to be shaped just as the lords of society wish, is a recipe for disaster — a disaster that has been in the making for decades now.
Assembly line education is simply not working out for young people any longer, and ironically, many of these kids are so ignorant they actually think their problem is that they need even more “education.” In reality, the dumbing down of their minds with indoctrination and a focus on political correctness has made them grossly unprepared for life outside the sheltered cocoon of formal schooling.
… To summarize, our schools are training children to become followers instead of leaders and critical thinkers, and it’s going to take some dedicated parenting to turn things around for future generations.
Death Comes to Us All — The Importance of Careful Attention to Detail
People are living animals, subject to dying. When people — including children — take risks, the odds of death can rise appreciably, depending upon a number of factors. The child pictured below — Tito Traversa — fell to his death at age 12 due to equipment malfunction / inadvertent rigging error. The cause of the accident is analogous to a mistake in parachute packing, or a pilot error in judgement leading to a crash. Such accidents could happen to persons of any age, but are particularly tragic when they involve children and people who are involved in the training of full-spectrum children.
Not all children are born daredevils. Those who are innate risk-takers need to be taught utmost attention to detail, and extreme care in following best procedures to minimise and mitigate inherent risks in their activities. Although we incorporate play into learning of all kinds, life itself is being played for keeps.
Do not push them beyond their ability, but do not hold them back — when the proper training can empower them to expand their competence and skillful autonomy.
The misguided attempt to eliminate all risk from the lives of all children, is the far more salient danger to the future, rather than the disciplined training of Dangerous Children to manage risks.
Dangerous Children are best known for their competent multi-faceted independence. They master at least three means of financial independence by the age of 18, and never stop developing new skills.
Patchwork Kids are similarly known for their ability to take on multiple types of jobs and projects, as well as for their ability to find their way through all kinds of changing employment scenarios and career obstacle courses which one finds in rapidly evolving societies.
Many still cling to the notion of a dream job- a perfect opportunity that will afford success, fulfillment, and all that one desires. Whether such positions actually exist or are simply the stuff of myth and fantasy is disputable. But regardless, these ideals are false guides to those seeking professional growth and opportunity.
It is best not to be too attached to one particular career path in one’s life. Things are changing much too rapidly for most areas of employment. Occupations arise, reach a peak in demand, then go extinct — much like empires and biological species. It is best for children to learn multiple skills and competencies — including flexibility and resilience.
The underlying concept of patchwork occupational flexibility is far too important to allow it to be commandeered by any particular thinker or author, so take each interpretation of “Patchwork Principles” or “Patchwork Employment” with a grain of salt. The central framework of the Patchwork Kid strategy is to build into the child the ability to pursue multiple career paths, to be the master of one’s own occupational world, and to be prepared to evolve along with the needs and demands of both your own life and the times in which you live.
Lifelong learning is a prerequisite for most everything in life that is worthwhile; work is no exception. Although you will settle into a routine related to recordkeeping and other mundane tasks, you will likely never fully enjoy the “cruise control” mentality that you may now know in your 9-to-5 world. In contrast, as an entrepreneur you will be growing and learning in many directions at once. You alone will need to determine when you need to seek out a book, class, or mentor to guide you when you encounter new topics related to running your business, either to keep up with the industry in which you work or as you strive to honor your lifestyle framework. Are you able to ask for help when the need arises? Can your ego handle it? Are you willing to climb the learning curves that you will inevitably encounter?
… The Patchwork Principle is a freelance career strategy based on the simple idea that working for a number of employers simultaneously presents unique business opportunities and insulates you from sudden and total job loss… The Patchworker carries all of the standard responsibilities of the freelancer but has an agenda beyond earning money: life… A Patchworker is a freelancer who selectively accepts work based on lifestyle factors that they determine to be personally important.
The difference between a well prepared Patchwork Kid, and someone who is forced by circumstances to hold down multiple part-time jobs that they may or may not like, is that the Patchwork Kid consciously and skillfully navigates her way through the rapids and eddies of society’s occupational turbulence — having learned such resilient flexibility from the earliest age.
The patchworker is a new kind of employee working quite differently than the traditional freelancer. First, patchworkers are highly selective about the work they choose to accept because quality of life, dubbed lifestyle design, is paramount. Second and perhaps most notably, patchworking is the art and science of fishing for new, mostly unadvertised leads and pitching them to prospective employers. The competition in these situations is practically non-existent and the odds of landing the work are certainly in favor of the person pitching the solution. Patchworkers offer potential employers an immediate and practical solution to existing problems or present new ideas and an implementation plan.
Patchwork Kids are quite capable of building satisfying lives for themselves and their loved ones. Having learned self-sufficiency and independence from childhood, and having put it into practise from the teen years onward, they will not readily give it up to tyrannical bureaucrats or self-important functionaries. When combined with concealed carry and reasonable training in firearm safety, maintenance, and operation, Patchwork Kids will form an important part of any competent society of the future.
Where Dangerous Children are conspicuously different than many Patchwork Kids, is in the many specifically Dangerous skills and competencies which Dangerous Children master. Trained to confront dangerous situations and their own fears from a very early age, the Dangerous Child tends to “size up” potentially hazardous situations very quickly, and often takes definitive action before even the smartest Patchwork Kid knows that anything is wrong.
Regardless, the many areas of similarity and overlap between the two types of training are enough to bring Dangerous Children and Patchwork Kids to a type of common understanding which allows them to work together on a broad range of projects and enterprises.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Make provisions for the turbulent times that are inevitable in any realistic future scenario.
How Can Dangerous Children Master Financial Skills by Age 18?
Humans learn best by trying — by going out on the limb for something. Early tries are likely to meet with failure, and it is the response to early failures that determine whether the child or youth will learn from failure and go on to more difficult trials — or whether he will choose to “play it safe” and not risk spectacular failures (or successes).
Children and Youth Would do Well to Learn How to Start Businesses Early in Life
To avoid wage slavery and corporate/government dependency, a Dangerous Child learns to deal with problems of finance, customer handling, and cash flow balancing, at early ages. The earlier the better. The type of business, product, or service is not nearly as important as the thought and planning that goes into the startup and operations. And if it fails — as is often the case — the Dangerous Child has plenty of other ideas to work out and try out.
Here is another blogger’s thinking on the subject of avoiding wage slavery:
In the age of automation, what’s scarce are problem-solving skills.
Software and robotics are good with set situations and routines, but not so good at responding to unique situations. If someone wants a high-wage job in a profitable sector, one avenue is to become a better problem-solver.
The best way to become a better problem solver is to start a small enterprise yourself, because the entrepreneur–even the smallest scale entrepreneur selling on Etsy or perfominng some service in the community–must solve a wide range of problems on a daily basis. ___ Charles Hugh Smith
Problem-solving is indeed a scarce and valuable resource in the modern age. Dangerous Children learn to problem-solve by taking calculated risks — by throwing themselves into the fray and dealing with the inevitable issues and challenges that will confront him and try to prevent him from reaching his goal.
That is another reason why very early childhood training must instill the love of solving “puzzles” and overcoming challenges. Such instincts are natural to infants and early toddlers, but can be easily blunted by both neglectful and over-protective parenting — and by government schooling. The love of a difficult challenge and the willingness to see a tough goal through to the end is of great value to the child’s future prospects.
Work and Practical Problem-Solving Experience More Valuable than Credentials
College degrees are a dime a dozen. Getting a four year college degree is often the quickest route to a minimum wage job — and the creation of an impossible dilemma when it comes to paying off student loans.
Not every four year degree is a dead-end of course. Engineering and IT degrees can be immensely valuable in finding a reasonable job if a person is energetic and willing to work hard. But four year degrees in history, psychology, sociology, literature, philosophy, and other liberal arts and social sciences will give a minimal advantage, if any, for even the lowest job on the rung.
Problem-solvers with work and business experience, are different. A proven track record of successful innovation, business creation, and management, opens the door to a wide array of opportunities. The best way to create such a track record is to create your own job, rather than waiting for someone else to give it to you. And the best way to create a successful business is to start early, fail often, and learn hard, valuable lessons from each trial.
The “Everybody Must Go to College” Meme is for Losers
Only between 15% and 20% of young people are suited for a rigorous four year college degree — such as the type that opens the door to mid-level and higher level careers. Among African youth, only around 5% are qualified for such degrees. Clearly they need viable and profitable alternatives — and getting work and business experience at an early age is probably the best bet for most.
Few things are more discouraging to a young adult than to be a recent college dropout with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt — and no experience at working, solving practical problems, or managing a business.
Failure is a Normal Part of Life
Dangerous Children learn to bounce back from failure, with a hat-full of possibilities to try next. Remember: Dangerous Children master at least three means to financial and personal independence by the age of 18 years. When they try something and fail, they are not going to be desperately broke or deeply in debt. They are likely to build appreciable savings by the age of 14 or 16, and be able to pay for a college education outright — either online or via bricks and mortar campus — by age 18, if that is their wish.
Credentials can, after all, be useful to someone who has experience, savings, and an independent spirit. Such persons will be best equipped to make the most use of the credential.
The fear of failure is just another variety of fear. Dangerous Children must learn to confront and neutralise their fears as early as possible. It should become habitual to face down fear so as not to become stuck.
The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.
… Let the thug take his chances with an alert, prepared, and angry citizenry. It may very well spoil his whole career.
This is not a call for vigilantism: It is a call for self-reliance. For those who feel short on self-reliance, I have a suggestion. Take up practical pistol shooting as a recreation. It is a good game. It is fun. It is “relevant.” And it does wonders for your self-reliance. __ Jeff Cooper
Gun range training is crucial for becoming familiar with your weapons, and how they perform. But in a real world close-quarters ambush, you need much more . . .
When Seconds Count, Help is At Least Minutes Away
The threat leaps up out of the darkness. You are split-seconds from being skewered and left to bleed out, no longer any protection for your loved ones. Do you really think that years of gun range training can prepare you for this defining moment? Not even close. Even conventional “assume the stance and sight your target” approaches to close combat pistol shooting are doomed to fail, if time is short.
The threat is likely to come at close range, with little or no warning
There is no time to assume a “proper stance” and sight your target. If you have not developed the instincts for close combat, you may well be out of luck.
Instinct shooting requires the same eye, hand, and mind events as throwing a baseball or darts. The shooter must devote full attention on the smallest part of the target whilst drawing the weapon to fire. Once the weapon is at the ready, the shooter must fire immediately, to avoid losing the intense focus and missing the target. This technique is most often practiced with a moving target, such as clay birds. The practical use of this drill is for life or death situations, in which the gun handler must instinctively and accurately shoot the target, or die himself. The shooter must almost simultaneously:
See the target
Decide to shoot
Start moving the gun to position
Focus on a small part of the target
Pull the trigger the instant the weapon reaches position __ Wikipedia Combat Pistol Shooting
How can you do all five of those things instinctively, in rapid sequence — almost simultaneously? The training has to already reside in the subconscious mind, prepared to emerge at the right moment.
More from author Chuck Klein:
If you have enough time to find and align your sights then your attacker might have enough of an interval to get a shot or two off at you. Whenever you have sufficient duration for such niceties as searching for blades and notches then you have enough time to seek cover. INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING is for the times when there is no time! INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING is not a panacea for all shooting conditions. It is a tool, the best tool, for close encounters of the heart stopping kind, both literally and figuratively. Should you find yourself in a life or death situation where gun play is imminent and the distances are close then you should know the techniques that the rest of the good guys have been doing all along. Again, this is only for close in firefights when time is of the essence. For most instances involving greater distances the old standard of priorities hasn’t changed: seek cover first then use your sights. __ http://www.chuckkleinauthor.com/Page.aspx/181/instinct-combat-shooting.html
How do you get the training into the subconscious mind so that an effective response under pressure is immediate? Not at the gun range, and probably not through most gun training programs. Reality is dirty, gritty, bloody and painful. Most of us — and even most gun trainers — fail to address the dark underlying realities of where, when, and how deadly threats are likely to come at you.
. . . look at every example of how criminals really plan to target you as a victim…
…carjackings and parking lot robberies happen right at your car door…
…bar shootings take place over a disputed wager the width of a billiards table…
…retail robberies over the distance of a small countertop…
…even home invasions are often fought in a doorway or hallway struggle!
Rapes… beatings… knife attacks… none of them occur at long distance, do they?
Reading and watching videos can only teach you how little you know and how unprepared you are for what can come at you with no warning. As mentioned before, gun range training will teach you familiarity with your weapons. But you have to go beyond, if you want to be prepared to protect yourself and innocents around you.
When training subconscious automaticity, it is best to begin at a young age — during the optimal critical window of development. But just as most people can learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, learn basic computer coding etc. in adulthood, middle age, and even later — to certain levels of skill — so can adults train their subconscious minds to react appropriately in most ambush and unannounced attack situations.
But it is hard, and becomes harder the more years a brain has become set in its ways.
As parts of the world sink into the coming anarchy, and larger parts succumb to the dysgenic Idiocracy, larger society is becoming more of a threat — and less a protection — to individuals, families, and communities.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. Well, almost never too late. Don’t wait too long.
Many law enforcement officers and others have been killed while fumbling for their sidearm. Do not ignore the threat that is already on top of you. As we have said before, never leave home without at least 10 lethal weapons (often “dual use” improvised weapons) in ready access. The most deadly weapon you possess is your mind. Next is your body, and how it has been trained to move, instinctively. How you dress can also make the difference between life and death. Make it part of your daily routine to train your instincts to react rapidly and appropriately. Plan your routes carefully and maintain awareness of your surroundings at all times. Avoid intoxication whenever outside a safe environment. People are depending on you.
North America is becoming something of a challenge to navigation. Mexico is becoming a total blood bath. Likewise many US inner city precincts — such as are found in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, Milwaukee, Detroit, New Orleans, … have become no-go zones for most legal, productive activity. Even placid Canada — as it grows more multi-cultural — has particular cities and areas that are taking on the aspects of third world war zones.
That is why wherever you go in North America — and increasingly in much of Europe and the rest of the world — you had best take steps to make yourselves tough, but resilient. Making the world safer for the best of humanity — and more dangerous for the worst of humanity — is becoming just another necessary function for responsible citizens.
What you will read here is politically incorrect. But in today’s world, many of the things that will keep you and your loved ones alive and prosperous are frowned upon by the political elite — who consider themselves “your betters.”
Buy Ammo Till It Hurts . . . Then Buy Some More
I have never, ever had anyone tell me that he had too much ammunition. Not in a combat zone, not in a civil disaster, not even in peacetime. Never. Nor have I lived through a time where our governing class was so deeply corrupt, so utterly foolish, and so dangerously focused on the perpetuation of its own power that it risked bringing down everything we have built not merely in the United States but in the entire West.
Right now, if you are watching the news, you have questions about the future. And the answer to all of them is to buy ammo.
Buying ammo is a no-lose proposition. Look, the worst thing that happens if you buy more ammo is that you have more ammo. Plus, much of our consumer ammo is made by hardworking Americans, and many of those ammo makers are located in red states where the right to keep and bear arms is celebrated and respected. So you’re helping fellow conservative Americans, which is good. And you’re infuriating people like that sanctimonious, Second Amendment-hating incompetent infesting the White House, which is great.
Of course, buying ammo presumes you have already fulfilled your duty as a law-abiding, able-bodied American citizen and obtained sufficient firearms for the defense of yourself, your family, your community, and your Constitution. I can’t tell you how many people in the last year have confessed to me that they have finally decided to visit their local gun seller to do what they had put off for far too long and transition from sheep to sheepdog.
A handgun and a long weapon per adult is merely the minimum. We call that “a good start.” Now, while you can really efficiently carry only two weapons at once, when all hell breaks loose you’re going to have friends who were the grasshopper to your ant and did not prepare for winter. You may wish to share the contents of your armory with them when the time comes; keep in mind that the only thing in a gunfight that’s better than having a black combat rifle is having your buddy there to provide supporting fire with a black combat rifle.
Or a shotgun – diversity is a good thing.
Don’t forget training. Malpractice with a weapon is a bad thing, particularly when the foolishness of our leaders has led to the kind of chaos where hospitals are deserted and antibiotics are hard to come by. I oversaw the weapons training of at least 20,000 troops over my career (Sergeants actually do the training; officers oversee the planning, resourcing, and big picture range operations, then find their sharpest sergeant to run them through some refresher drills so they can shoot “Expert” when they hit the firing line and qualify in front of everyone). I am a big fan of weapons training. You need to learn safety, and you also need to learn how to hit what you are shooting at. Don’t be like the gangbanging, side-shooting nimrods in Democrat inner cities who can’t hit the other scumbags they’re shooting at and instead take out nice ladies walking home from church. Having lots of ammo on hand facilitates training.
Now, many of our urban liberal friends will not understand why we insist on ensuring that we have plenty of guns and ammo. They are, not coincidentally, the same urban liberals who don’t understand how creating economic and political chaos by screwing up the economy, coddling crooks, allowing unrestricted immigration, refusing to defeat our enemies, and frittering away the rule of law all act to undermine this wonderful island of relative peace and stability we call the United States. The über-beta editor of a well-known liberal website once chided me on Twitter for pointing out the fact that civilization walks on a tightrope over a chasm of chaos, telling me I was essentially nuts for thinking this could all fall apart much faster and much more violently than any of us imagine. But I was not nuts. I was remembering. I was remembering Los Angeles on fire during the Rodney King riots. I spent three weeks on the streets with the Army during that little life lesson based out of an armory south of I-10 and east of the 405. Let’s just say that it was a looty, shooty area. So I don’t need chaos lessons from some tweedy femboy, nor do you. It may not be apocalypse now, but it could very well be apocalypse soon.
Do you think our elite is going to protect you during the next “uprising?” Remember, it’s a “riot” only if elite liberals are at risk like they were when Beverly Hills got threatened; it’s an “uprising” if only you are. Remember that “stand down” order in Baltimore?
Do you think the Iranians and our other enemies haven’t been watching Team Feckless in inaction and thought about popping off a hot rock or two a hundred miles above Kansas City to fry all our wonderful electronic gizmos with EMP? A couple days after our logistics networks go down those urban hipsters are going to learn what really constitutes a “food desert.”
Do you think a country this politically divided can’t devolve into violence? People in Kosovo were pretty sure everything was hunky dory while Tito was alive. People resolved their differences through the institutions. And then Tito died, and the game changed. In just a few years, it became very bad.
Right now we have a president who thinks he can ignore or modify the law unilaterally, justifying it with the baffling argument that he shouldn’t have to ask Congress because Congress will just say “No” – which I always thought was kind of the point of checks and balances. So what happens when President Clinton, who identified you and me and the 50% of Americans who aren’t her supporters as her enemies, decides she gets to make her own laws because, well, she knows better and feels like it? Nothing good.
But deterrence is a wonderful thing. An armed, trained populace is not only prepared for when things go bad, but the fact that it is armed and trained makes it much less likely that things will go bad in the first place. Last year, Americans voted for liberty by buying well over 15 million new guns. That’s roughly 40,000 a day, every day. That’s enough to arm three infantry divisions.
Time to Start Growing them Tough, Smart, and Resilient from Tiny Babes to Adulthood
We talk a lot about Dangerous Children here at Al Fin. If the human world has any chance of creating an abundant and expansive future for itself, that chance rests in the quality of children that we can conceive, raise, and train to the point of independence and self-directed education and development.
There is not a culture in the world that prepares today’s children for the future that they will face.
You may have thought about the type of society you would want to create, for your children and grandchildren to live, prosper, and thrive. A lot of people have given thought to such ideas. But very few people have thought things through in a clear and comprehensive manner.
For that reason, too many people still believe that institutions such as churches, schools, governments, etc. are more a part of the solution, than of the problem. All cultural institutions could be worse than they are, certainly. For now, it is worth the time to support the movements, initiatives, and enterprises that hold back the chaos and corruption for as long as possible.
But one would be negligent not to plan for some difficult times — for you, your children, and beyond.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Corrupt law enforcement is often at the heart of violent countries and cities, including Venezuela, Mexico, and Russia. In Venezuela:
“It’s alarming how many policemen are involved in kidnapping, extortion, car robberies, and drug trafficking,” Ortega said.
Some 277 public officials are being investigated for kidnapping alone, the ministry said in an accompanying report.
The socialist administration has a track record of burying bad news. In 2003, when the crime and murder rate started spiking, the government shut down the police media-relations office, which provided regular data.
One does not want to contend with the violence of corrupt law enforcement on top of the violence of the criminal class. It is easiest to simply avoid the hotbeds of violent crime.
Dangerous Child Training Focuses on Preventing and Avoiding Violence
Human nature and genetic diversity guarantee that violence will occur — more frequently in some locales than in others. Dangerous Children may be better prepared to deal with violent offenders than most persons, but they have better things to do with their time. Such as laying the foundations for an abundant and expansive human future, and helping to build the next level.
And it naturally follows that in order to help achieve those things, Dangerous Children will need to avoid needless distractions and unnecessary casualties. This is why Dangerous Children are taught how to form Dangerous (and Resilient) Communities, and Dangerous (and Anti-Fragile) City-States.
The parallel nature of Dangerous Communities and City-States becomes apparent in the many situations where they grow from the same ground where pre-existing conventional communities and cities already exist. In such cases, parallel and “shadow” systems of organisation will allow Dangerous Children to build and implement human and technological systems that make communities and cities more resilient and anti-fragile — while providing an excellent springboard onto a higher level of functioning when the time is right.
Old systems of governance will often be shed like dead snake-skin when it is time for the vital core to move upward into a more expansive and abundant future. In other cases, where Dangerous Communities and Dangerous City-States grew up on original foundations, the upward expansion is greatly simplified.
Homicidal Cities and Nations Should be Isolated as Well as Possible
As we discussed in an earlier article, it is possible to create highly detailed maps of frequent foci of violence, and to use those maps for safer navigation of the human landscape. Safe zones of residence and passage would need to be worked out, with the information made available to all travelers and longer-term residents.
In North America, it is well known that particular cities and particular neighborhoods within those cities present the greatest risk to both outsiders and residents. The same is true in the rest of the Anglosphere, Europe, and in most any developed nation.
Dangerous Children develop situational awareness as second nature, whether traveling abroad or moving about more familiar territory. They do not tend to accidentally stray in the path of danger, as a rule. But violent and homicidal people do not always stay within a fixed territory, nor do they announce their travel plans or their presence to more peace-loving people among whom they travel. And so when one’s path crosses the path of violent and homicidal people by happenstance, it is best if one is prepared to deal with such situations as thoroughly as possible. Such training is best commenced early, and one should stay in practise.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late or too early to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Useful strategies for reacting to threats should be learned early, and reinforced often. We have discussed John Boyd’s OODA Loop strategy, and how it must become instantly instinctive if it is to be of any use at all. The same is true for a wide range of other strategies of reaction, which must become instinctive and rapid — virtually instant.
A violent rape epidemic is sweeping Europe and much of the Anglosphere — in part because modern, culturally non-violent children, youth, women, and men do not have effective, instinctive strategies for dealing with the growing threat.
Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
Police in Hamburg are now reporting similar incidents on New Year’s Eve in the party area of St Pauli. One politician says this is just the tip of the iceberg.
And there are real concerns about what will happen in February when the drunken street-parties of carnival season kick off. __ BBC
Europe’s women have a big problem, thanks to Merkel, Hollande, the Swedish government, and the other usual suspects. They are being raped, assaulted, and sometimes murdered by primitive and violent newcomers to the continent. They are beginning to experience what women in traditionally non-violent cultures inevitably suffer when forced to share the same space with primitive, hostile, unintelligent young men from violent cultures.
“Hit Girl” is a character from a comic book. But her story can be instructive to young girls who are being cast into the multicultural flames.
The pint-sized comic book heroine Hit Girl is shown in the video below, administering summary justice to thugs, drug-dealers, and their close associates. In the scene below, Hit Girl is still learning to be a wicked badass. She lets her “situational awareness” slip for a moment. For moments such as those, that is why children have parents.
But don’t be under the delusion that “girls who can take care of themselves” only exist in comic books and feature films. Dangerous Children — both boys and girls — begin to learn how to deal with such hostile, unintelligent, violent aggressors from their earliest hours on Earth, and even before.
Thousands of unconscious scans take place inside brain and body, from moment to moment, in the constant balancing act of survival. Dangerous Children learn and acquire additional survival reaction scans from an early age. Learning that begins as largely “conscious,” becomes automatic and unconscious with practise.
“Hanna,” shown in the scene above, is another young girl-child who was raised to survive in the face of significant threat.
We understand, of course, that Hit Girl and Hanna are only characters in books and films. Yet, childhood learning to instinctively avoid, evade, escape, and — if necessary — confront head-on the growing tsunami of violence, is possible. At the Al Fin Institutes for the Dangerous Child, we consider such training mandatory.
A girl’s got to begin sometime:
But it’s better if boys and girls start on the road to Dangerousness at a much earlier age.
It is time to turn the tables on the primitive, violent, hostile invaders — in thousands of ways. Helping children learn to take care of themselves should be one of the earliest and more obvious steps taken.
Kids need to learn about money while they are young, so that they can develop good habits of spending, saving, and investing. Although not as useful as the Dangerous Child curriculum discussed more below, here is an overview of a useful mainstream curriculum for kids from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the US government:
Here are 10 highlights per educational level from the CFPB guidelines.
In grade school
In elementary school, kids should be learning about the financial world beyond their own piggy bank. Yes, the basics of saving, spending, investing and borrowing, but also more advanced concepts like compound interest, budgets and insurance against financial risk.
Saving and investing:
1. The difference between saving and investing.
2. The concept of compound interest.
3. Possible sources of income (not including mom and dad), like salaries, benefits and interest rates.
4. Why more education can lead to more income.
5. You can’t buy everything you want. What goes into deciding to buy something?
6. How to count and use money.
7. What is a budget? And what goes into making one?
Borrowing and financial risk:
8. Borrowing allows you to buy things now and pay for them in the future.
9. Credit is when you use someone else’s money for a fee, and interest is the fee you pay to borrow money through credit.
10. Financial risk is an unavoidable part of life, and you can choose to protect yourself by avoiding risks or taking out insurance.
In middle school:
Now for the stock market. In middle school, kids should be learning that there’s a thing called Wall Street, and why it matters to them. Also, false advertising, and taxes.
Saving and investing:
1. How time, interest rates and inflation all affect the value of savings.
2. How to calculate interest, i.e. multiply the principal amount, the interest rate and the time of the loan or investment.
3. Financial assets you might want to invest in include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and commodities.
4. When buying things, look for information beyond advertising claims to make a decision.
5. A good budget should account for expenses, income, savings and taxes.
Borrowing and financial risk:
6. The benefits to using credit to finance long-term purchases last a long time, but the benefits to using credit to make daily purchases are short-lived and don’t add up over time.
7. What is an interest rate on a loan, an annual percentage rate, and why do rates fluctuate based on changes in the market?
8. How to avoid getting charged interest on credit card purchases.
9. What is a credit score, and why does it matter?
10. What is an insurance premium, and why do they vary?
In high school:
Preparing for the huge financial decision of college is paramount in high school, but kids should also be learning the basics needed to navigate life as an adult after college. High schoolers should also be learning about the economy, financial regulatory agencies and policies, and should be taught the value of developing a personal financial plan.
Saving and investing:
1. The possible benefits — and risks — of starting a business of your own.
2. Going to college is an important financial decision. Consider tuition and fees, and the future economic opportunities of a degree.
3. How taxes affect income.
4. Some adult things you’ll soon need to worry about saving for: a car, higher education and retirement.
5. The factors that go into calculating an investment’s end value: investment amount, time, rate of return, and frequency of compounding.
6. What do the government agencies (like the SEC, FDIC and CFPB) do, and why does it matter for your finances?
Borrowing and financial risk:
7. The important factors in financial aid for college: grants vs. loans, amount of loans necessary, loan forgiveness and repayment schedules, and expected future income.
8. How to compare the cost of credit from different financial institutions, how to use credit wisely, and the risks of excessive debt — including declaring bankruptcy.
While the above curriculum falls far short of the Dangerous Child curriculum on money handling and entrepreneurship, it is far better than what most children and youth receive on their journey through the dumbed down educational system.
One of the biggest mistakes of the above curriculum is the high school curriculum — which is based upon the flawed assumption that all youth should go to college. For the majority who would do better following a shorter route to financial independence, the assumption of universal college attendance is a huge mistake and disservice to the students who are shortchanged and wastefully diverted away from a more productive future.
Dangerous Children are taught how to start businesses based upon entrepreneurial skills and personal competence. They will master at least 3 pathways to financial independence by their 18th birthdays. This is in addition to the mastering of the financial and legal skills necessary to buy and sell automobiles, homes, and other relatively high value items.
From before the Dangerous Child’s birth, parents focus on assisting the child to developing multiple crucial competencies. As the child develops, skill-building that contributes to personal independence is emphasised.
Emotional independence is likewise stressed, although it is well understood that self-esteem generally arises from personal competence — not from touchy-feely self-love affirmations or indoctrination. The social component of emotional independence is not neglected, but is rather developed to a fine art — in a style fitted to the individual child and youth.
Early training on money: earning, saving, spending, and simple investing, is carried out in the form of games and practise markets. Play-acting is one of the most utilised and useful forms of early childhood instruction along with experiential self-discovery.
As for the dumbed down government school system, we can only hope that most school districts will choose to eliminate a good deal of current dysfunctional indoctrination, and substitute useful training such as basic money skills in its place.
Bonus Information from “Survival Mom” on Self- Employed Kids:
My own daughter was just six when she began her own business, “Jog Your Memory”. Her motto? “I remember so you don’t have to!” I had told her she had a great memory since she was constantly reminding me of things I had forgotten! So, we printed out a few business cards, I gave her a Day-Timer I wasn’t using, and off she went to see if Grandma might need some help remembering her appointments! A couple of years later we created a business plan for a neighborhood garbage can retrieval service! Lesson learned? There are no limits to the ways a person can earn money.
Encourage your children to think of their own natural gifts and interests. Seek out family friends and relatives with skills that could be taught to a young apprentice. If your child is a computer nerd, help them discover a money-making niche in the vast world of technology. If your kid is an artistic dreamer, as mine is, take their creations and help them develop a business plan for earning money. Don’t overlook volunteerism as a way to learn skills and establish important contacts as a route to self-employment. Combining a young person’s natural skills with a marketable skill or product may open up a whole new way for them to earn money other than working for the nearest fast-food joint.
Self-employment breeds self-confidence, independence and important business and people skills. Take any skill, any interest, put your creativity to work and develop an idea for a new business!
What is the Best Approach to Early Childhood Learning?
Three well-known European approaches to early learning include Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia.
All three approaches view children as active authors of their own development, strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self-righting forces within themselves, opening the way toward growth and learning.
… Underlying the three approaches are variant views of the nature of young children’s needs, interests, and modes of learning that lead to contrasts in the ways that teachers interact with children in the classroom, frame and structure learning experiences for children, and follow the children through observation/documentation.. __ Three European Approaches to Early Learning
The three approaches generally developed long before modern educational theory, pictured in the graphic below. As such, they are useful for their relatively pristine approaches, unpolluted by modern social science jargon.
Contemporary designers of approaches to early childhood education generally draw from some academic theory — such as those illustrated in the graphic above. This “sanctification” of early childhood curricula is unfortunate — not necessarily for what it includes, but for what it leaves out.
Consider Friedrich Frobel and the original “Kindergarten” concept:
Friedrich Fröbel’s great insight was to recognise the importance of the activity of the child in learning. He introduced the concept of “free work” (Freiarbeit) into pedagogy and established the “game” as the typical form that life took in childhood, and also the game’s educational worth. Activities in the first kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening and self-directed play with the Froebel Gifts. Fröbel intended, with his Mutter- und Koselieder – a songbook that he published – to introduce the young child into the adult world. __ Wikipedia Friedrich Frobel
Frobel’s goal was to assist the early unfolding and development of the parts of the child’s mind that are necessary for further independent development. Contrast that pre-Prussian approach, with today’s fashion of indoctrination that pervades modern educational institutions from K – 12 thru university.
Or consider Edward de Bono and his approaches to creative thinking. Because “lateral thinking” and other creative thinking approaches encourage independent, divergent thinking, they are avoided by the dominant educational cultists of today, for fear that too much independence and creativity might lead to a loss of control by those in charge.
Modern education is all about conformity to groupthink and preparing children to sing in echo choirs, in unison. Modern parolees from official systems of incarcerated education are too often already under a lifetime’s burden of school loan debt, but at the same time suffering from an academic lobotomy and permanent lifelong adolescent incompetence, that makes ultimate freedom almost impossible.
Established orders and power hierarchies have little to fear from these zombie-drones, living in parental basements, their expectations squashed by the very system that was meant to empower them.
When children are very young, the possibilities seem endless. But the moment the parent hands control of the child’s mind to institutions whose only loyalty is to their own existence and enlargement, the child’s potential begins to shut down and collapse.
Dangerous Children master the abilities to live independently — financially, cognitively, emotionally, socially, educationally, and in many other ways — by the age of 18. That is how it should be, but not how it usually is, for most youth.
How Do You Get from Conventional Lifelong Incompetence to the Dangerous Child Who is in Control of His Future?
By beginning at the beginning, and not diverging from the exciting and unpredictable course in front of you.
The Dangerous Child Method takes the useful parts of the hard-earned experiential insights of Montessori, Steiner, Vygotsky, Doman, Piaget, etc., and combines them with the fundamentals of Garcia’s early curriculum, and Robinson’s hard-nosed approach to self-teaching and “mental junk food avoidance.”
A Dangerous Child follows a path that he sets for himself, but he builds his own path upon a foundation laid by many others, using tools chosen from what is provided by caregivers, coaches, mentors, and guides.
Conventional thinking in this area will only destroy a child’s potential, and make him into another statistic.
You may ask, “What can one child do?” And of course, it all depends upon the child. What could one Einstein do, or one Edison? What could one Leonardo, one Newton, or one Archimedes do? Mozart, Galileo, Darwin, Leibniz? More
More important than those individuals mentioned above, are the thousands who took their ideas and turned them into sciences, technologies, and advanced societies and civilisations.
You may think that all of that is in the past. In that, you would be mistaken. It is in the future. Choices you make now can help determine how that future unfolds.
This is the first mistake people make with small kids. They try to teach them by TALKING to them as if small children can simply reason along with their TALKING and automatically see the adult’s intent and adopt the adult’s logic. But even young adult brains do not learn so well by the TALKING method — much less small children!
Verbal language is processed in a relatively “serial,” straight-line manner. Visual information is processed in a highly parallel manner. Large amounts of information can be transferred in a short amount of time via parallel pathways. The image to the right illustrates the “serial bottleneck” that verbal language suffers from. Never forget that each word is slippery beyond belief, and each thought accompanying a word is both highly viscous and subject to total fragmentation.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
In the learning pyramid below, we can see that humans retain far less from a lecture than they do from a demonstration. This is infinitely more true for toddlers and pre-schoolers than it is for university students — and it is true enough for them.
For particular areas of special interest, many young children may be ready for self-directed learning practise by the age of 2 or 3, but most of the time — for most areas of learning — they will need careful guidance, with an emphasis on exploratory play, expanding movement skills, simple music appreciation and training, basic underpinnings of art, and creative story-telling.
Such young children are not ready for lectures, or even group discussions of any depth beyond a rudimentary analysis of characters in stories.
They need to be shown, encouraged, guided, and playfully cajoled, but always with a consistent end in mind. No lectures, no debates, no group discussions except in playful, creative mode.
The cognitive pyramid of learning by Williams and Schellenberger, demonstrates how academic learning depends upon a deep and broad set of nervous system functions. Most meaningful learning takes place automatically, well beneath the level of consciousness.
Many years of profound preparation are needed before children and youth will be able to easily and automatically adapt to the style of learning common to modern secondary schools and universities. Unfortunately, 90% of young students never receive the preparation they need, to achieve broad success and competency in the larger world beyond their parents’ homes.
The hierarchy of useful skills by Kokcharov is a useful concept. But it is meant to be applied much earlier in child development than is done in many societies. A large number of “children” reach university without having acquired more than a sprinkling of basic knowledge — the bottom-most layer of the skills hierarchy! One hates to tell the young darlings and their parents that they are starting too late to achieve anything close to their best.
Keep in mind that where the term “knowledge” is used in the above pyramid, non-verbal knowledge will be key during the early years, and will serve as a foundation for later learning. An early mastery of many non-verbal skills will put the child at an early advantage in Dangerous Child training — particularly in areas of movement, art, basic mechanisms and forces, music, and the non-verbal aspects of language.
Very young children should be exposed to a wide range of situations where they must develop problem-solving skills. In fact, besides executive functions (including basic social skills), the love of difficult problem solving is at the top of vital childhood lessons to be learned.
Again, these vital early lessons are largely learned on a non-verbal level, by observing and by doing — and by creatively varying the basic approach.
The image above illustrates development of competence in the field of clinical medicine, for medical students and doctors in training. Going from novice level to the level of mastery requires many years of training. By this time in a person’s education, he is expected to have mastered verbal knowledge acquisition, which involves a great deal of reading, testing — written and verbal — and little by little, practical hands-on skills training. The old saying in medical training is: “See one, do one, teach one.” And in basic terms, that is how medical and surgical skills propagate in training.
But a medical student, resident, or fellow will not reach his optimal levels of competence if he has not built a solid foundation of basic skills, competencies, executive functions, and a love for problem-solving, in his early years. These basic skills and competencies need to be mastered to the point of “conscious automaticity.” More on that seeming contradiction later.
The OODA Loop pictured above was developed by USAF Col. John Boyd, several decades ago. It was used to help fighter pilots to gain the advantage in dogfights against enemy fighters. But over time, it has been seen to be useful in a much wider range of situations.
Here are the four steps:
It is called an “OODA Loop” because it should be running constantly, feeding back into itself at different points, as the situation changes.
But . . . humans should not have to wait until they train to be fighter pilots to learn this basic concept of moment to moment interaction with their environment. We have talked about “situational awareness” and “mindfulness,” but the OODA Loop gives tangible and actionable bones and structure to those verbal concepts, once it is mastered and applied to daily living.
How old do children need to be before they can learn the OODA Loop? If taught properly (nonverbally through play), children as young as 3 can learn to apply the OODA Loop automatically and unconsciously — long before they would be able to learn the concepts verbally. And to be sure, one never knows when his own life may balance on the ability of his child to act automatically with wisdom beyond his years.
More on OODA and John Boyd:
Human reaction time is defined as the time elapsing between the onset of a stimulus and the onset of a response to that stimulus. The O.O.D.A. Loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, is Boyd’s way of explaining how we go through the process of reacting to stimulus. First we Observe, and keep in mind that although we process approximately 80% of the information we receive with our sense of sight, we can and do make observations with our other senses. For instance you might hear a gunshot and not see the person who fired it. Once you look and see the source of the gunfire you are now in the Orient stage of the process. In the Orient stage you are now focusing your attention on what you have just observed. The next step is the Decide step in which you have to make a decision on what to do about what you have just observed and focused your attention on. Finally you have made your decision and the last step is to Act upon that decision. Keep in mind that the O.O.D.A loop is what happens between the onset of a stimulus and the onset of a reaction to that stimulus.
The ideas are there, but the way it is presented above is not truly practical, in action. Going through the OODA Loop step by step in a conscious, “check-list” manner is a good way of getting yourself and others you care about, killed.
Ideally, Observe and Orient should be combined and Decide and Act fused together by practice, so the opponent’s action triggers your automatic reaction, without your needing to decide. Even below such a level of automatization, not having to think about your movements improves your reaction time because reaction time is shorter when set on “signal” than when set on “action.” (For example, if you are in a car stopped at a red light and you are thinking “green,” you will move faster than if you are thinking “green: press the gas pedal.”)
Children will go much farther in life if they are provided with useful and productive strategies along with a broad range of skills, competencies, and real world experiential knowledge of how people, groups, and institutions behave.
The foundations for all of this are built of non-verbal material. Sure, one should always talk to the child on a child-appropriate level (each child is unique). But in the early years, non-verbal forms of communication are much more potent than any semantic meaning of the words themselves. Even the “non-verbal” aspects of language itself exercise far more influence on the young child than the word or phrase meanings: Tone and speed of speech, prosody, speech melody and inflection, as well as facial expressions and body language that accompany the speech.
Dangerous Children master at least 3 different ways of supporting themselves financially by the age of 18. But as we have said, that is the easy part — and only the beginning.