Make it harder

in Self Improvement9 months ago

Smallsteps is spending a few hours each day this weekend so that we can get a little bit more of the renovation work done, as it is hard for us both to work simultaneously when she is with us. However, she doesn't go until lunch time and tends to get up around 6am, so we have a few hours to play together or, she plays by herself if she chooses.

She chose to play Twister alone this morning.

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But, she and I play a little word game when she is having breakfast, that she enjoys. I describe the attributes of something and she tries to guess it. I start off with very easy clues like, "This animal has black and white stripes" and she demands I make it harder. I then make the tips a little more obscure or reverse the order so that she has to think more and take a couple of guesses.

She lives these kinds of games, laughs a lot it is a great way to spend the time eating. She also makes up her own games as well, which are generally unwinnable. Like the, "guess what I am going to eat next off my plate" game, where no matter what I choose, she will choose something else.

It is funny, as I think this may be common for kids, but one of my older brothers was renowned for this game, where he would ask, "what colour does a blue mouse turn when run over by a yellow steamroller?" any colour chosen was going to be wrong.

It is an interesting game really as the kids have to factor in various aspects as well as think about the consequences of their decisions, although no punishment is involved. Even though there are no prizes, there is still a sense of winning and losing and at least for Smallsteps, she occasionally let's me win with words of encouragement, "Good work, Daddy!"

I wonder if it is to keep me playing - Game theory.

We play a lot of these kinds of games with Smallsteps as not only does she enjoy them, they drive active thought and perhaps a little critical thinking along the way. If she spent her time on a screen watching Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol, there is very little thought required and it is far more passive, as everything the child needs is delivered, including the answers to any questions. I think that if there is only this kind of stimulus, it can create a habitual process of being told or waiting for the answers, rather than searching for the answers. This means mental reliance on an external source, which will drive decision making with very little active and critical internal deliberation.

While I might think too much about this stuff, I believe we are at an unprecedented level of passive consumption and it is being introduced from pretty much birth, in the brain's most active growth period and the time that builds the foundations of personality and thought strategies. I think that while many will discount this as changing culture, it is going to have fundamental impacts on how we behave, some of which we are seeing now, with the rise of victimhood. If one has no ability to control circumstance and find solutions to issues, one must be a victim of circumstance - right?

One obvious example of this is bullying, as a bully will generally target someone considerably weaker than themselves. Looking at just the physical aspect, what is the likelihood of a large, strong child being physically bullied by a smaller, weaker child? But, physical is only one part and a part that is generally reduced as we age, to be replaced by the importance of mental and emotional strength and weakness. It doesn't matter how physically capable a person may be, feeling themselves to be victims of circumstance is unlikely going to lead to a healthy emotional quality of life and will probably impact on a whole range of outcomes, as emotion is a keystone factor in pretty much every aspect of our lives.

It could be that the effort my family put into being relatively analogue in the way we live together, doesn't amount to much. But I also don't see it being harmful, as the skills needed to be a passive consumer can be picked up at anytime, as many of those around my age have managed, considering I was 16 when I got my first PC and 30ish when I got my first smartphone.

If there is a harm, I think it will be in having the critical outlook that will recognize the problems of the world, which can be terrible, unless one also has some ability to work toward a solution of some kind, even if it is in a narrow field. A lot of life's satisfaction comes from being able to create something, but I wonder what happens to this when the average person in 20 years from now has been raised from birth to consume instead.

We can look to the past as an I dictator of the future, but one of the problems now is that the technology we are advancing is going to act in increasing difficulty and ways that are opaque to out view, let alone our understanding. The AIs will be black boxes wither physically or, as they behave in ways we can no longer grasp as humans.

Maybe future life will be better as a consumer who is fed the world view and a directed narrative of what life should be. But, that is something anyone can be and do, meaning the skill of consumption is a low-value ticket item - but what about the skill of creation?

I don't know, but Smallsteps and I have a lot of fun making and playing games together. It is hard to not rely on screens at times, but life itself is increasing in difficulty in many ways, so making it harder whilst having fun seems not a bad way to move forward.

Taraz
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Well my two cousins currently are growing up as I pod kids. They come home from school where they have trouble to concentrate, drop down their bags and stuff and the first thing they do is run to get their I pods and stare at brainless videos on Youtube about people playing silly challenges and throwing food around. Which is the level of entertainment most content creators create there. They do the same when with their parents around, because then the kids don't bother them doing their stuff. I believe that is not only them, but most kids of this generation. Maybe things change when they get older. But only time will tell. Or perhaps, everyone of them will grow up to be the "influencers" and do the same shit different day all the time while world falls apart around them.

But, she and I play a little word game when she is having breakfast, that she enjoys.

I decided to experiment with my son. The second hour has already passed since he plays it, alternately first with me, then with his wife.

It is a bit of fun, isn't it? I think that if these kinds of games are played often, it can not only strengthen language skills, but also help build better communication in general.

Thanks for a great new game.

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"considering I was 16 when I got my first PC and 30ish when I got my first smartphone."

Not such a good thing using hive blog because it works. PeakD is completely broken for me right now. This post doesn't show up at all on PeakD for me.

Anyway, we can't wish for our children to have our life style because once the genie is out of the bottle it can't go back in. I think you are on the right road by encouraging mental exercise and acuity. I worry that will become so unusual as to be striking for individuals.

It's a scary time, but maybe they all have been. "I worry that our children will all be killed by automobiles" might have been a thing.

Not such a good thing using hive blog because it works. PeakD is completely broken for me right now. This post doesn't show up at all on PeakD for me.

Yep, I am pretty sure it is a node issue. If you go to settings on Peakd, you can change the node to something else (try hive.blog) and it should fix the problem. There are obviously some issues with what they moved onto the Hivemind repository.

I think you are on the right road by encouraging mental exercise and acuity. I worry that will become so unusual as to be striking for individuals.

I envisage about 20% of the population to have the potential to work at something valuable in the next 3 decades or so, I hope to have Smallsteps have the option. I think a lot of children are going to be ruled out today.

It's a scary time, but maybe they all have been. "I worry that our children will all be killed by automobiles" might have been a thing.

Yes. I think there is a difference though, as a car is something quite physical and obvious - what is hitting us now is invisible and alters the way we behave in a way that makes us believe we are making our own decisions, while fulfilling the act the algorithm has primed for.

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While I might think too much about this stuff, I believe we are at an unprecedented level of passive consumption and it is being introduced from pretty much birth, in the brain's most active growth period and the time that builds the foundations of personality and thought strategies. I think that while many will discount this as changing culture, it is going to have fundamental impacts on how we behave, some of which we are seeing now, with the rise of victimhood. If one has no ability to control circumstance and find solutions to issues, one must be a victim of circumstance - right?

@tarazkp, Why do you think passive consumers are not good? So, do you think you are a creative consumer? What is the difference between passive and creative consumers?

Does being a creative consumer mean being like Bill Gates in the end?

Passive consumers are great - as they consume the stuff the creators produce. "cash cows".

Well a passive consumer consumes only. A creative consumer also generates value, something that can be consumed. People who move to consumer only will become useless as anything other than a mouth to feed.

Does being a creative consumer mean being like Bill Gates in the end?

What do you mean - rich?

Probably not. But, one can have a pretty good quality of life. If we look at the hierarchy of needs as a model of some kind, self-actualization is at the top. Most people aren't even getting close and we can see it in the world today how few of those points are being adequately met.

Passive consumers are great - as they consume the stuff the creators produce. "cash cows".

Well a passive consumer consumes only. A creative consumer also generates value, something that can be consumed. People who move to consumer only will become useless as anything other than a mouth to feed.

@tarazkp, I agree with you!

What do you mean - rich?

Yes, Currently, Koreans believe that they should be rich like Bill Gates.
Of course you will be against Bill Gates.

Probably not. But, one can have a pretty good quality of life. If we look at the hierarchy of needs as a model of some kind, self-actualization is at the top. Most people aren't even getting close and we can see it in the world today how few of those points are being adequately met.

Sorry, With my current English ability, it is difficult to understand your words.😅

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This summarizes why I don't believe that UBI will succeed. UBI, in this current society and economic inequality, will only further amplify the division because the filthy rich ones will be the ones who take risks and open new ventures. While on a very small ultra-local level a very limited number - most likely again those who already have saved a little more - will start the micro-ventures.

And the rest, they will consume and rather sooner than later will end up in drone employment again to consume more.

I think UBI could be a solution but only if it's a knowing opt-in, not a universal system. The latter will just make the current worse in the future.

UNI is a at best, a stop-gap measure, but I have the same projection as you with it. What it does do is keeps the consumer cycle running just that little bit longer though.

I have written about both sides of it, and there are many pros, but only if it is combined with a paradigm shift, which I don't think will happen universally enough.

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I took game theory classes when attending college and it was one of the areas I liked the most but when Albert (our son) was still a baby, I was concerned about the time he would spend playing in front of the computer or the game console (cellphones were not "smart" yet) by the time he would grow up. Although too many hours of gaming are not recommended, the lessons you learn while playing on the computer are much better than just spending time in front of the tv consuming passively.
I ended up buying and reading this book which helped me understand all the benefits of gaming back then.

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There are benefits to gaming, but there is also a law of diminishing returns involved - but the games and society don't seem to encourage finding the balance, as the games we play (not just PC - but also the social gamified experience) know us and our weaknesses far better than we know ourselves. This means it can squeeze and drain us before we even notice how parched our mouth is. There is also the opportunity cost, where even though there can be benefit in the games, there may be more benefit doing something else. '

I work with companies and occasionally take part in hiring process, as well as training new employees. Gotta say, I am not overly impressed by a lot of the gaming generations :D

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De tu post me gusta la parte que indicas “la satisfacción de la vida proviene de poder crear algo”, es cierto y que esa acción mejoro en lo personal y en su entorno, en mi concepto es siempre sumar todos los días de nuestras vidas. Feliz domingo, saludos desde Venezuela

hi, thanks for your comment. It is quite hard to comment back since I don't speak Spanish, but perhaps you might want to translate it before posting, or include a translation in the comment.

Siempre a la orden saludos desde Venezuela

One of the criticisms made of parents today is that they make life easier for their children. With the motto of "I don't want him to live the same life I lived", they may be taking away some of their children's skills. In fact, the use and abuse of the Internet at an early age can be harmful if there is no control (the child withdraws socially, for example). I believe that a good way to encourage creativity in children is through play. At certain ages, children begin not only to recognize their reality (when they draw), but to transform it, for example when they draw that they are going to the moon or that the dog is talking to them. Smallsteps is a very awake and loving girl. The fact that she challenges herself is an indication that you are doing very well. A good Sunday, @tarazkp

A lot of parents seem to have softened life at home for kids, whilst simultaneously removing barriers outside of the home. Very little is asked of children in regards to taking responsibility, and then people wonder why they don't grow up.

I am happy to see parents engaging with their children, although, I know you always have. I was anti television/ device with my kids when they were young and although I did relinquish by using them for educational learning programs, the mental gymnastics was more my thing.

Then somebody asked me if I thought they would be left behind in this world, without those skills. I can assure you, they are anything but behind. Word games, critical thinking, all kinds of mental math and just engaging with the kids are beneficial.

It is hard to balance it all, but, I am watching you do it wonderfully. Okay... Which fruit will I eat next?

!tip

Then somebody asked me if I thought they would be left behind in this world, without those skills. I can assure you, they are anything but behind.

It is funny, that people think that consumption is a skill :D

We started letting her watch some children's concerts, but she gets bored after 20 minutes and would rather do something active.

Yes!!! That's what happens with an inquiring mind.

I think your daughter loves her dad very much :) My daughters and I loved to play the game of "words" when we go on the bus)

she loves me at times, loves her mum always :)

The bus and travel in general is a great place to play games. we have one where we choose a colour or a letter, and she tries to find one along the way.

considering I was 16 when I got my first PC and 30ish when I got my first smartphone.

Cool! then, not so bad after all eh? :D

Smartphones

I was always a fan of the mod 99

Haha yeah, she also had her own smart version of the shoe phone model you know?

Did you never dared to ring her?

De tu post me gusta la parte que indicas “la satisfacción de la vida proviene de poder crear algo”, es cierto y que esa acción mejoro en lo personal y en su entorno, en mi concepto es siempre sumar todos los días de nuestras vidas. Feliz domingo, saludos desde Venezuela

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"what colour does a blue mouse turn when run over by a yellow steamroller?"

I don't know the answer to that question, but I know I will never turn green with envy of the blue mouses life, or the steemrollers life.

Well, if a blue mouse has been run over by a yellow steamroller...

The blue mouse should stay blue all the time. Because...

a) The fact that the color of the steamroller is yellow doesn't mean that it will dye or paint the mouse of the same color. 🤔

b) Well, unless that the steamroller is in fact soaked with yellow paint and then the blue mouse eventually would acquire a handsomely flat yellow dyed tone. :D

Ah the fun part of the silly questions statements. The steamroller would flatten the mouse, unless it was mighty mouse. Now if the steamroller is paving the yellow brick road, would not the man behind the green curtain be able to fix the blue mouse like he fixed the tin man and the straw man and the cowardly lion?

Oh! well, in that case, then... I suppose it all is gonna depend on whether if the blue mouse is wired or wireless. Hahahaha ;)

Technically, the mouse would become quite red :D

Are you sure about that? because technically I have never seen a blue mouse so it might have yellow blood.

My older brothers once painted a lizard blue - so it wouldn't sneak up on them. My mother made them wash it :D

Those games reminded me a lot of my son, I think it is so cool that she asked you to make it more difficult for her. Me and my son played word games like that. At first it was something simple, I described an object in the room and he had to guess it, then it became more difficult, describing anything in the world, even abstract concepts and he had to guess. We always ended laughing a lot.

I think it's fun to play your own games with kids. To interact. To emotionally engage. It is far much healthier on the long run than leaving them alone with their plastic bricks aka phones