Matthew Barnett's Shortform

I've heard a surprising number of people criticize parenting recently using some pretty harsh labels. I've seen people call it a form of "Stockholm syndrome" and a breach of liberty, morally unnecessary etc. This seems kind of weird to me, because it doesn't really match my experience as a child at all.

I do agree that parents can sometimes violate liberty, and so I'd prefer a world where children could break free from their parents without penalties. But I also think that most children genuinely love their parents and so would... (read more)

6cousin_it5moYeah, that's one argument for tradition: it's simply not the pit of misery that its detractors claim it to be. But for parenting in particular, I think I can give an even stronger argument. Children aren't little seeds of goodness that just need to be set free. They are more like little seeds of anything. If you won't shape their values, there's no shortage of other forces in the world that would love to shape your children's values, without having their interests at heart.
2Matthew Barnett5moToddlers, yes. If we're talking about people over the age of say, 8, then it becomes less true. By the time they are a teen, it becomes pretty false. And yet people still say that legal separation at 18 is good. If you are merely making the argument that we should limit their exposure to things that could influence them in harmful directions, then I'd argue that this never stops being a powerful force, including for people well into adulthood and in old age.

Huh? Most 8 year olds can't even make themselves study instead of playing Fortnite, and certainly don't understand the issues with unplanned pregnancies. I'd say 16-18 is about the right age where people can start relying on internal structure instead of external. Many take even longer, and need to join the army or something.

Matthew Barnett's Shortform

by Matthew Barnett 1 min read9th Aug 2019151 comments


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Crossposted from the AI Alignment Forum. May contain more technical jargon than usual.

I intend to use my shortform feed for two purposes:

1. To post thoughts that I think are worth sharing that I can then reference in the future in order to explain some belief or opinion I have.

2. To post half-finished thoughts about the math or computer science thing I'm learning at the moment. These might be slightly boring and for that I apologize.