[SEQ RERUN] Good Idealistic Books are Rare

by MinibearRex1 min read4th Mar 20131 comment


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Today's post, Good Idealistic Books are Rare was originally published on 17 February 2009. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):


Much of our culture is the official view, not the idealistic view.

Discuss the post here (rather than in the comments to the original post).

This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was Cynical About Cynicism, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it here, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to have meta discussions about the Rerunning the Sequences series.

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[-][anonymous]8y -1

why do children enjoy idealism more than cynicism? ... Teenagers who act as if they could still get together with their friends and split off to form their own tribe, enjoy cynicism aimed at current authority figures and idealism aimed at their new tribe.

See the theories of Jean Piaget. Reading-age children are moving from the preoperational stage (2-7) to the concrete operational stage (7-11). The preoperational stage includes magical thinking and egocentrism. The concrete operational stage includes logic and social considerations. The last whisps of magical thinking plus early tones of (rules plus people equal good) make for idealism. The issue is not idealistic books or their lack, which sounds pretty blank-slate-y. The abstract reasoning stage (11-16) includes noticing the difference between is and ought, life and rules, and cynicism is one thing that can follow. So is tribe-starting idealism.