Thanks for sharing this! That's a beautiful anecdote. When I worked as a teacher, I would let the 6-year-olds give me questions and we'd investigate them together; we covered some pretty advanced topics: evolutionary theory, the basics of Newtonian mechanics, electricity, the atomic theory etc. The kids and parents loved it but I ended up on collision course with the some of the other teachers.
Also, I've taught my five year old a second langauge through immersion - which feels like a free lunch. Just show films in the other language, and speak it at home every other day, then get some friends in the language, and voila, you never have to struggle with that. She now does this on her own, trying to learn English this way by restructuring her environment.
Re: Europe. This fits with my understanding of the wealth elite in Sweden. Sweden, surprisingly, has a very high wealth concentration, with a few dynasties controlling a large part of the banking and industry sector. However, most wildly successful individual companies - HM, IKEA, Ericsson, etc - where started by ppl in middle or lower classes. HM founders father owned a store in a small Swedish town. IKEA and Ericsson both grew up poor. Ericsson worked building railways starting age 12.
I like your rigor - I feel too time-contained to be this systematic when I think about how to raise my kids. I would love to know how you would approach that decision - what data you would look at. And if you have kids, or know how you would raise them, I would love to know how you approach it, too. Especially the parts that contradict the patterns I noted in the sample in my essay.
So what I have done is altogether to rough to answer this question. But from my sample (which is basically me writing down about 30 names I can think of as exceptional and then looking at their bio), tutoring seems to have played an important part for at least 70 percent. By which I mean, they got at least an hour a day of formal tutoring from someone skilled at it. I think that is more than average.
Tutoring is not as universal as just having really smart people around to talk to, though. That is nearly universal in my sample, and is surely less common among unsuccessful people.
That is not the same setup. That purposal has a global karma score, ours is personal. The system we evolved EigenKarma from worked like that, and EigenKarma can be used like that if you want to. I don't see why decoupling the scores on your posts from your karma is a particularly big problem. I'm not particularly interested in the sum of upvotes: it is whatever information can be wrangled out of that which is interesting.
I agree. It doesn't really matter the medium you use to curate your milieu. Some used letters. Most did in person. Today the internet will be a crucial tool, especially since it greatly scales the avaliability of good milieus.
Where I live, for example, there are few interesting people around. But I have been able to cultivate a strong network online, and I can give my children access to that - much like how Woolf's father would invite his friends to dinner and talk with and in front of the kids.
Also, since a few people somewhere else in the comments have pointed out that some of the tricks they did seem stupid, for example talking latin - I must say that I find that to be an obviously good idea. Today, it would be English, rather than latin, but making sure that your kids are fluent in the lingua franca greatly increases the number of interesting people they can observe and interact with.
You can use EigenKarma in several ways. If it is important to make clear what a specific community pays attention to, when thing to do is this:
It is an open question to me how correlated user writing good posts (or doing other type of valuable work) and their tendency to signal boost bad things (like stupid memes). My personal experience is that there is a strong correlation between what people consume and what they produce - if I see someone signal boost low quality information, I take that as a sign of unsound epistemic practices, and will generally take care to reduce their visibility. (On Twitter, for example, I would unfollow them.)
There are ways to make EigenKarma more finegrained so you can hand out different types of upvotes, too. Which can be used to decouple things. On the dev discord, we are experimenting with giving upvotes flavors, so you can finetune what it is the thing you upvoted made you trust more about the person (is it their skill as a dev? is it their capacity to do research?). Figuring out the design for this, and if it is to complicated, is an open question right now in my mind.
The first is a point we think a lot about. What is the correlation between what people upvote and what they trust? How does that change when the mechanism changes? And how do you properly signal what it is you trust? And how should that transfer over to other things? Hopefully, the mechanism can be kept simple - but there are ways to tweak it and to introduce more nuance, if that turns out to make it more powerful for users.
On the second point, I'm not sure gaming something like EigenKarma would in most cases be a bad thing. If you want to game the trust graph in such a way that I trust you more - then you have to do things that are trustworthy and valuable, as judged by me or whoever you are trying to game. There is a risk of course that you would try to fool me into trusting you and then exploit me - but I'm not sure EigenKarma significantly increases the risk of that, nor do I have the imagination to figure out what it would mean in practice on the forum here for example.
Just immersion. I did some Duolingo for myself so I would be able to speak some to her, but the rest was just letting her see films in the language like 2-3 hrs a week for two years. Then we found her friends who spoke the language - let her play with them for like 100 hrs. Now she's pretty fluent, at the level of a native kid a year younger than her or so.