>From: "Bryan Moss" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: Aid to children
>Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 12:56:37 +0100
>Phil Osborn wrote:
> > Not quite what I had in mind. What reasonable court would recognize a
> > contract signed by a six-year-old? Obviously, for a contract to be
> > the signatories have to be capable of understanding the terms.
>Exactly, which is why I call it slavery. Kids as property.
> > On the other hand, our hypothetical mutual fund local agent would tend
> > know who the responsible families were in the area, and the family would
> > be drawn into the contract, I'm sure, in most cases. This might involve
> > some kind of backing or commitment from the family in the early stage,
> > when there would be a lot more kids than money or investors, but as
> > competition for the kids increased, the deals would get better, until
> > family might itself be offered a signup bonus, and the parents, extended
> > family, etc., made general fund members, paid in shares. Many
> > that would bring the maximum incentive to bear on the family come to
>Parents are the weak link in our chain; we need to remove them as early as
>possible and replace them with someone who has a genuine (economic)
>in the child. To begin with the best we can do is offer good money for
>children, soon after we might contract women to give birth to wholely owned
>children, and eventually we would grow them in labs (or farm them if you're
>looking for an appropriate visual image). I want child welfare to be an
>systematic process of our economy without interference by parents who
>more than dividends.
> > The local data and expertise is fairly crucial, as the micro-loans
> > suggests, as is collective responsibility. The kid could not be forced
> > honor the contract later on, but it would probably be very much in his
> > interest to do so, as his share value would be a bankable asset in
> > loans or future investments. He would no more be likely in most cases
> > disallow the original contract than any corporation would be to
> > commit suicide and let the share prices go to zero.
>I would suggest that the child can be forced but it would, in most
>circumstances, not be in the best interest of the share holders.
> > To extend the range of discussion just a bit, one of the major problems
> > with our society and most world societies is the utter failure to bring
> > the family into the 20th Century, or even the 19th Century, much less
> > 21st. Families used to be economic units. Parents invested in children
> > and expected a return - i.e., care in old age. That gave them a major
> > incentive to have healthy, smart, productive, responsible kids. When
> > industrial revolution caused the breakdown of that economic unit, the
> > incentives were also largely lost.
>While I agree that child welfare and education should be in the form of
>economic units I think the current family model is too restrictive. I
>like to see room for more exotic methods of parenting. I recently read an
>article by Judith Rich Harris at Edge.org that stated that children are not
>conditioned by their parents but by their peers. While this confirms my
>beliefs I do not think the conclusion - that children are genetically
>inclined to learn from peers - is true. In my opinion the family unit is
>not rich enough to support the intellectual growth of a child. If I am
>wrong and the family unit just happens to be the most wonderful environment
>possible for children then it will gain economic favour.
> > [...]
>The rest of your post I agree with entirely.
While I agree that there are perhaps alternative arrangements to the family that might be just as effective - or even more so, the fact is that we're not going to change that factor en masse before the Singularity overtakes us. On the other hand, there is time - probably at least 30 years - to reduce the pre-singulartiy dangers of 3rd World instabilities combined with hi-tech, as well as to recover a lot of the currently lost brainpower. Simple solutions are what I look for. There's that one guy who was written up in the L.A. Times who has been single-handedly introducing money cards into country after country in deepest, darkest central Africa. He's doing a booming business as the local currencies are merely a tool for the state parasites to manipulate in most cases. Now the common man has a store of value he or she can count on.
Or there was the cheap gas-powered plow that one of the Thai kings developed that took over like wild fire. Or the cheap one-lunger engine that can be recarburated to run on virtually anything and can be connected to pumps, generators, lathes, etc. that's selling like crazy all over Africa in the isolated villages.