Re: Raising kids [was Re: Freedom or death? ]

Paul G. Bassett (pbassett@hermes.Netron.COM)
Wed, 20 Aug 1997 23:30:08 -0400 wrote:

> I'm not sure how saying 'some sort of parenting will always be necessary' is
> any more scientific than saying it won't be. Especially on the grounds that
> 'nothing's perfect'. A need for parenting or no need for parenting can both
> be considered as 'utopian illusions' depending on your own brand of utopia.
> Such environments could be considered as artificial meta-parents, couldn't
> they?
> --Wax
My prediction is at least falsifiable -- Wax in fact claims to have seen
counter-examples, which if confirmed, would indeed falsify it.

The issue is how to minimize the disasters stemming frome immature
judgements, when more mature judgements can intervene to avoid/lessen
them. Whether you call it parenting or whatever, I believe any
(post-human) family or society strives to operate in a manner that is
more efficient than trial-and-error learning from one's mistakes --
natural selection is a literally ignorant and very wasteful technique.

The word "environment" usually connotes an externality relative to some
system (e.g. a family or a post-human society), and hence it is not
constrained by the rules by which the system operates. Thus environments
could not function as (meta)parents for entities within the system. I
think of systems that try to protect themselves from disasters as
pragmatic, hardly utopian.