Extropian Kids

Rick Knight (rknight@platinum.com)
Sat, 23 Aug 97 13:15:58 CST

As a relatively intelligent person with a sensitive personality and a
puny physique growing up, I empathize with those who had to endure
cruelty from other children in schoolyard situations. Either you were
met with admonition from teachers to toughen up or you were
mollycoddled by them (making things worse).

With the advent of two-way fiber optic telecommunications, I think it
would behoove us to start forming small collectives. Not every parent
wishes to work outside the house and there are certainly a number of
adults with a desire to instruct and assist young minds as they grow.

Wouldn't it be grand if we could have small neighborhood home schools
with maybe six kids using the TV, PC, even the Nintendo as interactive
tools to get information? As laptops become more the norm, it could
become as common a school supply as a compass or ruler (over
simplification alert, I know). I'm speaking of those parents with the
capability of organizing such groups. It compels us to personalize
education, get along better with one another, negotiate disputes not
only between children's conflicts but parents. We tend to have such a
"take our toys and go home" attitude in this culture when we don't get
our way. The art of comprimise is woefully lacking.

Even as an adult, my desire to learn is greatly stimulated by the
information becoming more and more available on the Internet. In the
mind of a conscientious child, how much more would that desire be

There are all kinds of negative factors to discuss along with this:
the dysfunctional child that doesn't respond to reason or discipline,
the inequality that stems from those in a class with access to hi-tech
and those in the poorer classes that don't. But as far as
Extropian-minded individuals and their children, I think banding
together and forming small educational groups for their kids would be
a good start towards taking back control of education, which at least
in the public sector, seems to be very mismanaged, disoriented by
crime and social dysfunction and poorly funded.