Re: Are there smartdrugs?

Cynthia (
Wed, 13 Oct 1999 22:06:31 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> > I also think it is a problem that child bearing, child rearing is
> > considered to be a low status occupation.
> > ...
> > Give a child to a mother of normal intelligence who swears up and down
> > that she does want a baby. And 9 out of 10 of them will raise happy
> > healthy children.
> > But you give a child to a mother with an IQ of 80, who thinks that having
> > a kid is really cool. And everyone who sees the situation will shake
> > their head and say 'that poor unwanted child'.
> There's a little too much intellectual snobbery there for my tastes.

Actually, I occasionally watch Cops and Talk Shows, just to get in touch with lower fringes of society. And it is just heartbreaking. There are people out there who are so appallingly stupid that it is scary. And I can see why they are often unemployable. And if they can't be trusted to perform a menial job, can they really be qualify as even mediocre parents?

> Intelligence is a good thing, but there are personality traits I admire
> more, like honesty and courage, and which are just as likely to result
> in successful child rearing.

If a women has an IQ of 80 but has a good heart, she can probably find a job or get a husband. Then I don't have a big problem with her having kids.

> As Judith Harris argues eloquently in
> "The Nurture Assumption", a mediocre parent is just as likely to be
> successful as a talented one. It really takes serious abuse to screw
> up a kid for life.

I am familiar with the book, and pretty much agree with it. But I am not talking about average / mediocre people here. I am talking about people who are one or two standard deviations below that. I sincerely believe that in many cases it is child abuse.

> "Child care" is certainly important, but it really
> shouldn't be a high-status high-paid job because it doesn't need to be.

I am inclined to believe that people stress out because they think they aren't 'responsible' enough to be a parent. When kids are very resilient, and often end up taking care of their parents.

> This suggests some different models of how to raise successful kids.

> As much as our society might look down upon the practice of wealthy
> parents dumping their kids on underpaid nannies, that model really
> does make good economic sense: invest in good genes, then hire
> adequate care for the kids while you're off doing something better
> suited to your talents.

Basically, that is what we are doing now. Maybe the home schoolers are on to something.

> Another model is for the IQ 80 mom: find a
> guy with good genes to fool around with, and invest your time (and
> that of your husband if any) in caring for the child while the stud
> with good genes goes on to spread them elsewhere.
> I personally couldn't imagine not raising my own kids hands-on.
> But maybe that's not such a waste of talent for an unambitious
> philosopher who's not going to set the world on fire anyway.

I am just a programmer, and it is just high paid grunt work.