[extropy-chat] ethical issues with children

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Sun Jan 21 08:16:29 UTC 2007

>Another example: I was taught to take good care of my toys.  Now toys
>have become so cheap the local Salvation Army will not even take them
>unless they are new in the original shrink wrap.  Toys are a major
>landfill problem. Production techniques and materials science have given
>us a vision of things to come: really good toys are cheap enough that
>they quickly fill the entire space in my house, very expensive space I
>might add.  I cannot put toys away, for there is no away in my modest
>abode.  All the aways are already crammed full.  So don't worry Isaac
>about taking care of your toys.  But do develop a fondness for *small*

When my sisters and I were living on our boat in the 60s, all of our
toys needed to fit into the hanging orange canvas storage unit above our
bunks with dimension approximately: 2ft-6in-6in (length-width-depth).
That meant that I had room for roughly: one or two barbie dolls, a
stuffed animal, jacks and bouncy balls, one or two decks of cards.

(Strange, I don't remember: where were my books ? They are the largest
volume-filling items in my living space now.)

I don't think that kids _need_ that many toys. I don't remember
'missing' the fact that I did not have many toys. Children have their
imaginations. I do wonder if all of the toys that kids have today are
much more due to the 'nurturing' part of the parents' psyche towards
their children (I know that I would all too easily spoil my kids with
toys.) If the children had no exposure to television, would they really
_want_ or _need_ all of those toys?



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
INAF Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), Roma, ITALIA
Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Tucson

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