[ExI] toys rewiring kids' brains

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Dec 26 17:59:14 UTC 2012

On 2012-12-26 17:37, spike wrote:
>> ...As for rewiring children's brains, that is a topic that might be worth
> looking at. What mental skills can we teach the little ones? Maybe we should
> introduce them to cognitive biases or inductive proofs early?
> Teach them memory arts? -- Anders Sandberg
> I am working with Isaac on math skills.  He mastered the entire elementary
> school arithmetic curriculum (he is currently in the middle of his first
> grade year.)  So last week I got him a pre-algebra book.  He loves it.
> Anders, Isaac has fond memories of your visits.  {8-]  That boy has a bright
> future indeed.

When my niece told us that she had been taught the two's multiplication 
table and proudly rattled it off her dad (being a computer engineer) 
said: "Yes, but the *real* table for two is 2,4,8,16,32,64,...!"

At least hinting that there are things beyond +-*/ is useful, as well as 
telling kids about commutativity and inverses. Symmetry is also good to 
know about.

I am also happy with her engineering in Minecraft. Kids should build 
railways and water slides. And it is less messy to do it there than in 
the garden.

Another domain that might be good to tell kids about is mental 
techniques: just knowing that there are tricks to calm down or control 
one's emotions is useful.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford University

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