Should we eliminate childhood?

Discuss the evolution of human culture, economics and politics in the decades and centuries ahead
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Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by funkervogt »

Child prodigies, like this girl who got into Mensa at the age of 2, show us what could be possible for all humans someday through genetic and biological engineering: ... index.html

The world would reap major benefits if people learned so fast that they could start college by age 10 and start contributing advanced skills to the workforce in their teen years. Less money would have to be devoted to childcare and schools, and people would spend larger fractions of their lifespans being productive. But would it be worth it? Much of the innocence of childhood and all the personal memories that go with it, and its inspiring effects on adults who witness it, would be lost. After being born, people would only be "kids" for a handful of years before turning into "small adults."
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by Ken_J »

productivity is a terrible measure on which to define how a human life should be portioned out.

productivity and efficiency are how you weigh the value of tools and technologies. If you are measuring people as though they are tools the problem isn't their inefficiency or lack of productivity, it's you and the mindset that people only matter if they are useful to you and your goals.
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by weatheriscool »

Hell no, playing around, love and family are all more important then productivity.

I'd go as far as to suggest that if we can have robots do the productivity that would allow for more fun, more childhood and more love. OF course, personal achievement is good also but that can be fit into the extra time. ;)
Set and Meet Goals
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by Set and Meet Goals »

By the time childhood can be skipped productivity by humans will be rendered irrelevant by AI.

I wouldn't want to take away someone's childhood.
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by Jakob »

That's impossible, only time can confer maturity and life experience.
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by Yuli Ban »

I have so many feelings on this, but the chief one follows Set and Meet Goals' point:
By the time we even could eliminate childhood, there'd be no point. Just about any topic that involves human society or biology is rendered redundant by AI and robotics.

Which leads into my second point: barring posthumans, the average person of 2121 AD is probably going to live a life of such machine-curated luxury as to be superior to that of the great emperors of old.

Wouldn't this serve the exact opposite purpose? Wouldn't childhood instead be extended?

In fact, you see this already with plenty of people, especially those on the spectrum. The stereotypical "Millennial". Well, there are multiple Millennial stereotypes, but the one I'm referring to is the Millennial Manchild. You know their kind: they watch, read, and play almost exclusively things that are aimed at children, hold Disneyland as some modern mecca, think of Harry Potter and other children's books as high literature, and regard "adult" storytelling as either boring, irrelevant, or nonexistent in lieu of strawmen (e.g. "adult shows are all sports, reality TV, boring soap operas, or edgy gorefests"). They're 30 going on 10 and dwell almost exclusively in nostalgia for their childhood. If they had the opportunity, they'd gladly be turned back into children again. Heck, you might think they want to be kids with the benefits of adulthood, but I've noticed plenty (again, especially on the spectrum) who genuinely want to be kids again even with all the limitations that come with it. Even though it'd mean going back to school and doing homework and not being taken seriously by grown-ups and always listening to Mommy and Daddy— as long as they're kids indefinitely. I guess if you have an indefinite lifespan and magical technology, it's something, and an eternal childhood in a loving family isn't necessarily a bad choice, though I can think of better.

More well-adjusted people are the ones who'd love to be "grown children," so they get all the benefits of extreme youth and childlike wonder with adult intelligence and social awareness, but they still do want to be younger. This is a growing trend.

I believe I mentioned years ago a phenomenon to come, a coming outgrowth of the NEET and hikkikomori known as "katoikidia": those who are shut-ins and have every need or want tended to by automation. Something I myself wouldn't mind being, in all honesty. But I'm not the biggest fan of being a little kid again. Sad thing is, I'm probably rare in that regard. Just as rare as my technosexual interests not being rooted in inceldom.
My point with this is: when these katoikidia, these "house pets," become a regular thing in society, we're going to see a mass regression to childhood among adults. Not among all of them, probably not even among half or a third of them (because the allure of eternal sex and hedonism is far more enticing to people than eternal childhood), but enough to be a sizable population to render this thought experiment moot. We'd just end childhood amongst children only for adults to subsist in it for the rest of their existence. Why bother?

No one other than technocratic totalitarians, deeply and profoundly sociopathic libertarians/anarcho-capitalists, and the stereotypical emotionless Transhumanist who has no understanding of humanity want to end childhood for the sake of productivity.
And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future
Edward Muniz
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Re: Should we eliminate childhood?

Post by Edward Muniz »

I think we should eliminate adulthood. :)
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