Gamma wants to write an awesome book for kids. It should contain things that are useful and entertaining. One idea we have is “how to win an argument”, which I suppose will contain tips on dismantling the fallacies in an opponent’s argument but also on fighting dirty.

I have already posed this question on my Twitter thing in a Tweet, but wanted to ask again here, since more useful ideas for useful and entertaining things for kids to put in the book would be helpful:

  • what did you learn as a kid (not in school) that was extremely helpful to you?
  • What did you learn later that would ahve been extremely helpful had you learned it as a kid?
  • What have you still not learned that you wish you had?
  • What misconception that you had as a kid was it really helpful to have cleared up?

Helpful in any sense of the word.

Posting answers here constitutes permission to use them as inspiration for said theoretical book.

6 responses to “Learning

  1. anne

    I am not sure when I learned these things, but it seems to me that more of my life would have gone better if I had known them all along:

    It is okay to stop reading a book you do not like. You do not owe it to the book to finish and it will not hurt the book’s feelings.

    It is often easier to just learn something than to think of reasons why you do not want to.

    Watergate did not, after all, involve Richard Nixon opening a gate to a dam and flooding out an entire village or anything.

    If I think of more I will let you know.

  2. This sounds obvious, probably, but how about the one that goes “You don’t HAVE to do it just because everyone else you know is doing it.” This applies to a great many things, but when I say it now I’m referring to reading the books in the Twilight series. I’m in my late 20’s, and all my late-20’s/early 30’s friends were reading these books and obsessing over them. Me, I say vampires do not “sparkle” in the sunlight (they burst into freaking flames, damn it!), but I finally gave in to all their nagging and read all four books in one weekend. That’s a weekend I’ll never get back, and the books were SO not worth it…
    Another good one is “Your parents are not as dumb as you think they are.” And no, they didn’t pay me to say that… it’s just that most of the stuff they told me when I was a teenager that I thought was completely retarded turned out to be true several years later.

  3. 1. Dishonest and/or ill-informed people are uncomfortable when you look them in the eyes. I learned that from a “friend” who told all the boys in our second grade class that I loved them.
    2. That I was not as smart as my parents led me to believe. I would have tried harder and listened with more grace.
    3.Patience. Applied to all sorts of situations. Debates. Predator/Prey situations.
    4. That “adults” were cool. I was in such a hurry to be one. Then I became one and was momentarily a tremendous disappointment to myself. Eventually, I realized, I had been sold a bill of goods. Whew! What a relief!

  4. Trish

    Girls are rewarded for ‘neat and tidy’ diligent work at school. I wish I’d realised sooner that neat and tidy diligence is usually for the benefit and convenience of the teacher. If I had learned this sooner, I would have kicked more butt out of school, and taken more risks.

  5. I didn’t learn this until WAY later than childhood, but everyone always said it to me when I was a child:

    “It doesn’t matter what other people think.”

    Of course, it’s all very subtle. It does and it doesn’t matter. But when I was young, I cared about what certain people thought about me, and it truly didn’t matter. Meanwhile, I couldn’t give two shits about what people who *did* matter, like, say, my parents, thought about me. Later, I realized my mistake.

    These days, I don’t realize that I am making a huge mistake by not caring what certain people think, while constantly sweating the impression others are gaining of me due to my appearance, expressions and actions.

  6. Ian

    Boys are rewarded for taking Ritalin at school. I wish I’d realised sooner that taking Ritalin is usually for the benefit and convenience of the teacher. If I had learned this sooner, I would have kicked more butt out of school, and taken more risks.