Aesthetics I’d have and stuff I’d do if I had children now. (But that’s years off.) Last updated 2023-01-22.

Communication and aesthetics

Community

  • I’d like to have between 4 and 6 kids
    • Seems like it would be fun. I’m a sibling of two so I didn’t have this much.
    • Also, raising a bunch of kids with my wife would be really hot.
  • Raise them in a colocated community of people that my wife and I look up to.
    • But I also want them to have access to nature, which is almost in conflict with this.
    • Where do such communities exist?
      • Oh, the SF Neighborhood was created explicitly for this reason.
        • Hm, what I want is SF but with much more nature.
  • Put them in situations where they naturally become highly socially intelligent. (And avoid the opposite of this.)
  • Find something better than conventional school?

Time and activities

  • Encourage them to spend their time on positive-sum games, e.g. interactions with the physical world, rather than zero-sum games of power, ranking, and naive prestige.
    • At the same time though, I don’t want anyone to pick the games that they play. I want them to pick their own games— and then they will know that they can always leave any game that they choose to play. (Again, boundaries.) (E.g. don’t impose the games “college admissions!!”/grades/sports/etc. on them.)
    • I think the parenting of the Polgar sisters might have been bad? Chess is a purely artificial game, and that László Polgár chose this and not something of positive-sum value really feels like a cop out. (I haven’t read his book though.)
  • Exercise with them, make it a natural part of their lives
    • stretch with them, encourage them to intuitively maintain their physical flexibility (related blog post coming soon)
    • Pull-up bars are gonna be all over the house. Even my daughters are going to have pull-up strength!
  • Lots lots lots of outdoors
  • pets!!
  • Travel with them?
  • musical aptitude if they want it
  • Teach other languages from a young age, even if not practically necessary
    • From the standpoint of teaching a kid younger than 5, there’s really not much else that they can do except memorize, so might as well use that to teach them languages.
  • Teach them to read from a young age
    • cf Anki guy. note to self: add this
    • Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger did this with his child
  • Avoid superstimuli (e.g. electronics? uhh)?

A lot of the above breaks with the current pace of AI progress though, so I dunno.

Health

I also want my children to be as healthy as possible, and I have some unusual views on how to go about this. Mainly, I have strong naturalistic priors.

Final notes

One counterargument to the efficacy deliberate parenting comes in the form of twin studies which are used to conclude that parenting strategies are usually/mostly insignificant in the development of children. IMO: Eh. While I believe almost every parent tries extremely hard to provide for their children on the object level, I don’t think almost any trying to deviate and create a perfect environment from first principles. Moreover, variance of parenting interventions doesn’t seem particularly high where I grew up, and in that case it’s totally expected that variance of parenting outcomes wouldn’t be high either— but that doesn’t mean that deliberate and unusual efforts can’t cause outstanding results.

contact me, chris@chrislakin.com

To do

  • Find my wife
  • Get rich

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