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Mason Hartman @webdevMason
, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I think a lot about why so few people have a fundamental intellectual aliveness, a NEED to make stuff, the proclivity to stop talking & actually go poke the thing to understand how it works

Pretty sure we hone it through play, and this is how we kill it…
Left to their own devices, the kids bubbling over with ideas & chomping at the bit to go play would be the natural leaders. We've placed them in a highly restrictive environment and artificially adjusted their social hierarchies to favor obedience, stillness, & indifferent focus.
It's hard to fully grok how terrible this is. As adults, we're on an endless search to find *anything* as compelling or enjoyable as the things we built & discovered as kids. I really suspect that the spark has been forcibly removed. It's stubborn, but social punishment is strong
When I was a kid, the cage doors slid open around 3pm, and there was still some chance to form organic kid society on the streets and in the woods behind our houses. Now it's all play dates, extracurriculars, tutors, endless homework. The children are safe & kid society is dead.
The natural leaders, the kids with boundless energy + creativity + curiosity – they still have a lot to learn. They have to be prosocial. They have to compromise. The game has to be fun for everyone or nobody will play w/ you. Kid society teaches that. Adults teach "I" statements
So you take a bright kid and you push him through a painfully slow & pointless education. When he engages "wrong," you punish him. Over & over, in front of the others. When he hurts/is hurt by another kid, you hand them the ritual apology; they look at each other & say your words
What's after school? Extracurriculars, homework. Instruction ⇨ expected behavior, over & over. At some point, the idea of spending time with another kid he doesn't know without an adult on call will terrify him. He doesn't know the rules! He doesn't even know how to learn them!
The external punishments & rewards delivered by adults rule this kid's life. What else is there? There's no kid society running around the neighborhood. There's barely any alone time, and even less with true privacy. Where do all of his weird, silly, stupid, awesome ideas fit in?
When childhood ends, what kind of adult has been extracted from this bright, playful kid?
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