12 April 2016

Bedtime-story privilege? Welcome to the brave new world.

Telling or reading to your kid a bedtime story or two was an activity I have considered one of the more rewarding and joyful tasks in my rather too busy daily schedule at the relevant period. Lately, when an opportunity raises its head, I mightily enjoy the same with my grandkids.

But time goes by, things change and science doesn't rest on its laurels, not for long anyway. So, seeing as where the progressive modern science is leading, I wasn't too surprised to see this headline:

Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You’re ‘Unfairly Disadvantaging’ Others
According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they’re “unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children” by doing so. In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since “bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . . [desired] familial relationship goods,” he wouldn’t want to ban them, but that parents who “engage in bedtime-stories activities” should definitely at least feel kinda bad about it sometimes: “I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.
Since the good professor was giving an interview to ABC Radio, saying A wasn't enough, apparently, so he went on to say B - or possibly even Z, going for the jugular of the topic:
At one point, Swift even flirted with the idea of “simply abolishing the family” as a way of “solving the social justice problem” because “there would be a more level playing field” if we did, but ultimately concluded that “it is in the child’s interest to be parented” and that “parenting a child makes for what we call a distinctive and special contribution to the flourishing and well-being of adults.”
Social justice. Yes, professor Swift is an expert in that domain, judging by his biography on the Warwick university site.
While at Oxford I was Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Justice.
So what are the new things I have learned from all of the above?
  • That too much learning doesn't necessarily equal wisdom? Nah, not news.
  • That communal incubators with subsequent mechanised schooling equal for all is vastly preferable to the existing system that breeds inequality and, Brother forbid, parental involvement? Somewhat old, too.
  • That family is an obsolete patriarchal construct created to enslave women and to raise children in the perverted capitalist environment? Well known and bemoaned.
  • "Level playing field"? No, old as pyramids. Or, at least, as Karl Marx.
So, all in all, the only thing of interest, and even that very limited for me, is the fact that there is a university in Warwick, England. Not that I know where Warwick is, anyway...

P.S. Action item: look up Warwick on Google Maps

P.P.S. During the same bout of surfing I've encountered this article:

Homeschooled with MIT courses at 5, accepted to MIT at 15

I am afraid that we can't have it, not if I am to become a disciple of professor Swift. The boy will have to be put down, humanely as possible in the circumstances.