The Jesuits used to say “Give me a child until he is seven and I do not care who has him afterward.” This actually reflects sound cognitive science. It is also the creed of cowards.

Some ideas are weak, so they can only enter defenseless minds. Other ideas are strong, so they do not fear opposition, like a boxing champion who seeks only worthy rivals.

Weak ideas need to shun the critical adversity of a capable mind, otherwise they would not spread. Strong ideas will persuade healthy adults, in time. Practically speaking, then, we can estimate the merit of one’s preferred ideas by asking: at what age do you want instructors to introduce those ideas into the schools? The younger the age, the weaker the idea (and the more cowardly the proponent).

My ideas are not taught in kindergartens. There are no rhymes that praise, say, a “Selfish Shellfish.” I therefore cannot benefit from such a head start. I teach adults only.

This contrasts with the current struggle to control the curriculum. In a state-run educational system, there is only one curriculum, so every group is vying for some precious air-time.

True, when you introduce an idea early, that idea will thereafter enjoy an unmatched advantage. Still, young adults are open to revising their beliefs. By that time, though, individuals are not so easily fooled or brainwashed. Candidate ideas must therefore knock on their front door and be let in, willingly, on account of their genuine rectitude.

This is a game-changer. It is, at any rate, the only game I am willing to play, for the cowardly method of spreading ideas is unbecoming to my soul.


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