November 12, 2004


relentless optimism.jpg

(Informally known as "I think it's awfully nice of Santa to visit us every year when we don't even know him or say hello to him or anything.")

"Can I have the Orangina?"

"No, buddy, you're sick."

"Well, it is not actually a soda. And I know you don't like soda."

"It's not that I don't like soda. It just has lots of sugar and you don't need that. Nobody needs that."

"But we've had Orangina before."

"Yes. But today you're sick and you weren't sick before."

"OK. But I can have seltzer, right?"

"Yes, hypothetically, sure."

"And I can have orange juice, because you said that before."

"Yes, but we already have apple juice and we don't need both."

"Well, Orangina is just seltzer and orange juice together."

"That's true."

"You should have thought harder."

You can teach your children the value of thinking logically, the utility of empirical data, and the virtue of making the two work in tandem. Or you can give them superstition and magic, which demand only the effort involved in their memorization and the subsequent maintenance known as "faith." Once a brief phase of cerebral recording is over, magic and superstition enable you to make decisions without actually having to think.

The logical children will be able to rob you blind, however.

Posted by Sasha at November 12, 2004 10:41 AM | TrackBack