Things People Out There Need to Invent

Tribune/Nathan Orme – Kenny Method, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Clayton Middle School in Reno, jokingly demonstrates where this human brain would be located if it were still with its original owner and not in a plastic bag for research purposes.

  1. An abbreviation equivalent to the Latin e.g., that can be used after a phrase where you’d tack on “for example.” As it is, “e.g.” is limited to use before the example. For now, I’ll use the actual abbreviation of “for example,” f.e.
  2. Facebook app that filters swear words out of the status updates of, let’s face it, mainly teenagers, replacing them with either asterisks or other pre-chosen words; i.e. “SHE’S A PENGUIN POMEGRANATE!!!!!!!” “I’m so LEDERHOSEN bored!!” and “I HATE PROSTATE HOMEWORK!”
  3. Speaking of 14-year-olds, someone should invent a year-long retreat for 8th graders. Developmentally, 8th graders are generally not socially equipped to deal with school. They are working hard on issues of fidelity, identity, and autonomy. They don’t always work well in groups larger than two, and the social matrix of a school full of individuals is far too complex for them to deal with rationally. I have a hypothesis that some of the neurons that die off in adolescence – “pruning,” it’s called – are the ones that kids used in the previous year for self-control and kindness. In any case, at about age 14, adolescents should be separated from the rest of humanity on a year-long survival adventure camp on a deserted island. I’m not talking Lord of the Flies – there would be oversight, probably by robots, and kids would get to use their immense physical energy to solve group problems, bond as a generation & increase in skills and confidence. This would be a coming of age ritual. Some may have to repeat the year.
  4. A system for electing the president of the United States in which everybody’s vote would count equally. Thus, candidates would have to at least pretend to care about people everywhere instead of in just in six or so “swing states.” We could call this system “democracy”.
  5. A god who is always, without exception, opposed to war.

This flower:will take you to additional Useful Things that Don’t Yet Exist

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