Ender's Game

I’ve wanted to for some time now and finally got around to reading Ender’s Game (or the first Mega Man).  The basic idea is that gifted children are recruited to participate in a war simulation room, the thought being that children make better killers than adults simply because they have yet to build any social stigmas.  Instincts are self-preservation after all.

This actually got me thinking a bit further along.  No one joins the military in active service in their 30s but people can swap careers from sales to nursing at that point without issue.  Our social dilemma that requires us to be empathic towards another in case we meet them again triumphs.  Not to mention that after your first funeral in your late teens, your grasp of death is more solid.

When you’re a kid playing cops and robbers, when you shout “bang” the guy is dead until he gets up.  When you do that with a real gun, they don’t get up.  It’s an interesting hard-wired mode where ideas and concepts have yet to be grounded in reality, where actions and consequences are not yet linked.

Back to the book.  The core tenet is that the above statement is factually incorrect.  A gifted child is able to correlate action and consequence, with the given data set.  Where a “regular” kid would have A leads to B, a “gifted” child would see A leads to B, B leads to C and maybe D leads to E afterwards.  I say this from experience in that the amount of information one has to compile, analyse and act upon is staggering.  I don’t think I was a kid for much of a time, certainly never a teenager.  I’ve always been thinking in “adult” terms where the lack of experience simply left me with variables to experiment with.

Aside from the fact that the book deals with complex issues in a rather simple format, it allows all people some insight into the mindset of a gifted child, however neurotic or foreign it might seem.

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