The original dog

Several months ago on the slymepit – in a rare lull between rape jokes, posting pornographic photoshops of Ophelia Benson and plotting patriarchal domination of atheism – Rocko2466 presented an uncharacteristically serious question:

Hey slymepitters

I gots a question. If you had to write a book your kid for when s/he’s say 20 – 25, what topics would you include?

Atheism and ethics are two obvious ones, but any ideas (even if they’re within those two broad categories) would be appreciated.

This got me thinking. I would not to seek to impart knowledge per se – that would be tedious and not really special. Knowledge is what any kid with curiosity and motivation will find for themselves. I would instead try to seed habits to cultivate – method and attitude for intellectual integrity; a framework to train yourself to apply to all information you may transmit to others and, more importantly, to apply to all information you apprehend. To instill a mindset that tries to avoid the pitfalls of deception of the self and dishonest manipulation of others. My response to Rocko is reproduced below, with minor corrections. (more…)