Thinking As Children

Thinking As Children


We talk about Eric Weinstein’s recent podcast episode with his son, which sparks a discussion about how both of our thinking developed as kids and adults and why we should take kids more seriously.

Table of contents

We talk about Eric Weinstein’s recent podcast episode with his son, which sparks a discussion about how both of our thinking developed as kids and adults and why we should take kids more seriously.

Eric Weinstein's "The Portal" Podcast

Some of the highlights from our discussion:

We all have specific turning points in our childhood where we are exposed to a certain way of thinking that changes the way that we see the world. For someone of his age, Zev Weinstein has significantly developed thinking and Taimur proposed that we all have moments of revelation in our own lives where we have levelled up our thinking – moments which predominantly happen as children.

A two-year old’s reasoning and understanding of the world is clearly less developed than an eighteen-year old but the question is how people go about moving through those developmental levels. Taimur suggests that, beyond the genetic factors, it can also depend on whether the child is taken seriously. By engaging with children and questioning them on what they believe, he suggests that these moments help to ‘level up’ a child’s inference engine and augment their cognitive development and

People take kids seriously in some instances but rarely in the sense of seriously engaging in the cerebral domain which is important in terms of exposing them to new ideas and beliefs.

Hearing new words is significant for child development and subsequent cognitive development. Ali recalls a study whereby people were given recording devices to insert into their households as they were raising kids from the age of 0 to 5. They were looking at how many words the children heard in the household by the age of 5. They found that in the affluent families, the kids heard about 3 million words in total by the age of 3, in the white working class families the kids heard 2 million words by age 3 and for the black working class families, the children heard 1 million words by aged 3. Ali suggests that the study exemplifies the importance of talking and engaging with children and how this has long term effects beyond infancy.

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What is this? Not Overthinking is a podcast about happiness, creativity, and the human condition. We talk about things to help us think, do, and be better. Things like social interaction, lifestyle design, mental models...things that are hard to examine, but important to explore. And hopefully, things that make for a fun and interesting chat every week.

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Who are we?

Ali is a junior doctor and YouTuber working in Cambridge, UK. He makes videos about medicine, technology, productivity and lifestyle design. His links: YouTube, Blog, Newsletter, Instagram

Taimur is a data scientist and writer, working on his own startup Causal. He writes on his blog and as a columnist for Medium. His links: Blog, Twitter, Medium, Instagram

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