As someone who has worked with very young children for nearly 25 years, during which I have participated in the potty training of hundreds of children, I need to say that this potty iPad is a very, very bad idea.
Over the last couple of years, numerous early childhood educators have noticed that the prevalence of electronic communication in our everyday lives seems to have a negative impact on the trajectory of social and language development. It's not so much that the kids are plugged in at an early age, the trouble is that the grown ups don't talk to little kids anymore because the grown ups are plugged into their own devices.
Notice the number of grown ups, from all demographics on the subway or in waiting rooms or standing in line at the grocery store, playing video games on their phones while they ignore their children. Or yacking away on their cell phones while pushing the child in a stroller. No conversation = Trouble in Mudsville in terms of language, social interaction and even pretend play which is where the neurobiological foundation is built for cognition, analytical thinking and the successful processing of artificially imposed information like academics.
What this trend means is that the next generation is likely to have even more trouble than the last one in being able to recognize bullshit when they hear it. The generations since Ronald Reagan instituted Back to Basics and high stakes standardized testing have gotten progressively more stupid, as the state of the nation routinely testifies.
A recent example is this chemical spill in West Virginia where voters have happily elected tea baggers and dumb-ass libertarians who fully believe the market results in corporate self-regulation. Now that same government is trying to convince them their drinking water isn't toxic. I'm not going to continue siting examples of the public acceptance of endless war and ecocide because it makes my head explode.
the paramilitary police force and killer cops,
the idea that Apple, and plenty of other companies like Walmart, are manufacturing these products in China where there are no safety or environmental regulations and working conditions are so bad that worker suicide is common - and we push this knowledge out of our minds every day just so we can live in our own society - is entirely too depressing.
I'm fixing to go to work to play with little kids and make sure their parents have a clue about how to sustain healthy relationships with their kids.
I blame Dick Cheney, Richard Nixon, Donald Rumsfeld, et al. When the general public can't tell their asses from their elbows, those bad guys regularly get away with murder. Let's remember that in the mountains of Afghanistan, the amount of minerals used in manufacturing and powering these electronic devices is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.
Old News from the New York Times:
US Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan (6.13.10)
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