Kids and tech downsides

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What is the best response to I love you?

This is happening for more than a year now. I am talking about numbers with my son.

Whenever my 4 year old son says “I love you”, I ask him back “How much?”.
And he replies with the largest number he knows or understands.

It started with 2, 3, 10, 20…
The answer stayed at 42 for a few days… and now he always replies: TRILLIONS.

Still to reach: INFINITY

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I have 10 M but…

This is a real question by someone:

I sold my company five years ago and have built a net worth of ~$10 million, but compared to my friends I feel like a loser and still keep trying hard at startups that stress me out and make me miserable. What should I do?

And here is a really good answer:

Recap of your situation:
You know from experience that positive feelings do not necessarily follow success in business. At least not at $10M, your one data point. You’re limited on time, and the cost of another data point at $100M may be 10 or 20 years of time that could go into raising your kids, not to mention leisure and adventures of all sorts.

Hence you have an Either/Or decision, which depends crudely on this question: will 10x more money cure your affliction of feeling like a loser, or are you better off enjoying what there is to enjoy around you right now and find the true cause of feeling like a loser?

Many people would tell you that being grateful and giving will satisfy you more. There is some truth to this, but that isn’t guaranteed either. In my opinion, it will depend largely on your understanding of your own emotional life and options: how confident and comfortable you are at a deep level with how you decide to live this one life.

It’s useful to avoid morally loaded words like selfishness and generosity to begin reflecting on this topic. Believing you are worth any less for feeling greedy or other unsanctioned and unreasonable emotions, stops you from thinking about whether and how such feelings may actually cause harm.

There’s no substitute for learning what satisfies us through trial and error. Others can offer hypotheses; but devising the learning experiments is up to us. That’s because it is our innermost selves need to learn about our lives. Moralizing the issue hijacks this process with borrowed beliefs and outside authority.

BN: some positive feelings come with strings attached while others don’t. The fun you have with your kids, for example will likely only lead to other fulfilling experiences for you all.

But prestige comes with side effects:

– Fear of losing reputation, having to defend it;
– Spending years acquiring influence when you could be doing something more enjoyable or personally meaningful;
– Having to keep your own ego in check for fear of alienating those around you;
– Arrogance, a tendency to view others as inferior to yourself, leading to loneliness;
– Most people around you want to use you, leading to mistrust and more loneliness;
– The few who do love you for who you are, you don’t have time for; you’ve got fires to put out
– Difficult to acknowledge weaknesses, as they are incongruent with the projected image and therefore particularly disappointing (e.g. this thread).
– Etc. etc…

Why would anyone sign up for all that when there are so many other things to enjoy?

Agreed

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Should I cut off ties to my kid, a professional criminal, forever?

This is a TRUE piece of text written by someone. No modifications.

My kid graduated with a useless 4 year university degree. Could not get a decent paying well job, so ended up with fast, easy money with professional criminals. My kid was released from being kidnapped recently, I couldn’t unsure whether I could report for safety sake. I almost had a heart attack, my boss at work said my performance was horrific during the time. My kid has been released recently and is still earning $ with the same people. I am the only parent, but I can’t take my kid anymore. I want to cut my kid off from my life forever, I cant handle the stress of it anymore I’m gonna have a mental breakdown, otherwise I’ll have a heart attack, lose my job or worse.

REPLY:

I feel for you. I was that kid. My mom cut me off until I “straightened up” she changed her phone number, door locks and all that. Both my mom and dad cut me off completely.

Best. Lesson. Ever.

After I was cut off boy I grew up fast. I thought I could handle all my drama on my own and I’d show them.

I eventually grew up, got tired of hanging with losers and their drama and “straightened up”

I am now a very successful adult with 2 kids, a college degree I use and a great job. Once I decided to straighten up my parents would give me advice but they made me do all the hard work.

Sometimes cutting them off is the most loving thing you can do.

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Little princess

Jeremiah Heaton, who has three children, recently trekked across the Egyptian desert to a small, mountainous region between Egypt and Sudan called Bir Tawil. The area, about 800 square miles, is claimed by neither Sudan nor Egypt, the result of land disputes dating back more than 100 years. Since then, there have been several online claimants to the property, but Heaton believes his physical journey to the site, where he planted a flag designed by his children, means he rightfully can claim it.

And call his 7-year-old daughter Princess Emily, the fulfillment of a promise he made months earlier. “Over the winter, Emily and I were playing, and she has a fixation on princesses. She asked me, in all seriousness, if she’d be a real princess someday,” Heaton said. “And I said she would.” He said he started researching what it would take for him to become a king, so Emily could be a princess.

As it turns out, Bir Tawil is among the last pieces of unclaimed land on earth. Heaton, who works in the mining industry and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012, got permission from the Egyptian government to travel through the country to the Bir Tawil region.

“It’s beautiful there,” Heaton said. “It’s an arid desert in Northeastern Africa. Bedouins roam the area; the population is actually zero.” In June, he took the 14-hour caravan journey through the desert, in time to plant the flag of the Heaton kingdom — blue with the seal and stars representing members of the family — in Bir Tawil soil.

When Heaton got home, he and his wife, Kelly, got their daughter a princess crown, and asked family members to address her as Princess Emily. “It’s cool,” said Emily, who sleeps in a custom-made castle bed fit for royalty. She added that as princess she wants to make sure children in the region have food. “That’s definitely a concern in that part of the world,” Heaton said. “We discussed what we could do as a nation to help.”

Heaton named the land the Kingdom of North Sudan, after consulting with his children. “I do intend to pursue formal recognition with African nations,” Heaton said, adding that getting Sudan and Egypt to recognize the kingdom would be the first step. That’s basically what will have to happen for Heaton to have any legal claim to sovereignty, said Shelia Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond.

She said it’s not plausible for someone to plant a flag and say they have political control over the land without legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups. In addition, she said, it’s not known whether people have ownership of the land, regardless of whether the property is part of a political nation.

“I feel confident in the claim we’ve made,” Heaton said. “That’s the exact same process that has been done for thousands of years. The exception is this nation was claimed for love.” Heaton said his children, Emily, Justin and Caleb, will be the drivers for what happens with the new nation. “If we can turn North Sudan into an agricultural hub for the area … a lot of technology has gone into agriculture and water,” he said. “These are the things [the kids] are concerned with.”

Heaton has ordered letterhead with the country’s seal and one of his sons created a serving tray at camp with the flag on it. “They are really getting into the idea,” Heaton said of his children. “I think the idea of a nation with a clear purpose of helping other people … I think that’ll be well-received and we’ll get recognition from other nations to partner with.”

But the main intent, he said, was to show his daughter that he would follow through on the promise he made. “I think there’s a lot of love in the world,” Heaton said. “I want my children to know I will do absolutely anything for them.”

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