Sunday, December 12, 2010

Smart kids can win a cancer

Why is it that almost everything in our modern world—the best of all possible worlds, as Voltaire's optimistic Candide once assured us—seems to backfire? A delightful plastic puzzle for kids is composed of numbered squares, which the child is expected to assemble. What could be better in the way of home training for a prospective Einstein?

The only problem is that babies who play around with this particular variety of plastic shit could well pick up a cancer… which would obviously limit considerably their possibility of formulating new interpretations of the much sought-after Theory of Everything. Their cancer-ridden bodies might, of course, be useful for researchers attempting to combat this plague… but that's not exactly what we generally mean when we talk about bringing up intelligently our children to play a role in the modern world of science and technology.

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