Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Calvin and Hobbes

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How much damage can a 6 year-old possibly do? An analysis of the cost of raising a child like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes
A good friend of mine just posted the above article from Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science Journal. Part serious and part satire, PNIS (get it?) was created to use humor to illustrate how science permeates everyday life and isn’t just an exclusive, highfalutin world. Also, it mocks the idea that one must be affiliated with an academic institution to do worthwhile scientific research, and skewers the overpopulation of academic journals that increasingly do little more than pad CVs. Here’s an excerpt:According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raising a child from start to age 17 costs, for those in the middle-income groups, anywhere from $226,800 to $264,600 total. These costs include housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education, and other miscellaneous items (such as entertainment, personal care, and reading materials.) Missing from this estimate is an explicit approximation of the amount of damage that children can cause (here, damage refers to that of the break-a-window physical kind, not that of the mommy-and-daddy-need-a-therapist emotional kind). Such an estimate would increase the accuracy of the USDA’s estimate and the budgets of new parents, depending on how destructive they project their child to be.Unfortunately, there seems to be no estimate on the physical damage that the average child causes in one year. In fact, such a dataset does not currently exist, unless some vindictive parent has carefully documented and blogged their child’s every destructive event. While this kind of information is likely not available for actual children, fake (i.e. fictional) children have their lives, by definition, carefully documented. Thus, we may be able to look to any number of fictional children to obtain some estimate on the amount of physical damage they can cause.Read PNIS’ explanation here.

How much damage can a 6 year-old possibly do? An analysis of the cost of raising a child like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

A good friend of mine just posted the above article from Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science Journal. Part serious and part satire, PNIS (get it?) was created to use humor to illustrate how science permeates everyday life and isn’t just an exclusive, highfalutin world. Also, it mocks the idea that one must be affiliated with an academic institution to do worthwhile scientific research, and skewers the overpopulation of academic journals that increasingly do little more than pad CVs. Here’s an excerpt:

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raising a child from start to age 17 costs, for those in the middle-income groups, anywhere from $226,800 to $264,600 total. These costs include housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education, and other miscellaneous items (such as entertainment, personal care, and reading materials.) Missing from this estimate is an explicit approximation of the amount of damage that children can cause (here, damage refers to that of the break-a-window physical kind, not that of the mommy-and-daddy-need-a-therapist emotional kind). Such an estimate would increase the accuracy of the USDA’s estimate and the budgets of new parents, depending on how destructive they project their child to be.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no estimate on the physical damage that the average child causes in one year. In fact, such a dataset does not currently exist, unless some vindictive parent has carefully documented and blogged their child’s every destructive event. While this kind of information is likely not available for actual children, fake (i.e. fictional) children have their lives, by definition, carefully documented. Thus, we may be able to look to any number of fictional children to obtain some estimate on the amount of physical damage they can cause.

Read PNIS’ explanation here.

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