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    A fusor is a device that initiates a fusion reaction by accelerating ions in a very strong static electric field. It’s also worth reading the thread where Jackson first announces his successful fusion experiment.

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      Hm, the whole thing looks so polished and neat, it feels like his parents were kinda involved in it a bit. I don’t know, but in any case, cool story, and I sure hope he can use it to his advantage by getting a scholarship out of it!

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        Yes, if I were more cynical I’d say this is part of a decades-long campaign to ensure this guy gets into a top college down the line…

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        Woho, that’s pretty impressive! I wish Jackson a life of discovery and delight!:) Also kudos to the parents for supporting that!

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          I always feel bad when reading articles like these, because it makes me feel incompetent, even though I know that that is not what it is supposed to be about ._.

          When I was 12/13 I played video games, and that one of my greatest regrets, an absolute waste of time and interest. Since then I’ve mostly stopped, trying to play them again really makes me tiered.

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            You probably didn’t have access to $10k budget to build this stuff, or the kind of educational opportunities this kid had. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t have access to at minimum an excellent science teacher (probably in a private school), and of course the internet with all the resources it contains now.

            Which is not to do this guy down - he’s privileged and he’s making the most of it. If you didn’t have access to the same kind of support don’t compare yourself to those who do.

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              I wish I too hadn’t destroyed my brain playing video games all the time up until I was 18, 19. What a horrible, horrible fate.

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                I think it’s fine to play video games, do sports, goof off in general when you’re that age, as long as it doesn’t affect your education.

                Society in general doesn’t really expect people to be productive until after around 16 (and later and later in developed countries).

                There will always be someone who is faster, smarter, earlier than you are, considering the size of the population and the fact that stuff like some tween building a fusor is something that’s reported, and you notice it. The best you can do is to learn from your experiences, apply them to new situations, and in general not be a net drain on society through sheer laziness.

                If you have kids of your own, don’t hesitate to try to apply the lessons you felt you learned to their upbringing - but it’s a tough row to hoe, and you will be resented.

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                  I think it’s fine to play video games, do sports, goof off in general when you’re that age, as long as it doesn’t affect your education.

                  But that’s the thing: So many games are made to be addictive, sometimes by simple psychological tricks, other times by allowing the player to experience a kind of freedom and ability they just can’t find in their actual, confusing surroundings. Then there’s the social pressure: Most (at least male) kids talk about video games, or youtubers who play video games, etc. Fitting in means playing these games, and it’s not that easy to just say “no”, considering that social bonds and memes are formed by these games.

                  In my case, I played runescape when I was 11 (6th grade), and I played it instead of learning Latin. I had Latin for another 5 years, and I was permanently struggling with it because I never managed to learn the fundamentals. Every year I had to fear not managing to get into the next grade. And it essentially boils down to my video-game addiction, which I managed to overcome (ironically I replaced it with a low-effort programming addiction, but that wasn’t that obvious).

                  Society in general doesn’t really expect people to be productive until after around 16 (and later and later in developed countries).

                  Productive in a social sense, yes. But children have to do and achieve a lot (at least here in Germany) beginning from 4. Grade. Of course this productivity is “useless” in the grad scheme of things, you’re solving Math problems that millions of people have already solved, and writing texts without knowing why – But it’s still doing something.

                  There will always be someone who is faster, smarter, earlier than you are, considering the size of the population and the fact that stuff like some tween building a fusor is something that’s reported, and you notice it.

                  I remember my main feelings were confusion, not understanding what is appending around me, and a feeling of under-actuality, consciously knowing I can’t be as good at something as I could (learning, articulating, doing, …) – I assume many others feel the same. Maybe something changed since then, and information is easier to find. I wanted to teach myself physics, electrical engineering and chemistry (to build a phone), but I couldn’t find a way into it. I still wouldn’t know how to start doing what this kid has done, assuming I would have even had the idea. He has overcome something I and many others have struggled with for as long as we remember…

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                    Of course parents/guardians need to be aware of the intentional addictive nature of some games (a “feature” that’s now bleeding into online gambling), but I feel you’re a bit hard on yourself right now. Do you really need Latin (I suppose you do in Germany, for Arbitur?)

                    What’s done is done. Recognize that spending a lot of time gaming when you were that age was bad, and avoid that kind of situation in the future. By all means inform other people of the issue of gaming. But don’t feel as if you’ve wasted your life.

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                      Do you really need Maxwell’s equations?

                      Learning is learning, man

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                        Good point.

                        Edit an addendum, I didn’t mean to belittle Latin, or those who study it. I was simply wishing to reassure @zge that not mastering it to the best of their ability is probably not a disqualifier from living a full and productive life.

                        I also mentioned that I was not sure if it was a determining factor in a good Abitur. That of course puts the matter in a different light.

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                          Oh, don’t worry, I was fully conscious of that all along. What I was trying to say is that my Latin (and German, but that’s unrelated) was so bad (because I played too many games) that I was in constant threat of being thrown out of school. And that can have quite an influence of your life, at least in Germany.

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                            I see, yes that does affect things.

                            Sweden has (or used to have) a decent adult-education system so that bright kids who weren’t that good at conforming to the school system at least had a decent chance of getting a good education later, when priorities were better aligned. I personally know of a couple of people who found their natural level of competence despite not excelling through high school.

                            Some countries however put a lot of emphasis in success in early years, which does streamline things but also risks shutting off avenues for some kids.