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I have a country comprised of a human hivemind/collective consciousness. Setting is the modern day. The hivemind is interested in being as efficient and optimized as possible. In the name of utilizing each of its "cells", they set their sights on hivemembers aged 0 to 4. In a normal society, kids of this age do nothing but the hivemind intends to change this by making them contribute in keeping their nation running and progressing the collective's will.

The hivemind:

  • can perfectly coordinate its hivemembers on whatever task no matter the complexity or scale
  • every info, skill, and experience a hivemember receives is instantaneously shared throughout the entire hivemind

Several months when the toddlers' muscles develop enough to allow movement, the collective baby muscle memory accumulated would allow said toddlers to immediately perform physical tasks. As a result, the toddlers can be just as competent as their adult counterparts with their bodies being the only limiting factor. How can the toddlers contribute to help out the greater hivemind?

Some conditions:

  • The hivemind is trying to masquerade as a normal human nation to the wider world so nothing flashy or deeply visible
  • Nothing physically demanding or could potentially compromise their bodies as they grow older
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    $\begingroup$ You do realize human infants haven't even got developed bones? $\endgroup$
    – Alastor
    Commented May 28 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Alastor Yes, I do $\endgroup$
    – Dmyt
    Commented May 28 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ You want a list of jobs anyone with a physically undeveloped body might do? It's a fun question but there is no right answer here, only brainstorming and opinions, VTC, sorry. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 28 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you understand :) there can be no way here to judge a 'best answer' that isn't purely about personal taste and preference, it's an opinion based question .. they could be surveillance units sat in windows to observe the street (pointless if they are no immigrants or tourists from other countries of course), with voice changers to sound like adults they could be home working telephone centre workers (marketing stuff to and or for other countries), they could be put out for adoption to non-hive-members (cuckoos) for an adoption fee and later an inheritance, etc, etc etc, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 28 at 8:03
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    $\begingroup$ muscle memory is uselless with a diffrent set of muscles, If you transplanted your brain into someone else body you would have to start over from toddler and learn to control their body, how to coordinate their muscles see with their senses ect. every body is unique and analoge. shared memory won't help wit that. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 28 at 21:09

4 Answers 4

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Not being Near-Suicidal Trash Pandas

I would apologize for the tone of this post - however, I am trying to work from home whilst my house is being systematically ransacked for Snacks after school and the rubbish is being thrown on the floor.

So, as you may or may not have guessed - I am a Parent. I have small Kids (okay they arent 4 -but that is a very fresh recent memory)

The amount of:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Looking After
  • Generally making sure they dont hurt themselves or break anything is a lot of work.

The amount of things in my house that have been broken (No shit - probably over $20,000K in broken furniture, electronics throughout both of their lives) etc. etc.

You want to talk about efficiencies - I tell you - it is not even about having them contribute to Society - the Biggest efficiency... BY MILES (and seriously - ask any and every parent of a 4 yo, especially a 4 Yo Boy...) would be to not create mess and situations that drained the efforts of their Parents.

So much of my Energy is wasted on:

  • Put that in the Rubbish Bin.
  • Pick that up and put it in your Bedroom.
  • Why are you playing with that - it is not a toy.
  • Do not do that, you will hurt yourself.
  • Leave your sibling alone.
  • What is that in your hair - in fact, do not tell me, I do not want to know - just go wash it off.
  • Go wash yourself properly, you have dirt all over your face.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Having them merely not productive, but just not a drain on their parents time, efforts, energies and resources - is by far the most productive.

(PS - I absolutely love my Kids and the biggest problem is that they take after their father.... Me!)

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you may have missed the bit where they are part of a hive mind so for all practical purposes have all the accumulated knowledge, experience and intellectual maturity of an adult in an infants body, none of the issues of raising a child you are referencing are supposed to be issues for (or with) them, only the physical development of the body is an issue for the OPs toddlers. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 28 at 7:35
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  • Sensor relay for the hivemind
    As soon as their eyesight develops sufficiently, one of these toddlers can see, hear, and automatically inform the rest of the hivemind of that. You might see 'baby chairs' high up on factory floors, for instance. Possibly even running trains, coordinating stop and go orders from the switchyard, for the older ones.
  • Fetch and carry
    At the upper end of your age range, they might assist e.g. a mechanic who is halfway into a car and needs the right socket wrench. A 4-year-old could take it from the toolbox and put it into the hand, except for recognizing the right tool and staying focussed on the task. The hivemind can resolve that problem.
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The best way to contribute is preparation

The [U.S.] founding fathers believed deeply in the possibility of forming citizens, and they promoted a civic and moral education that would sustain American self-government. (Source)

Why do we send children to school? Because no matter how many comic books you give them, they won't be good engineers, doctors, philosophers, or artists without it. The hivemind is no fool! It knows toddlers are undeveloped and cannot meaningfully contribute to the whole.

But do you know what you get when the hivemind gently and appreciatively prepares each toddler's mind? You get geniuses! Blooming geniuses! A whole society of fantastic geniuses!

But that's no all you get...

Just to add the proverbial set of ginsu knives, you get more than geniuses. You get the best storage medium for both information and associative behavior on the planet. Nothing absorbs information like the developing toddler mind! No more thieves. No more bullies. But a whole army of happy, well-adjusted adults with heads full of knowledge that has already been vetted to take advantage of the predilections of the individual! Is little Amy the perfect choice for leading industries? Why wait until she's 30 to figure that out when the hivemind can know that truth before she can speak? Is little Bobby absolutely perfect for animal husbandry? Why suffer all those broken bones on the rodeo circuit waiting for him to realize that when the hivemind can prepare everything for him?

Conclusion

Toddlers don't contribute in the way you might be thinking. They don't add computational resource, they don't add recursive memory... what they need is guidance. And nothing can replace decades of dubious public education with quality preparation like the hivemind!

Coming to a store near you!

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you miss the bit where it's a hive mind? If this is anything like a traditional sci-fi hive mind they don't need any 'guidance' or training, they already know everything the 'adults do, which leaves your entire answer kind of missing the mark entirely :p $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 28 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore Oh, but I disagree! Your premise suggests the toddler mind is fully developed and ready to contribute equally with all other aspects of the hivemind. My answer is founded on the assertion that such is not the case and that the hivemind would be smart enough to know that and work with it for the greatest providence of the whole. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented May 28 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ No, my premise suggests it's a hive mind like the OP said so they don't need a working "contributing" mind in the babies .. and that a hive mind can just 'puppet' one of its new baby bodies if it wants to :) $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 29 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ [Ponders] hmm .. to me what a "hive mind" means is some form of constant and permanent telepathic or techno (Star Trek Borg) brain to brain comms with the potential for 'radio' control of any individual unit by the hive mind as a whole, is that not how you understand the term? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented May 29 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore Funny you should mention the Borg hive mind - which is partially cybernetic and the implants grow in complexity with the body. That canon specifically reflects my answer: toddlers are prepared to become future drones. The real question here is whether or not the OP thinks my answer is suitable for his/her definition of "hivemind." Our definitions are irrelevant to the question. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented May 29 at 18:53
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Spies and Work From Home Office Drones

Oh you read correctly. You don't want your toddlers giving the game away, so working in tight spaces or complex operations where they could be seen by unfriendly is a non-starter. They'd be wonderful programmers/work from home office drones/analysts/similar tasks. If the kid can work remotely, then they can do those jobs at home and if anybody foreign comes around they just bring up CocoMellon or Bluey and nobody's the wiser. But their intel collecting ability would be unprecedented.

People say waaaay to much around their kids. I was (briefly) a kindergarten aide and can confirm. People say waaaay to much around their kid's friends too! Anybody under 3ft tall that can't control their bowels might as well not exist for most adults. International adoptions, getting "families" to go abroad and send their kids to day cares/schools where the powerful/connected in foreign governments send their kids and you've got a wealth of information at your fingertips. Yeah it (probably) won't be the nuclear launch codes. But the potential to gather intel for blackmail/other uses is immense. For example, I had a kid who one day declared "I'm going to play daddy!" instantly hopped on the tiny play couch in the classroom and went "Bring me my box of wine and my cell phone!" Then started looking at his "phone" whilst chatting about what he was watching. Which were.... perhaps not the types of things an adult male would oftentimes admit to watching. Or talking about mommy's "secret friend" who comes over when daddy's away. God help your enemies if you can adopt our your babies to foreign nationals with security clearances!

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