Feral Children

Cyn Mobley
3 min readJan 12, 2022

Can the algorithms save them?

Angry little boy glaring at the camera. iStock.com/dzigns

What happens when we keep kids out of school?

They go feral.

If all your kids see is family, that’s all they know. They learn, “This is what people look like,” people who are this color, act like this, dress like this, talk like this.

And people who don’t — aren’t people. They’re “other.”

Bad stuff. That’s tribalism and tribalism is at the heart of the longest, most bitter conflicts in the world.

Knowing that one unintended consequence of keeping them alive is risking a rise in tribalism, what can we do in mitigation?

To answer that question, we have to look at why and how tribes form.

Tribes are about survival. Your drive to form a community and live in a tribe is a basic instinct. Your odds are better when you’re in a group, when someone is watching your back, standing watch while you sleep, sharing food and water. Being in a tribe increases your probability of staying alive.

Tribes need a center. Usually that’s geographic proximity. It’s hard to take down a wooly mammoth together if you’re not in the same valley.

And usually tribal members have a similar appearance, if not biologically, through dress, decoration, football jersies, or rings.



Cyn Mobley

Attorney, CA & TN. Retired naval officer and black belt in Isshinryu. Generally peaceful. Blogs at https://obeythebeagle.com/blog