August 28, 2016

A study of how young adults make the decision to go childless child-free.

"Blackstone and Stewart went with a qualitative approach, asking evocative, open-ended questions to 21 women and 10 men who have chosen not to have kids...."
A couple chords were struck again and again in people’s reasoning. Many saw their siblings or close friends have kids and decided that it was not something they wanted to arrange their lives around. The men tended toward individualized decision-making, noting that they wouldn’t be able to travel or pursue other meaningful projects.... Women were more outwardly focused in their decision-making, referencing how having kids would alter their adult relationships or contribute to overpopulation and other environmental impacts, or that the world as it is isn’t hospitable to new children. The authors reason that the outward-facing decision-making for women may be a result of the greater cultural pressure on them to reproduce.
We don't really learn what people think from what they say, only how they choose to talk about it. Why can't women, like men, just admit they want to keep more of their time and money for themselves? Or why don't men feel more of a need to couch their selfishness in terms of doing good for others and for the world?
It should be noted that a study at this scale is limited: It’s homogeneous in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation, and it would be super-useful to have more research done around how people of different identities decide whether to have kids, especially since birthrates, at a macro level, are so strongly correlated with education: The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have. 
That's a hell of a sentence. New York Magazine. What do you think of 2 colons in the same sentence? I don't think this author really thought about it. It looks more like he just kept this one sentence going so long that he forgot about the first one. And it's kind of sad to see a science writer trying to spice up the boring demand for more research with the childish "super-useful" and the righteous plea for more diversity. And by the way, this locution is silly: "The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have." You can't have any fewer than zero children. Get all the PhDs you want, you can't have negative numbers of kids.

136 comments:

David Begley said...

What?! Nothing about reducing carbon as part of the global warming scam?

robinintn said...

Is the theme this morning "Studies. I don't think that word means what you think it means."?

traditionalguy said...

Having and raising children is a valuable thing for children who have become older now. It literally transforms them from toxic self centered twerps into wise people. It is the ultimate life skill.

Avoid having it at your own peril.

FleetUSA said...

A plea for more grant money (down the toilet).

DavidD said...

' "...overpopulation and other environmental impacts....' "

" 'The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have.' "

The more indoctrinated people become, the less they want to have children.

glenn said...

Sadly my wife and I drank the "replace yourself" Kool Aid 50 years ago and stopped at two. Neither of them has kids. So no grandchildren. And a palpable sense of loss every day. Enjoy your childless adulthood kids. You'll be sorry when you're old and nobody loves you.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

(1) I don't know the type of reader that New York Magazine is aimed at but I found the writing style off-putting so I didn't read more than a paragraph or so.

(2) It's safe to say that no living creature knows why it reproduces. Humans are prone to rationalization, all of it meaningful, precious little of it accurate, so it appears to me.

(3) Getting an abortion is to be condemned as "selfish." Who knew?

(4) Richard Dawkins said that "[t]he chicken is only an egg's way of making another egg." Not sure how far he takes that but I assume that he's a relatively undangerous person, so far as human individuals go.

Ann Althouse said...

"What?! Nothing about reducing carbon as part of the global warming scam?"

I think that's covered by "environmental impacts."

David Begley said...

"Impacts.""Impact."

Whenever I see those words I want to impact my fist upside the writer's head.

Humperdink said...

3......children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;

Between us, spouse and I have four. I wish we would have had more. Children are indeed a gift. Grandchildren are the icing on the cake.

Rusty said...

Humperdink.
Had I known how much fun they are I would have started earlier and had more.

tim in vermont said...

The more indoctrinated people become, the less they want to have children.

Not to worry, they are selecting themselves out of the gene pool. I always think that they are "highly trained" like a circus seal, to have certain beliefs that keep them secure in their cultural and material cocoons, the security of which is highly dependent on having the correct opinions.

I would love to hear a "highly educated" person, for example, knock down the solid arguments against catastrophic global warming. I mean if it is a matter of math and logic, it should be dirt simple for them, as easy as it is for Big Papi to hit a fastball in that little zone nobody should pitch to, but they still do, over the fence.

But they can't do it because their "scientific" arguments are actually cultural ones, that's what "educated" means. That's the main reason I weep for the Enlightenment.

Bob R said...

Asking "questions to 21 women and 10 men" is not "a study," it's a lightweight magazine piece. Admitting it is "limited" doesn't get you off the hook.

tim in vermont said...

Had I known how much fun they are I would have started earlier and had more.

Me too. But my gradkids won't miss these guys from the gene pool. Imagine a world with fewer of these self-centered prigs.

tim in vermont said...

To overlook the impact of "diverse genders" on the future of reproduction of the human race is the kind of oversight that completely invalidates a piece of scientific work. I mean the results could be off by an order of magnitude!

Bob R said...

"Impacts.""Impact." Whenever I see those words I want to impact my fist upside the writer's head.

So much violence to the language caused by people who know there is a difference between "affect" and "effect" but can't remember what it is.

rhhardin said...

Child support and no fault divorce makes it very risky for the guy.

Comanche Voter said...

Au contraire Ms. Althouse. Throw in a few abortions for the same PhD holding woman and you can get into negative numbers of children pretty quick.

Rae said...

I'm more interested in the correlation of wealth and childlessness, and the demographic effects. Look at Japan, which is going to lose half it's population over the next fifty years.

There's an interesting comparison to the Panda, and it's refusal to reproduce. As Mark Steyn says, the future belongs to those who show up.

Larry J said...

Children are messy, expensve, and loud. Liberals have complete control over education and culture as well as control over most of the press and government. They don't have to have kds of their own to create future liberals. They just have to convert your kids. Given how so many of the Millennials are turning out, their plan is working. As an added bonus, the get to tax you while doing it. Diabolical bastards.

Rob said...

Two colons in one sentence: no wonder people resist colonialism.

Humperdink said...

"Two colons in one sentence: no wonder people resist colonialism."

Is Colon Powell's half brother Semi-Colon?

Fernandinande said...

Or why don't men feel more of a need to couch their selfishness in terms of doing good for others and for the world?

Having abortions is selfish. Not having kids isn't.

"As expected, males significantly scored higher in emotion regulation ability than females did."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The men tended toward individualized decision-making, noting that they wouldn’t be able to travel or pursue other meaningful projects...

Unless the other meaningful projects are things like curing cancer or establishing world peace they are trivialities: any meaning they contain dies with you. Having children, and raising them to be productive adults, is the most meaningful project 99.9% of the human population can ever hope to pursue.

Sebastian said...

"Unless the other meaningful projects are things like curing cancer or establishing world peace . . ." I.e., things that benefit other people's children. Most rationalizations of deliberate childlessness are incoherent.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nothing about the proposition "The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have" implies that the predicted number of children is at any point less than zero.

James Pawlak said...

Is that anything like "Judenfrei"?

Tarrou said...

I'm one of those people who doesn't have any kids. I'm in my thirties, childless and very content. I was the oldest of a large family, so I've done the diaper duty, I've done the child raising. Not an experience I'm keen to repeat. My partner is unable to conceive, so there's no conflict in the relationship there. I have a couple dozen nieces and nephews if I feel the need to interact with kids, and they go back at the end of the day, or weekend.

This aside, my DNA is doing just fine, I've been a sperm donor both to friends of mine, and to a sperm bank in my college days. I have at least one and possibly far more offpsring. Best of all worlds.

EDH said...

David Begley said...
"Impacts." "Impact."

Whenever I see those words I want to impact my fist upside the writer's head.


Even worse: impactful.

Temujin said...

Well, if I worked for New York magazine: I'd probably think it super-useful to use multiple colons: see how this works?

On the other hand, I think I'm tiring of articles that state 'studies show the more educated, the fewer children you have'. Fact is we are all so sophisticated in western countries, and Japan, that we're zero growing ourselves right out of existence. Europe is dying and being replaced by Middle Easterners and Northern Africans. The US has now reached a negative growth rate for the first time in our history. Japan has had negative growth for years now, but they still restrict immigration. At least they still treasure their culture enough to keep it until it dies naturally.

We're making ourselves extinct. Who's educated?

Crimso said...

There's a huge pile of government debt we can't possibly pay off ourselves, and that doesn't get written off when we die. "Your fair share" of that debt doesn't get paid if you don't have (tax-paying) children. You should be held accountable. The time to act is now. The math is settled and there is no more room for debate. Write a check or have the children. Why should my children be penalized because of your selfishness? [offered a little tongue-in-cheek]

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have.

They think they have discovered this concept? These people should watch the movie Idiocracy

We are living in the movie today.

Unknown said...

Why is that locution silly? If the plot of education level vs. # of children actually has a negative slope, it's a true statement.

Laslo Spatula said...

Maybe the well-educated just want the Robot Children of the previous post.

I am Laslo.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've been doing some Ancestry.com stuff lately and it is really amazing how LARGE families were in the past. My husband's father was one of 11 children (living children). His grandfather and grand mother also large families of 9 to 10 children. Back and back into the 1700's LARGE families, unless the male died early. This also happened frequently, especially around the 1860's...Civil War. Man they were prolific. Ditto with my family tree. Each one of those siblings also had generally large families. Hundreds and hundreds of 3rd 4th 5th distant cousins exist! Yikes.

The census records (which go back well over 100 years) show the people in the household, who they were in relation to the head and state interesting items such as what the occupation is, who is working, where they were born, language they spoke etc.

The common denominator to the large families is that they were mostly rural and farming. Everyone...and I mean everyone in the family who was old enough worked. Either on the farm or listed as some other occupation such as blacksmith. The women's occupations were either wife or domestic and occasionally teacher. Often there were boarders, maiden aunts, bachelor uncles and extended families in the same household. If you didn't work and contribute to the family they would not be able to survive in a world without electricity, no autos, no conveniences. A world that required hard physical labor for everyone.

Today we don't need big families to help with the cores. Don't need kids to feed the animals, work the fields, chop wood for the fires, mend the clothing, cook all the live long day.

We have become able to be self indulgent and limit the size of families or eliminate family altogether because we have technology to do things for us. Our lives are easy-peasy compared to the past and can afford to just dispense with children and selfishly live the lives without encumbrances. Or at least think that we can do without children.

Those who choose to be childless may live to regret it when they realize it is too late.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I blame you for making me think of ways one could have "negative kids," Professor. Unhappy thoughts.

The prose selection you clipped reads like a blog comment. I try to write comments here in a conversational way--to mimic speaking among friends, with asides, a casual tone, jokes, etc. I have used the "super-" construction! But yeah, I super-agree, the tone appropriate for science article in a real publication is probably not the same tone that's appropriate (and, hopefully, effective) for a blog comment section.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robust is the new impact.

Michael said...

Doesn't anyone read things before they are published any more? I mean, even the writer? How could that sentence have made it into print in a "real" magazine? Maybe people who don't have time for children don't have time for (self-) editing either. Maybe seeking personal fulfillment doesn't leave a lot of time for anything.

iowan2 said...

What is the meaning of life?

I dont care your belief system, you have to answer that.

Be of service to others.

cubanbob said...

People who are healthy and capable of having children but choose not to should waive their rights to Social Security and Medicare.

kurt9 said...

I wasn't aware that I had to justify any of my long-term life choice to any other humans, particularly those whom I have no personal relationship with and who do not share my long-term life goals.

Paddy O said...

"For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." Matthew 19:12

People make choices, people don't get choices, people have choices forced on them.

I could see very much liking a life without kids. I very much like life with kids. Just a very different kind of life. Having kids burst my bubble of inherent selfishness. Which is likely very good for my soul. But not all parents learn this lesson and can be very selfish. And a lot of non-parents are very unselfish. A lot of non-parents can be very selfish too. Some people raise great kids who do wonders for this world. Some people have horrible kids who cause much pain in this world. Some people don't have kids. People make life what they can and if they have the ability make choices they think will maximize their opportunities. Other people who have made different choices or had different opportunities judge them.

It's what makes the world go round, everyone has a stack of stones. Throw 'em, keep 'em, pile 'em, disperse 'em. It is all striving after the wind.

rhhardin said...

Birds have large families.

All the birds work in the field, planting and cultivataing.

That's how poison ivy winds up in the middle of your lawn.

The Gold Digger said...

People who are healthy and capable of having children but choose not to should waive their rights to Social Security and Medicare.

Does that mean I don't have to give 15% of my income to the SS/Medicare system? Because I would be cool with that.

chickelit said...

Gold Digger asks: Does that mean I don't have to give 15% of my income to the SS/Medicare system? Because I would be cool with that.

No. You will continue to pay for your elders up until retirement at which time you will retrieve nothing because you refused to provide those who pay for yours. It's already trending that way.

JaimeRoberto said...

One could argue that Adam Lanza had negative children, but he wasn't very educated so there goes the correlation.

Quaestor said...

As Dust Bunny Queen has said, it's Idiocracy come to fruition. Or one could think of it as perverted eugenics — almost everything else has been perverted in this country, so why not that as well?

Since this isn't the first Althouse post on this depressing topic, she need to create an "Idiocracy" tag.

buwaya puti said...

Ignorance is bliss,

Thats exactly right.
We, each, nearly all of us, amount to a hill of beans, individually. We are each entirely replaceable.
Anyone who has done a lot of hiring knows this.
Our primary worldly function is to make and raise kids.
Anything else is vanity.

buwaya puti said...

"I wasnt aware I had to justify my life"

But you do. Individuals arent, autonomy is a fantasy.
You were born with a mountain of obligations, passed on by your ancestors, and payment is due to your present day compatriots and to posterity. Anything you want for yourself -alone- is vanity, trivial foolishness, minor indulgences.

If you cant justify your life instantly, when asked, as when a person is required to show his identity papers, you havent examined yourself sufficiently.

tim maguire said...

Bill Whittle once said there is no greater duty of the citizen than to raise the next generation of citizens. With very few exceptions, the most selfish thing a person can do is choose to be childless.

BTW, Gold Digger, your social security taxes don't cover your social security checks, they are spent those people who are getting their checks now. It's fair to say that if you choose not to do the hard work of creating the next generation of taxpayers, then you should not reap what others have sown.

mockturtle said...

As a woman, I believe in a maternal instinct. Have we become so 'gender neutral' that we ignore this? Admittedly, some women are childless by choice and some women simply aren't cut out for motherhood but I do believe there is a strong natural urge in most women to bear children. Ideally, child-bearing and child-rearing should take place within the confines of marriage, which, sadly, is no longer the norm.

damikesc said...

I guess "because they're selfish cunts" (male and female) wasn't wordy enough.

ALP said...

How does anything based on the responses of only 31 people come to be called a "study" and end up in a so-called well respected magazine?

BTW: a lack of adequate mothering two generations ago pretty much squelched the maternal instinct in my family line. A grandmother that suffered from untreated depression/post-partum issues essentially left my mother to fend for herself. Luckily, her eldest sister stepped in and raised her. I blame conservative Roman Catholic values. Five girls and no sons? My mother was the last attempt at a male after 4 tries. Clearly, the failure at producing yet another female pushed my grandmother over the edge. The message I got early on from my own mother was loud and clear: motherhood sucks. Its not surprising since that's what she learned from her own mother.

Fernandinande said...

buwaya puti said...
"I wasnt aware I had to justify my life"
But you do.


To whom?

What do you propose should be done about someone who doesn't justify their life to your satisfaction?

If sufficiently justifying your life requires reproducing, what if they're sterile?

Individuals arent, autonomy is a fantasy.

Quite the opposite.

buwaya puti said...

Fernandinande,

Do you expect just any person to come up and examine your papers? But its still your duty to have them in order.

This society has few mechanisms of enforcement of most obligations, others have been much more intense about it, such as the typical village anywhere just a century ago, unofficial though it was. But our attitude to obligations should not be twisted by the lack of enforcement.

Humans are social creatures, we are made to function in groups. Individual autonomy is a romantic fantasy. A lot of modern problems come not from technology but from the blowback of 19th century fads.

buwaya puti said...

An inability to reproduce is an individual and collective tragedy. Its the death of a child, or all your children. These things, the deaths of children, happen, as does the inability to reproduce.
But its bizarre to wish for it or prefer it, or be indifferent to it.

mockturtle said...

Of course, some of the blame must be placed on the immaturity of many males who evade the responsibilities of fatherhood and leave child-rearing to the mother.

buwaya puti said...

I speak here of course as a fortunate man, with little tragedy to deal with, of this sort or any other. I'm not an Unamuno, who acquired his philosophy after the death of his son. So I am aware I can come across as a bit overstepping emotional limits.

But, at least, if you are reading this and are childless, and still of an age and condition to have children, please consider seriously making a sacrifice to do so.

I know so many talented, capable, worthy people in middle age that have been diverted away from this duty. Its tragic in every sense, personal and communal.

TWW said...

Question not asked: Do you believe your parents should have made the same decisions?

Fernandinande said...

buwaya puti said...
Do you expect just any person to come up and examine your papers? But its still your duty to have them in order.


Nice way of avoiding the question.

It's not my duty to anyone else, or even myself, to have any papers in order, it's for my own convenience; if I didn't do so, I don't have to justify it to anyone including the cop who writes me a ticket for not having proof of insurance.

Individual autonomy is a romantic fantasy.

The individual organism is the basis of evolution and therefore the basis of complex life. A group is just a bunch of individuals who interact with each other differently than they do with out-group entities.

But its bizarre to wish for it or prefer it, or be indifferent to it.

I think it's bizarre that people go to churches. Do they have some obligation to me to not do so, or to justify it?

I am not "child free", I just don't think anyone has the remotest obligation to reproduce; I find that idea bizarre.

buwaya puti said...

The human organism is an individual much like a wolf, a single example thereof, is an individual. But both are social organisms that evolved as such, and much of their nature is designed for the purpose of operating in packs. A wolf without a pack isnt fully a wolf.

We are social creatures, even in evolutionary terms. Not quite as much as bees, because their reproduction is centralized - though wolf reproduction, and possibly human too in its original state of nature, is also subject to group control.

A man alone, or a great number of men alone, is much less effective than men organized. And I think its becoming clear this applies to women also. People were not meant to live as they do in modern societies. Being individuals in the modern sense is a bad thing, it makes the population less fit, it makes it less productive, it reduces fertility and reduces resilience. Technology just masks the weakness.

In the old days, people would "check your papers" - your family and your extended family, your social superiors, the village priest, your corporal, your wife. They dont so much now. That they dont is no excuse to slack off.

FullMoon said...

"The participants had an average age of 34, and were almost entirely heterosexual."

No info on if any participants were married.

No info on sobriety of participants at time of interview.

Mark said...

The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have.

The better educated people are, the more moronic they tend to be. It is a curious paradoxical thing, but people by and large learn to be stupid. And they have done so ever since they first ate of the Tree of Knowledge.

All those "better educated" people -- including all those enlightened LBGTQ etc. people -- have learned to make themselves extinct.

n.n said...

you can't have negative numbers of kids

Yes, you can. Abortion.

We are each entirely replaceable

Evolution is a chaotic process with a comprehensive scope. Abortion or replacement of a causative process (e.g. human life) that is capable of even a minute external influence has unqualified and unpredictable consequences. Unfortunately, the systems are incompletely and insufficiently characterized and unwieldy, so we rely on blind faith (e.g. twilight-tinted "glasses") to orient individual and social evolution. Some people are just less tolerant than others.

Mark said...

I blame conservative Roman Catholic values

You mean the values that all life is precious and that every child is a gift and should be treated as such? That girls and boys, men and women, all have an inherent and equal dignity and worth? Those values?

The message I got early on from my own mother was loud and clear: motherhood sucks.

Those values sound abundantly clear exactly like modern feminism values which, deep down, are anti-woman.

CStanley said...

That is a sad story, ALP, but i find it odd that you blame Roman Catholic values. Perhaps there was a perversion of those values, but the Church itself teaches the opposite of "motherhood sucks."

buwaya puti said...

Modern education is 50% an oxymoron.
Anything but mathematics has declined in quality.
Mathematics is an important exception, but the improved quality applies only to a small minority able to benefit from it.

Mark said...

It should also be noted, with respect to lower birthrates, that not only are fewer people having children, or having fewer children, fewer people are getting married.

Fewer marriages mean that people are actually have less sex than in the past, despite all that we hear about a hook-up culture of easy sex. Less sex means fewer babies. That's because -- all ideologies and beliefs to the contrary notwithstanding -- sex is primarily a reproductive act, which is built into us to fulfill the biological imperative of perpetuating the species. And of course, for those who are "married," that is, of the same sex, that is inherently infertile no matter how often they might engage in it.

Mark said...

Anything but mathematics has declined in quality

In some areas of modern education, 2+2=5 is expected to be accepted as a correct answer.

buwaya puti said...

There are a great number of "Catholic" attitudes that arent, or shouldnt. This is a series of folk belief systems that can be mingled with Catholicism in a cross-fertilized manner. Somewhat like some of the worst parts of Islam are not at all Islamic in an academic sense.
Also somewhat like Islam, Catholicism at its institutional core is a highly academic process that runs on logic, though in this case applied to philosophy and not textual analysis. I forget who said it, that on that level Catholicism is Christianity for Vulcans.
This isnt the folk system. The worst bits of it I have seen are among the Irish. There is a bad-tempered, almost resentful bitterness about it, in the worst cases. This is not the tragic sense of life, this is not St. Francis, this is not the ecstasy of St. Teresa.

Char Char Binks said...

David Begley said...
'"Impacts.""Impact."

Whenever I see those words I want to impact my fist upside the writer's head.'

Why do those words garner such anger?

buwaya puti said...

I find that mathematics course availability and achievement, at least for the subset inclined to make use of it, is much greater now than two-three decades ago. Whats expected of an engineering school freshman is greater than formerly. A kid shouldnt bother applying without his calculus APs. And an amazing number show up with multiple Physics, Chemistry, Stat and misc other "hard" APs. And this is even at decent but bread-and-butter schools like Cal Poly.

Im not speaking of the mass who are failing to learn to make change.

whitney said...

This is such a modern debate. In all the years of human existence it's only been 50 years that this choice has had any merit. But now it does and it seems obvious to me that having children is not logical for the individual. For the species, yes, of course, we must go on and all that but it's going to become more and more difficult as fewer people choose and it becomes less normalized. Even now, we criticize helicopter parents for not giving their children freedom but if they don't watch them 24/7 then someone calls DCS. It's madness and it will only get worse. Maybe Logan's Run was right

n.n said...

2+2=5 is expected to be accepted as a correct answer

With a carefully constructed congruence it is "=".

buwaya puti said...

To bring human nature and reproduction to modern politics, Hilary Clinton was right, it does "take a village" to raise a child. Or to sustain a viable rate of reproduction, long term.

But not her village.

themightypuck said...

I know a girl who is under 30 and she is an active "child free" person. She identifies herself as CF so this sounds like a kind of movement.

Jupiter said...

Fernandinande said...

"I am not "child free", I just don't think anyone has the remotest obligation to reproduce; I find that idea bizarre."

Well, yes. I can follow your reasoning. I kind of agree. But then let me ask, does anyone have any obligations at all?

Jupiter said...

Rusty said...
"Had I known how much fun they are I would have started earlier and had more."

I feel the same way. But I also think I made a much better father at fifty than I would have at forty. Let alone thirty. And as for twenty ...

buwaya puti said...

A sense of obligation is one of those things that come with parenting and the prevailing milieu, as with most such things. It is taught. Its something that comes from the pack.
Its one of those things that prevent expressions of the sin of pride.
There are good reasons why it was a tradition for Kings to wash beggars feet.

Big Mike said...

When my wife was pregnant with our first child a fellow I knew told me that you have to have kids or else no one will cry at your funeral. He was not book-learning bright, but very wise.

Crazy Jane said...


Back in my single years (not THAT long ago) I had a doctor and we started talking about family life. He said this:

"My wife had to talk me into it, and we had our first child when we were 31. I wish we had done it sooner because then we could have had five or six children, instead of just the four."

I was the oldest of a large family and figured when I married that there would be at least two or three children. Shocked me when it took six years to have the first and only. Maybe Gandhi's and Raoul Wallenberg's lives had greater effects and meaning, but for most of us, raising children is the most important thing we will do. It's not always easy, but I wouldn't trade a second of it.

buwaya puti said...

I have trained many young men.
I think that twenty-year olds are seen as unreliable because they arent expected to be reliable. Give them responsibility and most will step up and do well.

Mark said...

I just don't think anyone has the remotest obligation to reproduce

No one has an obligation to have sex, although nature has built in a fairly intense desire for it. And if one does partake of that sex and a child results, as one not infrequently does since it is a reproductive act, then you have the highest obligation toward that person that you helped to create, whether you specifically intended to or not.

mockturtle said...

I think so, buwaya. My father was only 21 when he married my mother during WWII. Nowadays, little is expected of young men [or young women, for that matter].

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Whitney it seems obvious to me that having children is not logical for the individual

If you are looking at children and raising children only through the prism of our current, Western, modernized, technologically advanced society you may have a point.

However, looking only at the material aspects of having children and the downsides of which there are many, you are ignoring the emotional and even spiritual benefits. Sure. When you have children, you do have to give up on somethings. Some temporarily like being able to satisfy your own desires, go out on a whim, spend money on yourself, take vacations, lack of sleep, lack of sex because you are exhausted, never ending chores. Some things permanently perhaps, like career choices, advancements in a corporate environment etc.

The emotional and spiritual that you give up is a connection with the past and a glimpse into the future. Past being your experiences, your parents, grandparents and other relatives. Where you have come from. The future, seeing your children and grandchildren growing up and becoming the future of not just your own family tree, but also of the world. The loving bonds that build between children, parents, grand parents, grand children are completely different than any other bond in your life. Someone who you can love and who will love you. Family to lean on in hard times and spend joyful times with.

There is nothing sadder than the idea of being old, alone, with no children or grandchildren or anyone to care for you, to want to be with you, to share your memories with. You die alone, forgotten and really useless. Unless you are an Einstein, Mozart, or someone who made a contribution to the world, your life has been brief and like a prettily burning candle. Pretty for a while, but once blown out......forgotten and useless.

I look at my granddaughter and see myself, see my daughter, see my mother, see my grandmother in mannerism, facial similarities and marvel at her future. I look at my grandson and see again, parts of myself, my brother, my daughter's husband and his family, personalities and actions that are familiar and yet completely his own.

The past, the present, the future all in two small busy young person packages. It is a miracle. Why deny yourself this miracle in exchange for a fleeting ability to indulge yourself? What a terrible loss for those who deliberately choose to cut themselves off from the river of humanity.

buwaya puti said...

DBQ, precisely and poetically put.
You lay out the immediate and intense feelings.
I used to carry the kids around so much I am surprised they learned to walk.
My daughter in particular lived on my shoulders (boys are more independent!).
I am in comparison to you a cold fish.
They are all just about gone now, the nest is empty, but the deed is done. I can die tomorrow with no regrets, nothing is undone.

Mark Jones said...

Wow. The hostility toward people who choose not have children surprises me. I'm one of them. I knew from pretty early on that I didn't want to have children. And I never have. I didn't--and don't--have the temperament for it.

Does this mean that, in evolutionary terms, I'm a dead end? Maybe. I'm okay with that. (On the other hand, my siblings have all have several children, so there's that.)

Freedom, boys and girls. If you want to have dozens of children, you can. If you want to have none, that's cool too.

Or in the modern parlance, "I *identify* as childless, so you have no right to impose your parent-riachic views on my body, so back off!"

buwaya puti said...

"I didnt -and dont- have the temperament for it"

I completely dont believe this. It is not a matter of temperament, or of ability, these things arent generally relevant. If you can relate to adults and hold your end of a conversation, if you can keep your temper in traffic and hold a responsible job without beating people up, and you do not suffer from debilitating substance abuse (my dad was an alcoholic, and he did superbly), you can absolutely raise kids. Its simply not that hard.

What I have seen is that too many are just afraid. Its a mysterious thing with what seems a heavy load of responsibility. You shy away from the load, but the burden is amazingly light once shouldered.

whitney said...

Dustbunnyqueen said

"There is nothing sadder than the idea of being old, alone, with no children or grandchildren or anyone to care for you, to want to be with you, to share your memories with."

I have heard that from others and I suppose time will tell but at this current moment in time, I am regularly grateful that I don't have them. I look around and cannot imagine a more difficult era in which to raise children except full on war. Between the state, drugs and the internet it looks pretty tricky

buwaya puti said...

"cannot imagine a more difficult era"

I can. I have seen hordes of kids living in slums built on stilts over open sewers. Where I come from the poverty is in your face all day every day, and I think you get from it an accurate understanding of how little, truly, this reproduction business takes. Or this survival business. They do it, and surprisingly few die.

In the past, in this country, the conditions werent much better for most, yet, as noted above, families were large and thrived.

Its a misconception about difficulty. Most of this is social conditioning and misleading memes. You have been trained to fear, and trained to value trifles over substance.

Intelligent and well-socialized parents can raise intelligent and well-socialized kids even in San Francisco. I have seen and known hundreds. Hordes of other San Francisco adults could have had kids just like these, but, I judge, were too afraid to make the attempt.

buwaya puti said...

Let me emphasize - poverty is not a problem.
No sort of poverty, and you will get a lot more of it, in this country is going to be a fraction as bad, materially, as a normal state of prosperity out where fertility rates are a multiple of the US.
It does not take much in a material sense to feed, clothe, amuse, educate kids. All these things are cheap. Medical costs can be very high if they are truly ill or have birth defects, but these are quite rare. Your odds are excellent.
What can be costly is keeping up with the Joneses. But that is vanity.

mockturtle said...

I seldom disagree with buwaya but I believe that those who don't want children shouldn't have them. And I feel no hostility toward them at all. My remarks about maternal instincts were geared toward a currently popular attitude based on selfishness and quasi-environmentalism. And, to a large extent, a kind of Peter Pan mentality. No one wants to grow up any more.

buwaya puti said...

Please feel free to disagree. These are just opinions.

Based on my decades of observations of homo americanus, and homo this and that all over, it seems to me that, under modern conditions of relative prosperity, reproduction is governed mostly by memetic factors - not physical ones, not human health, not economic prospetity, not the physical environment.

You are being brainwashed into infertility.

Rusty said...

"I have heard that from others and I suppose time will tell but at this current moment in time, I am regularly grateful that I don't have them. I look around and cannot imagine a more difficult era in which to raise children except full on war. Between the state, drugs and the internet it looks pretty tricky"

It's never a good time to have children, until you have them.

Mark said...

See, it's not only that people want their choice, and that they justify it to themselves. They want also that YOU affirm them in that choice, however irrational and self-defeating it is, and if you don't, then they get all pissy about it and accuse you of hostility and imposing your views on them. Well, TS.

Rusty said...

Well, buwaya. At least when the nasty shit goes down they can't say they weren't warned. You can sit back and have a whskey with ice with a clear conscience.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't feel hostility to those who have chosen to not reproduce. I just feel somewhat sorry for them in that they have made an irrevocable choice which they may/or may not live to regret.

Whitney said: at this current moment in time, I am regularly grateful that I don't have them. I look around and cannot imagine a more difficult era in which to raise children except full on war. Between the state, drugs and the internet it looks pretty tricky

This statement tells me that Whitney is probably quite young. I don't have much of a rosy outlook on our future as a country, as a world, and my husband and I often say that we are glad we are old and don't have to face 50 more years of this. I worry very much about my grandchildren and hope that they can survive physically and mentally in this Brave New World. I will be gone before they are fully adults and can only pray that they will have the courage, strength and skills to survive. I believe they will because I do, Because my husband does, because my daughter and her husband are strong capable parents and because the children are a part of all of US.

Being older, though, I also have perspective and can take the long view. My father, mother and grandparents went through WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War. Lived through the era of segregation in the US. I'm old enough to remember living through the fear of nuclear bombs, the cold war and practicing diving under our desks. Polio, smallpox, tuberculosis and other diseases were rampant in my youth. The long perspective. the long view is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I also take the AA mantra to heart.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

However, if you wait for the perfect moment to have children, to start a family. The perfect moment when everything is wonderful, when there are no threats in the world and you are financially set and you are safe and secure.....NO ONE would ever have children and the human race would have devolved back into animal status long long ago.

Not to have children is your choice of course. I only share the reasons that I feel it valuable to have children and why I am sorry for those who have decided that self love is more important.

To cut yourself off from the human chain because you are afraid or because life isn't perfect is cowardice.

mockturtle said...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


And point number three is the hardest. Especially in an election year.

whitney said...

Dust bunny queen, I'm 48. Technically, still capable of procreation but I don't want to and I'm content with that choice. And I can certainly understand why you are worrying about your grandchildren

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ mockturtle.

And point number three is the hardest. Especially in an election year.

Wisdom to know the difference.

My husband and I went camping last weekend. We have a place nearby in the mountains that we like to go to decompress. In the pines, a higher elevation than ours (4600 ft), cooler, next to a trout fishing stream and near a reservoir. Quiet, peaceful, lots of trees and bushes for privacy, NO telephone ringing all day long for business, NO internet, NO cell reception, No newspapers, we didn't even bring anything to play music, MP3s or a radio. Yet with full hookups so we could have water, electric, sewer. Silence except for the murmuring of other campers, birds, insects and way off in the distance....mooooo...cows :-)

The days consisted of peaceful tasks. Make breakfast and coffee. Tidy up. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Read some books. Make lunch. Tidy up. Nap for a while. Read. Perhaps drive to the nearby town for a fresh blackberry milk shake. Decide when it was cocktail hour. Feet up in the zero gravity chairs with a nice scotch and water. BBQ. Tidy up. Play some board games. Scrabble. We talked to each other, rested and the world was very very far away. No POLITICS either.

Once back home....bam!! In our faces with messages and work. Turn on the TV and it is Hillary and Trump 24/7. People yelling at each other. Rude insulting people. The internet is full of bad news. Disgusting stories. Stress. Stress. Stress. Noise noise noise. The cats did miss us though.

We wanted to jump back into the trailer and flee. But also we have to cope. So we try to remember that we can only control our own lives, somewhat, and have no control over national politics. Discerning where to put your energy and what you can or cannot do is the only way to remain sane.

So....I'm making wild plum jam, santa rosa plum jam, poaching pears, drying candied pears, making apple pie fillings to freeze, dehydrating apples. THOSE are things I can control :-)

mockturtle said...

DBQ, living as I currently do in my small, solar-powered RV, I am off the grid most of the year and, yes, it is a much more pleasant life. My kids get anxious, though, when they haven't heard from me for a few days.

n.n said...

Women and men are not forced to have unprotected vaginal intercourse. It is their choice and the possibility of conceiving a new human life is not a mystery. However, the normalization or promotion of dysfunctional orientations and behaviors is insane (e.g. Dodo Dynasty) with respect to the natural order, and degenerate (e.g. reproductive prostitution: surrogates, sperm donors; immigration replacement) with respect to the moral order. Then there is the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood in a "final solution" and cannibalism for profit that debase human life. There are either too many "good Americans", or the rugged individual needs a leader to organize their escape from a progressive muck.

n.n said...

You are being brainwashed into infertility.

Exactly. It took a turn for the worse when female chauvinists convinced women to realize their stereotype of men. They have raised one spoiled child after another ever since.

Its a misconception about difficulty. Most of this is social conditioning and misleading memes. You have been trained to fear, and trained to value trifles over substance.

Perhaps it's part of a plan for another great leap Forward! An elective sacrifice for their greater good. They have already voluntarily aborted nearly one hundred million human lives in America alone, and convinced people of the social justice in Dodo Dynasties.

A large and progressive minority of Americans have grown insular in their relative prosperity. The remainder are disenfranchised through a diverse spectrum of hook and crook legal, academic, and social policies.

madAsHell said...

The future belongs to those that show up.
Why worry about the no-shows?

YeeHaw! said...

Even when carefully planned, old age brings issues that must be handled by someone a) is much younger, healthier, and mentally alert than you a) loves you enough to make a significant emotional investment in your well being.

This generally needs to be a child or a close nephew/niece. But there are fewer children to go around, and many childless-by-choice do not cultivate those close bonds with their nephews and nieces.

Will there be more nursing home horror stories in the next few decades. Maybe not. If no one who cares observes, who will tell the tale?

I suspect this will be a growing theme in the next two decades as the baby boomers become too infirm to care for themselves, but still mentally alert enough to document their experiences.

jimbino said...

Ann Landers famously found few among her breeding fans who would have kids at all if they had life to live over again. Animals are "raised" while kids are "reared."

Now we read that the childfree are happier. Of course, parents aren't going to publicly admit that they'd rather not have had the bastards.

Speaking of serving as a sperm donor, I must have done that throughout Europe back in the day. I still celebrate the day after Father's Day, when I know I've escaped the dreaded phone call, "Hi Dad, you don't know me but ...."

I'm the last male in a long and illustrious Irish family line and I ruled out having kids after having long observed that kids will give you a net negative in life experience. But since the famous surname thus threatens to disappear, my nephews and nieces have taken the liberty of giving a kid of theirs the moribund Irish family name as a first name, without asking my permission!

Isn't it the essence of selfishness to continue to breed in the face of escalating carbon footprint, devastation of flora and fauna, disappearance of lebensraum, and proliferation of global warfare?--All while charging the childfree higher taxes than they as parents pay to mis-educate the multiplying brood.

We're smarter in raising cattle than we are in rearing brats.

YeeHaw! said...

I have met so many lively, interesting people just by having children. Some also have children, while some do not.

I think that children also tend to repel people who are narcissistic and vapid, as they know they can't out-compete a child for attention.

sane_voter said...

Even when carefully planned, old age brings issues that must be handled by someone a) is much younger, healthier, and mentally alert than you a) loves you enough to make a significant emotional investment in your well being.

For most people, starting within the next 20-30 years, this is going to be a robot. The Japanese, who have precious few children now, are paving the way. I have kids and I still expect robots to be a major part of my old age care and interaction. Robot babies not so much (apologies to Lazlo)

Sammy Finkelman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sammy Finkelman said...

What do you think of 2 colons in the same sentence? I don't think this author really thought about it. It looks more like he just kept this one sentence going so long that he forgot about the first one.

It probably make sense. How else would you punctuate it? It probably make sense. How else would you punctuate it? Put a period instead of a comma after the word "kids?" But it should be a comma!

I can do that too. It may not be an accident. I notice things like that and leave it that way.

Totally rewriting the sentence doesn't make sense to do.

(Slightly amended and added to, typos corrected, and original post removed)

kurt9 said...

"I wasnt aware I had to justify my life"

But you do.


No I don't.

Individuals arent, autonomy is a fantasy.

My autonomy is a reality, not a fantasy. My life is my own. Deal with it.

You were born with a mountain of obligations, passed on by your ancestors, and payment is due to your present day compatriots and to posterity.

Contractual obligations requires consent to the contract. Since I never consented to this, nor was my consent ever asked for, I cannot be considered responsible for such obligations. As such, I repudiate any such obligations that may be asked of me.

You do understand that morality is inherently contractual, that all non-contractual concepts of morality are fraudulent, don't you?

BTW, I don't have to justify or convince you or anyone else of anything. I just have to do it.

Mark said...

Will there be more nursing home horror stories in the next few decades.

If the younger generation does not want to spend their time caring for children, they sure aren't going to want to spend time caring for old folks, no matter how much they are paid to do it.

kurt9 said...

Even when carefully planned, old age brings issues that must be handled by someone a) is much younger, healthier, and mentally alert than you a) loves you enough to make a significant emotional investment in your well being.

For most people, starting within the next 20-30 years, this is going to be a robot. The Japanese, who have precious few children now, are paving the way. I have kids and I still expect robots to be a major part of my old age care and interaction. Robot babies not so much (apologies to Lazlo)


I prefer SENS, telemore elongation, or some other anti-aging bio-medicine. I prefer cryo-preservation as the back up plan (e.g. Plan B).

I am well-aware of the aging process. It is a bio-engineering challenge, nothing less or more. Please don't make it into anything its not.

kurt9 said...

Bill Whittle once said there is no greater duty of the citizen than to raise the next generation of citizens. With very few exceptions, the most selfish thing a person can do is choose to be childless.

I prefer to make sentient AI instead. Its more robust, you know, and it can go places conventional humans cannot (e.g. space, other planets, underwater, etc.)

Mark said...

My autonomy is a reality, not a fantasy. My life is my own. Deal with it.

Wow. The first person in the history of the universe who created himself. Everyone else required other people for us to even exist. And to teach us the language and words that we are using now to communicate. And to design, build, transport and sell the computers we are using, and the internet structure and power grid. And for us, we necessarily rely on other people to produce our food, clothing, and housing. We even depend upon the animals and plants that we eat to reproduce themselves and we rely upon the laws of nature to bind molecules together and keep us grounded on the planet by gravity.

But you! You are AUTONOMOUS!!! Amazing. A god unto yourself.

NEWSFLASH -- No you're not. Your life is not your own. Your life depends upon countless other people and billions of factors. Your autonomy is a farce. Deal with it.

mockturtle said...

disappearance of lebensraum

Well, like Hitler, I guess you'll have to invade Poland.

mockturtle said...

sane?voter said: For most people, starting within the next 20-30 years, this is going to be a robot. The Japanese, who have precious few children now, are paving the way. I have kids and I still expect robots to be a major part of my old age care and interaction.

Good luck with that.

mockturtle said...

If the younger generation does not want to spend their time caring for children, they sure aren't going to want to spend time caring for old folks, no matter how much they are paid to do it.

Hell, no! They'll probably euthanize all of us.

Paddy O said...

Funny episode of the Simpsons on this topic called Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays.

A clip.

cubanbob said...

"The better educated people are, the fewer kids they have."

Better educated people tend to put far more resources into their kids and takes money, lots of money. So unless you have a tremendous amount of money (by most people's standards) the better educated can't afford to have lots of children.

"I am well-aware of the aging process. It is a bio-engineering challenge, nothing less or more. Please don't make it into anything its not."

You do realize that both the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program were pieces of cake compared to this.

YeeHaw! said...

sane_voter, I must disagree with you.

The issues that must be dealt with are not those that lend themselves to automation.

Many of them deal with persuading your parents that they should do things that they do not want to do, or stop doing things they are no longer capable of doing.

Another large chunk of them is monitoring your parent's mental health and the care they are receiving, and championing their interests in the face of a system whose interests may not always coincide with the best interests of your parent.

Kelly said...

Sadly, my daughter decided not to have children. In the past year she caught baby fever and she and her husband have been "trying", even canceling a cruise due to Zika fears. I can't wait to be a grandma!

I Callahan said...

See, it's not only that people want their choice, and that they justify it to themselves. They want also that YOU affirm them in that choice, however irrational and self-defeating it is, and if you don't, then they get all pissy about it and accuse you of hostility and imposing your views on them. Well, TS.

This is unfair, Mark, and you know it. They are defending their choice. The comments started out pretty hostile to the child-free pretty quickly, so I'm not sure what you expected. I mean, I thought this was an internet comment section - people of both views are going to comment. Do you want them to come out and admit they're wrong and that you're right? Well, that ain't going to happen. They have a point of view and to them it's valid.

jimbino said...

I imagine prospective parents presenting a Breeding Business Plan to a venture capitalist. There is no way, outside gummint fiat, that any rational person would opt to have kid today. It is gummint fiat that forces those of us who disagree with the rampant breeding program to finance it through our taxes.

The truth is that our Latinos make and rear kids better and more cheaply. You'd think that, with Nafta, Amerikans would bow out of the nonsense and rely on better and cheaper production overseas.

YeeHaw! said...

kurt9, The aging process is, and will remain, primarily a social challenge that revolves mainly around the family as the basic social unit.

Advances in biotechnology will help in some ways, but in other ways complicate matters, and in still other ways make no difference at all.

As an example, take cryo-preservation. Someone has to make sure that the facility truly does take all practicable measures to prevent tragic, yet financially convenient power outage. That someone must be someone who has an irrational fondness for the preservation of kurt9's frozen head. Who besides a family member would have such an irrational fondness?

YeeHaw! said...

I Callahan,

Yep, it does seem that the childless get more than their share of grief. If it is like this in a comments thread, think how bad it will be when they are old and infirm in a nursing home. All the more reason to have some sort of family or family-like organization to stick up for you.

It is a cold and cruel world out there, and there are very few Mother Teresa's out there, God bless them.

kurt9 said...

The aging process is, and will remain, primarily a social challenge that revolves mainly around the family as the basic social unit.

No. The aging process is a bio-technological challenge, nothing more. Calling it a social challenge is meaningless red herring at best. SENS is the appropriate way to deal with aging.

As an example, take cryo-preservation. Someone has to make sure that the facility truly does take all practicable measures to prevent tragic, yet financially convenient power outage.

If you know anything about cryonics, you would know that power outages are not a problem. There are other problems of maintenance and, of course, the development of the technology to regenerate and reanimate people in cryo-preservation.

That someone must be someone who has an irrational fondness for the preservation of kurt9's frozen head. Who besides a family member would have such an irrational fondness?

Again you got it wrong. It is the future members of our organization who will develop the technology and do the reaninmation, not anyone from society at large who has no interest in our objectives. Likewise, if SENS gets developed in the next 2-3 decades and I make it (e.g. I get rejuvenated and never have to be cryo-preserved), I personally will take it upon myself to help develop the technology to reanimate all of my compatriots who happen to be in cryo-preservation. Its the least I could do for them.

My point is that I do not reject contacts and obligations with ALL other humans, only those who do not share my world-view and objectives. Of course, I feel a sense of solidarity and common purpose with my fellow life-extensionists and transhumanist-types. I just don't feel any sense of commonality with those who do not share these objectives.

This is the nature of a "self-interested" group. Those of you who mention community here ought to understand this dynamic instinctively.

You were born with a mountain of obligations, passed on by your ancestors, and payment is due to your present day compatriots and to posterity.

Not that I've thought about it, I can think of two ways to "make the payment" while benefiting my group at the same time. One is to support SENS research, either by financial donation, or if I have the money and time to do so, setting up my own lab and doing research on my own. You do realize that much of bio-engineering research is a "garage-level" activity, don't you? The other thing is to teach myself the "deep learning" algorithm programming and work on my own robotics, with the intent of developing AI. With enough money, I actually think this might be a "garage-level" activity as well.

When we talk about "having kids", who says the "kids" have to be biological humans (LOL!)? Maybe my friends and I come up with something better (LOL)!!

kurt9 said...

Wow. The first person in the history of the universe who created himself. Everyone else required other people for us to even exist. And to teach us the language and words that we are using now to communicate. And to design, build, transport and sell the computers we are using, and the internet structure and power grid. And for us, we necessarily rely on other people to produce our food, clothing, and housing. We even depend upon the animals and plants that we eat to reproduce themselves and we rely upon the laws of nature to bind molecules together and keep us grounded on the planet by gravity.

Yes, there is something called a free-market system that allows us to interact with each other to produce these things that we use in our lives. Of course we are all interdependent with each other. But there is a difference between free-market based interdependency and the kind of intergenerational collectivism that you guys seem to advocate. The first is an integral part of my daily life. The second is a bunch of horse pucky.

By autonomy, I meant that I interact and deal with other people on the basis of mutual respect and rational self-interest. Call it horizontal networking between hierarchical "equals". This is how I work with other people. I see no reason why I need to work with others any differently and I especially see no reason why I need to somehow "submit" myself to any other humans (I wouldn't dream of doing this) other than a boss/employee relationship. My definition of autonomy also means that I do not consult or seek the approval of others when making long-term strategic PERSONAL life decisions, especially with those who do not share my world-view about these things.

Some of you seem to have a problem with my refusal to seek the approval of others with regards to my strategic personal life decisions. The reason why this attitude mystifies me is because I have never had this kind of discussion in any face to face conversation. Questioning someone's long-term life choices, excepting situations that require intervention such as drug or alcohol problems, is simply not considered an appropriate subject for polite conversation. Its considered rude to pry into peoples' personal lives when they do not ask for it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mad has hell said The future belongs to those that show up.
Why worry about the no-shows?


Idiocracy. Darwin's theory of selection of the fittest has been turned upside down. Selection of the least fit because the fit have decided to just throw in the towel. We have built millenniums of civilization, innovation, and technology only to throw it away because the capable are more interested in their immediate needs and personal angst issues. Statistics matter.

The future does belong to those who show up. Unfortunately it is going to be the Eloi... and not even the smart ones.

I guess it really doesn't matter to the dead whether it is the Eloi or the Morlocks or our new overlord Raccoon masters (obscure sci fi reference) who rule. I would like to think that we didn't burn ourselves into the ground or just refused to continue to progress or survive out of pique, self indulgence or sheer ennui.

Nevertheless, it will all work out eventually one way or the other and if we breed ourselves into Idiocracy, there will always eventually be another species or another culture or another nation who will fill the void. It isn't like this is the first or the last time it will happen.

Que serra.


mockturtle said...

If, like me, you consider the Renaissance to be the acme of human brilliance and creativity, you see the obvious devolution. Some don't see it, though. They see technology as the god to be worshiped and the lifeboat that saves mankind.

damikesc said...

Of course, some of the blame must be placed on the immaturity of many males who evade the responsibilities of fatherhood and leave child-rearing to the mother.

Some, yes. Some also must be put on the women and, hell, society as a whole that demean fatherhood.

I went off on my mother-in-law for making comments about me "baby-sitting" my kids. It's called "fathering". I'm a dad.

And given how the "social safety net" is set up, producing no kids and expecting the same benefits is inherently selfish.


Back in my single years (not THAT long ago) I had a doctor and we started talking about family life. He said this:

"My wife had to talk me into it, and we had our first child when we were 31. I wish we had done it sooner because then we could have had five or six children, instead of just the four."


I have two and, if I had more money, I'd have more. Being a father is awesome.

Or in the modern parlance, "I *identify* as childless, so you have no right to impose your parent-riachic views on my body, so back off!"

You support in your old age will be provided on the back of my kids.

Just sayin'.

It is gummint fiat that forces those of us who disagree with the rampant breeding program to finance it through our taxes.

Your taxes pay, primarily, for the care of YOUR parents.

When you get older, I will seek to have my kids' taxes not used to take care of you.

Don't see how you could possibly mind.

As an example, take cryo-preservation. Someone has to make sure that the facility truly does take all practicable measures to prevent tragic, yet financially convenient power outage. That someone must be someone who has an irrational fondness for the preservation of kurt9's frozen head. Who besides a family member would have such an irrational fondness?

No joke. I worry about my mom and dad quite a lot. Other people's mothers and fathers rank dramatically lower on my totem pole of concerns.

Again you got it wrong. It is the future members of our organization who will develop the technology and do the reaninmation, not anyone from society at large who has no interest in our objectives. Likewise, if SENS gets developed in the next 2-3 decades and I make it (e.g. I get rejuvenated and never have to be cryo-preserved), I personally will take it upon myself to help develop the technology to reanimate all of my compatriots who happen to be in cryo-preservation. Its the least I could do for them.


Who's there to stop the cryo-preservation group from deciding to simply dispose of you? You cannot stop them and nobody else will care. It's nice that you think humanity is inherently nice and worried about all, but history indicates that this is a bad idea.

If, like me, you consider the Renaissance to be the acme of human brilliance and creativity, you see the obvious devolution. Some don't see it, though. They see technology as the god to be worshiped and the lifeboat that saves mankind.

They keep ignoring the "greatness" that is technology is always hampered by the reality that it is produced by people.

n.n said...

It's a material world and female chauvinists are material girls. Most outgrow their childish ways, as do their male chauvinist counterparts, and put away childish things.

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Darwin's theory of selection of the fittest has been turned upside down.


No it hasn't. The environment changed so that dumb people don't die off as fast as they used to.

Selection of the least fit because the fit have decided to just throw in the towel.

If they're (quasi-naturally) selected, then they're "fit" by definition. Darwinian fitness doesn't consist of characteristics that you like or find useful.

damikesc said...
And given how the "social safety net" is set up, producing no kids and expecting the same benefits is inherently selfish.


I think if you dig a little further you'll find that people with fewer children subsidize those with more children: the "safety nets" for kids (WIC, etc), public schools (about $10K/year/kid), etc.

n.n said...

The fitness function of a chaotic process (e.g. evolution) is unqualified. The anthropomorphic layers added by the "theory of evolution" are creations of its believers.

YeeHaw! said...

kurt9,

Perhaps I am wrong. I certainly don't know much about cryonics.

It seems that your plan requires the creation of a family-like or tribal social structure to work. I think that will be your biggest challenge, not the technology.

As an example, you said:
I personally will take it upon myself to help develop the technology to reanimate all of my compatriots who happen to be in cryo-preservation. Its the least I could do for them.

That is a big obligation. It will probably take many decades of dedicated work and much of your funding to develop that technology, all the while taking responsibility to ensure those cryo-preserved compatriots remain frozen. Are you sure you will actually see that through?

The least you could do is actually nothing. Nothing is much easier to do.

I have seen that even the close bonds of family can be strained by the far less daunting task of a few years of end-of-life care. It generally is a significant burden.

Furthermore, I have seen many mutual-aid social structures (such as service or religious groups), and very few of them have a cohesiveness similar to biological family units.

Perhaps the transhumanist movement will develop the necessary social structures to support this goal. Perhaps the technology will advance to such a degree that the social structures are unnecessary. But unless one of those things happen, I don't see how I am wrong.

Rusty said...

I personally will take it upon myself to help develop the technology to reanimate all of my compatriots who happen to be in cryo-preservation. Its the least I could do for them.

Good luck with that. I'm reasonably sure that once your cells begin to deteriorate, which starts to happen even before death, It's goin to be pretty much impossible to revive them.