The Flaw at the Center

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I did tell you I’ve been thinking a lot of heretical thoughts, right? Downright heresy against the fundamental principles of the society that brought me up, and the unwritten rules of the one who adopted me.

I suspect the reason for this … taste for heresy — yes, yes, you’re going to need two bolters — is that I acculturated ONCE. I acculturated willingly, and have no intention of reversing it (I’m not sure it would be possible, honestly. What’s seen and learned can’t be unseen and unlearned) but I’m also the fish who saw the water. (Insert heretical thoughts about Moses growing up between two cultures which probably prepared him for his role, honestly. Whatever divine intervention came after.)

People normally don’t see culture.  Just like a fish doesn’t see water. It’s just there. It’s the way things are.

But if you’ve acculturated, at least if you’re the kind that thinks too much (oh, hai there) you do. And you can’t unsee it.

For example the other day I was walking past a pedicure and manicure place. Their shop window had hands and feet and a lot of pink roses. So far so good. But it also had a pair of feet where the ankles were bound with a pink ribbon…  Yep, Asian place, and I’m sure it doesn’t mean the same in their culture, but my immediate thought was “bondage, with kindness? Gift bondage? What the heck?” And that’s why I looked in, and realized it was an Asian place, and realized they didn’t see the semiotics of the thing the same way. (To be fair, it’s harder if you come from a culture that “far” culturally from the US.  Portugal is — mostly — Western, or at least we share a lot of things, and it was far enough. Until I started doing covers, I didn’t realize my fonts weren’t congruent with what the rest of the US saw. “Historical fantasy” for me was “horror” to the average person.)

Anyway, lately I’ve been running into things having to do with kids and population.  There was a post on Facebook about how right now the biggest suicide risk group is around 13-14. And the highest suicide rate. Which is unheard of.

I pointed out that every culture who lets strangers raise their kids gets into trouble. There was the usual protest of “but I can’t.” And I get this. Honestly I do. I know how difficult it was for us.  Probably cost us not only my potential income (writing is not a patch on multilingual scientific translation, which back then could not be done remote) but also, ultimately my skills, as I don’t remember half of what I learned but used last 30 years ago. And also I have no resume. Right now, if indie and cover making doesn’t work, my recourse is to go trippingly to Walmart and become a cashier.

There were also at least fifteen years of heroics, trying to get the soit-disant career off the ground, while raising the two boys (while husband was working 18 hour days) and skills I had to learn like furniture refinishing and sewing, just to keep us living a decent life. Also everything was cooked from scratch (that’s not a hardship, btw) Husband learned to keep our cars going (not possible now, with everything on computers) and we both learned to renovate houses from the ground up. And eh… our big vacations were to Denver, and visits to my parents (who often paid half the trip) were at best every three years, which means the kids had no extended family in their lives.

As I write this, every car in this family is over 20 years old and one is in the process of self-destroying and will have — somehow — to be replaced.

I UNDERSTAND the price one pays to raise one’s own kids. And you can add to that general societal disapproval. The number of people who sneer at me and treat me like an idiot because I was a stay at home mom beat the number of people who treat me like a human being 100 to 1.

HOWEVER I think — shoals still ahead not withstanding — we did a better job than strangers could have done raising the sprogs. At least I hope so. The younger one, particularly, with his sensory issues would probably have been identified as having behavioral problems. (I mean they tried that in middle school.)  And put on psychiatric drugs. And destroyed.

Look, there are fine daycares. Excellent places. The best of them is not as good as medium-level parent. Trust me, there’s a difference. I KNEW as a kid when I was being watched by even very nice strangers that they didn’t CARE the way my parents did.

There’s other things going on. I haven’t looked into it in decades, but when kid was five or so I read about research on a mechanism by which … this is hard to explain… by the age of 3 kids “download” the mind of their principal caregiver. Yes, there was a mechanism for it other than “magic.” They studied kids who were adopted and even kids who were watched by other people, and found that their minds were closer to those who looked after them than their genetic relations.

Now, it’s been at least two decades since I looked at the research, and maybe it wasn’t even valid, but think about it. Do you want to risk THAT?  I didn’t.

Anyway, historically, societies who gave their kids to strangers to raise, from Ancient Rome to Imperial Britain (at the aristocratic level) crashed hard, fast and ugly once that became widespread.  And had EXACTLY the same problems we have with our youth.

That’s your first heresy of the day.  The second one is:

I came across this book. Or rather a talk by its authors.

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline

How it happened was like this: I thought I’d like to hear a favorite song I don’t own, went to youtube and accidentally clicked on an interview with the authors.

I haven’t read the book, yet, I ordered it, but it is due in FEBRUARY (no, no clue why.) So all my impressions are from that interview.

  • They don’t follow my line of reasoning and think we’re already in trouble. This is because none of them has stopped and thought about whether censuses are “real” or who the hell counts illiterate peasants in trackless Africa. Or how come the great AIDS die off in sub-Saharan Africa was never reflected in our figures, or for that matter, they never got adjusted down after it was proven the USSR had been spinning numbers wholesale.  And who in hell actually tracks figures from places like the Arab countries or China, where communication is more propaganda than anything else?
  • They didn’t do that, they swallowed the censuses wholesale (Rolls eyes) and think we have 7 billion and will peak at 11 billion mid century. (Yeah, good luck with that.)
  • What they’re sounding the alarm on is the fact that we have a falling birthrate across the world, like India and China are reporting (and I don’t remember which is which) 2.1 children per woman and 1.5 children per woman. Assume that whatever the Arab world and Africa are reporting is unsubstantiated bullshit. The developed countries, including us, are below replacement rate. (And that’s without counting the shennenigans in our censuses, too.)

So far so good. I think the alarm should be sounded faster and higher, but yeah, we’re in trouble bad as a species. Particularly when you add in that most kids simply aren’t marrying, or if marrying not having kids. (As a former friend in Portugal told me “It’s the most absurd thing. We’ve forgotten how to make babies.”)

We don’t know what rate of population fall will collapse the economy. And we DO NOT know how many people it takes to keep civilization going.

This is because, despite the fact that the fall is obvious and coming at us fast, our establishment is still worried about the “overpopulation crisis.” If this reminds you of something else they’ve gotten backwards, you have it. So even saying population is falling or that it might be a bad thing is an heresy. They have my admiration on that.

BUT THEN they proposed as a holding measure, open-borders immigration to make up the numbers in the west.

Head desk, head desk, head desk.  I guess it’s to be expected. These people are demographers, therefore they SEE people as widgets. But people aren’t widgets. And cultures aren’t all “equally valid.”

Importing vast quantities of third worlders, from countries, btw, where the population is also likely falling but where the CULTURE is so vastly embuggered that they can’t look after their former population will do nothing for keeping the west going.  And if the West crashes — sorry, guys — civilization as we know it, crashes along with it. Sure, China will go on, for a while at least and probably eventually have a global empire. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

More pertinently, I’m coming to the conclusion that “culture” is … organic.  Think of it as a group mind.  In many ways it has a mind of its own. And its OLD.  And when disrupted it dies.  Now, I’m anthropomorphizing culture and this is not exactly what I mean, but it seems that contra the “plastic culture” and “Tabula rasa people” views of the last century (which filled 100 million graves) cultures are things that have to be respected and can only be changed incrementally, or the POPULATION the culture belongs to interprets it as being conquered and stops having kids or functioning. Which is where most of the west is with socialism. (The slow death of socialism. When it doesn’t kill fast, it still kills.)

Bringing another culture (or a couple) into the west just makes the clash of cultures happen harder, faster, and makes it more likely neither will survive. And nor will civilization.

The fact these smart heretics missed that is… mind boggling. And a sign of how the failed ideologies and false assumptions of the 20th century are still with us.

Now, I know how to save us, of course. But it’s something I can’t do alone, except by incremental influence of the culture. And you have to be prepared to be considered heretics and lunatics if you buy into this program. Because everyone knows OVER population will kill us. (Like everyone knew the Soviet Union was far more prosperous than the West.)

First, we MUST beat socialism back on all fronts. Both because it’s a culture incompatible with the West, and because our back brains interpret having it imposed on us as “having been conquered” and proceed to destroy the population; and because more power of the state means less power of the family, smaller families, atomized dysfunctional families, and strangers raising your kids.  None of this ends well.

Second, we must make it easier for women to work from the home.  Yes, I know.  I KNOW.  There are those who think women shouldn’t work at all. But in Western culture women have always been treated as human beings. Which in the present era means learning to read, write and use their minds. And if they do that… well, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Also, honestly, being ONLY child carers is a recipe for helicopter parenting. Women have always worked. Cottagers and farmers worked — both parents — with the kids around them. That’s most of our history. In prehistory women foraged with the kids. It was only the industrial revolution that broke that (to an extent, though often kids worked with their parents) and the 20th century “liberation” that destroyed it.  Kids are not widgets and they’re best with their parents biological or not. The resistance to working from home is stupid and based on a desire to control people. When you go out to build over, under and around, try to make this a humane world where families can work together from the home or whatever space they work in, and the kids can grow up around their working parents.

Rebuild the West.
Look, I’ll be blunt. The crash might already be inevitable. The mistaken assumptions of the twentieth century might be stretched across our path like an invisible wire, ready to trip us as we come running.  It might be impossible to turn around in time, even if this heresy too hold.
BUT if Western Culture, English Enlightenment culture remains with its principles of respect for the individual and a law-abiding community, we WILL rebuild.
We might rebuild anyway, yes, but we don’t know what frankenstein culture will emerge from this broken world. And some cultures are less functional than others.
A friend thinks rebuilding is unlikely already because it’s mostly the underclass (national and global) reproducing and the genetic material is poor.  To the extent we’ve yet to figure out (lots of mechanisms, including the mirroring thing above) how biology and culture intersect, he has a point.  But we also know what happens when you dump a bunch of what we’ll call “poor stock” in a very British way, in a place to sink or swim, with no help.  We know that from parts of the US and from Australia.  The first step is tons of deaths.  The population self culls. But what actually survives is no better and no worse than large populations of mankind.
So the genetics doesn’t worry me, except that it might prolong the length of the dark night of civilization.  Best if the dark night doesn’t come. (Even if massive dying is inevitable in any amount of civilizational crash.)
So, go out and learn the history of the West, and teach it to the young, and sweep Marxism and Howard Zinn’s lies into the dustbin of history.

Build under, build over, build around.  The time is short, and we MIGHT still have a bare chance to avert a worldwide civilizational crash.

Teach the children well. We might end up having to trust them to rebuild.

 

364 responses to “The Flaw at the Center

  1. The Clash of Cultures and being conquered makes more sense than some of the other “theories” our oh-so-educated elites have imagined. Funny that the narrative is still “overpopulation” instead of decreasing population. I was listening to someone on youtube who felt that the Left was self-culling with their talk of climate ruin and other insane ideas.

    • Yes, the Left seems not to understand the future belongs to those who show up.

      They are relying on recruiting from The Breeders.

      • One would think they had considered that before dismissing them all as Deplorables and Irredeemable.

      • Right now most of The Breeders are in societies that treat women like cattle, and they are highly resistant to being recruited.

        • Check your assumptions. No. Right now, most of the REPORTED BREEDERS.
          I have friends in NGOs all over the globe (languages specialist, remember.) Apparently ain’t nothing crashing so fast as the Arabs and Islamic societies. Their women discovered the rhythm method on line, and are voting with their wombs.
          PLEASE do not swallow reports from countries that COULDN’T count all their people even if they tried, and countries that have a tradition — Arab culture — of multiplying all counts they’re proud of by ten, if not 100. (“Our army is 40,000 people.” — maybe 1000, more likely 400 is ROUTINE in the Middle East.) as accurate and the result of a census. THIS IS WHAT I FRICKING MEANT. Americans do this by default.
          Who on Earth do you think went into the desert and counted the Bedouins?
          And don’t tell me that the CIA, etc. confirms this count. They also thought the USSR was GROWING and had 100 times the population it in fact was proven to have when the wall fell. Or to quote someone “At this rate the only place Russian will be spoken in 100 years is at the weekly poker game between Lenin and Stalin, in Hell.”

          • I have also read … can’t recollect where… but if you actually go and look at the satellite views of cities in Africa (and elsewhere, sometimes) that are claimed to have umpty-hundred-thousand inhabitants, it’s plain from the satellite view that the infrastructure of those places just does not support that big a population. They’re basically Potemkin cities; all flash, a couple of badly paved roads and not much else.

            • yeah, they are trying to convince us that all of the hundreds of thousands live int he shantytown slums in these third world cities and I ain’t buying it.

            • Patrick Chester

              I remember reading one of Heinlein’s essays where he pretty much said the same thing. About the Russian capital of Moscow.

            • … the infrastructure of those places just does not support that big a population.

              They identify as modern metropolises! Who are you to define them, h8ter?

          • Geoff Withnell

            Remember, the CIA is HUMINT, human intelligence. In other words, on something like population, it is just unofficial reports, not actual data.

        • In slightly less broad terms than Sarah–

          Exactly how many beyond six do you need to be to be a “Breeder” than six?

          Because I still ain’t in the high end of several social groups.

          The “hiding at normal” folks are at 4.

          • Here in the missions world, 4-6 tends to be the average number of MK’s per family.
            And 8+ is more common here than 2 or less.

            • Not quite as obvious but at my evanglical church the average among the younger set is 3-5 kids. As a comparison my daughters had few friends that either weren’t either singletons or from 2 kid families. The exceptions were
              1) evangelicals, and other religious (oddly NOT catholic)
              2) Some high end families (stay at home mom Dad in finance or law in boston) had 3 which seemed to be the max

              Comparing to when I grew up I knew 1 other only child in my grammar school classes that was an only. And in 6th grade her parents changed that :-). Families were commonly 3-6 (Blue collar north east, primarily catholic) with occasional outliers. One friend was 8th of 9 and all the others were girls (although there were 2 pairs of twin girls in that passel so a bit of cheating there 🙂 ).

              • ” in 6th grade her parents changed that 🙂 ”

                🙂

                Had two other sets of parents our age (we were “older parents”) that pulled the same stunt on their older child. One set got a two-fer on their second round. Older child was 15 years older than the twins. Twins were uncles before they got out of grade school. The other child’s sibling was 12 years older; he was an uncle before he graduated from HS.

                • Being familiar with that young lady and her parents I suspect they were married relatively early (early 20’s perhaps as young as 19 for the mother). So Mid 30’s for a second child. Today that’s not uncommon for a first child. My wife’s younger sister is 9 years her junior so was just 12 when we married. But because first children have moved to late 20’s early 30’s it is very hard to have a 6+ child family as the mom essentially has to be constantly pregnant and the natural drop in fertility in both parents fights that. Demographics is definitely part of destiny.

          • I went to school with someone who was the eldest of 11 children. Common numbers were anywhere from 1-8. 3-4 was the ‘more common’ number of siblings.

  2. Center is such a geocentric term. Last night I had this vision of the End of the World as a spatial coordinate — probably came of attending the Galaxy Quest documentary, Never Surrender. Highly recommended for those who like the source.

    Off to buy groceries for tomorrow …

  3. We’re going to have a big family Thanksgiving at my house this year. There will be a “kids’ table” where “kid” is defined as anyone under 40. The number of actual under-18 folks is 1.

    It feels wrong, but I’m not sure what to do about it. I dealt with, and am still dealing with, such a profound depression after the birth of my girl that the thought of going through it again is paralyzing, even though in an abstract sense I’d like her to have siblings. I can’t force my sister to marry and have children, and my husband doesn’t even have any siblings who might marry.

    So we may be stuck. But I’m still sad that it feels like two families have been reduced to this one descendent. And I’m worried for her growing up like that.

    • The second one is usually easier. Ask me how I know. Also I know a sane psychiatrist who can probably help and won’t even charge.

    • The sexual revolution was a bust. Between radical feminism, the abortion industry, and the LGBTQ cabal, they’ve gutted any ability of the West to sustain itself, much less grow into the future.

      The last chapters of Arthur C,. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” are most reflective of what’s happening to the West. But at least when the last normal humans died off, the remainder evolved and left Earth to join with the cosmic deity. We don’t even have that to look forward to.

      Jerry Pournelle was right. Despair is a sin.

      • The Map Is Not the Territory, and Statics is even worse when it comes to showing what it’s like out there.
        There’s a good number of people who are getting married, raising lots of kids, letting them get into trouble on their own, and all the rest of the good old ways.
        But they’re not miserable Manhattan based Clickbait Serfs, so you don’t hear a lot from them.

        • And they’re hella hard hiding, because have you SEEN what happens to folks who get famous in feel-good stories?

          • I’d argue that the cause-and-effect on that one is reversed but the principle is accurate. What I mean is that the way you phrased it sounds like “If you get famous, you end up with poor life outcomes, so people are trying to avoid being famous.” What I think is going on is that if you get famous, you get lots of annoyances that come with it, so people who don’t feel any desire for fame actively avoid fame — and I think it’s desiring fame (or worse, desiring fame and getting it) that leads to poor life outcomes. So I think the actual cause-and-effect is that the people you’re talking about are hiding not because they’re afraid that fame will make them become idiots, they’re afraid that fame will make them annoyed. But the principle is still accurate: people who make good life choices tend to actively avoid being famous.

            • I was thinking of Mr. “Donate to my beer fund, oh wait that’s a lot, donate to sick kids, oh hey destroy me” dude.

              • Then again, there’s been some pretty heavy kickback at the Cancel Culture Apparatchiks when that happens.
                And the kickback is likely to get heavier. The clip circulating of the Antifa moron trying to block traffic comes to mind.

      • The only winners of the sexual revolution were the STDs.

    • I am reliably advised that no two births, like no two kids, are alike. Knowing of – and having addressed – a problem going in is a big head start. Discuss it with your ob-gyn and pediatrician and be not afraid.

      Choosing to stop at one is okay, but choose that for the right reasons.

    • We had a kid’s table as the family gathered the night before a wedding. The other table was my parents’ generation, so several of us kids were over forty.

  4. Horrified Gasp! Why, you Neanderthal! Someone is going to come and take away your woman card. This is the most convincing proof anyone has ever offered that you are really a white Mormon male. Only such a regressive benighted savage could express such heresy; first that they should reproduce and have children in the first place, or second that it is better for society for women to raise their own children than for them to hand the task off to day care!
    (welcome to the club.)

    • Lonely Neanderthal Man. Seeks to restore the old fashioned definition of womanhood. New women cards issued with every positive pregnancy test! Call 1-800-WHI-ZKID.

    • Last weekend the Wall Street Journal had an interesting article (well, several, actually, but one of particular relevance t this topic) asking Who is going to buy the Boomers’ 21 million homes?

      The implications are … not trivial. Somebody could build a heck of a SF novel about the problem. We may need to achieve immortality to prevent economic collapse.

      • And meanwhile anti-agiatics are stalled because “overpopulation.”
        Keep in mind I don’t want to live forever. But I’d not mind a HEALTHY 50 more years. So many books to write. And read.

        • So many books to write. And read.

          Do we need a discussion of the Parable of The Marching Chinese? I already own more books than I am likely to live to read, and still regularly buy more than I complete.

        • We’re past the singularity on good books to read. You can live forever and not get them all. Ain’t it great?

          • We live in a blessed time. I can wake up in the middle of the night, feeling ill, and buy a book FROM MY BED to read while I’m too cruddy to sleep. I can go out in the middle of a snow storm and buy a watermelon. (they were in the store yesterday.)
            I just want my grandkids to be even more blessed. Not less.

            • It’s already reverting some. Here in $HOOTERVILLE the Wal-mart stopped being open 24-hours a day some time ago and is closed from midnight to 6 AM now. And a couple months ago the one big grocery store/supermarket followed suit and is closed from midnight to 5 AM. This means if you want something at 3 AM, you have a choice of two, maybe three, “convenience” (i.e. overpriced) stores. For the last decade or so, it was not just those places.

        • On healthy… I gave in and bought a knockoff not-a-Roomba. Do you know how nice it is to have something else disturb the dust I’m allergic to, without having to be near it? All I have to do it glove up before I empty the thing’s bin, and tap out the filter / cut the hair free, and wash my hands up to my elbows afterward. No more swollen hands and feeling trashed!

          I can’t quite claim it’s increased my writing productivity, yet, though. In fact, I think Peter would claim it decreased his, due to the distraction of whirr-bump-whirr-bum-bump… But I can claim that if it replaces six hours of feeling trashed with a whole lot of hours in which I don’t feel trashed, that’s like getting extra hours added to my life.

          • Imagines response from border collie who has declared an uneasy truce with normal vacuums so long as $SPOUSE or I am running it. Only took 12 years.

            No, no way.

            • I wonder how much is early acclimation and how the others of the “pack” react to things. I recall a dog that was NOT scared of fireworks. In fact, we had to hold her back or she might well have tried to eat some of the spinning sparking jumping things.

              • We got her at 12-14 weeks, amid signs of major neglect. She was terrified of loud noises she didn’t originate, especially lightning, gunshots, vacuums and telephones. (We think she was in a garrage or similar outbuilding during thunderstorm season.)

                The gunshot issue is lessened, in that the guy who’d shoot ground squirrels with a large caliber handgun has passed to his just reward, but lightning and telephone ringers bring out the fear. She’ll go berserk at phone calls. Sigh.

              • I know some dogs really do have issues with loud noises, but a lot more are just acting like their humans expect.

                • All I know is that she first freaked out over vacuum cleaners; both running and not running but identifiable as such (one was in the overflow exam room at the vets. Took her a long time to forgive us. 🙂 )

                  Local BC owners reiterate the issues with gunshots. It wasn’t until this year (and likely a bit of deafness) that she could tolerate the shotguns from hunters going for geese or the upland birds. When Problem Neighbor did his thing behind our house, she’d try to climb the walls. Same as with lightning. I wouldn’t rule out conditioned response on that, though; $SPOUSE hates the stuff. I only get nervous if it’s fire weather.

                  The Lab Aussie will react a bit, but more in the vein of “Oh, loud noises again. There goes my nap.”

          • scott2harrison

            When it dies in a few years, get one of the ones that empties itself. You just have to empty the docking station about once a week.

        • With your body’s vendetta against you I’d wager more like not continuously sick vs healthy

        • *evil little grin* I told my son he has longevity genes from BOTH sides of the family.
          Boyo asked me yesterday if he seemed like a better uncle or dad. I said right now, you’re a wonderful Big Brother, and we’ll chat about the other designations later. (He’s 12!!!)

      • Amsel, Matthew

        I’ll do it.

        No, seriously – a housing crash would be an *excellent* thing in a lot of ways, at least here on the west coast. We really can’t afford houses.

        • Seriously. Lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest systemic contributors to a lot of the cultural ferment going on right now, IMHO.

        • I’ve thought of this quite a bit. California’s housing costs – particularly along the coast – are out of control. The problem is two-fold –

          First, the various local governments (“encouraged” by the greens) won’t let new housing get built.

          Second, the various local governments keep trying to cram more and more jobs into the same locations. Yes, skyscrapers look nice, and you can fit a lot of people in them. But the more office workers you cram into the same small city blocks, the more people you have wanting to live close to those same small city blocks. And that drives up the cost of housing based on the distance that the housing is from those same small city blocks. Greater Los Angeles could actually do quite well with this if it could figure out a way to encourage new businesses to open in the outlying communities instead of all stuffing themselves into Downtown Los Angeles. LA’s urban sprawl would probably fit that sort of set up quite well. But it isn’t going to happen.

          • a loooooot of LA’s good paying jobs aren’t downtown and have no intention of being downtown. They’re mostly crammed into Santa Monica, Venice, and Culver City, these days.

      • Back around 1990, I did some basic math on the “Boomers” and figured around 2010 the housing market in the northern U.S. would crash as more people retired and moved south. So I moved south in 2005 🙂 I ws off by a few years, and hadn’t calculated for how broad the crash would be, but it wasn’t hard to predict. Demographics aren’t destiny, but they’re a fair guide.

        • We’re seeing a resurgence of Californians moving to our area, much like what we did in ’03. Because our four seasons are
          Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Fire,
          we tend to get the hardier sorts, or at least the ones who last a couple of years are.

          We’re looking for a place closer to town and a bit more manageable. One prospect seems to have been somebody’s dream house, circa 1972. It has characteristics that make it quirky (for the acreage, it’s not the horsey property one might expect,) but it matches our quirks. We don’t expect it to be available when were ready to put our place on the market, but even in a seller’s market, as people age out, places become available.

          The mini (80 acres, poor land) ranch behind us just sold after two years on the market. More Californians; haven’t met them yet, but first guess is more rural people bailing out.

      • Well, California has an idea for that. Eg, Camp Fire and 13K fewer homes. Other examples exist…

        Mind you, it’s not a good idea…

  5. you’re going to need two bolters

    …I am going to have to do a wordpress article JUST so that I can link all the @#$# memes.

    • Directrix Gazer

      Can I substitute one storm-bolter for two standard ones?

        • Directrix Gazer

          I guess that’ll work, too 😀

        • The conversion weapon from Ender’s Game? Doesn’t look like the Genesis Device.

          • Directrix Gazer

            The gif used for the meme looks like a generic asteroid impact animation of the sort used in TV documentaries.

            In the Warhammer 40k setting, “Exterminatus” is a term used by the Imperium of Man, the Galaxy-spanning human civilization, to refer to the practice of using one of a variety of means to utterly destroy all life, and indeed the capability of even bearing life, from a planet, usually after said planet has been judged military irretrievable due to alien invasion or daemonic incursion.

            • Meh. All are pathetic imitations of Doc Smith’s planet-obliterating weapons.

              • I’ve always want to see the two planets squishing a third between them. After Stephanie’s mach-5 melted rock spike, I’d bet it’s actually something one could watch in real-time. These things apparently happen much, much faster than I thought.

                • I wanted to see the planetary-sized nega-sphere collisions.

                  Damn right I was one of those walking out of the first Star Wars flicks saying, “Not bad, but Doc did it better.”

  6. Pingback: Gonna Need Two Bolters | Head Noises

  7. K, last one before I hit some sort of a wall.

  8. “Can’t post memes” work around:
    Successful.
    (made a post on my blog with a selection of memes, linking them.)

    • “We’re sorry, but you threw off the Emperor’s groove” is my favorite of all of those you picked out.

      • I actually can’t stand 40K….but still find myself yelling MOAR DAKKKA, PAINT IT RED!!!

        • Can’t stand the setting? Or can’t stand the game(s) (tabletop, video games, etc.)?

          Personally, I don’t like GrimDark™ much myself, so I don’t get into the setting, but I’ve very much enjoyed some of the games (that I played before I decided I was a gameoholic and quit video games cold turkey), especially the Dawn of War series. I also very highly recommend Sandy Mitchell’s Ciaphas Cain series (no, I didn’t misspell Caiaphas; the character’s name in Mitchell’s books is spelled Ciaphas with no a before the i): it takes the GrimDark™ 40K universe and plays it for humor. E.g., “Colonel Kasteen called the meeting to order. Then she called it to order again. Major Broklaw fired his bolt pistol into the ceiling, and the meeting came to order.” See if you can find the first book, For The Emperor, (or it might be easier to find the omnibus Hero Of The Imperium) at a library near you, or in the collection of a friend willing to loan it to you. If you like the first book, you’ll like the whole series. And if you dislike 40K but like the memes, I think there’s a good chance you’ll like the Ciaphas Cain series.

  9. Directrix Gazer

    right now the biggest suicide risk group is around 13-14. And the highest suicide rate. Which is unheard of.

    Not sure how to parse out highest risk, but I think by “highest rate” the thing you were looking at must have been taking about the rate of increase in that cohort or something, because as far as I can find the overall rate for 10-14 year-olds is pretty low; see figure 2 at:
    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicides.shtml
    and the 15-24 (wish they cut this up into smaller age chunks) line at:
    http://www.sprc.org/scope/age

  10. “I UNDERSTAND the price one pays to raise one’s own kids. And you can add to that general societal disapproval.”

    No kidding. I stuck my nose in over on Slate and first advice column crap jumps out at me about how a 20 something woman was celebrating that her 30 yo hubby was getting a vasectomy, and how they should announce that as “Not Expecting!” (And they don’t have any kids in the first place.) Talk about cultural suicide!

    I would propose that the underclass is not capable of taking over sustaining and improving our technological civilization because they inherit substandard capabilities. Oh, not necessarily genetic; but cultural. As in they don’t value education, a study of history, mathematics, or especially reading! And they don’t value an intact, nuclear family which we’ve seen demonstrated as being more beneficial worldwide compared to single parenting, odd dual parenting, government or other community parenting, or orphanages. About the only other option that has equal or better performance for raising successful healthy children is the extended family where you have additional generations to the nuclear one in th ehousehold or right next door.

    I think you need to add a third condition for rescuing Western civilization: encouraging western women to have 3 or more children. And that’s going to be a tough sell for women on the CEO track. There just aren’t real good role models of a 8 and a half month preggers senior manager leading a company, much less making up half the members of the board of trustees.

    • Oh, not necessarily genetic; but cultural. As in they don’t value education, a study of history, mathematics, or especially reading!

      For a while, at least, they can cargo cult it. Once the spares run out, however, they are screwed.

    • : encouraging western women to have 3 or more children.

      Hell, we could just start by telling mothers, especially stay at home mothers, that they aren’t wasting their lives.

      • “Hell, we could just start by telling mothers, especially stay at home mothers, that they aren’t wasting their lives.”

        Yes. Although this wasn’t my fear. My fear was financial. I’ve seen what happens if you must enter or reenter work force in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, …, even if you have a career to fall back on. Heck, in my field, I’ve seen what happens if you have to try to find work when you are in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, … been there, done that. I managed. Others never got something, regardless of gender &/or parental status.

        • I know, it’s nuts. Remember when you needed experience, but the only jobs for experience either paid zero (internships), or were fast food service. Then you got the experience, but there were too many for the market and you had to do something else. Now you’ve been out of the field too long. Or now you’re too old. Strange, but those excuses and conditions have lasted since the creation of the middle class. To get a good job requires three things: luck, enough knowledge to do the job, and personal drive; and those ones who have the drive always seem to make it somehow.

      • Or maybe (it sounds crazy even as I type it) tell women and men that careers are not the end all and be all of life.

        Step-mother-in-law was a lawyer who’d been fortunate* in her career … up until she took a job as a legal-drone for AT&T and discovered what it was like to work just for the paycheck. Retirement came happily after that.

        *for example, she was part of a team wresting reparations from Germans for Jews. Being Jewish herself (even if not recipient of reparations … except as salary) it was a rare opportunity to strive for Justice.

      • /amen

        ….

        You know, blogging is actually a hella good opportunity for home-schooling stay at home moms.

        We have all kinds of time to research stuff, we don’t have many deadlines, and obsessive is kinda in the mix.

        • That’s my plan, once I get out the Navy. I’m pursuing a certification in financial planning, so I can assist/advise other stay at home parents, creative types, small business owner-y folks, etc, generally from the privacy and security of my own home. Especially since the Bugbear and I intend to homeschool our offspring, as well, and he will have his own forge/workshop, too.

          It might be possible for us to go weeks without seeing non-family persons. And with this newfangled internet thingie, we can still make money, too.

  11. This reminds me of something I saw earlier today. I was glancing through various fan-produced images. Someone had taken a particular female character, and added a couple of lines of dialogue. And, of course, since the character in question is usually depicted as more quiet and demure, the second line had her “revealed” as a closet nymphomaniac who couldn’t hold it in any longer. Yeah, whatever.

    The line that bugged me, though, was the first one. That was the line that had the character claiming that pre-marital sex restrictions were in place to keep women down. The problem is that we’ve managed to completely mentally divorce the sex act from procreation. So now (mostly shredded) taboos against pre-marital sex are supposedly patriarchal enslavement instead of very basic advice to a woman on how to avoid a pregnancy before she had a husband to help take care of her and her child.

    I think this might sort of extend to our current population dilemmas. There have always been ways to try and avoid getting the woman pregnant when having sex. But those methods were always semi-unreliable. These days, there are still accidental pregnancies. But the birth control methods are good enough that they almost completely remove the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy for modern couples. As a result, we now have a mental divorce. It makes me wonder how that mental divorce fits in with everything else.

    • That was the line that had the character claiming that pre-marital sex restrictions were in place to keep women down.

      Meh, that line of talk to get into gals’ drawers was better done by “Only the good die young.”

    • One of the things I’m going to have to sort out in the next Familiars books is how the main characters are going to deal with raising children, how many to have, and how to deal with Lelia’s seriously bad family experience. (Although just “don’t be like Mom” will be a good starting place.)

      • I did want to thank you for the latest one, I needed a “Life sucked but it’s getting better” book right now.

    • pre-marital sex restrictions were in place to keep women down.

      Ample clinical research demonstrates that the best route to female satisfaction (in sexual terms) is an long-term committed relationship. I trust I do not need spend time typing reasons for that (and Mr Arthur Itis is making typing particularly discomforting today) and will leave it as another exercise for the student.

      I will observe that the definition of a nymphomaniac typically includes inability to be satisfied. It is desire without satiation. It should be noted that mere achievement of orgasm does not necessarily entail satisfaction.

      • Yup, nymphomaniac is also frigid, in many cases. Not fun to be around.

        OTOH, look at the surprising number of romances, or allegedly normal stories, where people are ridiculously into cuddling with everything. I mean, there’s tactile people or.lonesome people, which is fine; and then there is practically screaming, “I have no boundaries because I was sexually abused, and I have unspeakable need for snuggles because I was kept touch-hungry from babyhood on.” When that is not even supposed to be the character backstory.

      • Clinical definitions and popular definitions frequently don’t agree, particularly when anything related to sex is involved.

        ^^;;

  12. Heinlein might have been right, and the Mormons will take over. As I’ve said before:

    God has divided mankind into two groups:

    1. Those who believe that the most powerful biological force is the tendency of a population to be dominated by its most quickly reproducing members. (the Darwinians)

    2. Those who are actually reproducing. (the non-Darwinians)

    • Even we Latter-Day Saints aren’t having as many kids these days.

      • What someone gathering data needs to do is first identify the families with three-plus kids, and then identify the characteristics.

        One of the things used by fear-mongers is to take a group that has a large cultural identification and declare:
        Only one in ten of these guys are living in accordance with their group’s teachings!

        Then look at a group where almost nobody is a cultural-identification, and say:
        A whole 50% are in accordance with their group’s teachings!

        Clearly, the latter will win!

        ….except that, using Catholic and Mormon for this, ten percent of 80 million is more than half of six million.

        *********

        The second trick is to assume that the folks bucking the trend right now will have kids who follow the same pattern as the prior generation — so you assume it will only be 10% of Catholics every generation, and 50% of Mormons every generation.

        This junk has already bitten them in the rump when assuming that the kids of “pro-choice” parents will be “pro-choice”. Unless you use a definition so broad that binding Catholic teaching is pro-choice, they’re not.

        • Ah yes, fun with stats. One of the more interesting points I heard made following Bill Clinton’s election was an observation that the “Gender Gap” was an illusion, created by two factors.

          1. If you distinguish between married and unmarried females the gap is largely limited to the unmarried; in fact, the married tend to show the gap the opposite direction. Anybody suspecting that one party might have a recognized interest in promoting avoidance of marriage is too mean and cynical to discuss.

          2. Even more, the gap is largely attributable to African-American women … who not only tend to be disproportionately unmarried but also are part of a sub-group voting >94% in the same way the gap reflects. In fact, if you filter unmarried African-American women from the stats the gender gap disappears entirely (f not going slightly the other way.)

          Similar effect is found when you filter “religious people” to separate out “regular church attendees.”

          Sooner trust the Devil as trust MSM statistics.

      • If my parish is an example, you’re outdoing the Eastern Orthodox (the Greek Cathedral in town doesn’t seem much better off).

  13. I suspect that China is going to crash long before we do, probably during the Trump Admin.

    • “Hello? Deng? Yeah, this is the U.S. calling. That disease that you picked up? We’re going to administer Trump to you. Be warned, the complications and side effects might be a bit, extreme.”

    • I do too. BUT if everyone crashes,they have a better chance of rebuilding.

      • Traditionally, they tend to go for a generation of warring states, until someone is able to conquer and unify the place. They then tend to get fairly self focused afterwards.
        It’s also likely that the next Chinese Empire will figure that all this international meddling is a mistake, like all the Empires before it.

        • Japan became self-focused, as well. Oda Nobunaga used Western technology and ideas to nearly conquor Japan. His ultimate successor, Tokugawa Ieyasu, saw foreigners as dangerous to his control of the country, and threw them out. It’s a way to try and block change, since change can destabilize a government. I don’t know if that particular genie can be put back in the bottle, though. Gunboat Diplomacy and the Opium Wars (which were morally indefensible, but basically happened because the British were desperate to gain access to China’s markets) should have proved to anyone that cared to notice that going purely insular is not an option.

      • True – so long as there is no earth-shattering kaboom.

  14. “I have no resume. Right now, if indie and cover making doesn’t work, my recourse is to go trippingly to Walmart and become a cashier.”

    My paternal grandmother and mother ran into this. Grandmother had 4 of 6 children at home when grandpa passed away. Not that she didn’t have a “resume”, but homesteader, raised a garden, and turkeys for holiday local sales, while raising my kids, doesn’t count. Mom didn’t have that much when dad had his stroke at age 50. Grandma ended up opening an in home daycare, open 24/7, with a small side business baking wedding cakes. Mom went to work for the school districts kitchen contractor (school cook).

    One SIL had bookkeeping to fall back on (divorce). The other was a registered nurse (husband died when youngest kid was 12). Niece is a programmer and works from home (for Disney out of Seattle), her husband passed away 5 years ago (she has two: 18 and 8 years).

    My husband is (was) in Timber, starting in the 80’s. Never was a year that he wasn’t laid off, in 35 years of working. His job was salary, with overtime, but he’d have to work about 100 hours a month OT to match my salary. Very few jobs didn’t require overtime, but there were a few. He fought to work the non-overtime jobs (which wasn’t much of a fight, most wanted OT jobs).

    What we were able to do ensure we limited daycare was stagger our hours, keep a hard thumb on daycare and school; guess who did coaching, youth leadership in scouting; using vacation time, or leave without pay to insure one of us was one of the leaders required to accompany to scout camps, yearly, monthly, and extra. Plus, I had limited ability to work from home (when kid was sick … and I might have taken advantage of that more than a bit. Plus, given my work history, I had months to years, of NOT working between companies (they kept going away). BUT, and this is key, MOST don’t have these options.

    Plus, I didn’t believe in “me time”. Well I do. Just figured it wasn’t going see any, or occur at all, until the kid headed off to college at 18. (Technically I still don’t have me time … we have cats & a dog … )

    • Staggering hours works, and EITHER PARENT AT HOME works. It’s just because of the way society in general works, unless dad can work for home, it’s better for MOM to stay home. Better as in: raises less disapproval.

      • Mom was stay-at-home from when Eldest brother was born until I (the youngest) was around 8. Financial survival meant part time work for her, but after a short stint of agency secretarial, she found a couple of part time jobs. One a day or two a week for a surgeon, and the rest of the week for a local church. These were close enough to home that I’d see her for lunch, though I was latchkey after school (fairly unusual for that period and locale).

        Dad passed away when I was in college. Mom was able to translate the part-time skills to get a position as an executive secretary job at the AMA HQ. That was more glamorous than fun, and she switched to a basic secretarial job at a hospital consultancy until she retired.

        • I haven’t dealt with loss of spouse, thank God, but this is why I insist on life insurance as a first priority. Two extended periods of his unemployment, and I make very little self-employed, we’ve done way below ‘poverty level’ for all but one year of our marriage.

          • ” Two extended periods of his unemployment”

            Timber. We knew going in that there would be layoff every year for at least the first 10 years. (Didn’t count on 35 years worth and one of us having to get out of timber and go into a different career track … but go with the flow.) But because we had that warning, and we figured I’d take extensive time off when pregnant (no alternatives when can’t climb over logs or bend over to measure, etc.) We lived on one salary, and saved the other. That worked, even with me going back to school, and career change. What nailed us was when we switched to living to the Higher pay check. Really 1, 2, 3, hit.

            1) Living to the higher salary that went away with zip to no severance (first major layoff after career change had essentially six month severance + unemployment … I was back to work within 6 months with a heck of a raise). Second time, we cut expenses back as much as we could which was enough that with unemployment we were “okay”. Until unemployment ran out … Then savings drained at just over $1000/month.

            2) Hubby gets transferred to nowhereville … where getting a tech job would be impossible. Plus other reasons … we now have two households. Plus his weekend commuting home expenses. By the time I went back to work after 17 months, our savings was drained. Yes, hubby got laid off during this time, too. Still had the rent up north because we knew he would be going back to work, just didn’t have the weekly commute home costs.

            Okay. No #3. Not really.

            At that we never came close to “way below ‘poverty level’’. I gripe about draining down our savings. BUT we had savings to drain. Unlike a lot of other people.

            Getting warned about annual lack of work for extended years, saved our tushes.

            • My uncle’s an electrician in Indiana. Layoffs are frequent, and extended ones unfortunately also more frequent than desirable. His youngest will be 18 this coming March, oldest just turned 20 this month. They are used to him going out of state where the work was–Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming–for months at a time, occasionally. Sometimes they’d be able to visit him, sometimes not. Fortunately, they homeschooled, too, so no issues with that.

              They lost their house, once, too, and had to declare bankruptcy, but they’re in a good spot now. Getting there. It helps that my uncle was willing to move around to where the work was. And that they have a network through their church to help him out with housing and such while doing so.

            • We had something like that, but it was layoffs (employers crashing) that mapped to early retirement (in my case, at 50). $SPOUSE had savings, while we were able to fix up and sell the Silicon Valley house for a then-absurd level of money (it’s since doubled, welcome to the Bay area housing bubble). This let us move to rural Oregon and get and make the place to suit our needs.

              As time went by, we could tap other sources, so financially we’re in a pretty good spot. It helps that we have the skills to do a lot of the necessary work ourselves, though a smaller, simpler place is high on the priority list.

              • When my husband got told he was transferred we were not happy. Second forced transfer. Really we’d been lucky as forced transfers as well as annual layoffs were warned about, but supposedly only within the first 10 years, because of seniority, or lack thereof. He was forced transferred once in the first 10 years … and it was a better location for my new career trajectory, as well as closer to my childhood home (we’re a mile away). But when it hit again 27 years later … we were not happy. Again, seniority was the problem. But that is what happens when a company loses close two 240 jobs (279 jobs in ’79 to 30 or 40 in 2003!!!). We talked about him retiring – he had the years in, just wasn’t old enough. As it was we knew it would be short term until he could retire (max 30 months). Why we didn’t move:

                1) Company no longer paid for forced moves (first round they were paying for it, it was not cheap). Never paid to sell your home, but they paid the move.

                2) Kid was in the middle of Eagle project. Moving meant starting over. Wouldn’t have happened. (Yes. He did earn Eagle.)

                3) Kid just starting HS … yea, would have gone to home schooling.

                4) Housing options. What housing options!!!! Hubby ended up living in our travel trailer … options were THAT bad!!!!

                5) Transfer was to Randal, Washington (don’t blink you’ll miss it on Hwy 12, between I-5 and Cascade Pass). A minimum of a 2.5 hour one way commute to any potential tech job …. without traffic …

                6) Still close enough that at least commuting home on weekends was doable and reasonable.

                OTOH, on the edge of Mt Rainer National Park … decisions, decisions … sigh, we were adults about it.

                Electricians. Yes. Know. Cousin is married to an Electrician. He has been able to stick to I-5 corridor, owns his own business, and generally, now just travels to supervise crews. New neighbor is a contract electrician, works for a company, but they contract all over the PNW. He is gone all week. Suspect that is what killed his first marriage, but current spouse (and cousin) knew that was what would happen.

                So had examples on how to appropriate handle sudden change with cousin. Had another example on how NOT to handle sudden change in another acquaintance. Different situation. But I swear she defined the definition of “needy”. I only had one situation where I called hubby (at 3 AM) on why the stupid water main wouldn’t turn off (lever vs the turn knob, and HE knew that) but at 3 AM it wasn’t exactly visible, even with flashlight, unless you were looking for it (stupid freeze).

                Another example, that I really, really, could not emulate, was my BIL’s sister. She is married to someone who had his own business, just installing hospital network software. Can’t follow that example because our entire net worth is a small line item on their budget … AND we are NOT poor (wouldn’t want to have to try to live in Portland, Seattle, LA, SF, San Diego, or even Bend, OR, etc., but Eugene, we’re okay).

  15. c4c (didn’t hit the clicky box & don’t want to possibly double post).

  16. riteturn/ Mac'

    Disclaimer. I didn’t read the comments. I want to do some writing today.
    #1 – Animal populations peak and crash. I’ve seen this all my life and never read a college level biologist acknowledging it.
    Fox increase in an area until there are almost no pheasant ot rabbit – then starve and crash.
    Deer become thick upon the land until the undergrowth is cleared as high as they can reach and then there is a big die off.
    Sometimes the crash is starvation, sometimes disease or predators – but it WILL be adjusted. People are animals. If you are religious it doesn’t matter. Even God said as he turned his attention to Man that he is also flesh.
    #2 – People will forgo having children if it becomes too burdensome economically. Then only two groups have children. The rich to whom it is no burden, and those so poor it can’t make things any worse for them.
    Besides economics you can also crash human population by disease/ war/ and natural disaster. People do the latter by moving to unsafe areas due to population pressures.
    That’s the simplified version.

    • Socialism makes kids too expensive and liabilities, yes.
      We’re scanvengers, so the PERCEPTION of too many of us will destroy fertility.
      No, there aren’t too many of us, sorry. And as for going off to dangerous places, humans do that, anyway, even without population pressures. Seriously. We’re not your typical animal. We’re curious monkeys.

      • Socialism also makes kids all cost and no benefit.

        “Society” will pay for your retirement years (Yeah, how do you think that will work out?) so kids are unnecessary. Kids are also a hostage to fortune, limiting your ability to drop anchor and sail away when the fan starts spewing [something unpleasant]. A kid means thugs have leverage to keep you in line.

        • Having even one child makes you a hostage to fate in myriad ways that the childless cannot imagine.

          • I was gonna make a smart-mouthed remark, but….

            I was changing the Comtesses’ diaper, and saw the scar from when they sucked the fluid off of (out of?) her lung.

            Kinda killed it….

            Total hostage, yeah.

        • “Society” means “someone else’s kids”. Of course, everyone thinks that so no one has kids.

          • Yeah, that’s pretty much exactly what’s killing Social Security right now, in fact. 40-1 workers-beneficiary ratio at the start, barely 2-1 and falling now.

            Going to be even worse in places like China and India, with their EXTREMELY skewed gender birth rates. India even worse than China.

            • Add in the fact that when Social Security was established the life expectancy of those (few) who lived to collect was about nine months whereas it is now more than nine years and you get an order of magnitude problem. This exacerbates the worker/retiree and the contribution/withdrawal ratios.

              In my more contrary moods (e.g., normally) I have been wont to argue that Social Security is racist — whites typically having longer lives — and classist, as the people most likely to live longer are those who’ve benefited from good childhood nutrition and medical attention, e.g. the upper middle class and above.

              Nobody likes hearing those arguments.

              • More than a few who were working when SS contributions started up that never contributed that many years who collected a LOT of years. I can name 3 just off the top who respectively collected 32, 45, and 35, years respectively. First two were spousal and early disability payments, but the latter didn’t collect until 70. None of them pulled very much a month, but I guaranty all of them pulled out way more than they paid in (we used to joke that SS we grandchildren paid in were going directly to grandparents … then we were paying more in than they received …). My mom has hit this landmark now. Dad didn’t pull out more out of SS than what he contributed, even with early forced SS due to stroke … but mom has finished off what he paid in, what she paid in, and is continuing to get more. On other news, she’s also officially pulling out more out of Oregon Pers than was ever contributed by her, and for her. She only pulls a little over $500/month.

    • . I’ve seen this all my life and never read a college level biologist acknowledging it.

      It’s the basis of Malthusian theories.

      At no point did his theories manage to have predictive power.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Yeah. a) Animals kinda suck when it comes to improving their agricultural production. b) Single human minds are bad at forecasting the results of very many minds worth of innovation, especially with regard to limits of things that haven’t run up against hard thermodynamic limits.

        It is basically one of the very many areas where the simple comprehensible models get that way by dropping details which could well be critically important. It may well be one of the areas where we can count on the dropped details changing important results pretty much all the time.

    • #2 – People will forgo having children if it becomes too burdensome economically.

      Time traveler arrives in August, 1935 to demand FDR not sign the Social Security Act because a) financial black hole and b) demographic dead end as people gradually give up bearing and raising children.

      “You damned fool, can’t you see you’re dooming us all?!?”

    • Nature is a set of “relaxation oscillators” – a tension of some sort builds until it ‘snaps’ and ‘relaxes’… much like a capacitor can be charged through a resistor from a supply, until the voltage is enough fire (for example) a neon bulb… which discharges the capacitor and the cycle starts over. A vast oversimplification, no doubt, but the idea is there.

      There are attempts to mitigate this, occasionally having some success, but more often making the cycle longer, but with really deep troughs. (Quasi-example: Bad forest management. Looks good for a while, until the fire is REALLY narsty.)

  17. *deep breath* You said to keep you updated….

    We saw a heartbeat on ultrasound! But the kid was a few days small and I’m having some spotting today, which I’m hoping is just cervical irritation, and I would really like some more prayers please.

    Thanks in advance to everybody.

    • Prayers going. I had spotting all the way through with Marshall, part of the reason I didn’t think I was pregnant till six months. Hold there, and stay calm. It helps.

      • I am so bad at staying calm (I tend to whimper when reminded there is an actual Biblical injunction not to worry), but I will make an effort. Thank you.

        • Me too. If I’d known Marshall was in there, I’d have FREAKED at the spotting. I just thought it was “nerves from moving, etc.” Until other symptoms took me to the doctor and they did an ultrasound. AT SIX MONTHS. Yes, I am mildly retarded. It didn’t help I’d LOST ten pounds while pregnant with kiddlet. Kid was actually fat and sassy when born, so… you figure it. My body is a weird and wonderful thing.

    • Prayers offered up.

      I’m surprised they didn’t warn you, but a little spotting is perfectly normal after an ultrasound if you’ve got a lot of strong blood in the area.

      Actually, that may be why they didn’t warn you– if it’s a sign that your body is going full-bore for the kid, talking to them doesn’t do any harm; if it’s a bad sign, then they don’t want you talking yourself out of it. If the kid was a little small for estimates then they probably did some adjusting when doing the ultrasound, too, eh? Known risk factor for totally harmless spotting.

      Note, the “don’t let them talk themselves out of it” thing is hella stupid strong, I have done several nurse-line calls that consisted mostly of “oh? You’re not soaking a pad every two hours? You’re fine, thanks for calling!” (and they were fine)

      • That’s a good point — they did quite a bit of adjusting on two different machines (moved me to a better one halfway through), and not to get too TMI but my lower digestive tract may have contributed to the situation the two days since. I know there are other risk factors. I just… also… am so scared after the last two tries. And I think they’re a little afraid to get my hopes too high….

        I also might have goofed — I mentioned *after* they started the ultrasound that fertilization was very likely at about three weeks rather than two. That still puts the kidlet a few days small, but I wonder if the Deep Concern would have been less dramatic if they hadn’t initially been expecting something twice the size….

        Thank you.

        • . I just… also… am so scared after the last two tries. And I think they’re a little afraid to get my hopes too high….

          You might have my hormone based response to pregnancy for that– from first trimester on, I was on “KILL IT WITH FIRE” level response to threats.

          It was funny, but things like…swiping under a desk while cleaning, a spider is brought out, and teh toddler spends the next two weeks randomly screaming and beating the **** out of the floor before laughing maniacally type reactions.

          You are vulnerable, you are doing your best to protect the life that literally is hiding below your heart, so you’re going to be on edge.

        • By the way, *all* of my kids were the “Wrong” size at various points in my pregnancies, based on ultrasounds.

          The only one we lost was very early on, and after a doctor ignored giant flashing risk factors on a medication, and that’s WITH a strong family history of losing the kid.

          • The ones we lost… well, the second one was about this time, but there wasn’t a heartbeat. The other was earlier. I waited late, mostly from sheer intimidation at the prospect of parenthood. So our probabilities are not so good as they could be. But I really hope this one makes it.

            …I don’t remember berserking at spiders at any point, but boy was I emotionally all over the place the couple weeks before the pregnancy test this time and with the currently-three-year-old. I have been somewhat less prone to fury after finding out what was going on.

            • That history actually makes it better, the kid is OK later than “normal”. And most losses are earlier, that’s why they have teh heart-beat check.

              …sorry if it seems like I’m patronizing you, my family loses a lot of kids. I did this with my sister, and with a few other ladies, I learned a lot of stuff I wish I hadn’t, but I won’t give you false assurances, for what that’s worth. I’ll be positive, but I won’t lie. I know you have the negative angle handled.

              Life happens.

              You are in my prayers.

        • Last one, probably, promise–
          you’re going to wind yourself up.

          It is OK.

          Warn your husband if he needs to be warned, recognize that it WILL happen, and don’t beat yourself up too much.

          My thing is that I’d wind myself up, realize I’d wound myself up, and then wind even tighter because I was ranting at myself for being an idiot because I was freaking out over nothing.

          (Which is associated with the oddly not frequently mentioned pregnancy complication of “panic attacks.” It’s a hormone thing. If you’re religious, meditative prayers might be useful. Results for non-religious meditation are mixed, from what I recall, because it’s an enhancer.)

          • Hearing from you helps, it really does.

            As of yesterday, I was handling the uncertainty a lot more calmly than my husband, and I’m worried about him. (Apparently driving home from work by himself gave him time to brood.) Obviously today I kind of freaked out. Yesterday and the day before and even this morning — and when I was reminding myself that there were explanations for the spotting besides losing the baby — I ended up feeling guilty for trying too hard to be optimistic, for maybe grasping at straws, for talking myself up when I don’t know.

            I’m never going to know! It doesn’t work like that! I could probably stand to stop yelling at myself for trying to be positive for a few days!

            • The only comfort I can offer is that caring means you two are good folks.

            • Take a slow, deep breath and remember: this is largely not within your control. Hormones make you crazy but that does not mean you are crazy.

              Nothing you can do can make things better, so accept that this is the case and practice consciously relaxing.

              For one thing, it comes in handy once the child is born and you discover what “things beyond your control” really entails.

              • The first one is almost four, but I don’t doubt I will get a whole new set of reminders.

                • They are completely opposite each other. Except where they aren’t. And those keep changing. Without notice. Well into their late twenties so far.
                  AND THEY DO IT ON PURPOSE. So you tear all your hair out. Because they think you look good bald. 😀

                  • My daughter, apparently, takes somewhat after me but a whole lot after my younger brother. (Adjusted of course for being a girl, not a younger sibling, and overall a different person. And yet.) Goodness knows what we’ll get on a second. I hope my parents still have tips.

                    • I still remember the phone call I got from my brother while I was driving home from work one fine day. “Hey, bro!”
                      “Sis…” *deep breath* “HOW DID YOU GET MY WIFE PREGNANT!!!”
                      “Uh, nope, that one’s all yours.”
                      “She can’t be! She’s JUST LIKE YOU!”



                      “STOP LAUGHING AT ME!”
                      “I love you, bro. You remember when Mom would cuss us out, and the Spanish would finally slow down, we’d get the gimlet eyes, and the ‘I hope you have children just like you!’ ?”
                      “Oh, G-d…”

            • I don’t know what to say other than you have my prayers.

              We went through the “very late positive pregnancy but there is no heart beat”, I don’t know how many times. Usually a few weeks; only once did it go more than a couple of months. To the point that when we finally did get (what turned out to be viable) pregnant, we weren’t saying anything until well after the first of the year, past where we’d lost the longest “pregnancy” up to then. Or that was our intent. But FIL had a major heart attack (come now call). He did make it home for Thanksgiving. Wasn’t expected to make Christmas. I was throwing up, a lot. Kind of hard to hide from a registered nurse (MIL) and a pediatric nurse (SIL) that what I had “wasn’t catching” … I’m a lousy liar (we tried stress for a reason … didn’t work). FWIW, FIL did make Christmas, & Easter. Didn’t make the baby’s birth late June, but he gave it a good try.

              • Thank you.

                I’m sorry it was so hard for you but I’m glad you made it eventually!

                • May this time be real for you and you are blessed at the end of this journey.

                  I know it doesn’t help but maybe gives some hope by sharing my journey.

              • The only place other than with my mom* that I’ve shared a pre-second-term pregnancy is here.

                I was mildly scandalized the first few times someone publicly shared a pregnancy that wasn’t second to third trimester….

                *which means the whole family “didn’t know” but knew, thank God, means my late sister knew about the Duke; yeah, made the other stress worth it

    • Prayers will be made.

    • Prayer flag raised. *virtual, non-contagious hug*

    • As a young newlywed, I told my mother (6 kids) the things my bride and I wanted in place before we were trying for a baby. Her response?
      “Mark, if you wait for the Right Time to have a child, you’ll never have one.
      Do it now.”

  18. BobtheRegisterredFool

    But in Western culture women have always been treated as human beings.

    But that isn’t what the feminists say. How can I be authentic to my culture if I ignore what the feminists say it was?

    • More easily than if you don’t?

    • Because you’re not a feminist. 😛

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Once upon time I was a feminist, or thought I was. They convinced me that they had never shared my values.

        And as a boy and a man, I have been greatly influenced by a number of strong female role models. Those people, who I know, knew, or knew of from my extended family, are part of why I am so strongly convinced that the feminist model of recent American history is not true.

        • It isn’t as if the definition of feminist has not warped over the last few decades. Did you know that once upon a time feminists recognized abortion as a rite which benefited men and devalued women?

          Ya could look it up!

      • Feminist is the oddest spelling termagant I’ve yet come across, but it seems to be the most popular one anymore.

    • How are we defining “Western Culture” here?

      It seems to me that the Greeks (and especially the Spartans) — made somewhat of a distinction.

      But then, they didn’t treat all most men as human beings, either.

  19. Samizdata has a related posting about the danger of drastic changes to a state that ties in well to this article. It’s at:
    https://www.samizdata.net/2019/11/do-not-mutate-the-state-at-too-great-a-rate/

  20. Sarah, the Amazon page says that the book was published February 5, 2019. So you should have it in a couple of days.I’m tempted to hit the “Buy” button myself, but I will wait to see what you think.

  21. And you can add to that general societal disapproval.

    These self absorbed Fools with an illustrated capital F caused a lot of the difficulties through their cute little self fulfilling prophecies.

    They made sure that homeschooling families had ZERO support. Rather, in order to maintain sanity the family is forced into ever more isolated circumstances; possibly completely isolated. From there any preexisting flaws got amplified, and there wasn’t any external support to say “Hey! Course correct!” when they come across toxic memes. And in the end the the family inevitably starts having to tell itself sour grapes stories to cope…. leading to even more problems.

    Everyone is responsible for what they do, but these scumbag cacophillic pieces of [50 pages of curses removed] are behind the worst of it. Fuck them with a rusty daemon infused chainsword. Sideways

  22. We’ve forgotten how to make babies.

    No, we mistaught my generation who to have children with and mine can’t teach the ones after it.

    We taught women to just have kids with guys who excite them instead of checking for the qualities that make a good father. While I’m talking about the rise of out of wedlock birth I’m not limiting it to that. I’m also talking about what we’ve taught a generation about who to marry.

    The problem can be summed up in one observation: Romeo and Juliet was written as a warning not a romance. Tragedies are about good people destroyed by a fatal flaw. The flaw of Romeo and Juliet was some variant of impatience, immaturity, or mistaking obsession with love (they overlap, take your pick). We’ve taught for generations they were tragic lovers destroyed by their families, not people destroyed by their own flaws.

    So, marriage is now about the passion of a romance novel and not picking someone to build a life with.

    So you wind up with broken families, people whose genes and values you want in the next generation childless, and a skew of children who never knew a father.

    I mean, I had two women offer to make me a father, of other men’s children due to pregnancies while they were “having fun”. I’m not alone. There is a very angry and bitter part of the internet full of men just like me.

    Do that for a couple of generations and women, “knowing” that men can’t be counted on, have fewer kids that they can support on their own. Meanwhile, reliable men, “knowing” that either they get step kids or kids stolen by divorce court, wait to have kids, intentionally don’t have them, or, because they are reliable and thus boring, not chosen to father kids (yes, I’m still bitter and I know at least some of my burn it all down is motivated by revenge for being childless…why work for a better world I’m excluded from).

    So, it isn’t we forgot how to have them, it’s we were never taught how to have them responsibly for a few generations and now the generations from the cock-up have decided it’s too risky to do it.

    • “There is a very angry and bitter part of the internet full of men just like me.”

      Especially since the technology exists to provide the 95% plus certainty that this is what happened…. and the courts don’t care.

    • We taught women to just have kids with guys who excite them instead of checking for the qualities that make a good father.

      No, Herbn, “we” didn’t.

      Those gals were ‘punished’ for failing to prevent procreation, by having a baby.

      They just weren’t shamed as much as those who made a baby and actually acted like they wanted to have a baby.

      And the media fixated on the oopsie folks, even though the “we had a baby, Responsibly(tm)” folks are way more common.
      (Like my parents– married, had three kids, husband got ‘fixed’– because that’s the Responsible thing to do. Sterilize, just like a pet.)

      Even with illegals (who always declare unmarried, and usually declare minor) can’t screw the numbers up enough to make that less than half the births.

    • Do that for a couple of generations and women, “knowing” that men can’t be counted on, have fewer kids that they can support on their own. Meanwhile, reliable men, “knowing” that either they get step kids or kids stolen by divorce court, wait to have kids, intentionally don’t have them, or, because they are reliable and thus boring, not chosen to father kids (yes, I’m still bitter and I know at least some of my burn it all down is motivated by revenge for being childless…why work for a better world I’m excluded from).

      I’ve literally been scolded by my very “Catholic” relatives for having more kids than I can support without Elf.

      For heaven’s sake, my aunt decided to take the instance of MY SISTER’S FUNERAL to scream at me about having more kids than I can support by myself. Because clearly, I am a bacteria which can only produce in stasis, right?

      *Growl*

      This complaint is 100+% true.

      They destroy the trust between couples, demand that it be only what you can do on your own, and then are shocked it’s wanting.

      We need to work to try to fix the “find someone who isn’t a user” matching system.

      I mentioned the song “Only the good die young” earlier– Elf laughs at me, but I growl and change the station every time it comes on.

      It’s freaking EVIL.

      The singer wants to use a girl, and toss her to the side, and wants her to feel guilty for not jumping at the chance.

      ….can I get a flamethrower, NOW?

      • Well, if a real relationship involves massive risk. And risk is absolutely unacceptable….. Better hedge your bets then.

        And then the people destroyed by this come to the conclusion that the solution is to not take the risk. Yay!

        • It isn’t that risk is inherently bad, but risks that are large and uncontrollable. If you could control either component, cost of event or odds of it, it would be different.

          Right now, marriage is high odds of failure and many of the cautions aren’t easily accessable. For example, don’t marry a child of divorce culls the pool big time.

          For both sexes, but especially for men, the cost can be huge. After all, the only more expensive than a wife is an ex-wife. And if you lose your good paying job don’t expect the lower that alimony payment. You even have the National Organization of Women this decade fighting against the end of lifetime alimony laws.

          I will freely admit if the regime we have around family law on marriage does not change, if either nephew asked me if they should get married I will tell them no. The risk-reward ratio is so whacked as to be unbelievable.

          • The part about risk was the idea that people need to be self sufficient independent (isolated).

            The problem with the response (a completely understandable one) is that unless there is a plan for fixing the situation RIGHT NOW, then we simply can’t afford but to take the risk, and try to hedge it as well as one can.

            Looking for a wife instead of a fun one night stand would be a good start.

      • I have found the phrase “How is this any business of yours?” remarkably useful. Also, “Either I am an adult and entitled to be treated like one or I am not, in which case your issue is with them as raised me.”

        “Sod off” is also highly useful, but best reserved for those with whom you’ve no further wish for converse.

        • Just because you share some common genetic firmware doesn’t mean you have to associate with them, give a damn about them, or even acknowledge they exist.

      • I’ve literally been scolded by my very “Catholic” relatives for having more kids than I can support without Elf.

        A thought just occurred to me about that. There are only two logical reasons for worrying about how you’d support your kids alone:

        1) You (or the relative worrying about you) think there’s a non-zero chance your husband might up and leave you.

        2) If there’s a non-zero chance your husband might die. Which can happen to anyone, but husbands are in higher-risk jobs than others, so the amount you’d have to worry about this one can vary a lot from one woman to another.

        In your case, Foxfier, I’m pretty sure without even having met you or Elf that you don’t have to worry about #1. And your relatives who do know you and Elf should know that, of course. Which just leaves reason #2… which is precisely what life insurance is for.

        Of course, all that I just wrote is based on logic, and it wouldn’t do any good to point these facts out to someone who’s flying off the handle based on feelings rather than logic. But I can’t help but wonder: do the people worrying about this stuff (especially on other people’s behalf when that’s none of their business) actually not know about life insurance? Or are they just, well, emoting instead of thinking?

        • I think they feel guilty. After all, if we do it, then maybe they really could have….

        • “Man is not a rational animal. Man is a rationalizing animal.”

          If the person in question (who sounds like a real piece of work) has even thought of either those two notions, she hasn’t taken the step of thinking through whether either one applies, because she’s emotionally invested in “large family bad.”

        • Some people are just controlling Karen types. But they used to be weaponized for useful purposes. Now they are usually useful idiots.

        • Um… My inlaws and parents have been been expecting us to divorce every year for 34 years now. No, I have no idea why.

          • In the first couple years of your marriage, I guess I could see that. If your parents didn’t know Dan that well, and his parents didn’t know you, then they could have been thinking “Our daughter marrying some American mathematician / our son marrying some European girl? It’ll never work in the long run.” But you’d think after, say, five-plus years of marriage, they’d have figured out that the two of you actually work very well together. I mean, even I can tell that just from what you’ve said on your blog, and I haven’t even met either of you in person!

            I guess it’s hard to change one’s mind when one has made it up, even in the face of 34 years of contrary evidence.

    • It has occurred to me that post-Second-World-War society lacks many of the social mixing and matchmaking capabilities of the prewar era.

      Traditionally, marriage was considered the normal state of the adult human. And society – parents, extended family, older friends and co-workers – worked to get compatible unmarried people together. Today, that structure has broken down. People are left hoping they will bump into a compatible person pretty much at random.

      Which is not only much less efficient, it wastes time…and time is critical. Someone fresh out of school has mobility. As your career progresses, you gain specialized knowledge and experience. Your earnings go up, but your mobility goes down. And if you are stuck in a Dating Desert…well, the results can get pretty sad.

      • “It has occurred to me that post-Second-World-War society lacks many of the social mixing and matchmaking capabilities of the prewar era.”

        The hostility toward dating (and even flirting) in the workplace has not helped with this.

      • “Traditionally, marriage was considered the normal state of the adult human”.

        This, right here. And nowadays, we have the exact opposite consensus. People who insist that asking if/whether someone wants to marry is a “micro-aggression”. Same thing when it comes to asking about kids. Or really, any kind of conversational gambit that brings people closer together or lets them learn about each other, including such innocuous questions as “Where are you from?”

        • Geoff Withnell

          Life is a team sport. And marriage is how we choose sides. If you’re single, you are playing as an individual against teams. Not going to have a good result in most cases.

    • scott2harrison

      Thank God I have a Goddaughter.

  23. Look, I’ll be blunt. The crash might already be inevitable. The mistaken assumptions of the twentieth century might be stretched across our path like an invisible wire, ready to trip us as we come running. It might be impossible to turn around in time, even if this heresy too hold.

    Maybe we have finally found the great filter that answers the Fermi Paradox.

  24. Somewhat related:
    https://aleteia.org/2019/11/27/u-s-birthrates-down-for-fourth-year-in-a-row/

    I like the birth-rate-for-fertility-age-women metric, because it’s harder to game; the one they’re listing is roughly 800 per 1000 fertility age women.

    Now, the way you game this is by having illegals that declare they’re under 18 no matter how gray they are– because that triggers minor protection rules– and by over-estimating how many women there currently are.

    I’d love to have something like “SSNs per female SSN between 15-44” as a stat, even though that would inflate the number somewhat.

    Maybe even “SSN of mother” on birth records…. K, sorry, dreaming there. Then they’d have to do validation at birth. /sigh.

    • For those going:
      “oh holy crud, that’s .8 per TWO FREAKING PEOPLE, and you’re not flipping, WHY?!?!”

      Because I have six kids.

      And…it really wasn’t that hard. In eight years, we took our generation of five folks (ten parents for the offspring) to equal grandparents/double parents, rather than half and change per grandparent.

      One. Single. Couple.

      (Insert ‘spay your pets’ graphic here; digression, yes, how often those are used for humans bugs me.)

      And that is with an unexpected, young death of a reproduction age lady who WANTED more kids in the sample.

      And we may have more, if He sends them.

      if HALF of your ladies decide that having “a lot” (3+) kids is important, and a quarter of the rest go for just two, and the rest are one or none? You grow.

      • I often joke my younger sister, the last of my mother’s children, who started at more or less the age my mother finished has covered herself, her husband, me, and our two of our three cousins (who are probably going to be childless as well as me).

        They even got a double when going for one last kid.

        It isn’t hard if you have someone willing to have kids with you, or for a woman, just with a man willing to have sex with you.

        • It is still hard, Herbn, because once you have the kids you have to raise them.

          Elf and I have sacrificed a lot to do right by the kids.

          I have no roots, now.

          We’re trying to regrow them. I hope to God it works.

          But the kids know mom, and dad, and God, and at least at a distance family.

          We’re working on community.

          IT is… not easy. Even the doctor freaks out at the idea of more than one parent and one kid and an infant in a room.

          WE’ve got to try to work to make it so that those who make kids, in good situations don’t have to fight through everything on earth to survive.

          • We’re working on community.

            Another concept the left corrupted. Just like they warped “people can turn into monster when allowed consequence free power” into “give us all the power, sans consequences”, they turned the human need for connections into “it takes a village”, and “you didn’t build that”.

            Naturally the response was to reject the idea of humans as requiring any connections whatsoever.

            There is a reason people like Jordan Peterson are so popular.

            • Very odd aside. I was first introduced to Jordan Peterson not for any thoughts on the good life or morality or any of that. I was sent to the second lecture in the maps of meaning course where he starts to dissect Pinocchio. It was recommended to me by another Rider as an exceptional way to understand ideas in structure of stories.

              Of course, I’m anal enough that I couldn’t start any course on lecture to, so I watched lecture 1 and got sucked down the rabbit hole of the whole course.

              The reverse a common saying, he is not the hero we deserve, but he is the hero we need. Not that I think of him as a hero per se but you get the thought.

            • The apparent contradiction between the Left’s propositions is resolved by recognizing the Left do not consider themselves mere people.


              [RF]: … People just don’t do things like that.

              Lina Lamont: People? I ain’t “people”! I am a… [reads from newspaper]

              Lina Lamont: “a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament.” It says so… [hands newspaper to R.F]

              Lina Lamont: right there.
              Singing in the Rain

              • While the left contradicts themselves on a regular basis, I’m not sure what that has to do with this case. The left corrupts something (which may or may not be contradictory), and then people who know that is wrong corrupt it even more.

                I was talking about the sequence: Truth -> Left Corrupted Version -> Inverted Corruption by people who see (part) of the poison.

                In this instance that would be: Social Needs -> Collectivism -> Isolationism.

          • I know it is hard. That is why C may be leaving to go there for Christmas next week instead of when I go on vacation. It is why every payday she gets DD from my check, although it goes for day care. It is why we buy a bunch of gift cards when banker bonus comes.

            They are my only heirs after all.

            • *hugs*

              Damn it, this is the limit of online community…. my going “hey, I wish I could watch so and so for a while” ends at “I wish.”

              Even if I’m barely better than nothing, it would be something.

              • >> “Even if I’m barely better than nothing, it would be something.”

                I suspect you’re selling yourself short. Trust me, I can think of FAR worse:

              • I forget where you live right now. But if you have a Sam’s Club around, I can pretty much guarantee that you will see a lot of other large families there, in the afternoons or mornings especially. If people comment, it will tend to be approvingly.

                I don’t know if the shopping will be worth it, but maybe you can stop by the cafe. Usually does not require membership for that. (Call and ask, basically.)

                You just seem kinda down.

  25. And Now For Something Completely Different:

    Have you seen Larry Correia’s new Mr. Trashbags T-shirt?

    All that’s missing is EAT TOES!!

  26. Bringing another culture (or a couple) into the west just makes the clash of cultures happen harder, faster, and makes it more likely neither will survive.

    Combining cultures is like mixing acid and water: do it slowly and in the right order else it explodes.

    I leave examples as an exercise for the reader.

    • So you’re actually encouraging this crowd to experimental things that can lead to explosions? Are you sure that is wise?

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If chemical assay could discover a whole gram of wisdom in the entire mass of huns, we would still have laboratory annexes two, three, four, six, and seven. We’ve just about gotten nine repaired back to working condition.

        • Amsel, Matthew

          Wisdom is a lie. But so are “JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.”

          …” TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY.”

          • Um… That was always one of Pterry’s weirder nonsequiturs. If something is not a material substance, it doesn’t exist? Concepts are lies?

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              His point was precisely what you say.

              The atheist raging at ‘the unfairness’ of the universe implicitly acknowledges fairness, which is not something that can be verified by purely material means.

              So a lot of atheist critiques of Christianity are bankrupt due to attempting to reason from a purely material basis, and at the same time relying on spiritual concepts in that critique.

              On what basis does an atheist say that ‘these things are real, and spiritual’? That is the probably the problem that drove him to write that. It isn’t a formulation that is important for a Christian reasoning from an intellectual background that is purely Christian.

              It is useful for an atheist who is, however much error they are in, feeling their way partly towards the truth.

              It is also useful for some of the Christians whose intellectual background is a mixed mess of thinking and feeling based on modernisms. You have a deep background in thinking that predates some of the modern mess.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              The point was that they exist only in our minds and hearts, but are as essential to our lives as food and drink

  27. by the age of 3 kids “download” the mind of their principal caregiver.

    There is NOTHING in a small child’s life so important as manipulating the primary caregiver. Not. One. Thing. Even without being consciously aware the toddling little wonder is observing and decoding that caregiver’s behaviour, deconstructing and reconstructing it in order to achieve two goals: maximizing rewards and minimizing punishments. Predicting caregiver behaviour is a basic survival instinct, it is not necessary to know the mechanism of such imprinting, merely to recognize the essentiality* of it.

    *Whether or no it was a word ere now, it is indeed a word as of now.

  28. “I haven’t looked into it in decades, but when kid was five or so I read about research on a mechanism by which … this is hard to explain… by the age of 3 kids “download” the mind of their principal caregiver.”

    I’ve noticed something similar. Kids learn from their caregivers. Middle-class parents who raise their own children equip them with middle-class virtues…which pretty well guarantee they will be reasonably successful in life. Middle-class parents who farm childraising out often turn their children over to lower-class hirelings…and the kids absorb the poor habits that define the lower class.

    And the difference in habits, in behaviors, and in approach to life determine almost everything.

  29. My take: Babies naturally focus on faces, except for the few who don’t. (Note that one symptom of asperger’s is a reluctance to meet another’s gaze.) I’m pretty sure this is a huge part of the social transmission we call “mother’s milk”.

    As far as collapse goes, I’m praying that prototyping tech will get to the point that an enclave can maintain a tech base on as low as a few hundred people, and thus form the seed for local recovery. But I’m hoping that the US just undergoes mini-collapses if it comes to that, with large areas coming through an emergency transition more or less okay.

    As far as population decline goes, breeding may turn into a race between Mormons, Catholics, and Muslims. But the future has always belonged to the children of those who have them and raise them well.

    -Albert

    • Humanity has dropped to 50 fertile females before. And you know, I can’t read that without thinking “Have we been this way before?”

    • > (Note that one symptom of asperger’s is a reluctance to meet another’s gaze.)

      Looking at who you’re talking to has gradually become not-a-thing, at least around here. I don’t know if it’s something that came along with the Mexicans, but from where I come from, making a point of not looking at someone while talking to them is a deliberate insult.

      On the flip side, we have the growing gangbanger demographic, where if you look at them for more than 0.2 seconds, they go into “let’s fight!” mode.

      So, the “gaze” thing might not be a very good indicator.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        There’s a mixture of cultures some areas.

        A lot of western europe based US subcultures believe that eye contact is social. But these are or were self control/confrontation cultures, and looking people in the eye, and seeing how they respond to that confrontation is a tool in those cultures, especially when you respect the other party.

        Some cultures, like some American indian, eye contact is not how you show respect to a dominant individual. Eye contact is confrontation, and chimp like, you don’t do it to people you don’t want to be beaten up by.

      • Fair enough, but I’m thinking specifically of the under-4 age range. Most babies instinctively look to their caregivers and pick up a lot of social cues while they’re still learning to crawl/walk/talk/run. If someone has instead an aversion to looking people in the eyes from infancy, it could easily help explain why a lot of us grow up more than a bit Odd.

        -Albert

  30. “It ain’t so much the things that people don’t know that makes trouble in this world, as it is the things that people know that ain’t so.”

    …and looks like the writers of that book checked one assumption, and found it false – but then failed to keep asking questions and see just how deep that rabbit hole goes. Can’t fault them too much for it, because the idea of taking the red pill and waking up to all the truths is… as much of a myth as the silver bullet that solves all our problems at once. And no doubt the progressive idiocy, culture blindness, and open-borders BS was the spoonful of honey that let the publishers in NYC take the medicine of truth re: population decline.

    Ran into a similar one not that long ago: a talk on youtube where the consultant was trying to point out that he’s expecting civilizational collapse due to shrinking demographics, and how it’ll take down the trade networks. The problem is, the guy was looking entirely at published statistics and believing them, without the slightest grasp of non-US history and culture. And so things like “Millennials as a generation have saved the US from this collapse that China, Japan, Europe et. al are facing, but they don’t have a corresponding population surge in the rest of the world” made sense… but when he got to “countries that will be okay after trade networks collapse, because they’re not reliant on foreign trade – they’ll flourish.” He included… Zimbabwe.

    Yeah.

    He thinks Zimbabwe will be fine when the rest of the world collapses, and “they can’t mess it up if they try.”

    I might have cracked up laughing so hard I had to work at not falling off my treadmill desk.

    • Americans born and raised blindness to even the IDEA of other cultures is one of my perennial head>desks. the world is all alike, except for funny/pretty clothes and quaint foods.
      It’s actually the other way around. People all over the world live in jeans and t-shirts, but what’s in the heads… ah, that.

    • You know, I’d say “It’s hard to further screw up the disaster that is Zimbabwe,” except their leadership [self-proclaimed] always says “Hold my sorghum beer and watch this!”

    • Zimbabwe isn’t going to notice anything different if it all collapses for the same reason that Southern farmers didn’t really notice the Great Depression.

      • Half nothing is still nothing.

      • That was certainly true for my grandparents in rural AR at the time.

      • I forget which wiseacre (Jimmy Breslin?) made the point about the Great NY Blackout of 1965 going unnoticed my many in the poorer neighborhoods, who figured the power company had simply cut them off, once again.

        Sadly for that joke, they probably noticed the absence of streetlamps and stoplights.

  31. How much is getting it wrong?
    How much of it designed to end the “plague” of humanity?

    • I don’t know. I think they really believe — need to believe — we’re breeding out of control. Because that justifies their idea we need to vanish.

      • I do get the feeling that some know it is wrong, but really want us to go away (well leaving them to rule a far better place, because they are not the problem, it’s the rest of us).
        Other are just the gullible who take those supposed betters at their word.

      • They *see* it – the cranes and construction crews are always going, the city is always expanding, more schools have to be built, departments expanded… the growth is very visible to them.

        What they don’t see is anything past the city limits.

  32. There’s one other point worth making. A decline in population isn’t catastrophic. Hell, even a catastrophic decline isn’t catastrophic. The Black Death took out roughly one-third of the population of Europe…and the rest picked up and started the Renaissance.

    Sheesh…despair is a sin. Come cheer up, my lads (and lassies), ’tis to glory we steer!

    • IF we have the rebound the plague gave us? Undoubtedly. Though some agencies estimate if we lose 20% we lose tech civilization.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Love the gloom and doom as much as anyone. We can’t x, otherwise we lose tech is also a favorite.

        Tech has lots of dependencies. Not clear to me we can a) easily model those dependencies and b) definitely tie them to a specific amount of people.

        We need a certain amount of economic churn, and without transport and people we can’t move the necessary experts for the current infrastructure.

        Comes to mind that if we cannot 100% predict innovation towards higher population forms of economic activity, the reverse may also not be 100% predictable.

      • Depends on the 20% we lose. Keeping tech civilization alive requires, as near as I can tell, the following occupations: miners, farmers, mechanics, engineers, and soldiers. As long as a critical mass of those survive, what’s left of civilization will be able to rebuild.

        • And it’s not hard to reasonably predict which part of the population is more likely to survive a large scale calamity.
          Hint- it’s not the people who would be first on the B Ark.

          • This is not a calamity, though. And those people, the ones who are taking the tech degrees and doing real things aren’t reproducing. THAT being the point.

            • FWIW I’m one of the techies. Who intends on having multiple children.

            • One could make the point that it is because things are going pretty good at the moment.
              However, should things go calamitous/ wahoonie shaped, the old instinct do tend to kick in, and a baby boom happens.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Some of the folks in I know in RL do make me wonder if it is correct that the truly intelligent, who solve real problems, really are not having children. This is more than my usual contrarian.

              I spent many years not looking for a woman I trusted to that degree. I do not want to be an example for the argument you make, but panicking now will not create a stable home life. I am definitely not yet an example against the argument you make.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Of course, the same things that drastically slowed down the children angle have also drastically slowed down the process of becoming someone who solves real problems.

        • I’ve got a little list.

          They’d none of them be missed.

          They’d.

          None.

          Of.

          Them.

          Be.

          Missed.

        • Hmm. I’ve been a farmer and a soldier, and have done a bit of machining. I’m not mechanically useless, but am definitely no mechanic. In a crisis, I’m willing to bet mining can wait for a bit. There will be scrap steel and things we can recycle from the things that people aren’t using anymore.

        • and oil, for both plastic and fuel; and people to run and maintain the ships and trains and trucks. which require spare parts, and eventually wear out and require replacement entirely… but i guess you’re just grouping the petroleum industry as ‘miners’

        • > miners, farmers, mechanics, engineers, and soldiers.

          What we’re likely to get: bureaucrats, thugs, and serfs.

          • Probably not. Most of the bureaucrats and thugs will fail to adjust, then die of either hunger, cold, or high-velocity lead poisoning.

            • Flip a society hard enough, and the people with weapons usually come out on top.
              After all, most noble titles were originally military ranks.

      • I beg to differ. We lose some capacity, yes. The tempo of new developments might slow down – or might speed up due to a recognition that the old top-heavy management is a luxury we can’t afford. But unless you take out specific high-skill groups, we keep chugging along.

        Let me put it this way – a 90% death rate leaves the United States with a population of about 33 million. About what we had 150 years ago. Enough to fight the Civil War…while inventing a truckload of new weapons en route.

        • And already knowing what is possible helps.

          A lot.

          • More than that, we’ll have a huge head start on regaining any knowledge lost. Literacy will still be common and there will be many non-fiction books around to learn from. And we’re not even going to forget simpler things like the wheel, basic hygiene, etc. in the first place.

        • We’d completely lose the capacity for the production of most technological electronics for a decade if not several decades. IF all the people that work in microchip factories die, then there are no new chips, which we really don’t have the capacity to make here anymore in any kind of numbers.

          • I’d like to point out that reductio ad absurdum is, well, absurd. We’re not talking The Spanish Flu of 1918, here, or the black plague pre-antibiotics; we’re talking demographics, which means people growing up, growing old, retiring, and not as many new kids on the streets to hire to replace them. This is a slow-motion process, not an Internet Attention Span event.

            Japan has, in fact, been going through for decades at this point. And they haven’t woken up one say with no more knowledge of how to do things and civilizational collapse. Nor are they blind to the problem; they’re struggling with how to fix their culture, because the incentives to have lots of kids aren’t there. As a nation, we’re not there yet – perhaps by the time we are, we’ll have learned from their mistakes.

            In fact, some digging on the subject turns up one village 30km outside Tokyo that was struggling with “more people over 90 than under 40”, and they decided to specifically market themselves as a bedroom town for young working professionals with kids. They’re sinking a lot of time and effort, as a community, into making it kid-friendly, including summer camps for kids whose parents have to work holidays, marketing their schools and daycares around commuting parents’ schedules, etc.

            The result is a localized baby boom as they get parents moving out there. Also, I find it telling that one of the things they wanted to showcase was a parent saying “I had no worries about having a second child, because I knew the community support was already there!”
            …that sentence tells you a lot about the culture they’re kicking against.

          • I’m not actually talking about dying. Just not replacing.

          • I will note that outside of military and space parts that require a domestic production base, fabs are mostly gone from the US, so semiconductor manufacturing is already an art being lost from this continent. Sure there are process engineers here who could write up the process and run things at a proof-of-new-process flow, but less and less as the big Asian fabs do new process development themselves, and full-on mass production, while keeping such within required quality to actually produce usable silicon in quantity, is something that has been mostly offshored.

            Kinda like fabric making and clothing manufacture, or even steel manufacturing: You might get retired folks to help if you needed to reconstitute these, but there’s not much domestic state-of-the-art hands-on knowledge left.

            • the fabs being gone was my point, not an omission on my part.

            • In regards to high tech, it may be that the survivors have a rather negative view of the sort of high tech society silicone provided, and decide to leave it all behind.
              Something akin to the Bulearan Jihad from Dune comes to mind.

        • A good point, but it’s much easier to forge miné (sp?) ball ammunition than it is to build 5 nanometer integrated circuits.

  33. And beware of Doom Porn. As with the other kind, it’s fun to pretend and make believer and fantasize.
    But mistaking it for reality tends to have a very destructive effect.

    Ask yourself- how much of the doom you know is just propaganda, designed to make you despair?
    How much is empty boasting on their part?
    And how much comes under Gell-Mann amnesia?

  34. We had 5 children (out of 8 pregnancies). On our second date my future wife said she wanted 14 children and I became her first third date since she started saying that. We’re up to 6 grandchildren; from 2 kids. The youngest is 21 and still in college.

    I realize that 5 children for the middle and upper middle class of people my age is much larger than average. I’m facebook friends with 17 of the 400 people I graduated HS with in 1973.One of them has 3 children. Most of the rest have one or two. I know of a few others who are contributing nothing to our future – it’s hard for a guy and his boyfriend to have kids.

    But I have to wonder if anyone has an accurate guess of just how many Mennonites and Amish there are. My neighbors, 30 years younger, have 11 children; the oldest is 15. When I moved here in 1997 the HS graduating class had about 100 students. . This years class was 55 or so. When I moved here there was 1 small Mennonite/Amish school in the area. There are now 3 I know about. There may be more.

    The future belongs to those who show up for it. And those people are going to be children of the religious, (ultra orthodox Jewish downstate NY also have huge families). The middling religious, people like my wife and I, will contribute. I know there are lot of Mormons in the area, CNY being where they started. The only Mormons I’ve ever talked with were ones I met at Boy Scout summer camp, and they had 3 or more children per couple. Unfortunately, I won’t be seeing them at camp any more….

  35. Side note: part of the issue is that we’re still working through the consequences of the availability and destigmatization of reliable birth control. For the first time in human history, we live in a world where if you want to avoid the natural result of sexual activity you can. As a result, the people who don’t want to have kids aren’t having kids.
    The people who want to have kids are having kids, and, importantly, are passing on the values that led them to want to have kids to their offspring.

    TL;DR version: Cultural memes that lead to lack of children are a self-correcting problem, and there’s enough people who are immune to them that we should make it all right.

  36. Two bible verses come to mind:

    Ecc 7:10 ISV Never ask “Why does the past seem so much better than now?” because this question does not come from wisdom.
    Deu 7:9 ISV Know that the LORD your God is God, the trusted God who faithfully keeps his covenant to the thousandth generation of those who love him and obey his commands.

    We were made by the Lord for this time we live in. As in every point in history, we are to love Him, trust Him, praise Him, and glorify Him. Even in the darkness–especially in the darkness–especially for the darkness. All times He is forging our souls, in dark time He tests our temper.

    This brings to mind a third verse, Psslm 27:14: Wait upon the Lord. Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

  37. “Until recently baby production was largely dependent on slave labour; as soon as women are allowed to answer the question “Would you like to squeeze as many objects the size of a watermelon out of your body as it takes to kill you?” they generally answer “No, thank you.” This leads to falling birthrates everywhere women are not kept enslaved and ignorant of the alternatives.” – James Nicoll, 2005

    • …which neatly ignores the massive social pressures on those who have kids, have kids early, have kids before the elder is in school, have kids beyond a set number, or who have kids and don’t go back to work in six weeks.

      Go on.

      ASK me how I know.

      I’ve got the Unite States Navy behind me, saying I am not a worthless moron who can’t manage anything or is wasting her time….
      And just ask what folks who KNOW THAT try to pull on me.

    • “Anyone who makes a different choice from me has been mind controlled.”.

    • Bullsh*t. There were alternatives in the village when I was growing up. There were alternatives in Elizabethan England. Not as convenient as now, but they were there.
      AND I want to point out that a lot of people know DAMN well what it takes to have babies and still want them.
      PFUI.
      “Look, you can create the next generation and have a say in the future, or you can avoid a pain literally every one of your ancestresses endured for you to be here.” Only sissies choose the later. Life IS pain.

      • Yup. And it ignores the fact that many women really enjoy being pregnant, even when it means difficulties, and are engineered to have lots.

        • beyond everything else, I grew up hearing that giving birth was the most painful thing evah.
          It wasn’t. It’s about like a bad period. Yes, you’re pushing something the size of a watermelon out, but the baby is not rigid, nor are you. That’s not even the part that hurts bad. It’s the contractions. The rest your body compensates for.
          It’s a natural function. The idea that it constitutes “oppression” or “enslavement” IS perverse, in the original sense.
          Also, does it hurt more or less than being 50, alone, starting to get hints of your mortality, and having nothing to look forward for?
          These ditzes don’t THINK. They think they’ll be young forever.

          • And that a big reason for having kids was to take care of you in your old age; the idea of getting government to steal it for you wasn’t a thing.

            • Yes. Part of it. Though people in my family tend to work till they drop in their tracks.
              You know, the biggest issue with government and kids? The stupid regulations. They take judgement away from the parents.
              Some idiot in CO left he equally stupid kids in the house and went away for two days. There was a fire, and the kids didn’t know what the alarm meant and either died or came close to it (It’s been 20 years. Don’t remember.)
              Next thing you know there’s a law that you can’t leave the kids alone for more than 2 hours under 14.
              This effectively meant I had to do quick shopping forays or drag them with me. For perspective, at 12 Robert had facial hair and the maturity of many 20 year olds. Also for perspective, my parents left me alone in the house at 8. Overnight. I could have a friend come stay with me.I did. Friend’s parents didn’t bat an eye. And by then the village had more crime than the area of Colorado Springs we lived in did when the kids were little. (It wasn’t much either way.)
              I’m opposed to idiots like my next door neighbor in South Carolina who’d leave her infant in his crib and go to the mall, but even then: the idiots shall always be with us. Making parenting a forest of regulations and not allowing parents their judgement is NOT the solution.
              And I know, if you never had the care of kids for a long time that regulation might not seem onerous, but it was. Imagine for instance the time Robert had stomach flu and I had to take Marshall for a cardiologist appointment. Dan was working crazy hours, couldn’t take time off. And we couldn’t get a babysitter. We tried.
              So, bundle puking kid and take him to cardiologist with his brother, to spread the virus, because otherwise it would be months and the younger son’s heart condition was iffy at the time.
              Yeah. Stress, a day lost calling and trying to find babysitters and ultimately having to play puke-Mary. When older kid would have been fine in bed all morning, with a bucket nearby and a book.

    • Or, you know, women could have enjoyed the physical aspects of love, and no desire to avoid such aspects even when it might be better for their health if they didn’t. Seriously, does that dude (And I am trying very hard to not call him an idiot) think that every woman ever was just being raped repeatedly by their partners?
      Apparently, he does, or he would not have used the words he did. It’s another example of that “history that wasn’t” that so many people think is “the way it was”.

      • every woman ever was just being raped repeatedly by their partners?

        I hate to break this to you, but in the not so distant past that was exactly what Feminist Doctrine insisted. “Marriage is rape” was once as common as “Epstein didn’t hang himself.”

        Irish comedian Dave Allen told of a long-married couple who, upon receiving news that the wife’s heart no longer permitted sexual activity, decided to avoid temptation by having him sleep on the couch downstairs.

        After several long lonely nights she determined she could no longer tolerate the isolation and, slipping out of bed crept down the stairs … only to meet her husband coming up.

        Sobbing, she confessed, “It’s a terrible thing I’ve done, love, I was coming down to commit suicide.”

        “That’s all right, dear,” he replied. “I was on me way up to kill you.”

      • The very position of Talks-With-Plants: https://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/piv-is-always-rape-ok/

        (Her nickname on this blog stems from the way that this is NOT her craziest position.)

        • Oh, I know. I’ve read her before, from here. Because I like to know my enemy.

          James Nicoll specifically irritates me because he’s so smug, ignorant, and patronizing. To see someone quote him as an authority just grinds my gears.

  38. So compare and contrast the imminent-to-already-started planet-wide population decline, a result of the confluence of rising wealth and the active societal diversion of young women from being Moms, with the fear embodied in the “Idiocracy” construct (with eugenics hidden underneath) that the “wrong people” are having children: Instead of the Einsteins impregnating the Curies yielding New Soviet Infants Born To Rule, or even the Psychology Professors and the Law Professors yielding young State Department bound academes to man the next generation of Deep State, instead Bubba is knocking up his seven female cousins down in the trailer park breeding whole passels of knuckle dragging flyover country MAGA-hat wearers who don’t know their place.

    Of course the fact that Einstein’s children were not Wyle E. Coyote certified Sooper-Geniuses, while plenty of geniuses (geneii?) are brought forth from average parents who simply read to their kids is beside the meme.

    I may be overly optimistic, but I like to think this will be at base self correcting, with the ones who show up to the future being more the result of correct-for-the-species parenting choices like actually, you know, making babies, and the best at that each generation passing the best choices along.

    On the other hand, it sure would be nice if the crazyhousenutcakes “experts” who propagate the false theories of overpopulation and we’ll-all-be-dead-in-12-years-due-to-Gaia’s-Wrath would not get the weight of the Tax Code, let alone the popular culture, so enthusiastically behind them.

    And talking to a few youngins these days before I shoo them off my lawn, yeah some are pretty dense, but quite a few have things actually fairly well figured out.

    I have faith.

    • Thing is, the “population bomb” types aren’t getting the tax code put behind them. Nearly every single government in the First World is desperately trying to figure out some way to get their women to have more babies, because they know that their welfare states are unsustainable without there being more workers than retirees. Of course, they’re botching the job.

      • Non-US governments, especially the New-Europe ones, are certainly waking up desirous of smelling the diapers, but I’ve not heard of anything in Western Europe or the UK changing tax incentives, and there’s nothing I am aware of along those lines happening in the US tax code.

        I will believe that the US .gov recognizes the issue when the various child tax credits and such add up to not penalizing families with stay-at-home-Moms, with bonus belief when they stomp out all the teachers-union-driven attacks on homeschooling families.

        • Nah, they already screw stuff up enough with the “help”!

          Although the child tax credit, and making it a lot easier to do taxes, did help. ^.^

        • However desirous of smelling the diapers they proclaim themselves, they often do not want to bear those diaper-wearers themselves. I (and most Europeans) will believe their support for child-bearing when they themselves bear children.

          In this regard I applaud England’s William and Kate and note that neither Angela Merkel nor Emmanuel Macron has contributed genes to the future.

          • From behavior, and keeping with the prefixes from that obscure French measurement system, I for one am happy the no microMerkels or milliMacrons are extant.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yeah, this.

      Regarding the statistical measurement of humans, the issue of the intelligence or not of the people who choose to have kids makes for some really difficult challenges.

      Someone I know in RL I would describe as an older Foxfier in terms of being grounded enough to know her own heart and mind on the children issue, and having married a man with skill at solving real world problems. They are raising, have raised, many kids.

      I take her, Foxfier, and some others as evidence that I don’t need to wring my hands about whites/middle class/people with advanced degrees not breeding. Anecdotal, not statistical, so I don’t have any citations when I want to tell people not to worry. Has an advanced degree is not automatically a sign of the qualities I want most strongly preserved.

      And as for white… A category that excludes Holly’s children, and makes a point of including methies and shoplifter junkies is not one I particularly care about. Big tent whiteness that is primarily a rejection of multiculturalist intersectionalist attempts to mainstream destructive cultural behavior, fine. That is the one that says “Okay, if a ‘minority’ is happily and productively ‘acting white’, fine, they are white now, and you no longer have a right to tell them they have an obligation to try to fix or ‘help’-enable people terminally on the path of self-destruction”. The more expected sort, which is mainly an excuse for white junkies to pretend they have a reason to feel better than other junkies, hard pass.

    • Genius is hard to breed for. Like a lot of other rare traits, it comes through …. unpredictably. I actually knew a genius both of whose parents were TRUE morons. Now, that might be better nutrition or whatever. who knows.
      I’m more afraid of “lots of welfare dependent babies, who can’t survive on their own” but not much, you know. Because it’s self-correcting, and those who learn to survive will. (And just because they can’t under these conditions, doesn’t mean they won’t learn under duress.)
      MOST of my fear is for the economy the next 100 years. we’re not SET UP for a shrinking population. And people are still screaming overpopulation, which will exacerbate the problem.
      And I’m worried the particular confluence of “tinkering” traits won’t be around, that we’ll have fewer sons of Martha because they’re not reproducing.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Or cases of inherited intelligence with other clear mental traits that are in common, but wildly different degrees of practical application because of the individual variation.

      • “Bright” parents are more likely to provide their child with the kind of stimulation that promotes mental development, to do things like emply large vocabulary, model reading for entertainment and to demonstrate inquisitive, exploratory intellects.

        Note the qualifier: more likely. Some kids will be prompted by lack of external stimuli to explore inner thoughts more deeply. Ya never can tell.

        But you already know which way to weight your betting.

        Back during the Hillarycare debate the most interesting insight I heard (on NPR before they spiked the studio water coolers) was a point that the primary effect of our medical advances was to make damaged people a larger segment of the population. People who in earlier times would have died were now still alive and semi-active. Hip replacements, knee replacements, cancer survivors — a whole range of life diminishing conditions are now simply shrugged off.

        The same applies to dim-wittedness (a trait apparently taught in our schools) in that what once removed folks from the gene pool now is supported and encouraged by personal-injury lawyers, community activists, welfare bureaucrats and the entire apparatus of stupidity enablement.

        I am not declaring this bad, having had my share of stupid moments and then some, but it is a fact which demands recognition. A big part of the success of Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform was it incentivized grit above resignation, encouraging people to improve their lot.

  39. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’m imagining the government “redistributing” kids from large families to those who don’t have any and I’m terrified because why wouldn’t they do something that stupid?

    • Every state can *already* take your kids for no particular reason and give them to someone else. And you have no practical recourse in most of them.

      “Anonymous accusation” isn’t just for Schiff-heads. It’s taken as true at Child Services and at Family Court.

      Oh, you have five kids? They could declare that an “unhealthy family environment” and you’d not only lose your kids, you should feel lucky you didn’t go to jail.

      Any dealings with Child Services tend to turn into a high speed trip down the Rabbit Hole.

  40. Oh, yeah, and the kid online who was not hardly even pubescent, who had some kind of fancy name for her sexual preference because she could not imagine raising kids. Because she had never spent time with babies.

    And I had to tell her that maybe she should spend time with some babies, and wait for her hormones to kick in and her body to weigh in, before she made major decisions about her life.with

    Sure, not everyone is going to marry and have kids. But the stuff our society is doing to program kids not to reproduce is neglect, and a human rights violation.

    • It turns out that a lot of kids today know all about sex positions, but that pregnancy information is darned near a forbidden subject. And I mean the kind of stuff that used to be in those skinny free magazines in the maternity department, not the deep dive stuff.

    • neglect

      That is an offly polite way of saying “some of the worst child abuse ever perpetrated in history”.

      • At the societal level, anyway. About the only society I can think of off the top of my head that was less conducive to raising functional human beings would be the Spartans.

        Note: this about entire cultures, not sub-groups within those cultures, e.g., the aristocracy of any society.

  41. And right on cue and relevant to this, the latest figures on abortions are out… and it’s at the lowest level since it was legalized. Which means, again, that in a society where contraceptives are widely available, the people who are getting pregnant are, by ever-widening percentages, the people who want to have kids. Those who don’t… aren’t.

    Tying this into the sheer level of screaming when efforts are made to decouple Planned Parenthood from federal funding, and I have to ask: how many of these clinics would close if they couldn’t fund themselves off the government teat and selling baby body parts? Because the need for them is going away, demographically, and there ain’t no coming back.

    How that must suck, to dedicate your life and trade your soul for defending the right to abortion… only to find out that the culture of those who survived despite your efforts left neither needs nor wants you. No wonder they’re hysterically, fanatically, insanely shrill.

    • Because the need for them is going away, demographically, and there ain’t no coming back.

      Well, identifying the actual product and customer is always the trick, isn’t it? If the need for “family planning services” is the product and the female-desirous-of-not-being-preggers is the customer, then yeah, but if the product is fetal tissue and the customer is the buyer of said, not so much.

      Kinda like Zuckerbook: If you’re getting something for free, you should check to see if you are the product.

  42. Someone dropped a remark the other day about this incident, so for those who get C-SPAN3 (or are content to watch it streamed online, as the embedded link leads to saved version, with transcript) be advised:

    Saturday, 30 November 2019
    3:10pm
    U.S. Army in Northern Russia, 1918-1919
    50 minutes

    World War I scholar and author James Carl Nelson discussed his book, “The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918 to 1919.” In August of 1918, about five thousand soldiers of the 339th regiment of the U.S. Army sailed to a Russian city 1,000 miles northeast of Moscow. They would spend the next year in the frozen north fighting the Red Army in an attempt to aid anti-communist forces. This program was a part of the 2019 National World War I Museum & Memorial symposium.