Thursday, 13 November 2014

Who will support the childless elderly?

Fascinating discussion. Many people in the comments saying they intend to take their own lives when old, plus a few challenges to the sanctimony of parents.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Female Sterilsation and Reproducing at 70

It's a mad, bad world. Keep away from it.

Young women in the USA talk  about the difficulty of finding doctors willing to sterilise them:

While in India women hatch at 70:

Monday, 18 August 2014

An Unattended Death

A ninety year old woman died in her home in Auburn. She had decomposed through the floor before she was found six months later. The diaries found in her belongings shed light on this lonely and brilliant mind. Watch the documentary, and read excerpts from her diaries here.

 One of the commenters in the Daily Mail said;

it's sadly true that if you go for a career over children, then it's later that you may bitterly regret it. If you can't have your own children, then either adopt, foster, or try to keep in contact with young people in some way or other. You may be old, ugly, boring or whatever, but if you have shown love to any young ones, they will love you back and won't abandon you.

To which someone else said:

Yet another breeder who thinks that by miraculously having children, their life will be complete. It's disgusting to think that you know better over those who have made a conscious decision not to have them; do you ever wonder why there are so many feral children, so many in care, so many that will always be unemployed or disaffected? Forcing those who know they will not be good parents to have children in the hopes things will all of a sudden burst into miraculous joy and rainbows and love is the ultimate selfishness. This woman never regretted having children, it's the article that said they didn't have any. It's you who are the sad one, thinking all women are good for is breeding or parenting. Quite frankly, I think it's horrific that you think people have to have children to burden them with looking after them when they get old - it's like breeding slaves.

You can see their exchange if you go to the comments and click the 'best rated' option.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Moral Myopia

So, another shit storm in the Middle East, that zone that encompasses the human condition within a few square hundred miles: hopeless, incessantly violent, unfair and ultimately pointless. However, what irks me at the moment is the usual moral crusading on the usual social media platforms by people who in all likelihood have never been to Israel or Palestine, speak neither Arabic nor Hebrew, and whose knowledge of the area's history is sketchy at best. One thing the Internet has encouraged are self-declared moral heroes, whose bravery consists in making a loud declaration of what should be done - not by themselves of course, but by others - before returning to their cosy, privileged lives, feeling good about themselves for having bared their soul. Of course generally these people will pontificate about all manner of shit while casually walking over the neighbourhood homeless and down and outs, because, well, to represent those people wouldn't be half as glamourous, would it? And yes, mea culpa, of course. No one is exempt. Humans suck.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

When asked why he wrote....

....Samuel Beckett said it was 'in order to leave a stain upon the silence'. Maybe in today's world of overpopulation, overproduction, and overconsumption the more honourable course is to leave a silence upon the stain.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Children as the Opium of the Masses and Fuel for the Fire
I looked around elsewhere and this guy talks about people needing to focus on 'building civilisation' instead. Of course, you need kids to keep a civilisation going, and I doubt anyone consciously built a 'civilisation' anyway; it just evolved blindly. I reckon this guy has some existential issues bubbling under the surface, but his social programming won't let him admit it fully, so he comes out with confused and contradictory pronouncements. Personally, I reckon the kids should be left in non-existence and then there'll be no need for 'civilisation' or anything else.

Elsewhere, this article put me in mind of the wonderful 1973 future dystopia movie 'Soylent Green', except with the focus on the other end of the lifeline:

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Whereupon I am berated by an Angry 'Nam Veteran

The follwing comment came up two posts back, and I just thought it was too good and juicy not to get a post of its own:

"With respect Karl, perhaps you are a man that I don't fully understand. A long time ago, I was in Vietnam. My army friends and I were working for the US. We were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them. But our caravans kept being raided in the forest by the tribals. So, we went looking for the tribals. For six months, we kept giving them clothes,food,durables. One day, I saw a local child playing with a broken radio given by us. The tribals had been throwing them away.

Well, the tribals thought raiding was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
You are [I] think such a man."

My initial response:

"Oh right, so because those people didn't want to be assimilated by your way of life, there's something 'wrong' with them; because they didn't want to be bought off by invaders on their own land, they're primitive and 'backward'.

Incredible, but not sadly uncommon, parochialism."

I should also have pointed out the commenter's anger at the inability to successfully bully these natives, not to mention the rather lame Batman quotation.

Srikant wrote:

'"Some men just want to watch the world burn."
... while others like to set people afire on napalm.'

Best of all was my buddy Jeff's take:

"We are the people (antinatalists) he and his people (the rest of the world) are trying to bribe and buy off. They keep giving us baubles of this world, like material goods, religion, politics, art, promises of love and friendship, and so on, to convince us of the rightness of this world and its continuation. We turn their trinkets over in our hands, and although they can be quite attractive and interesting, we find no ultimate value in them, so we pass them along to our unborn children, to see what they think. For them, they are meaningless toys. Since they don't exist, they have no use for all those things. Especially broken radios. :)"

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Steven Pinker on Why your Suffering doesn't Matter

Steven Pinker, author of a recent tome entitled The Better Angels of our Nature which attempts to prove the world is becoming less violent, offers the following observations. The comments immediately after are by Bazompora, whom I thank for putting me on to this.

"If one focuses on absolute numbers, one ends up with moral absurdities such as these: (a) it’s better to reduce the size of a population by half and keep the rates of rape and murder the same than to reduce the rates of rape and murder by a third; (b) even if a society’s practices were static, so that its rates of war and violence don’t change, its people would be worse and worse off as the population grows, because a greater absolute number of them would suffer; (c) every child brought into the world is a moral evil, because there is a nonzero probability that he or she will be a victim of violence."

Quite unambiguously, this Steven Pinker understands the antinatalist conclusions, only to dismiss them out of hand and in favor of his utilitarian abstraction in which the individual doesn't count.

It must offer quite a privilege, to have the good life reserved for oneself, as well as the authority to be stoic on behalf of all the bad lives.

Karl: So there we have it, Steven Pinker, lauded by the deluded mandarins of academia, thinks it a moral absurdity to worry about exposing a person to the risk of violence and suffering.

Or as La Rochefoucauld put it: 'We all have strength enough to endure the suffering of others'.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Conversation overheard in Paris

I was in a restaurant in Paris last week. Two Americans came in and sat down next to me. After a while, the woman, whom I gathered was the editor of an 'Americans in Paris' lifestyle magazine, started talking about what a 'shame' and 'disgrace' it was that there weren't enough incentives for the poor to sterilise themselves. They expressed 'horror' at the failure of 'our society' to act in such a vital matter. I began to feel nostalgic for the USSR....

The man, whom I gathered worked for Forbes Magazine, ardently agreed with her. Both had previously identified themselves as Libertarians and there was a grim pleasure in listening to them desperately trying to dream up enough carrots for the poor to get the snip/drink the bleach of their own free-will, so that the authorities could claim it was all an act of 'autonomy'. Of course, it seemed to escape their grasp that for people like them to continue their plush lives, an endless supply of the poor is needed in order to do the 'dirty' and 'degrading' jobs too awful for the 'enlightened' ones to contemplate....