Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

How do you stop having kids?

http://shatterthefog.blogspot.com/2007/07/elephant-in-room.html - (via reddit) The Elephant in the Room

<quote>
I'm sure Juan wasn't the most educated person around. But he certainly wasn't the least. He spoke good Spanish and ran a small business selling souveniers to tourists. He was a typical Guatemalan. And he had no idea how to stop having children. So little of an idea that he was able to overcome huge societal taboos to talk to a total stranger about sex.
...
And then it struck me. None of these methods would work for Juan. He couldn't afford birth control pills or condoms. He certainly couldn't afford vasectomy surgery. And his church was probably telling him that birth control was a sin. In reality, there was nothing that somebody like Juan could do to stop having children.
</quote>

Seems pretty straightforward and unexpectedly simple.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:38am
In related news: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/21/AR2007072101275.html

Teen Sex Rates Stop Falling, Data Show


I know, only the reality based community cares.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:41am
The author, Taco van Ieperen, from his photos is some kind of european. He has no kids and has gotten a vasectomy. I am OK with that.

My wish is that Juan from Guatemala has many children and grandchildren.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 24th, 2007 12:42am
Well he could just stop having sex. Or is that too obvious?
Permalink man on the stair 
July 24th, 2007 7:21am
"My wish is that Juan from Guatemala has many children and grandchildren."

What if that's not Juan's wish?  What if Juan and Mrs. Juan can't afford so many kids?

Helping people to restrict their family size is not a bad thing.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 8:44am
That's like saying John could stop diarrhea by stopping eating.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 24th, 2007 8:47am
The other option is a blunt, rusty, knife. Or he could kill his wife. Or himself. My suggestion is better.
Permalink man on the stair 
July 24th, 2007 9:04am
He's a Canadian, which is a bit embarrassing.

>If there were only 500 million all of our environmental problems would vanish. The earth could sustain us by regrowing forests faster then we cut them down, and absorbing carbon faster then we release it.

This sort of arrogance reminds me of the hilarious The Onion article (or maybe Satirewire) - "Majority Support (Everyone Else) Carpooling". Yeah, wouldn't life be grand for Taco if everyone disappeared leaving a wonderful planet for Taco.
Permalink DF 
July 24th, 2007 9:28am
>This sort of arrogance reminds me of the hilarious The Onion
>article (or maybe Satirewire) - "Majority Support (Everyone
>Else) Carpooling". Yeah, wouldn't life be grand for Taco if
>everyone disappeared leaving a wonderful planet for Taco.

I swear you're intentionally trolling sometimes. Yes, you're currently being *that* stupid :)
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 11:54am
Two other things that the guy fails to mention (or maybe he does, but he doesn't just emphasize them):

1) Yes, birth control is one aspect.
2) People have lots of kids when there is a good chance that some of their children will die (of malnutrition, disease, etc.) - you have to solve this problem too, before western world birthrates are achieved.
3) People also have lots of kids to look after them when they're old. Agagin, you'll need social security in the poorer countries before western world birthrates are achieved.

So if you give people birth control, good medical care for kids and social security (hard but doable), then the population of the planet can be shrunk again.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 11:59am
>I swear you're intentionally trolling sometimes. Yes, you're currently being *that* stupid :)

It is hypocrisy for people from Western countries, enjoying the fruits of *enormous* population growth (look back just two or three generations and many Western families had a dozen+ children), to preach to anyone about population control. Canada might have a measly 32 million, and a native population that is actually *shrinking* (excluding immigration), but we're prosperous because of the groundwork that massive families laid before us.

Population is a double-edged sword -- for all of the downside of the billions on this planet, there are tremendous upsides. It is short-sighted to imagine that only the downside would be lost if the Earth had 1/12th the population.
Permalink DF 
July 24th, 2007 12:06pm
> for all of the downside of the billions on this planet, there are tremendous upsides

A bigger consumer market is an upside?
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:10pm
You know, if you have a kid, you immediately elevate your position in the world.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 24th, 2007 12:12pm
Sometimes, yes. Do you have to have such knee jerk reactionary stereotypically left wing attitudes to everything?

Anyway. I disagree with the premise that 6 billion is too many. We can probably stretch to 20 or 30 without killing the planet, so we've got a few years yet.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 12:14pm
> We can probably stretch to 20 or 30 without killing the planet

Probably? That's a lot to risk on probably. Just look what is happening with China and India and other countries as they rise to US standards. 5 times that much would be a disaster.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:16pm
"How do you stop having kids?"

I think oral sex is seriously under-rated as a birth-control method.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 12:19pm
"We can probably stretch to 20 or 30 without killing the planet"

Not if we expect everyone to live at current Western consumption levels.  We're quickly running out of resources and the garbage and pollution are piling up rapidly.

If we came up with some sustainable systems, and humans started being altruistic and non-violent, then maybe this could work.  Otherwise, we'll all be fighting over ever thinner slices of the pie.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 12:19pm
> 2) People have lots of kids when there is a good chance that some of their children will die

If the child mortality rate was indeed high in Guatemala, then there wouldn't be anything for Taco to be complaining about. So we have to surmise that people are having far more kids than a convenient disease or two can take care of. It does seem that there's a lag time between rates of a child surviving into adulthood, and lower birth rates (both through social memes like birth control, and lower fertility rates at the gamete level).

> 3) People also have lots of kids to look after them when they're old. Again, you'll need social security in the poorer countries before western world birthrates are achieved.

Yes, exactly. Though I worry that decoupling children from parental care/responsibility is what leads to nursing homes on one hand, and life long frat-boyhood on the other.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 24th, 2007 12:34pm
>So we have to surmise that people are having far more kids
>than a convenient disease or two can take care of.

Probably because lack of adequate healthcare and high child mortality tends to go hand in hand with lack of access to contraception and lack of any social security.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 12:45pm
> we'll all be fighting over ever thinner slices of the pie.

As long as the elite get their big slice this is the perfect system.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:45pm
Every system is perfect for the rich folks, in the end.  Even the Great Leap Forward favored the party elite.  Someone always ends up on top.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 12:47pm
The French Revolution did not turn out well for the rich who were sent to the Guillotine.  The Russian Revolution did not turn out well for the rich.  When Mao came in to China, lots of well-educated Chinese were killed.

Just because the First World has avoided a violent revolution for a while, doesn't mean they can't happen.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 12:50pm
That's why the "perfect" system has no hierarchy, but is organized like a network instead. It's also much harder to destroy.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 12:51pm
The revolutions did not turn out well for the existing rich, but with their demise, the new people in power became rich.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 12:52pm
>The French Revolution did not turn out well for the rich who
>were sent to the Guillotine.  The Russian Revolution did not
>turn out well for the rich.  When Mao came in to China, lots
>of well-educated Chinese were killed.

In each case it was just a matter of swapping one elite group with another - the revolutionaries (who spent lots of hard years fighting in trenches and eating gruel, and gosh darn it, deserve a  big breasted secretary, a country house and a nice salary).
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 12:52pm
The point being, if the new people in power, who become rich, become so rich that they again destabilize the political system, then they too will be sent to the Guillotine and the whole thing repeats.

Thus the necessity for the existence of some way for the poor and middle-class to have access to education and good jobs.  And checks and balances on what people can do to the political system, so the rich don't continue to destabilize the situation in their favor.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 12:55pm
> who become rich, become so rich that they again
> destabilize the political system,

The US system is incredibly unbalanced, yet nobody is being killed. So I don't think your reasoning holds in the modern are where more effective methods of mass control have been developed. You don't need a gun anymore. TV and a candy bar will do just as well.

Revolutions in China and Russia weren't about the poor overcoming. They were about a savvy elite taking over using the populace and then replacing the previous elite.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 1:07pm
>The US system is incredibly unbalanced

Wow. Yeah, it's bad... but you can do a WHOLE lot worse. Have you ever left the USA?
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 1:12pm
Yes, SoP, but my main criteria of "unbalanced political system" IS "so unbalanced that people are being killed".  Like the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the Chinese Revolution (or the Cuba Revolution, etc.)

I don't know what you're looking at to conclude the American political unbalance is "incredible".
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 1:28pm
Btw, there are several revolutions in China.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 24th, 2007 1:32pm
Right -- "Chinese revolutions"
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 24th, 2007 1:37pm
I think by the "Chinese Revolution" they meant the Maoist takeover in 1949.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 1:40pm
>>> Btw, there are several revolutions in China.

Not in the context of what's being talked about.  Do try to keep up...
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 24th, 2007 3:21pm
> When do you stop having kids?

When the kids threaten to kill sugar daddy and take over his house.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 24th, 2007 3:30pm
> Thus the necessity for the existence of some way for the poor and middle-class to have access to education and good jobs.

Necessity from whose point of view? From the ruling classes' those things make perfect sense because they keep people quiet, in fear of losing what little they have.
Permalink man on the stair 
July 25th, 2007 6:37am

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