[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae, was: Impressive book: Farewell to Alms

Tom Tobin korpios at korpios.com
Tue Feb 5 15:44:07 UTC 2008

On 2/5/08, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Many people in industrialised
> countries manage to have ten times as many children as they currently
> do.

I couldn't quite parse that one; s/manage/could manage/ ?

> Sperm donors are usually paid for their trouble, rather than
> bidding for the opportunity to father multiple offspring at a huge
> discount to the cost incurred doing it the usual way. Dictators who
> have shown no compunction in killing millions of their own people have
> never attempted to use reproductive technologies to forcibly conceive
> millions of children.

Well, yeah ... they're male.  ^_^  The dictator scenario only makes
sense if he wants to *have sex* with thousands of women; reproduction
still wouldn't be his goal, but rather a side-effect (as with males in

> But the goal isn't reproduction as such, since otherwise the above
> scenarios would be commonplace. Rather, the goal is to obtain a cute
> baby to raise and love. Reproduction is a side-effect of this as much
> as it is a side-effect of having a sexual drive.

"Obtain a cute baby" sounds like "reproduce".  ;-)  But from a genetic
standpoint, yes, there's a distinction; we're just vehicles, and we
aren't actively talking about getting our *genes* into new babies.
The "obtain a cute baby" goal is still fairly flexible at
circumventing birth control (by simple virtue of causing the female to
avoid it).

(This discussion makes me *very* happy that I've permanently
dead-ended my genes' quest ... well, aside from the copies in my
siblings, assuming *they* reproduce, I suppose.)  ^_^

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