Wednesday 21 April 1999


Pic of the day: Sunset.

It may seem from yesterday's entry that I judged a young woman to be unfit for motherhood because she wore childish shoes. That'd be rather unfair, you may think, particularly since I come across as quite childish myself on these pages.
Then again, women don't crowd me to have my children either.

Come to think of it, that's probably worst for them. After all, to put it simply, I'm brighter than 99 out of 100 people you meet on the street. (Used to be 999 out of 1000, but I'll allow for some slide and the Flynn effect.) And let's face it, girls, it's not very likely that the new jobs created 20 years from now will be mainly in hewing timber with a large axe. But these things were useful in the past, and so your instincts are quite reasonably screaming for you to select for the corresponding features: Broad shoulders, muskular arms and a deep chest cavity for pumping enough oxygen for the hard work.

Not that I'd give you any, mind you, but you could at least try.

Of course you might prefer to hit on my youngest brother, who is good-looking, adorably well muscled, deliciously hairy, and coincidentally also slightly smarter than me. Then again he's happily married, so you may want to talk it over with his wife first ...

Back to the teen mothers. To be honest, I don't even know if the young girl with the stroller and the appropriately colored foreigner were the parents, rather than younger siblings of the parents or something. And even if they were, they may have all kind of reasons for having a kid first and higher education later. It just so happened that the sight triggered my readymade prejudices.

OK, it's prejudice, but it's GOOD prejudice.

I'm afraid we may be setting up a hereditary underclass of breeders, who opt for public child support because they can't imagine taking more than the most basic education and the machines have taken the mindless jobs. (At my workplace, we used to have women sorting and archiving tens of thousands of standardized paper forms. Now the forms are electronic, and I do the job by writing a few letters on my computer screen. Poof goes the workforce.) Breeding humans for stupidity is no less likely to succeed than breeding horses for strength or cats for long glossy fur. Given enough time, there is no reason to doubt that we will be able to make an underclass that is genetically handicapped. And what then? By then the solutions would all seem worse than the problem.

Let's move over to the deep end of the gene pool for a minute. If you're a doctor, a civil engineer or a psychiatrist, you've spent years of your life and borrowed heaps of gold to get to the point when you can start to earn money. In fact, here in Norway you'll probably never earn as much in a lifetime as the common factory worker (there are still such workers, not least thanks to state subsidies to industry). You definitely can't afford to take years off work to have several children, least of all in the age bracket when you could actually have children. Whereas the dim are rewarded for breeding, the bright are punished. And then in the long run, who is going to pay for the squirming masses?

Blasts from my past:
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