OpinionProspective parents should be required to attend educational courses to ensure that they're qualified for the job.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-01-29 at 11:10:51   (31 comments)

On 2009-01-29 at 13:51:39, Thelevellers wrote...
Yes. Yes yes yes! Sadly certain friends of mine are smart enough to ace that test, and then proceed to be terrible parents in kinda cool ways... Like teaching them to shoplift for you... :s
On 2009-01-29 at 17:29:29, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Heh, this always seems to crop up in the news and Nation States, etc., but it's never going to happen because you're not allowed to tell anyone how to raise their children. The alternative is increased social services to check that the parents aren't being too horrible...
On 2009-01-30 at 02:40:54, BorgClown wrote...
the practical proposal would be a license for having kids, and one kid per permit. This could be justified with the demographic explosion and a revamping of the health system to focus on "licensed" babies. There will be people who will have unscheduled or "underground" offspring, but I suppose the majority would be conscious. And the baby-makers won't drain money from welfare.
On 2009-01-30 at 09:18:42, Lee J Haywood wrote...
A lot of countries no longer have too many babies though - their population would be getting ready to decline, if not for immigrants. And there's not much point trying to control immigrant reproduction... you'd be better off just letting fewer into your borders to start with. The licence idea obviously wouldn't work - any more than abstinence pledges (although of course it would work in a country with limited civil rights). But what of all those parents who get children that they're unprepared for? The ones who don't know what to do with them, how to care for them, nor how to punish/praise them? Would it be beneficial to the children to force their parents to attend classes early on?
On 2009-01-30 at 12:20:41, Thelevellers wrote...
Maybe this should be tied into a better and compulsory sex education drive? Teach it all properly at the right age and none of it should be a problem...?
On 2009-01-30 at 17:54:21, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: give them copies of black and white.
On 2009-01-31 at 10:09:15, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The computer game? I remember hearing about how good it was, but never got to play it. @Thelevellers: I seem to remember girls being taught how to change babies, etc., at school but I don't know if this still happens. I guess you'd need a whole course dedicated to parenting, but it's true that school is the place to do it... perhaps the problem is that those who drop out of school and have children are simply clueless.
On 2009-01-31 at 11:47:19, Thelevellers wrote...
You would have to teach them before they drop out I guess ;) I think it probably depends what school you go to, as I'm sure I've often heard that half the problem with sex ed at the moment is that it is very different depending on the school... I certainly wasn't taught anything much specifically about parenting, and neither were the girls as I went to an uber hippy school, so it was all about no gender bias (among other stuff).
On 2009-02-01 at 01:47:48, BorgClown wrote...
The idea of teaching parenting at the same age as sex-ed (or even before) is great. the younger they are, the better the indoctrination works.
On 2009-02-01 at 12:58:26, Thelevellers wrote...
Indoctrination is awesome. When it's my teachings ;)
On 2009-02-02 at 17:11:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7865332.stm
On 2009-02-02 at 18:53:26, Thelevellers wrote...
*Applauds Mr. Feeney* Someone with a head on their shoulders saying what needs to be said I say! I just hope someone useful listens... :s
On 2009-02-02 at 19:50:00, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The world population is due to level off anyway, but I think the problem is more that we have too many people already and could do with getting rid of some of the existing ones.
On 2009-02-02 at 20:06:47, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Well we keep having wars and we'll soon average ourselves out with enough fire power vs defensive attrition thing.
On 2009-02-02 at 20:20:45, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I wonder if it's the case that places with large population growth are also the areas with the most conflict and death? It certainly seems that way in Africa, although their conflicts are linked to a hugely complex set of correlations. I'm certainly happy about the idea of educating women as a way of promoting population control. It's just one part of societal progression, which does lead to a decline towards non-replacement rates.
On 2009-02-02 at 21:17:48, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Have you by chance read Three Cups of Tea?
On 2009-02-02 at 21:25:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
No, sorry - I mainly read fiction and any non-fiction is usually science stuff.
On 2009-02-02 at 22:36:37, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Great book explaining how he is educating females in order to promote a better society in pakistan. Whenever he builds a new school, the lives of the women in the villages improve and help promote the whole village to prosper.
On 2009-02-02 at 22:59:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Ah, yes... well a lot of charities aim to do the same thing. I'm sponsoring a girl in a remote part of China, although the money goes to her community rather than the girl herself. Hopefully she'll get a better education than she would otherwise.
On 2009-02-03 at 00:32:40, BorgClown wrote...
If I were a corrupt promoter, I'd tell the kids to write generic messages so several people sponsor the same child.
On 2009-02-03 at 09:36:29, Lee J Haywood wrote...
This has been a problem in the past, but the children have to respond to the text you've written about yourself. Having said that, since a translator is involved it's possible that they just make up a response without talking with the child. I do get the handwritten (pencil) original in Chinese though, so it seems pretty genuine.
On 2009-02-03 at 21:06:38, Baslisks wrote...
Do they tell you whats been going on in their community? Would be interesting to see the development from the bottom up.
On 2009-02-04 at 08:54:48, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I get leaflets explaining what goes on in the wider area, not specifically about her village. It makes a lot more economic sense that way, getting sponsorships for individual children but helping their entire community. In the past, at least some of the money would go directly to the child and then they would become victimised for that money. Up until recently, I would be able to send presents from a catalogue... but that has had to stop also, since some children would receive presents from their sponsors and others not.
On 2009-02-05 at 05:57:42, BorgClown wrote...
It makes sense. In poor countries people could live days with the money we use for a fast food dinner. Having each child receive money would create more conflict compared to centralized donation.
On 2009-04-04 at 18:40:00, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I remember this site from when it first appeared 10 years ago... I'm pretty sure I was trying to remember its name on some topic or other, but it's not easy to find. http://www.vhemt.org/
On 2009-04-05 at 03:51:08, BorgClown wrote...
Have you read the discussion between Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven about zero population growth? http://www.scribd.com/doc/6912490/Larry-Niven-and-Isaac-Asimov-On-the-Marching-Morons It's very short and entertaining. Asimov pwns.
On 2009-04-05 at 09:30:35, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Hmm, I should have started a new topic for this. There are 2 problems with limiting population growth, the second being that you end up with an ageing population (which is aleady happening) and too few young people to look after masses of old people. The first reason that societies have locked themselves in a race to out-compete other nations, and grow wealth by being as productive as they can. Fewer people would mean a smaller workforce and a collapsing economy. I think most intelligent people recognise that a smaller world population would be a good thing, in so many ways - less pollution and environmental damage, more resources, greater stability, fewer disasters. Unfortunately it's something you need to decide is a good idea from the beginning, and since the end of the second world war we've been deliberately trying to grow (and 'recover'). At some point, our unsustainability will cause civilisations to collapse and we'll have the decision made for us.
On 2009-04-05 at 14:31:31, Thelevellers wrote...
Thanks for the link, Borg. A good read... Personally I'm with Asimov here, I think. So what if we have problems with the economy and an ageing population?! It's better than than mass extinction of human and animal life in a few years when we've been steadily increasing the already overly large human population. Having zero population growth shouldn't cause a problem with ageing anyway, as two kids looking after their two parents is fine, surely? Especially with the aid of nursing homes?
On 2009-04-05 at 18:16:45, Baslisks wrote...
Hell, me and my current have promised only one child. Doing our little to promote a diminishing population without taking us out of the gene pool. Though I will keep hat through any relationship I move through.
On 2009-04-05 at 19:27:35, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'd imagine that there are big benefits to having a sibling for support. Surely having 2 children would work against population growth almost as well as having one? I think 2 children would be more of a handful, and that's a more valid reason for sticking to just one.
On 2009-04-06 at 01:52:38, BorgClown wrote...
I'm doing my part by having zero children. My two sisters have 1 and two respectively, so it's like we all had only one. My mother had 12 siblings and my father 4, so it's a nice improvement.