501 (c)(3) : The Adventure Begins

The Dark Lords of the IRS have proclaimed that West Hunter Incorporated has Federal tax-exempt status. Contributions, including various forms of real property,  are deductible.  For details, write gcochran9@comcast.net.

West Hunter’s purpose is the advancement of education and science in anthropology and evolution.  That means this blog, scientific and popular articles, books, talks, and research projects.  Depending on resources, possible projects might include a search for  effective nootropics (possibly inspired by some of the Ashkenazi mutations),  cloning  a super-Neanderthal, or breeding the Kwisatz Haderach.

Robert Heinlein, in Methuselah’s Children, imagined the Howard Foundation.  Founded by Ira Howard, who made a pile in the California Gold Rush but died young (of old age!) and childless,  the foundation bribed people with unusually long-lived ancestors into marrying people with similar backgrounds, thus selectively breeding for longevity. This was written in 1941, when many people still knew that such things were possible.

You can imagine a similar foundation that breeds for intelligence: Cyril Kornbluth did, as background for The Marching Morons.  But today, there’s no such thing. Any attempt would be denounced, even if utterly non-coercive and completely successful.

Nobody’s thinking about the long run, the big issues.  Well, hardly anybody.



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87 Responses to 501 (c)(3) : The Adventure Begins

  1. Patrick L. Boyle says:

    We don’t seem to have as much time as Heinlein imagined. Many ‘experts’ agree that the machines crossover with humans in intelligence will be in about 2050. With normal human breeding that’s less than two generations.

    When that time comes will our ‘smart’ phones just want to keep us around as a cheap way to remain mobile? That is, have a human carry themselves around in a pocket rather than bothering with building legs? Or maybe our sentimental smart phone masters will look back on organics with affection and breed us to be better?

    One of the biggest impediments to positive eugenics is who gets to decide what changes are positive. Blue eyes? Black hair? People just can’t agree. But that’s not much a problem for a machine. Expect better people when people are out of the decision loop.

    • Ilya says:

      @Patrick L. Boyle: not to get into a faraway shooting tangent, but sorry to disappoint: so called experts confuse computational ability with intelligence. Not the same thing, and non-biological intelligence will not emerge as soon as in 50 years, if ever. Am a software engineer, and another self-proclaimed expert.
      @gcochran: I’m heartened by this post. A couple of months or so ago, I thought about something along these lines: a very rich idealistic person could collect sperm and eggs of smart individuals (under, perhaps, if needed, a false pretense of research into IQ and genetics), then implant the resultant gamets into willing (and healthy) women from less advantageous backgrounds, say from somewhere in Russia — who would be paid to not only be surrogate mothers, but also for long term care. The children would be reared in close proximity to each other, but in a remote location, attending same school — which would naturally accept only gifted students. The kids who make the cut would stay in the school.
      Those who don’t will be relocated back to society at large, together with their surrogate mothers/carers.
      To add a twist to this scenario, the kids could be indoctrinated to hold West Hunter’s values in highest regard, thus increasing likelihood that the founder’s vision is kept alive. Also, it’s possible that they could dedicate themselves wholly or in part to these great ideas, which would be even better…
      Unfortunately, the way I see things unfolding right now, in the societies of developed countries: it’s going to get much worse before (if ever) it gets better. But I will not be here to see either.
      And to add another twist: why is no one talking about breeding people to look better? There is way too many ugly hominins, which is apparent even around Harvard Sq.

      • JayMan says:


        It won’t be as easy as you think, especially if your sample of “smart” people comes from Western societies. A good percentage of them will reject ideas on the importance of heredity and the value of good breeding to retain positive societal traits.

      • Portlander says:

        You hit on something I’ve always lamented: all but a token few billionaires lack any kind of imagination. I suppose this is necessarily true, there are plenty of way-points on the way to becoming a billionaire in which more creative individuals decide to check-out, but it really is a shame. Like they say… it’s all psychopaths at the top.

      • Ilya says:

        @JayMan: I agree with you: it is not going to be easy, if possible at all. Also, “kai” below pretty much summarized the logic that a rationally thinking (not necessarily brainwashed) person goes through for their own political stand/action on these issues. This line of thinking nullifies the Western model as the long-term future of civilization. You see, what works for science (individualism), doesn’t work when it comes to building a real civilization. How ironic: what primed the pipe for Western society’s achievements, including the current genetic potential of its peoples, is also a cause for its rotting and eventual downfall. So, I guess, we are not just genes — culture matters, doesn’t it?
        Any long-term truly progressive society (ie one with ever-improving technology and ever-expanding carrying capacity), not a merely viable society, will probably need to do away with multicultural democracy, and most likely be a form of theocracy that is able to deftly integrate secular knowledge (everything, from physics to genetics) into its tenets. Maybe Israel has a fighting chance, but definitely not the US, despite all of its current inertia, unless something radical (and horrible, in the short- to mid- term) happens.

        As a related aside, I like John Hawk’s takes on space colonies and travel:

        I sometimes think that the people from the seasteading camp may be onto something with their ocean colony ideas. But even if they become semi-independent politically, they will still be integrated into the global system of trade and, as such, subjects to embargo from the “enlightened” powers (think along the lines of what happened in South Africa) — so their genetic engineering experiment may be forced to end… On the other hand, who knows — it may depend on the facade thereof.

      • Ilya says:

        Another possibility very long-term is that the US becomes so stratified by class, that the elite class(es) (devolve to) become so small and genetically related / socially cohesive, and that the technology to police the animalistic imbeciles (anyone who is a non-elite will be devolving there in the long-term) becomes so powerful, that kernels of new culture/civilization will be formed. Maybe that’s the current “plan” of the Ivy League — it may work, but it’s not very fast (and it will also be fragile when exposed to both internal and external catastrophes, from man-made to natural).

      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        @Ilya you sound like an old Star Trek script – bravely asserting that there are these unique and mysterious human qualities that will always in the end triumph over machine intelligence. Science Fiction has crafted plots for decades about why people always stay on top despite of the more rapidly evolving abilities of machines. None of them that I have ever read have been very convincing. But this isn’t anything to worry about. The future is coming at us so fast, everyone will soon know for sure.

        Right now I don’t think any kind of breeding for a better human is possible politically. In one of the best Star Trek TV shows – the show that has inspired two of the movies, the humans bred Khan and his race of supermen. The humans then had to destroy these super smart fellows. This may have been a reference to Germans and Jews. In any case it’s a cautionary tale. Regular humans hate the idea of someone making better humans.

        The SNPedia I think currently shows 217 SNPs that effect intelligence. More are added routinely. This polygenic fact of life is often quoted with approval by those who don’t want any kind of eugenic experiments. Most liberals still connect eugenics with the Nazis and want nothing done genetically except maybe stamping out a few diseases.

        But our hosts Cochran and Harpending are the ‘fathers’ of the modern notion that human evolution continues and operates faster than we had hitherto suspected. If they say that no meaningful improvement in human brain power can be achieved because the genetic basis is too polygenic – I might believe them. But I won’t believe any pop press analysts who are desperate for any evidence that eugenics is impossible.

        But I don’t expect them to comment because the whole issue is a minefield and if you are too candid in public you will suffer in your career. Look at poor guarded, equivocating and cautious Nicolas Wade. He walked into a buzz saw. He only dared to address controversial issues after he retired. No man in the prime of his career would dare raise his head in today’s ‘Whack a Mole’ atmosphere. There are too many ideologues waiting to whack.

        I think the door is closed and barred on human improvement for the foreseeable future.

      • ghazi-less says:

        I’d settle for something much less than the privatized eugenics program you advocate–that is that governments cease subsidizing the reproduction of the most socially unfit.

        As for human intelligence and machine intelligence: I look forward to the day that I (or my children) can carry a flash drive welded to the skull, containing our civilization’s most valuable information. I look forward to having a virtual mentor, available for any query–what is that plant? what is that bird? who were the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? I want machines to make ME more intelligent, and if most people are like me, that is what will happen (provided consumer sovereignty can survive past Obama and his successors).

  2. soren says:

    I personally would like to see a wiki on the topic of human evolution that is editable only by you and whomever you’d like to invite. To go along with that, I’d also like to see a constantly evolving, creative commons licensed book with version numbers on the topic of human evolution that changes as new information is presented.

  3. Steve Sailer says:

    In Heinlein’s “Time for the Stars,” there’s a “Long Run Foundation” (?) that only invests in scientific projects like telepathy and “where does your lap go when you stand up.”

  4. east hunter says:

    speaking of nootropics, what do you know about cerebrolysin?

  5. dave chamberlin says:

    “Nobody is thinking about the long run, the big issues. Well, hardly anybody.”

    I’ve thought about this and I’ve wondered why. Even very bright people who could be doing this are simply shrugging off any effort to grasp the big picture going forward. They use the excuse the future is unknowable so why try to even project one generation into the future where the cutting edge of science is going to take us. It doesn’t help that there are lots of pop science generalists out there, so called futurists, who have no idea what they are talking about. I knew twenty years ago that studying the genetics of human intelligence was going to be paying huge dividends and eventually create a revolution as profound as the agricultural or industrial revolution. I don’t pretend to know what will happen or when it will happen but keeping a close eye to this small corner of science has proven to be really quite fascinating. I’m sixty so I’ll probably be kicking the bucket long before anything near a killer application comes from this area of scientific inquiry but that doesn’t make me think what almost everyone else seems to, “I’ll be dead so I don’t care.” I plan on supporting this blog because Greg Cochran keeps me up to date on areas of history and science better than any other source. If the overwhelming percentage of people out there are too stupid or too self centered to see the bigger world we live in, well, then that is their loss.

    • kai says:

      “I’ll be dead so I don’t care.” is actually difficult to counter: why bother about stuff that will happen after we are dead? you need a strange mix of rationality (which allows you to think about what need to be changed and comes out with solutions that may work, on complex long term problems) and complete delusion (you have to takes joy into a task that will not benefit you, but often just makes your life worst). Yes, maybe it will give a better life to your direct descendants, and this is still a powerful motivation for quite a few (as it should, not from a logical point of view but evolutionary), but I don’t really see how to do it better than the traditional way (select the best partner you can get, and transmit as much material wealth as you can). Trying to improve the whole human race is not really a smart move for you or your gene lines, I don’t get why a clever person should really invest in this (appart as part of a nobel acceptance speach, to become president, or win miss america).
      My feeling is that you need pretty indirect and complex reward system to develop this feeling (really trying to improve human race – instead of our family) on a large scale, something that probably do not happen often (sentimental remains of religious heaven promises together with mostly rational thinking? Sounds unstable 😉 )

      • dave chamberlin says:

        You don’t need an indirect and complex reward system to simply acknowledge our personal insignificance in the big picture, but I will say it is extremely unpopular to do so. People are damned delusional simply because our perspective of the world is inherently self centered, we don’t have much choice but to look out from our own eyes out whole life. Kai says my perspective is sentimental and I have to disagree, it is simply rational. I live in a world of 7 billion extra smart monkeys who after pursuing the almighty dollar for eight hours rush home to maximize time in a universe of their own control and creation via the channel changer, computer mouse, or game controller. They don’t care at all that maybe three generations in the future science will give parents the option of children that are much smarter than they are. I’m not giving into wishful thinking, it is what it is if you look at the likely progression of Moore’s law being applied to genetics as well as it has worked in the computer industry. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s amazing to think about the big picture. But damned few people do it and that is their loss.

  6. Justin says:

    See if you can get in touch with Elon Musk’s people. The guy has 5 sons from *two* pregnancies…unlikely that happened by chance. He’s said something like ‘engineers tend to breed engineers’ so methinks he had some sort of embryo selection done, even if it was only for gender. I’ll rack my brain for smart, rich people I actually personally know in the meantime….

    • Peter Lund says:

      5 living sons from 3 pregnancies, unfortunately 😦

    • R. says:

      Ehm… ivf?

      I buried my feelings instead, coping with Nevada’s death by making my first visit to an IVF clinic less than two months later. Elon and I planned to get pregnant again as swiftly as possible. Within the next five years, I gave birth to twins, then triplets, and I sold three novels to Penguin and Simon & Schuster.

      • Justin says:

        Exactly, that’s more less the only way to have both triplets and twins. All boys though? .a ~3% chance right? The guy’s after an army of engineers I tell you!

  7. JayMan says:


    Musk is always the man that comes to mind whenever the idea of making positive eugenics “cool” comes up. Of course, it’s fairly easy to find men that could serve as role models in this department. Not so easy to find women. Of course, there in lies the problem.

    • R. says:

      Not so easy to find women.

      How come? There are good-looking smart women out there.

      Especially highly concentrated in academia, seems to me. I volunteered for a brain imaging addiction related study once, and the doctor conducting the study was very impressive. Some of the doctoral students too.

      • JayMan says:


        “There are good-looking smart women out there.”

        How many famous/considerably accomplished ones do you know that have a lot of children?

      • R. says:


        For a woman to manage both is extremely difficult, for obvious reasons.
        Better, you ought to look at women who managed to raise lots of children who mostly do very well.

        I imagine you’d find a few. After all, how well-born someone is doesn’t depend just on the father.

    • Brian says:

      “How many famous/considerably accomplished ones do you know that have a lot of children?”

      The ones with stay-at-home husbands who get pregnant often.

  8. Maciano says:

    Looking at the sensationalism and nationalism surrounding South American countries like Costa Rica & Uruguay during the world cup, I wouldn’t be surprised if the masses & elites(!) living there would be in favour of some breeding program for elite soccer players. That might be a gateway to other, more important things. These sort of countries are both culturally isolated from & ignored by most Western countries, so nobody cares much what goes on there.

    It really is less crazy than it sounds.

    • I don’t think Uruguay would need any encouragement to produce football players, and they already do so, but by the environmental method of having larger families and training them young. They also marry quite young, which avoids most older man mutations. As to elite intelligence: they have made an elite start on that, but have to export most of their brains because the home economy is too small to support them. Many end up in London. However, with suitable financing, I will give them a talk on the subject in January. Someone help me with a few slides?

  9. mindfuldrone says:

    I hope you get the est’etics right

  10. FoolishReporter says:

    I’ll help with the Kwisatz Haderach project! 😉

  11. R. says:

    Nobody’s thinking about the long run, the big issues. Well, hardly anybody.

    Singapore had policies promoting marriage between those with university education..


  12. Jacobite says:

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

    • engleberg says:

      I must not have fun.
      Fun is the time-killer.
      Fun is for children, customers, and the help.
      I will forget fun.
      I will take a pass on it.
      And while it is going, I will turn a blind eye to it.
      When fun is gone there will be nothing.
      Only I will remain -I, and my will to win.
      Damn, I’m good.

  13. Toddy Cat says:

    “Many ‘experts’ agree that the machines crossover with humans in intelligence will be in about 2050. With normal human breeding that’s less than two generations.”

    I’d be willing to bet that this doesn’t happen, at least not by 2050. We won’t have fusion power or nanotech either. But our phone will be thinner than ever, and we will probably have a tranny President.

    Progress isn’t what it used to be…


    • R. says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure regarding fusion power. Lockheed’s skunk works are researching an interesting project, a type of fusion reactor based on a novel type of containment.

      They aim to have a working, energy producing prototype by 2017..

      Probably one of those ‘too good to be true things’, but one never knows. I just wonder why they fessed up to it. If it doesn’t work, it’ll be bad for their reputation. They can’t be looking for investment either, so.. why didn’t they keep a lid on it until they had something more than promising lab tests?

    • Jacobite says:

      “I’d be willing to bet that this doesn’t happen, at least not by 2050.”

      Indeed. Computer programs still can’t beat top level Go players, not that they eventually won’t, despite the fact that Go is an entirely deterministic game. Self awareness is a fuzzy concept anyway and people continuously extol the state of consciousness, in which they are totally immersed in solving a problem or engaging in sex or sports, as being “in the zone” and unaware of themselves.

      • Jim says:

        In any event the way computers play games like chess or checkers is very different from the way any human players play them. So computer ability to play checkers or chess very well for example sheds little light on how the best human players play these games.

      • Jim says:

        In simultaneous exhibitions the simultaneous player does not remember anything about a particular game as they go from board to board. They just look at each position afresh each time they come to it and make a quick decision as to their move. If they are playing hundreds of games simultaneously they don’t have time for any extensive calculation of future variations for any particular game or they would drop of exhaustion before they finished.

  14. Jacobite says:


    “Another possibility very long-term is that the US becomes so stratified by class, that the elite class(es) (devolve to) become so small and genetically related / socially cohesive, and that the technology to police the animalistic imbeciles (anyone who is a non-elite will be devolving there in the long-term) becomes so powerful, that kernels of new culture/civilization will be formed. “

    “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 2

    • Ilya says:

      @Jacobite: I’ve never read any of Huxley’s books, but (from Wikipedia) it appears a somewhat realistic scenario. An important question, however, remains: is the Western civilization devolving into a static society where maintaining “harmony” is the end goal or is true progress still the prime objective? This is a question not just of iq distribution or existence of castes, but also the ideals of the elite of the population, what gets promoted by the establishment and what allows one to get and stay in power/top of hierarchy within such a society.
      The Jews have a mandate via God’s promise to Abraham to be as numerous as the stars in the sky (hence, staying on Earth is not possible indefinitely).
      What does the West have now? Only Dr Cochran?

      • gcochran9 says:

        There is another.

      • Ilya says:

        May the Force be with you!

      • dearieme says:

        “is true progress still the prime objective?”: I doubt that civilisations have objectives.

      • Ilya says:

        @dearieme: OK, I misused the word. All life has the objective of survival and expansion. However, there are different ways by which it achieves those things, depending on the domain you concentrate your attention on. Microbes do it one way, fish another, human beings yet another. Societies, being conglomerates of people, have various rites, traditions, capabilities. Civilizations are a further emergent entity of people/society/societies.

        Civilization(/s?) have (/has?) uncountable number of attributes and levers that allow them (/it?) to achieve life’s objective. There are right ways and wrong strategies to manipulate those attributes and levers. Right ways lead to maximizing the changes for achieving life’s objective. The wrong ways are too many to enumerate.
        Knowing what we know on the West Hunter blog, maximizing technologic/scientific progress/bred-in human potential should be the prime strategy for a culture to achieve life’s objective.

        Choosing “harmony,” or at least the so-called “progressives'” harmony, as the main lever to press on, makes civilization more fragile, which may lead to devolution back to a bunch of societies, when viewed from long term perspective. “Harmony” is not at all a bad thing per se — but it arises as a by-product of the complex and ever-changing calculus of human relationships — the changes of which are, again, enabled by true progress (technology, science, and human genetic selection). “Better Angels of Our Nature” is a good book on that.

  15. sinij says:

    Foundation or not, you will get out-bred or maybe outbreeding get you.

    On more serious note, singularity or extinction. I don’t think there would be any other equilibrium point.

    • Jacobite says:

      Maybe we will be lucky and a new strain of some virus will only take out 95% of us. I’m afraid “The Singularity” may only turn out to be a plague of non-intelligent nano-bots that cover the earth in a seething mass of self replicating dust a la Michael Crichton’s Prey.

  16. Atavisionary says:

    Assortive mating based on intelligence is more or less already happening. Universal testing identifies intelligence, and then puts them all in the same place (college) where they meet, marry and have kids. Charles Murray’s Growing apart book was all about this.

    The problem isn’t that they aren’t finding each other, it is that they have few or no children. This is even more problematic because less intelligent people have many more children.

    • reiner Tor says:

      Based on Greg Clark’s The Son Also Rises, assortative mating is not powerful enough to prevent slow regression to the mean. Except in the case of endogamous permanent castes or ethnic groups, like Brahmins or Jews.

      • ChrisA says:

        The vast majority of Greg Clark’s data comes from before the times of 1) mass education and 2) coeducational colleges. The point by Atavisionary is very powerful, in the west women and men are now being stratified by tested intelligence at 18 years old and placed into close proximity with each other at the very moment of peak fertility. Even if most Ivy grads don’t marry straight out of college, they will continue to socialize mainly within that cohort. And then, if their subsequent careers are successful enough to afford it, their children also go through the same process, with at every step the less intelligent, less conscientious, most distracted being weeded out. This has never happened before, in the past you chose your mate based on perhaps family, proximity or complementary grounds. If an external alien force were coming up with a way to breed intelligence and conscientiousness this is what they would come up with. In just a few generations we are going to have some super-nerds ruling over the human race.

      • reiner Tor says:

        I think you are wrong. Clark’s data show surprising consistency across ages, even into the 21st century. As Clark explains, people mistake success (or high IQ) for good genes, when in fact it’s always a mixture of good genes and a great deal of luck. Even high IQ is the result of some luck – actually, the reason for regression to the mean is that most people at the highest (and lowest) end of the spectrum usually have good (and bad) luck (in addition to good (bad) genes), and because the children will have less luck, they will regress to the mean. Now these children will marry spouses with the same IQ as themselves – however, those spouses will more likely than not have some luck, too, so the children will further regress. The process will likely repeat itself in the next generation, until the family reaches the average. Of course some families will have a great deal of luck in finding spouses, and those minority of families will move up into the the elite – after all, somebody has to be elite, and as the old elite is regressing to the mean, some families must be rising. Regression to the mean only affects the majority, but not a successful (lucky) minority.

        Actually I think that in the olden times when parents arranged marriages (or at least had a great influence over who their children were allowed to marry) some factors against regression were stronger because you will fall in love with the good phenotype, but your parents are more likely to screen the phenotype of your prospective spouse’s family (and family history etc.) – if the whole family has good phenotype, it’s because of good genes, if one family member only, it’s because of luck.

      • reiner Tor says:

        Leaving aside the fact that Ivy League has a totally nontransparent selection process, including affirmative action and corruption, but might include some other random goodies, so it’s possible that the majority of the best and brightest are elsewhere. In the US at least many other universities have similar selection processes, so those bright people might also be put together with a few shades less intelligent people than themselves. Also people (at least men, including yours truly) don’t always fall in love with the most intelligent members of the opposite sex.

  17. Xenophon Hendrix says:

    Gene sequencing is getting cheap, so I think embryo selection might ultimately reverse dysgenics. It will be promoted as creating healthy children, but it will simultaneously increase intelligence. Of course, there will still be lots of oops kids, but even a large minority of embryo-selected children should have a big effect.

  18. Kate says:

    Maybe Madonna would be interested in funding your project, and donating a hair sample. I imagine she might quite like to be part of a super-race, and she’s into the Kabbalah.

    I’ve never been much interested in biotech, I’m too in awe of the natural world as given. Last night I learned that; squirrels communicate with rattle snakes, dolphins know each others’ names, the Masai work cooperatively with a bird, and horses have cognitive images of their friends. wow.

    And, the development of drug to dissuade men from poaching tigers would be greatly appreciated.

    I’m just 7 hours old. And truly beautiful to behold. But somebody should be told. My libido hasn’t been controlled. 🙂

    • Patrick L. Boyle says:

      I don’t have a solution for tigers I have one for rhinos. The rhino’s horn is valued in Chinese medicine. Many are shot by poachers. All we would have to do is trap all the rhinos and saw off their horns. Replace them with a neon orange plastic horn. Poachers wouldn’t want them, They could be made to be mechanically identical to the real horn – and rhinos are color blind.

      Tourists might object I suppose.

      • engleberg says:

        If you synthesize the nose goo rhino horns grow from, let it cake into horn, and sell it, you could turn a profit and save the rhinos without killing every bad-tempered rhino in Africa. A high percentage.

  19. Greying Wanderer says:

    off topic

    If Amerindians were massively reduced by European diseases and then the population rebuilt from the survivors doesn’t that mean there would be a massive recent bottleneck in their DNA and if so does the apparent age of their current y dna dated by diversity come to a much more recent time than is known by archaeology?

    That is, is the apparent age of post-colonization Amerindian y DNA sub-clades known to be too recent and ignored because people know they went through a recent bottleneck?

    • Anonymous says:

      They weren’t reduced to a single small population, but rather smaller populations spread over two continents. While your argument might hold for individual populations, taking all the populations together there will still be substantial diversity.

  20. cloudswrest says:

    I sometimes think that the people from the seasteading camp may be onto something with their ocean colony ideas. But even if they become semi-independent politically, they will still be integrated into the global system of trade and, as such, subjects to embargo from the “enlightened” powers (think along the lines of what happened in South Africa) — so their genetic engineering experiment may be forced to end…

    That’s why I think the seasteading idea is a loser. A successful colony needs to be located at a place that is *hard* to get to, but not too hard. This is:

    1. To prevent hordes of undesirables from immigrating.
    2. Make it difficult/expensive for current colonists to leave, so they have an incentive to improve the place.
    3. Help to isolate it from foreign influence/meddling.

    The moon fits this bill. I don’t see why somewhat spacious moon units (apologies to Frank Zappa’s daughter) could not be constructed. You know those inflatable tennis court facilities? Find an appropriate sized crater, plop one of these down in it, lightly inflate it, then pile dirt/regolith on top as ballast to contain the air pressure as you fully inflate. Reinforce at your leisure. Multiple units could tessellate a larger crater. In addition the ballast ( perhaps 30 feet of dirt) provides radiation shielding and thermal insulation.

    • reiner Tor says:

      The problem with the Moon is the low gravity. I’m not sure healthy humans could be bread on the Moon. But who knows? Maybe they’ll grow bigger, will be unable to walk the Earth, but will have bigger brains. Far as I know everything grows bigger in lower gravity.

      • Jacobite says:

        “Far as I know everything grows bigger in lower gravity.”

        Except for muscles and bone, both of which slowly waste away in zero gravity.

      • cloudswrest says:

        Indeed. Living quarters would probably have to be a centrifuge around the rim of the crater. Think Elon Musk’s hyperloop. No need to pump a vacuum as it’s there for free.

      • engleberg says:

        Build a Chuck E Cheese centrifuge on Earth and raise your kids at 1.5 gravities, so they are fit to ride giant pretzal mecha and become Kumquat Haagendaaz in accordance with Boni Maroni prophecy.

      • ursiform says:

        “Far as I know everything grows bigger in lower gravity.”

        Is there any evidence to support this for biological systems?

  21. Tusky says:


    1) The eugenics program will begin one year after Regent enters office.

    a) Establishes tax incentives for eugenic services, most available only to married citizens.
    b) The pricing benefits of the program will help unmarried people by establishing a larger market and driving down prices, but those who flout the marriage convention will find disincentive.

    2) Features of the eugenics program as follows:

    a) Pre-marital DNA testing to identify 500 important genetic markers. (This number may change as testing improves, soon to be the 2000 most important markers.)

    i) Genetic data is available to researchers, scrubbed of personal identity.
    ii) This service available to citizens between 15 and 30 years of age. Tax credit available to either the individual, or if under 18 years, to the parents.
    iii) Incentive applies to both to testing and to counseling fees after results come back. Counseling available privately to the subject person, who may elect to share counseling sessions if so desired. Subject person (not parents or guardians) owns the data and the interpretation documents as private property.
    (1) Two counseling sessions are covered. The initial session and a session for people aiming to become married, or already married and wishing to have children.
    (2) Only two sessions are covered under this incentive. Additional counseling is at the discretion of the individual.
    iv) Counseling must meet simple FDA guidelines (the counselor does not have to be a physician), user picks the provider.
    v) FDA will supply an initial computerized written interpretations for users. This service is in addition to the counseling.
    vi) Sixty-five percent tax credit, available to US citizens

    b) Embryo testing (amniocentesis) to identify embryonic flaws such as Down’s syndrome.
    i) US married Citizens only, aged 15 – 50.
    ii) Required for fertility enhancement and surrogate mother programs.
    iii) 65% tax credit.

    c) Embryo selection to be available when the technology is reasonably proven.
    i) US married Citizens only, aged 15-50.
    ii) 65% tax credit
    iii) Embryo selection has tremendous positive potential.
    (1) If twenty zygotes are formed and then tested, parents can choose what amounts to the best child if they had twenty of them.
    (2) If they do this twice, the odds their children would possess this level of fitness would be one in four hundred.
    (3) Very good news for the family, likewise very good news for society.
    iv) Required for Embryo Selection and Surrogate Mothers programs.

    d) Cryogenic storage of sperm and ova. This is to store youthful reproductive cells, thus prevent the accumulation of random mutation, thus an increase in genetic load for those who delay having family.
    i) For women, as many as two hundred eggs may be stored in two separate caches.
    ii) For men, as much as 50 ml of sperm may be stored in two separate caches.
    iii) Caches must meet basic standards, and must physically be separated by at least one hundred miles.
    iv) Gametes must be stored when persons is 15 – 25 years old.
    v) 65% tax credit, applies to both collection procedure and storage.
    vi) US Citizens, aged 15-25 for collection, up to age 60 for storage.

    e) Fertility enhancement programs (test tube babies) serve people that have difficulty with conception.
    i) Must demonstrate physical need, meet guidelines of the program.
    ii) Limit two full-term pregnancies or one multiple-birth.
    iii) Must be used in parallel with the embryo selection program.
    iv) Amniocentesis required, counseling is mandatory after results return.
    v) No genetically or developmentally-impaired fetuses may be brought to term from this program; if participant insists on bearing such child then must repay government expenditures.
    vi) Married US Citizens, 30-50years old.
    vii) 50% tax credit.

    f) Surrogate mother programs.

    i) Gametes shall be from parents, parents must demonstrate physical need, surrogates must adhere to guidelines, tax incentive is limited to two full-term children.
    (1) Amniocentesis testing required, abnormalities shall not be brought to term; or participants must repay government participation.
    (2) Must be used in parallel with the embryo selection program.
    ii) Genetic testing of parents required, some limits on eligibility.
    (1) DNA testing required pre-and post implantation to confirm parentage.
    (2) Embryos not from both declared parents shall not be brought to term; or participants must repay government participation.
    iii) Surrogate may be in third world if program meets criteria.
    iv) Guest-worker surrogates in the US are allowable if program meets criteria.
    v) 50% tax credit.
    vi) Married Citizens not over 50 years old.

    g) Tax credit to assure optimum nutrition and acceptable environment for expectant mothers.
    i) This program funds professional organizations that do both office and home visits. The goal is to help families avoid toxins , provide diet and supplements counselling, water testing, other testing if merited, alcohol and drug avoidance, , proper exercise, vitamins, food vouchers if necessary, alternative housing for the term of pregnancy if required, blood work and follow-up.
    ii) Married US Citizens.
    iii) 90% tax credit.

    3) Prohibit foreign adoption except in case of contracted surrogates in third world.

    4) Eliminate tax break for children. If you can afford them, have them. If not, don’t.

    5) Urge talented couples to have at least four children, we need your children.

    6) Urge all married couples to consider having three, the country needs your children.

    7) Eliminate all federal welfare for bastards beyond the mother’s first. This includes all federal programs (social security, medical programs, food stamps, EBT, etc.) that will benefit this child before the age of 18.

    8) Offer sterilization subsidy & grant to those whose tested IQ is less than 75. Move their social security eligibility to age 50. A voluntary program, affected persons have the opportunity to enter at 16 years, eligibility ending either at age 25 or after a second child. The sterilization subsidy must have individual consent as well as family consent. Family consent means four of the following blood relatives or three if only three available: one or both parents, a sibling, an uncle or aunt, a grandfather, a grandmother, or a first cousin.

    9) Push hard on bio-research for safely boosting fitness and cognitive ability.

    a) Methods to delete deleterious (‘genetic load’) genes are needed
    b) Methods to increase fitness
    c) Methods to reach a goal to increase cognitive ability one standard deviation (base year 2013) within fifty years (two generations).

    10) Push hard on human genetics study, generally.

    11) Ensure a woman’s right to abortion, for any reason, within the first half of pregnancy.
    a) US Citizens and Nationals own our bodies as private property.
    b) Sex and pregnancy are entirely private. This is consistent with US history. Once past the age of reason (about sixteen years) there is no standing for Federal governmental interference (either positively or negatively, as in providing contraceptives) in this part of life provided the sex is consensual. If a government can regulate sex and pregnancy, it can also regulate conception. There lies a slippery slope to be avoided.
    c) Pregnancy is a normal and natural condition. It is not normally detrimental to health, although it carries health risks in certain defined conditions.
    d) Fetal material is a part of the woman’s body for the first two-thirds of pregnancy because it cannot survive outside the woman’s body. (The trope about detecting a heartbeat is specious.) A fetus before the third trimester is essentially the woman’s bodily tissue.
    i) The tissue product (zygote) of eggs harvested from a human female and then fertilized outside her body are not considered as pregnancy unless such fertilized egg (zygote) is re-implanted in a human female for purposes of pregnancy and delivery of a human baby.
    e) In the final third of pregnancy it is reasonable to consider a fetus as an independent entity because unlike like any other bodily tissue it can generally survive outside the mother’s body.
    i) At this point the fetus begins to have individual rights.
    f) Humans have a very high spontaneous abortion rate; more are lost naturally than are ever born. This means abortion is not an isolated or un-natural event, and far more are lost to natural processes than will ever be born, much less aborted.
    g) Therefore, Federal law shall state that women have a unrestricted right to abortion before the half-way point of pregnancy; and states may regulate as they see fit after this stage. However:
    (1) Biological fathers have a right to confront the woman if they wish to keep the child. She may or may not agree to bear it for him; however this amounts to surrogacy and in this case a surrogacy contract must be executed to define terms. A woman that accepts a surrogacy contract has no rights or duties with respect to the child after it is born.
    (2) However, a woman has the unrestricted right not to inform the biological father of the pregnancy. In this case the father has no rights, nor duties, pertaining to the child.

    • Ilya says:

      @Tusky: a great write-up, Sir. I can see that you have thoroughly thought through the issues. I also liked the little nibble on what in the US exists as “earned income credit.” It’s a preposterous scheme indeed.

      I think that this set of rules could provide a basis for the beginning of a functional eugenics program if it were to be implemented in the near future. If!

      (The rules could also be augmented with some form of a “child licensing/permit” model, to provide further disincentives for undesirables and incentives for gifted persons (with possible sponsorship allowed at corporate/foundation level), but details of which I should probably think through some other day…)

    • Anti-dreamer says:

      What sense exactly does it make to allow abortion for any reason (your words) if most of those conceptions are of sufficiently healthy genetic quality? This is not even about the ethics, its a matter of logic.

      Instead of pissing about with NRTs just curtail or ban most of them, in all my time on HBD blogs not a single NRT advocate has countered my observation that people want good looking obediant brats who don’t question authority or drive society forwards (the ‘smartness’ people seek in their offspring is getting grades at school, not creativity or thinking outside the box, both of which associate with unpopular personality traits and behavioural problems.)

      In other words for NRTs not to be harmful requires decoupling reproduction from choice altogether or people will choose airheads. Sorry but there’s no guaranteed way round this. Advocating genetic counselling is expressing the idea educating people makes them sensible. You won’t convince people to have a rebellious free thinker instead of a servile brat, and I suspect NRT advocates get off on the idea of engineering a more passive society.

      And I mean, you put to allow IVF for 50 year olds. Like the right of a child to parents long into its life isn’t even an issue. NRTs at all costs and no thought of society. This is irresponsible and ridiculous.

      I have noticed the more someone gets enthusiastic about NRTs the more liberal they actually are. (Saying that reproduction is private violates the basic premise of population control.) Whereas they object strenuously to the application of reproductive technologies long established, such as castration and spaying, that are verified 100% effective but violate sentimental attitudes towards individual rights.

      Also notice a trend where elitists push for abortion and IVF for old bags (feminism much?) whilst looking down on ‘bastards’ – an antiquated choice of language intended to defame others and kind of make the speaker feel superior to others. Just comes accross as liberal elitism wearing a different mask than usual.

      • Tusky says:


        1. You think I’m an elitist? Good call. I certainly am. I commend it to you as a useful habit of mind.
        2. I want to allow abortion for any reason because 19 of 20 embryos will be flushed, and many of them would have been quite good. But not optimal in the judgement of parents. I would like parents to legally have the opportunity to choose an optimal embryo, or close to it. Geez, wouldn’t you have liked Mom & Pop to have done this for you when they had the chance?
        2a. Read again the bit about owning your own body. It is an important issue. I live in the US, a country that gives lip service to the idea of freedom. True freedom would most certainly acknowledge, notwithstanding poor behavior that hurts others, that you do own your own body.
        3. I think lifetimes will increase during the next few decades. I think experience makes people wiser, and if it’s possible for them to safely and reliably delay children, then I think they will likely make wiser choices when raising children. Delaying children also helps in affordable family formation, eh?
        4. In my opinion, subsidizing technology to allow near-optimal children will help lower and middle class people more than upper classes!
        5. NRT? What is this? If you will use an acronym, put the acro in parens after first usage of the phrase.
        6. Bastards. It’s a historically accurate word. If a word is established in the language, I don’t allow touchy-feely types to demonize or insist it’s a prohibited word. There’s no doubt “bastard” carries a bit of censure, and so it should. Don’t subsidize behaviors with negative consequences, that’s rule number one. (Distinguish, please between “tolerate” and “subsidize.” I tolerate bastards, it’s merely civilized to do so.) You’ll note most of the proposed subsidies are not available to unmarried parents. Children with married parents have better outcomes, an accepted truism.


      • Anti-dreamer says:


        2) By that logic its ok to electrocute people or push boulders on them, because people die naturally in lightning strikes and landslides. By saying something happens in nature you can justify anything, its very silly. And I explained why subjective parental judgements are not necessarily good and you haven’t answered that.
        2a) If the mind is a user illusion of the body then the idea the body is a property of the mind is illogical, dualistic nonsense. Besides freedom over all considerations is the root of our problems.

        3) With not enough White children being born, we need more children born not delayed parenthood. The aging on the other hand are increasingly both ecological and economic drains with no quality of life, in other words, ‘tube people’ at public and ecological expense.

        5) New Reproductive Technology

        6) Bastards is an obsolete word, not a prohibited word. It belongs within historical contexts.

  22. Anonymous says:

    In the middle run, positive or negative eugenics by breeding manipulation will become completely outdated; spell-checking the genome will perhaps become possible and cheap within a few centuries, and people won’t resist its efficiency: once per dozens of generations per germ line. Meanwhile, I’d be glad to serve as public stud.

  23. brendan says:

    Sam walton said:

    “This is a big contradiction in my makeup that I don’t completely understand to this day. In many of my core values—things like church and family and civic leadership and even politics—I’m a pretty conservative guy. But for some reason in business, I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been. On the one hand, in the community, I really am an establishment kind of guy; on the other hand, in the marketplace, I have always been a maverick who enjoys shaking things up and creating a little anarchy. And sometimes the establishment has made me mad.”

    reminds me of greg

  24. Anonymous says:

    “How many famous/considerably accomplished ones do you know that have a lot of children?”

    The ones with stay-at-home husbands who get pregnant often.

      • Brian says:


        (BTW, I tried to reply directly to your post of 2014.07.18 19:05, and it did appear a couple of posts down… but also posted again at the end of the posts under Anonymous. Weird. I’ll get the hang of this newfangled stuff, someday.)

  25. cloudswrest says:

    As a related aside, I like John Hawk’s takes on space colonies and travel:

    In the first link Hawks seriously lacks the heirless Pak Protector mentality. More like the crab pot mentality.

  26. SunSunSun says:

    In terms of Nootropics, what about Klotho pills? BTW, can one tell how many copies of the variant one has from a 23andMe genome report?

  27. Jim says:

    “The mind is a user illsuion of the body” –

    People don’t think, they just think they think.

  28. thinkingabout it says:

    Personally, my big problem is not that there arent enough intelligent women, it’s that the culture has brainwashed them into thinking they have to be hardcharging corporate career cunts. I don’t know whether having a child with a few extra IQ points is worth being stuck with a nasty mouthy bitch who thinks she’s too good to cook and clean and take care of the home.

  29. Sam Neumann says:

    “Any attempt would be denounced, even if utterly non-coercive and completely successful.” More likely it would die from the indifference of the majority, including myself, who would ask “what stake do I have in other people being selected as the inheritors?”

  30. Steven C. says:

    You forget to mention that the Howard Foundation, from Robert Heinlein’s novels, is a secret organization. When the long-lived descendants partially reveal themselves in the more sane and ethical world of the 22nd century; they are all rounded-up and imprisoned in camps and pressured to give up the secret medical treatment they are selfishly keeping to themselves. Any future eugenic foundation would have to be equally covert; unless it’s a country like China.

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