RE: Eugenics / children

From: altamira (
Date: Sat Jun 10 2000 - 11:00:53 MDT

Sarah, I'm sure someone else will be better qualified to say what the
Extropian line is on human genetic engineering. Using the Extropian
principles as a guideline, I would expect Extropians to be as totally
against any sort of government regulation as you are. Of course certain
people will try to control the course of human genetic research--it's too
valuable a tool to escape that. My greatest hope is that there are people
who are obsessed enough with their research that they'll quietly continue
doing it, regardless of the masses and their political leaders.

I'd like to thank you for the work you're doing on behalf of children. I'm
a long-time admirer of John Holt's work--I used to subscribe to his _Growing
Without Schooling_ newsletter before he died. I've only had time to skim
through your web site so far, but I will definitely return for a more
extensive look.

It's encouraging to see that even older children who've been tortured in
schools and "mental health" institutions can take possession of themselves
if given the opportunity. I had a foster child several years ago who was
considered incorrigible. He'd been in and out of foster homes and
institutions for most of his life; he had living parents, but they'd washed
their hands of him (interestingly, his mother was heavily involved with
several charitable organizations ostensibly set up for the purpose of
helping children with "learning disabilities" and other behavioral
problems). The supervisor of the foster child program placed the kid with
me because, as he said, my psychological profile showed me to be unusually
free of traits associated with "co-dependency," and he thought it might be
worthwhile to try something different.

The kid was 17, quite old enough to take care of himself, so I turned him
over to himself, offering guidance if he requested it but otherwise leaving
him alone. For example, his former foster parents told me it was next to
impossible to get him out of bed in the mornings and that mornings with this
kid were like battle-scenes. I told the kid something like this: "I don't
do wake-up calls. Here's an alarm clock. You can get up and work towards
whatever goals you want to set for yourself, or you can sleep all day. Your
choice." He never once overslept while he was with me. During the few months
he was with me, the kid got his GED, his driver's license, and a job as a
mechanic's helper (cars were a major interest of his, so a job in a
mechanic's shop was a triumph for him). The other foster parents were amazed
at how the kid had turned around but were quite disappointed when they asked
me what I'd done and I said, "Nothing. I just left him alone." It seemed
as though they all wanted to take some kind of action to control the kids.

I look forward to perusing your web site and to seeing more of your posts


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Sarah Lawrence
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2000 12:10 AM
Subject: Eugenics

>At the policy level we will need global bans on altering the genes we pass
>on to our children, and on reproductive human cloning. We'll also need
>effective, accountable systems for regulating human genetic technologies
>that may have some beneficent uses but could be dangerously abused.

I confess that I have no idea what the Extropian line is on this,
but I find it profoundly frightening.

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