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Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 3:37pmSanction this postReply
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I almost answered the fourth answer, but ended up with the seventh answer.

My sister once said that a child would fix me (or something like that). What she meant by that was that the experience of raising a child would compliment the other strengths of mine which I relish and nurture -- providing unprecedented balance in my life. Children aren't for everyone, but if financial and romantic issues permit, then I'd like to have/raise at least one child, if not a few of them.

Ed


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Post 1

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 3:41pmSanction this postReply
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I didn't make this poll. But its relevant to some news I have to share. I've become involved in a long term relationship w/ a woman that I'm extremely fortunate to have met... long story short she is an awesome woman and I as of a short time ago I am now a father of a handsome son.

I'm super tired sleep deprived from focusing all of my mental and physical ability on helping him be happy and healthy so that he can learn how to/that he can make his will true. Trying to get some sleep now that I've helped my wife a good amount in learning how to parent and helped her so that she could sleep & recover.

His name is Brent Alexander Gores. He is going to control the universe. Friends rejoice and enemies be damned.

Cheers,
Dean

Post 2

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 3:41pmSanction this postReply
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I created this poll and selected "I want to experience that key aspect of being human" because I cannot think of any other good reason for reproducing.

I consider "I want someone to 'take care of me' in my old age" the most laughable of the lot, especially in a time and place when our own government has shackled everyone with huge sums of national debt from birth forward, making it hard enough to "take care of oneself" much less an aging parent.

I still intend to remain childfree, but having seen so many lives turned upside down by opting to have children, I have to question the sanity of the decision for most people most of the time. The worst ones are the parents who enter enthusiastically, realize after the fact just how much work it is, and walk away from the family altogether. What were they thinking when they decided to have babies in the first place?

Dean, congratulations and good luck!

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 8/25, 3:45pm)


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Post 3

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 4:12pmSanction this postReply
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To have a good chance at increasing the number of people like me in the world... which may make my life more enjoyable. To fulfill my drives to teach and play. To get a better understanding of the human mind & the processes of learning, problem solving, and motivation... so that I can have greater success in contributing towards creating living intelligent programs. Many reasons...

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Post 4

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 5:09pmSanction this postReply
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8) Because life is so incredibly amazing, I just have to multiply it.

9) Because I'm optimistic, and wish to make the world a better place with more great people. Just like me.

10) I need more help on the farm.

11) I need some heirs.

;) I chose 4, but so much more was involved, "Other" didn't seem to satisfy.

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Post 5

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 6:09pmSanction this postReply
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TSI, how is 10 not a slave morality?

Meanwhile, 11 can be handled with a well-constructed estate plan.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 8:06pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

Re #10: You don't think kids would enjoy living a healthy lifestyle on the farm? There they can actually be useful and earn thier room and board as children. Is sitting around playing video games and watching tv while breathing in polluted city air, and going to grain fed maggot public city schools a better form of freedom to you? Go to public school and memorize useless info that one could otherwise search the internet for on demand? I think growing up on the farm is like the optimal environment for a kid... tons of real stuff to do. Farm fresh foods. Vs city life is too stale and abstract imo. Not a slave. Hey, son, if you don't want to work on the farm that's fine, but then you don't get to live like a human, go out into the barn and eat/sleep with the pigs! (or run away) That's not slavery. Its called life. You've gotta learn how to make things live, and make a living for yourself.

Re #11: Sure Luke, you are free to plan your "will" as you wish. Giving it to some well deserving children seems like a great option to me. Although I think sometimes some kids would do better if they weren't given so much from their parents, especially when the giving is done independent of the kid's virtues/deeds.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 - 3:09amSanction this postReply
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10 and 11 were jokes, but what Dean said. 10 was a real motive for a long time, but I dont think we're worse for wear. I dont think its slavery any more than expecting your child to clean his/her room.

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Post 8

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 5:16amSanction this postReply
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Have any of you actually been raised on a farm? I was. It was no picnic. If the education and farming had been merged into one a la Montessori, I might have a different experience to share. As it stands now, I was in the dubious position of having to answer to multiple masters at home and at public school, all of whom basically demanded that I obey their whims "or else." They embraced "responsibility" to mean, not "response ability," meaning "able to respond to life's challenges," but rather "Respond-Sybil-Itty," meaning "answering to multiple conflicting personalities with power."

"Child, do this."
"Why?"
"Because I said so."
"No."
"Yes," reaching for belt, paddle, or other instrument of physical pain.
"Oh, all right."

Ha, ha, very funny, assholes. Anyone who wants to talk in such glowing terms about farming should try it first. I will cheerfully take my frozen dinners and microwave oven over toiling in the hot sun, thank you very much.

I could say more but I need to write a long overdue essay taking a searing look at the so-called "home town family values" about which so many speak so nostalgically ... and so ignorantly.

I am seriously re-thinking some of my statements in my earlier article and discussion thread "Tough Storge" in light of additional years of experience and learning.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 8/26, 5:43am)


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Monday, August 26, 2013 - 8:28amSanction this postReply
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I'm sorry your childhood was so brutally dictated Luke. No, I do not think living on a farm has to be that way. Can you imagine any way your parents might have made the chores worthwhile to you in a more pleasing way?

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Monday, August 26, 2013 - 8:38amSanction this postReply
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A consistent level of respect for my existence as an end in myself rather than as the means to their ends, both at home and at school, would have made all the difference, Dean.

I recommend these sites and their related books:

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius
Parenting for Social Change
Parenting for Social Change (Book)

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 8/26, 8:43am)


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Post 11

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
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The endeavour is way too high risk/reward to ever let others make the decision for you and your spouse(and ibn the final analysis, it is your wife who bears the most risk in procreation. That isn't fair or unfair, it is just the facts.) My reasons might not be your reasons; my responsibilities are not your responsibilities. My joy is not your joy. My sorrow is not your sorrow. My risk is not your risk. My reward is not your reward.

Nobody should ever talk you into having or not having children. Nope; it is too consequential for a poll(I don'tmean this poll, I mean, an actual instance of putting finger to wind before actually making the decision.) It's your risk. It's your reward. It is your consequence, either for having or not having.

My sons, by far, are the greatest joys in my life. I have no idea what I ever did to deserve them.

My path is not the only path, but for the first six years of our marriage, we took steps not to get pregnant. Then, when we decided we wanted children in our lives, it wasn't like 'trying.' It was... we stopped taking steps to avoid pregnancy, and said, if it happens, it happens.

And it happened. Three times. One miscarriage. Two sons.

High risk. High reward. That's life.

And looking back, my memories of before kids are like in b/w, and ever since, in color. But that is just me.

One special needs son, my second. Do I consider him the downside of risk? Do I regret not stopping at one?

Hell no. If anything, I'm grateful that we accidentally didn't terminate him. My wife was older when we conceived him, like 38. She had CVS procedure, testing for birthdefects, with obvious consequences had the tests come back positive. But Williams Syndrome wasn't typically screened for -- still isn't -- and so, he snuck by. And I am grateful for that, not dissapointed. We were clueless. What were we afraid of? I have no idea. Eric is one of the most truly unique people I have ever met, and a complete joy to know and love.

But I'd never make that decision for another; never, nor judge them for what is their own decision, their own consequences, their own risk, their own reward.



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Post 12

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 3:19pmSanction this postReply
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Ed:

Don't ever let the fear of imperfectly parenting be a hindrance. It has never been done perfectly.

Consider the following; I've observed it before. It is funny because it is true. 10,000 years of modern history, 500 generations, and each one raised by rookie management.

1] No parent has ever raised children before.
2] Having the first provides no meaningful insight or training for those that follow, because every child/human is different.
3] Just when you've fooled yourself into thinking you know what you are doing with the parenting gig, you get promoted to grandparent and nobody listens to you.


And still, because humans are so resilient, they often -- not always, but often -- survive being raised by complete amateur rookies.

This fact of mankinds regeneration is nothing short of a miracle. We don't realize how smart our parents were until we become grandparents, and even then, we are fooling ourselves because they really weren't that smart. We are just amazed they raised us without eating us, like some species.

regards,
Fred









Post 13

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 6:40pmSanction this postReply
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Congratulations, Dean!

Brent is a cool name, too.

:-)

Ed


Post 14

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 10:38pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,

Thanks for the vastly-enlightened pep talk. I can tell not only that you are a great father, but are greatly rewarded by it -- which is as it should be. If you were cloned and somehow your personality transferred to each of your clones (don't ask me how that could ever happen; I'm just making stuff up right now), if you were cloned and were everyone's dad, then ... no ... that wouldn't work. Never mind.

:-)

Ed

p.s., [reflecting] And I accomplished that post without any beer!


Post 15

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 7:09amSanction this postReply
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Dean:

Let the adventure begin...

Congrats!

regards,
Fred


Post 16

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 7:12amSanction this postReply
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Ed:

Truth be know, back in HS, I sort of did try to be everyone's dad. I failed, but it was fun trying. Fortunately, I survived my adolescence. I can't honestly say it was a planned success. The planning came much later.

regards,
Fred

Post 17

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 7:39pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,
I can't honestly say it was a planned success. The planning came much later.
Aha! The modus operandi of the first half of your life was to "live and learn" -- and that of the second half of your life (er, I think you have moved into the second half of your life, but only time will tell) is to "learn and live." This pattern might actually apply to us all.

:-)

Ed

p.s., Actually, it might apply to all of us who are willing to mature and grow. Not everyone becomes so willing to do that. Some are seduced by the effortless comfort of infantile narcissism perpetuated in the only way (immoral) that something like that can be perpetuated: by the underhanded scapegoating of others in the world, and by the warrantless predation on the productive efforts of others in the world. If you want to be a baby for life, then you:

1) have to develop the skill of blaming others for the destruction that you will be causing
2) have to rig the system so that you can get away with plunder (which is related to #1)


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Post 18

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 6:18amSanction this postReply
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Ed:

It's a recognition that we all more or less either:

1] survive our adolescence
2] don't
3] never leave our adolescence

We can even move beyond our adolescence, and then have children, and then be bewildered by their necessary bout of adolescence. We just hope our children survive it, and that it doesn't mutate into asshole-essence.

I think we've culturally meandered into a cul de sac with dealing with childhood adolescence. I think some of the old schemes were more successful. I call the old-school method "The German Prison Camp" model. In that model, it is the sworn duty of the prisoners (children) to escape their childhood via adolescence, and it is the sworn duty of the camp commandants(parents) to keep them from escaping. It is strictly verbotten to dig tunnels at 1:00am in the morning and try to escape. Prisoners must conform to rules that seem trivial and meaningless, but that are designed by the commandants with a purpose; as harmless tripwires, relief valves.

So, when the prisoners stay out past 11:00pm and don't get home until 11:45, they are being defiant of authority.(And then,after reaming out the sheepishly returning prisoners, fresh from their act of defiance, the commandants go back to the barracks and secretly have a good laugh.)

And when the prisoners ask "Is it ok if I dig a tunnel tonight at 1:00am?" the commandants sternly grimace "Are you nuts? No way. Forget about it." ... knowing damn well that the prisoners are duty sworn to dig that tunnel anyway, to make their escape... just like they did when they were younger.

But by waging these battles at the least lethal level of 'defiance' possible, the entire war is waged at the lowest level of lethality possible -- which is not to say, at a safe level, but a low level.

Compare this with some more modern, enlightened thinking on the subject:

Prisoners: "Is it ok if we dig a tunnel tonight at 1:00am?"

Commandants: "Why sure, Sweety! Here, we'll even bring the shovels, and attend!"

Prisoners: (secretly, in response to this enlightened, honest but puddingheaded child rearing) "Ugh. No fun in that. No fun at all. We need to find more fertile ground for our act of escape..."

And inevitably, the battles move on to far more lethal and consequential levels of mayhem than the low level loutish nonsense once waged under the old model, where everyone knew their roles, especially the commandants who were all once prisoners themselves.

"Where did we go wrong? We gave them everything they asked for..."

regards,
Fred

Post 19

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 6:32amSanction this postReply
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Disclosure:

I once put that last well worn riff on child rearing into my story about the serial killer. It is from my mental files...but it is applicable to the thread topic.

regards,
Fred

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