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Culture War Roundup for the week of August 14, 2023

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This excellent piece on age segregation has got me thinking about how serious and pervasive this problem is. As the author states:

Young adults are afraid to have children, because they can’t possibly imagine adding some to the life they currently have. New parents are isolated from most of their previous friends, as their paths suddenly never cross again unless they too have kids of their own. Children compete within their age group at schools, never having a chance to either mentor someone or have an older mentor themselves. Teenagers have no idea what to do with their lives, because they don’t know anyone who isn’t a teacher or their parent. And everyone is afraid of growing old because they think that the moment they stop going to the office they’ll simply disappear.

As discussed in @2rafa's post downthread, a major issue of the fertility crisis is a lack of time. Another issue it seems is a lack of even interacting with children unless you have some yourself, or have some in your family. I wonder if the lack of time among young adults in the West is causative of this age segregation?

Regardless, it likely has its roots in the K-12 education system. It's profoundly unnatural from a cultural standpoint to only be in the same peer group as people right around your age. I'm convinced it's unhealthy, and it predisposes us in a massive way to only socialize with people close to our age.

Do you think age segregation is an issue as well? If not, why not?

It takes a whole village to raise a child. The lack of fathers is often talked about but not the lack of grandparents, uncles aunts and cousins. Instead, we in the best case have two parents who work 40 hours + 10 hours of commuting and answering emails at home each totalling at 100 hours combined. Few people can afford good housing without ruining themselves. There are often no other relatives who can baby sit, cook, give second hand clothes and parenting advice.

We have replaced the village with paid services and fertility is low except for poor people with lacking impulse control and the rich who can afford to solve these issues. There is no uncle to take the kids fishing or fix their bike. Their is no aunt who can pick the kids up at school and babysit them. There are no grandparents who can serve as four extra parents. In much of the world grandparents do a lot of the cooking. In the west people eat expensive pre fab food instead.

I do believe the socialization factor that you bring up is a part of it. Children and childhood are so far removed from a 25 year old's life that it is easy to forget about. There can easily be a 35 year gap in a family during which there was no experience with children or childcare. New parents have to learn the skills from scratch, often without a single older adult around to teach them.

This is so underrated comment, it really is an unspoken bubble. The demographic change is huge, especially in Southeast Asia where people born in 50s or 60s are often from large families of 5 to 6 while their children have one child or are childless. I have a friend who is single child of single children on both parents side. He has a wife who is also single child although she herself has an aunt. But in general their combined family is incredibly small, if my friend's parents die he will have no living family in this world. This is the family of the future.

I have many uncles and aunts and number of cousins that I being me would probably mix some names. It is such a vast difference in social experience. My experience is just blip in history, it is a rare transition towards inevitable modernity.

I know a couple of only children of only children (one or even both parents). It makes me very sad, because in the latter case they really are all alone in the world after they die. No siblings, no cousins, deeply deeply tragic to think about.

Then again, my mom and dad both came from trad rural families with like 8-9 surviving children, so I have a ton of aunts, uncles and cousins, approximately none of which I see with any regularity outside of family events (since they don't live where I live).

True, it’s an option though. I’m grateful that if anything went badly wrong in my life (addiction, parents dying suddenly, some kind of deep depression etc) there are a lot of people who love me and who would take me in, at least for a time, and treat me as family. You never know how life will turn out, family is always the ultimate safety net.

The demographic change is huge, especially in Southeast Asia where people born in 50s or 60s are often from large families of 5 to 6 while their children

Or the United States, where people born in the 90s were often from large families of 5 or 6 while their children (if they lived in a city) have one or no children and (if they lived in the country) only had 2 or 3.

This is the family of the future.

Of course, by "90s" I mean "1890s". TFR by the early 1920s (when their children would be having children) was down to 2.3 in a country that was 50% rural- if we assume that people in rural areas are the ones bringing up the average (these old statistics never seem to differentiate by area) to a mere 3.0, that means the urban areas of the 1920s US had birth rates comparable to modern-day South Korea.

The fact that fertility rates only went down to 2.0 in the 1930s (the largest economic crisis in 100 years; the second largest would happen due to mass hysteria roughly 90 years later) is some evidence against this claim, though latex condoms and hormonal birth control weren't even invented yet. Urbanization inherently prices most people out of having kids (and sex in general) and most people don't really care all that much- both of things happen to be the the historical norm, too.

Come to think of it, it's interesting that the US entered WW2 sending a bunch of what would have been at that point only children and it's weird that nobody really talks about that (especially since the war on the border of the American Empire is being fought by groups with similarly bad TFRs and economic prospects that were assumed by some to be chilling effects).

Come to think of it, it's interesting that the US entered WW2 sending a bunch of what would have been at that point only children and it's weird that nobody really talks about that

Possibly because it is not, in fact, true.

it's interesting that the US entered WW2 sending a bunch of what would have been at that point only children

I'm pretty sure that's just not true. Unless by "a bunch" you mean "a small minority".

My experience is just blip in history

Mathematically his is too, right? Not every only-child is going to have kids, and in that extreme case, a TFR below 1 (hi, South Koreans! Remember that the last one there has to turn off the lights!) is as unstable as a TFR above 4.

it is a rare transition towards inevitable modernity.

I can barely imagine what a future stable modernity is going to look like. You could tell me anything from "After the AGIs cure aging low TFR is a good thing" to "After the environment/economy/whatever collapses and the low TFR subpopulations die out, Malthus has the last laugh for the next million years", and I wouldn't be sure you were wrong...

I think the thing that the ‘tradwife’ (almost always sitcom nuclear family tradwife, not how it actually was) memes don’t get is that many women don’t want to spend more than a decade without much adult company. Yeah, yeah, working for the man may be soulless or whatever, but you can make friends, you can gossip, you can go out for a drink after work or have lunch with your coworkers, you work together with other adults to achieve goals through the daytime hours.

I like children fine enough (and so did my mother) but to be the stereotypical suburban American SAHM you need to like children so much that you are fine only hanging out with them for a huge chunk of your life. Even on the weekend and in the evening mothers are primary parents. If you don’t have relatives nearby, then until the last kid goes to school, you’re mostly a 24/7/365 parent with the exception of times you pay for daycare (and while the kids are at school, at least for the first few years, much of your day is still going to be solo domestic chores or errands).

This means that, at least among smart or educated women who choose when or if they have kids, often only those most set on motherhood have children. People on the fence might like the idea of having children, might feel the biological imperative, but they override it because it seems like an impossible sacrifice.

Sometimes online SAHMs try to justify this lifestyle (I’m happy for those who enjoy it, by the way) by telling me how important it is to be around for every milestone, every development, to know everything about one’s children, to be deeply and thoroughly involved in every aspect of their education (maybe even homeschooling, which is especially popular on the right). But like, I don’t really care if I’m not around for a specific milestone. I’m sure I’ll love my children, but like my mother I doubt I’ll feel extreme pangs of jealousy if my kid sees their nanny as a maternal figure (as I did mine). And having accepted that most personality traits and intelligence are largely hereditary, pouring immense personal time into homeschooling seems redundant, as it’s unlikely to make a substantial difference to life outcomes (as Cochran etc have shown).

This idea of leaving one life and entering another (which again, if you like the company of other adults, is strictly worse in ways) is what scares many women about parenthood. Your social world goes from being huge to being yourself, your husband, some couples friends you see a few times a year and maybe another mother or two you see sometimes. Ideally the latter are pre-existing friends but often even this isn’t possible. The great majority of the time you’re alone with the kids (or just alone if they’re at school and you’re cleaning/cooking/shopping). You can see this even in the thread posted this week by someone asking where they could meet similar mothers, and where people were very excited by the idea some might live near each other. It’s clear this is a lonely business, and women are smart enough to realize it.

Many mothers don’t need to ‘work’ necessarily, but I think in many cases they need regular, consistent, significant time away from their children and/or in the company of other adults throughout their childhood. I think many women I know would be more willing to have children if they could be guaranteed this as an option. Currently it’s limited to the rich and to those people who still live in remaining tight-knit traditional communities.

Many mothers don’t need to ‘work’ necessarily, but I think in many cases they need regular, consistent, significant time away from their children and/or in the company of other adults throughout their childhood. I think many women I know would be more willing to have children if they could be guaranteed this as an option. Currently it’s limited to the rich and to those people who still live in remaining tight-knit traditional communities.

I think you're projecting an 80s PMC suburban lifestyle onto the 50s middle class. All the complaints you have (mother alone with two kids in a huge house, no adults) are only true for isolated people who moved repeatedly for their careers.

In the 1950s the TFR was 3+ and 80% of households were married with children. Kids were allowed to play unsupervised at 5 or 6. Nearly every house on your neighborhood was a family, and the streets were full of kids playing. Parents would visit with each other while the kids played. Most people lived in the city they grew up in, and thus near their extended family. Everyone went to church, even if they didn't believe.

In short, the ancient ties of kin, place, and faith were almost as strong in 1950 as they were in the deep past.

Everyone went to church, even if they didn't believe.

No, they didn’t. Everyone was a member of a church, but the actual attendance rate was mostly higher among Catholics. You are of course correct that fifties housewives visited with each other while their kids ran around like painted Indians, but the actual religiosity in practice of the fifties was a lot lower than you expect.

By the time I was 7, so in early 1990s at the height of the post-revolution crime waves, my parents were letting me roam the neighbourhood. I got up to some trouble, had to be slapped for stealing candy.

I didn't go very far at that age, maybe up to 1 km, but usually spent 2-3 hours outside playing. Pretty sure at 8 or 9 I sometimes roamed up to 2-3 km away and after 10 I frequently walked the 3.5 km home from school.

.. was something like this rare in the US cca 1990 ?

I legitimately don’t know, it was rare when I was growing up in the 2000’s(but not that rare) but I have no idea what 1990 was like.

.. was something like this rare in the US cca 1990 ?

Sounds like my childhood, so I'd say no.

many women don’t want to spend more than a decade without much adult company

This means that, at least among smart or educated women who choose when or if they have kids, often only those most set on motherhood have children. People on the fence might like the idea of having children, might feel the biological imperative, but they override it because it seems like an impossible sacrifice.

This idea of leaving one life and entering another (which again, if you like the company of other adults, is strictly worse in ways) is what scares many women about parenthood

You repeatedly call this a lack of adult company, but the problem you describe is not leaving the company of adults, but one of changing from socializing with non-parents to socializing with other parents. As a SAHM after the first year or so your free time is mostly during the workday, while non-SAHMs mostly have time to socialize after the work day ends (which for parents corresponds to mealtime and bedtime). To put it another way, motherhood comes with all the social detriments of a long-distance move. (But people still move all the time.)

Having experienced a modern society where SAHMs are normal, the first year of the first child is all about baby all the time, but the moms still socialize: they have support groups with other moms of their age group, call friends, use social media, and get a lot of emotional, logistical support, and time off via their parents and parents-in-law. Then once the kid socializes well with other kids they start meeting other moms almost daily, chatting while the kids play. The conversation is mostly centered on parenting, but that's mostly because, as you note, intellectuals aren't having kids.

As soon as the kids go to school (or usually preschool) then these SAHMs either gradually start working part-time or spend large portions of their days with their friends. I used to work in cafes a lot. There were many groups of SAHMs who would come into the cafe after lunch and spend roughly 1 PM to 5 PM hanging out. Book clubs, sports clubs, investment clubs. Of course, this society is almost invisible to non-SAHMs, because non-SAHMs are confined to the workplace during the day in places far away from where people live and where toddlers are raised. To the extent that non-mothers are ignorant of how much adult interaction SAHMs can get, I guess one might steelman your precise wording, but the true core of the issue here is that it's a change in social groups, not completely isolating. Unless you are in the top 5% of IQ, in which case you probably moved away from your parents and none of your friends who share your interests have had kids yet. Which I guess describes the average person in the Bay Area rational community as well as the average Mottizen.

The word "neighbour" is missing from your post. Stay at home mothers who live in houses next-door, could provide each other company. As I assume they did, when female workforce participation was lower.

This is one of those scenarios where it's easy to see a solution, but it lacks critical mass, much like walkable areas. You can't just decide to do it and hope the infastructure catches up.

If 60% of the houses in my neighborhood had stay-at-home moms in it with kids, and maybe a walkable park / swimclub within it, then you've lowered the barrier tremendously. Most women can find at least a few other people among dozens who they can get along with and their kids can play together. When 5-10% of the houses have this it's the same as not existing unless you win a lottery. Most importantly in the 60%+, you ahve the added diversity of the fact that the neighborhood with a lot of different priorities and levels of commitment to find your nitch amongst but likely all within a similar socio-economic class

On the other hand, intentional communities can only half-way bridge this. You will end up with a very particular selection effect that will almost necessarily require a much bigger dedication to the community and much deeper in-crowd vibes with a particular temperment and expectation. It's the difference between playing pick-up games with your neighbors and joining a club team.

In the absence of organic, SAHM friendly societies and neighborhoods, going at it alone and joining a Benedict Option style commune are two distantly inferior options. The families of GenX defected at too high a rate and broke the option.

You trust your neighbours enough to interact with them? hahahahahahahahaha

  • -17

I bake my neighbors cookies and so far one of my neighbors has even returned the plate (along with a bottle of wine.)

Two doors down there is a single dad with two kids around the same age as mine. Across the street is a couple with three kids, slightly older. Next door on one side is a retiree who lost her cat when she moved in. On the other side is another family with small kids.

I have a play structure in my backyard which makes my house a good place to invite kids over. Excuses are easy to find if I'm willing to put in the effort.

Suburbia can be a soulless hell. I need to cross a highway to get to any commercial space - restaurant, grocery store, other kind of shop. But I know right off the bat that most of my neighbors are homeowners, have jobs that can pay for houses and cars, have kids and the responsibilities that go with that, can follow the most basic rules of the HOA (I don't like there is an HOA, but recognize it as a filter.) As a baseline they are more trustworthy than anyone I pass on the street. I am putting in the work to cultivate those relationships but I believe it is worthwhile.

I remember growing up in suburbia, I rode my bike in the neighborhood with the other kids. I would go to other kids' homes and knock on their front door and ask, "Is Heather home?" I would kick the ball in my backyard over the fence and have to go to the street one over and knock on a stranger's door and ask if I could retrieve my ball. My parent's mostly watched me through the kitchen window - I had a great deal of independence even by the time I was five years old.

My mom met with friends almost every day, either at a McDonalds with a play place, a park, or someone's home.

The change, as far as I perceive it, happened around 9/11. Same neighborhood, same kids, same families, but people stopped visiting as much. I wasn't allowed to go out by myself as much. A layer of optimism was stripped away.

I guess that's why I think it is mostly an attitude thing, not anything inherent to the suburbs. And why I stubbornly believe I can create a community if I keep pressing my neighbors to interact with me.

I just want to say thank you for doing this. Efforts like yours are the sort of thing that creates meaningful, appreciable change in the world that talking about problems on a forum does not.

The only time I've ever had community was when I did something similar, and it seems that most people are just waiting for someone to reach out. They aren't antisocial, just non-agentic. To everyone reading this who wants community: try and do the same. Report back on how it goes!

Low effort and contentless, and you seem to only be here for comments like this.

I'm escalating this ban to a week on the grounds of you being purely obnoxious. Just go away if this is all you're here for.

I agree, the idea that missing a "milestone" matter is insanity. I doubt I will remember 5 years later, and I know they won't. Why does it matter if you are not around 24/7 for your kids as long as they are ok?

People have an extreme investment in their children now, partially because they have fewer children but also because society strongly pushes parents into being helicopter parents.

I thought of putting this in, but one of the issues is that you can't even let your kid be a 'latchkey kid' in a regular city anymore because the only other parents who let their kids have that freedom at a young age are dysfunctional/divorced/broken homes/neglectful, so your kid will end up around the wrong crowd by default. Any 'respectable' PMC parent is helicoptering, so you have to too, you can't defect by yourself.

Good point. I think it's another example how different aspects of social atrophy form a vicious cycle. It's probably also safe to assume that if you're likely to invite social disapproval and censure as a young PMC mother if you make too many obvious attempts to get away from your own children throughout the day one way or another.

I thought of putting this in, but one of the issues is that you can't even let your kid be a 'latchkey kid' in a regular city anymore because the only other parents who let their kids have that freedom at a young age are dysfunctional/divorced/broken homes/neglectful, so your kid will end up around the wrong crowd by default. Any 'respectable' PMC parent is helicoptering, so you have to too, you can't defect by yourself.

The problem here isn't the city, it's the American PMC. Those people are neurotic.

You can give your ten year old a key and a bus pass in Singapore with no problems whatsoever. I had a key, a bike, and the run of the city at ten. Where I live right now, it looks like twelve is the age where kids roam free.

Of course, I'm neither PMC nor underclass.

I mean, in my standard average working class neighborhood I can look out the front window and watch the neighborhood kids playing either unsupervised or indifferently ‘supervised’ by teenagers that are actually shooting hoops or gossiping about boys. These are owned single family homes where the kids are full time residents, too. This might be an exception, but I think it much more likely that the PMC is just neurotic and creates their own problems by being neurotic.

Seems to me to your post is the marshmallow test. Being a parent is hard for the first 5 or so years (but is also full of joy). The older the kids get the easier it is and you get the rich life of being a parent and hopefully a grandparent.

Maybe you can view modern parenting as a gauntlet that you have to suffer through to get the joy of a family in old age (and I'm sure some do). But that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Of course having kids is always going to be work, but in previous generations much more of the burden was shared between extended families and communities in ways that meant that individual mothers weren't carrying as much individual responsibility on their backs.

I’m not arguing that atomization is good. Just that there are still plenty of reasons to have kiddos.

Being a parent is hard for the first 5 or so years

And then it becomes even harder when puberty hits.

Different kind.

Suburbia is souless and atomizing conpared to traditional towns and cities. There aren't people on the streets, there are cars. There are no natural places to meet people, distances are vast and people are isolated in their fenced in homes. suburbia encourages loneliness. It is quite absurd that people are so isolated that they prefer being in a cubical just to have people around them.

What's funny about this is that my experience is largely the opposite: I recently visited some friends in the north Dallas metroplex, which is about as close to the platonic ideal of detached-house suburbia as you can get sprawling in all directions, and they know their neighbors on all sides by name (and which tools and skills they regularly trade), and live within a few hundred meters of an HOA-managed playscape where they regularly encounter the same few dozen children and parents. As far as I can tell, the folks I know in the NYC area have much more trouble meeting their neighbors behind closed apartment doors, with front yards replaced with dark interior hallways, and porches replaced with coffee shops and bars.

I'd buy that the experience varies a lot by personality, though: if you are looking for a particular niche interest friend group, the city is probably a better choice, and suburbia can be pretty underwhelming. But I do think suburbs are often undersold generally.

Indeed, when I lived in an apartment, I have not known a single person living in the same building. I asked my friends about, and this has been everyone else’s experience as well. Now, I know all the people on my SFH suburban street, and regularly hang out with some of them.

When people say things like suburbia being atomizing, I’m really dumbfounded — compared to what? Just because there are a lot of people walking down the street doesn’t mean that it’s easier to socialize, in fact it is the opposite. Humans enter different behavioral modes in different settings. When there are a lot of people around, we naturally tend to detach ourselves mentally, and treat everyone as an irrelevant blob. If, on the other hand, we get bunched together with only a couple of people at a time, it feels more natural to strike the conversation (in fact, sometimes it’s awkward not to). Go to a mass rock concert, and try to make new friends, and then go to a jam session in a hole-in-the-wall bar and try the same. Which is easier?

As far as I can tell, the folks I know in the NYC area have much more trouble meeting their neighbors behind closed apartment doors, with front yards replaced with dark interior hallways, and porches replaced with coffee shops and bars.

As I've mentioned before, I think place hardly matters.

Take a sociable Puerto Rican from NYC and drop him in a Miami suburb, and he'll build up a social network quickly - or the other way around. Strong communities are found everywhere from Svalbard to the Amazon, and yes, in the Dallas suburbs.

The lonely PMC people in NYC were lonely in the suburbs they grew up in (and are rebelling against).

So much of the angst about suburbs specifically and place in general are driven by loveless and unlovable people moving from place to place because they don't realize that their problem isn't what's outside the, but what's inside them.

So much of the angst about suburbs specifically and place in general are driven by loveless and unlovable people moving from place to place because they don't realize that their problem isn't what's outside the, but what's inside them.

In previous generations these people mostly did completely fine. Denying that environment and culture has any impact on community is ridiculous. Sure, the NYC Puerto Rican will be fine in a Miami suburb, but will his kids raised there still have a social network as dense and as local as he had?

You really can force people to make friends by putting them in the same spaces frequently (and making them collaborate), and it's a good thing. The military does this, boarding schools do this, many traditional social institutions did and do this. Things start awkwardly, and then people get comfortable, and they become in many cases firm friends even if they are very different (and especially if they're similar).

Nobody's denying that a conscientious, outgoing, charming and confident individual with lots of time can build a big social circle anywhere, but most people aren't this. Most people need a little help. They're not broken, they want friends, it's just harder. If you go to "traditional" societies almost nobody has friends they deliberately made like an autistic tinder user. They have friends from childhood, friends who are their parents' friends children, or their grandparents' friends' grandchildren, or their cousins or cousins' childhood friends.

That what this actually means. In a traditional society your entire circle can be an organic web of friends and family that stay with you your entire life.

In previous generations these people mostly did completely fine. Denying that environment and culture has any impact on community is ridiculous. Sure, the NYC Puerto Rican will be fine in a Miami suburb, but will his kids raised there still have a social network as dense and as local as he had?

If they stay in Miami for as many generations as they did in New York, of course they would. There are plenty of older East Coast suburbs where families go back for generations. Any permanent settlement where people stay for generations is going to form communities.

I think it depends where in NYC you live, but it's also about social circles, for sure. Manhattan is so dense, though, that your kids are very likely going to have classmates who live less than ten minutes from you by foot, if not much closer. I had friends growing up who had other kids their age in their co-op / apartment building who went to the same school that we did, so they could play and go in together.

People who raise parents in Manhattan and who don't tend to move out to the burbs also tend to be (regardless of their wealth, which is also a requirement for the most part) lifelong New Yorkers, often born and raised, and so often have much more extensive networks of friends and family in the city. Or they're expats, who have their own social circles.

Manhattan is so dense, though, that your kids are very likely going to have classmates who live less than ten minutes from you by foot, if not much closer.

Every detached single family home suburb I've lived in had classmates a lot closer than a 10 minute walk. There were always classmates on the same street even. And that's in various towns.

I recently visited some friends in the north Dallas metroplex, which is about as close to the platonic ideal of detached-house suburbia as you can get sprawling in all directions, and they know their neighbors on all sides by name (and which tools and skills they regularly trade), and live within a few hundred meters of an HOA-managed playscape where they regularly encounter the same few dozen children and parents.

Maybe I'm too dense, but at the end of the day, does this metroplex actually offer what sociologists call third places?

You mean the playground he just referenced?

And I mean ‘talks to other moms while both their littles climb on the playground equipment’ basically is my mental image of what UMC stay at home moms do when they aren’t busy with housework/childcare/whatever. It’s not as if a park as a third space is difficult to imagine.

I don't find that suburbia has a shortage of parks (or churches). The example of the HOA playscape (small park) isn't gated, but is probably only used by local residents. I'd also count the grade-separated mixed use paths through the area.

It does, but they are outdoors.

I grew up in the suburbs. I played football in the street, and full court basketball across the street. I knocked on my friends doors to see if they could play, and then we rode our bikes to the supermarket to buy candy and soda.

Now I live in the suburbs. Back when the kids needed watching I'd sit on a folding chair in someone's driveway with the other dads, watching kids play in the street.

Just because you're a Billy no-mates doesn't mean the rest of us are.

"Suburbia" is extremely diverse, there are suburbs with widely spaced out McMansions with driveways leading off a an artery road that has no sidewalks such that it would be genuinely dangerous to send your kid over to a neighbor a couple of street away, and there are suburbs (particular older ones with smaller houses, or streetcar suburbs in older cities) that are denser, have sidewalks, very low speed limits on roads, and which are more conducive to community.

GDP is higher if free time of people is spent staring into magic soul stealing mirrors.

Maybe. Anyway, not that our society is able to regulate predatory business practices.

Am writing this squatting in the downstairs bathroom in the family dacha. It's 0130. I should have already showered. Got an urge to check Twitter.

A bad habit, costs me 10 hours a week, at least. Payoff ..well, I can usually tell you tomorrow's headlines. Useless, really.

Another ten minutes of my life gone.

I really think a big part of the next 50 years is going to be a screens equivalent to puritan prohibition movements.

The way we use the black rectangles with absolutely no restraint is literally killing us and turning us insane, and the natural reaction to new pressures like that has always been the apparition of new religious norms.

Maybe those creepy AI videos of Master Chief and Batman telling you not to watch porn are onto something.

Zero Theorem is proving more prophetic every day.

The trouble is that simple prohibition doesn't work for screens. I could go cold-turkey on using screens for movies, video games, social media, chats, and silly Motte arguments, and maybe my life would be better on net or maybe it would be worse, but it'd still be a reasonable life. But if I went cold-turkey on using screens for paperwork (paying bills, hiring contractors, making purchases) or personal research (figuring out what's worth getting a bill for, what contractors to hire, what products to buy) it would be a massive inconvenience, and if I went cold-turkey on using screens for work-work I'd be fired. "Never drink alcohol" is a reasonable Schelling point that makes prohibitionism a conceivable ideology there. "Never use screens" isn't.

Maybe there's some equally clear Schelling point I'm missing, a bright-line rule under which e.g. having some stupid argument about climate change on Facebook would obviously be avoided but hitting up the IPCC reports page or having a kind chat with old friends on Facebook wouldn't? I'd love to know what the rule is. And by that I don't mean "I'm rhetorically challenging the possibility of it existing", I mean "if it's good I'd like to try it out for a week or two".

I do fear that I should be rhetorically challenging the possibility of a clear and unambiguous rule existing, though. Perhaps in 50 years the problem will have been solved, not when we come up with a simple rule, but when we just have a population of people who avoid draining all their time and sanity into screens because of cultural or genetic selection bias. Young people at that point will be the ones for whom two or three generations of their parents had constant access to pocket screens and were resistant enough to the downsides to form stable families anyway.

Porn would be a problem even if greenscreen command linw and bitrates of 10 kilobit were the pinnacle of interface. People out there have fucked up their brain wiring through erotica alone. True, it's a rare person who reads.

I agree that more age mixing would be a healthier norm, but my revealed preferences (child in pre-K, working at a large public school, moved away from parents and in-laws...) suggest that I don't really care all that much. This very mild preference does not seem to affect any of my actual decisions.

Upon finding out I was pregnant I thought something like "I've never known a baby, but chances are I'll love my baby. All my ancestors succeeded at this, I probably will too." That turned out to be correct thus far. This attitude may be more true for women than men, though.

I do think age segregation is a problem for all the reasons you observe. One room schoolhouses were once the norm, with older kids helping younger. Larger families and tribes were once the norm, with older children contributing to raising younger children. Children working alongside parents was once the norm; they learned labor at their parents' side, by doing (badly at first, then better as they grew).

But segregation is, or is at least believed to be, efficient. Adults can get more work done if they aren't simultaneously tending to children. Children can be educated en masse if they are sorted by approximate ability. Age is an efficient approximator of ability--far from precise, but adequate for factory-style education.

I assume that we could probably have the civilization we do without the age segregation, but maybe I'm wrong about that. I bet there is a charter school or private school out there somewhere experimenting with mixed-age classrooms; it would be interesting to see how those operate in modernity.

I believe a lot of the Montessori schools do this.

That's a definition of Montessori teaching. There are a few multi-year age groups. If a school segregates year-by-year then they aren't Montessori.

My elementary school gifted program combined 1st-5th grade into one classroom with two teachers. The child had to have a IQ score of 130+ to be assigned into the classroom. I can't really say if the age mixing was very beneficial. There's the obvious cofounder of everyone having a high IQ. It wasn't disastrous, at least. I think I had trouble learning spelling compared to my peers in normal classes, but I was ahead in reading and logic.

Montessori age groups are 3 years each starting age 3 and up. But under 3s are separate into 2 groups, little babies and toddlers.

So yeah, plenty of Montessori private schools don't segregate year-by-year.

The reality of age segregation becomes blatant if you spend any time in a nursing home and see the residents living in an eternal present punctuated by episodes of The Price is Right, feuds with other residents, and rounds of meds. Those residents with families who visited them regularly had something to look forward to and experiences with people who weren't just acquaintances who lived on the same floor. I volunteered in one for a while in my 30s and the residents would often go out of their way to get my attention, chatting and having the attention of someone younger made them happier. The perspectives that the young and the old can give each other are invigorating to both cohorts. Keeping the old away from the young makes aging an unknown to the young, and thence something to be feared.

I will note that I truly felt sad for those in the home without any family to visit them. Volunteers would be assigned to specific patients, but many people had no one and it just looked to be a lonely existence.

A recent interaction I had with an 80-something woman had me thinking about this very thing. I've been trying to come up with some sort of non-profit model that could work toward solving this problem.

In France there are intergenerational homesharing agencies which offer young people cheap rent in return for living with an elderly person.

I was a hospice volunteer and they tend to do a good job at connecting volunteers with people who have no kin or are estranged from their kin. The problem is, those people need to be on hospice to receive the benefit of the volunteers, and there could certainly be benefits for those not just on death's door.

Reminds me of the research on Swedish (or some other Nordic country) families, and how number of younger siblings or siblings in general causes next generation to have more kids. It seemed like oldest sibling will always have more kids than younger sibs (though I assume oldest kids with siblings have more kids than only child kids).

My immediate thought was that it means people that grew up with younger kids and inevitably helping take care of their younger siblings have the exposure to raising kids. Changing diapers and feeding kids and all this stuff isn’t something they have to imagine, cuz they’ve done it! But the youngest sibling wouldn’t have that experience so would tend to have fewer kids cuz lack of experience etc. I would assume this means only children that have a lot of kid experience/exposure would also have more kids (from younger cousins / babysittinf / etc).

So fertility is self enforcing: the more kids you have, the more kids, on average, they would have.

Or the oldest are generally more fit since definitional the mother was younger when pregnant

Also the interesting fact that younger brothers are much more likely to be gay than older brothers.

According to several studies, each older brother increases a male child's naturally occurring odds of having a homosexual orientation by 28–48%. However, the numbers of older sisters, younger brothers, and younger sisters have no effect on those odds.

Even beyond the clear separation of kids from adults, and all of us from the genuinely elderly, something I've noticed in non-western countries is that kids themeslves aren't as strictly separated into age brackets. It can be pretty normal in some places for a few teenagers to also have some 7 or 8 year olds around when they're hanging out and no one seems to think it's embarassing or boring.

I think age segregation is a problem, but I’m not sure there’s a good solution to it, either. Ideally robust extended families would function to break it, but we don’t have those and we’re not going to.

There's a solution, but you wouldn't like it.

Create a movement that wishes to see the world dangerous again.

Create a doctrine that attracts people and abhors the managerial regime. Patiently disrupt services through least legally risky forms of sabotage.

Once things come tumbling down, actual serious hardship is real, there's anarchy, people will form communities. Or die, bit the survival drive of most people is strong.

There's no reason for community if what the omnipresent state can't give you isn't something the market can either sell you directly or provide you with an inferior substitute of.

Seems space exploration and colonization could be a good outlet for the dangerous world desires.

I agree. I think without a frontier to explore, people tend to get neurotic and society mutates in ways that aren’t ultimately healthy. Plus, we don’t have to destroy things or depopulate earth. Just send them to mars.

For there to be exploration you need something interesting to find, otherwise why send people to Mars? For them to fuck around and waste expensive to ship supplies?

The purpose of a frontier is settlement. The goal would be to create "self-sustaining" settlements on the Moon or Mars. ("Self-sustaining" here meaning economically, primarily, not literally able to exist forever with zero imports)

The incentive mechanism is straightforward: so long as settlers require economic subsidy, they are citizens of the colonizing nation, like regular astronauts, bound by its laws and duties. Once they are economically self-sufficient and can pay for their inputs on the open market, they gain political independence, ownership of the settlement passes to the settlement collectively, and they may choose to establish whatever form of government seems best to them.

Why would any government subsidize the creation of a colony with no expectation of ultimately realising the profits?

Well, there are minerals in space. More land and this more space for people. We sent people to the New World on leaky boats on the promise of land for the taking and possibly minerals.

Child-Psychiatrist/childhood trauma specialist Bruce Perry makes a similar point about parents traumatizing their children out of ignorance, which - if I remember correctly, as I may have read this part elsewhere - he claims is an increasing problem, due to many people in nuclear families never having been responsible for children prior to having their own. Two examples: A low IQ (his description) housewife has a son while in a tight-nit extended family and receives lots of help caring for him as a baby/toddler, who grows up to be psychologically healthy. Her second son was born after her husband moves the family for work. Caring for a baby on her own is overwhelming and when feedings and diaper changes become hours apart, she leaves him at home while she goes out with her older son, her "little buddy," while the younger son is left to cry in a darkened room, with no interaction/care/bonding for most of the day. The second example is the son of a "power couple." They were only children (or at least the mother was) and, as soon as their son was old enough, the mother hired a full-time nanny, so she could resume her various out-of-the-house endeavors. But then she was hurt when her son bonded more with the full-time nanny than with her, so she fired the nanny... some double-digit number of times. The lack of bonding with a parental figure in the first example and the repeatedly sabotaged bonding in the second example resulted in the boys becoming psychopaths: The first raped and murdered two 13 year old girls and the second raped a mentally disabled girl as part of some prank I can't remember.

I've never quite believed this kind of pat 'if you don't cuddle your baby hard enough they will definitely become a traumatized psychopath' explanation. Children these days receive a vast amount of stimulation and social engagement, far more than in premodern society, but we still have rapists and murderers among us. Not do I see how this is an increasing problem. Parents spend more time with their children than ever. And of course, the 'blame the nuclear family' trick, the latest fashion. We've been loving in nuclear families for oh, only about four hundred years now. How is this a new problem?

We've known about attachment theory for a long time and have demonstrated some of its features in animal models like monkeys. Granted true deficiency is a bit more serious than the above examples. It also may be helpful to think of the murdering/rapist case as a multi-hit model. Someone has the genetics or personality structure that renders them vulnerable to doing the fucked up shit AND then they are also raised in this way. It's more of a "most psychopaths had shitty parenting" then "most people raised with shitty parenting become psychopaths."

Note that shitty parenting likely correlates with heritable psychopathic tendencies. It's like ACEs (adverse childhood experiences). There's a ton of research showing that ACEs are correlated with had life outcomes, with the researchers and media glibly asserting causality, but if you actually look at the canonical list of ACEs, it's markers of bad parenting like "abused by parents" and "parent went to prison," not random bad luck like "raped by a stranger on the way home from school" or "injured in a serious car accident."

So there's an obvious genetic explanation that's being almost totally ignored by the people who are supposed to be the experts.

Those two cases are obviously extreme. Perry writes a lot about a "neurodevelopmental sequence," lesser problems that arise from lesser interruptions of the sequence, and results from getting kids back on the sequence. I take it with a grain of salt, but he makes a strong enough case for me to keep it in the back of my mind as a "puzzle piece." If you can enjoy pop-science, when written by an actual expert, I'd recommend his books co-written with Maia Szalavitz, given the usual caveats for a group like this. He also wrote a book with Oprah Winfrey, which I have not read.

New parents are isolated from most of their previous friends, as their paths suddenly never cross again unless they too have kids of their own.

I don't think that's a case of age segregation.

Excavation after 14 anomalies detected at former residential school site found no evidence of graves: Manitoba chief

Although these excavations were at a different residential school than Kamloops, the technology and methodology used to identify the "potential" mass graves, GPR analysis, were the same that motivated the Manitoba excavations. Similar to Kamloops, the GPR results were combined with rumors and witness testimonies of atrocities to formulate a belief in the existence of mass graves on the Manitoba site which did lead to a 4 week excavation...

By using radar technology, 14 “anomalies” were previously detected at the site. This led to frenzied speculation by the media that mass graves existed, consisting of Indigenous children who were forced to attend the residential school...

... to this day, no human remains have been found at any former residential school in Canada.

Media in Canada first reported on mass graves at residential schools in May 2021. Archeologists detected what they believed to be 200 unmarked graves at an old school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

To this date, no excavations of that site has occurred, with local elders citing intergenerational trauma as the reason for leaving potential proof of a genocide buried.

The 200 “unmarked graves” in Kamloops were identified by the same technology that identified the 14 in Manitoba, which we now know turned out to be nothing more than a pile of rocks underground.

Even to this day, the CBC has been hellbent on perpetuating a ‘mass graves’ interpretation of said anomalies that have been detected at various former residential school sites.

The media’s absolute worst interpretation of the anomalies inspired protests and terrorist arson across the country.

Since the mass graves announcement, at least 83 churches have been burned to the ground or vandalized.

From the beginning I strongly suspected we were never going to see excavations at Kamloops, because this would be the result. This is a familiar M.O when waging culture war. Hysterically allege an atrocity that didn't happen, base those sensational claims on very thin evidence combined with rumor and witness testimony, and then claim some religious or spiritual dispensation for minimum-standard scientific investigation of the alleged mass graves. Lastly, make sure to denounce everyone who demands excavations as a genocide denier:

Genocide deniers ask: Where are the bodies of the residential schoolchildren?

But. Where. Are. The. Bodies?

They are where they were buried — in those secret or official graves. At this point, nobody is going to be digging up those children to satisfy a bunch of white settlers’ points of view as to what we should be doing with our tragically deceased little ones.

Currently, we don’t have protocols in place yet (that I’m aware of) on how to sensitively deal with the graves. However, we are taking our cultural beliefs into consideration, which go against unsettling rest spaces. This call for bodies is nothing more than a racist rant bordering on genocide denial.

How far will a denier go? When no longer able to refute the absurdly massive physical evidence, Holocaust deniers started to appeal to more “scientific” data. For example, they claimed that the chemical analysis of hydrogen cyanide compounds showed the amounts were not sufficient enough to kill people in gas chambers. Posing as tourists, these “scientists” would gouge chunks of plaster from the walls of gas chambers to send them for analysis.

What happened in residential schools is not about the evidence. This kind of trolling is part of genocide, as are the actual crimes. Gregory H. Stanton, an expert on crimes against humanity, described 10 stages of genocide; extermination is not the final step. Rather, its final stage is denial that it happened — such as high-profile commentators’ demands to see bodies.

I suspect we will continue to see smaller-scale excavations elsewhere, because finding any remains at all anywhere would at least be able to provide some fuel to the Kamloops narrative. But the alleged site of the Kamloops mass grave will simply become a memorial where the alleged victims can wage racial-grievance politics for financial and political gain, and it will be sacrilege to be so hateful as to demand excavations to actually investigate the claims which have been made.

This has all happened before. When the skepticism gets too great they dig where a known cemetery is and trumpet the finding of bodies.

(and no, this does not mean the holocaust didn't happen)

I am feeling a little stupid here. But what’s the big deal with graves? Your telling me people born before the 19th century died?

Mass graves have a different connotation of a “bad” group killed a bunch of a now viewed “good” group and hence buried them all at the same time. The only accusations I’m seeing on mass deaths would be from western diseases killing a lot at once. Which isn’t exactly the Churches fault.

Surely they don’t mean Catholics machine gunned a bunch of 7 year olds resulting in mass graves.

I feel like the promoters of this want “mass graves” = holocaust, Russia executing Polish military officers etc. But I am not seeing that argument and at best accusations of schools being overcrowded.

But what’s the big deal with graves?

Going by the furore here in Ireland over similar claims about mother and baby homes (places where women could go to have their illegitimate child), the train of thought runs something like this:

The graves, if any, are unmarked. This shows a lack of care and regard for the dead babies and the parents of those dead babies (now, there was a whole thing about burying unbaptised children whou would not get a funeral service or be buried in consecrated ground, but that's a different matter). The evil and wicked Church stigmatised women who were sexually active outside of marriage and who got pregnant outside of marriage. The illegitimate children who may have been orphans or snatched from their families and put into institutions like this were abused both passively, by neglect, and actively by the wicked and evil nuns.

That means not feeding them properly, not calling in doctors when they were sick, and not spending money on medicine or medical treatment for them. Because of this neglect, the death rates were higher than they should have been, and then to add insult to injury the bodies were dumped into mass graves with no markers or religious ceremonies or records or even notifying any family of the death. This was all done to stigmatise and punish the children for being bastards and the mothers for being unwed. Meanwhile, the religious orders took the money which should have gone to caring for the children and kept it to enrich themselves.

Because today we are much more sensitive around bereavement and death, this is completely unacceptable and the people responsible must be held accountable.

I imagine the Kamloops situation adds in racism, forced taking of children, and lack of burial by their tribal traditions and culture on top of all that.

Surely they don’t mean Catholics machine gunned a bunch of 7 year olds resulting in mass graves.

Not machine gunned, but yeah - the general idea is that the wicked and evil nuns/brothers/priests/Church treated these children as inferior and sub-human, hated them, and didn't care about them so pretty much wanted them dead. That means neglecting, starving, beating, not giving them heat when needed, not treating illnesses, and not caring if they all died off, then dumping the bodies like rubbish.

The unmarked bit is something that is difficult, because I see old graveyards round here with unmarked graves, or only a stone to mark where a burial happened. The original wooden markers all rotted away over the years, or people couldn't afford to put up a gravestone, so over the years locations of 'who is buried where' have been lost. I could see that happening too with residential schools; temporary markers put up which were lost over the years.

I've posted this before here, and it bears reposting here, with some edits meant as improvement:


This whole thing reminds me of the news stories about the children's mass grave in Tuam, Ireland, and of supposed mass graves in Tulsa, Oklahoma where racist mass-murdering demons buried the victims of the 1921 "race massacre", or so we're told.

When I try looking at these affairs without bias and prejudice, I try putting myself in the shoes of the average Western middle-class suburban white normie NPC, and frankly I realize that, unless some heretic specifically makes an effort to educate me on this, I'll probably have zero understanding of the following hard facts about the bygone days of the West:

1/ It was normal to bury people in unmarked individual paupers' graves, or even in unmarked mass paupers' graves (in the case of, say, an epidemic or some similar catastrophe) if nobody claimed the corpse, or if the relatives were too poor to, or unwilling to, afford a proper burial. This, in fact, was not rare.

2/ Back when national economies were yet too undeveloped to produce a surplus to be spent on, frankly, luxuries, there was exactly zero public support for spending tax money* to improve the material conditions of single mothers so that they have the same prospects in life as married wives**.

*Keep in mind, please, that, unlike today, milking the impregnators for child support under the threat of imprisonment wasn't an option either in most cases, because they were either dead, or already in prison/workhouse, or too poor to be milked for money.

**Again, let's be clear about this: back in the days of benighted Papist Ireland, or in any similar patriarchal society, I can assure you there were probably zero housewives willing to tolerate the spectre of the government basically confiscating a given % of her husband's income and giving it to unwed mothers in the form of state handouts. The extent to which Christian societies in such economic conditions were willing to go to look after the downtrodden was basically to shove them onto the Church and leave them to hold the bag. In the same way, the Church was basically expected to sweep up a portion of single men and women that were unmarriageable for whatever reason and train them to be monks, priests and nuns, so that they were no longer a problematic pain in the butt to their own families.

3/ Also, a society that poor is also unable to pay for lavishly equipped, professional, extensive police forces. This means extrajudicial punishment, communal vigilantism and mob justice was seen as normal and necessary by most people, at least to a certain extent.

4/ Stray dogs were normally slaughtered and their cadavers/bones were used for producing animal glue and other similar products, because you could be sure absolutely nobody was going to contribute material resources to founding and running comfy dog shelters. (I know this has nothing to do with these manufactured scandals, but I included it because we know that white liberals just love dogs.)

This is one of the things that I find utterly weird about our moment in history. We just have no concept of how much of what we have is a product of simply having abundance. We can afford to put people in jail being completely unproductive for years and even decades and still feed them for all that. We can afford to pay people who cannot (and often will not) do anything productive. We can afford to tolerate a great deal of deviant behavior and ideologies. And I’ve always strongly suspected that most of not all of our “enlightened ways” come down to us being wealthy enough to be enlightened.

And I think when the surplus goes away (either because of space colonization or collapse) we’ll have to go back to the unenlightened ways of our ancestors. When you not doing productive work means a lack of food, or your deviant behavior puts others at risk or consumes too many resources, other people aren’t going to put up with that for long. If your “transition” in whatever form it takes, costs too many medical resources and you live in a place where medical care isn’t easy to come by, that by itself harms people. The blood used for your top surgery means a shortage of blood for people having accidents or something, or maybe a shortage of antibiotics as well, people aren’t going along with that because they understand that it means they might not get medical care.

Indeed. Just to provide one example off the top of my head, pencil lengtheners were routinely used in public education, especially primary schools, pretty much everywhere in the world until, say, the middle of the 20th century. Just think about it. Even though pencils were mass-produced as the cheapest writing instruments in existence, just buying the necessary number of pencils, even the cheapest ones, was considered by the average family an expense large enough that there was widespread demand for a dirt-cheap instrument that had no purpose other than lengthening the service life of a pencil. I's unfathomable when we look back to that.

I feel like I’m pounding this point because when I see the headlines of mass graves at Catholic Schools I’m thinking something akin to Katyn Massacre. Which this is clearly not. I have no idea if they treated them fairly but that’s not discussed. The headlines sound like the nuns were literally Hitler.

They don't match up with the existing documentation.

At the Kamloops school that started everything, there were 215 GPR hits but only 51 recognized deaths (I don't know if there are known graves for a total of 51+215 = 266 suspected total deaths, or if it was 215 - 51 = 164 suspected undocumented deaths.)

If there truly was a 70-80% under-reporting rate, it would indicate severe problems with the Truth and Reconciliation processes.

This has all happened before. When the skepticism gets too great they dig where a known cemetery is and trumpet the finding of bodies.

You mean they will rely on GPR results at the site of the alleged mass grave to stoke the narrative, and then go and dig elsewhere at a known cemetery to trumpet human remains? You are right, this has all happened before.

Sorry for the lateness of this reply, but you're banned for a week: egregiously obnoxious and single-issue posting (Jews).

Posting about the "mass graves" brouhaha (dare I say "hoax?") in Canada was fine; if someone else had posted about it and then you'd come in with this comment I would have hit you immediately for attempting to derail the conversation. My only hesitation, and why I discussed it with the other mods first, was that it's a bit weird to accuse you of derailing your own thread, I think? But it has this weird bait-and-switch feel to it; you were, refreshingly, not pounding your one-note piano for a change... just kidding, it was a post about Jews all along!

Don't do this.

This kind of trolling is part of genocide, as are the actual crimes.

Really? Can people say this with a straight face? I kind of get the appeal of creating a gigantic circular, question-begging argument as a naked flex of power, yet it's still so repulsive.

Consider other approaches of dealing with grievance politics. The Turkish interpretation of the Armenian Genocide is that the Armenians were traitors and bad elements trying to undermine the state and kill Muslims - effectively that they deserved what they got in the 'Armenian Matter'. That's what's taught in Turkish schools:

The question children are asked to debate is, "What should be done to promote our country's justification against Armenian claims?" Stating that "we have duties in relation to the internal and external threats against our country," students are invited to "be conscious of these threats."

And Turkey is still working to wreck Armenia today, in combination with Azerbaijan. There's no law of nature that says there's any need to feel guilty about wrecking other nations in the distant past. You don't see the Algerians and Tunisians apologizing for enslaving Europeans en masse. Genghis Khan is valorised in Mongolia and gets great statues erected to him.

There is besides the circular argument base stealing. Holocaust has denials. We have denials here. Therefore we are just like the Holocaust.

Are the Catholic churches they are burning typically those frequented by natives, or are they those with largely European congregations?

From what I remember from summer 2021 mostly the former. They were typically churches on or near rural reserves, and in general indigenous Canadians are more church-going than your average Canadian of European descent. One of the amusing results of this was that indigenous elders tended to be much more outspoken against the church burnings (some links: 1, 2, 3), while you practically had to drag condemnations out of Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh (leaders of the major center and center-left parties, respectively).

There were a few exceptions, like an Egyptian Coptic church that was targeted, or a Vietnamese church..

By the way, does anyone know what the current status is of the sensationalized "investigations" into the "mass graves" of the victims of the Tulsa "race massacre"?

Can anyone who is not Holocaust denier, with SS-man as nickname, can confirm is this summary above is true and accurate?

  • -30

Look, I already dinged someone else about this.

It is completely reasonable for you to look at @SecureSignals's posts with suspicion. "Don't engage in ad hominems" does not mean "You cannot consider someone's history when evaluating how credible they are." But this is not the way to express your doubts. Address the argument, and if you find it questionable because of who's making it, you can just wait and see what other people say (usually you won't need to ask for a debunking if there is a debunking to be made). What we don't want is people flinging "Well, of course you'd say that, you're a Holocaust denier" and "You're just saying that because you're a liberal" back and forth.

This is actually the second excavation to turn up no actual corpses. I don't think there's any basis for doubt that a lot of children died at the residential schools, partly due to the fact that children dying was a common occurrence back then, and partly due to the fact that they were kept in crowded housing that promoted the spread of infectious disease. Poor nutrition and extra susceptibility to European diseases may or may not have been factors.

However, it's clear now that the false positive rate of these GPR investigations is very high (0 for 48, by my count), and representing these hits as the discovery of definite or probable corpses was grossly irresponsible.

I don't remember to what extent the media actively encouraged this misinterpretation, or at least failed to discourage it in their reporting, but a lot of people were under the impression that these GPR surveys provided proof of hundreds of deaths above and beyond those which had already been documented, and/or cover-ups of actual murders.

My name is a snarky reference to the bizarre fixation of the left on the imaginary crime of crossing state lines during coverage of the Rittenhouse case, and has nothing to do with Nazis.

As someone with fairly extensive geophysics experience, GPR is pretty meh and I've always found it weird that it's treated as though it was anything other than a very noisy form of sensing that can only tell you when the subsurface material changes (and even then, the depth and size of the change is hard to ever be sure about). Geophysics is inherently very unreliable when it comes to trying to identify small changes below the surface and I'm very much not surprised that these graves are false positives. Plenty of the actual papers that back up the use of the GPR for this purpose found as much and similar uses, like detecting utilities or animal burrows or cavities is just as unreliable. The effectiveness of GPR also depends on the materials involved, which can reduce your penetration to mere inches.

Do you geophys professionally?

I like to imagine someone geophysing my back yard 2000 years from now finding indications of high heat and excavating my burn pile pit. While interpreting it as some sort of 'ceremonial', offering location.

I've watched too much 'Time Team'.

I did lot in my grad school research, mostly seismic and resistivity. A little professionally afterwards.

Most won't have the resolution to pick up a small, residential burn pit, depending how deep it is anyway. Electrical methods might pick it up, since they're sometimes decent resolution near the surface.

In foundation engineering, finding trash pits and burn pits during development when doing test borings or excavations in long developed areas is pretty common. God forbid you hit an undocumented landfill. That's a good way to get your project delayed ($$$). Sometimes you'll need to have a cultural study done if they think it could be a historical landmark or archeological site, so your idle thoughts aren't too out of line with reality ha.

Could you elaborate a little More on the effects of materials? Does it work at all in wet soils which I imagine absorb microwaves very efficiently?

Well, GPR works based on reflecting em waves, so it runs into the same issues that pure electric geophysical methods and purely mechanical geophysical methods run into. Mechanical challenges like scattering or interference from voids, thin nonrepresentarive layers, layer inversions, boulders, etc. Electrical challenges like water content variations, voids, salt/contamination, etc. They are also generally way lower resolution than the layman would expect.

Electrical methods are generally more sensitive to moisture content, and in my experience, are more likely to detect a change in moisture rather than material (material and moisture are generally correlated). And that's kind of the thing with most geophysical methods, they're telling you when a material changes and by moving your sensing equipment you can see how that change is related to space.

There are GPR "suitability maps" for the US that show vaguely where you can expect GPR to be accurate. I haven't seen one for Canada though, but GPR would be usable in areas with similar surface geology.

The OP does not shy away from responding to critics and providing sources (see his other threads). His posts are content-heavy and often use primary sources. I don’t think it’s a good idea if we all start saying “I don’t like this person’s views, can someone from my in-group verify these claims”? If you don’t trust OP then you can wait for someone’s attempted debunk or take on that role yourself, no?

If @do_something had looked at their posting history they would easily have seen that and the length to which @SecureSignals goes to follow the rules of the forum and to engage in constructive discourse.

But that's not what their comment is driven by. It's pure outgroup + cognitive dissonance. They see someone they don't like posting something they don't agree with and they lash out.

People who act like this and the want to get away from them and the degenerative effect they have on discourse are the reason for the motte to exist.

The lack of the usual antagonistic and sneering remarks in Amadans mod post is disappointing for the first time ever. And his validation of the otherization of @SecureSignals and the implication that there might be something 'suspicious' going on is beyond poor form.

If @do_something had looked at their posting history they would easily have seen that and the length to which @SecureSignals goes to follow the rules of the forum and to engage in constructive discourse.

"Goes to great lengths to engage in constructive discourse" is definitely not the pattern I have experienced when interacting with SS (nor, for that matter, has "follow the rules of the forum", though on that count I'm not sure he's actually worse than the median strongly-opinionated-poster here).

Example of the non-constructive discourse pattern of "throw out a bunch of claims, then when those claims are refuted don't acknowledge that and instead throw out a bunch more expensive-to-refute claims" here.

Example of the non-constructive discourse pattern of "throw out a bunch of claims, then when those claims are refuted don't acknowledge that and instead throw out a bunch more expensive-to-refute claims" here.

Downvote all you want but that is exactly the MO I have encountered with him over and over and over again. SS is not a troll, but he is the functional equivalent of one.

Not sure lawyering your way into violating only the spirit of the rules should be that great an excuse to begin with.

The OP does not shy away from responding to critics

Very often with a large amount of obfuscation and playing obtuse to a point where it takes 8 back-and-forths to get a semi-straight answer.

providing sources

Par for the course for a gish-galloper.

Can you not open links? Yes, the summary is accurate. Whatever you think of his agenda and sources, I have never seen SecureSignals post anything he didn't believe was accurate before. Generally if you suspect someone is wrong or lying the onus is on you to debunk them.

I think part of rationality is assessing the reliability of your sources. If you don't have expert knowledge, then you need to defer to other people, and I don't blame do_something for being mistrustful of believing someone who spends most of his time on this site denying the most well documented mass killing in history.

Perhaps, but a larger part of rationality has always been equipping yourself with the tools to assess reliability on your own. But do_something didn't 'defer to other people' they straight up ignored the post and loudly asked for someone else to read it for them. It is an ad hominem argument in its purest form - no attempt at an argument is made, only an appeal to the op's status as a witch, to discredit them without having to bother with discrediting their arguments.

In my opinion, as a fan of the motte and someone who doesn't want it to turn into the rest of the internet, that post is the equivalent of squatting in the middle of the commons and taking a big greasy shit. I don't care how you justify it, I think it makes all our lives worse.

Side note - never forget that in the eyes of the perpetually offended, you are already tainted. You have been since long before SecureSignals ramped up his obsession. No amount of loudly declaring your disagreement with him will save you, nothing can save any of us now.

Oh don't worry, I'm not posturing against the resident Holocaust denier for my own sake. I just think he degrades the quality of the conversation here by bringing every other conversation back to his own pet pseudohistoric topic.

I realise that a place like this is vulnerable to witches and is to some extent a necessary compromise we have to make, but damn is it annoying.

The National Post is one of Canada's two major national newspapers (along with the Globe and Mail). This doesn't count as "expert knowledge" in my mind, and would go a long way towards determining its reliability (whatever answer you end up with).

You are someone. You apparently have internet access. Be the change you want to see and verify if Canadian residential school mass graves have actual bodies found or merely widely reported "Archeologists detected what they believed..." but then no bodies were actually produced.

If you want some background to this story I follow a substack that seems reputable (woke watch Canada). As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty interesting case of the facts not being covered by the msm.

Broadly correct, but I would quibble with parts of the framing.

It's certainly true that the 'bodies' found at Kamloops have never been anything more than anomalies found on ground penetrating radar, and that media and activists have never really made any attempt to communicate this to their audiences. The vast majority of people would never realise that these bodies are entirely theoretical and could easily just not be there. Chalk another one up to the media being bullshitters.

However, what I would disagree with in SecureSignals post is the implication that this stuff therefore didn't happen, or that the backlash against the Catholic Church is unjustified. I personally see the 'graves' at Kamloops as a catalyst for action, rather than the substance of the grievance itself. It is undeniable that the Canadian government in association with the Catholic Church basically kidnapped tens of thousands of native children and stuffed them into places like Kamloops, where the conditions were pretty awful (though perhaps not so awful by the standards of the time). Many deaths resulted. Official records from Kamloops say 50 children died there; the true total is likely higher. Though I admit I have little sympathy for the Church to begin with, I don't see the arson of a couple dozen churches to be an outsize reaction to the Church's involvement in residential schools. You reap what you sow.

  • -11

One of the problems with excusing misrepresentations that you think are directionally correct is that many of the people doing so don't know how their own views have been shaped by lies or misrepresentations, building a new layer of bullshit on top of the old one. For instance:

It is undeniable that the Canadian government in association with the Catholic Church basically kidnapped tens of thousands of native children and stuffed them into places like Kamloops, where the conditions were pretty awful (though perhaps not so awful by the standards of the time).

This is how it is often described, but sending your children to residential school was optional.

https://fcpp.org/2018/08/22/myth-versus-evidence-your-choice/

Even the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has helped spread erroneous information. At the final National Gathering in Edmonton, one of the Commission’s information displays stated that, after 1920, criminal prosecution threatened First Nations parents who failed to enrol their children in a residential school. This falsehood, one frequently repeated by supposedly reputable journalists, is a reference to a clause in the revised Indian Act that said children had to be enrolled in some kind of school, a clause that was little different from the Ontario government’s 1891 legislation — nearly 30 years earlier — that made school attendance compulsory for that province’s children up to the age of 14, with legal penalties for failure to comply. Other provinces had similar laws.

And the “criminal prosecution”? The penalty specified by the Indian Act for the “crime” of not sending a child to school was “a fine of not more than two dollars and costs, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten days or both.” And as with provincial laws regarding school attendance, there would be no penalty if the child was “unable to attend school by reason of sickness or other unavoidable cause... or has been excused in writing by the Indian agent or teacher for temporary absence to assist in husbandry or urgent and necessary household duties.”

Now if you lived in a location without local schools residential schools were the only ones available, and the percentage of natives living in such locations was higher. But conversely getting out of sending your children to school was easier than it is today, and indeed native enrollment was low:

In 1921, when the revised Indian Act solidified the compulsory attendance of Indigenous children in some kind of school, about 11 percent of First Nations people were enrolled in either a residential school or a federal day school. By 1939, that figure had risen to approximately 15 percent of the First Nations population, but the total enrolment of 18,752 still represented only 70 percent of the 26,200 First Nations children aged 7 to 16. Not until the late 1950s were nearly all native children — about 23 percent of the First Nations population — enrolled in either a residential school (in 1959, about 9,000), a federal day school (about 18,000) or a provincial public school (about 8,000).

And absenteeism among those enrolled was high:

For most of the years in which the IRS operated, between 10 and 15 percent of residential students were absent on any given day

Day school attendance was far worse. In the 253 day schools operating in 1921, only 50 percent of native students were showing up, and until the 1950s, these poorly-funded, inadequately-staffed schools consistently had absentee rates in the 20 percent and 30 percent range. In the 1936-37 academic year, to choose just one example, attendance in Indian day schools sank as low as 63 percent. The only residential school in Atlantic Canada, at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, was established in part because two previously-established day schools had been forced to close due to poor attendance. Some of the reasons for this absenteeism — the movement of families to areas where seasonal work beckoned, the need to help out at home during the Depression, and the opportunity to take labouring jobs left vacant by servicemen — are understandable, and it is worth noting the the TRC Report acknowledges that very few parents were ever charged or convicted for keeping their children out of school. But children who aren’t in school aren’t getting an education.

The punishment for your children being truant was mild, seems easily avoided by giving an excuse like chronic illness, and most importantly hardly ever enforced to begin with. That is not the sort of coercion required to get parents to send their children to a concentration camp. Native children didn't go to residential schools because they were "kidnapped", they went because their parents believed it was better than the alternatives, including the alternative of not going to school at all. That is compatible with them being low-quality schools, it isn't compatible with the insane rhetoric about them that is prevalent today.

Many deaths resulted.

Many deaths resulted from native americans being biologically more vulnerable to diseases like tuberculosis. Is there even any evidence that the death rate of native children at residential schools was higher than the death rate of native children elsewhere? Skimming chapter 16 ("The deadly toll of infectious diseases: 1867–1939") from the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it looks like the closest they come to an overall comparison instead of talking about individual outbreaks is this:

https://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.807830/publication.html

In response to the issues Tucker had raised, Indian Commissioner David Laird reviewed the death rates in the industrial schools on the Prairies for the five-year period ending in the summer of 1903. He concluded that the average death rate was 4%. He compared this to the 4.4% child mortality rate for the ten Indian agencies from which students were recruited for 1902. On this basis, he concluded that “consumption and other diseases are just as prevalent and fatal on the Reserves as in the schools.”

Good finds. Reading those articles seems to indicate that the entire narrative is wrong and this story is one part bigotry against Catholics and one part they are lying to use because that’s what they do.

I wouldn't say the entire narrative is wrong -- regardless of the laws on the books, there was definitely considerable coercion involved in 'encouraging' attendance -- this spin is similar in nature to how the authors of COVID restrictions said things like "nobody's forcing anyone to be vaccinated, we are just stopping them from eating out/leaving the country/etc if they don't".

What is quite pernicious (and I believe originates with the current government) is the spin towards blaming the church (churches actually -- many of the schools were run by protestant denominations, and at least some by non-religious entities) for the issues.

Whoever was running a given school was acting as an agent of the Canadian government -- so that fault for individual behaviour like molestation etc lies with the individuals involved, and the systemic issues (coercion, underfunding, 'cultural assimilation) with the sitting governments. Government has been trying to downplay this since forever, but have suddenly succeeded due to the surge in people who somehow didn't learn about this in elementary school (starting in the late 70s) and think they have discovered some new thing. (which happens to be the government narrative, and has only tenuous relations with the truth) Plus the general propensity for hating Catholics in the water these days I guess.

The Catholics were known to sometimes cover up instances of molestation and other misbehaviour by moving the offenders around and not reporting to authorities -- like many aspects of the story this is bad enough in itself! Yet someone there is the need to invent other things which would be even worse if they were true, but weaken the case IMO considering that they are not.

I guess Id say the systemic issues was just being poor. Which isn’t something your guilty of. It’s not like the Canadian government had unlimited resources. And it sounds like the schools outperformed alternative Options.

Eh, it shades towards Copenhagen Ethics I suppose, but "you touch it you own it" is still pretty valid in this situation. Conditions on reserves (govt related!) and in generally remote areas (not so much) were not great in the late 19th/early 20th centuries -- but if you want to take people away from their homes the bar should be pretty high to ensure that the results are much much better than just leaving them alone. Which very clearly seems not to be the case -- there's the odd satisfied 'customer' of the residential school system out there, but it's legitimately unusual. And normally the super-succesful FN people that you see in business/law/politics had their education in regular mixed day-schools, whether due to not living on the reserve at all or being in the sweet spot of 'reserve too small for its own school' and 'not too far away from regular towns' where it made the most sense for them to go to school with everyone else.

I guess I reject Copenhagen ethics. That’s basically saying we should only build gated communities because then we never interact with the lower class and can’t be blamed for it. Comes up a lot with trade. Like Nike getting