My vision for humanity (if not for how we get there)

  • Back to the tribal living – replacing the monogamous nuclear family with a polyamorous tribe as the basic unit of society. A child would know its mother, but not who its father was.

  • Cooperative breeding to ensure two critical conditions for a normal childhood development:
    a) During the first two years of its life, a child should form multiple meaningful and stable relationships with the adults and older children around, so it always feels safe and protected. In particular, a child of that age should never find itself alone at night, wondering if it has been left for dead. All that is necessary to avoid the now ubiquitous Early Childhood Development trauma.
    b) Also critical is having enough attentive and encouraging adults & older kids around to answer all the “why’s” children start to ask when 3-4 years old. A 4-year-old girl can ask hundreds such questions in a single day, as she tries to jump-start her rational mind. One-two adults could not possibly satisfy her thirst for knowledge even if they knew the answers themselves (which they don’t).

  • The actual knowledge itself:
    a) We are not born with the knowledge of our rational mind, what it is for and how to use it. Nor is it something we can easily pick up by experience. That’s why most children, instead of learning to think and understand – by imagining a 3-D simulation of the real-world – learn to create the appearance of understanding. They learn by example to act as if they think and understand.
    b) The actual simulation – the knowledge of ourselves and the world around… all science basically, so we can take care of ourselves and of Gaia, the planet, so we can live our lives free of evil and suffering.

  • After that – sky’s the limit.

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Well … it might not be the grand unified TOE, but you have a case there.

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Why is this desirable?


“… Honestly, I think Heraclitus was the most brilliant man who ever lived. And, unlike the rest of them lazy enlightened bums,* Heraclitus wrote an entire book! And the entire book didn’t survive, but a few fragments made it to us… and gosh, what gems they are! Take these for example:

“If all things were turned to smoke, the nostrils would distinguish them.”

… and related, if even more cryptic

“Souls smell out in Hades.”

That, my friend, is the Law of Conservation of Information – the one that Stephen Hawking famously** wished he didn’t bet against. The Law says that information can never be destroyed… so be careful with your words :wink: Or your thoughts… or the rest of you, because you are information, your body being the physical record of you. It won’t last, but every bit ever recorded on it will survive forever on some kind of medium – any kind you can imagine, and, eventually, on your black holes. Because, eventually, there will be nothing else left in the Universe, but the black holes.

Ironically, it is the black holes that appeared – to Stephen Hawking – as breaking the Law. From the outside, they look beautifully simple, described by just two numbers – their mass and momentum. And a charge maybe. OK, three numbers then. Throw a book in it, and it’d be different numbers, but still, just the three of them – the book’s content seemed to disappear without a… Wait, what are you… Seriously? That was Heraclitus’ last copy! Signed too…

I’m not being dramatic, you are! You could have simply burned the damn thing to the same effect, ‘cause though, technically, it’s content is still recorded in smoke and emitted heat radiation, reading it again is out of question – one photon goes left, the other goes right and good luck seeing them together ever again.

What makes the black hole option ironic is that they are, for that purpose, not that different from a bonfire: they slowly “evaporate” through – wait for it! – “Hawking radiation”. And it is that radiation that carries out every bit of previously consumed information.

Hawking radiation was, of course, so named because it was Stephen Hawking who “discovered” it… discovered in quotes because he’d never actually seen a black hole – that was one of the “hidden” parts of reality he could only “see” with his mind)

And to his mind, Hawking radiation appeared, at first, as smooth and uncomplicated as the black hole itself – unsuitable to convey any message from the inside. A rocky mistake, Stephen, but… tsk tsk tsk, you’ve betted The Eight Edition of The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia on it?.. like seriously?

Now you’d think that poor Heraclitus was facepalming hard in heaven, but the truth is, he probably wasn’t – it was all old news to him. That’s why he wrote “the damn book” in the first place – he simply could not stand other humans, such as they were. After abdicating (he used to be King), he moved to live out of town, only coming back for groceries and to strike up an occasional conversation… as if to check if people got lightened up maybe?.. (they didn’t)

In comparison, Stephen Hawking was, actually, OK… His radiation solved the black hole information paradox, giving them the appearance of smokeless fire. The “smokeless” bit is important because, eventually, the last black hole would go poof, leaving the Universe filled with radio static and no matter in it, for the first time since the Big Bang.

This time, of course, the Universe is much older, bigger, and colder… or is it? With all the matter gone, so is time. No clock means no measuring stick either: the Universe could be trillion upon trillion light-years across, or as small as a grain of sand and 10²⁷ Kelvins hot – after expanding, faster than the speed of light, for a millionth of a second. We are, with apologies to Roger Penrose, at the end of the (next) Big Bang’s inflation phase… But worry not – none of it has been lost on that white-hot grain of sand.

Our every memory, every thought, and every dream going up in smoke, engraved on a black hole or on a Big Bang – the Universe forgets nothing. It might have lost track of time, for a moment, but now it won’t take any of it before it cools down enough for the first quarks and leptons to crystallize… and then we rinse and repeat, and it just goes on.

''This Kosmos, the same for all, none of gods nor humans made, but it was always and is and shall be: an ever-living fire, kindled by measures and extinguished by measures.”

– Heraclitus, circa 450 BC

* Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, plus the whole Indus Valley Civilization – all had but a word written down between them. The other exception was Baruch Spinoza — after being hard-cancelled at the age of fourteen or something…

** That being said, whatever Steven Hawking did that he did not get famous for?.. On the bright side, it relieves me from worrying about choosing my book title, ‘cause, let’s face it – nothing can beat “The Brief History of Time”. EVER."

This seems a strange thing to have to write, but here we go:

I disagree with your premise that if a child knows who their father is, it then follows that the father now owns the mother.


Except that without assurance of paternity we loose the ability to harness men’s resources to their children. This is half of what’s wrong with black culture. And note that women don’t like it when their mate sleeps around either. That’s because she doesn’t want his resources spread around, she wants all of them for herself.

I’d better read up on Heraclitus!

Clean logic there Pat.


[quote=“silk_fire, post:4, topic:35584, full:true”]

That escalated rather quickly and specifically.


Hopefully you’ve thought about this from the child’s perspective too? Some people spend a lifetime trying to find out who their parents were.

edit: Also, this new taboo will require that children have limited access to community genetic data, since simple pattern-matching will reveal true paternity.


Well, maybe I was born yesterday :wink: so explain this to me: How can you expect to know that “your” woman bears your child — and not someone else’s — unless you ensure, one way or the other, that she is not sleeping with other men?

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Because a woman is neither a trophy, nor a property.

We are not to tell her who she’s allowed to sleep with, and no, we cannot have her phone password either.

Herodatus the historian (not Heraclitus) tales us on an anthropological tour of the known world, and the behaviors of all the various tribes living around the edges of it. He describes a society which is more or less matriarchal in its hierarchy, where there is no ‘marriage’ of any permanence, but if a man goes into a hut to engage with a woman, he sticks his spear outside the doorway to indicate that the place is occupied.

When a child is born, it is cared for my the mother and her family around her, in whatever way is appropriate, and there is no presumption as to who might be the father. All the men mentor all of the child. But when a boy comes of age, whatever age that might be, then the men of the village decide by some manner of vote or agreement, who the father of the boy is, based on who he looks like, who he acts like. And from then on, the father has primary responsibility for teaching his son the ways of men.

This seems like the model for the utopia @silk_fire proposes. And in recent centuries, anthropologists have occasionally across societies which look like this. And I think we’ve had some articles in Quillette describing the ‘friendly’ arguments among scholars concerning these models. In some cases it turns out that these marriage-free societies have high rates of murder, and sometimes of gang rape.

But it’s nice when it works.


Exactly – from the child’s own perspective, why would they what to know who fathered them? To make the father feel somehow uniquely responsible – more than they already should be? To make other men feel bad that it’s not them who fathered that individual? To bring patriarchy in all its ugliness back from the dead – because that’s what the fatherhood, as an institution, has always been about?

Call it taboo or whatever, but one can’t help to question both the ethics and the implications of someone’s desire to know their father.

I believe that hanging a necktie on the dorm room’s door handle served the same purpose… when guys were still wearing neckties, that is :wink:

“The most ancient human beings lived with no evil desires, without guilt or crime, and, therefore, without penalties or compulsions. Nor was there any need of rewards, since by the prompting of their own nature they followed righteous ways. Since nothing contrary to morals was desired, nothing was forbidden through fear. – Tacitus, first cen. AD

Or, here’s Spinoza, echoing the statement above: “It is clear that we neither strive for, nor … desire anything because we judge it to be good; on the contrary, we judge something to be good because we strive for it, want it, and desire it.”

Apparently, all that it takes – to live lives free from evil and suffering – is to have the right morals.

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Because I would believe her when she tells me. No need to phrase it like a hypothetical. Been there and done that and have a darling baby boy to prove it.

Though I suppose this is a problem for people who enter into a large amount of sexual liaisons with people they do not know or trust. In which case, paternity testing.

Question for you: How do you plan on controlling women to preventing them from telling someone that they are a father?


And why would you believe her, if she weren’t coerced into monogamy by a constant stream of merciless slut-shaming, coming at her from every direction? You are doing it right now – inadvertently, of course – by suggesting that she is “faithful” to you because that’s how a lady wants it out of her own desire.

So no – as things currently stand, of course you don’t need to do much to ensure her fidelity! She already knows better than to give anyone a reason to suspect otherwise – and she has plenty of scars to prove it too.

Not controlling, but helping them – and everyone else – understand that this is exactly what the original sin has been about! That she should know better than biting on that apple, and “her” man should know better than taking it from her.

That is what a tribe has always been about, among other things – harnessing everyone’s resources to raise their children. That is why they say that it takes a tribe* – not a man – to raise a child.

* Granted, they need to be politically correct and relevant, so they would say it takes “a village” or “a whole community” – but what they mean is a tribe-as-a-family.

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Because, unlike yourself, I believe a women should be free to exercise her sexual agency as she wishes. I do not assume, as you do, that if she is acting other than I have decided is right that she is simply addled.

In short I treat women like people. Not lesser creatures who require my guidance.

Especially when that guidance boils down to “hey girl, you know are only faithful because its what society expects of you. To truly be free you really should sleep around with more people”…

“and if you insist on monogamy and choose to stay with just one person then you will need to be educated.”

I think I will bow out now. Thank you for the conversation.


First, I want to apologize if I’ve been acting like a Labrador puppy… :slight_smile: I understand that this is a sensitive topic, and I’m grateful to everyone for engaging, actively or otherwise.

That is not how I meant it. I was merely pointing out that no “civilized” woman has ever been free, and no woman ever will – until that day when our societies not just stop coercing them, through constant slut-shaming, into monogamy but, eventually, start seeing their publicly announced commitment to be monogamous as ethically indefensible (and plain moronic at that).

Again, since she can sleep with anyone she wishes, she might, in theory, privately choose to sleep with the same person for the rest of her life. But she cannot tell it to anyone without them wondering, what would be the reason for it – both the commitment and the disclosure?

… and, perhaps, if she might want to come down from that high horse before she injured herself or someone else

Thank you, as well.

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A case can be made for the tribe, but we seem to have moved to higher levels of organization. Even at the tribal level we often see rigorously enforced paternity rights. What you’re describing might be more applicable to the hunter-gatherer level of organization. Anyway, in practice what your morality produces is American Black culture – men screwing around as they can and women raising kids either alone or with today’s boyfriend. As Geary notes, it is particularly damaging to boys.