It looks like there are a bunch of tech bros out there want to have huge numbers of children so that their (perceived) genetic superiority can be spread throughout the world.
This sh%$ is straight out of the pre-WWII eugenics movement, beloved by Francis Galton, Winston Churchill, J.H. Kellogg, and that unpleasant short German man with the tiny mustache.
I am not surprised. Much like the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the “science” of eugenics is beloved by ordinary people who through luck and privilege achieve some success in life:
Sitting in their toy-filled family room on a sunny September afternoon, Simone and Malcolm Collins were forced to compete with the wails of two toddlers as they mapped out their plans for humankind.
“I do not think humanity is in a great situation right now. And I think if somebody doesn’t fix the problem, we could be gone,” Malcolm half-shouted as he pushed his sniffling 18-month-old, Torsten, back and forth in a child-size Tonka truck.
Along with his 3-year-old brother, Octavian, and his newborn sister, Titan Invictus, Torsten has unwittingly joined an audacious experiment. According to his parents’ calculations, as long as each of their descendants can commit to having at least eight children for just 11 generations, the Collins bloodline will eventually outnumber the current human population.
If they succeed, Malcolm continued, “we could set the future of our species.”
So this guy does not have the vaguest notion of how this all works.
First, they have not factored in deaths which will reduce the number who will reproduce, and second, you are going to start seeing intermarrying at the second, (legal in all US states) third, or fourth cousin level.
This becomes even more likely when one realizes that families tend to live closer to each other than random people, and in this case, they would all be living in the same cult compound.
Malcolm, 36, and his wife, Simone, 35, are “pronatalists,” part of a quiet but growing movement taking hold in wealthy tech and venture-capitalist circles. People like the Collinses fear that falling birth rates in certain developed countries like the United States and most of Europe will lead to the extinction of cultures, the breakdown of economies, and, ultimately, the collapse of civilization. It’s a theory that Elon Musk has championed on his Twitter feed, that Ross Douthat has defended in The New York Times’ opinion pages, and that Joe Rogan and the billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen bantered about on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” It’s also, alarmingly, been used by some to justify white supremacy around the world, from the tiki-torch-carrying marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “You will not replace us” to the mosque shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, who opened his 2019 manifesto: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.”
And, of course, that, “Unpleasant short German man with the tiny mustache.”
This is all about the idea that non-white people are untermenchen, and so white people must have many children to prevent said, “Mud People,” from taking over.
The reason that this sounds like a fever dream inspired by The Turner Diaries, is because, this is where eugenics of humanity inexorably takes you.
I reached out to the Collinses after I received a tip about a company called Genomic Prediction, where Musk’s OpenAI cofounder Sam Altman was an early investor. (Altman, who is gay, also invests in a company called Conception. The startup plans to grow viable human eggs out of stem cells and could allow two biological males to reproduce. “I think having a lot of kids is great,” Altman recently told an audience at Greylock’s Intelligent Future event. “I want to do that now even more than I did when I was younger.”)
Genomic Prediction is one of the first companies to offer PGT-P, a controversial new type of genetic testing that allows parents who are undergoing in vitro fertilization to select the “best” available embryos based on a variety of polygenic risk factors.
Rather ironically, if there is a genetic connection found to homosexuality, preventing gay children will become one of the, if not the, most common uses of the technology, because people are bigots.
That Altman does not “Get It” is a mark of his sense of privilege, and his deep stupidity.
They [the Collinses] both said they were warned by friends not to talk to me. After all, a political minefield awaits anyone who wanders into this space. The last major figure to be associated with pronatalism was Jeffrey Epstein, who schemed to impregnate 20 women at a time on his New Mexico ranch. Genetic screening, and the underlying assumption that some humans are born better than others, often invites comparisons to Nazi eugenic experiments. And then there’s the fact that our primary cultural reference point for a pronatalist society is the brutally misogynist world of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
If your movement is associated with Jeffrey Epstein and that, “Unpleasant short German man with the tiny mustache,” you might want to reexamine your life.
The payoff won’t be immediate, Simone said, but she believes if that small circle puts the right plans into place, their successors will “become the new dominant leading classes in the world.”
Wow, I did Nazi that coming.
While pronatalism is often associated with religious extremism, the version now trending in this community has more in common with dystopian sci-fi. The Collinses, who identify as secular Calvinists, are particularly drawn to the tenet of predestination, which suggests that certain people are chosen to be superior on earth and that free will is an illusion. They believe pronatalism is a natural extension of the philosophical movements sweeping tech hubs like the Silicon Hills of Austin, Texas. Our conversations frequently return to transhumanism (efforts to merge human and machine capabilities to create superior beings), longtermism (a philosophy that argues the true cost of human extinction wouldn’t be the death of billions today but the preemptive loss of trillions, or more, unborn future people), and effective altruism (or EA, a philanthropic system currently focused on preventing artificial intelligence from wiping out the human population).
No, EA is a way of justifying enormous wealth and making it appear virtuous, because you will be making donations (in the distant future) to help people in the far more distant future. It is morally bankrupt, or as one Twitter wag put it, “It’s a prosperity gospel for agnostics.”
It is camouflage for greed and bigotry.
According to tech-industry insiders, this type of rhetoric is spreading at intimate gatherings among some of the most powerful figures in America. It’s “big here in Austin,” the 23andMe cofounder Linda Avey told me. Raffi Grinberg, a pronatalist who is the executive director of Dialog, said population decline was a common topic among the CEOs, elected officials, and other powerful figures who attended the group’s off-the-record retreats. In February, the PayPal cofounder Luke Nosek, a close Musk ally, hosted a gathering at his home on Austin’s Lake Travis to discuss “The End of Western Civilization,” another common catchphrase in the birth-rate discourse.
Here, once again, I have to go back to the real world experiment that some call history, and note that after the Black Death killed half of Europe, living standards rose further and faster than at any time in history.
The elites did not see the benefits of the increased productivity, because they had to pay their workers more, and passed laws to suppress wages, but in some cases (Poland) where contemporaneous records of the Black Death are absent, we know that the plague hit them because of the post plague wage spikes.
A declining population, one where the average Joe pays 10% more in old age benefit taxes, but earns 40% more is good for everyone, except the holders of capital, like Musk or Nosek.
These worries tend to focus on one class of people in particular, which pronatalists use various euphemisms to express. In August, Elon’s father, Errol Musk, told me that he was worried about low birth rates in what he called “productive nations.” The Collinses call it “cosmopolitan society.” Elon Musk himself has tweeted about the movie “Idiocracy,” in which the intelligent elite stop procreating, allowing the unintelligent to populate the earth.
“Productive nations,” and “cosmopolitan society,” huh? What they mean is “Wipipo”. They might as well just say that they are worried about N*****s taking over.
As to basing your philosophy on Idiocracy, I would suggest that you go with a far better movie from Mike Judge, Office Space. Elon Musk already has the role of William Lundberg, so marvelously played by Gary Cole in the original, down pat.
Once pronatalists reach critical mass, the Collinses hope, they can begin to shape society around their needs.
“You have to create cultures that reward” and have structures for large families, Simone explained. Pronatalist pet issues include everything from increasing housing development to changing laws around car-seat regulation (one study found that people would stop having children when they couldn’t fit any more car seats in their vehicle). During the coronavirus pandemic, the Collinses tried to raise money for a family-friendly “startup town” they called Project Eureka, where all community rules would be “ultimately set — all disputes resolved” by the Collinses.
When fundraising stalled, they redirected their focus to the Collins Institute for the Gifted, a specialized online lab school that is partnering with the Bari Weiss-cofounded University of Austin and the Thiel-backed 1517 Fund. (Musk similarly created a boutique education program, Ad Astra, for his family and employees’ children that has since expanded into the online school Astra Nova.)
The logic behind the Collins Institute reflects their thinking at large: “If you want to make the future better for everyone and you could choose to dramatically increase the educational outcomes of the bottom 10% of people or the top 0.1% of people,” the Collinses say to choose the 0.1%.
The Collinses are paraphrasing William Edward Hickman, who kidnapped and dismembered a little girl in 1927, and said “What is good for me is right.”
They benefit from lobbying for a future in which all of society’s resources are directed toward them, because this is all that they concieve of.
It should be noted that Ayn Rand described that Hickman quote as, “The best and strongest expression of a real man’s psychology I have heard.”
To be fair, Hickman’s victim, Marion Parker, was born October 11, 1915, which means that she would be dead now, so according to the ethics put forward by “Effective Altruism,” it’s all good.