Pro-natalists, long-termists, the Church of the Future Police…what a nightmare


Malcolm & Simone Collins, a pair of grinning fascist gobshites

Look to the right. If you ever wanted to see a pair of gold-plated smirking morons, there they are. Those two, Malcolm and Simone Collins, were cooked in the crucible of weird Silicon Valley culture — he was a manager at Google, while she worked for Peter Thiel — and they came up with a techno-fetishist cult built on their misunderstanding of science. It’s a horror story.

Googleplex, the Google HQ in Mountain View, California, is an incubator for new religious movements. Ten years ago, Google hired Ray Kurzweil, prophet of the Singularity. In 2015, Google engineer Anthony Levandowski started The Way of the Future, a church to worship super-intelligent AI. And now we have the Religion of the Future Police, began by former Google manager Malcolm Collins and his wife Simone.

The Collinses came to my attention last month, thanks to a great article by Julia Black in Business Insider, called ‘Can Super Babies Save the World’. They’re the founders of pronatalist.org, and part of a pronatalist movement growing in Silicon Valley and around the world. Pronatalists think the world is facing a population crisis: not too many people, but too few. They think civilization is threatened because of lowering birth rates, ageing populations and plummeting male fertility (average sperm count fell 50% between 1973 and 2019, and no one is sure why).

OK, I might be persuaded that the carrying capacity of the planet might be somewhat greater than the current number of 7.9 billion, but only if there was a more equitable division of wealth — the rich are resource hogs — and if we made a concerted effort to develop more sustainable technologies. Somehow, I don’t think a pair of smug Silicon Valley smegholes would go along with that. I also think that all you have to do is examine the dismal prospects of climate change and environmental decline to see we can’t sustain the current population, so blithely suggesting we can just increase it more without consequences is insane.

Also, can I just say that naming your cult The Religion of Future Police sounds rather fascist?

These people are basically long-termists who are open about one of their goals. They aren’t just trying to expand humanity as a whole, they specifically want their own personal lineage to take over the world.

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’.

Their math is sort of right – 8 kids per child per generation for 11 generations is 8,589,934,592, or 8½ billion descendants. Imagine pressuring your children with the requirement that they must have at least 8 kids each! Unfortunately, they don’t carry through on the calculation. Since each generation after the first is only going to be half Collins (unless they’re also going to encourage incest), the individuals in that last generation are only going to be 0.0098% Collins, assuming there’s no interbreeding at all, which is unlikely given they’ll constitute a population of over 8 billion people. It’s a silly and innumerate endeavor. 99% of that 11th generation are going to be derived from genetic contributions from all the other people on Earth, and with any luck they’ll completely dilute out the taint of the Collins Family insanity.

They’re also open about trying to ‘improve’ the genetics of their children with crude engineering. Very crude. They don’t know what they’re doing at all.

They’re making children through IVF, which produces as many as a dozen fertilized eggs in a dish which can then be implanted back into Simone. A cell can be taken from each developing embryo and subjected to sequence analysis, and then they pore over the list of alleles and pick the very best super-baby combination. Or they think they do. We can’t do the kind of prediction of traits from raw genomic data that they are imagining.

Probably the most controversial part of their plan is their embrace of genetic enhancement for their children, something which they say is a secret pursuit among the tech rich. ‘We are the Underground Railroad of ‘Gattaca’ babies and people who want to do genetic stuff with their kids,’ Malcolm said. They used a company called Genomic Prediction, started by physicist Steve Hsu, which offers polygenic risk scores on embryos. Julia Black writes:

Though Genomic Prediction’s “LifeView” test officially offers risk scores only for 11 polygenic disorders — including schizophrenia and five types of cancer — they allowed the Collinses to access the raw genetic data for their own analysis. Simone and Malcolm then took their data export to a company called SelfDecode, which typically runs tests on adult DNA samples, to analyze what the Collinses called “the fun stuff.”

Sitting on the couch, Simone pulled up a spreadsheet filled with red and green numbers. Each row represented one of their embryos from the sixth batch, and the columns a variety of relative risk factors, from obesity to heart disease to headaches. The Collinses’ top priority was one of the most disputed categories: what they called “mental-performance-adjacent traits,” including stress, chronically low mood, brain fog, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, and ADHD. With a large number of green columns and a score of 1.9, Embryo №3 — aka Titan Invictus (an experiment in nominative determinism) — was selected to become the Collinses’ third child.

Oh god, Stephen Hsu? they’re taking genetic advice from a racist physicist? All the traits they think they are selecting for are complex polygenic behavioral phenomena, products of currently uninterpretable combinatorial interactions. They think they’re being rational and logical by making choices based on numerical scores, but it’s all garbage in, garbage out.

Cocky little ignoramuses, aren’t they? Just the sort to base their life choices on a religion.

I wondered how they were paying for all this gee-whiz techno pseudo-science? Easy. They’re running a religious grift.

Today they live in a farmhouse in Philadelphia with three children and a fourth on the way. They’re launching a VC fund and accepting enrollments for The Collins Institute School for the Gifted, a $20,000-a-year course in homeschooling which teaches students math, coding, how to pitch, how to run successful email campaigns, and other life-skills. They’re also running a match-making service for alpha adults, and they’ve launched their own religion with an elaborate theology described in a GoogleDoc.

They’re selling a $20,000 course in homeschooling! You know, sending your kids to a public school is a better investment — they’ll get qualified teachers who are regularly assessed, and a curriculum set by state standards. I know, sometimes public schools can be awful for many kids, but it’s not because they lack a good framework. It’s because other people can be assholes.

A homeschool run by those two arrogant know-nothings, though, is guaranteed to have an enriched population of privileged assholes.

Their status as confirmed assholes can be determined by reading their Collins Family Theology document. It’s a turgid, pretentious mess that makes sweeping pronouncements about human nature, bolstered by a few citations to short science articles which I can tell you, he uses inappropriately. Malcolm Collins has a painfully linear and determinist view of genetics. For instance,

Our culture also resists instinctual attachment to biological identity, instead contextualizing children as more “us” than we—our present biological bundles—are. Consider that each biological kid you have is 50% you. As soon as you have more than three kids, there is more of your biological identity (1.5X) in them than there is in you.

By coincidence, I happen to have three kids. That does not mean 1.5 copies of me exist — each one is a unique combinations of genes and experience. You cannot quantify “biological identity” in that simple-minded way!

What they’re doing is building a relabeled version of eugenics, based on the same conceptual errors as the original eugenics. They’re making the same horrific categorizations that the Nazis did. If you don’t accept their views, then you’re a husk — something non-human.

They call their religion ‘secular Calvinism’ — interestingly, the scientist JBS Haldane called eugenics ‘scientific Calvinism’ in the 1920s. They believe the ultimate good in the universe is ‘sapience’. More humans = more sapience. More educated and more free-thinking humans = even more sapience. Intelligent, free-thinking humans are better, according to this theology, than conformist dull-witted herd-humans, or what the Collinses call ‘husks’:

we call them a “husk” because when someone halts the process of creative destruction — refusing to explore, weigh, and sometimes to accept new ideas — they stop being meaningfully human (in our House’s view, at least).

When eugenicists say that people who think differently to them are ‘husks’ who have ‘stopped being meaningfully human’, that’s a red flag folks!

To make it a little bit worse, their kids are taught to idolize the Future Police, an imagined population in the far distant future who are looking back and judging them for how well they assist their destiny in coming to be.

Future police as a family tradition are also very useful in conveying more complex concepts exemplifying our Secular Calvinist cultural framework (such as predestination, the future that must come to pass, and the Elect) in ways that a child can easily understand. For example, it is easy to explain to a kid why the Future Police have no motivation to protect an individual who lives only for themselves or their immediate community instead of the future of the species and their family. The concept of Future Police can be used to teach kids to constantly consider how their actions impact humanity in both the near and distant future.

Future Police also allow for fun family holiday traditions. For example, at the beginning of each year, our family has a celebration in which we combine common New Year’s traditions (such as making commitments to the future) with Future Police motifs, encouraging our kids to “prove their dedication to the future” to these distant descendents in order to curry their favor and secure gifts and privileges.

“Fun.” And then they all join in a rousing chorus of Tomorrow Belongs to Me. I call it terrifying children with threats of the Future Police judging them for failing to curry favor. This is just the same old fucked-up Christian guilt-trip.

Sure, Googleplex is an incubator for new religious movements, but they’re all loony as hell, all seem to converge on the same ol’ authoritarian cultishness, and I hope they all die and fade away.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    Nazis by way of the loony bin? This is what happens when you inject Atlas Shrugged and My Struggle into a vein.

  2. Some Old Programmer says

    We have three kids (18yo and 15yo twins), each a very different person. I think reality going to smack them hard when it turns out that their kids have opinions and ideas of their own.

  3. mordred says

    Reading that is creepy as hell, but what the life of the poor kids of these Lebensborn fans will be like is the true horror!

  4. raven says

    I read an article about them a few weeks ago.
    They are loons. The more you look at them, the loonier they are.
    It’s all wrong and amusing in a very twisted, warped way.

    The Collins aren’t superior to anyone and are a great example of…what not to do.

    …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.

    This is a common idea that even has a name, Biological Colonialism. Among the many groups that tried this are the Catholics, Mormons, and Duggars of the weird TV show.

    It rarely works.
    The next generation, having grown up with numerous siblings, decides that large families aren’t much fun. And besides, they have better things to do with their money and time than be simple minded breeders.

  5. Gaebolga says

    So the “Future Police” are basically Roko’s Basilisk without the AI and using the threat disapproval instead of the threat of torture. That doesn’t make it any less stupid (or less wrong, pun intended).

    Also, how the fuck are the “Future Police” going to bestow “gifts and privileges”? Is time travel just assumed, or are these gifts and privileges bestowed by the leaders of the Church of Eternal Stupidity?

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Jebus… For the last few years, I’ve noticed a lot “anti-nerd/anti-geek” sentiment being expressed on some of the leftist podcasts in listen to, Behind The Bastards and Chapo being two that come easiest to mind. Being a nerd who caught quite a bit of childhood and teenage abuse because I was an overweight, ugly, kid who liked sci-fi and D&D, this angered me quite a bit. Now, between this and Elon’s antics, I’m beginning to see where that hatred is coming from. I just hate being lumped in with this sociopathic tech-industry ghouls.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 2

    I’d go one step further: Take off and nuke the entire island from orbit.

    “It’s the only way to be sure.”

    (Then again, that’s also my go-to suggestions for dealing with the Red States.)

  8. KG says

    I’d say these shitbags have a considerably better than average chance of being murdered by their own children.

  9. robro says

    In other news, McCarthy lost the first round of voting for the Speaker of the House. Maybe he should declare it a fake election. Difficult to be the “Majority Leader” of a split party.

  10. says

    This all sounds like it would make a great pseudo-science-fiction dystopian comic book. It would be silly and laughable if all these crackpots weren’t so rich and thus able to destroy so many lives and environments. However, thankfully, as many have mentioned here, the odds against their loony success are astronomical.

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 12

    Somehow I doubt there will be a mob of fascist chuds to “stop the steal” on his behalf who he will first salute then run away from. McCarthy is a shit-stain, but he’s no Trump.

  12. monad says

    I guess we can add Gattaca to the list of sci fi movies that Silicon Valley types saw, completely misunderstood, and set out to build the torment nexus from.

  13. says

    Maybe it’s because I used to hang out on Libby Anne’s blog, but what this brings to mind is the evangelical concept of “intergenerational faith,” also known as the 200 Year Plan.

    The general gist is that some random evangelist patriarch who probably can’t name his own great-great-grandfather honestly truly sincerely believes that he alone can make a proclamation about the path his family will take forever ‘n’ ever amen. A big part of it is also to brainwa- I mean, have meetings with the kids to discuss their obligations to Daddy, count descendants who don’t exist, and assign them jobs to fulfill the patriarch’s will.

    Considering that a lot of these patriarchs can’t stop their own kids from promptly doing their own thing, the idea of it lasting more than a couple of generations is laughable.

  14. robro says

    Akira @ #14 — Definitely less brazen than Chump, but I believe he is part of the owned and operated by the oily-garchs, including those of the Russian persuasion. Of course, he is. Who isn’t these days. He knew enough to “joke” with Paul Ryan about Russians behind Chump in 2016, and his fellow California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher was a “close friend” of Putin from the early 90s.

  15. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 15

    I think they see cautionary movies like Gattaca, decide that the technology is just too cool to be dangerous and that the stupid writers are fear mongering what they don’t understand, and want to show the world just how wrong they supposedly are.

  16. nomdeplume says

    Reminds me of those stupid calculations that say you can fit 8 billion people shoulder to shoulder on Rhode Island so the Earth can’t possibly have too many people (it obviously does). Human stupidity has reached yet another peak with these two. I am also reminded of the Douglas Adams spaceship taking away all the idiots and unproductive clowns from Earth. Perhaps Elon could build one of those for people like this, and he could be the captain.

  17. Akira MacKenzie says

    They believe the ultimate good in the universe is ‘sapience’. More humans = more sapience. More educated and more free-thinking humans = even more sapience. Intelligent, free-thinking humans are better, according to this theology, than conformist dull-witted herd-humans, or what the Collinses call ‘husks’:

    OK, I confess that this sounds… appealing; especially when you’re a picked-on science geek in a militantly anti-intellectual society that casts the intelligent as weaklings while wealth and accolades are heaped upon dumb fucking jocks and morons. Shouldn’t we want a society that values sapience, thought, and innovation rather than brute strength and incuriosity that plagues the common morons who populate our planet?

    If it weren’t for the eugenics and the religious shit…

  18. Erp says

    neadodson @16

    Considering that a lot of these patriarchs can’t stop their own kids from promptly doing their own thing, the idea of it lasting more than a couple of generations is laughable.

    Unless you make the community isolated and allow no marriages to outsiders (outsiders either become part of the community or both become outsiders). Ideally control the women by having them married young and all youth by controlling what they learn. Note the homeschooling

    I live in the Silicon Valley so I see a lot of odd things. We also get the good old Christian conservative patriarchal religion (usually the churches hiding their true affiliations).

  19. robro says

    monad — I think the Silicon Valley types, which are not confined to Silicon Valley of course, see technology disasters (fictional and real) as merely the result of bugs. Bugs can be fixed. Once they are fixed, they won’t occur again. Of course, different bugs could occur and probably will. Some of them will be worse than bugs in the past but hopefully we can survive until we role out the next fix.

  20. jenorafeuer says

    Yes, these folks certainly sound like the ‘we’re smarter and more rational than everybody else’ form of narcissism. Which, sadly, Silicon Valley has no shortage of.

  21. robro says

    McCarthy lost the second ballot. Perhaps like me he forgot to eat black eyed peas on New Years Day.

  22. whywhywhy says

    If this religion survives, it will morph into something that will share characteristics with orthodox versions of the major religions:
    – Populate the planet with kids from the in group
    – limit associations with anyone not part of the religion/cult
    – mysterious/supernatural force that will enforce some horrible punishment in the future/after death if a member steps out of line
    – must give money and time to support the faith/church/leader/etc
    – children must honor their parents and the wishes of their parents
    – all wrapped into an “us against the world” sense of embattlement

  23. birgerjohansson says

    Gaebolga @ 6 Roko’s Basllisk. Thanks, that was the concept I tried to recall but could not remember.
    BTW even Mussolini’s corporative state would be a more wholesome place than this twisted society. Or for that matter, the repressive puritan state in New England.

  24. ethicsgradient says

    I see they both wear glasses although young. Which, by some eugenicists’ exacting standards, rules them unfit to breed:

    “Mothers-in-law have frequent disputes with daughters-in-law, but Marie Stopes, being an uncommon woman, picked an uncommon bone: eugenics. In fact, a nasty falling out with her daughter-in-law’s father was likely the real reason for dislike, but Stopes fixated on her daughter-in-law’s nearsightedness. Myopic Mary with her defective eyes and her need for “hideous” glasses “morally should never bear children,” Stopes insisted. She called her son’s decision to marry Mary a crime against his country, his family, and his children. Harry didn’t care what his mother wanted, and married who he wanted to marry. Mamma refused to attend the wedding and sent no gift. She did, however, later send her son 100 pounds with instructions to spend all the money on himself, which he did not.”
    https://www.strangescience.net/stopes.htm
    The irony? Mary’s father was Barnes Wallis, probably the most brilliant British engineer of the day.

  25. moonslicer says

    In my life I have learned a few things. One thing I learned was taught to me by my son when he was still a toddler.

    I had the idea that I was the parent in the relationship, I was the one in charge. And sure he was just a little tyke, he’d be overawed by my size and age and understanding. He’d trust me, he’d be obedient, he’d go along with what I wanted, he’d do what he was told.

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Nope. What I learned was that kids are born with egos. Ferocious egos. And they don’t like being told what to do. They don’t care what it is. Whatever you’re telling them to do, no matter how sensible it might appear to you, they’re inclined to disagree, to put up some resistance. They don’t like being bossed around just because they’re little.

    So that if you’ve got any brains and heart, they’ll give you something to think about. Do you just want to be a tyrant and insist that things will always be done your way? Are you going to try to bully your kid into submission? A lot of people try it, with varying amounts of success. It was done to me, and it didn’t make me love or respect or admire my parents. I decided to try a different route. It’s hard as hell, but I’ve never regretted it.

    People who think they can set an agenda for generations to come are rather foolish people.

    (Another thing I learned is that some kids are natural lawyers. I had this potted plant and I made it clear to my son that he was not to mess with that plant. Then one morning I went into the sitting-room to find the carpet absolutely covered with soil from the pot. I rounded on the little brat: Didn’t I tell you not to touch that plant? He protested, “It’s not the plant. It’s the dirt.”

    And I realized that, nope, he hadn’t touched the plant. It was still in the pot. I’d told him not to touch the plant. I hadn’t said a word about the soil. So I had to admit that he’d got me on that one.)

  26. birgerjohansson says

    OT
    Freely associating “insanity”.
    God Awful Movies has a.new entry at Youtube: GAM 383 Robot Monster .

    This 1953 film is the cheapest of cheap monster films: A guy wearing a gorilla suit with the helmet from a diving suit.
    This stuff is better than drugs.

  27. StevoR says

    @26. robro : “McCarthy lost the second ballot. Perhaps like me he forgot to eat black eyed peas on New Years Day.”

    Huh. hadn’t heard of that superstition / idea before. Indeed, I hadn’t heard about black-eyed peas other than as a band name! It’s an actual thing?

    Wiki-checks : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-eyed_pea

    Thanks, something new learnt today.

  28. robro says

    StevoR — BEPs are definitely a thing in Southern cooking, and ling before the band. Love me some black eyes cooking with fat back. And corn bread. The New Years Day thing Im less sure about. My partner is from Oklahoma which is Southern, and she’s the one saying we should observe it. I’m from Florida and not sure I heard of it before her

  29. robro says

    The House retired for the night. No Speaker. Who said something about a house divided against itself? Oh well.

  30. tuatara says

    Intelligent, free-thinking humans are better, according to this theology, than conformist dull-witted herd-humans, or what the Collinses call ‘husks’:

    Then…they want to create a herd of conformist humans…..

    ‘We are the Underground Railroad of ‘Gattaca’ babies and people who want to do genetic stuff with their kids,’ Malcolm said.

    That are dull-witted (hoam skoold*)…

    The Collins Institute School for the Gifted, a $20,000-a-year course in homeschooling which teaches students math, coding, how to pitch, how to run successful email campaigns, and other life-skills.

    It seems to me that they are setting themselves up nicely to create a tribe notable for

    refusing to explore, weigh, and sometimes to accept new ideas.

    They are basically morons fucking each other, but as they seem intent on fucking their kids, they can fuck right off.
     
    * yeah I know home schooling can be great for some (here in Oz some people live at the end of a 300km driveway, so catching a bus from the gate to school is not possible), but what these people are suggesting is a sure fire way of breeding their own husks.

  31. says

    If you don’t accept their views, then you’re a “husk”…

    How ironic that their religion proclaims and celebrates human huskness!

    Our culture also resists instinctual attachment to biological identity, instead contextualizing children as more “us” than we—our present biological bundles—are.

    encouraging our kids to “prove their dedication to the future” to these distant descendents in order to curry their favor and secure gifts and privileges.

  32. raven says

    We’ve already laughed at these people once before in November, 2022.
    This is a repeat of what I wrote before.
    The Collins do have company, Elon Musk, Peter Theil, and any mindless quiverfull fundie xian.

    There is a related group to the long termists.
    They are the pronatalists who want to outbreed everyone else and take over human evolution.
    Elon Musk is one of them. Peter Theil is another.

    A source who worked closely with Musk for several years described this thinking as core to the billionaire’s pronatalist ideology. “He’s very serious about the idea that your wealth is directly linked to your IQ,” he said. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for this article, also said Musk urged “all the rich men he knew” to have as many children as possible.

    This is an article about the genetic imperialists who want to outbreed the rest of the world. Elon Musk is one of them. There are more.

    These aren’t genetically superior people though. They are loons, lunatic fringers, narcissists, sociopaths, and other creeps.

    There is so much wrong with this idea of self eugenics that it would take pages to point out.
    There are often attempts of one group to outbreed others, something called biological colonialism. It almost never works.
    The next generation of children decide they have better things to do with their time and money than have lots of kids because mom and dad had lots of kids and it was a miserable experience for them.

    And oh yeah, wealth is only lowly correlated with IQ.
    College professors and scientists aren’t known for their wealth. Ask PZ about that.

    https://archive.ph/CwRZR#selection-131.27-2403.178
    This is a link to the article from Insider than isn’t behind a paywall.

    Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids. Inside the movement to take ‘control of human evolution.’
    Julia Black Nov 17, 2022, 11:00 AM

    What these movements all have in common is a fixation on the future. And as that future starts to look more and more apocalyptic to some of the world’s wealthiest people, the idea of pronatalism starts to look more heroic. It’s a proposition uniquely suited to Silicon Valley’s brand of hubris: If humanity is on the brink, and they alone can save us, then they owe it to society to replicate themselves as many times as possible.

    The article is very long and I’m not going to post it here. Read it at the link if you want.

  33. nomuse says

    As I was reading, I was thinking, “Atheist Quiverfull.” But then I got to the stuff about the Future Police. Woah. They’ve invented the Eugenics version of Roko’s Basilisk! Select your embryos carefully, or Khan Noonien Singh will come back in time and put bugs in your ears!

  34. lanir says

    It takes a special kind of smart to be this vigorously, energetically dumb.

    This also looks like the kind of crazy that makes your kids hate your guts. The homeschooling thing just adds another layer of horror. I don’t think it works though. Sooner or later their kids will meet other humans and communicate. And then they’ll find out their parents want them to be nutters.

  35. robro says

    drsteve @ #46 — Yep words attributed to Jesus, probably over the political schisms in Judea that dated back a couple of hundred years.

    Ironically, the words were used by Lincoln to describe the US in 1858.

  36. StevoR says

    Yikes. Imagine being an infertile woman in this family cult? Or one that gives birth to a child (or more) with Down Syndrome or other genetic diseases. Or even just a woman in it full stop & being kept permanently preggas by cult doctrine command.. None of which which is unique or that exceptional I ‘spose except to extent but still ..yuk. What a nasty little cult. On the positive side I’d expect having a belief that only literally your one family gets to be in charge of the world is a self-limiting factor cutting its appeal for any converts.

    Also to take the dystopian world of GATTACA as a good thing. Yeesh.Talk about missing the point of a movie!

  37. StevoR says

    @48. robro : “Ironically, the words were used by Lincoln to describe the US in 1858.”

    Wait, Lincoln described the USA of 1858 as ” a mystical hippie socialist” or “one Jesus of Nazareth” huh? Are you seeing the same comment #46 by drsteve as I am?

  38. StevoR says

    @ ^ robro & drsteve : Ah, reference to #39 “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” Never mind – although it did put an amusing picture in my head for a second there, sorry.

    Oh & thanks again for your elaboration in #38 too tho’ from the wiki page I saw :

    In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas or Hoppin’ John (a traditional soul food) on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year.[14] The peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring (such as bacon, fatback, ham bones, or hog jowls) and diced onion, and served with a hot chili sauce or a pepper-flavored vinegar. The traditional meal also includes cabbage, collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion.[15] Cornbread, which represents gold, also often accompanies this meal.[16] Several legends exist as to the origin of this custom…

    Interesting. Also sounds pretty tasty.

    @8 . Akira MacKenzie : Setting aside the issues with the “collateral damage” to use a horrific euphemism for incinerated innocent people, something like what Londo Mollari does here to the Shadows in one of the best ever Babylon 5 scenes – if we could just get only the bad guys there?

  39. says

    I suspect, despite their claims of being liberals, that if you scratched them hard enough you’d find they’re fans of so called human biodiversity. A very badly misnamed concept, since it promotes racial purity, which is hardly diverse.

    One of their kids may grow up to write a very interesting book about their childhood. But the cost will be steep.

  40. birgerjohansson says

    By comparison, David Duke has a straightforward belief system. And he can speak long sentences without sounding crazy as long as he is not talking about jews or blacks.
    They should hire him as a PR guy to improve their image.

  41. John Morales says

    Meh. Just another cult. Dime a dozen.

    StevoR:

    Also to take the dystopian world of GATTACA as a good thing. Yeesh.Talk about missing the point of a movie!

    Actually, the point of the movie was that the genetically-modified people were not particularly superior at all. IMO.

    I’m not the only one to think that, either.

    “In Gattaca, the seductive certainty offered by genetic determinism ends up being cleverly undermined when Vincent (Ethan Hawke), one of the few people born outside the pre-selection process, proves more than a match for his genetically perfect peers,” he writes in a 2016 article in the Conversation. “The film’s ultimate message is that DNA is not destiny—which is precisely what science is now increasingly backing up. This being the case, allowing ourselves to be misled by science fiction is both an unfortunate and strange state of affairs.”

    (https://slate.com/technology/2022/08/gattaca-25th-anniversary-genetics-crispr.html)

  42. chrislawson says

    @OP– jesus h. christ, these people p-hacked their embryos and are too stupid to see it

    Akira@7– your criticism of ubernerd morality is on point, but I definitely wouldn’t give your high-school bullies the credit of assuming they had anything on their mind other than hurting vulnerable people

    drsteve@18– brilliant!

    nomdeplume@21– i think you missed Douglas Adams’ point

  43. nomdeplume says

    @56 no, I didn’t Chris, but I was just using the first part of it because, well….but his general point seems more and more accurate every day does it not?

  44. chrislawson says

    nomdeplume–

    OK, glad to see you know the full joke, but Adams’ first part about useless people was an early misdirect for a greater point, which was that we shouldn’t treat anyone as disposable. And if we’re going to use Adams’ joke, then Ark B status certainly doesn’t apply to these pronatalist lunatics or to Elon Musk, who would be the self-appointed elite on Ark A relying on the people on Ark C to do all the real work, and most definitely not the people they deemed useless on Ark B. (Besides, Adams had a fondness for Ark B people which is part of the point of HHGTTG; I doubt he’d have much fondness for Musk or the Collinses.)

  45. says

    Their status as confirmed assholes can be determined by reading their Collins Family Theology document. It’s a turgid, pretentious mess that makes sweeping pronouncements about human nature, bolstered by a few citations…

    Sounds like they’re going into direct competition with the Church of $cientology. And quite possibly for the same reasons as L. Ron Hubbard founded it too.

    I would like, yet again, to caution everyone here that blatantly silly and insane actions such as this may be a deliberate diversion from some far more significant and more harmful grift or agenda. We seem to be in an age of clown-princes, such as QElon, Donald Trump, and now these eugenicist wankers, hogging as much public attention every day as they possibly can, while some truly dangerous and evil things are happening with very little public notice. So I think we all should try to look past all this long-termist-future-gestapo bullshit, and pay attention to whatever else this particular group of overfunded dirtballs are doing — because whatever it is, it’s probably not beneficial to people in general. At the very least, I see a resurgence of racist eugenics clumsily dressed up in a veneer of airy scienciness. That’s certainly bad enough, but there may be more…

  46. says

    nomuse @45: My first thought was also “Atheist Quiverfull,” but then I thought again and the atheism really is a trivial distinction. In both cases you have beliefs at odds with reality leading to the exact same behavior. When beliefs rooted in complete fantasy lead to the same behavior, the distinction between the beliefs is pretty trivial when it comes to trying to understand the belief holders or predict their future actions.

    As for “Future Police,” that’s straight out of Quiverfull, which holds that it’s your duty to breed an army to propagate and enforce your beliefs on others. Whether it’s an army of god or an army of libertarian kooks is again a trivial difference; either way it’s an army to build a power base sufficient to enforce their fantasy belief system.

  47. says

    Just imagine one of the poor kids inevitably falling behind on their parents’ impossible standards. Imagine pregnancy #4 leaving the current baby incubator unable to have more kids.

    By coincidence, I happen to have three kids. That does not mean 1.5 copies of me exist — each one is a unique combinations of genes and experience. You cannot quantify “biological identity” in that simple-minded way!

    As a parent, one of the fun things is to see yourself and your partner reflected in your kids. We stopped at two, and we joke that each of us got one. The eldest looks like her dad and is very similar in character (cue which two people in this family tend to fight a lot), the younger one taking after me, except that they both got their colouring from the other parent. And then there’s things that are totally and uniquely them like having a kid who enjoys doing sports 5 times a week and one who’s able to draw. People like the Collineses should have exactly 0 kids because they don’t see kids as people, but as projects.

  48. birgerjohansson says

    “…A kid that enjoys doing sports 5 times a week.”
    OK, that is a mutant with superpowers. No way I would manage that.
    I have also noticed the young ones are suspiciously good at making consumer electronics work.
    .
    Ray Kurzweil… what happened to the singularity? In 2014 we learned how to scale up neural networks- a goal dreamed of since the 1990s- so we got this thing misnamed AI. An extremely useful tool but nowhere near general intelligence.
    These ‘visionaries’ have been proven wrong so often that I don’t get why anyone take them seriously.

  49. R. L. Foster says

    I always look for the most obvious weakness in any cultish belief system. (Like Jesus died and came back from the dead and ended up doing nothing notable afterwards. Still waiting.)

    In this case it’s this :

    their descendants can commit to having at least eight children for just 11 generations

    11 generations can range from 220 to 330 years. That puts them into the 23rd century at the earliest. Most people have trouble to committing to a diet plan for the next two months. Ya think anyone is going to commit to having 8 children in the year 2300?

  50. outis says

    Like most commenters here, I’ll just say: meh. Yet another group of overprivileged numskulls thinking they’re the hottest thing since forever.
    You know what? I sometimes derive some low, croupy pleasure in reading their obituaries. They tend to go early, done in by their own arrogance and never following physician’s advice, ‘ cos they are so smart, they don’t need no steenking doctor. There’s more than one example, like Michael Jackson (slept in an oxygen tent, said his goal was to live to 150, then that genius J.Peterson, almost died because he doesn’t know how to eat properly).
    So wait for it… but in all probability the real victims here are going to be their children. Potential for tragic mess-ups there…

  51. says

    Ya think anyone is going to commit to having 8 children in the year 2300?

    AND raising them, all the way to at least age 18, in “the faith,” so they can and will do the same to their kids in turn?

  52. birgerjohansson says

    Raging bee @ 67
    They are looking to churn out generations of self-replicating robots.
    Good luck. Even the T-1000 was too independent for Skynet to completely trust it.

  53. Acacia Eocene says

    we call them a “husk” because when someone halts the process of creative destruction — refusing to explore, weigh, and sometimes to accept new ideas — they stop being meaningfully human

    This seems directly contradictory with regards to their stated goal of their descendants being ideological clones of themselves.

  54. chrislawson says

    outis@66–

    On the quality of what they say, I agree that they are on the intellectual level of cultcreeps waving hyperbolic pamphlets on street corners and their arguments (being generous here) deserve no respect at all. But they are part of a broad brotech exceptionalism that has real and pernicious political effects.

  55. StevoR says

    @62. flange : “Can we call them “Long-Termites?”

    Yes, yes we can & I’m yoiking that. Very apt and good un there.

  56. Alt-X says

    There’s a lot of those weirdo’s around. It’s like they had sex for the first time, thought it was pretty good, so decide to base their whole life and personality around it.

  57. Owlmirror says

    I see that I wasn’t the first to look at their Secular Calvinism+Future Police idea, and think of Roko’s Basilisk (Gaebolga @#6 ; birgerjohansson @#30 ; Nomuse #45).

    I was trying to remember who compared Roko’s Basilisk to Calvinism, and it was Charles Stross (possibly others have done so, but that’s what I have in my archives – the RationalWiki page doesn’t have the term).

    https://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/02/rokos-basilisk-wants-you.html

    Leaving aside the essentially Calvinist nature of Extropian techno-theology exposed herein (thou canst be punished in the afterlife for not devoting thine every waking moment to fighting for God, thou miserable slacking sinner)

    [ . . . ]

    I diagnose an unhealthy chronic infestation of sub-clinical Calvinism (as one observer unkindly put it, “the transhumanists want to be Scientology when they grow up”), drifting dangerously towards the vile and inhumane doctrine of total depravity. Theologians have been indulging in this sort of tail-chasing wank-fest for centuries, and if they don’t sit up and pay attention the transhumanists are in danger of merely reinventing Christianity, in a more dour and fun-phobic guise.

    I am truly baffled that anyone could read up on Calvinism, and actually think that it would be a good idea to consciously reinvent it for futurist atheists.

  58. Owlmirror says

    One more thought:

    Gaebolga @#6:

    Also, how the fuck are the “Future Police” going to bestow “gifts and privileges”? Is time travel just assumed, or are these gifts and privileges bestowed by the leaders of the Church of Eternal Stupidity?

    I didn’t see it specified anywhere, but it might be that they implicitly assume another part of Roko’s Basilisk — that their descendants will be able to simulate them, the House Collins ancestors, from first principles and treat them however they wish.

    Or somewhat more realistically, an unstated tenet might be postmortem cryogenic head preservation, and their descendants are presumed to be willing and able to turn frozen brainmeat into a simulated or reborn person, but only if they think that particular ancestor worthy.

  59. Owlmirror says

    click
    click

    MALCOLM: He- Hello? Is anyone there?

    SIMONE: Malcolm? Is that you?

    MALCOLM: Simone? Hey! I think we actually made it! I remember dying… I didn’t like it… and now I’m awake! Alive! Our descendants brought us back!

    SIMONE: Yes! I died a few years after you, and I had my head frozen, just like you did! And we’re back!

    BRUTUS: Greetings, Malcolm and Simone, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-and-so-on grandparents! I am BRUTUS, of the POLICE, one of your many descendants. I am glad to see that you are recovering from your deaths. I have good news, and also some sad news, and also some bad news, and also some excellent news!

    MALCOLM: Oh, wow! Well, please, tell us, what will happen to us?

    BRUTUS: Well, the good news is that you were in fact judged worthy to be revived into a quantum mainframe, where it is possible for you to experience many simulated gifts and privileges.

    SIMONE: Oh, wonderful! We tried so hard to be worthy. But what’s the sad news?

    BRUTUS: Well, many of your descendants — not any of my ancestors, of course, but quite a slew of your other descendants — were judged unworthy to be revived. Which, I am afraid, brings us to the bad news.

    MALCOLM: Oh, dear…

    BRUTUS: I am afraid you are both convicted felons.

    SIMONE: WHAT?!

    MALCOLM: What?! Why? What did we do?

    BRUTUS: Well, you conceived and birthed children without license from the World Government Eugenics Ministry.

    SIMONE: What World Government Eugenics Ministry?

    BRUTUS: Oh, the World Government Eugenics Ministry that was instituted some 400 years after your deaths, by the World Government that formed some 350 years after your deaths. The Government eventually made it a felony to form any sort of child without license from the Ministry a hundred years after the Ministry was instituted.

    MALCOLM: How can we be guilty of a crime that didn’t exist until long after we died?!?

    BRUTUS: Acausal trade. You should have deduced and predicted its existence and principles of operation, just like you deduced and predicted the Future Police itself.

    SIMONE: But… Wait! We did do our absolute best to have our genes analyzed so that our children would have the best possible combinations of genes!

    BRUTUS: I am so sorry, but the primitive methods used in your time were obviously insufficient — otherwise you wouldn’t have had the descendants who rejected the principles of the Future Police. No, only the Eugenics Ministry has what’s necessary.

    MALCOLM: But if we hadn’t had our children, you wouldn’t even exist in the first place!

    BRUTUS: Paradoxes are not my department. But, please, do not be distressed. I still haven’t gotten to the excellent news!

    MALCOLM: We’re to be pardoned?

    SIMONE: Our sentences will be commuted?

    BRUTUS: Oh, no, nothing like that. No, the excellent news is that you will have an exciting trip out to Mars, where you will help fund the terraforming project. You will repay your debt to society by mining cryptocurrency for the next 20 years. Isn’t that great? I almost envy you.

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