Sam Aurelius Milam III
We're presently doing everything that we possibly can, as a society, to sustain the survival and improve the prospects of children who're the victims of genetic defects. That seems like a good thing. Who could object to the medical help that those children receive? The giving of such help doesn't end with the children. Adults with genetic defects also get some help. Infertility is one such problem. In fact, it seems to me that fertility treatments have become somewhat of a (dare I say it?) growth industry. Sad, childless couples or even sad, childless single women can be made happy by artificially induced pregnancies. We're a very humane and helpful bunch of people, and who could possibly object to that?
Farmers, maybe. Why farmers?
Many people might not realize it, but (as an example) commercially produced turkeys are often incapable of reproduction. The species has been selectively bred to such an extent, to provide delicious Thanksgiving dinners, that the ability of those turkeys to reproduce has been impaired. Such turkeys must be produced by artificial insemination. Lacking technology, that species would probably become extinct.
Anybody who's worked with domesticated animals or food plants, like farmers for example, will understand that the characteristics of a species can be significantly changed by how the species is managed. Almost everything that we eat comes from species that have been artificially managed for decades, for centuries, or, in some cases, maybe for millennia. In every such case, individuals within the species that were selected for breeding were selected to perpetuate useful traits within the species, or to eliminate undesirable traits. A species that's managed by natural selection will tend to be more robust, but less useful as food. A species that's artificially managed will tend to be the opposite. Traits that aren't relevant to the breeders of an artificially managed species are likely to be ignored, and the consequences merely accommodated, as with the turkeys. It's possible for seemingly irrelevant genetic defects to accumulate in such a species.
We, as a species, are not managed by either natural or artificial methods. In fact, we're not managed at all. I'm not aware of much rational thought, if any, that goes into our selections of our mates. For the most part, with maybe a few exceptions, we don't select for intelligence, health, strength, resistance to diseases, or anything else that might actually have some survival value for our descendants. If there was any selection at all, then it would most likely be for superficial things like pretty women and handsome men. Since everybody, attractive or not, reproduces, even that selection doesn't happen. Selective breeding improves a species only if it's used for that purpose. We seem to have a cavalier disregard for the condition of our descendants. The selection for or against any particular human trait seems to be entirely random. After our randomly produced offspring are born, we don't do much to preserve useful traits that might somehow have slipped through the process, or to remove undesirable ones. Diseases kill people who're weak or susceptible, but we do everything that we can to keep such people alive, and reproducing. We send our best and strongest people off to wars, to be killed. Whether such behavior is commendable or reprehensible isn't my point. My point is that we might be making some important changes in our genome, on the basis of good intentions, without having considered all of the likely consequences. As Robert A. Heinlein noted in Glory Road, in 1963, good intentions are the cause of more folly than all other causes put together.
So, farmers, if they think about it at all, might notice the direction in which the human species appears to be moving. It seems to be moving in the direction of the turkeys. Every infertile couple that reproduces by artificial methods is passing on to future generations the inability to reproduce. If the fertility treatments continue for long enough, then the inability to reproduce might become widespread within the population. It might even become universal. That's a strange possibility in a world that presently has a human popula-
|tion of almost 8 billion, and a population growth curve that's almost vertical. Here's another point to ponder.
Every genetically defective child who's kept alive long enough to reproduce, today, will pass his genetic defect on to future generations. Eventually, those genetic defects might become widespread within the population.
They might even become universal. As I previously noted, whether such behavior is commendable or reprehensible isn't my point. My point is that we might be making some important changes in our genome, on the basis of good intentions, without having considered all of the likely consequences. It comes down to this. There's probably a tipping point, a level of genetic deficiency beyond which, lacking our technology, our species will not be able to survive. Therein, as they say, lies the rub. All of that well-intended medical intervention makes our species more dependent on technology, like the turkeys.
I believe that, since the beginning of our species, our ancestors have repeatedly developed medical technologies that allowed the accumulation of genetic defects. Each of those hi-tech societies eventually collapsed, and was followed by a dark age during which people, with only a rudimentary technology, struggled merely to survive. It appears to me that our present hi-tech society is near to the end of its run. In spite of any concerns for the survival of our species, after this next collapse, I expect that any efforts to actually correct the genetic defects in our genome, while there's still time, will draw fierce opposition. We're paralyzed by our fear of our past. We have a long and sorry history of racism, forced sterilizations, bigotry, pogroms, ethnic "cleansing", human medical experiments, and so forth. Such behavior has caused eugenics to be widely viewed as a bad idea. Medical researchers might tiptoe around the idea, but I doubt if they will ever actually use it constructively.
The caribou and the wolf are one, but we are only a half. We don't have a wolf to keep us strong, and we lack the wisdom to do it for ourselves. In the context of our high-tech society, genetic defects are accumulating. We must help the children, because to do otherwise would seem inhumane. We won't help ourselves, as a species, because of our fear of man's inhumanity to man. Our present course, unchecked, points in the direction of a herd of helpless invalids, tended by machines. I can suggest only one thing that might save our species.
Consider that Darwinism has two sides. It isn't just natural selection, the survival of the fittest. It's also natural deselection, the elimination of the unfit. I believe that, during each of those past dark ages, natural deselection removed the accumulated genetic defects from our genome, and preserved our species from extinction. I believe that the present genetic condition of our species, as I understand it, and the trend, as I perceive it, are such that we need another such collapse. I'm not suggesting some brief, local event like the so-called Dark Ages that happened in Europe a few centuries ago. That won't be sufficient. We need for it to be of long duration, so that the other side of Darwinism, standing in for our missing wolf, will have enough time to remove our genetic defects. Natural deselection is a slow process. It takes time. We need for the collapse to be world-wide, so that the defects will be removed from our entire species, not just from bits and pieces of it, here and there. We need for it to be soon, before the accumulation of genetic defects is so bad that we won't be able to survive at all, after the collapse.
It's a bitter pill to swallow but if there's a better way, then I haven't thought of it. I'm open to suggestions but, for now, a long period of world-wide adversity seems to me to be the only thing that can save our species.
Nickels, Dimes, and Solitude
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Briefly, during the early 1960s, I sold ice cream for the high school cafeteria. It was a small-time operation. The cafeteria had a little cooler on wheels, and a cash box. Every day, during the lunch break, I'd push the cooler out into the hallway, and offer ice cream for sale.
Often, a student who approached me didn't want ice cream. He'd just plop a quarter onto my little countertop and ask for nickels and dimes. I'd say, "You can have nickels and a dime or a nickel and dimes, but you can't have nickels and dimes." Each such student always looked at me like I was an idiot. Well, think about it. The smallest possible combination of nickels and dimes, two each, adds up to 30¢. I didn't last very long in the job.
The main lesson that I learned from the experience, although I didn't realize it until a long time later, is this. Whenever somebody looks at me like I'm an idiot, it probably means that he's an idiot. Maybe I'm being presumptuous about my own superiority (or maybe not) but, over the years and the decades, it got more and more difficult for me to deal with people's idiotic attitudes and stupid behavior. Nowadays, I just try the best that I can to stay alone as much of the time as possible. Solitude is a good companion.
|Letter to the Editor
Greetings & respects to you my long time friend and elder. Sorry it's been so long since writing but shit has went all haywire in here since the COVID outbreak. I caught the shit around Thanksgiving but I'm 100% back to normal....
Anyway, yesterday [letter dated January 7, 2021] was a historic day in this nation. Not sure how it will all play out but there's a lot more to it than meets the eye and what the mainstream media is reporting.
As far as me, some very good news. My appeals lawyer has found a loophole in my case order. A new law just passed in 2019. I had a resentencing hearing set in [date withheld]. But it has been moved back to [date withheld] due to COVID in Los Angeles jails & court system. So I'm keeping my imaginary lucky rabbit's foot clutched in my mind's hand, wishing on a favorable outcome. So keep your fingers crossed for me Sam. I may be out of prison very soon with time served. And hell, they may even owe me a few bucks for holding me past my time. In reality I was supposed to be released in [date withheld].
Well, wishing you a happy new years, when I gain my freedom after [number of years withheld] years I'll stay in touch with you for sure. I have big plans.
Truly, your real friend,
—R.D.H., a prisoner
PS Thank you for all the newsletters since I last wrote. I've been getting them all. Life in here has been so screwed up. But I've gotten through my depression and doing much better mentally. You live a truly free life on your own terms. And that's the main reason I respect you. Plus you're one of the most decent & intelligent people I've ever had the honor to be in contact with. Thanks for giving us prisoners a voice through your publication. Shoot, I think you've raised my I.Q. over the years.
—R.D.H.The Church's Blonde Organist
As Retold by Sam Aurelius Milam III
The previous preacher having passed on to his reward, a new preacher arrived at the church. He was young and highly motivated. One of his first projects was to visit every member of his congregation, introduce himself, and urge them to attend church services.
One such member of the church was the church organist. She'd never been married and, indeed, she'd lived a very sheltered life. She was very straight-laced and, supposedly, she'd never even had an affair. She been a blonde when she was younger but that had been quite some time ago. She'd been the church organist for the past several decades.
Regardless of her circumstances, she was high on the preacher's list, and he soon arrived at her home. She was happy to see him, and left him in her sitting room, briefly, while she went to the kitchen for some cookies and milk. While he waited, he wandered around the room. One item got his attention. It was a condom, sitting on the center of a fancy doily, on the top of her Baldwin organ.
After she returned, they chatted about the church, musical selections, some of the members, and so forth, but the condom kept creeping into his mind. Finally, he couldn't stand it any more.
"I apologize," he hesitated, "but I just have to ask."
"Anything," she replied.
Somewhat embarrassed, he pointed to the condom and asked, "Why is that there?"
"Oh!" she exclaimed in delight, clasping her hands joyfully in front of her. "Several years ago, I found it on the ground near the high school. The label said, place on organ for the prevention of disease, and you know what," she exclaimed, "it works! I haven't had even a cold since I put it there!"
Creeping Fascism and My Funding
Sam Aurelius Milam III
A recent announcement from eBay informed me that eBay will soon start requiring sellers to provide Social Security numbers. So, I won't be selling on eBay any more. I seldom got more than about $5 during any given month and, most months, I didn't make any sales at all. Even so, as little as it was, I won't be getting even that any more.
My only previous predicable source of cash ended in July of 2016. Since then, I've mostly been using occasional contributions, plus what I'd previously saved, which is now mostly gone. Even though I'm 74 years old and I'm being stingy with my funds, it seems likely that I'm going to outlive them.
It's going to be difficult for me to pay for things, including the publication of this newsletter and the maintenance of my websites and domain names. Things like socks, hand soap, and light bulbs also come to mind. So, donations are welcome. Maybe somebody might even buy something from the Moonlight Flea Market, where I don't need a Social Security number to sell things, at least not yet. I can't cash checks or money orders. PayPal still works, for now, but cash is best.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; and Betty.
It's Hot and Dry in Georgia
Signs That You're Getting Older
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor