Science

I Love Living in the Future: (Un)Deaf Baby Edition

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Watch as doctors turn on the cochlear implant of an eight month old deaf baby:

That kid couldn't hear. Now he can. Holy moley. 

Via @amandahesser

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  1. Just like Rush Limbaugh!

  2. Before I click on the video, someone please tell me that it doesn’t involve an exploding head.

    1. No. It’s real. Pretty neat as well.

      1. This was on KPC yesterday.

        Not first

        1. Dear Reason: Thank you for not kicking me in the balls first thing in the morning.

  3. The only concern is that wide adaption of these devices would destroy deaf culture. That is why some deaf people want them banned.

    1. And the only problem with the 13th Amendment was that it destroyed the slave culture. Fuck deaf people who want to keep others from hearing.

      1. You know in truth, it didn’t destroy slave culture, it just moved it to the ghetto.

        A young man with his pants to the ground is a motherfucking slave to thug culture.

        1. It moved it to the can’t-get-a-job-with-that-degree departments of universities too. And the suburbs, don’t leave out the whiggers.

          1. Huh?

            1. “It moved it to the can’t-get-a-job-with-that-degree departments of universities too.”

              WTF does this mean? That people who can’t get jobs due to their degree being in hate studies are slaves? That makes no sense.

              1. I think Suki was referring to the leisure suits of the theory class.

                1. How does that in any way relate to the oppressed underclass?

                  1. Idealistic young people who have learned that cultural and economic equality is the summum bonum display their imagined solidarity with oppressed underclasses by appropriating their mannerisms, music, and apparel, though they rarely relocate to the sketchiest neighborhoods from the leafy suburbs of their upbringing.

                    Some enroll in university-departments that cultivate pursuits affordable only to individuals with leisure – hence the preserved designator “liberal arts” – which, especially in trendier/decadent manifestations, offer them a paucity of employment opportunities.

              2. Women’s studies, Literature, dead languages. Jesus, it isn’t rocket surgery!

                1. Hey, Professor, I was counting on an extension!

                2. That may be true, but to equate affluent poseurs with the poor kid who has to attempt learning in a shitty school with inadequate teachers is not even remotely comparable.

                  1. I think that was Suki’s instruction to the poseurs. But Suki can answer for himself!*

                    *mutters: He’s took mah jerb.

                  2. Pip,

                    Do you every hear that whoosh that we all hear right before *you* start typing?

          2. Thanks suki, that made my morning… I haven’t heard that word in over a decade….

            1. I thought it needed a comeback 🙂

    2. “Deaf culture”? Oh please. How evil can some people be? What about “blind culture” and “legless culture”? This “culture” jibber-jabber is nothing more than tribalism, and a particularly cruel and mean variant of it.

      1. I’d like to add that the video gave me the chills, in a good way. It’s reminiscent of the climactic scene in The Miracle Worker, when Helen Keller first grasps the concept of language. It’s a brain turning on.

        1. Can someone do that for MNG and Chony?

          1. Flipping the switch won’t do any good if there’s no bulb in the socket.

            1. Flipping the switch won’t do any good if there’s no bulb in the socket.

              Awsum!

        2. Does that mean the kid is a burgeoning socialist?

      2. The term is “stump culture” you legist.

        1. I thougth it was “crawly culture”

          1. They like to wear shirts that say “Damn Walkies”

    3. Washington Post magainze did a feature a few years ago about a deaf couple that purposely set out to have a deaf child.

      1. There’s an ethical Pandora’s Box for you. How would my fellow libs address that one? Right of the parents to create a disabled child, or child abuse? Discuss.

        1. We had that discussion here about 4 or 5 years ago regarding the ethics of having mentally-challenged babies. As I recall it got pretty damned nasty.

          1. So… what was the answer?

        2. Non-existence is the worst disability of all, so calling the procreation of a deaf child “child abuse” is ridiculous in the extreme. It’s the same canard trotted out by militant pro-choice people when dealing with mothers who choose to give birth to a disabled child rather than abort him or her.

          It is a little strange that they purposefully set out to have a deaf child, but they’re not causing the child to be deaf, nature is.

          1. Non-existence is the worst disability of all,

            The concept of disability presupposes the existence of that which is disabled. The non-existent can have neither disabilities or abilities – your statement is illogical.

            1. Right. It’s like that old anti-abortion tactic from the 60s that describes an aborted fetus who–surprise!–turns out to be Beethoven. “You killed Beethoven!” Uh, no. If he had never been born, there would have been a Beethoven.

              1. Never would have, that is. But you comprehend my potato.

                1. So, the fetus that eventually grew into the man who wrote all those symphonies wasn’t Beethoven?

                  If so, when did not-Beethoven transform into Beethoven?

                  1. It was Hypothetical Beethoven. He was aborted before he could get to those symphonies. So society missed out on all that great music that they didn’t really miss out on because Beethoven was never aborted, but if he had been, Western civilization would have been all the poorer for missing out on the music that never existed.

                  2. When he became biologically capable of possessing the one essential or defining attribute that makes him a human being, ie. a mind.

              2. That particular argument is so bad that it really annoys me. For every Beethoven or Einstein you abort, you also abort a Stalin or Hitler. Who’s to say we don’t come out ahead?

                1. Stalin and Hitler were only able to do their evil deeds because they were helped by many others. If you abort them you really don’t solve the problem.

                  On the other hand, Beethoven’s and Einstein’s accomplishments would never have happened were it not for them. So aborting them represents a real and irreplaceable loss.

            2. Sorry, I’m on Anselm’s side of that particular debate, you filthy Kantian. Once you form the concept of something, it can have attributes, whether it exists or not.

              For instance, I can say with complete confidence that a seven-foot tall chain-smoking frog that plays the piano is able to survive underwater for long periods. The fact that such a creature does not exist does not preclude it from having attributes, such as abilities or disabilities.

              1. Chain-smoking is incompatible with the long dives, just sayin’.

              2. and forming the concept is the pre-requisite to the movie script. 🙂

                Do fictional characters, i.e., ideas, not have influence in the real world of existence? An entire bureaucracy of nannies seems to think they do. e.g., MPAA

              3. Once you form the concept of something, it can have attributes, whether it exists or not.

                Yes. However, there can be no attributes without something which possesses them, even if it’s only the concept of something that does not exist.

                1. As in snubness requiring a nose.

                  Or is that ontologically oppressive?

                2. I form the concept of a deaf child of two deaf parents; whether that concept represents an existing-in-the-real-world child, or it does not, is a perfectly reasonable attribute to pin on it.

      2. Yeah. Those people are crazy cruel fucks. I didn’t think tribal liberalism could get any sicker after I read that article.

      3. I don’t recall a couple actually setting out to have a deaf child, but I’m pretty sure I saw an article about a couple who refused to get treatment that could have cured their child’s deafness. And, yess, the concept of “deaf culture” was mentioned.

        I’ve forgotten if ether or both of the parents were deaf too but I definitely remember thinking they were fucking sick.

        1. Two deaf lesbians specifically sought a sperm donor with a history of deafness in his family to increase the chances of their son being deaf. It worked.

          1. Miserable goddamned bitches.

          2. Being deaf wasn’t their only disability. Why didn’t the miserable bitches do it up right and take some thalidomide to give the kid a really great life?

        2. There are cases of parents who are both dwarfs using genetic diagnosis to specifically conceive a child who is also a dwarf.

          1. DAMN YOU BIG DWARF!

        3. If it’s a case where the treatment can be done later in life (ie, age 18) with similar results, I don’t see a problem with that. I’m extremely leery of having the state require parents to have elective medical treatments done on their children.

          1. The results would be far poorer if done at age 18 as the brain would now be near full development. The part of the brain that’s used for hearing, lacking auditory stimulus for 18 years would not be at all developed. Might as well implant the thing up his ass.

          2. Unfortunately, debate cannot be resolved by letting the child choose at maturity. There’s a critical period after which cerebral pathways of hearing cannot develop. The best time is before age 7. It varies depending on who you read, but after age 12, response rates to cochlear implant drop off.

            Here’s one study:
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/s…..554bbaadaa

            It’s great to see that kid orient to his mom’s voice.

    4. After watching that video, I can’t see any reason to deny babies this technology. Look how happy he is, it is the way he should be.

      I merely felt sorry for deaf people who wanted to deny this technology before, but now I feel their position is truly monstrous.

    5. Are you serious? There are actually people who want to ban these things? That’s sick.

      Anyway, these implants don’t work for everyone, so deaf culture fetishists need not fear.

      I’m not deaf, but I am hard of hearing due to the effects of a massive amount of antibiotics I was put on as an infant to prevent me from dying. I believe that my audiologist said that cochlear implants won’t work on me.

      1. Sorry to hear that.
        It’s frightening watching pediatricians give gentamicin to babies with meningitis because you may not know for years the damage to their hearing.

  4. Not to worry about the ethics of eliminating deafness. Under Obamacare, there won’t be a positive business for providing cochlear implants to deaf babies. Teaching them sign language will be much cheaper.

    1. And ever so rewarding for the social workers.

    2. Let me be clear. The time for cochlear implants has passed. We can no longer afford the unchecked auditory greed of deaf babies and their parents.

      1. I hazn’t get inplant?

        1. Only eggplant for you.

      2. Who is your nomination for Handicapper General?

        1. This guy:

          http://images.starpulse.com/Ph…..es-p12.jpg

  5. such a beautiful thing. Balko must have something truly evil to post later.

    1. The calm before the storm…

    2. Really stunning when the baby smiles and laughes.

      1. you can see the moment when he hears for the first time. i was awestruck.

    3. Psychological warfare of the media.

  6. beautiful…thanks for making my day start off with a smile KMW!

  7. OK, somebody has to say it: AWWWWWWW!!!
    CUTE!!!

    1. We’re in agreement then?

      1. And it wasn’t even a kitten!

      2. Ja…It made my day.

  8. If I could give my kids superhuman powers and greater chances of survival, I would.

    1. Let the offspring arms race begin.

      1. Exactly.

        1. If teenage boys had X-ray vision, in short order all of our hot women would be dead of radiation poisoning.

          1. SURVIVAL OF THE FINEST.

          2. Opportunities in the lead undergarment business would explode.

            1. Oncologist: “How” is the strangest thing about this, Miss Lane. It’s as if massive amounts of X-rays have been focused on your cooter for years…

          3. Hold on…..could this be a possible explanation for the prevalence of breast cancer?

        2. The hell you will. My kids have got a two day head start on you, which is more than they need. They’ve got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, they speak a dozen languages, know every local custom, they’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see them again. With any luck, they’ve got the grail already.

          1. Your kids got lost in their own backyard. In Queens.

            1. Oh wait, is that Last Crusade?

              1. Does anyone here speak English?

  9. I didn’t think tribal liberalism could get any sicker after I read that article.

    I remember thinking at the time that their insistence on creating a fucked?up baby was psychologically like breeding a pet/hostage?like a socially acceptable version of those dudes who imprison their daughters in a shack out back and make incest babies with them, with the full knowledge and cooperation of their wives, or parents who keep their kids in a cellar, forcibly retarded.

    I didn’t relate the sickness of it to “liberalism,” though obviously the hostage-breeders weren’t big on individual autonomy. But it is related. It’s the welfare state shrunk down to family size.

    1. This is vaguely like sending your kid to an inferior university just because you went there and don’t want your kids rooting against your school’s sports programs. Stupid.

    2. Well, that’s what we get for lying to people to make them feel better about themselves, and to justify asinine laws.

      We have told handicapped people for a couple of decades now that they’re not really disabled, just “different”. And we’ve told them that when employers don’t want them, it’s not a sensible response to their decreased capacity to fucking do things, but evil “discrimination”.

      The absolutely natural conclusion to draw from that is that deafness or blindness or non-leg-ness is just a “mode of being” and not actually a harm.

      And having concluded that, making your child deaf is just a “cultural choice”.

      There is no way to unring that bell without dialing all the way back to “Wow, it really sucks to be handicapped.” And if that makes people feel bad about themselves, those are the breaks.

      1. +1. That is exactly right. It used to be we looked at being handicapped as the tragedy it is. But now we have this bullshit myth that it is just as cool to be a guy in a wheelchair doing a marathon as someone running on two legs. And if you believe that, why wouldn’t you view curing disability and with that ending the culture of disabled people as a bad thing?

      2. We have told handicapped people for a couple of decades now that they’re not really disabled, just “different”.

        We’re here, we’re queer, and if we want to raise gay babies, you can’t stop us!

        1. Nobody I know in the gay community seeks to raise gay babies. While accepting of gay children, we know firsthand the futility and evil of trying to change people. We also know it’s much easier to grow up straight than gay, even in the relative tolerance of contemporary America.

          So, epic fail.

          1. Nobody I know in the gay community seeks to raise gay babies. While accepting of gay children, we know firsthand the futility and evil of trying to change people

            Raising a gay baby (nurture) is different than having a gay baby — or a baby with a gay gene (nature).

            If it isn’t a choice(which I believe), and one’s sexuality is determined at birth — if you could identify a gene that would make your baby gay –how is that different than other “designer baby” traits that people can choose like gender, eye color, hair color, etc?

            1. Wouldn’t a gay gene be eliminated over time by natural selection, just like any trait that reduces the chance of reproduction?

              1. Yes, if there were such a thing. But there isn’t. And I was kidding, of course, about raising gay babies. How could my behavior and sexuality have any bearing whatsoever on how my child learns about and emulates masculinity?

                1. And your credentials to make that statement about gay genes are what, exactly?

                  Better question, why are the children of gay parents overwhelmingly straight?

                  1. And why are gay adults overwhelmingly the product of straight households?

                  2. because they are adopted mostly?

                  3. Better question, why are the children of gay parents overwhelmingly straight?

                    I’d say that the sample group is too small, over too short a period of time, to conclude anything about children who grow up with two gay parents. It’s a relatively new phenomenon. But kids do learn all kinds of behavioral cues from their parents, so…

              2. Wouldn’t a gay gene be eliminated over time by natural selection, just like any trait that reduces the chance of reproduction?

                If that’s the case, wouldn’t there be less gay people now , rather than more gay people, compared to the past?

                I suppose one could argue that in the past there were more gay people but it was much more taboo and repressed/”in the closet”. But I dunno how likely that is.

                1. There’s a theory out there that basically says that gay genes ( not saying they exist just reporting) are propogated in human societies because gay people have to marry (the opposite sex)to avoid persecution.
                  There is a thriving gay community in Saudia Arabia. I think this wis reported in Discover or maybe The Atlantic.

                  1. There’s a theory out there that basically says that gay genes ( not saying they exist just reporting) are propogated in human societies because gay people have to marry (the opposite sex)to avoid persecution.
                    There is a thriving gay community in Saudia Arabia. I think this wis reported in Discover or maybe The Atlantic.

                    That theory sounds reasonable, but I would imagine that over time, in the US (or places where homosexuality is tolerated much more) wouldn’t we see the gay gene (if it exists) fading away?

                  2. Linky, please. And it’s not that I’m doubting you (though I am), so much as I’m curious especially about the “thriving” and “community” parts. You realize that they behead people like me in places like that for the crime of being gay, right?

                    1. Don’t say I never done nothing for ya:

                      http://www.theatlantic.com/mag…..oset/5774/

                    2. That article doesn’t address the genetic theory, sorry can’t recall where I read it.

                2. Wouldn’t a gay gene be eliminated over time by natural selection, just like any trait that reduces the chance of reproduction?

                  Not really, if having a gay aunt or uncle increased a child’s chance of survival until they were able to breed. In that case, since the child shares 25% of the genes of the gay aunt/uncle, there is a chance that the gay gene will be passed on. Perhaps there is a “carrier” status of gayness, and it’s only exhibited when both parents have it?

                  This, of course, is beside the fact that gay people throughout history have mated with the opposite sex.

                  1. And my understanding isn’t that it’s a complicated interaction between an alleged potential-gay gene and in-utero hormones; in other words the mother inherits the genetic predisposition to produce gay babies.

                    1. “is” not “isn’t”

                      Stupid Iszs.

                    2. Really? I never heard that before. Thanks!

                    3. The Wikipedia article on Gay Gene is a good place to start…

                  2. If a dude can get it up hard and long enough to impregnate a woman, I have to question whether he is actually gay.

                    1. huhuhuhuhuhuhuh…hard…huhuhuhuh….long…huhuhuhuhuh

              3. Not necessarily. It could work like sickle cell where inheritung a copy of the gene from one parent is a huge benefit (malaria resistance for sickle cell), but inheriting a copy from both parents is doom.

              4. not if it’s recessive
                Hypothetically, a man with a dominant straight gene could pass on the recessive gay one to 20 kids if he wanted to.

      3. Well put, Fluffy.

    3. When I read about those twisted fucks, all I could think of was that when that kid grows up, I hope that he blinds the both of them and then tells them, in Braille, to learn to embrace the visually impaired culture.

  10. So, when that Jesus guy was going around causing the blind to see and the lame to walk, he was actually oppressing “Blind Culture” and “Lame Culture”? Evil Jesus! Not to mention, “Leprosy Culture” and “Dead Culture”.

    1. There’s so much about Jesus that people just let slide.

  11. By the way, that video is great. How awesome that we can help a child overcome a disability with technology!

    1. Technology > (insert favorite deity here)

      1. “Islam will go. It will vanish and shrink? I’m more popular than Muhammad now ? I don’t know which will go first, pop music or Islam.”

        1. Yeah, I was more popular than Jesus Christ once.

          1. Now you’re just as dead as Jesus.

          2. No you weren’t! John Lennon of The Beatles might have been, but you, John Lenon (whoever you are) were not.

            1. I am the walrus.

              1. cucukachoo!

                1. Tsk-tsk. It’s goo-goo-ga-joob. But you knew that.

              2. Shut the fuck up Donny

              3. When I see Paul these days I think of how better the world would be if the 1966 death rumor were true.

                1. What do you mean “rumor”?

                  I BURIED PAUL

        2. Is Miley Cyrus converting to Islam?
          I just turned on CNN and it said something about her Uncle taking her to a Mosque in secret. I normally wouldn’t believe something like this, but it was on CN freaking N. And I turned on Fox, and they said they were going to discuss it on Bill O’reilly….. I’m kind of scared.

          1. Are you scared because we might never get to see her naked? It’s a race against time! Don’t do it, Hannah Montana!

  12. When developed cochlear implants were not cost effective. Obamacare would have precluded their developemnt. Deafness is not life threatening so it would be considered a waste of taxpayer dollars to do the R&D, clinical trial etc.

  13. Under Obama care :

    Doctors turn on implant of 38 year old deaf baby.

  14. Under Obama care :

    Doctors turn on implant of 38 year old deaf baby each other.

    FIFY

    1. At first I read “turn on” there as in, like, sexually arouse. That was weird for a minute.

  15. In April, a group of Mississippi citizens, including Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, filed the first private class-action suit to challenge the Obama health-care law. The complaint cites all the legal precedents one would expect, but there is one big surprise: Roe v. Wade.

    That’s right: The 1973 Supreme Court decision declaring a woman’s right to an abortion could be a key weapon against Obamacare. The Mississippi lawsuit (Bryant et al. v. Holder) is the first to highlight the inherent contradiction between the new law’s individual mandate and the “zone of privacy” first introduced in Roe.

    http://article.nationalreview……m-freedman

    1. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Court described Roe as a rule of “personal autonomy” that protects all “intimate and personal choices . . . central to personal dignity” in matters “fundamentally affecting a person.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has argued that abortion restrictions violate the constitutional principle that the law cannot treat a woman “as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.” Consistent with these broad principles, courts have held that the right to privacy includes, for example, the right to refuse medical treatment ? even life-saving treatment ? and the right to access acupuncture services.

      1. and the right to access acupuncture services

        … But not potentially life saving, but not yet FDA approved treatments for the terminally ill.

        That is a cognitive dissonance.

  16. There is an amazing documentary, called The Sound and the Fury, about the debate in the deaf community over cochlear implants.

    It covers all the issues of destroying deaf culture, ghetto-ization of the deaf, etc., and is all the more compelling because it involves a family with two deaf children. The kids are cousins, and one set of parents goes for the implant while the other set (both deaf) do not.

    It’s well worth the rental.

    1. Gotta be better that the William Faulkner novel. What a piece of shit.

      1. I agree. That book sucked.

        1. If you’re illiterate and stupid.

    2. Oops, the title is just Sound and Fury, without the the’s. No wonder I couldn’t find it in IMDB the first time I searched for it.

    3. This is a fantastic movie and does a great job of describing the debate. I seem to recall not liking how kidnly it treated the anti-implant pro-deaf-culture side of the story, but that may just be my bias…

  17. Wow, that’s really good. I’m verklempt.

  18. If this video doesn’t make you smile, you need to be punched in the face, repeatedly.

    1. Being punched in the face repeatedly makes people smile?

  19. My sister has one of these things. They are amazing — most people can’t tell she’s deaf. She was the first child implanted after the FDA approved it for use in children. That was in 1989 or 1990. The video was practically the same as this one… why is KMW posting 20 year old news?

    1. Dude, it’s H&R, the Daily Nutpunch blog. You take the good news where you can get it.

  20. If there’s one thing I won’t tolerate, it’s competition.

  21. Would libertarians support surgery that made a black baby white? Would you support gene therapy to make a homosexual baby be attracted to members of the opposite sex?

    1. I, for one, would support therapies to identify trolls in utero so they can be aborted. Trolls shouldn’t have to be born into a life of suffering and stupidity. I’d pity people like you if you didn’t try and spread your problems around.

      Find somewhere else to jack off, Dan.

      1. I dunno,

        I think these are somewhat legit questions.

        Is there a line?

        If they identified a gay gene or a skin pigment gene, and parents could choose to alter it — should the have that choice?

        I haven’t given it enough thought to speak intelligently, but it is an interesting (albeit somewhat uncomfortable) question.

        1. They don’t like thought around this place. All I did was ask a couple of innocent questions and they virtually grabbed me by the wrist and demanded to know who I was.

          1. They don’t like thought around this place

            It’s not thought…it’s that the troll sensors are set to highly sensitive.

            I don’t think those questions were trolling at all, I think they are rather relevant and interesting to the topic at hand, especially since Ron Bailey often posts stuff that is pro-designer baby (and I don’t mean that to be derogatory, I just don’t have a better way phrasing it)

            1. So, you can’t see the difference between having a physical disability and having black skin?

              Are you suggesting that, say, black people lack something important that white people have? The way deaf people lack, oh THE ABILITY TO HEAR SOUND?

              OK, well, white guys don’t have rhythm, I suppose.

              1. White guys can’t jump either.

              2. “So, you can’t see the difference between having a physical disability and having black skin?”

                Being black is effectively a social disability, so there is that.

              3. Deaf people, unlike hearing people, are able to work productively when surrounded by loud noises.

            2. CT, they may well be interesting philosophical questions, but HH has a history of trolling and odds are that his questions were intended to provoke irritation rather than contemplation.

          2. Don’t be his porn.

        2. CT, I’m fine with the questions, but not their use as a stalking horse for a dumbass troll. It’s just Dan T. being a prick again.

          As for the question… I don’t have a problem with it as long as the “tampering” could be an actionable tort on the part of the child when they reach the age of majority. If they can prove damages to their person.

          But, on the other hand… what kind of self-ownership rights do you have before you are even created?

          And, can it not be argued that being white or straight in order society ultimately a benefit? The more provocative question is white parents producing a black child in what is still considered a racist society, or a straight couple making a gay baby in a homophobic society. They both carry heavy negatives, almost on the scale of purposely produced a physically or mentally handicapped child.

          1. *in our society ultimately be considered*

            Sigh.

          2. As for the question… I don’t have a problem with it as long as the “tampering” could be an actionable tort on the part of the child when they reach the age of majority. If they can prove damages to their person.

            There would have to be damages right? What kind of damages could one get to claim if they are “tampered” with? How would you prove damages by being made gay or black or whatever when gays/black/whatever successful members of society already exist.

            I don’t think making one black or gay would be anywhere in the same ballpark with making one less intelligent or handicapped.

            And, can it not be argued that being white or straight in order society ultimately a benefit? The more provocative question is white parents producing a black child in what is still considered a racist society, or a straight couple making a gay baby in a homophobic society. They both carry heavy negatives, almost on the scale of purposely produced a physically or mentally handicapped child.

            One could argue that, but is it a valid argument? Is being white inherently superior to being black — assuming all other environmental things are equal ? Is it inherently superior to be straight vs gay?

            I would tread carefully here. This is a bit of a slippery slope, I think.

            If the assumption is that being white and straight is superior than being non-white or gay in our society, than that pretty much opens the door to affirmative action and protected classes.

            We agree that society isn’t monolithic and attitudes vary between people, right? If that’s the case, then I would be hard pressed to see how making a child gay or black or whatever inherently is a “negative” thing.

            I dunno…it’s an interesting subject and I don’t know if I am smart enough to speak authoritatively about it.

            1. What kind of damages could one get to claim if they are “tampered” with? How would you prove damages by being made gay or black or whatever when gays/black/whatever successful members of society already exist.

              How can it be argued by so many people that racism/homophobia is so rampant “when gays/black/whatever successful members of society already exist”?

              If there is no economic downside to being black/gay, then the arguments for racism evaporate down to controlling people opinions. If there are downsides, then the argument should be “Why aren’t black people attempting to have their children be made white?” Are they not deliberately crippling their children (economically, at least)? And what’s the suicide rates for gay teens? Why are you risking having children with such a high incidence of suicide?

              Thorny goddamn problems, and much more interesting than Dan’s feeble attempt to call us all racist homophobes.

              Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have much of a problem with germ-line manipulation, because the vast majority of people would do it to make their offspring “better.” And that’s because the vast majority of people don’t want their child to have a deliberate deficiency. It’s just that “better” can mean some pretty ugly things when you get down to it.

              ————-

              Now, to the torts… I was thinking more of the deliberate creation of a deaf child. There are economic calculations to decide damages for someone deafened, blinded, and maimed in an accident. Those formulas could be applied.

              1. If there is no economic downside to being black/gay, then the arguments for racism evaporate down to controlling people opinions. If there are downsides, then the argument should be “Why aren’t black people attempting to have their children be made white?” Are they not deliberately crippling their children (economically, at least)? And what’s the suicide rates for gay teens? Why are you risking having children with such a high incidence of suicide?

                You see, I think these are totally different.

                With color or with sexual preference, all you’re really “protecting” the child from is the bad opinion of others, which can’t really be properly predicted, can change with fashion, etc. And you have no way to know if your kid will end up with the good opinion of others no matter what you do.

                Hearing is different. Sight is different. If you make your kid deaf, he can’t motherfucking hear.

                It’s the difference between enrolling your child in a church that isn’t looked on favorably by the majority [or a synagogue] and chopping off their hand.

                1. I’m with you, Fluffy. Just indulging in a little reductio ad absurdum.

                2. What about ordering a boy who is tall, or a girl who has big breasts, blond hair and blue eyes? I can guarantee those are going to be the majority of genetic manipulations that parents are going to want. And they’re certainly done with the reactions of other people in mind.

                  It’s a sad thing to say, but I seriously don’t think the residual racism that exists today is a “fashion” that’s going to ameliorate during the lifespan of any child born in the next 20 years. It’s not like pointy collars.

              2. Now, to the torts

                On the torts topic I think you are correct.

                I was talking about the skin color/sexuality issue because I think if a parent chooses to make a child deaf, that is much easily more actionable. Making a child black or gay makes things more complicated as there are lots of other factors that need to be taken into account.

                If there is no economic downside to being black/gay, then the arguments for racism evaporate down to controlling people opinions. If there are downsides, then the argument should be “Why aren’t black people attempting to have their children be made white?” Are they not deliberately crippling their children (economically, at least)? And what’s the suicide rates for gay teens? Why are you risking having children with such a high incidence of suicide?

                Interesting.

                I can’t say I see an INHERENT economic downside to being black or gay (or whatever) — I think there are lots of external environmental factors that are much more relevant than just skin color or sexuality.

                Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have much of a problem with germ-line manipulation, because the vast majority of people would do it to make their offspring “better.” And that’s because the vast majority of people don’t want their child to have a deliberate deficiency. It’s just that “better” can mean some pretty ugly things when you get down to it.

                My thoughts are rather in-line with yours in this case.

                It’s a fine line. Parents want to make their child “better” but who is to say that when that child grows up (s)he may hate/regret the choices the parent has made. That child had no say, and is basically is beholden to the choices the parents made.

                Now one could say that parents already make these choices when choosing mates/breeding partners, but those choices still tend to be more random than the custom baby genetic manipulation. (I may choose a mate with features I like but recessive genes can still come through etc)

                Thorny issues indeed.

          3. “I don’t have a problem with it as long as the “tampering” could be an actionable tort on the part of the child when they reach the age of majority. If they can prove damages to their person.”

            I disagree. I think parents have long been assumed, rightly, to have a right to choose what DNA goes into making their kids. I mean, if I get skin cancer, I shouldn’t be able to sue my Dad for dmages, even though he chose to marry a pale-skinned german woman instead of a nice italinan girl, thus dooming me to spend my life hiding from the sun like a vampire. I don’t think that that right goes away just because science gives them more control over the choice now. This is getting into anti-miscegenation-law territory.

        3. I would say that changing the skin color or sexual preference of your offspring doesn’t create demonstrable harm, in the way that trying to purposefully make your kid deaf or blind or legless would.

          Just as we let parents give their children milk to drink, but consider them criminals if they poison their children, I think we should allow parents to make their children white if they want [or black or striped or whatever] but not deaf.

          1. If parents actually go in and disable their children’s ability to hear or see, that’s a totally different matter from simply refusing to have surgery done that removes this disability. Deafening or blinding your child should obviously be a criminal offense; allowing your child to remain blind or deaf when there is technology to remedy this isn’t such a clear-cut case.

        4. Proof of trolliness, asking the questions without providing an answer himself. Only I can play that game. And I was pretty much just trolling Greece. IMO, Athens had the appropriate punishment for trolls.

          1. Yes, Socrates was an early trollosopher. Though not the earliest.

    2. No. Now begone, troll.

    3. Hello, you must be new here. My name is Rethug and over there is Epi, SF, Jsub, Warty, John… well you’ll meet everyone later. We hope you enjoy your time at this blog and wish you come back often. But to answer your question libertarians support people making their own choices when no harm comes to others, since neither option would cause harm to another being libertarnias would be okay with it. Now if you said “Do libertarians support a surgery that would make your child have Progeria” that would be a more interesting (and far sicker) question.

    4. LIBERTARIANS ONLY SUPPORT SURGERY THAT LEADS TO BABY GROWING LARGE FIRM BREASTS AND SUPPLE HIPS. ESPECIALLY IF THE BABY IS FEMALE.

    5. Would libertarians support surgery that made a black baby white? Would you support gene therapy to make a homosexual baby be attracted to members of the opposite sex?

      What do you mean, “support”?

      I wouldn’t support a ban on them.

      I wouldn’t support making them mandatory.

      I wouldn’t support public financing for them.

      1. That’s it, right there, Mr. Dean.

        For the average person, if you don’t fervently call for the cessation of someone else’s behavior(gun in hand with the glaze-eyed look of pseudo-religous devotion), then you condone, support, and explicitly endorse said behavior.

    6. Yes, if that’s what the parents decided without being coerced into making the decision with force or fraud, and if they paid for it themselves. Under the same conditions, we would also support gene therapy that made a normal baby grow up to be hulk-sized and green, under the same conditions.

    7. Because being black or gay is just like being deaf, blind, handicapped, or ,maybe even mentally retarded.

  22. “Would libertarians support surgery that made a black baby white?”

    Quick show of hands — How many of you loved Michael Jackson?

    1. BTW, I’d be fine with that but something tells me the opposition would be coming from the likes of Al and Jesse.

    2. The black singer or the white singer? Or the beer writer?

      1. There is only one Michael Jackson – the beer writer. Okay, the basketball player from Georgetown too. But thats it.

    3. See unfair comparison. Michaal Jackson really was mentally deficient.

  23. This is why good writers get paid for what they do. From the outstanding headline about living in the future to the wonderfully minimalist tagline, this brief post perfectly frames the video. Well done.

    1. You can say that again…

  24. This is why good writers get paid for what they do. From the outstanding headline about living in the future to the wonderfully minimalist tagline, this brief post perfectly frames the video. Well done.

  25. I find it grotesquely racist that some people are suggesting that blackness or gayness is comparable to deafness.

    Deafness is an actual physical handicap that objectivly limits people’s ability to perform many tasks that other normal humans can do.

    Comparing skin color to deafness suggests you think African Americans are in some way abnormal or physically/mentally inferior to whites.

    1. I find it grotesquely racist that some people are suggesting that blackness or gayness is comparable to deafness.

      I dont think most people are comparing it to a physical handicap.

      What we are doing is discussing the moral/ethical implication of allowing people to do so.

      Personally I would find it abhorrent to make a child deaf on purpose. Making a child gay on the other hand isn’t as cut and dried.

      For me at least, the question is more about should there be a line, and where should that line be drawn if there should be one?

      Should homophobic parents be able to guarantee that their kid wont be gay?

      Should white parents be able to make their child black and vice versa?

      Should there be any limit to the choices parents can make genetically about their offspring (since the offspring dont have a choice in the matter and may not like the decision that was made?)

      1. I dont think most people are comparing it to a physical handicap.

        What we are doing is discussing the moral/ethical implication of allowing people to do so.

        Aren’t the moral/ethical implications supposed to be proportional to the severity of the act under consideration?

      2. The line is pretty clear to me. Is being X a physical handicap or not?

        If yes, then you’re harming the child and it should be illegal. If no, then you aren’t.

        I don’t think many people would argue that being gay is a physical handicap.

    2. I find it grotesquely racist that some people are suggesting that blackness or gayness is comparable to deafness.

      I wanted to add though, that being handicapped in the USA at least give you protected class status and protection from discrimination. Being gay does not.

      So there is to a certain degree an advantage to not being gay.

      1. “being handicapped in the USA at least give you protected class status and protection from discrimination. Being gay does not”

        Bullshit. My lesbian sister has legal protections from discrimination in housing, lending, employment, incorporation, adoption, etc.

        1. There is no federal statute against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

          Some states and localities have such ordinances, though.

          1. There is no federal statute against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

            There is based on sex.
            Lesbian ,sister = woman.
            A Federally protected class.

  26. The video made me tear up a little bit. I don’t really have anything else to add, except that I think it’s awesome we have the ability to do this.

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