Ideas have consequences...some consequences of ideas are unpleasant, but that does not prove the idea to be false.

Here is an idea...

There are some people (A)who have convinced large numbers of other people (B) that a certain group of still other people (C) that group `C` people aren`t really human. The consequences have been catastrophic for group `C`.

For example, Group A, the Nazi Party convinced Group B, the German public, that Group C (Jews, gypsies, gays, the handicapped) were sub-human...you know the rest of the story.

Another example, people were convinced that blacks were sub-human...

Still another...Group A (PETA, Planned Parenthood) have convinced Group B (media, too many politicians) that Group C (pre-born children) are sub-human...

Another idea...

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to plan cities around the automobile...the consequences have been far reaching. Let me start a list.

-over-reliance on oil
-increased global warming
-alienation from nature and each other

Please add your own...its lunch time.


Laurel-Anne said...

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to plan cities around the automobile...the consequences have been far reaching. Let me start a list.

-over-reliance on oil Agreed
-increased global warming Are you sure?
-alienation from nature and each other Agreed

I'm not saying I disagree with the part about autos increasing global warming, but neither am I totally convinced.

This idea has also possibly led to lower activity levels/poorer health, more vehicular accidents (including so-called road rage incidents and DUI), higher taxes for road maintenance, higher taxes for policing, higher stress levels = unknown number of health issues…

sans auto said...

Someone thought it would be a good idea to call them "technological advances" when in fact they:
-made me forget my own phone number because it's on speed dial
-tune out nature as I pump music into my ears
-don't spend time with family, except in front of the TV
They're only advances when they improve conditions. Our overreliance is devastating to society.

Laurel-Anne said...

Someone in North America had the idea that pregnancy/childbirth are medical conditions requiring physicians and hospitals. As a result, midwifery was outlawed and infant mortality rates and medical intervention rates both increased.

Someone decided that it was the government's job to educate the children and forced parents to send their children to school. Literacy rates fell, and families began to disintegrate.

Kelly said...

Those are pretty fantastic statements LA, :-o
considering that 100-150 years ago (maybe less?) close to half of all women died in childbirth or complications afterwards( and they probably all used mid-wives)...Now (with hospitals and doctors...and educated midwives) the mortality rate is less than 1%...(so I read somewhere when I was pregnant with Mixon)
Also, midwives do rely pretty heavily on medicine/hospitals. They have good education themselves (thank-goodness the government made them go to school!) and if something goes "wrong" they are linked pretty closely with a hospital to get you there asap.
I DO agree, however, that there are aspects of childbirth that could be improved by being made less "clinical"...and it would ease the burden on the hospitals themselves to have "educated" mid-wives working diligently in cooperation with them.

Also, the fact that the gov't made it law for kids to go to school...outdated thought the law may be...came at a time when it was a great advancement to have universal education...everyone had a chance to get educated...rich or poor. I would also argue that the disintegration of the family has many other contributing factors.

btw Both my children have always gone to school and we are quite a close family. (Not that we haven't (or still aren't) considering home-schooling ;-))

Vertigo said...


I`d be shocked and amazed if the amount of CO and CO2 that we have pumped into our air has had no effect on the current warming trend. I wouldn`t go so far as to say that we are the only cause, but I think it somewhat naive to think that our fossil fuel based activities are ecologically benign

Laurel-Anne said...

Kelly - 50%?? That's a pretty fantastic number ;-) How did we survive? I'm just repeating what I was told - whatever the rates were at the time, it increased when the doctors took over. The doctors have gotten better, and so have midwives. Did you know that in some (many?) European countries GPs are not covered by their malpractice insurance if they attend a birth without a midwife?
I'm glad midwifery is making a comeback. As far as I know (which isn't very far) the numbers for intervention rates are more significant than the numbers for mortality. Intervention meaning c-section, induction, forceps, vacuum extraction etc. I'm pretty sure these are more prevalent with doctors than midwives and they can all increase the risk of complications. Sometimes they are necessary, but I think they are used more than necessary. (ex. When C was born, PG hospital had a c-section rate of about 20%, while my midwife's rate was about 11%. She considered 11% to be high, but said she was sure they were all necessary. She aims for 6%.)

I think the mistake in the whole compulsory school question was equating school with education. Before compulsory attendance laws, 98% of the US population was literate, and since then it has never exceeded 91% (Gatto,1990). I agree that family disintegration has many causes, but I don't think school can be ruled out as one of them. I admire your family and the close ties you have formed. I believe that children can thrive in almost any situation as long as they know they are loved and valued, and school certainly isn't the worst place they could be.

I hesitated (only for a minute, though) to mention either of these ideas, because they certainly aren't on the same level as the Holocaust, abortion or global warming, but they're important to me, and you seemed to be asking for a discussion.

Vertigo - you don't think I said our consumption of fossil fuels is ecologically benign, do you? You don't have to look far to see effects, I just think we may be a little premature to declare (as some are wont to do) that it is The Cause of global warming. Maybe we're experiencing part of a cycle that has never been recorded before. Maybe God created the earth with a thermostat, and he changes it sometimes.

Vertigo said...

50%, 91%, 98%, 20%, 11% yada yada yada...I like what sans auto has to say about statistics here...

We need to be careful about the things that we are certain about

Laurel-Anne said...

Yeah? Well 96% of people will believe it if you present it as a quote.

"If you torture data sufficiently, it will confess to almost anything." -Fred
Menger, chemistry professor (1937- )

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand
Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809-1882)

"I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received."
-Antonio Porchia, writer (1886-1968)

"Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything
worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my
travels were very useful to me." -Bertrand Russell philosopher,
mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry
about the answers." -Thomas Pynchon, writer (1937- )

"Statistics are no substitute for judgment." -- Henry Clay

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- Benjamin Disraeli

"Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped away." -- Paul Brodeur

Vertigo said...

Speaking of quotes and wisdom...here is my favourite from Homer


Laurel-Anne said...

"68% of little sisters like to have the last word on their brothers' blogs." Me, I said that.