Punitive, mean-spirited and often callous

That is what the United Nations have called the British government’s treatment of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable.

You can read more on the site of The Independent and on the site of the BBC.

You can also read this pdf: 1 Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights London, 16 November 2018

I discussed that in my book too (and I believe that it is linked to a British-designed approach to life called utilitarianism):

 

What’s being said in the BBC article about the, well, delusional focus of the ministers is excellently depicted by this photo I took on 29 October. The text in this government poster at a local bus stop contains not a promise but a threat, as wages in Britain aren’t particularly high (to put in an understatement). Universal credit is the new benefits system, by the way.

I found the tone of this poster mean-spirited. That’s why I took the photo.

Democrats, apologists and neoliberals

Read this comment below, on a YouTube video about two girls with Treacher-Collins syndrome (which means that they have healthy bodies and brains, but have no hearing and some facial bones are lacking):

That baffled me. I also hear the phrase “neoliberals” from time these days within this context. I wasn’t familiar with it, but it seems to be associated with a lack of tolerance for human diversity and a lack of inclusive solidarity (while I associate the latter with conservatives, libertarians and republicans). When I looked into it, I found that “neoliberal” may be more or less the same as “conservatives” or  “neoconservatives”, in practice.

So, does all of this make me a republican in other people’s views, then?

It is time to stop labelling people. Sigh. So easy for me to say. I do it too, I am sure.

Turns out that I am a “guilt-ridden apologist”, apparently, as that is what I was called a few days ago after I pointed out that cave bears actually went extinct a long time ago. It went with “you crack me up”, so I am happy that the person was happy, for whatever reason. I have no idea what on earth a guilt-ridden apologist is, so I have no idea whether I am one or not. It makes no difference to me.

“Should have been euthanized.” Did that come from a democrat then, or from a neoliberal?

It is a screenshot from part of a USA Today story, about how their environment responded after a daughter with Treacher-Collins syndrome was born to the parents in this story, Thom and Tami Wetmore. They later adopted a girl with the same syndrome from Ukraine where she was in an orphanage.

She is very artistic, it turns out. Her name is Danica.

Both girls use sign language. And Juliana has a hearing aid, which apparently allows her to “hear perfectly”. I don’t know whether Danica has a hearing aid.

The family is from Texas and living in Florida – or the other way around – and Christian. So what does that make them?

Human!

In addition to Danica, they adopted three more children.

You can see how hard the topic of having a non-mainstream child is for people and how great the need to talk about this in this thread: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/archive/index.php/t-251806.html

An example of one of my book blurbs

In this thoughtful yet also provocative book in the area of bioethics, Angelina Souren takes you on a tour along matters of life and death, exploring ethical and practical aspects of the new eugenics.

With regard to the mew eugenics, Souren argues for caution and points out that technological progress sometimes leads to mistakes that can be hard to correct once made. The unbridled creation of designer babies (which we have already been engaging in for decades), she says, could lead to the disappearance of the glue that binds us all. Compassion. Inclusive solidarity. It does not have to, provided we proceed wisely, she adds. She proposes a practice based on the principle of non-discrimination and would like to see governments to provide broader support for their citizens and their children.

Souren does not shy away from difficult questions. Why do we have so much trouble accepting ourselves and each other, she asks, and points the finger at utilitarianism. She also tackles the task of defining “a life not worth living” and arrives at a practical universal guideline for the application of private eugenics that is bound to raise some protest from all sides of the debate, but will also spark appreciation. We need to move toward a global consensus on these matters, she opines, and that is only possible if some of us take a few steps back and others a few steps forward.

This book is for anyone interested in what is happening in the world around us. It is also particularly suitable for anyone curious about the future of humanity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angelina Souren is an independent writer and researcher who is currently based in the English city of Portsmouth. She has previously lived and worked in the United States and in her native the Netherlands. Her professional background is primarily in earth and life sciences, but also includes several years of legal experience.

She is a former board member of the Environmental Chemistry (and Toxicology) Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society as well as former editor-in-chief of its newsletter and scientific yearbook, a former member of the board and various committees of a Dutch organization for women in science and technology called NIMF, and former associate editor of the newsletter of the US-based Geochemical Society.

Book blurbs

Unless you’re an established author with an agent, when you write books, you also have to write blurbs. Back matter. Short descriptions, long descriptions, author biographies, while taking each platform’s word or character limit into account and the platforms’ peculiarities.

An example of the latter is that for the description of paperbacks on Amazon, you have to code paragraphs in html, but not for the Kindle version. (You discover that the hard way.)

Also, the size limit that is indicated while you’re adding that blurb is not the limit that is applied in practice. So you either have to keep it short and sweet, or wait to see if your description will be cut short in mid-sentence in practice. Eventually, you get used to it and learn how to avoid this pitfall.

In addition, there is the problem that some platforms take the long description and cut it short instead of using the short description. *shrugs*

The blurbs tell readers whether or not they want to buy the book. So they also require a lot of tweaking from that point of view.

An example is asking myself “Do I want to make sure I don’t put progressives off by describing myself as a feminist (which I am) or is it more important not to repel more conservative readers by describing myself as a feminist?”

Another one is “Is an academic-sounding description better than a snappier, lighter one?”

Plus, you usually have to select a photo of yourself as well. Which one to pick?!

It is a learning process. By doing, I am slowly getting better at it. At least, I hope so!

 

Why we need to talk about stuff that is hard to talk about

I quickly shot this with my mobile so the quality is not that great and you get to see my saggy wrinkly skin up close. Hey, I am no longer 20 or 30 and that’s perfectly fine!

Here is the article in the Atlantic that I mention in the video:
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/07/you-really-dont-want-to-know-what-its-like-to-be-a-right-whale-these-days/566009/

Will designer babies dissolve the glue that binds society?

That is one of the questions I’ve been wondering about, as you’ll know if you read my latest book.

I just watched Brené Brown’s TED Talk about vulnerability again. I first saw it a few years ago. It turns out that her research appears to indicate that yes, the unbridled creation of designer babies would destroy our capacity for connection.

 

#eugenics #designerbabies We really do need to talk about that

In my book “We need to talk about this” I am not trying to convince you of anything (other than that “we need to talk about this”).

I simply believe that it is important to move toward a global consensus on matters like the new eugenics, on how we see future generations and societies.

To reach a global consensus, we’ll all need to adapt. Some of us will have to take a step back while others have to move forward. A few of us can stay right where we are.

It means that you have to examine your own opinion, to see where exactly it comes from, and where necessary, adjust it. This will help you see where other people’s opinions are coming from, also if they’re not at all like your own.

Then you may suddenly discover that their views aren’t actually as different as you initially thought.

 

The challenges of publishing a book

Well, of course, after I thought I had weeded out all the typos, added a reference that I was sure I had already added, and tweaked the new cover for the print version sufficiently, I still found a missing space, and one or two missing words in the proof. That’s how it goes! Continue reading

“We need to talk about this”

Hi there!

Welcome to this website and blog. I am the author of “We need to talk about this“.

In this book, I discuss matters of life and death, such as abortion, designer babies and euthanasia, within the context of the new eugenics.

(Incidentally, if you have the 1st edition – with the bright-blue baby on the cover – or a flawed early author’s copy of the current edition, with for example errors in the Table of Contents, typos, or a different photo on the back than the one on the left, contact me. I can send you an up-to-date epub or mobi file.)

 

Continue reading

“We need to talk about this” – updated version

I am wrapping up the much improved version of “We need to talk about this“. There is now a chapter on euthanasia, for instance, with a discussion of the Groningen Protocol.

I didn’t write this book to convince you that my views are the right ones, even though I hope you will agree with many of them. I wrote this book to encourage as many people as possible to develop their own opinions in these areas, to go beyond impassioned exclamations like “this is so wrong” or “this is very good” and to make their opinions known to their governments and  academics, and to discuss these issues with their friends, relatives and colleagues. Continue reading