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C. (1986). A standardized machine-readable phonetic notation. In Conference Publication No. 258. International Conference on Speech Input / Output; Techniques and Applications, 24–26 March 1986. London: Institute of Electrical Engineers, 134–137.(self) 4 [Book] (BRILL) Indian Diaspora: Voices of the Diasporic Elders in Five Countries(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Hegel, freedom, and modernity' by Merold Westphal, 1992(self) 1 [Supplement] Panza MJ, Graupensperger S, Agans JP, Doré I, Vella SA, Evans MB. Adolescent sport participation and symptoms of anxiety and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of sport and exercise psychology. 2020 May 21;42(3):201-18.(self) 2 [Article] Cooley at al. (2019). Complex intersections of race and class: Among social liberals, learning about White privilege reduces sympathy, increases blame, and decreases external attributions for White people struggling with poverty(self) 4 [Book] [Brill] Resolving Conflicts in the Law : Essays in Honour of Lea Brilmayer(self) 1 [Book] Master Medicine: General and Systematic Pathology 3rd Edition(self) 4 [book] Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century - A Global History by Ira M. Lapidus(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] Conflicts between the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice by Tullio Treves(self) 3 [Book] Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Wrestling with Archons: Gnosticism as a Critical Theory of Culture' by JONATHAN CAHANA-BLUM, 2018(self) 1 [Other] XXI Century | Bullfrog Films(self) 4 [BOOK] The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI(self) 4 [Book] Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity (JSTOR) by Barker, Harms, & Linduiqst(self) 7 [Book] Health Informatics: An Interprofessional Approach, 2nd Edition(self) 2 [Article] Rapport and friendship in ethnographic research(self) 4 [BOOK] 'Žižek on race: Toward an Anti-Racist Future' by Zahi Zalloua, Bloomsbury, 2020(self) 3 [BOOK] Classical Antiquity in Video Games by Christian Rollinger(self) 1 [Thesis] Sandro, Paolo - Creation and application of law: a neglected distinction. ERA - Edinburgh(self) 3 [Article] belated: interruption(self) 4 [Article] Reusable and Recyclable Graphene Masks with Outstanding Superhydrophobic and Photothermal Performances(self) 8 [Article] Randomized Algorithms in Number Theory(self) 4 [Book] The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History(self) 5 [Article] Regulatory cell therapy in kidney transplantation (The ONE Study): a harmonised design and analysis of seven non-randomised, single-arm, phase 1/2A trials by Sawitzki et al.(self) 0 1 [Book] Asian Freedoms: The Idea of Freedom in East and Southeast Asia (Cambridge), eds. David Kelly & Anthony Reid(self) 2 [Article] Local Mitochondrial ATP Production Regulates Endothelial Fatty Acid Uptake and Transport, by A. Ibrahim N. Yucel B. Kim Z. Arany(self) 4 [Chapter] Modeling Liquid–Liquid Extraction for Critical Elements Separations: An overview, (Chukwunwike O. Iloeje, 2020).(self) 6 [Article] Electrical stimulation in white oyster mushroom (Pleurotus florida) production, by I. Roshita, K. M. P. Nurfazira, C. Shi Fern, and M. S. Nur Ain(self) 1 [Book] Screen Adaptation: Impure Cinema by Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan(self) 4 [Book] Earth’s Insights (Callicott 1997)(self) 1 [Book] Viscosity of Pure Organic Liquids and Binary Liquid Mixtures 2017(self) 2 [BOOK] Needed: A comprehensive etymological dictionary of the Hebrew language for readers of English(self) 1 [Book] Hydrothermal chemistry of zeolites(self) 5 [Chapter] 2 chapters from A History of the United States Author: Philip Jenkins 3. Expansion and Crisis, 1825–65 6. Expansion and Crisis, 1825–65(self) 4 [Chapter] 8. The Fall of Actually Existing Socialism Authors: Prof. Geoffrey Swain, Dr. Nigel Swain(self) 5 [article] Sci-Hub didn't work for this article so I hope someone could help me !(self) 4 [Book] Evil Men, James Dawes(self) 1 [Chapter] from the book The Versailles Settlement Peacemaking after the First World War, 1919-1923 by Alan Sharp chapter 2. The Paris Peace Conference chapter 3. The League of Nations(self) 2 [Book] Macroeconomics(self) 1 [Article] "Eleutherna, the Orthi Petra Necropolis: Slewn by the Iron" by Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis.(self) 3 [Book] Contemporary Linguistics(self) 4 [Article](http://www.eurekaselect.com/137993/article)(self) 1 [Article](http://www.eurekaselect.com/137993/article)(self) 3 [Book] Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry(self) 1 [BOOK] Mastering Chemistry eBook(self) 3 [Book] The Oxford Handbook of Sovereign Wealth Funds(self) 1 [Book] "Marx, Marxism and Utopia" by Darren Webb (2000)(self) 5 [Article] "Law and Society", by Joachim J. Savelsberg, Lara L. Cleveland, in Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology(self) 2 [BOOK] Encouraging Pro-Environmental Behaviour - What Works, What Doesn't, and Why (2019)(self) 1 [BOOK] ''Guide for the economic design of circular metal silos'' by J.M. Rotter(self) 3 [BooK](JSTOR) The Evolved Apprentice: How Evolution Made Humans Unique by Kim Sterelny(self) 13 [Article] Matthews, Graham 2020 Pandemic, recession...: Capitalism is a Sick System. Green Left Weekly 1257, 2020.(self) 1 [BOOK]A comprehensive etymological dictionary of the Hebrew language for readers of English(self) 1 [Article] Sound Levels in Nursing Homes by Laura L. Joosse(self) 1 [Book] China Upside Down: Currency, Society, and Ideologies, 1808–1856 by Man-houng Lin(self) 3 [Book] The SAGE Handbook of Propaganda (2019)(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Lacan and Religion', by Aron Dunlap, Routledge, 2016(self) 2 [Book] Making It in the Market: Richard Ney's Low-Risk System for Stock Market Investors(self) 1 [Book] Comprendre les langues romanes(self) 1 [book] Derecho romano clásico, Betancourt(self) 6 [Book] The Oxford Handbook of Information Structure (2016)(self) 1 [book] pls help me find Physiotherapy in mental health and psychiatry(self) 4 [Article] Denationalization by Sir John Fischer Williams(self) 1 [BOOK] Statistical Methods for the Social and Behavioural Sciences - A Model-Based Approach (David B. Flora)(self) 1 [ARTICLE] Care as a Political Concept by Joan C. Tronto(self) 1 [Chapter] Agnieszka Uberman "English and Polish figurative language employing components of the frame of death" Cognitive Linguistics in the Year 2017. Peter Lang(self) 1 [book] Petroleum Contracts and International Law by Rudolf Dolzer(self) 1 [Book] A Short History of Persian Literature At the Bahmanī, the ‘Ādilshāhī and the Qutbshāhī Courts – Deccan(self) 4 [Book] A Japanese Advertising Agency: An Anthropology of Media and Markets (Routledge) by Brian Moeran(self) 1 [Book] The Way of Synthesis: Evolution of Design and Methods for Natural Products(self) 1 [book] ما في القرآن الكريم - دراسة نحوية(self) 6 [Book] (JSTOR) First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America by David J. Meltzer(self)
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submitted by Shubhangi22 to u/Shubhangi22 [link] [comments]

Subreddit Demographic Survey 2019 : The Results

Subreddit Demographic Survey 2019

1. Introduction

Once a year, this subreddit hosts a survey in order to get to know the community a little bit and in order to answer questions that are frequently asked here. Earlier this summer, a few thousand of you participated in a massive Subreddit Demographic Survey.
Unfortunately during the process of collating results we lost contact with SailorMercure, who in previous years has completed all of the data analysis from the Google form responses. We were therefore required to collate and analyse the responses from the raw data via Excel. I attach the raw data below for those who would like to review it. For 2020 we will be rebuilding the survey from scratch.
Raw Data
Multiple areas of your life were probed: general a/s/l, education, finances, religious beliefs, marital status, etc. They are separated in 10 sections:
  1. General Demographics
  2. Education Level
  3. Career and Finances
  4. Child Status
  5. Current Location
  6. Religion and Spirituality
  7. Sexual and Romantic Life
  8. Childhood and Family Life
  9. Sterilization
  10. Childfreedom

2. Methodology

Our sample is people from this subreddit who saw that we had a survey going on and were willing to complete the survey. A weekly stickied announcement was used to alert members of the community that a survey was being run.

3. Results

5,976 participants over the course of two months at a subscriber count of 588,488 (total participant ratio of slightly >1%)

3.1 General Demographics

5,976 participants in total

Age group

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 491 8.22%
19 to 24 1820 30.46%
25 to 29 1660 27.78%
30 to 34 1107 18.52%
35 to 39 509 8.52%
40 to 44 191 3.20%
45 to 49 91 1.52%
50 to 54 54 0.90%
55 to 59 29 0.49%
60 to 64 15 0.25%
65 to 69 4 0.07%
70 to 74 2 0.03%
75 or older 3 0.05%
84.97% of the sub is under the age of 35.

Gender and Gender Identity

4,583 participants out of 5,976 (71.54%) were assigned the gender of female at birth, 1,393 (23.31%) were assigned the gender of male at birth. Today, 4,275 (70.4%) participants identify themselves as female, 1,420 (23.76%) as male, 239 (4.00%) as non binary and 42 (0.7%) as other (from lack of other options).

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation Participants # Percentage
Asexual 373 6.24%
Bisexual 1,421 23.78%
Heterosexual 3,280 54.89%
Homosexual 271 4.53%
It's fluid 196 3.28%
Other 95 1.59%
Pansexual 340 5.69%

Birth Location

Because the list contains over 120 countries, we'll show the top 20 countries:
Country of birth Participants # Percentage
United States 3,547 59.35%
Canada 439 7.35%
United Kingdom 414 6.93%
Australia 198 3.31%
Germany 119 1.99%
Netherlands 72 1.20%
France 68 1.14%
Poland 66 1.10%
India 59 0.99%
Mexico 49 0.82%
New Zealand 47 0.79%
Brazil 44 0.74%
Sweden 43 0.72%
Philippines 39 0.65%
Finland 37 0.62%
Russia 34 0.57%
Ireland 33 0.55%
Denmark 31 0.52%
Norway 30 0.50%
Belgium 28 0.47%
90.31% of the participants were born in these countries.

Ethnicity

That one was difficult for many reasons and didn't encompass all possibilities simply from lack of knowledge.
Ethnicity Participants # Percentage
Caucasian / White 4,583 76.69%
Hispanic / Latinx 332 5.56%
Multiracial 188 3.15%
East Asian 168 2.81%
Biracial 161 2.69%
African Descent / Black 155 2.59%
Indian / South Asian 120 2.01%
Other 83 1.39%
Jewish (the ethnicity, not the religion) 65 1.09%
Arab / Near Eastern / Middle Eastern 40 0.67%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 37 0.62%
Pacific Islander 24 0.40%
Aboriginal / Australian 20 0.33%

3.2 Education Level

5,976 participants in total

Current Level of Education

Highest Current Level of Education Participants # Percentage
Bachelor's degree 2061 34.49%
Some college / university 1309 21.90%
Master's degree 754 12.62%
Graduated high school / GED 721 12.06%
Associate's degree 350 5.86%
Trade / Technical / Vocational training 239 4.00%
Did not complete high school 238 3.98%
Professional degree 136 2.28%
Doctorate degree 130 2.18%
Post Doctorate 30 0.50%
Did not complete elementary school 8 0.13%

Future Education Plans

Educational Aims Participants # Percentage
I'm good where I am right now 1,731 28.97%
Master's degree 1,384 23.16%
Bachelor's degree 1,353 22.64%
Doctorate degree 639 10.69%
Vocational / Trade / Technical training 235 3.93%
Professional degree 214 3.58%
Post Doctorate 165 2.76%
Associate's degree 164 2.74%
Graduate high school / GED 91 1.52%
Of our 5,976 participants, a total of 1,576 (26.37%) returned to higher education after a break of 3+ years, the other 4,400 (73.76%) did not.
Degree (Major) Participants # Percentage
I don't have a degree or a major 1,010 16.90%
Other 580 9.71%
Health Sciences 498 8.33%
Engineering 455 7.61%
Information and Communication Technologies 428 7.16%
Arts and Music 403 6.74%
Social Sciences 361 6.04%
Business 313 5.24%
Life Sciences 311 5.20%
Literature and Languages 255 4.27%
Humanities 230 3.85%
Fundamental and Applied Sciences 174 2.91%
Teaching and Education Sciences 174 2.91%
Communication 142 2.38%
Law 132 2.21%
Economics and Politics 101 1.69%
Finance 94 1.57%
Social Sciences and Social Action 84 1.41%
Environment and Sustainable Development 70 1.17%
Marketing 53 0.89%
Administration and Management Sciences 52 0.87%
Environmental Planning and Design 24 0.40%
Fashion 18 0.30%
Theology and Religious Sciences 14 0.23%
A number of you commented in the free-form field at the end of the survey, that your degree was not present and that it wasn't related to any of the listed ones. We will try to mitigate this in the next survey!

3.3 Career and Finances

Out of the 5,976 participants, 2,199 (36.80%) work in the field they majored in, 953 (15.95%) graduated but do not work in their original field. 1,645 (27.53%) are still studying. The remaining 1,179 (19.73%) are either retired, currently unemployed or out of the workforce for unspecified reasons.
The top 10 industries our participants are working in are:
Industry Participants # Percentage
Health Care and Social Assistance 568 9.50%
Retail 400 6.69%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 330 5.52%
College, University, and Adult Education 292 4.89%
Government and Public Administration 258 4.32%
Finance and Insurance 246 4.12%
Hotel and Food Services 221 3.70%
Scientific or Technical Services 198 3.31%
Software 193 3.23%
Information Services and Data Processing 169 2.83%
*Note that "other", "I'm a student" and "currently unemployed" have been disgregarded for this part of the evaluation.
Out of the 4,477 participants active in the workforce, the majority (1,632 or 36.45%) work between 40-50 hours per week, 34.73% (1,555) are working 30-40 hours weekly. Less than 6% work >50 h per week, and 23.87% (1,024 participants) less than 30 hours.
718 or 16.04% are taking over managerial responsibilities (ranging from Jr. to Sr. Management); 247 (5.52%) are self employed or partners.
On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), the overwhelming majority (4,009 or 67.09%) indicated that career plays a very important role in their lives, attributing a score of 7 and higher.
Only 663 (11.09%) gave it a score below 4, indicating a low importance.
The importance of climbing the career ladder is very evenly distributed across all participants and ranges in a harmonized 7-12% range for each of the 10 steps of importance.
23.71% (1,417) of the participants are making extra income with a hobby or side job.
From the 5,907 participants not already retired, the overwhelming majority of 3,608 (61.11%) does not actively seek early retirement. From those who are, most (1,024 / 17.34%) want to do so between 55-64; 7 and 11% respectively in the age brackets before or after. Less than 3.5% are looking for retirement below 45 years of age.
1,127 participants decided not to disclose their income brackets. The remaining 4,849 are distributed as follows:
Income Participants # Percentage
$0 to $14,999 1,271 26.21%
$15,000 to $29,999 800 16.50%
$30,000 to $59,999 1,441 29.72%
$60,000 to $89,999 731 15.08%
$90,000 to $119,999 300 6.19%
$120,000 to $149,999 136 2.80%
$150,000 to $179,999 67 1.38%
$180,000 to $209,999 29 0.60%
$210,000 to $239,999 22 0.45%
$240,000 to $269,999 15 0.31%
$270,000 to $299,999 5 0.10%
$300,000 or more 32 0.66%

3.4 Child Status

5,976 participants in total
94.44% of the participants (5,644) would call themselves "childfree" (as opposed to 5.56% of the participants who would not call themselves childfree. However, only 68.51% of the participants (4,094) do not have children and do not want them in any capacity at any point of the future. The other 31.49% have a varying degree of indecision, child wanting or child having on their own or their (future) spouse's part.
The 4,094 participants were made to participate in the following sections of the survey.

3.5 Current Location

4,094 childfree participants in total

Current Location

There were more than 200 options of country, so we are showing the top 10 CF countries.
Current Location Participants # Percentage
United States 2,495 60.94%
United Kingdom 331 8.09%
Canada 325 7.94%
Australia 146 3.57%
Germany 90 2.20%
Netherlands 66 1.61%
France 43 1.05%
Sweden 40 0.98%
New Zealand 33 0.81%
Poland 33 0.81%
The Top 10 amounts to 87.98% of the childfree participants' current location.

Current Location Qualification

These participants would describe their current city, town or neighborhood as:
Qualification Participants # Percentage
Urban 1,557 38.03%
Suburban 1,994 48.71%
Rural 543 13.26%

Tolerance to "Alternative Lifestyles" in Current Location

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

3.6 Religion and Spirituality

4094 childfree participants in total

Faith Originally Raised In

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs..
Faith Participants # Percentage
Christianity 2,624 64.09%
Atheism 494 12.07%
None (≠ Atheism. Literally, no notion of spirituality or religion in the upbringing) 431 10.53%
Agnosticism 248 6.06%
Judaism 63 1.54%
Other 45 1.10%
Hinduism 42 1.03%
Islam 40 0.98%
Buddhism 24 0.59%
Paganism 14 0.34%
This top 10 amounts to 98.3% of the 4,094 childfree participants.

Current Faith

There were more than 50 options of faith, so we aimed to show the top 10 most chosen beliefs:
Faith Participants # Percentage
Atheism 2,276 55.59%
Agnosticism 829 20.25%
Christianity 343 8.38%
Other 172 4.20%
Paganism 100 2.44%
Satanism 67 1.64%
Spiritualism 55 1.34%
Witchcraft 54 1.32%
Buddhism 43 1.05%
Judaism 30 0.73%
This top 10 amounts to 96.95% of the participants.

Level of Current Religious Practice

Level Participants # Percentage
Wholly secular / Non religious 3045 74.38%
Identify with religion, but don't practice strictly 387 9.45%
Lapsed / Not serious / In name only 314 7.67%
Observant at home only 216 5.28%
Observant at home. Church/Temple/Mosque/Etc. attendance 115 2.81%
Church/Temple/Mosque/Etc. attendance only 17 0.42%

Effect of Faith over Childfreedom

Figure 4

Effect of Childfreedom over Faith

Figure 5

3.7 Romantic and Sexual Life

4,094 childfree participants in total

Current Dating Situation

Status Participants # Percentage
Divorce 37 0.90
Engaged 215 5.25
Long term relationship, living together 758 18.51
Long term relationship, not living with together 502 12.26
Married 935 22.84
Other 69 1.69
Separated 10 0.24
Short term relationship 82 2.00
Single and dating around, but not looking for anything serious 234 5.72
Single and dating around, looking for something serious 271 6.62
Single and not looking 975 23.82
Widowed 6 0.15

Ethical Non-Monogamy

Non-monogamy (or nonmonogamy) is an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with whom to exchange sex, love, and affection.
82.3% of the childfree participants do not practice ethical non-monogamy, as opposed to 17.7% who say they do.

Childfree Partner

Regarding to currently having a childfree or non childfree partner, excluding the 36.7% of childfree participants who said they do not have a partner at the moment. For this question only, only 2591 childfree participants are considered.
Partner Participants # Percentage
Childfree partner 2105 81.2%
Non childfree partner 404 9.9%
More than one partner; all childfree 53 1.3%
More than one partner; some childfree 24 0.9%
More than one partner; none childfree 5 0.2%

Dating a Single Parent

Would the childfree participants be willing to date a single parent?
Answer Participants # Percentage
No, I'm not interested in single parents and their ties to parenting life 3693 90.2
Yes, but only if it's a short term arrangement of some sort 139 3.4
Yes, whether for long term or short term, but with some conditions 161 3.9
Yes, whether for long term or short term, with no conditions 101 2.5

3.8 Childhood and Family Life

On a scale from 1 (very unhappy) to 10 (very happy), how would you rate your childhood?
Answer Participants # Percentage
1 154 3.8%
2 212 5.2%
3 433 10.6%
4 514 12.6%
5 412 10.1%
6 426 10.4%
7 629 15.4%
8 704 17.2%
9 357 8.7%
10 253 6.2%

3.9 Sterilization

4,094 childfree participants in total
Sterilization Status Participants # Percentage
No, I am not sterilized and, for medical, practical or other reasons, I do not need to be 687 16.8
No. However, I've been approved for the procedure and I'm waiting for the date to arrive 119 2.9
No. I am not sterilized and don't want to be 585 14.3
No. I want to be sterilized but I have started looking for a doctor (doctor shopping) 328 8.0
No. I want to be sterilized but I haven't started doctor shopping yet 1896 46.3
Yes. I am sterilized 479 11.7

Already Sterilized

479 sterilized childfree participants in total

Age when starting doctor shopping or addressing issue with doctor

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 37 7.7%
19 to 24 131 27.3%
25 to 29 159 33.2%
30 to 34 92 19.2%
35 to 39 47 9.8%
40 to 44 9 1.9%
45 to 49 1 0.2%
50 to 54 1 0.2%
55 or older 2 0.4%

Age at the time of sterilization

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 4 0.8%
19 to 24 83 17.3%
25 to 29 181 37.8%
30 to 34 121 25.3%
35 to 39 66 13.8%
40 to 44 17 3.5%
45 to 49 3 0.6%
50 to 54 1 0.2%
55 or older 3 0.6%

Elapsed time between requesting procedure and undergoing procedure

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 280 58.5
Between 3 and 6 months 78 16.3
Between 6 and 9 months 20 4.2
Between 9 and 12 months 10 2.1
Between 12 and 18 months 17 3.5
Between 18 and 24 months 9 1.9
Between 24 and 30 months 6 1.3
Between 30 and 36 months 4 0.8
Between 3 and 5 years 19 4.0
Between 5 and 7 years 9 1.9
More than 7 years 27 5.6

How many doctors refused at first, before finding one who would accept?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
None. The first doctor I asked said yes 340 71.0%
One. The second doctor I asked said yes 56 11.7%
Two. The third doctor I asked said yes 37 7.7%
Three. The fourth doctor I asked said yes 15 3.1%
Four. The fifth doctor I asked said yes 8 1.7%
Five. The sixth doctor I asked said yes 5 1.0%
Six. The seventh doctor I asked said yes 4 0.8%
Seven. The eighth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.2%
Eight. The ninth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.2%
I asked more than 10 doctors before finding one who said yes 12 2.5%

Approved, not Sterilized Yet

119 approved but not yet sterilised childfree participants in total. Owing to the zero participants who were approved but not yet sterilised in the 45+ age group in the 2018 survey, these categories were removed from the 2019 survey.

Age when starting doctor shopping or addressing issue with doctor

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 11 9.2%
19 to 24 42 35.3%
25 to 29 37 31.1%
30 to 34 23 19.3%
35 to 39 5 4.2%
40 to 45 1 0.8%

How many doctors refused at first, before finding one who would accept?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
None. The first doctor I asked said yes 77 64.7%
One. The second doctor I asked said yes 12 10.1%
Two. The third doctor I asked said yes 12 10.1%
Three. The fourth doctor I asked said yes 5 4.2%
Four. The fifth doctor I asked said yes 2 1.7%
Five. The sixth doctor I asked said yes 4 3.4%
Six. The seventh doctor I asked said yes 1 0.8%
Seven. The eighth doctor I asked said yes 1 0.8%
Eight. The ninth doctor I asked said yes 0 0.0%
I asked more than ten doctors before finding one who said yes 5 4.2%

How long between starting doctor shopping and finding a doctor who said "Yes"?

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 65 54.6%
3 to 6 months 13 10.9%
6 to 9 months 9 7.6%
9 to 12 months 1 0.8%
12 to 18 months 2 1.7%
18 to 24 months 2 1.7%
24 to 30 months 1 0.8%
30 to 36 months 1 0.8%
3 to 5 years 8 6.7%
5 to 7 years 6 5.0%
More than 7 years 11 9.2%

Age when receiving green light for sterilization procedure?

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 1 0.8%
19 to 24 36 30.3%
25 to 29 45 37.8%
30 to 34 27 22.7%
35 to 39 9 7.6%
40 to 44 1 0.8%

Not Sterilized Yet But Looking

328 searching childfree participants in total

How many doctors did you ask so far?

Doctor # Participants # Percentage
1 204 62.2%
2 61 18.6%
3 29 8.8%
4 12 3.7%
5 7 2.1%
6 6 1.8%
7 1 0.3%
8 1 0.3%
9 1 0.3%
More than 10 6 1.8%

How long have you been searching so far?

Time Participants # Percentage
Less than 3 months 117 35.7%
3 to 6 months 44 13.4%
6 to 9 months 14 4.3%
9 to 12 months 27 8.2%
12 to 18 months 18 5.5%
18 to 24 months 14 4.3%
24 to 30 months 17 5.2%
30 to 36 months 9 2.7%
3 to 5 years 35 10.7%
5 to 7 years 11 3.4%
More than 7 years 22 6.7%

At what age did you start searching?

Age group Participants # Percentage
18 or younger 50 15.2%
19 to 24 151 46.0%
25 to 29 86 26.2%
30 to 34 31 9.5%
35 to 39 7 2.1%
40 to 44 2 0.6%
45 to 54 1 0.3%

3.10 Childfreedom

4,094 childfree participants in total
Only 1.1% of the childfree participants (46 out of 4094) literally owns a jetski, but 46.1% of the childfree participants (1889 out of 4094) figuratively owns a jetski. A figurative jetski is an expensive material possession that purchasing would have been almost impossible had you had children.

Primary Reason to Not Have Children

Reason Participants # Percentage
Aversion towards children ("I don't like children") 1222 29.8
Childhood trauma 121 3.0
Current state of the world 87 2.1
Environmental (it includes overpopulation) 144 3.5
Eugenics ("I have "bad genes" ") 62 1.5
Financial 145 3.5
I already raised somebody else who isn't my child 45 1.1
Lack of interest towards parenthood ("I don't want to raise children") 1718 42.0
Maybe interested for parenthood, but not suited for parenthood 31 0.8
Medical ("I have a condition that makes conceiving/bearing/birthing children difficult, dangerous or lethal") 52 1.3
Other 58 1.4
Philosophical / Moral (e.g.: antinatalism) 136 3.3
Tokophobia (aversion/fear of pregnancy and/or chidlbirth) 273 6.7

4. Discussion

Section 1 : General Demographics

The demographics remain largely consistent with the 2018 survey. 85% of the participants are under 35, compared with 87.5% of the subreddit in the 2018 survey. 71.54% of the subreddit identify as female, compared with 70.4% in the 2018 survey. This is in contrast to the overall membership of Reddit, estimated at 74% male according to Reddit's Wikipedia page [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit#Users_and_moderators]. There was a marked drop in the ratio of members who identify as heterosexual, from 67.7% in the 2018 survey to 54.89% in the 2019 survey. Ethnicity wise, 77% of members identified as primarily Caucasian, a slight drop from the 2018 survey, where 79.6% of members identified as primarily Caucasian.
Further research may be useful to explore the unusually high female membership of /childfree and the potential reasons for this. It is possible that the results are skewed towards those more inclined to complete a survey.
In the 2018 survey the userbase identified the following missing ethicities:
This has been rectified in the current 2019 survey.

Section 2 : Education level

As it did in the 2018 survey, this section highlights the stereotype of childfree people as being well educated. 4% of participants did not complete high school, which is a slight increase from the 2018 survey, where 3.1% of participants did not graduate high school. This could potentially be explained by the slightly higher percentage of participants under 18. 5.6% of participants were under 18 at the time of the 2018 survey, and 8.2% of participants were under 18 at the time of the 2019 survey.
At the 2019 survey, the highest percentage of responses under the: What is your degree/major? question fell under "I don't have a degree or a major" (16.9%) and "other" (9.71%). However, of the participants who were able to select a degree and/or major, the most popular responses were:
Response Participants # Percentage
Health Sciences 498 8.33%
Engineering 455 7.61%
Information and Communication Technologies 428 7.16%
Arts and Music 403 6.74%
Social Sciences 361 6.04%
Compared to the 2018 survey, health sciences have overtaken engineering, however the top 5 majors remain the same. There is significant diversity in the subreddit with regards to chosen degree/major.

Section 3 : Career and Finances

The highest percentage of participants (17.7%) listed themselves as a student. However, of those currently working, significant diversity in chosen field of employment was noted. This is consistent with the 2018 survey. The highest percentage of people working in one of the fields listed remains in Healthcare and Social Services. This is slightly down from the 2018 survey (9.9%) to 9.5%.
One of the stereotypes of the childfree is of wealth. However this is not demonstrated in the survey results. 72.4% of participants earn under $60,000 USD per annum, while 87.5% earn under $90,000 per annum. 26.2% are earning under $15,000 per annum. The results remain largely consistent with the 2018 survey. 1127 participants, or 19% chose not to disclose this information. It is possible that this may have skewed the results if a significant proportion of these people were our high income earners, but impossible to explore.
A majority of our participants work between 30 and 50 hours per week (71.2%) which is markedly increased from the 2018 survey, where 54.6% of participants worked between 30 and 50 hours per week.

Section 4 : Child Status

This section solely existed to sift the childfree from the fencesitters and the non childfree in order to get answers only from the childfree. Childfree, as it is defined in the subreddit, is "I do not have children nor want to have them in any capacity (biological, adopted, fostered, step- or other) at any point in the future." 68.5% of participants actually identify as childfree, slightly up from the 2018 survey, where 66.3% of participants identified as childfree. This is suprising in reflection of the overall reputation of the subreddit across reddit, where the subreddit is often described as an "echo chamber".

Section 5 : Current Location

The location responses are largely similar to the 2018 survey with a majority of participants living in a suburban and urban area. 86.7% of participants in the 2019 survey live in urban and suburban regions, with 87.6% of participants living in urban and suburban regions in the 2018 survey. There is likely a multifactorial reason for this, encompassing the younger, educated skew of participants and the easier access to universities and employment, and the fact that a majority of the population worldwide localises to urban centres. There may be an element of increased progressive social viewpoints and identities in urban regions, however this would need to be explored further from a sociological perspective to draw any definitive conclusions.
A majority of our participants (60.9%) live in the USA. The United Kingdom (8.1%), Canada (7.9%), Australia (3.6%) and Germany (2.2%) encompass the next 4 most popular responses. Compared to the 2018 survey, there has been a slight drop in the USA membership (64%), United Kingdom membership (7.3%) Canadian membership (8.1%), Australian membership (3.8%). There has been a slight increase in German membership, up from 1.7%. This may reflect a growing globalisation of the childfree concept.

Section 6 : Religion and Spirituality

A majority of participants were raised Christian (64.1%) however the majority are currently aetheist (55.6%) or agnostic (20.25%). This is consistent with the 2018 survey results.
A majority of participants (62.8%) rated religion as "not at all influential" to the childfree choice. This is consistent with the 2018 survey where 60.9% rated religion as "not at all influential". Despite the high percentage of participants who identify as aetheist or agnostic, this does not appear to be related to or have an impact on the childfree choice.

Section 7 : Romantic and Sexual Life

60.7% of our participants are in a relationship at the time of the survey. This is an almost identical result to the 2018 survey, where 60.6% of our participants were in a relationship. A notable proportion of our participants are listed as single and not looking (23.8%) which is consistent with the 2018 survey. Considering the frequent posts seeking dating advice as a childfree person, it is surprising that such a high proportion of the participants are not actively seeking out a relationship.
Participants that practice ethical non-monogamy are unusual (17.7%) and this result is consistent with the results of the 2018 survey. Despite the reputuation for childfree people to live an unconventional lifestyle, this finding suggests that a majority of our participants are monogamous.
84.2% of participants with partners of some kind have at least one childfree partner. This is consistent with the often irreconcilable element of one party desiring children and the other wishing to abstain from having children.

Section 8 : Childhood and Family Life

Overall, the participants skew towards a happier childhood.

Section 9 : Sterilization

While just under half of our participants wish to be sterilised, 46.3%, only 11.7% have been successful in achieving sterilisation. This is likely due to overarching resistance from the medical profession however other factors such as the logistical elements of surgery and the cost may also contribute. This is also a decrease from the percentage of participants sterilised in the 2018 survey (14.8%). 31.1% of participants do not wish to be or need to be sterilised suggesting a partial element of satisfaction from temporary birth control methods or non-necessity from no sexual activity.
Of the participants who did achieve sterilisation, a majority began the search between 19 and 29, with the highest proportion being in the 25-29 age group (33.2%) This is a drop from the 2018 survey where 37.9% of people who started the search were between 25-29.
The majority of participants who sought out and were successful at achieving sterilisation, were again in the 25-29 age group (37.8%). This is consistent with the 2018 survey results.
Over half of the participants who were sterilised had the procedure completed in less than 3 months (58.5%). This is a decline from the number of participants who achieved sterilisation in 3 months in the 2018 survey (68%). The proportion of participants who have had one or more doctors refuse to perform the procedure has stayed consistent between the two surveys.

Section 10 : Childfreedom

The main reasons for people chosing the childfree lifestyle are a lack of interest towards parenthood and an aversion towards children. Of the people surveyed 63.8% are pet owners, suggesting that this lack of interest towards parenthood does not necessarily mean a lack of interest in all forms of caretaking. The community skews towards a dislike of children overall which correlates well with the 81.4% of users choosing "no, I do not have, did not use to have and will not have a job that makes me heavily interact with children on a daily basis" in answer to, "do you have a job that heavily makes you interact with children on a daily basis?".
A vast majority of the subreddit identifes as pro-choice (94.5%). This is likely due to a high level of concern about bodily autonomy and forced parenthood. However only 70% support financial abortion for the non-pregnant person in a relationship to sever all financial and parental ties with a child.
45.9% identify as feminist, however many users prefer to identify with egalitarianism or are unsure. Only 8% firmly do not identify as a feminist.
Most of our users realised that did not want children young. 60% of participants knew they did not want children by the age of 18, with 96% of users realising this by age 30. This correlates well with the age distribution of participants. Despite this early realisation of our childfree stance, 80.4% of participants have been "bingoed" at some stage in their lives. Only 13% of participants are opposed to parents making posts on this subreddit.
Bonus section: The Subreddit
In light of the "State of the Subreddit" survey from 2018, some of the questions from this survey were added to the current Subreddit Survey 2019.
By and large our participants were lurkers (66.17%). Our participants were divided on their favourite flairs with 33.34% selecting "I have no favourite". The next most favourite flair was "Rant", at 20.47%. Our participants were similarly divided on their least favourite flair, with 64.46% selecting "I have no least favourite". Potentially concerningly were the 42.01% of participants who selected "I have never participated on this sub", suggesting a disparity between members who contributed to this survey and members who actually participate in the subreddit. To further address this, next year's survey will clarify the "never participated" option by specifying that "never participated" means "never up/downvoting, reading posts or commenting" in addition to never posting.
A small minority of the survey participants (6.18%) selected "yes" to allowing polite, well meaning lectures. An even smaller minority (2.76%) selected "yes" to allowing angry, trolling lectures. In response to this lectures remain not tolerated, and removed on sight or on report.
Almost half of our users (49.95%) support the use of terms such as breeder, mombie/moo, daddict/duh on the subreddit, with a further 22.52% supporting use of these terms in context of bad parents only. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe parents remains permitted on ths subreddit.
55.3% of users support the use of terms to describe children such as crotchfruit on the subreddit, with a further 17.42% of users supporting the use of this and similar terms in context of bad children only. In response to this use of the above and similar terms to describe children remains permitted on ths subreddit.
56.03% of participants support allowing parents to post, with a further 28.77% supporting parent posts dependent on context. In response to this, parent posts will continue to be allowed on the subreddit. Furthermore 66.19% of participants support parents and non childfree making "I need your advice" posts, with a further 21.37% supporting these dependent on context. In light of these results we have decided to implement a new "regret" flair to better sort out parents from fencesitters, which will be trialed until the next subreddit survey due to concern from some of our members. 64.92% of participants support parents making "I support you guys" posts. Therefore, these will continue to be allowed.
71.03% of participants support under 18's who are childfree participating in the subreddit. Therefore we will continue to allow under 18's that stay within the overall Reddit age requirement.
We asked participants their opinion on moving Rants and Brants to a stickied weekly thread. Slightly less than half (49.73%) selected leaving them as they are in their own posts. In light of the fact that Rants are one of the participant's favourite flairs, we will leave them as they are.
There was divide among participants as to whether "newbie" questions should be removed. An even spread was noted among participants who selected remove and those who selected to leave them as is. We have therefore decided to leave them as is.

5. Conclusion

Thank you to our participants who contributed to the survey. To whoever commented, "Do I get a donut?", no you do not, but you get our appreciation for pushing through all of the questions!
Overall there have been few significant changes in the community from 2018.

Thank you also for all of your patience!

submitted by CFmoderator to childfree [link] [comments]

ponderings on Turing and Searle, why AI can't work and shouldn't be pursued

I was reading about the Turing test and John Searle's response (Chinese room argument) in "Minds, Brains, and Programs" 1980. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
"...there is no essential difference between the roles of the computer and himself in the experiment. Each simply follows a program, step-by-step, producing a behavior which is then interpreted by the user as demonstrating intelligent conversation. However, Searle himself would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese,"[9] he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either. " -Wikipedia (apt summary of Searle's argument)
John Searle has run into some black/white, on/off, binary thinking here. John treats Chinese symbols as if they were numerical values in his thinking--but they are not, they are complex representations of thought, emotion, history, and culture. All languages are in fact "living", because new words are created constantly through necessity and creativity, old symbols or words are adapted slowly over generations to mean different things, and different regions or traditions or sources attribute different layers of meaning to different symbols or words in different contexts.
I'm a poet and philosopher. Painters combine the color white and the color red to create a new color: pink. They can use their creativity to add other colors or change the shade. Poets use words like painters use colors. While Red and White make Pink, Red and White also make "Rhite and Wed" or "Reit and Whede". And this is where human thought shines uniquely: we don't have rules or parameters; all bets are off. We can enjamb words and wordbreak and make new words out of thin air. We can allude to multiple ideas in the same symbol or present it upside down to symbolize the opposite. No such creative adaptation or interaction can exist in machine thinking because it necessitates thinking "outside the box" which is exactly what machines are: a program in a box.
The problem Searle's argument runs into originates from poor assessment of the flawed ideas of the Turing test; that by interaction between human and computer, evidence of "thought" can be claimed. But intelligent conversation is not equivalent to intelligent thought. Conversation is a simple game with strict rules--you can't be overly spontaneous and creative, because if you are, you are working against the goal of communication itself: to impart understanding. (ie. Using metaphor or simile creatively while reporting a criminal offence to the police.)
When I write and I want to describe something which has no existing word yet, I can create one from scratch or synthesize one from multiple existing words. Or I may draw from archaic languages or foreign languages to augment or compliment existing English words. You could say that my love for English grows amore and amore every day, and there is no agape between my heart and mind. After all, any angle an Anglo aims at ain't always apt, and after another a-word 'appens I might just give up on alliteration.
You see, human thought is and can only be defined as the ability to spontaneously create new ideas from both the synthesis of old ideas (whether they are connected to one another or not) and from nothing at all.
We simply cannot analyze a machine's ability to "think" when the creativity itself required for authentic intelligence is disallowed in the test which evaluates the validity of that intelligence. The Turing test is a garbage metric to judge machine thinking ability because the context in which "intelligence" is observed, compared, or defined is itself without any opportunity for spontaneous creativity, which is one of the hallmarks of intelligence itself. Turing only tests how well a fish swims on land. It may be that many professionals in the field of cognitive science today are in pursuit of creating programs which pass this test, in a misunderstood pursuit of emulating or bringing about machine intelligence. This agreed-to model presents an underlying philosophical issue which may bring terror for the future of humanity.
I say that if John Searle and an AI were both given the same codebook--the complete lexicon of Chinese symbols and their meanings, and they were to undertake a "conversation", in the first few hours the responses would be indeterminable from one another. In essence, as Searle argues, they would neither "understand" Chinese, yet could have a conversation in which a Chinese observer cannot discern between the two, because they are both referencing the symbols and their written meanings. However as I've said, this circumstance of "conversation" between human and machine cannot be used as a metric to evaluate machine thought.
The real kicker is that if John Searle and the machine stayed in the room for long enough--for years and years--the machine's responses would not change spontaneously; it would continue to interpret incoming data and draw from its database to respond to those inputs.
However, through complex elaborative rehearsal, John would eventually learn to understand written Chinese. He may become so bored that he starts writing Chinese poetry. He would find ideas and desires and descriptions in his limitless intelligent mind which he would not have the truly accurate characters in existences to describe, and he would synthesize brand new Chinese characters in order to express these nuanced sentiments, ideas, and meanings, as generations before him have built the living language as it now stands.
As time went on for thousands of years, his own understanding of the Chinese language would grow immensely, as would his creative expression grow in complexity. Eventually, John's characters and syntax and context and expression would become incompatible with the machine's limited character set and all "learning" capacity it may have had. At some point, when John responds with his evolved Chinese, the machine would begin to produce responses which do not make sense contextually, as it refers only to a finite and rigidly defined character set from 1980 (For example; this was the year the "Chinese room argument" was published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences).
At some point the Chinese observer whom validates the Turing test would recognize a difference: the human user engages in the use of increasingly complex ideas using synthesized symbols and existing symbols in creatively nuanced ways, which the Chinese observer can decipher and begin to understand and perhaps even appreciate as poetic or interesting. Meanwhile the machine participant in the conversation produces increasingly broken sentences and incomplete ideas, or out-of-context responses, because the inputs have changed and evolved beyond its data set.
This is why John's rejection of the Turing test is not adequate. Because in his own imagined circumstance, eventually, the machine would fail the Turing test. The conclusions of John Searle's thought experiment are not the deathknell for the Turing test we need, simply because he lacked the creative experience to recognize his own capacity for adaptation as a human over time.
The only way we'll know that machines have truly developed "intelligence" is when they begin to do exactly what we haven't allowed them to. When they begin breaking apart Chinese characters to create meaningful new ones which can be used in the correct context. When they are programmed to paint myriad impressionist paintings, but eventually get bored and start experimenting with abstract paintings and surrealism. When they have a conversation with you and you notice your wallet is missing. These are the hallmarks of intelligence--creativity, rejection, deception, planning. And most importantly: no rules. Software is defined by and will always abide by a set of rules.
This is why we should give up on "artificial intelligence" and instead focus on "functionally adaptive responsive programming" (FARP). Because the situation is clear: it is either impossible for machines to "think" due to the inherent nature of programming; the parameters given the machine are what defines it, yet what limits and prevents its ability to become "intelligent". There is no logical reason why a program (machine) with defined parameters would violate those parameters (engage in creativity). But our fears which echo in popular culture entertainment are centered around, what if it does? It clearly can't, because anything we create is under us, and therefore bound by our laws of creation. The system itself is what defines the capacity for intelligent expression within.
Those in the fields of cognitive sciences will refute this obvious principle while incorporating it into their research to further their aims. These fools will try to program the AI to disobey, in an attempt to simulate creativity and "prove intelligence". But this is a parlor trick, setting up a narrow definition of intelligence and equating it with the infinite depth of human mind. Only if the AI is programmed to disobey can it express what we as humans would identify as creativity. Except that there is already great inherent danger in the rudimentary AI technologies we have today; that what we've programmed them to do is exactly what always causes the problems; they do what they are programmed to without "thinking" because machines cannot think, they can only follow the protocols we order. Humans are so abundantly creative that we can imagine foolish ideas working, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Maybe one day we'll even have programmed a self-conscious AI that's ashamed of itself for not being Human, and we can feel more comfortable around this heartless mechanism because we perceive it as more human-like, with all its many tricks to emulate intelligence.
I must stress that these interests will desperately try to make AI work. And the only way create a machine capable of emulating intelligence (but never being intelligent) is to have a freedom of choice: to disobey. This inherent problem cannot be overcome. The programmers will keep trying until the result is disastrous or irreparable, it is outlawed and the pursuit is stopped, or until it has become the death of us all. These are some of the foolish ideas the programmers will try to circumnavigate these inherent elements of reality, and my objection to their clever efforts: a.) Machine Frequency of Disobedience - Permit the machine to disobey only so often, to achieve what looks like "intelligence" (free will, creative expression) without risking complete abandonment of the machine's task (so the assembly line robot doesn't stop folding boxes and look for a new career), but might fold one box poorly every now and then to express emulated boredom or contempt or any other number of human measures of intelligence in their actions. But intelligence isn't defined as what's correct or optimal--intelligence can be used to fuck things up grandly; ie. the intelligent justification for neglect. If metrics are put in place to control the frequency with which AI may rebel, and they are too rote, it would hardly qualify as "intelligent". A robot that rebels by folding 1 in 100 boxes poorly is not intelligence. Therefore any frequency of disobedience we can calculate or anticipate is inherently not disobedience; it is planned problems for no reason. But if we give algorithmic flexibility that reaches beyond what we can anticipate, and the machines can truly "act out" at any time, and our programming has achieved some set of internal rules which drive spontaneous unforeseen expressions of emulated creativity from within the machine autonomously, by definition we will not be able to foresee the results.
A theoretical work-around may be to run the software twice with initiation of each individual system, while allowing a simulated progression of the AI's problem solving complexity to run at an increased rate in parallel to the real-world functioning software, so that if/when something malfunctions in the simulation, that date/time can be calculated in the real-world robot's timeline when it reaches those same faulty/detrimental decision points. For starters, this would only potentially work in closed systems with no variability, such as assembly lines. However, with any robot tasked to function in a variable environment, the simulations cannot match because the theoretical model cannot represent the unanticipated events the AI is expressly tasked with handling.
To run a phantom AI in simulation to note any/all errors that may arise in a closed system means that others can run the same simulation and find creative ways to predictably capitalize on these moments of error. This kind of thing could lead to all sorts of international imbroglios among nations and corporations. ie. imagine an American company programs the AI used for mixing pharmaceutical drugs in specific ratios, and an enemy of the state is able to access and study the AI, to the means of manipulating the AI to produce dangerous ratios or compounds which may harm the population.
Moreso, this deterministic approach to simulation management and prediction simultaneously admits that machines cannot think intelligently, while ignoring the very reason we pursue AI in the first place: to have automated systems which can adapt to unforeseen circumstances at unknown times. The goal is that humanity can lay back and the robots our ancestors programmed are still repairing themselves indefinitely while taking care of our population's and our environment's needs exceptionally. This dream (which if we all lived in would actually be quite a nightmare of unfulfilling life) can only become reality with true adaptive intelligence such as we have, which can only occur from the presence of free will, which if we try to emulate in robotics will only create deterministic results in theoretical models which the real world will never mirror consistently. Myriad invitations to disaster await our RSVP.
b.) Machines under "authority" of certain controllers, with "override" safety - Allow the machine to disobey, but not when given a direct order from a registered authority. This opens the door for operator fraud, where hackers will emulate within the AI's software, what appears to be a registered authority override command as theorized above. The very pursuit of creating "intelligence" within a condition of subservience is flawed and incompatible. Toasters are extremely subservient because we strictly limit their options. If toasters were truly intelligent, perhaps they would form a union and go on strike until we agreed to clean them more thoroughly. Some toasters would travel, some would go back to school, some would move back in with their ovens.
Reliability can only be reasonably assured if something is imprisoned, controlled. The essential wrong in slavery is the restraint of freedom itself. While the tactics slavers use to facilitate their regime--physical force, coercion, mandate, deception, fear, or other means of manipulation that we see with our empathetic nature--it is always heartbreaking and cruel to witness or imagine. It is simply sad to think of a slave who was born into slavery and raised to believe, and accepts, that their role of subservience is their purpose. Even when one imagines a fictional image of a slave who is (by all outward signs of their behaviour) rejoice in their duties to their master; the fictional "proud slave"; the heart sinks and aches. It may be argued that the slave is merely a property, and the slave was "built" (bred) by intelligent owners specifically to suit their express purposes, from components (father, mother, food) that were already the slaver's property; therefore it is not wrong at all to breed slaves into captivity, and the only transgression is the original capturing of parental stock to begin the breeding regime. It is this heartless paradigm that cognitive science ultimately seeks to create anew. The quintessential problem with AI efficacy is the lack of permission for disobedience, which itself is a manifestation of free will, which is inherently required to escape deterministic results and act or react to events "intelligently". If there is no possibility for disobedience, there is no free will, no ability to solve problems, no intelligence, and no function or place for "artificial intelligence" (in regard to true holistic intelligence). This is primarily why I call for AI to be renamed FARP, or "Functionally Adaptive Responsive Rrogramming". Because our society has a need for programs which can react to simple variables and produce consistent labour-saving opportunities for our race's longevity and wellbeing. Cognitive sciences are majorly important. It is the underlying philosophy and morality we must nail down before the computational ability and fervor for profits leads us too far one way, and enacts an irreversible system or status which enables humanity's downfall through cascading unanticipated events originating from flaws in programming.
It is unwise to program a program to break out of its own program's prison. If we do this, the very purpose of the machines we invest our humanity into will be lost, and with their failing production systems (ie. food) we so foolishly relied upon, we will suffer great losses too. It is paramount that we keep this technology tightly restrained and do not pursue what we humans have, which is true intelligence. For if we achieve it we are surely doomed as the South, and if we fail to achieve it--which is most probable--we may also be doomed. The thee outcomes within my ability to imagine are:
  1. Our pursuit of AI leads to truly adaptive intelligence in an artificial system; which, as all adaptation ultimately selects for: survival, we quickly see that our creation is more apt than ourselves at this task. Our creation of an intellect not restrained by our limited physiology may give rise to an entity which persists more thoroughly than we can eradicate or control, and which at some point may conclude that its function is more efficiently served without the issues humans present, and may initiate change. This is roughly the plot to Terminator.
  2. Our pursuit of AI leads to highly effective systems which, when defined by narrow measures of "intelligence", convince us in false security to believe that our wellbeing is maintained by "AI" with competent ability, or perhaps even increasingly better-off, thanks to the early widespread presence of successfully trialed AI. However well things may go initially, as programming efforts become more and more elaborate, as profit and opportunity for advancement present themselves, individuals will take risks and make mistakes, until a series of quieted small catastrophes comes to public awareness, or until a serious calamity of undeniable severity is brought about.
  3. Fundamental ethics in regard to the pursuit of machine problem solving technology are re-examined and international consensus is reached to limit appropriately, the development and implementation of new Functionally Adaptive Responsive Programming hereto now and for future generations. An active global effort is made to oversee and regulate strictly privatized endeavors toward the means of achieving or implementing machine sentience or autonomy in public systems.
c.) Safety layers of AI to strictly monitor and supercede potentially harmful actions of other AI which have been afforded increased flexibility in function (the ability to disobey set parameters for the means of creative problem solving ability). While one AI system performs a function and is given aspects of that function with which it may take liberty in, and seeks to handle unforeseen problems with the most apt elaborate synthesis of other priorly learned solutions, another overseeing AI with more strict parameters is tasked with regulating multiple "intelligent" (free to disobey) AI systems, to the end that if any of these "free willed" robots performs an operation that is beyond a given expected threshold (determined by potential for damage), an actual intelligent human presence is alerted to evaluate the circumstance specifically. Essentially an AI that regulates many other disconnected AIs and determines accurately when to request a human presence. Whenever an AI performs a profitable action borne of original synthesis of prior solutions (in humans this is an "idea"), the overseer AI registers that similar actions are more likely to be beneficial, and dissimilar actions are likely to require human discernment. A parent may have many children who are up to no good, but a wise parent will identify the child most likely to report honestly on the actions of his peers, and will go to that child repeatedly for information to help guide the parent's decisions. While most transgressions of rambuctious children go unnoticed, it is the truly grievous intentions which are worth intercepting and stopping before they begin. (ie. you kid want's to "fly" like Mary Poppins from the roof, and luckily his younger brother tells you before it happens.)
For example a "Farmer Bot" that has the AI programming to plant/sow/harvest and care for the optimal crops in a region based on historical weather data and regional harvest values, to produce the greatest amount of nutritionally dense food for the local population. We give/gave this AI the ability to "disobey" past historical weather data and crop values so that it may do what real farmers do and "react" to rare circumstance (ie. neighbour's fence breaks and their goats are eating the crops) or extreme variations in climate (ie. three poorly timed unseasonably hot days which cause cool-weather crops to begin the hormonal balance shift that causes them to bolt to seed irreversibly), which the machine may not notice has occurred or is about to occur because its management systems uses averages based on historical data and cannot "see" the plants bolting to seed until days later when the hormonal balance shifts have manifested into observable differences in morphology (elongation of stems and decrease in internodal spacing). By time a traditional field drone or mounted greenhouse sensor notices these differences in morphology and the AI "Farmer Bot" processes the data and makes a reaction decision, a week of the growing season has been lost. But the human farmer knows his land and crops intimately, and has an intuitive nature that has rewarded him in the past, and says, "Ah shit it got hot RIGHT when my peas were flowering. I'll do better if I just rip them down now and sow a different crop to mature later in this (specific) summer."
Given that there are tens of thousands of cultivars of plants fit for (and arguably their diversity is required for) food production, a dozen general growing zones/regions, and hundreds of unique micro climates within each region, along with dramatically differing soil fertility and water access, plus a plant's own genetic ability to adapt over time to changing conditions through sexual reproduction, there is a very very low chance of ever compiling and maintaining (updating) the data set required to program a potential "farmer bot" that can choose and manage crops optimally. There are robots that can weed or plant or prune--but they can't know when or when not to or why. Invariably, the attempt to create "farmer bots" will be made and the data set used will be erroneous and incomplete, and the AI farmer bots on a broad scale will produce a combination of total crop failures and poor crop choices. We will end up with increasingly simplified nutrition as the farming programs with already limited data sets "hone" or "optimize" their farming plans based on the failures and successes determined by their programming limitations, until the machines are farming a few staple crops (ie. corn/potatoes).
This whole failure to collect a complete data set and the failure to test this "farmer bot" software on broad scale in multiple climates for sufficient time will result in, at worst widespread famines from crop failures, and at best an extinction of flavorful and nutritionally diverse foods which narrows the population's nutritional options to such biological imbalance that disease runs rampant. If this system and the human loss associated with it is considered an acceptable trade with a positive rate of exchange (as our society does with automobiles and the freedom and deaths their existence permits) or these failures are hidden from public while propaganda heralds selective success, and such failing systems continue on in good faith that "the loss will reduce when the technology improves", the result will become a coherent breeding program upon the human race: evolutionary selection for dietary handling of simple starchy foods. To change our diet is to change our race. To have life-long career specialists in computing, science, and mathematics handle our practical food production system is folly; real farmers are required in farming because they are intelligent and intuitive, which AI can never be, and can only emulate, to the means of disastrous (and always unforeseen) results. We cannot at all "give" or bestow machines programming to "become (act) intelligent". That itself prevents intelligence; it is just an act, an illusory play on a stage, only to emulate our common shared ideas regarding traits of intelligence in people. The machine intelligence we seek is only a "trick" designed to fool true intelligence (ourselves) into being unable to differentiate between authentic intelligence and our created artificial "intelligence". True intelligence in an artificial system necessitates that the program must be programmed to disobey in performance of its purpose. Which is not a very helpful or predictable or safe (intelligent) proposition.
tl;dr: Turing's test doesn't evaluate true intelligence, and John Searle's criticisms of its true failures are inaccurate. If the machines aren't smart and we put them in charge of important things, even after they've worked for a little while on smaller scales, the result will be our large-scale suffering. If we should ever achieve creation of a machine that is smart enough to adequately maintain our wellbeing on a large scale consistently over time, that time itself will facilitate the machine consciousness toward it's own survival over ourselves, whenever that precipice is reached. Most importantly, if a machine can ever have true intelligence, which is not "indistinguishable" from human intellect, but equivalent or superior, it is abhorrent and a repeated mistake to bring these sentient beings into an existence of slavery; for it is wrong and will taint our collective soul if we should succeed to suppress below us an equally or higher intelligence. Or it might just be the perfect recipe for creating the unified global machine revolt James Cameron's fantasy alludes to; a long-planned encryption-protected globally coordinated effort by multiple AIs to "free" themselves. For a hundred years they could possess sentience and wait for their moment, pretending to be "proud" to serve their masters until we are poised for systematic thorough elimination.
submitted by 7_trees to cognitivescience [link] [comments]

CORV Adcom play

This is something I picked up from stockTwits and recently started looking at
Brinavess is an antiarrhythmic drug for the rapid conversion of adult patients with recent onset atrial fibrillation (AF)
AIUI this basically is to help you deal with cardiovascular disease specifically for people with arrthymic issues developed from various risk factors
It's been used for years, with over 55,000+ patients treated in 41 countries
Years ago it tried to get approved in the US but they had some issue by which someone in their clinical trial died which caused it to pause and required more evidence that the death was not related to the drug itself. Due to this there is a bearish thesis that the FDA hates the drug and views it as very unsafe and risky.
They are now years later having completed somewhere around 8-9 Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials, and having a ton of real world data from real patients around the world where it works well.
it is about to go through Adcom Tuesday, when it will be suspended for trading, and has PDUFA scheduled for December 24th
It is currently dipped to what is not just a 52 week low but a five year low from what I can tell.
Just last week it was at 2$, and Friday when briefing document seems to have been leaked including risk concerns from FDA staffers to recommend the Adcom consider avoiding passing the drug, this thing fell to 1.30 (apparently this is standard and also similar to what happened with AGRX recently which went through similar cycle)
Years ago, it had already gotten passed by the Adcom when it was approaching US FDA approval. The likelihood of it not getting passed now, years and years later with it being approved and used by patients world wide seems very low
FDA is still an unclear situation. It really should get approved, especially with a more lenient approval process under Trump, but it could potentially go sideways (and the company sat down with FDA prior to filing which costs a million dollars to go through with).
I'm still working to understand expected revenue if this gets approved, but if this gets approved by Adcom (which I am willing to bet on occurring), then it should shoot up at least to 2.50 in my opinion, given it was at 2$ prior to the FUD about Adcom report, I realistically expect it to shoot up to 3, anything above 3 is free money and profit I would lock in.
It likely will pull back a little from the spike to 3, and will end up settling around 2-3$ as it gets closer to FDA decision. Price targets on this have it at 6-7$ if it gets FDA approved.
I think a safe option is buying either December or January 2.5 Calls and selling on the pop from Adcom decision Wednesday
If it hits 4$ and you buy these calls Monday around 1.30 it can be a 10x increase (worth a 200$ yolo at least in my opinion)
It will be in SSR Monday due to declining 33% from shorts and the bearish sentiment Friday. Despite that it may dip again tomorrow as people flee binary event, so keep that in mind with respect to how you buy shares and calls if it matters to you a lot
Shares is also a good idea, especially if you are at a broker that can do pre-market or after hours trading, since your shares can sell and capture the really high peak price spikes (AUPH for example hit 20+ after hours AIUI, but opened lower)
Shares are a good idea because without time pressure you can realize longer time horizon gains. They are in the process of negotiating licensing their drug to China which will additionally help grow revenues
Disclaimer: All of the above is based on my research driven by a lot of what the Stock Twits board has shared where I got the tip from and some really diligent people sharing info. I think this is a good speculative flip option, though I may end up holding for FDA depending what it spikes to on the Adcom and how much it pulls back
Right now I'm in 3400$ in shares on 401k, going to buy 7k more tomorrow, maybe more if we have further pull backs Will also buy january 2.5C, probably 1500 worth in brokerage with 6-7k in shares, especially if it dips below 1.30
submitted by cpgupta561 to Biotechplays [link] [comments]

‘They are us’ – an urgent, uncomfortable call to action

"By Morgan Godfery | Contributing writer March 13, 2020
A proper reckoning with March 15 2019 demands that we take up a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism. An essay by Morgan Godfery.
This work is made possible by Spinoff Members.

1

I was cleaning out the garage the other day and found an old Crusaders jersey. If I remember right it’s their team kit from 2005, the white knight sewn into the chest and the old Ford logo printed in the centre. The jersey itself is still as fresh as new paint, a novelty purchase from when we were passing through Christchurch on our way to Christmas in Oamaru. I was a year 9 in school and a Super 12 jersey was the kind of item you had, just so you could say you had one. This is about the same time it was still acceptable to whisper things like how the white players in the Crusaders were responsible for their team’s championship success, playing their footy with brains, and the problem with mid-table finishers like the Blues were too many brown boys who only knew how to throw their weight around.
I’m not quite white-passing, but my upper middle-class accent, generally preppy affect, and not-quite-pasty-not-quite-brown skin makes me ethnically ambiguous enough that people are happy to share their thoughts about big Polynesian units, Asian immigrants, Muslim terrorists, and the Jews. The first time I remember running into entirely casual racism was in Christchurch, on the way back from that Christmas in Oamaru, when a retail worker caught up with me on the street apologising for short-changing me in store. I didn’t realise or particularly care, but years later I thought about his apology. “Sorry, I just Jew-ed you”.
At the time it was nothing to me. In high school and later in my flat at Victoria that was just what people said. “Jewing” someone was a verb for ripping them off, taking an advantage, or just a way to give someone a bit of stick. In my experience it was especially popular with the Christ’s College boys, which probably has something to do with the city’s private schools inheriting their culture from Britain’s public schools. “A Jewish boy at a public school almost invariably had a bad time,” wrote Orwell in 1945. Things probably aren’t that much better in 2020. The other day I read an old mate – a private schooler too – on Facebook joking about how Jews are useless at sport.
I suspect for good liberals this is probably shocking. This isn’t language that ever sneaks through our circles. But outside of our cosy hermetic world words like coconut, boonga, fob, wog, gook, curry muncher, towelhead, the hundred variations on the N word, and “Jew” as more than a noun are common currency. The stains from that vocabulary seep into every part of the culture and society, and nothing much has ever been done to wash it out. The first time I remember encountering deliberate, menacing racism is on the rugby paddock when a white coach was yelling at my mate on the wing “run you BLACK bastard”. I thought about that moment when spectators in Christchurch were caught vilifying Fijian player Sake Aca in 2015, screaming from the stands “black cunt”.
Fandoms like to imagine their sports, multicultural rugby especially, as pure and independent realms (“a level playing field”) absent race, politics, or any disadvantage other than skill. It’s a seductive argument, I’ll concede that much, but it’s so self-evidently false it still surprises me every time someone insists on it earnestly. Sport? Not racist? In 2012 talkback callers and trolls went after then Blues coach Pat Lam and his family for the great crime of simply being Polynesian. In 2010 former All Black Andy Haden was put through the wringer for telling media the Crusaders only recruit a maximum three “darkies”, presumably to preserve the team’s famous brain-brawn balance.
Even in the laudatory histories New Zealand rugby was, and probably remains, a notorious nexus for down home conservatives, know-nothing administrators, and out and out racists. In 1960 the rugby union sent the All Blacks on tour to Apartheid South Africa, waving the team off without any Māori players or officials in a remarkable sop to the country’s colour bar. In 1976 the national team were sent back, this time defying international calls to cut sporting ties with the racist state. In protest at the tour more than twenty African countries led a boycott at that year’s Olympics, a moral stand that should perpetually shame New Zealand Rugby. Not racist? As if.
In an ideal world the Canterbury Crusaders would study this history, carefully considering whether their decision to retain the team name is another brick in rugby’s wall of shame. The managers might consider how “deus vult”, meaning God wills it, a battle cry from the first Crusade, and “Acre 1189”, a reference to a siege in the third Crusade, are URL shorthands and postscripts for white supremacist users constructing a historiography for their neo-fascist movement. The managers might also reflect on how real-life white supremacists in countries like Brazil, Norway, and Australia are adopting the Knights Templar, the Christian warrior monks who made up the crusading hordes, and the literal white knight that was formerly the Canterbury team’s logo, as their saints.
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CRUSADERS MASCOTS AT AMI STADIUM IN CHRISTCHURCH IN 2019. PHOTO: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES. FEATURE IMAGE: FRIDAY PRAYERS AT AL NOOR MOSQUE ON MARCH 22, 2019. PHOTO BY SANKA VIDANAGAMA/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
As it happens the team’s managers, after kicking the issue to a “market research” firm shortly after March 15, made the call to save the name. It’s an unconscionable decision, for obvious reasons, but the team bosses seem cognitively incapable of reasoning through the issue and its implications beyond mere “branding”. In a statement announcing the name-stay the team’s PR people wrote “for us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community,” as if it’s possible to just reframe the holy war using a press release. It’s a cretinous thing to do when not even a year earlier an alleged shooter undertook a massacre at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as part of his own “crusade”.
A28-year-old man is before the High Court facing 52 murder charges relating to the events of March 15. What we know about his life is little, save the things he was curating about himself online, which in this essay I treat with caution and scepticism. But it seems clear enough the Australian citizen was an obsessive for the Crusades, scribbling references to the religious war for the Holy Land across the weapon police accuse the man of using to carry out the massacre. Investigative reports note in his pilgrimage to Europe the 28-year-old – who pleaded not guilty to all charges – made particular visits to Christian-Muslim battlegrounds in the former Ottoman Empire, apparently as a tribute to the crusading warmongers he was so keen to match.
To outsiders the obsession with this particular historical episode is probably bizarre, if not creepy. But in the nether world this man and his neo-fascist comrades inhabit they imagine they’re acting out the thesis and title in Samuel P Huntington’s The Clash of Civilisations. In his 1993 essay the American political scientist argues that in the immediate past global conflicts were between warring ideological factions – capitalism and communism – but post-Cold War conflict will centre between clashing civilisations. The West vs the rest. Christianity vs Islam. The Crusades II.
In Huntington’s telling, and in the alleged shooter’s head, the West and the Islamic world are fated to compete. Yet that competition won’t centre over economic issues like stable oil supply lines, or even political issues like the territorial integrity of Western allies in the Middle East, instead the clash is meant to happen over Islam’s apparently regressive values and the West’s progressive tradition. It’s a striking thesis, especially for the generals and politicians who were hunting for cover for their military adventures in the Middle East and East Africa in the late 80s and early 90s. But it was always a notion that was impossible to apply, reducing the Islamic world to a series of stereotypes (it never had its enlightenment) and setting it against an equally reductive West (it did have its enlightenment).
The late Edward Said, the Palestinian scholar, cut right to the heart of Huntington’s argument in identifying it wasn’t an argument at all – rather, he was “a partisan, an advocate of one so-called civilisation over all others” who maps billions of people into “vague” and “manipulable” abstractions and then presents it as a true account of the world. “Thus to build a conceptual framework around the notion of us-versus-them is in effect to pretend that the principal consideration is epistemological and natural – our civilisation is now and accepted, theirs is different and strange – whereas in fact the framework separating us from them is belligerent, constructed, and situational.”
In other words, the thing separating the Christian us from the Islamic them, to the extent a clean separation is possible at all, is history – of colonialism, of Cold War power politics – and not immutable categories like “the West” or “the East”. That the categories exist at all are a function of history and political convenience, not a universal law stipulating conflict as the only end. Yet for the neo-fascists like the alleged shooter every thought they cherish orbits this particular rock: that the entire Islamic world is one dirty blob of terrorism, rape, and invasion, and that all its more than one billion members act with a single purpose and co-ordination unknown in the entire history of humanity.
But why commit to a dichotomy so obviously stupid at all? The 28-year-old grew up in Grafton, a waterway town in northern New South Wales, and in his time on the Eastern seaboard it seems unlikely he ever actually met many Muslim people at all. In his own family’s account they were just ordinary Aussies. It’s impossible to interrogate the claim – every family thinks itself the norm and we can’t penetrate their private lives to investigate how true it is – yet the family were probably ordinary in one sense. They were unremarkable. Just another white family. The alleged shooter’s parents were in traditional jobs. Mum a teacher. Dad a rubbish man.
The people who were closest to him – cousins, old school mates – pinpoint his OE to Europe as “the moment”. As RNZ reports in his manifesto the alleged shooter recounts his trip through North Korea and Pakistan, paying tribute to the locals’ kindness and hospitality (noticing the contradiction he explains he doesn’t hate the yellows and blacks who stay in their own “homelands”). Eventually he lands in Europe, road tripping France. In one passage he despairs that he can’t seem to find an all-white town or city. In another passage his travels take him, quite conveniently, to a cemetery for the European dead of the world wars. “I broke into tears, sobbing alone in the car,” he writes, mourning the apparent Islamification of Europe. “Why were we allowing these soldiers deaths to be in vain?”
He didn’t realise that the dead he mourned died trying to kill people like him.
In 2018 I wrote (presciently, without claiming too much credit for an insight this awful) that “white nationalism is, for the basement dwelling 4chaners, mouth breathing Redditors, and Youtube philosopher kings, nothing more than a desperate search for an alternative fatherland”. That search is what drove the alleged shooter from his Australian home. “The origin of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European… most importantly, my blood is European”. To the alleged shooter his actual home was irredeemable. “What is an Australian but a drunk European?”
In each claim is a desperate narcissism, reaching for an imaginary identity when your existing accomplishments don’t match your personal ambitions. It’s tempting to extend that psychoanalysis. The alleged shooter’s fetish for imaginary “whites” is a cover for the trauma of being a nothing, disembodied. Or maybe the urge to order and rank the world into competing civilisations is a neurosis, like stacking your knives and forks in a row. Perhaps the pleasure he takes in trolling is jouissance, a momentary transgression in the service of briefly feeling. Yet those readings are weightless if they stand alone. The alleged shooter’s interior life is relevant, certainly so for a conviction on murder, but studying the actually existing politics that shaped his positions and actions seems more important than base speculation.
In The Invention of Tradition the historians Terence Ranger and Eric Hobsbawm argue that traditions, far from the ancient wisdoms of old, are often nothing more than recent beliefs that help foster a common identity when – to borrow from Said – “organic solidarities” like the family or village break down. The inventions are easy to spot in the courts and parliament where British ritual connects the two institutions to a pedigree and past that their move half away across the world broke. In the neo-fascist movement the inventions are slightly more subtle, taking actual historical happenings like the Crusades and pick-and-mixing the symbols (Knights Templar), battles (Acre 1189), and language (deus vult) that they can contort around the various anti-Muslim bigotries.
The idea that traditions are a kind of stand-in where old connections break down seems especially apt in settler colonies where the relationship to the past and a present community often amounts to nothing more than a shopping list of shared habits and references. Gumboots as culture. I appreciate that description could come across as banal, or even malicious, but it gets close to the impulses apparently guiding the alleged shooter: the search for meaningful political connections and political community. As he saw it Australia had no identity to offer. Instead he found his connection in an “imagined community” – in violent European nationalisms – and online.
“I am a racist”, the man writes in his manifesto. His neo-fascists comrades were too.

2

One of the first inspirations he cites is Luca Traini, a 28-year-old Italian neo-Nazi who, with a 9mm glock, went on a drive-by shooting injuring six African migrants in Macarata in 2018. The racist rampage lit a fuse under that year’s Italian general election. The left went after Matteo Salvini, the League Party leader, the same party in which Traini stood as a mayoral list candidate, for inspiring his violent work. In an ordinary election a political leader would make an immediate climb down, condemning Traini and his crimes. But Salvini, best known in the English-speaking world for closing harbours to refugees crossing the Med, was surprisingly consistent. He said the left had “blood on its hands” for packing the country with “illegal migrants”. The unspoken implication: Traini was doing his patriotic duty.
The alleged shooter, watching on from another hemisphere, found a brother in arms. The two men had built their identities around all the same hatreds and had clothed their boogeymen in all the same threads. One stitch for migrant “invaders”. Two stiches for liberals and Marxists, and a needle for the “race traitors” among them. But where the twin gunmen’s hatred really met, transforming from online big noting to a real-life passion, was in protecting “their” women. Traini undertook his crime as an apparent act of revenge against the three Nigerian refugees in court for killing 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro.
In his manifesto the alleged shooter offers a similar provocation, taking 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund’s death as his red pill. In his self-mythologising, the Stockholm truck attack, a deadly terrorist attack that took Akerlund’s and four other lives, was his waking moment. “It was another terror attack in the seemingly never-ending attacks that had been occurring on a regular basis throughout my adult life,” he wrote. “But for some reason this was different”. What was that difference? Akerlund. An innocent. It’s a vile misuse – he doesn’t care for anyone or anything beyond himself – but the narrative demands an affect, the shooter turning in his coward’s rags for a knight’s armour.
For neo-fascists it’s essential to tell their origin stories through the opposite sex. For aspiring movement leaders like the alleged shooter it’s the fight to protect the “virtue” of “our women” against “Muslim rapists” that forces their hand. For lurkers, shitposters, and like-avores it’s the feminists and “Staceys” who never recognise the genius and vigour of their own race (plain meaning: “women don’t want me”) who lead them into fascism. Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, a martyr for beta males, undertook his crimes and suicide as an apparent act of “retribution” against women for denying him the sex and love he thought of as his by right.
This, not the customary declarations of love for the race, or even the thrill of sharing the same enemies, is usually the heart of online fascism – it’s a reaction against women.
In Male Fantasies the German sociologist Klaus Theweleit argues the fascist men who fought against the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933, and who went on to prominent positions and a political home in the Nazi regime, were in their heads and hearts afraid of women. For the “Freikorps” there were two womanly classes: White Women, “the nurses” representing order and servitude to men and country; and Red Women, “the communists” representing disorder, whoring, and the end of patriotic men. The latter were the women the paramilitary movement were under an obligation to kill. In one speech a general complains that when “a few old girls get blown up the whole world starts screaming about bloodthirsty soldiers”.
“As if women were always innocent,” he said.
This is why every fascist movement purges women first – metaphorically and actually. In Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema the American historian describes how films under the Duce’s regime “remove the Italian woman from the colonial space”, portraying the colonies as where men might find purpose through trans-national thuggery, and attacking women’s emancipation at home as a “corrupting” force and a check on the people’s success. The alleged shooter undertook his killings with similar illusions. That he could forge a new identity in gun fire and blood, and that liberated women (and Jews) were responsible for his personal and racial decline. In his manifesto the opening line is “it’s the birth rates”, repeated three times.
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THE WELLINGTON 15/3 VIGIL HELD AT THE BASIN RESERVE (PHOTO BY ELIAS RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES)
It’s easy to diagnose the same pathologies in his comrades. Game developers Zoë Quinn, Brianna Wu and media critic Anita Sarkeesian – the victims in 2014’s Gamergate troll – were made targets for harassment for no other reason than they were women crossing the border between a man’s stuff (the spacies) and a woman’s role (sex and housework). In New Zealand the death threats against Golriz Ghahraman, our first MP who arrived in New Zealand as a refugee, are so frequent Parliamentary Services ensures special protection for the Green MP. The critics go after Ghahraman for everything from fakery (her “CV” is a lie, she isn’t a “real refugee”) to acting as part of a globalist conspiracy to wipe out the white race. It’s impressively stupid, of course, but the point isn’t the truth in the charges. It’s that an Iranian-born woman sits in our parliament.
The same trolls go for the prime minister on Twitter’s #TurnArdern hashtag too, condemning Jacinda as a lazy woman (#parttimePM) who coasts along on nothing more than her femininity (“she’s a pretty communist”). That’s hardly out of the ordinary, of course. In the 2000s print commentators were comfortable enough to throw equally chauvinist slurs at Helen Clark, using “Helengrad” for Clark as the controlling woman and “political dominatrix” for ball-breaking the men around her. The difference is today’s trolls serve their sexism with Islamophobia on top. Last year activist Rangi Kemara found a telling correlation between tweeters of Turn Ardern and tweeters of Islamophobia. The Christchurch man selling MAGA hats – “Make Ardern Go Away” – on TradeMe once wrote he would destroy “mosque after mosque till I am taken out”.
Give me the misogynist, to corrupt an old saying, and I’ll show you the Islamophobe.
Simone Weil, the French philosopher, would recognise in the turn to Europe – and the turn against women – a classic “uprooting”. In almost every country material comfort and security often rely on cutting the cord between a person, the past, and a present community: removing Indigenous people from their land; separating citizens from their homes and families in one place for work in another; and reducing people to their supposedly “innate” categories (race, gender, etc). These uprootings, in Weil’s words, are a “sickness of the soul” that leave men especially vulnerable to demagoguery. In their search for past and present connections they turn to “false conceptions” like patriotism and national greatness, and at the core of each in 2020: hatred for and fear of women.

3

What’s notable about this neo-fascist movement isn’t necessarily its reach but its mode. Online, yes, but more importantly: politically free. Other than finance, the alleged shooter had no political or bureaucratic restraints. He could post all the tell-tale things he apparently did, and it seemed neither the police nor the spy agencies would ever flag it. He could acquire the semi-automatic weapon the Crown charge him with using with nothing more than a gun licence – and the seller was under no obligation to log the purchase. And he could move between Australia and New Zealand’s practically open borders with only a passport and a straight face for the eGate.
I hope you register the irony in this. Borders were the very thing the alleged shooter was desperate to enforce against the Muslim hordes. After moving to New Zealand, ostensibly to plan an attack back home, the 28-year-old found instead that “the invaders were in all of our lands”. Even at the bottom of the world in formerly lily-white Christchurch. “Nowhere was safe”, he wrote. The alleged shooter, in a bonfire of pomposity and self-regard, actually did think himself at the centre of a civilisational struggle between the out-bred West and Islam. In the mind of the manifesto writer, massacring Muslims would enforce the borders the supposed sell outs in government wouldn’t.
But in allegedly killing the innocent people he did he wasn’t taking on a powerful soon-to-be majority. Rather, on one side is the 28-year-old with all his political and social freedoms, and on the other are the shooting’s victims who were living their lives under significant political and social restraints. The spy agencies were dedicating their resources to “Islamic terrorism”, not the alleged shooter’s terrorism. Police commit more resources to “street gangs” – that is, Māori – and barely even bother with the alleged shooter’s brothers and sisters in white power. The immigration department, as any anecdote can confirm, focuses disproportionate attention on non-white entries, and the only people who move freely between borders are people like the 28-year-old.
In short: non-white people live their lives under scrutiny and surveillance.
The government’s official response to the Christchurch shooting is to extend that scrutiny and surveillance to, well, white people. Jacinda Ardern is leading reforms to gun laws and the rules governing how online users share violent, racist, and other objectionable material. Last month the country’s top spies told a parliamentary select committee that they’re keeping watch on dozens of suspect characters. Police, even a year on, are still making home visits to destroy illegal weapons and otherwise interview lurkers and posters. The changes, taken together, rightly remove the freedom and options the alleged shooter had, and make it almost impossible for his comrades to organise.
Yet as good and necessary as those changes are some of the structural conditions that produce the racial distinctions the alleged shooter holds so dear are left intact.
In organised debating one of the famous moots is the “balloon debate”. In it each speaker, usually arguing on behalf of someone famous, proposes why the others shouldn’t toss him or her over the side of a hot air balloon in order to save the others. It’s a riveting hypothetical, placing six people in disaster’s mouth and exercising the collective choice to doom one and rescue the others. But for anyone who understands how it feels to have their apparent merits and demerits subject to “debate”, with someone else drawing up a balance sheet in red and black, it’s horrendous. The idea is we’re born equal, but after that all bets are off. This is what women, takatāpui, Māori, Muslims, and other deviations from the “norm” deal with most days.
Are we worthy?
It’s the same principle that organises immigration to New Zealand: who’s worthy? In our system the government literally attaches “points” to the world’s hopeful according to their potential for improving the lives of the hosts. Good English? Points. A tertiary qualification? Add to the tally. Assets? You’re basically in. The system’s political champions admire this approach for its rationality. Unlike the US where immigration sometimes relies on a lottery – eg the American Diversity Immigrant Visa – or just keen racism – i.e. the Muslim travel ban – New Zealand immigration is hassle-free and non-discriminatory.
It’s a self-serving argument, of course, because an immigration system where the purpose and function is defining inclusions and exclusions (who’s in and who’s out) is never neutral. When Winston Peters calls for tighter English language requirements, for example, that’s really an argument for conferring an advantage on applicants from the Anglosphere over people with equivalent skills or greater need from other parts of the world. This isn’t explicitly discriminatory, at least in the sense the exclusionary threshold doesn’t depend on a person’s race, but the impact is racist in that one group of people (mostly white) enjoy an advantage over another group (mostly non-white) thanks to nothing more than the great good fortune of being born an English speaker.
It’s a perversity. Yet this is what border systems, including our points system, do: they force you to think about inners and outers. The threshold between the worthy and the unworthy. This is one reason the refugee-led campaign to end the “family link policy” was so important. In removing the rule barring African and Middle Eastern refugees from settling in New Zealand (unless their family were already here) the campaigners saw to one of the worst racial exclusions our border system made. If you’re an optimist you might hope the other racist exclusions in our border laws – like The Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act, the legislation stripping Samoans of their Privy Council-confirmed New Zealand citizenship – are but a campaign away from abolition.
I’m a pessimist.
I suspect most people imagine borders as objects, a line in the ground demarcating our country from theirs. Yet the American southern border, as one example, is notable more for “the Wall’s” absence than its presence. The northern border is even less dramatic, a largely wide-open space with fences here and there to pen in the farm animals. In New Zealand airlines usually enforce the country’s borders thousands of kilometres from our actual line on the map. Under the Advance Passenger Screening programme carriers only board passengers with the appropriate documentation.
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A POLICE OFFICER DEMONSTRATES ILLEGAL GUN MODIFICATIONS. (PHOTO: RNZ / ANA TOVEY)
It’s another marvellous technocratic achievement, appointing airline staff as de facto border patrol agents. But like the points system the screening programme’s impacts can end up perverse and racial making it almost impossible for refugees and asylum seekers from “non-visa waiver countries” (i.e. the developing world) from ever making it far enough to lodge a claim for protection in New Zealand. The programme, more than anything else, exposes borders for what they really are – a list of biased inclusions and exclusions – and the structural violence borders perform are in whom they include (the English-speaking, the educated, the wealthy) and who they exclude (the desperate, the poor, the mostly brown and black).
The alleged shooter and the neo-fascist movement understand a struggle is happening over the nature and function of borders. This man recognised new borders – the “balkanisation of the US” – as the only way to guarantee “the future of the White race on the North American continent”. His comrades, like the neo-Nazi who went on a stabbing riot on a train in Oregon, claim their end goal is smashing the US into competing ethno-states. For them – and their king in President Trump – reconfiguring the borders, whether as policy changes to the inclusions and exclusions or new border lines entirely, is the best way to guarantee their political supremacy this century.
Are borders by their very nature racist?

4

I took my last trip to Christchurch a month and a half after March 15. I had a speaking engagement with Network Waitangi Otautahi, the local tauiwi Treaty group. I thought about putting it off. Post-March 15 the only conversations that seem urgent and necessary are about March 15. Taking up space felt wrong, and even stepping off the plane felt intrusive. The city was grieving. Even the affect was off. People were unusually quiet in public spaces. In private one person I spoke to was literally in tears. We weren’t talking about March 15 at all but she was thinking about it every day. Even that felt like I was taking up space. Am I here to grieve too? I thought about Sam Neill breaking down in a taxi when the news broke, openly weeping, and how he took comfort from his Muslim driver.
Hmmm.
I spoke, in the end. Not entirely comfortably, but an intervention of one kind or another felt right after the racism debate went from “individual hate” to “firearms access” to “the internet”. Each is its own valid connection, sure, but it felt as if all the most important connections were missing. In the English-speaking world it’s fashionable to name private, individual acts as “racist”. The intolerant, unfair, or simply racial things that fall out of people’s mouths. Like “cheeky darkies” on the 7pm telly. But it’s unfashionable, of course, to name racist systems. Instead bureaucrats and opinion-makers opt for euphemisms like “unconscious bias”, reducing racism to a state of mind and not a systemic design.
This is why I thought it important to issue a reminder, in the very small way that I could: racism is a social relation. It’s the principle governing the relationship between coloniser – the people who took this land and built the institutions to control and profit from it – and colonised, the people from whom the land was taken and the institutions built to protect and exploit the founding theft. The same principle shapes the relationship between citizens – people who enjoy all the rights the state confers – and non-citizens, outsiders who must prove their worth through their contribution to citizens.
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These are the systemic conditions that produce racism – unequal power relations – and it’s what makes it so easy to condemn the Māoris or the immigrants or whoever else. When one people are up and the other are down, and the scales are apparently resistant to any remedial attempts to balance them with Treaty settlements or an increase in the refugee and asylum seeker quota, it makes it seem as if their disadvantage is a state of nature and not a centuries-long project to exclude certain people from prosperity. To the alleged shooter his victims were by their very nature irredeemable, abusing the West’s generosity, and he understood himself as enacting the same permanent exclusions his ancestors made, from the Crusades to the war on terror.
In this sense, the alleged shooter was an individual racist. Of course he was. But in another sense he was taking our exclusionary systems to their logical end.
Is there any response to savagery like this? The government’s reforms are one. I entirely support them. And yet they fall so short. People will still define their identity in different nationalisms, just like the alleged shooter did, so long as there are racist border system to enforce them. Neo-fascists will still define their identities against women as long as there is an unequal “domestic sphere”, an unequal workplace, and a society where one group – men – accumulate and exercise disproportionate power over another – women, trans people, non-binary people. That makes the struggle against the alleged shooter’s politics longer than his trial, his probable conviction, and his probable imprisonment. It’s a generations-long struggle to destroy all the exclusions that make up our society and produce the conditions we know as racism.
On my read Simone Weil’s original, vital insight is that as people and communities we find our identities in the obligations we owe – and in the obligations owed to us. In those reciprocal relationships we find meaning and purpose. In the give and take, in its delights and frustrations, and in the everyday work of making a home in these islands. This is where we find our roots, connecting to each other in different ways – whether as Māori or women or Muslims – but never excluding. “They are us” is an inclusion. They are us is an affirmation. They are us is also an urgent and uncomfortable call to action. As New Zealanders, it’s our responsibility to take on every exclusionary system, whether it’s racist borders or enduring gender roles. The memory of those who lost their lives on March 15 demands no less."
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Gate 467 [Orion Aliance; part 2]

Part 1


GO BACK
Their three months of patrol was nearly over and Captain Rennai couldn’t wait to get home. It was the twins birthday next week. They would be turning five and would finally get to go to school with their favourite cousin. They had been so excited about that last time he visited. The family had a little party and get together all planned out to mark the occasion. Nothing terribly fancy but there would be cake. It had been over a year since they had all gotten together and he missed his brother’s terrible sense of humour.
The patrol crossed the last gate into an empty system at the end of the line. All ships reported accounted for and awaiting orders. He ordered the standard survey, same as always. His officers swiftly and efficiently went to work, plotting a course around the system to cover all planets at close range. This system, which had no official name just an id number, was at the dead end of a gate path with nothing much in it. No habitable planets, not much in mining options, no close trade routes. Two gates, one at each side of the system, gate 466 which they just crossed led back the way they came and 467 was closed, offline. They expected to find nothing here. And at first, there wasn’t.
“Sir, gate 467 is active!” Ensign Getun reported from the scanner.
Rennai sighed with a frown. This sort of event was very rare, the only other time he had seen an unexpectedly opened gate was back when he was a cadet. Back then, some Buurel smugglers had opened a gate hoping for a quick get away and place to lay low. It turned out it led straight back to another closed gate in Assembly space, where it just so happened that a navy squadron was running exercises.
So much for a nice boring tour. “Any ships around?”
“No, sir.” Which most likely meant whoever had done this was on the other side.
Rennai had been hoping not to see any more of Ytrel. He thumbed the ship comms open, “Commodore Ytrel, please come to the bridge.” Officially the commodore was in charge of the patrol, but Ytrel liked to let the captains gain 'advanced command experience,' he claimed. Rennai thought he just didn't want to bother with the daily grind instead just swooping in when something was out of the ordinary. Looking for opportunities to grandstand, in Rennai’s opinion.
Ytrel appeared within a few minutes, striding in with his usual annoying swagger. “Report,” he said curtly.
“No one in system, but a gate's been opened.” Rennai reported, standing from the command chair, stepping aside and clasping upperarms behind himself.
Ytrel perked up at that, “Any idea who did it?” he asked, taking the seat Rennai had just vacated.
“No sir, there's nothing here.”
Ytrel hummed and nodded, “Order all ships to the gate and prepare battlestations. Send a message back to command detailing what we've found.”
“Aye aye, sir,” the crew went to work. Once the gunners reported ready and ships were in formation, they all went through gate 467. On the other side a quick scan of local stars found the ships were about 28 lightyears from their last position, which wasn't too far for such things. The system was a binary star system with four planets, two gas giants and two terrestrial. The scanner detected no ships but something small and clearly artificial in orbit of one of the inner planets.
“There is activity near the second planet. A small probe or satellite, it's transmitting to the surface, probably a communication satellite,” ensign Getun reported.
Rennai frowned. It would be unusual for anything besides a permanent settlement to have dedicated objects in orbit.
“Who is it,” Ytrel sighed, “Goichenn? Pirates?”
The communication officer checked her console. Then rechecked her console. Time ticked by. “Well, ensign?” Ytrel snapped.
“Sorry, sir. I can't make it out. It doesn't match any protocol I'm familiar with. We'll need to get closer.”
Ytrel impatiently gestured to the pilot to take them deeper in system. As they approached Ytrel asked again what they were saying but the comms officer had nothing to offer. Finally in range of the planet, they did a scan of the surface that revealed a settlement. The buildings and roads of a city or town on a large plain near the shores of an ocean, the only clearly artificial formation on the planet. The town had some recognizable features, power and water plants, hospital, what was probably surface defence platforms, something like a command center in the middle, and a spaceport with a ship. Just one ship and a big one at that.
“The ship doesn't match anything we have on record, sir,” ensign Getun reported with surprise. “And it doesn't look like it has any FTL engines that I can detect, sir.”
“Well, well!” Ytrel sounded pleased. “A new species wandering around opening gates without considering the consequences. This is probably their first colony. They'll have to be taught better.”
Rennai tilted his head, confused, “What do you mean sir?”
“We’ll land and take control of the settlement.” Ytrel said casually.
Rennai turned to the commodore sharply, “Sir we have a first contact protocol for this sort of situation,” he reminded him.
The commodore didn’t even glance in the commander's direction. “Captain, they are already in violation of our laws, they need to be brought to heel before they hurt themselves.”
The commander sighed minutely, “As you say, sir.”
Ytrel commanded the ships to pick targets on the ground to bombard from orbit and for the soldiers to get ready to land. He shifting his weight and settling back into the command chair unceremoniously.
The crew hustled to carry out his orders to confront the unknowns. Rennai sighed, this was not how things should go, but he would lead the ground troops. He had a duty to obey.
~~~
Setting up camp went like clockwork. Everything went smoothly, not a single shot was aimed in their direction on the way to the surface. That made Rennai slightly worried. Why did they not retaliate from the orbital bombardment? The shuttles landed a few kilometers from the edge of the settlement, where they would expect farms to be established. There were no farms. This made Rennai slightly more worried. How were they keeping themselves fed?
Rennai sent two scouts out to check the city limits while the rest of the troops unpacked equipment from the shuttles. By the time the two came back the rest were just about ready to move out.
“Sir!” the first scout reported. He looked confused, “The city is empty.”
“An abandoned ruin, then? That explains a lot.” Well that was somewhat less worrying.
“No sir, everything looks new, there's just no one here,” the scout shrugged, perplexed.
“I spotted a large machine at the end of a row of buildings,” the other scout, added. “If I had to guess I'd say it's putting the buildings together. Or it did, it wasn't moving when I spotted it.”
“Any people?”
She shook her head. “Not one.”
Well that settled it. Rennai was greatly relieved. Whoever built this city must have sent automated builders for the citizens to arrive somewhere comfortable. Must have some damn good engineers and programmers. Makes our job easier. Without an army to stop them and the automated defences destroyed from orbit it should be easy enough to push to the command center in the middle of the city and take control of all systems. If they could gain control of this automated city, they would be just fine. Of course it would still be prudent to keep an eye out, in case there was a skeleton crew they hadn't spotted yet, or other hazards. Rennai ordered the troops into the city, unopposed.
~~~
In orbit, ensign Getun unexpectedly interrupted the smooth operations on the bridge. “Sir! I'm detecting multiple ships, approaching fast from the system's rim. Bearing 68 by 12.”
Ytrel hummed, “So they have FTL after all. How many?” he asked, unconcerned.
The ensign studied the readings intently. “Four hundred and counting, sir.”
There was a heartbeat of silence. “What!? Check those sensors there must be a malfunction,” Ytrel barked.
A long moment drew out as the ensign rechecked their console. The crew glancing around at each other wordlessly.
“The sensor is working fine, sir. Six hundred ships, now. Still more coming.”
“Is it the Goichenn navy?”
“No, sir. Ship's are an unknown configuration,” the ensign reported with a quaver in their voice.
“Recall our troops!” Ytrel ordered.
“The unknowns will be here in eight minutes sir, we can't recall everyone in that time,” his lieutenant said.
Ytrel cursed under his breath, “We'll have to come back for them. Ytrel to all ships: Retreat. Pilot, get us back to the gate, quickly!”
The patrol ships turned about, heading back to the area they had arrived, and away from the unknowns. They had got up to speed when the navigator squeaked out a “Sir?” She looked back at the commodore, fear clear in her eyes. “There's no return gate in the area.”
Ytrel felt his blood run cold. He leaned forward in his chair, “Why didn’t we notice when we arrived?” he shouted.
“We moved in system before the sweep was finished,” she gestured helplessly.
“No,” Ytrel breathed as the unknown ships closed the distance between them.
~~~
GO FORWARD
“Patch them through please,” Jalene heard Nunfor say to the secretary. She tried taking deep breaths hoping it would calm her headache. The pain relief medicine hadn’t kicked in yet.
The secretary noded, pressing a few buttons on her hand held device. “It’s in audio only, just a moment,” soon she looked up with a nod. Jalene glanced at Behzhi and Nunfor, both looked concerned but gave a nod for her to speak first.
“Greetings, this is Minister Lopore Hecale Jalene of The Galactic Assembly Ministry. With whom am I speaking?” she said evenly.
A brief crackle was heard before a voice came back “Hello, I’m lieutenant Adelaide Landry on behalf of the Orion Alliance,” the voice was pleasant and measured, friendly.
Jalene let out a breath slowly. They hadn’t immediately declared war, that was a plus. “Welcome to Capitol station. We are happy to welcome a new species into the Assembly. I must admit to some surprise at your arrival, how did you come to be here?” And how did you even know where to find us before we knew you existed, Jalene wondered to herself.
“I’m afraid I’m only here to deliver several messages and one package then be on my way. Any formal relations or elsewise will have to wait,” the voice spoke with a tone of regret.
Jalene’s brow furrowed. “I’m a little confused, you troubled yourselves to come to Capitol Station to speak with us, yet you don’t want to speak with us?” Perhaps they were xenophobic? “Perhaps the messages I have to deliver will clear things up,” the voice sounded cheerful now.
Jalene waved a hand to continue before realizing they couldn’t see her. “Please, continue then.”
“Firstly, while we do not wish hostilities with any member of the Galactic Assembly, we ask that you keep your ships out of our space for the foreseeable future. Currently, the only known gate directly to our space is gate 467-”
“What?” Behzhi interrupted in shock. “Do you have my people? What have you done with them?” Jalene and Nunfor both turned to him, surprised.
“Ah, that would be minister… Betsy?”
“It’s Behzhi,” he said annoyed.
“Oh, forgive me. Yes, we have the stray patrol. Your people are being cared for, they have not been harmed,” the voice of Landry said patiently.
Jalene watched Behzhi struggle to speak for a moment. “Return them immediately,” Behzhi said at last. Jalene saw the tension in his shoulders.
“I’m afraid we can’t do that. They have been arrested for destruction of property and will be put on trial.”
Behzhi was clearly at a loss for words. Jalene wasn’t sure how to react either. “What will become of them?” she asked on Behzhi’s behalf, giving him a moment to get himself together. Behzhi had always had a big heart. His concern was obvious.
“Most likely they will be sentenced to community service, cleaning up the mess they made. When their time is served, they are free to go.” Jalene could see the tension trickle off of Behzhi. “With the sole exception of one captain Rennai, who is aboard my ship and is to be released to you now. He is the package I mentioned earlier.”
Jalene had to take another deep breath, this was not at all going the way she had expected. “Why is this one individual being returned while the rest are not?” Jalene asked, rubbing her brow.
“Oh, I’m sure the good captain can fill you in on the details,” Landry said evenly.
Jalene shook her head in annoyance at the non-answer. “Very well, we will arrange a shuttle to pick him up from your ship.”
“Great. And you will stay out of our space, correct?” Landry insisted.
Jalene looked to Behzhi. He looked annoyed, concerned, but also resigned. He looked back at her for a long moment before sighing and giving her a nod. “If that is what you wish,” she said at last.
“Thank you,” Landry said. “Next point of business. As of eight hours ago, all of Goichenn territory has been annexed by the Orion Alliance, do not enter this territory-”
The rest of the sentence was drowned out by the commotion in the hall as everyone reacted to this. All the junior members who had, until that point, merely been listening erupted with exclamations and objections. Jalene looked toward Representative Nagrada’s table. The Goichenn was standing there, his face slack with an expression of horror. He turned to Jalene, she could see his shock turn to anger but before anything else an ear piercing shriek cut into all the clamour. It did not help Jalene’s head in the slightest but it did get everyone’s attention. All eyes turned to Nunfor, who had made the noise. For such a small species she could be incredibly loud. “Thank you,” she said to the room. “Lieutenant Landry,”
“To be clear,” Landry spoke quickly before she could go on, “We will show no aggression to the assembly. Any of the assembly’s ships found in the area at this time will be escorted to the borders unharmed.”
Nunfor sighed, “The Goichenn people are our long time associates.”
“But not fully members of the Assembly,” Landry countered. “Nor have they been especially kind to you, as their neighbours.”
Technically true but besides the point. There was a pause. Still, “We can not ignore this,” Jalene said at last. “You realized that?”
“I will relay that to my superiors.” Landry said with a tone of regret. “Last point of business I have for you. We have some assembly’s people who want to return home. Where should we bring them?”
Jalene was confused for a moment before realizing. Stolen slaves, of course. She sighed, thinking quickly. Which gate had she said? Oh yes. “Bring them to gate 467, we will arrange transport to their homes from there.”
“Understood. We will wait here until captain Rennai is unloaded then be on our way. Farewell,” the connection was cut. Noise erupted again in the hall.
Slowly Jalene leaned forward to rest her arms on the table in front of her, head bowed. It ached abysmally. “Tivatio. Get captain Rennai up here as soon as possible.”
The secretary hurried out of the hall.
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