a common noble cause

Posted 25 Apr 2002 at 21:29 UTC by sye Share This

As i am aware that a few of us here have recently put ourselves under one common noble cause: parenting. That's how this article gets my attention. "Bob Cringely's 74-day old son died of SIDS. Now he wants to kick off an open source research project to understand more about sudden infant death.

all topics on children's health, education, sex education etc are welcome under this article...


Parenting a Noble Cause?!, posted 26 Apr 2002 at 00:24 UTC by jordanb » (Apprentice)

What a load of bullshit. Anyone who looks at the world and says "what this place needs is another human" is ether incredibly dense or is deluding them-self. Parenting is not having enough control over your primitive impulses to procreate to put a rubber on before you fuck, nothing more.

Anyhow, Crigley's idea is very naive. Exactly what sorts of data is he hoping to collect with a $10 detector? If he's simply relying on the Mongolian horde technique to medical data, that if they just measure breathing rates (of course, I'd be impressed if they could pull even that off for $10) of enough kids, they're suddenly going to say, "oh, that's what's wrong!," he's even more naive.

I think the situation is this: he's not gotten over his new father hormones, and the kid dies, so now he's a grieving new father. The trick is that he has a widely read online column, so he uses the column to come up with some cockamamy plan to make his kid's death easier to cope with, and then we all have to deal with it.

i beg to differ, posted 26 Apr 2002 at 00:42 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)

I beg to differ. Of course parenting is noble! If you won't believe it, simply ask my husband how he lives his noble life everyday. He is a father of 5 boys, age 2 months to 13 years old. Little Gregoriy keeps him amused every minute. Little Eugene brings him coffee and juice each morning. Miki is the backup for morning beverage duty plus dish washing duty. Peter is to play and protect Niko and setup the table for every dinner. Of course, they all fight and querral with each other.

Parenting is noble. But many of us have given that noble cause to capitalism and market or to housewife or to working mother and working father without a second thought.

Beyond noble, posted 26 Apr 2002 at 05:19 UTC by mx » (Journeyer)

Parenting is beyond noble - it is at the core of who we are ... and the propagation of our race depends on it. It requires great skill and patience, not to mention kindness and love. The experience will teach you more about yourself than any other, as you see yourself reflected in someone else. It is a geek thing really, teaching a complicated device to find intelligence and wisdom. What better project can mankind attempt than to train an intelligent device?

What happened to Cringely is easily the most painful event imaginable. I know - in the last year I twice held my son in my hands blue and cold, not breathing for some unknown reason. I will never, ever, be the same again.

We were fortunate, though, as we found our son early enough to resuscitate him. Few are so lucky. In a day where a $50 vanity watch can monitor your heart rate and sp02 levels, children continue to suffer SIDS.

The parts that go into a sp02 monitor are simple. The hospital our son stayed at threw out a hadnful of sensors a day - not because they stopped working - but because the sticky stuff lost its stick.

The devices are simple LEDs and photo-resisters (as far as I could tell). These things can accurately measure the level of oxygen in the blood (sp02, or saturation percentage of O2). The hardware that reads the device appears to do a simple low-rate sample + set of transformation (probably first order derivatives) ... something could be put into a device that cost much less than $10. In fact, I could imagine that the device could be printed into bandages that were less complicated than those stupid FM-syth chips that are in many kids toys.

It is really sad that things like SIDS are not higher on our priorities than muscial bears and vanity-excercise watches. Medical devices available to the masses are generally ions behind what high-volume, useless consumer products can do - which is a sad indication of the self-centered business of our society.

And, to answer the question of "is there any value to a simple device for something like SIDS?" ... I have to say yes. The day we brought the little dude home fromt he hospital, we bought an overpriced motion sensor (detects breathing) for when the little guy sleeps. The device is crap, but it is enough to save the the life of an incredible child. Not only is child-rearing noble and good - it is worth standing on a pulpit for. Mr. Bob Cringely, my heart goes out to you - be strong.

Amazing, posted 26 Apr 2002 at 05:54 UTC by mnot » (Journeyer)

The Web shows me something new and amazing every day. For example, because of projects like archive.org, JordanB's children will be able to look back into time and see exactly what kind of jackass their father was...

[ not that I haven't posted my share of similarly thoughtless drivel i the past ]

My heart goes out to Cringley. He's a pundit ('nuff said), but that's a horrible, horrible thing to happen to anyone. If some good comes of this, good on him.

A small part of that good might be getting geeks out of their caves and into the real world a bit more.

A Gay Perspective, posted 26 Apr 2002 at 14:34 UTC by dmerrill » (Master)

From mx: "Parenting is beyond noble - it is at the core of who we are". So what does that make of a gay person like me, who didn't have the option to become a parent? Am I missing part of my core? (I don't mean that as harshly as it reads, but I do intend to challenge your assumptions!) I am sure that when a person becomes a parent, that fact becomes part of their core identity, part of who they are. But those of us who do not choose to parent, or who cannot become parents, are not missing some part of our core.

I don't think parenting is necessarily noble, although it certainly can be noble. Just dropping kids certainly isn't noble -- any nobility is whatever one earns based on how one parents. I do think that caring for other people is arguably the highest calling, whether it is caring for our children, caring for an aging parent or caring for a friend dying of AIDS.

This may be a bit OT, but it's something I feel strongly about, so I'm going to write it...

It is very difficult to be a parent when you are gay. Only recently have we become able to use surrogates to have children, and in many places it is still illegal for us to adopt. It is amazing to me that people think gay people are child molesters, or that they will turn the kids gay. That's the most ridiculous, ignorant, downright rock stupid load of shit. Ye Gods, my heterosexual parents sure didn't turn me straight, although they sure as hell tried.

Those who do go through the hurdles to have biological children are not protected by the laws -- in lesbian families usually the birth mother only has rights, and the partner has none. Even if she raises the child for its first 15 years, at a "divorce" she can't even visit her child without the birth mother's permission.

In custody cases, a gay parent almost always loses their children, for instance, if a married person comes out and divorces their spouse. Often they have trouble with visitation -- courts commonly order it is supervised, to prevent molestation!

A court in Florida took a child away from its mother and gave it to the father because the mother was lesbian, even though the father had a documented record of abusing the child!

I have a good friend who adopted and raised eight children, and he is both a wonderful man and a wonderful father. He was "in the closet" when he adopted, or he couldn't have done that. (All of them are heterosexual, by the way.)

Okay, so this developed into a bit of a rant, and I'm not going to apologize for that. I'm a second-class citizen, and I'm not one to sit quietly and accept it like a good little fairy. Fuck that.

sadvogato, posted 27 Apr 2002 at 01:37 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)

this is a poem from Patricia Celley Groth's book "The God's Eyes: Stories From the Father Line."

THE BABY WHO REFUSED TO GROW
I took in my parents' sorrows early.
There was one baby sister my father talked about with such longing, as if he cuold turn back the years and months and days and find her alive. She was born just after his father's death in a quarry accident -- too soon, too small.
A boy of nine, he watched the birth from his seat at his mother's head where he bathed her temples. The little girl was born with the caul on, a slippery, blood-streaked envelope which the midwife removed, and then she breathed cautiously into the baby's mouth. She mewed and forever after she had a place in my father's heart. "She won't live long," said the midwife gently, "better name her quick." Katie Bell, delicate beauty, after her mother.
They kept her in a shoebox in the oven of the woodstove. But she did live for eight months; she opened her milky-blue eyes for Myrle, smiled for him, stretched her hand to him. He fed her with coffee spoons of warm milk, brought flowers to wind among her little fingers, kept the other children busy so their mother could pay attention to the baby.
But still it was no use. She couldn't sit up, didn't thrive. Then one day she went behind her eyes where my father could not follow, left his heart dangling.
The end will come when I have learned not to be caught in my father's sorrow, not to be the baby -- who refused to grow.

Noble ?, posted 27 Apr 2002 at 02:58 UTC by ekashp » (Journeyer)

Are you trying to tell me you love me ?

Thanks for letting me do the Mr. Mom thing !

parenting vs. reproducing, posted 29 Apr 2002 at 23:47 UTC by graydon » (Master)

raising a child is, if not "noble", at very least hard and also worth enjoying and being proud of. parents, guardians, teachers, anyone involved in the raising really should be commended for the hard work and sacrifices they're making for the next round of people.

producing a child in the first place is another story. you should try to avoid doing that, as there's far too many in need of parents (and breathing room, food, fresh air & water, etc) already. a little time spent in line at an adoption bureau is a simple enough thing to ask, compared to all the other sacrifices the potential parent is signing up for.

Re: parenting vs. reproducing, posted 30 Apr 2002 at 02:55 UTC by jordanb » (Apprentice)

Excellent point. I must say, if I ever become a parent, it will be through adoption. I do think that that is noble. But I reiterate, there is nothing noble about spitting another kid out into this world, regardless of your intentions to care for it.

Looney, posted 30 Apr 2002 at 06:12 UTC by robk » (Journeyer)

JordanB, you're a looney.

Looney ?, posted 30 Apr 2002 at 13:25 UTC by ekashp » (Journeyer)

Hey, I'll be the looney here!

I'm a guy with five wonderful little boys! They're all my children. I'm proud to have brought them into the world, and do my best to raise them as 'good' and productive members of the society of their future.

But there are already many other children I've had the chance to care for as well. As it is I've spent a good deal of time over the years caring for the neighbors children while they play with mine. Often there are neglected children that badly need any extra attention they can get. Scouting, school, sports, church, and other volunteer activities give us all opportunity to contribute to the upbringing of other youths, as well as one's own children - adopted or otherwise.

Is there a better way to serve our future than contributing to the raising of 'good' productive children ? Open source parenting ?

I'll lurv being the loon. I gotta go change a diaper now ...

noble = love + duty + self determination, posted 30 Apr 2002 at 16:50 UTC by sye » (Journeyer)

i was listening to Christen radio station this morning on the way to work. The program is about Trinity. "Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit". Nobility is also in the trinity of love, duty and self determination. If a woman becomes a mother by 'accident', there isn't much of nobility in her labor of delivering the baby as hard and painful as the labor can be. If the woman is actually a victim of a brutal rape case, yet she determined that baby has a right to be born and she has love for the unborn child, that is noble. If the woman hate crimes/love peace in our society and consider fighting the crime her calling. She decided to get an abortion and devote her energy in fighting street crimes. She is also a noble woman. For fathers, how many among us consider raising the family our duty and think that we can't afford to lose our jobs even though it no longer challenges our minds/bodies for the love of our work? The invisible market hand has blinded most of us only see our duty of earning wage, starving for the love of fame, believing in God and republican at the same time yet never trust people are born with goodness in their heart.

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