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Member Skype #27 Warmup – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This is the Warmup thread for Member Skype Call #27, which is focused on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

This is a film version of the book, produced/aired by in 1980. I will be using clips from it during the call and/or in post production.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

One can skip to just about any part of this film and within moments, something will be said which is directly relatable to the kinds of topics we have been discussing on this site recently.

You may notice that the character Thomas (‘Tommakins’) is played by Keir Dullea, the same man who played David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Of course, the film cannot do the book justice. For the purpose of a 1-2 hour call, enough of the basic themes and ideas are reproduced well enough by the film to make it worth using as the basis for the audioclips for the call.

The following article I published around twelve months ago is also relevant to the discussion.

Article #16 – The Epsilon Agenda (7-Jun-2017)

The tl;dr is this: ever wonder if young girls today are entering puberty earlier than in the past? The authorities say that they are. Huxley suggested they would. And thus the trip down yet another rabbit hole begins…

Another piece with information which is pertinent to the discussion.

Article #38 – What is a ‘Black Pill’? (16-Feb-2018)

The tl;dr is this: several studies indicate that trauma suffered by infant children leaves some kind of mark on their ‘subconscious’, to the point where birth trauma type seems to correlate with not only likelihood of suicide later in life, but also type of suicide.

More articles which will be relevant to the discussion

Fairfax – IFV producing new generation of infertile Australian children says professor John Aitken (3-Nov-2016)

IVF is producing a new generation of infertile Australian children who will require expensive medical treatment to produce their own offspring, says University of Newcastle laureate professor John Aitken.

One in six Australian couples use IVF.

And one in every 25 Australian children are now born as a result of IVF.

A decade ago it was one in 35 births.

Dr Aitken predicted that unless there was a rethink, Australia was well on the way to replicating the Danish experience where one in 15 children were IVF babies.

-> ‘Expert’ says IVF babies will be infertile. 1/25 babies now IVF. In Denmark it is 1/15.

Guardian: What’s next for the world’s five million IVF babies? (23-Nov-2014)

When in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) began in 1978, some scientists were worried that the babies born as a result of it might suffer birth defects and health problems.

IVF babies are known to have lower average birth weights (of) 20-30 grams [roughly 0.6-0.9 of an ounce | ave baby weight 2,500 – 4,000 grams]…

“One of the problems has been finding out if it is something about the parents’ infertility itself which means that when the baby is born it’s slightly lighter, or if it’s the IVF process. Where the consensus seems to be going is a bit of both.”

The first baby born from IVF using a frozen embryo was in Australia, in 1984.

-> Began in 1978. IVF babies lighter on average. Even experts don’t know why. First frozen embryo baby in 1984 (lol).

The Conversation: Infertility through the ages – and how IVF changed the way we think about it (1-May-2018)

To all outward appearances, Louise Brown looked exactly the same as thousands of other babies when her blinking, slightly quizzical gaze met newspaper readers on the morning of July 27, 1978. But as the first child born using the technique of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), she was utterly unique in the history of humankind.

Many women are shocked to discover the relatively high rate of failure of a single cycle of IVF. The success rate for women under 35 to have a live birth is 32.2%, declining to just 1.9% for women over 44, according to NHS data from 2010.

In Britain, the oral contraceptive pill was made available in 1961 and abortion was legalised six years later.

-> July 27, a couple weeks of 40 years. Even women under 35yo have a 1/3 chance of success with IVF. Look at timeline of ‘the pill’ and abortion.

Time: How healthy are IVF babies? (5-Jul-2013)

The researchers studied 2.5 million Swedish children, and compared those born via IVF with those who were conceived naturally. About 47 in 100,000 infants born from IVF developed cognitive deficits, such as low IQ or problems in communicating or socializing with others, compared with 40 in 100,000 among naturally conceived children.

-> 47/100,000 is 17% more than 40/100,00.

Time: IVF linked to more birth defects (22-Oct-2012)

The role infertility treatments play in birth defect risk isn’t fully understood, and whether it’s the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures or infertility itself that bears the greatest influence remains up for debate.

Among 4795 babies born after IVF and 46,025 infants who were conceived naturally, 3,463 babies had congenital birth defects. Even after controlling for factors that can affect such birth defects, such as mother’s age, and race, which can influence rates of genetic and environmentally driven developmental disorders, 9% of infants born after IVF had birth defects compared to 6.6% of babies who were conceived naturally. Overall, the babies born after IVF were 1.25 times more likely to be born with abnormalities. The researchers did not find a link between birth defects and other fertility treatments like artificial insemination or ovulation induction.

-> ‘Not fully understood’. Even when controlling for other factors, 25% higher chance of abnormalities.

–> Here is the abstract for the study, confirming the claims in the article. I can’t check methodology etc because I can’t access full article.

The Conversation: The facts on birth rates for Muslim couples and non-Muslim couples in Australia (24-Jul-2017)

Census 2016 data show that women of Islamic faith in Australia have an average of 3.03 births per woman, while the average for all women in Australia is 2.02 births per woman.

-> ‘Non-religious’ are listed at 1.81. ‘Christians’ at 2.11. Whitey is declining, and fast.

First ‘test tube baby’ Louise Brown

And more recently:


4 thoughts on “Member Skype #27 Warmup – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • bmseattle

    Curious as to the status of the Brave New World podcast.
    Is there a problem with the final product, or some other reason that it hasn’t been released yet?

    • Excellent question. I might try to set aside a day this week to get it done and put a final line underneath the MSC series.

      • bmseattle

        I actually wasn’t encouraging you to release it, necessarily. I was just curious as to why this call (in particular), has fallen by the wayside.
        Did something “controversial” happen during the call? Or did the final product not end up meeting your standards in some way?
        I actually tried participating in this call, but was late to the party, so I listened in for a while. The part I heard, at least, was quite interesting.

        • No, nothing wrong with the call. It will be one of the better ones from the season, in my opinion. But it is difficult for me to set aside the time necessary to go back and edit it, because I know how much time it is going to require. That call was recorded back during the Skype days, for one thing. And I will have to edit in a few clips from an audiobook of BNW which will require me to find the clips, cut them out, and insert them, another time-intensive process.

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