March 29, 2005
A New "Modest Proposal?"

At first, I was quite outraged when I stumbled across this:

Nationally recognized geneticist William A. Doty and clinician Joseph Peacock began a program in private practice whereupon overweight men in the Bay Area could receive vasectomies free of charge. Their philosophy: When engaging in clinical decision making, physicians tend to value primarily information about the effect of treatments on physiological functioning and disease progression, rather than information about the impact on the patient's quality of life [9-11]. By focusing on the quality of life of future generations, we greatly improve the psychological impact of genetics on the human condition.

But then I thought, "that's stupid... this would only work if you talked them into a vasectomy before they had kids." Then my Landover Baptist Church warning system kicked in.

Not wanting to give Joshua another opportunity to place a whoopie cushion under my intellectual arrogance, I decided to do a bit of digging. The story was linked up on FARK, so I went trolling in the comments. Once I waded through the inevitable eltist eugenic "what a great idea, fat people = stupid!" crap, sure enough someone else had discovered the rest of the site looked an awful lot like this one.

So I'm going to call this one satire, although I'm not completely sure I understand its point. Which I find a little worrisome, since satire is nearly always missed by its intended targets. However, with a little squinting I could see it as a jibe at the whole "the state knows best, obey the state" stance that liberals, especially California liberals, are justly famous for. So I'll call it that for now. To quote a certain Cheshire Cat:

"Tell yourself, 'I've seen worse at Rutledge's.' Prevarication, in this instance, may help."

Posted by scott at March 29, 2005 01:11 PM

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