How to Not Change People's Minds

Thank you to everyone who has donated, subscribed, and e-mailed me (send your e-mails to scott@basicinstructions.net with the subject "I want my thank you gift") to receive their zip file of high rez copies of all of my hero comics. The response I've received has really been heartening.

I feel the need to point out that I do like children. It would be hard to work where I do if I didn't! I just think people should remember that they have the option to choose not to reproduce, as my wife and I have. I should also point out that the “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and their stupid kids” shirt is available for sale now. You can get it in men's light-coloredmen's dark-colored, women's light-colored, and women's dark-colored

And, as always, thanks as always for using my Amazon Affiliate links  (USUKCanada).

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Reader Comments (62)

Wow what a bunch of negative Nellies. It's wonderful when people who don't want kids; don't have them. I came from bad parents. I'd rather come from bad parents than not at all. I am a parent. A very good parent. I know this for a fact. I have other people express this to me. Some from medical professions(not the guys with the strait jackets), and my own children mention this to me without any prodding from me or anyone else. My own bad Mother is jealous of my children, because they have me as a mom. No matter how stupid people are it has always been this way. What has changed is society. For instance it's no longer acceptable to beat people who work for you; when mistakes are made. I'm not talking about slave beatings. Growing is messy and hard; somethings are ruined in the process. Like when animals go extinct. Maybe someday we will be able to bring them back. My point is Most people are bad occasionally; not all the time. We need children. At least as many as there are adults. Someone needs to wipe our butts towards the end; unless we can make some robots with warmers in their robotic hands. I hate cold metal against my butt.

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpeoriagrace

Anna and Anne, been there, too.
One woman actually shouted at me "You have to have your babies! You HAVE to have your babies!"...Sounded wierd - as though they were already standing on my porch and, cruel monster that I am, I was leaving them out there in the cold.
One nice thing about grey hair - nobody's telling me to 'have my babies' now.
To those afraid that intelligence is genetic; good news!
proper baby-handling in the first three years can do more than genetics to increase intelligence.
There are books out on this (such as "bright from the start"), so those of you who do plan to have kids - yours really CAN be superior.
The bit I don't get is how many people think there are only two states: barren, and breeding-like-Duggars.
Yes, it is possible to have one or two.

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee

@jl: I disagree. I've always thought of the advice text as Scott being the wise mentor passing on sage wisdom. On an unrelated note, I'm constantly being told I'm an idiot. Any advice on that?

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGiondi

Kids are dumb and selfish, they learn how to be smart and act right in public from interacting with other people. If they don't, they're a "free spirit" and I hate them.

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Sooner or later, the human population on this planet will stabilize because it's not physically possible to support an infinite number of people on a finite planet. The only questions are how the stabilization will happen and what shape the planet will be in when it does. And Dee, I too have gray hair, as well as friends who are childless by choice. There are a lot more childless Boomer women than I had realized. The ones I know are doting aunts.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

After reading the comments - I don't think I've ever heard a more self-defeating statement than "I'm having kids because we smart people need to balance out the overbreeding stupid people."

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I have to agree with Dee. I can't tell you how many times I've had people tell me that a couple and one child doesn't qualify as a family. One thoughtless coworker actually thought that being laid off from a job would be no big deal for a father with one child. People are odd. I can only imagine what childless couples and single parents put up with.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

@Giondi:
Um...stop being an idiot?

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFilthy McMonkey

not having children is just an invitation to remain an adolescent. spoken like a true 55 year old without children.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

Has someone mentioned "Idiocracy" already? I'd be surprised if they hadn't. Unfortunately, the future may belong to the Jenkinses.

Personal choice, though, unless you want to have children and can't.

October 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

The text at the top of Frame 4 is so stingingly rich in wisdom that I wish I had caught it on Friday, when it came out, rather than first thing in the morning on Monday. Truths like that just aren't pleasant to embrace when a very relevant week is facing you.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

How not to change...

Don't split the infinitive.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

@ancient.brit
Thank you for the link. I hadn't encountered that story. It looks compelling. I think perhaps I'll buy myself an early Christmas present via Scott's Amazon link.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

I just want to say that, in the original story, it WAS Adam and Eve and their stupid kids.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Maybe the world is already irredeemably doomed due to impending overpopulation by morons, and smart people are making the sensible choice by not breeding and thus helping mankind to achieve its critical mass of stupid in order for the subsequent tardocalypse to clean up the gene pool and give way to the Next Thing, whatever that may be.
Jussayin...

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMancuso

contrary to popular belief, noticing how stupid other people are doesn't make you smarter. If you're an intellectual, have kids if you legitimately think you'll be able to put forth the work required to raise them without seriously screwing up their lives, not because you think you're one of the intellectual elite. You might be surprised how many of the "stupid majority" you speak of share your opinion, but for some reason can't conceive of their own shortcomings. Who'd've thought.

October 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter~.~

1. It's perfectly fine to split infinitives. The "rule" against it (and other acceptable language usage) was made up by some overly strict grammarians to force everyone else to conform to their restrictive ideas about English.

2. "childfree"

3. http://xkcd.com/603/

October 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrigonman3

The idea of the story "The Marching Morons" has been criticised and debated. The debate usually goes rather like this "Basic Instructions", I gather.

October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

My husband and I became parents without procreating. I wish more people who wanted to become parents would follow that route.

In case I'm being needlessly obscure, I'm referring to adoption.

October 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

the solution: Parenting classes starting in the FIRST grade. Kids could learn to be better parents to themselves than their parents are to them and that would help right now and in the future when they have some of their own.

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSondra

My biggest issue is that the people that would often make the best parents/ have the best genomic material for offspring are often the ones having the fewest(or in your case) no children. I'm 29 in a month and still have no kids, yet over half the females in my high school from age 16-18 dropped out or were pregnant by graduation. they didnt think about what kind of future they could provide, or what their kids would miss out on by not being financially stable or truly mentally competent. Its why idiocricy scares me so much, its sooo true, dumb people are breeding out of control, meaning the classes, shows and jobs have to keep getting dumber.

January 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdarkvision

I agree with the 'ruining the world' bit in Panel 2. The last thing we need is more Jenkinses...

January 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterqwerty

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