April 24th, 2013
This week we do a shorter segment on a topic dear to the both of us – educating children. We talk a little bit about public schooling, Catholic schooling, and religious beliefs that are taught to children. We also focus these topics around gender dynamics.
But before we get there, it just so happens that we had a reason for heading in that direction. As it happens, Jad and his lovely wife, Alisa, are expecting their first child this coming August.
Jad is extremely excited about his soon-to-be first daughter and Kevin is certainly excited to hear Jad incorporate some of his new experiences into our dialogue. Kevin was noticing that over the years that many people use their children as a way to ignore principles they may have once held dear. While he certainly understand why this may be the case, he is anxiously waiting to get Jad’s take on the matter as he begins raising his daughter.
Kevin: Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of the JK Podcast, a podcast exploring the grand ideas of liberty, humanity, and equality for all. This week we do a shorter segment on a topic dear to the both of us, educating children. We talk a little bit about public schooling, Catholic schooling, and religious beliefs that are taught to children. We also focus these topics around gender dynamics. But before we get there, it just so happens that we had a reason for heading in that direction that all starts with a big announcement Jad had saved for the show.
Jad: – and actually, this is an awkward way to bring it up but you just mentioned it, Elisa and I are having a baby in August, so –
Kevin: Oh, are you really?
Jad: We just broke the news yesterday – or Lisa did on Facebook, so, yep.
Kevin: Holy shit. Well congratulations.
Jad: Thank you, I appreciate it.
Kevin: Way to go, man. August – August 21st?
Jad: 22nd, somewhere in the – yeah, somewhere in late, middle August there.
Kevin: So there you have it, the very first JK Podcast pregnancy. This is sure to bring about some interesting changes in the coming months. That was Jad Davis talking about his pregnant wife, Elisa; I’m Kevin Ludlow, welcome back to the JK Podcast.
Jad: So we’re 13 weeks – 12 weeks in.
Kevin: So just about where they can determine the sex, huh?
Jad: Yep, it’s a girl. We already –
Kevin: Oh, you already found out?
Jad: [?], yep.
Kevin: Oh wow, congratulations, man.
Jad: Yep. The study of the gender dynamics will be interesting too because I’m planning on avoiding the stereotypical female upbringing as much as possible.
Kevin: I figured you guys might – that would be something you’d be interested in, but we’re going to have all sorts of good stuff to talk about now because those are just interesting topics.
Jad: Oh absolutely, absolutely. So that’s all the stuff I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is like well – and I’ve thought about this before, but we didn’t think about having kids. Well actually we thought about having kids the entire time we’ve been together, but we just never really got around to it until recently.
Kevin: Sounds like it.
Jad: But that’s part of the reason I’m just constantly trying to absorb information about like, how you know, humans learn, what are the conditions under which someone can be themselves the most, be their most authentic self without trying to modify their own behavior and ways of thinking in order to you know, fit some other paradigm, or fit some other directive from outside of themselves, which I just don’t know how you do that with like the public school seems like that’s the end of that.
Kevin: Yeah, I think so too. So that, you know – well I’d be really interested to see some of the things that you would do for a kid. But I think that you’re refractive in actually following suit with those principles that you hold dear, and I think that that is a fairly rare quality. I think – I know a lot of people who would espouse the views that you have, but I think when push came to shove, I think most of them would say it’s just too difficult to follow through with those.
But I kinda feel like you probably wouldn’t do that, especially because you’ve got you know, Elisa strongly on the side of those things as well. So I’d be really interested to see some of the decisions that you come to about that.
Jad: Yeah man.
Kevin: I mean down to the little things, it’s just there’s so many decisions to be made there.
Kevin: My sister is you know, [?] a lot of them, she definitely is not outspoken in any way, shape, or form, like I might be. I think her internal politics are actually the same, even though she’s not a political type of person at all, she hates talking about politics, but I think she does kind of think in the same political sense that we do, and she’s worked real hard to try to – I mean little things like, “you know, I’m going to do the cloth diapers, I’m going to do this, we’re going to feed him this, he’s not going to eat the sugars” – really trying to go the route that doesn’t poison his mind to be the typical American, and so far so good. First year looks like its done pretty well.
Jad: Are there multiple children – I see you in pictures with children you know, not infrequently, is that mostly your nephew?
Kevin: Yeah, that’s my nephew – he’s the only one, so –
Jad: Oh okay, cool. Do you know – it’s way too early to tell, but are they – do they have thoughts about schooling?
Kevin: Well that one I haven’t actually talked with them a lot about. I know that you know, they’ve looked into – especially where they’re living in Houston right now – you definitely wouldn’t send your kid to one of the public schools over there, it’s just not going to happen – so the question is would the move before then, or do they take the alternative of private school. And then interestingly, the both of them went to Catholic schools, and they kinda give you this really weird thing there, what we’re talking about, right? Like, there’s a certain level of indoctrination, but on the other hand, Catholic schools tend to be really good schools.
They tend to provide very good educations and by some irony I suppose, I would say the vast majority of people that I know that went to Catholic school are not particularly religious. Now some of them certainly are, but I think a lot of them aren’t and the notion I’ve always taken from this, or the hypothesis I have is because they actually get a really good education and when it comes down to it, they just have analytical skills and they might be indoctrinated, but it doesn’t take them too long to break away from that and say, “wait a second”, whereas most people are never going to have that analytical introspection of questioning your own belief system.
So I guess it’s my belief anyways that the people become educated enough where they can kind of dissuade themselves from being religious just with their own skills, which I find to be somewhat ironic of course, given
Kevin: – the nature of going to a Catholic school.
Jad: I agree with you, I think that’s probably a definitely a component and I think the other thing is that I think religion comes from the parent. I mean – so it really comes from the parent and Catholicism is not a fanatical religion anymore, so most Catholics are – it’s kind of like Judaism in a sense – that they’re culturally Catholic, right, and they’re – they’ve sent their kids to Catholic school because it’s a much better school and they get a discount because they go to church there or whatever, and so it’s a convenient place to get a great education, and they themselves are not like, having morning devotionals and you know, and praying with their child, and you know, like evangelicals more typically are. So I think [?] a Catholic education probably like you said, leads to far more well educated atheists than probably anything else.
Kevin: Yeah, I think so. But yeah I mean that’s a good point that you bring up also. 99% of it comes from you know, the upbringing with the parents and all that sort of jazz, and if I apply more of the kind of, the psychotherapy that I’ve been studying, most of them would say that that’s 100% what happens because all that shit gets formulated when you’re a kid, and the influence of your parents and siblings I suppose, but mostly because you’re seeking the approval of your parents one way or another.
Kevin: Or you’re afraid of whatever it is that they’re doing, but one way or another, those emotions are being set upon you, so if your parents are screaming at you because you’re not reading your bible, or doing whatever you’re supposed to be doing, that’s clearly going to have a long-term impression on you after time.
Jad: Right, right, yeah.
Kevin: Well congratulation, man. I can’t wait to follow this along and see how it all goes. I assume Elisa’s doing well at the [?].
Jad: Oh she’s doing great, yep. Everything’s going splendidly.
Kevin: And she’s your age or younger than you?
Jad: She’s like a month older than me – we’re the same age.
Kevin: Oh wow, so – I mean, I assume that she’s comfortable with everything then, I mean, I don’t have any real strong knowledge of this, but I know women get freaked out a little bit with the – what, you’re 38, right?
Kevin: Yeah, so –
Jad: Yeah – no, I think I mean it’s good it’s like you know, we waited so long like you know, we got everything in hand, so we’ve put ourselves in the best position. If it was like 8 years ago or whatever, we’d be making $30,000 and scrambling for rent, and then you add a baby then it’s just like chaos, but now we’re fat, rich, bourgeoisie –
Jad: So –
Kevin: Since we’ve never really gotten into Jad’s bio and since I failed to laugh at his joke during our recording, I felt I should clarify that he and his wife are neither fat nor rich. They are however both incredibly lovely, and financially comfortable. As for bourgeoisie, I will have to contact the French consulate to see if Jad’s beard precludes him from wearing this title. I kind of suspect it may.
Jad: – I think, I’m not totally sure, but I think all of the you know, increased rates of down syndrome and all that stuff, we like, tested for all that and it’s all negative, so –
Kevin: Cool, cool.
Jad: – I think any of the risks of waiting are all kind of passed.
Kevin: Yeah. That’s what I was talking about, I just – I hear a lot of women get really nervous about stuff like that, but just complications of pregnancy [?] –
Jad: Sure, sure. Well they – some of them say – I mean, it’s not – I think it’s played up pretty hugely for whatever reason. I don’t know if a nefarious purpose or what, but like, yeah, I think your odds go from you know, something like 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 200 for some of those things, which is a huge increase, but it’s also still a very low probability –
Jad: – and you know, I think after 35 all those sloping lines start to slope more quickly, so 38’s about – it’s about as long as she felt safe waiting, but yeah.
Kevin: Yeah I – that’s what I’m saying, you’re kinda pushing the –
Jad: Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely.
Kevin: You get to about 41 and it’s pretty much the end of the life there, so –
Jad: Yep, yep.
Kevin: Well no, that’s cool I mean obviously, I wasn’t asking if anything was wrong, really just more of, sounds like she’s real comfortable with everything and –
Kevin: – so, that’s great.
Jad: Yeah man, it’s – like I said, it’s pretty ideal. We’re both totally psyched, so –
Kevin: Cool man, well I’m psyched for you. I’m envious in some way or another, so –
Jad: Well you’ve got plenty of time man.
Kevin: Yeah, I’m in no shortage of it, but for some reason, a little girl over a little boy sounds a lot more appealing, but –
Jad: Well you know, I was thinking like, it’s kinda selfish because you know honestly, I mean I’m fairly convinced this is true and I think I don’t have to make the case too hard to you because we’ve had this conversation a million times, but you know, it is much, much better to be a boy than a girl in life –
Kevin: Quick point of clarification here, although I doubt any of our regular listeners require this bit of background, new listeners may. Jad is a firm believer that women are significantly more disadvantaged when it comes to the social structure of the world, and although I’ve never disagreed with this, he has definitely given me much more reason to ponder why it’s true.
Examples are almost unlimited, but if it helps, think of women’s voting rights, or lack thereof them, day to day sexism, unequal pay compensation, and then all the way up the Abrahamic ladder to rape, and honor killings. In short, this comment out of context has nothing to do with swing one’s proverbial dick around, and is rather in the outright defense of women.
Jad: – but on the flipside, from the parenting perspective, if I had a little boy right, especially in a city, right? So it’s like we have very tight spaces, very constrained, and if a little boy is like, running around the playground like, yelling and screaming or whatever – just being you know, a rambunctious kid, I’m going to feel like, self conscious about that, you know what I mean?
Just because I’m going to be like you know, is he taking up too much of the social space as it were, you know, with his energy or whatever? But like, with a girl, I have no compunction like, she’s going to beat the shit out of some kid on the playground, I’m going to be like yeah, hell yeah, go for it, you know?
Kevin: Do it.
Jad: Yeah. It’s like, I don’t have to worry about any of that like, she can be as – she can take up as much space as she wants and that’s all to the good – in my mind, again, this is just me personally or whatever – just because she’s a girl.
Kevin: She’s disadvantaged going into it, so therefore –
Jad: Exactly, exactly. You don’t – you definitely don’t want to like, put the brakes on energy and enthusiasm and you know, and whatever with a girl. With a boy, it’s question in my head, I’m not really sure – you really don’t want to, but in some sense you have to –
Jad: – maybe, maybe you don’t, but certainly in an urban environment it’s much harder not to. That’s why I always thought like – and I still kinda think I might do this – but if I have a little boy and they had any signs of having the same kind of energy level as I did when I was a kid, I would totally move to like, Drifting Springs or something and buy like, 10 acres and just be like, “go to town, man. Just go run through the woods, and climb shit, and jump off of things, and go nuts.”
Kevin: Right, right. Yeah. No, that’s cool. Well like I said, I’ll be very interested to see this dialog unfold.
And unfold it will continue to do. In all seriousness though, Jad and his wife, Elisa are extremely excited about their soon to be first daughter, and I am certainly excited to hear Jad incorporate some of his new experiences into our dialog.
In particular, I’ve noticed over the years that many people use their children as a way to ignore principles they may have once held dear. While I certainly understand why this may be the case, I’ll be interested to get Jad’s take on the matter as he begins raising his daughter. But until then, we’ll keep discussing whatever else comes to mind. As always, thanks for tuning in. You can check out our website at www.JKPod.com for show notes and episode listings. If you’d like to reach either of us individually, you’ll find Jad at www.Jad-Davis.com, and you’ll find me at www.KevinLudlow.com. We love receiving comments and feedback – hint, hint. Thanks again, and we’ll talk to you next week.