In IT, if people don't use your software correctly, it's called "Bad user interface design." In business, if people don't like your product enough to actually use it, it's considered your responsibility to make a better product next time. Most people are blaming the condom users, but I think we can take the outside perspective instead. Instead of "shoulding" the condom users, let's criticize the product:

  • You have to remember the product when? This is kinda bad timing to remember stuff, you know?

  • They have to carefully concentrate and use agile finger motions at that time? Maybe they are so excited that fine motor skills like putting on a condom become really hard due to shaking fingers, or concentration becomes a problem due to distraction, and they put it on wrong.

  • They have to use impulse control then? Maybe their neuro-chemistry is all bent out of shape and impulse control is low. This is kinda a bad time to expect excellent impulse control, seriously.

  • Maybe they spent a lot of time getting themselves or their partners ready to go, and they know that a delay can deflate the mood, so they feel conflicted about doing things like reading the instructions, taking their time putting it on, or just getting the thing out.

Please do not confuse this message for "don't use condoms". My message is actually "We need something better than just condoms." (Even if condoms were a joy to use, their effectiveness is still too low.) More importantly:

Please consider also that if there's any trait at all that makes using condoms less likely to succeed (lower impulse control, less agile fingers, memory issues) those traits may have a genetic advantage for as long as condoms are a primary method of contraception. Example: If you keep forgetting to use your condoms, you're more likely to get someone pregnant, and if the memory issue is genetic, you've just put one more copy of that gene into the world.

To prevent their companies from having a negative impact on the gene pool, and because the consequences for their customers can be so dire (moreso for a pro-life couple who isn't ready for a baby), I think contraceptive makers should take more responsibility here.

IT people do it. Other business people do it. They can do it, too.

Replacing condoms doesn't work for people who aren't currently in monogamous relationships. We need them to protect against STIs. Encouraging people to entirely replace condoms would I should think lead to an increase in STIs.

I've used condoms every single time I've had sex, and they've only failed twice. Both of the times they failed I took emergency contraception. I've never had a pregnancy scare. Of course I could be infertile, but many of my friends use the same method, and they find it effective. Others use a combination of hormonal contraception and condoms.

Public Service Announcement Collection

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read27th Jun 2013330 comments


P/S/A:  There are single sentences which can create life-changing amounts of difference.

  • P/S/A:  If you're not sure whether or not you've ever had an orgasm, it means you haven't had one, a condition known as primary anorgasmia which is 90% treatable by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • P/S/A:  The people telling you to expect above-trend inflation when the Federal Reserve started printing money a few years back, disagreed with the market forecasts, disagreed with standard economics, turned out to be actually wrong in reality, and were wrong for reasonably fundamental reasons so don't buy gold when they tell you to.
  • P/S/A:  There are many many more submissive/masochistic men in the world than there are dominant/sadistic women, so if you are a woman who feels a strong temptation to command men and inflict pain on them, and you want a large harem of men serving your every need, it will suffice to state this fact anywhere on the Internet and you will have fifty applications by the next morning.
  • P/S/A:  Most of the personal-finance-advice industry is parasitic and/or self-deluded, and it's generally agreed on by economic theory and experimental measurement that an index fund will deliver the best returns you can get without huge amounts of effort.
  • P/S/A:  If you are smart and underemployed, you can very quickly check to see if you are a natural computer programmer by pulling up a page of Python source code and seeing whether it looks like it makes natural sense, and if this is the case you can teach yourself to program very quickly and get a much higher-paying job even without formal credentials.