msinaisuhtlaM

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 25767
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jennifer »

thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:Once the world is above a certain size, it's not clear to me that adding more is the best way to get innovation.
What's the "certain size", and what's the mechanism to justify your intuition on this?
I don't have a good answer for the size, but the mechanism behind my assertion is that throwing more people at a problem is not the only way to get innovation. Having them interact is another way to get innovation. A world of a thousand geniuses who sit in isolated places laboring in obscurity is probably less innovative than a world in which 300 of those geniuses start talking to each other.
Not to sound like a snob, but "too many brilliant, innovative geniuses" is NOT the problem here; it's "too many people who, for most of history, would have been unskilled laborers, but now robots do that kind of work, and good luck making a physicist out of a guy with an IQ of 100."

We no longer need armies of seamstresses to keep the population clothed, not when one robot in one factory can spit out more clothes in an hour than a human weaver and human tailor working together could make in their entire lifetime. We don't need half the population raising food for the other half, not when chemical fertilizers and industrial farming equipment do much of the heavy lifting for us. Even assembly-line workers are being replaced by robots. The idea "the only way to increase wealth is to increase the population" became outdated once the industrial revolution started. Even now, with America's declining birth rates, productivity is going UP. For all the economic problems facing us today, none of them boil down to "there just aren't enough people to do everything that needs doing."
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
tr0g
Posts: 6785
Joined: 11 May 2011, 10:21
Location: At the shop

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by tr0g »

Jennifer wrote:
thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:Once the world is above a certain size, it's not clear to me that adding more is the best way to get innovation.
What's the "certain size", and what's the mechanism to justify your intuition on this?
I don't have a good answer for the size, but the mechanism behind my assertion is that throwing more people at a problem is not the only way to get innovation. Having them interact is another way to get innovation. A world of a thousand geniuses who sit in isolated places laboring in obscurity is probably less innovative than a world in which 300 of those geniuses start talking to each other.
Not to sound like a snob, but "too many brilliant, innovative geniuses" is NOT the problem here; it's "too many people who, for most of history, would have been unskilled laborers, but now robots do that kind of work, and good luck making a physicist out of a guy with an IQ of 100."

We no longer need armies of seamstresses to keep the population clothed, not when one robot in one factory can spit out more clothes in an hour than a human weaver and human tailor working together could make in their entire lifetime. We don't need half the population raising food for the other half, not when chemical fertilizers and industrial farming equipment do much of the heavy lifting for us. Even assembly-line workers are being replaced by robots. The idea "the only way to increase wealth is to increase the population" became outdated once the industrial revolution started. Even now, with America's declining birth rates, productivity is going UP. For all the economic problems facing us today, none of them boil down to "there just aren't enough people to do everything that needs doing."
emphasis added.

Depends on what needs doing. One of our economic problems is a huge malinvestment driven by government distortion of the market. I know in my particular corner of the world, there's a lot more we could be doing if we had the (admittedly, skilled and expensive) labor force to do it. This doesn't change the issue that there are a lot of people who are not suited for the 'knowledge economy' that have to be taken into account.
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
Nothing you can say is as important as the existence of a functioning marketplace of ideas, go set yourself on fire. - JasonL

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 25767
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jennifer »

tr0g wrote:
For all the economic problems facing us today, none of them boil down to "there just aren't enough people to do everything that needs doing."
emphasis added.

Depends on what needs doing. One of our economic problems is a huge malinvestment driven by government distortion of the market. I know in my particular corner of the world, there's a lot more we could be doing if we had the (admittedly, skilled and expensive) labor force to do it. This doesn't change the issue that there are a lot of people who are not suited for the 'knowledge economy' that have to be taken into account.
The problem here is "government distortion of the market," not "lack of people." I mean, we don't have nearly enough DEA agents to wipe out intoxicants and those who would use them, we don't have enough TSA agents to guarantee hundred-percent protection from terrorists, we don't have enough soldiers to bend the entire Middle East to our will, but the solution to those problems is NOT "hurry up and make more assholes to shit on people 20 years from now."
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:Not to sound like a snob, but "too many brilliant, innovative geniuses" is NOT the problem here; it's "too many people who, for most of history, would have been unskilled laborers, but now robots do that kind of work, and good luck making a physicist out of a guy with an IQ of 100."
It's like society might have to adapt or something, yes. People will have to learn to do something other than work in assembly lines or fill out paperwork, just as people had to learn to do something other than work on a farm, just as people had to learn to do something other than chase animals with spears.

Being as we're a bunch of nomadic savannah-apes who didn't evolve to live in societies of more than a couple of dozen members, and thus we've been adapting to new and unnatural situations since the dawn of history, I tend to be bullish on our ability to adapt in the medium and long term.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30043
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by thoreau »

I admit that a part of my concern is environmental. We might not run out of water as soon as the doomsayers think, but unless there is a fundamental advance in energy production and/or a host of small and cumulative advances in energy efficiency, a world of 7+ billion people producing as much CO2 per capita as a Westerner seems like a scary scenario long-term.

As to whether population pressure will push us into space, we don't even have self-sustaining colonies in Antarctica. Barring, again, a fundamental advance in energy production, it is highly unlikely that we'll have self-sustaining colonies in space. The least inhospitable place for a colony off of earth is Mars, and maybe over millenia it could be terraformed, but it would still be colossally expensive to move large amounts of people and supplies into space to set that process in motion. Unless that fundamental advance in energy production comes about, it is unlikely that we'd be able to move large numbers of people off-world.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 25767
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
Jennifer wrote:Not to sound like a snob, but "too many brilliant, innovative geniuses" is NOT the problem here; it's "too many people who, for most of history, would have been unskilled laborers, but now robots do that kind of work, and good luck making a physicist out of a guy with an IQ of 100."
It's like society might have to adapt or something, yes. People will have to learn to do something other than work in assembly lines or fill out paperwork, just as people had to learn to do something other than work on a farm, just as people had to learn to do something other than chase animals with spears.
Learning how to do data entry is rather easier than learning how to become a brilliant software writer, though. Saying "just learn new things" works okay for people like us -- I daresay the average Grylliader is much more intelligent than the average American -- but to quote/paraphrase another writer, "Those smart enough to do almost anything must recognize the existence of those who can do almost nothing."

You know the old saying "The world will always need ditch-diggers?" That's true, but those ditch-diggers won't necessarily always be human, and "ditch digging" will not always be a fall-back job for people with lots of brawn but not much brains.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

User avatar
fyodor
Posts: 6862
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:18

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by fyodor »

Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:I don't have a good answer for the size, but the mechanism behind my assertion is that throwing more people at a problem is not the only way to get innovation. Having them interact is another way to get innovation. A world of a thousand geniuses who sit in isolated places laboring in obscurity is probably less innovative than a world in which 300 of those geniuses start talking to each other.
Which says absolutely nothing about whether it's better to have a thousand geniuses or just 300. And in fact, in a world where the number of geniuses has gone up to a thousand, you could have three groups of 300 talking, or two of five hundred, or one of the whole thousand. All other things being equal, you have to make something unequal for more "geniuses" not to produce more.

Now there is an unequal factor - infrastructure. But there's a reason it's called the developing world. Population is expected to stabilize this century, and infrastructure will catch up (and at any given moment, there are now more people with more access to infrastructure than there were before). 4 billion people with infrastructure might beat 7 billion with most having less infrastructure, but will it beat 10 billion people with infrastructure?

Your argument seems to be inexplicably based on there being some optimum number of researchers we just happen to be vaguely near. If we grabbed a random physicist from 1912 or 1862, or maybe even 1962, do you think those people would expect it ever to be necessary for someone to specialize in the work you're doing right now?
What we need to figure this out is a good computer model. (Ha-ha)
Your optimism just confuses and enrages me. - Timothy

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote:I admit that a part of my concern is environmental.
And that's fine, but let's not muddy the waters with "gee, are more people really any use?" silliness, eh? If we believed that, we'd actually set up a Gulch or something.

As for the environmental concerns, they're complex. As I've pointed out before, there's a darkly amusing tension between the simultaneous claims that we're running out of oil and that we daren't use far more AGW-causing oil (than we're supposed to be running out of) to produce the energy that the developing world will need. It's an interesting and remarkably consistent detail of Malthusian arguments for the last two hundred years that the current historical moment is always near the breaking point.

Going back to the savannah-ape thing, our entire history has been about finding ways to increase the carrying capacity of inhabited land. Given populations for regions that would have starved as hunter/gatherers could prosper as primitive farmers, and so on. We adapt, and we find new ways to live and feed ourselves. To fend off the usual complaint, I'm not (and never) arguing that this is an easy, painless process. Adaptation involves things like stress and pain....though in the context of providing better living conditions to people as and after the world population stabilizes, that stress and pain gets more complex to talk about.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:Learning how to do data entry is rather easier than learning how to become a brilliant software writer, though. Saying "just learn new things" works okay for people like us -- I daresay the average Grylliader is much more intelligent than the average American -- but to quote/paraphrase another writer, "Those smart enough to do almost anything must recognize the existence of those who can do almost nothing."
If humanity had to rely on the existence of "people like us" and "geniuses" or whatever code words we're using for "you know, useful people" to survive, we would have never made it out of Olduvai Gorge.

That our societies - particularly American society - are bluntly stupid is not a comment on the capability of the mere "average human being".
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30043
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by thoreau »

Eric the .5b wrote:As for the environmental concerns, they're complex. As I've pointed out before, there's a darkly amusing tension between the simultaneous claims that we're running out of oil and that we daren't use far more AGW-causing oil (than we're supposed to be running out of) to produce the energy that the developing world will need. It's an interesting and remarkably consistent detail of Malthusian arguments for the last two hundred years that the current historical moment is always near the breaking point.
I should note that predictions about machines rendering manual labor obsolete have a long history, sometimes from optimists and sometimes from doomsayers ("what will all these people do?"). Yet we still have illegal immigrants coming in to pick crops.

We might not be running out of stuff to use anytime soon, but I doubt we'll be running out of back-breaking jobs either.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo

User avatar
fyodor
Posts: 6862
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:18

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by fyodor »

Hugh Akston wrote:Also, who would win in a fist-fight between a New Deal liberal who wants to boost birth rates so that old people can continue to ride on the backs of young people,
Do New Dealers even concern themselves with this? Seems I only hear about conservatives, like Brooks as you note (Brooks's middling conservatism notwithstanding), shaking over negative population growth, and for the same reason that Brooks does (which is why I count him that way for this), that being that it's supposedly bad for growth.

Actually, joe from lolz responded to a challenge about SS demographic doom by saying that economic growth will trump unfavorable demographics enough to keep the system viable, and while the partiuclar particulars involved will ultimately determine the veracity of that, it's plausible enough theoretically.

As I imply with my joke above, it's near impossible to weigh all the varying variables accurately enough to be sure what negative population growth will do economically, but much like Warren, I do have enough faith in da market and human adaptability to think it'll be no hella big deal at worst.

Aesthetically, I differ with Warren in that I do look forward to all the new ghost towns negative population growth will bring. (Fewer boobies, it's true, but we'll just have to manage somehow....)
Your optimism just confuses and enrages me. - Timothy

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:As for the environmental concerns, they're complex. As I've pointed out before, there's a darkly amusing tension between the simultaneous claims that we're running out of oil and that we daren't use far more AGW-causing oil (than we're supposed to be running out of) to produce the energy that the developing world will need. It's an interesting and remarkably consistent detail of Malthusian arguments for the last two hundred years that the current historical moment is always near the breaking point.
I should note that predictions about machines rendering manual labor obsolete have a long history, sometimes from optimists and sometimes from doomsayers ("what will all these people do?"). Yet we still have illegal immigrants coming in to pick crops.

We might not be running out of stuff to use anytime soon, but I doubt we'll be running out of back-breaking jobs either.
This is true. What if we have illegal immigrants taking our robot-supervising jobs?!?! :D

(And no, that's not entirely facetious. If your super-duper manual labor robot gets stuck or has a problem it can't handle, someone's going to have to be there to get it out of the mud or pull it out from the spot it got wedged into.)

(ETA: Or maybe that's a "robot wrangler" job.)
Last edited by Eric the .5b on 14 Mar 2012, 16:55, edited 1 time in total.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

fyodor wrote:What we need to figure this out is a good computer model. (Ha-ha)
Not my field, but I'll ask Satish or Madhuri if they've poked at that before. ;)
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
tr0g
Posts: 6785
Joined: 11 May 2011, 10:21
Location: At the shop

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by tr0g »

Eric the .5b wrote:(And no, that's not entirely facetious. If your super-duper manual labor robot gets stuck or has a problem it can't handle, someone's going to have to be there to get it out of the mud or pull it out from spot it got wedged into.)
Silly Eric. That's what you have robot recovery robots for. Specialization, remember? And robot recovery robot recovery robots, if need be.

I envision an autonomous M88A2 for the latter role.
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
Nothing you can say is as important as the existence of a functioning marketplace of ideas, go set yourself on fire. - JasonL

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

tr0g wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:(And no, that's not entirely facetious. If your super-duper manual labor robot gets stuck or has a problem it can't handle, someone's going to have to be there to get it out of the mud or pull it out from spot it got wedged into.)
Silly Eric. That's what you have robot recovery robots for. Specialization, remember? And robot recovery robot recovery robots, if need be.

I envision an autonomous M88A2 for the latter role.
And someone will always be on the payroll to fix it or tow it when it throws a track. :)

And if the idea is that robots will get smart enough to take care of that on their own, I submit that a robot smart enough to be as useful and adaptable as the average human being is one that will be smart enough to say, "Fuck you - pay me."
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
tr0g
Posts: 6785
Joined: 11 May 2011, 10:21
Location: At the shop

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by tr0g »

Bah. It'll be robots all the way down!
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
Nothing you can say is as important as the existence of a functioning marketplace of ideas, go set yourself on fire. - JasonL

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

tr0g wrote:Bah. It'll be robots all the way down!
Possible, but then we get a new can of worms. :) Tools can only be so smart before they become part of the political situation.

Image
"The union! United! Will never be defeated!"
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Jadagul
Posts: 7557
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 18:51

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jadagul »

Thoreau: I got ninja'd (my fault for sleeping in until two in the afternoon), but while you're of course right that doesn't at all make me wrong. The ability to specialize goes up with the size of society-which-can-interact. You can increase that by making it easier to interact or by increasing the size of society. It's better to have a million people in a city than ten million people in autarkic 200-person villages. But it's even better to have ten million in a city.

Jennifer: even if you wanted to claim that all that matters is the number of geniuses, it's still true that "more people" implies "more geniuses."

The statement "we don't have enough stuff for people to do" is obviously false, except in the short run. In the short run, we're in a capital market disturbance that means that lots of resources are sitting idle: we have unemployed people and empty storefronts and idle factories and so on. This is bad, obviously; this is also exactly what "recession" means. Fortunately, we're heading into a recovery, which should continue unless somebody in the Fed fucks up again.

In the longer run--and this is why I believe this is a recession, and not a permanent hit to productive capacity--it should be obvious that there are things for people to do. I would like more stuff than I currently have. I would like more services than I currently have. If the rest of the country seriously can't come up with anything for the rest of the country to do, send a couple of them to me; I could totally use a housecleaner and a chauffeur. I don't have either, though, because that would cost money because there's actually other shit for people to be doing.

User avatar
lunchstealer
Posts: 18758
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:25
Location: The Local Fluff in the Local Bubble

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by lunchstealer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:Once the world is above a certain size, it's not clear to me that adding more is the best way to get innovation.
What's the "certain size", and what's the mechanism to justify your intuition on this?
Perhaps he should have phrased it, "above an uncertain size..."
"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

"This thread is like a dog park where everyone lets their preconceptions and biases run around and sniff each others butts." - Hugh Akston

"That's just tokenism with extra steps." - Jake

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

lunchstealer wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:Once the world is above a certain size, it's not clear to me that adding more is the best way to get innovation.
What's the "certain size", and what's the mechanism to justify your intuition on this?
Perhaps he should have phrased it, "above an uncertain size..."
Heh.

Also, band name! :D
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30043
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by thoreau »

What the size is will depend on climate change. For instance, there's no shame in admitting that the sustainable population size will be smaller in an ice age. It gets colder and stuff shrinks, you know? Doesn't mean nothin' about the performance of the human population, they could still rise to the occasion, but, you know, it's cold.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 14906
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote:What the size is will depend on climate change. For instance, there's no shame in admitting that the sustainable population size will be smaller in an ice age. It gets colder and stuff shrinks, you know? Doesn't mean nothin' about the performance of the human population, they could still rise to the occasion, but, you know, it's cold.
Then you can run the balonium reactors hotter! :D

Slightly more seriously, with lower sea levels, you get more land and more shoreline. The Dutch have made great use of polders with centuries-old skills, so it's not exactly terraforming Mars to make use of newly-exposed land. Given time and technology, I'd assume humanity could get a lot of use out of new land and shorelines.

But then, while I liked Battlefield 2142 (an FPS set in a war for arable land during a new ice age), I largely thought both sides probably deserved to be wiped just for not developing food-production and related technologies capable of coping with the situation in the freaking 22nd century. ;)
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8377
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Shem »

Mo wrote:And while wages rose for peasants after the Black Death (DEMAND CURV), that does not mean that outcomes are better with a decline in population
Note that the benefits of the Black Death were at least as much a consequence of probate as they were labor levels. Suddenly you had anywhere from one to a half-dozen people inheriting the assets of what were often quite large extended families. We read a case study in college about a fairly poor family who went from over 50 members to 4, with three of them women. The lone man saw his cousins into advantageous marriages, then used the remainder of his inheritance and the lack of family pressure to stay on the farm to start trading goods, and amassed quite a fortune for himself over the course of his life. And, upon such people the groups who would, over the course of the centuries become the middle class, were built. Which would seem to suggest that success is at least as much about ensuring that people with ideas have the space to try them and the money to get off the ground as it is making sure there's a space in the labor market.
Eric the .5b wrote:"The union! United! Will never be defeated!"
And the robot vote is in. Richard Nixon wins the presidency!
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen

User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25450
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by JasonL »

Whatever. None of my robot friends voted for Nixon.

User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 25767
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
Jennifer wrote:Learning how to do data entry is rather easier than learning how to become a brilliant software writer, though. Saying "just learn new things" works okay for people like us -- I daresay the average Grylliader is much more intelligent than the average American -- but to quote/paraphrase another writer, "Those smart enough to do almost anything must recognize the existence of those who can do almost nothing."
If humanity had to rely on the existence of "people like us" and "geniuses" or whatever code words we're using for "you know, useful people" to survive, we would have never made it out of Olduvai Gorge.

That our societies - particularly American society - are bluntly stupid is not a comment on the capability of the mere "average human being".
No, I'm not using code words separating the "useful" from the "un-useful" -- and given my own withdrawal from the child-having game, I'm clearly not worried about some future Idiocracy "OMG only the dumbasses are breeding" scenario, either. But I'm looking at the America I've lived in all my life: the good thing is, there are evermore opportunities for intelligent people. If you're smart you can be far more than a subsistence farmer or hunter/trapper, and that's great. But if you're not smart, then what? There's plenty of jobs available, but they don't pay enough to live on. Productivity has been going up even while wage inequality is growing.

The productivity going up shows what I've been already saying: we do NOT need an ever-expanding population to do what needs doing. We do NOT need even a replacement birth rate to keep society functioning. The only possible reason we actually "need" to continue the historical habit of "every generation contains more people than the previous generation" is to sustain various Ponzi schemes -- but breeding enough to keep them going won't solve the problem, only delay it by a generation or two.

Plus, as I admitted already, speaking as a woman (something I rarely do here at Grylliade, where gender rarely matters), I am really fucking creeped out by the right wing's sudden emphasis on women's insufficiently prolific procreation. Especially since I do NOT see any evidence we're suffering any problems from "not enough people." Quite the opposite, in fact.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

Post Reply