msinaisuhtlaM

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nicole
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by nicole »

"Having children is the ultimate vote of confidence in the future."

Well, not sure I'd agree with that, but I'd sign on to the converse!
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Hugh Akston
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

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Declining birthrates are leading to rural abandonment is leading to rewilding
Falling fertility rates have been a "problem" in the world’s wealthiest nations – notably in Japan and Germany – for some time. In South Korea last year, birthrates fell to 0.84 per woman, a record low despite extensive government efforts to promote childbearing. From next year, cash bonuses of 2m won (£1,320) will be paid to every couple expecting a child, on top of existing child benefit payments.

The fertility rate is also falling dramatically in England and Wales – from 1.9 children per woman in 2012 to just 1.65 in 2019. Provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics for 2020 suggest it could now be 1.6, which would be the lowest rate since before the second world war. The problem is even more severe in Scotland, where the rate has fallen from 1.67 in 2012 to 1.37 in 2019.
An influential study published in the Lancet last year predicted that the global population would come to a peak much earlier than expected – reaching 9.73 billion in 2064 – before dropping to 8.79 billion by 2100. Falling birthrates, noted the authors, were likely to have significant “economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical consequences” around the world.

Their model predicted that 23 countries would see their populations more than halve before the end of this century, including Spain, Italy and Ukraine. China, where a controversial one-child per couple policy – brought in to slow spiralling population growth – only ended in 2016, is now also expected to experience massive population declines in the coming years, by an estimated 48% by 2100.
But what does population decline look like on the ground? The experience of Japan, a country that has been showing this trend for more than a decade, might offer some insight. Already there are too few people to fill all its houses – one in every eight homes now lies empty. In Japan, they call such vacant buildings akiya – ghost homes.
As in Japan, nature is already stepping into the breach. According to José Benayas, a professor of ecology at Madrid’s University of Alcalá, Spain’s forests have tripled in area since 1900, expanding from 8% to cover 25% of the territory as ground goes untilled. Falling populations would continue to trigger land abandonment, he said, “because there will be fewer humans to be fed.”

France, Italy and Romania are among countries showing the largest gains in forest cover in recent years, much of this in the form of natural regrowth of old fields. “Models indicate that [afforestation of this kind] will continue at least until 2030,” Benayas said.

Rural abandonment on a large scale is one factor that has contributed to the recent resurgence of large carnivores in Europe: lynx, wolverines, brown bears and wolves have all seen increases in their populations over the last decade. In Spain, the Iberian wolf has rebounded from 400 individuals to more than 2,000, many of which are to be found haunting the ghost villages of Galicia, as they hunt wild boar and roe deer – whose numbers have also skyrocketed. A brown bear was spotted in Galicia last year for the first time in 150 years.
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JD
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by JD »

This seems as good a thread for this as any: an argument on whether technological stagnation is real (also at https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/gMszBSA ... ame-around)

Honestly, I think a lot of the pro-stagnation arguments boil down to "I expected this thing to look totally different, and it doesn't, ergo stagnation", when that is really due to the fact that the arguer is looking in the wrong place. For example, there is this (stupid, IMO) argument:

"Go into a room and subtract off all of the screens. How do you know you’re not in 1973, but for issues of design?"

As Crawford points out, this is a little bit like saying, "Minus all the progress, where is all the progress?" But I can actually think of a lot of things that have improved. For example, the lights are very likely to be LEDs or at least compact fluorescents, neither of which existed in 1973. But a lot of the progress is in things you can't see: materials science is a lot better, and manufacturing is a lot better, despite the fact that neither of those is necessarily something you can see just by looking around a room. Or, for that matter, step outside the room: the infant mortality rate in the US is less than half of what it was in 1973, and the death rate per vehicle-mile traveled has had a similar decrease.
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Pham Nuwen
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Pham Nuwen »

Hans Rosling was a prophet.
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Kolohe
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Kolohe »

The first thing I notice that tells me it's not 1973 is that the wallpaper doesn't have a yellow nicotine stain tinge.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by lunchstealer »

JD wrote: 04 Feb 2021, 17:37 This seems as good a thread for this as any: an argument on whether technological stagnation is real (also at https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/gMszBSA ... ame-around)

Honestly, I think a lot of the pro-stagnation arguments boil down to "I expected this thing to look totally different, and it doesn't, ergo stagnation", when that is really due to the fact that the arguer is looking in the wrong place. For example, there is this (stupid, IMO) argument:

"Go into a room and subtract off all of the screens. How do you know you’re not in 1973, but for issues of design?"

As Crawford points out, this is a little bit like saying, "Minus all the progress, where is all the progress?" But I can actually think of a lot of things that have improved. For example, the lights are very likely to be LEDs or at least compact fluorescents, neither of which existed in 1973. But a lot of the progress is in things you can't see: materials science is a lot better, and manufacturing is a lot better, despite the fact that neither of those is necessarily something you can see just by looking around a room. Or, for that matter, step outside the room: the infant mortality rate in the US is less than half of what it was in 1973, and the death rate per vehicle-mile traveled has had a similar decrease.
It REALLY depends on the room we're talking about. Walk into a lot of workrooms, especially the workrooms of knowledge workers, and take away the screens, and you have basically empty rooms, whereas the 1975 room would have files and files and files and books and this and that and probably a lot more non-knowledge-worker people sitting around to do extra stuff like typing and filing. This goes double for a lot of technical/design groups, where there would be drafting tables with esoteric drawing tools, splines and compases and forms and guides, and huge cases of drawers for large-format paper like maps and diagrams and blueprints.

If that room is the main showroom of a grocery store, the differences are even more stark. The 1975 coffee section would be a wall of instant coffees and pre-ground robusta coffee from maybe five brands. The same with huge chunks of the rest of the store. The checkout line would consist of clerks reading price tags and typing the prices into an electromechanical register. Everyone would be either paying cash or writing checks. The beer section would be maybe 10 or 15 kinds of beer, all just slight variations on the pale lager with a lot of rice in the grain bill, and maybe two or three 'light' beers. The wine section would be only slightly more diverse.

Also with all the screens removed, a lot fewer living rooms or dens would have any form of audio devices, hi-fis, radios, etc, as those have been integrated into the screens for a lot of people. Almost no one would have a phone anymore, either. Magazines, newspapers...
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Warren
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Warren »

The absence of ashtrays inside, and cigarette butts and pull tabs all over outside, is a dead giveaway.
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Jasper
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Jasper »

In the '70s, I sort of remember it being national news that someone had made it to their 100th birthday.

Now, you have a list of 10 people every day, at the end of the Today show, past 100, and that is probably only a fraction of the people even writing in to Today, not to mention everyone who DGAF about the Today show.
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Shem
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Shem »

JD wrote: 04 Feb 2021, 17:37 This seems as good a thread for this as any: an argument on whether technological stagnation is real (also at https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/gMszBSA ... ame-around)

Honestly, I think a lot of the pro-stagnation arguments boil down to "I expected this thing to look totally different, and it doesn't, ergo stagnation", when that is really due to the fact that the arguer is looking in the wrong place. For example, there is this (stupid, IMO) argument:

"Go into a room and subtract off all of the screens. How do you know you’re not in 1973, but for issues of design?"

As Crawford points out, this is a little bit like saying, "Minus all the progress, where is all the progress?" But I can actually think of a lot of things that have improved. For example, the lights are very likely to be LEDs or at least compact fluorescents, neither of which existed in 1973. But a lot of the progress is in things you can't see: materials science is a lot better, and manufacturing is a lot better, despite the fact that neither of those is necessarily something you can see just by looking around a room. Or, for that matter, step outside the room: the infant mortality rate in the US is less than half of what it was in 1973, and the death rate per vehicle-mile traveled has had a similar decrease.
Biggest change is everything in the new room cost probably about a fifth what comparable items would have in the 1973 room, adjusted for inflation.
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dead_elvis
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by dead_elvis »

I thought the standard take on this was that of course things are slowing down because the low hanging fruit has been picked.

I also think it odd that he equates mistakes in popular imagination with stagnation. We used to be ignorant, as we learned more we realized flying cars would be stupid and impractical, having a nuke in every home, car and plane would be unsafe, and that cutting edge science is hard to put into mass production.

But I'm also optimistic that things will pick up- I'm not convinced we've yet seen the fruition of what the IT revolution makes possible in other areas. People can build on and test each other's work so much faster than ever before.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

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Another point about innovation is that we don't always know what is possible and what's actually going to lead to changes in our daily lives. People tend to imagine the obvious things: give them cars, and they say "but what about flying cars?!" But give them a laser, and they say, "well, that's interesting, but I have no idea what to do with that."
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Even those things that have not obviously, at least until lately, been improved by the computer revolution, e.g., automobiles, are a hell of a lot better in almost every imaginable way since the 1970s. I'm sure the Internet of Things will turn out to be a mixed blessing, at best, just as all those screens and the internet has been, but I expect the next 'revolutionary' change to be in biotechnology and medicine and I think we're seeing the proverbial camel's nose with mRNA vaccines cranked out in less than a year.
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Highway
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

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I think the point in the original article, that materials science is far far better, combined with the fact that engineering is much better as well, leads to a situation where there are a lot of things that, even if they look the same, just work much better now, for longer, with less wear, but aren't obvious at all. Consider any white good in your house. It's pretty much guaranteed that it works better, using less resources, and probably has just as long a useful life, as any appliance from the 70s.

The other thing you'd notice is that there are likely to be more things in general. Almost everything is cheaper now, allowing for buying more. Even the houses we live in are cheaper, which is why they're bigger. Because of increases in productivity in manufacturing, in shipping, in raw material acquisition, in refined material acquisition.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Warren »

Taking the screens away is bigger cheat than I first gave it credit for too.
Like you can take the TV away but what about that satellite/cable DVR? In the 80's/90's you could point to your VHS/DVD collection of porn.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by lshap »

Linguist is curious what this thread's title means?

I mean this is some Somerton Man encyption.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

lshap wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 20:32 Linguist is curious what this thread's title means?

I mean this is some Somerton Man encyption.
Perhaps Tsiugnil's perspective needs adjusting?
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by lshap »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 20:35
lshap wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 20:32 Linguist is curious what this thread's title means?

I mean this is some Somerton Man encyption.
Perhaps Tsiugnil's perspective needs adjusting?
Duh!!! Lol thank you.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Pham Nuwen »

JD wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 13:59 Another point about innovation is that we don't always know what is possible and what's actually going to lead to changes in our daily lives. People tend to imagine the obvious things: give them cars, and they say "but what about flying cars?!" But give them a laser, and they say, "well, that's interesting, but I have no idea what to do with that."
You lack imagination. Lasers for everyone!
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

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Pham Nuwen wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 22:56
JD wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 13:59 Another point about innovation is that we don't always know what is possible and what's actually going to lead to changes in our daily lives. People tend to imagine the obvious things: give them cars, and they say "but what about flying cars?!" But give them a laser, and they say, "well, that's interesting, but I have no idea what to do with that."
You lack imagination. Lasers for everyone!
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

Post by Pham Nuwen »

Aresen wrote: 06 Feb 2021, 00:14
Pham Nuwen wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 22:56
JD wrote: 05 Feb 2021, 13:59 Another point about innovation is that we don't always know what is possible and what's actually going to lead to changes in our daily lives. People tend to imagine the obvious things: give them cars, and they say "but what about flying cars?!" But give them a laser, and they say, "well, that's interesting, but I have no idea what to do with that."
You lack imagination. Lasers for everyone!
Space Lasers! The Rothschilds will give you a loan to buy one!
Reasonable rates for the right people!!
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