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Thread: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

  1. #141
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The trend is in the right direction
    You keep saying this. The trend in population is not in the right direction, and that's the trend that matters.

    What are you doing about it?




  2. #142
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    You keep saying this. The trend in population is not in the right direction, and that's the trend that matters.
    You keep saying the trend in the growth rate doesn't matter. If it were going up, I'll bet you'd care.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    You keep saying the trend in the growth rate doesn't matter. If it were going up, I'll bet you'd care.
    I'm saying that a downward trend in growth rate is not reason for optimism. Whether growth is rapid or slow, we are already overshot, and any growth is bad and wrong. Sure, a lower growth rate is not as bad as a higher growth rate, in the short term. But that's not what concerns me.

    What are you doing about it?




  4. #144
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    I'm saying that a downward trend in growth rate is not reason for optimism. Whether growth is rapid or slow, we are already overshot, and any growth is bad and wrong. Sure, a lower growth rate is not as bad as a higher growth rate, in the short term. But that's not what concerns me.
    So, if it's not as bad as the alternative, it must be better, yes? So growth rates do matter. And if it continues on its downward course, as it has for decades, it will reach a level below the renewal rate, which is what you want to see.

  5. #145
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    1) Is the global population of humans too high?

    If yes, we have a moral obligation to reduce our numbers.

    2) If lifting the great majority of humans out of poverty reduces population growth, and it does, then we have a moral obligation to lift them out of poverty.

    3) What degree of change to the global population of humans is necessary?

    4) How long will it take to disimpoversh Earth's human population?

    5) Once this miracle is accomplished, to the utter evisceration of greedy oligarchs everywhere, how long does it take to reduce global human population to a level She can sustain?

    I believe that this process will take several miracles, and take the better part of 300 years.

    Conclusion: We should have started this project when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    Conclusion 2: We are scrood.
    Rattling the teacups.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    So, if it's not as bad as the alternative, it must be better, yes?
    You left out the "in the short term" part. In the long term, it's not better.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    So growth rates do matter.
    Yet again, not in the long term, which is what concerns me.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    if it continues on its downward course, as it has for decades, it will reach a level below the renewal rate
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    What are you doing about it?




  7. #147
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    You left out the "in the short term" part. In the long term, it's not better.



    Yet again, not in the long term, which is what concerns me.



    I'll believe it when I see it.
    You've lost me. Slower growth is not better than faster growth? Doesn't it give us more time to solve the problem?

  8. #148
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    . . .if it continues on its downward course, as it has for decades, it will reach a level below the renewal rate
    I'll believe it when I see it.
    It has already occurred in Europe, much of East Asia, Australia, and North America.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  9. #149
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    You've lost me. Slower growth is not better than faster growth? Doesn't it give us more time to solve the problem?
    Since nobody is really working on the problem, other than China, no, it doesn't.

    What are you doing about it?




  10. #150
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    It has already occurred in Europe, much of East Asia, Australia, and North America.
    It's a global issue, not a regional one, and South Asia and Africa are more than making up for the areas you mention.

    What are you doing about it?




  11. #151
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Mainly Africa. India's fertility rate is way down. South America is very near replacement rate, below in Brazil.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 10-12-2017 at 08:01 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  12. #152
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Mainly Africa. India's fertility rate is way down.
    It is, but again, growth hasn't ceased. It remains to be seen whether the production (not just food, but that's a big one) and energy use that has supported the growth of the last couple of centuries will make it past various impending resource bottle-necks (arable land, water for consumption and irrigation and manufacturing, petrochemical fertilizers, fish stocks, high quality/high net energy sources, minerals, and more), particularly in light of the geopolitical, economic, and ecological impacts of global warming. The next few centuries might work out fine for eight or ten billion people, but I don't think the odds look good.

    What are you doing about it?




  13. #153
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    You've lost me. Slower growth is not better than faster growth? Doesn't it give us more time to solve the problem?
    No. It may give us 'more time' in some sort of metaphorical sense, but we are extinctificating several species a day, as I recall.

    This is is not some sort of joke.

    We are exterminating every life life form on this planet that does not contribute to our short term survival.

    ALL of them.

    Gibbering about how 'prosperity reduces our numbers' is the most wretched justification possible.

    Wretched.

    Hubris is a nasty disease, and those who think we can turn this around because we are 'morally superior ' are the most abject sufferers of that affliction.

    The OP says that a new morality must arise.

    We we can no longer believe that we have a right to breed.

    Once again, we should have grasped this when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    We did not.
    Rattling the teacups.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    No. It may give us 'more time' in some sort of metaphorical sense, but we are extinctificating several species a day, as I recall.

    This is is not some sort of joke.

    We are exterminating every life life form on this planet that does not contribute to our short term survival.

    ALL of them.

    Gibbering about how 'prosperity reduces our numbers' is the most wretched justification possible.

    Wretched.

    Hubris is a nasty disease, and those who think we can turn this around because we are 'morally superior ' are the most abject sufferers of that affliction.

    The OP says that a new morality must arise.

    We we can no longer believe that we have a right to breed.

    Once again, we should have grasped this when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    We did not.
    I am not gibbering, and I am not joking. I'm deadly serious. I think the backlash against the solution you propose would do more harm to the cause of limiting the damage we do than you realize. If you want to see people who care about the ecology successfully demonized, go out there and start a program for involuntary sterilization. The campaign on the right has already started.

    https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Des.../dp/159403737X

    It would be a real gift to Exxon and the others who finance the war on ecological science if they can portray ecological advocates as advocating some of the behavior seen in China. Nor do I think it would work. The parts of the world where the growth in population is highest are the parts where government is weak, where suspicion of the program would be highest, and where those in power are most likely to abuse such a program to try to exterminate minority groups.

    We've seen what actually works. Make sure kids grow up. Give women control over their bodies. Make sure people know they won't be destitute if they don't have children to care for them.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    We've seen what actually works. Make sure kids grow up. Give women control over their bodies. Make sure people know they won't be destitute if they don't have children to care for them.
    That would be great if we had the resources to do so for all the people currently on the planet, and those we continue to add. It is not at all clear that we do, and the more people we continue to add, the more quickly we run out.

    What are you doing about it?




  16. #156
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Osborne, you will never, ever convince people to stop having kids because lots of species of beetles, or even large mammals, are going extinct. We may be altruistic about other humans, but other species? Not much; we're not wired that way. And really, even if we do our worst, in another ten or twenty million years (an eyeblink in geologic time) plenty of new species will evolve. It's happened before multiple times, and it will likely happen again. No big deal, if you take the long view. We'll be long gone, of course. Limiting fertility out of enlightened self-interest, sure, that may work.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 10-13-2017 at 07:28 AM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  17. #157
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Originally Posted by oznabrag
    No. It may give us 'more time' in some sort of metaphorical sense, but we are extinctificating several species a day, as I recall.

    This is is not some sort of joke.

    We are exterminating every life life form on this planet that does not contribute to our short term survival.

    ALL of them.

    Gibbering about how 'prosperity reduces our numbers' is the most wretched justification possible.

    Wretched.

    Hubris is a nasty disease, and those who think we can turn this around because we are 'morally superior ' are the most abject sufferers of that affliction.

    The OP says that a new morality must arise.

    We we can no longer believe that we have a right to breed.

    Once again, we should have grasped this when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    We did not.


    I am not gibbering, and I am not joking. I'm deadly serious. I think the backlash against the solution you propose would do more harm to the cause of limiting the damage we do than you realize. If you want to see people who care about the ecology successfully demonized, go out there and start a program for involuntary sterilization. The campaign on the right has already started.

    https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Des.../dp/159403737X

    It would be a real gift to Exxon and the others who finance the war on ecological science if they can portray ecological advocates as advocating some of the behavior seen in China. Nor do I think it would work. The parts of the world where the growth in population is highest are the parts where government is weak, where suspicion of the program would be highest, and where those in power are most likely to abuse such a program to try to exterminate minority groups.

    We've seen what actually works. Make sure kids grow up. Give women control over their bodies. Make sure people know they won't be destitute if they don't have children to care for them.
    What solution? Lift billions out of poverty, so the trend toward overpopulation reverses?


    1) Is the global population of humans too high?

    If yes, we have a moral obligation to reduce our numbers.

    2) If lifting the great majority of humans out of poverty reduces population growth, and it does, then we have a moral obligation to lift them out of poverty.

    3) What degree of change to the global population of humans is necessary?

    4) How long will it take to disimpoversh Earth's human population?

    5) Once this miracle is accomplished, to the utter evisceration of greedy oligarchs everywhere, how long does it take to reduce global human population to a level She can sustain?

    I believe that this process will take several miracles, and take the better part of 300 years.

    Conclusion: We should have started this project when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    Conclusion 2: We are scrood.

    Now you're clawing at people who are agreeing with your central premise.


    Your central premise is flawed, however much I may agree with it.



    Pretending that this grand, Utopian scheme has a ghost of a chance at preventing the complete collapse of Earth's biosphere is laughable.

    If it makes you feel better, go for it.

    We ran past the 'tipping point' at mach 5, and now that we're approaching the proverbial brick wall we start to entertain fantasies that this can all be undone with feel-good rhetoric.

    It can't.

    We're done.
    Rattling the teacups.

  18. #158
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Osborne, you will never, ever convince people to stop having kids because lots of species of beetles, or even large mammals, are going extinct. We may be altruistic about other humans, but other species? Not much; we're not wired that way. And really, even if we do our worst, in another ten or twenty million years (an eyeblink in geologic time) plenty of new species will evolve. It's happened before multiple times, and it will likely happen again. No big deal, if you take the long view. We'll be long gone, of course. Limiting fertility out of enlightened self-interest, sure, that may work.
    The extinction event we have orchestrated will wipe this planet clean all the way down to the single-cell level.
    Rattling the teacups.

  19. #159
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    That would be great if we had the resources to do so for all the people currently on the planet, and those we continue to add. It is not at all clear that we do, and the more people we continue to add, the more quickly we run out.
    Yup.

    The time to pretend that human population is manageable, is over.
    Rattling the teacups.

  20. #160
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    The time to pretend that human population is manageable, is over.
    OK, we're doomed. Too many people already, no hope, civilization is a failed experiment, the human species is like an algal bloom that will shortly fill the pond and start to putrefy, nothing we can do will make any difference, our proudest achievements are just makeup on a rotting corpse, our few descendants will wander uncomprehendingly through ruins scrounging for rats to eat before they too perish leaving nothing but bacteria, nothing to do but go home, open a bottle or light up a big one, and give up. Damn, you're a cheerful fellow. Well, at least I don't need to worry about it any longer. Eat, drink, and be merry,
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    The extinction event we have orchestrated will wipe this planet clean all the way down to the single-cell level.
    I'm not sure there's reason for that level of pessimism. We may kill off most megafauna, but the more adaptable vertebrates should survive our population crash, to say nothing of other multicellular organisms, unless we somehow trigger some incredibly drastic climate change that is sufficient to eliminate them entirely... and that strikes me as unlikely.

    What are you doing about it?




  22. #162
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    OK, we're doomed. Too many people already, no hope, civilization is a failed experiment, the human species is like an algal bloom that will shortly fill the pond and start to putrefy, nothing we can do will make any difference, our proudest achievements are just makeup on a rotting corpse, our few descendants will wander uncomprehendingly through ruins scrounging for rats to eat before they too perish leaving nothing but bacteria, nothing to do but go home, open a bottle or light up a big one, and give up. Damn, you're a cheerful fellow.
    There's an alternative. It might work. But we have to actually do it.

    What are you doing about it?




  23. #163
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    1) Is the global population of humans too high?

    If yes, we have a moral obligation to reduce our numbers.

    2) If lifting the great majority of humans out of poverty reduces population growth, and it does, then we have a moral obligation to lift them out of poverty.

    3) What degree of change to the global population of humans is necessary?

    4) How long will it take to disimpoversh Earth's human population?

    5) Once this miracle is accomplished, to the utter evisceration of greedy oligarchs everywhere, how long does it take to reduce global human population to a level She can sustain?

    I believe that this process will take several miracles, and take the better part of 300 years.

    Conclusion: We should have started this project when we ate the last passenger pigeon.

    Conclusion 2: We are scrood.
    .

    +1
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  24. #164
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Actually, the last passenger pigeon wasn't eaten, it died in a zoo in 1914. Not that it matters much.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    We've seen what actually works. Make sure kids grow up. Give women control over their bodies. Make sure people know they won't be destitute if they don't have children to care for them.
    Very practical but such policies have to be implemented indefinitely, which means broadly supported, which will require the fundamental extension in morality described by Garrett Hardin. People have to know what the goal is, and dedicate themselves to it, and command their government to get busy.

    Since time is short, regressive attitudes have to be confronted vigorously.

    Offered a chance to clarify what he meant Sunday when he wrote on Twitter that we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Monday morning that "I meant exactly what I said.

    I've been to Europe and Ive spoken on this issue and I've said the same thing as far as 10 years ago to the German people and to any population of people that is a declining population that isn't willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves, King said on CNNs New Day. Ive said to them, 'You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else's babies. You've got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values.'

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...y-tweet-235993
    This could be confronted on the level of racism or on the level of environmentalism; or both, of course. What are our priorities?
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    This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

  26. #166
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Since time is short, regressive attitudes have to be confronted vigorously.
    Nah. You've convinced me, there's no hope. No 'technical fix' has a ghost of chance of working. We're screwed, it's already too late, any effort now will just prolong the agony. Give up.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 10-13-2017 at 11:39 AM.
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    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  27. #167
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    OK, we're doomed. Too many people already, no hope, civilization is a failed experiment, the human species is like an algal bloom that will shortly fill the pond and start to putrefy, nothing we can do will make any difference, our proudest achievements are just makeup on a rotting corpse, our few descendants will wander uncomprehendingly through ruins scrounging for rats to eat before they too perish leaving nothing but bacteria, nothing to do but go home, open a bottle or light up a big one, and give up. Damn, you're a cheerful fellow. Well, at least I don't need to worry about it any longer. Eat, drink, and be merry,
    Yes. Cheerful.

    I can laugh in the face of Death.

    Tell me, if you will, what is your projected timeline for the rehabilitation of the human imperative to procreate?

    How long to lift billions out of poverty, educate them all, introduce them to prosperity, and have them willingly relinquish what they perceive as their inalienable right to breed?


    At what point will this miraculous transformation begin to shrink the world's population of humans?

    How long will it be before the population of humans is comparable with that of, say, 1850? Will it be another 150 years?

    Next question: How much more biosphere degradation will occur during this grand scheme?





    Above all else, how can contraception be viewed as immoral in these times?
    Rattling the teacups.

  28. #168
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    At what point will this miraculous transformation begin to shrink the world's population of humans?
    I'll be optimistic for the moment and say that if current trends continue, about 70 or 80 years, although the population won't rise much between now and then. Barring disasters, or a very radical change in thinking, the population will never get back to the levels of 1850 (about a billion), and humans will take over most of the biosphere. Other large animals will exist only because we keep them in preserves or raise them for food. We'll do a lot of damage, but if we're lucky, we'll figure out ways to live that do less. We've made considerable progress already.

    Of course, Osborne could be right, and nothing will be left but blue-green algae, an occasional protozoan, and lots of ruins.

    (Responding in the third person was just a mistake; fixed it.)
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 10-13-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Osborne, you will never, ever convince people to stop having kids because lots of species of beetles, or even large mammals, are going extinct. We may be altruistic about other humans, but other species? Not much; we're not wired that way. And really, even if we do our worst, in another ten or twenty million years (an eyeblink in geologic time) plenty of new species will evolve. It's happened before multiple times, and it will likely happen again. No big deal, if you take the long view. We'll be long gone, of course. Limiting fertility out of enlightened self-interest, sure, that may work.
    Realism or fatalism? Tragedy either way. It coulda been so beautiful . . . it was beautiful . . . until . . . And now, by having destroyed it, we are destroyed ourselves.

    There is another fundamental dimension, which you might as well call spiritual. In that realm, it's no help that new things might come into being. The thing is, what does it do to our souls to destroy the things in front of us? The criticism that taking on the role of the defender of earth is pretentious is valid, if that's all that's going on, but it isn't. Homo sapiens is called on to account for itself, to itself.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    What solution? Lift billions out of poverty, so the trend toward overpopulation reverses?





    Now you're clawing at people who are agreeing with your central premise.


    Your central premise is flawed, however much I may agree with it.



    Pretending that this grand, Utopian scheme has a ghost of a chance at preventing the complete collapse of Earth's biosphere is laughable.

    If it makes you feel better, go for it.

    We ran past the 'tipping point' at mach 5, and now that we're approaching the proverbial brick wall we start to entertain fantasies that this can all be undone with feel-good rhetoric.

    It can't.

    We're done.
    First of all, we are not going to out-survive cockroaches and rats.

    Second, I've already told you why I don't think Hardin's solution will work. You call my solution 'Utopian,' but it's what's actually been shown to work. Such solutions are usually called 'pragmatic.'

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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    First of all, we are not going to out-survive cockroaches and rats.

    Second, I've already told you why I don't think Hardin's solution will work. You call my solution 'Utopian,' but it's what's actually been shown to work. Such solutions are usually called 'pragmatic.'
    I'm pretty sure I never signed up for Hardin's solution.


    Sure, "it's actually been shown to work", but at what time scale?

    We are pushing 8 billion people.

    How long do we have to lift 5 billion out of poverty, educate them, and have the resultant shrinkage in population do us any good?



    The odds that some sort of cataclysm will upset that apple cart get shorter every day.



    With the climate steadily getting more erratic, any given year sees a greater possibility that a major food crop will fail.


    With a swine or bird flu just aching to find a way to infect every person on the planet, sooner or later it will happen.


    EVEN IF YOU GET ALL 8B ON BOARD, it will be a tough slog, and eradicating poverty and educating every person will be fought tooth and nail by every oligarch/Republican/dictator out there.

    They enjoy their positions of power BECAUSE a whole lot of people are poor and ignorant.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Birth rates have already declined dramatically everywhere, are still declining, and are near or below replacement rate everywhere except sub-saharan Africa.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  33. #173
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    First of all, we are not going to out-survive cockroaches and rats.
    I out-survived 3 rats this week.

    The cat is feeling the pressure because the Mighty Jojo (Get back, Jojo!) has discovered the joys of ripping their little heads off.
    Rattling the teacups.

  34. #174
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Birth rates have already declined dramatically everywhere, are still declining, and are near or below replacement rate everywhere except sub-saharan Africa.
    Good.

    How long before we fail to replace a billion or two?

    Or three.
    Rattling the teacups.

  35. #175
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Default Re: why we must kill the welfare state and other things

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    I'm pretty sure I never signed up for Hardin's solution.


    Sure, "it's actually been shown to work", but at what time scale?

    We are pushing 8 billion people.

    How long do we have to lift 5 billion out of poverty, educate them, and have the resultant shrinkage in population do us any good?



    The odds that some sort of cataclysm will upset that apple cart get shorter every day.



    With the climate steadily getting more erratic, any given year sees a greater possibility that a major food crop will fail.


    With a swine or bird flu just aching to find a way to infect every person on the planet, sooner or later it will happen.


    EVEN IF YOU GET ALL 8B ON BOARD, it will be a tough slog, and eradicating poverty and educating every person will be fought tooth and nail by every oligarch/Republican/dictator out there.

    They enjoy their positions of power BECAUSE a whole lot of people are poor and ignorant.
    Sorry if I was mistaken. After you ridiculed the alternative to his solution as "gibbering" and a "joke" I figured you were taking the side that says people have to be stopped by coercion from reproducing. That's Hardin's argument. If yours is simply that we are scrood, that seems likely, but not a course for action.

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