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The Under-Population Challenge


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#1 brokenportal

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 01:20 AM


The following is a list of articles, papers, presentations, blogs and other, that go over why over population is not a potential that is of the nature that it should cause us to postpone or stop the movement for indefinite life extension. Each link is followed by an excerpt. If you have suggestions for more to add then please list them here and Ill consider editing them into the topic.

The topics range from the reality that there may be an under-population problem, to the idea that death is never a solution, to explanation of the Tithonus error. There are statistics, graphs, and references throughout many of these titles.


Growing Gains - Jacob Sullum | January 5, 2000
http://reason.com/ar...5/growing-gains

"Malthus was also wrong to think that "population...invariably increase[s] where there are means of subsistence." In fact, notes Bailey, "we find that the countries that are the wealthiest and have the greatest access to food--the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, France--are precisely those countries that have the lowest birth rates, all of them below replacement levels."

Likewise, the neo-Malthusians are wrong to think that economic growth inevitably leads to environmental degradation. In fact, as Bailey’s book shows with data on air pollution and other indicators, "greater affluence means an improving natural environment, not a worsening one."

It’s true enough, as opponents of growth constantly remind us, that the earth’s resources are finite. But what Malthus missed, and what his ideological heirs fail to appreciate, is the human ingenuity that enables us to arrange those resources in an infinite variety of combinations.

The improvements in agriculture that we have seen in the last century, on a scale beyond anything that Malthus imagined, are just one example of that ingenuity. "The United States uses less than half of the land for farming in the 1990s than it used in the 1920s," Bailey notes, "but it produces far more food now than it did then."

Market incentives constantly drive people to find ways of doing more with less, to devise better "recipes" for the things they need and want. "Two centuries after Malthus," Bailey concludes, "we now know that the exponential growth of knowledge, not of our numbers, is the real key to understanding the promising future that lies ahead for humanity and for the earth.""


Ethical Poverty - Staying poor to save the planet - Ronald Bailey | November 20, 2002
http://reason.com/ar...ethical-poverty

"Economic growth is what has paid for both the technological improvements and the compliance with regulations that have made environmental improvements possible. To consider just how wrongheaded Elliott and Lamm are, think how polluted the United States would be if the economy hadn't grown at all since the 1950s. People would still be using technologically backward cars spewing pollutants. There would be very few municipal sewage treatment plants on rivers, no filters on coal-fired electric plants, few controls on industrial dumping, and no modern landfills. Forests would have been chopped down to accommodate low-productivity farms."


Loving Death "Early death, disease, disability: pro or con?" Ronald Bailey | February 26, 2003
http://www.reason.co.../rb022603.shtml

“The cutting edge of medical life-advancing technology could slice through Fukuyama's nursing-home fears by aiming directly at preventing aging, not just ameliorating the diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease that often accompany it. The point of aging research is not to make us older longer, but to make us younger longer.”

“Finally, Fukuyama ignores that the effort to extend lifespan is a perfect flourishing of a uniquely human nature. The highest expression of human dignity and human nature is to try to overcome the limitations imposed on us by our genes, our evolution, and our environment. Future generations will look back at the beginning of the 21st century with astonishment that some very well meaning and intelligent people actually wanted to stop biomedical research just to protect their cramped and limited vision of human nature. They will look back, I predict, and thank us for making their world of longer, healthier lives possible.”


Tithonus Option/Error - Chris Lawson - November 10 2002. (reprint)
http://www.fightagin...honus-error.php

"Anti-ageing technology may present us with the awful scenario of extended lifespan but limited improvement in quality of life. Living forever -- or at least for long periods of time -- with dementia is known as "The Tithonus Option.""

"In Greek mythology, Tithonus was a handsome mortal who fell in love with Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Eos realised that her beloved Tithonus was destined to age and die. She begged Zeus to grant her lover immortal life.

Zeus was a jealous god, prone to acts of deception in order to seduce beautiful gods and mortals, and he was not pleased with Eos's infatuation with a rival. In a classic Devil's Bargain, he granted Eos's wish -- literally. He made Tithonus immortal, but did not grant him eternal youth.

As Tithonus aged, he became increasingly debilitated and demented, eventually driving Eos to distraction with his constant babbling.

In despair, she turned Tithonus into a grasshopper. In Greek mythology, the grasshopper is immortal. (In a close cultural parallel, the Chinese believed that locusts live forever.) This myth also explains why grasshoppers chirrup ceaselessly, like demented old men."
*(The point of the movement for indefinite life extension, however, is to create a robust state of biological affairs, of which indefinitely increasing frailty does not, cannot occur.)


Life Extension and Overpopulation - Max More, Ph.D. 1996, 2001
http://www.maxmore.c...rpopulation.htm

"1: Let us assume for a moment that population growth is or will become a serious problem. Would this give us a strong reason for turning against the extension of human lifespan? No. Opposing extended life because it might add to existing problems would be an unethical response. Suppose you are a doctor given a child to treat who is suffering from pneumonia. Would you refusing to cure the child because then she would be well enough to run around, fall down, and skin her knees? Our first responsibility is to live long and vitally and to help others do the same. Once we are at work on this primary goal, we can focus more energy on solving other challenges. Life extension and optimal living for the individual certainly benefits from a healthy physical and social environment. The life extensionist may want to be part of the solution to any population issues, but dying is not a responsible or healthy way to solve anything. Besides, if we take seriously the idea of limiting lifespan to control population, why not be more active about it? Why not encourage suicide? Why not execute anyone reaching the age of 75?

2. Limiting population growth by opposing life extension not only fails the ethical test, it also fails the pragmatic test. Keeping the death rate up simply is not an effective way of slowing population growth. [........]

Even the apparent short term upward effect on population due to a lower death rate may be cancelled by a delay in child-bearing. Many women in developed countries (those who will be first to have extended life) choose to bear children by their early ‘30s because their chances go down as they age. Extending the fertile period of women’s lives would allow them to put off having children until later, while they concentrate on their careers. Not only couples have children later, they will be better able to care for them, financially and psychologically."


World Population Implosion? By Nicholas Eberstadt | AEI Online Thursday, October 16, 1997
http://www.aei.org/issue/8293

"Most of the news from the 23rd General Population Conference, held in October in Beijing, focused on the threat of overpopulation. But this danger may be a myth. Over the past several years, some of the world's best demographers have begun a dramatic reassessment of the world's demographic future. They are now seriously considering the possibility that the world's population will peak in our lifetimes, and then commence an indefinite decline."


Is Human Population - Really the Problem? - Views of Jeff Lindsay - circa 2005
http://www.jefflinds...m/Overpop.shtml

"Just what is "overpopulation"? How does one determine when a nation is overpopulated? There are no clear demographic indicators for this fuzzy notion. If population density is used as the criterion, then Bermuda and Monaco would be crisis zones, while Nigeria and Ethiopia should be paradise. Other factors, like population growth rate, also provide metrics riddled with inconsistencies. Yes, there are places where people lack resources and go hungry, but eliminating neighbors is not the solution to the condition of poverty. If we are worried about those who go hungry, let us recognize that the hungry are suffering from poverty, not from overpopulation."


Overpopulation? Not a problem! Michael Anissimov Tuesday, Sep 12 2006
http://www.accelerat...ion-no-problem/

"So it turns out that if 5% of the United States were converted into urban area with a population density of 6,000/km², and 45% were converted into suburban area with a population density of 2,000/km², with the remaining 50% left for rural area, parks, and farms, there would be enough room for 3 billion in the urban areas, and 9 billion in the suburban areas, for a total population of 12 billion. This is in the US alone. This scheme could be extended to the other countries and continents for a total population of around 100 billion. Everything between the Arctic and Antarctic circles are potential targets for colonization. This is about 130,000,000 km² of land area (the circumpolar regions have about 20,000,000 km² of land)."


Overpopulation is not the life extensionists problem, it is the non life extensionists - Eric Schulke – August 23, 2007
http://www.imminst.o...p;showentry=256

"We'll compress the situation so we can analyze it. Instead of 6 billion people being trapped on the planet, we'll talk about it in terms of 600 people being trapped in a warehouse, forever.

Alright, they have babies, they have babies, they have babies, soon, oh crap, theres no more room left.

"Ok Eddy, you and Mike and Don and the bunch are the oldest at 65 now. We need some room. Could you jump into that blender please?"

"Sure we'll jump into that blender. It makes the life we lived more full!" ~jump~

"Thanks guys!" (looking down into blender waving.)

So the oldest have to die? What if the oldest people were 40? What if they were 30? Well, theres no room right? They better die."


A list of population topics: http://www.imminst.o...?showtopic=2398

Imminst faq: http://imminst.org/f...erpopulation.3F

Aging In America Jan 03, 2010
http://www.imminst.o...s/aging-america

"Longevity advances and their effect on population was also the subject of one chapter in The Scientific Conquest of Death. Based on the mathematics of population growth and current demographic trends, author Max More dismisses any serious threat from overpopulation due to life extension, correctly pinning the problem on the birth rate."

Population Research Institute http://www.pop.org/
Putting People First for 20 Years

Our Mission

Debunk the myth of overpopulation, which cheapens human life and paves the way for abusive population control programs

Expose the relentless promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and chemical and surgical sterilization in misleadingly labeled “population stabilization,” “family planning,” and “reproductive health” programs.

Defund these programs by exposing the coercion, deception, and racism inherent in them.

Emphasize that people are the most valuable resource on the planet, the one resource we cannot do without.

Promote pro-natal and pro-family attitudes, laws, and policies worldwide.

Encourage programs to help the poor become agents of their own development.


Demographic Consequences of Defeating Aging - Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova Ph.D‘s - 2010
http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20426616

(against overpopulation concerns)
Abstract from Pub Med:
“A common objection against starting a large-scale biomedical war on aging is the fear of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation). This fear is only exacerbated by the fact that no detailed demographic projections for radical life extension scenario have been conducted so far. This study explores different demographic scenarios and population projections, in order to clarify what could be the demographic consequences of a successful biomedical war on aging. A general conclusion of this study is that population changes are surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For example, we applied the cohort-component method of population projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long 100-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population increases by 22% only (from 9.1 to 11.0 million). Moreover, if some members of society reject to use new anti-aging technologies for some religious or any other reasons (inconvenience, non-compliance, fear of side effects, costs, etc.), then the total population size may even decrease over time. Thus, even in the case of the most radical life extension scenario, population growth could be relatively slow and may not necessarily lead to overpopulation. Therefore, the real concerns should be placed not on the threat of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation), but rather on such potential obstacles to a success of biomedical war on aging, as scientific, organizational, and financial limitations.“
Full page of past and upcoming presentations on the demographic consequences of defeating aging. http://longevity-sci...rg/present.html
Correlating Imminst topic: http://www.imminst.o...showtopic=32329

Edited by brokenportal, 14 January 2011 - 08:07 PM.

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#2 Alex Libman

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:36 PM

Some of my earlier quotes related to the issue of population:

I don't think we have any obligation to maximize agricultural output simply because "hungry people exist".


No, but keeping a human being from starvation is the best investment in the known universe. Staple crops are cheap. Human labor is valuable, especially if you can get him/her to sign a contract of indentured servitude - hey, anything's better than starving to death! Libertarianism would solve the hunger problem overnight.

The more food we produce, the more population will grow in response. The idea of solving the problem of world hunger with additional food is like trying to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it.


The more population we have -- the more hands, the more minds, the more wallets -- the more food we can produce. We are standing on the verge of scientific breakthroughs that would increase agricultural productivity logarithmically (ex. genetic engineering), but there are many ideas that were around since the 1950s that we aren't utilizing: price incentives to make animal products a super-luxury, irrigating the deserts, heated greenhouses everywhere (even Antarctica), fish farming, skyscraper farms, floating corn fields on seas and oceans, fungi that can grow without any sunlight at all, etc, etc, etc. I bet even an average suburban home in Brooklyn could grow enough food to feed itself if it utilized its space at maximum efficiently, much less the 99.9% of the planet that is a lot less densely populated!

We're already some several billion people OVER the Earth's maximum long-term sustainable population.


Bullkaka. There's no known limit to the number of people this planet can support, but it's definitely in the hundreds of billions, and we're only 1-2 generations away from a massive space revolution that will remove those limits as well.


The water crisis can be broken down as such:
1.) Inadequate access to safe drinking water for about 884 million people [source]
2.) Inadequate access to water for sanitation and waste disposal for 2.5 billion people [source]
3.) Groundwater overdrafting (excessive use) leading to diminished agricultural yields [source]
4.) Overuse and pollution of water resources harming biodiversity
5.) Regional conflicts over scarce water resources sometimes resulting in warfare


Like rwac said, this isn't a problem of there not being enough water in the universe, and not a problem of there not being enough energy to desalinate and transport it where it is needed, but a problem of third world government failure, including the failure to let the private sector come in to build up the economy (sweatshops and all) in order to make development economically sustainable. No one wants to invest even in pipes when they will inevitably be stolen by some tin-pot commie dictator to shortsightedly strengthen his grip on power!


And in light of all these unsolved problems, we still want to increase population?


Having shrinking and aging population is a much bigger problem than most people can imagine. The closest example we have is Japan after about 1990, but they've actually held up remarkably well by moving their factories to other countries (i.e. importing labor), implementing labor-saving automation, and so forth. Automation / robotization and other means of increasing individual productivity are a very good thing, but they won't be enough, and when the whole world starts experiencing population shrinkage there'll be no place from which to import labor! A rise in labor costs means skyrocketing prices, especially for food. An aging population means less innovation, lower productivity, and medical costs grow while the tax base shrinks. A society of old people that can barely afford food and medicine is not a pretty sight! And then you have the dysgenic effect: while most people are having 0 or 1 child, the religious nuts will continue having kids by the dozen!


For a long time my gut feeling has been that I will not. There are too many looming catastrophes; i.e. peak oil, global warming/environmental collapse, nuclear war, etc. etc., for me to be really interested in "immortality" (I joined this site for the nootropics forum). Just looking at the sharp exponential population growth and overall change (technological, environmental, etc) over the last few hundred years pretty much tells you that life as we know it won't last much longer.

What do you think?



(1) There is no such thing as "your natural lifespan" . If you mean the mainstream definition of "nature", that is the primitive state of the universe prior to civilized human intervention, then the "natural" human lifespan is ~30 years. If you mean the philosophical definition of "nature", of which the human civilization is a fundamental part, then all potential longevity advancements are a part of that "natural lifespan" as well.

(2) All the "looming catastrophes" you've mentioned are government propaganda frauds, as explained on other threads. Stop mindlessly parroting what others tell you and think critically - none of the alleged problems can stand the light of an objective examination.

(3) Exponential population growth would be a very good thing, but unfortunately we are headed for a population decline which will most likely be irreversible (without totally redefining the reproductive / family traditions as we know them today).


I blame collectivism. Immortality is an individual desire, which may come in conflict with socially-imposed mores like equality, natalism, and the warrior code (ex. willingness to "die for your country").

The perceived need for equality is particularly destructive, because it is inevitable that the first of life extension breakthroughs will be more accessible to early adopter billionaires than to paupers (at least until the benefits "trickle down"), creating massive jealousy and "class" conflict, and any system of socialized medicine that emphasizes equality would inevitably be strained by such breakthroughs to the point of complete collapse. Humanity will need to leave its socialist delusions behind before it can begin to think about drastic medical breakthroughs that not everyone will be able to afford.

Natalism is a lot more nuanced - in some ways having more children should increase your odds of living longer, because they may be able to contribute money to your treatment, but thoughts of individual immortality for some reason tend to discourage people from having children (I was never able to understand why).


Edited by Alex Libman, 04 June 2010 - 03:36 PM.

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#3 Alex Libman

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:37 PM

Damn quote count limits...


Until we can realistically engineer a solution to the problems of population growth, the relentless pursuit of life-extension to the exclusion of all else is both foolish and wrong.


The only problem of population growth is that there's not enough of it, especially from the wealthiest individuals.

Probably because with realizing that we might not have to die comes the realization that having children is nothing but poor man's immortality. [...]


I think we might have here a rare case of a "self-defeating prophecy"...

Imagine two people, one an atheist Manhattan Yuppie hoping to live forever and another a Muslim living a traditional lifestyle. The Yuppie is working hard, spending a lot of time at the gym, spending a lot of money on self-improvement products, has a great sex life, but just can't be bothered to settle down and have kids. The Muslim spends relatively little on health-care, but he spends most of his life married to at least one wife, and the wives spend most of their time on their children. The Muslim could have 5 children by the time he's 30, and 30 descendants by the time he's 60. As his health begins to decline his children are able to pool their resources to pay for their patriarch's health-care. The average productivity might be lower in the Muslim countries (especially from fewer women working full-time), but that gap will shrink over time, and the Muslim countries will likely be able to have lower taxes due more people relying on family and religious charity for mutual aid. Our Muslim friend could live to see 155 descendants by the time he's 90, 780 descendants by the time he's 120, 3,905 if he makes it to 150, 19,530 by age 180, and so on. If cryogenic technology becomes available then he may be "frozen" for a few centuries while technology catches up, while the exponential growth of his clan will continue, as will the accumulation of their capital to be able to pay for ever-more life extension tech. Our yuppie friend, though he might have been able to save and invest more money during his lifetime, probably won't get the same level of returns, especially as his country's economy gets burdened with ever-more consequences of an aging, shrinking, and government-dependent population.


Yes, but if this family's population increases with each generation, then old people will have more descendants than the descendants will have living (grand)parents to support, and that benefit increases if there's polygamy (which I'm a big fan of). People born into large families are also more likely to be successful - each kid is a lottery ticket, but if one hits the jackpot and becomes successful then s\he's very likely to influence and employ the others.

It is a pyramid scheme, but there's a very big universe out there, and so far humanity seems to be headed toward irreversible population collapse starting in just 3-4 decades.


Civilization has many trickle-down benefits, and what most people fail to realize is the relationship between population size and the level of economic development that is attainable. It takes a billion people to produce an iPad!


Low fertility rate is the only socially acceptable way to save the world from overpopulation, socialism is the only way to effectively secure the wellbeing of poor people (remember the statistics on homeless peple in US?).


That's very short-term-oriented and economically inaccurate thinking. The human population will peak around the 2040s (and the projections for this point in time keep being revised to be sooner rather than later) and then begin its decline, with no known mechanisms short of downright government-dictated fascism that will be able to bring the fertility rates back up again. Very low fertility among the highest-educated populations also exacerbates the dysgenic effect of some backward people still having a dozen kids (with infant mortality rates now being next to zero due to the trickle-down benefits from the first world, with technology spreading faster than cultural values).

An aging and shrinking society is a much worse catastrophe than we can presently imagine. This phenomenon is being downplayed in explaining Japan's dismal economic performance over the past ~15 years, but it is a very large factor, in spite of Japan merely importing the needed labor from other countries (more through outsourcing and importation of goods than immigration). When all of Earth will have this problem, there won't be another planet filled with people who can buy our goods / services and replenish our labor force.

An aging society means high cost of labor (and thus a higher cost of food and other goods), ever-higher taxes on an ever-shrinking work-force, less innovation (older workers don't pick up new ideas as quickly), and countless other disadvantages, including possible conflicts between "younger" countries like in Africa / South Asia and "older" countries like in Europe / East Asia. There are also political implications as well - a society that has higher fertility rates will have stronger family and other voluntary institutions, and thus less need for the welfare state, which in spite of all its intentions can bring economic growth to a screeching halt.

It might not seem like a terrible crisis, because technology will continue to advance somewhat and per-worker productivity will continue to increase, but it would be a huge net loss of potential nonetheless. A hypothetical divergence between 3% total global economic growth and 5% over several decades is a huge difference that can be the deciding factor between many wonderful technologies being invented and not being invented in time to benefit and extend your lifespan. In order there to be a scientist to cure your cancer when you're 80, to perform a full digestive system replacement when you're 120, and to preserve your brain when you're 200, etc that scientist first needs to be born, and the same applies to the millions of supporting jobs in the economy that are necessary for that scientist to operate.


I really don't see a major problem in aging socities IF the medical establishment would promote preventative health care. Prolonged health spans are in many ways a positive change, even for the economy.


You should do more research on this issue - it is far more serious a pending crisis than the bogus hype over "global warming" or "peak oil"! Low fertility rates might actually translate to shorter life expectancy as economic growth decelerates, taxes and prices skyrocket, and health care has to be rationed very strictly by a corrupt government-controlled bureaucracy that is anything but meritocratic.


Silly humans... All the solutions to their problems come from attaining sufficient economic growth, and if they can do that then exporting all energy production, manufacturing, and mining to space would be attainable within decades, and by the end of the century they'd actually have to import some CO2 back to earth in the form of plant fertilizer! What those imbeciles are doing is precisely the opposite - moving toward a socialist world government that will stifle economic growth, shrink human population, and brainwash the populace into a neo-Luddite environmentalist religion from which their so-called civilization may never recover!

"Global warming" is a hoax that the ruling elite have long been fishing for - a unifying threat that will replace nationalist warfare as the propaganda device to force their "subjects" into their collectivist institutions. Any scientific claims behind it have been thoroughly debunked - that isn't to say that human action produces no heat (heck, even panda bears produce some tiny "warming" effect on this planet) and that isn't to say that we can have exponential growth in pollution indefinitely, but that there simply is no cause for alarm.

Remember that the burden of proof is on the alarmists to prove that (1) the past temperature measurements are accurate and statistically significant, (2) that the earth is indeed warming, (3) that the change is indeed anthropogenic and not explainable by dozens of natural cycles which science still has very little understanding of, (4) that the change is economically significant, (5) that the change is economically harmful, and (6) that their "world government" agenda is the ideal solution for this problem, considering all downsides and risks involved. The only thing they have proven so far is their capacity for deceit!

Their temperature for the past century is so bad that the 1 degree temperature change they are claiming is LESS THAN THE MARGIN OF ERROR FOR THEIR MEASUREMENTS!

The only thing they've proven is that temperature measurements will increase when development occurs around a weather station over a decade as the area becomes (sub)urbanized, but the "urban warming" effect is well-known and should be adjusted for when making any "global" claims - which they completely fail to do. They also fail to account for half the arctic weather stations losing funding after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a dozen other important things. And then of course there's the bias - all this data comes from people who, without their "global warming" "heroics" would be teaching third grade Social Studies or flipping burgers instead!


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#4 Alex Libman

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:38 PM

(Whoever came up with the quote limit setting idea needs to be murdered with a dull axe...)

Do you know the difference between you and a Muslim terrorist who'd try to force me to obey the "will" of his collectivist abstraction (Allah / God)? That difference is not in your favor! Both of your religions are based on equally false premises, but Islam is a much better social system than the one you promote. I obviously don't like it, but an Islamic theocracy can be very compatible with economic freedom (ex. Dubai, Qatar, etc), and growing population pressures will assure a pragmatic embrace of science and faster conquest of space. Your theocracy will lead to something substantially worse: a shrinking humanity trapped in a demon-haunted world of state-enforced neo-Luddite environmentalism from which it may never recover!


The substance of this message disappears on every level, even religious, when it claims there would be "no more room for youth". It's a big freakin' universe out there, in case you haven't noticed, and this solar system alone can support an unknown number of trillions of people!

So let's see... God supposedly created this humongous universe and all the scientific possibilities we're only beginning to scratch the surface of, He told us to "go forth and multiply" and focus on the family and no hanky-panky specifically for the purpose of optimizing procreation and parental responsibility, and now, wham - the depopulation agenda suddenly kicks in! In its struggle to remain relevant, the Vatican has been a mouthpiece of the socialist world-government agenda for decades... All lip-service aside, the fertility rates in the supposedly Catholic countries have plummeted faster than anywhere else, with Spain and Italy only squeezing out an average of 1.3 babies per vagina - way short of the 2.1 needed to at least keep the population stable. The human population will peak around 2040 and then decline, with no reversal mechanisms in sight, except of course the libertarian solution - stronger Parents' Rights!

The Earth can certainly support a hundred billion just using the ideas that have been on the drawing board as far back as the 1950s, before the environmentalist agenda swept those ideas beneath the rug of government-controlled media and academia: farming more land more efficiently, hydroponics, floating greenhouses in seas and oceans, fish farms below the ocean surface that can raise fish populations by the factor of thousands, vast underground mushroom farms, geothermally-heated / lit greenhouses in the polar regions, irrigating the deserts, whole skyscrapers of greenhouses, etc, as many as we need. Add to that modern ideas about genetic engineering, space farms where GE plants / fungus benefit from much greater proximity to the sun, etc, etc, etc - there is no limit anywhere in sight!

The anti-natalist agenda and the anti-longevity agenda come from the same source - socialist governments taking the easy way out of the economic problems that they themselves created, while clipping the wings of the human civilization in the process! Socialism sees each person as a burden - a stomach that needs to be fed, a job that needs to be taxed into existence, a life that needs to be micromanaged, a mind that needs to be brainwashed lest it becomes a threat to their power. Capitalism sees each person as a sovereign self-owning entity and an asset to himself and others: a mind that can create new ideas, a pair of hands that can pull that person's economic weight and then some, a rational economic actor that can produce / consume / invest / trade for the greater benefit of the economy as a whole!


This is why I firmly believe that the first battle on our road to greater longevity and immortality must be a political one.


Once we have achieved effective space travel, you are welcome to go try your little fantasies out wherever you wish.


IF we achieve effective space travel in spite of the wings of the human civilization being clipped by the tyrants you seek to empower. With their population control and industry-stifling agenda already in full swing, there's really no economic incentive for human beings to ever leave this planet, and the government might simply outlaw it to prevent a brain-drain outside their control. A regression into an environmentalist dystopia like the one described in Ayn Rand's Anthem seems like an ever-more probable possibility.


We won't get any life extension breakthroughs or anything other than economic stagnation and possible civilization collapse until we solve the more immediate problems, including the problem of centralization of power (government) and the problem of low fertility rates. This new environmentalist religion is particularly destructive, especially when combined with government force...


The current average number of children born is as total fertility rate statistic 2,57.


The worldwide fertility rate has fallen from 2.80 to 2.56 over the past 9 years (and in the countries where it's the highest infant mortality and other causes of death are very high, so you need like 3 or 4 children to keep the population stable instead of ~2.1). We couldn't keep the fertility rates from falling below 2.1 even if we wanted to, and what's really scary is that they just keep falling as society becomes more developed, urbanized, and secular. The fertility rate for atheist yuppies is more like 0.7!

So the problem of overpopulation was actually solved in the 20th century, and we've just been coasting on the momentum of religious tradition and third world poverty, which inevitably fades away. The problem of underpopulation that we're now facing will be far more economically devastating and far more difficult for a free society to solve!


The current average number of children born is as total fertility rate statistic 2,57.


The worldwide fertility rate has fallen from 2.80 to 2.56 over the past 9 years (and in the countries where it's the highest infant mortality and other causes of death are very high, so you need like 3 or 4 children to keep the population stable instead of ~2.1). We couldn't keep the fertility rates from falling below 2.1 even if we wanted to, and what's really scary is that they just keep falling as society becomes more developed, urbanized, and secular. The fertility rate for atheist yuppies is more like 0.7!

So the problem of overpopulation was actually solved in the 20th century, and we've just been coasting on the momentum of religious tradition and third world poverty, which inevitably fades away. The problem of underpopulation that we're now facing will be far more economically devastating and far more difficult for a free society to solve!


[...] For example, I've contemplated the possibility of altering my understanding of Natural Law to use force in order to raise fertility rates, but then I've decided that it wouldn't be necessary as fertility rates would rise back up in a society that would simultaneously be relatively rational, prosperous, and free. [...]


Watch documentaries like Demographic Winter to find out why Japan needs to raise its fertility rates. Watch Big Love for a good way to make it happen. :-D


Yeah, sure, I also want countries like Sweden, Finland or France to fall into darkness, but Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran blossom. Very smart strategy if you're a free thinking atheist humanist.


It isn't a question of what you want - you might support the ruling elite, but you have no say in what they do. And the dysgenic effect is merely a side-effect of their policies, the main purpose of which is maintaining and expanding their power. (I've enumerated the reasons why fertility rates would be higher in a free society elsewhere.)

And actually the fertility rate in Iran has recently fallen to 1.71 (and remember that 2.1 is the stable rate for countries with first world mortality rates, in Iran they'd probably need 2.3). The fertility rates in all Muslim countries is dropping, with some of the more progressive ones already being below fertility: Tunisia (1.72), Algeria (1.79), Lebanon (1.85), Kazakhstan (1.88), Maldives (1.9), Brunei (1.91), Uzbekistan (1.95), Albania (2.01), and Azerbaijan (2.04). Some of those might just be cyclical valleys, but the overall trend is clear - whole of humanity will soon have the same age demographics as Italy or Japan, but with no place to export labor or import immigrants from.


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#5 shadowhawk

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:31 PM

Here are two good books on population issues

Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future
http://www.amazon.co...p...2417&sr=1-1

The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About It
http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sim_b_1
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#6 The Immortalist

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:46 AM

Shouldn't the title of this thread actually be the Overpopulation challenge instead of the "under population challenge"
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#7 brokenportal

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:36 PM

Shouldn't the title of this thread actually be the Overpopulation challenge instead of the "under population challenge"



We could under populate or over populate. Depending on what we do, cases can be made for both. Balancing it is a natural challenge that humanity takes on, just as humanity has taken on all other big and small challenges.

Some people are swayed so easily that even just the trend of framing the population discussion as "over population" can make them lean that way. I compiled this list as an easy way to link and reference writings on the matter, which I need for various things. I could have given it a nuetral name, but given the gross over representation of over population in general, I created this title to try to help sway it the other way. There very well could be an under population problem, from what many of these papers point out, it looks likely. If thats the case, we could be in big trouble if people keep thinking that we need to prepare for over population.
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#8 The Immortalist

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 07:41 AM

Shouldn't the title of this thread actually be the Overpopulation challenge instead of the "under population challenge"



We could under populate or over populate. Depending on what we do, cases can be made for both. Balancing it is a natural challenge that humanity takes on, just as humanity has taken on all other big and small challenges.

Some people are swayed so easily that even just the trend of framing the population discussion as "over population" can make them lean that way. I compiled this list as an easy way to link and reference writings on the matter, which I need for various things. I could have given it a nuetral name, but given the gross over representation of over population in general, I created this title to try to help sway it the other way. There very well could be an under population problem, from what many of these papers point out, it looks likely. If thats the case, we could be in big trouble if people keep thinking that we need to prepare for over population.


thanks for explaining, it's a cool title actually. This thread is really good, could you pin this thread in the inter networking team topic or something so we all have a list of ready to go sources?
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#9 Delorean

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

Good thread BP. In my experience this is the number one argument you come up against when talking about life extension, so every imminst member should know these arguments like the back of their hand!
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#10 N.T.M.

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:12 AM

Good thread BP. In my experience this is the number one argument you come up against when talking about life extension, so every imminst member should know these arguments like the back of their hand!



Yes!!! I second everything you just said!
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#11 brokenportal

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:11 PM

Good thread BP. In my experience this is the number one argument you come up against when talking about life extension, so every imminst member should know these arguments like the back of their hand!


Although I agree its good to have these arguements ready in your mind, and at hand, (I created this topic to try to provide an easier reference to a broad array of papers on the subject,) I urge every body to beware of the knee jerk devils advocate effect. Most of the people you try to convince with arguements will just argue against you. Enter minimal arguements, try instead to inform people. Disseminate the information and dont worry about convincing the people right away. It will sink in for the ones who it can sink in for.
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#12 niner

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:47 PM

Overpopulation? Not a problem! Michael Anissimov Tuesday, Sep 12 2006
http://www.accelerat...ion-no-problem/

"So it turns out that if 5% of the United States were converted into urban area with a population density of 6,000/km², and 45% were converted into suburban area with a population density of 2,000/km², with the remaining 50% left for rural area, parks, and farms, there would be enough room for 3 billion in the urban areas, and 9 billion in the suburban areas, for a total population of 12 billion. This is in the US alone. This scheme could be extended to the other countries and continents for a total population of around 100 billion. Everything between the Arctic and Antarctic circles are potential targets for colonization. This is about 130,000,000 km² of land area (the circumpolar regions have about 20,000,000 km² of land)."

This is the worst argument for LE that I've ever heard. It constructs a scenario that most normal people would consider dystopian; enormous human warehouses stretching as far as the eye can see, with endless suburbia beyond that. There's no consideration of the environmental cost of doing something like this; where would the water come from? Where would raw materials come from? This argument will only convince people that we have very flawed judgment.

Good thread BP. In my experience this is the number one argument you come up against when talking about life extension, so every imminst member should know these arguments like the back of their hand!

I agree. I think that we should know the good arguments; that underpopulation is a bigger problem than overpopulation, and that even under pessimistic scenarios, population would grow very slowly. We would have lots of time to address the problem, if it is even a problem at all.
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#13 Athanasios

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:19 PM

My favorite:

In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure.
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#14 caliban

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:41 PM

Automatic message


This topic has been moved from "Community -> Immortality Institute" to "Round Table Discussion -> Global Risks".
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#15 robomoon

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 10:09 PM

Fertility rate, birth rate, death rate, growth rate, expansion rate, and developing rate. Why not adding something that has very much to do with overpopulation: risk rate. At least in any viable theory, overpopulation is a risk. So connect your calculation about global human expansion with the existential risk it's raising and you will come to the correct solution.

Edited by robomoon, 07 July 2010 - 10:26 PM.

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#16 brokenportal

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:49 AM

This is the worst argument for LE that I've ever heard.


I dont think its saying cover the world with one big warehouse. I take it to illustrate the amount of room there is. You can fit all those other things in. I looked all these stats up to write a paper for college many years ago and the numbers I found said something like that everybody in the world could fit into the state of texas with 2 story houses, 5 people to a house, 5 acres per person, and industry and commercialism run in upper floors. This isnt to say that is ideal, but its better than death, and it doesnt seem to work to poorly for down town New York for example. Its also not to say that it would or should come to that. Its meant more to show you what vast expanses of unused land we have if we really added it up.


I agree. I think that we should know the good arguments; that underpopulation is a bigger problem than overpopulation, and that even under pessimistic scenarios, population would grow very slowly. We would have lots of time to address the problem, if it is even a problem at all.


Right, if the US is going down in population, it seems the rest of the world is eventually going to follow suit. It makes this even more bizarre to realize that so many, so readily insist we all need to die because there is going to be over population.

My favorite:

In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure.

God Ide love to see a history channel special on this concept. Do you know, the Luddites used to run around burning down iron plants and powered spinning wheels. As if we would be better off with to still have the dusty fly ridden horse stable cabbage patch lives of old. Who needs to have gone to the moon and made the internet when they could be eating turnips right?


Fertility rate, birth rate, death rate, growth rate, expansion rate, and developing rate. Why not adding something that has very much to do with overpopulation: risk rate. At least in any viable theory, overpopulation is a risk. So connect your calculation about global human expansion with the existential risk it's raising and you will come to the correct solution.




We've already come to the part of the solution that we need now, and that is that population, if it even becomes a challenge with under, or over, is not a problem which requires that we slow the movement for indefinite life extension. Death is way worse than dying to solve a potential problem that may or may not happen, and which is has any of a number of readily conceivable solutions.

The risk is that if a challenge arises that we will have to engage any of a number of those solutions. If somebody wants to get pro active and start working with these things now, then please do join the club at lifeboat. I know I would if the defeat of aging werent so much more direly urgent right now.
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#17 valkyrie_ice

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 06:26 PM

Nice to see someone ELSE is making these same points besides me. I am so sick and tired of explaining the holes in the "population problem"


Live in a city, with people crowding so bad you can barely walk down the street and its "obvious" that population is a problem. Except that it's only a "problem" insofar as it involves resource distribution. I hate to have to agree with Alex about anything, but he's quite right about many of the reasons that we have mass starvation problems.


I don't agree with his "solutions" but he does do a good job describing some of the causes.
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#18 robomoon

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:44 PM

Fertility rate, birth rate, death rate, growth rate, expansion rate, and developing rate. Why not adding something that has very much to do with overpopulation: risk rate. At least in any viable theory, overpopulation is a risk. So connect your calculation about global human expansion with the existential risk it's raising and you will come to the correct solution.


We've already come to the part of the solution that we need now, and that is that population, if it even becomes a challenge with under, or over, is not a problem which requires that we slow the movement for indefinite life extension. Death is way worse than dying to solve a potential problem that may or may not happen, and which is has any of a number of readily conceivable solutions.

The risk is that if a challenge arises that we will have to engage any of a number of those solutions. If somebody wants to get pro active and start working with these things now, then please do join the club at lifeboat. I know I would if the defeat of aging werent so much more direly urgent right now.


Despite of research like the Blue Brain Project, there's not even the necessary genetics to establish better mental health during the next couple of decades. So how can a silly neo-Luddite environmentalist and deathist imbecile ever jump on a board by the Lifeboat Foundation? Besides, they don't accept simple math like one clean finger for risk rates with overpopulation after natural resource depletion minus two dirty fingers for square kilometers of accrued unused places inside natural ecology.

Edited by robomoon, 23 August 2010 - 03:45 PM.

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#19 brokenportal

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 10:36 PM

it's only a "problem" insofar as it involves resource distribution.



Exactly, that would be funny if these people were actually serious and not just capricious knee-jerk reactionists. You could walk in to one of their meetings.

Person 1. "We have indefinite life extension in New York City here, but there are just so, many, people, my fellow board. Lets brainstorm for some solutions."

Person 2. "Brainstorm? What the hell are you talking about, we have to kill a bunch of people, there are no two ways about it."

Person 1 and person 3. "Hmmm, well, yes I suppose you are right, bring out the gattling guns, this meeting is a closed case, decision unanimously made with no further consideration."

Posted Image

One might try to do the simple math but another would shoot their fingers off while they were in the process, so eager go enact their gattling gun solution.
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#20 robomoon

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:03 PM

Yes, and now take a closer shot at Alex Libman's assessment of this resource distribution shortage.

Solution: the distribution of economic growth.

Potential benefit: exporting all energy production, manufacturing, and mining to space would be attainable within decades. Further, importing some CO2 back to earth in the form of plant fertilizer might become useful.

Potentially required for the solution: whole skyscrapers of greenhouses with GE plants (plus fungus benefit) behind the lit windows and mushroom gardens in the shadier areas will be open for fertilization.

Currently, without claiming space travel expertise, to the moon it must be. Within mining, the lunar underground will turn into a convenient working place and we will be many with our increasing fertility over there.

Somehow, the Freudian interrogation technique became a good resource.
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#21 brokenportal

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:10 AM

Right, can anybody imagine a future where we dont escape out into the galaxy? I cant imagine that it wont happen. Even if it doesnt we still have a lot of options other than kill those who are chronologically oldest. Then if/when we do get into space, it seems that there will be a time when we advocate as much reproduction as possible again. Even now, I think population growth is healthy. If we hit say, 50 billion soon, then we will have more hands on deck to help with indefinite life extension, and it isnt going to take forever to get out into space. It seems like the windows are lining up perfectly.
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#22 robomoon

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:14 PM

So it is imaginable that the computer chosen to write messages like this was most likely made in countries where a fast population increase (due to numerously great birth rates) is continuing. Made by many hands in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh or so, right? Check it http://www.search.co.../Overpopulation out, the term "population increase" will explain better than whatever is bearing a word like "growth". This message was typed on the 1st day of xmas.

Edited by robomoon, 25 December 2010 - 10:29 PM.

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#23 brokenportal

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:04 PM

Im adding this here:

Population Research Institute


Debunk the myth of overpopulation, which cheapens human life and paves the way for abusive population control programs

Expose the relentless promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and chemical and surgical sterilization in misleadingly labeled “population stabilization,” “family planning,” and “reproductive health” programs.

Defund these programs by exposing the coercion, deception, and racism inherent in them.

Emphasize that people are the most valuable resource on the planet, the one resource we cannot do without.

Promote pro-natal and pro-family attitudes, laws, and policies worldwide.

Encourage programs to help the poor become agents of their own development.
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#24 onetimevisit

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:37 AM

I cant believe your attitude regarding optimal population levels. 50 billion people, wtf?
Do you comprehend that we are using 1.5 times the long run productivity of the earth every year.
Do you know what is going and has happened to the earths biosphere, the levels of deseretification and serility. The Loss of Biodiveristy is so considerable, look at the sea for starters.
By the end of this century we will have destroyed the once bountiful productivity of our island in space. I suggest you study the conserted efforts made to define the tradeoffs we face regarding our very scarce resources. The Limits to Growth series could be useful.

The Financial powers that be, are making concerted efforts to save the planet,
This I believe to be the best proof of the divinity and nobleness. I do believe they are too civilised
in there approuch, we cannot lose. Life must be valued by is quality and not quantity. Imagine the potential of 50 million outstanding intellects serving a limited King, in a global republician system. This requires the most drastic population reductions......
If the problem isnt solved the reality will be of total misery and slavery. Maybe God has changed his voice? Could the principle of loving ones neighbour override other commandments?

Martin Luther King once said, 'He who would not die for freedom, is not worthy of life', overpopulation is the greatest threat to freedom, and by implication, He who wont acknowledge overpopulation is not worth of life.
Life extension for the worthy

Edited by onetimevisit, 23 January 2011 - 09:45 AM.

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#25 mikeinnaples

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:10 PM

There is no god ....keep the fairy tales out of this thread.

Thanks
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#26 onetimevisit

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 04:09 AM

Im no christian, maybe im a historian who knows the true meaning of God, how it is used.
The HueMan mind is capable of entering a transendental state, were science is insufficient.
Mathmatics short comings provide amply evidence for this. Remember there are always normative values.
However im not attempting to change the subject.
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#27 niner

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 04:42 AM

Population Research Institute

Debunk the myth of overpopulation, which cheapens human life and paves the way for abusive population control programs
Expose the relentless promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and chemical and surgical sterilization in misleadingly labeled “population stabilization,” “family planning,” and “reproductive health” programs.
Defund these programs by exposing the coercion, deception, and racism inherent in them.
Emphasize that people are the most valuable resource on the planet, the one resource we cannot do without.
Promote pro-natal and pro-family attitudes, laws, and policies worldwide.
Encourage programs to help the poor become agents of their own development.

This group has only a tenuous connection to anything like our goals. They are pushing a Christianist anti-abortion message, and probably wouldn't look kindly on us messing with the Lord's plan; you know, trying to keep people from entering His Kingdom on schedule.
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#28 brokenportal

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:04 PM

This group has only a tenuous connection to anything like our goals. They are pushing a Christianist anti-abortion message, and probably wouldn't look kindly on us messing with the Lord's plan; you know, trying to keep people from entering His Kingdom on schedule.



They help make the case though. Can you see enough clash in this that there would be argument to take them out of the topics line up here? One case might be, is giving "invisible friendism" free air time when you dont have to ever a good thing?
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#29 brokenportal

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:14 PM

There are so many holes in many, seemingly most statements of absolutism. Another way people often state that includes the frequent unqualified use of the word "is".

As the late Robert Anton Wilson once said: ""Is," "is." "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment."

The over population knee jerk reaction "argument" by well meaning devils advocates and worse, seems to be especially fraught with these holes.

We often tell them to be creative, that there are any of a number of solutions, but with out a ready list in mind or a link to one they can many times stalemate that argument, they tell us its easier said than done. We could start a list of them with in this topic or potentially create another one.

Im writing this because I have vertical farming in mind. I was thinking about it after reading about it in the facebook singularity group today. http://www.verticalfarm.com/ By linking to and listing more of these things I think it will be easier for us to prove the case that they just need to get creative and actually think about solutions before dismissing any likely possibility.

On another note, when people bring up over-population then link them to this under-population topic. It has been working pretty well for me.
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#30 robomoon

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:19 PM

Good news that I am too dumb and old for that vertical farm. If I would be smarter and younger, the police might probably have arrested me for planting hemp in the cubbyhole of the flat on the 8th floor where I am dwelling.

This highly illegal farming could not really happen, since I failed several times trying to raise the cress, chives, and parsley for my salad in flower pots.

My skills are barely enough to water a cactus. Great luck for me too, I remember, there are daring criminals out there who are farming a kind of illegal drug cactus. No, I'm nowhere near that level of criminal intelligence.

Edited by robomoon, 07 April 2011 - 06:20 PM.

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