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    Grendel's Avatar
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    Question Serious question

    >be a state
    >control a finite area of land
    >virtually all the land on the planet is owned by another state
    >the little land that isn't is typically uninhabitable or otherwise considered unconquerable for whatever reason
    >finite energy and matter in the universe; ergo finite chemical energy in the earth, finite natural resources in land
    >finite space on the landmass your country controls, ergo finite living space
    >finite room to create means of production, with which to extract value from the Earth and feed your population

    >more people are born/immigrate in
    >only a portion of the population are innovators who will push the efficiency of your means of production upwards or create new ones
    >higher birthrates mean more people to compete over resources, ergo harsher competition
    >the Capitalist has a title to everything, ergo profits of workers do not scale directly with their collective outputs as technical efficiency improves
    >constant competition for resources created by high population makes any personal projects harder
    >rate of exceptional innovators being born does not scale directly with birthrate
    >over time, more net consumers are born than producers



    Why are low birthrates considered a bad thing? Unlike food, producing offspring is not a basic essential to survival, and the costs of living and of raising a child in Western countries are already so high that you can't just put them to work on a subsistence farm and have the whole family profit from it in your old age, so how are offspring an asset? I keep hearing this point flung about every which way in political arguments and it's just taken for granted that it's true.

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    Muddy's Avatar
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    Some people don't want their race getting outproduced.
    Last edited by Muddy; 01-09-2020 at 05:42 PM.

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    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
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    Yeah, or regional cultural norms, I guess?

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    Aramas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy View Post
    Some people don't want their race getting outproduced.
    This is the big answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    >be a state
    >control a finite area of land
    >virtually all the land on the planet is owned by another state
    >the little land that isn't is typically uninhabitable or otherwise considered unconquerable for whatever reason
    >finite energy and matter in the universe; ergo finite chemical energy in the earth, finite natural resources in land
    >finite space on the landmass your country controls, ergo finite living space
    >finite room to create means of production, with which to extract value from the Earth and feed your population

    >more people are born/immigrate in
    >only a portion of the population are innovators who will push the efficiency of your means of production upwards or create new ones
    >higher birthrates mean more people to compete over resources, ergo harsher competition
    >the Capitalist has a title to everything, ergo profits of workers do not scale directly with their collective outputs as technical efficiency improves
    >constant competition for resources created by high population makes any personal projects harder
    >rate of exceptional innovators being born does not scale directly with birthrate
    >over time, more net consumers are born than producers



    Why are low birthrates considered a bad thing? Unlike food, producing offspring is not a basic essential to survival, and the costs of living and of raising a child in Western countries are already so high that you can't just put them to work on a subsistence farm and have the whole family profit from it in your old age, so how are offspring an asset? I keep hearing this point flung about every which way in political arguments and it's just taken for granted that it's true.
    This is the real reason for school and office shootings. People's innate traits don't change so the most antisocial and least productive of the creative types decide to innovate ways to kill people in public instead. While the targets are already obviously bastions of consumer conformity, if consumerism doesn't get replaced people will just keep going for more and more important targets until something huge is taken down. It's like a weird version of Marxism. Marx did consider artists proletarian and many professors consider themselves proletarians, so rather than a violent workers' strike there will probably just be random low-tier creatives like Randy Stair attacking targets in growing numbers and gangs at best, never a few capitalists overwhelmed by a mass of workers but just entrenched powerful individuals vs. unentrenched powerful individuals. Violence should be avoided in the future as much as is possible but with how many guns and even knives are being confiscated, I'm not sure it's possible. Of course, school and workplace shooters are worthless and dissatisfied people should find ways to mobilize which aren't worthless, but where there's smoke there's fire. Go Bernie Bros.




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    Peter, The Machine, The Rock fireee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post

    Why are low birthrates considered a bad thing?
    This is a loaded question, and it depends on the context.

    But,

    If you look at it from a long-term perspective (for example, the Roman Empire 5 century BC to 5 century AD),

    Low birthrates are some of the many social changes that can point to the decline of a civilization,

    this + the following:

    --economic and political instability
    --the breakdown of family
    --individualistic ideology
    --higher divorce and singleness
    --weakening military
    --division and lack of unity
    etc etc


    Basically,

    Those values that once held civilization are weakening.

    When there's:

    --too much chaos,
    --no order,
    --no backbone to hold things together,

    Well...

    Things tend to fall apart.

    And at this point,

    It's not really a question of "What"

    but now it's a question of "when" civilization will collapse
    Last edited by fireee; 01-10-2020 at 04:35 AM.

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    Adam Strange's Avatar
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    We can trace low birth rates back to a common source.

    Birth rates typically fell in the past because children became too expensive to raise.

    Children became too expensive to raise when the income or the resources required to raise them were in short supply.

    Resources become scarce when they have been over-exploited.

    Civilization is an active process that requires resources to maintain itself.

    If there are insufficient resources to maintain a civilization at its present level of complexity, it will inevitably have to “simplify”. This can result in fewer people and can appear to be a “fall” from previous levels of complexity.

    This happens to all civilizations eventually. The Roman Empire was entirely solar-powered and expanded by stealing the stored resources of its neighbors. When it reached the limits of groups reachable by easily traversed rivers or constructed roads, it found itself with a lot of complexity and nothing to power it. The Romans had to simplify. Birth rates fell precipitously in the first centuries of the present era.

    When Spain discovered areas which could grow sugar (a human fuel), it expanded. When the British discovered the oil fields of Iraq, they expanded. When the US was able to gain control of petroleum supplies, it expanded.

    Unfortunately, the external costs of burning fossil fuels and creating CO2 pollution are once again raising the costs of civilization, and people are rationally responding to these higher costs by cutting back in every area, one of which is raising very, very expensive children.

    So if you want your “race” to proliferate, invest in research which will either reduce pollution and hence reduce our costs, or find a cheaper, less polluting way of growing food and providing energy.

    The last Romans defending Constantinople against the gunpowder-using Hordes in 1453 probably didn’t see their situation in these terms, and the city eventually was overrun, like the rest of their empire.
    Last edited by Adam Strange; 01-10-2020 at 11:43 AM.

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    Aramas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    We can trace low birth rates back to a common source.

    Birth rates typically fell in the past because children became too expensive to raise.

    Children became too expensive to raise when the income or the resources required to raise them were in short supply.

    Resources become scarce when they have been over-exploited.

    Civilization is an active process that requires resources to maintain itself.

    If there are insufficient resources to maintain a civilization at its present level of complexity, it will inevitably have to “simplify”. This can result in fewer people and can appear to be a “fall” from previous levels of complexity.

    This happens to all civilizations eventually. The Roman Empire was entirely solar-powered and expanded by stealing the stored resources of its neighbors. When it reached the limits of groups reachable by easily traversed rivers or constructed roads, it found itself with a lot of complexity and nothing to power it. The Romans had to simplify. Birth rates fell precipitously in the first centuries of the present era.

    When Spain discovered areas which could grow sugar (a human fuel), it expanded. When the British discovered the oil fields of Iraq, they expanded. When the US was able to gain control of petroleum supplies, it expanded.

    Unfortunately, the external costs of burning fossil fuels and creating CO2 pollution are once again raising the costs of civilization, and people are rationally responding to these higher costs by cutting back in every area, one of which is raising very, very expensive children.

    So if you want your “race” to proliferate, invest in research which will either reduce pollution and hence reduce our costs, or find a cheaper, less polluting way of growing food and providing energy.

    The last Romans defending Constantinople against the gunpowder-using Hordes in 1453 probably didn’t see their situation in these terms, and the city eventually was overrun, like the rest of their empire.
    Reducing pollution doesn't reduce the cost of raising children. It just preserves currently remaining resources.

    You're right about oil being the big resource that powers modern civilization. We've already peaked in terms of normal oil supplies, and shale oil might have already peaked. And in terms of EROI, shale is a lot more expensive than traditional oil. Renewable energy isn't where it needs to be yet to replace oil. Biodegradable packaging needs work. And we need an alternative to fossil fuel-based fertilizer. These problems are pretty big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    Reducing pollution doesn't reduce the cost of raising children. It just preserves currently remaining resources.
    Dealing with pollution certainly does raise costs. Put a person inside a sealed plastic bag and see what they would pay to get rid of their CO2. If you haven't seen that, or the effects on crops of warmer temperatures, I'm not sure if you are connecting the dots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    You're right about oil being the big resource that powers modern civilization. We've already peaked in terms of normal oil supplies, and shale oil might have already peaked. And in terms of EROI, shale is a lot more expensive than traditional oil. Renewable energy isn't where it needs to be yet to replace oil. Biodegradable packaging needs work. And we need an alternative to fossil fuel-based fertilizer. These problems are pretty big.
    The cost of renewables is already lower than many fossil fuels. Replacing the fertilizer that is made from oil is much harder. Fifty percent of humans are made from nitrogen from fertilizers made from this oil.

    Incidentally, just because oil production has peaked, that doesn't mean we are running out of oil. We are just running out of cheap oil. There is enough oil on this planet to turn it into Venus.

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    my past is very dark and riddled with memories of horse violence.

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