Population Decline and the Fall of the Developed World

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
31,882
5,910
126
Tell me you didn't read the OP or watch the video in the OP without telling me you didn't read the OP or watch the video in the OP.
The video acted like a desire for growth was a foregone conclusion. It is not.
Unchecked growth is destructive. Can we at least agree on that basic premise?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fenixgoon

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,625
12,235
136
Yes.... and your credibility has taken a bit of a hit as a direct result. ;)

Yes, population decline in developed nations is a real issue but not for the reasons put forth in that video and further as mentioned OVER-population is far more of a problem.

Pretty much only "white-Christians" are failing to continue to reproduce in large numbers and far as I'm concerned that's mainly a plus!
Too many people here aren't able to see the distinction between global overpopulation and population decline in the developed world. It's like all they see is something about population and they're triggered to respond in only one way.
If population decline in the developed world isn't a real issue for the reasons in the video, then what reasons is it an issue? Let's hear your expert analysis.
And this issue affects the entire developed world, including in Asia, not just "white Christians." You're only fooling yourself there. I'd have to look up the data, but I'd be willing to bet that white liberals have the lowest reproduction rate in the US.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,625
12,235
136
The video acted like a desire for growth was a foregone conclusion. It is not.
Unchecked growth is destructive. Can we at least agree on that basic premise?
So because unchecked growth is destructive (which of course it is), we shouldn't desire any growth at all?
That's a hell of a straw man.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,625
12,235
136
The trend. Yes, Boomers were a large bunch.
Do you imagine we can, that we should, maintain that growth rate?
The comforts of excess today will come with absolutely devastating costs later. You fight for a debt that WILL be paid. Though you do not know what it is you are asking for.
That debt is only going to be repaid if we have the productive working age population to repay it.
Otherwise, your retirement (and mine) are screwed.
 
  • Love
Reactions: hal2kilo

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,625
12,235
136
One statement I heard from Elon Musk really caught my attention, and I can't really but wonder if it is the canary in the coalmine indicator.

Basically, he said civilization/society is in jeopardy when the number of adult diapers sold exceeds the number of infant diapers being sold, and we are there.

OBTW, I don't like Musk, I think he is a self-centered arrogant jerk.
Musk is a conman. Almost everything he sells is either a ponzi scheme or a baldfaced lie.
But he's right on this one. When a society has more elderly than babies to care for, it is in decline.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hal2kilo

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,625
12,235
136


At the very least the notion of collapse by excessive population is debated. I am not qualified to untangle what sources are biased and what ones not so much.
Ehrlich was the Malthaus of his time. His very predictions served to prove him wrong.

Population decline in the developed world isn't about having enough food to eat, per se. It's more how people try to maximize their offsprings' competitive advantage. When child mortality is high, people do that by having lots of babies. When child mortality is low, people invest everything they can in just 1 or 2 children.
 
Last edited:

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
So because unchecked growth is destructive (which of course it is), we shouldn't desire any growth at all?
That's a hell of a straw man.
So the chinese are going about it correctly?

Which is worse for humanity: Overpopulation or underpopulation? One could argue as many have that we are reaching a saturation point that is ruining the planet. If this is indeed true, then that is a worse long term issue. Underpopulation on the other hand would impact our ability to survive a world wide disaster that wipes out most of humanity where the numbers game may actually matter. Both of these are obviously bad, but which one is more likely?

It sounds like the over simplified argument for population growth is 'because money'. If it is we are looking at this all wrong.

I would counter that by stating that if the quality of the children being brought up is a big part of this as well, and since Idiocracy is pretty real these days....

I've long disagreed with the mindset that everything needs to grow to be viable. Perhaps another way to look at it is that the more humans there are the more the odds tip in the direction of changes that advance humanity as a whole. The problem seems these days though that advances are locked behind whoever holds the money and decides if said thing can make them more if they produce it, or bury it.
 
Last edited:

mect

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2004
2,422
1,632
136
So because unchecked growth is destructive (which of course it is), we shouldn't desire any growth at all?
That's a hell of a straw man.
Any growth at all in perpetuity is unchecked growth. At some point, the world will need declining populations. And from a sustainability perspective I'd say we passed that point awhile ago.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Gardener

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
70,148
5,309
126
The James Webb should help dispel you of the silly notion that we truly understand galactic or universal constants. We do not. That book is rewritten every time we get a closer look.
From the web:
Big Bang Theory for Kids

Related
Big Bang Theory for Kids


Updated April 25, 2017

By Chris Deziel

The big bang theory of the origin of the universe is a logical result of the discovery by astronomer Edwin Hubble that the universe is expanding. If the expansion could be reversed, the entire universe would, at some point in time, contract into a single point in space. Scientists have deduced the conditions and temperature of the universe at a time infinitesimally close to this singularity based on observations of the present universe.


The Primordial Singularity
A singularity is a region of space-time in which matter is crushed so closely together that the gravitational laws explained by general relativity break down. In a singularity, the volume of space is zero and its density is infinite. Another way to say this is that the curvature of space-time is infinite. Scientists believe such a singularity exists at the core of a black hole, which occurs when a super-massive sun reaches the end of its life and implodes. General relativity also demands such a singularity must exist at the beginning of an expanding universe.
The Big Bang
The big bang is the instant when the primordial singularity became the universe. Based on observations of distant objects and measurements of the cosmic background radiation, scientists have deduced the temperature at the Planck time, which is 10 million trillion trillion trillionths of a second. At that instant, the temperature was 100 million trillion trillion kelvins (180 million trillion trillion degrees Fahrenheit). The universe underwent a period of accelerated expansion that ended well before a second had elapsed. By this time, it had cooled to a temperature of 100 billion kelvins (180 billion degrees Fahrenheit).






Brought to you by Sciencing
The First Moments of History

Approximately one second after the big bang, the universe was about 400,000 times as dense as water, and the temperature was 10 billion kelvins. Matter consisted mainly of protons and neutrons. After 13.8 seconds, the temperature had dropped to 3 billion kelvins, and three minutes and 45 seconds later, it had dropped to 1 billion kelvins. At this point, the neutrons and protons began to form helium nuclei. The first atoms didn't form until 700,000 years after the big bang. By then, the temperature had dropped to several thousand kelvins, which was cool enough for protons and electrons to form hydrogen atoms.
Confirming the Theory

Besides Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding, which led to the development of the big bang theory in the first place, there are two other reasons for accepting the theory. One is that it predicts that the helium formed at the time of the big bang should account for 25 percent of the mass of the universe, which is what astrophysicists observe. The other is that it predicts that the temperature of the cosmic background radiation -- the afterglow of the big bang -- should be 3 degrees above absolute zero, and observations have also confirmed this.
------------------------

I am not familiar with counteractions to this from Webb.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,323
1,710
126
Yeah, no. The biggest threat to the world is overpopulation.
The world was on track for overpopulation, but this is no longer the case. Need proof? Just look around at how few people are on these forums.
 

Paratus

Lifer
Jun 4, 2004
15,968
11,605
146
The James Webb should help dispel you of the silly notion that we truly understand galactic or universal constants. We do not. That book is rewritten every time we get a closer look.
Not exactly.

What ever JWST finds will almost certainly not overturn our entire understanding of the formation of the Universe. It will refine it.

Scientific theories become less wrong over time as more information is found.

This essay called “The Relativity of Wrong” by Isaac Asimov makes the point I’m trying to make
 
  • Like
Reactions: sandorski

FelixDeCat

Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
28,038
1,440
126
It is very important for people whose ego identifications are built of delusional thinking to pretend that factual knowledge is a waste of time. That is because, as with all forms of bigotry, the unconscious assumption is that the delusions you take for the truth is all that anybody really ever knows. The thing that you fear is to re-experience the shame that was heaped on you as a child by those who said you would get no love from them if you pretended you could think for yourself. And here we are, you suffering your Stockholm Syndrome, imagining you can give others your disease.

Some how some way you need to realize that you have no reason to be ashamed. It was not your fault you were made to feel worthless as a child and you never were.
Im going to ignore your silly assumptions and simply state I do not accept the premise that we need *more* people. We need substantially less.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
20,684
10,351
136
What is the purpose of an economy? Why do we need one?
Oh why did it have to be moonie to post that question... We all know the endgame here.

Anyway, it *is* interesting and me myself have spend quite a bit of time pondering the question - having contracted heavily in the financial sector I have never met a banker or otherwise financial educated person that could explain in a satisfactory fashion what *money* is and where it comes from.

I think I got it dialed down somewhat though.

- At its purest, an economy liquifies your corn, it enables you to trade with someone that is not currently in actual need of your corn.

- The economy is actually a living thing, it has its own eco system and you will not be unable to understand its full ramifications if you do not start your study at its beginning, its origin.

- Today "the economy" is a weapon.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
70,148
5,309
126
Oh why did it have to be moonie to post that question... We all know the endgame here.

Anyway, it *is* interesting and me myself have spend quite a bit of time pondering the question - having contracted heavily in the financial sector I have never met a banker or otherwise financial educated person that could explain in a satisfactory fashion what *money* is and where it comes from.

I think I got it dialed down somewhat though.

- At its purest, an economy liquifies your corn, it enables you to trade with someone that is not currently in actual need of your corn.

- The economy is actually a living thing, it has its own eco system and you will not be unable to understand its full ramifications if you do not start your study at its beginning, its origin.

- Today "the economy" is a weapon.
Since I don't actually know the end game here perhaps you would be kind enough to tell me.

The economy, in my opinion is more like a three way trade. A has corn he is willing to trade to B for money he will trade to C for something C does not want to trade for corn. This eliminates the need for the trades to be done simultaneously due to the virtual existence of money.

Unfortunately I can't time travel so I can't say what the origins are or if you really need to know what they are to understand the ramifications. If I did know I wouldn't be too confident that would lead to my understanding what the ramifications are or that someone without knowing the origin might have a rather good idea of what they are.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
6,710
2,331
136
Boy, that looks absurd on the face of it.
He is not wrong. It may eliminate jobs in the shirt run but over the long run those workers who were displaced by automation will find new jobs. Once you can harvest wheat faster you need more grain silos and more transportation to bring it to market. Once you can make cars more affordable you need more sales people, mechanics, and insurance providers. Etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ivwshane

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
35,330
6,837
126
He is not wrong. It may eliminate jobs in the shirt run but over the long run those workers who were displaced by automation will find new jobs. Once you can harvest wheat faster you need more grain silos and more transportation to bring it to market. Once you can make cars more affordable you need more sales people, mechanics, and insurance providers. Etc.
I tend to agree with the idea that people who are displaced by automation shouldn't be considered going down the meat grinder, yes, they will "find new jobs." An economy where workers upgrade, change is healthy compared to one where they are incapable of retraining, regenerating. But thinking that automation creates more jobs than it eliminates is a head scratcher. Really, quantifying it is counter productive. Automation is just an inextricable part of the modern technological scene.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
35,330
6,837
126
Automation will never make labor obsolete. Literally never. It will make certain jobs obsolete, particularly lesser skilled jobs, but overall automation will always create more jobs than it destroys.
Think of automation as a tool, because that's what it is. And tools create jobs for those who know how to wield them.
Another duh! I didn't say it would make labor obsolete, automation can and does VERY OFTEN make it possible to reduce the number of people necessary to accomplish tasks, both service and production. Yes, it creates more and different jobs... which is A GOOD THING because the people who lose their jobs because of automation usually need to find another way of making a living. BOY HAVE I BTDT!

Automation is NOT a disease. A disease can maybe be controlled or even eliminated. Automation is inevitable here and there in modern civilization.
 

mect

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2004
2,422
1,632
136
Another duh! I didn't say it would make labor obsolete, automation can and does VERY OFTEN make it possible to reduce the number of people necessary to accomplish tasks, both service and production. Yes, it creates more and different jobs... which is A GOOD THING because the people who lose their jobs because of automation usually need to find another way of making a living. BOY HAVE I BTDT!

Automation is NOT a disease. A disease can maybe be controlled or even eliminated. Automation is inevitable here and there in modern civilization.
I think a good way to look at the effect of automation on jobs is to look at the types of jobs people have had over time. As more and more jobs get automated, we have people move from jobs providing for necessities to jobs providing luxuries and recreation (and in some cases nuisance). The late David Graeber has some fantastic work on bull shit jobs (if you haven't before, I highly recommend watching some youtube videos of his interviews), which I think are largely a result of the social pressure to stigmatize people that don't work (a lot) as morally bankrupt, and so we create bullshit jobs that add little or no value to society. The interesting thing is that these jobs are also often some of the best compensated. Automation will never eliminate all jobs, but it does have the capacity to significantly reduce the amount of hours we need to work, especially in jobs that provide no satisfaction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Muse

ASK THE COMMUNITY