Cold Water

Two highly-recommended recent blog posts on a critical issue: The demographic calamity of modernity. One by Peter Frost, the other by One Irradiated Watson. (It’s a perennial topic, for obvious reasons.)

Now for the bucket of cold water. NRx has almost nothing to say about it. Of course, it can remark on the problem, insistently, and even diagnose it with some definite precision. What it has yet to do is to cross from urgent policy recommendations to anything remotely approaching a road map for implementation.

The way stations on the hazy track into the future that NRx generally follows — this blog very much included — tend to include a more-or-less comprehensive phase of social collapse, and subsequent restoration of comparatively non-demotist, authoritarian models of governance. (It leads, roughly speaking, through the Jackpot.) Is there any solid basis for the assumption that a regime coming out of this — perhaps Neocameralist / Monarchist in character — would vigorously pursue the pro-natalist policies advocated by contemporary reaction? It is at least questionable, given that the actually-existing states presently closest to this type have proven to be — despite public expressions of concern — entirely incapable of doing so.

The problem of time-horizons at the root of the modern fertility crisis is easily trivialized, as if it were merely a product of adjustable degenerate attitudes. The deep problem — partially tractable to game-theoretical apprehension — is that, under the conditions of the modern state in an environment of intense competition, suppressed natalism is a short-term winning strategy, and if you don’t win in the short-term you’re not around to play in the long term. If the world becomes increasingly Hobbesian in the decades ahead, this dilemma becomes more acute, rather than less so. It presses no less heavily upon a monarch than a democratic leader. Continuing industrial advance means that the (strategic) opportunity cost of subtracting smart females from the work-force becomes ever greater. Any ideal of ‘long-term thinking’ that ignores all of this is incomplete to the point of utter dysfunction.

The condescension really ought to stop. Modernity crushes fertility because it sees ahead better than you do — you just don’t like what it’s seeing.

ADDED: Responses from Hurlock and Athrelon.

ADDED: Alrenous on fertility and purpose.

February 3, 2015admin 127 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility

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127 Responses to this entry

  • Cold Water | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Cold Water […]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 2:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kwisatz Haderach Says:

    “the (strategic) opportunity cost of subtracting smart females from the work-force becomes ever greater.”

    Hah. This makes you sound like Hannah Rosin. Yes, of course it is true that once in a while, a freakishly intelligent woman outlier will appear on the scene, whose intelligence and competitive spirit is great enough for her to matter strategically. In rare cases, they will spend that creative energy on something strategically important. And, for those of us who live in intensely selective IQ bubbles, it’s common enough to personally know one or two, or even a handful. But the ground truth is that the only kind of labor that strategically matters for the overwhelming majority of women is the traditional kind. And, contrary to feminist revisionism, traditional society made a place for the other few percent (to the ultimate detriment of the gene pool).

    This post also seems to sacralize the DINK lifestyle. Sure, today, those DINKS drive two Mercedes SUVs, take vacations in Tahiti, and look and act like a Viagra commercial. But, how well have they seen ahead, exactly? What happens ten years or twenty years from now, when they grow truly old, truly ugly, truly slow? I think convincing someone to have children under prevailing conditions is mostly about convincing them to look ahead with an unflinching gaze. A Hobbesian world is a tribal world. In order to have tribes, you need to have broods.

    In this way, a meaner, harsher world automatically incentivizes the right kind of production.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If Singapore was simply an IQ Shredder through blindness and ‘not getting it’ everything would indeed be much easier.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    > In this way, a meaner, harsher world automatically incentivizes the right kind of production.

    This.

    Modern decadence is destined to burn itself out. Happens every time. Then comes the very bad times, which inevitably bring people back to God. People living in service of God have large families. It’s a problem that solves itself.

    Since when did NRx accept the burden of policy recommendations?

    I prefer the Moldbuggian approach of non-action. Lead the retreat back to God (whichever you prefer) and hunker down for the long haul.

    [Reply]

    J Reply:

    It is a problem that solves itself, yes, but your kind will not be there when the solution arrives. Should you think that YOU have any transcendental worth, allowing the problem to solve itself spontaneously would be anathema.

    Lead actively the retreat to God is an activist, revolutionary position, not Moldbuggian reaction
    .

    [Reply]

    Black Needle Reply:

    What happened to your blog, J? Did Google finally have enough and ban you for hate speech?

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Speaking of DINKs, I’ve where there’s an inverse correlation between the generosity of social security type programs and fertility. Children are another option to be included in a balanced investment basket, but in socializing the costs of retirement programs it created the ability to defect. There is still the question of, are children a poorly performing investment option? In contrast, if you have aggressive genetic engineering and an end of the seniority system of promotion, having children may become the best game in town.

    With regard to women working I see it as part of the GDP fallacy. A woman at home who is involved in the production of useful goods and services such as cooking, cleaning, decorating, child rearing/educating, managing expenses, sex, community outreach, as so on doesn’t get counted towards GDP (because money never exchanged hands). But if she works and outsources everything else suddenly there’s a huge boost to GDP, even if everyone’s worse off (except gov and big business who have now supplanted the role of women) as a result.

    Specialization of labor does factor in (witness the working poor where the woman are compelled into the workforce, yay women’s liberation), but there is also accounting the shared costs and benefits of having women’s traditional role as arbiters of local charity (they inform their husbands on who needs to be helped and who needs to be chased out of town), custodians of the local community (women and churches are what make neighborhoods), and of course education (smart women were expected to teach, today our education majors on average come out of the bottom 10% of our hilariously dumbed down university system) that have been wholly appropriated by government. I think it’s important to realize just how essential the role of women are to healthy civilization, and the irony of feminism denigrating the role of women while wishing to become men. Women are trained to be men because the roles of women have all been outsourced.

    [Reply]

    Alice Teller Reply:

    Give this man a cigar. Women try hard to do what society tells them will earn admiration. The prescription for the short term is to restore prestige and style to the role of wife and mother, not threaten to chain us to the stove, barefoot and pregnant, because we are too dumb to do anything else. When men of the right agree with gays, and view us as just breeders, something is very wrong.

    [Reply]

    anti-hermetic Reply:

    This is why it has become customary in certain red pill circles to ban female commenters.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Sound.

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 3:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    Will a post-demotic-collapse monarch be a feminist?

    I am pretty sure Jim’s theory is so far the best explanation of the IQ shredder phenomenon and to me it seems correct.

    “is that, under the conditions of the modern state in an environment of intense competition, suppressed natalism is a short-term winning strategy, and if you don’t win in the short-term you’re not around to play in the long term. If the world becomes increasingly Hobbesian in the decades ahead, this dilemma becomes more acute, rather than less so.”

    If you are right about this (I’d like to see it fleshed out a bit more) then this is the fractional-reserve banking paradox. Fractional reserve-banking is self-destructive long-term, but can be massively profitable short-term, more so than sound banking. Which is why as long as you have a central bank (i.e. The State) supporting fractional reserve banking, everyone is forced to run a fractional reserve bank in order to stay sufficiently competitive (although after the last crisis the interest in alternative banking methods has been growing so that to make some off-shore sound banking mildly profitable).

    Of course this is unsustainable. Fractional reserve banking eventually kills itself in spectacular fashion, no matter how much the State props it up. The thing is that the more it props it up, the more disastrous the eventual collapse will be as more and more resources get wasted into this along the way (but some people get VERY RICH, at least short-term).

    Seem to me you are describing a similar scenario with the fertility question. They are just forced to do it in the short-term for similar reasons. But then you say something weird, that there is no reason to think that a post-demotic-collapse state would not necessarily fix that problem, and actually seem to imply that this isn’t a problem at all?
    First of all, yes there is no reason to think that just because someone survived the collapse he knows what caused it. But the fertility collapse, even if it has some short-term benefits (and I am not even convinced on this point) is disastrous long-term, even insofar as economics are concerned, as I noted in my post on the topic a few weeks ago.

    “Continuing industrial advance means that the (strategic) opportunity cost of subtracting smart females from the work-force becomes ever greater. ”

    But this seems wrong to me. You’d have to provide some stats to back this up. I believe it was Alexander(?) who actually showed (or at least argued) that GDP growth is not actually influenced by the women entering the workforce, at least not long-term. And you have to remember that women entering the workforce, even if it has short-term productivity benefits brings a lot of long-term problems (as I noted in my post, it might be OK to put women into the workforce during total wars, but as a long-term economic strategy it is not that profitable). The fertility decline + the total disbalancing of your traditional social structure has very detrimental economic effects. The population decline leads to a higher dependency ratio which strangles productivity, forcing you to import immigrants, but you cannot import only smart immigrants forever and eventually you have to even import dumb ones, and if the dumb ones start outbreeding the smart ones, you have transcended mere IQ shredding and are activelly commiting gene suicide, resulting in a significantly dumber population in a generation or two.
    Like it or not IQ shredding doesn’t work in the long-term and will lead to a collapse in intelligence and eventually technology and economic productivity if not handled properly.
    Also remember that being an IQ shredder only works short-term if you can afford to be a small parasite nation such as Singapore sucking out the high-IQ specimens out of other states. But not everyone can do that because if everyone is a parasite, who is the host? (and the host eventually dies anyways, so what do you do then?)

    Actually, I am more inclined to think that putting women in the workforce is detrimental even in the short term as I do not see any increases in economic productivity or technological advance since the USA and the West in general started doing it on a massive scale, some 40-50 years ago. In fact not even for a second was there any spike in productivity, but on the contrary it has been steadily declining even short-term. Of course other factors were at work as well, but I’d still like to see some data on this before I can agree with “Continuing industrial advance means that the (strategic) opportunity cost of subtracting smart females from the work-force becomes ever greater.”
    And then even if this is true there is still the issue of the long-term population collapse. (and what would you say about that?)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m not at all trying to suggest it isn’t a problem. But it’s a tragic problem, rather than a stupid problem.

    China was pro-natalist when losing against modernity, under the Qing, and anti-natalist while winning the modernity game, since Deng. Simply wishing these basic patterns away is far too convenient.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Correlation is not causation. I am not wishing anything away, I just think we need to be much more precise here if we are to get to the bottom of this.

    Sure, China was pro-natalist under the Qing, but was it the pro-natalism policies which were detrimental to its economic and technological progress? I doubt that was the case. Were there other Qing policies which had nothing to do with natalism but simply happened to be ‘traditional’ or pursued for whatever reason at the same time which were seriously detrimental to industrialization? Seems much more likely (to me at least).
    And with Deng? I don’t believe it was his anti-natalist policies which helped him industrialize China and make it into the economic superpower that it is (or at least I may skeptical). And you have to remember that no matter how anti-natalist Deng might have been the population of China has doubled since Mao.

    Sure, we might have a pattern. But is it causal or merely correlational? That is the question.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 3:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • muhammad chang Says:

    If you don’t “win” in the short term i.e., get an upper middleclass lifestyle within your lifetime, but you leave offspring who will outbreed upper middleclassers, who really wins the long term?

    Victoria of the blood vs victory of the jewgoldz, which is better and why?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It depends (a lot) on how many disadvantaged people are going to die. Gibson has actually thought a bit about it. I’m not sure how many other people have.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    And with the earth heading for 11 billion people (and 4 billion Africans) by 2100 even as technology makes more and more of the jobs suitable for average people obsolete, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that *everyone’s* descendants will find cozy positions (or tubes of insect based protein paste) going forward.

    Then there is that ever growing army of killbots…

    [Reply]

    Garr Reply:

    victory of the envious nazi fagbots?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 3:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Harold Says:

    There is too much looking back at past civilisations, in NRx, in order to predict the fate of our own. There is too much mocking of progressives for the sentiment that this time it is different. This time it is different. A look at a graph of human population makes this evident. First was the hunter-gatherer epoch, then man invented agriculture, the population shot up before it leveled off again, man was reforged with a new nature—agricultural man. Then man invented science and industry, the population is still shooting up, maybe it will level off, maybe man will again be reforged, maybe it is the end of man.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 3:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    China became anti-natalist not because of a belief that women belong in the workforce. That actually came with Communism and precedes Deng. What made Deng enforce antinatalism was that there’s was fucking billion people in the country. Which aren’t easy to feed.

    LKY had a passage on his memoir about how advanced was Japan, in that they put their women to work. He felt inspired and he destroyed the traditional patriarchal culture of the overseas Chinese, who he felt produced idle men prone to gambling, and dirty and ignorant women.

    I’d say it’s all about marginal returns. There’s an advantage to put women to work in productive endeavours, and not having them all day at home making babies and reading celebrity gossip magazines.

    But above a certain threshold (which I’d set quite low), women are just harmful to any office, and to the job market as a whole. Having women around changes the whole dynamic of an office in a bad way.

    And women are different: they are better at menial paperwork tasks; they are more loyal and less likely to leave for the competition; they are happy with lower wages but work less hours; they are more likely to sleep with their bosses.

    All this matters. Women aren’t just some additional input. They change things. And not necessarily for the better as a whole. Even if putting them to work didn’t produce dysgenics; it biases the job market to their favour, which discourages men from taking a job. And you don’t want to discourage men from working.

    At any rate a return to preindustrial natality isn’t necessary. 2.0 – 2.5 natality, with a top heavy distribution is what we need; and that just requires nudging married women from having 3 instead of 1.5 children. You don’t need to ban them outright from the workforce; just make it a better deal for them to have kids earlier and start softer careers later.

    None of which requires a reactionary revolution nor any massive social upheaval. Just a slight tone down of progressive nonsense.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That all sounds very sensible (truly) — but why are things looking so catastrophic in Japan, S. Korea, and Singapore, for example. Those places are scarcely outposts of exceptional progressive lunacy. (Although they are outposts of advanced modernity.)

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Japan is a prime example of progressive lunacy in a number of areas – including gender relations. And I hope I don’t have to mention economics.

    S. Korea not that insane, but almost.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Gender relations? Really? (I guess Spandrell could help us out there.)

    spandrell Reply:

    Well if it doesn’t correlate with ideology maybe it isn’t about ideology.

    Maybe it’s about incentives. Wild idea, I know.

    Big factors are late marriage, urban living, a culture of helicoptering which makes people think children are more trouble than they really are, which includes people thinking children cost more money than they really do.

    Fertility is affected by a million things, and everybody has its pet theory. I have mine too. But imagine if people married at 25, had bigger houses, and didn’t spend millions of manhours in education. Surely having 3 kids wouldn’t be so hard anymore.

    The question that everybody asks is “why don’t people have more children?”

    But the real question is “why do people have children at all?” And if you ask around, the answer these days is generally:
    1. Contraceptive accident
    2. Babies are cute
    3. Grandma keep asking
    4. Wife had this unexplainable urge

    People just feel no incentive to have more than 1 or 2 children, once the female urge is gone and the older brats stop being so cute anymore. To increase natality you have to work on this.

    There’s another argument which is that women have too high standards and won’t marry average men. In most of Asia 30% of people are single at age 40, i.e. they’re effectively barren.

    You could try to fix that; but it would only fix 30% of the problem, and feminism as you say is a much harder problem to tackle. And all data shows that 30% spinsterhood wasn’t actually pretty common in past eras too.

    I’d say it’s easier to deal with the existing base of married couples with children, than try to fix manchilds, nerds, spinsters and catladies. But of course the latter provides more opportunities for ideological upmanship (I’m more-reactionary-than-thou), so it tends to monopolize all discussion on the subject.

    So I, being actually more-reactionary-than-ye, propose letting the incels and feminists extinguish themselves from the genepool, and instead focus our attention on the majority of functional people who might be susceptible to slight changes in incentives and breed a little more.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    I mean 30% spinsterhood *was* quite common in the old days. Feel free to edit the post and delete this one.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Found this link for marriage statistics (goes back to 1890, if someone has data that goes back farther I’d be curious to see it) that substantiates your idea.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCoQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.census.gov%2Fhhes%2Fsocdemo%2Fmarriage%2Fdata%2Facs%2FElliottetalPAA2012presentation.pdf&ei=8BzRVJfTD9HkgwTR5IOADA&usg=AFQjCNH8MQ7i3ce-njRy1zVxT_LFlBA61g&sig2=y351kvA5vgmaLg6CQBqxkw&cad=rja

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    “But imagine if people married at 25, had bigger houses, and didn’t spend millions of manhours in education. Surely having 3 kids wouldn’t be so hard anymore.”

    Imagine the government didn’t hoover up more than half the economy so they could burn it to keep warm? Yes, that would probably help make children affordable.

    Is your 30% number from Clark? I recall it being roughly that. Surprisingly high, at any rate.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 3:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    Perhaps Pinterest will be our salvation. The constantly curated image-show of domesticity and female-one-upmanship seems to exert a counter-feminist influence. The stay at home moms get to humble brag about their cooking, crafts, and various domestic projects. The career girls play along, but they are just desperate to get some slop from Trader Joes on the table and get all the laundry done, let along put away. Give it awhile, and perhaps the younger generation will start seeing that the SAHMs have it pretty good. Ahh, wishful thinking.

    There need to be more NRx leaning women doling out the Red Pill for women: Family life is your best route to satisfaction, and you need to use your depreciating youth strategically and willfully to find a compatable and worthy husband to marry. Unless you are an uber-driven achiever with little yearning for kids, keep those career ambitions in check – at least until the kids are all well into elementary school…

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    You’re not gonna win many friends around here by being so gnondamn reasonable, Stirner.

    Serendipitously, Surviving Babel and I had a long recorded chat with Grerp the other night. Her oeuvre, and come to find out her ability to communicate it in real time, stands as a shining example for Red-Pilling young women.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 4:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    If all education was private and there were no employment quotas and no welfare for single mothers, how many women would be in the workforce?

    Do we even have an example of a country that hasn’t introduced massive distortions to support women in the workforce? Singapore actively destroyed its own fertility and only completely reversed its policies very recently (it first tried a two-tier policy where it discouraged poor women from breeding and futilely tried to pay educated women to have children). Many other countries have done the same. Every Western country is actively promoting feminism.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 4:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    A lot of people are going to die anyway.

    Setting out a clear and cogent natalist-eugenic [the two tradeoff] is more pressing. A more immediate concern is laying the groundwork for gentle dissolution of the federal government, via secessionist movements and persuading rulers of the effectiveness of exit over voice.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    This is a dynamic that concerns me. Nothing is more stable, pliable, and easily manipulated by power than a family man, their threat to the status quo is negligible. If exit is a priority, exit should be accomplished first before family formation, we men have the luxury of waiting to have families. The mission isn’t bun in oven (r-selection isn’t a contest you want to win), that’s the reward after the mission of exit is accomplished.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Precisely.

    [Reply]

    forkinhell Reply:

    For an honest man, freedom requires having no friends; and, one step above, sainthood requires having no family. (Taleb)

    Let me know when you’ve achieved full exit guys.

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    Good thinking.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Family life is exit.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    It is when you have a surrounding community to support you, which membership in the Mormon tribe does provide. But Mormons are too evangelical/universalist which made it vulnerable to entryism by the Cathedral so now they’re cool with r-selection which will ruin their pristine K-selected communities. But as long as the Cathedral remains dominant it means no eugenics (even China doesn’t do it, even though you’d think they would), no space colonization (unless you think the billionaires will pool their wealth to become space monarchs, when they already have all the perks of monarchy with none of the responsibilities here on Earth), and r-selection collapse (only the singularity remains on the table and if that doesn’t pan out before the r-selection collapse, game over).

    The world is not yet safe for K-selection. My descendents would be enslaved, exterminated or worst of all become part of the r-selected mob, I’d much rather risk not having any. At the very least extensive genetic screening should be mandatory (it would make it so much easier to suss out the ingredients for intelligence if we had the mountain of data that would emerge from such a program) and being stuck in a world that doesn’t practice it I’m effectively anti-natalist.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    @aeroguy,

    No, I’m not talking about having a family as a form of counterculture, which it arguably is for Mormons and trad Catholics and quiverful evangelicals. I’m saying that healthy families naturally and inevitably create an inner world that is mostly inaccessible to outsiders. A good family is always a new subculture.

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 4:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    It all rests upon the Jackpot. If there is no Jackpot, society is burning through its seed corn with increasing intensity the same way it burned through ever growing mountains of debt once demographic reality and declining marginal productivity set in. Singapore can survive because it is like a parasite on a host body, it can always pull from the larger pool of labor. Singapore is still right to pursue their policies, but its a Hobbesian race to the bottom if it takes increasingly large inputs to generate ever diminishing returns and there is no singularity coming, no order of magnitude increase of inputs.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 4:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    I think you’re onto something here. My sonar is definitely detecting some cold water, but I don’t think you’ve actually got it yet.

    First, Singapore filters for IQ-shredding kinds of people, probably related to the dynamics that arise as a service-economy for foreign lands.

    Second-first, Singapore shares a planet with America, the poor bastards. As a synecdoche, I expect Singaporean women still think having a career makes them more attractive to men.

    Second-second, nobody but the Islamists alieves in God anymore. Lacking a society-wide purpose, it turns out there’s a fallback position within the human instincts, which is approximately consumerist hedonism. Hobbits find this vaguely yet profoundly unsatisfying (ennui) but can’t know any better. It becomes impossible to reward child-having with status, because there’s no point to it beyond immediate gratification. (Recognizing that hobbits have to be lead through short-term hedonist rewards anyway, typically status, as they can’t feed the long-term dissatisfaction into their decision matrix, and that goes quintuple for abstract, verbal, not-experienced-yet dissatisfaction.)

    This second-second point means nobody is winning. Mere survival is the game of showing up to game night. If there’s no actual game we stare at each other for a few minutes and then go home. This phenomenal isotropy leads to behavioural isotropy – if you don’t play a game at game night, eventually nobody will show up, and if your society is rudderless, it will eventually stop moving at all. (Which amusingly means the rudder of society is part of of the power train.)

    [
    Here I wrote a paragraph about sacrifice, but I ended up proving myself wrong.
    Purpose can lead to sacrifice. But sacrifice was never noble – it was trading material goods for status and pride. As society comes to appreciate philosophy, this fact becomes inescapably known, thus sacrifice is known to be ignoble, thus purpose can no longer reward it with status. It is instead seen as a sucker’s game – just look around you.
    We thus wait for the next level of philosophy, where sacrifice re-appears as an intentional trade. The purpose of pride is alternative resources such as sex, and thus purpose could buy material sacrifices with such things directly.
    ]

    Hobbits actually quite badly want to play a game at game night. Even the shoddiest game is vastly better than none, and would easily attract and hold their loyalty and obedience, even though they’re not consciously aware of this. “Do as I say or I won’t invite you to next week’s game.” (E.g, Scientology, yes?) However, much as the media are successfully, through dint of great effort, preventing off-message demand from being met, the Cathedral is likewise, as per the second-first point, preventing anyone from actually playing a game at game night. They will Rhodesia you over this and I think every real leader understands it. (Except Islam, which I guess is because they want to use them as a proxy army, the blacks having failed in this duty.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 5:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    How many commenters here have children? How many have more than two?

    It’s not really hard to understand why people don’t have more children. Why don’t you? Ask yourself. That’s what everybody else is thinking.

    And if you want to blame your woman, or lack thereof, well just ask her. She’ll tell you.

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    I’m 25. Courting a girl who wants 5 children. I haven’t had children yet because I wasted my time in a purposeless LTR instead of building value and dating for marriage. She doesn’t have children yet because the men she’d encountered were not good enough in her eyes, and she’s been able to support herself without a husband. We aim to fix this if things work out.

    So spoiled independent women, soft men, purposeless LTRs.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I have a bunch of kids, but I don’t know if there’s any great lesson in that. I come from a big family, my wife comes from a big family, we both like kids, we live in a religious community that supports having kids, that’s about it.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    100% of people I know with a bunch of kids are both from big families and live in religious communities that support having kids.
    So I’d say there’s a pretty great lesson in that.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    I resemble Lesser Bull’s remark.

    Jehu Reply:

    The wife and I have three children, all five or less. This is a large part of why my blog production has largely shut down. We got married late, but I had the sense to marry a younger woman. Four is not out of the question but not too likely. Our attitude towards birth control is very Catholic, despite being protestants.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    I don’t, but I’m 21, and getting married before 30 or so isn’t a thing that’s done. Which only leaves time for two or three kids.

    I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. Get a job where I can work remotely and find a good religious community? The economy pulls everyone toward the cities, and that’s kind of a problem.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 5:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • SGW Says:

    I personally suspect it has a lot to do with the hedonic treadmill. Even in Muslim countries, hardly hotbeds of feminism, wombs are going barren. I also recall some study showing a strong correlation between access to television and fertility.

    In the USSR there was a fertility level above replacement level, and in east-Germany educated women actually had more children than uneducated ones. There are also plenty of studies showing that people had more sex on the other side of the wall. This isn’t really all that surprising when seen from the hedonic treadmill pov.

    There was no way to invest money, and hardly anything to buy, so why not have children to keep yourself occupied? Considering that the alternative to sex and raising children was listening to an audio-version of Das Kapital on the radio or a German stasi-approved comedian, It isn’t that surprising that people under such conditions choose to have more children.

    The only alternative to banning fun and/or becoming a dirty commie, seems to be to buy the eggs and sperm of very clever people, artificially inseminating an Indian woman and paying her a couple of chickens for the service, and then importing the infant and raising it in a state creche, until it can go to a boarding school of sorts. It wouldn’t really be all that different from what the Swedes currently do, so it should be possible and not too politically incorrect for the international community to tolerate.

    [Reply]

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Singapore is an IQ shredder through blindness and not getting it.

    Every country should imitate the laws of Singapore and Hong Kong in regard to trade and business, and the laws of Timore Leste and pre MacArthur Japan in regard to family, wives, women, and children. If they did they would have the economy of Singapore and Hong Kong, and the fertility of Timore Leste and pre MacArthur Japan

    Smart fertile age women really don’t contribute much to productivity because they are socially disruptive. They only calm down when they become menopausal.

    [Reply]

    SGW Reply:

    While I don’t doubt that reforming family law in such a way would be a great boon for fertility. I don’t really see how it can explain the drop of fertility in the former Leninist nations and the recent drop in fertility in Muslim countries. Ditto when it comes to the higher fertility among educated women in the DDR.

    For example, how would you explain Iran? Why was the fertility rate of Iranian women 6.0-7.0 under the Shah and his wife, while under the current regime it is 1.7? Iran hardly is one of the more conservative regimes around, but I don’t really see how the drop can be explained from the institutional perspective.

    This article contains a link to the study (TV) I referred to, and more. The picture of India is pretty interesting.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/13/why-are-birthrates-falling-around-the-world-in-a-word-television/

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    “I also recall some study showing a strong correlation between access to television and fertility.”

    I think you’re on to something here. People in first world economies are hyper-stimulated. They don’t have enough energy leftover to have sex.

    When I was living with an ex-gf, after a certain point the sex slowed to only once or twice a week. In the evenings we were both so involved with our independent web surfing and tv watching that it just became an after thought.

    At one point there was a hurricane, power was out 3-4 days. With the info-stream unavailable, suddenly sex was the most stimulating form of entertainment available. Then the power came back on and we went back to our devices.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    At one point there was a hurricane, power was out 3-4 days. With the info-stream unavailable, suddenly sex was the most stimulating form of entertainment available. Then the power came back on and we went back to our devices.

    This is very sad story. Perhaps it is the story of modernity. I think our ancestors would find it incomprehensible

    [Reply]

    SGW Reply:

    I had a similar experience once. For a single day there was something wrong with one of the main internet/phone/television providers in the area, and the streets were too slippery to drive comfortably, so I went for a walk.

    To my surprise, the streets were filled with people. You could walk into any random street and find a parent dragging their child on a sled and a host of people moving about. I bumped into a couple of mates as well, who were suffering from the same problem. Another odd thing was that the churches seemed to be quite popular, which was rather peculiar considering it happened in the middle of the week.

    I live in a fairly rural area, and on my walks I take routes that are rather out of the way. Normally I rarely run into more than a dozen people, them mostly moving (alone) to and from sport and music clubs, and to walk their dogs, so this was rather shocking to say the least. The next day the problem had been fixed and the streets were deserted, except for the usual suspects.

    Until that day, I had never realized how many people lived in my hometown.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cold Water | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 7:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Fertility and Economic Prosperity | Neoreactive Says:

    […] his latest post Nick Land seems to be arguing that industrialization and economic growth need to always be […]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 8:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alfred Miller Says:

    All this makes me wonder if there is any value in a neo-agricultural society. Maybe you could have a highly automated minority living in big cities or towns, making advanced technology, while the average people live in rural areas?

    Just a thought. I don’t know much about economics, technology, or agriculture, so please feel free to correct my idea.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 8:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Weak Galt Hypothesis | More Right Says:

    […] Land provides a fresh angle of attack at the fertility question. In a world where economic might is the main […]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 8:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Schoolboy Says:

    After following neoreaction for a couple of years, reading many bloggers, I’ve decided neo is a dead end. All I see are descriptions of what is going on in our culture, never a solution. The only solution for the West is National Socialism! There is nothing else available. So my suggestion is to talk more about N.S. than going on and on about what is wrong. Also who gives a fig about farsis in India. How about we talk about stopping the Fed from running the world markets, stop the diversity coming out of Hollywood. I live in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune had a story about the doubling of Medicaid costs to $2 Billion, due to illegals signing up for benefits. To be effective neo needs to form a political party and be serious about it. As it is I barely read neo anymore. Schoolboy

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    Stick around a bit. We have a lot of dumb people that is for certain, but there is hope.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Or, for my money, don’t stick around. There’s some fundamentals you’ve missed so completely I have to assert you’re lying about reading a lot of NRx.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    I had initially thought he was joking. I thought he said there was no “further direction” because all people do is criticize and not propose solutions. I wanted to comment here before some one got back.

    I’m not white and National Socialists would kill me. Why is every one so vicious here? I correct major flaws people make in their methodological arguments but people just on someones throat for minor flaws as opposed to major errors.

    ???

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    I disagree with you, the scorn is directed at Schoolboy. The nesting structure was very intentional.

    It’s an interesting mix of uncharitableness and IMO too-charitableness you’ve got there. It didn’t occur to you that I wasn’t talking about you, but it similarly didn’t occur to you that if Schoolboy doesn’t get it by now, he’s not likely ever going to. Either that or his ‘couple years’ is more like a couple minutes, in which case he’s a liar and thus similarly unfit to contribute.

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Demotism IS the problem. NS is just a competing flavor of Demotism NS proposes merely to exchange the populist leaders at the top thinking they’ll be better. Little do they know, the problem with populism isn’t that the leaders don’t do a good enough job serving the wants (manipulated or genuine) of their people, the problem is that populist leaders don’t do a good enough job serving the demands of Gnon. Trying to subordinate Gnon’s will to your own desires (rebelling against Gnon) is what causes problems. My problem with identitarians is that they have a habit of refusing to subject their identity before the will of Gnon, handicapping their ability to compete, doomed to eventually be out-competed, their goal of immortality is thus impossible.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 8:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Weak Galt Hypothesis | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Land provides a fresh angle of attack at the fertility question. In a world where economic might is the main […]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 8:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    What you have described is a massive coordination problem, and it suggests that the only stable solution is a worldwide empire/culture that imposes a solution. The patchwork won’t do. Only the Patchwork’s polar opposite, the Ecumene, can.

    And since instability means the system keeps getting rebooted until something stable happens, the natalist Ecumene is probably inevitable.

    Though I’m a natalist myself, I don’t think I’m too excited about that. Any entity big enough to impose a global natalist solution is going to suppress all kinds of competition, which is mostly bad.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    I rather think it’s the opposite: widespread competition primes people to breed more. Look at Afghanistan, or Iraq vs. Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. War is good for fertility.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Yep, q.v. r/K selection theory.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    War and the Patchwork aren’t compatible.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 9:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    “Modernity crushes fertility because it sees ahead better than you do — you just don’t like what it’s seeing.”

    I suppose the idea here is that the market has spoken, the market wants women to work and we should trust the market. But consider the case of East Asia: the relevant change was from property being held in common by the family and economic decisions being made by the family to an individualist basis for property and economic decision making. Presumably in the West the change was similar, albeit more protracted. In this sense, it’s an issue that’s prior to market economics. Given that the family, not the individual, is the self-replicating unit of society, I’d argue that there’s a case to be made for the issue of family vs. individual economic autonomy being logically prior to market outcomes. I’d also argue that if we’re going to make the case that property, for example, has a basis in natural law and there is a sense in which property ownership and the market, as it were, determine one another, one can equally make the case that maintaining the family unit is subject to the same argument, given that it is necessary for the long-term existence of the market. That would reduce the issue to a question of whether you think the market itself is something that needs to exist long-term or whether it’s a chrysalis for producing a super-intelligent butterfly, as admin does. But regardless, I’d state the issue as a patriarchal vs. individualist legal basis for the market, rather than something that can be decided by the market itself.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    The market hasn’t spoken, gender equality is a completely artificial State-enforced policy.

    “the relevant change was from property being held in common by the family”
    When was that? As far as I know the family along with all of its property was the de facto property of the head of the family which was the father. Isn’t this what patriarchical social orders are all about?

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Free market security wouldn’t offer the same rates for male-headed as female-headed families any more than car insurance is gender blind. Does Singapore? If not, it’s again being significantly affected by having to share a planet with America.

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    My understanding is that under Confucian family law, the family is seen as a single unit, with the father as the head. So the father is legally responsible for everything and all inheritance is patrilineal, but the law recognises the family, with the father as the representative, rather than individuals.

    [Reply]

    blogospheroid Reply:

    India recognises both individuals (for criminal law) and Hindu Undivided Families (for inheritance and tax laws).

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 9:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • forkinhell Says:

    The condescension really ought to stop. Modernity crushes fertility because it sees ahead better than you do — you just don’t like what it’s seeing.

    Some of us see quite a bit of what modernity sees. That doesn’t mean we stop giving a crap about people close to us/the wider community our kids are growing up in etc. Sorry to bring it up, but not everybody can camp out in China.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 11:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Manticore Says:

    Baby markets. The market pays women for all of their labors but one.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 11:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • soapjackal Says:

    @Harold

    you should probably read this

    http://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Alms-Economic-History-Princeton/dp/0691141282

    [Reply]

    Harold Reply:

    Why?

    [Reply]

    soapjackal Reply:

    “then man invented agriculture, the population shot up before it leveled off again, man was reforged with a new nature—agricultural man. Then man invented science and industry, the population is still shooting up, maybe it will level off, maybe man will again be reforged, maybe it is the end of man.”

    because the book actually spends some time discussing the topic youre grasping at in this here quote. You may find it helpful.

    http://cl.ly/2v0F1t451X3n

    [Reply]

    Harold Reply:

    OK Thanks.

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 12:14 am Reply | Quote
  • tgmoderator Says:

    I think there are two dire problems that reaction does not address. Lack of fertility among the most capable is part of dire problem #2. The entirety of dire problem #2 is a lack of sufficient smart fraction in the population as technology increases. Dire problem #1 is war. Reaction gives us effective, accountable governance. Even a patchwork of reactionary states faces the problem of war. In the short run each state can choose guns or butter. The state that chooses butter may be conquered by a state that chooses guns. In the long run all states would be better off to invest in improved technology, etc., but you need to survive the short term to reap the benefits of research. Both the fertility problem and the war problem are related to short term thinking and are interrelated. If reaction gives more effective government, and that government happens to tend toward conquest, it will be a government that is more effective at conquest. Eventually there is no more patchwork.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 1:18 am Reply | Quote
  • blogospheroid Says:

    Sorry for tooting this solution again here.

    The long term solution for this issue, compatible with modernity, liberalism or techno-commercialism is putting an end to aging (or a major temporary halt). Female eggs last till 50. Female attractiveness starts declining at 27. Solve aging for those 23 years. That is all that needs to be done. Two kids can be easily accommodated in that time period. Anyone seeking to do a good deed for modernity can contribute to SENS today. Now the question is who takes up the challenge. The silicon valley elite are staring at their mortality and are contributing to various initiatives They may succeed, they may not, lets see.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    As right as you are, aging is a problem that’s poorly understood and is given very little research attention. The “anti-aging industry” is also a bit of a joke at the moment. SENS hasn’t delivered anything but a book, the LEF/Imminst are obsessed with dubious grey-market panaceae, Craig Venter’s Human Longevity Inc. is (not surprisingly) focused on genomics-mapping as opposed to anti-aging treatments, and, as far as I’m aware, Google’s Calico hasn’t published a single article in the year or two it has been in existence. Cynthia Kenyon is a very highly respected aging researcher, but she’s dropped off the radar entirely since joining Calico. It’s further worth noting that Calico don’t seem to have filed for any patents, either, nor does Ms. Kenyon seem to have any new ones under her name, privately. (This could indicate that either (a) they’re working on very long-term studies — and mouse/rat lifespan experiments do indeed take years, or (b) they haven’t found anything worth mentioning — negative results are almost never published, and are never patented.)

    I’ve always been struck by how little attention glucosepane gets in the medical literature. Glucosepane is a major cause of skin aging, and thus contributes enormously to the declining attractiveness problem you’ve mentioned. But take a look at how frequently it’s mentioned in the medical literature, and then take a look at how frequently prostate cancer is mentioned in the literature. Prostate cancer is given thousands of times more attention — as many mentions every day as glucosepane has ever received in total — despite the fact that it’s a disease of aging, and that it is liable to affect, at most, somewhere under half the population.

    Again, I agree with you wholeheartedly: Aging is perhaps the greatest problem of our time. I don’t think that SENS is going to have much of an impact, though. I think that there needs to be a fundamental shift in how “aging” is classified (i.e. as a solvable problem, not an inevitability,) and this will need to be reflected in mainstream research — i.e. Academia, the NIH — and in the policies of the various regulatory bodies. There may also need to be changes in how the biology is approached.

    Aside: Bill Gates’s thoughts on this issue are interesting. His opinion is probably the Cathedral opinion. “It’s selfish to invest in lifespan extension. You’ve gotta make room for those four billion Africans, don’t ya know?”

    [Reply]

    Exfernal Reply:

    Is immortality even theoretically possible?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776126/ – you might try searching for other recent articles using ‘ageing’ and ‘DNA methylation’ as keywords.
    Blogospheroid, female eggs deteriorate at similar rates to female attractiveness. If you don’t believe, search for stats for success ratios of surrogate motherhood depending on the age of donor eggs.

    [Reply]

    Exfernal Reply:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551553/ – just one of issues related to aging eggs, there are more problems with other chromosomal aberrations.
    http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)02417-9/fulltext – the male side of equation.

    Erebus Reply:

    I fail to see how the paper you’ve linked to on epigenetics is relevant. So there’s an age-related decrease in DNA methylation. So what? The authors have proved that it exists but haven’t proved that it’s important — it might be a causative factor of aging, but it might also be a downstream effect associated with something else. For instance, pharmacological inhibition of ERK decreases the expression and protein levels of DNMT1, thus reducing DNA methylation. So reduced ERK function, for any reason at all, could decrease DNA methylation. And there are probably dozens of plausible alternative “upstream” explanations.

    More to the point: There are drugs that actively modulate DNA methylation. DNA methyltransferase is an enzyme; it’s precisely the sort of target that modern drug development was built for. Given a modest research budget, high-throughput screening coupled with a large enough compound database could easily identify a way to increase DNA methylation.

    (…This is in stark contrast to structural proteins like ACTN3. Just yesterday, I had a muscular dystrophy researcher ask me if ACTN3 is a viable drug target. Nope, not at all. That said, it’s a good target for genetic engineering — humans with ACTN3 mutations sometimes make for ultra-elite athletes.)

    The study also mentions IGF-1 and thyroid function. (With thyroid function as a proxy for metabolic rate.) This is not news. It’s common knowledge that low IGF-1 levels and a decreased rate of metabolism are associated with longevity. IGF-1 is upstream of mTOR, and it’s known that mTOR inhibition, e.g. with rapamycin, increases lifespan in experimental models. And then, of course, there’s the ultra-low-calorie diet — “calorie restriction” — which forces the body to reduce its metabolic rate to adapt. This also increases lifespan in experimental models.
    Both of these techniques for lifespan extension come at a heavy price.

    Is immortality possible in theory? It is possible that the problem of “aging” can be resolved. I’m convinced of it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s not only possible, but inevitable. We would still manage to die for other reasons, though. Even the universe itself seems to have an expiration date.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Erebus, have you asked yourself what are the consequences of changing methylation patterns, generally?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatin_remodeling#In_normal_biological_processes
    What about tissue differentiation? Stem cell replication cycles being affected?
    http://static.jci.org/content_assets/manuscripts/69000/69735/JCI69735.v1.pdf – a phenomenon called ‘epigentic drift’. Second law of thermodynamics in action, I’d say.

    So convincing. It’s possible because you are convinced. Could you please be more specific?

    Exfernal Reply:

    Continued…

    What if long-term memory formation is dependent on the methylation process? Tinkering with memory formation (and especially retention) would be rather unappealing.

    Erebus Reply:

    I think that your question can be answered, in at least a preliminary sense, with a thought experiment:

    Let’s posit that DNA methyltransferase is active at a more or less predictable rate. Let’s then posit that its ‘activity rating’ — a measure of its gene expression and protein levels — is 100% as an adult of 25 years of age, and decreases by 0.25% for every year thereafter until the age of 60, at which point it picks up some speed and decreases by 1% per year. (e.g. DNA demethylation takes precedence.) If this is the case, wouldn’t you expect restoring the rate of DNA methylation to improve memory, rather than hinder it?

    Memory formation and regulation is a really complex system, anyway. Dozens of signalling pathways affect it; GSK3b, PKA/CREB, BDNF, NGF, and so on… Flipping just one switch — and a tangential epigenetic one at that — probably won’t have a terribly deleterious effect.

    Exfernal Reply:

    The first part is still in moderation.

    Erebus Reply:

    I see the first part now.

    With regards to your question: The DNMT enzymes are extremely important. DNMTx knockout mice generally don’t survive longer than a few weeks, if that. I’m not arguing that they’re not important.

    I’ve spent some time working with HDAC inhibitors, so I’m broadly familiar with these issues. It seems to me that you’re equating DNA methylation with all of epigenetics in a much broader sense, as that Wikipedia page also covers HDACs, HATs, etc. You’re also making the mistake of assuming that these things are unalterable — when, to the contrary, they’re extremely easy drug targets. DNA methyltransferase is even rather potently inhibited by chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid — totally ubiquitous, and ostensibly healthy, natural products.

    It’s possible that DNMT inhibition in adults has a deleterious effect, and it’s possible that an allosteric activator of the DNMT enzymes would have some sort of anti-aging effect in adults. But it’s impossible to state these things with confidence. In any case, they shouldn’t be looked at in isolation — it’s never a good idea to reduce complex biological processes to a single pathway, unless you have very good reason to do so. The DNMTs are a cog in a much larger and more complex machine.

    Exfernal Reply:

    If I mention that the letter ‘A’ is a part of alphabet, would I need reminding that there are other letters as well? 🙂

    On the other hand, I think that you want to devise an organism-general solution to a cell-specific problem. It would become more readily apparent when you consider another ‘leg’ of the ageing process: free radical-mediated oxidative damage to mtDNA. Similar dynamics, isn’t it?

    It reminds me of economists prescribing more top-down regulations as solutions to information inequality in market economy. It ignores variance in tolerance to ambiguous information in economic agents.

    Exfernal Reply:

    ^
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_information – in this context.

    Exfernal Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_asymmetry – grrr, messed again

    Exfernal Reply:

    Re: mtDNA damage, is there a universal treatment that encompasses both skeletal muscle cells and CNS neurons?

    Erebus Reply:

    I’m not entirely sure I understand your point. Could you elucidate further? Thank you.

    Re: targeting mtDNA, there are a number of triphenylphosphonium-modified drugs and nutrients that seem to target the mitochondria. “MitoQ” is one example. Most of these compounds — at least the ones that I’ve seen — are easily able to cross the blood brain barrier, so they’d be active in CNS neurons as well as skeletal muscle.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Would you like being led by hand? I would not. Fine. Consider why ‘afterburn’ after anaerobic exercise has protective effects against ischemic episodes and oxidative stress in general. Also consider energy costs of keeping somatic cell line mutation rates as low as possible. Are all types of cells equally valuable in this regard?

    Erebus Reply:

    If you have a theory, go ahead and say it. Don’t talk in circles and beat around the bush, like a woman or a child.

    At this point I’m all but convinced that you’re nothing but a dilettante or a first-year undergrad student. Stay in school, kiddo.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Ah, so it is what it is. You want some magic pill in order to make a fortune on it. Tell me, if you catch anything infectious, what is better than some pharmacotherapy? You kill the pathogen and stop poisoning yourself. When it comes to fixing/tweaking your physiology and biochemistry, why would you resort to chronic administration of some crap that puts you right back whence you came if you stop taking it? Thanks, snake oil seller. Side effects are cumulative over time. If you want workable longevity, you have to target mutated cells directly. There is no shortcut, ‘kiddo’.

    Exfernal Reply:

    And there will be no immortality with lipofuscin accumulating in your cells.

    Erebus Reply:

    Where have I advocated selling snake oil? To what purpose have you brought up lipofuscin? (Which is almost completely irrelevant — unless you are somehow inferring that it’s a totally insoluble problem, thus life extension is impossible. This would refute the point I made previously — but it would, however, be a fantastically stupid argument.)

    Your efforts at a “debate” here are unserious and betray a lack of clear thought and understanding. You ask childish and poorly-formulated questions, and then you barely wait for a response before you change the subject entirely. One minute you talk about nothing but DNA methylation, the next minute you’re making ridiculous analogies comparing scientific progress to economic planning, then you ask vague and tangential questions, then you bring up lipofuscin… all of this, and yet you’ve never presented a single coherent argument or statement.

    Forget biology. You need to learn how to convey your thoughts in a clear and solid manner. If you have an argument, I’d like to see it; please present it in plain, concise, understandable language. No more puerile questions, allusions, riddles, and so on. If you’re going to have a discussion, have it like a man, don’t model your behavior after the Sphinx.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Life extension is not immortality. If you artificially slow down some degenerative change, another type of change becomes the leading cause of mortality. Systemic failures tend to feed off each other.

    What are the arguments for your initial assertion that immortality is achievable?

    Argue with yourself, ‘kiddo’.

    Exfernal Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gompertz%E2%80%93Makeham_law_of_mortality – do your own homework

    Erebus Reply:

    I hope you realize that what you seem to be implying with respect to the Gompertz-Makeham equation is a complete non sequitur. It should go without saying, it should be glaringly obvious, that actuarial data always follows technological progress — technological progress is not constrained by the equations of the actuary! This is why the Gompertz-Makeham equation, when applied to pre-1950 populations, gives results which are useless and cannot be extrapolated to the present day.

    Dr. Leonid Gavrilov, at the University of Chicago’s Center on Aging, specializes in the mathematical modeling of aging. In discussing the Gompertz-Makeham equation, he wrote:

    “There was some evidence for ‘biological’ mortality limits in the past, but these ‘limits’ proved to be responsive to the recent technological and medical progress. Thus, there is no convincing evidence for absolute ‘biological’ mortality limits now.

    Analogy for illustration and clarification: There was a limit to the speed of airplane flight in the past (‘sound’ barrier), but it was overcome by further technological progress. Similar observations seems to be applicable to current human mortality decline.”

    Surely this is obvious and reasonable enough?

    Dr. Gavrilov also discussed potential modifications to the parameters of the Gompertz-Makeham equation, which would adapt this actuarial tool to a world where life-extension technologies are commonplace.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but your other post really just boils down to “biology is complicated”, doesn’t it?

    …Yes, it is complicated. It is staggeringly complicated. But great advances have been made over the previous few decades, and far greater advances are yet to come. I’m deeply and fundamentally optimistic about technological progress. (And I hope to keep contributing to it!) I know that molecular nanomachinery isn’t right around the corner, but I’m far from convinced that it’s an impossible idea. Similarly, meaningful life extension might be decades or centuries away — but there’s absolutely no reason to claim that it’s outright impossible “because biology is complicated.” That sort of statement is reminiscent of Vitalism, as it basically leads to: “Biology is different and not amenable to scientific progress.” Friedrich Wöhler proved the Vitalists wrong once already…

    Exfernal Reply:

    Again, I’m not paid for educating you:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvV8q1_i8UrbxxvLqtwgKLEE5DSVD2SGd
    Do it yourself.

    Exfernal Reply:

    What you quote is still not an argument for an achievable immortality. Without means of reversing the processes of aging, including epimutations, all that you get will be slowing it. Life extension, yes, but increasingly difficult with each year added to maximum lifespan.

    Erebus Reply:

    “Increasingly difficult with each year added to lifespan.”

    Your thinking on this matter is fundamentally flawed. You keep coming back to epigenetics — and yet you don’t even realize that epigenetics is already amenable to pharmacological manipulation, and has been for years. The other “processes of aging” that you’ve mentioned — e.g. lipofuscin accumulation — are, similarly, not beyond the grasp of modern science. Far from it. (There’s good reason to suppose that it’s a fairly easy target.) Basically, you’re a Vitalist; you don’t seem to believe that biological problems can be solved technologically. Your position is, to say the very least, absurd.

    …Especially as the rest of your case rests on unsubstantiated statements, irrelevant jargon, Wikipedia articles, truly laughable actuarial equations, and Youtube videos of tangential (at best) relevance…

    Is life extension theoretically possible? Yes, undoubtedly. In theory, can the problem of aging be solved entirely? There’s absolutely no reason to believe that it cannot, and good reason to believe that the answer is yes. Of course, we’ll need to wait and see.

    We’re through here.

    (…Unless you want to take a crack at answering the post below. How the hell is the Gompertz-Makeham equation relevant?)

    Exfernal Reply:

    Imagine expressing the mortality equation as a polynomial. Is it bounded? Is it possible to make it bounded?

    Don’t give me ‘I’m convinced’ again. You don’t like non sequiturs, right?

    Erebus Reply:

    “Educating me”? Given how shallow, puerile, and irrelevant your posts are, that’s extremely disingenuous. Can you explain, in the context of this discussion, how the Gompertz-Makeham equation is relevant? Come on, give it a good shot.

    (I’ll have a really good laugh if you respond — again — with something cryptic and meaningless like “figure it out for yourself”, “do you want your hand held?”, and so on. That’ll only prove that you have nothing to say.)

    [Reply]

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    Women don’t stop wasting their fertility because they wise up at 30. They stop wasting their fertility because they lose their looks.

    If you cured women of aging until 50 then they’d at like that until they reached 49.

    There’s a perfectly fine solution to this that was tested and validated for centuries.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 5:24 am Reply | Quote
  • Was Enlightened Says:

    It’s interesting that 56 comments in, no one has mentioned the Mormons.

    It’s harder than I thought to get fertility stats for Mormons, but it appears that they breed well above replacement level, their desired family size is 4 children, and that high income/education does not suppress fertility.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 7:29 am Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Modernity crushes fertility because it sees ahead better than you do — you just don’t like what it’s seeing.

    Sure modernity sees ahead: A future of its own making, driven by occult forces at war with Gnon.

    [Reply]

    Mechanomica Reply:

    Not all of those forces are at war with Gnon—only the ones that will lose.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 4:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • cryptael Says:

    A world populated by 3 billion people at first-world levels of prosperity sound like a paradise. Hell, 2 billion might be even better.

    The demographic problem wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that some segments of the population are still growing exponentially, and those tend to be dependent on international welfare payments for their survival.

    [Reply]

    muhammad chang Reply:

    First world levels of prosperity require cheap underclasses.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    First world levels of prosperity require productivity.
    A single farmer backed with modern machinery is more productive than 1000 slaves.
    It’s about producing at least as much as you consume, which is a problem for the golden billion since many aren’t productive enough to sustain their first world levels of consumption without playing games with money and debt.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 11:13 pm Reply | Quote
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  • Alia D. Says:

    A solution might be to move the time scale of perception closer for the individual. We know that programs like social security/pensions are going to have to be cut in real terms. So figure out what the maximum level of elder support is going to sustainable/practical and then cut 5% or so below that. Then give working people an option to ear mark some of their social security tax to top up their parents support. It would be like the $3 to the presidential campaign fund, where it didn’t make your taxes go up at all, but much more popular to check because it would be going someplace very close to the box checker.

    It wouldn’t automatically be rational to plan your reproductivity in the expectation that the policy will be the same when they are old, but it will be visceral. Most people tend to make this sort of decision based on gut feelings that are very influence by the way things are now. Young adults will be heard the losers under this system complaining loudly about what a tough time they are having. They’ll be hearing they’re parents friends passing on tails of triumphs and travails with useful or useless children. The low earners amount them will be seeing how motivated their parents are to pressure them into better jobs. They’ll want to copy the path of the winner they see in the older generation, rather than the losers.

    Once individuals are motives enough to want to produce and raise productive children then them market will find the least costly way for them to combine that with the techno-capitalist culture.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    That would make sense. Lots of sense. But its an unthinkable proposal, which suggests that the problems of modernity aren’t just accidents and unintended consequences. At some fundamental, structural level, they are meant.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    See: Executive functioning therapy workbook. It’s more than possible to work with time horizons and all the different subderivatives of time processing that humans have adapted. However large scale coordination like that at the present is impossible.

    Best get the best people working together first and then every one can take it from there.

    I intend to set up institutional design supporting such things, but it’s best to work small.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 7th, 2015 at 4:49 am Reply | Quote
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  • Y.Ilan Says:

    While reducing the problem of modern fertility into economic factors is wholly appealing to the rational thinker, I think that such an approach is a bit naive regarding human nature. We should remember that the concept of the completely rational individual has already been pushed away, and numerous times: Kahneman, Haidt, and so on. The sort of incentives that create and maintain fecundity are, in my opinion, very much irrational in nature; as Spandrell mentioned in his own blog, it’s a matter of tribalism, and tribalism doesn’t cater to the free, rational individual. Tribalism in the West has probably already experienced a final demise, a demise that was probably instigated during the French Revolution with the newly-minted concept of the nation-state, if not even before. I have an intuition that it has to do with Western adventurism and trade leading to cosmopolitan life, I’ll have to think about it.

    I can best approach the problem of tribalism from my own vantage point here in Israel. We are a somewhat-tribal society (with a broad concept of the tribe, being all Jews) surrounded by a society that is wholly tribal (to its own detriment; Arab clans still fight one another constantly, and the honor/shame culture is still intact). Jews here have fecundity incentives that stem from a variety of sources: the societal approval and respect for successful and large families, the importance of family life for Jewish culture and ritual, and probably also the insular siege-mentality which very likely heightens the value of genetic continuity. None of these motivations, as far as I see, are entirely economic in nature; they are much more difficult to define and categorize.

    Are synthetic tribes the solution to the fecundity problem? If they are, I expect that the best approach is to face such a mission knowing that it requires great suffering and hardship. Suffering and hardship are excellent consolidators, and I would also venture to label them as the most meaningful of experiences.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 7th, 2015 at 7:54 pm Reply | Quote
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