Quote note (#120)

As an advance upon a serious engagement with this remarkable paper:

Once the fertility transition to controlled fertility occurs in a population, its fertility generally continues to decline until it is below replacement. The benefits of the new pattern are increased material wealth per person, a reduction in disease, starvation, and genocide, and upward social mobility. The main drawback is the onset of a dysgenic phase that may end civilization as we know it.

(Admit it, you’re hooked …)

October 18, 2014admin 19 Comments »
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19 Responses to this entry

  • Hanfeizi Says:

    Of course, that’s contradicted by this article, which says that in the richest and most developed societies, fertility rises again- trending towards stabilization:


    This makes sense; high-density, hypercompetitive cities like Seoul or Hong Kong, or developed countries with high unemployment and deep economic insecurity like Italy and Spain are naturally going to be the worst places for middle-class family formation, whereas places with high economic security, like Norway, or low population density and low cost of living, like the American upper midwest, are naturally the best places for middle-class family formation. Which means that Fukuyama’s “Getting to Denmark” might not be the worst thing for fertility after all. Likewise, always beware of extrapolating a straight line or even an exponential curve- these things usually level off. France went through a demographic trough in the 19th century, then recovered. They lost their empire, but France still exists today.

    (Also, I might note that I used the example of Norway and the Midwest because the fertility rate is predominantly driven by white family formation in these countries- Norway is less than 4% NAM and 93% white; the midwest tends to be about 85% white.)

    So, while this is interesting, it’s the same sort of straight line calculation as we see in global warming hysteria, limits to growth, etc… and just as with those, I’m not quite ready to buy it.


    blogospheroid Reply:

    The final verdict doesn’t come in until that particular disambiguation is done, right?
    Has anyone done the numbers on Norway/Midwest US and classified the native vs immigrant fertility? But the norwegian numbers do seem pretty high and the evidence would have to be very strong for this rise to be anything other than what you mention.

    This implies that there seems to be a “valley of death” scenario wrt. development and sustainability, Pass through that valley safely and you’re secure for the future. Get stuck in the valley, you will eventually get extinct.

    My take on this is fairly simple and I’ve repeated in the comments many times. The missing link in the progressive/liberal/techno commercial plan is healthspan extension. I’ve wondered often why anyone interested in raising the status of women in society aren’t funding SENS. It’s a way to keep both career oriented women and civilization, in the current context.

    Healthspan extension is the logical solution to cultivating long term thinking in humans – making it probable that they are going to witness the long term.

    And about IQ shredding? Every moment, people lose their fluid intelligence. Imagine the stuff that even normal people can do when the experience of a 60-year old is combined with the fluid intelligence and the energy of a 22 year old.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Franklin thought if the population was dropping it would reach a bottom and then rebound, provided there were ‘openings’ – i.e. you didn’t import foreigners to ‘compensate’ for loss of natives.

    This still doesn’t address the problem of who reproduces — even post-dysgenic phase it would not be the best (which it was in the pre-fertility control phase) and thus even if ‘it stabilizes’ the population’s quality is still draining, which will likely end in ruin even if it stabilizes.


    blogospheroid Reply:

    Currently, the high IQ people are not reproducing because they’re building a career. On the margin, the success of healthspan extension favours them more than it favours the current lot who are reproducing. A high SES couple having 2 children instead of 1 is a 100% increase. A low SES couple having a 4th child instead of 3 is a 33% increase.

    If there is serious effort put into healthspan extension and it shows undeniable results, then reproductive rights will become a major political issue, perhaps the major political issue. The fairest solution would be to have these rights as tradeable. This solution can accomodate cathedral weights. let’s say if NAM’s get 2.5 vouchers compared to native whites getting 2, while asians get 1.7. If they are tradeable, then who wants to have children, will have them.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    *Healthspan extension is the logical solution to cultivating long term thinking in humans – making it probable that they are going to witness the long term. *

    People don’t save for retirement.


    nros Reply:

    I started to look up some numbers in Norway, too lazy to make any real sense of them. But the fertility rate is going down, at 1.78 in 2013. For immigrants it was 2.10 in 2012, but falling faster than the population as a whole.

    Interesting mention of Finland in Perrys paper though – with income correlating positively with fertility, they are also miles ahead of the rest of Europe in education rankings: http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com/index/index-ranking


    Kgaard Reply:

    You’re right about the Upper Midwest and Norway. One key element about the Upper Midwest is that the young women are still attractive, pretty much across the board. There hasn’t been much immigration so it’s the old Scandinavian, German and UK stock. They also don’t ruin their skin with excessive sunbathing. I recently drove across RURAL Minnesota and there were blond 7s working in grocery stores.

    When all the women are attractive, the relative value of beauty declines. Thus, the opportunity cost of having kids is lower than it would be in a place like say London (or the entire US east coast corridor), where a beautiful white woman is now a rare and valuable commodity.

    That said, I think the thesis of the essay is basically sound. I spent much of the day thinking about it. If it were PROVEN that the western world were in a dysgenic phase … and if it were PROVEN that it was really the result of natural forces for the most part … then that allows one to get more dispassionate about it. In other words, if dysgenic decline is an act of god, more or less, it becomes easier to have compassion for the people caught up in the process. Rather than fume all day at the endless parade of obese tattooed slobs walking around at the zoo, it becomes possible to feel compassion for them and just accept that this is the way of the world.


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    Ah, though if you stick around you see what those young 7s turn into. Most of the ones that don’t leave are 3s at best by the time they’re 30. Almost everyone I graduated with is a porker now.

    Which is why I married an Asian woman who looks better at 32 than most women can ever hope to at 18. 😉


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    In general, though, I think it has to do more with the relative cost of buying a home and raising a family. I couldn’t afford to do it in a major American or Chinese city (I could afford the latter if I was willing to forego an international school, but my wife said no to homeschooling, and I’ll be damned if my kids are going to a Chinese public school, after seeing the soulless- if productive- robots that they produce.), and this is with an MBA under my belt.


    fnn Reply:

    ” Norway is less than 4% NAM and 93% white”

    7% in 2012:



    Hanfeizi Reply:

    That’s where I got the data from. Eyeballing the non-European immigrants, about 3% look to be various East Asians, which leaves 4% NAMs. 93% White + 3% EAM + 4% NAM = 100%.


    Posted on October 18th, 2014 at 4:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#120) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on October 18th, 2014 at 6:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • fnn Says:

    “…but France still exists today”

    Not for much longer:



    Kgaard Reply:

    Exactly. I really don’t think there is a France anymore. The future has already arrived. All you have are remnant communities. The future and the energy is all with the immigrants. In Lyon and Marseilles it’s like a boa constrictor surrounds the cities and is gradually tightening its grip. The people in the center try to go on as if nothing is happening. But it’s testament to the failure of their internal software that the squeeze continues indefinitely and no one does anything about it. (What can they do?) Marine Le Pen cannot save the country. She doesn’t have the votes and anyway I doubt the French want to leave either the Eurozone or the Schengen treaty.


    Posted on October 18th, 2014 at 7:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    I have a fondness for simple explanations.
    What if women aren’t having children for the simple reason that they’re not being told to?

    I’m toying with a theory of Asperger’s, now I have a decent description of it. (HT.) I hypothesize that non-aspergoids have no meaningful agency. They must follow their instincts, which instruct them to be socially acceptable, and what is not socially acceptable is forbidden; the formula has only one solution. As a result, if women aren’t told to have kids, they won’t. The lower classes escape only by being even more animalistic. Their instincts instruct them not to have kids, but other instincts override that.

    See also: obesity epidemic is caused by alarm clocks. Sleep debt causes weight gain. Not only aren’t people told to sleep enough, they’re told they’re lazy for sleeping enough.


    Posted on October 18th, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    It would be interesting if our host took a look at the archives of View from Hell and posted his impressions here. It’s way more scary than Lovecraft.


    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    I generally agree, but any particular posts that stand out?


    spandrell Reply:

    I try my best not to commit them to memory, but the earlier posts are downright spine-chilling.


    Posted on October 19th, 2014 at 3:41 am Reply | Quote

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