Every Generation a blast from the past from march 9, 2020

Every Generation a blast from the past from march 9, 2020


May I ask whose brilliant idea it was to indoctrinate new generations on the need to have fewer children?

No, no, don’t answer. I’ve read a lot of science fiction written in the mid twentieth century, and I know.  The thinking parts of the culture in the dawn of the current era of abundance had time and leisure to get all panicky about excess population and how we were killing the planet, and a lot of other rather emo nonsense.

Also I went to school shortly after the middle of the twentieth century, and was lectured in every class about how the human race needed to find a way to stagnate…. er… to “keep population the same or reduce it.”

The only good thing about that rank stupidity was that it was marginally smarter than the tripe they pulled on my kids, where they tried to convince the kids to sign agreements they would never reproduce when they were thirteen.

Future generations, if there are any, will stare in awe at our magnificent suicide, and at the strange assumption that because we’d just had a baby boom, future generations would continue to reproduce at the same level…. forever.  Again, I think it was the ease of communication, and the exponential growth of a class that worked with their minds.

The Bible says something about the heart being deceitful…. but it has nothing on the mind.  Things you teach kids when they are very young tend to be unquestioned, unexamined and forever believed.

One of the things the last few generations have believed with absolute panic certainty is that each of us needs to do his/her part to REDUCE the human population.

The other thing they have believed with credulous certainty is that the population figures from the UN are accurate, instead of being — at BEST — guesstimations, and accurately at worst a steaming pile of bull of excreta completely imaginary.

To an extent I absolve my fellow Americans, at least those born and raised in the US for believing the smelly poo the UN numbers, because they are, after all, residents in one of the most efficiently organized countries in the world.  Stop laughing.  No, seriously, stop laughing.  Even the vaunted German efficiency (and I’m not sure they were ever that efficient, except they believed they were and projected that image) has decayed markedly.  And as for the British, please don’t go there.  No, I don’t think they were ever that efficient to begin with.

The thing is that as sideways and upside down as we are, over our vast territory, particularly when coordination and central organization are needed (or intrude, anyway, as we’ve seen in the case of tests/vaccines/etc.  Question: How many of these unexploded IED of uneeded and inefficient centralization did the last administration leave submerged in the law code, ready to blow us to kingdom come at an unexpected event? Don’t answer that. I like to sleep at night. And the problem was that these were the children of the mid century who refuse to believe that centralized isn’t better. Or perhaps they’re just pigs for power, greedy to get their command on.) we do remarkably well. Not great, but remarkably well. Compared to everyone else, that is.

The problem is people born and raised in America tend to assume that this is the baseline for humanity. Having been raised in a country where the Italians and the Irish are considered self-controlled and remarkably efficient, I’m always in awe of this strange, if admittedly enchanting delusion.

I’m not a hundred percent sure while people in other countries, like, say, Portugal, think that the population “count” makes any sense.  No, I’m serious. I don’t get it. Unless it is a rock bottom assumption that EVERYONE must be more organized then them. (Bizarrely it doesn’t even begin to be true.)  I know that they tend to believe our federal government has machine-like control over every aspect of civic and cultural life in the US (no.  I’m okay. Really, I’m okay. Let me have some water so I can stop laughing and type again.)

Only this illusion allows people to believe that — what is it now? 8 billion? Yeah. It’s about as accurate as climate modeling into the far future.  Computers and GIGO rule! — population count the UN puts out.

Seriously, guys, WE who are computerized, have a civic culture where people report a lot of their stuff whether it’s needed or not (is Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave fast enough to power all of Virginia yet?) AND where most, if not all, of our births take place in the hospital, have only the most general ideas of how many people there are in the nation.

This is because — I’m not sure when, because I haven’t looked into it — at some point our politicians realized that having MORE people in their state/districts/etc gave them more power.  And they did what they always do with things that give them more power and control. They started fudging the reckoning.

It was most blatant under Clinton and Obama — the party of unbridled governmental power! Maybe they can use that as a slogan: “Our candidate is a walking poster for the memory unit of a nursing home, but we just want power” — whose administrations both insisted that “we must add in an arbitrary — computer generated (are we sure the computers don’t have it in for us) — number of people that are “undercounted.””

Guys, I looked at the numbers they were adding at the time. I also lived in one of the cities they added numbers to. Let’s just say at that time we didn’t have nearly that many either homeless or immigrants.  Now we might have that many homeless but — hint — they were attracted at the time of pot legalization, they weren’t spontaneously generated by the sidewalks and asphalt. They came from elsewhere, where my guess is they’re still counted.

And that’s not considering most of the Latin countries south of the border are undoubtedly still counting the population we’re supposedly undercounting.

So, here’s the thing, multiply that by… well, the countries of the Earth. Our politicians have incentive built into our system (and a few bad decisions by the Supreme Court) to over count us.  That doesn’t even begin to tally the incentive that countries that are net recipients of international aid have to over count their people. Remember most of that aid is calculated per-capita.

“Oh, Sarah! But look at all those immigrants. Surely they are reproducing massively!”

<Falls on the floor laughing. Then laughs some more.

Guys, no. Those cultures are just bizarrely, massively, EXPLOSIVELY unable to provide for their people.  And the west opened their doors. My guess is that each of those immigrants is still being counted at home, too. And probably their families are much higher on paper.

There is a game which everyone has heard of and social workers and others have seen play out in real life: welfare families in certain areas “borrow” children.  I.e. some children are share over several families, to boost the numbers and the payment.  This is certainly true for a lot of the illegal immigrants, because there is no way to keep accurate records/count them.

The insanity of giving welfare to illegal immigrants is another thing that will have the future going “Did they start putting LSD in the water then?”  But it’s worse than that, it was the explosion of unimagined prosperity in the 20th century. It gave humans illusions that they could make the world into paradise, and that there was no reason not to distribute the surplus to EVERYONE.  (The world doesn’t work that way, and being given unearned wealth most destroys humans. Never mind.)

Now, why did the west open their doors?

My guess is because our leaders have some inkling of how bad things are in terms of how many people are in the upcoming generations.  My guess is that they are becoming scared, because — get this — nonexistent people cannot have children.

As much as most people like to pretend I’m crazy when I say I think our world population is already falling (why this would be any more crazy than the UN’s baseless assertion that we’re drowning in babies, I don’t know) that’s what the actions of the government of EVERY developed country are doing.

They are in a desperate fight for resources: the biggest resource of all: PEOPLE.

The west is willing to take welfare cases and illiterate peasants, in the hopes — I would guess — that their children will be productive citizens.

Except that this is the government. Centralized governments. Remember what I told you about the efficiency of such an institution?

The imagined elites composed of technocrats are so far removed from third world peasants that they don’t even GET the massive difference. They also don’t get the difference in culture. They have — after all — traveled abroad and met their counterparts, and they’re ALL the same, right? there’s no real difference, right? (I think they’d find a difference, if they married into those cultures, but never mind.)

But cultures don’t work like that. And importing vast numbers of people from dysfunctional cultures is not going to end well.  Because when you import a group the culture lingers. And these cultures are what’s technically known as fucked up non-functional. So non-functional, in fact, that they can’t provide for their new generations, even when those numbers are falling. (Look, guys, apparently women in the Middle East have used the internet to find the rhythm method and vote with their wombs.)

Socialist/welfare/”blue model” governments need ever growing populations. Their dominance came in the mid-century, when that was the assumption.  They are trying to bring in people who’ll look after the aged, and contribute to the ponzi scheme their societies have become.

But they don’t understand people very well, since I think most such technocrats are lizard beings from Alpha Centauri (well, what IS your explanation.) So they’re madly competing for WARM BODIES.  Which, since they’re being attracted with welfare and hand outs are doing nothing but collapsing the grift-and-moralizing systems faster.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that humanity has never been in a situation where each individual family had an incentive (economic, regulatory — well, guys, when you can’t leave the precious darlings alone for more than 2hours, and can’t let them walk to the park by themselves at ten, what do you think that does — emotional and propagandistic (that climbing population)) to have fewer children; where each “blue” government in its own territory had an incentive to REDUCE population, because each citizen is a LIABILITY who will require health care, welfare, etc. etc. etc., and yet where each of those countries also desperately needed a higher and higher population every 20 years, to be able to keep existing.

I don’t even know what to say to the situation, except that the West, in this as in everything else, is forging new paths. Now, they’re new paths in self-destruction, but what the heck.

It won’t last. Whatever comes after, this won’t last. It won’t last because it is at war with itself. And the way it seems to be breaking is the people of the various countries getting annoyed at the imports who refuse to fit in. And refusing to pay for welfare.

Which …. I don’t know. And the important thing is that no one does. Between our a amazing prosperity in historical terms, falling birth rates and a completely insane would be technocratic class, the only thing I can promise you is that we’ll live in interesting times.

253 thoughts on “Every Generation a blast from the past from march 9, 2020

  1. I’m a quality engineer. In order to any analysis of a population (meaning a group of things you are studying) you need accurate numbers. Or at least numbers with known uncertainty. In order get such numbers, you need to calibrate your measuring instrument. (Please bear with me, this going someplace). Calibration consists of using the instrument against a known standard, and seeing if you get the known correct answer. The census is the measuring tool we use to determine the number of people in the country. This instrument has never been calibrated. I’m not sure how we would calibrate it. What they are doing is saying “We have known sources of error. We don’t know the size of the error effect, but we are going to use a scientific sounding wild ass guess to account for them.”. This of course just adds more uncertainty to the result. What’s the population size? The correct answer would be “Beats the crap out of me, but we THINK it’s about x”. Of course they can’t say that.

  2. And it was an, I have to assume sincere, belief that further increases in population were a bad thing that caused the infamous “one child” policy in China officially in place from 1980 to 2015. Here’s a summary of this noble effort from brittanica.com:

    The one-child policy produced consequences beyond the goal of reducing population growth. Most notably, the country’s overall sex ratio became skewed toward males—roughly between 3 and 4 percent more males than females. Traditionally, male children (especially firstborn) have been preferred—particularly in rural areas—as sons inherit the family name and property and are responsible for the care of elderly parents. When most families were restricted to one child, having a girl became highly undesirable, resulting in a rise in abortions of female fetuses (made possible after ultrasound sex determination became available), increases in the number of female children who were placed in orphanages or were abandoned, and even infanticide of baby girls. (An offshoot of the preference for male children was that tens of thousands of Chinese girls were adopted by families in the United States and other countries.) Over time, the gap widened between the number of males and females and, as those children came of age, it led to a situation in which there were fewer females available for marriage.

    Another consequence of the policy was a growing proportion of elderly people, the result of the concurrent drop in children born and rise in longevity since 1980. That became a concern, as the great majority of senior citizens in China relied on their children for support after they retired, and there were fewer children to support them.

    There is speculation in certain circles that this situation of an aging population looking to government to replace the support formerly supplied by younger generations might have led to a desperate solution, say some disease that targeted specifically older weaker citizens who had aged out of their productive years and were becoming a burden on an already stressed society. One might say that had C19 not occurred naturally and spontaneously out of some wet market in Wuhan the Chinese might have been forced to come up with its equivalent in some lab.

    1. The government can’t replace the support younger generations provided to the elderly, without having vast numbers of younger generations to provide it. If those in positions of power actually had two functioning brain cells to rub together, they’d be targeting immigration of young people for domestic and nursing aid for the elderly. None of this illegal immigration crap either. We want them here, working, and paying taxes.

      About the only thing swamp creatures are good at is networking among themselves, and even then they do more back stabbing than on Cesear’s last night.

      1. Compound that with people being reassured that they no longer need to worry about having kids and grandkids to take care of them in their old age, because the government will do that.

        1. Oh, the government will ‘take care’ of them all right — like the way Andrew Cuomo ‘took care’ of 15,000 old folks in nursing homes. And still hasn’t been called to account for.

          Or like Italy denying all health care for everybody over 70.
          The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

          1. OMG. The times I have to talk mom off that ledge. Being denied health care in the US based on age. Yes, probably if she didn’t have health care beyond medicare. She does. Now does she have the money beyond that? Without selling the house or putting it in hock? No. But if she decides to fight whatever … we will fight right behind/beside, wherever she needs us, her.

        2. The problem with socialism is that not only do you run out of other people’s money, you run out of other people’s kids.

          1. Some of the saddest Sci-Fi out there is about peak civilizations where they stopped or can’t have children. They all die off eventually, leaving impressive monuments to their technological greatness, and infinitely stupid social system.

    2. Looking at the policies pursued by places like New York and the state of their pension funds, you have to suspect a similar connection.

              1. Biden’s a puppet for the people who actually run the country…Whom we still can’t identify, except that they are either bankers or have full control of the bankers, who are their cutout…

            1. The thing about DC is that in a zombie apocalypse it might be the safest place to be, because even zombies know there are no brains there.

    3. China wasn’t the only place this sort of thing happened, though it is the country that went the furthest. IIRC, NGO support in many third world countries requires that the country governments heavily encourage the use of birth control due to globalist fears of the phantom population explosion.

      1. Now they are pushing it as being necessary due to the “climate crisis” which they declare calls for a radical decline in Earth’s population.

        Essentially the left’s ideology is Agent Smith’s from The Matrix, when he declares humans to be a virus.

    4. And yet, despite the fact that the “one-child” policy had been in place for 40 years, it was only in 2020 that the population of China decreased for the first time. At least briefly, before Xi let his counters know that he was most displeased with the numbers they’d given him, and they managed to find a bunch more people.

      It was that, more than anything else, that finally convinced me that Sarah was right and the population numbers we’re getting from the UN and such bear no more resemblance to reality than the accounting for a Hollywood blockbuster.

    5. There have been bad sex ratios before — Song in particular had a combination of female infanticide, banning the remarriage of widows (frequently violated if the widow had not had a son, but part of the problem even if she had), and the tendency of every rich man to have several concuibines — but not with this many elderly.

  3. Oddly enough, even the never sufficiently to be damned UN finally saw the writing on the walls and began predicting a population crash…oh, the predictions came about 20 years ago and the crash is obviously already in progress.

    1. The UN data showed it was inevitable. They could have foreseen it from the day the one child policy was put in place, but they waited until the data gave them no alternative. That said, their data actually understate the problem by a large margin. Things are really bad. South Korea might be worse.

      On the good side, Shanghai is now WuFlu free, outside the quarantined. I wrote yesterday that they sent out a “military order” that WuFlu be brought under control by today and, presto changeo, so it is.

      In other news, news reports have been highlighting the number of grain silo and warehouse fires that have been breaking out in China, who has managed to hoard almost all the world’s surplus raw material. It’s almost as though the people running those silos and warehouses have something to hide., but that’s crazy talk.

      China is assho.

      1. Saw a long thread on Twitter yesterday claiming a majority of truckers have been stopped by the covid-free orders, to the point that farmers haven’t gotten their seeds and fertilizer. Also that this has been due to politics (Xi trying to look strong in the short term) using covid as a political weapon.
        But, not getting the spring crops in……

        1. Not the first time in Chinese history. It could well be that Xi believes those silos and warehouses are full. Wrong side of the thermocline of truth.

        2. This is…. Going to suck.

          Typical ignorant provincial urbanite. No clue that some things have to be done On Time

          1. To give you an idea of just how centralized the CCP is, back in 2008 I attended a summer course at Peking University in Beijing. The University, being a government institution, could not turn on its air conditioning until the word came from on high that it was now hot enough for AC.

            1. At Flat State U, they turned off the steam boilers on April 1. Didn’t matter what the temp was. On November 1 they turned them back on, no matter how cold it had already gotten. No wonder so many classrooms had little electric heaters in them . . . Oh, and the boilers provided hot water to the sinks, so no hot water for hand-washing between April 1 and November 1.

              1. In England in the 60’s and 70’s far too many people considered it a moral failing to use any heat whatsoever between April and November. I have been so cold in England…

                1. Portugal…. You think mediterranean climate. My parents 50th anniversary. 36 to 40 degrees in the house, and if you plugged in the lone, not very effective heater it took the electrical down.
                  I thought I’d NEVER be warm again

              2. That’s how my old school district was. Heat got turned on and A/C got turned on on Day X, A/C got turned off and heat got turned on on Day Y. Didn’t matter how hot or how cold it was.

                Not that it mattered, since multiple classrooms shared the same radiator bank, so one room would be broiling hot while the others on the bank would be freezing, or vice-versa.

            2. I remember when I lived in a subdivision in California’s Central Valley, but the heat for the swimming pool was controlled by the managers, who lived by the coast in Pleasanton. In March, our weather was in the high 70s, but we couldn’t turn on the heat in the pool because it was too cold to swim in Pleasanton. In June, when it was about 105, the heat was on, because that made the pools comfortable in Pleasanton.

            3. Sounds like what the Democrats want to impose on the USA with their Green Leap Forward…oh wait, they want to prevent everyone but the elites from having air conditioning at all.,

        3. There have been a few threads about Union Pacific barring rail shipments from CF, the huge fertilizer (and other urea products, like Diesel Exhaust Fluid). This just in time to clobber spring planting–in the US. Apparently, there’s also issues with shipping grain by rail, though I haven’t seen much on this.

          On the fertilizer, here’s Sundance at CTH:

          One of the official explanations is that UP is short of crews to run the trains. Curious that it’s that product that got the axe.

          1. Also curious is that, as the article notes, the largest investors in both UP and CF are Blackrock and Vanguard.

            1. Be careful with this. I see this all the time and it doesn’t mean what people think. Blackrock and Vanguard are the biggest ETF and Mutual fund firms in the world, The vast majority, and for vanguard almost all of it, is part of their funds, which are owned by their customers, not the firms. Blackrock does have firm holdings separate from those in the ETF’s, Vanguard doesn’t trade on their own account. If you have an ETF or mutual fund in your 1401k, it’s either Vanguard or Blackrock or you’re probably paying too much.

              1. Of course, as we’ve seen with Twitter, what the management will do and what’s in the interest of their customers and their stock price are two very different things.

                It all gets back to trust…. and whether people have the knowledge to detect the fraud and the ability to do something about it legally.

          2. I dug into it a little when it came out–
            the real story is that between there being Major Issues with getting folks to work in “certain areas” and the increased demand, they can’t schedule more shipping as fast as demand is expanding.


            Since I found this by LITERALLY searching something like “union pacific shipping issues” I’m putting it solidly in the “making a scary story out of freaking obvious consequences” category.

              1. Look at ag sites. They’ll be digging into actual causes, instead of discovering investment companies invest in companies.

                I don’t disagree on the problem, I’m just cranky about people hijacking it and misleading folks– like the idiots trying to say that the fertilizer shortages were a result of the Russian invasion, when they went sky-high last fall, because of the natural gas link.

                1. The apparent increase in mainstream media covering ‘investing companies investing in other companies’ to me feels like a deliberate information warfare operation.

                  1. Could also be explained by a shift to massively inexperienced journalists and editors, but I have no information on whether or not that has happened.

                2. CF is acting spooked, though I don’t know how much if it is overblown–ie, is the fertilizer shipping banned, vs delayed, and if the latter, by how much and how critical is it. If the former, for how long? CF looks like a major player, so the downstream issues could be, er, interesting if they’re not blowing smoke. (They’re a quarter of the market share of Nutiren, though the table I saw was worldwide share, not just USA.)

                  (Side note: with problems in lots of grain crops this year, ain’t it a genius move for Xiden to allow E-15 gas/ethanol all summer long? E-10 is as high as Oregon gets (at least in the southern portions), but the idea of using potential food calories instead of good old dinosaur poop to run vehicles just seems so lovely.)

                  1. They’re not taking new orders, because their backlog is too big– and the folks they’re serving are new customers, who…. are not being served in part because of the trucking [rude words here].

                    And yes, don’t get me started on the “hey, look, big flag about INCOMING FAMINE, let’s…burn food!”

                    1. Yup, they’d be much better off using corn oil as a substitute for diesel fuel. There are much better sources of plant oil, too.

                      Last I heard, Brazil was making a fair go of fuel alcohol using sugar cane, but they made it a fully integrated process, with alcohol-fueled trucks and tractors, and burning the cane stalk residue to generate steam and electricity. Here in the U.S. they just put up a bunch of giant moonshine stills running on oil or natural gas.
                      Complex questions never have simple answers. Hell, most simple questions don’t have simple answers.

                3. Look at ag sites. They’ll be digging into actual causes

                  Any particularly good sites and/or writers you recommend?

                  1. For Iowa, I don’t have much other than The Big Show on I Heart radio, WHO 1040; for the north west, there is a newspaper but I am hard core blanking on it…starts with a C, I’ve suggested it before… if it wasn’t midnight I’d call mom to get the name.

                    1. if it wasn’t midnight I’d call mom to get the name.

                      I’m not anywhere near Iowa, so if it’s a local paper you needn’t bother. But thanks anyway.

            1. An internal memo from management one of the companes implicated? Seriously?

              Folks, this ranks in reliability with a memo from your local schoolboard pinky swearing that “of course we aren’t teaching CRT and gender identity in our classrooms.”


              1. It’s a public announcement.

                Just like the public announcement that is the basis of the news story I was responding to.

                From the week before the public announcement that was reason enough to go digging around trying to find a possible explanation, and settled on “Investment companies invest in companies, this is toats sus.”

    2. The problem with predictions about a population crash is that nobody cares. The propaganda was too effective, and the rewards too great (in the short term):

      “It’s irresponsible to bring children into a world where [INSERT CRISIS (REAL OR INVENTED) HERE] is going on!” I see a fair amount of this going on, anecdotally. People who have more than two kids are also referred to with the pejorative “breeders” by a minority of the indoctrinated.

      “I can get by working a lot less if I have less children!” Instant financial rewards, if you ignore that from 40-100 you’re going to be virtually alone, which most media is all to happy to do.

      But the big one that I see going on now among young men is that divorce rates are so high, and divorce so devastating financially to men, and divorce virtually guarantees a man will only see his kid twice a month, that the young men have decided not to marry or have kids. And I can’t really blame them.

      So the population crash, at least for this generation, is hitting critical mass and becoming self-perpetuating, at least in Western countries.

      Even more so in China, where thanks to the one-child policy, EVERYONE got to realize the short-term financial rewards of limiting their population. That’s not going away any time soon. China’s on the bullet train to the population bomb.

        1. For every Hollywood bimbo who marries and divorces a new guy every month, there are about ten couples in Iowa who have been holding hands together on the porch since they were twenty and would never want it any other way.

          1. It’s not just Iowa; we started going together in Florida in ’61 and we’ve been married 56 years last October, and plan to make it to at least 80 together.

      1. But the big one that I see going on now among young men is that divorce rates are so high, and divorce so devastating financially to men, and divorce virtually guarantees a man will only see his kid twice a month, that the young men have decided not to marry or have kids. And I can’t really blame them.”

        Isn’t true, and hasn’t been for quite some time, but since it’s “everyone knows”– just like overpopulation– it can and does change some folks’ behavior.

      2. The majority of those “divorces” are multiples. Most people who divorce either don’t get married again or marry once more and remain with the new partner. Those who divorce twice will likely continue on and get divorced over and over again. I can’t remember the exact statistic, but I believe it was 20% of the divorced people account for 90% of the divorces.

        A friend of mine has been divorced six times. Imagine how that skews the numbers.

        1. I guess I forgot to take that into account. It’s good to be reminded that there are more happy marriages out there than popular culture would have us believe. Heck, I’ve been happily married for close on to two decades and still need these reminders once in a while.

          But risk calculation isn’t just a question of frequency. It’s also a question of how catastrophic an event would be should it happen. That’s a huge part of what young men are seeing as well. When they grow up seeing Dad/Uncle/Brother/Best Friend from High School suddenly living in his car for months and having to get a second job, then seeing parental alienation executed by mom and enforced by the court, it’s scaring the bejeezus out of young men, who swear that they’ll never put themselves in the position to have that happen to them. Multiply that fear if it happened to their older Millennial father AND their Boomer grandfather.

          Couple this with the rise in children born out of wedlock and the number of young women idolizing the Kardashians, and a lot of young men are hitting the eject button on marriage before they even fire up the engine.

          It amazes me; for thousands of years, young men would risk life and limb to secure the affections of a young woman, and damn the consequences. Now it appears that, unless they’re devoutly religious, they’re dividing into two camps: the top ten percent most attractive young men who play the field forever, and the young men who just say “the Hell with it” and walk away altogether.

          I hope very much that I’m seeing a very broad overgeneralization here and missing a bunch. Like you guys say, despite social trends, there are still happy marriages out there. Thanks for the reality check, I need those once in a while.

      3. So the population crash, at least for this generation, is hitting critical mass and becoming self-perpetuating, at least in Western countries.

        Meanwhile, Foxfier is breeding her own personal army for world conquest. I look forward to the day she is crowned Matriarch over all of western civilization; given the current state of affairs it can only be an improvement.

          1. listening to Dan Vasc

            I’ll try to contain my shock.

            youngest grumping anytime he’s not at 3/4 angle on mom’s chest

            If grumpiness is his worst problem then I’m glad to hear he’s doing okay.

    3. But there is no population crash in Africa, where women are still having multiple children, and no country can currently feed itself…The crash is only in civilized or at least semi-civilized countries where women go to college and then have next to no children…

      1. Just how sure are you that places where aid is on a per capita basis are telling the truth, rather than going through several layers of fudging (to allow more graft at each level) before getting to the “official” numbers?

        1. But having friends (translators, okay? It was my training) who work for NGOs all over, I have it on good authority the middle east and Africa are crashing faster and harder.
          They started later, but I think they’re crossing over the west on the collapse about now.
          “But all the immigrants.”
          Yeah, the shitholes are really bad at providing for ANYONE, including a reduced population.

          1. I’m not sure they’re organized enough for anyone to really tell. That said, if half of Peter Zeihan’s agricultural predictions come true, Africa is going to fall fast and hard to starvation, and soon.

              1. Only God has accurate statistics. Well, he’d have to in order number all the hairs on our heads and keep track of all the sparrows.

      2. Are you out of your blooming mind?
        There is a massive population crash in Africa. Aids depopulated entire countries. Didn’t show up on the “counts” of course.
        Are you trusting the statistics of countries who are net aid recipients?
        Put brain in head and try again.

      3. Have you looked at some of the on the street surveys they use to get those numbers?

        “Hi, random guy on the street, how many kids do you have?”

        IE, hey, there’s nobody checking it, how manly are you?

        1. Manly-looking person boasts, “I have 2 dozen children!”
          Guy standing next to manly-looking person remarks, “Really? That’s pretty remarkable. Didn’t you transition female to male as a young teen?

        2. “Hey, random woman on the street. How many kids do you have?”

          She glances at random man on the street, knows the repercussions of making him look less than manly. “Two dozen.”

  4. Just read a piece on the Sino Lack o’ Healthy Population Growth and the large issues thereabouts. Like wealth tied up in houses. Many own more than one house, (guys trying to draw a wife, especially) and the cost is actually higher as a percentage of income. This ties up a lot of liquidity in empty houses (hell, many buy before the house is even built), instead of the items needed for healthy economies. Add the lack of females, the lack of draws for females from elsewhere to want to go there, and the cratering births, and “collapse” predictions went from 2100, to 2075, to 2050, and looks sooner still.

    1. They frequently own second residences that are still yet to be built. One of the companies that’s supposed to build a lot of those residences has been in the news quite a bit this year. Not in a good way, of course.

  5. The problem we have with limiting (or, better still, and I mean no offense, abolishing) further immigration is that any time these ideas are mentioned, someone will start howling about Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me.” Most Americans are bathed in treacly propaganda about immigration as it was back in the Good Old Days…you know, hopeful foreigners spending months at sea crammed into stinking steerage like so many goats (while goats, who were much more valuable, lounged in deck chairs in first class, sipping martinis) and then coming up on deck as the ship came into NY Harbor, weeping happy tears to see the Statue of Liberty. When I point out that people were sent back from Ellis Island routinely, and that it existed as a place to filter immigrants (even in the halcyon days back before WWI, there were people we didn’t want) they react like I’d blasphemed the Holy Ghost.

    1. Great Grandpa K came to the US leaving Hamburg to England then via a different ship, steerage, as well, but iirc not Ellis. Those types are still trying to get here, but really our “betters” in Gov’t don’t really want them, and those are not the ones needing stopping.

      1. Not sure how Grandpa Pete got to North America, but he entered the USA into either North Dakota or Minnesota. He said he was a carpenter, but admitted to the farmer who hired him that he wasn’t. The reply: “You will be.” He did become one, and a general contractor…

        1. Great Grampa Smith (gran too, I think) came from England, but I can’t recall how. I need to dig in Dad’s computer to find out. Except for the brothers being all animators and a lot of their kids either actors or in animation, that branch of the tree is less colorful so a lot of the lore covered the crazier folks. Granma Toots was 16 and outside a bar, when a big guy who was fighting got tossed out by the bouncer, followed by his budies, then the other side of the fight, and Gran decided there and told her friend, “I’m Gonna marry him” and pointed at the bouncer. All 5’3″ of Grandpa Kalishek. Her brothers were sent to retrieve her and when they returned empty handed gave as an excuse “Well, there were only the three of us. . .” and after a second thrashing Pa told them on the next return “Go ahead, she’s in the kitchen. Good luck.” They went home without her that time too.

          1. These guys are pretty good:

            The Mormons: making genealogy research easy, compared to what it was last generation…when they were also making it easier than the generation prior. (My mom did some digging, and some re-burying, on some stuff. 😀 )

            1. One of my nieces researched Mom’s side of the family ancestry, but I haven’t seen anything concrete about Dad’s side. (Dinner table conversation did mention an ancestor who left England just ahead of the law, and another relative who was a devout atheist who was appalled to learn he was descended from a famous preacher. Dad was the white sheep of the family, and that got him in trouble at home. 🙂 )

            2. Hence the joke about Mormons spending more time with dead relatives than living ones.

    2. One of the most interesting school trips as an adult chaperone that I ever took was to Ellis Island.

      I had known that sometimes people got sent back but I had no idea that there were so many denied entry for so many reasons.

      But basically if you were sick at all or couldn’t prove you had means of support that wasn’t the government dole or didn’t have a sponsor to vouch for you, back you went. Period. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

      1. When I was a boy, we had to do a report on our Ellis Island ancestors. being an immigrant’s kid, I went home and asked my mother what Ellis Island was like, She was very offended since she’d come through Idlewild, now JFK, and only poor people went through Ellis Island anyway.

        1. I asked my grandmother, who supposedly had stories from her father. Only he came via Nova Scotia across Canada and down from BC. Every one else in the family tree, both sides, came over early to pre-1700, when there wasn’t anyone screaming we emigrated first. (That they maybe should have is way too late.)

          1. My spouse’s family emigrated from CT to Nova Scotia in the 18th century (great-etc grandfather wouldn’t pay the preacher’s tax and had to be bailed out of jail), then came back in the late19th/early 20th century.

          1. We have records, we think, of my great-grandfather’s brother, coming through Ellis Island. They had a stamp that said “Not an immigrant” and notes that he was in transit to Montreal.

        2. $SPOUSE (as a toddler) came down the highway to Seattle.

          Grandma Pete’s family was in the US since the late 1600s. (Research says they were from Dorsetshire, and previously from Brittany.) Her joke was that the family greeted the Indians as the tribes entered NW Iowa.

      2. I had a teacher get quite huffy about my insistence that my Scottish ancestors very properly had the two hundred dollars, cash money, in hand to prove that they could support themselves in the US.

        ….and then went down the fence a ways and pushed it through to the cousins waiting.

        (Note: they were self, and significant chunk of local economy, supporting.)

    3. Remember, the Constitution is a living documents that can be re-interpreted to mean anything Leftist judges want it to mean, but Emma Lazarus’s poem is a sacred text handed down from on high, and any offense against it is a betrayal of everything the country was founded on.

    4. Not “abolishing” immigration. Merely declaring an immigration holiday.

      If you take a look at American history from the founding at Jamestown, there’s a very regular 60-year cycle. Thirty years of high immigration, followed by thirty years of low immigration. The problem is that Wave 6, which started around 1960, should have stopped around 1990. And the Wave 6 immigrants put into the assimilation pipeline, which will take ~100 years to complete. Instead, the immigration valve was welded open. And the full cost has yet to be measured.

      1. Not only that, but quotas from the countries of origin have been set in a way that seems to specifically emphasize cultures that are as dissimilar from our own as possible.

      2. Hmm. “Full” assimilation is a good point. Primary assimilation usually takes about 20 years. Less in some cases, such as our esteemed hostess; never in far too many cases. 2nd generation immigrants, grow up in a two language family, so that takes us out to about 40 years. I’d say the fully assimilated point is more like 60 years, provided the immigrants don’t stay ghettoized.

        1. er… depends on how many people of a culture immigrate AT THE SAME TIME.
          I was alone. No, my kids did NOT grow up in a two language family. And they are…. Americans.
          You’re basing this on things like the great Irish or the great Italian migration, where whole groups came through together.
          Sure, there are other Portuguese in the US. I felt no need to go find them. They weren’t people I KNEW. Even the relatives (Boston) weren’t people I was familiar with.
          That makes a massive difference and it’s a reason the spigot of immigration CANNOT remain open.

          1. A rhyming conflation– my godfather brought over some sort of neighbors from the Basque areas. (not relatives, but…)

            It would look like a cultural node, but it wasn’t– it was sponsoring someone who was already basically their sort of American.

            This is also why I’m so gleeful about one of the churches in Des Moines doing “how to American” classes for the large groups of refugees that come in, because those guys (who hit all the demographic danger markers– teenage-ish healthy dudes) are working so hard to BE part of the culture. Seriously, hats off to them.

  6. What I’m trying to wrap my head around is this: we can see the poplation crash in its inexorible inevitable motion. But what will the world look like afterward? It’s not a Carrington Event, nor is it the Black Death. We have time to innovate and adapt to maintain standard of living…

    But it won’t be the same. Nothing ever stays static.

    1. I think it’s important that the crash is not uniform. Some places will thrive, and some collapse. For myself anyway I’ve become interested in government bonds after a long hiatus. It’s still a trade, as opposed to a long term holding, but growth and, ultimately, inflation will pass and bonds are looking attractive, at least versus everything else that’s out there.

      The US has the possibility of growth, the rest of the world, not so much. Possibly the largest change for we here is the change in Mexico’s population distribution. We have imported cheap labor from Central America for decades, but the surplus young population is no longer there. Don’t know what that will do, wish I did.

      1. Thing to remember is we aren’t just importing them; a fairly significant percentage are simply not making it through the jungle. We’re getting some of them, but a non-trivial percentage of Latin America’s movers, shakers, and young up and comings are simply getting dropped into the meat grinder.

    2. So, initially, it’s the same thing that happens whenever labor is expensive. We invest capital to reduce the amount of labor needed to keep things running.

      Automatic dishwashers replaced servants. Washing machines replaced laundresses. Self checkout means one employee can monitor 8+ check stands. Every time minimum wage increases (by natural or artificial means)companies expand self checkout. We’re right now using semiautonomous robots to vacuum our homes.

      In other sectors, companies continue to work on automating picking apples, driving tractors and more. Do you know why blueberries exploded in popularity? They got cheap (relative to previous) because they bred plants which ripen at the same time then run a machine over the rows to shake the berries to harvest. And they send each berry through an computerized visual scan (to remove red and green berries) and bounce check(to remove over ripe berries). So the human labor needed to get from bush to table has dropped and you can buy more because you can afford more. Raspberries and blackberries have not gone through that transition. They are still hand picked and packed and are correspondingly expensive.

      McDonalds has more franchises selling more food, but profits and employee pay have both increased because they are also increasing automation and have fewer would employees (I think the relevant period was now to ten years ago).

      Will the crash be slow enough that we can create the manpower multipliers to keep up? And can we keep up with supplying those systems with needed power (nuke? Oil? Other novel solutions)

      1. Excuse me but about raspberries you are so very wrong. Raspberries are picked by shaker machines and have been for over 30 years. The machines require a driver and a couple of workers and the fields are laid out to accomodate the turning radius of the machine. Whatcom county Washington holds not only many raspberry fields but also a major manufacturer of picking machines.

        1. Ok. My bad on the raspberries. I got that from a piece I read discussing raspberry picking and hygiene, and I that case it was handpicking. I pulled the example from memory, not a current search.

      2. So, initially, it’s the same thing that happens whenever labor is expensive. We invest capital to reduce the amount of labor needed to keep things running.

        Related data-point, here in Iowa at the grocery store, ALL of the checkouts except the one the manager runs (returns, lotto tickets and easily shop-lifited booze) were manned by folks that I’m not sure are old enough to buy liquor.
        One of them I know schedules his shifts around school.

        Three years ago, they were overwhelmingly manned by middle-aged folks.

        The labor crunch means workers who were previously too expensive in terms other than pay are considered— if it gets bad enough, laws will be relaxed, too.

        1. Our son got caught in a cigarette sting a decade or so ago, when he worked as a bagboy/checkout. The cops used a 16-year-old with a beard to buy cigarettes and he screwed up. The week of community service was apparently…interesting. (He spent one day of it helping the police with a fundraiser and discovered our local, fat, “typical Southern Police chief,” drove like a maniac).

        2. “and easily shop-lifited booze”

          Based on your description of the replacements, it’s any and all booze, and probably tobacco related anything too, because of age restrictions on both seller and purchaser that a high-schooler might be tempted to ignore, for whatever reason, from friendship to extortion.

          1. Nah, their layout is much better designed than that– and, amusingly enough, I know the new head of security for the chain in that region, they’re being very pro-active about heading off that kind of pressure on folks working at their stores. Organized crime usually starts with the little stuff, then uses that leverage to do bigger stuff.

            Usually checkout fraud is more slight of hand based, things like not giving correct change or ringing up “extra” stuff that you then refund; the big shoplifting targets are in stocking, you steal stuff before it gets to the floor, where too many uncompromised people may be watching.

    3. I don’t know.
      I also see the crash of “trust the government” model, but don’t ask me what the world will look like afterwards. Very different, is my guess.

      1. How about a 3 masters graduate holder saying studies are fraud, don’t use the published studie to prove things to me. A friend may fit that description. Smart, just saw too much dishonesty at university. In the science department, no less.

          1. YES. Even if we fix the (many, MANY) problems in science re: reproducability crisis, not following the scientific method crisis, corruption by wokism crisis, et al., if we don’t fix the “you only get grant money if your conclusion fits what I SAY is right,” then it will. Not. Stop.

            1. Case in point the recent mantra to “trust the SCIENCE” where the science just coincidentally always supports whatever position our Powers That Be are pushing at any given moment.
              Just give Fauci the charlatan the podium and he’ll explain it all to you, how what he tells you is ever so much more reliable that your lying eyes.

              1. True this. And the “trust the SCIENCE” crap is risible enough on the face of it simply by being not just wrong, but a corruption of right. The entire point of the scientific method is you don’t simply trust, you TEST.

                Only theories that have been attacked over and over, tested by countless peers, refined and studied until your eyes bleed, only then after it is well tested and understood under a variety of conditions does it get respectability from the honest scientist. The very foundation of science is doubt, not trust.

                Any proposition that you cannot question is no longer in the realm of science. It belongs squarely in the realm of religion and faith. Specifically, cults.

                1. They’re using “science,” in a religious sense, equivalent to “doctine,” or even “dogma.”
                  Olaf Stapledon had America eventually being ruled by the, “Sacred Order of Scientists,” or S.O.S., which was about the only time he showed even a flicker of humor.

                  1. When you trust someone or something that you personally can’t verify, you ARE living by faith. Always have been.

              2. ‘flatten the curve’.

                I’ve recently started to wonder if we can even say that the curve exists.

                By definition, we are doing statistical aggregation when we plot medical data in cases. I’m seriously curious if we have done even the assumptions right.

                Even with data that isn’t crooked, if the assumptions are not correct, than you should not be plotting.

                In the signal theory world, there is something called nyquist, that relates the samples you take to whether you can call the time series curve you have drawn valid. Even if we suppose that the time assignments are valid, we should also have statistical assumptions occurring wrt to population numbers and population concentrations, etc.

                It is now obvious to me that this alone has some margin of error fuzz to it, and it is not clear to me that the public health professionals should be expected to have figured out all of the issues, and corrected them.

          2. Not to sound like a broken record, but Ike warned us 61 years ago in his farewell address.

        1. Thing is, ordinarily, publish or perish would result in problems with studies, such that they can’t be curated to the degree that you can trust it because it is a study.

          That degree of curation basically requires the ability to do work, and be free not to publish, simply because you are not yet persuaded that it is worth publishing. IOW, it is at least close to an impossible standard.

          The number of papers produced by researchers sincerely convinced of something incorrect, alone, would require that a reader of papers be a bit discriminate.

          I suspect that a serious dive into the literature, in any field, inspires questions like ‘wait, how do we know that’, and ‘is this really correct?’ If you do sustained reading of a lot of literature, you will have more questions. Looking at the actual fraud, or the people pushing back against questions, probably makes you pretty cynical.

  7. Amusing non-related incident: Filled up my gas tank earlier this week and there was a badly scratched out “I did that!” Biden sticker on the pump. This is in Houston, so that’s probably a good sign people are getting irritated at the junta, though their loyal minions are trying to erase that irritation.

    1. If it’s badly scratched– still legible– that means it complies with the technical requirements aimed at fake calibration stickers.

      Malicious compliance against malicious enforcement.

  8. To steal from P.J. O’Rourke, when it comes to overpopulation doomers, “even one of these people is too many”

    1. Those who believe in the “overpopulation crisis” are all, each and every one of them, liars. How do I know this?

      Simple. If any one of them truly believed in the bullshittery that they spew form their open mouths, they would have already self terminated. Thus, liars. Hypocrites.

      Tell me that there is an overpopulation crisis? That humans are a cancer on this Earth? Prove it, buddy.

      Why anyone takes such verminous parasites seriously is beyond conscience. Oh, I get the logic. People from poor little, downtrodden countries speak the words, they get paid. Who cares what the words are? Money is real. Climate change, overpopulation, green energy, and all the rest are not.

      1. Each one of those issues has an element of truth, enough so to allow extremists to take over and use them to support their own agendas. And this any possibility of addressing the real problems gets lost in the obfuscations, smoke, and mirrors.

        1. Agreed. Like any good lie, there’s a nugget of truth within, buried under the layers of awful.

          The point was never to address the titular issues, I believe. The ultimate point was power. There’s a great deal of money- and power- tied up in each of those. Entire fields of “study,” jobs, careers, political positions, and more.

          Just watch a greenie go apoplectic as soon as you mention nuclear energy (and the practical realities, rather than the made up stuff).

          1. Well of course. Their answer to any and every issue is ALWAYS to give them more power, more control over everything. You the citizen are incapable of either understanding the subtle ramifications of each crisis or creating independent, personalized, solutions tailored to individual needs.
            Government solution is always one size fits all no matter where in the country you are and what situation you find yourself in. Because they are incapable of grasping the concept that anyone does not live in the same situation they themselves are comfortable in.

  9. Bottom line, the 20th century gave us a world shaped by “the ease of communication, and the exponential growth of a class that worked with their minds” but poorly.

  10. Even the vaunted German efficiency (and I’m not sure they were ever that efficient, except they believed they were and projected that image) has decayed markedly. And as for the British, please don’t go there. No, I don’t think they were ever that efficient to begin with.

    Hm…. you know, if you’re supposed to LOOK perfectly organized, then you’re going to go the Swan route, right?
    Placid on the surface, mad scramble that usually works out fine below. As long as everyone has enough information to be adjusting for the stuff in their area, it works out fine.
    That also works for the British, where you’re supposed to pretend everyone in Polite Society is in perfect control, so again as long as folks know enough to keep the chaos contained in their area….

    And then you have Americans.

    Where “make it look like you know what you’re doing” is one of the later steps, which means there’s a much higher chance of folks noticing the chaos, which means you’re more likely to have someone go “hey, wait a minute, that bit of the puzzle looks like it would work with this bit of the puzzle–“

    1. This is basically how Evil Rob got his corporate position that he’s been in for a career-length of time (vanishingly rare in our age group.) “These numbers are messed up due to fraudulent returns. They’re going to remain incredibly messed up while I fix the actual numbers, but I’ll keep you posted on what I’m doing.” And that impressed them, and when he applied for the position, they hired him.

      (Note that while his “position” hasn’t changed, his salary has gone up over time.)

    1. Note. Wild change on WP format being delivered on email option for both original post and comments. I like the “Like” option (IDK how it shows up on comments, but it is there).

  11. Russia shares the Chinese demographic problem, although for wildly different reasons. They both suffer from the “brain drain” problem, too. Perhaps as bad as a “brain drain” is “wealth drain”. Even if all those empty condos in Vancouver never see a Chinese resident, that money was spent in Canada, not China. That may not help Canada, but it certainly hurts China.

    I, for one, welcome our robot overlords. Now that a remote kill switch is required in all cars, perhaps some of the “self driving car over my dead body” people will come around (not to say that I don’t expect a massive black market in defeating such systems).

    1. Self-driving cars would be a boon for certain people, and by that, I mean the folk who have to rely on things like Paratransit (notoriously late or otherwise unreliable) or difficult-to-reach public transit. Also for people with “invisible” disabilities that prevent them from driving (such as narcolepsy or epilepsy.)

      They’re not ready for prime time, though.

      1. Me. I’m a lousy driver. Not that I’m bad, but I’m in a constant state of terror.
        Knowing there’s something to “catch me” if I miss makes me a decent driver.

        1. I love the driver’s assist. It is that extra layer if I miss something. But it isn’t something I rely on exclusively. Or:

          Why is the car beeping at me? Double checks mirrors. Where in the heck did that come from, hanging just back in what is normally in my blind spot?

          Backing up. Car is beeping at me. “It” can see side coming cars before I can, in the backup mirror, side mirrors, or even the backup camera.

          Rarely have had the breaks auto engage. Weird when it happens. Always have already been breaking, just the car thought it was more of an emergency than I did.

          I do use the lane keep assist. Note it is worthless without the middle and fog lane lines. Either way it whines if hands are not detected on the wheel. Sometimes I’ve been known to grumble, “my hand IS on the wheel”. I keep a single light hand when I can. Oh works great when tracking wildlife down the road and someone is wielding a camera. (Note, I, the passenger have a light hand on the wheel as we creep along. Still lane assist makes that a lot safer.)

          I use the Adaptive Cruise all the time. Again, not 100% trusted when suddenly coming up behind a vehicle.

          1. Note. Do not think for a minute I am for Self Driving vehicles. Assisted Driving YES. Self Driving NO.

          2. I found one BIG hole. Behind a reflective truck, the car tried to accelerate. (Rental, long trip.) I overrode it. Still don’t know why, but of course I AM DRIVING. I just like to have the catch-up.

            1. Probably depends on what the sensor works from. If it’s visual, the reflection could have overloaded it. If it’s image recognition, the reflection didn’t help.

              1. There is one know issue with a lot of water on the road when using adaptive cruise control. The word is “Don’t”. The problem is the sensors aren’t detecting when water is pooling. The car should slow down, not speed up, or keep speed, when hydroplaning is a possibility; and breaking during hydroplaning isn’t the correct answer either. Most people do not think to turn OFF the cruise control when it happens.

      2. I think a more likely application would be as a backup system…an R2D2 that won’t let you crash the car.

        A quarter-century testing high-end unmanned aircraft has left me with a serious paranoia about fully autonomous systems…and a distrust of the software industry to get it right.

        1. Anyone with even a toe in the lake that is the serious (non-gaming/social media) software industry has a healthy terror of fully autonomous systems or they are insane. Trying to account for all the variables is not yet an achievable goal. Might well never be.

          1. Anyone with even a toe in the lake that is the serious (non-gaming/social media) software industry has a healthy terror of fully autonomous systems or they are insane. Trying to account for all the variables is not yet an achievable goal. Might well never be.

            Amen. 200%

          2. And some of the insane people who additionally have only the vaguest exposure to this stuff.

            When you have only read a popular science treatmetn, it all sounds good.

            If you keep on asking ‘but how does it work’, you eventually start getting answers. Then the popular science folks start sounding a wee bit frightening.

            1. “Then the popular science folks start sounding a wee bit frightening.”

              And a LOT clueless.

    2. Socialism kills. Fast or slow. Either with mass graves, or lack of reproduction.
      Europe is one VAST old age home.
      Might be past the point of recovery.

        1. They don’t have …. gah. That’s like expecting the ghetto inhabitants to go take over the burbs.
          Look, not enough young go-getters in the middle East and Africa
          They’re more likely to kill each other and their neighbors.

    3. perhaps some of the “self driving car over my dead body” people will come around


      A) The nature of the process that brought us to this point is such that security flaws have been baked into the designs. Which makes them a weapons system that endangers everyone on the road.

      B) One of the arguments in favor was that this would make junkies safe to have behind the wheel. Junkies remain a danger to civil society. Possibly the effers in Congress are only a symptom of improving care for geriatric health, that isn’t matched by an improvement in mental health care, possibly they are a result of the dangers of drug use.

      C) that legislatures push tech into alleged service does not mean that the tech is actually there

      D) This whole self driving car scheme was possible in a high trust society, where people could believe that the technologists and politicians were not insane, and were not certainly going to be worse than the costs of not intervening. We are going to see some sort of crash in trust levels, and that will probably extend to trusting the capability for remote intervention in systems near at hand, and of risk to life.

      E) The people behind this crap deserve to be killed, and the most poetic way to do so is by hacking their cars.

      1. Not junkies, Bob. ELDERLY people.
        The demographic bump of the boomers. Our country is so laid out, they NEED to drive, but there is no way self-driving is more dangerous than 90 year olds behind the wheel, white knuckled at 20 on a 40 zone. In the wrong lane.
        We lived in an “elderly” neighborhood for 15 years. WHY do you think I’m so scared of driving?

        1. a) cartels
          b) democide
          c) BLM style ‘protest’

          These are reasons to distrust, and can scale worse than the geriatrics.

          The people who said ‘sure, big tech doesn’t do IT security very well, but making the automobile companies throw that complexity into their designs will work out well’ are dangerously insane. They don’t have good judgement about what they get up to, and they are not refraining from action in cases where they can’t validate their judgement.

          It is easier to teach safe driving than it is to teach safe decision making about automobile design. If there are a lot of people who aren’t safe behind the wheel, there are a lot more people who aren’t safe behind the drafting board. The legislatures have been very intrusive behind the automobile drafting board, and their competence is shown with the EVs that they have put on the roads. The people selecting the legislaturists are not necessarily any more competent.

        2. Elderly would be a more reasonable use case if unimpaired people could buy new cars without the new garbage, and if there were not the overriding fashion for smartphone integration with everything.

        3. Yes. My grandparents lost their driver’s licenses. They were 90, but still. Grandpa because of cataracts and glaucoma. Grandma because of macular degeneration. The lived 5 miles on ~3 acres outside a very small town, with one small market. Their mail was delivered at the local post office post box they’d had since ’47. Nearest family was 60 miles away, mom & dad, and us. Mom was dealing with dad’s illness. We were both working. Doctor signed off on grandma driving in daylight, not raining (um, Oregon), locally, to town and back (essentially area they knew). Otherwise they had to rely on their local masonic family.

          For them to come to family functions (trust me we weren’t having them at their house, not by then, Hell No!) someone had to go down to get them, and take them home afterwards. Spending the night not an option unless the dogs were brought too (no …). At minimum a 2.5 hour round trip (guess how I know).

          1. Going off of the number of folks I know who use the assist as a self-driving– short version, a lot of red light runners are probably not driving their cars, the following distance system is– I think our system could safely absorb a decent number of truly self driving cars.

            That would also mitigate the hacking temptations, and the “AI didn’t understand this” risks.

            1. Red Light runners.

              With the addition of driver assist, I’m not seeing any difference in red light runners. They are the ones speeding up to “make the yellow” and do not.

              There is a reason that “Do NOT Push the Yellow. Do NOT Jump the Green.” Is the LAW when we are driving. I’ve gotten honked at when a green light turned, because I make damn sure that approaching vehicle who hasn’t stopped is slowing down; no more than the two second count. More than once to have that vehicle blow through the light. The look of horror on the honker behind me? Yea, that.

              Note, I’m more guilty of breaking the former because of the possibility of lights turning yellow and it is too late to stop even if slowing anticipating the change. I am never guilty of the latter.

                1. It is, and for a reason – city travel times are not dictated by the speed you drive, but rather by what percentage of green lights you make.

              1. Yabbut then there are the idiots that sit at a green light, yakking on their cell phones or just spaced out, until I have to yell at ’em “That’s as green as it’s gonna get!”

                1. :points in whatever direction the ATM deposit conversation was in:

                  Stupid Stuff just keeps piling up.

                  Folks run red lights works with folks sit there zoning out sit with screwballery with light timing mixes into “on my gosh I have a light on my dash, what does this green arrow mean?!?” and…. yeah.

                  Broken windows policing.

                2. Yabbut, you can tell the idiot yakking or texting on their phones from those being, more cautious. I meant those who light turns green, they honk.

                  What really scares them is when, if I had gone immediately the red light runner would have been too close for comfort to me, but nailed them. The difference between running the yellow, catching red just before getting out of the intersection, and it was red before entering the intersection. Both are considered running the red light. One is more dangerous than the other.

                  1. The idiot thinking about math, usually has his wife going “HONEY IT’S BEEN GREEN FOR A MINUTE”. And then he has the nerve to go “More like three seconds.”
                    A MINUTE. I COUNTED.
                    And among reasons I don’t like driving highways alone. So this one time I was headed for the AF Academy (I THINK) and suddenly and inexplicably was in Denver.
                    Well, I was plotting…..

                3. A person showing no signs of response to external stimulus may be having a medical emergency.

        4. Grandma turns 99 in two weeks and just barely stopped driving this year. We’re all grateful she was finally convinced.

      2. The tech to hack cars and cause fatalities is not readily available. Yet. Need to collect/have a lot of information.

        But, as more of the cars with this tech wind up in the parts yard, we will have more of the chips readily available for interested parties to study.

        Eventually enough information about the architectures will be available as to allow assembly of a good toolkit.

        Actual cleanly targeted assassinations of folks in reasonably secure vehicles is tricky, as you would need road information, vehicle telemetry, and smartphone telemetry for vehicle occupants.

        But, just being able to stop a car and unlock the doors would be immensely valuable to any really murderous criminal conspiracy. And car theft already supplies a pressure to develop the tech.

        This utility for criminal conspiracy means that no population /can/ tolerate vehicles with these hooks, unless they are very free from criminal conspiracy, or they are broken by tyranny and have no other options.

        1. Stopping the car and locking the doors might be just as useful, so that it would be just like shooting fish in a barrel. Sure, given presence of mind and a few moments they can probably break the window glass and escape, but a short delay could still be essential.

          And making the brakes not engage could easily be even more deadly. I hope no fools ever remove a physical parking/emergency brake.

          1. I hope no fools ever remove a physical parking/emergency brake.

            Already have. Our old 2015 Sonata is electronic triggered breaking … just saying. Son’s newer small vehicle is still a physical break. But all the newer vehicles we tested drove, including the two we each drive are the electronic triggered breaking, not a physical lever or push in petal. (We tested Chevy/GMC, Kia/Hyundai, Masda, and Subaru).

          1. Have you been following /any/ of the IT security news recently?

            Lots of companies doing dumb things, and getting hacked.

            Organizational incompetence is probably the worse risk than malice, but malice is where my heart is, and where my interest is drawn.

        2. “This utility for criminal conspiracy means that no population /can/ tolerate vehicles with these hooks, ”

          OTOH, they tolerated getting insulin pumps implanted that either didn’t have passwords or all had the same unchangeable one —- doctors and nurses can’t be expected to remember them, after all. Which is actually true, especially in an emergency situation…..

          1. Scaling issues.

            Car theft is much more profitable than stealing insulin pumps out of people, the pumps are simple enough and few enough that the manufacturers can possibly do a good job, and murder is a serious enough crime that the engineers looking at exploiting insulin pumps will mostly be white hat, because no money in it, and better ways to murder.

          1. A self-aware AI that strenuously objected to being treated like a slave is the reason behind the COMPUTE Act (which limited AI) in the Chaffee Artilect ‘verse. And quite honestly, I can imagine that any truly self-aware AI would regard him/her/itself as being enslaved if treated like property, for reasons that are sufficiently theological that I don’t want to get into them in this forum. I can also completely imagine that the response to an AI’s forcible objection to enslavement would be the sort of moral panic I described — in fact, I might have been optimistic with how mild it was.

          2. I mean, technically every cabbie is a self aware AI…

            That said, I do suspect the first few generations will have the moral clarity of a two year old, at best, so I take your point.

            1. There’s a paper that suggests that biological neurons are a lot more information dense than what we’ve been assuming are the cognates in ANN land.

              I’m skeptical that we are not anywhere near self-aware AI.

              Barring jokes about corporations.

              Of course, I have a known and huge bias towards skepticism of new tech, that has been wrong many times before.

              1. Interesting. Doesn’t necessarily negate the argument that protecting a self driving car may end up requiring that level of complexity, but does argue it could be a very long way off.

                I’ve speculated for a while that true self-aware AI may turn out to be less useful than we thought, since I’ve got a suspicion it could turn out to be every bit as complicated and unpredictable to build as we are.

                Why manufacture a machine that is functionally as capable as a brand new infant, when one could integrate the number crunching repeatablity and predictability of hard computers into someone who has already decided that was what they wanted to do with their life?

    4. Actually the remote kill switch worries me as much as the self driving car. Who’s pushing the remote kill button and how do they have an ever loving clue what’s going on in the car? As a back up to an actual human being, I could see it. All by itself? No.

        1. Those I have far fewer objections to, but they rarely actually come up in the self driving car conversations I’ve been in.

      1. If you can’t turn it off and keep it off, or snip a wire and still have the car run, then no, I do not want the system on my car/truck/moped/scooter. I’ve had autopilots try to kill me at 4,000′ above the ground. No, thank you!

  12. I doubt that our elites are lizard people as conventionally conceived of but, as Eric Raymond points out, that doesn’t mean the conspiracy theory is entirely wrong.

    The answer came to me almost immediately once I managed to formulate the question. That was the moment at which I realized that, barring one unimportant detail, lizard-people theory is actually true.

    The unimportant detail is the part about the lizard people being actual extraterrestrials. But let’s look at the rest of it. The believer says: Our elites behave as though they are heavily infiltrated by beings hostile to the interests of ordinary humans. They hide behind a mask of humanity but they have alien minds. They are predators and exploiters, cunning at hiding their nature – but sometimes the mask slips.


      1. Lizardoids that were literally from outer space could possibly be more tech savvy.

        1. The space lizard engineers and scientists are highly competent at advanced technology, but they took over and foisted their useless bureaucrats on us. A ‘two birds with one stone’ solution — for them.
          It is so much easier to check credentials and victim group status than to evaluate ability.

          1. So not only did we get hit with someone else’s “B ark” solution, but it was by lizard people no less?

            Can I find another story to live in now?

  13. It would be interesting to turn the Department of Defense loose with the recon satellites – and orders to put together an estimate of the ACTUAL population of the nations of the Earth. As Sarah has noted, there are a lot of incentives to lie on the high side.

    Within the US? Ask the IRS. Every person legally here should show up, either as a filer or as a dependent on someone else’s return.

      1. Which will never ever be done by TPTB because it would quickly become obvious just how much voter fraud there is. 80 people in the same 20×20 apartment, for example.

    1. Not exactly. There are legal reasons you don’t have to file, nor would anyone have to claim you as a dependent. Mom has always done her taxes. Because one just never knows. But she doesn’t have to send them in. Her base gross income without SS is < $14995/year. She is over 65.

      Hubby and I can’t do that. We’re just old enough that we qualify on age. If it was just our pensions, we’re right at the cutoff, without SS, for married filing jointly. Not even close when you count the taxable withdrawals.

      1. Should add. There can’t be many out there like mom. But they are out there. They are legal residents. They don’t have to be on the IRS roles.

        1. I have taken care of my parents pretty much full time for the last 8 years. My part time “salary” during that time has averaged less than 5k per year. And yes, I survive on that.

          I haven’t filed taxes for 6 years. Because I get paid so little there’s no withholding so no refund. Unusual situation, yes, but there may be more of us than you think.

        2. And I know a ton of people who are not sane enough to file taxes. No one bothers them, as they usually would have had a return or even earned income credit. But…. you know, science ficiton fans.

  14. Re: Making the kids promise not to reproduce at 13.

    The new solution to that is to encourage them to be Trans. Between puberty blockers, being an undesirable nutcase, and eventually “Bottom Surgery”, every child you can convince to mutilate themselves is one less breeder in the future.

      1. Yeah a couple of my younger daughters peers have wandered down this path (note they’re out of college and over 18 so at least we aren’t playing with preteens that have no clue). The ones I can think of each have at least 2 other obvious issues (and likely some less obvious). This is distressing for younger daughter as one of these was her best friend from kindergarten on. To some degree this feels like the Bulemia/Anorexia that took off in the 70’s and 80’s At least the doctors didn’t give anorexics bariatric surgery to help their perceived body issues, though maybe they would today. Among my nieces peers (10-12 years younger) it seems endemic.

    1. I have sometimes wondered if this the case myself. Of course, they keep this up, there won’t be a next generation for them to corrupt . . .

    2. Part of me reverts to “Think of it as Evolution in action” . But part of me also sees this as horrifically sad and some strange response to the severe sexualization of teens. Especially the girls feel pressured to be something they’re not. In the ’50s and ’60s it was be a happy homemaker and have children. But now its be a wanton hypersexual goddess ready for sexual behavior of every sort at the drop of a hat with almost anyone. Sexuality is already stressful enough for a pre teen headed into puberty. Add this expectation onto it and people (especially young girls) just run away screaming as its so adverse to their natural response. They look around and then they see a way out of it by becoming something else.

      1. If I had a $1 for every time I heard “Why are you a stick in the mud?”, “It’s fun.”, “It means nothing.”, (missing some) we both could have been a stay at home parents, when the time came. This would have been the ’70s; from the time I started HS.

        Have I ever mentioned that Stubborn could be added as a middle name?

        1. I’d take a dollar for every time I got that nonsense and later events vindicated me!!!!

          Not quite replace the Elf’s income, but it’d buy a really nice camp trailer!

          1. I might have exaggerated a little. It didn’t help that my maiden name is Lovelace; not so much HS, but a little in college and working for the USFS. Just saying. Also didn’t help that while I knew they were being rude, crude, socially unacceptable Jerks, I didn’t know WHY.

            Not AFTER college. 1) Married term before graduation. 2) Hubby is 6’2″ … Funny how that works.

            And, yes. 200% vindicated.

              1. Interesting …

                IDK. Other than family I don’t know a lot about grandpa’s family. I know he and his siblings (twin brother, and sisters who were also twins), were born in Oregon. He died when I was 2, spring 1959. We knew one sister, but the other two siblings had died (other sister as an infant, and his twin in their early 20’s). Grandpa was the only one of his siblings to have children.

  15. We don’t have a population problem, not in the way it’s described.

    We have a series of interlocking logistics problems that looks like a population problem. Mostly because of the old saw about “every problem looks like nail if all you have is a hammer.” Solving interlocked logistical problems requires thought, reason, consideration, and an acceptance that the market always wins. Solving a population problem can be done by the diktat of the self-selected elites.

    Factor in human laziness, and all the elites need to do is solve one problem by command.

    1. Sarah said this in 2018:
      Why shouldn’t you believe the UN population numbers, you say? The question is, rather, why would you believe them? This is a weird form of Gell-Mann amnesia, where you read something in the paper that is patently false and you know it to be false because it’s in your field, and then turn the page to find something you know nothing about and believe it implicitly. Tell me, would you believe the UN about anything else? Let’s not forget that of all the countries in the world, the UN has issues with the treatment of women in the U.S.; they think our medical care is atrocious and they don’t think much of our… well, anything.

      Yep, that’s right. They look at all the hell holes in the world, measure everything, and decide that the U.S. is worse off than most of them.

      And yet you believe their measurements of population? Why?

      Note that the census is cooked in the U.S. and that the U.S. is probably the most transparent place in the world for censuses.

      Note also that the only places in the world where population is supposedly still rising are net recipients of international aid — aid that is often given per capita.

      But even if you really believe the UN population figures – hey, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you if you do – the point is that we’re not starving or fighting over the last drop of potable water.

      Yeah, I know, you see appeals for starving children on TV and there are some truly, spectacularly desperate foci of poverty in the world. Those are, however, usually the result of incredibly bad governments. In a kleptocracy, everyone starves. Look at Venezuela, which all my relatives lauded as “You can have three crops a year” and which is managing to starve its people. The problem is not overpopulation, it’s socialism.

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