A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Darwin's Scythe

The Guardian reports in "Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?" that in Japan the ubiquitous search for self-fulfillment is leading to a strange, doomed society.  Guardian reporters, with their own prior commitments may not be able to read between their own lines, may not be able to connect these dots with others, may confuse correlates with causes, but at the end of the road lurks the demon-god Darwin with his deadly scythe, ready to pass judgement on the non-judgemental and whispering "This is the end toward which you slide when love is not directed outward toward something beyond oneself."
Too much trouble. Can't be bothered.


  1. Or maybe they simply refuse to participate in the Ultimate Ponzi Scheme, also known as "endless population growth." While I am not a fan of hedonism, it is preferable to straining natural environment to a breaking point. The only people who profit from population increase are those who want to keep workforce wages perpetually low. I also think that having lots of children is usually even more self centered than having none.

    Here's a great text on the subject (not by me)

    1. It is as it may be; but don't expect the future to be populated with their descendents.

    2. So what? I would much rather to populate the world with my intellectual descendants (or with stuff that I created) than by my DNA which will fight in a post-apocalyptic world (that became post-apocalyptic because environment cracked under the strain of too many people) against other people's DNA. I am not a virus. Instead of taking potshots at Japan it would be far more productive to find a way to reduce population in the Middle East and Africa.

      There is no "may be" here. Every scheme that relies on perpetual growth is ultimately a Ponzi scheme and has to collapse sooner or later, unless someone finds a way to reverse the entropy somehow. That's simple physics.

      Your post saddens me on a deep level. Because many atheists believe (and I am not an atheist) that the only thing keeping Christianity afloat is Christians out breeding everyone else. Your way of thinking appears to validate that idea (note that I am not saying that it necessarily does validate it, just that it appears to). Even though I am (at best) highly heterodox in my beliefs, I hope that this is not true. I hope that there is a way to transmit ideas that does not rely on Darwinian pissing contest. How did fertility became such a big Christian virtue anyway? Jesus (son of God or not) had no children and Paul recommended chastity. Do we really have to breed like rabbits to make the world look things our way?

      All of western Europe used to be 100% Christian. Now it is about zero. American South have always at least pretended to be Christian, and yet they had Slavery, KKK and racism. Now they are being out breed by people they used to despise most. So what does having a piece of ground being labeled this or that means? Such "victories" are fleeting.

      I think that drop in fertility will ultimately turn out to be a good thing for Japan. Sure, short term it will be bad because of too few young people supporting too many old people, although it probably won't be so bad because today economy is highly automated anyway. But after that, Japanese people that do survive will no doubt find themselves in a much more livable Japan and not one that is crammed beyond belief.


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