Monday, November 28, 2011

Extinction and Other Such Balderdash

So, Survival Acres is a great read.  But sometimes folks get a bit revved up and go saying things that are just plain silly.  I was over at Trout Clan Campfire and read this and then went to survival acres and read this.

Guys, there will be a lot less of us soon (soon being in a hundred or so years) but extinction?  Really?

The way that we are living has to stop, there has to be a bunch of us gone, but that doesn't translate into extinction.  That is just classic overshoot and reset.  Granted, there will be worse case-scenarios where we lose 90% off the population, but that will just bring us back to levels seen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Earth abides, and man will abide with it.  This idea of extinction is unworthy of thought really.  There is always a small chance of it, asteroids occur.  But I think the same frame of mind that makes one lean toward believing in a vengeful God is the same frame of mind that makes one long for extinction.

It is a desire to smite "evil".  It is the fucking Calvinist horseshit that infected this country early and hard is what plays here.  It is the same shit that made people burn witches to save them and allowed slavery to occur because the slaves were predestined to damnation anyway.  It is the same shit that makes folks long for extinction of your family of man.

It is a desire to have everything erased so that "good" can take hold.  Sorry folks, that dog just won't hunt.  What is seen as good and evil is just personal taste for the most part.  Zero-sum games like resources and riches are transient things that move around according to subtle variations in rules and circumstances.

The big trouble here in blogoland is that we are a bunch of folks raised at the pinnacle of an empire.  We have come to believed that our self-indulgent, fatuous, and excessive lifestyle is the only means of survival available.  It is not, it is just all that we have ever known.  It is also wildly divergent from the lifestyle of 90% of the current world population, let alone the 99.5% of all humans who ever lived.

What will happen is that populations will recede.  Probably won't be all that sudden.  Lifespans will shorten, famines will reappear, women will stop having too many babies, men will stay unmarried.  Oh, there will be some fast slides as wars and  such play their hand.  But there will always be someone surviving.

I think that the key is to make it be you and yours, not them and theirs.

1 comment:

russell1200 said...

Seems like there are an awful lot of nuclear missles out there.

It appears that China has been extending their capablities and reach in this area: although the actual numbers are unclear.

So we now have three major powers with global reach.

It has never been certain that an all-out nuclear war would be an existential event, but you can certainly make a good case for it.

Considered that the Germans in two world wars and the Japanese in one became involved not so much because they thought they would get an easy win, but because they thought the window of opportunity where they might win was closing.

To start the chain of events does not require that someone think that they are assured victory, but simply that they think what little chance they have is disappearing. Chaos and disruption within a major nuclear power has some scary possiblities. That we lived through it once (Soviet Union) does not mean that the success rate is 100%; only that it is 100% so far.