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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
#27
(08-18-2017, 09:53 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(08-18-2017, 06:25 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I really don't see how we could have such a conversation or even start one.  As I pointed out in my previous post it would be like expecting someone from the 9th century attempting to develop a working economic model for an industrial society.

... except you start right in on the project in your next paragraph.

Actually I didn't. I was explaining a pattern exposed by historical experience. Describing historical patterns is not the same as making conjectures on the future.

Quote:
Kinser Wrote:I would, however, say that it occurs to me that there would be a demographic shift required to maintain an economy wherein the human population declines (which urbanization itself would contribute too).  As economies in the west have developed from the agricultrial age to the industrial age to whatever we are now we see a pattern.

Agricultural age people marry very young, have loads of children as they are necessary to provide farm labor and people die relatively young (though the human lifespan remains unchanged--I expect I don't have to explain to you the difference between expected total lifespan and average lifespan, like I would to Eric who rejects mathematics as well as science). In the Industrial age we've seen to population patterns.  I call them "early" and "late".  The early pattern, the pattern that India is experiencing for example, people move to the city but maintain their pattern of having lots of kids.  However, due to moving to cities and improvements in health care and sanitation more survive to adulthood and people discover that in the city children are really more an expense than an asset (particularly after child labor is abolished--and so far at some point every society that industrializes seems to abolish child labor).  Late pattern we have people who have lived in an urban (or suburban) environment for sometime, or all their lives and they seem only interested in having approximately 2.3 children (replacement level) and sometimes not even that.  There are of course those who never biologically reproduce for whatever reason.

I agree that, on a global scale, some adjustment to population trends will have to occur, with the last bastions of the agricultural age being the last to adjust.  After all, Nigeria is expected to be in the 5 in population within a century or two.

I'm not sure exactly how Nigeria is really relevant here. I would say that those countries that are just industrialized or just starting to industrialize now will maintain an earlier demographic pattern for the foreseeable future.

Quote:
Kinser Wrote:As that late pattern advances countries experience a "demographic winter" where the pattern inverts.  This of course strains welfare states built on the early model and some societies attempt to address that issue by importing from elsewhere the necessary young population rather than automating themselves out of the problem. (seeking to obtain a population column rather than pyramid)  However, in the attempt to do so, they end up destroying their own societies. 

This is a point where the hard work begins.  How do we transition ... and these societies are only the worst case.  There are problems in the advanced and emerging societies too, because growth has always been assumed everywhere.  Eventually, that has to end.  

Growth in population is always assumed to have an eventual limit, economic growth--that is in terms of GDP might not have such limitations. A post-scarcity society very well could have the means to have continual growth in GDP without a growth in population.

If we suppose that just about all work is done by machines, then the human labor input would have to be in design, programming and matainence, and the latter could also later be automated.

Over all what we see from economic development is the creation of more wealth with less and less labor.

Quote:
Kinser Wrote:I would hypothesize that if we are discussing a post-scarcity society which has undergone a demographic winter, a lot of the jobs that have been automated, or are under threat of automation now are done by machines, while humans maintain control of design, programming, coding and so on. Any surplus population could be dealt with by establishing space colonies which is an absolute requirement for the continuation of the species.

Perhaps ... perhaps not, but starting to think about it is better than waiting for it to bite our descendants in the ass.  There are bad ideas that need to be discussed and discarded. Other bad ideas need to be modified into something potentially workable.  Some good ideas suffer the same problem: workability.  So this is a process, and one that will take a long time. 

As usual, the think tank/academic community will take the first swing, because it's how they make their chops.  Some of that has already happened, and there's more to come.  That effort is desirable, but the decision makers will be the ones to move the process along, and they are not even cognizant at this point.  If they are, they hide it well.  All the while, climate change is moving along at its own pace, and that will be on the agenda long before the post-scarcity society.  So will inequality.  But we know we're gong there, so we need to begin the process of preparing, even though we will be distracted on the way.
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1. Demographic winter is a natural consequence of the maturation of industrial economies. When children stop being assets (as they are in the agricultural age) to expenses (as they are in the industrial one) the natural consequence is that fewer children will be born. We see this in the US in comparing immigrant and native populations.

Native whites reproduce at around 2.3 children per woman (roughly replacement level if not a little below)
Native blacks reproduce at around 2.4 children per woman (roughly replacement level if not a little below)
Native latinos (that is latinos who are first generation American or later) reproduce at around 2.6 children per woman.

The only population higher than replacement level are immigrants themselves, it is expected that their children will more or less conform to the norms of the natives. As such in the course of time the average age will increase until the population you have a large generation of elderly and much smaller generations mid-life and rising adults as well as children. AKA Demographic winter.

2. Think tanks may take a crack at it. I don't have such hopes for academia. Academia is stuck in an ideological rut and have been since at least the 1960s. This can only be addressed if they take on diversity of thought as well as diversity of color/sex/etc. Indeed the former is far more vital than the latter.

3. I'm not convinced that the climate change predictions are accurate. In the 1970s they were shouting about a new ice age, then global warming, etc etc etc.

That is not to say that the climate is not changing, it is, it always is. But it seems to me that factors that matter more are related to celestial bodies other than earth. In particular a really large one that contains 95% of all matter in the solar system.

4. I would not rely on the wisdom of these "decision makers". Unless you propose that the entire west become some sort of meritocratic dictatorship the "leaders" don't actually lead, and the "deciders" don't actually decide. In democratic countries the government is the tail, the dog is the nation.

And by nation I mean a historically constituted group of people with a defined territory, language, economic life and psychology manifested in a culture.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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RE: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? - by Kinser79 - 08-20-2017, 12:45 PM

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