My Musing Space: June 2006

My Musing Space

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Overpopulation? Solution: Mars!

It has been a favourite buzzword since Malthus that the world is getting so overpopulated that we will not be able to feed ourselves, meaning already back then. Yet, we somehow do, to the effect that our numbers are growing exponentially. My point is that some people see overpopulation as a problem, others don't. I do fall in the latter category. Why? Because I see a pattern, the vague outlines of a direction.

First of all, as we grow, we do manage to find ways to solve our problems. We are quite an inventive bunch! As for the direction? I believe that this population explosion is coming at a very interesting time in history. Space exploration is just about to reach the point where humans are ready to start their grand scheme (is it theirs or Nature's/God's...? - depending on your viewpoint :) of populating the rest of the Universe. Consider X Prize founder Peter Diamandis's announcement of the Mars Citizenship Program*. According to this plan there will be private spaceships going to Mars within the next decade, preparing the ground for the actual settlers who will go there to stay. They will be in enclosed environment until terraforming will make it possible to live an open air, normal life there. Sounds farfetched? There are active forums where people discusse the issue, preparing themselves psychologically for the "Big Step". There seem to be lots of people ready to face the dangers, just as it has been done throughout history, even though those ancestors of ours could not have been half as knowledgeable, and therefor much less prepared for all the odds as our future Mars settlers. If you want to check out some of the discussions, here are a few:
Red Colony
Cosmic Log
New Mars
Marsdrive Consortium
The Spacearium
Space Generation Network
Science&Nature: Space

*There is yet another name seemingly connected to this project. I found a thesis published by one Talmon Feuerstein (International Space University, Strasbourg, 2003), also called Mars Citizenship Program. He appears as speaker at conferences and works for a German company. I wonder what his role is, if any, in Diamandis's project.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Are childless people penalized by family-friendly policies?

While coasting around, I found another musing webpage,
"Jerry's Musings", about overpopulation on Earth, and the desirability of remaing childless. And he is arguing it here in Canada, in a country where without immigration we would have negative population growth. See the forecasts of Statistics Canada.
Although we are still in a growth phase globally, by observing social behaviour in developed and developing countries, we notice that as people are able to aquire more and more "toys", and I don't mean only objects but also such things as the ability to spend more on travel and other amusements, they become ever more reluctant to give that up for the selfish chore of child-rearing. This is already clearly observable all over in the developed countries and, while obviously I will not live long anough to see it happen, I predict that as living standards will improve worldwide in the near future, at a given point the opposite (negative growth) will become the problem.

Jerry's "No Kidding" social club would like us to believe that they are doing a favour to society by not having children. They even have the gall to question society's favouring those families who are ready to undertake that task. They ask: "How dare people with children ask for time off at work? How come childless people don't have the right to ask for time off for, say, joining a recreational voleyball team? How come childless people have to pay the same or more taxes while not using the facilities that those taxes pay for?"

Well, I see it this way. I, a postgrad, with an impressive job, decided at one point to take my family's affairs in my hand and left work for good. This way I vacated a nice position for someone, possibly someone without children. Instead I struggled with unpaid housework, raised two boys, cared for as long as I could for my mother who was dying of cancer, cared for my grandmother until she was almost 100, and now I take care of my octogenarian mother-in-law. All this while I have been saving the country huge sums in each of these cases simply by not putting these people into institutionalized care. And what will happen when I retire? I will not get the comfy pension that my childless working colleagues will get. I will only get social security pension, the very same that my esteemed colleagues will also get on top of their private pensions. And who pays for those state pensions? They are financed by the taxes of the working next generation, MY SONS...! Do you still think society is treating the childless unfairly?

I have one last beef with the Jerries of the western world. As a matter of fact I personally would prefer if Jerry and the other NoKidding members changed their minds and decided to bring children into this world, because I would much rather see the world be (over-)populated by them, then by those Middle Eastern mothers whose expressed goal is to produce a lot of children to a) eventually tip the balance of the world population in favour of the Muslimiyye
(see clip #1121 - a televised speech of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi on the inevitability of Muslims flooding the western world), and b) to have enough children to be able to sacrifice a few of them for the glory of Allah as suicide bombers (see clip #1134 - a discussion on Syrian TV by Arab intellectuals about jihad, praising Muslim mothers for producing a lot of children and raising them to be prepared for martyrdom).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Here we go!

I am about to plunge into this new world of BLOGGING! Don't get me wrong, I am not entirely new to internet publishing, I do have several websites. But blogging is a concept that has been relatively foreign to me until now. So here I go, I am ready to tackle the technicalities. I do hope that soon I will be comfortable enough with them so I can actually post some worthwhile musings. Who knows, some people then may even find my humble pages worthy enough to revisit it every once in a while. :)