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August 28, 2012


Robots are going to run the world for the rich, but genetic engineering is a "science fiction technology"??

Dude, sometimes you're just plain ridiculous. You should stay away from tech and finance topics.

[HS: Robotic factories already exist. Genetically engineered humans: has not happened yet. That's the difference.]

What will change when having a stupid child can no longer be shrugged off as the luck of the draw?

Right! Natural selection will reverse the demographic slowdown because the future belongs to those who show up. The people of the future will be the children of today's breeding population, not today's college-educated DINKs. There won't be so many DINK-types among the grandchildren.

Clark showed us in "A Farewell to Alms" that for centuries England bred for more productive, future-oriented people because the economically successful produced more surviving children (roughly because they could afford to feed them). For socio-political reasons advanced Western countries have reversed the trend with progressive taxation to fund welfare payments to the feckless, enabling recipients to produce children while crippling the ability of the productive taxpayers to afford them (nowadays the constraint on the productive isn't as much feeding children as affording quality schools, etc. for them-- Half-Sigma's point about human capital).

Future-orientation is a great thing until it tries to operate under conditions of Marxism, at which point it becomes demographically (evolutionarily) self-defeating.

I agree that population growth is not slowing if you look at the big picture; it's just pausing before another explosion.

However, I disagree that fecundity will be correllated with low future-time orientation. Having and raising children is a pain in the ass and third-world fertility rates have been dropping like a stone for some time now.

I predict this trend will accelerate as online porn becomes more and more available and enticing.

Among people who have children because they want to have a lot of descendants, the more intelligent ones are likely to be more successful.

I still think the elites will figure out how to rid themselves of the problem lowest classes or offer some Faustian immersive VR suspended animation deal to lumpenproles. The NY Times, which I consider the weathervane for the elites, has recently published anti-prole or anti-social decay articles. They recognize that widespread prole or NAM dysfunction is hampering their playground.

If genetic engineering is available, it will create a problem from the liberal pansy POV as they will want that edeg for their kids, but they will feel the pull of 'equality' as far as access for all. Will they create vouchers? I doubt it. I bet the elite will use the mainstream media propaganda machine to discourage people from wanting genetic engineering but use it amongst themselves for designer kids. People can deny it all they want, but in the end they'd gladly pay the money to have a kid who is straight out of the film Gattaca.

I agree that the Chinese will have an edge because they are a nearly homogenous and non-PC infected society. Let's hope they don't take a total S.M. Stirling Dominion approach to their genetic engineering work.

China already has a mass of ape-like slaves - i.e., hundreds of millions of poor people. They are generally obedient, and the only question is whether the cost of enforcing obedience is less than the cost of creating and maintaining a useful genetically-engineered slave race (it probably is).

What they really need to do is create a race of sterile, obedient, low-IQ females for the unattached Chinese males (who can never get a human female) to take as surrogate mates.

The "robotic" part of the "Dystopian robotic future" title isn't reflected in the post. Dystopian Genetic Engineering Future would be a better title.

Humans do not have an "infinite" ability to reproduce. There are practical limits on how many kids a woman can have. More importantly humans do not have the *desire* to reproduce infinitely.

[HS: There's a finite limit within a single generation, but over time eventually the human population will grow to infinity unless checked by natural resource constraints like food.]

Just a quick comment...
The ultra orthodox Jews are just as smart as the secular counterparts. The only difference is the former prefers to focus solely on Torah studies.

As for the future I believe we'll see a large and noticeable segregation of the haves and have not. It'll be like one of those futuristic scifi films where the cities are beautiful technologically advanced with everyone living a good life and for everyone else they'll be living in hell holes outside of the cities. Essentially a segregation of the intelligent functional people and the inferior dysfunctional people.

" In other words, the upper classes will use it to improve their own children, and the lower classes, where women already just give birth out-of-wedlock to the spawn of drug dealers and the like are not going to invest in genetic engineering."

It doesn't have to be mandated. What about replacing a lot of the money for welfare with money/vouchers for gene therapy? The out of wedlock mothers can also get genetic implants to make them smarter, etc.

[HS: Sounds like Eugenics, which the elite running this country think is the most evil thing ever.]

True, robotic factories will revolutionize manufacturing (though not to the extent you describe); but human level abilities in robots are at least a century away (1).

Genetics - broadly defined as the ability to get desired results by manipulating sub-cellular stuff - on the other hand, is progressing at break-neck speed. From its discovery in 1953 (after the war!), the double-helix has already spawned a multi-billion dollar industry (2). Forget about sperm donors and test tube babies, that's old news. Genetically altered kids are in middle school today (3) and it won't be long before babies can be born from three parents (4). You can even re-program DNA to fight cancer cells (5), and I'm sure there's more.

23andme can decode your entire genome into a convenient zip file for a couple hundred bucks. You really think we won't have *the ability* to create custom-tailored humans in a couple of generations?

(1) http://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/08/ai-progress-estimate.html
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food#Genetically_modified_animals
(3) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1312708.stm
(4) http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/04/21/genetically-engineering-babies-with-less-disease-and-3-parents-seems-safe/
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2267026/

This post is full of the usual HS obsessions, which obscure the point that worldwide population growth is continuing and is a real problem because it is starting to bump up against the world carrying capacity.

In most countries, women are having fewer children, and there are countries where the population is starting to shrink. On the other hand, people who track this are saying that the world population won't peak at 9 billion but somewhere above that, while acknowledging that women are having fewer children.

The reason for the contradiction is simple mathematics. A population of 7 billion where the average family just above replacement rate will have a bigger absolute increase in people than a population of 3.5 billion (about where it was in the late 1960s) where the average family size is more than twice the replacement rate. Of course this also means that if family size world wide drops to below replacement rates, to something like one child per family, you will see pretty dramatic drops in absolute numbers about two decades later. Essentially the world is now at a scale where differences in fractions of children of average family save translate to huge swings in absolute numbers in one direction or the other.

Also, increases in life expectancy means that shrinking family sizes take longer to produce a drop in population.

Let's promote anti-natalism. Or Chinese family planning practices:

Kill the daughter/raise the son/Harvard, Harvard number one!

Since, in my view, no White who supports diversity has any rights at all, I think that they and their their high-IQ daughters ought be enslaved and used as breeding stock, crossing them with the more virile and intelligent racists. There might be a temporary loss of productivity due to the removal of liberals from the economy, but most of them are parasites anyway, so the loss of some computer geeks will be more than made up for by the loss of all the psychologists, journalists, and Unitarians. And in 20 years time, a couple million intelligent young people will enter the work every year. It's a low tech, green solution.

Ed, you are ignoring evolution. Birth control is an obstacle that evolution will overcome, one way or another.

Imagine 100 people, 50 couples. 80% (40 couples) are low fertility and only have one child each. The other 20% (10 couples) are high fertility and have 5 children each. So the next generation is composed of 40 people descended from low fertility couples and 50 people descended from high fertility couples. So there are only 90 people in this generation, instead of the 100 in the previous generation. So population fell by 10%. It will probably keep falling by 10% right? Wrong. The 40 people descended from low fertility couples will form 20 couples and each couple will have a child, for a total of 20 children. The 50 people descended from the high fertility couples will form 25 couples, each of which will have 5 children, for a total of 125 children. So now there are 145 children.

My example was a bit extreme. To make it realistic there would have been more variation in fertility, some regression to the mean, etc... in which case the scenario probably would have taken 3-4 generations instead of 1. The people of the future will be far more fertile than the people of the present. Using birth control will be considered atavistic, something that only primitive throwbacks from the 20th century use.

"23andme can decode your entire genome into a convenient zip file for a couple hundred bucks."

The service 23andme offers is not complete genome sequencing, just a genotyping, although I suspect the cost for a complete sequencing will be equivalent in a decade or so.

I'm glad you mentioned genetic engineering finally half sigma.

But what about robotic enhancements? These are going to be possible soon, and while in the near future it will be used to interact with computers or machinery, the fact that it can do that means it won't be long before we start seeing a math implant, or a comprehension implant. We already have the ability to have bidirectional interfaces between our brain and computers, which with brain plasticity, will allow humans to do very amazing things.

There are too many ways that genetic engineering of humans can play out. I don't think your predictions are very good. First, while the Chinese government is much less squeemish and politically correct than USA, much of the pioneering genetic engineering talent comes from the US. The stem cell debate is largely a parlor debate. Actual biotech researchers that I've spoken to said that it's not a big barrier.

I'd argue that intellect/cognition biological enhancements to humans would probably work better as elective/optional treatments rather than some state mandated policy. I'm confident that elective treatments that permanently alter the germline are adequate to reverse the dysgenic trends of our currrent global society. Initially, elective treatments would probably be a small elite, but if they really produced major results, charities would eagerly provide them for the masses, and admixture would distribute their benefits throughout the population.

"What they really need to do is create a race of sterile, obedient, low-IQ females for the unattached Chinese males (who can never get a human female) to take as surrogate mates".

It would be better for them to create a race of asexual, sterile, obedient high IQ Chinese males. This will reduced China's population by a ten fold and allow the elites to do whatever they please, without worrying about civil unrest that comes with natural incile bachelors. This is nothing new to them, as they have created a society of eunuchs to serve the Chinese nobility throughout the different dynasties.

I agree with most of what has been said in this series as most of it is supported by current trends, but I'm not quite sure this will be a big problem in the future. Population growth rates are decreasing everywhere in the developed world and if it weren't for immigration, the U.S population would have nearly stopped growing. New health technology which can greatly increase the lifespan of humans would be the only potential variable that could cause runaway population growth. Without that we won't need any "hard measures" to curb population growth. We simply need to stop making it hard for poor minorities to get access to birth control and abortions, and we need to teach them better values.

Even if there is new technology to greatly increase the lifespan, this will mostly be reserved for those in the upper class who can afford it. This should help keep a balance between those in the upper class and lower class, and possibly give people a reason to work hard in hope of having the ability to pay for life extension technologies.

I can't read this without thinking of The Terminator. This is what I hear playing when I read this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hljfRENnGtM

Some good news, among the (White) "fast-breeders" (i.e., religious conservatives), breeding appears to be eugenic:

As for runaway population growth, since most high-IQ people like high standards of living, as population begins to rise, so will the cost of living, curbing population growth by making "affordable family formation" more difficult. Of course, again, this is primarily Whites:

I wouldn't call much more than that, because who knows how the interaction of automation's increased productivity and its displacement of workers, global warming, energy scarcity, and the rising non-White population will interact.

I would reframe the “population growth” problem as an increased fertility among the dependent lower class who will have little to no job prospects. I believe that once the costs of sustaining them become too much of a burden, the American elites on both sides will become more open to “softer measures” that will help control population, and that rising fertility among the lower class won’t end up being much of a problem.

Chinese measures won’t be necessary unless the dependent lower class and it’s fertility rate is allowed to reach such a level that softer measures won’t work anymore and I don’t think that it will get to such a level (based on current population rates and trends). I guess this could happen if there was a rapid rise in unemployment, and then with no job prospects the dependent class would have all the time in the world to have sex. I guess it depends on how rapid unemployment increases and what final level it gets to.

P.S., final post.. While I agree with a lot of what you say in this series because it is based on a lot of current trends, I think that much of this can easily be prevented. For example, you predict an increasing lack of social mobility caused by declining income potential among the lower class and increasing costs of education. This is bad because it prevents smart talented poor people from becoming key decision makers in society. This could easily be cured if a basic college education is made to be much cheaper, which is easily achievable. Runaway growth of NAM’s is easily preventable if we increase access to birth control among NAM’s and try to increase values.

Economic disruption due to declining resources can be curbed if we tax non-renewable resources so that it makes sense to use other resources. The incomes of the lowest level jobs will have to be higher than the total amount of aid given to dependent people in order to motivate them to work hard and keep their job. Therefore either the level of aid will have to be reduced or the lowest wage people will accept to work will have to increase. Though this would provide further incentive for companies to get rid of human labor, it will at least provide some level of motivation to find a job. Also theoretically there should be some sort of new industries to invest in.

I guess my point is that much of this is preventable because a) certain economic and political forces will at least make things less bad, and b) we can still advocate for political solutions (lowering education costs, increasing access to birth control etc.) now that will help prepare us for the future.

It took tens of thousands of years for humans to get to 7+ billion people......the population doubled from the early 60's to the 80's...20 years...it is expected to double now every few....humans are like roaches.....nothing special left for the vast majority. America used to be the place where everyone felt they had a chance.....I do not see genetic engineering being as important as SUPERVISED genetic destruction....the elite will kill off the majority of humans, before they start from scratch again..it's like weeding a garden...lol........

Not just china HS, also Uzbekistan.


It's not a question of taste.

Anything less than coercive family planning is EVIL.

But not only bleeding hearts are against it. Libertarians are against it. "We know what works. Freedom works." said Bush 41. WRONG!

[HS: Sounds like Eugenics, which the elite running this country think is the most evil thing ever.]

So why do they support abortion and Planned Parenthood etc? Which has brought the native black birthrate down to about 2.0, aka below replacement?

"America used to be the place where everyone felt they had a chance.....I do not see genetic engineering being as important as SUPERVISED genetic destruction....the elite will kill off the majority of humans, before they start from scratch again..it's like weeding a garden...lol........"

A really big famine could off a lot of people very rapidly. The elite are positioning themselves to do it with genetically engineered crops like terminator seed technology.

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