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Seven Billion People

We're slated to hit 7,000,000,000 in 2012.
We hit 6 billion in 1999.
Thirteen years to add a billion.
We hit 1 billion in 1800.
In 1930, 130 years later, we made 2 billion.
(data from the AP)
So between 1930 and 1999 we added 4 billion in 69 years.


Jul. 14th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Well if you're getting your yayas out watching B movies, don't let me stop you. I couldn't do it, but obviously we are not the same! The fact that your reviews of these movies get you more kudos than your political thinking is a sign of the times and the culture, but not of the lasting value of the work.

As for being human precluding one from wishing the eradication of your own species, clearly it does not. I do have a sense that for most people part of morality is based on a certain attachment to one's species, of wishing it well. A reduction in population would help assure a good life for those who survive. It's just that I personally don't want to be doing the reducing, and I don't really want bloodshed on my conscience because I pay taxes to a violently aggressive government, either.

I pulled the quote from a magazine, but I'm not even sure that Russel was the author that the mag said. Hazy recollection at this point....
Jul. 15th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
I would never reduce the population through bloodshed or a limit on freedoms. That's not morally right, even if it is morally right in a grand sense. But I don't think one would need to.

I don't know that any work has "value", be it movie reviews or political commentary. That's a really tough thing to be sure about. Values seem so subjective.

I don't think attachment to one's species is any more moral than attachment to one's race or gender, but I'm not a believer in speciesism like Peter Singer, so I'm not going to go down that route.
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
This is a new word for my list of isms!! And I am one. That's great. Thanks.

I think that some writing can have great value, when it changes the course of history. Writing can live longer than people or computers. Writing can educate. It is a great service to the future, to write something that matters.

Of course, this view is also linked to my illogical alliegance to my future homosapien kin. =-]
Jul. 17th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
Not familiar with speciesism? It is an interesting theory, but I don't know how much stock I put in it. Singer's books are pretty good, although I am by no means an animal rights advocate.

Writing changing history is an odd thing. I was just reading (yet again) a book on Derrida, and how we have a Western "canon" of great books. But what makes Dickens better than Stephen King? Or Toni Morrison? I like the classics, but it's hard to defend them. My political writing isn't going to influence anyone in any substantial way. However, my philosophical writing might and my horror review writing might. But regardless, that should be no criterion for writing.

I'll assume the phrase about your "illogical alliegance to my future homosapien kin" is sarcasm. I don't think it's illogical, I just don't agree with the foundations.
Jul. 17th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: speciesist
Well after reviewing the wikidefinition of speciesism I find that I do not agree with them either. And I'm not sure that you know the foundations of my allegiance to my species to disagree with it. What do you think the foundation is?

There is no should.
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
I don't know what the foundation is, and it's not really relevant -- since I assume your logic isn't faulty, your base must be different from other people's.

You continue to say there is no should but yet continue to endorse a set of values.
Jul. 20th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
"Should" is a way for people to shame and bludgeon each other into doing things. I learn toward the Yoda way of thinking: there is do and do not (no try, no should)......so you do what you do and reality is what it is. I have no way of knowing if the outcomes of my actions will ultimately be "good" or "bad" but I still have values on which I base my actions. I still strive toward the "greater good" even though I have little confidence that I can know what it is in any case....so I choose principles such as compassion, awareness, and values like life, peace, health instead of specifying what kinds of pictures, writings, sex, lifestyle or whatever is acceptable. I still can have values and choose personal action over manipulation. For me writing is a form of action because it helps me clarify my thoughts....especially when they are as muddy as they are in central questions like this. Does this make any sense to you?

With regard to speciesism, my position is not that it is morally or ethically "right". My thought is more that evolution and life-force dictate that we will survive better as a species if we assist one another, and so the inclination to favor one's species is hardwired, part of our biological makeup. Just as a primate can overcome an innate fear of snakes, altruism toward one's species is a tendency can also be overpowered by intellect--you being a prime example.
Jul. 20th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
I think altruism towards humans is the greatest good. Have I implied otherwise?

As regards the first half, I understand your point. But I think you're deceiving yourself. Whether you use "should" or not, you're endorsing a point of view of how you think things "should" be, whether you'd push them on others or not. "Should" implies a goal, I don't believe it implies any inherent power or dominance or coercion. It's simply an opinion. Just because some assholes -- like the Church -- say you "should" do something doesn't mean they have a monopoly on the definition of should.
Jul. 20th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
OK, I'll take that. I agree that my statement "there is no should" is an overstatement, more useful for deprogramming people from internalized non-self authority than as a logical foundation for an argument about values.

And we agree about altruism.



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