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Mote in God's Eye at tor dot com
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James Nicoll
2019-04-25 15:47:32 UTC
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In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.

https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
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My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Johnny1A
2019-04-30 05:23:08 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is 'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.

Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to (or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.

The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths are present and tolerated and have legal rights.

The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason, and their stated intention to politically unite the species. But they are far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are prepared to compromise on the means and the details.

I would say the Empire is probably less 'authoritarian' than the majority of real-world governments in the year 2019.
Robert Carnegie
2019-04-30 19:34:30 UTC
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Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is 'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to (or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.
The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths are present and tolerated and have legal rights.
The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason,
Secessions? Although an Emperor also generally won't
be enthusiastic about successions. Though I gather
the Emperor of Japan retires today voluntarily.
Post by Johnny1A
and their stated intention to politically unite the species. But they are far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are prepared to compromise on the means and the details.
I would say the Empire is probably less 'authoritarian' than the majority of real-world governments in the year 2019.
Johnny1A
2019-05-01 03:38:09 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is 'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to (or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.
The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths are present and tolerated and have legal rights.
The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason,
Secessions? Although an Emperor also generally won't
be enthusiastic about successions.
Oops. :lol: Of course I meant secessions.
Mike Van Pelt
2019-04-30 22:53:18 UTC
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Post by Johnny1A
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal
societies to (or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly
explicitly a constitutional monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has
real power, but he's not an absolute potentate.
...
Post by Johnny1A
and their stated intention to politically unite the species.
But they are far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are
prepared to compromise on the means and the details.
As long as, when the Empire of Man comes knocking, your planet
has achieved space flight. If not, your world is permanent
fourth-class subjects. (See: "King David's Spaceship", where
a civilization which (I think) doesn't even have air flight
desperately tries to get something, anything, into orbit
before their status is set, permanently.)
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
Johnny1A
2019-05-01 03:41:17 UTC
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Post by Mike Van Pelt
Post by Johnny1A
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal
societies to (or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly
explicitly a constitutional monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has
real power, but he's not an absolute potentate.
...
Post by Johnny1A
and their stated intention to politically unite the species.
But they are far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are
prepared to compromise on the means and the details.
As long as, when the Empire of Man comes knocking, your planet
has achieved space flight. If not, your world is permanent
fourth-class subjects. (See: "King David's Spaceship", where
a civilization which (I think) doesn't even have air flight
desperately tries to get something, anything, into orbit
before their status is set, permanently.)
True. They also use such worlds as sources of fiefs and position for younger sons (a classic problem in hereditary aristocracies).

I didn't say the Empire was by any means perfect.

I'm not certain exactly how permanent that status is, though. I suspect that a subject world's status _could_ rise as it gained technology and its economy grew. The problem, from the POV of the colony world, is that it won't be _their_ society rising, but a new one the Imperials build up in its place. That was what King David and the Kingdom of Haven was trying to work around.
nuny@bid.nes
2019-05-04 08:56:46 UTC
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Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
Post by Johnny1A
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to
(or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional
monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute
potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually
several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in
the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and
everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears
to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.
Yeah, yeah, and Heinlein was a fascist. Jeebus on a fucking pogo stick.
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths
are present and tolerated and have legal rights.
*cough* Bury *cough*
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason,
and their stated intention to politically unite the species. But they are
far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are prepared to compromise on the
means and the details.
Re: your correction to secessions and "ruthlessness"; the U. S. Civil War.
Post by Johnny1A
I would say the Empire is probably less 'authoritarian' than the majority
of real-world governments in the year 2019.
A sensible Emperor (whatever their title) makes damned sure the populace doesn't *want* to revolt.


Mark L. Fergerson
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-04 09:46:13 UTC
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Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
Not when it's supposed to be the bloody future.
I want it judged by tomorrow's standards.

Of course, _The Handmaid's Tale_ portrays a bloody awful
society in the future. People don't criticise the book
because that is the point of it, they criticise the
fictional society in it.
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to
(or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional
monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute
potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually
several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in
the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and
everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears
to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.
Yeah, yeah, and Heinlein was a fascist. Jeebus on a fucking pogo stick.
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths
are present and tolerated and have legal rights.
*cough* Bury *cough*
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason,
and their stated intention to politically unite the species. But they are
far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are prepared to compromise on the
means and the details.
Re: your correction to secessions and "ruthlessness"; the U. S. Civil War.
Post by Johnny1A
I would say the Empire is probably less 'authoritarian' than the majority
of real-world governments in the year 2019.
A sensible Emperor (whatever their title) makes damned sure the populace doesn't *want* to revolt.
Mark L. Fergerson
Johnny1A
2019-05-06 06:48:49 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
Not when it's supposed to be the bloody future.
I want it judged by tomorrow's standards.
Of course, _The Handmaid's Tale_ portrays a bloody awful
society in the future. People don't criticise the book
because that is the point of it, they criticise the
fictional society in it.
Yeah, but history is _not_ a linear progression in any direction. It's semi-cyclic, semi-chaotic, societies rise and fall, and much of what seems to be written in stone is actually passing ephemera, over the scale of decades and centuries.

There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology, though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be a structural tendency in the human race.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-05-06 06:57:26 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by
today's "Progressive" standards?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Not when it's supposed to be the bloody future.
I want it judged by tomorrow's standards.
Of course, _The Handmaid's Tale_ portrays a bloody awful
society in the future. People don't criticise the book
because that is the point of it, they criticise the
fictional society in it.
Yeah, but history is _not_ a linear progression in any direction. It's
semi-cyclic, semi-chaotic, societies rise and fall, and much of what
seems to be written in stone is actually passing ephemera, over the
scale of decades and centuries.
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology, though.
As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the female fertility
rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a tendency toward mostly
male militaries, for ex, might actually be a structural tendency in the
human race.
Of course how long we reproduce the way we do is questionable. Bujoldian
"uterine replica" technology is not that far-fetched.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Johnny1A
2019-05-06 07:04:35 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by
today's "Progressive" standards?
Post by Robert Carnegie
Not when it's supposed to be the bloody future.
I want it judged by tomorrow's standards.
Of course, _The Handmaid's Tale_ portrays a bloody awful
society in the future. People don't criticise the book
because that is the point of it, they criticise the
fictional society in it.
Yeah, but history is _not_ a linear progression in any direction. It's
semi-cyclic, semi-chaotic, societies rise and fall, and much of what
seems to be written in stone is actually passing ephemera, over the
scale of decades and centuries.
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology, though.
As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the female fertility
rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a tendency toward mostly
male militaries, for ex, might actually be a structural tendency in the
human race.
Of course how long we reproduce the way we do is questionable. Bujoldian
"uterine replica" technology is not that far-fetched.
And exploring the possibilities of that would be an entirely valid SFnal concept. But if the story in question retains standard human biology, then certain tendencies are likely to recur over and over.
Ninapenda Jibini
2019-05-06 08:13:39 UTC
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Post by Johnny1A
As long as humans reproduce the way we do,
We're getting closer and closer to altering that right now . . .

(And some science fiction has, in fact, addressed that.)
--
Terry Austin

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-07 18:00:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
Not when it's supposed to be the bloody future.
I want it judged by tomorrow's standards.
Of course, _The Handmaid's Tale_ portrays a bloody awful
society in the future. People don't criticise the book
because that is the point of it, they criticise the
fictional society in it.
Yeah, but history is _not_ a linear progression in any direction. It's semi-cyclic, semi-chaotic, societies rise and fall, and much of what seems to be written in stone is actually passing ephemera, over the scale of decades and centuries.
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology, though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be a structural tendency in the human race.
I think technological societies rely more heavily on a small number of highly skilled and talented people than earlier societies, and I think it is harder to make these run if you demand that these posts only be filled by the 10% or fewer of the population that constitute the aristocracy.

(Cases where something other than merit brings the ability to give orders is also highly irritating for those on the other end of this. My Father complained of this when talking about the RAF during WWII. I have seen little of it in my lifetime, but my nephew claimed that he did not gain an internship because he was not from the correct protected class. If this continues - and/or the internships achieve their apparent goal of selecting future leaders - the chinless wonder may reappear in another guise).
nuny@bid.nes
2019-05-08 09:55:50 UTC
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On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 11:00:05 AM UTC-7, ***@sky.com wrote:

(snip)
Post by m***@sky.com
(Cases where something other than merit brings the ability to give orders
is also highly irritating for those on the other end of this. My Father
complained of this when talking about the RAF during WWII. I have seen
little of it in my lifetime, but my nephew claimed that he did not gain
an internship because he was not from the correct protected class. If
this continues - and/or the internships achieve their apparent goal of
selecting future leaders - the chinless wonder may reappear in another
guise).
They're already here. Don't apply for a marriage license in D. C. if your driver's license is from New Mexico.


Mark L. Fergerson
Ahasuerus
2019-05-07 19:39:46 UTC
Reply
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On Monday, May 6, 2019 at 2:48:52 AM UTC-4, Johnny1A wrote:
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.

However, there are a lot of complexities involved, in part because the
spectrum of viable procreational strategies depends on a variety of
factors, including technology and population density, which can change
quite rapidly. Humans have gained certain interesting insights into
these areas over the last couple of centuries, but it's still a new
field. By the time they can be sure that their understanding is
reasonably solid, they may be able to change a bunch of related factors.

It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
p***@gmail.com
2019-05-07 20:09:49 UTC
Reply
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Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
However, there are a lot of complexities involved, in part because the
spectrum of viable procreational strategies depends on a variety of
factors, including technology and population density, which can change
quite rapidly. Humans have gained certain interesting insights into
these areas over the last couple of centuries, but it's still a new
field. By the time they can be sure that their understanding is
reasonably solid, they may be able to change a bunch of related factors.
It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
Then you get 'who decides what to change, and for whom?'. I can see elites
doing their damndest to create a submissive, obedient worker class, lacking
the capability for revolt.

pt
Ahasuerus
2019-05-07 20:42:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 4:09:52 PM UTC-4, ***@gmail.com wrote:
[snip]
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
Then you get 'who decides what to change, and for whom?'. I can
see elites doing their damndest to create a submissive, obedient
worker class, lacking the capability for revolt.
Different people and different organizations operating within different
polities will presumably attempt different kinds of changes -- see
He Jiankui's reported CRISPR tinkering with CCR5 in China.
Peter Trei
2019-05-07 21:22:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
Then you get 'who decides what to change, and for whom?'. I can
see elites doing their damndest to create a submissive, obedient
worker class, lacking the capability for revolt.
Different people and different organizations operating within different
polities will presumably attempt different kinds of changes -- see
He Jiankui's reported CRISPR tinkering with CCR5 in China.
He was operating outside the established bounds of behavior in China's polity;
he lost his job, and may face trial.

At the moment, no polity on Earth that I'm aware of allows gene-line editing.

I expect that that will change.

pt
Ahasuerus
2019-05-07 21:30:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
Then you get 'who decides what to change, and for whom?'. I can
see elites doing their damndest to create a submissive, obedient
worker class, lacking the capability for revolt.
Different people and different organizations operating within different
polities will presumably attempt different kinds of changes -- see
He Jiankui's reported CRISPR tinkering with CCR5 in China.
He was operating outside the established bounds of behavior in
China's polity; he lost his job, and may face trial. [snip]
There are questions about it, e.g.:

"Three government institutions in China, including the nation’s
science ministry, may have funded the “CRISPR babies” study that
led to the birth last November of two genetically modified twin
girls, according to documents reviewed by STAT.

These findings appear to support what many researchers inside and
outside China have suspected since scientist He Jiankui revealed
the births in late November, sparking international condemnation
for violating scientific guidelines against the use of gene-edited
human embryos to start pregnancies. “I don’t think He Jiankui could
have done it without the government encouragement to press ahead”
with research they thought would merit a Nobel Prize, said Jing-Bao
Nie, a bioethicist at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

If the documents are correct, they would suggest China is supporting
research that the U.S. and other countries consider unethical, and
raise doubts about the preliminary conclusion of a government
investigation that He acted mostly on his own. That inquiry, which
was led by the Guangdong provincial health commission and involved
the science ministry and the National Health Commission, determined
that He raised funding for the experiment on his own without
official endorsement. It also concluded that He forged an
informed-consent form and violated scientific ethics and Chinese
regulations, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

“They want him to be the scapegoat, so everybody else can be
vindicated,” Nie said. “But this would disguise serious
institutional failures.”

(https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/25/crispr-babies-study-china-government-funding/)
Dimensional Traveler
2019-05-07 22:07:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
It's kind of paradoxical: once you fully understand the constraints on
your actions, chances are that you may be able to change them. For
example, once you understand why birds can fly and humans can't, you
are already close to figuring out a way to let humans fly. Similarly,
once you fully understand how humans procreate and how it affects their
behavior, you may be getting close to being able to change it.
Then you get 'who decides what to change, and for whom?'. I can
see elites doing their damndest to create a submissive, obedient
worker class, lacking the capability for revolt.
Different people and different organizations operating within different
polities will presumably attempt different kinds of changes -- see
He Jiankui's reported CRISPR tinkering with CCR5 in China.
He was operating outside the established bounds of behavior in
China's polity; he lost his job, and may face trial. [snip]
"Three government institutions in China, including the nation’s
science ministry, may have funded the “CRISPR babies” study that
led to the birth last November of two genetically modified twin
girls, according to documents reviewed by STAT.
These findings appear to support what many researchers inside and
outside China have suspected since scientist He Jiankui revealed
the births in late November, sparking international condemnation
for violating scientific guidelines against the use of gene-edited
human embryos to start pregnancies. “I don’t think He Jiankui could
have done it without the government encouragement to press ahead”
with research they thought would merit a Nobel Prize, said Jing-Bao
Nie, a bioethicist at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
If the documents are correct, they would suggest China is supporting
research that the U.S. and other countries consider unethical, and
raise doubts about the preliminary conclusion of a government
investigation that He acted mostly on his own. That inquiry, which
was led by the Guangdong provincial health commission and involved
the science ministry and the National Health Commission, determined
that He raised funding for the experiment on his own without
official endorsement. It also concluded that He forged an
informed-consent form and violated scientific ethics and Chinese
regulations, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
“They want him to be the scapegoat, so everybody else can be
vindicated,” Nie said. “But this would disguise serious
institutional failures.”
(https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/25/crispr-babies-study-china-government-funding/)
I'd bet Dr. He Jiankui's only mistake was announcing it to the world.
The Chinese government almost certainly didn't want the _real_ first
engineered humans announced until they were much farther along in the
research.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Tim McCaffrey
2019-05-08 16:16:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
He was operating outside the established bounds of behavior in
China's polity; he lost his job, and may face trial. [snip]
"Three government institutions in China, including the nation’s
science ministry, may have funded the “CRISPR babies” study that
led to the birth last November of two genetically modified twin
girls, according to documents reviewed by STAT.
These findings appear to support what many researchers inside and
outside China have suspected since scientist He Jiankui revealed
the births in late November, sparking international condemnation
for violating scientific guidelines against the use of gene-edited
human embryos to start pregnancies. “I don’t think He Jiankui could
have done it without the government encouragement to press ahead”
with research they thought would merit a Nobel Prize, said Jing-Bao
Nie, a bioethicist at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
If the documents are correct, they would suggest China is supporting
research that the U.S. and other countries consider unethical, and
raise doubts about the preliminary conclusion of a government
investigation that He acted mostly on his own. That inquiry, which
was led by the Guangdong provincial health commission and involved
the science ministry and the National Health Commission, determined
that He raised funding for the experiment on his own without
official endorsement. It also concluded that He forged an
informed-consent form and violated scientific ethics and Chinese
regulations, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
“They want him to be the scapegoat, so everybody else can be
vindicated,” Nie said. “But this would disguise serious
institutional failures.”
(https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/25/crispr-babies-study-china-government-funding/)
Don't these people watch Star Trek?
So the Eugenics Wars still happen, just 50-100 years later than predicted.

KHHHHAAAAAANNN!!!

(hmmm, a Chinese name.... :-O )

- Tim
Johnny1A
2019-05-11 03:52:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.

One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.

OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.

If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.

Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.

The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.

Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.

So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.

Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.

Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.

It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.

Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-11 05:41:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s. If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Johnny1A
2019-05-12 20:13:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s.
Sometimes, in limited circumstances. But you can't _rule_ with F-18s. If it becomes necessary to occupy an enemy state, or otherwise take actions that can't be accomplished with precision bombing, (and that always becomes necessary), then you're back to the same old need for infantry again.

Plus the high-tech style of warfare requires a vast economic and industrial infrastructure behind it to work. For every one F-18 flight, there is an intricate web of spare parts, fuel, personnel, money, organization, all of which requires people and a thriving economy to drive it. But that in turn is heavily dependent, over time, on the FFR.
Post by m***@sky.com
If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Only the details would vary.

For example, one of the problems facing the major Western states right now is that they are 'top heavy'. The number of young people paying for pensions and support is shrinking relative to the number receiving it. Likewise, the relatively low number of young people starting families and setting up homes puts a downward pressure on demand.

That's one of the reason the business classes want maximum immigration, they want to import both cheap labor and customers. But that generates intense backlash, cultural and linguistic and thus political.

This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.

Another example of this issue is Turkey. One reason the Islamists like Erdogan have been beating out the relatively Westernized secularists there is quite simply that the former's supporters have been outbreeding the latter for a long time, changing the electorate's outlook at a whole.

Japan is another polity that is facing major economic and social issues now because of low FFR in the past.
J. Clarke
2019-05-13 01:19:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sun, 12 May 2019 13:13:47 -0700 (PDT), Johnny1A
Post by Johnny1A
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s.
Sometimes, in limited circumstances. But you can't _rule_ with F-18s. If it becomes necessary to occupy an enemy state, or otherwise take actions that can't be accomplished with precision bombing, (and that always becomes necessary), then you're back to the same old need for infantry again.
Plus the high-tech style of warfare requires a vast economic and industrial infrastructure behind it to work. For every one F-18 flight, there is an intricate web of spare parts, fuel, personnel, money, organization, all of which requires people and a thriving economy to drive it. But that in turn is heavily dependent, over time, on the FFR.
Post by m***@sky.com
If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Only the details would vary.
For example, one of the problems facing the major Western states right now is that they are 'top heavy'. The number of young people paying for pensions and support is shrinking relative to the number receiving it. Likewise, the relatively low number of young people starting families and setting up homes puts a downward pressure on demand.
That's one of the reason the business classes want maximum immigration, they want to import both cheap labor and customers. But that generates intense backlash, cultural and linguistic and thus political.
You keep repeating this. Evidence? While my employer does use "cheap
labor" they are people from India who are for the most part living in
India, they are not immigrants and they are for the most part college
graduates, not laborers. "Cheap labor" generally does not have the
wherewithal to buy much either.
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
Another example of this issue is Turkey. One reason the Islamists like Erdogan have been beating out the relatively Westernized secularists there is quite simply that the former's supporters have been outbreeding the latter for a long time, changing the electorate's outlook at a whole.
Sorry, but religion is not hereditary.
Post by Johnny1A
Japan is another polity that is facing major economic and social issues now because of low FFR in the past.
Kevrob
2019-05-13 03:18:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 12 May 2019 13:13:47 -0700 (PDT), Johnny1A
Post by Johnny1A
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s.
Sometimes, in limited circumstances. But you can't _rule_ with F-18s. If it becomes necessary to occupy an enemy state, or otherwise take actions that can't be accomplished with precision bombing, (and that always becomes necessary), then you're back to the same old need for infantry again.
Plus the high-tech style of warfare requires a vast economic and industrial infrastructure behind it to work. For every one F-18 flight, there is an intricate web of spare parts, fuel, personnel, money, organization, all of which requires people and a thriving economy to drive it. But that in turn is heavily dependent, over time, on the FFR.
Post by m***@sky.com
If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Only the details would vary.
For example, one of the problems facing the major Western states right now is that they are 'top heavy'. The number of young people paying for pensions and support is shrinking relative to the number receiving it. Likewise, the relatively low number of young people starting families and setting up homes puts a downward pressure on demand.
That's one of the reason the business classes want maximum immigration, they want to import both cheap labor and customers. But that generates intense backlash, cultural and linguistic and thus political.
You keep repeating this. Evidence? While my employer does use "cheap
labor" they are people from India who are for the most part living in
India, they are not immigrants and they are for the most part college
graduates, not laborers. "Cheap labor" generally does not have the
wherewithal to buy much either.
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
Another example of this issue is Turkey. One reason the Islamists like Erdogan have been beating out the relatively Westernized secularists there is quite simply that the former's supporters have been outbreeding the latter for a long time, changing the electorate's outlook at a whole.
Sorry, but religion is not hereditary.
Not strictly, no, but large families raised by religious
people tend to have a significant % of them remain in
that religion as adults. I'm one of the ones who rejected
the programming. My siblings who had kids have raised them
to be believers. Just one data point.
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Johnny1A
Japan is another polity that is facing major economic and social issues now because of low FFR in the past.
Anti-immigration folks in the US would have to deal with
this fact:

[quote]

American women are having fewer babies.

Researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
reported Thursday that the national total fertility rate (TFR), an estimate
of how many babies the average woman will have, was 1.7655 in 2017. That’s
down from 1.8205 in 2016 and 1.8435 in 2015.

This matters because the population needs to have a TFR of 2,100 births
per 1,000 women to reproduce itself. If the U.S. wants a stable population,
it either needs more babies or more immigration.

[/quote]

http://fortune.com/2019/01/10/american-fertility-rate-drop/

Families in wealthier countries have fewer children and invest
more in each one, especially in their education. The answer to
"runaway population growth" is the "demographic transition."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition

Quite a bit of the "overpopulated Terra" stories with
a US TFR well above replacement rate dates to the era before
birth control was easily available and effective, and when
abortion other than in special circumstances was still
illegal.

Kevin R
J. Clarke
2019-05-13 03:35:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 12 May 2019 13:13:47 -0700 (PDT), Johnny1A
Post by Johnny1A
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s.
Sometimes, in limited circumstances. But you can't _rule_ with F-18s. If it becomes necessary to occupy an enemy state, or otherwise take actions that can't be accomplished with precision bombing, (and that always becomes necessary), then you're back to the same old need for infantry again.
Plus the high-tech style of warfare requires a vast economic and industrial infrastructure behind it to work. For every one F-18 flight, there is an intricate web of spare parts, fuel, personnel, money, organization, all of which requires people and a thriving economy to drive it. But that in turn is heavily dependent, over time, on the FFR.
Post by m***@sky.com
If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Only the details would vary.
For example, one of the problems facing the major Western states right now is that they are 'top heavy'. The number of young people paying for pensions and support is shrinking relative to the number receiving it. Likewise, the relatively low number of young people starting families and setting up homes puts a downward pressure on demand.
That's one of the reason the business classes want maximum immigration, they want to import both cheap labor and customers. But that generates intense backlash, cultural and linguistic and thus political.
You keep repeating this. Evidence? While my employer does use "cheap
labor" they are people from India who are for the most part living in
India, they are not immigrants and they are for the most part college
graduates, not laborers. "Cheap labor" generally does not have the
wherewithal to buy much either.
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
Another example of this issue is Turkey. One reason the Islamists like Erdogan have been beating out the relatively Westernized secularists there is quite simply that the former's supporters have been outbreeding the latter for a long time, changing the electorate's outlook at a whole.
Sorry, but religion is not hereditary.
Not strictly, no, but large families raised by religious
people tend to have a significant % of them remain in
that religion as adults. I'm one of the ones who rejected
the programming. My siblings who had kids have raised them
to be believers. Just one data point.
Many people I know rejected the programming and it goes both ways.
Friend of mine born into an atheist family of Jewish extraction ended
up a Catholic, for example. I don't buy that large families
automatically result in propagation of parental values. Depends on
how good a job the parents do of propagandizing the kids vs the job
their peers and the popular media and the schools do.
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Johnny1A
Japan is another polity that is facing major economic and social issues now because of low FFR in the past.
Anti-immigration folks in the US would have to deal with
[quote]
American women are having fewer babies.
Researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
reported Thursday that the national total fertility rate (TFR), an estimate
of how many babies the average woman will have, was 1.7655 in 2017. That’s
down from 1.8205 in 2016 and 1.8435 in 2015.
This matters because the population needs to have a TFR of 2,100 births
per 1,000 women to reproduce itself. If the U.S. wants a stable population,
it either needs more babies or more immigration.
[/quote]
http://fortune.com/2019/01/10/american-fertility-rate-drop/
Families in wealthier countries have fewer children and invest
more in each one, especially in their education. The answer to
"runaway population growth" is the "demographic transition."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition
Quite a bit of the "overpopulated Terra" stories with
a US TFR well above replacement rate dates to the era before
birth control was easily available and effective, and when
abortion other than in special circumstances was still
illegal.
Earth to Kevin--this is not news. However you seem to be taking it as
a given that declining population is undesirable.
Kevrob
2019-05-13 05:21:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Kevrob
Quite a bit of the "overpopulated Terra" stories with
a US TFR well above replacement rate dates to the era before
birth control was easily available and effective, and when
abortion other than in special circumstances was still
illegal.
Earth to Kevin--this is not news. However you seem to be taking it as
a given that declining population is undesirable.
In the frame of people's Social Security retirement benefits and
Medicare benefits being funded by an ever smaller cohort of workers
as the years go on it is a disadvantage. The "missing workers" have
been, and still can be replaced by immigrants, and I don't have
a problem with that, even if I'd tweak the system. I don't think a
stabilized or declining population is necessarily a bad idea. It might
have serious environmental benefits, for one thing. The trick is to
have increases in productivity per worker, and maintain or increase
inflation-adjusted per capita income. Historically, wages being
depressed and a lack of economic growth go together.

Average wages can go up when labor becomes scarce, but one example
would be the aftermath of the Black Death in Europe. We don't
want to deal with a catastrophe like that!

I'm not a supporter of the "social insurance" model that,
going back to Bismarck, relied on most potential recipients
dying before they became eligible to collect for solvency.
Paying for benefits from general revenues transforms the
"pension scheme" to a dole, though folks who considered
themselves middle-income while working might bristle at that.
Reforming the system is a Gordian knot, and every change has
either crashed and burned, or been of the "kick the can
down the road" variety.

The US economy is heavily dependent on activity associated
with population growth, such as building new housing. Changing
our tax system to make it neutral between those who borrow
to buy a house or condo v renting a living space brings howls,
and is one reason the "flat tax" has never flown. Without
immigrants moving into old housing that new homebuyers are
moving out of, a city can get "hollowed out." See Detroit
for an extreme example, but there are cities with declining
populations all over the map, while others increase. Internal
migration counts, too.

Kevin R
Johnny1A
2019-05-14 05:11:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 12 May 2019 13:13:47 -0700 (PDT), Johnny1A
Post by Johnny1A
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip]
Post by Johnny1A
There are some constants and semi-constants rooted in biology,
though. As long as humans reproduce the way we do, for ex, the
female fertility rate is absolutely critical. Which means that a
tendency toward mostly male militaries, for ex, might actually be
a structural tendency in the human race.
It seems likely that different procreational strategies available to
different individuals withing different human populations inform other
aspects of their individual and collective behavior, i.e. psychology,
politics, etc.
Within limits. There are certain constants, though, that you can't escape unless you completely rewire or bypass human reproductive biology.
One critical number is the 'female fertility rate' or FFR. This is usually defined as the _average_ number of offspring per fertile female in a population. For statistical convenience, it's usually assumed that the 'fertile period' is from about 15 to 45. Obviously a few babies are born to women younger or older than that, but the huge majority of babies are born in that period.
OK, for populations in fairly secure situations like the advanced Western nation-states, the key value is 2.10 or so. That is, as long as the FFR is 2.1, the population will hold steady over time, ignoring immigration and emigration. If the FFR rises above 2.1 your population will increase, if it drops below 2.1 it'll decrease over time. The further the FFR moves from 2.1, the faster the changes will happen, it's a compound interest effect.
If something pushes a culture's FFR below 2.1 and keeps it there over time, that culture is in trouble. This is very nearly a universal constant, it arises from the mathematics of biology. In theory immigration to the group can help, in practice it usually doesn't because cultures with FFRs below 2.1 tend to have trouble with assimilation, so there's a tendency for immigration to replace the culture rather than join it. Again, the bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Cultures with FFRs consistently above 2.1 are better at assimilation, everything else being equal, but don't need immigration as much to maintain their numbers.
The Empire of Man in the MOTE universe is no exception. If their FFR drops below replacement rate, the Empire is on track to collapse or extinction over time. Female equality in the economy and elsewhere hinges, to some degree, on the ability of a culture to maintain a viable FFR, because it doesn't matter _why_ the FFR is too low, it matters that it's too low.
Other things also arise from the hard laws of biology. One male can impregnate as many women as are willing to go along (or not, if he doesn't care about morality). One male can have 1000 women pregnant at once, in principle. But no matter how much sex she has, a woman can only have one baby (or a handful) at a time, and it takes 9 months each time, period.
So if something wipes out 20% of a culture's males...well, that hurts biodiversity and has other bad cultural effects, but it doesn't _necessarily_ cause a problem with the FFR. If something wipes 20% of the fertile females, that culture has been _hurt_.
Which means, crudely and oversimplistically, that from a societal POV, sons are expendable and daughters are not. Which, perversely, has operated to make the status and freedom of women historically much worse. But it's still a fact of life, not negotiable, unless you can bypass reproductive biology.
Why would the Empire operate on a male-only military model, after the social changes on Earth in the 20C and 21C? Well, the Earth was devastated by massive nuclear exchanges in the early 22C. The Empire was devastated again, worse, by the Secession Wars, many worlds knocked back to the Stone Age, most worlds badly damaged.
It's entirely plausible that the societies and cultures that protected their females from risk and pressured them toward motherhood outcompeted the others because of those hard biological imperatives, and so the Empire's way of doing things endured while the others went under.
Note too that it specifically is said in-story that the Imperial core worlds like Sparta are not as strict about it as the frontier worlds, which is precisely what you would expect. They didn't fall as far, have been recovered longer, and so have the luxury of relaxing the rules.
At the moment populations with few children are doing pretty well by educating those children to be technically productive - at considerable cost you can face down hordes armed with AK-47s using airstrikes from a few F-18s.
Sometimes, in limited circumstances. But you can't _rule_ with F-18s. If it becomes necessary to occupy an enemy state, or otherwise take actions that can't be accomplished with precision bombing, (and that always becomes necessary), then you're back to the same old need for infantry again.
Plus the high-tech style of warfare requires a vast economic and industrial infrastructure behind it to work. For every one F-18 flight, there is an intricate web of spare parts, fuel, personnel, money, organization, all of which requires people and a thriving economy to drive it. But that in turn is heavily dependent, over time, on the FFR.
Post by m***@sky.com
If an excellent education could be provided using largely machines, with little cost in time to either teachers or parents, the game would be considerably different.
Only the details would vary.
For example, one of the problems facing the major Western states right now is that they are 'top heavy'. The number of young people paying for pensions and support is shrinking relative to the number receiving it. Likewise, the relatively low number of young people starting families and setting up homes puts a downward pressure on demand.
That's one of the reason the business classes want maximum immigration, they want to import both cheap labor and customers. But that generates intense backlash, cultural and linguistic and thus political.
You keep repeating this. Evidence? While my employer does use "cheap
labor" they are people from India who are for the most part living in
India, they are not immigrants and they are for the most part college
graduates, not laborers. "Cheap labor" generally does not have the
wherewithal to buy much either.
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
Another example of this issue is Turkey. One reason the Islamists like Erdogan have been beating out the relatively Westernized secularists there is quite simply that the former's supporters have been outbreeding the latter for a long time, changing the electorate's outlook at a whole.
Sorry, but religion is not hereditary.
But culture, for the most part, approximately is. As a general rule, over time, children's beliefs, political views, etc. reflect those of their parents, even if it looks otherwise in their earlier years. Most people's outlook and attitudes in later life are far more like their parents than not, so much so that it tends not even to be noticed. People notice the 25% differences and don't register the 75% continuities.

Which is why cultures that, for whatever reason, encourage low FFR tend to be displaced by those who do not.
Kevrob
2019-05-13 05:22:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
TFR climbed in the 1950-1960 period, after hitting a trough due to
people postponing children during the Great Depression. Even with
young men mobilized during US involvement in WWII, births starting
rising over replacement starting in 1941, then boomed, to coin a
phrase, when Johnny came marching home.

See: https://www.prb.org/us-fertility/

https://assets.prb.org/pdf/USFertilityTrends2.pdf

[Population Reference Bureau]

By 1960, the Pill is available, and by 1965 laws restricting sales
of barrier contraceptives began to be struck down. [Griswold v CT]
When the next recessions hit, TFR really dropped.

Kevin R
Johnny1A
2019-05-14 05:17:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
This is the mirror image of the thriving economies of the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, BTW. Back then, the falling fertility rate, and the rising number of women in the work force, meant that there was a huge bulge of economically productive people supporting a relatively small group of retirees and other dependents. A lot of the modern welfare states' promises were shaped then. But the low FFR that enabled that surge of economic energy then also meant that fewer kids were being born, in one very real sense it could be looked at as borrowing against the future.
TFR climbed in the 1950-1960 period, after hitting a trough due to
people postponing children during the Great Depression. Even with
young men mobilized during US involvement in WWII, births starting
rising over replacement starting in 1941, then boomed, to coin a
phrase, when Johnny came marching home.
See: https://www.prb.org/us-fertility/
https://assets.prb.org/pdf/USFertilityTrends2.pdf
[Population Reference Bureau]
By 1960, the Pill is available, and by 1965 laws restricting sales
of barrier contraceptives began to be struck down. [Griswold v CT]
When the next recessions hit, TFR really dropped.
Kevin R
It isn't clear that that's the whole story, though. Many aspects of population demographics remain mysterious. For ex, the Western Roman Empire had a crash in fertility in its later centuries, that's part of why it fell, but nobody knows why for sure.

Over time, of course, Darwinian factors will bring the FFR back up. But that could take a long time.
J. Clarke
2019-05-04 12:27:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
Post by Johnny1A
Nor is the Empire of Man particularly authoritarian, as SFnal societies to
(or real ones, for that matter). It's fairly explicitly a constitutional
monarchy, the hereditary Emperor has real power, but he's not an absolute
potentate. There is an at least partially elected parliament (actually
several chambers of that body are mentioned), and in another story set in
the same universe, it's mentioned that there are republics, monarchies, and
everything else in the Empire at the planetary level. The Empire appears
to operate, more or less, by a rule of law. Not perfectly, but nothing is.
Yeah, yeah, and Heinlein was a fascist. Jeebus on a fucking pogo stick.
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is explicitly Christian (of some denomination), but other faiths
are present and tolerated and have legal rights.
*cough* Bury *cough*
Post by Johnny1A
The Empire is ruthless on a few points, such as no sucessions for any reason,
and their stated intention to politically unite the species. But they are
far from a ruthless autocracy, and they are prepared to compromise on the
means and the details.
Re: your correction to secessions and "ruthlessness"; the U. S. Civil War.
Post by Johnny1A
I would say the Empire is probably less 'authoritarian' than the majority
of real-world governments in the year 2019.
A sensible Emperor (whatever their title) makes damned sure the populace doesn't *want* to revolt.
This is the real strength of "democracy", it gives the populace the
illusion that it is revolting every few years.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-05-04 16:34:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
This is the real strength of "democracy", it gives the populace the
illusion that it is revolting every few years.
We stink on ice!
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
David Johnston
2019-05-04 15:04:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
I'm gonna vote thumbs down on that proposition. Some stories just don't
stand the test of time and I don't feel bad about saying so.

However, the Empire in the motie novels IS quaint. It was quaint when
the books first came out. It was an interstellar empire with mores
modeled on Victorian Britain. That makes it as quaint as steampunk, if
in a different way.
Miguel Farah F.
2019-05-06 21:27:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
I'm gonna vote thumbs down on that proposition. Some stories just don't
stand the test of time and I don't feel bad about saying so.
However, the Empire in the motie novels IS quaint. It was quaint when
the books first came out. It was an interstellar empire with mores
modeled on Victorian Britain. That makes it as quaint as steampunk, if
in a different way.
Well, was its quaintness a point of the story or was it critiziced back
when the book was out as well?
--
MIGUEL FARAH // ***@farah.cl
#include <disclaimer.h> // http://www.farah.cl/
<*>
"A parent is a person who will tell you to find yourself and also to
get lost."
- Alfred E. Neuman
Johnny1A
2019-05-07 05:01:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Miguel Farah F.
Post by David Johnston
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
I'm gonna vote thumbs down on that proposition. Some stories just don't
stand the test of time and I don't feel bad about saying so.
However, the Empire in the motie novels IS quaint. It was quaint when
the books first came out. It was an interstellar empire with mores
modeled on Victorian Britain. That makes it as quaint as steampunk, if
in a different way.
Well, was its quaintness a point of the story or was it critiziced back
when the book was out as well?
--
#include <disclaimer.h> // http://www.farah.cl/
<*>
"A parent is a person who will tell you to find yourself and also to
get lost."
- Alfred E. Neuman
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical 'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically exist in the future.
Thomas Koenig
2019-05-07 05:18:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
Dimensional Traveler
2019-05-07 14:39:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
p***@gmail.com
2019-05-07 14:51:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
Dimensional Traveler
2019-05-07 16:57:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
J. Clarke
2019-05-07 22:56:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-08 04:34:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.

An executive with near-dictatorial powers who could be voted out of office quickly for misbehaviour is not a contradiction in terms, but 20 years in office gives them plenty of time to pack the institutions with personal supporters - and various versions of bribery of parliament by the King or the Executive are pretty much common throughout history, with the bribery largely becoming more subtle rather than disappearing altogether.
Ahasuerus
2019-05-08 16:19:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 12:34:09 AM UTC-4, ***@sky.com wrote:
[snip]
Post by m***@sky.com
An executive with near-dictatorial powers who could be voted out
of office quickly for misbehaviour is not a contradiction in terms,
but 20 years in office gives them plenty of time to pack the
institutions with personal supporters [snip]
Nikita Khruschev's downfall in October 1964 is a good example of how
it can work. He had packed the Communist Party Central Committee and
its Presidium with his supporters after the 1957 attempt to oust him.
However, his appointees ultimately grew tired of his arbitrary rule
and formed a conspiracy to get rid of him.

Benito Mussolini's ouster in July 1943 -- when the Grand Council of
Fascism voted 19-8-1 to depose him -- was broadly similar.
J. Clarke
2019-05-08 22:30:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.
How quaint, another one who has bought into the silly notion that
replacing one politician with another politician while not replacing
the rest of the legislature brings about a change of government.
Post by m***@sky.com
An executive with near-dictatorial powers who could be voted out of office quickly for misbehaviour is not a contradiction in terms, but 20 years in office gives them plenty of time to pack the institutions with personal supporters - and various versions of bribery of parliament by the King or the Executive are pretty much common throughout history, with the bribery largely becoming more subtle rather than disappearing altogether.
So? The point is that shooting him leaves his toadies in power.
Shooting an actual absolute monarch puts a different absolute monarch
in place.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-09 04:36:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.
How quaint, another one who has bought into the silly notion that
replacing one politician with another politician while not replacing
the rest of the legislature brings about a change of government.
The fall of Margaret Thatcher coincided with large changes in the policy that finally brought her down, the Poll Tax/Community Charge, which would have changed the funding of local government from central government to regional taxes. This was her reaction to the growth of very left wing local governments, and would have been a major change. A more honest politician than Tony Blair would not have been able to bring Britain into the second Iraq War. Individual political leaders do matter.
J. Clarke
2019-05-09 10:45:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.
How quaint, another one who has bought into the silly notion that
replacing one politician with another politician while not replacing
the rest of the legislature brings about a change of government.
The fall of Margaret Thatcher coincided with large changes in the policy that finally brought her down, the Poll Tax/Community Charge, which would have changed the funding of local government from central government to regional taxes. This was her reaction to the growth of very left wing local governments, and would have been a major change. A more honest politician than Tony Blair would not have been able to bring Britain into the second Iraq War. Individual political leaders do matter.
They matter but removing them does not remove the part of the
government that makes laws.
Johnny1A
2019-05-11 03:34:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.
Yeah, but there are problems that arise from the constitutional structure of a state, and problems that arise because of more basic issues. The UK system is locking up for exactly the same reason that the United States government can't get its act together, for the same reason the yellow vests have been rioting in Paris and Orban is driving Brussels buggy. Only the details vary.

All the major Western nation-states are being riven by power struggles between factions that have _incompatible_ goals. You can't compromise between goals that are diametrically opposite. It's made worse because the conflicts are increasingly forming up along lines of social and economic class.

From the POV of a hard-core Brexiteer, Theresa May is trying to save the EU. They want hard Brexit, which the ruling class in London, the bureaucracy, most of the elected officials, much of the upper business elites, don't want. They want to do as soft a Brexit as possible, preferably an 'in name only' that would leave a wide path open to fully rejoining later.

That's why Theresa May keeps trying to push her 'deal' through, word is she's planning a _fourth_ attempt in the near future, if she can't work some kind of deal with Corbyn. Normally, she'd have been gone by now, but from her POV she _can'_ resign, her mandate is to block Brexit (de facto if not de jure).

This is bidding fair to tear the Tories apart, but it's just the same argument that's churning the waters everywhere. In America, the GOP's wheels are grinding and the warning lights are coming on, because the dominant business elites of the party want more 'free trade', more and more immigration, more social liberalism, etc, while the rank and file GOP voters increasingly (and ever more angrily) want _less_ of each of those things. The Dems are splitting too, on many of the same issues, though you won't see in as much on TV or in the old media.

It doesn't matter how good or bad your constitutional arrangements are when they start to run into irreconcilable differences. It's like a car. A car can have a bad steering system and crash because of it, but no steering system, no matter how good or well-designed and well-made, will help if multiple people are struggling for control of the steering wheel.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-11 05:28:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 7 May 2019 09:57:11 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
There are benefits in that the leader will have much more appreciation of
long-term results than someone who has to face election every few years. OTOH,
their desired long-term result can be in conflict with the desires of the mass
of the population. At times the ruler may be right, but it can also happen
that the ruler serves his/her own personal interests at the cost of the
majority of the population.
I can't think of any form of government where that isn't a danger.
The benefit of a monarchy is that it only takes one bullet to effect a
change of government. Whether that change will be beneficial is
another story.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can usually be voted out of office very quickly. (As you would imagine, there are some practical complications, especially in the UK with the Fixed Term Parliament Act). At the moment, however, our Parliamentary system is not looking at its best, because it is gridlocking Brexit due to lack of agreement - although whether that gridlocking is a feature or a bug in general might be arguable.
Yeah, but there are problems that arise from the constitutional structure of a state, and problems that arise because of more basic issues. The UK system is locking up for exactly the same reason that the United States government can't get its act together, for the same reason the yellow vests have been rioting in Paris and Orban is driving Brussels buggy. Only the details vary.
All the major Western nation-states are being riven by power struggles between factions that have _incompatible_ goals. You can't compromise between goals that are diametrically opposite. It's made worse because the conflicts are increasingly forming up along lines of social and economic class.
From the POV of a hard-core Brexiteer, Theresa May is trying to save the EU. They want hard Brexit, which the ruling class in London, the bureaucracy, most of the elected officials, much of the upper business elites, don't want. They want to do as soft a Brexit as possible, preferably an 'in name only' that would leave a wide path open to fully rejoining later.
That's why Theresa May keeps trying to push her 'deal' through, word is she's planning a _fourth_ attempt in the near future, if she can't work some kind of deal with Corbyn. Normally, she'd have been gone by now, but from her POV she _can'_ resign, her mandate is to block Brexit (de facto if not de jure).
This is bidding fair to tear the Tories apart, but it's just the same argument that's churning the waters everywhere. In America, the GOP's wheels are grinding and the warning lights are coming on, because the dominant business elites of the party want more 'free trade', more and more immigration, more social liberalism, etc, while the rank and file GOP voters increasingly (and ever more angrily) want _less_ of each of those things. The Dems are splitting too, on many of the same issues, though you won't see in as much on TV or in the old media.
It doesn't matter how good or bad your constitutional arrangements are when they start to run into irreconcilable differences. It's like a car. A car can have a bad steering system and crash because of it, but no steering system, no matter how good or well-designed and well-made, will help if multiple people are struggling for control of the steering wheel.
The solution for multiple struggling drivers goes back at least as far as Livy's histories (I wonder if he highlighted this to please Augustus?) Chose just one person, and give them dictatorial powers. What the Romans _didn't_ have was a way to keep that one person on the rails. Term limits worked until just before Caesar, at which point it became obvious that there was sufficient power provided to extend the term indefinitely. I wonder about a dictator, a nominated deputy (which the Romans might have called master of the horse) and an official whose only power would be to depose the dictator in favour of the deputy - at any time. This is lightweight enough that it could be also be used for military commanders - whose independence was another problem the Romans had.
Joy Beeson
2019-05-13 02:24:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Term limits worked until just before Caesar, at which point it became obvious that there was sufficient power provided to extend the term indefinitely.
Perhaps it would work to insist that the dictator have lots and lots
of experience before you install him in office. Say, eighty years of
experience.

And have at least three geezers understudying him.
--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
Johnny1A
2019-05-11 03:21:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Johnny1A
There were people who criticized it for the aristocratic and
hereditary elements, usually on the premise that historical
'progress' is linear and thus such a state can't realistically
exist in the future.
Of course, from a German perspective, there is always the
Wilhelm II counter-example to "born rulers are better".
I'm wondering if anyone can see a benefit of having a national leader
who has been in training for the position for 20 or so years by the
previous national leader.
In theory, yes. In practice, it's iffy.

The thing is that the skills needed to be an effective monarch (or president or PM or whatever) are 'people' skills, the ability to read people, the ability to accurately estimate your relative power, to know when to talk and when to shut up, to know when the stand fast and when to cut a deal. They're learned partly by observation and partly by doing and some people are naturally better at them than others.

So it's kind of hard to say that being 'trained for the job' is advantageous. Sometimes it might be, sometimes it'll be a downside.
Johnny1A
2019-05-07 05:00:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by ***@bid.nes
Post by Johnny1A
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
It's kind of pointless to say that the all-male military of the Empire is
'quaint' when we don't even know if today's gender attitudes are going to
be lasting or ephemeral. The female fertility issues and demographic
problems of the modern West don't look promising on that point. The
Empire's gender attitudes are quite believable given their history.
Is anyone else getting REAL tired of older stories being judged by today's "Progressive" standards?
I'm gonna vote thumbs down on that proposition. Some stories just don't
stand the test of time and I don't feel bad about saying so.
However, the Empire in the motie novels IS quaint. It was quaint when
the books first came out. It was an interstellar empire with mores
modeled on Victorian Britain. That makes it as quaint as steampunk, if
in a different way.
I wouldn't say its mores were all that Victorian, except in the broadest way. Pournelle deliberately 'framed' the setting to produce a situation a little like conditions around the year 1900, in terms of travel time and communications. But the moral outlooks and attitudes of the Imperial characters are not in fact very Victorian.
Joe Morris
2019-05-09 14:13:49 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
Thanks for reminding me I needed to reread -- it's been years. Silly question,
but I can't think of the story they refer to in Chapter 22:

Perhaps all proper names sound alike to us. Or we may have the
word for arm....There was a classic story about that, so old
that it probably came fom the preatomic days.

Anybody know what they are referring to? Thanks in advance
--
Joe Morris Atlanta history blog
***@gmail.com http://atlhistory.com
James Nicoll
2019-05-09 14:19:10 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
Thanks for reminding me I needed to reread -- it's been years. Silly question,
Perhaps all proper names sound alike to us. Or we may have the
word for arm....There was a classic story about that, so old
that it probably came fom the preatomic days.
Anybody know what they are referring to? Thanks in advance
An apocraphal story about an explorer recording as the name for the object
he was pointing at the local term "your finger, you idiot."
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Steve Coltrin
2019-05-09 16:42:22 UTC
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begin fnord
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Joe Morris
Perhaps all proper names sound alike to us. Or we may have the
word for arm....There was a classic story about that, so old
that it probably came fom the preatomic days.
Anybody know what they are referring to? Thanks in advance
An apocraphal story about an explorer recording as the name for the object
he was pointing at the local term "your finger, you idiot."
There's a lake in Australia whose English name means "go away" in the
(now extinct) local lingo.
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-09 22:42:38 UTC
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Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
In one of those odd coincidences, I sent tor email asking if they'd like
a look at Mote, only to discover Alan Brown beat me to it.
https://www.tor.com/2019/04/25/first-contact-goes-awry-the-mote-in-gods-eye-and-the-gripping-hand-by-larry-niven-and-jerry-pournelle/
Thanks for reminding me I needed to reread -- it's been years. Silly question,
Perhaps all proper names sound alike to us. Or we may have the
word for arm....There was a classic story about that, so old
that it probably came fom the preatomic days.
Anybody know what they are referring to? Thanks in advance
An apocraphal story about an explorer recording as the name for the object
he was pointing at the local term "your finger, you idiot."
Or as told by Sir Terry Pratchett:
<https://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Your_Finger_You_Fool>

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7702913.stm>
displays a road sign in Wales. Spoiler space?

"I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work
to be translated".

<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-47959424>
describes consternation at a supermarket display sign
which was supposed to (and did) say "Alcohol Free".
Well, to be honest, if they put that up here in
Scotland, we'd say, "Close enough."
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