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Filmed on Friday August 13, 02004

Phillip Longman

The Depopulation Problem

See our blog for updates on tickets and other media; tickets will go on sale one month before the Seminar.

The depopulation problem

Full PDF of the talk here, slideshow here.

No need to summarize this time. Phillip Longman wrote out his whole talk, with the illustrations more viewable even than they were at the Seminar and talk. (excerpt below)

It is full of rethink-the-news sentences like: “Notice that Japan’s lengthening recession began just as continuously falling fertility rates at last caused its working-age population to begin shrinking in relative size.”

One thing worth adding from the Q&A at Phil’s public lecture August 13th. Kevin Kelly asked him what he thought the world might feel like in 100 years.

“People a century from now will have so few blood relatives I think it could be very lonely.” The audience, convinced by then, was utterly still.

Excerpt from Longman's talk:

"So where will the children of the future come from? Some biologists speculate that modern human beings have created an environment in which the “fittest”, or most successful, individuals are precisely those who have few, if any, offspring. As more and more humans find themselves living under conditions in which children have become costly impediments to success, those who are well adapted to this new environment will tend not to reproduce themselves. And many others who are not so successful will imitate them.

But this hardly implies extinction. Some people will still have children. They just won’t be people highly motivated by material concerns or secular values. Disproportionately, the parents of the future will be people who are at odds with the modern environment – people who either “don’t get” the new rules of the game that make large families a liability or who, out of religious or chauvinistic conviction, reject the game altogether. In short people like Mormons. "

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SALT Summaries Book

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Condensed ideas about long-term thinking summarized by Stewart Brand
(with Kevin Kelly, Alexander Rose and Paul Saffo) and a foreword by Brian Eno.

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