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A look into the future

Very interesting essay by Herb Meyer on where the world is going and why, which boils down to culture and demographics. RTWT and come on back.

There are a number of things I found interesting about Meyer's briefing. One was the omission of India, which is slowly following the rest of the Anglosphere into the 21st century despite a lot of religious and ethnic problems. India started out in the same hole as the UK, hobbled by a bunch of Ingsoc crapthink regarding nationalised industries, but they've been slowly shedding that load and becoming more like America. They still have a lot of poor and uneducated folks, but that's changing. Best case, they wind up like us and Australia. Worst case, they fall apart from the ethnic/religious strife or get into a nuclear pissing contest with the PRC or Pakistan.

Meyer also left off Africa and Latin America, but that's not too surprising. Brazil has a lot of the same problems as India except without the religious/ethnic conflict, and seems to be making progress, if slowly. Chile is pretty much ready to join the First World. The rest of the continent is pretty screwed up and (except for Colombia) getting worse. In Africa, it's worse. The best thing that could happen to a lot of Africans is the revival of the British Empire, but I don't see that happening. The future of Africa will be full of death, disease, dictators, tl;dr.

Japan's population implosion has a couple of possible solutions. While the Japanese discourage immigration, it happens anyway, and this may solve part of their problem as expat Japanese or Koreans migrate to the Home Islands. The Japanese are also nuts about robots, and a lot of their workforce may be made up of robots in the future. Finally, one of the things that happens in Japan every so often when there's a crisis is a religious revival, one that often spawns new religions or offshoots of the dominant Buddhist/Shinto synthesis. It's possible that they could have a Great Awakening similar to the evangelical movement in America, which could give their birthrate a shot in the arm; they could also pioneer the use of artificial wombs and deal with it that way.

Europe, well, they're going to be majority Muslim in about a century unless something spectacularly ugly and bloody happens. OTOH, nobody does spectacular bloody ugliness like the Euros. (Cf. Naziism, Communism, World Wars I & II, etc.)

For Russia, read: Northern Chinese Resource Area.

(Maggie's Farm)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
materia_indigo
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
I saw another omission in regard to Japan and its shrinking population: its limited land-space and the fact that it is packed to the gills with people. After having been there, I can see why they're not eager to grow. For that matter, how much can any nation expand its population without encountering problems?

Speaking for myself, my reasons for not having kids are numerous and complex and would probably require a large team of sociologists, psychologists, and pastoral councelors to untangle.
wombat_socho
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
I'd say it all depends on the level of technology your society has achieved. People who can use factory farms to crank out mountains of grain and kilotons of inexpensive meat are going to be able to support more people than people who are scratching at the earth with sticks.

I've never asked people why they do or don't have kids. It's too personal, and I'm not a big enough schmuck to enjoy prying into peoples' lives like that.
materia_indigo
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Well, maybe I'll tell you about it sometime anyway.

Hmmm ... I just thought of something. I picked up volume 1 of "Doki Doki School Hours" at AD. The protagonist is a 27-year-old who lives with her parents (not married; no kids). I wonder if anyone has done a study on the age/aging demographics of anime characters. For instance, many of the central (that is, POV) characters in FMA are around 30 years old. Is there much precedence for that? Or are anime characters aging along with the population?
wombat_socho
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
If you want/need to talk about it, I'm here for you. It's just that I'm not going to be a dumb ass and go "So when are you and Mike having kids?". You have relatives for that, amirite?

It's possible that anime characters are aging with the population, but it's also possible that we're seeing more anime & manga aimed at adults and not teenagers now.

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