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Future Perfect by express042

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I just finished "Future Perfect" by express042. It's the longest story I read to the end on SOL. It's very good.

It has technical flaws (I'm not talking about typos), but they're easily overlooked. However, if you ever wanted proof why not to use anything other than "said" as a dialogue tag, this story will highlight why.

Toward the end, there's a plot hole. I guess you can call it that. People who speak different languages all of a sudden are talking to each other and understanding. I sent the author feedback about it, but he didn't reply so I don't know if he's still active here.

Grant

If you enjoyed that story, Oceania is even better.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Grant

Oceania is even better.


Thanks.

Vlad_Inhaler

Not an author who ever registered on my radar but it looks strange - for a while he was blogging and posting away, then he stopped. Christmas 2011. He must have still been logging in two years later though.
He had a teenage son according to his blog, that would indicate he was not a pensioner.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@Vlad_Inhaler


He had a teenage son according to his blog, that would indicate he was not a pensioner.


While most fathers of teenagers are not pensioners, there are some examples of that not being the case.

John Tyler (10th president of the US) had four children after he was 60. Lyon Gardiner Tyler (one of those four) had two children after he was 70.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@AmigaClone

Ageing rock stars eg the Strolling Bones, are proving to be prolific breeders well into their dotages.

AJ

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@awnlee jawking

Depending on how fertile they are men can breed until they die. Women on the other hand stop breeding after menopause kicks in around their 40's or so.(not sure of the age)

Dominions Son

@docholladay

The age is not fixed, like on-set of puberty, it varies significantly from individual to individual.

I've heard of women hitting menopause in their mid to late 30s, and other women have given birth well into their 60s.

docholladay

@Dominions Son

The point is that the menopause stops or ends the breeding chances for women, a biological process. Sure like many other things in life it varies from one person to the next.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@docholladay

With frozen eggs/embryos and womb transplants there's no reason why women couldn't give birth well beyond the traditional menopause.

The question is, with an overpopulated planet and so many children compared to so few potential adopters, how can such scientific advances be considered ethical?

AJ

Dominions Son

@docholladay

The point is that the menopause stops or ends the breeding chances for women


If that was the entire point, why even include the bits about the age when it kicks in?

Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

Now I've got myself wondering if there is a correlation between age of on-set of puberty and age of on-set of menopause.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

how can such scientific advances be considered ethical?


In the story (getting back to the story), the unethical scientists were covertly sterilizing the males and making babies in the lab from DNA.

John Demille

@awnlee jawking

The question is, with an overpopulated planet and so many children compared to so few potential adopters, how can such scientific advances be considered ethical?


Knowing what we know now, I wouldn't call earth over populated. Each person born bring more abundance to the planet. The world is way more abundant now than what it was in the 80s for example.

Check out this site for more info. https://www.humanprogress.org/

The population expansion in the world is slowing down considerably. By 2040 (2050 on the outside) the whole world's population will start shrinking. China cancelled its one child policy and now trying to figure out how to get women to have more kids so that they don't have to import people.

In the near future the biggest problem is going to be population collapse. A lot of the world works on the premise of ever more people. The west is already in turmoil because of low birth rates (below replacements) and are doing their best to import people to prop up their populations.

So you bet that these advances are ethical. The world is going to need them desperately soon. Great advances in artificial wombs are now being achieved and soon we'll have to deal with the ethical question of creating more people in artificial wombs and having to manage to raise them.

The pessimists get heard more because people seem to believe them more than optimists, but so far it's optimists who've been right. The release of the book 'The population bomb' in the 60s triggered a lot of bad policies (like sterilizing people and the one child policy of china) among many things and if you observe the world today, it's way way better than 50 years ago. Extreme poverty has almost been eliminated from the whole planet. Only 8% of people are living at that level now despite the world having more than doubled in populations since the 60s when 40% of people lived in extreme poverty.

Replies:   Keet  awnlee jawking  Grant  Tw0Cr0ws
Keet

@John Demille

A lot of the world works on the premise of ever more people.

And that is the root of the problem. No matter how you look at it there are already too many people on this planet. The population should shrink back to around 5 billion to be able to maintain a sustainable environment for all. Remember, humans and cattle are the biggest polluters on this planet by just breathing and shitting.

awnlee jawking

@John Demille

Charles Koch needs to invest more money in his website because it takes an eternity to load.

As befits a right-wing propaganda site, it's long on rhetoric but short on facts. Its stock answer is that no problems matter because human ingenuity will sort them out, ignoring the fact that it would only take one extinction-level event to wipe out the human race.

Here in the 'other west', we're being flooded by unwanted migrants, we're concreting over our countryside and arable land for housing, we're being 'encouraged' to limit our energy and water usage, and we're urged to go veggie because of the environmental cost of red meat animals.

Even the outbreaks of gang violence seems related to population density. There's a reason why the happiest places to live have low population densities - New Zealand and Canada regularly appear at the top of the leaderboard.

AJ

Grant

@John Demille

In the near future the biggest problem is going to be population collapse. A lot of the world works on the premise of ever more people.

You're talking about economics.

Everyone else here is talking about the planet- which has finite resources.
Traditional economics relies on growth, growth that increases year after year. In nature the only things that do that are cancers, plagues, and pandemics. All things that result in a catastrophic collapse.

richardshagrin

@Grant

Everyone else here is talking about the planet- which has finite resources.


One of the themes of Science Fiction is the discovery of resources in the solar system and later in other solar systems and the spread of humanity to the stars. (Actually, the planets and other bodies around them, the stars are too hot to live on.)

John Demille

@Grant

You're talking about economics.


Not just economics. Who's going to take care of all those old people? In the west currently (including the US and Canada) birth rates are at below replacement level. In Canada it's 1.6 and dropping. If Canada doesn't import people (via migration) then the population will be declining as of now.

Thanks to modern technology and medicine, people live longer than ever and the kicker is, that while they live longer than ever, they never live and die like before, now it's a very protracted and prolonged decline that uses many many resources. Why did old governments set the retirement age at 65? Because few people lived that long 50 years ago.

By the time my kids are established adults in about 30 years, people over 65 will be the majority. There won't be enough people to take care of the elderly. We're going to definitely need robots.

Everyone else here is talking about the planet- which has finite resources.

Traditional economics relies on growth, growth that increases year after year. In nature the only things that do that are cancers, plagues, and pandemics. All things that result in a catastrophic collapse.


I love nihilistic and pessimistic people.

I'm not aware of a single thing yet that we had to stop doing because we ran out of something on earth (except helium) and we couldn't find an alternative (resource or method). For every thing the market manages to find a solution. Market economics provide the incentives and human ingenuity finds the way. When something becomes scarce enough, its price rises enough to give people enough incentive to find an alternative resource or way to do things.

Nihilists don't think in this way. They think that (for example) we're running out of copper. Humans will extract every last copper ounce from earth and sell it at $1 per kilo like a long time ago, and when we can't find anymore, we'll just throw our hands in the airs and sigh and say 'We're done, no more copper' and give up.

It doesn't work that way.

Copper is getting rarer. Its price is going up quite a bit, people are conserving it for the most important things and starting to find and reuse what we've used and discarded; and many of the things we used copper for previously we're now using other material after we've done our research.

When China blocked the export of rare earths in 2011 their price spiked high enough that people went really looking somewhere else and found it. Japan found enough rare earths at the bottom of the ocean to last over 800 years at current consumption levels.

Materials that don't evaporate into space like helium remain on earth and when there is enough need, people find a way to reuse whatever was consumed.

Did you know that today humans plant 10% less land than in the 60s despite the population expansion?

Do you know what the solution to global warming will eventually be? It's the opposite of what you think. It's more grazing animals. You can laugh. Go ahead, I know you will, but it's true.

Grazing animals in large herds help sequester a lot of carbon in the soil as grass roots. Look it up. You know what, I know you won't look it up. I've done it for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Watch the video.

@awnlee jawking

Do you really think that western governments would have a problem keeping unwanted migrants out if they didn't want them? They really really want those migrants and they only talk against it to save face with the portion of the population that is against it.

Switch Blayde

@John Demille

By the time my kids are established adults in about 30 years, people over 65 will be the majority.


Which will break social security.

Tw0Cr0ws

@John Demille

China cancelled its one child policy and now trying to figure out how to get women to have more kids so that they don't have to import people.


It took the Chinese a long time to realize that they messed up there.
They now have a surplus of males to females (somewhere between 40 million and 300 million) and no war to fight where they can carry the day with a massive human wave attack no matter the losses.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Grant
Updated:

@John Demille

Not just economics. Who's going to take care of all those old people?

That is economics- the tax base is shrinking.

Grazing animals in large herds help sequester a lot of carbon in the soil as grass roots. Look it up. You know what, I know you won't look it up. I've done it for you:


Unfortunately he's like those before & after weight loss testimonials, lots of anecdotal claims, but little if any actual independent results that support his claims. And when people actually visit the places he's talking about in the video, the reality doesn't match his claims.

Grazing animals in large herds help sequester a lot of carbon in the soil as grass roots.

No, they help release it in to the atmosphere.

And in order for grass to grow & absorb carbon, it needs water, and the right temperature. Higher temperatures above it's ideal zone, and it becomes stressed & it grows less. No water, it doesn't grow at all.
And the ability of grasses to absorb carbon are much less than that of trees.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille
Updated:

@Grant


And in order for grass to grow & absorb carbon, it needs water, and the right temperature. Higher temperatures above it's ideal zone, and it becomes stressed & it grows less. No water, it doesn't grow at all.

And the ability of grasses to absorb carbon are much less than that of trees.


I haven't seen the areas that he shows in his videos but I've seen where I grew up. While growing up, it was a known fact that you want to keep the animals from over-grazing and that under grazed lands quickly lost its vegetation and was left with nothing but cactuses. So people got sheep herds to graze their unplanted lands.

So my own personal experience with what he's talking about makes me believe him.

Can you point me to the articles that disproves his theory? I would like to read them if you can.

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@John Demille

While growing up, it was a known fact that you want to keep the animals from over-grazing and that under grazed lands quickly lost its vegetation and was left with nothing but cactuses.

The control of weeds and invasive species is a whole different kettle of fish.
Likewise the efforts required to maintain vegetation in areas that aren't best suited to it.

Can you point me to the articles that disproves his theory?

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2017-2-march-april/feature/allan-savory-says-more-cows-land-will-reverse-climate-change

The fact is grazing itself isn't the issue- Intense rotational grazing has been done successfully for years.
It's his claims that increasing the stocking rates on already degraded pastures just doesn't stack up- the system he advocates is actually similar to Intense Rotational grazing, which works when done correctly, because the grazed land is never allowed to be grazed to the point of becoming degraded, and after is it grazed it is allowed to recover by not being grazed as the stock are moved to new healthy land- which allows the heavily grazed land to recover.

The biggest issue is his claims of carbon retention just don't add up. Carbon is only retained when it's held in the vegetation. When the vegetation is eaten, it is released again.

Vlad_Inhaler

@Tw0Cr0ws

and no war to fight where they can carry the day with a massive human wave attack no matter the losses.

I hope you're not serious.
At least the Chinese don't go the Indian way - rape has always been a part of the subculture and is increasing.
I read a book years ago from an Irish woman who cycled from Ireland to India back around 1962 - yes, she took ferries where necessary. She had problems with wolves in Yugoslavia, thought Bulgaria was a lot like home, had problems with mullahs in Kurdish areas and *loved* Afghanistan. Pakistan was too restrictive for women,
then she went to India. She smiled at a passer by and he tried to rape her. Her name is Dervla Murphy, the book "Full Tilt".

Replies:   Tw0Cr0ws
John Demille

@Grant

Can you point me to the articles that disproves his theory?



https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2017-2-march-april/feature/allan-savory-says-more-cows-land-will-reverse-climate-change

The fact is grazing itself isn't the issue- Intense rotational grazing has been done successfully for years.


I read it. The article is a very lopsided opinion piece with no science and no proof of any kind.

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son

@Grant

Carbon is only retained when it's held in the vegetation.


Really? What do you think animals are made out of?

Replies:   Grant
Switch Blayde

Again getting back to the story, I forgot to mention Ayn Rand would have loved it.

awnlee jawking

@John Demille

Do you really think that western governments would have a problem keeping unwanted migrants out if they didn't want them?


Yes. We have the English Channel, which is better than your putative wall, but the population is still increasing between 250,000 and 500,000 a year, depending on which source you believe.

Unlimited immigration has been shown to benefit most countries except those with most developed economies (top 10% or so). For those it's a drag.

We had an economically illiterate left-wing government which encouraged unlimited immigration in the hope that immigrant tax receipts would fund a golden era of public services. The actual result was that their net welfare costs etc marginally outweighed tax receipts, and a large outflow of money the immigrants sent home to India, Pakistan, Poland, Romania etc was subsequently lost to the economy.

Together with the bank-created recession, public services and infrastructure are pretty much in a state of collapse, very far from a golden era :(

AJ

Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


public services and infrastructure are pretty much in a state of collapse


We're heading straight for politics here, one of the nonos in the posting rules. I will say this though, what you are describing was a deliberate policy by an old Etonite called David Cameron.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
John Demille
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Unlimited immigration has been shown to benefit most countries except those with most developed economies (top 10% or so). For those it's a drag.


Unlimited immigration only benefits countries with a small or no social umbrella. Developed economies tend to have extensive social umbrellas for their citizens because they can afford it usually at the time of the creation of the umbrella.

Any country, big or small, that extends full, unlimited welfare to newly arrived low-skill immigrants, is asking for trouble if it has open borders.

Any country that doesn't want a flood of unproductive immigrants can simply instate rules that doesn't allow welfare to unauthorized immigrants. Any hungry invaders can be rounded up and give the choice between strict food allowance or going back to their countries. That cuts off any flood of unwanted immigrants. You don't have to repel them at the borders, just don't offer them free food and shelter. Those who work and become useful and productive will come and stay; and those who are looking for a free lunch like the majority of economic migrants flooding the west will stay put in their countries because the trek isn't easy.

Once a country has a welfare system, it can't allow unfettered access to its land to all comers. People go where they can survive the easiest.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

You're right - I got carried away.

Thanks for the reality check.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@John Demille

Any country that doesn't want a flood of unproductive immigrants can simply instate rules that doesn't allow welfare to unauthorized immigrants. Any hungry invaders can be rounded up and give the choice between strict food allowance or going back to their countries.


We signed up to European Human Rights Laws. While good as an academic concept, implementing them in a way that's fair to everyone is problematical :(

AJ

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@awnlee jawking

Nothing can ever be fair to 'everyone'. There is always a winner and a loser.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@John Demille

There is always a winner and a loser.

Sometimes everyone is a loser.

Nothing is certain except death and taxes, and they are working on death.

Grant

@John Demille

I read it. The article is a very lopsided opinion piece with no science and no proof of any kind.

Just like the video you posted.
Although the article does have the advantage of quoting various people, giving their names & their qualifications- so you could check them out.

Grant
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Carbon is only retained when it's held in the vegetation.


Really? What do you think animals are made out of?

Protein, calcium, all sorts of other stuff.

Yes, most Earth organisms are Carbon based. And much of the Carbon we consume, we release again; where as with plants the net effect is to store carbon.
Plants retain carbon, we pass it on.

So the grass stores carbon, and animals eating it release it again.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Tw0Cr0ws
Updated:

@Vlad_Inhaler

They are becoming more expansionist and not so totally inward focused, and have been described as becoming more fascist in recent years.

At one time the USSR thought they might end up in a war with China, as one Soviet diplomat told someone I knew:
"The first day we would kill so many, the second day we would use nuclear weapons and kill so many million, the third day we would use nuclear weapons and kill so many million, the fourth day we would use nuclear weapons and kill so many million, the fifth day we would use nuclear weapons and kill so many million and they would be in Moscow."
Yes, he was exaggerating, but the point is that they can absorb losses in numbers that would wipe most other countries off the planet.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@Tw0Cr0ws

Solzhenitsyn wrote essays about the Chinese Menace at around the same time, probably not in those words though.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Grant


Protein, calcium, all sorts of other stuff.


Do you have any idea what protein is made of? Mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/proteins.html

The bulk of any animal's body mass is made up of just 4 elements, Hydrogen, oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon.

So the grass stores carbon, and animals eating it release it again.


While animals do release some carbon to the atmosphere in the through respiration, they also store a good bit through their body mass.

And for food/prey animals in particular, the majority of that carbon is not released to the atmosphere, but passed on to other animals.

Replies:   BlacKnight
BlacKnight

@Dominions Son

Animals don't typically significantly increase body mass after reaching adulthood. Most of the carbon animals take in over the course of their lives is not stored in their flesh, but burned to fuel their active metabolism and re-released.

Plants don't move around much, and tend to keep growing for their entire lives, so a much higher proportion of the carbon they take in is turned directly into plant matter and stays there until the plant is burned, eaten, or rots away.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@BlacKnight

Animals don't typically significantly increase body mass after reaching adulthood


Mammals tend to have a finite adult size, but many reptiles, fish, shellfish(lobsters) will keep growing as long as they live.

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