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Dismal Science Saint Patrick's Day
March 17, 2021
by William P. Meyers

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Nature Bats Last

"Theorists almost always assume that they are cleverer than natural selection. That is usually a mistake."

—Francis Crick [Certain Aspects of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Cerebral Cortex, in Parallel Distributed Processing, MIT Press, 1986]

There are a lot of people around who think they are cleverer than natural selection. People who think windmills or solar cells will save the world even if people keep breeding, for instance.

Pressures build and maybe the pot will boil over. Or maybe it will explode.

When Ireland boiled over during the potato famine the Irish boiled into the United States in the 1840s. Native Americans may complain, but they probably boiled over into America from East Asia back when. Over thousands of years they developed the potato, which allowed Ireland to have a (temporary) population boom.

There are two nations today that have populations larger than that of the entire world back in 1800.

A bottleneck is coming. My hope is that science and civilization will survive, but that may not be. Just as likely we are headed to a Dark Ages that will make 6th century Europe look like utopia. It is hard to imagine an organization more evil than the combination of the Catholic Church and the monarchies that ruled over Europe in the Dark Ages, but there could be. Depends on how one defines evil.

The human brain and mind are still very much a mystery. Despite a billion or so years of evolution, or perhaps because of it, our ability to fail to learn is as amazing as what at least some of us have managed to learn. For instance, the idiots who run Seattle don't seem to have the slightest idea how to build enough housing for everyone. The causes of homelessness are both simple and complex.

Nature bats last is an old Earth First! slogan. I think nature is just warming up. I wish nature would just bat to death people I don't like, but I am pretty sure Nature believes in collective punishment. I am against collective punishment. Famine generally punishes everyone, except hoarders. I can't blame people for doing some hoarding at this point. Being prepared is not just alright, it is a positive attribute.

The election of Joe Biden made me feel better, but I don't see any possibility of a good outcome for humanity without a one-child policy. And even with a one-child policy I expect things to get pretty grim for a few decades.

This blog was intended to be about philosophy of mind how the brain generates consciousness. Hence the Crick quote. It went off the rails pretty fast. It is hard not to think about the future. And the future is grim. We are in a slow motion apocalypse.

So even when the weather is nice, even when I have had a nice long walk like I had today, it is hard to stay in a good mental space long.

Times they are a changing. Food fight meant people with too much food throwing food at each other for fun. Soon it will revert to its original meaning: fighting over too little food.

At least that should be the end of Weight Watchers and similar bull.

Think before you act. But don't let thought immobilize you.

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