Discovery Channel terrorist damages an important idea

Posted on: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 21:19 By: Tom Swiss

This morning, while I was doing my usual Wednesday 10k-ish run my mind wandered all about, as it usually does. If I were a "real" runner I suppose I'd be worrying about improving my stride or something, but as a dilettante, all kinds of stuff goes through my head.

I was thinking about the need for (gentle! voluntary!) population control, about how mainstream economists insist we need to keep the population growing so we have enough younger workers to support the elderly, and how what we really need to do instead is to recognize and encourage the contributions that the elderly make to our society.

I had the beginnings of an interesting piece for the blog, about how ZPG -- and even a slight NPG -- ties in with better status for women and the elderly, about how it means more wealth for everyone, since wealth is limited by natural resources divided by population. Indeed, some say that the population reduction cause by the Black Death helped set the stage for the Renaissance, with a reduction in population meaning more stuff per per person, including lots of surplus clothing -- which could be turned into rag paper to feed the new printing presses.

But now, forget about it, we can't have a meaningful discussion about the topic for months if not years thanks to the poor doofus who stormed the Discovery Channel headquarters today with a gun and some bombs, insisting that they air "programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility."

He's dead now, and it will be impossible to have a serious conversation about a serious issue for a while. That's what violent extremism gets us.