Edge.Org: What Should We Be Worried About? Maybe Chinese Eugenics!

Science book agent John Brockman rounds up the usual suspects for his annual January high-brow pow-wow. This year`s question, “What Should We Be Worried About?

So far, Geoffrey Miller`s contribution is getting the most attention: “Chinese Eugenics.”

David Berreby worries about “Global Greying” making society less creative and innovative. Fortunately, America has more immigrants so it will have less of a problem. (After all, who can`t quickly come up with a long list of innovations our vibrantly creative young Mexican-American population has blessed us with recently? There`s like … well, let me get back to you on this one.) The real danger, Berreby says, is that aging could lead to “xenophobic nationalism,” and when is that not the real danger?

What I worry about, personally, is that smart people don`t worry about many problems that manifest themselves in ceteris paribus fashions: i.e., all else being equal, more of X means more of Y. But more of Y probably won`t cause the End of World. We`re likely to muddle on through thanks to Moore`s Law and other blessings.

So, why worry about it? In fact, don`t even ever think about it. When we find ourselves in a hole, we must keep on digging because … uh, all we have to do is hire another construction crew to push the dirt back in as we dig it out. But that would be expensive. Hey, I`ve got a great idea! Let`s hire a really low wage construction crew to push the dirt back in, which is, obviously, when you stop and think about it, a job Americans just won`t do. Those American bastard workers, always wanting to get paid like Americans. We`ll fix them. Where was I? Oh, yeah, so keep on digging!