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It is immoral for Al Gore to organize "fertility management" for other nations

Various influential and would-be influential people have gathered at the annual meeting in Davos. Folks like Al Gore and Bill Gates are among them. These two participated in the panel

Changing the Climate for Growth and Development (video)
Bill Gates represented some kind of a relatively traditional charity guy who has really helped people in poor nations and who noticed that there's been a huge improvement. He also predicts that there won't be any poverty in 20 years. Well, maybe, it depends on the definition of poverty.

Al Gore started to talk around 14:55 in the video above and advocated "fertility management" in Africa, something that sounds scary. You could think that he has explicitly talked about forced sterilization but he actually hasn't – he has left the issue of the methods ambiguous. At any rate, it is very clear that he is obsessed with the idea of the reduction of the number of Africans and in this sense, he is no different than the German Nazis who wanted to gradually phase out Slavs on their stolen territories.

Al Gore may differ from Adolf Hitler in the extent but he doesn't differ qualitatively, in the principle. And both men were or are rooting for morally indefensible policies. In the Western, enlightened understanding of the world, it is up to every family to decide how many children it has – or to allow the kids to arrive as Nature or God wishes. Even in not-so-enlightened nations where the individual rights are not considered precious, it is up to the broader community – the nation itself – to decide whether and how the number of children is regulated.

China just began to dismantle its one-child policy.

It is impossible not to think that there's some racism and stunning hypocrisy if a jerk who has produced four children is "working" on the reduction of the number of newborn babies in a completely different nation.

And let me tell you something. Africa as a continent isn't and, in a foreseeable future, won't be overpopulated. There is one billion people (it should be still below 1.4 billion in 2025) living in Africa whose area is 30 million squared kilometers. So the average population density is the same 30+ people as you may find in the U.S. – which is "like" one-third of Africa, both when it comes to the population and the territory.

To compare, the population density is 130+ in Czechia, 490+ in the Netherlands, and 7,700+ people per square kilometer in Singapore. (Monaco with 18,000+ and Macau with 20,000+ are too small to be taken seriously but Singapore has over 5 million people.)

The continuing relative poverty of Africa isn't caused by overpopulation. It isn't caused by the continent's inability to provide the people with the resources. It is mostly due to the insufficient sophistication of their economies which is linked to poor education systems and perhaps their lower economic potential. But whatever the GDP or IQ or economic potential is, they are still people and should be sort of free.

Al Gore likes to liken climate skeptics to some unpopular groups – "homophobes", alcoholics, and others. His explanations for these analogies are extremely contrived; they really make no sense. He is just calling other people names. His problem is that his similarities to Adolf Hitler are not contrived at all because he is proposing some almost identical policies that as the Nazi leader did.

Political commissar, a new governor of ours

Incidentally, the Pilsner Region chose a new governor (more precisely, regional country president) today, a "social democrat" Mr Václav Šlajs who would work as a politruk during communism. This is the kind of people that form the elite of the "social democracy". The previous governor, Mr Milan Chovanec of social democracy, is one of the traitors who breached the promise not to talk about their (some social democrats') private meeting with the (former social democrat, modern social democracy founder) President Miloš Zeman.

I am unhappy about these people's return to the top and I have signed a petition against the politruk-governor but I didn't attend the public theater where he was elected because it would be nothing else than a source of frustration. Obviously, I don't think that 30 dissatisfied people who gather somewhere should automatically have the right to veto a new governor – even in the case when I completely agree with them. It's just too bad that most of the people don't really care whether someone belonged to the relatively narrow group of comrades who have been crippling people's lives and our nation for 40+ years – but it's simply true that most people don't care.


This is also the starting point of my opinions about the tension in Ukraine. President Yanukovich is showing some unbelievable restraint and patience when he allows the terrorists to occupy buildings of ministries (even though the leaders of the oppositions don't endorse such things), hurt dozens of policemen, and he is still offering the opposition the chair of the prime minister and many other things even though he had completely legitimately won the latest elections that give him and his party the right to reign. This is not how a dictator behaves.

Ukraine may be facing complete anarchy and civil war and before the things get really serious, they should declare the martial law and simply restore the basic order and stop the people who may offer no credible alternative for Ukraine. What I am seeing in the West is the breathtaking new refreshed Nazism of the supernaive kind – it is apparently politically correct to believe that someone becomes a superior human being with bonus rights if he screams "I am pro EU" really loudly. Sorry, if someone is endorsing the EU uncritically, he or she is an inferior naive sheep.

The EU could have paid lots of money to various nations but now it's broke. Some key EU nations don't have enough money to pay their own bills. That's also why the EU is offering the gift of a few million euros to Ukraine, some completely negligible amount, but they insist on the enforcement of tons of regulations not only about the right allowed curvature tensor of the eurobananas.

On the other hand, Russia is a completely natural and key trade partner of Ukraine and what Russia is offering is a sensible, no-nonsense, pragmatic, mutually beneficial deal. And Yanukovich himself isn't really any hardcore communist or reactionary in any sense. He is sort of pro-West, too. How various people may defend in front of their consciousness that they want to remove a totally legitimate, centrist, properly elected government is beyond me. Arnold Schwarzenegger is showing that he has just another dull biceps in his skull and it's hard not to think that it will be similar if not worse with the (box champion and opposition leader) Vitali Klitschko.

Whether the opposition gets some snap elections or chairs without proper elections or whether Ukraine will be split etc. should be the outcome of negotiations and at least some basic existing laws should be respected as legitimate "aces" of the current government in the negotiations. People who just occupy ministries and don't even attempt to explain why such a behavior should be legitimate – and don't even want to promise that they will stop doing these things when they take over – are simply not good ones to rely upon when you want to restore some order, freedom, democracy, and prosperity. They may scream that they are "pro-EU" but they are people with no respect to democracy and the rule of law. And one could argue that it is no coincidence that the loud "pro-EU" people actually show this disrespect for these values.

Credit union's clients paid

In May 2013, I told you about the investigation in the largest Czech cooperative savings bank, MSD (Metropolitan Savings Coop). I've had a large amount of money (but far from "everything") stuck there. Up to the equivalent of EUR 100,000, the deposits are insured including interests etc. In late December, the Czech National Bank finally terminated the license for MSD. Yesterday, the deposits started to be paid by the Deposit Insurance Fund through Czech Spořitelna [Savings Bank], a traditional large Czech bank owned by Austria's Erste, and I already received the money on Tuesday 8 am.

The MSD would be unable to pay now – 92 percent of the loans were in bad shape although the cooperative savings bank was in a very good shape a year ago. I still think that this is more likely to be a consequence of the state institutions' interventions which do more harm than good. I have tried to investigate who owned MSD, whether he could have been doing crime himself, what was going on, but I have no clear conclusions and the investigators haven't said anything clear, either (I can tell you tons of facts about the clients etc. who were published), so not much has changed about my assumptions that the liquidation of the higher-interest-rate-paying credit union was probably planned and deliberate.

There were 14,000 clients with $50,000 in average; about 38% had over $50,000. Only 112 clients or so were over the insured limit, most of them by a small amount only. But someone had EUR 500,000 over there, most of it will be lost. The owners of the MSD have lost a lot as well but I don't exactly know who they are although a quantum chemist named Sadílek might have been pretty important, to say the least.

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reader Luboš Motl said...

No, I obviously disagree that the existence of large families is a major *reason* for low quality of life.

The existence of large families is Nature's and instincts' *answer* to high child mortality etc., so the low quality of life is effectively the *reason* for the high number of children per family. You are getting the causal connection upside down.

Those people have many children for a rational reason - they want some children to survive and the odds that none of them reaches the adulthood is rather high if their number of children isn't high enough.

Moreover, the efforts to guarantee a high quality of life to children is a luxury that only sufficiently rich people may afford. The generic people in poor nations are not rich, tautologically, so they will disagree with your thesis that a high quality of life for their children is both a realistic and important goal they should pursue.

At any rate, active efforts to regulate someone's family size, especially in a different nation, against their will is a crime against humanity. Do you really disagree?

reader Eugene S said...

Mostly in agreement with this article but not entirely.

On the other hand, Russia is a completely natural and key trade partner
of Ukraine and what Russia is offering is a sensible, no-nonsense,
pragmatic, mutually beneficial deal.

According to what I heard, it's not just a straightforward business deal, it came with strings attached. Among the conditions demanded by the Russians and already implemented by the Ukrainian government is the curtailment of civil liberties such as the right to demonstrate for or against particular policies.

I know it's not practical, but if the pro-EU Ukrainians who live mostly in the West, and the pro-Russian Ukrainians who live mostly in the East, could split apart into two countries without too much pain, it could be the best way out of this dilemma.

reader Justa Joe said...

Can you substantiate your claim that having large families snowballs into total social chaos" ? That sounds nutty. Large families was the norm for the majority of civilization's history.

reader Gene Day said...

I started listening to Al Gore but soon had to stop because it was just too much for my blood pressure. Holy crap!
I have also been astonished at the restraint exhibited by the police in the Ukraine. Obviously they should throw these young thugs in jail until they can face trial for the various crimes they have committed.

reader John Archer said...

Yes, but just to add a few constraints:

Let them increase their populations in their own countries, not in mine and not in yours.

And fuck the EU. Do what you can to destroy it, before it destroys you.

Do you really want to be 'led' by the likes of gollum van rumpoid, and that maoist runt, barosso?

The only good EU is a dead one.

reader Werdna said...

My paternal grandfather grew up under the rule of Franco in Spain-an out and out, self admited, proud fascist. There are many factors that probably caused him to decide to stay in this country even after he finished getting his education on his education visa. Falling in love with my grandmother was probably a big one. But I always got the sense that political repression in his home country was another one. He had no tolerance for socialists of an stripe, and often remarked that FDR had been a communist-which wasn't too far off, arguably. Anyway, I mention this because, although he held strong political views, he always refused to ever sign anything like a petition or the like-he wouldn't even donate money to political candidates or campaigns or anything like that. He knew that one of the dangerous of the powerful authoritarian statists is that they can use such things as enemies lists of people to go after-he had lived with the experience of seeing it happen as a child. Even living in free country, he was still in fear of that kind of thing happening. Which is why I want to say I think it is a courageous thing for you to have signed the petition you mentioned.

reader Brian said...

Hi, Lumo,
I'm writing up a popular article on Hawking's paper and the general information paradox situation. Can I use quotes from this blog?

reader CIPig said...

Through most of human history, nations have managed the populations of other nations with war and genocide. I like fertility management better.

Your remarks on African poverty are nonsense. 150 years ago, the far more primitive (and much smaller) population of Africa lived fairly well - better than much of Europe. It's present poverty stems largely from its very high birth rate and the fact that population has grown much more rapidly than economic production.

It's ridiculous to compare its population density with that of nations that have been economically advanced for generations and have zero rates of population growth - not to mention entirely different geography.

reader John Archer said...

--Reposted under correct head--

Yes, but just to add a few constraints:

Let them increase their populations in their own countries, not in mine and not in yours.

And fuck the EU. Do what you can to destroy it, before it destroys you.

Do you really want to be 'led' by the likes of gollum van rumpoid, and that maoist runt, barosso?

The only good EU is a dead one.

reader NumCracker said...

To the mathematically oriented reader an interesting reading:

reader Luboš Motl said...

Fertility management of another nation *is* a form of war. It is not possible to determine such existential questions for another in the state of peace.

Africa's being richer than Europe before the "evil" modern era is a laughable environmentalist fairy-tale. If some countries were richer than they are today, it was mostly because they were colonies of the European powers. Some African countries are much richer today than before - like South Africa with its Western-like capitalism and some countries that produce oil.

It's silly to blame the real or hypothetical observation that "economic production increases less quickly than the population" on the latter. The expected size of economic output is clearly proportional to the population because the more people work, the more they produce.

It's never ludicrous to compare population densities at two comparable places. They're numbers with the same units and if you claim that the available resources are ultimately the limiting factor, it's clear that the same population densities may live at the two places.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Eugene, right, a split is one of the possibilities. It should better be done right which is debatable.

The deals with the EU come with many more strings attached. This was really my main point about the deals.

reader Rehbock said...

I thought you had made it up. There is no excuse for such suggestions. Gore needs to shut up and leave.

reader Eugene S said...

Dear Luboš, I don't claim to be perfectly informed but I do take care to get my information from a variety of sources.

According to them, the EU which had offered to Ukraine 600 million euros, demanded nothing in the (public) partnership agreement like what Russia -- which offered even more in material benefits -- demanded (initially in secret, later leaked): namely, laws severely curtailing civil liberties.

Those laws, which you call "anti-chaos laws", were the spark to the widespread protests not only in Kiev. Yanukovich should not have used his parliamentary majority to ram through such laws. In a functioning system, the opposition could have waited for the supreme court to declare those laws null and void, but they may have good reason to suspect the impartiality of the judges if the ruling party has stacked the court with its partisans.

It's too bad that people have died and been injured, but I think the first casualties were inflicted by the government, which abducted civil rights activists and tortured them to death (Werbinsky).

Yanukovich should have relented sooner by repealing those laws. The opposition should pack up and start preparing for the 2015 elections.

reader Luboš Motl said...

First, I am combative because you defend the way of thinking and policies that were most famously - in the context of my homeland - defended by the Nazis and I instinctively think that the right thing to do with the Nazis is to combat them.

I said that the family planning of families in other nations was immoral. This was included in the very title and I insist that there has never been anything unclear about it whatsoever.

Inheritance shared by many heirs surely reduces their wealth but the population growth is smaller than the agricultural output's growth, and potentially may be much smaller, and at any rate, the population is growing in a given way because the society is able sustain this population growth given its demands on luxury etc.

As a Nazi, you may say that it's better "no life" than "their life", and you do say it by the cliches about "quality more important than quantity". But if you were not a Nazi, you would notice that those people disagree with you and it should be up to them, not you, to decide what is more important about their family life.

The family size has nothing to do with education, at most with brainwashing. There is no "science" behind the claim that families should be small. It is a purely political opinion that some people share and some people don't and you, Al Gore, or neo-Nazis have no business or credentials to "educate" others about these matters.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Eugene, I have a hard to to believe that you can't see that what you are writing is just a cheap and silly propaganda for a highly undemanding consumer.

600 million euros is pretty much absolutely nothing - and it costs nothing to the EU. See John Laughland in this CrossTalk

who clearly explains how these pennies may be accounted for so that it's exactly nothing. Should Ukraine feel bribed even if the EU pays an arbitrarily small amount of money? What's the logic about it? Are the euro banknotes holy so that several of them should change the balance of the equation?

I think that your - and Western PC press' - rationalization of the reasons why you or people whom you support (for largely irrational, mass hysteria reasons) have the right to remove the government or ignore the law is structurally isomorphic to the rationalization with which Hitler has ended the Weimar Republic.

For you, the Yanukovitch people must surely be corrupt, they must have their people in the courts, and so on, and you don't like it, so you have the right to act in illegal ways, don't you? Obama has his people everywhere, too, and the PC scum has contaminated almost all news outlets and other things and you don't say a vowel against it. Or do you think it's a justification for the opponents of these people to start to commit crime?

Ukraine's system is clearly democratic and it's the people who want to substitute prime ministers or judges without elections and a proper process following the rule of law who are the enemies of a decent social system in Ukraine. In Ukraine, democracy will look less polished than in the West because due to centuries of different history, it's a country at a lower level of sophistication than the West.

Latin America has copied the constitution and laws from the U.S. but the outcome isn't the same - the outcome depends on the people's habits that have been shaping for centuries and on their hardwired properties and potential.

You may repeat millions of times that the Yanukovitch people are bad and corrupt and his opponents are sure saint and holy because the mediocratic PC media are making you to repeat all this idiotic garbage but your repetition of this nonsense won't make it into the truth, and it won't give you or the terrorists the moral right to occupy ministries and do tons of other wild things.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Right, a nation is sovereign over its own territory so it may regulate its own population if the people decide it's OK to suppress the individual rights in this way.

But if you already have some ethnic group inside, they may have a higher population growth and it may be felt like a problem for the others.

It may be hard to fight against such trends a demographics changes - choosing special laws to regulate "some ethnic group" is simply racism.

Apartheid has been painted as a bad thing by the PC media but it's really the most kosher way to solve this very genuine problem which occurs at many places. Apartheid - segregation - just means that the ethnic groups are segregated which effectively reduces the "space to expand" for the group with the higher population growth and protects the control of the slower-growing ethnic group over the territories which it controls.

reader Eugene S said...

Obama has his people everywhere, too, and the PC scum has contaminated
almost all news outlets and other things and you don't say a vowel
against it.

What Obama and his henchmen (including the IRS) are doing is bad, but it does not compare to abducting democratic activists, taking them to the forest to beat them nearly to death, then lieave them tied up to die slowly and painfully from exposure (one escaped with his life, the other did not).

There are still ways for the opposition in the U.S. to express discontent and resist oppressive laws, from throwing packets of tea into the harbor to filibusters and congressional mid-term elections (an important inbuilt corrective that the Ukraine lacks).

I get the impression that many Ukrainians are tired of being told that for historical reasons, they should be happy with a lower level of civil rights and civil liberties, and I don't blame them.

P.S.: Happy to hear about you and the other customers of the savings bank finally getting reimbursement.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Eugene, I don't know which torture in the forest you are exactly referring to but if that's real, and some remotely similar things surely are real, it's a consequence of Ukraine's being a less civilized country than the Western countries, not a sign that the government should be replaced because it's necessarily suboptimal. There is absolutely no reason to think that another government in similar problems wouldn't be using forests in similar ways. That's simply what the general Ukrainian culture finds normal enough.

The Ukrainian opposition is expressing its disagreement in much louder, more aggressive, and ultimately more effective ways than the U.S. opposition. That's why we are reading about Ukraine every day!

reader TheDOC said...

Wow, you really are just throwing around sentences. First of all, I should not be compared to a Nazi. I said specifically that population control should be voluntary and not forced. Don't just blanket everyone in stereotypes. I am just one man commenting on the internet. Ultimately people will do what they choose to, but it would help if they were informed so these considerations can factor into their decision to have a child. Also I naively thought that you believed that some sort of voluntary population control was a not necessarily a bad thing, which is why I wanted to clarify your statement.

"Inheritance shared by many heirs surely reduces their wealth but this is
just a cherry-picked example of a rich person with many children while
you are ignoring rich people with no children etc."

This continues to show that you are fairly clueless in these matters. The division of farmland by inheritance and family disputes is a problem that plagues the poor specifically. The rich, being rich, are hardly affected by division of wealth. Take a look at an Indian geography textbook for problems with Indian agriculture. The land has been so heavily divided that it is totally unprofitable to cultivate. And farmers are breaking their backs to eke a living out of the soil, this has lead to environmental problems too. Let's talk about Africa too. Yes, indeed agricultural production is rising. But in places like the Sahel, this has lead to desertification and clashes between groups, fighting for water resources. Bottom line: rapid population growth is not sustainable for poorer countries and thankfully those of us in such countries have begun to realize this. We know the realities of life, we live it everyday. You only know the numbers.

"As a Nazi, you may say that it's better "no life" than "their life",
and you do say it by the cliches about "quality more important than
quantity". But if you were not a Nazi, you would notice and acknowledge
that those people disagree with you and it should be up to them, not
you, to decide what is more important about their family life or any
other life. So please restrict your plans to cure a "bad life" by
stopping it to suicide, OK?"

Do you not think before you speak? I am one of 'these people' and I was educated by a society of 'these people'. I didn't come up with these ideas myself. The government itself is taking steps to encourage family planning in villages and towns. I think we understand our country better than a Czech string theorist. Also is it really right of you to ask a stranger on the internet to commit suicide? I know you are just angry, but please don't be blinded by misplaced rage and say such harsh things.

"Your opinion about the future Earth with tens of billions of people only
unmask your inability to think rationally. If the population will be
able to grow to 50 billion or any other number, it will be a proof that
the Earth may feed these people just like the present Earth is able to
feed 7 billion people. If the net population were vastly higher than
what the Earth and resources may feed and allow to live, these people
wouldn't survive for a single year and the population would drop. It
doesn't drop so it's a proof that the claims about "reaching the limit"
are pure crap."

Why are you leaving everything in the hands of Nature? WHY should we wait until we reach the limit of food production? That is often the problem with scientists, you guys view the world throughtgraphs and sheets. You and gore are just white men from developed countries viewing the rest of us through tables and charts. You don't have to live in some of the densely populated regions of the world, we do and we have decided that we can better ourselves by practicing family planning. You can call me an 'neo-Nazi' or whatever, but I believe that we are better than rats who just breed for survival. And I am certainly not alone in my beliefs.

reader anna v said...

Of course nations should be sovereign and human rights should be observed over all the world.

Please have a look at the following link : .

Medical advances have been great in the west. Child mortality has been reduced and women dying at childbirth have become a blimp in the statistics. In the centuries before the discovery of microbes and the washing of hands one in three women died at childbirth. If you walk in old English cemeteries you will see graves where a man has been widowed three times. Now women have greater life expectancy then men, all due to the marvels of medicine. Three centuries ago women had many children because they were needed for the survival of the family ( deaths versus births) and the hard work in the fields .

In the west there is now a balance because medicine and tractors for the fields came hand in hand slowly over the centuries , bringing prosperity which brought education for women and both the desire to control their reproductive life and the economic well being of the family : the goal of the good life.

In countries like the ones Aftica, and not only, missionaries coming on the tails of collonialism brought medicine and child survival strategies used in the west to countries with a medieval economy. Suddenly women and children survived in large numbers and an imbalance appears in the numbers. Unfortunately the imbalance is one the makes a nation poorer and poorer not allowing the possibility of educating everybody, just a few controlling elite. One could say that it is the west's fault for this vicious circle of excess population and dire poverty. If it had not interfered the natural stone age balance would still hold in these nations.

The solution is education and education, particularly of women, can only take root in a society that is above starvation level. The way to break the vicious cycle is to help these countries achieve prosperity. That is where all the help should go.

The key is education and particularly education of women. It does not matter what the controllers of religion say, or Al Gores. Educate the women and they will fast understand contraception and its advantages to their own family, as happened in even catholic nations in Europe.

I recently had an em-ail exchange with a friend who was sent a frightening video of Europe becoming muslim within a few decades by the high birthrate of immigrants, and I sent him the following link, about Turkey : . Turkey is a muslim nation and used to have a high fertility rate. It is now at just replacement and they are scared.

I think helping nations with population problems, caught in great poverty and high fertility to improve the economies will balance the scales to all countries reaching a reasonable on average for the world replacement number.

reader Eugene S said...

It's good that we disagree, no? Lately I found myself in agreement with you so often, it was scary ;)

By the way, 92 percent non-performing loans? It sounds impossible to me.

reader Luboš Motl said...

You may have said that the population control should be voluntary (Nazis would sometimes say the same thing, and they would also deny the existence of extermination camps) but you have also clearly stated that you want to regulate population of other nations, so it would clearly not be voluntary if it were according to you, would it?

Your comment is a stream of nonsensical delusion, eugenics, and crackpottery. I think it's a waste of time to respond again because I have already explained why every single claim of your is junk. Just an example:

Why are you leaving everything in the hands of Nature? WHY should we wait until we reach the limit of food production?

Everything is ultimately up to Nature because the laws of Nature hold everywhere in Nature. Even people's behavior is ultimately a result of the laws of Nature.

More importantly, the mankind has always been, is, and will be near the economic limit of production simply because it is ludicrous to produce much more than what is needed. Producers of too much excessive food would lose profit and go out of business.

On the other hand, there is no nearby physical limit of food production, as shown by the fact that the world's top food production has grown by orders of magnitude and is continuing to grow.

Your shouting of nonsensical claims about the coming apocalypses and limits and tipping points around the corner and other threats is what dishonest Nazis, environmentalists, and other power-thirsty jerks like you have always been doing - and they were always proven wrong - for the same reason: to improve the chances that they may control other people's lives, to gain control over them. You are deeply immoral, dishonest, and all the rationalizations you present are demonstrably wrong.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, it's great that the two of us disagree. What's not great is that 500 million of Europeans and 300 million Americans are being constantly brainwashed by a similar kind of the PC, pro-EU, anti-Russia, anti-corporation, anti-growth, superficial and ultimately fundamentally wrong snobbery, eugenics, and mindless support for their governments' policies.

reader Eugene S said...

I misspelled the victim's name, he was Yuri Verbitsky. See, e.g., here

(Picked because it's the first ghit, not because I necessarily endorse HRW, but other sources seem to agree.)

reader Eugene S said...

R.I.P. Pete Seeger, 1919-2014. What a long career, such an influential and inspiring figure.

Let's let politics lie for a moment and remember Pete and what he gave to music. Here he is with the Weavers in 1951, singing Kisses Sweeter than Wine:

reader Luboš Motl said...

I see. You must know that official doctors declared hypothermia as the reason for death, right?

Now, tell me, where does it come from that you immediately choose to disbelieve the doctors and believe in martyrdom of this man? Because he's on the right side of the history? Or because he looks like a really tough neo-Nazi skinhead?

reader Eugene S said...

Huh? I already said that according to credible sources, Verbitsky was abducted, beaten, tied up and left in the woods where he died from exposure (another word for hypothermia). Where is the contradiction?

reader Luboš Motl said...

The contradiction is that you blame some particular people for his death without any justification.

reader Eugene S said...

No, you said that I chose to disbelieve the doctors, but I don't. There is not clear proof yet that the government did it but the details of the case point in that direction.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Fine, you believe a part of the doctors' claims, but you add something else that they implicitly reject.

reader Eugene S said...

OK, I finished watching the Russia Today program featuring Laughland, the Slobeda fellow in Moscow and the Armenian girl in London. It was actually a good program, I've seen some really bizarre stuff from Russia Today but this was O.K. (wish they would publish transcripts, though, so one could absorb the info more quickly).

All of the panelists made good points and the moderator asked good questions. As a result of watching, I am inching loser to the belief that partition would be the best outcome for Ukraine. Otherwise, the opposition will win in 2015, reverse course, and then equally fierce protests and clashes will come from the side that is now in power but will then be in opposition.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Eugene, I've seen about 3 episodes of this Crosstalk and found all of them insightful so far - which can't be reliably generalized to all episodes ;-) but it's a nontrivial observation, anyway.

reader Dream Chaser said...

I dont agree with some things in this blog post.. population control is not neccessarily immoral, not if it prevents life in poverty.. you say that imposing our will on other nations is wrong, but you forget that they are imposing their will on the children that they bring into the world only to suffer.. having children is not a strictly personal matter and while in wealthy nations we can take care of all the kids, in poor nations they starve and so it morally clearly makes sense to want to regulate their population, at least in theory

Of course, you can claim that it is hard to do in practice or puts too much power into the hands of often corrupt governments, and you wont get much disagreement from me there..

reader Bill Bogus said...

thank you, now I see your point

reader kashyap vasavada said...

@NumCracker : I am writing this without really trying to understand the reference you give. But it has been well known for years and years that the event horizon is not a real singularity. It can be removed by changing coordinates (Kruskal?). There is a real singularity at r=0 which no one can remove. But the information paradox may not be related to regarding event horizon as singularity. Anyway it will be interesting to see what Lubos thinks about this paper or relationship of information paradox with the apparent singularity.

reader NumCracker said...

Dear kashyap, you should really read the paper to understand the mathematical details of the proof why r=0 is not really more than a coordinate singularity. It is proved there that assertions as "There is a real singularity at r=0 which no one can remove" is just an old prejudice. I'll take the opportunity to post an interesting feedback I found in that author's blog ( issued by Dr Finkelstein (it is nice! isn't?)

"Dear Cristi Stoica,

I write concerning your paper "Schwarzschild Singularity is Semi-Regularizable" (arXiv 1111.4837v2).
I write first to thank you for the deep pleasure that this paper afforded me.
regularization of the central true singularity of the Schwarzschild
metric is a remarkable and beautiful example of thinking outside the
box. It is a natural, generally covariant, and deep result on a problem
that has drawn wide attention, that of gravitational singularities. You
found your solution easily once you conceived the idea, and yet it has
been overlooked for these many decades by the truly great minds in the


With good wishes for your future explorations,
David Finkelstein"

reader kashyap vasavada said...

@Numcraker: Thanks. My knowledge of GR is extremely limited. But if true this would be a serious matter. If you remove the singularities (apparent or not) at both r=0 and event horizon then black hole would not remain black hole! I will let more knowlegeable people settle this!

reader Dream Chaser said...

When it comes to human overpopulation, population density is almost irrelevant and even natural resources can be unimportant. Because the most important resource we have are human resources, including technology, trade etc.

A densely populated city in a barren desert can be prosperous and not overpopulated if the populace has good economy. A sparsely populated land can be overpopulated if the inhabitants cannot utilise the resources properly.

Arguing that overpopulation is not real because population density is relatively low a very naive view.

Also, population growth rate is more significant than population density because it puts pressure on infrastructure and need for adaptation. Poor countries have high population growth rate.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Sorry, but in the 1940s, Germans were also protecting Jews or at least Gipsies from life in poverty. Is it a sufficient argument for you to say that the extermination camps weren't immoral?

Having sex *is* a purely personal matter - or a matter of the two people who have it, assuming consensual sex here - and it has consequences. The kid that is born 9 months later is an independent person who will later get his human rights but it's expected that the parents take care of it while it's a kid.

However, they may only be expected to spend as many finances and material things as they can afford.

If I understand well, you are suggesting that poor people are obliged to say "we can't have children because we're a shitty piece of shit living in shit and we would make our children and bring them to the same shit". Sorry, I find that reasoning utterly disgusting and inhuman. Everyone has the right to consider himself or herself just fine and assume that his or her offspring will be comparably fine, so even poor people are not obliged to think of themselves as immoral just because they bring new initially poor children to the world.

If you despise the poor people, it's OK, you have the right, but you have no right to do anything about your personal psychological problem.

reader Justa Joe said...

It appears that Motl has whipped your malthusian ass for you pretty well, but I'd love to hear your explanation of this statement
"I don't know much about why they have it, [various diseases] but being the 6th or 7th child might be a very likely factor.
You seem to be suggesting that the latter children in big families are more prone to certain diseases. Do you have any proof for that wild claim?

reader Shannon said...

Listening to these vanilla faces condescendingly discussing how African women's birth rate is too high... is this neo-colonialism? They are on the podium like chimpanzees at the zoo...

reader Dream Chaser said...

So we surely wont agree in this, I too find your reasoning utterly alien to my own, disgusting and immoral. But there is one thing I want to respond to. I certainly do hate people who knowingly procreate when they cannot take good care of the resulting kids, as does anyone with a shred of morality left. However that doesnt mean I hate all poor people who have kids, because not all of them are irresponsible fucks of the highest proportions who have a litter of kids while starving, and many also are ignorant due to no fault of their own so it is hard to blame them personally.

reader Uncle Al said...

" there won't be any poverty in 20 years. "
There will be only poverty in 2034 CE.

reader kashyap vasavada said...

Dear NumCraker: I had a quick look at the paper. He removes infinities by tranformation (of coordinates) which is itself singular ! So I am going to relax until the experts say it is OK!!

reader Tom said...

I marvel at the moral clarity that Lubos expresses, and find myself in near complete agreement with his population views. It does, however, seem that this thread leaves out the elephant in the room: the political context. Quantify, even categorically, these variables - the rule of law (transparent and uniformly applied), the state’s enforcement of contract (especially those entered freely between two parties), and the inviolability of private property - and it is easy to produce a statistical regression showing very high correlation between a nation’s wealth and these variables. Magically introduce into Africa levels of these variables, say England’s in 1900, and I’ll bet the ranch poverty will be mostly gone in a generation. Given the current abysmal values of these variables on that sad continent, nothing but misery can be expected regardless of Western intervention. Population density, given it is high enough to produce significant cities, has little to do with wealth.

reader John R Ramsden said...

Call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if Prof Hawking has another book about to be published, and his recent paper and subsequent discussion is handy advance publicity, just as the appearance of yet another potboiler by Richard Dawkins always seems to follow shortly after some new provocative pronouncement of his on the folly of religion.