Synthetic Human

Infect Teh Interwebs



Several major countries had birth booms after World War 2. These baby booms came, peaked and ended. The reasons are clear by now – people in various countries world wide had babies taking into accounf cultural preconceptions on baby death. In generations before most babies died, then relatively suddenly new kinds of medical care arrived and babies didn’t die. That meant relatively sudden in human history several things happened – first it meant populations sharply increased, and another thing people don’t want discussed in polite society – a lot of people were added to society that had a relatively higher number of genetic frailties.  But more of that later. 

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Previous generations had always been relatively shitty to women, from our current enlightened perspectives. This suddenly ended as after WW2 society modernized and several things on cultural and scientific progress changed. Women became more educated. People in general started moving to cities, and by and large city life became more demanding, which meant sharply lower birth rates. Children became economically regarded as distracting parents from having “jobs”, working for “employers”, so schools were invented as a means to store children during work hours, instead of running around like feral creatures as they did before. Children became the intense subject of quite orthodox religious values and were to be “tamed” in strict, quite often victorian models that required repetetive paternalistic education. This was in turn necessary to instill discipline, work ethic and the increasing demands of people having a “job” working for “employers”. A small percentage of people that didn’t fit in to this societal model on account of having a “different” (less tamable) sentiment or psychology were in generations before pushed out of society or execcuted, but now this  percentage became either  formally institutionalized as crazy, or put in prisons for longer periods – where they didn’t had an oportunity to find their own strategies to procreate themselves (a thinly veiled allusion to the idea that just a century ago rape was still a significant component of babies born back then). 

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So we end up with what demographers call “a snake eating a pig” in terms of population demographics – a large contingent of people being born, growing up and moving on the age graphs, with a lot less kids being born and growing up after that – and hence all the makings of a discontinuity in population compositions world wide. In our ramshackle economic systems that means a lot of very old people that in turn grow increasingly and utterly unhistorically older, who in turn are incomparably more frail because even the frail stayed alive now, whereas in previous generations everyone even a tiny bit frail would have died decades earlier before then. A lot of very old frail people cost insane amounts of money, by any metric, and require a lot of care workers, who aren’t doing something that grows the economy.  

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As indicated this happened earliest in western European populations, but even now countries like China, India and large contingents of Africa and Asia are hot on their heels. Europe stave off a lot of problems of the waning baby boom by importing lowly educated and culturally markedly different folks from regions with high birth rates, such as Africa and the Middle East, but immigration is no longer an option, and the most “endless young people demanding” economic systems world wide no longer have excess to denographic markets with lots of impressionable, easily pacified labour migrants. Also, we now live in “democracies”, and  aging people tend to vote  extremely racist when it comes to economies trying to bid for the lowest educated, most desperate foreign workers. Integration of people with other cultures and appearances also has major hidden costs that come to bite countries in the behind a few decades later, as we scramble to culturally and economically integrate all these second generation immigrants. 

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So, now for the unpalatable narrative. It is extremely politically correct to claim (or even speculate) that when people stay alive that would just a few decades earlier have “attritioned” (i.e. died) those people tend to be more diffusely frail. Many have worse eyesight. Others have allergies. Quite a fe are a bit less mentally stable. They have minor congenital defects. To claim this seems to be supported by the fact that when in any natural population of animals predation falls away, local animals very sharply exhibit major signs of weakening. Apparently you can makle this assertion about herbivores in a national park that are no longer being killed frequently by wolves, but apparently this biological fact is not considered a thing when it comes to humans. As the hilarious comedian Louis. C.K. commented, “we are no longer in the food chain”. 

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I can’t say it any more lucid that Louris does here – predation eliminates frail (i,e, shitty) genes.  That means (and I am going very slow and cautious here, to not be labelled a Hitler devotee) that current populations have objectively more genetic frailties than previous ones, even though we can use advances in cosmetic surgery or prosthetics or medications to mop up some of the human misery that inflicts.  Genetics is that shitty – genomes do mutate and scatter about like inconsiderate slow motion traffic accidents. Its impractical, but stating out loud that people with disabilities are somehow likely to be “degenerates”, reeks of majo fascist persuasions, and that is not done. It doesn’t however make it less factual. 

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So here’s what we have – major discontinuities in demographics, a lot of very old people, a very awkward tax disequilibrium for generations to come, a steadily increasing number of pervasive societal heath care issues on account of aging as well as lack of (*cough*) predation and thus aimless genetic drift. We have people around with very high standard of living and accustomization, we have increasingly old and reactionary leaders (despite our best attempts for democracy) with value systems often generation out of whack with younger generations. 

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One solution would be to somehow reduce the effects of aging, or reverse aging altogether. The other solution (letting old folks more generally die) I mention as a solution that used to be more common in history, but we are now civilized so we don’t do that. Well, during covid19 some psychopaths actually mentioned “dead wood” as a sane management style, suggeston that “it’s only natural” that old people die during a pandemic, and as such “we should accept this”. Let’s just say that Covid19 made us all a little insane, and some people a bit more insane than others.

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Sadly even though quite a few people are investing in life extension, it will be at least several decades before we see major mileage out of this research. We can safely state that in a few decades (i.e. – a bit late for the likes of me) people in rich developed countries will no longer grow old and die. For most people this beggars the imagination, and by and large when certain advances “are hard to conceive of as anything but fantasy” . As we now understand – people get used awfully fast to major progress. My mom just a decade ago screamed at me in moral indignation about the very idea of smartphones, a few years later and she’s incessantly sharing cat videos and memes with me through whatsapp. Where are all the wolves when you need them, right?

So, barring any very sudden (the next 10 or so years), massively cost saving  (costing less than care facilities, end of life care, gargantuan ballooning geriatric medical care costs) and relatively comfortable to implement (i.e. – less gruelling than chemotherapy) life extension won’t solve our demographic catastrophe. And yes, it is a demographic and human catastrophe we find ourselves in. People in old age find themselves rotting in their own soiled diapers as a dwindling number of chronically understaffed and underfunded and undertrained caregivers rush about the facilities. To now grow old, impoverished, abandoned by society and your kids (maybe because you never had any) is about as hellish as I can personally envision.  Growing old is no longer an achievement, it is something to feel intensely ashamed and embarassed about. But since we now have so many old people, they and their “chronically outdated understanding and value systems” have become a massive democratic voting pool, so we are increasingly governed by the most racist, reactionary, peter principle politicians we can find.  In some places this goes totally off the rails and we are stuck for a generation by degenerates like Berlusconi, Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Erdogan, Putin. Again, where are the wolves when you need them, right? At least they aren’t sharing any cat memes.

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So barring life extension turning the likes of Angelina Jolie back into her saner, younger and prettier self we need solutions on how to keep society from falling apart. And falling apart it is. The demographic crisis will competely disrupt society, and the resulting pressure on younger generations is making these young folks completely go on strike having babies. The young are no longer procreating, and in some places they no longer have sex, period, Or leave the house, period.  While we were terrified of overpopulation a few years ago, we now collectively come to realize that the world is depopulating at a catastrohic and unsustainable world. Elon Musk says so, so it must be true

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We need new people. This is not a nice thing to conclude for all those new people, since making a lot of new people strictly to act as a band-aid for fixing the catastrophic lack of foresight of previous generations is a bit immoral, but where there is an urgent demand pretty soon solutions will follow.

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We have come a long way in gestating and growing babies in laboratory conditions. Right now we can keep a fertillized embryo alive for mere days before it dies. It has to be implanted in a womb. But we have experimented with artificial wombs – largely for agricultural reasons. There is a trillion dollar market in in vitro development of animals for livestock purposes. These are technologies that will mature in a decade, and that implies that before long we can do the following things …

1 – routinely select the most desirable genes for a mammal

2 – fertillize and gestate an embryo in laboratory conditions

3 – have that embryo grow into a healthy zygote

4 – eliminate any frail or flawed zygotes early 

5 – grow and deliver babies in in vitro conditions

Here’s the same image I have used over and over n various articles. 

I can literally see these technologies be developed far sooner than we have some kind of intricate life extension and age reversal technologies. I agree that this kind of thinking is deeply offensive to most people out there but we have to go full Ridley Scott and Blade Runner on this topic very soon – there is massive societal pressure mounting to solve almost unsolvable problems.

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These solutions would be most quickly implemented in a country like China. The end result would not be pretty, speaking in a management sense, although no doubt the resulting babies would probably be quite attractive. Angelina Jolie should IP her genes, because people like her will have their genome be in high demand for commercial applications. I sincerely believe this can be done and will be done. I am not super sold that it should be done, but as we know for history only highly paid ethicist get to ask these questions to be summarily ignored by aging politicians.

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China as a major discrepancy between boys and girls. China lacks girls, to a degree that we see major kidnappings of children to be forced into marriage or sold as sex slaves – and to a degree where young men grow up catastrophically desillusioned and bitter with life. Many of these young men will never have a wife. If China can start production of genetically selected, mostly flawless, very healthy, very pretty, no doubt a fair bit generally agreeable, dilligent, hardworking, smart, social, ambitious, docile (etc. etc.) then we’ll see countries like China start building these people factories in years rather than decades. That in turn means that give the right conditions and technological advances we can see these kids enter into state ophanages before 2030, and become of legal weddig age in 2050.

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Personally I’d rather see life extension and rejuvenation. Order me a fresh body with some genes of Angelina Jolie please, I have parties to go for decades to come. I’d pesonally rather BE a hot young chick than by one from a chinese replicant orphanage.