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Demographic Doom Podcast

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Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell predicts the end of civilization... and the rise of something new.
24 Episodes
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Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma

2019-12-2200:24:29

In choosing to have a child, you must accept that you may be imposing pain upon them. For example, they may experience a devastating disease or disability which would have never happen had you not brought them into the world. Life is, by its nature, traumatic, and you can justify imposing this trauma on someone else only if you believe the value of sustaining your culture outweighs the potential risks. Roughly one in ten births is likely to become "problematic" in one way or another, but you do it for the nine successes. In this episode, Glenn Campbell explores several aspects of childhood trauma, including a form that every child must face: "real-life adjustment trauma." Parents create a protected environment for their children which is never easy to escape from. — Also see DemographicDoom.com + Instagram + Twitter. Comment on video at j.mp/dd_trauma [ep 24]
The Future of Education

The Future of Education

2019-12-1600:24:47

Education in America is in crisis. At the upper end, college graduates are saddled with huge student debt. At the lower end, public education is perpetually underfunded. Presidential candidates promise to fix public education and forgive student debt, but how much can the government afford? Since he is not running for public office, Glenn Campbell can offer a frank analysis: Physical universities are destined for collapse, while the best approach to primary education may be returning to the one-room schoolhouse of the past. — Also see DemographicDoom.com + Instagram + Twitter. Comment on video at j.mp/dd_education
In December 2019, Glenn Campbell looks ahead to the 2020s. Economic and political chaos will explode as the bills of the past come due. Massive protests in France, Hong Kong and Chile are just the beginning, because nearly everyone will be unhappy in the coming years. The core issue is that there is not enough pie to go around.  — Also see DemographicDoom.com + Instagram + Twitter. Comment on video at j.mp/dd_decade
If you are in your 30s and haven't had children, should you feel guilty? Is it your responsibility to create a new life to replace your own? Glenn Campbell breaks down the moral issues. Demographic collapse, like climate change, is a complex problem with no single solution. It is good to want to make the world a better place after you are gone, and this may or may not involve raising children. It may take years to figure out what your mission should be, and your solution may be different than everyone else's. The only thing you should feel guilty about is wasting your personal resources on things you know are not important.
The Dubious Value of Assets

The Dubious Value of Assets

2019-12-0100:24:41

Most wealth is stored in the form of "assets"—that is, things you can own that you assume can later be sold or redeemed for money. Assets can include real estate, stocks, bonds, bank accounts and even cash stored in your mattress. The problem with assets is that their value is always speculative, and their value today may not be their value tomorrow. Even cash carries a risk, because inflation could reduce its buying power over time. Glenn Campbell explores the value of assets based on his experience with real estate in Las Vegas.
The Curse of Complexity

The Curse of Complexity

2019-11-2400:16:10

Civilization is always getting more complex. This is measurable in various ways, including the number of laws on the books and number of job descriptions in employment records. Modern society consists of systems built upon systems. Each new system is intended to solve a problem, but the total mass of these systems eventually outweighs their utility. When a society becomes so complex that it cannot be governed, it eventually collapses. Glenn Campbell explains complexity, based loosely on the work of anthropologist Joseph Tainter. (Search YouTube for "Joseph Tainter complex".)
Few of us would question that the world is overpopulated. In 50 years, the human population has roughly doubled, from 4 billion to almost 8 billion. Wouldn't it be best if humanity brought down it's numbers to a sustainable level, like 4 billion again? Probably, but there is no painless way to get there. If birth rates fall, as has already happened, it leaves us with a huge excess of ailing old people and not enough active workers to support them. In many ways, government and economies are addicted to growth, and when the growth reverses, a plethora of bad effects can be expected.
Throughout the world, birth rates have fallen dramatically, and most countries are now below replacement fertility, or the number of babies needed to refresh the population. Only recently, the world was worried about a "population explosion". Now an implosion seems more likely. Why is this so? Why aren't people having children in the same numbers as they used to? The core reason is simple: People aren't having children because the costs outweigh the benefits.
Defining the Generations

Defining the Generations

2019-11-1800:28:09

How do we define Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers? While no individual should be judged by the year of their birth, large groups of people tend to have different life experiences based on when they were born. Older Americas, for example, may have experienced the Great Depression, World War II and the Swinging Sixties, and this affects both their worldview and their economic impact on other generations. Starting with the oldest still alive, Glenn Campbell reviews the commonly accepted generations and explains how they experienced the world.
Millennials (born 1980-1994) often accuse Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) of ruining the world, and vice versa. Boomers have saddled younger generations with huge debts they cannot repay, while Millennials are derided as "snowflakes" who expect the world to take care of them. Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell explores the statistical reasons for this conflict. With their sheer numbers, Boomers powered the biggest economic expansion in the history of the world. As they move into retirement, this engine will sputter, leaving the Millennials in a deflating growth bubble. (Skippable—covered better in Ep. 16)
While medical science is saving more lives than ever before, the overall longevity of the population isn't improving. In the USA, longevity is even beginning to decline. Why is this so? Part of the answer is that each life saved results in greater medical costs for that patient in the future. Higher costs, in turn, are eroding the social factors that prevent disease. The medical and economic system is focused more on saving people from heart attacks after the fact rather than preventing them. The net result is exploding health care costs while lives only get shorter. — Also see DemographicDoom.com + Instagram + Twitter. Comment on video at j.mp/dd_healthcare [ep 14]  
The European Death Spiral

The European Death Spiral

2019-10-2200:17:22

Europe is in deep trouble. In every country, fertility has dropped below replacement level, but not all countries are equally affected. Southern and Eastern Europe are in the worst shape, in part because they are losing their best talent to Northern Europe. Germany and other countries of the north are "energy vampires" sucking the rest of Europe dry.
Good and Bad Discrimination

Good and Bad Discrimination

2019-10-2100:12:15

Discrimination comes in two forms: You can be "discriminating" or "disciminatory" in the products and people you choose. You can apply deep criteria that accurately predict a successful outcome or superficial criteria that don't. The challenge in life is trying to predict the future performance of the product you are choosing, especially when applied to mate selection.
Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell announces the release of the first draft of his manifesto, "The Modular Family: Redesigning How Children Are Raised". This document is a blueprint for a new family structure intended to reduce the cost and improve the quality of childrearing. Instead of couple of children raised by 1 or 2 adults, Glenn proposes up to 18 children raised by dozens of adults.
Making Sense of Eugenics

Making Sense of Eugenics

2019-10-0800:20:11

Eugenics, or the science of human breeding, has been used to justify some of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, but it has been with us since the beginning of time. Whenever a couple has a baby, that are engaged in a eugenics experiment. Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell reviews what eugenics can and cannot do and what the earliest proponents got wrong. The best aim of eugenics is not to create a master race but to assure diversity.
Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell claims no formal credentials in demographics or any of the other topics he discusses, but he has had some life experience. In a simplified life story, he describes highlights of his past as might relate to the Demographic Doom project. He is best known as a televised expert on Area 51 with a lesser-known stint as a Family Court observer. A world traveller with 87 countries in his passport, he has seen extreme poverty, extreme wealth and countries emptying out.
Almost any article on a pressing national crisis ends with some expert saying, "We must do something." By "we" they mean the national government. The fact is, most governments haven't solved problems for years. They only try to put out fires that they or their voters have set. In USA, the fire is Trump; in UK, it is Brexit. Most national problem-solving has ended, and Glenn Campbell argues that it won't be back. The only "we" that can still be effective is local, not national.
Lessons of the Roman Empire

Lessons of the Roman Empire

2019-10-0100:16:30

Every historian has their own theory about why the Western Roman Empire collapsed. Was it their hedonism, invading barbarians or incompetent rulers? Glenn Campbell offers his own view based on macroeconomics and the theories of anthropologist Joseph Tainter. At its base, the Roman Empire ran on grain, which could be stored and taxed. Collapse became inevitable when the cost of maintaining the empire exceeded the grain collected.
In most countries, workforce numbers are leveling off or falling, leading to potentially devastating economic effects. Is it possible that technology will save us, either by improving birth rates or reducing the economic damage? For example, can robots and automation replace the missing workers? Glenn Campbell says the answer is no. Robots can do some of the work previously done by humans, but that won't pay taxes or power the economy.
Glenn Campbell recalls his recent visit to Bulgaria, the world's fastest shrinking country. Since the fall of Communism, Bulgaria's population has dropped by 1/5th, from 9 million to 7 million. The loss is felt mainly in the countryside, where there are many abandonned buildings to explore. Urban areas like the capital Sofia continue to remain vibrant, due to a phenomenon Glenn calls "the Grand Hotel Syndrome": When a large hotel loses guests, management closes off wings and floors.
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