family walking on path
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One of the (many) podcasts that I subscribe to is KCRW’s Left, Right & Center. I particularly liked this little end-of-episode rant by Tim Carney.

The text below is all his, I’ve indented the bit where he quotes from elsewhere.

Humans make the world better – especially as part of a team.


Emily Holleman wrote recently in the New York Magazine, quote:

The decision to have children has always struck me as an essentially selfish one: You choose, out of a desire for fulfillment (sic) or self-betterment or curiosity or boredom or baby-mania or peer pressure, to bring a new human into this world. And it has never seemed more selfish than today.

Giving Birth in the End Times

So I’ve already tried to defend babies here today, and I feel no need to defend myself as a parent of many kids. But I’m actually here to advocate for you, Emily Holleman, and for all of you who feel the same way.

If, when you look at other humans, you see 58.6 tonnes of carbon per year or a new vector for Coronavirus, I’m here to tell you, you’re seeing people wrong.

Think about it this way, the quality of human life goes up and down over time. But human history in large segments, maybe 100 years 500 years, Life today is better than it was 500 years ago. And human life was better 500 years ago than it was 1000 years ago, etc.

So what’s causing this upward slope? What’s making human life generally better? Is it reptiles? No, it’s not aliens. It’s not sunspots.

It’s humans, other people, humans through science and art innovate and make life better. And simply with numbers we make possible gains through trade. But it’s more fundamental than that.

Other people provide for us, someone else to love and loving other people is the best way to have a good life. So maybe if you suffer from this sort of civilizational sadness, believe that hell is other people, maybe your problem is that you don’t realise that you yourself, dear listener, are good. But you are good. God loves you, make more of you, and know that you if you have children, you are giving a gift to the rest of the world.