February 9, 2019

JOEL KOTKIN: Technological Progress and the Global Sex Recession. “We may live amidst what seems a libidinous culture, but oddly also an increasingly sexless time. Of course, the drop in early teen sex – and even more so, teen pregnancies – represents positive developments, but when lack of social interaction leads to celibacy in the twenties, thirties and beyond, the implications are less than wholesome. . . . Those who grew up in the shadow of Paul Ehrlich’s ‘population bomb,’ or amidst the wanton sexuality of the 1960s and 1970s, now confront an unimaginable future. There may be some good out of these trends — for the environment, reducing abuse of women and the threat of mass unemployment. But in the end the prospect of an ever more sexless, and family free, world seems a grim one, and slightly less than human.”

Well, machines get better every year. People are not showing similar rates of improvement. Indeed, there’s a good argument that the same society that’s giving us better machines is giving us worse people. And Ehrlich’s book was a lie, and an immensely destructive one.