Re: Spreading Transhumanism & Japan article

Anders Sandberg (
07 Sep 1999 18:50:03 +0200 writes:

> In a message dated 09/05/1999 4:12:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > The gist of the article was that Japan is aging very quickly
> > and will experience sharp declines in population during the
> > next century. The result being that Japan's relative importance
> > in the world will decline. The existence of once bustling
> > islands that now have only a few elderly residents (that
> > the government nevertheless spends huge sums on to ensure
> > ongoing regular ferry service and all modern conveniences
> > as a matter of honor and obligation) was used to introduce
> > this point.
> Look. This is a really interesting article you have presented. However, Japan
> being depicted as being filled with nothing but oldsters can't be right-or at
> least the focus isn't. Perhaps the Japan of the 2010 -2050 era may be
> depicted as a place which has lossed a huge amount fo population compared to
> the 1980's.

Significant population decrease isn't that likely, even if Japan due its currently stringent immigration laws is causing a certain population decrease (in most western countries it is just immigration that keeps the population from decreasing). The big problem is a greying population: 25% over 65 will put a significant strain to any current pension system.

> But conversely, is a much richer place because of computerized
> robotic technology and a smaller population to support. Lets say that a
> population of 75-80 million(versus 120 million today) isn't exactly, a dearth
> of people for a total land area the size of Oregon.

Less young people = less capital invested in homemaking, schools and other activities involving the young and setting up families. A decreased population may have a hard time keeping the economy afloat, especially if a large percentage is retired. Robotization doesn't occur magically overnight.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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