A Japanese official has been forced to apologize for stating the obvious. Japan’s population is shrinking
The headline in the New York Times is (perhaps inadvertently) amusing: “Official Apologizes After Blaming Childless People for Japan’s Shrinking Population.” What, exactly, is there to apologize for? This is so glaringly indisputable that even Captain Obvious could have made that observation. It’s like blaming bank robbers for causing bank robberies. So, Mr. Aso committed a classic Kinsley gaffe. He said something that was obviously true, but he wasn’t supposed to say it, possibly because it’s a touchy subject in Japan.Alex Berezow, “Japanese Official Apologizes For Telling Truth About Shrinking Population” at American Council on Science and Health
Essentially, the future belongs to those who show up for it.
The story itself belongs with so much that is happening today. Science is supposed to be about numbers, among other things, but one can’t depend on that for support anymore.
See, for example: Amazing! Science journal op-ed gets real about why so many people don’t “trust science” What’s amazing is for someone to even admit the obvious: “As a scientist and an organizer of this conference, I had walked into the planning of this meeting with my own frustrations and preconceptions about “science denial,” and how to fix it. On the day of the
If just getting real is a big step, we have a ways to go.
Then there’s social sciences’ putting a respectable face on persecuting the hoaxers of their field. They’re not concerned about the health of their discipline, presumably because they can legally (possibly forcibly, through the courts?) extract money while publishing garbage. They’re only concerned about anyone talking about it and showing it to the world for what it is.
Japan may be an advanced case of demanding a refuge from reality if you consider some other news: Some people there actually try to marry AI entities. (“Two-dimensional characters can’t cheat, age or die.”) Then there is the booming trade in sex robots. Sure, that’ll help. And the robot dogs who can’t disobey. Oh, and the mulling of robot priests. (If God is the Tin Man, the robot priest is just who you need to talk to him for you.)
Let’s hope the Singularity Is NOT Near. It sounds pretty awful.
See also: Why, in many cases, you’d be a fool to “trust science”
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