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Albert Einstein was not your prophet

This photo has been making the rounds for a while — it’s garbage, Snopes suggests that there is no corroboration for the quote, and the commenters agreeing with the sentiment are idiots. Who are using technology to talk about it.

fakeeinsteinquote

I look at that bottom photo and see five women interacting intensely with a larger circle of human beings than just that one little clump right there — and they could very well be talking to people world-wide. I see technology as an enabler and enhancer of communication.

I look at the top photo and see an authoritarian jerk behind it, who thinks putting their words into the mouth of a famous scientist lends their opinion greater authority. It doesn’t. It’s also kind of unfair to poor old Albert.

Comments

  1. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy” -Abraham Lincoln, 1864

  2. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. And it asks the important questions, for example “who let the dogs out?”” – Plato

  3. petemoulton says

    PZ sayeth: “I look at that bottom photo and see five women interacting intensely with a larger circle of human beings than just that one little clump right there — and they could very well be talking to people world-wide.”

    Or, they could just be looking at pictures of cats.

  4. colnago80 says

    I always preferred the following quotations attributed to Einstein.

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

    “I don’t know what weapons will be used in WW3 but I suspect that sticks and stones will be used in WW4.”

  5. says

    Albert’s not old, poor or sufferring, he is non-existant in this particular point in space-time. It’s interesting how we perceive the dead as existing eternally in their final state. It is just as rational to see him as a toddler or young irracable Albert or Albert in a War- bonnet ( i have a photo of him in one on my wall) as it is to perceive him in his state just prior to death.

  6. says

    I’m reminded of a troll who, rather than engage in logical analysis, called me a loser who plays D&D instead of having “real” social interactions. Wut?

  7. says

    The main problem with quotes isn’t that they’re often misquotes, but that I don’t really care that some famous person said it. When someone quotes Einstein at me, I sometimes say, “And that wasn’t the only thing Einstein was wrong about!”

  8. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I remember, when I was younger (last century), listening to old people (of course, my definition of old has changed — in 1975, 45 was old, now, not so much) complain that kids never go and visit each others hoses any more and spend too much time on the telephone. Modes of communications change. The act of communication also changes, but not as much.

    Hell, I communicate with a far more diverse group of people here than I do anywhere else in my life.

  9. nich says

    And am I the only one here over the age of 30 who recalls parents saying the same thing about the POTS? In 1994 the above could be accompanied by a pic of a teenager yammering away into a telephone. This “kids these days” bullshit is at least as old as Einstein himself.

  10. Holms says

    #11
    Albert’s not old, poor or sufferring, he is non-existant in this particular point in space-time. It’s interesting how we perceive the dead as existing eternally in their final state. It is just as rational to see him as a toddler or young irracable Albert or Albert in a War- bonnet ( i have a photo of him in one on my wall) as it is to perceive him in his state just prior to death.

    Pretty sure you’re overthinking it, “poor old X” is just a figure of speech. Sometimes, the ‘nitpick reflex’ should just be put on snooze for a few.

  11. unclefrogy says

    I don’t even know what that even means for technology to surpass human interaction’
    If it means that people communicating with machines would be bad, if people were for going communication with other people I would agree!
    That is not what the second picture shows. It shows as was indicated people using machines to increase their ability to communicate with more and more people all the time
    Governments around the world have not reacted the way they have if ignorance and idiocy were the problem with technology.
    uncle frogy

  12. says

    Strange they would bother faking an Einstein quote when they could have used a Carl Sagan quote to get a similar sentiment across… “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

  13. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I don’t see anything BAD about the Einstein “quote”. I too “fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction…” The mistake is to think that Today is That day. And what does he really mean by “technology will surpass”. To look at people using cellphones, is a misunderstanding. Mistaking “surpass” for “transmit” (i.e. “pass along”) Using technology for human interaction is not a case where technology surpasses human interaction.
    Is pseudo-Einstein saying he fears when computers become smarter than people, that having smart computers will turn everybody into idiots? I just don’t see that in the “quote”; only if I deliberately misconstrue it.

    I look at the top photo and see an authoritarian jerk behind it, who thinks putting their words into the mouth of a famous scientist lends their opinion greater authority.

    and water is wet, what else is new? ^_^

  14. kosk11348 says

    “I see technology as an enabler and enhancer of communication.”

    Exactly! It’s like the people who think they are so superior because they won’t “do” Facebook. Whatever, that’s their choice. But I can say that I feel more connected to and involved with my friends and family than before I started using social media. I can Skype with my 1 year-old niece who lives several states away and interact with her in real-time. Technology is not dehumanizing. It enhances human interaction. Absolutely.

  15. says

    Because of technology and the internet I have heard and read the words of a trans, women of colour, sex worker. I live in the whitest part of England and would almost certainly not have interacted with anyone like that otherwise. Because of technology I know of her as a person and not just as a statistic or a category. I like to think I would still not be trans-phobic, racist, or sex worker-phobic without the internet, but in my mind all those things would be categories and abstract concepts rather than people I can listen to and learn from.

  16. says

    The quote doesn’t even make sense. What does it mean for technology to “surpass our human interaction”? It sounds like it was supposed to be “supplant” or something like that.

  17. opposablethumbs says

    Anybody else find the picture also set off their sexism detectors?

    Yup. Definitely intended to imply that young women (rather than, say, a gaggle of wealthy-looking besuited men) are the ones obsessed with and taken over by tech (as opposed to, say, intelligently using it).

    You know what they were doing? They were spreading the word about a reproductive rights demo, phone-tree style, and between them they were addressing hundreds of others who were on their way.

  18. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    I’m reminded of something I saw recently (can’t remember where).

    Question: If someone from the 1950’s appeared in our time, what would be the hardest thing to explain to them about modern life?
    One possible answer: I have in my pocket a device which allows me access to all human knowledge. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.

  19. knowknot says

    @1 Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy” -Abraham Lincoln, 1864

    @2 Tabby Lavalamp

    I’ve never awarded an internet before, but Dave, you just won it.

    Upping that to Le Gran Prix du Bon Mots du Internets. Or whatever it’s called.
     
    Now stands along with my other favorite (possibly only comprehensible to practitioners):
    “I hate music, but I love the noise it makes.”

  20. Amphiox says

    It seems far more likely that technology will always be used more to enhance human communication rather than “surpass” it, given our species’ general predilection to communicating with one another.

    Unless, of course, that general predilection were to change, for whatever reasons.

  21. gussnarp says

    For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the woman who’s been studying youth culture and technology for some time now….

    Anyway, recently heard an interview with her where she discussed the difference in the way teenagers and their parents used their phones. She observed them at a football game and found the teenagers using text messaging to get together, and socializing in groups together, but the parents were tuned out and just staring at the phone. Flip that to say, the dining room table and the parents want to socialize with the teenagers but the teenagers are tuning out and staring at their phones… Basically, it isn’t about technology, it isn’t about “kids today”, it’s the age old story of kids developing new relationships with their peers and becoming more independent and parents wanting to maintain their idea of the family relationship and the conflict that arises. It’s about different social priorities. It’s the same thing it’s always been.

    Also, somehow I think Einstein, if he lamented the prospects of technology at all, would have been far more concerned with things like atom bombs.

  22. Alex says

    Haha girls are so shallow, using cellphones to do pointless stuff on the internet!

    Posted from my Android (TM)

  23. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    “This ‘fuhrer’ guy in Germany is trying to look like a skinnier version of me in a military uniform.” – Oliver Hardy

  24. knowknot says

    @32 Alex
    Haha, girls being the driving engine of Internet innovation via the social network.
     
    Poosted from my Apple™

  25. knowknot says

    bt. obviously d internet RulZ but, sumtimz i 1Dr f aL d awesum conncetivity causes d natuR of conversations 2 chAng n NE way, lIk mAbE quality of thawt o stuff lIk dat.

  26. Al Dente says

    kosk11348 @22

    It’s like the people who think they are so superior because they won’t “do” Facebook.

    I don’t feel superior because I don’t do Facebook. If Facebook fixes its multiple security and privacy problems then I’ll use it. I’ll probably think I’m inferior then.

  27. David Marjanović says

    bt. obviously d internet RulZ but, sumtimz i 1Dr f aL d awesum conncetivity causes d natuR of conversations 2 chAng n NE way, lIk mAbE quality of thawt o stuff lIk dat.

    Textspeak has already brought down an empire. :-þ

  28. David Marjanović says

    Aspie here. Social interaction is usually much easier by text. This *is* social.

    + 1

  29. Galactic Fork says

    The people agreeing with that “quote” (ha) are probably the same people who don’t think of the internet as “real life”. So even if you are not talking to someone face to face, they stop being a real person.

  30. says

    LykeX:

    The quote doesn’t even make sense. What does it mean for technology to “surpass our human interaction”?

    That would mean a world where everyone’s needs were taken care of via technology, and we were no longer social animals. It’s extra-idiotic seeing that people use current technology to be social.

  31. twas brillig (stevem) says

    …people who don’t think of the internet as “real life”.

    Hence the TXT-ers’ meme of IRL to distinguish the intertubez from “real” life. Leading to ‘sexting’, etc. The intertubez makes everyone using it think all the interactions there are just textz from the computerz, real stuff is only when face-to-face with a realz person.
    Pushing buttons on a laptop or touching the screen to put one’s thoughts into text is so different than using your mouth to makes those sounds we call “speaking”, and people will declare that “writing” is only when one uses a stick to make marks on paper. Only paper is realz and will last forever while txt is ethereal and can vanish in a blink.

    re @30 :
    That’s why many families forbid “smart”phones at the dinner table. _Talk_ to your parents, texting is forbidden.
    When I was just starting to “parent”, we set a rule, that at dinnertime, TV is OFF (cuz we could see TV from the table). “Look at the people _at_ the table, not at those foolz on the Boob-tube”.

  32. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Have to laugh at people complaining that people are so busy using their phones, they do not talk anymore on public transportation.

    Yes, it is true that I am usually on my phone when I am on the bus. And guess what I had my face stuck in twenty years ago in the same social setting. Stuck in a book or a newspaper.

  33. imthegenieicandoanything says

    But ol’ Al hated all technology! He only did “thought” experiments, usually involving cartoon mice and cats.

    Why the guy wouldn’t even use a flush toilet!… Or any toilet, actually. A distressing habit when he was at IAS, though he was not alone in this habit.
    Rumor says, anyway.

  34. loreo says

    “I like to think I would still not be trans-phobic, racist, or sex worker-phobic without the internet”

    Oh, I absolutely would be. I still am, because you can’t throw off thirty years of socialization in a blink, but at least now I know to check myself so all that crap stays in my head where it will hopefully die for lack of nutrients, and I can choose to treat people with proper respect.

    This image isn’t about technology, it’s about shitting on the youth. And of fucking course they used an image of young women juxtaposed against a respected man because young women are every misogynist’s favorite dehumanization target.

    And does anybody else hate that “insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results” quote?”Insanity” has so many different uses even colloquially, that quote just sounds like nonsense to me.

  35. barbarienne says

    So even if you are not talking to someone face to face, they stop being a real person.

    –>That explains most internet abuse, doesn’t it?

    ———-

    Yeah, that pic of the young women twanged my sexism meter, too.

    ———

    Question for the guys (generation X and older): Did you all chat on the phone as teenagers all the time, too? I thought of that as a primarily female activity. I have male friends now who I talk with on the phone for as long as I talk with my female friends, and primarily about similar topics, but as a teenager, my phone talks were almost all with other girls.

    As a teen I would call my male friends to invite them to things or ask if they were going to things, but I don’t recall many long, shooting-the-breeze conversations with guys I wasn’t dating.

    Now I have at least five or six guy friends I have chatty phone conversations with.

    So I have to wonder if guys were always having these phone conversations, but with each other, not girls, back when they were teenagers.

  36. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Aspie here. Social interaction is usually much easier by text. This *is* social.

    I don’t have a diagnosis but dealing with people face to face scares is incredibly intimidating for me. I’d have no social interaction if not for the interwebs.

  37. Alex says

    @barbarienne
    I generally dislike phone conversations. Bah!

    But the bard said it best:

    Be fearful, ye of little phones!

    – Matthew Shakespeare

  38. Kevin Kehres says

    @43: People didn’t talk to anyone on the train back in “the day”…what a load of rubbish. I spent almost 20 years commuting into NYC — “excuse me”, or “can I sit there” was the sum extent of any conversation I had with any stranger on any train in all that time. And it was the same for everyone else. If you were traveling with someone, you talked to them — but never to anyone else.

    The “good old days” weren’t that great. I would have loved to have a tech device to keep me occupied on my commute. Especially the last 5 years, when I had moved out to where my one-way train ride was >1 hour.

    My only complaint about people using their smartphones is that they often walk headlong into you without looking up. That’s a bit too oblivious for me…I wonder if the statistics for getting smooshed by a bus have gone up in recent years?

  39. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    I’m gonna say it:

    The internet (in it’s dial-up glory of 1997) saved my life.

    Social networking (by which I mean “IRC chat rooms”) saved my life.

    I was twelve, living in a small town (a very religious, very rural, very conservative). I had no friends (this is not exaggeration). I was bullied. I was beaten up on a regular basis.

    But I logged into a chat room and I had friends. People gave a crap about me.

    Fuck that shit about how the internet isn’t “real” and is distracting from the stuff that matters.

    The internet, by broadening horizons, makes it possible for the oppressed of society, those stomped on (for whatever reason) to find those like themselves.

    Maybe that’s what those with power fear so much.

  40. Amphiox says

    “I fear for the kids these days. All they do is talk! Gabble gabble blab blab blab. Half of them couldn’t pick a gnat out of an Alpha’s fur if their lives depended on it, if they even know how to groom at all! Mark my words, the loss if physical touch that this new fangled “language” technology produces will have profoundly negative impacts on primate socialization in the years to come”

    – troop elder, nameless, ca. 1 million B.C.

  41. twas brillig (stevem) says

    …I wonder if the statistics for getting smooshed by a bus have gone up in recent years?

    Some cities are considering making it illegal to Text-and-walk due to the increase in pedestrian casualties from crossing the street while texting and not looking around, just at the screen they’re holding. [citation lacking, but should be easy to google for it]

  42. says

    Re texting/walking laws, I found Fort Lee, NJ.

    And I figure it’s interesting from a development-of-religions perspective to see Albert yet again recruited to ‘say’ something someone else wants said…

    I figure that’s also what’s useful about gods and major religious figures. Ready made authorities to vouch for your opinions. Makes me wonder again if any of these dudes (or those not entirely fictional) said half of what’s now attributed to them. Also the fact it’s Einstein now may say something about how perceptions of just who is an appropriately Wise Authority are changing…

    (/PS: Stephen Hawking totally agrees with me on this. So I’m right.)

  43. twas brillig (stevem) says

    So I have to wonder if guys were always having these phone conversations, but with each other, not girls, back when they were teenagers.

    When I was a teenager, I would often spend a lot of time on the “landline” (mobiles did not exist then), to discuss that night’s homework (usually math: geometry, algebra, trig, calculus) with another classmate. Not much “chit-chat”, nor gossip. But I was just a nerd, not a “real guy”.

  44. says

    I don’t not talk to people on public transit because of my smartphone. I don’t talk to people on public transit because I am a more or less conventionally attractive, fairly young lady and so about 99% of the people who have ever tried to talk to me on public transit have been giant creepers about it, and so I will stick my face in anything to avoid it. Phone, kindle, newspaper, coffee, notebook, gigantic boring-looking book on banking–I’ll intently gnaw my own fingers off in order to be too absorbed in something to risk looking remotely approachable. If we’d never invented any of this new fancy social media stuff I’d be sitting on the subway with my nose to a mud slab covered in cuneiform.

  45. says

    “The internet has the amazing capability of allowing people with brains and heart to actually meet friendly people when they are in a place where everyone shuns them.” -actually, this one was me

    It’s actually kind of amazing how many people I’ve known (online) who have a small number of friends outside the internet, actually dislike most of the people they know outside the internet, but have some pretty good friends online.

    Me, I’ve just always been awful at face-to-face interaction. And going outside. I interact better by text. And, um, have terrible handwriting. So writing letters isn’t an option.

    Man, nobody ever complained about letters like they do about online interaction.

  46. sugarfrosted says

    @43

    Yes, it is true that I am usually on my phone when I am on the bus. And guess what I had my face stuck in twenty years ago in the same social setting. Stuck in a book or a newspaper.

    It’s kind of weird really. I’ll often read a book or a newspaper on my cellphone while I walk places or ride the bus, but if I read the physical object no one would think that I’m someone just avoiding social interaction by doing so.

  47. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Man, nobody ever complained about letters like they do about online interaction.

    Of course they did; we just don’t have a written record of it.

  48. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Actually, we do have whining from I think Socrates (or perhaps Plato) griping about how the young’uns were over-reliant on writing, rather than trusting their memories.

  49. chigau (違う) says

    Linked photo in dean #59.
    Hats!
    Look at all the hats.
    We need to go back to everyone wearing hats.
    Proper hats.
    Not backward baseball caps.

  50. Akira MacKenzie says

    I use my smartphone and laptop to communicate NOT because I’m incapable of developing “real” relationships with people. No, I use my smartphone and laptop to communicate so I don’t have to have any sort of relationship–real of otherwise–with YOU.

    Now piss off!

  51. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    You can see in the current iteration of Da Lounge folks caring for one another via the internet. And speaking for myself, that expression of caring helps immensely. Anyone who disparages communication because of the medium upon which it’s carried out should be pitied. They are cutting themselves off from a vast sea of humanity.

  52. latsot says

    The quote makes no sense for reasons other than those already pointed out. If technology surpassed human interaction, that would be a good thing by definition. It’d be *better* than human interaction. It’d be an upgrade. We’d have levelled up. That’s what ‘surpass’ means. There’s also no reason at all to suspect this would make us all idiots or any justification that our being idiots by whatever definition the author had in mind would even be bad.

    It looks to me very much like the whole intent of this masterwork was to say that young women are idiots because they’re all intently studying their phones rather than talking to the author. I can’t imagine why.

  53. crookedshoes says

    This is what high school students look like nowadays when they are cheating on a test. They set up a group chat, then some one single kid manages to sneak a photo of one of the pages of the document. They post it to the group chat and everyone gets to work. Repeat as often as necessary, then adjust your 100% back so as not to arouse suspicion.

    This is what high school students look like when they are organizing a movement.

    This is what kids look like when they are planning a party…. fighting with a peer…. looking at porn….face timing mom…… looking up a fact to win a bet…… doing a school project ….. editing a song …. editing a movie….. writing a movie…..etc….

    This is not antisocial but, rather turbo social.

  54. Anri says

    Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel @ 27:

    Question: If someone from the 1950′s appeared in our time, what would be the hardest thing to explain to them about modern life?
    One possible answer: I have in my pocket a device which allows me access to all human knowledge. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.

    I dunno, the idea of a phone without a cord is neat, but not really mind-blowing. Dick Tracy had a wrist-worn two-way video phone, after all.

    What might be more surprising is that you can have your entire, extensive, indexed music collection in something the size of a matchbox. Speaking as someone just slightly techy, the improvements in storage capacity is what has consistently been amazing to me.

  55. opposablethumbs says

    Question: If someone from the 1950′s appeared in our time, what would be the hardest thing to explain to them about modern life?

    … maybe the fact that despite very significant advances in science and technology there has not been MORE progress than there actually has been in terms of social justice?
    Wouldn’t they wonder how the hell we had managed NOT to do away with world hunger in spite of all the technological developments in contraception, energy generation and food production? :-(

    I guess it would depend somewhat on who turned up from the 1950s …

  56. gussnarp says

    @Kevin Kehres #48:

    I read Faith Popcorn and my reaction was what the hell is faith popcorn and how is it a response to me?

    Then I realized it was a name. Not the one I’m thinking of though.

  57. Athywren says

    Einstein may have been opposed, but Jesus loved text messaging.

    “Judas! Flsh mb, Gthsmn grdns. PIO!
    -Jesus Godsson”

  58. Menyambal says

    “I pretty much never sit by the pool anymore.” – Marco Polo

    Some of the New York and other big-city newspapers used to have stories laid out so that they could be read with the paper folded into a compact quarter sheet on a crowded commuter train.

    Kipling wrote a poem that started with cavemen complaining about the new stone arrowheads, instead of well-carved bone.

  59. says

    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

    Socrates, supposedly, but I read that this may be a made-up quote, too, dating back to the fifties. I hate to contradict Lincoln, but mis-attribution is older than the internets.

  60. frog says

    Wouldn’t they wonder how the hell we had managed NOT to do away with world hunger in spite of all the technological developments in contraception, energy generation and food production?

    –>The answer to that is, “burgeoning population.” We actually produce far more food far more efficiently than we did in the 1950s, all thanks to advances in technology.

    Factory-farming of animals for meat; reduced biodiversity in our crops because we select the hardy, fast-growing ones; draining our aquifers with massive irrigation–these may be bad things morally or in terms of risk exposure. But they’re among many things that allow us to feed a significantly larger number of human beings right now than could be fed in 1950.

  61. frog says

    Addendum to my @77: Technological developments to contraception have slowed the birth rate, but medical advances have greatly reduced the infant mortality rate.

    Advances to energy generation just mean we all use more energy (if we have access to it). More energy = cheaper energy = people willing to pay for more. My grandmother’s generation didn’t even have electric refrigerators. Now the typical 1st World household has a fridge, multiple TVs or computers, perhaps some sort of radio or stereo, a/several computer/s, mobile devices (which can substitute for some other things). In many cases also dishwashers and laundry machines. Perhaps multiple automobiles. Microwave oven. Lawn mower. In-sink garbage disposal. Endless electric lights in many more rooms per person than before. Daily showers instead of weekly baths.

    You can’t solve a problem that grows along with the solution.

  62. David Marjanović says

    We need to go back to everyone wearing hats.

    Why? So useless!

    (Of course, so are baseball caps outdoors: they don’t protect the ears. I’m wearing one right now, because I’m indoors – in a room where the ceiling light would otherwise shine into my eyes.)

  63. opposablethumbs says

    My main point (which in hindsight I totally failed to even mention, let alone express clearly, d’oh) is that political/economic/ideological issues sideline much technological opportunity. Such as capitalism making the goal of eternal economic growth almost literally unquestionable and setting little or no “value” on social wellbeing and stability or on environmental health, and also effectively concentrating wealth – and technology – almost exclusively in the hands of a tiny proportion of the world’s population (not much internet access in sub-Saharan Africa compared with other parts of the world); such as religion outlawing contraception and actively militating against women’s reproductive choice.

    You can’t solve a problem that grows along with the solution.

    Exactly.

  64. David Marjanović says

    In-sink garbage disposal.

    A purely North American thing – but then, so is having air condition and a clothes-dryer at home, which you haven’t mentioned.

  65. Nick Gotts says

    frog@77, 78

    The answer to that is, “burgeoning population.”

    No, it isn’t. There is currently plenty of food to go round. People go hungry because they are too poor to buy the food that is on sale.

    Technological developments to contraception have slowed the birth rate, but medical advances have greatly reduced the infant mortality rate.

    The rate of growth of global population has approximately halved in the past half-century, despite huge falls in the death rate at all ages – particularly but not just infant mortality. It’s therefore blindingly obvious that reduced birthrates have greatly outweighed reduced infant mortality. In fact, reducing brithrates and reducing infant mortality are almost impossible to separate: educating women and girls is a primary cause of both.

    *sigh* Why won’t people who pontificate about population issues actually take the trouble to check the facts?

  66. says

    A telling phrase I heard in a documentary last year is that we have passed “peak children”; that is, that there are fewer children being born each year worldwide than the year before. Still above replacement rate, mind, and projected to remain so until mid-century or so, but the slowing of the rate of growth is a trend that is unlikely to reverse until then at the earliest.

  67. says

    This image/caption is stupid, but it does annoy me when every time someone tries to criticize the trends in device usage they get shouted down by cries of “oh the kids today” and “get off my lawn”. That’s head-in-sand stuff, assuming nothing changes much generation to generation and the kids today don’t face new, unique challenges. If you think Facebook is just a way of connecting with your friends and family you are willfully naive.

    The way my niece uses her smartphone has totally altered the way she is experiencing college, and mostly not for the better. She is an outlier I admit, but her problem is real and trending.