Monday, July 11, 2022

An amusing footnote to Joseph's Elon Musk post

Following up on Friday's post.

Elon Musk talks a lot about humanity, and his love of humanity, and his need to save humanity in a way that isn't at all creepy or indicative of a messiah complex.

Musk's latest mission is to save humanity from the dangers of population collapse (a notion Joseph rebutted in the previously mentioned post). Part of this concern might have been meant to deflect media attention from the news that Musk had impregnated a direct report.

 When you get into the conversation around population collapse alarmists, you quickly notice that the concern focuses specifically on the collapse of certain populations (the US, Europe, Japan). Africa and Latin America don't get a lot of attention. While we don't want to paint with too broad a brush, much of this is definitely great replacement adjacent.

There is also a strong eugenics lite quality here, further emphasized by some of Musk's comments about the right people having children.

"Contrary to what many think, the richer someone is, the fewer kids they have. I am a rare exception," Musk said. He returned to that thread several times over the next month, adding on June 14, "I mean, I'm doing my part haha."

On June 17, Musk tweeted the opening scene of "Idiocracy," the 2006 Mike Judge comedy depicting a world in which highly intelligent people are reluctant to reproduce while those with low IQs continue to have large families, dumbing down the Earth's population. "When I ask my friends why they're not yet having kids (very few are), it sounds exactly like the movie," he wrote.


 Mike Judge used a somewhat cringey premise (which was the main thing Musk seemed to take away from the movie) to set up a satirical take on 2006 America. That premise was basically an update of "the Marching Morons," a classic science fiction story with a memorable ending.

The elite have tried everything rational to solve the population problem, but the problem cannot be solved rationally. The solution requires a way of thinking that no longer exists – Barlow's "vicious self-interest" and his knowledge of ancient history.

Barlow derives a solution based on his experience in scamming people into buying worthless land and knowledge of lemmings' mass migration into the sea: convince the morons to travel to Venus in spaceships that will kill their passengers out of view of land. The story predates the moon landing, and the safety of space travel is summed up in a description of a rocket that crashed on the moon. Propaganda depicts Venus as a tropical paradise, with "blanket trees", "ham bushes" and "soap roots". In a nationalistic frenzy, every country tries to send as many of their people to Venus as possible to stake their claim.

Barlow's help includes using his knowledge of Nazi propaganda tactics: postcards are sent from the supposedly happy new residents of Venus to relatives left behind, describing a wonderful, easy life, in the same way as fraudulent postcards were sent to relatives of those incinerated in the Nazi death-camps.

But Barlow is duped by his erstwhile assistants. Barlow does not realize that the elite despise him, as they despise all people from the past for not having solved The Problem earlier. In the end, Barlow is placed on a spaceship to Venus to share the fate of his victims and realizes that crime does not pay, just before he dies.
Given Musk's fondness for classic science fiction, perhaps he has a copy.

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