Friday, May 10, 2019

Enough rope to hang yourself

Because of technology and cheap energy, we have the lowest cost food in the history of the world. Never have so many people been fed by so few farmers. What do we do with such a boon? Everyone is obese!

We have the best-funded medical system the world has ever seen. What do we use it for? Are we saving lives? Not really. We are treating the effects of eating too much, exercising too little, and killing babies. More than half of Americans took a prescription drug in the last 30 days. Everyone is addicted to something, it seems. More Americans die every year from opioid overdoses than died in the Vietnam war.

Today, every single person in the US can attend college. Instead of leading the world in innovation and productivity, the United States is cranking out an unfettered quantity of underemployed baristas. Why? Because given unprecedented access to education, young people prefer majors that end with "studies" or traditional majors for which there are no jobs, in spite of the fact that there are unprecedented shortages and excellent wages for many other fields. So, these folks leave school with an average of $35,000 in student debt that they will never pay off.

Welfare programs are designed to funnel our enormous economic surplus (defined as what is more than absolutely necessary to live) to those who would otherwise suffer. However, look at what it actually does. For more than 20% of the population, it is more profitable to be on welfare than it is to work, and that number is increasing fast. The child support/family court/welfare panoply has changed the face of marriage. Realizing that the system is overtly stacked against them, men are increasingly opting out of marriage. More and more men refuse to marry, and some even refuse to date, and that number is increasing very quickly. Men realize that they don't need a relationship to have sexual fulfillment and that in a world of no fault divorce, child support, and alimony, it just isn't worth the overwhelming risk (50% of marriages end in divorce, of which 70% are initiated by women, and which almost always means child support and alimony from the husband with little to no cost to the woman).

Birth control has allowed families to plan when to have babies and how many to have. What has this marvel brought us? A lot of bad things. Did you know that hormonal birth control completely changes a woman's mental health, including her ability to feel happy, to pair bond, what kind of man she finds attractive, and what sorts of things she seeks in life? The ubiquity of birth control is a factor in the spike in use of antidepressants as well as the divorce rate (short version: women on hormonal birth control are attracted to beta males, get married, go off birth control, and suddenly hate their spouse). Birth control has driven the increase in the number of sexual partners people have during their lives. In 1970, 80% of women had two or fewer premarital sexual partners. Today, it is fewer than 39%. People have, on average, around 10 sexual partners during the course of their lives. It is important to note that the odds of a woman getting a divorce go from 5% to >20% if she has had one premarital sexual partner, 30% if she has had 2. Why? Because a woman's ability to pair bond and be happily married are strongly coupled with her having a minimal number of serious relationships prior to marriage due to oxytocin and vasopressin patterns in the brain. Women are not biologically wired to have more than one serious relationship. [Sidenote: for men, the negative effects don't kick in until around 7 partners]. Prior to the pill, a combination of factors led to rational sexual behavior in women. They sought a stable, successful, strong male partner to avoid the financial and social risks of unmarried sex. Without these guardrails, women have had ample opportunity to display their baser motivations. Modern women view their pre-30 years as a time to "have fun" with men. The development of this cultural change has been accompanied by a significant and consistent decline in female happiness since 1970. Millennial women have embraced hook up culture, and use Tinder to compete for the top 20% of men. They don't mind that these same 20% of men are sleeping with 80% of the women. They don't care that these men do not pass their standards for marriage. They aren't looking for a husband or a father for their children, they are looking to have "fun".  Consequently, the number of men who have no partner keeps going up, and is currently 3x the female rate (these numbers were equal in 1970). And what are these men doing with their lives, since they have no societal guard rails encouraging them to increase their earning potential and otherwise improve themselves? Video games and porn!

The internet has brought unprecedented access to information into the hands of all, essentially for free, and in a small enough band of time that most people alive were adults when this was not yet the case. Anyone remember encyclopedias? And what are we doing with this? Are people self-training for vocations that were previously reserved for only the select few? Are people inventing things like never before? Are people improving themselves by studying the works of great minds? For the most part, the internet is used for social media, Netflix, video games, and porn. We have rewired our brains for short term dopamine hits, killed our concentration ability, and ruined our ability to having meaningful, real relationships.

I can go on and on, because this is the pattern you will see in every aspect of modern life: God has given us unprecedented resources, and we are using them to fulfill the wicked intents of our evil hearts.

1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.
2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!
6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide. (Helaman 12)
Too many mistakenly believe that when the end comes, it will be through supernatural means. They think God will unleash some miraculous judgment with magical and spontaneous wrath. What they don't understand is that so much of what is happening and will happen is simply the natural result of our proclivity towards evil being manifested in unprecedented ways, not because of God's judgment, but because of God's blessing in giving us more resources than we've ever had. And what do we do with those resources? We fulfill the vain imaginations of our evil hearts. Look around you, you will see it everywhere. And that is just what you see. There are much worse things happening that are hidden from your sight.

This is all exactly according to Satan's plan. He is a liar from the beginning, and the lie that he pushes is that there is some other way than what God has ordained. That you can have sex outside of marriage without negative consequences. That you can eat anything anytime without negative consequences. That you can go to school for anything you want and be in the same situation as those who study wise majors. That you can indulge in any and all things on the internet and not pay a price. That you can do anything you want and someone will save you from the negative consequences of your actions. It doesn't work that way.

God does not have to send some magical event(s) to wipe this promised land clean. All he has to do is expose us to the natural consequences of our actions. All he has to do is give us some rope, and we will hang ourselves. Our heads are already in the noose, and we are standing on a very wobbly chair.