Taking a peek back at some of my Myspace blogs (those that can be reached easily enough in these straitened times) I came upon this one that is little more than idle speculation but which maybe deserve a second life because the people in it aoparently don't!!!
It had been postulated by many writers of science fiction pulp fiction that one solution to the population problem lies in euthanasia. It's a crazy and cruel idea, but it may one day become a reality if people continue to reproduce with as much vigour as we do. The trouble is, planning a family is one thing and sticking to that plan is another, even with the wide range of contraceptive choices open to us, and the reason for that is the inherent fascination we have with sex. Sex is just too much fun!
So the population grows and grows and already too great a proportion of the global population is either hungry or thirsty or both. In addition, a big population can't help but lead to environmental degradation.
So enters the suggestion of euthanasia. And it may well work like this. A committee of important people (excluded from the effects of the final decision by virtue of their very importance) would jiggle around with figures and reach a conclusion about the perfect size of global population and then conclude at what age everyone (except for the aforementioned very important people) would have to die in order to maintain that population. Then, they would say, everyone would be happy and fulfilled and the worries inherent in uncertainty would be obliterated.
â€œWhat uncertainty?â€ you might well be tempted to ask. Well, the one that comes to mind is the uncertainty about the length of a human life. At the moment people quite commonly live well into their eighties, but some cling on to mortality past their hundredth birthday, and the committee of very important men might conclude that's downright antisocial.
They might, actually, conclude that nobody need die before they're fifty, what with the infallibility of medical science (barring, of course, the odd accident) but life after fifty is pretty worthless. It's the swarm mentality, the one wasps and bees suffer from. As soon as the individual's life is becoming unproductive they might as well shuffle off this mortal coil to make way for fresh-faced youngsters. Fifty may well be the optimum age after which efficiency and productivity start to falter.
So that becomes the age at which we go to meet (depending on our level of delusion) our maker.
Fifty! Fifty good years and bye-bye!
And that introduces our deathday. A year after birth we won't celebrate our first birthday but our fiftieth deathday, and thereafter on the anniversary of our pre-determined death the number would reduce annually by one until we reach our first deathday.
All that would be left would be the means to be employed to elevate us to the realms of the ancestors. Maybe that would replace the uncertainty factor. Maybe a whole range of fascinating deaths could be listed and a random device something like ERNIE (the random generating machine that decides who wins with their premium bonds) could pick out our own individual means of departure.
So old Jack Smith (fifty today) would collapse after imbibing a toxic amount of poison whilst Joan Jones (also fifty) might find herself being caught in a hail of crossfire (automatic, of course).
And there would be tremendous certainty in the world. Fifty's it, except for Very Important people who are allowed to live until they die naturally, because it's very important people who make wars and if they had the same rules imposed on them and there might be an awful lot of nuclear wars declared by leaders 364 days after their first deathday. That can't be allowed, can it?
So let them have a bit more uncertainty in their long lives, eh?
Â© Peter Rogerson 05.11.10