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Two Faces of Dreamtime
More than 30 years after China’s one-child policy was introduced, creating two generations of notoriously chubby, spoiled only children affectionately nicknamed “little emperors,” a population crisis is looming. … The average birthrate has plummeted to 1.8 children per couple. … The imbalance is worse in wealthy coastal cities with highly educated populations, such as Shanghai. Last year, … [its] birthrate was less than one child per couple. …
Officials have gradually softened their stance on the one-child policy. … In July, Shanghai became the first Chinese city to launch an aggressive campaign to encourage more births, … [but its] more urban districts report no change. …
Financial considerations are probably the main reason. … “We were at the center of our families and used to everyone taking care of us. We are not used to taking care of and don’t really want to take care of others.” … It’s about being successful enough to be selfish. … “A mother has to give up at least two years of her social life. … You have to remodel your apartment … You have to have a résumé ready by the time the child is 9 months old for the best preschools.” Most of his friends are willing to deal with this once, Chen said, but not twice.
Try to see such events via the eyes of our distant descendants in a few centuries or millennia, with a vast powerful civilization of folks who, like our distant ancestors, are happy but poor, achieving personal goals via behaviors well adapted to a larger civilization’s preservation and growth. They will truly marvel at our dreamtime, when folks were so individually rich and self-indulgent that they mainly believed whatever it seemed pleasant to believe, and did whatever it seemed pleasant to do. Compared to our descendants:
Our lives [today] are far more dominated by consequential delusions: wildly false beliefs and non-adaptive values that matter.
Added: Since 1990, US folks who have felt in touch with dead folks is up 17 to 29%, and those who have been in the presence of a ghost is up 9 to 18%.