Earthstonestation got me thinking…
I have no grandchildren. I have no children. I’m a proud member of VHEMT.
I often wonder why I’m even interested in the concept of humanity surviving. There seems to be nothing at all in it for me. My genes aren’t going to live on after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil — some might even say that’s just as well ;).
Why shouldn’t I just carpe diem and sod the future, in the same way that, so it often seems, everyone else does? — especially those who do have loinfruit and thus should, in theory, be taking a longer-term view for the sake of their sprogs.
The only answer I’ve been able to come up with that makes any kind of sense is that, presumably, the urge to protect ‘my own’ is still just as strong for me as it is for anyone else, but in my case that urge has no narrow — shortsighted — focus.
It seems clear to me that the reason we continue to have wars is because of our tendency to act to protect ourselves first (generally), then those closest to us (family, friends), and on upwards, through village, tribe and nation. The only possible way we’ll ever act together is if we’re invaded by aliens.
And because, in the ‘civilised’ world, the nation-states have become so powerful, any attempt to get nations to act in a less parochial fashion cannot succeed. All we ever get is lip-service to international cooperation, because the members of a nation-state will always only ever act in a way that best serves the local tribe.
Our neighbours are having a hard time? Sod them, I need to worry about my own patch of turf. People in some far-off land are starving to death, or dying of some easily-curable disease? Bugger that: it’s far more important that the cricket ground on the village green is properly tended, and that that new bypass is built — or not built, depending upon how it would impact my own life…
If I knew anything about surveys (I don’t, not really, beyond the basic understanding that it involves going out and talking to lots of people) I’d be tempted to conduct one. The aim of the survey I have in mind would be to try to determine the difference in attitudes towards survival of self/ family/ nation by those with children, and those (like me) without.
Is my concern about the Fate of the World unusual, given that there’s not a lot left of my allotment of three-score-and-ten, and my genes won’t continue? Or would my survey discover that, in fact, I’m not so strange after all?
Hmm… maybe I should have a word with Lisa Hymas at GINK think…
 including me
 It could be argued that we already have been: but we haven’t noticed because they look human, smell human, act human and, oh, wait, shit, they are human…
 I think I already know the answer to that: one word, ‘unlikely’ 🙂