Japan and the setting sun:
Florida used to have spectacular sunsets, panoramic in extent, color piling up to the zenith, the whole thing lit steadily by the sun and intermittently by lightning, colors that rapidly exhausted my vocabulary to describe them as I watched and the whole thing evolving imperceptibly with time from great cotton like clouds against a now vanished blue to universal stygian gloom.  It isn’t like that any longer.  But we occasionally still get nice ones.

It was not many years ago that I noticed a sunset where the clouds below the horizon had created radiating shafts of light that recalled the Japanese flag.  I am told that the flag resembles the rising, not the setting sun.  But I have never noticed that display around dawn.

We have been reminded again (The Japan Syndrome, ECCONOMIST vol. 397 no. 8709 November 20, 2010 page 18) that Japan has a low birth rate.  In fact they are aging faster than anybody else.  And that will mean change.  The obvious cure is to have people work more years.  That, of course, only takes you so far.

The most socially productive work anybody can do is to spend time with children.  If they were to spend time with grandchildren, it would be a wonderful thing even though it would not have an immediate obvious impact on the balance sheets of the economists. 

The problem is the lack of children.

It is a great pity that there is really no way to get the message from this desk to the desk of the people who set the policies and address the public.  All one need do is get the attention of someone with real clout and then point out the facts.  The easiest rout is now probably to go to Youtube and watch The Dance of the Chromosomes.  That would steer you to nobabies.net and then on to “Exobiology Updates” and the Albuquerque poster.  I have more information at my elbow here and some day I hope to do another summary including it.  I have already mentioned that a potential mechanism is already in the literature. 

As their day darkens, at least somebody is striking sparks, but the tinder is damp.

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