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A Lateral View on Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly!  Christmas has come(and gone, as it is). Christmas, as most people know is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But it is one of the only religious celebration celebrated by members of various religions. But among other religions, the appeal of Christmas is not due to the religious significance, but because of a bearded felon wanted for breaking and entering. also known as Santa Claus. But how is Santa Claus related to Christmas?

He’s not. There is absolutely no relationship between Santa and Jesus. So essentially, people who are not Christian are celebrating an entirely different festival, but under the same name. Stop for a moment and think about this. What is meant to be a celebration of the birth of the founder of a major religion is associated with the exchange of gifts for no apparent reason. Children are told that Santa Claus is giving them presents, but only a few will wonder why. Once they find out Santa is not real, the gift giving still continues regardless of what religion you follow. It is understandable that Christians can exchange gifts like the three wise men to celebrate the birth of Christ, but I find it weird that everybody else do it for absolutely no reason whatsoever. If you ask yourself ‘Why do we celebrate Christmas with such vigor?’ You’ll find no logical answer. But Christmas is still celebrated by opening of gifts and reunion of family members. This gathering is looked forward to by many people, maybe because you get to meet your brother after he was away all year, etc.

The other side of Christmas is buying the actual gifts. Christmas has been commercialized, with sales occurring everywhere-it’s the most profitable time for markets along with Black Friday. The only ads you will see are about sales or Christmas-related events. Commercially, Christmas is related to Santa, with Santa mascots in every mall you visit. In media, Christmas is portrayed as a secular festival, showing the exchange of gifts and the decoration of the Christmas trees with ornaments such as candy canes. The religious factor has been almost entirely eliminated from Christmas, so that markets can sell to more consumers. Due to this, the way Christmas is celebrated has changed over the years, with most people welcoming the change but some are indignant to follow it and adhere to old traditions. Christmas has become a time for families to reunite, have fun and let loose for a few days.

A Lateral View on Overpopulation

I recently finished reading the best book I’ve ever read: Dan Brown’s Inferno. The plot revolves around Harvard Symbologist Robert Langdon waking up in a hospital without any information on how he got there. Long story short, he has to stop a plague from being released and killing most of the population. This plague has been created by a scientist who knows that if the population growth is not controlled, the human species will go extinct by 2100.

This got me thinking about overpopulation. First of all, is it real? You would say: “Of course it is! We’re being taught about it in school!” Let’s assume for a moment that it is real. Please keep an open mind as you read my views. Human population is increasing exponentially, and by the end of this century we will run out of resources. But that is only if our technology hasn’t advanced in tandem by that time. I mean, 2100 is a long way ahead. We already have the technology to 3D print houses!(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ultratravel/the-next-big-thing/10110195/The-worlds-first-3D-printed-house.html http://www.wimp.com/printerhouse/) It’s hard to believe that we will still be dependent on fossil fuels in the next 40 years, let alone 80 or 90 years. We will probably have managed to harvest the sun’s energy much more efficiently, and maybe use anti matter for electricity. But for the sake assume that we will still be dependent on fossil fuels for electricity (note that mining uranium also requires fuel so nuclear fission is still dependent on fossil fuels) then yes, we will die out, or at least scientifically go down the evolutionary ladder. But humans have a way of pulling through, and I strongly believe that due to our mental superiority we will eventually go back to our current status, and maybe even to a more advanced stage of civilization. Of course, this may take hundreds or maybe even a thousand years more than if we found an alternate source of energy. And we will need to find a budget friendly way to convert salt water to fresh water. But this is only if the risk of overpopulation is real.

Sure, it may seem like that now, and the last time there was a risk of overpopulation, the plague struck. But because of the plague, the Renaissance started. Humans don’t pay attention until a serious and grave catastrophe strikes. This is an element of Darwinism and nature’s way of keeping the population under control. Another disease like the plague will show up, except this time it won’t be quarantined so quickly. In any case, another world war is imminent and if the superpowers play a major hand, there will be a nuclear winter. If the U.S and Russia launch enough nukes then we will go into nuclear darkness. (http://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/deadlyglobalclimatechange/), and we will go into an extreme ice age, which will surely cause the consequences I have explained above, if not total annihilation of the human race.  Say that a miracle occurs and there is no war, but even then there would be widespread panic owing to depleting resources. Fuels will be expensive, and countries with a large population will pass strict laws in favor of population control, so as to support their citizens. A similar thing is happening in India now. With a population of over 1,000,000,000 (I put the number for effect), you can’t throw a stone without it hitting a corrupt cop or politician. This is causing the rupee to fall to Rs.60=$1. In 2008 it was 40 to 1. As the population increased, the economy crashed. As a result, commodities are more expensive to import and the country needs a smaller population to support or it will go bankrupt. There is another barrier for population: as prices of food, water and electricity go up, jobs will be harder and harder to find, and people will realize that having kids is too expensive, and this will affect population growth negatively.

These are two valid arguments, they both have an equal chance of occurring. In the end, is overpopulation a real threat or a myth taught to us in schools? It is too early to say, but if you ask me I think that there is a really small chance that we will go extinct, or run out of resources.