Monthly Archives: September 2013

150 BC, Greek Historian Polybius: Depopulation caused by Selfish, Childless Marriages

http://pop.org/content/europe-we-know-it-dying

Europe as We Know It is Dying

What Will Follow the Winter of Western Civilization?

By Steven W. Mosher

It’s happened before.

Polybius is considered by some to be the successor of Thucydides in terms of objectivity and critical reasoning, and the forefather of scholarly, painstaking historical research in the modern scientific sense. According to this view, his work sets forth the course of history's occurrences with clearness, penetration, sound judgment, and among the circumstances affecting the outcomes, lays especial emphasis on the geographical conditions. Modern historians are especially impressed with the manner in which Polybius used his sources, and in particular documents, his citation and quotation of his sources. Furthermore, there is some admiration of Polybius's meditation on the nature of historiography in Book 12. His work belongs, therefore, amongst the greatest productions of ancient historical writing. The writer of the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (1937) praises him for his "earnest devotion to truth" and for his systematic pursuit of causation.

Polybius

Writing a century and a half before the birth of Christ, the Greek historian Polybius observed “nowadays all over Greece such a diminution in natality and in general manner such depopulation that the towns are deserted and the fields lie fallow. Although this country has not been ravaged by wars or epidemics, the cause of the harm is evident: by avarice or cowardice the people, if they marry, will not bring up the children they ought to have. At most they bring up one or two. It is in this way that the scourge before it is noticed is rapidly developed.”

He concluded by urging his fellow Greeks to return to their historic love of family and children. “The remedy is in ourselves,” he wrote. “We have but to change our morals.” His advice, unfortunately, went largely unheeded.

The demographic winter of the Greek city-states led to economic stagnation and military weakness, which in turn invited invasion and conquest. After a century of increasing dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean, Rome finally annexed the Greek city-states in 146 B.C.

Will a Europe in the grip of a similar demographic winter come to a similar unhappy end? Certainly Europeans of today, like the Greeks of old, are barely having children. The birthrate across the entire continent is far below the replacement level of 2.1 children per couple. Italy, Spain, Austria, and Germany have total fertility rates, or TFRs, of only 1.4 or so, while Poland and Russia languish at 1.32 and 1.2 respectively. The more or less generous child allowances these countries pay the prolific has scarcely caused these numbers to budge. The birth dearth continues to widen.

Polybius is considered by some to be the successor of Thucydides in terms of objectivity and critical reasoning, and the forefather of scholarly, painstaking historical research in the modern scientific sense. According to this view, his work sets forth the course of history’s occurrences with clearness, penetration, sound judgment, and among the circumstances affecting the outcomes, lays especial emphasis on the geographical conditions. Modern historians are especially impressed with the manner in which Polybius used his sources, and in particular documents, his citation and quotation of his sources. Furthermore, there is some admiration of Polybius’s meditation on the nature of historiography in Book 12. His work belongs, therefore, amongst the greatest productions of ancient historical writing. The writer of the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (1937) praises him for his “earnest devotion to truth” and for his systematic pursuit of causation.Meanwhile, adherents of pro-family sects such as Islam are moving in, having children, and repopulating historic Christendom. Is this process likely to continue? And to what end?

Most Muslim countries in North Africa and the Middle East have fertility rates two or three times as high as Europe. Afghanistan and Somalia, whose fertility rates are above 6 children (6.62 and 6.4 respectively), may be outliers. But other Middle Eastern countries with above-replacement TFRs include Iraq at 4.86, Pakistan at 3.65, and Saudi Arabia at 3.03. Even immigrants from the most Westernized Muslim countries such as Turkey and Tunisia average nearly twice as many children as the extant populations of most European countries.

While falling fertility may be humanity’s general fate, it is this differential fertility that will determine Europe’s destiny. Although the birthrates of Muslim immigrants to Europe are far lower than they were just a generation ago, they are still far more open to life than highly secularized Europeans. Moreover, these immigrants, once in place in Germany, Italy, Spain, etc., tend to maintain their relatively high fertility for a generation.

As a result of this potent mix of immigration and procreation, the number of Muslims will continue to grow. Europe as a whole, some demographers suggest, will have a majority Muslim population by 2100.

What a strange twist of history! Over the centuries, various Muslim armies have repeatedly attempted to conquer Europe. Time and time again, at Tours, Vienna, at Lepanto, at Malta, they were thrown back. Yet now what their forebears were unable to accomplish by force, their distant descendants will achieve by peacefully winning the Battle of the Cradle.

Whether they will be radicalized or secularized Muslims is the central question. If they are radicalized, then we can expect efforts to impose Sharia law in country after country, along with the growing persecution of the Christian minority. Catholics in Germany, for example, may come to be treated in largely the same way that Coptic Christians in Egypt have been for the last few centuries, that is to say, as second-class citizens, to be maligned, taxed and beaten almost at will.

If, on the other hand, the second- and third-generation Muslims are largely secularized, then the Christian minority will be, presumably, treated somewhat better, though still subject to some level of discrimination. As everyone knows by now, the Secular Left preaches a tolerance that it generally does not practice.

Either way, believers in once-Christian Europe will probably find themselves living in what might be called a pre-Constantine moment. In others words, they will be living under regimes that punish, even persecute, them for their beliefs.

At the present moment, Europeans still control their own destiny. As Polybius, were he alive today, would surely remind them: “The remedy is in yourselves. You have but to change your morals.”

Why I use Avast Anti-Virus

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412859,00.aspz

Report: Anti-Virus Products Fail to Guard Against New Attacks

Security Troubleshooting Techniques

Anti-virus products on the market provide zero protection against new, unreported computer viruses and take weeks to update their signatures to handle such security threats, according to an eye-opening new report from Imperva.

The data center security solution provider called the more than 40 anti-virus software products it tracked for a recent study “woefully inadequate” at protecting IT assets from 82 newly created viruses that company researchers unleashed on them.

Imperva also reported that it took “up to a month or longer” for three-fourths of anti-virus solutions to add those viruses to their signature lists and begin protecting against them.

Consumers and businesses spending big money on such products are only getting an “illusion of security” in return, the company said in its most recent Hacker Intelligence report, which details the findings.

“Enterprise security has drawn an imaginary line with its anti-virus solutions, but the reality is that every single newly created virus subverts these solutions without challenge,” Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman said in a statement. “We cannot continue to invest billions of dollars into anti-virus solutions that provide the illusion of security, especially when freeware solutions outperform paid subscriptions.”

In fact, Imperva found that two free anti-virus solutions—Avast and Emsisoft—were on the short list of tested products that “provided protection” from emerging IT security threats.

Imperva noted that it would be impossible for any anti-virus product to identify and quarantine a brand new virus, but cautioned that the real issue was the lag time between information about such threats becoming available and the three weeks on average it took the tested AV products to finally address them.

“Investment in anti-virus is misaligned—In 2011, Gartner reported that consumers spent $4.52 billion on anti-virus while enterprises spent $2.9 billion, a total of $7.4 billion or nearly a third of the total of $25.4 billion spent on software security. It is impossible to justify a return on investment for this massive expenditure when freeware solutions prove equally or more effective than paid solutions,” the Imperva report stated.

The company’s researchers used The Onion Router (TOR) proxy “to safely obtain more than 80 viruses from clandestine websites, which were run through a database of more than 40 anti-virus solutions to ensure they had not been previously reported.”

Despite its findings, Imperva said it would “not recommend completely eliminating [anti-virus] from an effective security posture” but said security teams should complement AV software by “focus[ing] on detecting abnormal behavior such as unusually fast access speeds or large volume of downloads and adjust[ing] security spend on modern solutions to address today’s threats.”

eHarmony: Does Living Together Before Marriage Increase Chances of Divorce?

http://www.eharmony.com/blog/2013/07/24/does-living-together-before-marriage-increase-chances-of-divorce/

Living Together Sets Most Couples Up for Probable Failure

July 24, 2013

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Today guest blog is from author and relationship expert Nancy Pina, who minces no words as she writes about couples who choose to live together without being married. It’s an interesting perspective and definitely worth some consideration.

LittleHousePopular culture implies that after a couple has dated for a certain amount of time, the next logical step in a committed relationship is moving in together. The reason for this? People apparently think compatIbility cannot be tested without the actual experience of cohabitation. The truth is that a trial run before marriage is not the answer for couples who are considering exclusivity.

In my experience as a Christian relationship coach, those who chose to live together experienced a decline in emotional intimacy instead of a strengthened bond. A new study by World magazine measured feelings of commitment and intimacy for unmarried couples who live together, and found they never achieved the level of closeness married couples enjoy.

Essentially, living together sets most couples up for probable failure, because at that point, at least one person in the relationship is unsure if it should lead to marriage. Instead of addressing that reservation with openness and honesty, the uncertain person agrees to a trial arrangement. As seen in the study, 52 percent of men are not “almost certain” their relationship will last. More than half had reservations about the longevity of the relationship. Continue reading