As I was reading the book, I was thinking about some ideas I was reading here on this forum. I completely agree with the author’s last remark that even if the reader was not convinced, the book did provider him with some food for thought. I certainly recommend this $1 book on digital edition.
In the first part of the book, the author demonstrate the common misunderstanding of Malthus main point (Even noble prize winner quote his words out of context); namely that he did not try to predict any crowded earth or future disaster, but rather pointed out that population growth is constantly checked by limited resource, and hence humanity is destined to a balance between joy and suffering. He continues that Malthu's original line and presents his main thesis of the book that progress is impossible and suffering cannot be eliminated from the world without eliminating the joy as well.
The author then explains that many things in life are bound to natural selection – including his very book itself. Actually generalization of the theory of natural selection by Lewontin criteria. Of course human cultures are also bound to those Laws. Thus you find the author respect for ancient texts including the Bible, Quran, Gita and others .The author quotes from those books several times. For example he notes that the world major religions support charity, so it clear to him that the cultural selection found it beneficial to have that value – and he offers his explanation for why charity is helpful to cultures in the natural selection sense.
The idea of eugenics is also discussed throughout the book – and the author gives his idea why eugenics is doomed for failure. Lately he gives his prediction: before the cultural/genetical decay of the West will reach critical levels, Western civilization will collapse economically. And he seems to be thinking it will happen much sooner than other people are thinking. So according to him we are heading to era of dark age – however we still have in earth cultural diversification, and some societies are more sustainable such as Mennonites (he specifically mentions them as an example).
I personally enjoyed that book, and liked the author overall attitude. He certainly tries to provider the scientific references, and sometimes he runs his own computer simulations to demonstrate his points.
I will take a look at the book. But I suspect that won't fully agree because I do believe that continuous progress is theoretically possible. A sound culture would have exponencial improvements in efficiency based on advances in science and technology. This should allow for continuous progress. This couldn't be worldwide, it could only be in nations that maintained a sound culture and kept other cultures out. Of course no current culture comes close, so this is only theoretical. Anyway, I will post again after I read the book.