Catching up

With Esther Rose and Persephone high in the tropical canopy
With Esther Rose and Persephone
High in the tropical canopy

I’ve been neglecting my website of late. Two entries in 2 months? I won’t be winning any blogging awards that way. Well, in fact I did manage to split the win for Macvaysia‘s Best Malaysian Weblog by a Mat Salleh Award. (Mat Salleh?) That could only be because it wouldn’t be fair for the more deserving Jordan, being the organizer, to nominate himself. Thanks Jordan! Speaking of awards, Alt.Muslim ran a series for Muslim webloggers, the Brass Crescent Awards. I see from the list that I have a lot of reading to do: I haven’t ever visited half those nominated. Well, I’ve got excuses for not keeping up with my reading and writing. Dozens really, though most are of the dog ate my keyboard variety. But I’ll put forward my most credible: Did I tell you we’re expecting our fifth child? Yep, yep. Due in June.

I was on vacation, sort of, around the christmas holidays (one of the benefits of living in a multicultural society: we get everybody’s holidays) when two of my three brilliantly gifted sisters came to visit. It was a great trip: we spent three days in KL when they arrived, visiting, among other places, the Petronas Towers and India Street, where we caught a live performance of Malay traditional dance. It was off to Kuching for two weeks after that. The highlight of the trip was a few nights spent at Batang Ai National Park, or at least the hotel on the outskirts of it. We managed to do a little hiking through the jungle amidst all the general loafing about. Here is a shot of the three of us in a tree house high atop a meranti tree. If we had all managed to look straight ahead, we would be staring at the border with Indonesia, visible across the Batang Ai impoundment. It was not a bad little hike, especially for four little ones and my pregnant wife (did I mention we’re expecting number five?).

I still manage to get online, lurking mostly, reading the news. One article caught my eye, about the coming population bust. It’s by Phillip Longman from Foreign Affairs.com. According to him, the globe will never hit the gargantuan population levels that were so widely predicted and that the rate of population growth has already slowed dramatically all around the world. The rate of growth is already so low all across the developed world that the native population is not at replacement levels. The US population grows every year by a number roughly equal to the amount of new immigration. The author appears to be concerned largely because it means that in the future the bulk of the US population will be made up of them-immigrants (more recently arrived mexicans, indians, chinese, etc) instead of the us-immigrants that he would prefer(white-ish migrants from west of the Urals). Never mind the latent racism, I think the possibility of a rapid population decline is probably still not widely accepted, and maybe even crankish, but it’s hard to ignore somebody who supports your worldview so flatteringly:

Does this mean that the future belongs to those who believe they are (or who are in fact) commanded by a higher power to procreate? Based on current trends, the answer appears to be yes….

Those who reject modernity would thus seem to have an evolutionary advantage, whether they are clean-living Mormons or Muslims, or members of emerging sects and national movements that emphasize high birthrates and anti-materialism.

Found via Metafilter

So, uh, totally unrelated to the above, did I mention we’re expecting our fifth child? Yeah. Due in June. You know, I’ve never been particularly good at da’wah (proselytizing), but there’s more than one way to make a new muslim…


5 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. after getting to know people with children
    Ouch! No, I hear you. But have you considered this most important advantage? Having more than the average ensures that you win out during Hari Raya money giving πŸ˜‰

  2. MashAllah! Congratulations! I don’t think I have any hope of catching up with you now, though. You’re too far ahead. πŸ™‚

  3. Ah, finally! I’m jealous, it’s been way too long since I’ve been on a good hike.
    You might remember that when you were leaving my house that fine evening last year (hard to believe it was last year), I asked you if you had left any kids behind.
    I salute you, brother. Leen wanted four at first, but after getting to know people with children, now she’ll settle for two.
    If that study is correct, you and your pregeny will someday rule the world. Looks like I have some serious catching up to do!

  4. Ooops…just noticed the typo. That’s progeny, not pregeny. Maye I’ve just invented a new word: pregeny – children you haven’t had yet πŸ˜‰

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