“Logan’s Run”

Man, gotta love that 70s art.

In the 1967 novel “Logan’s Run,” a person’s age was legislated to 21 years to the day. After this, people volunteered to be killed, believing they would be reborn again.

When the book was made into a film in 1976, the age was adjusted upward to 30. This allowed for the casting of more mature (but still youthful) actors and actresses (they were still called that back then.)

The book and film were created in an age when the world was preoccupied with overpopulation. It still is, but only as a background fear, not a global mania.

The interesting thing about overpopulation is that it is counter to our personal experience. As you fly over the U.S., for instance, you see vast stretches of emptiness with the occasional city. We are still at a point where all the people on the planet could easily fit into a box a mile by a mile by a mile, with a lot of room to spare. These statements are not meant to be a rebuttal of the thesis of overpopulation, simply illustrations of how it is contrary to what we see in our daily life.

I have no doubt that those who believe in overpopulation and warn of its consequences are sincere and well-meaning. But they err, I think, because they generally straight-line everything into the future. They show population growing and growing and energy reserves shrinking and shrinking and then draw completely reasonable but utterly wrong conclusions. There are no long-term straight lines. Everything has a break eventually. You can’t predict the future simply by comparing last year to this year.

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