Monday, 27 May 2013

Dan Brown's Inferno and a response to my previous post

Hello readers, I'm sure Dan Brown fans out there would know by now that his latest book, Inferno, has just been released in bookstores. I've just read it over the weekend. In this latest release, Dan Brown has chosen Global Overpopulation as one of the main themes. Brown's elaboration of overpopulation an its effects felt very timely and meaningful to me, especially since it is a key reason why I have chosen not to have children.

(Warning, a few spoilers for the book ahead!)
I would also like to take this opportunity to respond to one of the readers' comments on my earlier post. The comment given by the reader, Winnie, is as follows:
Sometimes i wonder if i think too much and if i were the only sadistic person thinking about world apocalypse coz it nvr seem to come across the mind of any of my friends.
I just started work as a special needs teacher. it is a challenge and yes, i am afraid to have to raise a special needs kid and considering i have a few nephews with various levels of autism.
Is great to know there are people out there sharing same sentiments. I don't usually share with people on the reasons because they prob will give me a wide eye look.

Hi Winnie, thanks for your comment! I am very certain we are not the only ones who think about the end of the world and share similar sentiments on overpopulation. As to why others give us 'wide-eyed looks' when we mention this, I completely agree with Dan Brown's given reason for this in Inferno : "The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It's called denial."
All human beings, no matter how logical we may be, suffer from varying degrees of denial. Let's look at the following levels/examples of denial:
Level 1: Individual
(Based on an actual encounter I had) A parent is told that her child has been caught cheating in a school exam. A parent in denial is one whose immediate reaction is to say that the teachers have made a grave mistake.
Level 2: Society
In recent years, more students are committing suicide because of increasing levels of academic stress. Parents and schools in denial give excuses such as 'It can't be helped' and 'it won't happen to my student/child.'
Level 3: Global
Virtually every human being is aware of the ill effects of pollution on a global scale. Those in denial or find it too inconvenient to contribute to the pollution effort give excuses such as 'I am only one person, it won't make a difference' or 'the environmentalists are making a big deal, it's not so serious.'
Are we in denial?
Overpopulation is clearly a global issue. Unlike the first 2 levels, denial of global problems threatens the sustainability and survival of the human race. It doesn't mean that if you don't think about the consequences, it won't happen. It may not happen in your lifetime, but if you intend to have children, wouldn't it be selfish not to think on their behalf?
Finally to Winnie, I am glad you are reconsidering because there is a history of autism in your family. I truly feel that individuals with known chronic or hereditary medical problems should think carefully before having children. Being in denial in this case is simply saying that 'there is a chance I will not pass the medical problem to my child(ren).' Sure, you are right and it can go either way. Having children when you have a hereditary medical problem is like playing a genetic lottery - are you willing to take the risk and take the bitter with the better? Are you willing to say 'there is a chance I will not pass it on to my kids BUT I am willing to live with / support fully my child's condition if it happens.' ?
Genetic Lottery in a nutshell.
For those who haven't read the book, I highly recommend it! If for no other purpose, it will help shed some light and a balanced perspective on this global issue that we cannot deny any longer. As with all of Dan Brown's novels, some aspects of the book is real, and part of it is fiction. Unfortunately, the description on overpopulation as described by Brown is as real as it gets. I only wish that the solution proposed by Brown is an existing technology!

1 comment:

  1. The book is definitely a good read and one would get the usual Dan Brown narration, but this one definitely lacks the punch from the earlier books.