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population-and-demographics

Response to Manipulative population interactive on ABC that tries to normalise the babyboom

The page I am writing about is on the Australian ABC website, entitled, "You decide Australia’s population, we’ll show you how it looks," by journalist Inga Ting, Mark Doman, Ri Liu and Nathan Hoad. The arguments presented are a kind of demographer's fantasy. Demography is not population science; it is maths and statistics. Maths and statistics are not themselves science. They can be used as much for population science, to test theories, as they can be used for advertising and propaganda. Demographers are often also economists and they usually try to establish trends in population numbers in isolation from the environment, social values, or deep history. What they call population science is usually only economics, which many people think is now practised as a dogma. They do not tend to challenge propaganda and, for this reason, they are very useful for governments and corporate media that want to push peoples' thinking in a certain direction about population.[1] This interactive article on the ABC gets the reader to make certain decisions, comes up with biased feedback, and then invites the reader to change their minds. To be unbiased, this interactive would need to list the positives of lowering population growth. It fails to. It does mention some as opinions, but it does not employ related arguments in its presentation of demographic trends in Australia.

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