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(Slate)   World's population may soon start declining; feel free to start screwing like rabbits   (slate.com) divider line 205
    More: Interesting, incentive programs, Stony Brook University, demographic trends, Census Bureau  
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9540 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2013 at 7:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-09 09:25:29 PM  
self correcting problem. Fewer people = Remaining people are richer = Can afford to raise more kids. Works in reverse too. Population will always hover around an equilibrium level as determined by the food supply.
 
2013-01-09 09:33:10 PM  

theorellior: mbillips: All the low-hanging resource fruit is gone.

People say that, and it's true, we don't have easy deposits of naturally-occurring primary ores any more. However, we have something even better than that: landfill. Thousands and thousands of cubic meters of landfill.

If this world system collapses, the next renaissance will be built on our garbage.


farm6.static.flickr.com
 
2013-01-09 09:33:21 PM  

BKITU: World's population may soon start declining

[i3.kym-cdn.com image 141x163]


Well you're a moron
 
2013-01-09 09:36:12 PM  

Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.


you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight
 
2013-01-09 09:39:54 PM  

kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight


First things first: are you male or female, genderly?
 
2013-01-09 09:40:49 PM  

Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?


Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...
 
2013-01-09 09:41:59 PM  
Agenda 22.
 
2013-01-09 09:42:34 PM  

theorellior: mbillips: Once the population starts to fall, you get in a negative feedback loop -- fewer people equals less technology, plus environmental degradation equals less easily arable land and fertile fishing grounds equals fewer people, etc.

Sure, if your population numbers in the thousands, a loss in population will mean a high probability of losing knowledge and culture. With 300 million people and thousands of libraries, the US alone could lose 70% of its population and still have more people and knowledge than the Roman Empire had at its height.


All you'd need to counter the loss of knowledge is to be more active in making people choose for marketable skills. From a practical standpoint there isn't really much of value lost if we lost 90% of our knowledge of insects (like the fact that ants always fall the same direction when poisoned), literature (who cares what someone thought of The Once and Future King, there have always been and will always be new stories to be told), languages and so forth. Most knowledge is trivia which is only known because we need something to keep millions of people busy so that they won't revolt or commit crimes out of boredom.

back to the topic:

I think that the reducing birthrate might have something to do with the stress of modern society. We might not experience it that way but we always have something to do, somewhere to be and wherever we are we'll have hundreds of strangers on every single street pushing around because they need to go somewhere else. I can see this causing the subconscious to form a picture that there are too many people who will be competing for the same resources. Sure, we have resources but the subconscious has evolved over millions of years to assume that shiat will presently hit the fan. It isn't so much reading the signs as seeing a lot of signs and assuming that they must mean something. What happens during stressful/scarcity periods? Fertility goes down.
 
2013-01-09 09:42:38 PM  

Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?

Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...


Yet turned on by human sexuality minus violence and children...

We Fark.

*)
 
2013-01-09 09:48:46 PM  
It's the GM food causing impotence.
 
2013-01-09 09:51:31 PM  

Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?

Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...


did you just reply to yourself?
 
2013-01-09 09:53:00 PM  

Godscrack: [www.truehealthfacts.com image 350x231]


Thanks, Godscrack. I'm glad someone understands. Totally ruins the desert scenery of formerly clear blue skies to have to see that intentional pollution.
 
2013-01-09 09:55:15 PM  

12349876: dericwater: The amount of water on earth, potable or not, is a finite quantity, true, but as far as it is a resource, it's infinite.

But if it's not potable, you have to find the energy to make it potable.


All resource problems can be solved with energy. It just depends on how much energy you have to play with. A breakthrough on nuclear fusion is all that is pretty much needed to create a paradigm shift in our civilization, bigger than what happened when we harnessed fossil fuels. Figure out how to create a relatively cheap fusion reactor, and you've basically solved resource issues for a long, long time. We've been chasing that dream for decades without much to show for it, but it is not unreasonable to think that a breakthrough could come sometime this century.
 
2013-01-09 09:57:26 PM  
I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.
 
2013-01-09 09:58:42 PM  

nucular bum: I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.


You realize what hell the world was before antibiotics and sterile hospitals, right?
 
2013-01-09 10:03:19 PM  
So does this mean the Illuminati/Masonic/UN world take-over and mass extermination of "undesirables" is off? I was promised a New World Order and Illuminati death-squads...
 
2013-01-09 10:08:55 PM  

another cultural observer: nucular bum: I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.

You realize what hell the world was before antibiotics and sterile hospitals, right?


FTFAAU
 
2013-01-09 10:12:22 PM  

fusillade762: Unlike Europe, the United States has long been the beneficiary of robust immigration.

Suck it, conservatives!

Though I thought Europe had plenty of immigrants?


Conservatives don't have a problem with immigration. It's illegal immigration that's the issue.
 
2013-01-09 10:15:03 PM  

Fark Rye For Many Whores: another cultural observer: nucular bum: I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.

You realize what hell the world was before antibiotics and sterile hospitals, right?

FTFAAU


I don't know what AAU is, but here's a picture of a civil war hospital!!!!!

antiquescientifica.com
See...it's clean because he's got his sleeves rolled up and the horse water bucket is near at hand.
 
2013-01-09 10:17:20 PM  

kvinesknows: Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?

Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...

did you just reply to yourself?


I dunno, do you masturbate?
 
2013-01-09 10:17:51 PM  
In Germany, the birthrate has sunk to just 1.36, worse even than its low-fertility neighbors Spain (1.48) and Italy (1.4). The way things are going, Western Europe as a whole will most likely shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by the end of the century. That's not so bad compared with Russia and China, each of whose populations could fall by half. As you may not be surprised to learn, the Germans have coined a polysyllabic word for this quandary: Schrumpf-Gessellschaft, or "shrinking society"

Meanwhile, Muslims continue to breed like vermin, refuse to assimilate, and import their barbarity and illiberalism. It's the Muslim Conquests V. 2.0, what they couldn't take through war they'll take through demographics.

This will be a fun century...
 
2013-01-09 10:18:21 PM  

Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?

Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...

did you just reply to yourself?

I dunno, do you masturbate?


I love me.
 
2013-01-09 10:22:18 PM  

OdradekRex: Nature generally finds a way to re-balance. On a geologic time scale, humans are a recent arrival. Though we're clever, we still can't cure a single virus. Everntually, time and mutation will create one that we won't be able to deal with. The Spanish Flu wiped out more people after WWI than the war did. Preview of coming attractions?


Smallpox and polio got cured pretty effectively, as have a whole host of childhood illnesses. We've just started unlocking a lot of secrets of genetics and the immune system. Eventually, we're going to figure out some nice magic bullets for the more complicated viruses. We were a little spoiled by the low hanging fruit of the first few viruses we created effective vaccines for, but the next couple of decades could result in some really nice medical advances as we figure out more key things about the human body. Biology is complicated, sure, but I don't think it is an ineffable mystery.
 
2013-01-09 10:26:03 PM  

Mad_Radhu: OdradekRex: Nature generally finds a way to re-balance. On a geologic time scale, humans are a recent arrival. Though we're clever, we still can't cure a single virus. Everntually, time and mutation will create one that we won't be able to deal with. The Spanish Flu wiped out more people after WWI than the war did. Preview of coming attractions?

Smallpox and polio got cured pretty effectively, as have a whole host of childhood illnesses. We've just started unlocking a lot of secrets of genetics and the immune system. Eventually, we're going to figure out some nice magic bullets for the more complicated viruses. We were a little spoiled by the low hanging fruit of the first few viruses we created effective vaccines for, but the next couple of decades could result in some really nice medical advances as we figure out more key things about the human body. Biology is complicated, sure, but I don't think it is an ineffable mystery.


And once we get past Robotics and Fusion, it's just Future Technology 1, Future Technology 2, etc, from here on out!
 
2013-01-09 10:37:23 PM  
1. The number of children required to tend to the parents in old age is going down.
2. The availability of birth control is going up.
 
2013-01-09 10:53:06 PM  

Xythero: Dinjiin: GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.

Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.


It's an aweful idea that I guess is inevitable. People need to dye so that new ways of thinking can emerge. What if the generation of the Salem witch trials just kept on living? Or the slave masters? Or if we were stuck with the Baby Boomers FOREVER.


It's my theory that someone out there has already discovered an immortality serum. They're just waiting for the bulk of the Baby Boomer generation to die off before making it public because they don't want THAT rapacious generation in charge of the planet forever...
 
2013-01-09 10:53:44 PM  

another cultural observer: nucular bum: I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.
You realize what hell the world was before antibiotics and sterile hospitals, right?


Do you think he's 200 years old or something?
The population when I was born was 3 billion It would be a much nicer planet if we still had that many. And I'm not 200 years old either.

/exponential growth is scary
 
2013-01-09 10:57:09 PM  

cryinoutloud: another cultural observer: nucular bum: I would die a relieved and happy man if I could see the world's population decline to levels equal to when I was born.
You realize what hell the world was before antibiotics and sterile hospitals, right?

Do you think he's 200 years old or something?
The population when I was born was 3 billion It would be a much nicer planet if we still had that many. And I'm not 200 years old either.

/exponential growth is scary


Of course I don't think he's 200 years old, don't be ridiculous...

mcclungmuseum.utk.edu
 
2013-01-09 11:09:30 PM  
Sustain. It needs to be the primary goal of the future.
 
2013-01-09 11:13:24 PM  

toraque: I don't get it.  Why just rabbits?  No dogs, or donkeys or sheep or. . .

Oh, LIKE rabbits. Uh, my mistake.


Hey, some people like rabbits, and some people, like, like-like rabbits! NTTAWWT.

i.imgur.com

/one more glass should do it for me.
 
2013-01-09 11:17:07 PM  
I think farkers will become the "beautiful ones".

lol
 
2013-01-09 11:18:18 PM  

Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: Indubitably: kvinesknows: EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

cant get much more blue then Canada honey.. come on up.. Ill rabbit ya

Seriously?

If she takes you with that, she can have you...

er..hi honey? sorry.. I was just kidding!

You know I love you, right, amirite?

I sure hope so!.. please be gentle with the whip tonight I have a meeting at work tomorrow and really should not have blood forming on my clothes

Commas are your friends, darlin'.

fark those communists down the road they never let me cum in their faces

Fear of Communists was a 50's meme: Grow Up.

you know honey if you are going to treat me like a baby you better be prepared to change my diaper tonight

First things first: are you male or female, genderly?

Sweetie, I'm hetero through and through...

did you just reply to yourself?

I dunno, do you masturbate?

I love me.


twice
 
2013-01-09 11:21:16 PM  

Potter82: Some good news for a change. The world needs less people. A lot less people.


Feel free to kill yourself, then.

Anyone who thinks the world is overpopulated should do more than just flap his gums.

Let's see some action. Show us your level of committment to your convictions about how many people get to live, in your view.
 
2013-01-09 11:35:26 PM  

Betep: There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many

/Lee Ving knows


=================

Let's have a war.
 
2013-01-10 12:07:43 AM  
massassi.hobby-site.com
What the end might have looked like...
 
2013-01-10 12:08:47 AM  
Wrong thread. Time to sleep. What a waste.
 
2013-01-10 12:13:26 AM  
On the one hand, historically populations who have a decline tend to go through a depression of sorts with famine, increased taxes, civil unrest, etc. On the other hand, sometimes after massive declines in population you get a great rebirth of society like the renaissance. Of course the reasons for the rebirth are quite complex and aren't merely due to a drop in population.

Overall though, I think in this day and age I'm not too concerned with a decline in population due to people choosing not to procreate considering how many people we have. It could potentially be a problem for a generation or two (maybe) with that whole argument about there not being enough young to take care of the old, but I don't think the solution is to just keep exponentially increasing our population at the rate we have in the past. Either way, this article seemed a little melodramatic.

I'm actually surprised this thread didn't devolve into a hate thread against women controlling their reproductive systems.
 
2013-01-10 12:30:15 AM  

LazarusLong42: dericwater: ultramarinblaa: It seriously annoys me how every time people talk about birthrates, they get stuck on irrelevant shorterm problems.

The real question is: What is the ideal population of Earth?

It shouldn't be to small, so that pandemics or inbreeding becomes a serious risk. On the other hand it should leave plenty of space for natural resourses like rainforrests. I think 100-500 millions would be a good number.

That would be a terrible number for the ideal population of earth. I peg it at 9 billion.

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.


Citation needed. If you are going to pick a number outside the basic ranges that a google search is going to pick up you look stupid. UN WHO is suggesting a range from 4-16 Billion from the various studies they've aggregated, with most landing around 10 billion. Love 'em or hate 'em, the UN does do good work in this particular area. 500 million is the floor needed to sustain us, not the upper range of the planet. Of course, you could be a misanthropist, in which case having a conversation with you would be useless.
 
2013-01-10 12:46:11 AM  

Girion47: Dinjiin: GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.

Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.

Are we going to have a dystopian future as depicted in Logan's Run where you surrender your life at some fixed point, say 250 years? Do we add a plutocracy twist where the rich can essentially live forever by purchasing life credits as depicted in In Time? Maybe wars regarding finite resources will lead to periodic cullings that keep the population in check.  Regardless, it will mean huge changes (or lack of change) in culture and work.

It would also encourage space exploration.


You both just got favorited...
 
2013-01-10 01:18:19 AM  

theorellior: You realize, if productivity goes up, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work, so the population can shrink for quite some time without adversely affecting anyone's quality of life. Also, with fewer people chasing after the same resources, prices will go down.


Same argument why having few workers supporting retired people isn't the end of the world.

Tell Me How My Blog Tastes: The problem with this analysis, however, is that the author is making the same mistake he accuses Malthus of making: namely, making straight-line projections hundreds of years into the future regarding population growth.  At least the suggestion that human population could go to zero.  That part was pretty unbelievable.


I don't where this 'Malthus was wrong' meme/propaganda comes from, but it's deeply stupid. The exponential growth once people gained access to fossil fuels is proof of the pudding.
 
2013-01-10 02:19:59 AM  

12349876: dericwater: The amount of water on earth, potable or not, is a finite quantity, true, but as far as it is a resource, it's infinite.

But if it's not potable, you have to find the energy to make it potable.


We got a sun that beams down terawatts of power on a daily basis. I think we can make it potable.
 
2013-01-10 02:22:48 AM  

LazarusLong42: dericwater: ultramarinblaa: It seriously annoys me how every time people talk about birthrates, they get stuck on irrelevant shorterm problems.

The real question is: What is the ideal population of Earth?

It shouldn't be to small, so that pandemics or inbreeding becomes a serious risk. On the other hand it should leave plenty of space for natural resourses like rainforrests. I think 100-500 millions would be a good number.

That would be a terrible number for the ideal population of earth. I peg it at 9 billion.

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.


Then they're farking stupid, as the earth hadn't had 500 million people on it since like the 1600s. And since then, we're much better off economically, health-wise, peace-wise, longevity, food availability, energy availability, mobility, habitability... By any metric, human lives are better off now than 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago or 1000 years ago, and all years in between.
 
2013-01-10 03:11:47 AM  

cold_war_relic: No one?

[www.blogcdn.com image 450x342]


thank you!
 
2013-01-10 03:31:58 AM  
When a population gets too large, something always occurs that knocks it back down. Humans will be no different.

/history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man
 
2013-01-10 03:37:26 AM  

Xythero: Dinjiin: GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.

Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.


It's an aweful idea that I guess is inevitable. People need to dye so that new ways of thinking can emerge. What if the generation of the Salem witch trials just kept on living? Or the slave masters? Or if we were stuck with the Baby Boomers FOREVER.


Way to speak up for Death as though he needed any help.
 
2013-01-10 03:39:43 AM  

birdboy2000: Good. More people isn't always a higher quality of life, especially with 7 billion and finite resources.


We've never had more people. We've never had a better standard of living. Yet minds still contrive to juxtapose these factors. What the hell?
 
2013-01-10 03:41:18 AM  

Omahawg: Thomas Malthus chuckles somewhere


He'll finally be right one of these days! We'll see!
 
2013-01-10 09:00:22 AM  

MadHatter500: LazarusLong42: dericwater: ultramarinblaa: It seriously annoys me how every time people talk about birthrates, they get stuck on irrelevant shorterm problems.

The real question is: What is the ideal population of Earth?

It shouldn't be to small, so that pandemics or inbreeding becomes a serious risk. On the other hand it should leave plenty of space for natural resourses like rainforrests. I think 100-500 millions would be a good number.

That would be a terrible number for the ideal population of earth. I peg it at 9 billion.

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.

Citation needed. If you are going to pick a number outside the basic ranges that a google search is going to pick up you look stupid. UN WHO is suggesting a range from 4-16 Billion from the various studies they've aggregated, with most landing around 10 billion. Love 'em or hate 'em, the UN does do good work in this particular area. 500 million is the floor needed to sustain us, not the upper range of the planet. Of course, you could be a misanthropist, in which case having a conversation with you would be useless.


I'm a slight misanthropist, but not on a large scale; I only generally dislike people I can interact with. (The Zero Population people are a bunch of total loonies.) I must have been reading a single study, because I cannot find a citation; a UN report I find also shows a single paper showing 500M, but most in the 4-8B range. I retract what I said.

dericwater: LazarusLong42:

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.

Then they're farking stupid, as the earth hadn't had 500 million people on it since like the 1600s. And since then, we're much better off economically, health-wise, peace-wise, longevity, food availability, energy availability, mobility, habitability... By any metric, human lives are better off now than 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago or 1000 years ago, and all years in between.


While as I said, I can't find a citation, I do find your argument about how we're better off specious at best; we're not better off because of a larger population. The reason we're better off is technology, which isn't a function of number of people at all. I think it's reasonable to suggest that, at the same level of technology, we'd be just as well off with 1B people.
 
2013-01-10 10:03:27 AM  

LazarusLong42: MadHatter500: LazarusLong42: dericwater: ultramarinblaa: It seriously annoys me how every time people talk about birthrates, they get stuck on irrelevant shorterm problems.

The real question is: What is the ideal population of Earth?

It shouldn't be to small, so that pandemics or inbreeding becomes a serious risk. On the other hand it should leave plenty of space for natural resourses like rainforrests. I think 100-500 millions would be a good number.

That would be a terrible number for the ideal population of earth. I peg it at 9 billion.

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.

Citation needed. If you are going to pick a number outside the basic ranges that a google search is going to pick up you look stupid. UN WHO is suggesting a range from 4-16 Billion from the various studies they've aggregated, with most landing around 10 billion. Love 'em or hate 'em, the UN does do good work in this particular area. 500 million is the floor needed to sustain us, not the upper range of the planet. Of course, you could be a misanthropist, in which case having a conversation with you would be useless.

I'm a slight misanthropist, but not on a large scale; I only generally dislike people I can interact with. (The Zero Population people are a bunch of total loonies.) I must have been reading a single study, because I cannot find a citation; a UN report I find also shows a single paper showing 500M, but most in the 4-8B range. I retract what I said.

dericwater: LazarusLong42:

People who actually study these things, as opposed to randomly speculating, peg the carrying capacity if Earth right about 500 million.

Then they're farking stupid, as the earth hadn't had 500 million people on it since like the 1600s. And since then, we're much better off economically, health-wise, peace-wise, longevity, food availability, energy availability, mobility, habitability... By any metric, human lives are better off now than 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago or 1000 years ago, and all years in between.

While as I said, I can't find a citation, I do find your argument about how we're better off specious at best; we're not better off because of a larger population. The reason we're better off is technology, which isn't a function of number of people at all. I think it's reasonable to suggest that, at the same level of technology, we'd be just as well off with 1B people.


So who is the mother of invention, then? We spend our time and energy on better tech for two reasons: (1) We have to manage scarce resources carefully because we have a lot of people, and (2) we have more free time because of division of labor because we have a lot of people.
I notice you didn't target your population even one degree of magnitude away from the present. Can you imagine the technology required to keep 60 billion people alive on Earth?
 
2013-01-10 10:19:30 AM  
... Not to mention ten times the monetary investment in technology, which would be conservative; I wonder if anyone's graphed tech $ vs. pop.
 
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