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Author Topic: Thirty seconds to live  (Read 2452 times)
usagi
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January 12, 2013, 05:20:04 AM
 #1

Stop me if you've heard this one. There are a bunch of bacteria in a bottle and they double in number every minute. The bacteria are really small of course, but the bottle is expected to fill up after just 24 hours of growth. So one bacteria says to the other, "ahh, there's so much room in this bottle. Why, I look around me and I see that there is so much free and open space! Why, for every manbacteria womanbacteria and childbacteria in our bottle, there is enough land for ten!" and the other bacteria says "yes, that's true. What a wonderful place to live. Oh, I'm late for work, what time is it?" and the first bacteria says, "it's 11:56 pm.. four minutes before midnight".

Now, it should be mentioned, each bacteria only lives for one minute. After their minute is up, they shuffle off their mortal coil.

Three minutes and thirty seconds later, the current crop of bacteria are having a meeting. They look around. The bottle is about 75% full. However all the bacteria have started to become nervous because they can see and recognize they are running out of space. A giant effort is launched and the bacteria send out scout ships in the lab and luckily find an entire whole new bottle to populate. Celebrations are made, parties are thrown, and the new bottle is annexed in the name of bacteria-dom. All is good.

Then strangely, in the same generation, the bacteria which were teenagers during the first crisis, now old, see the same crisis repeating only this time it is approaching twice as quickly, and they are at a loss for a solution. It becomes apparent to them that their children will no longer be able to reproduce or the bottles will break and everyone will die. In a panic, having babies is made a crime.

Over the next several minutes, 90% of the population in both bottles dies. Many call the problem resolved, and the ban on babies is removed. But just a few generations later, the grandchildren of all children at the time of the ban being lifted find themselves facing the same problem. This time no one is able to react and there comes a food shortage; and as food is only added to the bottle each minute 99.99% of all the bacteria starve to death. Only a very small fraction is left in the bottle to start civilization anew.

Stop me if you've heard this before. The world population growth rate is just over 1%. Which means that it doubles in the span of one human lifetime. It's been stated that the upper limit on sustainable human population is between 10 and 12 billion. In fact, "According to UN's 2010 revision to its population projections, world population will peak at 10.1bn in 2100 compared to 7bn in 2011." (-wikipedia 'population growth').

So here we are at 7.5 billion people. The bottle is 75% full. But in stark contrast to the bacteria of the bottle most people I talk to have absolutely no idea of the need to find an entirely new planet to inhabit within our generation just so that our children can gnash their teeth at the hell they will have to go through of being forbidden to reproduce. It's either that or we need to put a worldwide ban on population growth now. Failing to do so will cause it to happen naturally (or worse, break the bottle).

I wonder what the UN is planning. A population growth rate of 1% implies a population of 17 or 18 billion in 2100 -- not 10 billion. Their figures do not make sense. The crisis will not come in 2100. It will come in our lifetimes.
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January 12, 2013, 05:26:28 AM
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The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

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January 12, 2013, 05:34:00 AM
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I'm convinced, we need more bottles for sure.

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January 12, 2013, 05:46:38 AM
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The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

+1
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January 12, 2013, 06:46:18 AM
 #5

Karl Marx saw this exact same problem, when he saw that we do not have enough tractors and enough farmers to produce all the food needed to feed all the people that will soon be born (and the world population was only around 1 billion back then). He saw the exact same issue, and had the exact same concerns as you, and that was one of his main reasons for coming up with the solution he called communism.
Of course, 100 years later we have robotic tractors that require very few farmers to operate, and advances in chemicals and genetics that allow us to grow much more food from the same amount of space. Don't forget, we have barely tapped the power of the sun. Worst comes to worse, we'll all live off solar panels, and eat algae grown in vats in the sun. As others have said, still plenty of space here.

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January 12, 2013, 07:02:36 AM
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Most of european nations have negative growth, some nations can disappear in next 100 years. If there is too much people in other countries or continents it is their problem, not ours! If they want to migrate to our bottle, well nothing a FAL FN or MG-42 cant solve!

Globally yes, the problem of human population is growing, locally we lost about million of people, roughly a 33% of our population. If accounted for whole country a large city is depopulated because more people die than are born. This is unaccounting the people who emigrated seeking adequately paid jobs elsewhere.

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January 12, 2013, 07:58:43 AM
 #7

Stop me if you've heard this one. There are a bunch of bacteria in a bottle and they double in number every minute. The bacteria are really small of course, but the bottle is expected to fill up after just 24 hours of growth. So one bacteria says to the other, "ahh, there's so much room in this bottle. Why, I look around me and I see that there is so much free and open space! Why, for every manbacteria womanbacteria and childbacteria in our bottle, there is enough land for ten!" and the other bacteria says "yes, that's true. What a wonderful place to live. Oh, I'm late for work, what time is it?" and the first bacteria says, "it's 11:56 pm.. four minutes before midnight".

Now, it should be mentioned, each bacteria only lives for one minute. After their minute is up, they shuffle off their mortal coil.

Three minutes and thirty seconds later, the current crop of bacteria are having a meeting. They look around. The bottle is about 75% full. However all the bacteria have started to become nervous because they can see and recognize they are running out of space. A giant effort is launched and the bacteria send out scout ships in the lab and luckily find an entire whole new bottle to populate. Celebrations are made, parties are thrown, and the new bottle is annexed in the name of bacteria-dom. All is good.

Then strangely, in the same generation, the bacteria which were teenagers during the first crisis, now old, see the same crisis repeating only this time it is approaching twice as quickly, and they are at a loss for a solution. It becomes apparent to them that their children will no longer be able to reproduce or the bottles will break and everyone will die. In a panic, having babies is made a crime.

Over the next several minutes, 90% of the population in both bottles dies. Many call the problem resolved, and the ban on babies is removed. But just a few generations later, the grandchildren of all children at the time of the ban being lifted find themselves facing the same problem. This time no one is able to react and there comes a food shortage; and as food is only added to the bottle each minute 99.99% of all the bacteria starve to death. Only a very small fraction is left in the bottle to start civilization anew.

Stop me if you've heard this before. The world population growth rate is just over 1%. Which means that it doubles in the span of one human lifetime. It's been stated that the upper limit on sustainable human population is between 10 and 12 billion. In fact, "According to UN's 2010 revision to its population projections, world population will peak at 10.1bn in 2100 compared to 7bn in 2011." (-wikipedia 'population growth').

So here we are at 7.5 billion people. The bottle is 75% full. But in stark contrast to the bacteria of the bottle most people I talk to have absolutely no idea of the need to find an entirely new planet to inhabit within our generation just so that our children can gnash their teeth at the hell they will have to go through of being forbidden to reproduce. It's either that or we need to put a worldwide ban on population growth now. Failing to do so will cause it to happen naturally (or worse, break the bottle).

I wonder what the UN is planning. A population growth rate of 1% implies a population of 17 or 18 billion in 2100 -- not 10 billion. Their figures do not make sense. The crisis will not come in 2100. It will come in our lifetimes.

As a child this is what I hoped and expected from sea monkeys. You know the packet of micrscopic type of shrimp.They package all badass of course making you assume as a child that this is what your in for. Sadley  though not true. If your wondering what im talking about search youtube for southparks episode they did on it.

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January 12, 2013, 12:21:17 PM
 #8

Why Malthus got his Forecast Wrong

At the level of currently-economical renewable energy technologies, you consume the equivalent of approximately 20 acres worth of sunlight, in fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels won't last forever.

In the US, with relatively low population density, there are only approximately 6.5 acres per capita.

You can choose to fill the gap with land, with water, with investment in renewable energy technologies (both economical and uneconomical), or with some 80-odd human slaves.

But you will have to fill the gap, or accept lower energy consumption (and a likely lower standard of living), regardless, before the fossil fuels run out.

100 years later we have robotic tractors that require very few farmers to operate, and advances in chemicals and genetics that allow us to grow much more food from the same amount of space.

And we have a quasi-socialist mixed economy to manage them, just as Marx predicted.

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January 12, 2013, 03:37:39 PM
 #9

The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

True.  Without nuclear energy we have already passed the carrying capacity of the earth.  If we keep using polluting fresh water (with mercury) and keep polluting the air at this rate we will start to die off from disease at a faster rate.   With nuclear we can have a much higher population without damaging the earth to the point where it damages us back. 

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January 12, 2013, 03:50:34 PM
 #10

This is oversimplified.

We basically have already 206 bottles, which are on average filled to ~75%.

Some of them are only filled 25%, while others are filled by over a 100% and can only survive by getting resources from other bottles.

The interesting part will begin when the average comes near to a 100%, while some bottles are still <50%. That will be fun.

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January 12, 2013, 04:03:31 PM
 #11

The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

At the same time there will be limiting factors: the rubber tension and pressure within is rising on inflation of the balloon.

This will lower the rate of reproduction / survival of offspring until reproduction.

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January 12, 2013, 04:14:10 PM
 #12

It's not primarily room to live but lack of resources (especially water) that will become a problem. I am convinced there will be wars over sources of water in my lifetime. This does not mean I will be in physical danger as I had the luck to be born in a wealth country (lowering the chances I'll be in harms way).

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January 12, 2013, 09:18:19 PM
 #13

and eat algae

but SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE !!!1!  Angry

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January 12, 2013, 09:21:20 PM
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Overpopulation: The Perennial Myth
SEPTEMBER 01, 1993 by DAVID OSTERFELD

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/overpopulation-the-perennial-myth/
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January 13, 2013, 04:04:33 AM
 #15

The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

+1

On that one, I'm fully with Myrkul !

Technology can bring the carrying capacity of the earth well beyond we think possible.

The monetary system and corrupted values that it promotes make the actual "beleived carying capacity" !

Capitalism puts breaks on technological advancement, and whitout those outdated-capitalist constraint, we could have 100x more effectiver solar panel, lab grown meat that is exactly the same as the actual meat we eat, cure for cancer... etc..

Remove $ and we can more than double the carrying capacity of the earth.  We are not short on space to live, we are short on food and energy, because of the $ system.
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January 13, 2013, 04:10:57 AM
 #16

Why Malthus got his Forecast Wrong

At the level of currently-economical renewable energy technologies, you consume the equivalent of approximately 20 acres worth of sunlight, in fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels won't last forever.

In the US, with relatively low population density, there are only approximately 6.5 acres per capita.

You can choose to fill the gap with land, with water, with investment in renewable energy technologies (both economical and uneconomical), or with some 80-odd human slaves.

But you will have to fill the gap, or accept lower energy consumption (and a likely lower standard of living), regardless, before the fossil fuels run out.

100 years later we have robotic tractors that require very few farmers to operate, and advances in chemicals and genetics that allow us to grow much more food from the same amount of space.

And we have a quasi-socialist mixed economy to manage them, just as Marx predicted.

Remove the word economy from your tought : problem solved.  Solar panels more than double production per square inch, every year.. those technology are just not economicaly viable.. so remove the actual monetary sytem = problems solved !
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January 13, 2013, 04:13:33 AM
 #17

It's disturbing reading posts from people who think our current reproduction rates are sustainable in the long term. I would prefer giving everyone the right to have one child, along with the ability to sell the rights to someone else. It would decrease poverty as well. If we wait until nature does it for us, there won't be much nature left.

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January 13, 2013, 04:15:34 AM
 #18

It's not primarily room to live but lack of resources (especially water) that will become a problem. I am convinced there will be wars over sources of water in my lifetime. This does not mean I will be in physical danger as I had the luck to be born in a wealth country (lowering the chances I'll be in harms way).

desalination and distilation of water = problem solved

Thanks to human knowledge and well applied science !
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January 13, 2013, 04:18:48 AM
 #19

The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

+1

On that one, I'm fully with Myrkul !

Technology can bring the carrying capacity of the earth well beyond we think possible.
You had me right up to here.

The monetary system and corrupted values that it promotes make the actual "beleived carying capacity" !
Now, when you say "monetary system," do you mean the debt-as-money the world runs on now, or sound money, as well?

Capitalism puts breaks on technological advancement, and whitout those outdated-capitalist constraint, we could have 100x more effectiver solar panel, lab grown meat that is exactly the same as the actual meat we eat, cure for cancer... etc..
Capitalism drives progress. Every time capitalism is suppressed, progress is stagnated.

Remove $ and we can more than double the carrying capacity of the earth.  We are not short on space to live, we are short on food and energy, because of the $ system.
Could you please explain how money limits food and energy artificially?

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usagi
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January 13, 2013, 05:04:53 AM
 #20

The carrying capacity of the earth is not static. Technological advancements continually expand it. We aren't living in a glass bottle, but a rubber balloon.

+1

On that one, I'm fully with Myrkul !

Technology can bring the carrying capacity of the earth well beyond we think possible.
You had me right up to here.

The monetary system and corrupted values that it promotes make the actual "beleived carying capacity" !
Now, when you say "monetary system," do you mean the debt-as-money the world runs on now, or sound money, as well?

Capitalism puts breaks on technological advancement, and whitout those outdated-capitalist constraint, we could have 100x more effectiver solar panel, lab grown meat that is exactly the same as the actual meat we eat, cure for cancer... etc..
Capitalism drives progress. Every time capitalism is suppressed, progress is stagnated.

Remove $ and we can more than double the carrying capacity of the earth.  We are not short on space to live, we are short on food and energy, because of the $ system.
Could you please explain how money limits food and energy artificially?

I agree, that technology can increase the carrying capacity of the earth. But that is in fact my point -- technology has (and may continue to) increase the carrying capacity of the earth.

But technology requires energy. For example take some supercomplex cryptography algorithm where brute force is written off because solving it would take more energy than exists in the solar system. It's like that. How can we use technology to solve the world's ills when there is not enough energy to apply that technology all over the world? There are going to be serious issues even if we transition to solar right now, because it costs more energy to build a solar panel using today's technology that will be realized by said solar panel in it's lifetime. The reason why it feels cheap now, is because of the reliance on fossil fuels which are a diminishing resource.

I don't know how to solve this problem.
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