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  1. #46
    Repudiated Ursus s271's Avatar
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    Considering comparative rates of progress between space tech(which was more like regress until lately) and biotech+electronics I don't think it will be humans who will colonize solar system. More likely it will be heavily brain-augmented cyborgs or their AI descendants.

  2. #47
    martinelillycrop martielillycrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asimovking View Post
    What's wrong with the 50 billion number? I said if it was done right (which actually was agreeing with you except i guess i named a much larger number than you were thinking of) Are you wanting me to come up with an idea where we could actually get Earth to support 50 billion people? Perhaps in would be good to discuss solutions to Earth eventually getting overcrowded.
    There has to be a limit to the number of people Earth can support, regardless of how well the resources are managed. As has been stated already in this thread, (and is somewhat obvious) the materials on our planet are finite. At some point there will be no more resources, however well we eke out and recycle the consumables. Besides, who would want to live in a society whose resorces are so thinly spread everyone is in need and nobody is comfortable?

    Surely the argument for managing this planet is not so much how well it's done but by limiting the number of humans?

    Or finding another planet, lol!

  3. #48
    "Dime Store Rock"
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    Quote Originally Posted by martielillycrop View Post
    There has to be a limit to the number of people Earth can support, regardless of how well the resources are managed. As has been stated already in this thread, (and is somewhat obvious) the materials on our planet are finite. At some point there will be no more resources, however well we eke out and recycle the consumables. Besides, who would want to live in a society whose resorces are so thinly spread everyone is in need and nobody is comfortable?

    Surely the argument for managing this planet is not so much how well it's done but by limiting the number of humans?

    Or finding another planet, lol!
    I merely said if managed properly. And i was under the impression we were talking about humans living on Earth for thousands of more years, I assume that our technology would be better by then.

    Unless we do colonize other planets then I don't see why we should limit how many children someone can have. That's communism. I know it sounds contradictory but at least if we were already populating other worlds then we can say "If you don't like only being allowed to have only 1 kid then go to Mars". You can't just take away a person's right to have children due to overpopulation. That's equivalent to telling someone they can only drive a certain amount of miles because we have terrible cars. Fix the problem instead of putting band aids on it.

    50 billion was just a number I threw out there. And "if properly managed" is a very broad statement. Just making something up on the fly (that is assuming technological advancement in the future) :

    To support that many people on Earth we could be more efficient with land use. Make massively tall apartment buildings that can house 250,000 people per building. Make massively tall business buildings. This would cut down on the need for half of a city's land to be used for business and roads. That in itself shrinks the land use of a typical 250,000 citizen city to what? 2-3% of current? Condense all the crop farms into several much larger farms. Grow all food animals factory style. We've just reduced land use to about 20% of normal.

    We could also find ways to live underwater in the oceans. Get rid of cars that pollute the air. Mine other planets/moons/asteroids for materials we need. Invent technology that cleans the air.

    Assuming we had the technology to do all this it would work. If we are still here in the next few thousand years there is no excuse for us not having that kind of technology. And even if we are speaking on today's terms I still say no we should not limit or reduce the Earth's population. We should find ways to do what I listed or similar things. It can be done, we just have to figure out how.

    Quote Originally Posted by martielillycrop View Post

    Or finding another planet, lol!
    Finding another planet is the best idea though
    Last edited by Asimovking; April 2nd, 2012 at 02:06 PM.

  4. #49
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asimovking View Post
    To support that many people on Earth we could be more efficient with land use. Make massively tall apartment buildings that can house 250,000 people per building. Make massively tall business buildings. This would cut down on the need for half of a city's land to be used for business and roads. That in itself shrinks the land use of a typical 250,000 citizen city to what? 2-3% of current? Condense all the crop farms into several much larger farms. Grow all food animals factory style. We've just reduced land use to about 20% of normal.
    Hmmmmm..... large blocks for the workers to live in. Huge collectives of highly mechanised farms.......now where have I read about that?

  5. #50
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asimovking View Post
    What's wrong with the 50 billion number? I said if it was done right (which actually was agreeing with you except i guess i named a much larger number than you were thinking of) Are you wanting me to come up with an idea where we could actually get Earth to support 50 billion people? Perhaps it would be good to discuss solutions to Earth eventually getting overcrowded.
    Agreeing with me on what?

    What did I say about any optimum population level?

    Probably 5 billion is too high but resource usage and allocation is the problem. So how do we escape the economic and political power games? We sure can't solve problems when most people don't understand basic physics.

    psik

  6. #51
    "Dime Store Rock"
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Agreeing with me on what?

    What did I say about any optimum population level?

    Probably 5 billion is too high but resource usage and allocation is the problem. So how do we escape the economic and political power games? We sure can't solve problems when most people don't understand basic physics.

    psik
    Oh. Lol nevermind that was Chekhov. As for the economic and political power games I dont know. Im great at coming up with ideas, not always all that good with the logistics of them. Short of imprisoning or killing the people that play these games I don't have any ideas.

  7. #52
    The chances that the earth will be hit by an asteroid/meteor is 100%. It's not a question of if, but when. Humanity definitely need to be looking at getting a foothold on other planets. The Moon would be the best training ground for something like that. Unfortunately it's a sad fact that space exploration gets the smallest budgets of them all.

    Imagine if NASA could have had 10% of the military budget for the last 30 years or so. I'm sure we would have had a moonbase by now and perhaps a fledgling outpost on Mars as well.

  8. #53
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    The chances that the earth will be hit by an asteroid/meteor is 100%. It's not a question of if, but when.
    And how big.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOyECK-3awo

    psik

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    True. Most of the meteors we see are teeny tiny (most are the size of grains of sand, but still cause amazing light shows). I was of course speaking about extinction level events, or at the least those that would be big enough to do some SERIOUS damage.

  10. #55
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    I'd like to see some context here while we're just throwing around numbers. Is that 50 billion people living in the Stone Age, or with modern Western lifestyles? I seriously doubt the Earth can sustain that for very long, at least in its present form.
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Agreeing with me on what?

    What did I say about any optimum population level?

    Probably 5 billion is too high but resource usage and allocation is the problem. So how do we escape the economic and political power games? We sure can't solve problems when most people don't understand basic physics.

    psik
    Physics won't help us solve resource allocation problems. For that, we need a different approach.

  11. #56
    "Dime Store Rock"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chekhov View Post
    I'd like to see some context here while we're just throwing around numbers. Is that 50 billion people living in the Stone Age, or with modern Western lifestyles? I seriously doubt the Earth can sustain that for very long, at least in its present form.
    I implore you to read this thread more closely.

  12. #57
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chekhov View Post
    I'd like to see some context here while we're just throwing around numbers. Is that 50 billion people living in the Stone Age, or with modern Western lifestyles? I seriously doubt the Earth can sustain that for very long, at least in its present form.

    Physics won't help us solve resource allocation problems. For that, we need a different approach.
    With stone age technology we could not produce enough food to feed 2 billion.

    How can anyone that truly understands physics not comprehend that planned obsolescence is going on in automobiles? Lockheed had the SR-71 Blackbird doing 2000 mph in 1964. Why do people give a damn about these changes in cars year after year when that technological feat involving applied physics was done over 40 years ago?

    Part of our resource allocation problem is people not understanding when they are buying JUNK. So the corporations supply junk because the marketing clowns can get people to demand junk. Then the economists don't talk about the depreciation of the junk.

    http://www.spectacle.org/1199/wargame.html

    One economist called me a loony for that. Another one said I was correct and the textbooks were wrong.

    psik

  13. #58
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Not everyone needs to understand physics, nor need they cars that don't go obsolete.

    1. I don't understand neurosurgery as well as the surgeon at my local hospital does, but he does it nonetheless, and saves lives by removing operable tumors. My wife doesn't understand Python, but that doesn't stop me from writing programs in it.

    2. Cars go obsolete because they must. If they don't, there are no jobs making the cars, there are no jobs managing workers making cars, people get no money from those people because they have none to spend (government in taxes, stores in purchases, energy suppliers in bills, each gets zippo). Our consumer driven society of 2011 is a system of mutual support by way of constant economic action of the individuals and collectives.

    Also, as someone who is trained in machining and has cast metal, I know that cars can't be made to last as long in brand new condition as many want to think. Metal molecules change shape and temper and oxidize, rubber and plastic molecules radicalize and oxidize, glass pits and progressively weakens through microcracking, the center cannot hold, everything falls apart. Even your own body, which is self-repairing in a way that we could never hope for in cars short of nanotechnolgy, dies.

    The auto industry makes incremental improvements which would never see the light of day and we'd all be driving tanks if they were the same ones built 50 years ago. No DVD players in-dash, no MP3/CD stereo, no GPS and satellite emergency system, no antilock brakes, no airbags, because the first cars built were built to last forever. Well, they must fail in order to make it economical to keep improving them. In between replacements, people pay off the last debt incurred and move to the next one. Banking and finance keep paying workers to do what they do. They keep paying their grocers. We all profit by this system.

    A gigantic shift suddenly away from that would cause total planetary economic collapse and global civil war because no one would be happy in the slightest. When humans are uniformly unhappy, they look for someone to take it out on. Our present system mostly keeps us from that. Incremental change, not wholesale change is the only thing humans can handle at their present stage of sociological, cultural, and psychological development. They especially cannot handle large changes that don't make them want to buy into the change emotionally, much less scares them to death. Nor should they. It is patently ludicrous to expect it of them.

    If we want a different future, we need it to be something the people at large can and would actually find worthwhile to their self-interests. That's why I don't buy stories where everyone just went along with big ideas that didn't do anything for them in the here and now. They don't care about Mars being settled by people who won't be born until they are long, long, dead. They want to be able to suspend disbelief and think that it could include them right now.

  14. #59
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    Not everyone needs to understand physics, nor need they cars that don't go obsolete.

    1. I don't understand neurosurgery as well as the surgeon at my local hospital does, but he does it nonetheless, and saves lives by removing operable tumors. My wife doesn't understand Python, but that doesn't stop me from writing programs in it.

    2. Cars go obsolete because they must. If they don't, there are no jobs making the cars, there are no jobs managing workers making cars, people get no money from those people because they have none to spend (government in taxes, stores in purchases, energy suppliers in bills, each gets zippo). Our consumer driven society of 2011 is a system of mutual support by way of constant economic action of the individuals and collectives..
    Python isn't 300 years old and have applications outside of computers.

    Comparing physics to algorithms would be more accurate than comparing it to Python. The same algorithm can be implemented in many languages. The same physics applies to many areas. Aerodynamics applies to cars and airplanes but using a more general term fluid dynamics brings submarines in too.

    So why aren't we on a 3-day work week with longer lasting products?

    Why doesn't the economics profession report the demand side depreciation but the replacements get added to GDP. 42 years after the Moon landing and economists can't do algebra.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; May 24th, 2011 at 10:12 PM.

  15. #60
    Shatterling wannabe Fire Servant's Avatar
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    'Pushing Ice' seconded (or thirded?)

    Global economics being the dynamic weather system that it is, it's hard for me to imagine it definitely accommodating space colonization or definitely imploding.

    But whenever I think about this I always come back to the notion of private homesteading of space. Families or tribes building their own ships and leaving by their own means, like Asians crossing the Bering Land Bridge or pilgrims heading for the New World. Of course they'd be leaving a very different Earth than the one we know now.

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