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Puppycow
31st May 2007, 07:50 AM
From "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" by Carl Sagan and Ann DruyanIn the ways of Nature," said Marcus Aurelius, "there is no evil to be found." Animals are aggressive not because they are savage, or bestial or evil--those are words with very little explanatory power--but because such behaviour provides food and defense against predators, because it spaces out the population and avoids overcrowding, because it has adaptive value. Aggression is a survival strategy, evolved to serve life. It coexists, especially in the primates, especially in the primates, with compassion, altruism, heroism, and tender, self-sacrificing love for the young. These are also survival strategies. Eliminating aggression would be a foolish as well as an unachievable goal--it's built too deeply into us. The evolutionary process has worked to achieve the right level of aggression--not too much, not too little--and the right inhibitors and disinhibitors.

http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/human_pop/worldpop.jpg
When all the world is overcharged with inhabitants, then the last remedy of all is war . . .
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathanhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/Population_growth_rate_world.PNG/800px-Population_growth_rate_world.PNG
When a population in a given area approaches or exceeds the carrying capacity, it will result in starvation and/or conflict, so in many ways it is not suprising to see so much violence in Africa and other developing regions. Food aid may even exacerbate the problem by allowing the population to remain unnaturally large. I don't know how many times I've seen appeals for food aid for Africa on TV, or Band Aid, etc. I'm sure they are well intentioned, but I think that condoms would be a lot more useful than food aid. Limiting births seems to be the most humane way to control the population. The alternative is slaughter. I don't think it is an accident that there are genocidal wars happening in many of the countries with the highest rates of population growth.

The only form of aid for these countries that makes sense if you think about it rationally, is family planning aid, not food aid or military intervention.

Darth Rotor
31st May 2007, 08:06 AM
From "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/human_pop/worldpop.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/Population_growth_rate_world.PNG/800px-Population_growth_rate_world.PNG
When a population in a given area approaches or exceeds the carrying capacity, it will result in starvation and/or conflict, so in many ways it is not suprising to see so much violence in Africa and other developing regions. Food aid may even exacerbate the problem by allowing the population to remain unnaturally large. I don't know how many times I've seen appeals for food aid for Africa on TV, or Band Aid, etc. I'm sure they are well intentioned, but I think that condoms would be a lot more useful than food aid. Limiting births seems to be the most humane way to control the population. The alternative is slaughter. I don't think it is an accident that there are genocidal wars happening in many of the countries with the highest rates of population growth.

The only form of aid for these countries that makes sense if you think about it rationally, is family planning aid, not food aid or military intervention.
Hi

Recycled Zero Population Growth memes, thirty five years later. Thanks, I was getting nostalgic for some of that rhetoric.

The only place it has worked is where it isn't needed. The only place it isn't working is where it is needed.

Irony, thy name is population control.

DR

Puppycow
31st May 2007, 08:21 AM
Why hasn't it worked? Do believe in food aid or military intervention, or benign neglect? Maybe there just isn't any answer?

casebro
31st May 2007, 08:24 AM
I noticed that the population really started climbing at about the year 1500. What changed? A global warming cycle? Trade with the new world? Tobacco boosted fertility rates? Inca gold?

Darth Rotor
31st May 2007, 08:24 AM
Why hasn't it worked? Do believe in food aid or military intervention, or benign neglect? Maybe there just isn't any answer?
1. It is hard to legislate against stupidity.

2. It is hard to transform cultures. Many of the habits people have related to procreating are embedded in their culture.

3. In some cultures, a large family is both a product of habits, and a sign of status and health.

The world isn't all urbanized Western Civ. Some folks find it irritating that the urbanized Western Civ folks condescend to tell them how many children to have.

Some people don't mind a lot of things that get the Kumbaya Globalist's panties in a bunch.

DR

Beerina
31st May 2007, 12:48 PM
I noticed that the population really started climbing at about the year 1500. What changed? A global warming cycle? Trade with the new world? Tobacco boosted fertility rates? Inca gold?

Two things: The Renaissance, and it really picked up steam with the Industrial Revolution.

But also, these "hockey stick" graphs are somewhat misleading -- they liken the current population in terms of some original, tiny amount. Population grows exponentially -- if each kid has 4 kids (per couple), then the next generation has twice as many, and the next, twice as many again.

Here's your hockey stick:

2
4
8
16
32
64
128
256
512
1024
etc.

Pick any linear scale you choose and, sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll get the hockey stick.

A logarithmic scale, which is what you need, probably shows a decrease in population growth, in terms of "# of children per couple or per capita", thanks to the Industrial Revolution, though the wealthy West pouring money into poor nations allows 3rd World rates of breeding (as per pre-Industrial West) to explode, leaving the next famine all the worse, a common philosophical problem for the West.

Of course, in a relatively free economy, the more people, the better (http://juliansimon.org) because the faster technology develops. A free world with a trillion people on it would be inventing more productive ways to generate food so fast we couldn't even conceive of it, and thus could handle growth far better than we can imagine.

Freedom, though, is the key.

Puppycow
31st May 2007, 04:51 PM
Pick any linear scale you choose and, sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll get the hockey stick.Yes, it would look somewhat like a hockey stick, but a "linear scale" means a uniform rate of growth, right? Between 1 and 1000 AD, the population didn't even double; it did double in the 2nd half of the 20th century, so the rate of growth is much faster than in the past. (And the rate is slowing down somewhat now, but it is expected to grow by about 50% in the first half of this century, although I don't know if those projections account for the possibility of massive genocidal wars).


Of course, in a relatively free economy, the more people, the better (http://juliansimon.org) because the faster technology develops. A free world with a trillion people on it would be inventing more productive ways to generate food so fast we couldn't even conceive of it, and thus could handle growth far better than we can imagine.

Freedom, though, is the key.

A trillion people? No thanks, man! I need elbow room. OK if you have infinite space and resources, but you do not.

DanishDynamite
31st May 2007, 04:59 PM
Yes, puppycow, you are obviously correct.

The main source of war-fever is that others exist. Others who either have land worth getting, have resources worth getting, have women worth getting or.... have something worth getting rid of (an unacceptable religion, an unacceptable set of values, etc, etc).

Your suggested solution....reducing population....might reduce the pressure to act violently for a while. Perhaps.

The real solution...is simpler.

Puppycow
31st May 2007, 05:05 PM
The real solution...is simpler.

Oh good! There's a simple solution! Great, let's hear it.

DanishDynamite
31st May 2007, 05:06 PM
Oh good! There's a simple solution! Great, let's hear it.
Space.

The final frontier.

Puppycow
31st May 2007, 05:14 PM
Space.

The final frontier.

What about transcendental meditation? ;)

DanishDynamite
31st May 2007, 05:20 PM
What about transcendental meditation? ;)
Please use the lavatory. Thanks.