Sunday, May 20, 2007

Power and Alternative Futures

After removing one country from my sample and entering new data for life span (from a more applicable year, 2002), I also identified an apparent correlation between adjusted power and the difference between birth and death rates in a population. The curve fit for lifespan now takes a steep dive after the last transition, throwing into question the basis for my cautious hope that conditions could improve after that transition. The only consoling impact of the new projections is that happiness and population growth increase.

As populations approach maximum power over their fate (apparently never getting closer than about 90 percent), one of two possible explanations for the projections comes to mind. The first is optimistic (the one I suggested in the last post): there is no longer any need for using resources, hurting others, and maintaining a free government, because everyone is close enough to their comfort zones. The second explanation is pessimistic: the population uses up its resource base to the point where people can exercise maximum control over what’s left.

I was also hopeful in my assessment of the life path of populations; that power would always increase. While this may be the preferred path, some real countries have tended to reduce happiness (and therefore power) over time. Presently, the United States is increasing power at a rate that it will reach the last transition (the 75 percent peak) by 2054. It is hopefully a coincidence that this closely corresponds to the time that my other model, projecting consumption, indicates that the world population will crash.

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