Due to globalization, what functioned as innovative, roughly self-contained populations are being forced to interact and adapt to other groups in closer and closer proximity and competing for resources that are becoming dangerously scarce. This is leading to an increase in stress which in non-human populations has lead to mass die-offs. I recommend that both education and the enforcement of altruistic behavior be used to deal with this problem, recognizing that they are at best stop-gap measures that will likely diminish the happiness of those who naturally resist changing the characteristics of their favored groups because doing so increases their own stress.
Maximizing the longevity and happiness of the human population, my conditions for an ideal world, clearly depend on increasing the per capita resources available, which includes provision for privacy. As I mentioned, while space settlement may be ultimately the best long-term way to do this, it won’t likely have a significant enough effect in the short term to avoid major changes on Earth. The altruistic behavior I’ve alluded to involves, as painlessly as possible, the fundamental restructuring of our economies to radically reduce waste and the destruction of natural systems. “Waste” not only involves mass and energy, but space (area): the more people (or their artifacts) we are exposed to on a daily basis, the more stress we will feel.