Sunday, October 14, 2007

IP Index

There are at least two major problems with only 200 million people utilizing all of the planet’s renewable natural resources, one practical and the other ethical. The practical problem is that we do not have sufficient technology for so few people to do what it currently takes billions to do. The ethical problem is, quite simply, what to do with those other billions of people.

Since an ideal world, as I’ve defined it, depends on maximizing of the number of people living an ideal life for a maximum amount of time, our success at creating such a world can be measured by multiplying the Ideality index (a measure of personal longevity and satisfaction) by the size of the population, and we can try to constantly increase the result over time. To link this new index to required resources, the population can be measured in terms of the number of people sustainable by a specific amount of resources per year, and 200 million is an obvious choice. By this standard, I estimate that by the end of this year the world will have an “IP index” of 20.8 (the Ideality index divided by 100 to get a fraction, times the ratio of the current population to 200 million: 63/100 times 6.59 billion/200 million). Crudely, this number can be thought of as a multiple of the population that the Earth can support living an ideal life.

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