Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Path of Greed

Using my speed model to project per capita consumption, I discovered that for both it and the consumption model to be right, per capita consumption must increase after the maximum speed is attained. This would be a path of greed, taken by people who would rather sacrifice the lives of others than stop increasing their personal consumption. Such a path would almost certainly include deadly violence, direct (through war) and indirect (deprivation by isolation and economic means).

The alternative, keeping per capita consumption constant, would be a path of responsibility that limited both personal acquisition and population growth. Ideally it would be voluntary, integrated into culture as experience and knowledge of the required methods grew.

My modeling of community sizes indicates that the world population could stabilize with around 300 large communities (nations). Following the path of greed would reduce this number to less than 20 with the most precipitous decline (by half) during the first 50 years. It may be no coincidence that the remaining number of nations is in the range of minimum community size, a number that could more easily be monitored and controlled by a dictator – the ultimate icon of greed.

A large, stable collection of nations would provide room for freedom if they were not rigidly controlled and providing that they aspired to more quality and reusability in the resources they consumed, and valued the people around them more than having more of their genes in the gene pool.

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