Tuesday, December 9, 2008


On December 8, 2008, I completed the culminating calculation of the five years since I began looking into the limits of population growth: the relationship between longevity of an isolated population and the life expectancy of individuals. The mathematical statement was immediately put on my research Web site, but it warrants repeating here:

Life expectancy in years = 21 * Log (Earth masses of resources / Depletion time in years) + 525.5, with a maximum of 134 years.

At the same time, I came up with a rigorous definition of happiness (satisfaction with life), which I incorporated into the Third Law of Consumption: Happiness is the ratio (in percent) of life expectancy to maximum life expectancy.

This was the pinnacle my high-level empirical/theoretical development on this subject. It will be followed by detailed investigation of its manifestations and applications, beginning with my own survival (on the same day, my wife and I were forced to go into debt to pay our bills).

In sum, what I proved over this period was that individual gain comes at a great cost in resources; and in the absence of growing resources, how long the population can survive.

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