Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Drop Ratios

After 2001, some people began experiencing falling happiness and life expectancy in my Timelines simulation (“Green”) that best matches our history. Starting in 2012, both of those variables were zero for a growing number of people whose part of the population was essentially living the rest of their lives without being replaced by children. The rest were still growing toward the peak that they had left. These conditions are identified in the following example as ranges of “action phases” that are derived from the ratio of unused resources to resources used to meet people’s basic needs.

ABOVE: Distributions of population, happiness, and life expectancy as functions of action phase at the beginning of 2020. Three ranges of phase identify trends in happiness and life expectancy: Growing (phases 1-5), Falling (phase 6), and Dying (phase 7). In this example, 16% of the population is growing, 35% (51% minus 16%) is falling, and 49% (100% minus 51%) is dying.

The conditions can be further reduced to “drop ratios” that compare the amount of people falling and dying to the amount of people growing. These are defined in the following graph, which projects how they change over time. Note that historical data is used for years through 2014 (where a “year” corresponds to the middle of the calendar year), and every year after that is a projection.

Drop Ratio 1 is the raw drop ratio, is now more than five, and is projected reach nearly eight before the total population is projected to peak and then decrease. It notably decreased just once, in 2009, corresponding to the global recession in that year, but has increased every year since then.

To the extent that people’s motivations might track with their membership in these phase ranges, it is conceivable that the people in the falling range might be split between siding with those who are growing and those who are dying. Drop Ratio 2 assumes an even split between the two.  

The following graph shows the drop ratios as functions of world phase (the phase for the world as a whole). Also shown is the fraction of the population that is falling and dying, which begins at phase 5. For reference, the world phase at the end of this month will be 5.8. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Social Cohesiveness

The differences in experiences between people in a group can provide some insight into the cohesiveness of the group as a society, which recently has appeared to be decreasing. Action phases provide a measure of those differences, which correspond to different ranges of global variables that can be loosely associated with roles and experiences in the manipulation and distribution of resources throughout the population. The total range of phases has tended to expand throughout history, as shown below for the simulation “Green.” 

If the world of this simulation as a whole was experienced by a single person, that person would follow the World phase trajectory in the graphs. This is considerably different from the average person (the green line marking the 50% trajectory) and the person with the highest phase (the red line). Those people in the 10% with the lowest phases are the most different from the rest of the population, now occupying five of the seven phases where people can be found.

Global variables projected for the end of this month are shown below for the range of phases as it will exist then. The obvious phases people would want to occupy are 4 and 6 based on life expectancy and happiness, but the expansion of the range of phases caused by the reduction of unconsumed resources is forcing everyone higher - toward the dropping population that follows a maximum phase of 8 and a world phase of 6. The graph shows half the population above phase 7, with no happiness or life expectancy (for children born in that group), which will surely be a major event for the simulated world it inhabits.

To the extent that the simulation coincides with our real world on which it is historically based, the changes in life expectancy and population growth will be observable here on a global scale, although individual nations will vary based on their resources, consumption, and interactions with each other. 

With so much at stake, it would be unsurprising see social fragmentation of the population into three groups: the one-sixth of the population that benefits from increasing consumption; the half that is being driven toward death; and the remaining one-third that is suffering catastrophic loss of happiness and life expectancy. Such fragmentation would have a strong economic component, since the one-sixth that wants more consumption owns four-fifths of the world’s wealth, and that wealth tends to increase with consumption.