If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the "economy" grows with it?

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ssmith2008's picture
ssmith2008
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If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the "economy" grows with it?

Hi all ~ I'm a newby to the site/ideas and watched the Crash Course a couple of days ago.  After having a night to sleep on the ideas/concepts put forth in the seminar, the main question that came to mind was if the population is growing exponentially, doesn't it follow that the economy should grow with it.  More people means more goods and services, technology, all of it ~~ to accomodate the growing population.  I keep hearing about "sustainability" which leads me to believe that there is a broad recognition that the resources of the planet are being irretrievably depleted.  But, that should provide some space for innovation and new ways of thinking about how we live.  It doesn't mean necessarily that we have to completely get "off the grid" for fear that the whole system is going to go kaput.  I would venture a guess that if you went back and studied behaviors during the past depressions, recessions, wars, and other crisees that you would find the same type of "end of the world" reactions.  Would love to see your thoughts to help bring soem clarity.  Thanks! ;-)

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...

ssmith -

Welcome to the site.  Glad to hear you could even sleep after watching Crash Course.

I think you have about 3/4 of the picture.  Even if the economy grows along with the population, that requires a similar growth in resources to sustain it.  That simply cannot happen with finite resources - at some point you hit the 'knee in the curve' and the resources are depleted even faster while growth slows to a crawl.

I like your idea that 'innovation and new ways of thinking' will/should/may generate new technologies that will help solve or mitigate the problems, but the sad reality is, not enough people care.  As long as gas comes out of the pump or the lights come on when the xswitch is flipped, they just won't care enough to enact meaningful change.

Now take away their DirectTV feed and cancel a couple of redneck football, I mean NASCAR races Laughingand see what happens.

In all seriousness, you have to take all this in, digest it and make a prediction about what you think is going to happen and how bad it's going to be.  From that you develop a realistic preparation plan and start working on it.  the Self-Assessment on this site is a good place to start.

then you get to working on your plan - if TSHTF and you're ready, you will be fine.  If nothing happens, you are still better off and likely have acquired some new, valuable skill sets (gardening, canning, preserving, solar, etc.) 

My standard response to the people who tell me that all of our planning and food storage and gardening efforts are a waste because there's no way it will get that bad....

"I can afford to be wrong.  Can you?"

You can imagine the guppy like unblinking stares I get in response.

Again, welcome to the site, poke around, learn something and have fun.

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jneo
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Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...

 

I think it will to an extent.  If you're on an island with people and then begin to increase the population, the island can only hold a certain number of people as well as the economic growth that comes with the population increase.  The carrying capacity of the earth can only hold so many people and the economic growth.  There will be a point when human population will meet the carrying capacity of the earth, then it's all down hill.  

You can only drink so many beers before you regurgitate.  

When you look at how a society should function and operate, just look at the human body as the perfect example.  The human body is a system that is fundamentally perfect (but not 100%).  It takes in all it's resources intelligently, distributes it among the body to improve the quality of life.  It's a self sustaining system, capable of many years of positive growth.  We could produce a system similar to that, but with our greedy, corrupt monetary system when everyone looks out for themselves it will not be possible until we are on life support.  If the human body was greedy or corrupt, then on some biological level it develops cancer or some other life threatening condition.

When or if society falls apart, when that new paradigm emerges, the population should relate the construction of a new society to the model of the human body.  But then again in a world of scarcity, real or not, people should ask what is really important?  

 

ssmith2008's picture
ssmith2008
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Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...

Thanks for the reply Dogs in a Pile ~ Do you keep up with Ray Kurzweil/ Vernor Vinge re: approaching singularity ideas?  If so, they are reflecting some of the same themes that I heard in the Crash Course.  So do the 2012 crowd... I like some of what Terence McKenna and other current thinkers/philosophers had/have to say about what's coming ~ McKenna called it the Archaic Revival.  But it seems that alot of this is a way to make money for some folks ~ selling how to advice, books, etc.  I'm a positive skeptic in a way.

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SagerXX
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Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...
ssmith2008 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Dogs in a Pile ~ Do you keep up with Ray Kurzweil/ Vernor Vinge re: approaching singularity ideas?  If so, they are reflecting some of the same themes that I heard in the Crash Course.  So do the 2012 crowd... I like some of what Terence McKenna and other current thinkers/philosophers had/have to say about what's coming ~ McKenna called it the Archaic Revival.  But it seems that alot of this is a way to make money for some folks ~ selling how to advice, books, etc.  I'm a positive skeptic in a way.

Hey ss --

Welcome to the community!  IMO while innovation and so forth could mitigate some of the effects of exponential growth, as Dogs said it won't be enough.  When you hit the vertical UP on the exponential curve things happen too quickly for people to adapt in meaningful ways.

As for McKenna (and I've read plenty of his stuff) his deal vis-a-vis the Logos/Archaic Revival seemed to imply a soon-to-come rendezvous with with a profound, quantum change in human consciousness (it can be danged hard to tell exactly what the heck he's on about sometimes [smile]).  While I find his intellectual riffs groovy fun, I'm skeptical about any sudden awakening across the many societies/cultures on the planet.  Oh, I think the coming years will see us all learning some hard, useful lessons.  But as for the collective consciousness elevating suddenly to make contact w/something the next step up the ladder?  Weeeell....

Like Dogs said, knock around the site, check out the threads.  Heaps of super-sharp, happy-to-help folks around.  Ask away!

Viva -- Sager

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...
ssmith2008 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Dogs in a Pile ~ Do you keep up with Ray Kurzweil/ Vernor Vinge re: approaching singularity ideas?  If so, they are reflecting some of the same themes that I heard in the Crash Course.  So do the 2012 crowd... I like some of what Terence McKenna and other current thinkers/philosophers had/have to say about what's coming ~ McKenna called it the Archaic Revival.  But it seems that alot of this is a way to make money for some folks ~ selling how to advice, books, etc.  I'm a positive skeptic in a way.

ssmith -

Keep up with - no.  Aware of  - yes.  The AR and 2012 postulations don't hold a lot of water for me.  Call me a fatalist or a blunt realist - whatever happens was going to happen anyway and in the immortal word of Publilius Syrus "Tis foolish to fear what cannot be avoided."

I'm more of a subscriber to William Strauss and Neil Howe and the "Fourth Turning".  I think today's society and world has settled into an observation of linear time and let their paths be governed accordingly.  I also think that this is fundamentally in error as our time is cyclical and everything that is going to happen to us has already happened to us and will happen to us again.  Each crisis is separated by 80-100 years, four generations and has marked boundaries defining each participating generation.

And if you adhere to Strauss and Howe's hypothesis, the Fourth Turning is upon us and will result in upheaval, crisis, fundamental and significant change and successful emergence from the crisis.  In this case "successful" does not necessarily mean that everyone going into the crisis will make it out.  But for those who do make it out, it will be better.

That said, given that the Fourth Turning has arrived and is coincident with AR, it's just that - coincidence.

Perhaps I am loathe to embrace a collective societal awakening and consciousness given some of the occupants of society - call me selfish, but I do not want to share Paris Hilton's collective thought (all 5 of them).

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okubow
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Joined: Aug 16 2009
Posts: 67
Re: If the population grows, doesn't that mean that the ...

Hi SS!,

Welcome to the site. Good questions one and all. A picture is worth a thousand words:

The caption reads . . .

“Excuse me, sir. I am prepared to make you a rather attractive offer for your square.”

It may be hard to see, since it's such a small picture, but those are people standing on one meter squares, as far as the eye can see.

It might be kind of a rediculous example, but I like it. It's humorous and it gets the point across. Smile

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