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  1. #1
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    Default Limiting population growth and preserving resources

    Seems like a simple idea.


    An intelligent self aware species makes a choice to limit their population growth in order to maintain available resources at a level that allows plenty to be available for future generations.


    So what are the forces that prevent this scenario from existing in reality?


    Is it all a matter of instinctive behaviors having more power over actions then will power to live by the guidance of a purely intellectual idea?


    Or is there some greater benefit to be gained in the future, from all the competition causing Darwinian natural selection of the fittest, as the traits that increase the odds of survival change with the increases in population and overall needs for existing in the world.


    Which path may lead to what?… if one imagines far, far into the distant future?


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  2. #2
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    I know a lot of people in my area don't believe that there are limited resources, they day its all a scam made up by the liberal media. I have also head more than one person look me in the write and tell me with complete faith and honest belief that God is going to bring all the believers back to heaven before we need to worry about dwindling resources. The answer I've heard that makes me the saddest is that there's enough resources for my lifetime, so why should I have to worry about it?

    I think there is a lot to be said for the biological imperative to reproduce. I have A friend who majored in biology and we spent a long time taking about this one day. I myself do not feel a biological imperative to reproduce, but the majority of people I know feel a strong need to carry on their lineage, and feel life their lives woods be incomplete without multiple children.

    I'm not sure how to reasonably implement limited population growth without infringing too much on personal freedom. All the options I can think of also scare me a little as they get fairly radical. I will be interested to see if anything life population control plays out on the next half century or so.


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  3. #3
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    Economics are going to take care of this, and sooner rather than later. Right now if the government wasn't picking up the tab for everything from vaccinations and food stamps to school breakfasts and Pap smears for the indigent, we'd have masses starving and begging in the streets (yes, and dying) to rival freaking Calcutta!

    Forces in play preventing the commonsense discussion of this issue:

    (1) Religious beliefs that refuse to accept modern reality.

    (2) The seeming inability of a large percentage of the human species to connect basic causality, i.e. Unprotected screwing=unexpected baby=no job=possibly permanent poverty.
    They Just. Don't. Get It.

    (3) Lack of discussion of personal responsibility as a matter of pride. Perhaps we need a little more shame and less assumption of entitlement in this country . . . ? I'd settle for less STUPIDITY.

    Best bumper sticker I've ever seen:

    STUPID PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BREED!

    (Goes double for breeding horses, too!)


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  4. #4
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    It isn't about population it's about food distribution. Take for example the United States, we grow far more food than our population can eat per year. The surplus is sold to other countries and that food COULD support starving nations, but because of the political landscape in those areas the food remains in the hands of those in power and people are left to starve.

    If you want an interesting read about what the real issue about populations vs food surplus is all about I suggest Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It talks about how if you feed nations that have no way of supporting those populations you aren't doing them any favors because they'll eat for a while then become dependent on buying food to keep up with demand. What we've done is create a boom in the populations in areas where it's not sustainable to do so. Corporate farming has also caused problems in that it provides food at prices (in the beginning) that are so far lower than what the local farmers in a country can compete with they go out of business. Those farmers then move to urban areas and those populations again become dependent on outside sources for foods they could grow themselves but can't afford to anymore.


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  5. #5
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    THIS, exactly! The ability to move cheap food thousands of miles with cheap oil has created the population explosion of the past 150 years.

    Back in the 70's they taught us in school that the sh*t was going to start hitting the fan right about . . . NOW! That the early 21st century would be the start of it all becoming unsustainable.

    Biggest favor ANY of us can do Planet Earth is just opting out of replicating yourself. Y'all just ain't that special!


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  6. #6
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    Herbert Spencer said, "survival of the fittest" not Darwin. And yes it is about being culturally fit; healthy, strong etc. etc. etc.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmoonlady View Post
    If you want an interesting read about what the real issue about populations vs food surplus is all about I suggest Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
    I looked this up and it's a 1992 publication. Any idea if there is an update?

    Also I remember listening to a talk on very similar lines - about the reduction of seed variety (due to Monsanto) and its effect on poverty & urbanization in India. I couldn't find the talk (I thought it was on TED) but here is a long paper along roughly similar lines.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  8. #8
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    There is another side to this - just look at China where they have tried to limit population growth. They now have some major problems. Because the people could abort female fetuses, they now have a very high male to female ratio in the 20 something population. There simply are not enough women to go around. This worries me because historically, countries with these ratios go to war. Just think, all that testosterone and nowhere to go with it.
    Also, Japan has slowed it's population growth and they now have an aging population problem. So although it seems like a simple question and solution, there are far more pieces to this puzzle than is immediately apparent.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    I looked this up and it's a 1992 publication. Any idea if there is an update?

    Also I remember listening to a talk on very similar lines - about the reduction of seed variety (due to Monsanto) and its effect on poverty & urbanization in India. I couldn't find the talk (I thought it was on TED) but here is a long paper along roughly similar lines.
    That's a good paper. I doubt any geneticist could provide any good points that reducing the variety of available seed for food crops is a great idea.

    What if some new plant disease was to arise and wipe out millions of acres of genetically identical crops in an over populated earth, what then?


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alterhorse View Post
    What if some new plant disease was to arise and wipe out millions of acres of genetically identical crops in an over populated earth, what then?
    Putting on my best conspiracy theorist hat... I almost wonder if that isn't the plan. When push comes to shove, the "haves" are going to make sure they continue to "have," whether that means death, war, poverty...
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheval convert View Post
    There is another side to this - just look at China where they have tried to limit population growth. They now have some major problems. Because the people could abort female fetuses, they now have a very high male to female ratio in the 20 something population. There simply are not enough women to go around. This worries me because historically, countries with these ratios go to war. Just think, all that testosterone and nowhere to go with it.
    Also, Japan has slowed it's population growth and they now have an aging population problem. So although it seems like a simple question and solution, there are far more pieces to this puzzle than is immediately apparent.
    I think mandating behavioral changes upon people who resist them is bound to cause issues such as you've described.

    But what could the distant future look like?

    Could the human race stay essentially the same as it is now, and begin to expand into living in outer space and under the seas to find room for all the ever increasing population, until we develop warp drive and start to move on to new worlds like in sci-fi shows like Star Trek?

    Or is it more likely that the the people of the world will become more educated to understand that reproducing behond a habitats ability to sustain it's inhabitants is simply not rational behavior?

    If the latter, then what would that society be like, how do they cooperatively choose who may breed and who may not. Or might genecic engineering then play a role in reproduction in an effort to produce individuals with a greater capacity to problem solve, invent, and create solutions that might allow a rewarding existence for all based on desire to create prosperity for the entire world population, instead of a self reproducing focus.

    Imagine if geneticists could alter the child nurturing part of the human mind to have caring feelings for all living beings, to a degree equal to those that today's parent might have feelings for their own offspring...

    what kind of culture might evolve around such a change in human nature? Could genetic design replace the need for "natural selection" to keep a population healthy and adaptive?


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Putting on my best conspiracy theorist hat... I almost wonder if that isn't the plan. When push comes to shove, the "haves" are going to make sure they continue to "have," whether that means death, war, poverty...
    If memory serves, the most dramatic evolutionary changes that have occurred in earth history, occurred after mass extinction events.

    Could in be that if all the knowledge currently available in the world were to somehow be safely stored so that the the human survivors of a hypothetical mass extinction event may have access to all of todays world knowledge. Might they begin again as wiser, and more prepared to prevent the same troubles from reoccurring in the next attempt to raise a new civilization out of the ashes of the old?


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  13. #13
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    You haven't heard our government talking about overpopulation because our Social Security and Medicare systems are legalized Ponzi schemes that require an ever-increasing younger population to support them. But it's backfired because far too many of the the younger population can't support themselves, let alone pay the taxes to support the older segment of the population.

    Brave New World, anyone?
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alterhorse View Post
    I think mandating behavioral changes upon people who resist them is bound to cause issues such as you've described.

    But what could the distant future look like?

    Could the human race stay essentially the same as it is now, and begin to expand into living in outer space and under the seas to find room for all the ever increasing population, until we develop warp drive and start to move on to new worlds like in sci-fi shows like Star Trek?

    Or is it more likely that the the people of the world will become more educated to understand that reproducing behond a habitats ability to sustain it's inhabitants is simply not rational behavior?

    If the latter, then what would that society be like, how do they cooperatively choose who may breed and who may not. Or might genecic engineering then play a role in reproduction in an effort to produce individuals with a greater capacity to problem solve, invent, and create solutions that might allow a rewarding existence for all based on desire to create prosperity for the entire world population, instead of a self reproducing focus..

    Imagine if geneticists could alter the child nurturing part of the human mind to have caring feelings for all living beings, to a degree equal to those that today's parent might have feelings for their own offspring...

    what kind of culture might evolve around such a change in human nature? Could genetic design replace the need for "natural selection" to keep a population healthy and adaptive?
    I think your latter option is the more feasible long term plan/solution/outcome. Even if we were to expand into other territories (space, undersea, etc.) we would still run into the problem of food growth and distribution. I think we have already moved past natural selection, at least in first world countries. If you look back in history (and yes, I'm oversimplifying things a bit), disease has played a large role in limiting population growth. The bubonic plague, influenza, scarlet fever, and other epidemic diseases have wiped out large portions of society, but thanks to better sanitation and medicine, death rates sure to epidemic diseases are much lower.

    I wonder what would happen if we followed China's example, but to a preset extent. If it was decided that you could have up to two children, but if you had more than one child, your second child had to be the opposite gender of the first. That way the population holds steady, but gender ratios should remain fairly equal.

    Now, in the situation of choosing only the best and brightest to reproduce, I'm afraid we would run into the problem of not being able to find people willing to do menial labor.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    You haven't heard our government talking about overpopulation because our Social Security and Medicare systems are legalized Ponzi schemes that require an ever-increasing younger population to support them. But it's backfired because far too many of the the younger population can't support themselves, let alone pay the taxes to support the older segment of the population.

    Brave New World, anyone?
    As I remember the story of Brave new world, that fictional culture imposed limits on freedom to create prosperity.

    But I don't think freedom could ever by successfully limited as a way of controlling society as it was in that book.

    I rather imagine that people will come to recognize a set of fundamental ethical values that might be proven as a valid guide for living through science, and willingly follow them by throughly understanding how following those ethical values eliminates social instability and promotes societal advancement.

    Or some other way where people recognize right from wrong and choose right because they have the intelligence and emotional capacity to overcome their impulsive desires.


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  16. #16
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    Brave New World is my most read book ever. In the book they DID come to a societal conclusion of ethical values, they made their own that upheld and encouraged their caste based society. The poor (Deltas and Epsilons) were made happy with subliminal messages, handouts of the drug soma, and constant reminders of how they should feel. The middle class Gammas served the uppers. The upper caste Alphas and Betas had more freedom and ran the government. All went to "feelies" or structured sexual encounters to keep them happy.

    Brave New World is a socialist utopia, a secularists dream come true.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred_Petra View Post
    I think your latter option is the more feasible long term plan/solution/outcome. Even if we were to expand into other territories (space, undersea, etc.) we would still run into the problem of food growth and distribution. I think we have already moved past natural selection, at least in first world countries. If you look back in history (and yes, I'm oversimplifying things a bit), disease has played a large role in limiting population growth. The bubonic plague, influenza, scarlet fever, and other epidemic diseases have wiped out large portions of society, but thanks to better sanitation and medicine, death rates sure to epidemic diseases are much lower.

    I wonder what would happen if we followed China's example, but to a preset extent. If it was decided that you could have up to two children, but if you had more than one child, your second child had to be the opposite gender of the first. That way the population holds steady, but gender ratios should remain fairly equal.

    Now, in the situation of choosing only the best and brightest to reproduce, I'm afraid we would run into the problem of not being able to find people willing to do menial labor.
    But what if those best and brightest could invent machines/robots to do the menial labor, leaving the population free to ride horses , and pursue art, science, and other such things that do no harm, or have the potential to benefit all?

    Could that possibly work?


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Brave New World is my most read book ever. In the book they DID come to a societal conclusion of ethical values, they made their own that upheld and encouraged their caste based society. The poor (Deltas and Epsilons) were made happy with subliminal messages, handouts of the drug soma, and constant reminders of how they should feel. The middle class Gammas served the uppers. The upper caste Alphas and Betas had more freedom and ran the government. All went to "feelies" or structured sexual encounters to keep them happy.

    Brave New World is a socialist utopia, a secularists dream come true.
    But isn't that a type controlling social structure that imposes a kind of "artificial" happiness?

    Why can't people keep their free will to do what they choose, but let abundant knowledge and truth be the primary element that influences what people choose to do?

    I think I can project the evolutionists point of view, that absolute freedom creates a wide diversity of genetic variety, that may then increase survival chances during random types of mass environmental change.

    But if the environment can be controlled sufficiently through technology, may not the need for certain types of unstabilizing behavior included in that "natural" genetic diversity, then become obsolete for the necessity of the survival of the species?

    Does every behavioral type that occurs throughout a society with at least some frequency, necessarily have some evolutionary function in a naturally created population?



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alterhorse View Post
    But what if those best and brightest could invent machines/robots to do the menial labor, leaving the population free to ride horses , and pursue art, science, and other such things that do no harm, or have the potential to benefit all?

    Could that possibly work?
    Did you ever watch AI or Gattaca?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Did you ever watch AI or Gattaca?
    iTunes has Gattaca as a rental, I think I'll watch it.

    Thanks.



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