[ExI] riots again

Charlie Stross charlie.stross at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 11:36:32 UTC 2012

On 4 Oct 2012, at 12:00, Omar Rahman <rahmans at me.com> wrote:

> As yet another attempt to steer this discussion into an extropian direction: Unless we can find some means of growing our resource base faster than both the growth of population and our growing basic 'needs' how can we avoid Malthusian collapse and/or war?

Google on "demographic transition". It's happening everywhere -- a transition from high birth/high death rates to low birth/low death. It appears to be a function of neonatal survival rates; when it goes from 50% mortality by age 5 to about 0.01% mortality, the result is an immediate young adult boom (lots of survivors), but if you add education to the mix the birth rate in the next generation collapses as people switch from an n-type reproductive strategy to k-type (or rather, further towards k-type).

I expect a further "young adult" boom (for values of YA approximating to 50+ years) if we ever find a fix for the aging process; the demographic bump will stick around for a lot longer. But the end result is something like the situation in Japan, with a declining, aging population, or [perhaps] France, which looked as if it was going the same way but where the birth rate picked up towards replacement-level subsequently, with women deferring childbirth until older.

-- Charlie

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