[extropy-chat] System dynamics (World dynamics)

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Wed Jan 17 03:11:14 UTC 2007

Limits to Growth was exceptionally influential, particularly in predicting 
a bleak future.

I suspect the model was "hacked" to present a more dramatic and immediate 
impact.  This invalidated the model in many people's minds.  (I can't find 
my copy so am not able to put dates on it.)

Friend of mine, Peter Vajk, got a copy of the FORTRAN code after a great 
deal of trouble.  He was interested in working in the effects of non 
polluting SPS energy to see how that would affect the model.

In going through the code he found a completely unexplained factor of 4 
buried in the model that when it was taken out, (as I remember) pushed the 
crisis predictions considerably into the future.  However, those decades 
have flown by and the time of crisis is much closer now.  (Absent major 
technological advances of course.)  It looks like energy, particularly oil, 
is going to be the most serious problem.

There is a quite interesting analysis here:


I suspect most of those on this list were not even born in 1972.

The solution to the energy crisis at least has been around almost that 
long, solar power from space.

There are two ways to accomplish that (rockets are just too 
inefficient.)  Get the material from space, the moon or asteroids, or lift 
it with a mechanical space elevator.

The space elevator is of course an early nanotechnology product, depending 
on carbon nanotubes.

Still, my bet is we are in for some rough times in the next 15-20 years.

Keith Henson

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