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-   -   Overpopulation (http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=179121)

impfireball Aug 7 '12 7:14am

Overpopulation
 
Not really current event so much as an ongoing debate. People on these boards have proven fairly intelligent in the past, and I think this thread could serve as a sounding board for critical thought and discussion (no, it isn't here just to depress the ever living shit out of you).

Is overpopulation of cities, nations, towns, rural communities, and the earth itself, still an issue?

This article says no, but I still think the issue is still obviously up for discussion, considering the inclinations and the survival of the topic, not to mention the bad ass of sci fi, f***ing Asimov himself, spoke of his concerns regarding overpopulation.

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Now regarding the article, I'm thinking that something the first point neglects is the culture of a country. Technology, instead of just being present, might better encourage modesty and 'civility'. But what if a culture simply refuses it, having acted in the opposite (what they define as 'civil' and 'acceptable') for so long (and as Sienfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!")?

And I'm considering massive cultures, such as Brazil, or China, or India.

I'm not so sure about Brazil's attitude regarding sex, but I know that South America has a very large population and a growing economy. I'd have to be better informed about Brazil to write more about it, so I'll wait until I'm better informed. This is just an OP, and I'll leave it to someone else to inform us about how Brazil is doing as a culture (whether or not someone in Canada or America may define it as a 'safe culture') and an economic powerhouse.


Vox Clamantis Aug 7 '12 10:13am

Well, I'm not going to issue some sort of trite summary and claim to have buried the issue, but I can add this much with a clear conscience: most calculations about the Earth's population capacity do not even attempt to take into account the psychological effect of being surrounded by that many people without possibility of escape. If anyone is interested in researching that further, a google search of 'psychological effects of population density' should yield interesting results.

It's worth mentioning, of course, that the reaction to urban overcrowding varies from culture to culture - and possibly even genetically. Some Asian cultures, for example, have been gradually adapting to the exigencies of overcrowding in their major metropolitan areas for a very long time. The Japanese seem to suffer much less from being compressed into small living quarters with little privacy than, say, Australians.

I'm inclined to think that while the Earth could support a massive number of people, it really shouldn't have to. We should respect ourselves and each other too much to let it happen.

Wippit Guud Aug 7 '12 11:42am

Overpopulation will become more of an issue when (not if, when) human aging is significantly reduced or even turned off. The catch-22 of this, at least in my opinion, is that true colonization of the solar system (and then on to parts unknown) is going to require an unlimited work force that does not stop working after 50 years.

silveroak Aug 7 '12 1:01pm

So if I understand what you are saying OP overpopulation is still a threat because not every culture will cling to outdated prudery as a model of appropriate behavior and refuse to recognize that men are superior breadwinners?

I think I would have to reject that entire argument on the grounds that it is disgusting sexist lies masquerading as studies.

MonkWren Aug 7 '12 6:15pm

Ultimately, who cares? Either we face overpopulation and solve it (likely through extraterrestrial expansion) or we don't and die off. Obviously, I'm rooting for the former, and population pressure does tend to correlate with technological advances (industrial revolution/agricultural revolution were both undergone in the face of population pressure).

ultima22689 Aug 7 '12 6:34pm

We'll achieve far greater access to resources before we run into an overpopulation problem.

Michael Silverbane Aug 7 '12 10:57pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonkWren (Post 5933653)
Ultimately, who cares? Either we face overpopulation and solve it (likely through extraterrestrial expansion) or we don't and die off. Obviously, I'm rooting for the former, and population pressure does tend to correlate with technological advances (industrial revolution/agricultural revolution were both undergone in the face of population pressure).

I'm sort of in this boat. Overpopulation is a self-correcting problem.

silveroak Aug 7 '12 11:54pm

Which by it's very nature does not lead to extinction. Lower standards of living peraps, bu once some of them start dying off you no longer have an overpopulation problem...

impfireball Aug 8 '12 2:23am

Quote:

It's worth mentioning, of course, that the reaction to urban overcrowding varies from culture to culture - and possibly even genetically. Some Asian cultures, for example, have been gradually adapting to the exigencies of overcrowding in their major metropolitan areas for a very long time. The Japanese seem to suffer much less from being compressed into small living quarters with little privacy than, say, Australians.
Cultures where children must continuously mingle about with others (their own age and older) for faciliating progressive socialization (learning through communication), tend to grow into it, I imagine.

The psychological effects most likely have to do with desired or imagined freedom that is believed to be attainable. Places like India and China most likely don't feel this (you were born with the herd, you die with the herd; you are surrounded by other people).

I mean, I live in North Van, which has a pop of 80,000 and I feel crazy all the time - I dunno if it's because media has brain washed me into thinking that there's so much more that could be accomplished. I mean, there's always stuff going on, but I still tend to worry about achievement and going places, as if something is laid open and waiting for me. I never did experience much of the progressive socialization that children in China or India might have had to endure on the most extreme level. Could be being 23 though.

Found another source (video), again arguing in favour of myth ("Do the math." Because doing this kind of math is easy, right? It's not! xD).

Quote:

Which by it's very nature does not lead to extinction. Lower standards of living peraps, bu once some of them start dying off you no longer have an overpopulation problem...
Lowered death rates (which will lower even more in the future most likely) means that the birth rate will have to lower to an all time low extreme as well. That seems like a lot to be dependant on nature for.
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The problem with overpopulation isn't food. I think the real issue is education, medical and infrastructure, as well as water (among other things). No government is perfect, so we can't have just one government that every other government follows by example. In fact, in the near future (call it, the 30-50 years benchmark of extreme change), there will be even more sources of energy that different infrastructures must depend on, up to and including human waste. There's no way that all government can agree on a single model.

Politics has proven that that has never worked in the past, and I don't imagine anyone will ever accept such a model in a thousand years.

Puzzle Aug 8 '12 2:52am

I think there is hope in the fact that in a lot of industrialized countries, the birth rate is falling. We go from societies where you are supposed to have as many kids as you can as early as you can, to the idea that having a child before you graduate from college (let alone high school) is highly irresponsible. If I were living a hundred years ago, I would probably have had three or four kids by now and might have lost one or two of them to hideous childhood diseases. Instead, I'll probably have one kid before I turn thirty. Maybe.

At the same time technological advancements find us new sources of food and energy. Water may indeed become a problem, but I doubt it. We waste a lot of it now, if it becomes scarce then we will only use what we need and culture will shift away from big swimming pools and daily showers.

In other words, I think we can rely on shifting attitudes and technological advancement to stave off the problems of overpopulation and hopefully someday come to an equilibrium that the planet can handle.


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