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What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 14:45:44

evilgenius wrote:
Cog wrote:No one understands a single sentence of what you have posted evilgenius. I feel I'm dumber for even trying to comprehend it.

Ha, ha, ha, ha.

I'm trying to ask if anyone thinks that self-awareness on the level of man as a species is possible? If so, does it rely upon the number of people alive at any one time? Do we need a certain number of people to reach that sort of consciousness, or is it more dependent upon the flow of information, which can continue under lower population levels? These times, with their hardships and reductions upon the individual due to juxtaposition with a society of such great population numbers, can't help but hone a working definition of what an individual is. They seem like such trying times, but they also produce a center, which may only loosely describe any one person. The concept of that center is useful for many things beyond that, however.


I believe the third great invention of humans, after Agriculture and Fossil-Fueled Machines, was the Internet. The new combination of humans and machines, interconnected via the omnipresent network, is in fact a type of new organism, a gestalt mind, and it has a type of group consciousness.

The world of today is very different since the advent of the network, more or less in 1980 with the ARPANET and USENET. (The few connections between 1969 and 1980 were not significant.) The rate of change is accelerating, without any doubt. I am observing my grandkids, who just turned 3 years of age this month, with a keen interest in how they differ from their parents and grandparents.

Walk around Silicon Valley, watch the glassy-eyed people mumbling to others on their phones, thumbing cryptic texts, and web surfing. I don't carry a phone, because I am a pre-network human, true to my roots. I do however, carry a medium tablet/keyboard everywhere I go, and many of my recent posts over the last 3-4 years originate from it. I have a little case of SD cards containing music, movies, hundreds of photos, and hundreds of e-books/magazines, and a few comics.

We are a new species now, a hybrid cybernetic organism, very different from pre-networked humans, with new values, new and hugely improved access to information, and different reasoning methods.

The most troubling aspect of this I have observed: for some people, even most people, the new standard for reality is what they can link to on the network, and not what they experience with their own senses. You can see this here on peakoil.com, for many members, anything one says is suspect, until you provide a link to that information. The fact that 90+% of everthing posted is rank BS, does not really matter to these folks. If you cannot link to it, it does not matter that you say "I was there when it happened, I saw it, I heard it, and I experienced it."

Such observations are less real that the virtual world. Furthermore, certain people understand the new virtual reality all too well for my tastes. Such as Roger Stone: http://peakoil.com/forums/get-me-roger-stone-t73446.html
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 21:15:42

Ibon wrote:
Si Ralfy, humans are like hamsters running in circles forever confined to these cycles?


FWIW, that's what history has shown, together with dreams that cycles may be broken.

This reminds me of one of the "Lucy" poems:

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 01:05:01

Change is the one constant in the Universe. Cycles are made to be broken. Our evolution will continue whether with AI or not. Approaching this bottleneck of overshoot is already providing valuable lessons for our species. To believe we can evolve into a kinder gentler and wiser race is not quixotic. Because, this is exactly what our environment and circumstances will require of us
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 03:21:48

And no Cog, this is not the ideal number of people when this is happening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmqOlxNQABI
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 03:55:36

"To believe we can evolve into a kinder gentler and wiser race is not quixotic"

I would say that it actually is quixotic, but I find nothing wrong with quixotic dreams and aspirations, generally! :) :)
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 06:01:32

dohboi wrote:"To believe we can evolve into a kinder gentler and wiser race is not quixotic"

I would say that it actually is quixotic, but I find nothing wrong with quixotic dreams and aspirations, generally! :) :)

Not to put Ibon on the spot, but he also believes Natural Selection (Survival of the fittest) will end up selecting for these traits as they will prove more advantageous to us in the long run.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 11:48:51

Do none of you hold out hope that networked humans can evolve beyond the concepts of nationalism and patriotism and other concepts based upon territory rather than pure social groupings?

Peakoil.com for example is a social grouping not bounded by geography. Although most members are US citizens within the USA, we have many members from other countries and I participate whether I am in-country or visiting another country.

I find myself hoping that we merge into one world via the Internet. The major impediment is the existing governments. Some of them are beginning to understand that the network threatens their grasp on power.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby jedrider » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 12:19:33

KaiserJeep wrote:Do none of you hold out hope that networked humans can evolve beyond the concepts of nationalism and patriotism and other concepts based upon territory rather than pure social groupings?

Peakoil.com for example is a social grouping not bounded by geography. Although most members are US citizens within the USA, we have many members from other countries and I participate whether I am in-country or visiting another country.

I find myself hoping that we merge into one world via the Internet. The major impediment is the existing governments. Some of them are beginning to understand that the network threatens their grasp on power.


No. What would be the purpose? You don't destroy the world you depend upon first and then consider you should have a future.

Unfortunately, there will be great strife ahead. At that point, would any of us have skin in the game? I doubt it.

I would rather see the Earth restored to it's former glory than Western Civilization continuing. Neither will be at hand.

We're on a rock in space. Enjoy the ride.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 12:29:41

Again, I do not see how you can merge entirely individual minds. But more importantly Kaiser, where in that merging will the spark of goodness be ignited? Machines have no feelings
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 13:42:26

Machines do not have minds, either. AI is a pale imitation of a mind, with some strengths but mostly the absence of true intelligence, creativity, and the ability to synthesize new thoughts.

I lose patience with those of you - up to and including a visionary engineer like Elon Musk - who fear the "Singularity". I don't think we will ever build an AI that will equal the thinking power of a chimpanzee, much less a human. However, what I believe will happen - in fact is happening already - is that human minds, networked together, shall surpass anything that individual humans can do alone.

The network is relatively primative today, without much bandwidth or memory, even though both are expanding exponentially. In the near future, the capabilities of networked minds will be apparent - and alarming to some.

One capability not many of you can appreciate: A blowhard, arrogant, selfish business magnate can beat a professional politician and be elected POTUS. HRC herself does not yet understand that he beat her with a relative mastery of a social network. (Have you seen her latest facelift on the old obsolete vide channels?) The old-fashioned, obsolete mass media cannot understand that concept as well, nor grasp the fact that they themselves are obsolete.

How quickly can the rest of you understand that the networked human is a new species, with a different culture, and independant of the old concepts of nationality, religion, and classical economics? Begin to think about what that actually means.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 14:22:51

Kaiser, that could be magificent but also horrendous for us or others. You are familiar with the concept of group think or herd mentality. You also know great atrocities have been committed by paticular groups ie. Catholic Church, Roman Empire, the Nazis
etc.

Now, extrapolate that to our entire species becoming super smart and going out to the Cosmos to conquer and destroy. Or creating a permanent two tier society of the networked haves and unnetworked have nots. You cannot view our faculties from a purely intellectual standpoint. We are emotional and will act accordingly despite whatever intellectual prowess we may obtain. It behooves us to understand this and evolve to a higher plain not just our intellect but our morality As Spock would say "Quite logical"
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 14:49:29

forbidden_planet_id_monster_light_tshirt.jpg


Monsters from the ID K, :-D
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 20:46:33

Forbidden Planet was a great old SF movie, with a gorgeous Anne Francis dressed in a tiny costume...and sometimes nothing at all.
Image
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 06:54:43

Individuals can learn humility in finding balance in their lives regarding their demands. Are societies capable of humility in reference to demands they place on resources?

We are all here conditioned to believe that collective humility and personal freedom contradict. That to self regulate our breeding and consumption is an affront to personal liberty.

The missing ingredient here is to make visible that which provides all of us maximum personal freedom; health, clean air, intact eco systems, fresh water, etc. We live at a time when we not only take these things for granted but a time when we trash them. We do this because we have been socialized to believe that happiness is stuff.

At some time in the future these fundamental pillars of wellbeing provided by a healthy biosphere will become undermined. And no one here will deny that personal liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be constrained by the imbalances. It is at that moment when the invisible becomes visible. The healthy biosphere we took for granted imposes itself on society at large.

That is the very moment when society can learn humility if it can see sacrifice and humility as enabling healing and personal freedom. This is of course theoretical. We may truly be incapable of incorporating the feedback of consequences into our spiritual well being and as a result cultivate humility collectively.

Humility may remain solely in the domain of an individual pursuit and not be possible collectively. And thus will we either perish or be deeply diminished as a species.

No one knows the outcome but I do know the dawn chorus and the gentle winds nourish the soul and allow one to humble thyself before God.

You guys know I am an atheist. My last sentence is just a reminder that the only power we can see historically that has acted and can act as a force of humility on collective groups is worshiping a being greater than ourselves.

Worshiping the Overshoot Predator.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 07:31:13

Well that begs the question... what is freedom, what does it consist of?

Freedom to carry a gun, freedom to reproduce, freedom to drink clean water, freedom to think are all different things.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 07:43:37

The missing ingredient here is to make visible that which provides all of us maximum personal freedom; health, clean air, intact eco systems, fresh water, etc
.
I do not see personal freedom; as the final goal but rather a subset of
personal satisfaction or well being. In that context we should logically see health, clean air, intact eco systems, fresh water,as integral to that satisfaction or well being. By the way Ibon are you really atheist or it seems more agnostic?
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 08:54:06

I suspect Ibon and myself are essentially Humanists, and both of us rejected a heavy religious indoctrination in childhood. In my case it was my Mother's church, the Church of Christ, popular in the deep South, which the hills of Arkansas definately were in the 1950's.

Nothing like exposure to a bunch of Old Testament, Bible-thumping fundamentalists to take it out of a kid who is surrounded by news of space travel, and growing up on military bases during the acute tension of the Cold War. I suspect that my Mother had a crisis of faith herself during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when she clung to her husband and kids and her religion provided no comfort. My Father was working double shifts provisioning ships for the conflict, and in the few available spare weekend hours, he and I were digging a hole in the backyard for a Fallout Shelter.

Then the water started to fill the hole, the political crisis worsened, and our house in Metairie, Lousisiana was repeatedly shaken daily with multiple sonic booms from the nearby Naval Air Station. My deeply frightened Mother told us to fill in the hole and she herself gave up the illusion of safety it would have provided. Then she prepared to die, suddenly and abruptly, surrounded by her four kids. I was 10 years of age, and I never enjoyed church services again.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 09:18:15

I personally consider myself Spiritual and detest organized religion
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby lpetrich » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 14:02:30

Related to the issue of an ideal number is what would be a minimum number. I have found World population estimates - Wikipedia, something that can be used to estimate carrying capacity for various technologies. The first set of numbers is for the beginning of the Holocene around 10,000 BCE, and is 1 to 10 million, along with 2 million and 4 million. That likely represents our planet's carrying capacity under an extreme "Olduvai" scenario, with reversion to Paleolithic technology.

By 5000 BCE, at the beginning of horse domestication and copper and bronze use, it reached 5 - 20 million.
By 3000 BCE, at the beginning of writing, 14 - 45 million.
By 1000 BCE, at the beginning of iron use, 50 - 115 million.
By 1 CE, 150 - 330 million.
By 500 CE, 190 - 210 mliion.
By 1000 CE, 254 - 345 million.
By 1500 CE, 425 - 550 million.
By 1750 CE, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, 700 - 814 million.
By 1900 CE, at the beginning of the use of electricity and internal-combustion engines, 1,563 - 1,710 million.
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Re: What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 23 Jun 2018, 14:35:13

Humanist did not of necessity mean you don’t believe in God but that you believe in human agency.

Personally I consider myself a “religious” person even though I’m an atheist. I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about religion and came to my decision after due consideration. Most folks simply accept their parents religion or some variant without a lot of consideration, more driven by their culture than their thoughts.. I don’t consider them to be particularally religious.
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