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Population Increase And Its Implications In The 21St Century


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#1 whocares386

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 02:51 PM

When we look at the 1900s years, we can only see 1 billion people in the world. But in the 1950s, 2.5 billion and in the 21st century we have 6 billion people out there! So, because of advanced agriculture and farming techniques we have a lot of food in our fridges. Also science and medicine industry helped people to not die and technology still providing to us easy-useful life.

 

population_projection.jpg

 

That result as you can see on the graph, isn’t so irregular ? Yes, absolutely it is. Today, in 2017 our population is reached 7.5 billion. According to some polls, we’re expecting 9.5 billion people in 2050. I think it is shame for us… I just blame ignorant-uneducated people for those results but do not forget! Developed countries have to help them there is no other way if they refuse to help, we should blame them too. Also we have so many ignorant politicians in the third world countries especially Muslim countries suffering about that because politicians just want from public, 3 or 5 children! Even though these countries having economic, security problems.

 

 

Also if you wonder about that topic, you should read that article too:

 

http://thinkandsay.n...s-implications/

 

 



#2 Buffy

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 11:55 PM

Before pontificating too much about this, I'd recommend studying a bit about how demographics work. much of future growth is predestined by the state of the current population.

 

Moreover, your graph, while relatively accurate, is missing the explanation of why it's right side tops out. Here's one that's quite a bit more explanatory:

 

updated-World-Population-Growth-1750-210

 

The magenta line is much more important that the blue one, and what it says is that birthrates are falling through the floor, resulting in near zero population growth in 80 years.

 

The conclusion is that the latter part of your post is--to be as charitable as humanly possible--meaningless gibberish.

 

 

You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree, :phones:

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#3 Doctordick

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 01:05 PM

Hi Buffy, it has been quite a while since we talked. When I saw your post on population. It raised an issue which has bothered me for over fifty years. Human beings are supposed to be intelligent (an issue I often find unsupportable). If they were intelligent, increasing population should have been seen as something worth worrying about but I never found anyone who would take the issue seriously.

 

I wanted to discuss the issue of an optimum population but everyone I ever talked to insisted there was no such thing. In my mind it seemed that increasing population always eventually led to suffering as taxing the environment would stop such increases via major suffering (starvation and death). If humans are to act intelligently, they should certainly make every attempt to avoid damaging the environment. Since we are certainly not "all knowing" we should make all attempts to avoid over population. Also, it would be rational to make every attempt to increase our knowledge about the consequences of our acts.

 

I thought about those issues and I came to the conclusion that the best situation occurs with the minimum population which maintains scientific investigation in all scientific fields. In my mind that would require a minimum of five people in the most limited study: two new individuals (uneducated in the field) one young new investigator, one mature investigator to steer the investigation and one elderly individual to maintain the issues of importance.

 

Society would require a sufficient number to support the needs of every required science field and many fields could require hundreds of high level investigators. Finally, training would require a number of people with interest in each and every job. Lots and lots of thought can be put into those numbers and coming up with an optimum number humans becomes a rather difficult problem.

 

I have tried to get people interested in discussing the issue but have pretty well failed completely. On my own, I have come up with a number of arguments as to the rough range of that optimum number. I am of the opinion that the optimum human population of the earth should be between fifty and maybe two hundred million.

 

It might be interesting to get a conversation going on the issue.

 

Just a suggestion -- Dick   


Edited by Doctordick, 26 August 2017 - 01:07 PM.


#4 exchemist

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 02:11 PM

Hi Buffy, it has been quite a while since we talked. When I saw your post on population. It raised an issue which has bothered me for over fifty years. Human beings are supposed to be intelligent (an issue I often find unsupportable). If they were intelligent, increasing population should have been seen as something worth worrying about but I never found anyone who would take the issue seriously.

 

I wanted to discuss the issue of an optimum population but everyone I ever talked to insisted there was no such thing. In my mind it seemed that increasing population always eventually led to suffering as taxing the environment would stop such increases via major suffering (starvation and death). If humans are to act intelligently, they should certainly make every attempt to avoid damaging the environment. Since we are certainly not "all knowing" we should make all attempts to avoid over population. Also, it would be rational to make every attempt to increase our knowledge about the consequences of our acts.

 

I thought about those issues and I came to the conclusion that the best situation occurs with the minimum population which maintains scientific investigation in all scientific fields. In my mind that would require a minimum of five people in the most limited study: two new individuals (uneducated in the field) one young new investigator, one mature investigator to steer the investigation and one elderly individual to maintain the issues of importance.

 

Society would require a sufficient number to support the needs of every required science field and many fields could require hundreds of high level investigators. Finally, training would require a number of people with interest in each and every job. Lots and lots of thought can be put into those numbers and coming up with an optimum number humans becomes a rather difficult problem.

 

I have tried to get people interested in discussing the issue but have pretty well failed completely. On my own, I have come up with a number of arguments as to the rough range of that optimum number. I am of the opinion that the optimum human population of the earth should be between fifty and maybe two hundred million.

 

It might be interesting to get a conversation going on the issue.

 

Just a suggestion -- Dick   

There is no reason to assume that scientific study should be the prime goal of humanity, nor that anybody could ever define an "optimum" number of people that was not arbitrary and still less, having done so, do anything about the discrepancy between this "optimum" and the actual number of people alive.  



#5 Buffy

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 03:51 PM

Hi Buffy, it has been quite a while since we talked.


Hi Dick! Nice to see you! :cheer:
 

When I saw your post on population. It raised an issue which has bothered me for over fifty years. Human beings are supposed to be intelligent (an issue I often find unsupportable). If they were intelligent, increasing population should have been seen as something worth worrying about but I never found anyone who would take the issue seriously.


As you know, I'm a flaming liberal capitalist, and I have always had quite a bit of faith in self-correction mechanisms in complex systems.

Mother Nature of course is a harsh mistress as the folks on Easter Island found though, so as a result, I have a strong opinions that government is a mechanism that more sophisticated ("intelligent" if you will) societies use to prevent Easter Island-like outcomes over time.

 

Now of course Malthus was the first recognized to be raising an alarm about the consequences of population growth, and thus I agree that "intelligent" societies should care, but I see a few sociological issues that have prevented it until recently:

  • Throughout human history, having more kids has been a survival mechanism, although evolution meant that our increasingly large brains along with the survival success of complex social structure actually favored "small litters" because intelligent, social animals require longer maturation and socialization in "growing up." Thus far past the time where we became civilized, our religious institutions/governments admonished us to "go forth and multiply."
  • Similarly, even as we became civilized, we were tribal, and high birth rates meant success for states as well as families.
  • And as we grew into complex societies, having more kids literally provided "social security" for the elderly, until we actually started recognizing the social benefit of not letting old people die in the streets. It's literally cheaper to take care of those who cannot help themselves.

But it only takes a few minutes of perusing demographic data to see that one of the most consistent, and seemingly natural, trends that correlate to sophistication in societies is that they all start to drop their birth rates really fast. China may have had a one-child policy, but India and much of Africa have been seeing dramatic drops in birth rates as they have "civilized," and you can see that in the magenta line in the graph in my earlier post above.

 

So, I'm actually sure that we're finding an equilibrium on population, but of course it's "natural" and not, as you bring up, necessarily "optimal:"

 

I wanted to discuss the issue of an optimum population but everyone I ever talked to insisted there was no such thing. In my mind it seemed that increasing population always eventually led to suffering as taxing the environment would stop such increases via major suffering (starvation and death). If humans are to act intelligently, they should certainly make every attempt to avoid damaging the environment. Since we are certainly not "all knowing" we should make all attempts to avoid over population. Also, it would be rational to make every attempt to increase our knowledge about the consequences of our acts.

 

Now I'd argue that your description here is very Malthusian, and that the topping off of birth rates that we're seeing is coming well short of dystopian end-times that Malthus pointed to as inevitable. That viewpoint does hinge on the idea that without some "intelligent" intervention, that we will multiply to the point that there will not be enough food, water, jobs, space, etc. and that only then will we be forced to stop, or that we'll just keep acting like bunnies and let the weak die of starvation, illness, or neglect.

 

I think there are countervailing sociological imperatives that have balanced out our natural evolutionary and early-social pressures to multiply to the point where we actually completely run out of resources, and what I'm listing here is just an off-the-top-of-my-head top concepts of something that's got oodles of research behind it:

  • As individuals and families become more comfortable due to satisfaction of needs by decent jobs, there is much less dependence on offspring to ensure future income/survival.
  • Even for the less fortunate, a society based on jobs provided by others means that mouths to feed at home on a limited salary is an unsustainable drain on income.
  • As the cost of children goes up, child care, schooling, piano lessons, camp, college, you really don't want more either.
  • As the society itself sees that the cost of deleterious outcomes from the bottom half of society result in "treating the symptoms" through police, prisons and high cost emergency healthcare, are best dealt with via providing "free" social programs, the demand for more children also declines.

Again, this is what drives a natural equilibrium, but the question then becomes is this natural equilibrium very far off from what an "optimal" level would be? And on that last bullet point, are we as a society defining that optimal point not directly but rather indirectly through social programs that modify behavior but in fact do not bother to define a literal "optimal population goal?"

 

And switching to a pure macro-economic argument, economies grow through a steady, controlled growth of the demand and supply of labor, and the result of that growth actually produces technologies that increase what you might call the "comfortable carrying capacity" of a society. So even if you thought an "optimal population number" might be a good idea, there's a strong argument that it changes over time, and is a function of the "quality of life" that can be supported by the current technology.

 

To get all sci-fi, once we have the tech to build a Dyson Sphere, what is our "optimal population?"

So, I think when you say:

 

I thought about those issues and I came to the conclusion that the best situation occurs with the minimum population which maintains scientific investigation in all scientific fields. 

 

I'd say we're aiming at the same thing, just with a different view of how to look at the problem.

 

And I'd argue that your plan:
 

In my mind that would require a minimum of five people in the most limited study: two new individuals (uneducated in the field) one young new investigator, one mature investigator to steer the investigation and one elderly individual to maintain the issues of importance.

 

Society would require a sufficient number to support the needs of every required science field and many fields could require hundreds of high level investigators. Finally, training would require a number of people with interest in each and every job. Lots and lots of thought can be put into those numbers and coming up with an optimum number humans becomes a rather difficult problem.

 

...is actually correct, but that our society is doing it on its own through market/societal forces! 

 

In fact, it's a great example of a neural network finding an optimal solution without explicit programming of its rules! :cheer:

 

So, what I'd suggest is that the lack of interest you've encountered...
 

I have tried to get people interested in discussing the issue but have pretty well failed completely. On my own, I have come up with a number of arguments as to the rough range of that optimum number. I am of the opinion that the optimum human population of the earth should be between fifty and maybe two hundred million.

 

Might be due to the fact that a top-down approach both seems ponderous and insoluble, along with a healthy skepticism that top-down tends to do a bad job of dealing with the details, along with a suspicion that "50-250 million" sounds an awful lot like an argument for, well, let's just say "Social Darwinism" on a sinister scale. That pretty close to 7 billion you'd need to, uh, "adjust."

 

I'd argue that the productive pursuits here focus on how we can change the rules and practices of government and society to ensure an "optimal quality of life" for everyone, which is what we "capitalistic liberals" say is the "optimal cost structure for society."

 

There's lots to talk about there! :cheer:


The one real remedy is birth control — that is getting the people of the world to limit themselves to those numbers which they can keep upon their own soil, :phones:
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#6 LaurieAG

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:21 PM

Elon Musk's rogue military AI should sort out any overpopulation/underemployment problems in the future Buffy.

 

What other solution is there that will do the job when nothing else changes, apart from world war?


Edited by LaurieAG, 26 August 2017 - 10:22 PM.


#7 Farming guy

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:55 AM

In the developed parts of the world, our issue is becoming one of having too few people to maintain our infrastructure.  Where I live there is an almost dire shortage of electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and people able and willing to do manual labor.  The robotics revolution is not happening fast enough in these fields to prevent the continued deterioration of our infrastructure.

 

I also worry about the lack of both physical and mental toughness of the young people I am encountering today.  Aches and pains and difficult situations that I was taught to work through just seem to cause too many of these young people to just shut down.  I've never seen anything like it before.



#8 Doctordick

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 03:55 PM

Hi Buffy, nice of you to respond but you showed no interest in the question I brought up. I have no arguments with your presentation except for the fact that you did no bring up the issue of unintended damage to the environment lack of knowledge can create. Certainly humans have abilities to perform interactions with the environment far beyond the powers of most living entities. (And I might comment that non-living entities also have destructive influence on the environment; however, millions of years have contained these consequences in a form we can currently accept and deal with.)

 

And, with regard to the other comments, they also show no interest in the issue of that optimal number. The only reason I bring it up is that it is quite evident that the power of human beings far exceeds the power of other species and it is entirely possible that we might ourselves destroy the world. Our ignorance of the actual possibilities suggests that we are a danger to our environment. Just as great a danger as the destructive environmental forces the creation of the earth has quelled. Thus the idea of that minimum number occurs to me. 

 

The idea of understanding the consequences led me to consider scientific investigation as the single most important aspect of such a survival plan. The second issue of that self same survival plan is not to do unwarranted damage.  These two issues are what led me to think about the existence of that optimum number.

 

Your comment, "the one real remedy is birth control — that is getting the people of the world to limit themselves to those numbers which they can keep upon their own soil", essentially suggests moving from one place on the earth to another should be forbidden. In a sense that is as bad as physically killing anyone outside the desired population (essentially approving of war as the mechanism).  

 

The remedy is not the issue I wish to discuss. Normal collections of human beings would seem to me to be bound by exactly the same rules as any other species. Increase their numbers until nature destroys them. In my head that is the only real mechanism of population control. But how about creating a research society the purpose of which would be to discover the correct rules for ultimate survival. Let the rest of the world do what they wish (unless it does indeed lead directly to destruction of the earth) maybe they will accidently discover the solution.  

 

But if research towards the solution is desired, that group should have an optimum population. Control of the population is a trivial matter; just let those who do not serve the central purpose simply be allowed to breed with the other humans.

 

My opening position is that the number involved in that research effort should be as small as possible such as to have the smallest possible influence on the environment (including other living entities). On the other hand, having more than one person thinking about the issue is advantageous. Thus the idea of "an optimum number" arises.

 

But absolutely no one wants to discuss that issue.

 

Thanks for reading this --- Dick 



#9 Farming guy

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:58 PM

 

 

And, with regard to the other comments, they also show no interest in the issue of that optimal number. The only reason I bring it up is that it is quite evident that the power of human beings far exceeds the power of other species and it is entirely possible that we might ourselves destroy the world. Our ignorance of the actual possibilities suggests that we are a danger to our environment. Just as great a danger as the destructive environmental forces the creation of the earth has quelled. Thus the idea of that minimum number occurs to me. 

 

The idea of understanding the consequences led me to consider scientific investigation as the single most important aspect of such a survival plan. The second issue of that self same survival plan is not to do unwarranted damage.  These two issues are what led me to think about the existence of that optimum number.

 

 

My opening position is that the number involved in that research effort should be as small as possible such as to have the smallest possible influence on the environment (including other living entities). On the other hand, having more than one person thinking about the issue is advantageous. Thus the idea of "an optimum number" arises.

 

But absolutely no one wants to discuss that issue.

 

Thanks for reading this --- Dick 

I don't know if the lack of interest is a matter of not wanting to discuss it so much as not knowing how.  "Optimum" is a difficult concept to ponder in psychological terms, and yet I also don't know weather or not it's better to think of such concepts in an emotionally disconnected frame of mind.

 

I guess most of us have heard that "too many chefs spoil the pot", but few have ever pondered exactly how many chefs is just right.

 

And someone once said to me while discussing the continued urban sprawl,  "The best neighbor I ever had is the one I never had." 



#10 Buffy

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

I have no arguments with your presentation except for the fact that you did no bring up the issue of unintended damage to the environment lack of knowledge can create.


Oh I only didn't bring it up because I consider it an integral part of any consideration of human existence on the Earth! We make a mess of everything we touch.
 

And, with regard to the other comments, they also show no interest in the issue of that optimal number. The only reason I bring it up is that it is quite evident that the power of human beings far exceeds the power of other species and it is entirely possible that we might ourselves destroy the world. Our ignorance of the actual possibilities suggests that we are a danger to our environment. Just as great a danger as the destructive environmental forces the creation of the earth has quelled. Thus the idea of that minimum number occurs to me.


I'd suggest this dances around the issue of what the actual goal of defining what the "optimal number" really is. This statement implies that if we compute it, that it will define a number below which we are no longer a danger to the world. Certainly at our present population we are a significant danger, but I would argue that being at a smaller number--even much smaller--we can still "destroy the world" pretty handily, it'll just take longer. The only way I see this computation working is that the humans do some sort of planned migration where we let the area we've just trashed lay fallow for long enough for it to recover, and the population is small enough to ensure that the ratio of people to land allows a sustainable recovery period from our deleterious effects on the eco-system we're currently in.
 
Even with this you're implying a species-wide agreement on keeping to a certain population level and "lay-fallow-rules" that will be strictly followed.
 
Once we recognize that, there's a pretty quick jump to the recognized short-comings of past attempts at Utopianism even without your proposed mechanism for doing the initial computation which is to have a small group of people sit down and decide it for the rest of humanity.
 
While you've gotten "no response/interest," I suspect it's just that last little procedural part that sets people's minds spinning with some form of "yeah, you and *what* army?"
 
The reason my previous post had so much blather about self-limiting complex systems is that this sort of top-down command-system has both a really bad record in human history, and attempts at it rarely even begin to deal with how you make the "optimum" a sustainable reality.
 

Your comment, "the one real remedy is birth control — that is getting the people of the world to limit themselves to those numbers which they can keep upon their own soil", essentially suggests moving from one place on the earth to another should be forbidden. In a sense that is as bad as physically killing anyone outside the desired population (essentially approving of war as the mechanism).

The remedy is not the issue I wish to discuss.


As with all my last lines marked with :phones: ("Buffy's Asterisk"), that's actually a quote, in this case by Bertrand Russell, and I'm afraid he's old enough that there's more than a bit of the Imperialism that marked the last century's fin de siècle, but it is worth noting--which is why I pulled the quote--that the idea I touched upon, which is that each separate society on the planet has found it's way to reduced population growth on it's own, in some cases--like Europe and the US and lately China--well before the population becomes unsustainable, and yes, through conscious use of non-warfare population control. And the magenta line in my first graph above I think is pretty darned conclusive proof of this.

But as soon as you start throwing out possible estimates of the "optimum number" that are significantly smaller than the current population, you're definitely going to be distracting people to pay attention to the issue of how we get there. That's why I was a little surprised you brought it up, since the whole point of having a group decide the number is to assume that there's no way to know what the optimal number is until they've completely studied the issue.

By proposing a number before the fact that has, shall we say, pretty dystopian implications, you've distracted people away from the topic you're interested in. That's Bad Marketing!
 

Normal collections of human beings would seem to me to be bound by exactly the same rules as any other species. Increase their numbers until nature destroys them. In my head that is the only real mechanism of population control. But how about creating a research society the purpose of which would be to discover the correct rules for ultimate survival. Let the rest of the world do what they wish (unless it does indeed lead directly to destruction of the earth) maybe they will accidently discover the solution.

 
So this is where we diverge on basic axioms of both human nature and natural systems. I both think that human society has brought to bear mechanisms that prevent "multiplication beyond sustainable ecosystems" as the only possible check on population, as well as faith that all parts of such ecosystems self-correct, although absolutely requiring the recognition that the "correction" may not be "optimal" in the abstract sense. 
 
But I may be misunderstanding your use of the phrase "normal collections of humans" you used above, which may explain my inability to understand what you mean when you say:
 

But if research towards the solution is desired, that group should have an optimum population. Control of the population is a trivial matter; just let those who do not serve the central purpose simply be allowed to breed with the other humans.

My opening position is that the number involved in that research effort should be as small as possible such as to have the smallest possible influence on the environment (including other living entities). On the other hand, having more than one person thinking about the issue is advantageous. Thus the idea of "an optimum number" arises.

 
It seems to me that a key to computing the optimal population is directly related to the "carrying capacity of the ecosystem" which would be a function of the "lay-fallow-ratio" I mentioned previously in this post. Reading between the lines of what you've said here, I assume--perhaps incorrectly--that you think that that ratio of humans to surface area is fixed. My argument in my previous post is built around that notion that both our societal sophistication and our technology actually make that ration highly dynamic.
 
Indeed, Malthus was aiming at something like what I think you're talking about, but even he allowed for growth of the "technology that increases food resources at an arithmetic rate" while then combining it with his doom-inducing "but humans are like rabbits and multiply geometrically."
 
So again, by implying that the "optimal population" is a fixed number, you generate incredulity.
 

But absolutely no one wants to discuss that issue.


I'd argue that the topic is quite interesting, but it needs a simpler framing that may even *hide* your ultimate goals, in order to keep people looking at what you're trying to do.

 

At any rate, there's no point in just talking about the methodology here, and quite frankly we can get the study group working right now! :cheer:

 

Lots of interesting assumptions that need to be weeded through to get the basic principals fleshed out, so please proceed Doctor!

 

 

Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth, :phones:
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#11 Doctordick

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:43 PM

Hi Buffy - Please list some of those assumptions that need to be weeded through to get the basic principals fleshed out.

 

I have been thinking about human activity for many years and have never found anyone willing to think along the lines which I see as important. I am getting old and find little reason to continue beating my head against a stone wall. I have gotten the distinct impression that no human today has any interest in thinking about anything. They just want me to think the way they think and I cannot do that. To date the only "study group" is one and that group will soon cease to exist.

 

Your idea that I propose some "mechanism for doing the initial computation which is to have a small group of people sit down and decide it for the rest of humanity" is not at all what I have in mind. Look around the world. Many groups exist who believe they have mechanisms to control others such as to eliminate the problems they consider serious. Their mechanisms have been used through out history: war, murder, removal of life sustaining supplies (simple refusal to share valuable assets with others) and many other common means used throughout the world. There are close to an infinite number of ways of constraining the actual number of humans; most all of which can be found somewhere in some human society.

 

I look at the world today and I find it descending almost daily into thoughtless collections of individuals. I have come to the conclusion that the relevant groups have long since exceeded a reasonable number of individuals and are rapidly approaching thoughtless destruction. The only groups which have actually maintained a reasonable number of individuals seem to be simply uneducated.

 

I certainly do no believe "education" is the element to be avoided. Thus I am led to the question, what is the optimum number! In my head that is the most important question and should include the idea of education.

 

I agree, I am a crazy guy because I don't think the way others think. I could tell you a story about that phenomena!

 

Have fun ---- Dick 



#12 Buffy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 03:23 PM

Please list some of those assumptions that need to be weeded through to get the basic principals fleshed out. 

 

Since I'm an MBA, my "go to" for any project is to use the GOSPA methodology: Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Plans, Activities.

 

Where I'd start here is to say "optimum" is a fuzzy concept, and what you need to do before anything else is define what the "Goals" are that you're optimizing for. I mentioned a few above, but I think there are a LOT of them that you need to consider and sort through before you get anywhere useful. Once you've got your agreed-upon goals, you can then start finding the "optimum number"--which is an Objective in this methodology--although you may have to go through several iterations of defining some Strategies and Plans, finding their weaknesses/benefits/limits, and then go back and adjust the numbers in your Objectives.

 

Some Goals I think people would want to consider:

  • Do we optimize for human comfort?
  • Do we optimize for human progress/technology?
  • Do we optimize for human arts/education
  • Do we optimize for simple, sustainable human existence without tech/arts?
  • Do we favor human independence or inter-dependence?
  • What aspects of human existence should be maintained or dropped?
  • Do we optimize for eco-system stability?
  • Do we optimize for returning the eco-system to an earlier state?
  • What is the time scale both for achieving the desired optimum, and what is the time scale over which it must be sustained?

 

That's just off the top of my head right now, but I think there are lots more. On all these points i think there are good arguments for divergent opinions, which makes the effort even in this early stage, very interesting.

 

To the extent that philosophical positions both confuse us and close doors to further inquiry, they are likely to be wrong, :phones:
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#13 Deepwater6

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:24 PM

In the developed parts of the world, our issue is becoming one of having too few people to maintain our infrastructure.  Where I live there is an almost dire shortage of electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and people able and willing to do manual labor.  The robotics revolution is not happening fast enough in these fields to prevent the continued deterioration of our infrastructure.

 

I also worry about the lack of both physical and mental toughness of the young people I am encountering today.  Aches and pains and difficult situations that I was taught to work through just seem to cause too many of these young people to just shut down.  I've never seen anything like it before.

FG, I could not agree more with this about the younger generation. It has always probably been the mantra of older gens saying "you kids have it easy today compared to when I grew up" With technology improving it has been getting easier generation over generation., but this is different.

 

At my company I've had a lot of turnover from retirements so I have several new guys in their early to late 20's. As I walk into the morning meeting to hand out the assignments every single one of them has their head down looking at the phone, that's every single one, day after day. They know when I come in the phones get put away, but until then they don't talk to each other they just stare at the phone. They are all very respectful and have a good attitude. Other than that they are lost, every menial task must be explained in great detail or they need to be shown several times. They have unintentionally spilled paint, lost vital parts, and wrecked trucks.    

 

There has been a tipping point in the way our younger gen now acts. Most spend many of their waking hours glued to a gaming system. I also agree with your assessment that they are not displaying strength with physical and mental situations. During emergencies most of them freeze or if it's after hours they call a supervisor for something that could easily be handled with just the smallest amount of common sense. It is scary!

 

http://www.msn.com/e...x36w?li=BBnb7Kz

 

 

This MSN attachment goes through a prediction of what countries that are on the way up or down. What bothers me about population growth in some countries is the pre-known suffering. I don't want to deny anybody the right to have children, but I can't fathom how some could intentionally have children with absolutely or very little resources and food. Many in certain countries need education about HIV and other medical problems, but educated or not if you're emaciated yourself why would you subject children to it? 



#14 Buffy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:30 PM

Deepwater: Do you have any kids? If so, do the attributes you describe apply to them?

 

 

Youth were never more sawcie, yea never more savagely saucie, the ancient are scorned, the honourable are contemned, the magistrate is not dreaded, :phones:

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#15 Deepwater6

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:45 AM

Yes and yes, much to my disdain. So I would say I must take responsibility along with other parents of my gen who allowed this to happen. They didn't have any real gaming systems and I never heard of the internet when I fifteen. My youngest is 20yrs old now and he and I often spar over this. Especially when he was in his early teens.

 

When I was a kid I stayed outside as much as possible until my parents told me to come back in, I wanted to be out there. This gen doesn't spend much time outdoors at all. When I was young I would often watched/help my father with these problems or tasks. Changing oil in the cars and tractors, changing tires, working on a broken washing machine, and a addition to the house from start to finish etc. etc. This gen figures someone else will fix their problems.

 

The conversations usually run along these lines with my son and my employees. With every task I preform I ask them, "do you want to watch how I do this?". No interest at all. "You will have to do this yourself one day and how are you going to fix it when things go wrong?" I always get the same response "I'll just call in to have the tractor serviced/fixed in the shop, or a tech from the appliance store when things go bad etc. etc.

 

It's not that my son and my employees are trying to be disrespectful, but they feel everything can be solved through that phone. Like all younger people they are not happy to do chores around the house, such as dishes, or trash, but chores are not what I'm referring to, this seems to be a paradigm shift in our youth, and many of them don't know how much they don't know.

 

Technology is great thing, you can look up anything on youtube to show you how to fix something, but you cannot (at least for now) have the phone itself do the work for you and sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes you will have to solve a problem that isn't on the computer. You will need to think and or adapt your way out of a problem. I see it every day and it's a cultural change with them. I don't wish to sound like a disgruntled old man, but some day this gen will have a hard time catching up on skills they should have.

 

When I bought my son and daughter used cars I made them both practice switching a tire out properly. We live in a rural area and the cell service is spotty in some places, so If they were to get and flat and couldn't contact a service truck they would at least be able to do that.

 

This subject has been the catalyst for some nasty arguments between my wife and I over the years. All they must do is tell their mother they don't understand something and she steps right in, often doing the task herself. I would get upset for that and she would get upset when I observed them struggling and didn't swoop in for the rescue right away.

 

Again they are very respectful and do the tasks without complaining, but you must ask them to do everything. Yesterday was a great example. walking around the plant I saw 3 dirty VFD air filters, whoever put the new ones in never threw away the old ones, but laziness happens with all ages and that's not what concerns me. These filter are 12"x20" and very light, so I picked them up and leaned them against a large trash can. Later when I caught up with one of my guys I told him to empty the trash cans. That's exactly what he did, he moved the dirty filters off the trash can and left the obviously used filters laying in the middle of the floor. When I questioned him later his response was "you just said empty the trash cans".

 

The line where the rubber meets the road is evaporating, all the call centers in India, phone contacts, or apps are not going to preform the task that a person must do. I do not want to sound like a complaining old man, but I see a lot of this younger gen that will not take ownership of anything and some day many of them may struggle.

 

PS I know there are kids out there today that are with it, and comprehensive, so I'm not talking about everyone, but from what I see there is a lot of kids who will struggle.



#16 Buffy

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:04 AM

I think everyone's experience is limited to what they see, and the main advice I'd give is that every generation is extremely disappointed with the one that succeeds them going back to time immemorial (the quote I gave above is from 1624). My experience has been quite a bit different from yours, and I offer it only as a counterpoint, not to say it's any more valid
 
I know that my generation was dismissed as hopeless for our "addiction" to television and our seeming ability to filter out the enormous flood of information it provided.
 
We invented the personal computer, and put chips in just about everything.
 
To the extent I put that iPhone in my daughter's hands, I'm actually proud to say I helped make that happen in a very direct way. The reason I say that I'm proud of it is that it's very directly affected not so much her leisure time but her ability to do her job.
 
At 22, she's in charge of marketing programs for a mid-size non-profit. She works for just slightly over minimum wage (as I said, it's a non-profit) and she's responsible for huge fund-raising events that bring in millions of dollars. She works her butt off, most of the time having to figure out on her own what needs to be done because like many organizations today, they've not spent the money on keeping talent and have generally cut the middle-management layer that's responsible for institutional memory (both of those are among the *worst* inventions of my generation).
 
Obviously people of a feather principle being what it is, I see the same hard work ethic in the vast majority of her friends.
 
The thing that worries me the most is that we're leaving them a world in chaos with both seemingly insoluable problems like climate change (that proves to them that their elders are idiots because the old folks are all pretending it's "fake news"), and horrible job prospects because our industry has shed all the good paying jobs in order to push all the wealth to the top.
 
It's quite frankly pretty grim for them, although I'm loathe to say it's "worse" than growing up in the 60s and 70s when we were on the brink of nuclear war, had energy and pollution crises, and corrupt politicians dealing with Watergate.
 
So, (to steal some images from a tweet I saw the other day) the more things change, the more they stay the same:
 
DH0kBOzXsAAQUCB.jpg

Source: Christopher Fowler‏, @Peculiar,  Aug 22  

 

To the extent they struggle, I'd suggest we've given them a tough hand. On the other hand, it's pretty much like our own was, and all I'd say is "have a little faith."

 

And be a good parent and try to help them get there.

 

 

Whither are the manly vigor and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt, :phones:

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#17 Farming guy

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:40 PM

FG, I could not agree more with this about the younger generation. It has always probably been the mantra of older gens saying "you kids have it easy today compared to when I grew up" With technology improving it has been getting easier generation over generation., but this is different.

 

Well, the technology and the rapid pace of new products certainly gives rise to the thoughtlessness of which Doctordick wrote.  Nobody expects anything to last. 

 

Something I have noticed about the younger generation, is that there are a lot more young women raising children without any help from the fathers of their children.  I see a lot of them working like crazy to make ends meet.

 

We are having a new water heater installed today, and I asked the techs doing the install, "How come I don't see anyone under 30 doing this job?  They laughed, and said the young ones all want to start out at a pay of $25 per hour without any experience. 

 

We had a 1997 year model tractor a while back that needed a new reverser control unit installed, but the new unit couldn't be made to work, so the tech contacted John Deere technical support, and the young fellow on the phone exclaimed to him "1997!  That's an old tractor!  I don't know anything about those!"  It took our tech a couple of weeks to get a hold of a nearly retired guy who could help him.  (It turned out the new unit was looking to communicate with a computer that didn't exist when our tractor was manufactured, and the tech had to turn off the channel of the unit so it would stop looking for the input.)

 

It may not be our population that does us in, but our throw - away attitude.