Tuesday 21 April 2020

World population - Four numbers that explain why this current catastrophe will be By Far the biggest in history

World population (rounded)

1804 (and all human history up to this time) - 1 billion (usually much less)

1927 (123 years later) doubles to 2 billion

1975 (48 years later)  doubles to 4 billion

c.2024 (50 years later) doubles to 8 billion.

Before the Industrial Revolution, the world population could not rise about approximately 1 billion. It is the increase in productivity that began in Britain in the late 1700s - and was initially driven by the European/ descended industrialising nations - that allowed the eightfold increase since that time.

The extra 7 billion people that the world carries currently, is a consequence of the Industrial Revolution; with its vast and complex infrastructure of specialisation and trade sustained by a vast infrastructure of functional human capability and work.

In turn, that vast infrastructure depends on growth in production of essentials fuelled by growth in productivity - that growth in productivity is just-as essential as food, water, medicines etc. But productivity has now been locked-down on a global scale, into a sudden and massive reversal (with size unknown and sequential consequences unknowable).   

History is therefore no guide to our present situation. For example, the crucial difference between the world during the Great Depression of the 1920s and 30s and the world now, is an extra 6 billion people.

When The System goes down, most of the people in the world will die - since they absolutely depend on The System for supporting that extra 7 billion.

And when most of the people in the world die, that fact also will have (ahem) many knock-on effects.

History is no guide: there is no guide. Our situation is unprecedented and the outcome cannot be predicted, beyond such broad-outline realities as described above.

Yet there is nothing to be gained in worrying about what's coming.

We are each and all standing in the path of a tsunami/ comet/ pyroclastic flow in a real-life mega-disaster movie; and there is nowhere to run. 

As WmJas says https://narrowdesert.blogspot.com/2020/04/to-those-in-despair.html: our primary (minimal) task here-and-now is to learn Not to be scared.


Bruce Charlton said...

I can't make any sense of your link.

Jacob Gittes said...

I've thought about this a lot, and it seems to me:

The results of this global evil plan will vary be region, nation, and province within nations. Even different local communities.

Some communities will do much better than others: the Amish, rural areas with tight-knit families and clans, etc.

We don't know the extent to which the System has some sort of subtle, over-arching, almost AI-like control mechanism. Western economies have subsisted on debt and nonsense for far longer than many Austrian and other more conservative economists have thought possible.

Regardless, we can do nothing about it, other than do things we should be doing anyway: gardening, working on our own spirituality, and becoming closer to our loved-ones and family and neighbors.

The economic tsunami should be rolling in, but who knows which fjords and river and waterways will be flooded, and which will remain dry. I'd say avoid big cities, but even there, why tell people to uproot themselves when many or most can't even do that by now?

Bruce Charlton said...

@J - I doubt whether people outside cities who have what those in the cities want, will last very long.

Andrew said...

@Jake - Sorry for being dark: It is undeniably worse than the typical libertarian survivalist/prepper scenario where all the city-folk eat each other like Zombies and the rural guys ride it out.

It is already closer to Communism-on-Steroids with the benefit of modern technology to track everything people say, everywhere they go... no hiding from the Eye of Sauron.

Technology is perhaps The Ring in this sense. We are totally dependent on it, but even if we give it up (model your life on the Amish and try to hide in the Country somewhere), it can still be used against us and we appear materially helpless against this power. Without it and individually you are easy to victimize by any robber, as a group easy to target by The State. The group would be problematic, harmful, "spreading the virus and hurting us all", hoarders, etc.

Now if Lewis is any model, and this scenario does sound a bit like That Hideous Strength, a secret house protected by magic would probably have to be something none of us could plan or expect (so that evil would not know) - and would mean surrendering our plans... like God being born in a manger.

Andrew said...

This is very difficult. Materialism is very difficult to break out of! I've been trying to balance your writings with other information, but your critique of the alt-right is spot on - the great hope seems to be the idea that any-day-now a lot of really bad people (and they do exist) will be held accountable for their crimes.

This is all strictly materialist though. The crimes they are guilty of are materialist, the solutions, etc.

It doesn't address the total spiritual corruption. That can't be addressed through legal action, or political action, or even military action. Even if everyone who has directly committed an especially reprehensible is found guilty and removed from power or influence. It is ultimately a false hope, though maybe along the way many people will (by certain crimes becoming public) become more aware of the real nature of evil - but that good is secondary. Then what happens? Maybe the best hope are things get ratcheted back. A bit less evil, but more or less the same thing.

So there is no way out except for a crisis point. The trends need to come to fruition at the cost of great suffering for many and greater evils (especially in a materialist analysis), but at the trade-off it may save their souls. Slightly slower/faster incremental evil going on for years wasn't going to lead to an ultimate good.

Brief Outlines said...

With everything going online, the rapid installation of 5G, and the economy of information being what it is, my reading of the situation is that the population will be maintained like live-stock. The numbers wont go down, but the quality of life will. We will live analogous to battery hens, pumped full of vaccines and antibiotics.

Bruce Charlton said...

@B-O The exact number of living human beings is a secondary issue for the demonic architects of the crisis - their concern is with teh damnation of souls.

I believe that if the world economy collapses, the Malthusian limit of world population will also collapse, so the current number of humans will be grossly unsustainable and billions will die (whether or not the Establishment want is).

There is some scope for temporarily delaying this population collapse by forcing down the standard of living and life expectancy of humans in the livestock way you describe; but there would need to be some benefit to the agenda of evil for this to happen.If maintaining humans like farm animals made them more likely to choose evil, then it would happen; if such misery led to conversions and more people following Christ - then not.

Another factor is contention within the ranks of evil; between the long term strategists (lawful evil) and those evil entities who seek to increase their selfish pleasure Now - eg by tormenting people. We can see this kind of contention between Screwtape (longer term goal of damning the patient) and Wormwood (keen on scaring and torturing his patient Now, because he enjoys doing so; whatever the long-term consequences).