CorruptUser wrote:I can't find a full copy of his work. Please name a civilization that collapsed from overpopulation.
You seem to be demanding a gross oversimplification. Overpopulation has been one important factor in the collapse of civilizations, but there are always other factors. I don't think that means one should dismiss overpopulation as less important than the other causes, though.
This wouldn't seem to be a good solution to a resource shortage, since your close neighbors may not have the resources you need, or God forbid, that someone with as much muscle as you may have gotten there first.[/quote]
Griffin wrote:First: I don't see why I should assume that, since he stated the same technology existed, and it wouldn't, unless we had a sudden drop from our current level.
Second: None of those require a sudden drop. All they require is for those people to have never existed.
It's a thought experiment, dude. I assure you that if I'd meant "Imagine how nifty it would be if a disaster of genocidal proportions killed 2/3 of the world's population, I'd have said so.
I would not be able to do the work I do with a third the customer base. I might be able to get another job, sure. Just like I'd get another job if I was fired. But I'm a pretty high level industry, an industry that would shrink much faster than population size.
Those branches of science would be just as dead with a sudden drop or their pushers never existing. It's the same either way.
As folks have said, it's pretty accepted history that the Black Death lead to increased prosperity for European workers and farmers because of the increased value of labor, which in turn contributed to the Renaissance. Three billion people doing well could very well be a better market than 8 billion when the majority of those 8 billion are desperately poor and the rest spend a huge amount of their budget preparing to defend access to scarce resources.
My city would, like so many of the other cities in the area, still be completely and totally unable to support not only a mass transportation grid, but the culture that keeps it alive. I've been the sort of city we would be with a third the people, and these are cities that simply stopped growing at some point, and they are, in my experience, miserable places.
I think you probably should learn a bit about the history of cities. I don't know where you live, but San Francisco (the biggest city in my area) has not grown in population much at all over the last few decades. The population is now 812,826, and in 1950 it was 775,357. In 1939 the population of London was 8,615,245, it's currently 7,825,200. That's because in the developed world the population growth manifests itself as suburban sprawl eating up rural lands, and I sure as hell wouldn't be sorry to see that go, nor the vast slums you see on the edges of poorer cities like Delhi or Sao Paulo.
The houses thing was mostly a joke.
It shouldn't be. The cost of housing is eating up a bigger and bigger percentage of folks' income in the U.S., and you can bet increased demand has a lot to do with that.
But if we're talking about hypotheticals here, when did the population stop growing, or even reversing itself? Because I assume, if its stable worlwide, some places would be growing and others would be shrinking. So who's shrinking? Who's ending up left behind as people leave to seek out fewer population centers?
I suggest you look at Europe for that answer: well educated people who aren't suffering from economic insecurity and don't have to have a bunch of kids because so many of them are likely to die before adulthood are the ones who have stable or even shrinking populations.
Anyway, this is certainly not to say that we shouldn't be seeking ways to reduce our impact on the planet and be as efficiant as possible, but as I mentioned earlier that can only get you so far. Just ask the folks on Tikopia.