Omigod - I wish I had studied math more ...

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by rwatson, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I came across this great educational series of videos on Youtube - the math is wonderfully explained, and so are the implications for life on earth as we know it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=rellist&playnext=1&list=PL6A1FD147A45EF50D

    The term "1 minute to twelve" has a whoooole new meaning.

    It looks like the ant-smoking campaign was a really bad idea

    Do you know, they send family planning and resource planning experts to countries with lower growth rates than Boulder Colorado ?

    I hope you get a chance to play these fascinating series of clips
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Thanks, rwatson.

    For some reason I have always struggled with algebra, my nemesis.

    Is this guy a nazi?
     
  3. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    The answer to the population problem is progress.
    Post industrial nations experience a fall of population growth to near zero.

    One hopes that the population ceiling is set my habits, not the carrying capacity of the environment...

    Is modern agriculture sustainable?
    Phosphate supply in crisis? Salination of arable land, water supplies.

    The sort of problems which make the bulk of political discourse seem like so much idle gossip.
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Grow corn for food, not to adulterate our petrol.
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I know he talks about the violent ways that population might get reduced, but he comes across to me as an intelligent pragmatist, more warning of "the bleeding obvious" than pushing a belligerent barrow.

    My eye opener was just how 'dumb' our leaders are when it comes to the raw figures - I assumed they were smarter than me :rolleyes:
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    They're not, even though they think they are.
     

  7. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    The problem with the analysis in the video is that it assumes the future will unfold in a vacuum. The math is correct, but it is misapplied -- and doomsday prophets have been preaching the same bull for centuries. Much of the problem is in how the questions are presented (and the agenda of the person proposing the problem).

    Consider changes from 1900 to 2000 in the U.S. In 1900 the population was ~76M, and ~40% of the workforce found employment in agriculture. Assume we presented the facts of the year 2000 to a farmer in the year 1900 -- here's the facts. The U.S. population has mushroomed to ~281M people, and only ~3% can find employment in agriculture. In a vacuum, the farmer of 1900 would be horrified -- all of those people starving to death! In reality, we're obese and we export food. History doesn't unfold in a vacuum.

    The "Peak Oil" alarmists make the same mistakes, as these are not questions for mathematicians -- they are questions for economists.

    Here are a few entertaining conversations by economists that touch on population growth -- they might surprise you.

    Bryan Caplan
    Mike Munger
    Thomas Sowell

    These are fascinating!
     
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