0887: "Future Timeline"

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udqbpn
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby udqbpn » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

Guys don't choke up and focus on the close up, Mr. Wizard can't perform no godlike hocus-pocus. So don't sit back, kick back, and watch the world get bushwhacked, news at 10 your neighborhood is under attack.

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out. Allow, if you're still alive, 6-to-8 years to arrive, and if you follow there may be a tomorrow, but if this offer is shun you might as well be walking on the sun.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby udqbpn » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:54 pm UTC


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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby MikeStern » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:56 pm UTC

chrth wrote:
MikeStern wrote:
st0aty wrote:Absolutely awesome comic... Was I the only one reading the list and counting off what could potentially occur in my own lifetime, then breathing a sigh of relief when I read immortality? ;-)


You certainly weren't the only one. I even remarked on the fact that by that prediction I would only have to keep myself alive for another 39 years. Then, hopefully, we can eat all the bacon we want :)


I direct you to:
Spoiler:
Image



As for myself, all I need to do is make it to 2050! Woo!


Well I do have a friend who's avoiding me, but I don't think she's atrac... oh you mean the immortality thing. Well I don't know when it will happen, although I'm quite sure it will, but I do have a contingency plan, should I die before it's possible: Cryogenic Preservation.

On the matter of Immortality making overpopulation more imminent. I think both sides have valuable arguments, but I don't think they're taking the correct scale. After all, just 17 years after immortality is possible, point at which there will only be a few lucky early adopters, the Japanese will have begun settling in mars. So really the resources that can't run out are those of the universe. With the possibility of subatomic matter manipulation we don't even need to have CHON, we can make it. Furthermore, we should assume that immortals will at some point abandon the need of traditional resources, i.e. food and water.

The only point at which we can overpopulate the Universe is when there isn't matter (or energy) to create more of us, and that problem resolves itself. If we can't "make" more "humans", there won't be more "humans".

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby ElectricTurtle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:So what you're trying to say is, that while right now much more people are being born then die, this might change if the birth rate keeps going down?
First of all, the population of the world is still on the increase. The smoothing of that curve hasn't started yet. If it does, there will still be a long way to go. You mention just one factor - what about the advance of medical science, keeping everyone alive longer? Face it, the population is not about to shrink unless some huge disaster happens.
And secondly, the point is that we're going to run out of resources at some point. It won't happen like Malthus predicted. But there is still a limit. Fossil fuel for example. And the people in all the emerging economies want cars and television sets and mobile phones. If alternative solutions fail to appear in sufficient numbers then a struggle will start over who gets most.

Men like Newton and Malthus and Darwin are not famous because their theories are still valid. They are because they were the first to think of things we now take for granted. Standing on the shoulders of giants, that sort of thing. I think, for the 1800s, it was a rational, insightful approach, a sort of total view that most people are incapable of seeing without help. (How many silly people today think that moving a problem equals solving it, and that you'll always be able to get what you want some way or another?) You seriously call that foolish?


I do not mean birth rate. Birth rate is a practically meaningless metric since it is just births/unit of time. A woman is physically capable of having two babies a year, which would as represented as birth rate look enormous. However, if that woman only has two babies in her entire life, as fertility rate that looks inconsequential. It doesn't matter how quickly a woman has babies, what matters is how many babies she is going to have in total throughout her life. Birth rate can only tell you where population is trending *right now*, but fertility rate, especially as examined over a healthy span of decades, will tell you where population is trending for generations.

While resources are not limitless, we haven't even scratched the surface of most of them, and as extraction yields less recovery will yield more, and that's to say nothing of synthesis. Malthus and Newton are not comparable. Newton's conception of physics was more rough than wrong. Malthus conception of a population crisis is purely wrong, and neo-Malthusian theory is wrong for the same reason. Neither is willing to admit that the whole of humanity is capable of greater efficiency, greater production, greater recovery, greater organization, etc. than even the current generation can imagine. It is this poverty of imagination and paranoia that leads them to expect doom in the extrapolation, and then their egos prevent them from seeing how, like some ridiculous millenarian cult, the doom doesn't come, over and over. They cling to it in the face of the evidence from every generation, all because they think they're smarter for thinking that things can't get better.

Goplat wrote:You're accusing population "fearmongers" of assuming that fertility will stay the same over time, while making the equally ignorant assumption yourself that the derivative of fertility will stay the same over time. Neither assumption is grounded in reality. As long as there exists any subset of humans with the genetic disposition to ignore whatever it is that's making everyone else stop having children, that subset will grow exponentially if not stopped.

As I've said before on a different thread:
Goplat wrote:Just like overuse of antibiotics has not wiped out staph bacteria but instead created MRSA, there may be various factors in the first world that discourage most people from breeding, but these will just have the end result of replacing them with people who aren't affected by these factors. There may be few unaffected people now, but since they have more children, they contribute more to the gene pool, and become a greater fraction of the population every generation.


It is not the same. What population fearmongers argue is that the fertility rate trend will magically stop and freeze forever. I argue that if the fertility rate has gone down each decade for 40+ years, that it will likely keep going down (I make no predictions of the specific rate). In the absence of the evidence of a pressure that will increase fertility rate there is no reason to believe otherwise. However there is no absence of evidence on the pressure acting on population growth. While it currently remains positive, if the fertility rate keeps changing it must necessarily slow, stop and even reverse. I can show evidence against the extrapolation of population growth indefinitely, but nobody can show me evidence against the extrapolation of fertility rate for at least the next few decades.

Your attempt to applying microbiological principles fails on its face. Humanity's long life cycle prohibits that kind of rapid adaptation, and areas which continue to have high fertility are universally either politically unstable or oppressive to women or both. Human sociology is what drives high fertility, not biology. Universally as women are empowered to make choices for themselves unsurprisingly most choose to have fewer children. The rising quality of life and the emancipation of women are what have driven fertility rates down, that's why they are lowest in the developed world.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby CelebrenIthil » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:40 pm UTC

ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Universally as women are empowered to make choices for themselves unsurprisingly most choose to have fewer children. The rising quality of life and the emancipation of women are what have driven fertility rates down, that's why they are lowest in the developed world.


Sadly there's always an opposite reaction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull
:(

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby jjane » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:42 pm UTC

I went between laughing my ass off and being seriously frightened at this one. All the makings of a brilliant comic, Randall.
Be still my raging heart.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:
ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Not that I am taking any of these predictions serious, but... Granting immortality to people is completely irresponsible! Have you guys never heard of Malthus and the principles of population? I'm thinking, as a compromise, you can become immortal, but only if you have your balls chopped off (/ovaries ripped out).


Malthus was a fool who could not see beyond his own time and technology. World population is already more than sixfold the amount that was supposed to cause a Malthusian catastrophe, and it just refuses to happen. As population has grown, so has the efficiency of resource production/extraction, and there is still more room. If the 3rd world were to achieve the same agricultural productive capacity per square unit-of-distance as the first world, production would more than double. Add to this that there is so much efficiency left to be found in the logistics of distribution that currently wholly a third of food produced is never eaten. And arable land is a completely false limit with the possibilities of hydroponics, but arable land is so cheap and the infrastructure already in place there's no justifying the cost yet.

Not to mention all the neo-Malthusians need to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that decade over decade world fertility is declining. Major 'problem areas' in terms of population like India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. are seeing reductions in fertility rate on the order of 2-3 less children per woman. All of the most populous nations on earth have seen whole number reductions in their fertility rates in the last 50 years. 76 nations have fertility rates below replacement. Everybody who still tries to fearmonger about population growth is an idiot out of touch with the statistical reality.

Or maybe you are a fool who can't see the underlying principle. Which is that resources aren't endless. No, Malthus' 200 year old theory and predictions aren't valid anymore and some never were.
Oh, fertility is declining, is it? Great, we'll never need to worry again about millions of people in want of food, water, and all the luxuries that we take for granted and won't give up.
Unless fertility is declining but population is still increasing? Maybe you should take that statistics course: http://xkcd.com/552/.

Image


This is embaressing that you would try and draw conclusions about birth rate from a world population chart, which only takes into account people who were already born. The huge explosion in the world population was not caused by an increase of birth rate, but rather a increase in health care extending the average lifespan of people. The birth rate has been steadily declining ever since the start of that curve. It just has yet to catch up with human lifespan to where they equalize out yet. The world's population will equal out, and eventually decline, as soon as the average birth rate drops below 1 child per 1 adult. Which, a lot of the world is already below, and a lot of the world is near.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertility_rate

Canada, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, Chili, most of Europe, are all currently in a negative population curve. IE there is less than 1 child born per 1 adult.

In addition, most of the rest of the world is approaching equilibrium, with the birth rates below 1.5 children per 1 adult. Including almost all of the Americas, and most of Asia.

It's only in Africa and the Middle East where the birth rates have yet to start having a real approach towards equilibrium, which is alway the same reason why the worst population related problems are coming out of Africa.

Le gasp? Third world countries having population problems and high mortality rates and excessive childbirth? Le gasp. That couldn't possibly cause the world's total population to be growing faster than it should. The only way the world will be reaching numbers like 15 billion or 20 billion population is if we never lift Africa into the modern First World era. Which I'm sure will eventually happen, as we are already working on it. Assuming Africa is lifted to first world status in the next century, and we also simultaneously achieve immortality, odds are humanity will probably equalize out somewhere around 10-12 billion, then decrease in population over the next few thousand years until we finally hit an equilibrium. And there WOULD be an equillibrium. The average unaging immortal human, IIRC, would live to be about 500 something years old before they die from an accident or disease.
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby RichardD » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:49 pm UTC

scharb wrote:In 2068, from his throne in Jerusalem, Lord Jesus rules over the entire gay world and legalizes public masturbation.


Glad I'm not the only one who spotted that! :D

Also, fourteen years from "Jesus returns to Earth" to "Entire world converted to Christianity"? What went wrong? Was there some undiscovered tribe in the Amazon who didn't get to see the 24-hour rolling coverage on Fox? Or was he just not that impressive?

"Turning water into wine? Yeah, Paul Daniels did that in the Eighties, mate. Try turning Jersey Shore into watchable TV - now that *would* be magic!"


And then seven years later, Scientology becomes majority religion in the US. What happened, did everyone change their mind when Jesus claimed to be bigger that the Beatles?

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby n2kra » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

2xxx - Apocalypse! Google becomes our evil overlord
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby mattcoz » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

2026: Atlantis emerges completely, West coast falls into the ocean Well on the plus side, everyone on the west coast can move to the fabulous new properties on Atlantis.
2048: Unisex bathing suits cover body from shoulder to ankle Well that's no fun... Entire US population overweight oh, nevermind then.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby chakolate » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

Am I missing something, or is 2011 the year baby boomers turn 65? Why 2016?

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby snoopy369 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

Kain wrote:or maybe the immortality treatment (nanorobotics, medicine, whathaveyou) would have a "side effect" of infertility. Bonus if it can be turned off, rendering one mortal again, and eventually fertile again. One can dream...

Ever read the short story collection "Pump Six and other stories" by Paolo Bacigalupi? Includes a couple of scary ones, including one precisely along these lines ("Pop Squad"). (Warning: this particular story might be nightmare-inducing if you've got kids).

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby MitraSmit » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:36 pm UTC

plin25 wrote:I like the All Your Base reference at the end, but what I was really hoping for was a reference this this song


Yep, a reference to Zager & Evans wouldn't have been misplaced!
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby bigjeff5 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:Or maybe you are a fool who can't see the underlying principle. Which is that resources aren't endless. No, Malthus' 200 year old theory and predictions aren't valid anymore and some never were.
Oh, fertility is declining, is it? Great, we'll never need to worry again about millions of people in want of food, water, and all the luxuries that we take for granted and won't give up.
Unless fertility is declining but population is still increasing? Maybe you should take that statistics course: http://xkcd.com/552/.

Image



The thing about this graph is that the trend is already clearly slowing down - the top of the curve is flattening. That is, the birth rate is clearly beginning to slow down in that graph. It is hard to tell, partly because it just starts to curve noticeably at the top of the graph and partly because 3d graphs are horrendous (and even among 3d graphs that one is poorly rendered), but it seems to be beginning to slow down rather quickly after 2040 or so. For a more detailed breakdown of what happens in that graph - the population increases linearly (shallow) until 1850, after which the rate increases continuously until about 1965, where the rate stops increasing and it becomes linear again (steep), followed be a continuous rate decrease beginning around 2020. Based on the trend in that graph I would be shocked if we ever hit a world population above 13 billion. My guess (again, based only on the graph) would be a peak at about 12.5 billion.

In other words, the graph does not support your position at all (unless you are afraid of dire consequences for the world somewhere below 13 billion, which I find improbable).

Also, the sources listed at bosbouwbeleggingen.nl are "unknown". Without knowing the source behind it, the graph itself is completely unreliable as evidence for anything. Some guy could have simply drawn it because he felt like that's what it aught to look like. It does have some labels on it, so perhaps you could do some investigative work and find the underlying data. Until then it's not worth much except as a not particularly attractive picture, at least to me anyway.

Instead of seeking evidence to support your position, you should examine the evidence you have with a bias toward determining the truth first (whatever it may be, I make no comment to that), then go on a crusade to fight the problem (if it exists).

(In response to your statistics jibe, the population can continue to rise in spite of a falling fertility rate if the average life expectancy increases faster than the fertility rate decreases. This ends when the net fertility rate becomes 0 or less. You really aren't one to criticize other people's understanding of statistics.)

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby bungo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:45 am UTC

sorry if this is already here... but there's THIS:

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCMQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsprott.physics.wisc.edu%2Fpickover%2Ftwitter.html&ei=_OWsTbHtOYn0swOr0bXaCQ&usg=AFQjCNGirPwZ5ifWkRkJIoYg0odjlxBjHA

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:46 am UTC

Tsunoba wrote:Final one was totally worth reading the entire thing.

Agreed, first actually funny All Your Base joke in a LONG time.

Anyway...
Unisex bathingsuits that go from the shoulders to the ankles? You mean drysuits? (The boots are seperate)

A redheaded classmate of mine gave a report last year on the approaching extinction of redheads, due to how recessive the red hair gene is. Sad but true, I suppose, but I can't remember what year she gave as the predicted extinction year.
Although, given all the success in genetic experimentation that will apparently happen in the future, isolating and replicating the red hair gene should be no problem. Once that happens, I think I will rescue it.
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby LtNOWIS » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:56 am UTC

Jof16's wrote:2067: Redheads go extinct.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

I gues I'd better find me some hot redheaded women to try and stop that, huh? ;) :D

I don't recessive genes can easily go extinct. Even if you found a non-redhead, your children would still carry on your genes for red hair. Even if all your descendants kept marrying non-redheads, the trait would pop up on occasion.

piels wrote:The least believable thing on here is probably the baby boomers starting to turn 65 in 2016.

Well, I think it is rather likely that a war will begin in 2101.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby ePerson » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:24 am UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:Unisex bathingsuits that go from the shoulders to the ankles? You mean drysuits?


chakolate wrote:Am I missing something, or is 2011 the year baby boomers turn 65? Why 2016?


graudrakon wrote:controlling computers with your brain is already here, if rather limited. My friend wired up a nerf gun to fire by concentrating.


The future already happened. Right now, we're just finding out how it all went down.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby schizultze » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:27 am UTC

All your comic are belong to us. Great ending to a great comic.
However, I must ask: Why did your comic include nothing about velociraptors on National Velociraptor Awareness Day?

I love your comics!! thanks for making me laugh at least three times a week.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby alreadytaken4536 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:40 am UTC


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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby tehol » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:11 am UTC

sjorford wrote:"achieves" is spelt/spelled wrong in 2066, but the rest of the comic makes up for it. I especially laughed at 2061.


and achieve is wrong in 2015, though 2066 looks fixed now?
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby minsley » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:21 am UTC

The year 2042... the answer to life the universe and everything

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby MinuteWalt » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:42 am UTC

I can't read the smaller text because of the resolution. Is there a higher res version?

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby dedwrekka » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:07 am UTC

Legosheep wrote:Would it be possible next time you do a list like this to link to the articles? Some of these seem quite intriguing and I'd like to know more.

He gives a very easy way to reproduce the results. Just take the words above the timeline and supplement in the year the event is listed as happening. According to the list it would be on the first page of search results.

Sulayman-F wrote:I know Randall is pulling the summary from Wikipedia, but the Millenium Development Goals aren't for the complete eradication of poverty and pollution. The goal is to "halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day" and give everyone the opportunity for primary/elementary school, and stop the growth of AIDS by 2015.

All fine goals, but you have to be specific about them, otherwise the blurb makes it sound ridiculous and unrealistic.

They aren't meant to be realistic, the comments are there to show what a polling of Google search pages turns up for each year, but mainly as a lead up to a joke (though, honestly, that would be one of the more common results for those search parameters).

caerphoto wrote:
Goplat wrote:Image
That graph is depressingly believable :(

That graph is depressingly mindless drivel.

RichardD wrote:
scharb wrote:In 2068, from his throne in Jerusalem, Lord Jesus rules over the entire gay world and legalizes public masturbation.


Glad I'm not the only one who spotted that! :D

Also, fourteen years from "Jesus returns to Earth" to "Entire world converted to Christianity"? What went wrong? Was there some undiscovered tribe in the Amazon who didn't get to see the 24-hour rolling coverage on Fox? Or was he just not that impressive?

"Turning water into wine? Yeah, Paul Daniels did that in the Eighties, mate. Try turning Jersey Shore into watchable TV - now that *would* be magic!"


And then seven years later, Scientology becomes majority religion in the US. What happened, did everyone change their mind when Jesus claimed to be bigger that the Beatles?

My guess, Scientology claims that Jesus's second coming was proof of Thetans, as they later claim to have done e-meter testing on him.
Then again, the rapture would remove all christian believers from Earth, so that would give Scientology good fertile ground.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby theo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:16 am UTC

Last time I asked an American about Cyprus he said it's somewhere in Bahamas! :lol:

Regarding the Cyprus problem... I find the prediction very optimistic. :(

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Shakleton » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:51 am UTC

Jof16's wrote:2067: Redheads go extinct.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

That was my literal reaction to the comic when I read it, I shouted out loud. Luckily, most of my coworkers also read xkcd so I could explain very well.
Also, for the first time in months I came to this forum to post that exact comment.
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 am UTC

WHAT YOU SAY!!

No Atlantis is too underwater or fictional!
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby NumberFourtyThree » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:10 am UTC

cphoenix wrote:Predictions from 1900. Scary accurate - they predicted real-time worldwide color/sound video, central heating/cooling, prepackaged factory-cooked meals, and... snowmobiles.

Not all of them are accurate, of course. Right after ubiquitous automobiles comes the prediction that anyone who can't walk ten miles will be considered a weakling. In hindsight, they couldn't both come true.

http://bp3.blogger.com/_sGYULzoQCgA/RiR ... future.jpg


Not quite: the central heating/cooling isn't one center per house, but one center per city cent through citywide air ducts. The factory cooked meals are also quite different from what we actually have, as they will be promptly delivered rather than frozen, and will be much cheaper than cooking yourself, among other differences.

Some other predictions:
All wild animals and household pests extinct.
All electricity will be generated by hydroelectric, as we will have run out of coal.
Spelling will be strictly by sound, with no c, q, or x.
Many south and central American countries will join the US.
Goods will be sent cross-country and delivered to homes via pneumatic tubes.
Free school lunches for poor people.
Giant fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and blackberries as big as apples, cantaloupes that can feed an entire family. Lots of fruits will be seedless, and peas and beans will be as big as beets.
Giant flowers of varied colors, such as black roses the size of cabbage heads, and pansies as big as sunflowers.
The world is imperfect because it has to be. If everything were perfectly fair and without problems we would all live the exact same pointless life, with no possible meaning to it.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby dcollins » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:23 am UTC

ElectricTurtle wrote:While it currently remains positive, if the fertility rate keeps changing it must necessarily slow, stop and even reverse.


That's not a valid conclusion. Mathematically you can have a series that keeps increasing to infinity (limit), yet always has a decreasing derivative (rate). Sum of 1/sqrt(n) is one example.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:40 am UTC

CelebrenIthil wrote:
ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Universally as women are empowered to make choices for themselves unsurprisingly most choose to have fewer children. The rising quality of life and the emancipation of women are what have driven fertility rates down, that's why they are lowest in the developed world.


Sadly there's always an opposite reaction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull
:(

I didn't write that!

Karilyn wrote:This is embaressing that you would try and draw conclusions about birth rate from a world population chart, which only takes into account people who were already born.

Am I??? And does it???

bigjeff5 wrote:The thing about this graph is that the trend is already clearly slowing down - the top of the curve is flattening. That is, the birth rate is clearly beginning to slow down in that graph. It is hard to tell, partly because it just starts to curve noticeably at the top of the graph and partly because 3d graphs are horrendous (and even among 3d graphs that one is poorly rendered), but it seems to be beginning to slow down rather quickly after 2040 or so. For a more detailed breakdown of what happens in that graph - the population increases linearly (shallow) until 1850, after which the rate increases continuously until about 1965, where the rate stops increasing and it becomes linear again (steep), followed be a continuous rate decrease beginning around 2020. Based on the trend in that graph I would be shocked if we ever hit a world population above 13 billion. My guess (again, based only on the graph) would be a peak at about 12.5 billion.

In other words, the graph does not support your position at all (unless you are afraid of dire consequences for the world somewhere below 13 billion, which I find improbable).

Also, the sources listed at bosbouwbeleggingen.nl are "unknown". Without knowing the source behind it, the graph itself is completely unreliable as evidence for anything. Some guy could have simply drawn it because he felt like that's what it aught to look like. It does have some labels on it, so perhaps you could do some investigative work and find the underlying data. Until then it's not worth much except as a not particularly attractive picture, at least to me anyway.

Instead of seeking evidence to support your position, you should examine the evidence you have with a bias toward determining the truth first (whatever it may be, I make no comment to that), then go on a crusade to fight the problem (if it exists).

(In response to your statistics jibe, the population can continue to rise in spite of a falling fertility rate if the average life expectancy increases faster than the fertility rate decreases. This ends when the net fertility rate becomes 0 or less. You really aren't one to criticize other people's understanding of statistics.)

Excuse me, where did I say that it couldn't? That was electroturtle, not me.
You know, it was just the first graph I could pull from the internet that showed the population increase (because electroturtle seemed to question the population is growing at all). It seems to show the things I was taught at school. I'm pretty sure it is aprox. correct up until the present day, but it was just an illustration. Anything more than five years ahead is an educated guess anyway. Also, when you look at the axis, by the time the curve starts to flatten it will be 2050.
Do correct me if I am not "biased towards finding the truth", but right now, the number of humans is approaching 7 billion and still increasing, alright? That's all I wanted to say. I didn't expect the graph inquisition! Now stop obsessing yourself with it, you're missing the point entirely.

ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:So what you're trying to say is, that while right now much more people are being born then die, this might change if the birth rate keeps going down?
First of all, the population of the world is still on the increase. The smoothing of that curve hasn't started yet. If it does, there will still be a long way to go. You mention just one factor - what about the advance of medical science, keeping everyone alive longer? Face it, the population is not about to shrink unless some huge disaster happens.
And secondly, the point is that we're going to run out of resources at some point. It won't happen like Malthus predicted. But there is still a limit. Fossil fuel for example. And the people in all the emerging economies want cars and television sets and mobile phones. If alternative solutions fail to appear in sufficient numbers then a struggle will start over who gets most.

Men like Newton and Malthus and Darwin are not famous because their theories are still valid. They are because they were the first to think of things we now take for granted. Standing on the shoulders of giants, that sort of thing. I think, for the 1800s, it was a rational, insightful approach, a sort of total view that most people are incapable of seeing without help. (How many silly people today think that moving a problem equals solving it, and that you'll always be able to get what you want some way or another?) You seriously call that foolish?


I do not mean birth rate. Birth rate is a practically meaningless metric since it is just births/unit of time. A woman is physically capable of having two babies a year, which would as represented as birth rate look enormous. However, if that woman only has two babies in her entire life, as fertility rate that looks inconsequential. It doesn't matter how quickly a woman has babies, what matters is how many babies she is going to have in total throughout her life. Birth rate can only tell you where population is trending *right now*, but fertility rate, especially as examined over a healthy span of decades, will tell you where population is trending for generations.

While resources are not limitless, we haven't even scratched the surface of most of them, and as extraction yields less recovery will yield more, and that's to say nothing of synthesis. Malthus and Newton are not comparable. Newton's conception of physics was more rough than wrong. Malthus conception of a population crisis is purely wrong, and neo-Malthusian theory is wrong for the same reason. Neither is willing to admit that the whole of humanity is capable of greater efficiency, greater production, greater recovery, greater organization, etc. than even the current generation can imagine. It is this poverty of imagination and paranoia that leads them to expect doom in the extrapolation, and then their egos prevent them from seeing how, like some ridiculous millenarian cult, the doom doesn't come, over and over. They cling to it in the face of the evidence from every generation, all because they think they're smarter for thinking that things can't get better.

You are only assuming that, you haven't got a shred of proof what will happen in the future. And now that you mention it, the population is trended to increase, actually. (And how can it not matter how soon a woman has children, if we are talking about how many people and when?)
The point is, our resources will have to increase or else there will be problems. That's all. Malthus wrote his book about the situation in the 1800s (and before) in various parts of the world, NOT as a specific prediction or "some ridiculous millenarian cult". You are suggesting that it doesn't matter how many people are on the planet, we'll always be OK. I am simply not so sure we can take that for granted. Do you know that simile by Douglas Adams about the sentient puddle?

And that is why I thought immortality was a bad idea.

Yours sincerely,

Summer Glau
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Coffee » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:51 am UTC

So about what year will be the rise of Omnius and the thinking machines? I think it's about a hundred years after the Titans begin their rule...
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby KingKoopa » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:34 am UTC

It seems that those who worry about overpopulation, and those who say it isn't a problem, are both driven by ideology.

I hear a lot from the second group of people: You are a neo-Malthusian! You hate humanity! Technological progress will always provide for however many people there are on the planet.

But it may not. There are already billions of starving people. Resource depletion is not impossible. An exponentially growing population is incompatible with finite resources.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Coffee » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:47 am UTC

Like other animals we'll probably get too populous, some of us will die out, there'll be a surplus of resources, we'll multiply, get too numerous again... happens all the time in nature. Why should we be any different from the other animals?
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Aelfyre » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:08 am UTC

dcollins wrote:
ElectricTurtle wrote:While it currently remains positive, if the fertility rate keeps changing it must necessarily slow, stop and even reverse.


That's not a valid conclusion. Mathematically you can have a series that keeps increasing to infinity (limit), yet always has a decreasing derivative (rate). Sum of 1/sqrt(n) is one example.


Well yes, but mathematically can you have a baby?
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby RogerB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:54 am UTC

graudrakon wrote:http://www.neurosky.com/ controlling computers with your brain is already here, if rather limited. My friend wired up a nerf gun to fire by concentrating.


And these guys have moved a car by brain power. (Fast forward to 29:30)

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby RogerB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

KingKoopa wrote:It seems that those who worry about overpopulation, and those who say it isn't a problem, are both driven by ideology.

I hear a lot from the second group of people: You are a neo-Malthusian! You hate humanity! Technological progress will always provide for however many people there are on the planet.

But it may not. There are already billions of starving people. Resource depletion is not impossible. An exponentially growing population is incompatible with finite resources.


I agree. I think that to have faith that technology will solve all the problems is naive and ignores politics. We have the technology now to feed everybody and give everybody a supply of clean drinking water but is it happening? No, we've got far better things to spend all the money on.

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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby alexriehl » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:18 pm UTC

Comic JK wrote:I'll bet after this, people will add their projections just to fill in those lonely missing years.

Why no love for 2042? That's when we'll learn the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

No, not 2042. By 2101, we will have time travel (provided CATS is defeated by 2111), which will allow us to travel to the year 42 AD, where we will discover the true meaning of 6 times 7.
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby alexriehl » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:28 pm UTC

dcollins wrote:
ElectricTurtle wrote:While it currently remains positive, if the fertility rate keeps changing it must necessarily slow, stop and even reverse.


That's not a valid conclusion. Mathematically you can have a series that keeps increasing to infinity (limit), yet always has a decreasing derivative (rate). Sum of 1/sqrt(n) is one example.

Right. But, as the derivative approaches negative infinity, the series must necessarily be heading downwards when we reach infinity^2. So, by the time a new universe starts, the fertility rate will probably be approaching negative infinity, while the derivative approaches infinity. :D
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Karilyn » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:35 pm UTC

Coffee wrote:Like other animals we'll probably get too populous, some of us will die out, there'll be a surplus of resources, we'll multiply, get too numerous again... happens all the time in nature. Why should we be any different from the other animals?


While there's a lot of death from starvation in the third world, I hardly see any reason why the same thing would happen in the first world (or continue to occur in the current third worlds as they develop one by one into first world).

Eventually people grow old and die. It's already shown that in first world countries, the number of children born in people's livespans has been decreasing rapidly. The number of children born is far more important than the total population. Total population shows the summation of the past 114 years, and primarily emphasizes more that humanity is getting really good at keeping people alive.

People can be having less children while the population still increases, of course the pattern being one of the average age of people going up faster than the number of children born. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy is quite important to factor in.

At the end of the day, the population has effectively stopped growing at the 1:1 ratio of children birthed per individual adult. I say effectively because as life expectancy goes up from superior medicine the population will still continue to increase from people not dying, but it is not a crisis like overbirthing.

It's easy to forget how rapidly life expectancy is increasing. In 50 years, it has gone up 8.6 years in the United States. That's a fucking 12% increase in life expectancy.

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb- ... l=en&dl=en
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Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Kimarie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

I saw a billboard that says Jesus is coming next month. I can't remember the date for sure but it was something like May 21st 2011. It was around Christmas time that I saw it and I thought it was just a normal church billboard that said "Jesus is coming", but then under that it said the date, like it was a release date or something. I checked again to make sure it wasn't like ""Jesus" is coming, May 21st 2011", but I looked again and there weren't any quotes, so, yeah..


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