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How Many People Can An Earth-like World Support At Max?


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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Boyster said:

I accept that only if you create a sci fi motivational drive of the same magnitude.

For example a mortal enemy or a mystic/higher purpose etc.

 

Oh...you are saying if behavior and society is unlike ours there must be a compelling motivation for it to be the way it is.

Which?

On the one hand, having kids is a normal desire. 

But on the other hand...regarding a purpose, that truly is a unique concept.

In the animal world predators exist to keep the non-predators from over expanding and eating up all the vegetation.

Get rid of all the predators and you will have a population explosion that will deplete resources bad enough that creatures and or plants will die of depletion or starvation anyway.

So having predators at least keeps a balance of order in the animal kingdom.

As sapient beings are higher than animals...that is one natural purpose for them right there.  To manage the affairs of lower life forms for their good.

Bab5 did this with the Vorlons vs Shadows.

Edited by Spacescifi
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44 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

As sapient beings are higher than animals...that is one natural purpose for them right there. 

To manage the affairs of lower life forms for their good.Bab5 did this with the Vorlons vs Shadows.

I doubt universes cares about balance, the idea that there must be a universal law of balance blows my mind.

I would say balance is the very enemy of creation, life, evolution and survival.

The moment you limit yourself instead of actually finding ways to do the opposite, go crazy, you will probably not even leave the solar system, no way you will become a sci fi alien race.

Edited by Boyster
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Boyster said:

I doubt universes cares about balance, the idea that there must be a universal law of balance blows my mind.

I would say balance is the very enemy of creation, life, evolution and survival.

The moment you limit yourself instead of actually finding ways to do the opposite, go crazy, you will probably not even leave the solar system, no way you will become a sci fi alien race.

 

Well...when is the last time you saw chaos create anything without some type of  system of order or organization already in place?

If you had to ask...I am definitely more in alignment with what the Vorlons believed than the Shadows. Although their methods left things to be desired at times.

Since birth through chaos without order is like shaking a box of paint around for days and expecting the Mona Lisa to come out.

Edited by Spacescifi
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24 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

Since birth through chaos without order is like shaking a box of paint around for days and expecting the Mona Lisa to come out.

Well...you do need a Mona Lisa don't you?

That's the point if we are talking about species that conquer galaxies.

I mean, the big bang and all that, was a system of order, or just chaos that eventually produced the equivalent of life.

We keep discovering things that do not abide or explained by ''our'' nature laws, i doubt that's ever gonna stop as we explore and understand more.

I think the whole system must be chaotic, if its rigged or designed into certain limitations it will only result in the same usual ''boring'' stuff.

Edited by Boyster
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18 minutes ago, Boyster said:

Well...you do need a Mona Lisa don't you?

That's the point if we are talking about species that conquer galaxies.

I mean, the big bang and all that, was a system of order, or just chaos that eventually produced the equivalent of life.

We keep discovering things that do not abide or explained by ''our'' nature laws, i doubt that's ever gonna stop as we explore and understand more.

I think the whole system must be chaotic, if its rigged or designed into certain limitations it will only result in the same usual ''boring'' stuff.

 

Colonization=conquest. Same thing. Good you are aware of that.

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4 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

Colonization=conquest. Same thing. Good you are aware of that.

Huh yeah, that's true, i didn't actually make that connection but it makes total sense.

I wonder if we can't see signs of an intergalactic civilization just because we are looking for huge warships roaming around.

Maybe there are around us and we are not understanding the way and how they conquer-colonize, that's interesting i like it.

Edited by Boyster
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8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

An 100% increase over 60 years, yes its very low compared to computers, now compare to 1950 power plants :) 

First of all, it's very low compared to ~2..2.5 growth of the Earth population.

8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

fresh water is just salt water+energy

Yes. And this requires to increase powerplants' power as fast as the population grows. Exactly when they are talking about the global warming, carbon dioxide, saving technologies, etc.

8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

most problems can be solved with enough energy. 

Still aren't.

8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Amazon, the Nile, Yangtze and Mississippi 

Mississippi is not a relevant sample, as it belongs to the contnent with relatively low population (~400 M).

About others it's hard to bring examples without mentioning current politics.

8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

with collective farms as an speed bump

I'm afraid, we already had an experiment with the collective farms, finished with food importing from Canada and Australia  and sending the urban population to work on ground.

Of course, particular ones can survive, while they are somebody's hobby.
But the collective farming is an opposite to the industrial farming and fertilizer production, because the more it depends on the industry, the more the peasants/farmers turn into hired workers on salary.

Btw exactly in the USSR, the country of collective farms, the sovkhoz'es (a rural unit owned by, say briefly, regional administration , with workers hired from local habitants) were replacing the kolkhoz'es (collective farms) being considered more "progressive".
So, all these new-age "collective farms", "ecovillages", etc., can exist while they are an insignificant minority selling its happy faces to the grim hired majority.

8 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Compare price to stock food like rice. wheat or potato the last 60 years and price has gone down. 

And compare the currency rates, even of USD, last 60 years. Iirc, USD is ~6 times cheaper now.
Also, a plant productivity can't grow endlessly, unlike population, even GMO.

And when the population matches the optimistic upper limit, any lack of harvest means bad mass consequences.

Look the "median age" table and return to the question a couple of decades later, when overpopulated regions will get overpopulated twice more.

Edited by kerbiloid
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6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

And compare the currency rates, even of USD, last 60 years. Iirc, USD is ~6 times cheaper now.
Also, a plant productivity can't grow endlessly, unlike population, even GMO.

And when the population matches the optimistic upper limit, any lack of harvest means bad mass consequences.

Look the "median age" table and return to the question a couple of decades later, when overpopulated regions will get overpopulated twice more.

To make it simpler, how long do you have to work to buy 1 kg of flour, rice or other base food including meat? Compare this with value 50,100 and 150 years ago. 
The population bomb has been defused then looking at birth rates and trends. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_rate
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/population-growth-by-world-region-the-annual-change-of-the-population?tab=chart&stackMode=absolute&time=earliest..2026&region=World
Note that I expect the peak in Africa to peak a bit earlier and lower because the world is more connected and global, this includes culture. 

My point about an late great filter was that aliens might not want to reduce number of children the same way humans do then half does not die and they are expensive to raise. 

A bit outside the scope however this discussion is about an high tech alien civilization with an very high population but obviously very radical life extension as in thousands of year will restart the population growth. 

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Sustainable population is difficult to really quantify. This is because you can get different numbers depending on your assumptions.

Like for example, if you don't assume agriculture you get a significantly lower number than the current population. If you assume sustainable agriculture with current technology, a few billion may be doable unless you run into the heat limit. But you can do some wild things with more advanced technology. Eventually the carrying capacity of the biosphere vs. the carrying capacity of the civilization become two distinct things  - the biosphere could support this many of the species, but with some set of technology we can support much more than the biosphere could support.

The main limit is the heat limit, which is primarily an energy/power limit. So really you'd need to figure out energy use per capita. For the US that's roughly 10 kW averaged over a year. So if you need a population of 10 billion with 10 kW per person, you need a total average power of 100 TW. More in peak times. But, if you had more energy per capita you could potentially do more interesting things on a per person basis - and in my opinion more energy per capita makes sense if immortality is involved. So I'd go with maybe between 500 million and 5 billion if you go with a total average power of 100 TW, leaning on the lower side.

Now 100 TW is significantly lower than the limit, but that's preferable as far as things go.

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