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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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World Population

I have to warn you that there is no real point to this blog other than as a source of imagination...  And I realize I'm talking theoretical  numbers.

I was watching a historical documentary about Greek History (which I have another unpublished blog about as well) and it referenced that about 50,000 people died in a war around the sixth century BC.   That's a huge number obviously - but then it occurred to me that the population of the world then would make that number even larger a footprint.

So - I looked up the world historical population:

http://www.worldhistorysite.com/population.html

In 1999 AD 50k people would be less than a .0008% of the world's population.

In 600 BC .025% - of the entire world's population

For some reason this led me to think about how incredibly unpopulated the world was at one point in time.... Today the population of Los Angeles is 28 million.    In the year 2000 BC in theory the population of the world was about the same as today's population in Los Angeles.

What's even more remarkable is the speed at which the population is increasing.   The difference in population between 1999 and 2008 is about the same number as the entire earth's population in the year 1850.

In 2002 it is estimated that the number of humans who have ever lived is 106 billion.  This would mean that in 2002 six percent of the people who had ever lived were currently alive. source

So - what do you think about when you imagine the world being less populated?

I think about all the world yet to be discovered.  Every now and then when I'm driving across the state I will look at some of the vast hills and wonder what it must have been like for the people who were first to walk into these areas. 

But I know for certain I've never been to an area that no one else has ever been before me.  A strange thought.   There are very few pockets on the planet left that no human has ever been.  It is no wonder people start looking to the depths of space for their discoveries - even if the individual has not discovered that part of the planet, a human has and somehow that can mark that area as being discovered.  And this might be one of the few indications to me that despite everything, if we can have the emotional sensation as though something has been discovered even though we have not been there ourselves, that there is a sort of universal connection between all of us.

over 12 years ago 0 likes  11 comments  0 shares
Ghoststyle
Nice blog man. The place we all must travel to is the inner space. We're all connected through the 'collective consciousness'. It's the power and creative force that keeps this world moving. peace
over 12 years ago
Photo 22998
ellle75, I totally agree that over population is an enormous issue. The world is shifting from a situation where there are power in numbers to a situation of a power in the few - less resources to support = more development for individuals = greater power. We have an unsustainable number of people on the planet already and plagues (of creatures) always die out for that reason.
over 12 years ago
Photo 33427
The future holds some tricky questions. My wife & I decided not to have children, partly due to our concerns about over-population... obviously a complete waste of time making this decision on our own, but then where else can you start. Limiting births to one child per couple is not such a dumb idea when you think about long term global benefits – but only if you can ignore the glaring 'freedom to do what I want' issues. Some sacrifices are going to have to be made if the quality of life & society in the future isn't going to end up like, well, living in Hong Kong!: Few people in power controlling absolutely everything and the rest of us living in shitty small apartments paying over the odds for day-to-day necessities. BUT back in the Real World™ the majority of people are uneducated selfish wankers only concerned with their own existence ... so YOUR kids are screwed. :')
over 12 years ago
Photo 22998
Dan F - One thing that WOULD make a difference would be mass availability all over the world of free contraception options. The benefit countries would receive down the line would be tremendous economically from lack of having to support the children of people who can't afford them and didn't intend for them. The opposite is when people who do not believe in contraception travel to nations suffering from overpopulation and starvation and instead of offering food and contraception offer food only if people stop using contraception (and believe a few other things they want them to believe). And that happens a lot more often than free contraception.
over 12 years ago
Photo 37580
It must have been nice back in the day. Being able to go out and experience the world, not worrying about overcrowding and overpopulation. Although I'm sure some people complained back then it was too crowded too.
over 12 years ago
Photo 33427
MA – agreed! Some of the groups you mention really need a good slap upside the head.
over 12 years ago
Photo 33427
elle75 - you can't enforce birth control on that scale, it's morally wrong. However – and this is a huge undertaking so will probably never happen – the decision to have offspring should be free but heavily swayed by benefits, and being rewarded by society for staying in line. For example if monetary & relief & taxation aid were all determined by how many offspring you had AND the differences were huge, then some influence could be brought into play. In China for example ... if parents in poverty were given an annual grant every year of $XXX assuming they only had one child (and lower income taxes were granted to those earning money)... but as soon as they had a second kid you paid 50% income tax and were not given the annual grant... then people would stop having kids (actually, in China they'd start killing or hiding them... which opens up another can of worms... no idea is without flaws... but you get the idea). In countries that have no economy and rely on relief aid... the it's two bags of rice if you have one child, but no rice if you have 2 kids or more. In western countries you reward people by paying for health & straight-through education for the ONLY child, but remove those benfits an incur heavy income taxation penalties for having 2 or more kids. By the time everyone on Earth is educated enough to realize the damage, it'll be too late. Education is very important, but it's not the solution to this particular problem. You need to get the message across where people feel it the most: Stomachs & wallets.
over 12 years ago

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April 13, 2007