My photo
Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Eight Billion

Six years ago I wrote a blog entry about humans achieving a population of 7.4 billion. Now we are at eight billion. Congratulations to the parents and welcome to all of the new people!

Back then, the population was expected to level off at less than twelve billion due to declines in fertility. The updated prediction is that we will peak at around 10.4 billion. In graduate school, I had a professor that liked to say that everything in nature is exponential but it appears to me that it is really sigmoidal.

Kurzweil liked to talk about stacked sigmoidal curves. When growth in one technology plateaus, a new technology shifts us up to the beginning of the next sigmoidal. The stacked sigmoidals make up an accelerating curve when seen from a distance.

I think our population growth will be like that.  Once we get some elbow room by colonizing space, both outer and virtual, parents will choose to have more children.  I am hopeful that we can do something to stack the curve before then, maybe something related to housing.