::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

How Many People Will There Be?

October 24th, 2011
giving, future  [html]
There are about 7 billion people alive right now [1], which is quite a lot. How many people [2] are there likely to be in the future? At the low end, something really bad could happen, and everyone could die. Or maybe there would be a collapse from which people would never recover. At the high end, we could colonize the galaxy. [3]

Just as I don't think it makes sense to value the happiness of people far away less than that of people close by, I can't see why I should value the happiness of future people less. If there might be a very large number of people in the future, it's possible that the most good I could be doing would be in making sure we don't wipe ourselves out before expanding off the earth.


[1] I need to update my internal stat from 6.5 billion.

[2] In don't strictly mean 'humans' here. A person who's mind had been uploaded to a computer and running there would count. As would, I think, and fully artificial intellegence.

[3] Or at the even higher end: tiny self replicating machines of human origin could colonize the universe.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Pieces of time

My friend used to have two ‘days’ each day, with a nap between—in the afternoon, he would get up and plan his day with optimism, whatever happened a few hours before washed away. Another friend recently suggested to me thinking … Continue reading →

via Meteuphoric November 11, 2019

Mauerfall

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. I feel weird about where I’m writing this post from. I was expecting to be writing this from Berlin, after visiting the commemorations. But I’m visiting Boston (and New York) right now and the connotation of talking abou…

via Pedestrian Observations November 10, 2019

Wild animal welfare in Hans Christian Andersen

Continuing the theme of wild animal suffering in children’s lit… Hans Christian Andersen’s stories involve a lot of suffering of both human and animal varieties. “The Ugly Duckling” takes a brief detour from describing the duckling’s repeated social humil…

via The whole sky November 7, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact