New Paper: Max World Population ≈ 200 Billion

A correspondent brought this new paper to my attention:

Binder, Seth, Ethan Holdahl, Ly Trinh, and John H. Smith. 2020. “Humanity’s Fundamental Environmental Limits.Human Ecology, April.

Models and estimates of Earth’s human carrying capacity vary widely and assume, rather than solve for, binding environmental constraints (the process or resource in shortest supply relative to human biological needs). The binding constraint, and therefore the true upper bound on the number of humans that Earth could sustain indefinitely, remains unknown. We seek to resolve this uncertainty by considering a full range of technological possibilities and incorporating a potential stoichiometric constraint not previously explored. We find that limits to photosynthesis constrain population before micronutrients become limiting unless technological capabilities for utilizing nutrient resources lag far behind other technologies. With ideal technology, human carrying capacity runs into the tens of trillions, while with currently demonstrated technology Earth could support more than 200 billion humans. These numbers reflect neither a desirable nor a natural equilibrium population level, but represent a rough estimate of the maximum number of humans Earth could sustain.

This is in the same order of magnitude as my ~100 billion estimate.

Our results also approximate those of models tied to current technologies. De Wit (1967) and Franck et al. (2011) estimate carrying capacity subject to the current technological frontier while allowing harvest on all land surface. De Wit assumes away water flux constraints, producing a carrying capacity estimate of just over 1 trillion. With similar land use and technology assumptions, our model suggests a carrying capacity of 2.11 trillion. Unlike De Wit, Francket al.incorporate waterflux constraints and effectively assume run-of-river irrigation without water storage, resulting in an estimate of 282 billion in their “Genghis Khan” scenario. Under similar assumptions, our model estimates a carrying capacity of 771 billion individuals. Indeed, we estimate that current farmland alone could support 245 billion.

In my AoMI series, I speculated that the most likely Malthusian constraint in a much higher population and higher fertility world would be increasingly frequent and lethal epidemics.

This would make sense from two perspectives:

(1) Bigger population = more experiments that viruses can undertake, in the cases where they are not contained.

(2) Decline in nutritional quality makes people like physiologically robust, along with continued accumulation of genetic load and perhaps an idiocracy-driven deterioration of epidemiological capacity allowing for the return of endemic diseases once suppressed.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. AnonFromTN says

    All these numbers may be correct only if humans are kept like cattle, like pigs in a pigsty. Even at present density in cities in China educated Chinese complain that there are too many people.

  3. Anonymous (n) says

    I think a more interesting topic is how small can the world’s population get without slowing down the pace of technological progress? With the first broad stroke we can take the current world population and subtract everyone who does not live in North America and that part of Eurasia that contains Europeans and Northeast Asians.

    That leaves us about 2.7 billion people living in modern, industrialized countries responsible for the bulk of human progress. How many of those are deadweight? Probably at least 60%, which while I acknowledge is a number I pulled straight out of my arse is probably in the ballpark +/- 20%. In that case, we can get by just fine with a world population of only 400-1000 million. More than just fine, as quality of life with a much larger amount of prime living space per person would rise tremendously. I think trying to approach this 400 million number should be the goal over trying to test Malthusian limits with the horrific 200 billion discussed above. This is all completely theoretical, I’m just sayin’

  4. War is dysgenic.
    Plague & Hunger are eugenic.

  5. Abelard Lindsey says

    Yeah. This is more like it. I’ve run across everything from 100 million to 1,000 million (1 billion for us Americans). I think 300-400 million is likely.

    As for upper limit, I’ve heard around 40 billion before the waste heat from our industrial activities makes it too hot.

  6. Elmer's Washable School Glue says

    We find that limits to photosynthesis constrain population before micronutrients become limiting unless technological capabilities for utilizing nutrient resources lag far behind other technologies.

    Is photosynthesis even necessary though?

    The basic calorie sources of the human body are all essentially similar to hydrocarbons which can be synthesized from CO2 without needing plants at all. There is no reason to believe that future societies couldn’t artificially produce simple food components. In fact, even with current technology, we can do this to a degree; here is a study which details a rather efficient synthesis of methyl ethylene from CO2:!divAbstract

    Methyl ethylene is the main component used to artificially create glycerol, which is perfectly edible and more calorie-dense than sucrose. (

    These reactions are endothermic but with a decently advanced energy source that wouldn’t be a problem. Of course, this assumes a non-idiocracy future but as a maximum carrying capacity I find photosynthesis very unconvincing, even with “currently demonstrated technology.”

  7. songbird says

    Unlike De Wit, Francket al.incorporate waterflux constraints and effectively assume run-of-river irrigation without water storage, resulting in an estimate of 282 billion in their “Genghis Khan” scenario.

    I’m intrigued by this terminology of a “Genghis Khan” scenario. Is that if we find Genghis Khan’s tomb and clone him, bringing back the Mongol Empire, supplemented by modern communications and transportation?

    Mongolians are something of a dark horse with their low pop and TFR, but I am still holding out hope of a resurgence and invasion to prevent the African invasion. Trouble is that I live in the US, and they have never been good at naval invasions. Unfortunately, I have also heard there is a re-estimate on Mongolian IQ, and it isn’t as high as was once thought.

  8. Cereal yield (kg per hectare) – 4,000 kg/ha/year
    1 kg wheat = 3,500 kcal
    1 ha can provide food for 15 people/year at 2,500 kcal/day

    200 bl people needs 13.3 bl ha = 133 ml

    Area of countries:
    USA 9.3 sq. km
    Russia 17.1 sq. km
    Africa 30.3 sq. km

    The world has 31 ml sq. km of arable land, which is 4.29 times lower than 133 mk. sq. km. The arable land at most could support 200/4.29=46 bl people.

  9. Felix Keverich says

    That’s a shockingly Darwinist statement from commenter with a cute, girly name! You make it sound, as if the current pandemic is a good thing.

    btw, I have to assume that it’s a typo:

    Decline in nutritional quality makes people like physiologically robust,

    Junk food is generally bad for your health.

  10. Lunacy lunacy lunacy. “How may people can the world support at a bare level of miserable subsistence?” Why, as many as it can, and no more, that’s automatic!

    Malthus and Keynes and Ma Yinchu and all the other honest economists knew that it was not so much the number of people – it was the rate of increase. The number of people is important mostly as it reflects increases in the marginal costs of accommodating more people: that is, as population densities increase, the cost of adding each additional person starts to skyrocket.

    We can’t not provide a minimum subsistence level of existence for the average person. That’s automatic, that is guaranteed. The real question should not be how many people can the earth support in theory in total misery in the far future, but how many people can the earth support TODAY at a decent standard of living?

  11. Daniel H says

    Damn, hope Wall Street Journal/Cucks/Davos man don’t see this study. It will only encourage them.

  12. Humans are not bacteria in a petri dish.

    Nevermind 100 billion people.

    Based on Calhoun’s Universe 25 experiment I have the gut feeling that we will probably never get more than a 10 billion population on this planet.

    Our biggest and most advanced urban centers have already become behavioral sinks and fertility black holes.

    Think Tokyo.

    And this was already the case well before the current viral epidemic situation.

    We need Space.

    We need to swarm the Solar System ASAP.

    Beam me up anytime Scotty!

  13. War tends to kill upper caste and healthy youth. Every society faltered after a war, their most brave and noble died. WWI and WWII destroyed Western Civilization intellectually and morally.

    By contrast, Hunger and Plague kill the vulnerable, the lower castes. Renaissance Europe came after a series of plagues in the Middle Ages. Similarly, China’s Great Leap Forward killed mostly the ones at the bottom, while the ones who survived lifted the country’s human quality.

  14. Fluesterwitz says

    I’m afraid you’re too optimistic.

  15. Kratoklastes says

    Moving the technology goalposts out a decade and natural photosynthesis will be replaced by some efficient industrial process that takes CO₂ as an input… and IPCC charlatans will be claiming that there will be a climatological disaster unless Western industry is prevented from dragging CO₂ out of the atmosphere.

    That said: the carrying capacity of the planet is almost irrelevant – once the bottom 2 billion people are firmly out of food insecurity, they will stop having kids and the population will peak at ~9.5b and then start to decline.

    Industry at current levels produces easily enough to feed 10bn people at Western caloric levels. Food is so abundant that we can feed 30% of all grain production to livestock (along with stupendous amounts of potable water: 2500l for 1kg of beefsteak).

    The distribution’s buggered, but that’s a political problem.

  16. Kratoklastes says

    Beam me up anytime Scotty!

    Count me out until we can house our personalities in more robust containers.

    The current design is shit: bags of meat that need scarce chemicals (oxygen, sulphur, etc), and fail outside of a very narrow range of temperature, humidity and radiation.

    Once we do though? No need for spaceships. No need to spend every second shitting oneself that a pin-sized hole in the hull means everyone’s dead.

    This is why ‘extraterrestrials’ should not be expected to be humanoid: anyone 1 human generation more advanced than us will have ‘solved’ StrongAI and personality-virtualisation, and will be hyperintelligent nanocubes.

    Mine will have a red racing stripe.

  17. Nodwink says


  18. neutral says

    180 billion blacks in the world, what could go wrong with that.

  19. neutral says

    Slaughtering the “elite” is eugenics not dysgenics. Imagine a world where all the Davos crowd are eliminated, you really think that would be a bad thing?

  20. Brás Cubas says

    In the case of the present pandemic, it is probably not significantly eugenic or dysgenic. Most people being killed are past the reproductive age.

    As for wars, that is more tricky. In contemporary wars, some changes in social structures, and in drafting methods, or even, as is the case of the U.S., the full professionalization of the Armed Forces, pose a few complicating factors for your simple assumption.

  21. Europe Europa says

    I’ve always doubted the “global depopulation” conspiracy theory. All the evidence suggests that the “global elites” actively encourage population growth, not discourage it.

    Just consider all the financial aid to Africa which has caused their population to boom, and also most Western nations effectively pay women to breed through the welfare system. The idea that there is a plot to depopulate the world does not match reality.

    I would say their plan is more like the creation of a “global Brazil”, a coffee coloured, raceless planet with little to no identity, possibly all speaking one language and a massive population.

  22. Anonymous (n) says

    The notion of transferring your consciousness into an electronic (or any other) medium has never made much sense to me. I just don’t see a way it could logically be made to work. For the sake of argument let’s assume the technology already existed and in fact let’s take it a step further still: we are able to create an exact biological replica that matches you down to the very quantum spin of electrons in each atom. Everything you remember, it remembers, and everything you’d think given a particular scenario, it would think.

    Still, your consciousness wouldn’t have been “transferred” into this replica. In fact, if you were not told of its existence, you’d go about your day blissfully unaware that anything peculiar has happened, and when you died, your consciousness would also die. Because how exactly do we understand the “transfer” of consciousness other than the creation of some whole new entity, whether electronic or biological, that is supposed to exactly replicate the processes giving rise to the conscious perception of the world in your own brain? Given that consciousness is not a physical quantity that can be transferred from one vessel to another, the creation of a new vessel designed to emulate the old is the only way we can approach this whole problem. Yet the very fact that the process involves the creation of a new, independent vessel ensures that there is no real linkage between your own consciousness and whatever processes are taking place in that new entity.

    The whole notion of consciousness transfer or uploading just isn’t logically sound in my opinion, regardless of how advanced technology may become. That’s not to say that minds won’t eventually be uploaded to machines, just that this process won’t actually give any semblance of immortality to the original consciousness, which will die along with its biological body.

  23. AltSerrice says

    Russia’s population density is 8.4 people per km^2. Canada’s is 4. With Tropical Hyperborea on the way, plus if we build upwards in huge arcology complexes, then it seems to me that space will not be a problem.

  24. AltSerrice says

    True, though in this scenario it’s quite the assumption to say that people will be starving due to nutritional decline instead of simply being fed bug paste and reprocessed soy.

  25. …War tends to kill upper caste and healthy youth. Every society faltered after a war, their most brave and noble died….Hunger and Plague kill the vulnerable

    Not always, e.g. US thrived after Civil War, Central Europe after 30-year war…

    In general, I agree with your point, WWI+WWII being the best example, it seemed to have broken the Germans and even the French.

    A major over-looked factor is the number of children in each family. Single children or the usual 2 are dysgenic, massively so after a few generations. China with its 1-child policy is facing it today, the quality of their youth is very low. An ideal eugenic environment is a highly competitive multiple children in each family, so the genetic pool gets variety. Not all will make it.

    We are morally beyond living in a society like that. That means we are by definition in a dysgenic state. There is nurture, nature and the womb. We always forget about the womb where life is actually created and formed. The birth order matters.

  26. AltSerrice says

    Something tells me that the guys who wrote the paper (and AK) may have made slightly more expansive calculations…

  27. Well the Southern Chinese managed to keep them at bay but lost due to lousy politicians.

  28. Daniel Chieh says


  29. Blinky Bill says


  30. UncommonGround says

    Yes, this is a point. Years ago I read a book by Warren Dean about the Atlantic Forest: “With Broadax and Firebrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest”. When the Portuguese arrived there the population of Portugal could be as low as 500.000 people. In a few centuries they cut almost the whole Atlantic Forest using primitive instruments. Very little remained in our days. It was originally near 1 million sq (more precisely maybe 750 T sq or 8oo T sq). Today this is happening with the Amazon Forest and we are not able to stop it, even if we know that it’s the biggest and most important forest in our planet. Several countries have to use land in other continents in order to feed their populations like China, Saudi Arabia, Korea and so on. In Africa there are already conflicts between rangers who protect natural areas and the population around. If we want to protect the environment and have decent cities, we cannot have indefinite population increase.

    About the book by Warren Dean in “Warren Dean chronicles the chaotic path to what could be one of the greatest natural disasters of modern times: the disappearance of the Atlantic Forest.”

  31. Brás Cubas says

    Your line of reasoning seems to be that war kills people that are healthy and in the reproductive age. Arguably, that would be poison for the continuation of any species, let alone its genetic betterment. But suppose an example. There are two guys, one of which is healthy and dumb, and the other unhealthy and smart. The former goes to war. The other guy does not go to war. Suppose this pattern is prevalent in their respective extended families, and goes on for generations and generations. The extended family of the dumb kid will be poor and healthy and continue sending their young to war. The extended family of the smart kid will be rich and unhealthy and nobody will go to war. Although the poor family is continually decimated, their women have lots of offspring that make up for those losses. The rich family has fewer kids per family; they all live short lives, due to their unhealthy constitutions, but they reproduce nonetheless. Is war eugenic or dysgenic in that scenario?

    In the case of the present pandemic, it kills a lot of people with other diseases, which is eugenic if those diseases have a genetic component (most diseases probably have it to some degree). It also kills old people past their reproductive age, and so does not affect the gene pool directly; however, it might act eugenically in an indirect manner, if the old compete for resources with the breeding young.

    The poor tend to be killed in greater numbers than the rich, both by hunger and by a pandemic, in the long run. Is that eugenic? It could be, though it is hard to answer that question without the interference of ideology.

  32. nokangaroos says

    Calhoun was my first thought too …

    the rumblings of the coming culling are already around us.

  33. It’s current culling already.

  34. I agree that our current Meatware presents some inconvenience.

    But it is probably harder to hack than a digitized copy thereof.

    Make sure your red-striped nanocube has an excellent antimalware included.

    Better still, code the antimalware yourself prior to transfer.

    And read the nanocube’s user agreement carefully, small print included.

    One’s never too sure…

  35. songbird says

    No need to spend every second shitting oneself that a pin-sized hole in the hull means everyone’s dead.

    If it was a small hole, then there would be a fair amount of time to patch it. See the hole in the ISS in 2018.

  36. Old and Grumpy says

    Covid19 is nothing to what nature has planned for her pesky overpopulated two-legged critters. Besides the ring of fire brewing, we’re likely in the beginning stages of a magnetic pole shift. That will be ugly when the sun awakes from its slumber. Despite the current solar minimum, the oceans are holding a lot of earth’s heat. That will likely mean violent storms between droughts. Quite frankly the current worldwide drought conditions is frightening.

    All of that is nothing to the devolution mankind is currently undergoing. Darwin was full of feces. The weak do quite nicely in wars by hiding and sniveling. Pandemics are where the strong survive. Be ironic if the mega rich transhumanists and their Chinese house servants accidentally saved the alpha of humanity, while killing off their beta sheeple. Sadly that won’t likely happen, and the dumb down population will deservedly be culled by the ruthless cruelty of nature. I suspect when that is all done, in about a decade the earth will be stunning in its restored beauty.

  37. Realist says

    It’s not the quantity…it’s the quality.

  38. Realist says

    Excellent points.

  39. Daniel Chieh says

    I agree. Its not really possible, and generally involves a poor understanding of how the human consciousness works, even from a purely materialistic perspective.

  40. Mr. Hack says

    Equally absurd to me is the notion that some time, way off into the future, science will be able to somehow reawaken a frozen corpse (cryogenics) including, ostensibly, its former consciousness (spirit) and continue along with a new or extended lifespan?

    Theosis or deification as it’s known by to protestants makes much greater sense to me.

  41. Morton's toes says
  42. another anon says

    All these numbers may be correct only if humans are kept like cattle, like pigs in a pigsty. Even at present density in cities in China educated Chinese complain that there are too many people.

    Exactly. In modern conditions, what would be the point?
    Masses of cheap workers and gun fodder are not anymore needed, why should TPTB allow and encourage unlimited breeding? Especially in grim and dark WH40 like future, where is no democracy and no voting.

  43. another anon says

    War tends to kill upper caste and healthy youth.

    I am afraid your knowledge of history comes from Walt Disney’s fairy tales.
    War brings famine and plague and tends to kill everyone. Military casualties were always minuscule portion of war demographic losses.

    Every society faltered after a war, their most brave and noble died.

    Translation: the most foolhardy who volunteer or the dumbest who cannot dodge the draft. Smart people get diagnosed with bone spurs or find another way.

    WWI and WWII destroyed Western Civilization intellectually and morally.

    Yea, you always recognize smart and moral civilization by eagerness to engage in slaughter, the more pointless the better.

  44. Morton's toes says

    Also: Malthus and Thoreau complained that the world was over populated at least 166 years ago.

  45. Joe Stalin says

    What about the coming phosphorous shortages?

  46. Flavio Silva says

    Dividiendo de personas por 100.000.000 de Km2 habitables en La Tierra el resultado es de¡ MENOS de 1 m2 por persona!

  47. songbird says

    This is not correct – you are forgetting there are a million square meters in a square kilometer.

  48. Daniel Chieh says

    40k future is pretty fun. It offers the potential of glory, angels and heroes.

    Despite the desperation inherent in it, there’s a fundamental sense of greatness and courage.

  49. Alfa158 says

    “I think a more interesting topic is how small can the world’s population get without slowing down the pace of technological progress? ‘
    The total population of all of Europe in 1800 was 180 million. That was well into the scientific revolution and the kick-off of the industrial revolution, so we can guess that the Earth doesn’t need more people than that and possibly fewer, as long as their overall quality is high enough.

  50. AnonFromTN says

    Yep, no social distancing would be possible. Those morons would die out from the first epidemic that hits them. Maybe that’s the idea?

  51. Thomasina says

    We easily feed 10bn people only because of cheap, abundant oil.

    Distribution to Third World countries has only increased population by pulling forward more “mouths”. Hey, they’ve got food and medicine from the First World, so they’re going to multiply until they drop.

    I can expand my own body and eat myself to near death, but just because I can do it doesn’t make it a sensible path to follow.

    The “growth to infinity” crowd might say, “How much can we swell a human body before it dies? Why, I think we can take the average guy up to around 500 to 600 pounds, easily. On the upside, it would sell more personal scooters, employ people to roll these people over in bed, and be great for the sale of more food. Crank out a study.”

    Quality of life is more important than quantity of life.

  52. NazBolFren says

    What North Korea actually looks like outside of Western Media lies

  53. Dr. Krieger says

    This reply is for JohnPlywood.

    Take your troll button and cramp it, with walnuts, ugly.

  54. songbird says

    I think max total pop is very dependent on global IQ. If average global IQ was 115, maybe we would have colonized Mars, and there would be 2-3 billion people living there. If the global average IQ was 160, maybe, we would have a Dyson swarm around the sun, and a population of 100 trillion.

  55. Alfa158 says

    That seems spot on.
    The only way I can think that a transfer of consciousness would be philosophically valid would be if the organic brain was gradually converted to a non-organic based one. Perhaps something along the lines of nanomachines replacing the brain’s neurons one by one with silicon analogs that interface with the organic neurons, until the whole brain is silicon. At that point you could really upload yourself to some structure that no longer looks like a “squishy”. We don’t really know how memory and consciousness operate so we don’t know if that is possible, but if it did work such a gradual transformation will appear both objectively and subjectively to be a genuine transfer.
    The other thing that would be necessary is that the new silicon being would probably have to be throttled back in mental abilities to keep the processing speed of electronics from accelerating it out of the range of recognizable humanity. In the movie Transcendence, Johnny Depp’s character had his personality successfully transferred to a computer and the digital copy was still the original for only seconds before it evolved into something that was malevolent and only pretending to be the original person.
    In any event as an old guy I can tell you that in a certain sense the loss of self occurs anyway through the process of aging, with no need to transfer to a digital copy. When I think back to the person I was as a young man, I may have the same DNA, name and fingerprints, but living changes you enough that probably a couple of younger me’s are effectively already dead. If I could talk to myself at age 20, I suspect we wouldn’t have much in common.

  56. AnonFromTN says

    If average global IQ was 115

    You are missing the point. Average IQ of 115 cannot be allowed: who would then believe imperial propaganda? An average IQ of 160 would be even worse: people would hang the fat cats and politicians serving them on lampposts. That would be a disaster for the elites.

  57. Thomasina says

    I used to watch a good travel show on TV called Departures. Two Canadians travelled around the world and filmed the adventures they had.

    They did a two-part show on North Korea. You could see by the end that they were surprised at how wonderful North Korea was, that it was not like they had been told. Yes, there were problems, but that’s true of any country.

  58. And one (((Tribe))) to rule them all…

  59. Kratoklastes says

    ‘Consciousness’ is just a trick meat plays on itself – there’s no need to try and imbue it with deep significance.

    That’s why I generally try to avoid the term: it makes more sense to think in terms of transfer/upload of our ‘personality‘, which is shorthand for our way of interacting with the world. And once we get to StrongAI (and we will, because it doesn’t violate any constraints that we can identify), it will become even easier because the best way to replicate function is seldom to replicate form.

    My go-to example is landspeed and flight.

    Humans didn’t get to be faster than cheetahs by adapting our physiques: we learned to identify interesting types of dirt, melt it, form it into shapes, fill some of the shapes with refined black ooze, and repeatedly generate controlled explosions whose power is converted to smooth rotational motion.

    Humans likewise didn’t get to fly by growing wings etc… we dug up dirt, melted it, etc etc. Slightly different types of dirt and ooze, and the rotational motion at the end is different.

    Point being: there is generally a way to do things that gets around ‘form’ constraints.

    Think about how a calculator performs addition, compared to how a human brain does. The calculator version is less noisy, and bears no structural resemblance to the human version (a calculator that is a blind ball of meat would be icky: girls would do even less maths).

    People seize on the fact that we do some quite-complex things with apparent ease (e.g., recognising cartoon dogs as dogs) as evidence that replicating personalities is a ‘hard’ problem. These people don’t recognise just how far we’ve already come in solving the generalised image-recognition problem – and we’ve only had abundant compute for a little over two decades so we’re doing roughly a billion years of catch-up (it took us about a century to do machine-powered motion on land; from there to machine-powered flight took another 30 years).

    I’m seldom one to defer to ‘experts’ (particularly not public intellectuals, who are mostly charlatans) – but it seems clear to me that people like Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis and K. Eric Drexler can’t be dismissed as having devoted decades to something where they’ve ‘missed’ some important constraint. They’re evangelists now, but it’s ‘smart’ evangelism.

  60. jbwilson24 says

    “I am afraid your knowledge of history comes from Walt Disney’s fairy tales.
    War brings famine and plague and tends to kill everyone. Military casualties were always minuscule portion of war demographic losses.”

    Depends on what type of wars. In the 30 years war and the Deluge, the Jewish population had special dispensation from the nobility, which prohibited soldiers from entering into the Jewish quarter or cities or of killing Jews. As a result, the Christians became impoverished and the Jewish population grew and prospered.

    So deadly were those wars that the average German height and girth declined precipitously in perhaps the greatest dysgenic experiment of the day.

    There are a few books on this, but can’t recall them at the moment.

    WW1 was certainly dysgenic for the UK, which suffered almost no civilian casualties but the loss of the best young men of a generation.

  61. Daniel Chieh says

    Something which Karlin has talked about is that technology itself requires a certain degree of intellectual human quality, so if you kept decreasing the population, you would get into an Earth Abides situation where we couldn’t even maintain our current technology. Something to consider about even the complexity of simple things:

    Among the Fuegians, making an arrow requires a 14-step procedure that involves using seven different tools to work six different materials. Here are some of the steps:

    – The process begins by selecting the wood for the shaft, which preferably comes from chaura, a bushy, evergreen shrub. Though strong and light, this wood is a non-intuitive choice since the gnarled branches require extensive straightening (why not start with straighter branches?).

    – The wood is heated, straightened with the craftsman’s teeth, and eventually finished with a scraper. Then, using a pre-heated and grooved stone, the shaft is pressed into the grooves and rubbed back and forth, pressing it down with a piece of fox skin. The fox skin becomes impregnated with the dust, which prepares it for the polishing stage (Does it have to be fox skin?)…

    The fewer people, the fewer there would be to contribute to supply chains – of course, it also depends on the IQ of the people who will be working in such supply chains. But at some point, things we consider as modernity will become increasingly impossible as our supply chains are much more complex now and thus the demands for human infrastructure are much higher.

  62. Kratoklastes says

    It’s not clear to me why it’s desirable to replicate human memory (which is extremely lossy and unreliable: like finger-painted daubs that we convince ourselves are 1080p).

    Head-meat is just a substrate that was convenient in evolutionary terms. It can do stuff; it’s the stuff being done that we want to replicate (and improve upon), not the processes or the substrate.

    Conflating results with processes is a reasonable first step. The people who thought up the Icarus myth did exactly that: think of how silly it would be – given what we now know – to say

    “Well, if we want humans to be able to fly, first we’re going to need to get a bunch of feathers…”

    Nope: first we’re going to need to dig up some special types of dirt. Humanity’s main technological results – in terms of physical things – have depended on dirt (and ooze) for the last 3 millennia.

    I use this example all the time, because air travel is absolutely taken for granted nowadays. But while man has dreamt of powered flight for millennia, it took about 120 years after the invention of machine power and only ~40 years from the development of internal combustion. Prior to IC there was no power mechanism available to humans that was capable of reliably moving its own weight + payload through the air in a controlled manner. (We had beasts of burden for ground transport, obviously – and sails for sea transport).

    We have had genuine compute power capable of doing more than lifting its own weight, for less than 20 years.

    We aren’t yet at the stage where we know what the hack is to go from ‘compute’ to ‘consciousness’ (a term I try to avoid because people turn it into woo-woo immediately) – but we will get there, as surely as we got from “Hey look – this dirt goes hard when you melt it” to stainless steel, silicon wafers, container ships and aircraft carriers (not in that order).

  63. Similarly, China’s Great Leap Forward killed mostly the ones at the bottom, while the ones who survived lifted the country’s human quality.

    So the “plague” of communism was a real thing.

  64. You, you know who you are, are the only Consciousness.

    All of the inputs for each sensory nerve is generated by the creator of the universe, who is essentially setting up an elaborate “chess problem” for entertainment.

    It is extremely boring out there! You only persist for a moment, then another problem is formulated.

  65. AnonFromTN says

    When it’s true, I must agree, regardless of the source. There is that. IQ certainly does not reflect wisdom. What’s more, it does not reflect intelligence, either. It largely reflects proficiency in taking IQ tests.

    Actually, the sect of IQ Witnesses is just as ridiculous as the sect of Global Warming Witnesses. Same pretense, same disregard of evidence, same imperviousness to logic, same basic stupidity.

  66. Svevlad says

    well, i just watched a video on how DDLC’s Monika is pretty much inevitable

    stupid AI that fucks us over ain’t such a stretch i guess

  67. Anonymous (n) says

    You didn’t really address the fundamental crux of the problem: there must be a link between your meat brain and whatever new, improved version is supposed to carry on your consciousness. Otherwise, there is no point to speak of uploading minds or any such thing as the only thing you’d be accomplishing is the creation of an artificial intelligence, which while impressive in its own right is an entirely separate topic of discussion to that of transferring consciousness.

  68. Anonymous (n) says

    Agreed, logically speaking this approach could work. From a technological perspective, this is far more challenging than the mere creation of a Strong AI or even some kind of faithful software emulation of the mind. Replacing the biological structures of the brain with synthetic materials that can replicate the behavior of not just the electrical activity but the chemical signaling as well, all the while not disrupting/killing the original consciousness in the process, is so far beyond our current capabilities or even the capabilities we envision having in the next 100+ years that it’s hard to view it as anything more than a pipe-dream. So while it could work in terms of philosophical principle, I don’t think it’s the approach any young, ambitious 21st century trillionaire should rest his hopes on.

    Extending biological lifespan, even if only as a bridge to whatever superior solutions the future may have in store, is in my opinion the only hope for “immortality” anyone alive today really has.

  69. Thomasina says

    Alfa, I liked so much the comments you made:

    “In any event as an old guy I can tell you that in a certain sense the loss of self occurs anyway through the process of aging, with no need to transfer to a digital copy. When I think back to the person I was as a young man, I may have the same DNA, name and fingerprints, but living changes you enough that probably a couple of younger me’s are effectively already dead. If I could talk to myself at age 20, I suspect we wouldn’t have much in common.”

    Beautiful. So true.

  70. it will become even easier because the best way to replicate function is seldom to replicate form.

    I would generally agree but i’m not sure our current direction of tech is the way to go – having your personality live inside a calculator seems very fragile and limiting. Calculators require complex supply chains and one hunger strike in a Taiwanese microchip factory can ruin your upgrade and operating plans.

    In your examples, a car is a more specialized tech but a cheetah is a more advanced tech by far. A car equivalent of a cheetah would be an all terrain truck that multiplies exponentially by feeding on Priuses and Teslas, and is self repairing, self driving, and self fueling. As awesome as that sounds, human tech is nowhere near that at the moment.

    In the more relevant field of computation, one of the more critical technological questions is – do pigeons build and operate quantum computers? Recent research appears to be in the affirmative, but unfortunately humans with current level of scientific understanding lack the ability to comprehend pigeon navigation technology beyond hypothetical quantum chemistry models.

    I dedicate this paper to poster ‘songbird’ as it concerns his/her brethren.!divAbstract
    US Air Force is interested in pigeon based computing for obvious reasons.

    The most important part here isn’t that birds deploy and operate rather advanced machinery to calculate and visualize Earth’s magnetic field lines. I’m sure humans will be able to understand and replicate the function and build similar computers in the upcoming decades. But pigeons are able to replicate and build those computers and grow exponentially from simple feed grains and a bit of water, no supply chains, no cumbersome utility supporting equipment, etc. That is a true technological marvel, far more so than racks of GPUs in a calculator.

    Future of technology, including computation, will look more like biotech and cheetahs and pigeons vs cars and calculators i think. Genetic alterations will be far more robust and powerful than trying to live in a calculator. And this is why we must go to space – not only for more permissive legal environment, but also because accelerating evolution is a survival requirement, not a luxury, up there. Also, if we discover novel self replicating molecular structures different from current DNA/RNA paradigm, this may potentially push our technology far beyond pigeon computers.

  71. anonymous coward says

    If average global IQ was 115, maybe we would have colonized Mar

    Fake news. A person with an IQ over 90 understands that there’s nothing there on Mars and absolutely no reason to go there.

    All the space colonization memes are solely due to people who never grew up and still think in the conceptual language of kiddie cartoons.

  72. anonymous coward says

    le ‘brain is a computer meme’

    Back in the 17th century midwits like you believed that the brain was a clockwork machine. This wasn’t because they arrived at it from careful consideration; it’s just that ‘clockwork machines’ were the only high-tech modish thing they knew.

  73. Anonymous (n) says

    Agreed. People vastly underestimate the sophistication and complexity of biological systems. Biology is engineering, except at a level of complexity that is currently completely outside the grasp of our ability to understand, let alone replicate or surpass. It still boggles my mind that the programming encoded in the DNA of the singe cell that is a fertilized human ovum carries within it not only the code for every possible protein that may need to be produced by every single type of adult tissue, but also the blueprint to guide the division and specialization of daughter cells thousands (or millions?) of cellular divisions into the future despite the fact each daughter cell possesses the same exact DNA as every other. It’s absolutely stunning, and it’s just one of innumerable complexities that make biological systems possible.

  74. No way we’ll be 200 million, The reptilians who control the simulation were already short on gigabytes, and covid made getting a decent HDD almost impossible. I had to cancel a 10TB helium HDD pending from Amazon, after waiting for more than one month, but the reptilians need way more!

  75. I can relate to your comment.

    The nanomachine mediated upload is mentioned as a step in human evolution by Greg Egan in his book Diaspora.

    It is basically the death of the original biological entity followed by the digitalization of all the data into a virtual copy “living” in servers.

    It might also be what the Anvil video by Lorn refers to (although it is a little cryptic):

    The demise and transformation of a younger self is a fact well known to anyone bent on introspection.

    Even though I am not that old yet, I agree with you in that I do not have much in common with my younger self.

    He died so I can live.

    A thing that a lot of people do not realize, is that our mental and physical features are in fact very transient: each second cells are born, while other die and each moment thoughts appear, while other disappear.

    Feelings last a little longer.

    As a biological entity we are not an individual, but a giant collaborative colony of highly specialized cells.

    As a psychological entity we are not an individual, but an attractor into a non-linear information process.

    But of course people will still be so attached to a self image which is an illusion from a very factual point of view.

  76. You are absolutely right.

    The IT people simply tend to ignore how complex the biological systems are.

    That is why they simplemindedly believe that a “self” can be digitized without the biological entity carrying this “self ” being instantly disassembled into molecules.

    I guess Biology 101 was not the forte of the engineering type in their high school.

    Too many stuff to learn while reading books.

    The computers seemed so much more fun to them..

  77. We ain’t gonna get there if we die as a species in the process.

    Maybe an evolving mass copy of the information flows that once was humanity might somehow be copied and stored, but it won’t be human anymore.

    Hence the posthumanist / transhumanist posthumous thinking (pun intended).

    A manner of thinking that is actually nearly 30 years old already:

    As of consciousness, better not think about it at all, it is way too complicated a topic.

    Just ignore the elephant in the room…

  78. Kent Nationalist says

    e.g., recognising cartoon dogs as dogs

    Dogs can also do this

  79. songbird says

    You are missing the point. Average IQ of 115 cannot be allowed

    Eugenics seems to have been abandoned because of Jewish influence. It might be that we would have come to the same destination without them, but I tend to doubt it.

  80. songbird says

    A person with an IQ over 90 understands that there’s nothing there on Mars and absolutely no reason to go there.

    Do you think Zubrin and Musk have IQs below 90?

  81. animalogic says

    “how many people can the earth support in theory in total misery in the far future,”
    Yes, quite.
    This article, if taken seriously, is totally insane.
    8 billion is more than enough. It’s not just physical space, nor calories, nor, even social cohesion (tho that is important) it’s spiritual possibility & the quality of humanness (& every other living thing… & non living) Every 100 million or so more drains a bit more from the range of possibility. See a universe in a grain of sand? Good luck getting a grain of sand.
    I like chickens, but not in battery cages….

  82. anonymous coward says

    Do you think Zubrin and Musk have IQs below 90?

    Yes. (Especially Musk, what a clown.)

  83. “The IT people simply tend to ignore how complex the biological systems are.” – I think it is way beyond the complexity issue. This is about what reality is and that consciousness which is really what we are does not belong to the so-called objective reality that our consciousness has conceived for us. The reductionists (like Daniel Dennett) like to think that consciousness is just a meaningless epiphenomenon that plays a movie for us that is inconsequential to material reality and only if you replicate the hardware the consciousness may magically emerge and will inhabit the hardware but is not really important. They basically ignore consciousness and would like to do away with it. For them we are all zombies just a well. David Chalmers is on the other end of the spectrum. For him consciousness is a hard problem which basically mean that it is unsolvable, unknowable.

  84. That’s a bit harsh. We will colonize Mars at some point because it has diversity of materials on it and lift costs are lower compared to Earth. So it will have a mining colony. I don’t see the need for large settlement on it however.

    One of the main advantages of being in space is being able to pick and choose your preferred gravity and environmental conditions – a rotating factory ring 50 miles across will have far more options than any Martian or Earth settlements. Such factory will also be far cheaper to operate compared to any Earth or Martian settlement due to economies of scale, better environmental legislation prospects, simplified logistics, and being a good place to locate R&D centers. Such ring structures will be able to house far more people and deploy them more productively compared to cities on Earth or Mars.

    It will be pricey to build, but that’s not really a show stopper. I mean Spanish galleons are cheap, but we use far more expensive jumbo jet airliners for transport instead. Space development will follow the same path.

  85. Darwinians and all materialists can’t handle consciousness; it is the greatest challenge to their world view. So they must kill it, render it irrelevant, just an illusion, an epiphenomenon that plays no role what so ever in the objective reality. And they say it with a straight face knowing perfectly well that the “I” that is speaking and the “I” that is identifying with what is spoken is the same consciousness that they casted aside as an illusion. So who is really speaking? An automaton that knows the truth? They hear voices in their heads like schizophrenics and listen to them and follow them while at the same time saying the voices are just an epiphenomenon. So why do they listen to the voices – because they have no choice, they have no free will. Darwinians and all materialists are like little children who when caught with a hand in the cookie jar can say with a straight face that the hand is no their hand. It is amazing that they are engaged in building a huge superstructure just to escape the little contradiction they dare not to explore. When I think about it in Christian metaphors it is like a diabolic possession of people who fear God so much that they will do anything and everything to deny not just his existence but a mere possibility of it.

  86. anonymous coward says

    So it will have a mining colony.

    Good point, but I don’t see any reason to actually land living people on Mars. Why not keep them in orbit? The actual mining will be done by robots anyways.

  87. “Space development will follow the same path.” – There is nothing out there that we really need. The human space program was all about showing off, about being first just like being the first to cross Antarctica w/o underwear. It has produced nothing beneficial. The exploration age of the 15th and 16th centuries was all about making profit. And it was sustained by it. There were nonprofit geographical survey expeditions funded by the crown or exploration societies but only to facilitate the merchants. The only reason for going to space is military. If Chinese are going to build a station then Americans will persuade themselves that they need it as well.

    “I Wish We Had One Of Them Doomsday Machines”

  88. Daniel Chieh says

    From a purely materialistic perspective, you will not preserve personality unless you at the very least, keep the following:

    1) The brain
    2) Enteric nervous system
    3) Various chemical inputs in the metabolism, aka hormones

    At which point, you basically need to preserve the entire torso. There is likely no efficient way to mimic this digitally.

  89. “…no efficient way to mimic this digitally.” – Or inefficient either.

  90. There is nothing out there that we really need.

    Who’s ‘we’? There is an infinite amount of energy, materials and space in space. Those things are useful. You want to make advanced electronics? On Earth it costs $billions to build and operate fab clean rooms. In space? Put up an umbrella and you are done. Temperature management? On Earth you need complex heating systems, in space – sunny side = hot, shade = cold. Precision engineering where you don’t want to worry about stupid gravity or other forces? Space is the place. You can even go pick up free anti-matter particles for research over the Atlantic anomaly if that’s your thing.

    Even more important is the legal environment. Nobody is going to give you an environmental permit to mine cobalt in Congo or whatever by 2050. Asteroids don’t have endangered turtles so getting environmental clearance is going to be cheaper.

    And if you have research that powers that be frown upon (I see this mainly applicable to genetic engineering), you can launch automated research stations for relatively cheap and have them broadcast results to you. If you choose orbital trajectories with 30 year period between launch windows, police will be collecting retirement checks long before they will be able to launch an interdiction mission.

    For science, while i don’t expect to find fully grown T-Rex roaming on Ganymede, life on Earth is at least 4 billion years and we got whacked by some pretty big rocks in the mean time. Finding old Earth frozen biomolecules will be important for museums and research of Earth history. Holy grail of biotechnology would of course be finding biomolecules from 4+ billion years ago, the time when Earth was not Earthlike at all and could have pursued a different evolutionary basis. Plenty of fun to be had out there.

  91. Europe Europa says

    Whites would be a tiny fraction of a percent in a world of 200 billion people, if they still existed at all. Whites, especially Western whites, are nearing minority status in their own countries in a world approaching 8 billion, they would be wiped out at 20 billion if not less, let alone 200 billion.

    Then again it’s largely self-inflicted, even most right wing nationalist whites are Zionist lackeys who don’t realise that the task the Zionists have give them is to merge themselves with the Islamic and black world, that is the job of whites as far as Jews/Zionists are concerned.

  92. Who’s ‘we’? – Normal people, who love their gravity, who do no like to have their heads in the clouds.

  93. Well, normal people also like cheap iPhones and electric cars and turtles and polar bears and don’t like toxic mines in their backyard. Space offers solutions for that.

  94. AnonFromTN says


    Musk must be uncommonly smart. He is stealing federal money by the billions, telling fairy tales about space travel that idiots buy. His success confirms an American saying that there is a sucker born every minute.

  95. Anonymous (n) says

    This is probably correct. That’s another reason I think our focus should be on finding ways to preserve and repair our biological bodies instead of the pipe dream of migration to the electronic realm. Biological lifespan extension also has the significant advantage of being potentially feasible within the next several decades.

    While our understanding of the aging process is still extremely primitive the evidence we do have points to the existence of genetic pathways that act as “master controls” over cellular growth and repair. This is crucial, because we’re certainly nowhere near the point of being able to re-engineer the code on a fundamental level. Our interaction with biological systems is currently much like that of a novice PC user just learning how to navigate the Windows OS in the most basic of ways and nowhere near being able to write the simplest of functional code, let alone advanced kernel level magic. The good thing is that just like computers have an OS that makes low level programming unnecessary for most day to day work, biological systems also have handy OS like interfaces we can utilize to achieve various ends without having to worry about the details of downstream execution.

    Example: inject anabolic steroids and other hormones into the bloodstream, and the body takes care of the rest, activating and coordinating cellular activity that leads to the creation of large amounts of muscle mass, boosting bone deposition, etc, all of which gives rise to freakish but perfectly functional muscle monsters. We likewise have reasons to believe that similar pathways exist that control cellular repair, and that we may be able to trigger them into overdrive in a similar fashion we trigger the growth pathways into overdrive. This has already been achieved in more primitive organisms like worms and mice and the only obstacle to achieving similar results in humans revolves around ethics more than science. Still, I find this approach to be not only more desirable but also more realistic than talk of migrating humanity onto machines.

  96. Cracy idea, cracy concept, lacking in any useful perspective. Not only would every bit of nature be exploited for the maintenance this amount of people, there seems to be also the idea that at 200 billion people (=0.2 trillion) sex, procreation, population growth would suddenly stop. This one-sidedly technical assessment leaves out higher functions of life,such as seeking solitude, love of nature, empathy with animals and care of plants, and also leaves out the likelihood of mega wars to establish space. Psychologically it might lead to self-loathing of humans due to the realization of being superfluous on this planet and bringing only harm. Perhaps these self-destructive features are Nature’s way of putting things in place again.

  97. People underestimate Musk at their own peril. He currently builds and operates the most powerful heavy lift rocket available and got rocket landings more or less right, which is no small feat.

    While his Starship is not going to Mars any time soon, it is a great engineering project for Pentagon. Starship is a steel can with lots of mass produced engines which means it will be extremely cheap even without reusability. US Space Force will order dozens of those and combine them with thousands of Starlink command and control satellites.

    Thousands of tons of cheap guided ordinance in orbit means it’s game over for Russian and Chinese ICBM and hypersonic weapons programs.
    Musk is a Pentagon man first and foremost.

  98. Dacian Julien Soros says

    Can’t wait for his first launch with a human payload. He wasn’t able to deliver a mouse in space until now, and I have some experience with ideology-mandated “progress”.

    Too bad that “9/11 every other day” will make his yuuuge success less evident.

  99. I am as Darwinist as it gets, but I am not a materialist.

    This might seem surprising, but it must not be if one considers that what is evolving is in fact information.

    Consciousness then is a complex self-referential information process.

    An evolving process.

    Evolving towards what, you might ask.

    Towards Enlightenment.

    Speaking in Christian terms: Theosis through Evolution.

    Universe revealing its inherent consciousness potential (through sentient beings) and then becoming God.

    Perhaps this is the natural cycle of all Universes: God creates a new Universe that evolves new Gods that create new Universes.

    In Buddhist terms the ultimate truth of Consciousness is Buddha Nature that once enlightened becomes free from any illusions and transcends all contradictions and limitations.

    Here Buddha Nature awakens through Evolution.

    This is somewhat similar to Theillard De Chardin’s Omega Point.

    And one important concluding remark: there is no clear cut distinction between matter energy and information.

    They are interlinked and codependent.

    As a consequence, there is no clearcut difference between our Consciousness and the Universe around us.

  100. songbird says

    And how much federal money do you steal?

  101. AnonFromTN says

    Regretfully, I can’t lie, like Musk, and therefore I can’t steal. I have to work for it. Even then it’s 3-4 orders of magnitude less. Alas.

  102. AnonFromTN says

    This has already been achieved in more primitive organisms like worms and mice

    Sorry to disappoint, it was achieved only in worms (C. elegance). Mice are not much simpler than humans (fellow mammals), we were unable to expand their healthy lifespan much.

  103. AnonFromTN says

    People underestimate Musk at their own peril.

    I don’t think I’ve underestimated him. I said that he must be uncommonly smart.

    it is a great engineering project for Pentagon.

    It might be useful for Pentagon, but problem is, Pentagon is not useful for the US. It’s like cancer, keeps growing, and will eventually kill the host (the country).

    Thousands of tons of cheap guided ordinance in orbit means it’s game over for Russian and Chinese ICBM and hypersonic weapons programs.

    Game is never over, there is always next level. Just to give you an example, for thousands of years the game of locks and burglars was played, and there is no end in sight.

  104. Anonymous (n) says

    Well I can’t say I’ve been able to keep up with the literature to the extent I’d like to but I believe there have been several approaches under investigation in mice that have shown promise. Here is a study from 2016 that managed to extend median lifespan of mice by 25% using the senolysis approach. Most impressive from my perspective as someone who has already been born is the fact they managed to do this by treating adult mice rather than genetically engineering germ cells to create a mutant strain. There are currently multiple other avenues of investigation involving telomeres, sirtuins, etc that I think are getting close to achieving similar results if they haven’t already.

  105. Well, sure, next level would probably involve some sort of anti satellite weaponry, but cheap mass produced heavy orbital bomber would be very difficult to counter. Those things will be faster and more numerous in terms of payload than ICBMs and hypersonic weapons.

  106. songbird says

    If you have ever taken a federal grant or contract, or worked at a tax-free institution, or one that benefits from federal moneys, or by exploiting young minds, then perhaps you being a tad hypocritical.

    BTW, I am not a member of the cult of Musk. I find him unlikable for more than one reason, and I also dislike Zubrin (previously mentioned in my reply to AC.) Additionally, I think that settling Mars is a pipedream under current Empire politics, hence my scenario requiring a 115 global IQ. Still, even though I dislike Musk, I acknowledge he has a long list of accomplishments – not reproduced elsewhere. It seems silly to just label him a grifter or a conman. You know what? The shuttle had a pretty hefty pricetag, and the Russkies were charging a sensibly expensive price per seat. Musk has lowered that cost considerably.

    Was Werner von Braun just a grifter? Do you know what one Saturn V cost? Or how much the Apollo program totaled? And von Braun had some really crazy ideas. I quote from an English translation of his technical novel:

    The Parachute Police of the United States of Earth could handle any minor trouble which might spring up in any latitude or longitude. Almost within minutes of the outbreak, the Parachute Police would be on the spot to awe into civilizational obedience the unruly burghers of the most remote village or hamlet. Trained to a tick and composed of elements drawn from every land and clime…

  107. neutral says

    More transhumanism lunancy from Musk.

  108. anonymous coward says

    He currently builds and operates the most powerful heavy lift rocket available and got rocket landings more or less right, which is no small feat.

    He does not. He’s not a rocker engineer, he’s a celebrity whose claim to fame is being famous. Like all the other talking heads on the American (((media))).

  109. Elmer's Washable School Glue says

    I completely agree with your comment in regards to materialists, but how does Darwinism have anything to do with it? I can’t think of any logical problem with believeing in both Natural Selection and, say, Cartesian dualism, simultaneously. Seems like an anti-evolution strawman to me.

  110. I’m talking about orbital weapons deployment. There is no need for pilot (its a satellite based weapon, with tons of fuel available (Starship payload capacity is 100 tons), it can maintain orbit pretty much indefinitely. Stealth and orbital predictions don’t matter because it can reach anywhere on the planet within minutes, even if you see it you can’t do anything about it.

  111. Just Passing Through says

    Multiple countries now have the ability to shoot down satellites, so suppose you got some nukes up into orbit, and one day, one of your payload carrying satellites was shot down, what would you do?

    You can either stay put, and risk losing more of you satellites until there is no payload carrying craft left in orbit, or you could launch your nukes, which would mean nuclear retaliation from the enemy state via its submarine fleet.

    Would anyone really contemplate entering nuclear war for a satellite?

  112. I don’t think you understand. Why nukes? Who cares about one satellite? There will be thousands of Starlink satellites, far more than any ASAT system will be able to take out, and dozens of Starship orbital bombers carrying 1,000’s of tons of simple tungsten spears. They will be able to drop those payloads anywhere on the planet (including Moscow or Beijing) in less than 10 minutes, far faster than any other weapons system available, and they will be able to do so relentlessly and continuously – it is easy to make metal sticks once you get a hang of it, and with cheap throwaway bombers they will be unstoppable.

    This is what i mean it’s game over for Russian and Chinese missile programs. Hardened silos can be taken out faster than launch orders can be transmitted, and mobile launches can be destroyed at altitude. People who don’t see where SpaceX is going with this are making a big mistake.

  113. Daniel Chieh says

    US Space Program can’t even operate without soyuz capsules.

    So much for grand space bombardment theories.

  114. We are not talking about manned program here. Also, SpaceX will be bridging that gap soon as well.

    We are talking about heavy lift capability where SpaceX is currently an undisputed leader.

  115. songbird says

    US Space Program can’t even operate without soyuz capsules.

    This is mostly about regulatory hurdles. If you can fly a cargo of sufficient mass – lifting flesh and blood isn’t a whole lot different. Besides, the first scheduled flight of commercial crew is May 27 – that’s less than three weeks, and as far as I know, before the next Soyuz.

    Honestly, I think the US space industry comes across as easily the most advanced. This is not to say that it is not without embarrassments, or shortcomings, but, if you spend the most money, you’ll probably get the best result.

    Russia, despite its vaunted history, and interesting past ideas, is in danger of falling far behind. I would suggest Putin meets with the leaders of Japan and SK and they pool resources on developing new technologies.

  116. Russia, ironically, has the most advanced space tech as far as future technologies go. Future is spaceflight is nuclear electric and Russia has always been and continues to be the world leader in both space nuclear power and electric propultion. This will continue because putting nuclear power in space will run into regulatory problems in US and Japan.

    Russia does not have technological competence and innovation problems.

    For national security purposes though, Russia does have a management problem. All the most advanced spacecraft in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t put tonnage into orbit. It doesn’t matter how it gets done – dust off Energia blueprints if need be, but the future will belong to those who can control orbit, and only the people who can put up tonnage will be able to control the orbit. This is not the race Russia (or China) will want to lose, and it doesn’t require much technology breakthrough – just management and construction competence.

  117. Thanks. You are right. I just haven’t thought that there are many Cartesian dualists among Darwinists.

  118. In AOMI, labor probably still has value. Any scenario in which labor loses 100% of its value to AI is likely a singularity and not AOMI.

    But also TPTB are not perfectly rational or all-powerful. It’s the nature of decadent, anti-natal societies to be overrun by more vigorous, pro-natal peoples. Decadent societies are old, conflict-averse, risk-averse, lacking in conviction, confidence, and asabiyyah. Pro-natal societies are young, boistrous, confident, prone to conflict and risk-taking, higher in asabiyyah.

    Any system designed to restrain natality will eventually break, because the natal imperative is more powerful and fundamental than any mere political construct could hope to be.

  119. President Barbicane says

    In Florida, we’ve had 20 years of phosphate left for the past 50 years. Also, there’s a really fantastically large source of phosphate in Idaho, called the phosphoria formation. It’s not being mined now (at least not in large quantities), but the size of the resource is immense. If the price of phosphorous were to go up, it would become economical to mine the phosphoria formation.

    Also, phosphorous isn’t really consumed in the same way that oil is. Oil, being a source of energy, is burned into carbon dioxide and water; one can’t get energy out of carbon dioxide and water. The CO2 and water could be used to synthesize fuels, but it would take a tremendous amount of energy. Phosphorous, on the other hand, isn’t really consumed in the same way. Because phosphate fertilizers are so cheap now, it doesn’t make economical sense to recycle much fertilizer, but there’s no technical reason why we couldn’t do it (as shown in your video, obtaining fertilizer from urine).

  120. AnonFromTN says

    A few explanations for the uninitiated

    If you have ever taken a federal grant or contract,

    Maybe you are thinking about $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract. To get a stealing opportunity like that, you have to make your lobbyist vise-president. Most people, even most corporations, never get such a rich trough.

    As far as NIH grants go, they are highly competitive. The success rate depends on particular institute; it is in the 5-14% range. Meaning that from six out of seven to nineteen out of twenty grants do not get funded. NIH institutes are funded by Congress individually. The highest success rate is in the Eye Institute, the lowest in Mental Health. If you think about it, it is perfectly logical: legislators are afraid to lose their eyesight, but not afraid of losing their minds, as they don’t have any.

    Getting your grant proposal funded requires a lot. First, you have to come up with a creative and exciting plan for the next 4-5 years, which takes a lot of intellectual effort. Second, you are expected to actually do 20-30% of what you propose, ostensibly to demonstrate feasibility, to convince study section that you might deserve funding. Third, you better have collaborative papers already published with every person you name as a collaborator. Fourth, you need to have a record of your lab productivity, i.e., you must publish quite a few good (not just any) papers every year and have high citation record (meaning that people actually pay attention to your papers). After all that, if you are lucky enough to get funded, your budget is cut in 90% of cases from five years to four, in addition to annual budget being cut by 20-30%. As one of my colleagues put it, we live dangerously.

    or worked at a tax-free institution, or one that benefits from federal moneys,

    Most Universities are tax-exempt, but if you think that researchers get much out of their Universities, think again. The money Universities have virtually never go to your lab. They fund University bureaucrats, construction, sports teams, etc. Universities are a good illustration of the wisdom that rich are never generous, and generous are never rich.

    or by exploiting young minds,

    Let me tell you that something like intelligent Mowgli can exist only in fiction. Human mind needs even more training to develop than human muscles. Just like no high-class athlete would have ever achieved much w/o a good trainer, even talented young people entering graduate school never achieve much w/o a good mentor, who teaches them techniques and the good way of thinking, the way of good planning experiments with all necessary controls, so that you don’t have to redo them to get an answer, etc. My smarter graduate students quickly figure out that discussing their experiments with me before doing them increases their success rate from 10% to 50%. Teaching them to write papers and grants is a whole different ball game that requires even more effort on mentor’s part. Some never learn, so you have to write their papers for them and heavily edit their PhD thesis. Basically, before getting any benefit from a grad student, you have to invest huge effort into his/her mentoring. With the best students you at least get something in return in a couple of years, with some you invest w/o return or with a return incomparably smaller than your investment. Also, the best students don’t stay in grad school long: they defend and move somewhere else within 3-4 years. The ones staying in your lab longer are usually pure loss of your time and effort.

    The only entity that exploits anyone is the University: it expects you to bring your salary in grants, they get indirects (e.g., my University gets 55 cents for every dollar I get for my lab, and that’s pretty typical), yet they get the glory from your discoveries and papers, as well as most (up to 90%) of moneys “your” patents bring. The only thing you get from your University is electricity and water (and even that after NIH explicitly prohibited them from charging that to your grants). You might get some larger pieces of equipment, although more often for this you have to write equipment grants (usually involving several labs) and try to get them funded, or for smaller pieces request administrative supplements, if you can convincingly explain why you need that particular piece of equipment for your proposed research. If Pentagon used the same system, it wouldn’t get even 10% of the money it gets today. Not to mention that if Congress was subject to the same rules of conflict of interest that NIH enforces for us, hardly any member would be eligible to vote on most pieces of legislation.

  121. anonymous coward says

    …the future will belong to those who can control orbit, and only the people who can put up tonnage will be able to control the orbit.

    Professional tip: ICBM’s have existed since 1957.

  122. reiner Tor says

    I don’t think this is presented as a desirable scenario.

  123. reiner Tor says

    You could well be correct, but it’d be even more dystopian than the scenario described in the article. I mean, those synthetic foods are horribly unhealthy.

  124. I seriously begin to suspect that you have no clue how orbital mechanics work – ICBM emit too much signature and are too slow and predictable. They need to reach high altitude and turn, while orbital lauches will not only be faster than ICBM, they will need to fight a lot less air for intercept.

    Imagine yourself squashing an ant. This is exactly how an orbital weapons platform will eliminate an ICBM launch.

  125. You are still thinking too complicated. 🙂 Look up “Rods of God” or “Global Prompt Strike” weapon, and eliminate all objections to cost or mass of launch, and you will see where I’m coming from.

  126. reiner Tor says

    You are not “stored” in that bag of meat. You are that bag of meat.

  127. reiner Tor says

    War is not slaughtering the Davos elite. It’s slaughtering the most patriotic elements.

  128. anonymous coward says

    ICBM emit too much signature and are too slow and predictable.

    It’s a heck of a lot easier to make hypersonic missiles instead. (And in fact that’s exactly what the USA and Russia are doing.)

  129. anonymous coward says

    Yeah, gnosticism is bonkers. It’s like saying that you can somehow remove iOS from the ‘rock container’ of the iPhone and still go on enjoying cat videos and Facebook notifications.

  130. Autists Anonymous Rehab Camp Fugitive says

    That’s not how gnosticism works.

  131. Anonymous (n) says

    The cost of chemical propellants used in orbital launch vehicles is trivial, it is the price of the vehicles themselves that drives the high $/kg to orbit. I looked this up once and if I remember correctly the price of fuel for your average commercial satellite launch is on the order of a few hundred thousand dollars whereas the expendable vehicle costs tens of millions. If Musk can deliver the high degree of reusability he claims his Starship vehicle will be capable of then the economics of the launch industry will be transformed dramatically. It’s a big if, but if Starship pans out it will be single largest advancement in transportation technology since Sputnik. At that point, orbital kinetic weapons would be dramatically cheaper than any air breathing vehicles requiring engines, guidance system, etc. We’re talking six figures per projectile.

  132. AnonFromTN says

    I hope not. Even current population is excessive. Africa and much of Asia are grossly overpopulated. However, these ridiculous numbers kill the sense of urgency that must remain for solving human population problem the Earth is facing

  133. Europe Europa says

    A world of 20 billion or less would be most likely raceless and borderless, let alone a world of 200 billion.

    Although I get the impression that many people actually like the idea of the world becoming some sort of global version of Brazil. A lot of people seem to consider a raceless world with one language and one religion (or no religion) as desirable.

  134. Rattus Norwegius says

    “US Space Program can’t even operate without soyuz capsules.”
    Ofcourse it can do without Soyus. It is just cheaper and easier option in the short term.

  135. TomSchmidt says

    A popular figure of a few years back was that, at the rate of consumption of natural resources of Americans, we would need 9 planet earths to have everyone in earth live at that standard.

    Divide that number into current global population and you get about 850,000,000 people. ALOT of dying has to happen before the planet gets there.

  136. JohnPlywood says

    Africa is grossly underpopulated, knucklehead. It has a population density (94/mi²) lower than Texas (113/mi²), despite being the largest continent on Earth, and that is primarily contained within a few smaller-area countries in Africa (Nigeria, Ethiopia, etc). The largest countries in Africa (like Zambia, Namibia, Angola, DR Congo, etc) have population densities comparable to places like Wyoming or Nebraska. That’s a vast amount of land with reaources to support tens of billions for millennia. It might even support trillions for millennia if crop yields per hectare and water efficiency continue improving, as they have for decades.

    There is no human population problem. This planet barely has any people on it. You can recognize that and participate or die a limp wristed cuck in a world you hated. The choice is yours.

  137. JohnPlywood says

    Have you seen Brazilian women’s rear ends? They’re the new religion.

  138. Do some basic estimation before you open your mouth.

  139. JohnPlywood says

    I’m not clicking that link. Post the comment number of whatever hippie’s comment it is that you want me to read and eviscerate.


    We’re evolving, just backwards (pun intended).

  141. Europe Europa says

    If you’re white (or frankly anything other than black), you’re the cuck for suggesting a planet with trillions of blacks would be a desirable thing.

  142. reiner Tor says

    ‘Consciousness’ is just a trick meat plays on itself – there’s no need to try and imbue it with deep significance.

    I have an experiment in mind. Mind you, it’s only a thought experiment, don’t try this at home.

    I would use a small lead ball to stop your meat playing tricks on itself. Beforehand, I’d inform the meat about it, and see if it objects. Or if it shits itself.

  143. reiner Tor says

    Creating some kind of super AI and replacing the present infrastructure of meat brains might be a great thing from a disinterested point of view, but since we are those meat brains being replaced, I would strongly object to the idea. In general, I have very strong opinions where the existence of my imperfect meat self and especially my imperfect meat descendants is drawn into question.

  144. reiner Tor says

    My own experience couldn’t be more different.

    I was basically the same person at the time of my first memories. The differences all or almost all come from basically three things: I have vastly more knowledge, I have different physical capabilities, and I’m under the influence of different mix of hormones.

  145. Blinky Bill says

    I just imagined reiner Tor with an Austrian accent !!

  146. JohnPlywood says

    I never said anything about blacks. Anyone can take advantage of Africa’s land, just like Europeans took advantage of North American land in the 1600s-1700s. Of course, for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that anyone except Africans will be living in Africa in substantial numbers, due to the proliferation of infirm cucks such as yourself, with your timid ways and your effeminate degeneracies, and your humanities degrees.

  147. The differences all or almost all come from basically three things: I have vastly more knowledge, I have different physical capabilities, and I’m under the influence of different mix of hormones.

    This knowledge that you have acquired is not something separate from your consciousness.

    It is directly woven into it.

    In fact it is produced inside it from the data acquired by your different receptors.

    Your personality is a reflection of the state of your consciousness, therefore it must have changed while this vast knowledge has been acquired by you.

    In the other hand, there is no denying that there seems to be a continuation of a “self ” in the process of aging/growing up in a majority of people.

    This is probably due to their life situations as much as the biological neuronal reality behind their Mind-space.

    Some life experiences are probably more likely to trigger the realization of “self-impermanence”

  148. In general, I have very strong opinions where the existence of my imperfect meat self and especially my imperfect meat descendants is drawn into question

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    Some would say that this is what it’s all about.

    Selfish gene and all.

    I wonder : will strong IA also have some “selfish gene” emulation component?

    I hope not.

  149. silviosilver says

    All the space colonization memes are solely due to people who never grew up and still think in the conceptual language of kiddie cartoons.

    Says the dude who believes in Santa-for-adults (aka “God”).

  150. anonymous coward says

    This is an 18+ site. Do your parents know that you’re spending your online time on an antisemite website?

  151. Anonymou says

    Malthus wasn’t an economist. Maybe an economist is in the best position to comment on the field. At any rate, only Africa has maintained the type of model that Malthus used in his dourness. And once the Chinese overrun the place, even Sub-Equatorial Apefica will be in line with the industrialized world. They will restrict the natives breeding habits, or let them starve out, which is in line with Nature’s way

  152. Anonymous (n) says

    Can’t happen soon enough, not least to shut up breeder fetishist cucks like that troll John Plywood. These weirdos really think that willingness to shit out infants every year from menarche to menopause is the distinguishing mark of a superior civilization, even as massive aid delivered by more restrained societies is the only thing keeping an appreciable fraction of those rugrats alive.

  153. JohnPlywood says

    China in Africa is ancient history, that peaked 20 years ago. China has been pulling out of Africa for a decade now, and the coronavirus outbreak has only accelerated this trend. So no, that will not happen.

    Besides, most of the Chinese guys who went to Africa had multiple kids with African women. A ton of interracial births resulted from China’s 30-year adventure in Africa. Google it. Even Linh Dinh (an impoverished Vietnamese dude) was approached by women in his trip to Africa, who begged him for a baby. Nobody goes to Africa without getting seduced by flirtatious African females.

    You cannot provide a single source for this “massive” aid you imagine veing delivered to Africa; Africa gets precious little in aid from the outside world.

    In fact, it is the Levant and South Asia who are the top recipients of foreign aid. They’re the ones who would collapse and die if the foreign aid was pulled back, not black Africans:

    Africa has full food self-sufficiency and contains 65% of the world’s arable uncultivated land:

    So yeah, it’s over for you gothic wrist-cutting emo cucks, who worship plants and animals, and lack the sexual virility to repeatedly impregnate the female. Are you fucks even male? A lot of you send me the vibes of a frigid feminist female who is afraid of her own blood. Whatever you are, you are not normal, have never been viewed as normal by your community, and are completely unwelcome on any conservative forum. As always, men succeed, women (and the cucks who side with them) fail.

  154. JohnPlywood says

    I have viewed images of rural South African shantytowns on Google streetview. They look better, that is cleaner, more aesthetic, and more lively, than rural towns in Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, etc.

    What was most startling to me was the super-abundance of physically fit, beautiful black females. Their bodies were amazing. These women looked better than the top 10 rural US cheerleader girls, and they were everywhere in the streets of the shantytowns, wearing well-tailored chic clothing and sunglasses.

    I honestly wondered if the images weren’t faked (i.e., staged) by South African intelligence services; but then I realized how pitifully low the state of rural America is, driven mostly by low fertility and rural depopulation.

    I’m going to go ahead and declare that rural South Africa has already surpassed rural USA in terms of development and quality of life. Which is not saying much, as we all knew the rural USA was a dreadful place of hopelessness and rot. But most of urban South Africa also looked better than suburban USA. Zambia, Namibia and Angola can’t be that far behind. I’m telling you, you autistic dipshits are sleeping on Africa. Africa is making huge strides towards the future, while you guys balk in the basements of your corroded and faltering geriatric communities. It’s amazing how far Africa manages to get ahead just by having a young female population that is optimistic and reproductive. Even more amazing is how many dysfunctional people we have accumulated in this cuntry, who want our culture to be even sicker, more sordid, and dismal than it already is.

    The willingness to shit out babies is the mark of a superior female, and the USA spends far, far more money on its own useless females, who do not even reproduce, than it gives to all foreign nations combined.

  155. Daniel Chieh says

    Here we have a true paper(electron?) warrior of R-selection.

  156. Blinky Bill says
  157. Blinky Bill says
  158. EldnahYm says

    Did Mugabe actually say this, or is it just part of the meme?

  159. Blinky Bill says

    As far as I can tell, most of what is attributed to him he actually said. Some very prestigious news organisations have quoted him saying such things.

  160. Blinky Bill says
  161. Blinky Bill says