Monday, April 4, 2011

Just a little calculation

Well, I wanted to show you guys a little calculation on a rather big question.
What do you think how long there will be humans on this planet left? How long will man survive?
The big deal about the calculation is that there is no need of any knowledge of the actual situation of mankind and its planet. It's just some piece of math...
Here it goes: Imagine all humans that ever lived and is going to live, set up in a row by chronological order. Just think as if you knew how long this  row was (You don't, since you don't know how many humans will live in the future). You are somewhere in this row. Now, if you don't know where you are, there is a 50% chance that you are in the first half of the row (of course, since the half of the row is 50% of its length and you don't have any information that would favor some position for yourself). For you being in the second half, there is a 50% chance, too. You can extend this: There is a 5% chance that you are in the first 1/20th of the row.
I read that there lived like 100 billons of people on the earth yet.
Now, with regards to the 50%, we can say, there is a 50% chance for humankind to survive the birth of the next 100 billon people. In fact, there is a 50% chance that humankind is NOT going to make it for another 100 billon humans.
If you think about how fast population is growing, you can either think
a) the humankind will be wiped out in the next few hundred years
or
b) in a few hundred years there will be only few people and not anymore billons of them living...

This calculation is not really useful and somehow inaccurate. However, it is fun to take a look at the question from this point of view, because you don't need to care about actual problems we are facing.

A less nerdy post later this day or tomorrow is incoming, hang on and don't care if you don't get what I'm saying ;)

24 comments:

  1. You do realize your post just made the majority of us reading it feel insignificant, don't you? :P

    Great post, some right-on-spot calculations; love your work!

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  2. Few hundred years? Try a little bit more.
    Good thought process though.

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  3. Interesting calculation. As for your a and b choices, I feel we'd mostly be going towards b as no matter what kind of disaster I feel that a few humans can survive and adapt. But comparing us to some extinct species that were more prevalent in the past than we are now, they have completely been wiped out so we'll see I guess.

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  4. We're going to keep expanding. We'll develop ways to live in space, on the moon most likely, without stations that have hydroponic farms in them. We'll keep making them better. There'll be a few accidents over time, but nothing too serious until a meteor shower that forces the government(s) to develop a shielding technique, giving rise to something like energy shields from the vidya games.

    We'll push off into space, meet aliens, and life will keep going.

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  5. Yeah it does sorta feel as if we're insignificant but that won't stop me from doing stuff =P

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  6. The thought of how insignificant I am sometimes in the grand scheme of things is terrifying. And that's only taking into account the Earth. Start expanding out into the universe and.. Oh boy.

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  7. The math you're doing isn't accurate at all, although it is quite fun to think of our lifespan as a race in that light. I am afraid though, it portrays our future as being much more positive than in will most likely be. Nice post though mate. Keep it up!

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  8. we'll keep growing until we have to eat soylent green.

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  9. Wow...that's cool. 100 billion people...can't find how many are born per year, but would be funny to calculate how long it would take to reach this number.

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  10. So, when are we getting that post we were promised? :D

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  11. Nicely thought! Only time will tell :P

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  12. This is deep stuff, quite an interesting subject to read into, I'd rather just not know though haha D:

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  13. Very good post :) following

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  14. Well its kind of depressing that we won't live that long :(

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  15. Sorry, don't get what you're saying! It's a neat thought though.

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  16. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU

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  17. Yeah, this doesn't take in nearly what it should to be accurate, but still, pretty fun little exercise.

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  18. the math was kinda interesting, but it definetly proves nothing xD

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  19. Harsh calculations, but intresting:p

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  20. interesting calculation. made me think.

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