7 trillion humans? The Scale and impact of population growth

overpopulated_earth17 trillion looks like a typo, but no, the maths shows that either by continuing the actual global population growth levels typical the 20th century, or achieving 2% per year or far less than what is currently happening in Nigeria, the maths produce this number in a relatively short time!

A key theme of this blog is that, while population growth is no longer the threat that it once was, economic policy has yet to adapt to the slowing in population growth.  While population growth has slowed since the 20th century, growth is not at 2% as some dangerous people advocate, and all the world is not like Nigeria, it is still worth understanding just how quickly things can escalate  and not take for granted the slowing population growth that is both happening, and needed, to avert crisis.

Does it feel crowded now?  Can you imagine Earth inhabited by not 7 billion (7,000,000,000) humans, as we have now, but 7 trillion (7,000,000,000). That would be one human for every 3.3 meters x 3 meters of habitable land on the planet (calculation below).  Around 10 square meters allocation per person to live, grow food all of one food and that is without allocating any wilderness for other living things or trying to allow space (corridors?) to move outside your own space.  This is a level we would reach if were able to continue peak 20th century population growth rates.

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The Canary: part II

typewriter2My previous post was a diversion for the usual, and this post is a continuation of the diversion, but normal topics are set to return!  For now, a little more the episode of the early warning of failing journalism.

In the previous ‘canary post’ I outlined reasons why the almost universally reported ‘Microsoft will not release new Surface Devices because they have to wait for the new Intel processors’ at least from my analysis seems an example of the press simply getting in wrong, as the processors concerned are actually well know to be already available. (example of reporting here: note the words “because it’s too early to put Intel’s next-gen Kaby Lake processors and chipsets into the devices” and here and here. And this is reporting after the even has announced.  Before the event was announced there was even stronger repetition of the clear error. Over and over.

If the press can get something as simple and as obvious as this wrong, what else can they get wrong?   Most disconcerting in a society that requires a functioning press for the protection of democracy. After further analysis of what is misreported, I will look at just what are the possible reasons for this misreporting.

Back to the innocent little canary, the misreporting of the environment for a tech company to release new products.   As of today, October 16,  an actual Microsoft press event is now scheduled for October 26, and yesterday,  the first signals that my analysis which just two days ago ran contrary to almost all press reports, may indeed be correct.  That evidence is that Amazon now lists current surface products as ‘(OLD VERSION)’.  Now finally there are journalists suggesting that this may be due to an update of current surface models to the new Kaby-Lake cpu. This is yet to be confirmed, so stay tuned for confirmation.

There is also a second part of this story.  Journalist predictions were in two parts:

  1. current surface products cannot yet be updated as they must wait for the new CPU
  2. instead a new ‘all-in-one’ surface desktop will be released

It has already been discussed that in fact the currect surface products do not have to wait for the new CPU as the ‘mobile’ versions of this CPU are already released.

The important point for ‘part 2’, the release of the all in one, is that this idea is impacted by the fact that the desktop versions of this new ‘Kaby-Lake’ cpu are in fact not available.  Despite the mobile new CPUs actually being available and the Desktop versions not available, all the reporting was the mobile devices cannot be released and no discussion at all on the need for the new CPU in a desktop.

Microsoft may be about to announce a new ‘all-in-one’ device, but the lack of new desktop CPU being available means either:

  1. the new ‘all-in-one’ device will be announced but not available until next year
  2. or this new ‘all-in-one’ will actually function like an ‘all-in-one’, but actuallybe something different and be more a modular system and allow a choice of using current surface devices for CPU and disk, or offering a CPU and disk drive as a separate module.

I can add more at a future date, but this is probably enough discussing of this now to illustrate the point, and refer back to in a future post it this turns out correct.

Significance?

It is only about laptop computers, and I am only interested because I wish to buy one by a specific date for a present, so just waiting is not appealing. But the significance of what is clearly an error that could be discovered with even the research available to an outsider, being reported and echoed throughout the press is a great concern.  Is this also happening with respect to the war in Syria for example.  Or reporting on the candidates in an election?  I feel the age of the internet has eroded the business model of journalism, and we all may pay the price.  More news, but the same news repeated without any fact checking.

Surface Pro update: Canary for the problems in journalism?

typewriter2Ok, so this post is about what is happening with updates for the Surface Pro and the Surface Book, but is also about the problems in technology reporting, which themselves are symptoms of a wider problem.

Firstly, to the Surface Pro/Book.  There are lots of rumours of an update, and rumours there being rumours is understandable, but the rumours seem to all contain the same conclusion, despite logic to the contrary.  Why the continually repeating the same mistakes, and missing key points.  I mean, one person making an error….ok.  But so many websites repeating the same errors?  What is going on? Continue reading

The Future of Medicine

a-few-helpful-doctors-ready-to-excuse-youOver the past 2 days I been given a view of the possible future of medicine, attending two lectures: ‘2084: Future Medicine’ and ‘Nanotainment‘. I will discus the actual presentations later, but the impact is that doctors as we know them and other current medical practitioners being will become obsolete other than for the treatment of injuries, and artificial intelligence linked diagnostics on our ‘companion computers’ (smartphones or their descendants), will be the future of medicine.

The three key themes are:

  • genome specific medicine
  • individualised constant analysis
  • the impact of nanomedicine

This post gives background, more detail and discusses the material presented. Continue reading