Monday, December 07, 2015

Our Future? Elves?

I see two types of futures portrayed more often than not.

The first is one discordant pile of human habitations, cities of block houses piled one atop the other, crawling their way up the skyline in towering heaps of concrete and steel. They are connected by any many of wires and cables, presumably telecommunication cables (or places to hang the laundry). Hover cars zoom about. Shops and street vendors hawk all manner of crap. Garbage is everywhere. People are crowded into small spaces and forced to breath each others filth day in and day out. Its sort of the population explosion theme.

The second is a world covered in vegetation that has no control and people's living space become intermingled with the solemn beauty that marks deep woods, tumbling water falls, giant trees and all the other vestiges of the nature world. Here the population has died out, or dwindled, or annihilated itself and those that live on have created small oasis in an otherwise hostile world.

I think I would much prefer the latter to the former. The primeval has a much greater appeal to me than the urban.

Of course, neither will be the case. In industrialized nations the population growth is already lower than 2.0 (which it needs to grow) and in much of the rest of the world the population is following the same tragectory. In time (probably later in this century) our species will begin to decline in overall population figures.

Unless of course they fix the gene that ages us, making us immortal.

Now that would be awesome! Then we'd officially be elves.


A.B. Prosper said...

Since fertility rates in the developed world are all declining with average in almost every nation outside of a very few religiously devout Muslim ones and Africa at or below replacement. The "super crowded." world is pretty unlikely to occur unless it resembles Nigeria in which case your future will have more in common with the slums of Elysium than Trantor or Coruscant (or Elf-Hame)

Basically anyone capable of a complex high tech civilization is also capable of and interested in controlling urban fertility.

Heck some of the richest cities in the US like San Francisco and Seattle have very few kids. Seattle has more many dogs than children as early as 2012

Without collapse you'll end up with a smaller population or a very skewed one and very religious.

Also with food production and emergent disease issues, we are sitting on a potential Apocalypse and it would not surprise me if the Earth population of humans declines to 2 or 3 billion at a much lower level and never gets higher again.

in that case Schitzo-Tech low energy 1950's with some computers but no antibiotics seems a pretty likely future.

Anonymous said...

why not both? Some nations might learn to combine nature and cities to produce "green and Healthy" habitats .. like the plan for Valco mall in Cupertino, Ca. I can see gnome/elf like cities, while poor nations become the urban upward sprawls.