So that was a crazy couple of weeks. Deadlines, 12 hours work days and coding marathons. In the end we got it done and hopefully the world will be a better place. It couldn’t happen at a better time for me with holidays starting on Saturday.
Now for something completely different and a spoiler alert. If you plan on reading Dan Brown’s new book “Inferno”, you may want to change the channel.
Still here ? then I will go on.
The book is written in much the same style as “The Da vinci code” but with a flare for modern biology. Rather than a book of secret societies that have somehow managed to survive the sands of time, this one looks forward to a future where bio-terrorism is a possibility. I don’t want to give away the plot of the book, just talk about some interesting facts that were brought to light.
It turns out that humanity as a species is steadily working it’s way toward extinction. I’m sure some of you are saying “So this is something new?”. The new part for me, was that the rate of increase of the worlds population is such that in one or two generations, the world will no longer be able to support the people who live here.
Dan Brown paints this as a crisis that will force people to make hard decisions. I suspect that decisions will have to be made, but there are many other options. Perhaps it is time to look to the vastness of space for other places to live. I recently stumbled across a program where you could enter your name in a lottery to be one of the first colonists on Mars. Quite a few of my more scientific friends thought it was a great idea and wanted to know if I would sign up.
Hummm, I think not. You go and maybe I’ll come and visit you there. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great idea to start spreading out, I’m just no ready to spend my last few days in a place where there are not a lot of other people to talk to.
Back to the thought at hand… I have commented on the population of the world before noting that in places like China and India the shear number of people stacks the odds in their favor with respect to intellect. What I had not considered, is that there might be a much shorter time to address population problems. In North America we seem to have adjusted our expectations to the point where we have negative population growth.
I’m almost certain that this is considered to be a civilized approach to population control and that the people who live hear are appalled when they stories of abandoned babies in other countries because of population control policies. The book does point out that the time following the black death was one of the most prolific for the human race. It seems we all do better when there is a lot to go around.
It’s not the best written book that I’ve ever read, but it does present food for thought.