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In the OTU In the Official Traveller Universe. Any milieux that's been published in any edition. Not for discussion of rules except in reference to how they reflect the OTU

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  #41  
Old December 6th, 2017, 08:31 PM
Ishmael Ishmael is offline
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Originally Posted by Able Baker View Post
While some rather blunt models of population growth have been proposed (and been refuted) here, isn't the OTU implicitly assuming that birthrates can go up dramatically in the future?

I have made calculations several times of how the tens of billions of people might come about on some of the Hi-Pop planets. IIRC, I had to assume birthrates of 4+ per woman in many of the cases to get to the official numbers in the time since official discovery & colonization.

Now I see this as a great springboard for the imagination and see it as a feature. But if you really think that higher TLs (=standard of education & living) lead to lower birthrates all the time, then you will have big troubles explaining the settlement of known space.
I don't think the OTU assumes anything about populations. It just generates pops in a manner that is completely random without anything affecting the result. This causes totally non-sensical results in many cases. I use IMTU a slightly different method:
https://sites.google.com/site/moukot...p-1/population

Another alternative is to model growth which means estimating carrying capacity of a world.

On Earth, habitable land is about 33-38% of total landmass and consists of arable, pasture, and permanent crop land, so it is related to physiological density of population. I chose to use this single datapoint to figure that habitable land is related to land% * hydro%/2. For earth this makes habitable land to be ~10.5% of total surface area, which falls in the ballpark. This makes water act as a kind of limit of land usable for food/people; a world with no water will have no habitable land and thus need life support for food production. Non-habitable land are deserts, mountains, and land without top-soil.

Given all that, I looked at the 'net to see how many people 1 km^2 can support. Many sites agreed with a Cornell researcher that 1 acre could support a single person with a varied diet ( omnivorous ) and given that 1 km^2 has a bout 250 acres ( actually ~247 but I rounded to a neater number ), I figured a carrying capacity of 250 people per square km of habitable land. Using these numbers for earth's dimensions, I get a carrying capacity for earth of about 13.7 billion ( pop number of ~10.137 ), which falls in line with current estimates for max population of earth.

Currently, the earth uses approximately 50 workers per km^2 habitable land ( over varying tech levels ) to grow food. Tech level primarily affects this number of labor. Solar incidence, I would guess, effects growth and thus production, but shouldn't be a big deviation from '1' for worlds in the habitable zone. Again outside of this, a population would have to use some form of life support* to grow food.

so , for a world that doesn't use life support to grow plants,
total world area ~ diameter_km^2 * pi
total land area ~ world area * ( 1- hydro% )
habitable area ~ land area * ( hydro% / 2)
effect pop dens. ~ total pop / habitable land

12,800km diameter = ~514,718,105
land 30% = ~154,415,431
habitable area = ~54,045,401 ( earth pop ~7.5e9 )
eff. density = ~139 ( Earth's pop density ~145 pop/mile^2, or ~132 pop/mile^2 without counting Antarctica )

If the eff. density is less than 250, then the world is self sufficient and might even be able to export food.
If the eff. density is greater than 250, it must import food or else make up the difference with tech_life_support.

Not exactly related to the OP, but maybe useful in attempting to explain populations...

I'm also thinking that a world's population density is more important than total pop. A billion people on a tiny rock ball would be different socially than a billion people on a large world.

Last edited by Ishmael; December 7th, 2017 at 07:45 AM..
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  #42  
Old December 7th, 2017, 01:29 AM
Able Baker Able Baker is offline
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I don't think the OTU assumes anything about populations.
Well, the Hi-Pop worlds are canonical. As is their settlement history, however sketchy.
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  #43  
Old December 7th, 2017, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Able Baker View Post
Well, the Hi-Pop worlds are canonical. As is their settlement history, however sketchy.
A lot of it may be sketchy given how little was written about individual worlds in Charted Space. There wasn't a lot of material developed that provided detailed world/system histories in the past, Tarsus being an exception, which could shed some light on this.

We'd have to go back to the source for an explanation on some of this rather than just speculating.

Just as a test, I took a 5000 strong population and had it grow at 2% for 500 years and ended up with almost 100mil at the end of that time. If there was a greater growth rate, or longer for this to occur withing, or the initial number was greater, or there was an ongoing addition to this each year for a number of years (think the 2300AD colony population growth chart in the Ref's Manual) then the numbers would be greater.

Additionally, one of the problems we may have with our concept of how this goes is that we look at it through modern western eyes. If the culture is different then how many children a family has, even under similar economic circumstances, will likely differ. That would impact on population growth rates, and could be a justification for high popn worlds that still have high TLs.
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  #44  
Old December 7th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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Additionally, one of the problems we may have with our concept of how this goes is that we look at it through modern western eyes. If the culture is different then how many children a family has, even under similar economic circumstances, will likely differ. That would impact on population growth rates, and could be a justification for high popn worlds that still have high TLs.
That's my point, too, full agreement. I find this a very interesting area for thought experiments.

EDIT: Also note that 2% is about the highest humanity ever reached in reality on a planetary scale. It was much lower through most of history and currently also is.
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  #45  
Old December 7th, 2017, 11:43 AM
welsh welsh is offline
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Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
Demographic data contradicts your position.
Globally, population growth is declining, having peaked in the early-mid 60's. It is projected to continue to drop over this century.
This does not contradict my view, unless you obtusely misread what I've said as a reductivist claim that population growth depends only on one thing, the value placed on life.

I haven't made that claim.

Obviously, population growth depends on a great many variables. But it isn't my goal here to understand all those variables. My point is much simpler. A claim was made that high populations go along with a low value placed on life. I assert this is untrue: looking only at these two variables, clearly a greater value placed on life promotes population growth, by tending to promote protection of life.

This does not imply that a high population society must therefore have law and order and good medical care. Again, this misreads the argument. War and violence may still occur; poverty may prevent many from getting care. But now we are adding variables.

For the sake of argument, however, let's proceed with the view that war, political instability, and poverty reflect a low value placed on human life. In this case, we are now arguing that violence and poverty arise from a moral failing, and therefore, to use examples cited by others, that people in developing counries endure poverty and violence because of that moral failing. In short, this is to argue that brown people are poor because they are bad people. I don't think anyone wants to pursue that line of argument.

Or, one may take the economist's view, that a high supply of life reduces the value of life. But this is erroneous: it assumes that a moral position -- the view that lives have inherent value -- is the outcome of supply and demand, and can only arise if life is limited. I don't believe that position is defensible.

A high-pop society may be poor or rich; it may be violent or peaceful; it may have shared values that reflect a high or low "value of life"; none of this affects the argument. Nor do poverty, violence, birth rates, access to medical care, etc., at any given time necessarily reflect a low value placed on life. "Value of life" is only one factor affecting outcomes.

The point, which ought to be obvious, is that placing value on lives, over time, tends to increase the number of lives. We can't assume that a high population goes along with a low value on life.
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  #46  
Old December 7th, 2017, 12:55 PM
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I think a core aspect to consider is the distinction of the value of the individual vs. the value of the society's planet's life.

Arguably a high law level driven by population modifiers and government is showing a high concern for the value of life, but perhaps not the value of a particular individual living or having the choice or tools themselves.
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  #47  
Old December 7th, 2017, 01:44 PM
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Or, one may take the economist's view, that a high supply of life reduces the value of life. But this is erroneous: it assumes that a moral position -- the view that lives have inherent value -- is the outcome of supply and demand, and can only arise if life is limited. I don't believe that position is defensible.
Even for economists, the calculation via supply and demand works only for the value of labour.

A much better model for the value of life from a monetary standpoint is to look into life insurance.
For historical data, you can look into ransoms being paid. Both are available data points on the value of a life through societies and TLs.

Also you can look into recompensation payments for manslaughter in different societies and the likes.
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  #48  
Old December 7th, 2017, 02:28 PM
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@Able, there is a large body of economic research on the value of life, but it is focused primarily on the willingness to pay for increases in safety, not the kinds of things you are listing. If you google "value of a statistical life" you will get lots of info on how it is done.

But you are right, the research doesn't have anything to do with supply of lives.
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  #49  
Old December 8th, 2017, 03:42 AM
Ishmael Ishmael is offline
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Injecting morals in the argument is a bad thing as moral judgments are often based on religious dogma.
Bringing skin color into the argument opens the door to racist theories.

I'm out of this discussion.
The objective data concerning population growth stands on its own.
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  #50  
Old December 8th, 2017, 10:14 AM
welsh welsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Arguably a high law level driven by population modifiers and government is showing a high concern for the value of life, but perhaps not the value of a particular individual living or having the choice or tools themselves.
The old tension between law and order and individual rights.

Placing a high value on children has led to bubble-wrap helicopter parenting. The problem with valuing life -- protecting people from harm -- is that it makes for a lousy adventure setting: "Don't slay that monster, it's dangerous!"

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Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
Injecting morals in the argument is a bad thing as moral judgments are often based on religious dogma.
I did not inject morals into the argument; they were there from the start. This discussion was about the value of life in the 3I setting. Since it was never until now couched in financial terms, the discussion has been about the value of life as a moral concept from the get-go.

I'm wondering how you failed to notice that.
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