Day 133: Systems Within Systems

Before we get to today’s poem, please forgive me for a bit of a rant.

I had a conversation the other day with a very intelligent individual who firmly believes that we are about to destroy our planet and that the only solution is an immediate curb to our population growth. One child per household. Because that worked so well for China.

I do not disagree with him on the fact that our planet is on the verge of a massive system collapse. We have massive, and massively intricate, interlocking ecosystems that we have been steadily breaking down with delayed, exponentially increasing consequences. The planet is going to change soon. Dramatically. So will we.

His argument hinges upon the idea that our rate of consumption of resources and energy is fixed. That we will only have the means to correct that by not being so crowded for resources, especially when the crash happens.

My response is this: more people equals more solutions.

There’s a perceived flaw in this reasoning which is that we are waiting for geniuses to come along and solve our problems. Genius doesn’t work like that.

I stand by my argument. More people equals more solutions. The answer lies not in our ability to control our baser urges but in our ability to innovate.

NASA is currently experimenting with biomining in space–that is using bacteria to mine asteroids. The military has developed an artificial brain called SENTIENT capable of writing new software. 3D printing has reached the point where it can work with organic compounds and the techniques used are not nearly so wasteful as our typical methods of construction. Artificial Intelligences are being developed to act as expressions of ourselves. Children are growing up immersed in electronics. Forms of education we thought hyper-advanced 20-30 years ago are now common place.

As our population has exponentially grown over the last hundred off years, so has our technology. So has our ability to innovate. We are not increasing our population to wait for a handful of outliers. What we are doing is working to raise the overall standard.

Things are going to change. It’s inevitable. Some of it will probably be bad. Call me an optimist, but I think that more of it’s going to be good.

Systems Within Systems

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