Quora – Lifespan

What is the expected lifespan of the human race in this rate of consumption of natural resources?

That very much depends how you measure the changes in rates and changes at higher levels of abstraction (changes in systems, and changes in conceptual systems available with which to categorize and optimize systems).

We are getting exponentially better at doing more with less. Ray Kurzweil documents some of those important trends.

We are getting better at recognizing the complexity and uncertainty of the systems within which we find ourselves embedded (physical, biophysical, social, cultural, technological and conceptual) and at finding more useful tools to identify and mitigate risk that exists (to both individual life and individual liberty {applied universally}, and to the biophysical systems within which we exist).

The real question seems to be, will we find effective technological and cultural tools to escape the scarcity traps that exist in concepts like market exchange, and linear process thinking?
Kate Raworth’s “doughnut economics” is a step in a direction of identifying system constraints that must be acknowledged, but still fails to identify the key issue with markets – that they cannot assign a positive value to universal abundance of anything, and thus pose existential level risk, in and of themselves.

So if we do manage to keep on getting exponentially better at doing more with less, and if we do recognize that all sapient life requires as a given a universal abundance of the essentials of life and liberty, and we identify and optimize within the very real limits on biophysical systems, and we also individually acknowledge that existence in reality does impose real limits on liberty {like limits on reproduction} (and all of those are infinitely complex and continuing explorations, not things that have simple solutions), then it does seem to be a real possibility that we may continue for the remainder of eternity (which seems likely to be a reasonably long time).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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