Post by Evelyn Leeper Post by Cryptoengineer
Now we are 7 ... billion.
We're supposed to get human number 7,000,000,000 somewhere around
Halloween. That was the population of the Earth in 'Make Room! Make
filmed as 'Soylent Green'.
What SF stories have dealt with gross overpopulation? Which one
posited the highest population for the planet?
Make Room! Make Room! 7 billion (in 1999)
The Caves of Steel 8 billion
Foundation (on Trantor) 45 billion
The World Inside 75 billion
A Torrent of Faces Trillion(s?)
I also remember one non-fiction speculative essay ("The Ruddy Limit")
which went far, far higher, but it required reconstructing the Earth
into a much larger multi-decked sphere, and had heat dissipation as
the limiting factor.
I don't count stories that change humans to something smaller and
easier to pack, such as in Blood Music (10^15 or so).
I think STAND ON ZANZIBAR postulated 7 billion.
I think this topic risks becoming a *really interesting* topic. As
I've been watching the news over recent years, I thought I heard vibes
of a new antiwar counterculture emerging, but then it evaporated. I
thought about that, and about today's computer tech and personal info
collecting; and concluded then that to kill a movement, you somehow
uh ...deactivate a very few key people. At the beginning when it is
small. And I thought that *that* was why no movement like late
Vietnam developed then.
But the problem continued: more war; more economic issues; then came
Bush, I mean Obama who below the public radar, emulated Bush in some
core matters, and the problems grew. Then the Republicans shocked
Washington and Congress fell in the public reckoning -- tonight's TV
news had Congress at 11% approval which is the lowest on record --
and now we are seeing a few protests in the streets. With possibility
of more: *We are living in interesting times.* Of course, if fewer
people then fewer social problems. Are we maybe, arrived at reality
that is "Make room! Make room!" and in a few months we hark back
sadly to the more peaceful times of early to mid 2011? Or does
Washington take control of the situation and in a year we begin to
see Orwell's '1984' as a desirable utopia?
A very interesting detail of tonight's news was mentioned by one or
another observer: the apparently leaderless character of what is going
on. Is that because some people have worked it out that to be seen
as a leader, might become terminal? ??
I don't expect to see Soylent Green on store shelves, but I wonder if
in their back rooms, the makers of dog and cat foods are perhaps
thinking about new and larger markets? *Much* larger?
Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [Mon 2011 Oct 03]
** Space Frontier Now! **