Feb 5th Session Recordings

The recordings of our 4th online session of Feb 5th are available. Click to download:

If you need to review the session, or have missed the 4th session, this may be useful for you. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

Author: Atanu Dey


4 thoughts on “Feb 5th Session Recordings”

  1. I would greatly appreciate if you could answer the following question. I have this question because I pondered over some of your posts and then ended up debating some topics with friends and family.

    World population is increasing. Most predictions about “population bomb” have fallen flat and even China learned that their one child policy of was failure. I am ware of Julian Simon and his work and his bet with the biologist.

    A lot of people seem to think increasing population would invariably take us to a disaster. More plastic, more pollution, crowded cities and less good old stuff like open parks, clean rivers and empty roads. More people and more travel might mean more pandemics, more carbon emissions etc.

    I am skeptical about this as I think more people means more innovation. More innovation leads to better quality of life. Without the current levels of world population we wont have so many movies on Netflix and no iphone was possible. Also this relationship seems to be exponential and not linear. For every additional population growth of 1B people humanity seems to be achieving unthinkable things.

    But is this relationship truly infinitely scalable ? Can we have 50B people on earth and have an exceptionally advanced society ? Or is there some point at which increasing population would put so much strain on resources that humanity wont be able to keep up with innovation and hence would lead to some massive disaster where we will end up with lots of people and a very poor quality of life.

    Alternatively, there seems to be some relationship between quality of life and fertility rates. Richer nations dont produce enough babies. Perhaps because the marginal cost of raising an extra child (or even one child) has gone up significantly. This kind of acts as self regulatory behaviour of technology. But there is also a distinct possibility that we might be able to produce babies in lab without complications of a pregnancy, have automated systems that take care of our children most of the times and hence make it both simple and fun to have more kids. This pendulum swings both ways.

    Do you think there is an optimal population for earth and organically human population would oscillate around that number depending on the state of technology during that time period ?

    I do not agree with most people that government should create laws to control population. I believe that let individuals make that choice themselves as to have 0 kids, 1 kid or 12 kids. All the millions of people will make that decision for their individual interests and would end up making a decision that is good for society. This pretty much how I decided to become a farmer for a living and you decided to be an economist but together both of us add value to society and make the world a better place.

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