Re: Natural Boundaries of Exponential Grow

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Mon Jan 09 2006 - 10:56:21 MST

On 1/9/06, Christian Zielinski <> wrote:
> So we have an civilisation which energy consumption grows exponential
> with time while the
> available energy follows only a cubic law:
> Energy consumption ~ e^(a t)
> Available energy ~ t^3
> As the first of this curves is growing faster, we can find a point in
> time where the
> energy consumption would be greater than the maximal energy which can be
> used.
> Therefore the technological progress has to slow down. Am I right?

Barring new physics (FTL travel, creating new universes via quantum black
holes or otherwise, etc), yes, you're right.

(We can't prove that appropriate new physics will or will not be discovered;
while keeping an open mind to the possibility that it may, it seems to me
most sensible to assume for planning purposes that it will not, until and
unless evidence to the contrary shows up.)

- Russell

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