Re: Natural Boundaries of Exponential Grow

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Fri Jan 13 2006 - 05:12:46 MST

> > 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?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Christian Zielinski
> Yep. I pointed this out on the extropians list
> maybe 13 years ago.
> - Phil Goetz
And Isaac Asimov pointed it out in a science article
before that. The article was discussing the limits on
'population explosion' of the latter 20th century,
the human population growth rate peaked. He
that at the then growth rate, human population would
6000 years be a solid mass of human bodies expanding
at the
speed of light.

The underlying point is that exponential growth will
eventually exceed
any polynomial growth, such as the volume of a sphere
at a constant speed. That's just simple mathematics.
If there is some resource that scales with volume that
need to use, like matter or energy content, then your
rate will have to drop from exponential eventually.
If your
exponential growth rate is a fast one, you will hit
the limits
rather quickly.

One example is the trend of fastest human vehicle.
the trend from 1903 to 1969 forward (Wright Flyer to
Apollo capsule), would have us reaching the speed of
light by mid-
21st century. That trend already broke, since in the
37 years we haven't got any faster.


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