X-Message-Number: 13620
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 13:52:15 -0700
From: Peter Merel <>
Subject: What, Me Worry?

Tom Mazanec writes,

>If civilization falls, all the liquid nitrogen filled thermos bottles
>in the Milky Way galaxy will not help you. You might want to look at
>www.dieoff.org, my future corpsicles :-).

This is an old concern here. The last time it came up, the discussion
concluded with Thomas Donaldson's observation that, in a world with
shrinking resource availability, it's the economically disadvantaged
who will die off. The rest of us should have at least a couple of
decades to convert our fuel usage to natural gas/fuel cells/solar/
fusion/who-knows-what-science-advances-every day. No threat to liquid
nitrogen supplies in that.

So, in general, if you're wealthy enough to enjoy an Internet
connection, you probably don't need to worry about the big dieback
of 2030. If you're working 20 hours a day in a third world sweatshop,
on the other hand, your future might be bleak. Or then again maybe
plentiful biotech/nanotech by 2030 will make your future look rosy.
If Y2K teaches us anything, it's that the behavior of human systems
is far too complex to reliably predict, even in the short term.

Peter Merel.

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