[FoRK] [tt] Does economics violate the laws of physics?

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 11:04:40 PDT 2009

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 1:11 AM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo
<ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> The explanation you offer does not describe how to increase the carrying
> capacity of anything. It's a *recipe* of how to assemble and combine a
> number of necessary ingredients with dirt to produce edible stuff. ...

What is technology but a set of recipes? Plop a bunch of American
software engineers down in the Kalihari desert, and soon they would
all starve to death. Its carrying capacity for them is zero. The !Kung
have been living there for untold millennia, quite well, because they
have developed a technology for that. Sustainable carrying capacity is
a function of technology as well as of the resource base. Now, yes,
physics says that there is a maximum, independent of technology. I
suspect that maximum is quite far away a) from what is possible given
current and soon-to-be technologies, or b) from what I'd like to see,
given that I have more hopes for coming generations than that they
would just multiply themselves to maximally sustainable numbers.

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