In town after town throughout the U.S., communities are finding that population growth is overcrowding schools, clogging roads, swallowing up open space, taxing the environment, and raising the cost of living for all.
goingtothedogs wrote:The below quote is taken from a current archeology thread.
"I like your theory of a worldview being necessary to bond >30-100 people together. Humans seem capable of having only so many personal contacts at any given time, and without a common worldview to bind society together most people would be strangers whom would be unsure whether they can trust each other or not. And you are good to add the caveat that by religion you are broadly refering to a 'world-view and a way-of-thinking-system' (and I might add a way-of-behaving-system). People around the world have very broad social identities that revolve around more than just theology, but of national identity, ethnic/racial identity, etc"
I've always been a "village person" and I've got a vague kind of feeling that the "right" size for a human group is somewhere around 200 to 500 people. I have always, by choice, lived in villages of around that size.
wolfhnd wrote:The question I have been pondering lately is what effect population density has on personal freedom. I think that it is safe to say that if the world's population was a sixth of what it is there would not necessarily be any reason to regulate for example my auto emissions where I live. Another example might be that the mixing of storm water and sewage during heavy rains may not be a problem so I wouldn't need to pay additional taxes to upgrade the system. If I went to a national park maybe I could camp where ever I wanted.
Forest_Dump wrote:While I don't think there are any necessary limits, 3-400 is a bit of a magic number in these kinds of things. I have (vaguely) heard of that number being used to reference the number of people you can know well including immediate face recognition. 400 is also about the effective limit of a group with a basically egalitarian structure. When that number gets exceeded generally you either get the impetus for the development of a more complex society or, most commonly, the groups splits due to internal tensions, etc. However, this is really more of a rule of thumb because of course you can get a lot of variation for many reasons.
But in the sealed enclosure, flight was impossible. Violence quickly spiralled out of control. Cannibalism and infanticide followed. Males became hypersexual, pansexual and, an increasing proportion, homosexual. Calhoun called this vortex "a behavioural sink". Their numbers fell into terminal decline and the population tailed off to extinction. At the experiments' end, the only animals still alive had survived at an immense psychological cost: asexual and utterly withdrawn, they clustered in a vacant huddled mass. Even when reintroduced to normal rodent communities, these "socially autistic" animals remained isolated until death. In the words of one of Calhoun's collaborators, rodent "utopia" had descended into "hell".
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