crap i suffer from neurotic behavior, the end is near my friends
Nah - theres plenty more exploitation left in the ol' girl yet.
I hope so.
Sometimes it would seem that way, yes. It's getting a leetle bit crazy out there.
Theft, aggression, murder, sexual deviency? My god! Humanity has been at it's maximum carrying capacity for all of recorded human history!
Is that because biologists increasingly study it?
And all those things have to do with population density, which has little to do with carrying capacity.
It's hard to say when we'll reach it. But with exponential growth, it won't be too long.
And herzog, population density has EVERYTHING to do with carrying capacity.
Not at all. New york has a very high population density, does that mean they can't support their population and are starving in the streets? No, any problems new yorkers are going to have with food will stem from having too much, not too little.
If you cram several million people into one tiny city, and leave huge areas of land virtually empty but filled with farmland, you can easily support the people in the city but you will stil get those population density linked behaviors.
herz: You are correct that the deviancies are associated with population density.
Ability to sustain the population (and to what extent/quality) is a funtion of carrying capacity.
Population density and carrying capacity are intimitely intertwined, but not synonymous.
Would you believe EXCEEDING that sustainable level
Actually, it's a bit more complex than described thus far--although the comment on technology raising population carrying capacity is certainly true. In terms of the amount of time humans have recorded history on this planet, I believe we are 98% of the way to the Carrying capacity--techology notwithstanding (however, see my final two sentences). I believe, to an extent, the catastrophe scenarios of the past (bubonic plague, etc.) could happen again, and probably will, which will greatly reduce populations. Also, from an environmental standpoint, we will change the character of natural life on the planet so much over the next 500 years, Earth will appear very different than only 500 years ago. Additionally, human beings will evolve artificially at ever greater rates of change (technology again), so that in some distant century, the phrase "humans nearing ________" fill-in-the-blank will be meaningless; we will no longer be human (in today's terms). The alternative to the "artificial evolution" scenario is if we actually cause a thermonuclear "winter" as some scientists predict is possible, due to the detonation of several hundred nuclear bombs (possibly as little as 50 - 100 weapons).
Crap, just checked my numbers again--I should have said 92% (not 98%) of the way to Carrying Capacity (in terms of time), which essentially leaves us somewhere between 160 and 840 years (or, if you like, 2.1 to 11 lifespans of the average 1980-born industrialized nation's citizens. Not particularly good, especially if lifespans increase dramatically with artificial evolution. But honestly, it's a crap-shoot when speaking of more than 75 years from now anyway.