Re: Technology evolves, etc.

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 06 Nov 1998 14:07:23 -0800

'gene writes:
> > 1) It is not clear that demand can ever be "saturated."
>Beyond the classical economics context, I think that is very well
>possible. Albeit it is difficult to compare 'demands' from the
>economical and ecological (say, tropical rainforest) domain,
>in the latter's case the material and energy streams are clearly
>finite (=stagnated at a high level). I think this is also
>applicable to any system with a finite matterenergy concentration,
>which fairly covers them all.

I think you are confusing supply with demand. You describe a case where supply is finite, but this doesn't mean demand is saturated. If you expanded that domain, the animals would expand as well, demonstrated that their demand for territory is *not* saturated.

> > 4) The growth *rate* seems crucial. Something that doubled
> > every twenty years seems pretty uninteresting.
>Only if compared to things that are growing faster.

Yes, I was comparing them to the world economy, which is growing faster. To us, a slower growing process which starts nearby and starts much smaller is just not interesting.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884