RE: A Wicked Remark from Arthur C. Clarke

From: denis bider (
Date: Mon Jan 22 2001 - 07:49:37 MST

Jim Fehlinger writes:

> [...] Clarke says (p. 273):
> "The astronomer Fred Hoyle once remarked to me that
> it was pointless for the world to hold more people than one
> could get to know in a single lifetime. Even if one were president
> of United Earth, that would set the figure somewhere between ten
> thousand and one hundred thousand; with a very generous allowance
> for duplication, wastage, special talents, and so forth, there
> really seems no requirement for what has been called the global
> village of the future to hold more than a million people
> scattered over the face of the planet.

This reminds me of Plato and his Ideal State, which ought to contain no more
and no less than 5040 men... (Plus a number of women and children and slaves
of course)

I don't think having no more than 100 000 people on Earth is a great
prospect. Come visit our country some time and you'll see what a restriction
having only 2 million inhabitants is: there seems to be a shortage of talent
in many areas.

Having a large number of people allows one to fill various niches with
competent people better than if the number of people is small.

Granted, this reasoning rests on the assumptions that talented human beings
are required for the population to prosper, and that variation is a good
thing. Someone outside of the human race may not view it the same way.

Just my 2.35 Yen.

- denis

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