Modeling the past to save the future.

Last update: June 24, 2021

About This Site:

Big Pic Explorer is a repository for the writing and research of Bradley Jarvis concerning the future of humanity. Much of it includes attempts to identify and simply model basic global variables underlying history with the goal of determining how people's values are reflected in their impact on the world and what would be required to extend our survival for as long and possible.

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Research Overview and Status:

Research, embodied by a model called Timelines that is based on historical trends, has shown that humanity's behaviors, wellbeing and longevity are deeply tied to, and critically limited by, the supply of resources that can be used to meet basic needs as found in natural ecosystems. We are rapidly exhausting those resources; and if we are to survive, we must stop consuming more while working to increase their amount.

The model's simulation that best matches history (called Green") projects that in 2020 humanity had only twice as much habitat per person as is needed for basic survival. Only 25 years before we had four times as much habitat as we needed then. If it continues on most likely trajectory, by 2056 we will have just enough to meet our basic needs; and if we attempt to consume more, or the supply is reduced for another reason (such as global warming), then we will go extinct soon after that.

One way to avoid disaster, or at least postpone it, is to effectively create more habitat by removing some of what we've created to take its place. This "waste" has many forms, broadly categorized as what we use and what we don't or can't use. How it is removed depends on what it is, but the net result is more of what life like us can consume to meet basic needs, including other life that is both consumed and creates what can be consumed. The effect of a version of this approach on global habitat as a multiple of needs (people) is presented below as simulation C Drop (for "consumption drop") in the following graph alongside simulation Green".


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