My study of population and the settlement of space showed that the amount of people we could have in the Universe is directly dependent on the number of stars there are. Basically, stars represent resources: the more places we can live, the more of us can live.
This graph is a snapshot (from my Settling Space presentation) of the amount and distances of stars at present. Distance is important, because it determines how soon we can reach the fraction of stars that might have habitable planets (or asteroids we can make habitable). How soon we can reach those stars directly impacts the speed that our population can grow.
Increasing speed of growth, or more specifically, exponential growth, is a stated goal of our culture, and arguably most of the world's people. My modeling of space settlement showed that ultimately, even with the most advanced technologies imaginable (that don't violate the laws of physics), the rate of population growth, as a fraction of its value, must inevitably decrease. This is largely due to the fact that there is a physical limit to how fast we can reach other stars: the speed of light, which will probably always be impossible to reach.
© Copyright 2011 Bradley Jarvis. All rights reserved.