Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why can negative demographic trends not be reversed?

“History suggests that once a country crosses the threshold of negative population growth, there is little that its government can do to reverse it.” This line is an excerpt from a 2023 NYT article: Can China Reverse Its Population Decline? Just Ask Sweden.

Another 2023 quote: “The negative population growth trend cannot be reversed, but behavior and expectations can be changed. A new type of urbanization centered on the formal recognition of the urbanized status of migrant workers will be an important source of dividends from demand-side reforms.”

I think, feel, believe these claims are true but why??

There are some related concepts, like:

Considering that these trends also represent mathematical functions similar to distributions, the first derivative (ie, growth or decline) and the second derivative (ie, the rate of change) must apply. Both should allow calculating the inflection point, the point where the curve changes.

Mathematics does not explain why. Analogies may, however, be helpful. Scientists claim the global population of ants amounts to at least 20 quadrillion, which is about 2.5 million for every person on Earth (eg, NYT-2022). A big difference between ants and humans is the maximum ant colony size.

While humans stick together, ants fly away in massive droves during the Flying Ant Day in summertime (eg, Independent-2022, NHM-2019, RSB). The average ant colony thus remains between 20,000 to 100,000 ants. This habit may explain why ants to not face demographic declines.

In certain fields like computer science and operations research, humans did learn from ants, like the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms. Our habit of building megacities (a.k.a. urbanisation) suggests that humans do not believe in what we learned from ants. We prefer to stick together.

It seems that our human Belief systems (eg, 2015 original and 2019 update) are – once again – accountantable and/or responsible for the rise and fall of nations and civilizations. Humans beliefs (known unknowns) are even stronger than knowledge (known knowns).

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

A quote attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), a former British Prime Minister 

Let’s Stick Together (1962) by Bryan Ferry (1976 cover)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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