Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Growth: what goes up must come down

Growth refers to many different topics: body, brain, business, cancer, climate, economy, ethics, inflation, politics, population, and the Universe. We use many different adjectives to describe growth, like: absolute, actual, historical, marginal, projected, relative. A decline is even negative growth.

The population diagram for 1750-2100 (source) captures several of those adjectives.

Nowadays, growth causes ethical discussions (ie, good versus bad).

Before, growth was mostly viewed as a need, a want, and/or a belief.

Our negative connotation with growth may well result from fastly growing cancers.

Our saying what goes up must come down relates to gravity, a fundamental force in nature and the Universe. However, it’s still unclear if an expanding Universe might defy gravity and continue its (eternal?) growth. Moreover, it’s (very) hard to imagine a contracting Universe a.k.a. Big Crunch.

Growth in inflation is deceptive. Given our relative focus (eg, month-over-month, year-over-year), inflation will automatically decline following mathematics. Tracking an individual item, like milk, gives a better perspective: c.1.30 (2019), 1.42 (2021), 1.84 (2022), 1.73, 1.62, and 1.52 (2023-08).

Growth might be an unknown fundamental force in nature, apart from the known four forces (eg, gravity, electromagnetism). If growth would be a 5th fundamental force then it would explain a mystery in Evolution: how did unicellular organisms (eg, bacteria) evolve into multicellular organisms like us?

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

A quote by James Cash Penney (1875-1971), an “American businessman [] who founded the JCPenney stores in 1902″

What Goes Up … (1978) by The Alan Parsons Project
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album+song

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


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