My code is trying to kill me

Project Economix 3

27.12.2014

In short, Malthusian trap is an explanation for a problem happening to humanity where we tend to live constantly on the brink of starvation. Whenever we find the way to produce more food (or wealth) from natural resources, we tend to multiply until again everybody lives in misery.

Let's try to explain it with hypothetical example. Imagine an uninhabited island that can support 1000 people, hunter gatherer style. Now, 100 primitive people arrive on the island. What happens? They live in harmony with nature, they gather fruits from bushes and trees, they hunt for meat. They enjoy their lives, they are healthy, nurtured and happy. They live in egalitarian communities. And they multiply...

Soon, island have 1200 inhabitants and problems arise. There isn't enough food for everybody. People are malnourished, sometimes desperate and they start to fight. Population stagnates as more children do not survive to adulthood. Even worse, as climate fluctuates sometimes island can support even more people and population grows. But then, when climate changes, mass starvations occur regularly.

Some smart people try and succeed in growing plants, inventing the agriculture. Invention spreads, it is simple and everybody adopts it. It is much more efficient than just gathering what nature provides and now the island can support 3000 people. They don't live in harmony with nature anymore as they cut the threes whenever they need more land. They are working more and harder but they are again properly nourished as there is enough food for everyone. Technology made their lives better (or at least less miserable). And they multiply...