May 2008

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Comments

fnc

Dang. I guessed carrot.

lawsorceress

which, astonishingly - 10 billion - was precisely what leapt to mind. That exact number.

tapeworm

I'VE WON!!!! i said "a lot" XD

Hovie

Maybe I'm wired funny but I guessed 12 billion off the bat. There are 6 billion people today. The vast majority will die within 100 years. So let's start there. In 100 years the population of the world will have increased greatly. So more people than 6 billion will die because the population is going up, and not everyone lives to be 100. At that point I figured, why sweat the math? Just double the number to 12 billion. I might be wrong, but I know I'm in the right ballpark.

Arby

My accurate prediction is that twice as many as one half the people will die in 100 years.

Kirk

Funny, my immediate reaction was 'lots'. I then tried to work it out and got 35 million and thought, no, that's not right...

I stand by my first answer.

Hacker Kitty

you know what's weird? If you read some old scifi, like Harry Harrison's non-humour stuff, or The Winnowing by Azimov,where he wrote about a hellish future where 6 billion people were alive, and it would have been 7 billion but for the famine everywhere. He was a bit too right...

Steve C.

Check out this website and do the math:
http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks2.htm

~11 million deaths as of March 11, 2008.
Equals ~ 44 million deaths per year.
Equals ~ 4.4 billion deaths in 100 years.

Using the same data source:
~26 million births as of March 11, 2008.
Equals ~ 104 million births per year.
Equals ~ 10.4 billion births in 100 years.

(FYI...the rates are approximations based on past stats and estimates.)

Hacker Kitty

I thought 10 people... but I put the inaccuracy down to rounding errors

Leora

42.

Well, someone had to say it to Mr. Adams.

Brandon

Jesus will definitely come back before then.

Clumpy

I guessed 4 billion. You have to assume that nearly everybody alive today will die before this kid gets too old, which puts the figure at nearly 7 billion already. Had I thought about this and not guessed immediately, I would have been higher - maybe 10 billion.

Martha

I said 10 billion. No, really. I'm feeling smug now.

jeff

i guess we need to start thinking about making space cemetaries

Sondra

My guess was billions,
which I tried to narrow (without the math)
and came up with 10 to 15 billion,
assuming we keep
dying (no fountain of youth discovered yet),
having babies,
having enough food,
not drowning due to global warming, (bringing the total below 10B),
and not blowing up the world today.

kll

My answer was "Mil... Bill... $#%@... English has these backwards!" (relatively to my native tongue)

Eric

I knew approximately how many people were on earth so I guessed 10 billion - within the 5 seconds. I enjoy these types of questions.

Jeff

My first thought

ALL OF THEM.

Upon reflection I still have to wonder if I am right or not. There is no shortage of ways we could end all of mankinds lives in the next hundred years. There is also plenty of ways for bad luck to do it for us. So to avoid being proven correct we have to come up with a sustainable colonization program before any of those bad things happen.

The odds are not in our favor of making it 100 more years without a planet killer like meteor.

This is one of those things I hope I am wrong about but unfortuneately I am right more often than I care to think about.

Hermund

I guessed 200 billion.

It might be too much. It all depends where the population on Earth is heading, both numerically and geographically.

Chris B

Read the "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" by Nick Bostrom which was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. http://www.nickbostrom.com/fable/dragon.html

"This paper recounts the tale of a most vicious dragon that ate thousands of people every day, and of the actions that the king, the people, and an assembly of dragonologists took with respect thereof."

One of its lessons about death by aging (the dragon in story): "A recurrent tragedy became a fact of life, a statistic. In the fable, people’s expectations adapted to the existence of the dragon, to the extent that many became unable to perceive its badness. Aging, too, has become a mere “fact of life” – despite being the principal cause of an unfathomable amount of human suffering and death."

Scott from Canada

6 Billion on Earth and growing. A turnover roughly every 25 years. That gives me 24+ Billion dead in a 100 year lifespan.

James N

I went....oooohhhh crap crap crap....2 seconds gone...there's the third one....oh God, it's 4 seconds already 500 million!!!!!! That is also exactly how i answer questions in the last 20 minutes of any exam.

aakBstn

2 Billion - what do I win?

Dom

Even if the answer was as small as 1 million - I just can't conceptualise that number... if I stood in the middle 1 million would feel the same as 1 billion

Ken E

Assuming that the dead are buried 8 feet apart it would take a cemetary that was 150 miles by 150 miles...If they were buried end to end, 12 feet apart they would circle the earth approx 8 times

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