## Humans had ZPG for 5,000 years!!!

I’m listening to “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States”, a new book exploring recent findings on the 97% of our past as human beings before writing, tax collectors, cities, and modern states.

One surprising finding: from ten thousand BC to five thousand BC, the total population of us human beings (homo sapiens sapiens) world wide went from about 4 million souls to 5 million — according to one estimate by Macevedy & Jones. (There are other estimates: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/international-programs/historical-est-worldpop.html )

That was rather slow growth, the author noted. But *how* slow, this retired math teacher wondered?

So I got out a pencil and my notebook and wrote an equation. I used G for the annual growth factor, and wanted to see how close to 1.0000000 it was.

(Note: If G is exactly 1, then the population never changes; if G is less than 1, the population shrinks with exponential decay. If G=2.0, then the population doubles every year, which obviously can’t happen in any human population anywhere nor at any time. Though it certainly can for some of our commensal pests like mice…)

So, Macevedy & Jones’ initial population estimate of 4,000,000 (assuming smooth exponential growth over five millennia — a useful mathematical fiction) gets multiplied by G, whatever that might be, five thousand times (ie by G raised to the 5,000th power) to produce 5,000,000 people.

Or, 4000000*G^5000 = 5000000

Dividing both sides by four million I get

G^5000 = 1.25

The only way I know to solve that is to take the logarithm of both sides. Doing that with base ten and using the special laws of logs, I get

5000*log (G) = log (1.25)

Then I divide both sides by 5000 and I get

Log(G) = log(1.25) /5000

Then I exponentiate both sides using the original log base (ten), and I get

G =10^( log(1.25) / 5000)

At this point I use a calculator on my phone, typing in exactly the stuff on the RH side of the equals sign. And I get

10^(log10(1.25)/5000) = 1.00004463

Which is very, very close to unity. How close? Let us subtract one from that. We get

0.0000463 or 4.463e-05 in scientific notation. Or roughly 45 parts in a million. Mind you, there were a grand total of four million of our ancestors on the planet then, so we can multiply that 45 by four, and we get 180.

But what does that mean?

It means that on average, out of the ENTIRE HUMAN POPULATION ON THE PLANET AT THAT TIME, there was a net increase of people of only 180 souls per year.

That’s all.

On the whole planet!!!!

They had nearly achieved zero population growth!

But during the next five thousand years our population really exploded, to some hundreds of millions of people. Doinfg the same calculation, I found that the annual growth rate was about 1.00074, or 0.074%, or 74 additional net humans per year per hundred thousand, or about 74 thousand net new humans per year total, world-wide, once they got up to about a hundred million people.

That’s just up to the year 0 BC/AD.

Let us remember always that this planet right here is the only one we humans can possibly live on or get to in any numbers. We are as a species have done incalculable damage. Here in North America, think of the thoughtless and greedy extermination (or near-extermination) of the passenger pigeon; the American chestnut, elm, hemlock and ash; the buffalo; almost all of old-growth forests; most anadromous Atlantic fish; and Chesapeake bay oysters — all of which used to be plentiful beyond belief.

Some species are now recovering, such as deer, beavers, skunks, rabbits, foxes and coyotes.. Why is that? If you look at photos of Virginia countryside from 90 to 150 years ago, you see very, very few trees. Lumber companies and plantation owners and small farmers had cut them all down to plant grain and cash crops. Plowed land erodes quickly from both wind and rain. Those formerly fertile fields became uneconomical to farm, and so field after field (including ones I played or worked or hunted on as a kid and young man) have been allowed to regrow brush and then trees or housing developments, shopping centers, and pavement. So East of the Mississippi, there has been a dramatic increase in percentage of tree canopy over the last century.

However, some countries are repeating America’s mistakes and are cutting down primeval firsts as fast as they can…

Published in: on October 6, 2022 at 10:20 am  Comments (2)
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## What is their secret?

Looking at the ECDC figures on the current corona virus, I am struck by one thing: Some countries have tiny numbers of people dead from this disease, and some have enormous death tolls.

A lot of the nations with low COVID-19 mortality totals are not exactly famous for having wonderful medical systems> On the other hand, some of these nations are known for being relatively advanced and prosperous, and have well-equipped social networks.

So, what’s their secret?

I just made a list of all the nations with at least a half-million population that have so far had fewer than a hundred people who have died from COVID-19. After each one I list the number dead through today, June 20, 2020, and their population in millions. From that I derived the number of fatalities per million, or fpm. I have arranged them by continent, and then alphabetically by country name.

In ONLY ONE of these countries is the number of deaths per million population anywhere near what it is in the USA, namely about 354 dead per million to date. (That exception is El Salvador.) Many of the countries I listed have fewer than 1 fatality per million, which I denoted as “<1 fpm”.

In Africa:

Angola, 8 dead, pop 32 Million people, <1 fpm

Botswana, 1 dead, pop 2 M, <1 fpm

Benin, 11 dead, pop 12 M, 1 fpm

Burkina, Faso 53 dead, pop 20 M, 3 fpm

Burundi, 1 dead, pop 12 M, <1 fpm

Cape Verde, 8 dead, pop 0.5 M, 16 fpm

Central African Republic, 19 dead, pop 5 M, 4 fpm

Congo, 27 dead, pop 5 M, 5 fpm

Cote d’Ivoire, 49 dead, pop 26 M, 2 fpm

Djibouti, 45 dead, pop 1 M, 45 fpm

Equatorial Guinea, 32 dead, pop 1.4 M, 23 fpm

Eritrea, 0 dead, pop 3 M, 0 fpm

Eswatini (was Swaziland), 4 dead, pop 1 M, 4 fpm

Ethiopia, 72 dead, pop 112 M ,<1 fpm

Gabon, 34 dead, pop 2 M, 17 fpm

Gambia, 1 dead, pop 2 M, <1 fpm

Ghana, 70 dead, pop 30 M, 2 fpm

Guinea, 27 dead, pop 13 M, 2 fpm

Guinea Bissau, 15 dead, pop 2 M, 8 fpm

Lesotho, 0 dead, pop 2 M, 0 fpm

Liberia, 33 dead, pop 5 M, 7 fpm

Libya, 10 dead, pop 7 M, 1 fpm

Malawi, 8 dead, pop 19 M, <1 fpm

Mauretania, 95 dead, pop 5 M, 19 fpm

Mozambique, 4 dead, pop 30 M, <1 fpm

Namibia, 0 dead, pop 2 M, 0 fpm

Niger, 67 dead, pop 23 M, 3 fpm

Rwanda, 2 dead, pop 13 M, <1 fpm

Senegal, 79 dead, pop 16 M, 5 fpm

Sierra Leone, 53 dead, pop 8 M, 7 fpm

Somalia, 88 dead, pop 15 M, 6 fpm

South Sudan, 31 dead, pop 15 M, 2 fpm

Togo, 13 dead, pop 8 M, 2 fpm

Tunisia, 50 dead, 12 M, 4 fpm

Uganda, 0 dead, 44 M, 0 fpm

Tanzania, 21 dead, 58 M, <1 fpm

Western Sahara, 1 dead, pop 0.6 M, 2 fpm

Zambia, 11 dead, pop 17 M, <1 fpm

Zimbabwe, 4 dead, pop 15 M, <1 fpm

In the Americas:

Costa Rica, 12 dead, pop 5 M, 2fpm

Cuba, 85 dead, pop 11 M, 7 fpm

Guyana, 12 dead, pop 0.8 M, 15 fpm

Haiti, 87 dead, pop 11 M, 7 fpm

Jamaica, 10 dead, pop 3M, 3 fpm

Nicaragua, 64 dead, pop 7 M, 9 fpm

Paraguay, 13 dead, pop 7 M, 2 fpm

Suriname, 8 dead, pop 0.6 M, 13 fpm

Uruguay, 24 dead, pop 3 M, 8 fpm

Venezuela, 30 dead, pop 29 M, 1 fpm

In Asia:

Bahrain, 57 dead, pop 2 M, 28 fpm

Bhutan, 0 dead, pop 0.8 M, 0 fpm

Cambodia, 0 dead, pop 16 M, 0 fpm

Jordan, 9 dead, pop 10 M, 1 fpm

Kyrgyzstan, 35 dead, pop 6 M, 6 fpm

Laos, 0 dead, pop 7 M, 0 fpm

Lebanon, 32 dead, pop 7 M, 5 fpm

Maldives, 8 dead, pop 0.5 M, 16 fpm

Mongolia, 0 dead, pop 3 M, 0 fpm

Myanmar, 6 dead, pop 54 M, <1 fpm

Nepal, 22 dead, pop 29 M, <1 fpm

Palestine, 5 dead, pop 5 M, 1 fpm

Qatar, 93 dead, pop 3 M, 31 fpm

Singapore, 26 dead, pop 6 M, 5 fpm

Sri Lanka, 11 dead, pop 21 M, <1 fpm

Syria, 7 dead, pop 17 M, <1 fpm

Taiwan, 7 dead, pop 24 M, <1 fpm

Tajikistan, 51 dead, pop 9 M, 6 fpm

Thailand, 58 dead, pop 70 M, <1 fpm

Uzbekistan, 19 dead, pop 33 M, <1 fpm

Vietnam, 0 dead, pop 96 M, 0 FPM

In Europe:

Albania, 42 dead, pop 3 M, 14 fpm

Cyprus, 19 dead, pop 0.9 M, 21 fpm

Estonia, 69 dead, pop 1.3 M, 53 fpm

Georgia, 14 dead, pop 4 M, 4.5 fpm

Kosovo, 33 dead, pop 2 M, 17 fpm

Latvia, 30 dead, pop 2 M, 15 fpm

Lithuania, 76 dead, pop 3 M, 25 fpm

Malta, 9 dead, pop 0.5 M, 18 fpm

Montenegro, 9 dead, pop 0.6 M, 15 fpm

Slovakia, 28 dead, pop 5 M, 6 fpm

Elsewhere:

New Zealand, 22 dead, pop 5 M, 4 fpm

Papua New Guinea, 0 dead, pop 9 M, 0 fpm

Once again, I would very much like the secret of what those countries (apparently) did right, and what the US, Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and a lot of other countries obviously did wrong.

Ideas?

Published in: on June 20, 2020 at 9:30 pm  Comments (2)
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## The US is surrendering to COVID

“The facts suggest that the U.S. is not going to beat the coronavirus,” the Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer write. “Collectively, we slowly seem to be giving up.”

That demoralized attitude is reflected at the top of American politics: It has been more than a month since the Trump administration held a daily coronavirus task force briefing. – reports the Washington Post.

North and South America now have by far the most cases and the most deaths, as these histograms that I lifted from the European CDC make clear.

All that orange? That’s mostly the US and Brazil, both led by ignorant, right-wing, would-be autocrats who have spent most of the past several months ignoring the threat.

Recall that the virus apparently made the leap from animals to humans in China? Well, somehow, it appears that China and most other Asian countries have done a pretty good job of stopping the spread of this deadly disease. The early death toll in Europe was frightening, but has decreased by a LOT. The US, however, has pretty much given up even trying, and now all by itself has over one-quarter of all of the deaths in the entire world, as this graph shows. Those in Africa (so far) and Oceania are minuscule by comparison.

Published in: on June 11, 2020 at 8:46 pm  Comments (3)
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## USA: Highest COVID Death toll in the entire world; One of the highest infection rates per capita; and highest number of cases

Making America Great Again – was it really intended to make the USA have the highest Covid-19 death toll in the entire world, PLUS the highest infection rate? What a record!!

Please look at this table, which I compiled from data I found here and here. I have sorted it by the total number of reported Covid-19 deaths and left off almost all of the nations with less than three thousand cases, except for Taiwan and Vietnam.

If you look, you will see that the US (with 105 thousand deaths) is way ahead of every other country — in fact, it’s about the same as the next three or four nations combined (UK, Italy, Brazil, and France).

The US also has the highest number of reported cases in the entire world, with about 1.8 million; that’s roughly the same amount as the next seven nations combined (Brazil, Russia, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, and India).

### No Herd Immunity

People have been talking about herd immunity and low fatality rates. My calculations tell me that we are a long, long way from herd immunity anywhere, and that the fatality rates are rather high.

To get herd immunity, you need to have 70% to 90% of the population that has antibodies – either from a vaccine or from having contracted the disease and recovered by their own body producing the necessary antibodies. I simply divided the total number of reported cases (which is probably too low in every case, but I have no idea by what factor) by the population of each country. What I find is that not a single nation has reached even 1% of their population having been infected and recovered. The highest such rates are in the small nations of Bahrain, Kuwait, and Luxembourg, which have about 7 people diagnosed as having been positive per THOUSAND, that’s 0.7%. The US has about 0.55% positive.

No herd immunity there.

### High Fatality Rates

If we divide the number of coronavirus deaths by the total number of cases, we get rather large percentages. For the world as a whole, it’s about 6%, and for the very worst-off nations like France, Belgium, Italy, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and Mexico, your chances of dying if diagnosed positive [EDIT] are over 10%.*

Scary.

 Total Reported Cases Total Reported Deaths Calculated fatality rate Population, millions Infection rate so far World 6,104,980 370,078 6.06% 7594 0.080% United States 1,811,016 105,295 5.81% 327 0.554% United Kingdom 274,762 38,489 14.01% 66 0.416% Italy 233,019 33,415 14.34% 60 0.388% Brazil 501,985 28,872 5.75% 209 0.240% France 151,496 28,771 18.99% 67 0.226% Spain 239,429 27,127 11.33% 46 0.520% Mexico 87,512 9,779 11.17% 126 0.069% Belgium 58,381 9,467 16.22% 11 0.531% Germany 183,411 8,602 4.69% 83 0.221% Iran 151,466 7,797 5.15% 82 0.185% Canada 90,516 7,092 7.84% 37 0.245% Netherlands 46,442 5,956 12.82% 17 0.273% India 182,143 5,164 2.84% 10 1.821% Russia 405,843 4,693 1.16% 144 0.282% China 83,001 4,634 5.58% 1393 0.006% Turkey 163,103 4,515 2.77% 82 0.199% Sweden 37,542 4,395 11.71% 10 0.375% Peru 155,671 4,371 2.81% 32 0.486% Ecuador 38,571 3,334 8.64% 17 0.227% Switzerland 30,862 1,657 5.37% 9 0.343% Ireland 24,990 1,652 6.61% 5 0.500% Indonesia 26,473 1,613 6.09% 268 0.010% Pakistan 70,868 1,519 2.14% 212 0.033% Chile 94,858 997 1.05% 19 0.499% Philippines 18,086 957 5.29% 107 0.017% Egypt 23,449 913 3.89% 98 0.024% Colombia 28,236 890 3.15% 50 0.056% Japan 16,804 886 5.27% 127 0.013% Ukraine 23,672 708 2.99% 46 0.051% Austria 16,731 668 3.99% 9 0.186% Algeria 9,394 653 6.95% 42 0.022% Bangladesh 47,153 650 1.38% 161 0.029% South Africa 30,967 643 2.08% 58 0.053% Denmark 11,633 571 4.91% 6 0.194% Argentina 16,201 528 3.26% 44 0.037% Hungary 3,876 526 13.57% 10 0.039% Saudi Arabia 85,261 503 0.59% 34 0.251% Dominican Republic 16,908 498 2.95% 11 0.154% Panama 13,018 330 2.53% 4 0.325% Finland 6,859 320 4.67% 5.5 0.125% Czech Republic 9,233 319 3.45% 11 0.084% Bolivia 9,592 310 3.23% 11 0.087% Moldova 8,251 295 3.58% 3.5 0.236% Israel 17,024 284 1.67% 9 0.189% Nigeria 9,855 273 2.77% 196 0.005% South Korea 11,468 270 2.35% 52 0.022% Sudan 4,800 262 5.46% 42 0.011% United Arab Emirates 33,896 262 0.77% 10 0.339% Afghanistan 15,205 257 1.69% 37 0.041% Serbia 11,381 242 2.13% 7 0.163% Norway 8,437 236 2.80% 5 0.169% Belarus 42,556 235 0.55% 9.5 0.448% Kuwait 27,043 212 0.78% 4 0.676% Morocco 7,783 204 2.62% 36 0.022% Honduras 5,094 201 3.95% 9.6 0.053% Iraq 6,179 195 3.16% 38 0.016% Cameroon 5,904 191 3.24% 25 0.024% Bosnia & Herzegovina 2,510 153 6.10% 3 0.084% Bulgaria 2,453 140 5.71% 7 0.035% North Macedonia 2,226 133 5.97% 2 0.111% Armenia 9,282 131 1.41% 3 0.309% Malaysia 7,819 115 1.47% 32 0.024% Luxembourg 4,016 110 2.74% 0.6 0.669% Croatia 2,246 103 4.59% 4 0.056% Australia 7,193 103 1.43% 25 0.029% Guatemala 4,739 102 2.15% 17 0.028% Cuba 2,025 83 4.10% 11 0.018% DR Congo 3,046 72 2.36% 84 0.004% Azerbaijan 5,494 63 1.15% 10 0.055% Thailand 3,081 57 1.85% 69 0.004% Tajikistan 3,807 47 1.23% 9 0.042% Oman 11,437 46 0.40% 5 0.229% Senegal 3,535 41 1.16% 16 0.022% Kazakhstan 10,858 40 0.37% 18 0.060% Ghana 7,881 36 0.46% 30 0.026% Ivory Coast 2,799 33 1.18% 25 0.011% Guinea 3,706 23 0.62% 12 0.031% Singapore 34,884 23 0.07% 5.6 0.623% Djibouti 3,194 22 0.69% 1 0.319% Bahrain 10,793 18 0.17% 1.5 0.720% Uzbekistan 3,554 14 0.39% 33 0.011% Taiwan 442 7 1.58% 24 0.002% Vietnam 328 0 0.00% 96 0.000%

* EDIT: The divisor here is the number of people who have been formally and medically diagnosed as positive. The number of people who have actually been exposed to COVID-19 is probably considerably higher than the number of people who have tested positive, since no country is testing every single citizen, and the technicians are not testing people randomly.

By what factor is the reported positive rate in the various nation’s populations too low? I cannot say, and I’m positive it varies a lot from nation to nation and even within any country or state or region.

CDC gives a much lower fatality rate than I do – they estimate it to be under 1%, which would mean that every single reported positive case represents about 10 to 60 people who got the infection and fought it off unknowingly. That’s the only way you can lower a 6% fatality rate to 0.6% or 0.1%. Does that sound reasonable to you? It would be nice if that were true, but I rather doubt it.

Published in: on May 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm  Comments (5)
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