X Ray Tech Salary

Any society with a marked population explosion will be forced to devote all its energies and technological skills to feeding and caring for the population on its home planet. Technicians will be busy and tech salaries will go up. On any planet, no matter what its biology or social system, an exponential increase in population will swallow every resource.

We can predict thus that no civilization can possibly survive to an interstellar spacefaring phase unless it limits its numbers.

Of course, this is a very powerful conclusion and is in no way based on the idiosyncrasies of a particular civilization.

Conversely any civilization that engages in serious interstellar exploration and colonization must have exercised zero population growth or something very close to it for many generations.

The famous astronomer Carl Sagan and his colleague William Newman have calculated that if a million years ago a spacefaring civilization with a low population growth rate emerged two hundred light-years away and spread outward, colonizing suitable worlds along the way, their survey starships would be entering our solar system only about now.

But a million years is a very long period of time. If the nearest civilization is younger than this, they would not have reached us yet. A sphere two hundred light-years in radius contains 200,000 suns and perhaps a comparable number of worlds suitable for colonization. It is only after 200,000 other worlds have been colonized that, in the usual course of things, our solar system would be accidentally discovered to harbor indigenous civilization.

What does it mean for a civilization to be a million years old? We have had X rays, radio telescopes and spaceships for a few decades; our technical civilization is young, scientific ideas of a modern cast a few thousand, civilization in general a few tens of thousands of years; human beings evolved on this planet only a few million years ago. At anything like our present rate of technical progress, an advanced civilization millions of years old is as much beyond us as we are beyond a bush baby a macaque.


Will a civilization with a low population growth reach some lush Eden?

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