pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
A while ago I read Farewell To Alms, whose basic thesis was that Europe industrialized before Asia because Europe had worse hygiene. More specifically, Europe had both a higher birth rate and a higher death rate (in part because their atrocious sanitary conditions encouraged disease), and that led to more selection pressure, making Europeans smarter and more industrious than Asians. At the time I thought the book had some serious holes but also some interesting ideas. After reading more history, I increasingly want to withdrawal what praise I gave it. If disease led to economic prosperity, Africa would look like Dubai.

Learning history in school, I vaguely knew that at one point China had been pretty advanced, but then regressed somehow. And it's true, they did suppress a few technologies, like gun powder. But China was the world's superpower for much longer than I appreciated- probably right up until the industrial revolution. Europe went off to other lands in search of precious medals because China would give them spices for them*. And a lot of the civilizations they conquered were pretty advanced themselves, but were crippled by European diseases (so I guess the poor hygiene thing did work out for them after all).

The industrial revolution happened in England because coal was cheap and labor was expensive (why the difference in the cost of labor? I don't know, but I'll bet it's interesting). But more generally: the rules of the game had changed, and the winners under the old rules are never the winners under the new rules. It's true of people, it's true of companies, and it's true of countries. That is because a lot of what looks like genius is actually happening to have your gifts be the right thing for the moment, and happening to bet on the right horse **. Not that success is randomly attaching itself regardless of your skills, but that different skills have radically different values in different contexts. Big tech companies are obsessed with acting like start ups because start ups have the most growth, but that's because we're only looking at the successful ones. Thinking you can predict the next big thing is like thinking you can predict lottery numbers by studying the characteristics of the winners.

America was the winner under the last system. It was never going to be the winner under the next system. I don't know if the system has changed yet, but it seems highly plausible. So many of America's advantages are due to inertia, or network effects, or the tallest pygmy effect, rather than things we do right now. If we lose those, they are not coming back, even if we fix everything.

Breaching the debt ceiling may very well be the thing that catalyzes that loss. And then things will get much, much tougher for us. I'm consoling myself with the idea that this was going to happen eventually, and postponing the inevitable will only make it worse. The best case scenario is we pull at IBM/England, and that involves a much more intimate relationship with reality than the country has had recently.

*source: Debt: the first 5000 years.

**Queen of Versailles is a documentary about a family that made billions of dollars on time share properties, who are spending a small portion of the proceeds on the biggest/most expensive house ever. The business was built on the worst of the pre-crisis banking practices, and is decimated when the banks curtailed that. There were good businesses that went under because the credit markets froze or demand temporarily dropped, but this is not one of those: this corporation's very existence depended on toxic banking. The money dries up, and you watch them make stupider and stupider choices- to keep going with the $100 million house, to refuse to downsize or sell the business. I couldn't get over how someone smart enough to make that much could money be that dumb. The answer is probably that he would have had the same money making model whenever he went into business, and it just happened to be the right model for the moment.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Given recent talk of death rates, disease, and productivity, I feel obliged to pass on this article on disease rate and IQ. In essence, there's a discontinuity in IQs in Mexico, corresponding with the time malaria was eradicated. It's not conclusive, but it does address one of my nagging doubts about Farewell to Alms: very few things either kill people or leave them untouched. Often they just take a lot of resources and leave you worst off. This doesn't disprove the hypothesis- it's possible that greater selective pressure would push people to evolve a more efficient brain, for example, but the book can't address them until it owns its hypothesis
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Because England was more productive.

Capital, meaning automated equipment, doesn't have a fixed production value. Generally it needs some human intervention somewhere in the process to produce money for its owner. Depending on what you're studying, you can view this as "how much more does 1 human being produce when working with this machine?" or "how much more productive is this machine with 1 extra person." or "what mix of machine and labor do I need to produce X doodads?" Since there's usually some flexibility in how efficient a machine you buy (with a more efficient machine producing more doodads/worker), factory owners are trading off how expensive a machine they buy with the price of labor- this is one reason the minimum wage might lower employment, by pushing people to buy capital equipment that requires fewer workers.

Anyways, we think of slotting unskilled labor into factory openings just like equipment, but that turns out to be untrue. Clark uses the specific example of the power loom. The loom weaves cloth by itself, but needs human workers to monitor for and repair broken threads. You can set the machine to work faster, but then more threads will break. A more efficient worker allows to to set the machine faster, or can monitor more machines. It turns out that factories achieved optimum output with an English worker monitoring eight machines, but an Indian worker could only manage one and a half. This wasn't a matter of different management styles or different optimum speeds of the machines- the English "unskilled" workers were outright more efficient than the Indian "unskilled" workers. Thus, English workers were more cost effective even though Indian workers were cheaper.

Why is this, you ask? Clark doesn't know. Yes, he spent the first half of the book talking about how evolution was working faster in England, disseminating middle class values and/or genes into the lower classes, but he never in any way connects to the second half of the book.

I want to yell at him for talking about India when he's discussing productivity but China and Japan when discussing pre-industrial evolution. In his defense, the records in India simply didn't give him the data he needed, which is itself a sign of India's poverty. And I've heard the same thing, with less sourcing, about Chinese factory workers- they're cheap, but you have to throw away half the work. And it *used* to be true of Japan- As long as I've been alive, Japan has been the land of meticulousness that leads to extremely high quality, but in the 40s and 50s "Made in Japan" meant "piece of crap," which is why today they'll say "Japanese Quality," to avoid triggering old timers. I would have loved to see Clark discuss that transformation.

Nor does Clark actually talk about ending charity, or the need for charity. There's a half a page about opening up immigration, which I am completely for, but is only the solution to this particular issue if the problem is inherit in Indian land but not Indian workers. He could mean the fact that industrialization has disproportionately benefited the poor, but he never says that.

I suspect there was some editorial intervention here, because a book saying "white people are evolved to be better workers" would set off a shitstorm. I can't really criticize him for not having the spine to say it without taking a stand myself, so here it goes: I find the idea that higher birth and death rates lead Europeans to be more productive plausible, but not proven. Among its flaws: if high birth and death rates are so awesome, how come Africa's not stomping us all? What about the differences in selection pressure stemming from the difficulty of wet rice farming?
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Medieval farmers ate ~1500 calories, and 23 grams of protein, a day. 23 grams is probably close to what I ate before I started using protein powder, and I visibly bulked up when I upped my intake, despite the fact that my only exercise at the time was the 3 mile round trip walk to work and yoga. Now that I'm doing weights and martial arts, I'm supposed to get at least 80 grams a day, even though I spend most of my week pushing buttons to make the lights correct. So that seems like starvation level for men doing manual labor all day- although those men were probably significantly shorter than the men I'm used to, I don't think they were shorter than me. So when you consider whether it's worth cutting your caloric intake to get thinner, remember the awesome adaptation power your body posses.

China and Japan were real technological marvels, far ahead of Europe at one point (which I did know), but gradually regressed (that was new).

European preindustrial peasants married late. I expected them to be like religious people now, or middle-class-but-working-class people in the 50s, or maybe like all the royals you hear about marrying at age 11. The actual age of first marriage in the 17th century was 28/26 (male/female); it was all the way down to 26/24 by 1800. And something like a fifth of European women never married at all, which is more shocking when you consider that for a number of reasons, widowers were more likely to remarry than widows. In contrast, the rate of lifelong spinsterhood was something like 0 in Asia, due to female infanticide. The book doesn't mention the male death rate (since it's immaterial to the reproductive rate), but since violent deaths were rare, I assume there were a lot of unmarried men as well.

The industrial revolution benefited unskilled works more than skilled workers, and a lot more than it benefited the wealthy capital owners. If you let wages for building laborers in 1800 be 100, inflation adjusted wages were stagnant around at around 90 from 1200 to just before 1800. They grew exponentially, and are now at 800. The ratio of unskilled worker wage to all adult wages rose from .47 to .57 from 1770 to 1850. You see the same pattern in height and life expectancy. In retrospect, this makes sense: mass production drastically raised the productivity of unskilled workers.

Innumeracy used to be really common. That doesn't mean "trouble with algebra" it means "unable to estimate important things within 5 orders of magnitude." He made convincing arguments for this based on solid data in Europe, including classical Europe, but nothing about Asia. Remember that for later.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Before I get into Farewell to Alm's central discussion- why did the industrial revolution happen when it did, and why in England?- I want to discuss the hypothesis I learned and accepted as a child: competition. Take guns. Guns were a disruptive technology: they were inferior to long bows in terms of killing things, but could be used with almost no training. If you were a noble, you were probably against this, because it could lead to uppity ideas on the part of the peasants. Unless you were involved in a war with another noble, at which point being able to create soldiers without years and years of training (and consumed food while producing nothing when not at war) suddenly seemed like a fantastic idea. And even if you decided the payoff wasn't worth it, once the noble across the way did, you could either go along with it or get conquered. So guns spread across Europe. But China (and Japan) had a much more top down hierarchy, and could enforce the no-gun equilibrium. Less destructive war probably seems like a good thing, but most awesome new technologies have, at the very least, the potential to change the distribution of winners and losers. And eventually Europe's faster rate of innovation overcame China's head start. Europe had more governments because it had a more even distribution of arable land, so you couldn't monopolize a resource- people would just walk 100 miles and start over. They wouldn't like it, but it was an option if things got bad enough.

Now that I think about it, there are holes in this theory. Like, say, the Mongols. And the fact that while the "small areas surrounded by death are easier to control" idea works for Japan, China is really quite large. Although the amount of capital improvements to needed to rice farm did make people more stationary.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Everyone knows, by which I mean I can't be bothered to look up the source, that the poor and uneducated are having more kids than the rich and educated in the first world. There is much crying about what this means for human evolution- they even made a documentary about it. And it's true that in preindustrial times, the rich and literate outbred the poor and literate, and the the thesis of Farewell to Alms is that this, through cultural or genetic evolution, led to the industrial revolution. But did you know that in frontier New France (aka Quebec), where land was cheap, population density was low, and hence wages were high, the poor and illiterate outbred the rich and literate? Once you had enough intelligence for farming, which wasn't that much on such productive land*, anything else would just get you in trouble.

Biology field trip: the number of individuals of a given species that an ecosystem can support is called k, the number that actually exist is called n. The number of individuals a female could hypothetically produce in her lifetime is called r. Some species (most mammals and birds) provide a lot of extremely expensive care for their offspring, and often start reproducing relatively late in life. These are called k-strategists. Other species (most arthropods) just crank up r, provide no parental care, and hope some of their offspring happen to survive. As long as the population is at equilibrium, it doesn't really matter- each adult is going to average two surviving offspring. But if the population is temporarily depressed below k (due to e.g. weather or disease), or k suddenly increases (due to e.g. weather or a loss of predation), r-strategist species will catch up to k much faster than k strategist species. Like most things, it's a continuum, not a discrete choice- rabbits put some energy into their offspring, but less than whales do, and more than spiders. That's (one reason) why the rabbit population in Australia has recovered from the deliberate plague we released faster than the orca population has from us stealing all of their babies. Previous statement "if we raise productivity we just reproduce more and the standard of living stays the same" is mathematically equivalent to "k is determined by resources/person, raising resources raises k." Humans are more or less unique in our ability to raise k. For the first couple of hundred thousand years we did so pretty slowly, but since 1800 or so it's been up like a rocket- in fact, it's going up faster than n.

I think that that there's also variation in placement on the r-k continuum within a species. Think of all the time we spent discussing concerted cultivation (practiced by well off, well educated people who reproduce late and have few children) versus natural growth (practiced by comparatively poor and uneducated people who start reproducing earlier and have more children**). My hypothesis is that when the human population is well below k, r-strategists (breed quickly, invest relatively little in offspring) are evolutionarily favored. But when we're near k, which is what Farewell To Alms calls the Malthusian limit, k-strategists are favored. n/k was small in in frontier Quebec because there was so much land relative to the number of people, given the farming techniques they had available*** . This makes a certain amount of intuitive sense- if your environment is awesome, why waste time making it more awesome? that's energy you could spend having babies. And if you make your environment more awesome and your neighbor has babies, guess who's better represented in the population next generation? n/k is small now because k is growing faster than we can keep up with it, and so low-offspring-investment strategies are favored. Either intelligence is the driving force behind the increase in k, in which case this will eventually balance out, or it isn't. And while I personally want the world to keep becoming more intelligent, there's no evolutionary reason for that to be "right."

All modern economics show that even unskilled immigrants grow a 1st world economy on both an absolute and per capita basis (with possible costs for high school dropouts). I wonder if this is also a function of n/k- maybe the 2nd derivative of the utility curve isn't uniformly negative (non math people: maybe we don't hit diminishing returns right away). Since that's where we've spent most of our lives, it would we have the capacity to strongly believe that immigrants are threats..****

Special thanks to scythe_of_time, if she hadn't asked about this in a comment on Wednesday's post I might not have realized the significance of the throwaway sentence about New France.


*I so need to write the post about how the difference in European and Asian farming techniques selected for intelligence much more strongly in Asia. But right now this is more interesting.

**I never got a full post out of this, but Unequal Childhoods talks about how lower class families value extended family more than middle class families, spend more time with them, and have substantially less sibling conflict. I feel like there might a thing here, but I haven't worked it out yet

***What about the Native Americans, you ask? The book doesn't say, but I believe that they were at the k allowed by their cultivation techniques, but the more advanced techniques of the French had a higher k.

****Human beings can believe almost anything, but I believe there are certain ideas that we're predisposed to have strong emotional reactions to, similar to the way you can teach a monkey to fear snakes but not flowers.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
A couple of people asked me for a follow up on the disease and standard of living issue. Unfortunately, the Farewell to Alms hasn't covered it in the detail I had hoped for. But there's what I have. Keep in mind that this is highly related to my topic of study in college, so I'm bad at guessing what's obvious and what's not:

All land/resources/etc have a productivity function relating the number of people living on this land to the total food generated. Call this function f. he derivative of this curve is basically always negative (translated to English: each person is less productive than the one before). This means that each new human drives the average amount of food per human down. Humans like food a lot. As the amount of food they eat decreases, fertility goes down and mortality goes up. If mortality exceeds fertility, the population shrinks. If conditions are stable*, the population will eventually settle at an equilibrium where births == deaths.** Call the number of people N. f(N)/N is the average food intake in the population. There's nothing that guarantees that all possible fs lead to the same average productivity, but if you assume the birth and date rates are linear , you end up with close to that. What this means is that making the land more productive does not increase standard of living, because we just make more people instead.

But... what if the death rate d(N) was not linear? Disease spread is very, very subject to threshold effects. I will explain this at great length with minimal provocation, but for now, I'll limit myself to saying that adding a few extra people to a system can greatly increase the number of deaths due to disease. So until you get the birth rate high enough to compensate for that, the population will be permanently stuck under that threshold. But they've raised productivity per person, so living standards go up. One thing that bothers me here is that the threshhold effect is my own invention, he seems to just assume that raising the death rate will leave the birth rate unaffected and thus lower the population level. And even if the population level is ultimately unchanged, an increase in birth and death rates means evolution is working faster, which will be important later, but I've only just started that part of the book.

This hurt Asia worse than Europe because Asia had vastly higher hygiene standards, so had much less disease. They had a lower birth rate, but even so, Asian population density was much higher. This may have to do with their method of cultivation: rice farming is incredibly labor intensive, but it wouldn't surprise me if returns do not diminish as fast, leading to a higher N(equilibrium). Additionally, rich Asians hardly had more children than poor Asians, while rich Europeans had twice as many children as poor Europeans.

*as it turns out, the definition of stable in this case also includes really rapidly changing.

**Actually, the human population has always been growing, albeit slowly. I think you can explain that by productivity gains i.e. making f(N) larger, but thus far the book has acted as if the population has been absolutely fixed. I forgive this because it doesn't change any of his conclusions.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
I haven't figured out yesterday's Thing yet, but don't worry, I'm determined to keep talking until I do. So here are two things yesterday's post made me think of:

Running just to stay in place: I've talked before about how having my adrenal fatigue treated was awesome and gave me so much more energy and health. But if you looked at the state of my apartment you could be forgiven for thinking I was lying. There's two reasons for this. One, the energy went in to things like martial arts, volunteer work, actual work, and having no sense of proportion about the amount of time I was putting in to martial arts. But two: there are threshold effects to the benefits I get from cleaning. Keeping my apt clean enough to get the next quantum of benefit would require basically infinite energy, because it would mean putting everything away immediately. I don't have that kind of energy, I spent it learning the in-out crescent kick. Honestly, I'd rather just keep throwing stuff out till my place looks clean through sheer emptiness.

Positional goods: Most things get more expensive as more people want them, but most things become more abundant as they become expensive, and cheaper as they become more abundant. Eventually things settle down. But this can't happen when the supply is fixed, or nearly fixed. To take a rather convoluted example: say all the water in my village comes from rain falling in a particular pool, which each individual then moves to their own private store through various means (which no, is not how water actually works, but I could either come up with an easy to understand example or a physically possible example, and I chose understandable). Let's assume that people would like to consume more water than is available and that there's no legal authority or means to ration how much water each person gets. Instead, when it rains, everyone tries to move the water to their personal store as quickly as possible before the pool empties. In this case, what matters is now how fast you can move the water, but how fast you can do so relative to your neighbors. If everyone buys a new water pump that costs 10x as much, no one is better off. But you can't opt out of this (without some authority rationing the water) because then you won't get as much water as your neighbors and your children will die of thirst. The water pump is a positional good: a good whose value depends not on its absolute awesomeness but its awesomeness relative to your neighbors goods. This is closely tied in to the concept of a negative externality: which is a negative effect caused by an action that hurts someone other than the actor. Me acquiring a positional good hurts everyone else in the competition.

The ultimate positional goods are things designed to acquire or demonstrate status.* Since status is defined by having more than other people, any increase in my status comes at someone's expense. Status goods aren't perfectly define: buying a big house increases your status, but it also gives you more places to put stuff. Some of the cost of a BMW is the name, but some is because it's honestly better engineered.** And it depends on who owns it: I have friends who would absolutely make use of expensive kitchen gadgets and top of the line stoves, but some people buy them to show off.

People talk about the rich wasting money on things like Fendi bags and how that money could do so much good elsewhere. This is a misconception based on the conflation of cost and price. Cost is the actual resource cost of a thing, price is what you pay for it. The relevant question isn't "could we redistribute the money used to buy that handbag?", because if the supply of stuff the poor need stays constant and we throw more money at the problem, we just drive up prices. The real question is "could we redistribute the resources used to make that handbag?" And without knowing anything about handbags, I'm going to guess the answer is that this would not net us very much.. It's got some material, and some and land time went in to making it and selling it, but the vast majority of the price comes from the invisible status woven into the fabric, which will not do the poor much good.

This is just a pet theory of mine, but I like to divide status goods into three categories:

1. Genuinely valuable things. I think it's Argentina where building your house on arable land is a status symbol. This does damage the economy and the not-rich.

2. Meaningless symbols. See: Fendi bags. It's not useful per se, but it's not hurting anyone either.

3. Things that are expensive and rare due to large upfront costs. Think early cell phones, or GPS. People bought these because they were genuinely useful, but people who care about their useful traits also usually care about value and reliability and other things new technology is not known for.

I love that rich people buy expensive useless electronics, because eventually that technology gets cheap and I walk around with a phone more powerful than the computer I went to college with. And I don't mind that they buy Fendi bags, because they're going to have to do something with their money and I'd rather they not choose something that was actually rare and valuable.*** Rich people who waste their money are doing us a favor, because otherwise they'd be buying stuff we wanted and driving the price up.

But wait, you say, the target markets for Fendi bags and GPS are different. This is true, because there is more than one kind of status. There's old aristocracy status and finance guy status and tech nerd status and academic status, and you buy different things depending on which you want to acquire. This is awesome, because it lets more people be the best at what they care about. It does not actually change my point, except to note that certain status groups drive more useful innovation than others, and that something being useful does not exclude it from being a status good.

Well that failed to produce anything relevant to medieval survival rates. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive.



*These two things are so hard to distinguish I'm just going to treat them as the same for now.

**Important note: I know nothing about cars. Feel free to substitute something expensive but well made in place of BMW

***Actually, there's a lot of fighting going on in places like Colorado which the same land is both good farm/herd land and a valuable vacation house location. I don't count this because the value of the land comes from its proximity to other rich people, not its use for farming, and America is not in any way running short of herd land.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
There's a book called the Two Income Trap that I haven't read, but have read enough references to that I'm fully prepared to pretend I understand the thesis and take the risk of being violently wrong. The author posits that women entering the work place didn't actually make society any richer, because middle class families just spent all the money bidding up housing prices in good school districts. Every individual family does better (financially) by working more, but the population as a whole has just spent a whole bunch of time and frustration on nothing. I don't think this story is completely true, because it assumes the number of good schools are fixed, ignores the increase in space per person we've observed, and because I don't think 100% of the new income went to housing. But I find it entirely plausible that some of the gains were burned on positional goods and other zero-sum pursuits.*

It's not the same, but I see a parallel between this and the fact that productivity gains in medieval Europe and Asia translated not into higher standards of living but into more people living at the same standard of living. It's not a positional good because you don't get more "absolute value" than a living person not dying, but still, they were essentially on a treadmill. I think there's a Thing here but I can't figure it out, so everyone take this as an open invitation to tangent, in the hopes that one of us will figure it out.

*Especially if you ignore the benefits that don't show up in the GDP, like increasing equality for women and their ability to support themselves in the event of divorce or spousal death
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Before I can start the actual post, I need to define some terms:

Demographic Shift: As countries modernize, the birthrate drops, and we don't know why. It's clearly tied up in women's liberation, but we don't know the direction of causality. My favorite hypothesis is that children are economic assets when farming, or even industrializating, but become extremely expensive consumption goods in modern society. Even if you expect your kid to support you post-retirement, that's a much weaker incentive then when you could use your kid to remove pests from your crops starting at age 4.

Farming was a huge step backwards for humanity: Hunter/Gatherers ate better and worked less. If you had the choice of being an isolated H/G tribe or an isolated farmer, go hunt and gather. Farmers nonetheless drove H/Gs off their land because there were more of them. Essentially, hunter/gatherers were the elves, beautiful and strong but ultimately waning in number, and farmers were the orcs: stupid an weak but present in overwhelming numbers. This is because hunter/gatherers suffered more variation is food availability, and kept* their population at a level that could be sustained at the lowest point. At any time other than the worst, they ate pretty well. Farmers had a much more consistent output, but the loss of variation meant they suffered deficiency diseases even before their population level increased to the absolute maximum capacity of their food supply. Another way of putting this is that population size is determined by the arithmetic mean of food availability but individual health is determined by the geometric mean of food consumed: this means that increasing variability decreases population but increases their health. And again, children were economic assets to farmers but dead weight to hunter/gatherers.

My current book, Farewell to Alms makes an additional point that any increase in population will decrease the standard of living, because food production has diminishing marginal returns. Once that way is exhausted (e.g. you're already feeding all the people you can on grazing animals) you have to start something with lower returns (e.g. grain cultivation).

Malthusian Trap: But wait, there's an escape from that: make everyone more productive (e.g. invent tractors). For most of human history, this failed to raise living standards, because we just bred more instead. We escaped this around 1800 (+/- 100 years, depending on who you ask), with the advent of industrialization. The questions is, how did we escape this, and reach this lovely state where things get awesomer every year, immigrants are boons to the economy, and my cats eat substantially better than most medieval farmers? Obviously the Demographic Shift helped, but that really just kicks the question up a level, plus the Demographic Shift is generally considered to have happened later.

In nature, if creatures don't exploit their food source to exhaustion, it's because they are themselves food to something else. Predation stopped being a population-level threat to us long ago, but as our productivity gains allowed us to specialize, we started to form cities. And with cities came the one predator we couldn't hit with sticks: disease.** Paradoxically, the fact that our richest form of productivity growth required us to live in disease-vulnerable conditions actually made them more useful. This means that the societies with worse hygiene (Western Europe) had higher per capita incomes than societies that thought maybe they shouldn't bathe in human waste (China and Japan).

So it appears that England lucked into disease ridden conditions long enough to allow industrialization (along with other factors), which allowed them to grow fast enough to trigger the demographic shift, at which point productivity increases continue to outpace population increases and everything becomes progressively more awesome. On average. Apparently Malawi farmers eat considerably worse than medieval English peasant farmers.


*I'm using an active verb because primitive tribes did practice a variety of forms of birth control and infanticide to keep their numbers down. But if they hadn't, starvation would have done it for them,

**Keeping poorly fed herd animals didn't help here either, but to really control the population, you needed density.

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