On Futuregazing and Catastrophizing. Or, Is “Old Math Guy” Psychic?

Meet “Old Math Guy” as I call him, otherwise known as Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder.  In this vid, Old Math Guy (OMG) explains the concept of exponential growth, in this case, the very serious issue of exponential population growth on a finite planet.  Old Math Guy believes that “humans” are generally incapable of grokking the exponential function but I would have to respectfully disagree with him there, only because women — adult female humans — have obviously been able to grok the concept of exponential growth for a long time and it’s why we generally (meaning, globally and across time) oppose recreational sexual intercourse (and rape) where a teaspoon of semen in that context has the potential to grow exponentially into an actual human child in just a couple of months.  And no one has to tell women that resources are finite or otherwise limited where we are made literally insane attempting to keep things alive in a global necrophilic (patriarchal) culture.  But I digress.

I have been thinking for some time that what people know as “psychic” ability, including the ability or perceived ability to futuregaze or to “see the future” is really just extreme rationality playing out in a culture that neither appreciates nor understands it.  This is a similar idea to the idea that advanced technology would appear to be “magic” to relatively unsophisticated people who did not understand it.  And it would, wouldn’t it?  As this vid demonstrates, Old Math Guy can easily see into the future using principles of mathematics and logic.  Here, he wanted to see what the population and population-related issues of the town of Boulder, Colorado would look like “in the future” so he figured out its rate of growth and how many years in the future he wanted to go and saw that Los Angeles, California had that same population now.  To see into Boulder’s future, he looks at LA now.  And it doesn’t look good for Boulder.  Is Old Math Guy psychic because he can see into the future this way?  Yes he is, if extreme rationality and “psychic” abilities are the same thing and I am thinking they probably are.

Continue reading “On Futuregazing and Catastrophizing. Or, Is “Old Math Guy” Psychic?”