What are the grounds for believing that the Malthusian constraint has been vanquished for the long horizon? None at all that I can see. Under Malthusianism, the mechanism of mean reversion is obvious. But if we have exactly as many children who survive to reproduce as is convenient to us, what guarantees that we will choose exactly replacement? Or a little less than replacement? Or a little more?

I fear that the answer to this question will be disagreeable. But this is surely the most consequential question in human society, more consequential even than global warming. The person who can answer it will deserve a dozen Nobel prizes, and if you can steer a PhD candidate toward a successful answer then you will have achieved, by proxy, an immortal victory.

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