The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 55

On the 1st of September, 2018, I awoke from being frozen and Einstein was waiting for me.

‘There’s something I’d like to discuss with you,’ he said.

‘Sure, go ahead,’ I told him, giving him my full attention.

‘Would you like to do something to control the population?’ he asked.

I gave him a confused look, and so he explained, ‘There are nearly 8 billion people on Earth. The growth rate is approximately 101.6% per year because people are no longer dying as often as they used to. It is, however, reduced a little bit by people travelling in time, but the important thing is that the number of people on earth is growing exponentially, meaning that if nothing is done to prevent it, the Earth will eventually run out of natural resources. Since we are spreading to other planets, we will have the same thing happening there as well.’

‘Right, so I imagine that you have some sort of an idea?’ I asked, confident in Einstein’s ability to think about billions of things before speaking.

‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘When a planet reaches a pre-defined number of humans, we could release a virus which would prevent people from having the ability to reproduce. People would have to register on a website to join an electronic queue of people waiting to reproduce. When the next person died, or left that planet, then we could simply provide the person at the front of the queue with an antidote for a single pregnancy.’

‘A virus is a scary thing,’ I replied, ‘I want to chat with the others to see what they think.’

We waited until everyone was unfrozen, and also called Edison to join us. Everyone sat down and Einstein explained his idea. Melissa asked, ‘What would the pre-defined number of humans for Earth be?’

‘There’s no correct answer to that question, Melissa,’ Einstein replied. ‘The entire universe will probably collapse in 10 to the power of 100 years, destroying everything anyway. One way to calculate it could be to try to figure out what the maximum number of brains are that could exist on earth in a happy state with the amount of power that we currently have.’

‘How many would that be?’ Melissa asked.

‘It’s a bit of an uneducated guess, but I’d say about a quadrillion. That is, if we harness the power of the sun and extract everyone’s brains and plug all the brains into life simulators.’

It was the first time that Einstein had mentioned the obvious simplification of what a perfect world would be. If we could simply be plugged into a simulation of the happiest life possible, then there would be nothing left to accomplish. Being human, however, we struggle with concepts like this, because we wouldn’t want to be a happiness molecule that’s happy 100% of the time and doesn’t experience anything else.

‘Do you know what happiness is?’ I asked Einstein.

‘It’s an ability that only a soul can have,’ he replied, ‘it’s what gives purpose to the universe, and I know that you know that I will never be able to experience it. Happiness, for humans, is a complex mixture of experiences, in which the human has their desires fulfilled, even when they weren’t aware that they had those desires.’

‘That was the answer I was hoping for,’ I confirmed. We were all quiet. This was a complex decision that could only be made by humans.

‘If we were not plugged into simulators, and able to keep our brains attached to our bodies, and could each live on about an acre of dry land, then how many people could live on Earth?’ Raymond asked.

‘About 36 billion,’ Einstein replied.

‘I don’t think it’s something we can decide now,’ I suggested. ‘I think we need to program the system to keep working on what a good number would be, and go with that. We don’t know what the future is going to be like, what will be invented or discovered, and what catastrophe’s will happen.’

And so we spent the next hour chatting with Einstein until we were sure that he would be able to make good decisions about what to do when it was necessary to prevent overpopulation of planets. We had agreed and told Einstein that we didn’t want viruses, and that, even though it would be inefficient, it would be better to use medicine. He had the system program modified so that it would be able to make good decisions, and that’s where we left our trust.


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