Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Draft Strategies Expose Issues


NOTE: The January 14 post has been updated with a correction. Lazlo said “the fraction is criticallylarge” not “the fraction is critically small.”

WICO’s office of Strategy Tracking, Response, Integration, Development, and Execution (STRIDE) announced today that draft sections of thirteen national strategies were received for initial review in the past two days. Ambassador Lazlo, who serves now as both a team lead and press contact, said at a briefing after the announcement that several common issues have been found which require clarification to all parties involved in the effort.

In her introductory remarks, she said, “There appears to be some confusion about how the templates are used to generate strategy components. To eliminate that, STRIDE has created an online tool that provides both guidance and calculations based on regional data and expected interactions between regions based on what each nation includes in its draft strategy. Development teams appointed by their governments have been given secure access to instances of the tool that are tailored to their needs and conditions.” 

She then demonstrated the tool and explained the largest issue found so far. “Restricting births must account for actual death rates, especially infant mortality, so that the population doesn’t decrease too fast. Ideally, everyone would have access to good medical care and healthy conditions before, during, and after birth, but sadly that isn’t generally the case and increased fertility is used to compensate. Part of our strategy integration is to include sharing of best practices everywhere possible so that the sacrifices needed to avoid extinction are as painless as possible for everyone. That’s why we aren’t ruling out development of any new technology; rather, we’re focusing on development of technologies that meet the needs of the overall strategy without excess waste and that can be used well into the final phases of the transition to lower, safer consumption.”

Reality Check

The “birthrate” used in the simulation and which is found to vary predictably with consumption is related to fertility, and is based on historical population growth rates. It therefore has a maximum of 2.1 children per mother, which is less than actual fertility that includes children who die at or soon after birth. Any planning used to keep population from growing or declining too fast will likely have to adjust for deaths as described by Lazlo. 

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