# Babylon Is Everywhere: The City as Man's Fate

By Wolf Schneider; Ingeborg Sammet et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
A MULTIPLICATION PROBLEM

EACH MORNING when we wake up, mankind has increased by a number equal to the population of a city the size of Lausanne or Heidelberg. During the next forty years it will grow by about 30,000 metropolitan cities, or 3,000 cities of more than a million people, or 200 giant cities such as New York.

The legendary inventor of the game of chess is supposed to have offered it for sale to a maharaja, who asked him to set the price. The answer was: one kernel of wheat for the first square, two for the second square, four for the third, eight for the fourth, and so on, doubling the number of grains for each succeeding square on the board. The maharaja, very happy to have the game for what seemed so little, agreed. But in all of India, in all the world, there was not enough wheat to pay the inventor. The first twenty squares brought the price to more than a million kernels of wheat; the first half of the board, thirty-two squares, brought it to more than two thousand million. One may safely assume that if the maharaja's mathematicians continued their computations they did it solely for exercise. The total price came to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 kernels of wheat.

Such are the surprises provided by the simple process of duplication. As matters stand now, mankind doubles its number every forty years. In 1961 the population of the world surpassed the three thousand million mark. In 2000 there will be roughly six thousand million. If this rate of increase keeps up, there will be 100 thousand million people on earth in 2160, which means that one single uninterrupted city area would cover all habitable land. Six hundred years from now, each one of the 150 thousand million human beings would be allotted just a little more than one square yard. Seven hundred years from now, six people would have to share this square yard; and in seventeen hundred years from now, the total weight of mankind would equal that of the planet on which they live.

One would get dizzy trying to add up further. Fortunately, the increase in population is not merely a matter of arithmetic. At some point the human avalanche will stop -- through intelligent reasoning we hope, and not through a catastrophe. When and where the

-307-

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

#### Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.
Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.
Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
• Saved book/article
• Highlights
• Quotes/citations
• Notes
• Bookmarks
Notes

#### Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited page

Babylon Is Everywhere: The City as Man's Fate

Settings

#### Settings

Typeface
Text size Reset View mode
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 400

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.