Back during the black death, nobody knew why everybody was dying.
Of course, today we know it’s because of the fleas that were on the rats.
But back then, it was way before they could understand science.
Way before we humans learned how to use science to increase health and improve the quality of life.
But there was this one guy that was trying to figure this out.
This guy that wanted to understand this.
So he started doing any regular scientist would do.
To look objectively at the data.
The first thing he did was to see if he could find any differences between people that were dying from the plague and people who weren’t.
So he went around and carefully put small marks on people’s houses who had the plague.
Once he had categorized people who had the black death, and those that didn’t, he planned to come back around and try to collect more data.
There’s an idea in evolution called an evolutionary bottleneck.
It’s when most of any species dies, and there is only a small percentage left over.
It’s called a bottleneck because whoever is leftover will create all the subsequent generations of that species.
One famous case was in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
There where these white moths.
Most were white, but a small percentage were black.
How Black Moths Ruled The World
The black ones were easy to see, so they were eaten.
But then the Industrial Revolution happened.
And the sides of all the buildings in London were covered in black soot.
So the black moths suddenly had an evolutionary advantage.
All the white ones got eaten, and in only a couple of moth generations, they turned from white to black.
We’re All Gonna Die!
Malthus is famous for predicting we were all about to die.
He had a theory, that is called a Malthusian trap.
And if you look back in history, you can see these cycles they call Malthusian cycles.
Where the population increases, reaches a tipping point where the number of people exceed the carrying capacity, and then people die.
Most people incorrectly believe that with the Industrial Revolution, we finally broke out of the Malthusian trap.
Equation Always Works
But when you look at the actual equation that Malthus came up with, it still holds true today.
If you were to study English literature, you would no doubt study Shakespeare.
Most people, when we think about Shakespeare, we think of very intelligently written, highly articulate art forms that is generally associated with high brow type people.
But if you were to go back in time, and watch some Shakespearean plays performed while he was still alive, you would have a very, very different perspective.
Shakespeare In Filth
One of the reasons, according to economist Dr. Gregory Clark, that the Industrial Revolution happened in England and not Japan was because back then, the English were filthy people.
Because they were filthy people, they had a higher death rate.
Which gave them a higher GDP per person, or higher wealth per person.
This extra wealth per person gave them the wherewithal, at least the people that didn’t die from living in their own filth, to save money.
This is one variable out of many that tilted the Industrial Revolution in England’s favor.
Lots of Clean Poor People
The Japanese, on the other hand, were very, very clean.
So the population of Tokyo was much, much higher than the population of London.
And since the population of Tokyo was much higher, they had much less wealth per person.
One example that Dr. Clark gives of how filthy the pre-Industrial English were was the Globe Theater.
The place where all the Shakespearean plays were first performed.
It’s not like in the academy award winning movie, “Shakespeare in Love.”
In real life, the Globe theater didn’t have any public toilets.
People would just relieve themselves inside, wherever they felt like it.
Often while the play was being performed.
People would be watching Shakespeare, go off to the side, take a dump right there, and then pull their pants back up.
No Toilet Paper
Without even using any toilet paper.
The English back then were very much like Critical Bill from the movie, “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead.”
Malthus postulated that every population of animals, including humans, is bound by only four variables.
Death rate, birth rate, food per person, and population number.
Equilibrium of Death
If any one changes, the rest will all change.
The only thing that changed with the Industrial Revolution was that they figured out how to use fossil fuels.
Particularly in the Haber process, to get much more food out the ground.
But in Malthus’ equation, you can easily substitute energy per person instead of food per person.
Energy Per Person Is Critical
Since food is energy, as it is measured in calories, which is a unit of energy.
The number of people on Planet earth is much larger today than in Malthus time.
But that’s only because we have much more energy available, per person, than in Malthus’ time.
But if the energy per person ever goes below the number required to sustain 7-8 billion people, there will be a major die off.
Energy Is Running Out
And if you ask any scientists, regardless of their political orientation, they all agree that our access to fossil fuels will come to an and.
And fossil fuels or not, renewable energy or not, if the number of people are every greater than the minimum amount of energy per person, it will become cannibal planet.
Another reason for the Industrial Revolution happening in England, or more broadly Europe, was because of the Black death.
Dying Broke People
Before the black death, wages were slowly falling.
But after the black death, when the population of Europe had been reduced by a third, wages went up, giving people the ability to save money.
Sometimes Evolutionary bottlenecks don’t have to be quick or drastic.
This is why Europeans brought diseases with them to the New World, diseases that killed a lot of people.
Malthusian Cycles Builds Character
Throughout the middle ages, Europeans had gone through plenty of bottlenecks where people without resistance to diseases were slowly weeded out of the gene pool.
And the only people who lived were naturally resistant.
When people saw this guy going around to houses and putting marks on the doors, they didn’t know what he was doing.
Then somebody realized that all the houses he was putting marks on were people that had the black death.
You’re Killing People!
And they mistakenly assumed this guy was some black magician, and he was cursing the houses.
They assumed the marks he was putting on the houses were some kind of curse that was causing the black death.
And they killed him.
It’s tough being a scientist in a world of death and black magic.
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.