The Biosphere and the Exponential Function

On this Video Saturday I want to share with you two things I came across that both seem somewhat relevant. Well, maybe at first glance the video about Biosphere 2 doesn’t seem that important, but it’s probably easier (and shorter) to watch than the second set of videos.

Biosphere 2 was basically a closed off ecological system built for research purposes. Biosphere 1, in case you’re wondering, is our own biosphere of the Earth. So they sent in eight people to live in Biosphere 2 for two years, which I find to be a very interesting experiment. I’d say one of the most important things learned from it was that (and why) their oxygen kept disappearing, which sound like valuable information in case another biosphere should be built one day, say, on another planet. However, before (or after) watching the video, you might want to read about the criticism of the project.

So here’s a video of the slightly annoying Jane Poynter talking at TED about her time in Biosphere 2:

Jane Poynter

The second and more interesting video (if you have the time to really listen) is modestly called The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See on YouTube, and it’s a lecture given by Dr. Albert A. Bartlett on Arithmetic, Population, and Energy. It’s long, but enlightening and I personally didn’t think it was boring at all. One of the important statements he makes there is this:

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

Dr. Albert A. Bartlett
Dr. Albert Bartlett

Dr. Albert Bartlett on Arithmetic, Population, and Energy [Part 1 of 8]
[Part 2 of 8]
[Part 3 of 8]
[Part 4 of 8]
[Part 5 of 8]
[Part 6 of 8]
[Part 7 of 8]
[Part 8 of 8]

That’s it for today. Enjoy.

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