The human population on earth has increased tenfold in the last 250 years, from about 750 million in 1750 to almost 7.9 billion people today. In addition to vast increases in wealth, productivity, technology, and health, there has been another massive change in humanity, much of it happening in the last 100 years – the movement of people from rural village communities into cities. Over 50% of the people in the world now live in cities, and by the end of the century it could be 80% or more!

There are some advantages to living in cities, not the least being opportunities to escape poverty, access to better health care and education, and in some cases, physical security. But there are also psychological problems associated with humans trying to develop and maintain relationships in a world that looks increasingly like one big ant colony.

Which might be the reason that humans find it increasingly acceptable to indiscriminately kill other humans, up to and including destroying entire cities of people. It seems that our economic and technological success has raced far ahead of our evolutionary development – we have a hard time feeling any emotional bond, or even any empathy, for more than a few dozens of other human beings.

As you can see, with a rising population, over 50% of all people living in cities, and the technology to destroy ourselves, we might have a problem. Can we solve it before we become extinct?

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