The Centre of Humanity


This seems a pretty obvious idea, I bet someone else has thought of it, but then at the moment there probably hasn’t been that much call.

Humanity at the moment is restricted to the surface of the Earth. Six billion people within a km or two of sea level, there are a few people beyond that, but only a few. I like to think of a point, call it the Centre of Humanity [CoH], a point which is mid way to all the denizens of humanity. One could estimate that it is close to the Earth’s core at the moment, I have a suspicion that it would be somewhere deep under the Himalayas to account for so many people in India, and China. Like some sort of mathematical puzzle for moment of inertia one could take the population of each country, and that country’s mid-point and work out the midpoint for all the nations; perhaps with enough information go down to the district level.

This isn’t really that amazing, people would know this if they stopped to think about it. My interesting take on it is when people start to go into space, and I really mean go in a big way how much will the CoH shift? Sub-orbital flights aren’t really going to change things that much, the odd hop to the Moon is barely going to make this CoH budge much.

Send 10 people to Mars, and they will, in time be on a planet on the other side of the solar system, and even further out, and would things change much? I thought they might, but my calculations say no. Its still a billion to one to Earth, there are just so many people. You could have billions in space, or perhaps a few hundred careening off to a nearby star, but this won’t happen for a while.

It is an interesting concept though, when will this Centre of Humanity move beyond the surface of Earth, if ever; and what would it take for it to do so?

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~ by zeristor on April 14, 2010.

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