“The more people there are, the less one person matters.” – Isaac Asimov

Bill Moyers and Isaac Asimov, Cooper Union, NYC 1988
Bill Moyers and Isaac Asimov, Cooper Union, NYC 1988
In an interview ( Moyers 1988 ) Bill Moyers asked Isaac Asimov:
“What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?”
Asimov:
“It will be completely destroyed. I like to use what I call my bathroom metaphor: if two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom.  You can go to the bathroom anytime you want to stay as long as you want for whatever you need.  And everyone believes in freedom of the bathroom; it should be right there in the Constitution.  But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing.  You have to set up times for each person, you have to bang on the door, “Aren’t you through yet?” and so on.
In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive. Convenience and decency cannot survive.  As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears.  It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less one person matters.”

Peter Terezakis
Greenworld, Art and Public Policy
University Artist in Residence
New York University 2015
http://app.tisch.nyu.edu/object/aspput1057.html
http://www.greenworld.nyc
http://www.terezakis.com