Fractal Tree by Deborah Simple Geometry by Gerrie Change by Helen
What Were the Odds? by Kirsten Counting on my fingers  by Terry Color Counts by Diane
Seven by twelve by Francoise A Malthusian Quilt by Kristin By the Numbers by Karen
Binary Note by Brenda First Grade by Terri Transcendental Curve by Nikki











A Malthusian Quilt

by Kristin

This chart quilt (as all charts are mathematical in basis) of a mathematical hypothesis is my take on the theme. Through the writings of Jared Diamond I found a reference to Thomas Malthus, an English economist and demographer, who is famous for the dilemma explained in his 1798 Essay on Population:

“The power of population is infinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population unchecked, increases in geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.”

Using numbers from the UN's statistics website and the help of my Excel savvy husband, I drafted a chart showing the historic (since 1950) and projected population growth of the less developed countries in the world (that dramatic uphill curve growing towards an estimated leveling off near 8 billion people by 2050) and the growth of the more developed countries as shown in the thinner section between 1 and 1.5 billion people. I pieced this chart with feed sack fabrics for the obvious reason that it was appropriate to the discussion of feeding the world. Over these geometric curves are embroidered lines showing the arithmetical growth of major grain yields from 1950 to 2005. I left the ends hanging loose because there is no way to accurately forecast future grain production and possible breakthroughs. The quilt is bordered with small beads representing rice and corn. Other information can be found on my blog post.

A Malthusian Quilt by Kristin
Click to enlarge