Brilliant email from a fan (and professional mathematician) concerning the previous post.

It is now canon that 1% of the market share of Psyche Corporation (on certain planets) is more than 20 times the annual GDP of any country today. So the full market share on those planets is more than 2,000 times the annual GDP of any country today, giving us a lower bound of 30 quadrillion dollars in 2010 prices.

How big is Psyche Corporation relative to the Shadow Court-era economy? I’m going to go on a limb and say 1%. Relative to today’s world that’s $750 billion a year; relative to today’s America only that’s about $150 billion a year. That puts it in the same category as Wayne Industries in the DC universe.

So if we interpret “certain planets” to mean everything, it means GDP in the Shadow Court era is 3 quintillion dollars.

Now, the question is what the population is. I don’t think it’s ever been canonically established. Assuming 40 billion in the late Commonwealth era, that would put GDP per capita at $75,000,000. So we need to figure out growth rates.

The Commonwealth had approximately zero growth; GDP per capita was never canonically established either, but we can estimate it by comparison with other SF worlds, or by asking questions like “What do they have that we don’t?”: near-immortality, no diseases, fast and cheap planetwide transportation, very low political corruption, devices for recording and transmitting thoughts in dreams as cheap household items, environmental sustainability.

So say $1,000,000 in the Commonwealth. GDP per capita today is about $11,000 give or take, so it’s 90-fold growth; in reality it’s more because the world economy isn’t environmentally sustainable, and things like CO2 emissions are significant shocks to future GDP. The Neo-Luddite War is said to be about 400 years from now, and that’s 1.1% annual per capita growth not including effects of going zero-carbon. Long-term growth average in developed countries is about 1-1.5%, so 1.1% is in line.

If you project 1.1% into the post-Commonwealth era, that’s just less than another 400 years to multiply GDP per capita by a factor of 75. So that would mean the Shadow Court is about 400 years past the recovery from [the fall of the Commonwealth].


..Also, another justification for the million dollars: it means that the separation in tech level between the Commonwealth and first-world countries today (a factor of about 25) is similar to the separation in tech level between first-world countries today and where the countries that are first-world today were in the late 1700s or early 1800s.


Yep, he just determined the relative time distance of the Shadow Court from the fall of the Commonwealth based upon extrapolations of projected annual GDP growth in conjunction with my post (from a few hours ago) valuing the size of 1% Psyche Corp. market share compared to today’s national incomes. He then tied in where we stand with respect to the economy at large in comparison with Wayne Industries from the Batman universe. Mathematicians frickin’ rock.


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