the true population puzzle:
we can say, yes, the human mind is flexible when thinking about the true population. it can seriously consider it to be anything from one, the self only, during a solipsistic phase, to billions, if not trillions. what do i mean by the true population? now obviously, my mind, or anyone's mind for that matter, bases many considerations or comparisons on the self, we cannot deny we are self-centred to a certain degree, and what we are may be most of what we can know. so, when this question is asked, everyone considers the same category, those that can be defined in the same way, that is, with a mind, a capacity to think, and a human body.
is this a worrying bias? to consider only those the same as yourself to be truly alive, perhaps? we worry very much about physical damage to the human body. it may be we are less concerned about damage to things we do not even consider to be alive, for they are so different, not human. perhaps it matters, perhaps it does not.
to suppose there are billions or trillions of souls out there is pretty much what earth presents. but where do they come from when they are born and where do they go when they die? do they go back to wherever they came from? onward to heaven? and is it possible to create a soul that did not exist? and if it existed, could the death of the soul happen?
now anyone who has ever experienced hallucinations, visual and auditory, can easily consider the possibility seriously that there are far fewer people who are real. once you start hallucinating, to put it simply, you are no longer sure what is real and what is not anymore. to give examples, you see text and moving images on the wall or floor, people suddenly appear and disappear, you hear people in the background and you can talk to these disembodied voices as well, are they truly hallucinations? i personally have seen a train schedule suddenly change completely before me, a train map of the country with the cities in the wrong places, and seen used underground train tickets that seemed dated in the future. i have teleported twice and i suspect several times not obviously as there was no sudden difference to be seen all around me, the explanation being that a distant street was visually smoothly connected to the one i was on. of course eventually, i was diagnosed schizophrenic and i admit i was crazy and delusional, but who wouldn't be confused with all that happening? in acute schizophrenia, the mind is so unstable, that anything can happen, which is why it is truly dangerous.
that i had truly teleported confirmed that the "external world", whatever it is, is not what it seems. most definitely, i cannot really "move" as such in the conventional sense, what i see happening when i walk is the world moving relative to me, not me moving relative to the world. my teleporting was a sudden change in my visual feed for my supposed location on earth. the frightening solipsism hallucinations induce, that you could be the only real person in existence and everyone else is an illusion, and the realization that conventional motion is a falsity, and merely theoretical, is what fuels theories that earth could be a kind of electronic computer simulation and the "external world" does not exist as such.
does it make any difference what the true population is? what if it were only 30? or 4500? everyone has considered billions. i have considered 1 quite seriously! whatever it is, if we ever get the true answer, we would have to adjust our thinking, "change gears" as to what we believe about reality. everyone has assumptions about existence and life, we assume we would function better with the truth, after all.