I saw Avengers: Infinity War over the weekend. For the record, I liked it. It went way over-the-top with special effects scenes, but I thought it held together and told its story well.
I don’t think I’m giving away any major spoilers by discussing the villain Thanos’s evil plan, since it is pretty well known to anyone who’s been reading about the movie, but consider this your spoiler warning.
Thanos believes the universe will suffer from overpopulation, as an exponentially growing number of life forms consume more and more of the universe’s limited resources. His solution to that problem is to obtain the six infinity stones and use them to kill half the population of the universe, thus relieving the population pressure.
To see why this isn’t a very good solution to the problem, consider the situation here on Earth. The current human population is somewhere north of 7.3 billion. Cutting it in half would reduce the population to just over 3.6 billion. That’s the number of people who were living here in 1970. Thanos has turned back the clock less than 50 years. Or to put it another way, his work will be undone in another 50 years. Although Thanos’s plan is unspeakably evil, on a cosmic scale it’s little more than a speed bump.