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Thread: Population growth, and the future of mankind

  1. #1 Population growth, and the future of mankind 
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    When I was born ( decades ago ) the world population was about 3 billion.
    Now it is 7 billion, and growing. Would those of science tell me how to feed them,
    let alone house them, and provide roads and transport for them?
    Most of my friends live within their means, and make sense.
    But, when I see on telly, a man saying am going to have 6 kids,
    no matter what..
    nokton


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    The best thing to do is stop holding back the education about and use of birth control. That is the only really viable solution.


    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  4. #3  
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    We can easily feed that many so long as they don't try to eat an American high-meat diet. To do that we'd need a couple planets.

    Paleo is right. Empowering women to control reproduction works just about every place it's been tried to lower family size.
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    [QUOTE=Paleoichneum;290683]The best thing to do is stop holding back the education about and use of birth control. That is the only really viable solution.[/QUOTE

    Hi dear friend Paleo, point is, most of Africa is catholic, and birth control forbidden. Education is not the
    problem there, dogma is.
    nokton.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi dear friend Paleo, point is, most of Africa is catholic,
    Making up facts doesn't help your argument. The majority are not even Christian.

    Education is not the problem there, dogma is.
    Improving the health, wealth and education of developing countries is the most effective way of both limiting population growth and ensuring they are well fed.
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  7. #6  
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    I am not making up facts Strange, the Catholic church supplies them.
    With respect, you miss my point entirely. Where is the food to come from?
    Ocean fish stocks are being depleted at an alarming rate due to uncontrolled
    over fishing. Blue fin tuna are nearing the point of extinction, as are many other
    species. If we are to believe current thinking on global warming, Strange,
    desertification is increasing, how does one grow a food crop in a desert?
    And if you are up to speed in world news, Strange, the outlook even for developed
    nations is bleak with the current economic climate, what hope of impovement in
    the third world? None. With sincere and due respect, evaluate the question and
    understand it before you post your response.
    nokton.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    If you are not making up facts then you should be able to revise your initial statement you made to me re: "most of Africa is catholic" and support it with references. As it stands now your two statements are suggesting two different things.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I am not making up facts Strange, the Catholic church supplies them.
    Reference? Because I don't believe it.

    Where is the food to come from?
    We can produce enough food to feed the current population, and one much larger.

    Ocean fish stocks are being depleted at an alarming rate due to uncontrolled
    over fishing. Blue fin tuna are nearing the point of extinction, as are many other
    species.
    Right. So those resources, like any other, need to be managed. This is difficult because it is a mulit-national problem with many vested political and commercial interests.

    If we are to believe current thinking on global warming, Strange,
    desertification is increasing, how does one grow a food crop in a desert?
    Well, it is good thing people are looking at new crops and new farming techniques for areas that will be affected.

    And if you are up to speed in world news, Strange, the outlook even for developed
    nations is bleak with the current economic climate, what hope of impovement in
    the third world? None.
    I am not saying that there is not a problem. There are many problems. I just don't think throwing your hands up in despair is going to help.

    With sincere and due respect, evaluate the question and
    understand it before you post your response.
    I did. I responded that improved health, wealth and education is the best (only) way to address the population issue. This will also help with feeding the world because farmers can be better educated about the best agricultural techniques and crops for their area. It will also help with things like famine as this is almost entirely a political problem and a better educated and wealthier population is going to insist on a better government.

    And, sorry, maybe I missed it... what is your proposal to address these problems?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    If you are not making up facts then you should be able to revise your initial statement you made to me re: "most of Africa is catholic" and support it with references. As it stands now your two statements are suggesting two different things.
    Not really Paleo, the status quo, especially in the western and southern areas of Africa, is I dont care
    about birth control, whats the problem, foreign aid will feed them, and it does, for now.
    But it is the future Paleo, that concerns me. It is predicted that by 2050 the population will
    have risen to 10 billion.
    Strange, for all the protestations, still not grasped the fundamental concept of the question,
    and question it was, not a proposal, as Stange makes out.
    I will repeat my question Paleo, what measures are in place now to feed a bergeoning population?
    Super trawlers are stripping the oceans of our fish resource, and most impoverished nations
    rely on fish like a daily bread.
    On the west coast of Africa, local fishermen are giving up, there are no fish left to catch.
    Mitsubishi in Japan have super trawlers that bring in bluefin tuna, they have 70 thousand
    tons of it on ice, why? When bluefin are extinct what price will the get?
    There are times Paleo, when I am ashamed to be a member of the human race.
    nokton.
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  11. #10  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    And I repeat, birth control, condoms, and reproductive knowledge, are the biggest programs that can be instituted to prevent famine and other problems.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I will repeat my question Paleo, what measures are in place now to feed a bergeoning population?
    Our current agricultural practices can feed the worlds population for many decades to come. There are problems such as bad governments and poorly educated populations (which tend to go together) which can cause problems like massive famines.

    But famine is a political problem, not one of the quantity of food production.

    The improved education will also help to manage population growth.

    Super trawlers are stripping the oceans of our fish resource, and most impoverished nations
    rely on fish like a daily bread.
    Yes. And that needs to be managed. Again a political problem; not an inherent problem that the seas cannot support us.
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  13. #12  
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    Now we can communicate Strange. Totally agree with you about the political problems,
    but, the problem is, and this with a nod to Paleo, it's one thing to find a meaningful
    solution to a problem, it is another to change the mindset of those who would perpetuate
    the problem. Am reminded Strange, of an old adage, a man convinced against his will, is
    a man of the same opinion still.
    One cannot discuss problems in the future with one who only lives for today.
    Thankyou for your post.
    nokton.
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    [QUOTE=Paleoichneum;291044]If you are not making up facts then you should be able to revise your initial statement you made to me re: "most of Africa is catholic" and support it with references. As it stands now your two statements are suggesting two different things.[/QUOTE
    Ok Paleo, am an old man now, and get tired of contest with those who would question and
    seek to undermine the logic and reason of my contentions.
    Go on to google, type in distribution of belief systems in africa.
    You will find a web site on there, with maps, that all west, central
    and southern Africa are Christian, the north are predominantly Muslim.
    Paleo, enjoy converse with you, but please cut out the contention,
    and points scoring replies, does not sit well with me.
    Will answer any question you pose, if you understand it.
    nokton.
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  15. #14  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Christian=/= Catholic. Many Christian denominations do not have problems with sex ed and contraception. And no matter the religion, sex ed is still the solution to the question you are posing.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Ok Paleo, am an old man now, and get tired of contest with those who would question and
    seek to undermine the logic and reason of my contentions.
    Go on to google, type in distribution of belief systems in africa.
    You will find a web site on there, with maps, that all west, central
    and southern Africa are Christian, the north are predominantly Muslim.
    Paleo, enjoy converse with you, but please cut out the contention,
    and points scoring replies, does not sit well with me.
    Will answer any question you pose, if you understand it.
    nokton.
    I don't think it is "point scoring", it is just that making false claims to strengthen your argument will always undermine your own position (on a science forum in particular).

    The majority of Africans are not Catholic, the majority of Africans are not even Christian.

    Making claims like this just turns people off. So you just need to be more careful in future.

    Also, even the Catholic church has softened its position on condoms recently because they realise it is indefensible. And I have heard anecdotal evidence that the church's teachings a largely ignored even in quite strongly Catholic countries.

    So I don't think this is something you can blame the Catholic church for. Corrupt politicians are a bigger problem.
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    Oh my Strange, and there was I, thinking we may be getting on a little better.
    I was never a pedant, nor were you.
    But, my dear friend, to suggest the catholic church has had a rethink on
    condoms, give me a break, the very idea is anathema to the basic principal
    of belief in that church, go forth and multiply.
    I am sorry, we do not yet have confluence together on what really matters
    regarding the future of mankind, or for that matter, exploring ideas that may
    make a difference to the tragedy we face.
    nokton.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Oh my Strange, and there was I, thinking we may be getting on a little better.
    You seem to think we must either agree entirely or disagree entirely.

    I was never a pedant, nor were you.
    Oh, I am. It is a requirement of my job.

    But, my dear friend, to suggest the catholic church has had a rethink on
    condoms, give me a break,
    Pope signals shift away from Catholic church's prohibition of condoms | World news | guardian.co.uk

    Catholic condom ban not causing population boom: U.N.
    Last edited by Strange; November 8th, 2011 at 02:57 AM.
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    Strange, thanx your post.
    Point one, am not interested in we agreeing or disagreeing
    with each other, just that we explore ideas together in the spirit of understanding
    life and the future of mankind. Your input on this I value and respect.
    If I did't mean it, would not have said it.
    We can solve problems that we undertand, but only with the cooperation
    of like minded people, they are few.
    nokton.
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  20. #19  
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    First : being catholic is not the issue, though I agree most of Africa is not. Most of Italy, however, is catholic, and their fertility is well below 2.0. They have a decreasing population growth, which can only happen with birth control. so catholics do not necessarily follow birth control prohibitions.

    Second : the population explosion is over. 50 years ago, average fertility was 5.5 children per couple. Today, in the third world, it is 2.5 (from United Nations data). By 2050, it will be 2.0. The only reason that population is still increasing is due to increasing longevity, and that means people are dying off at a slower pace. By 2100 the population will reach 10 billion plus or minus a bit, and stay close to that number.

    Feeding the world is not a technical problem. We already have the methods. It is the politics and economics we have to get right. Even in impoverished sub-Saharan Africa, the right investment and management of agriculture can boost food production dramatically. Malawi briefly managed it, tripling its food production through a fertiliser subsidy program, until the current drought destroyed the program. New irrigation initiatives are under way there, and should permit food production growth once more.

    An extreme case of increased food production is hydroponics. If no animal protein is consumed, it takes only 1000 sq. metres of land under hydroponics to feed the average adult. If we covered the wet part of Australia - the monsoonal northernmost third of the country -with hydroponics, enough food would be grown to feed 20 billion people. Obviously this is not going to happen, but it illustrates the potential of the world to feed a much larger population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    First : being catholic is not the issue, though I agree most of Africa is not. Most of Italy, however, is catholic, and their fertility is well below 2.0. They have a decreasing population growth, which can only happen with birth control. so catholics do not necessarily follow birth control prohibitions.

    Second : the population explosion is over. 50 years ago, average fertility was 5.5 children per couple. Today, in the third world, it is 2.5 (from United Nations data). By 2050, it will be 2.0. The only reason that population is still increasing is due to increasing longevity, and that means people are dying off at a slower pace. By 2100 the population will reach 10 billion plus or minus a bit, and stay close to that number.

    Feeding the world is not a technical problem. We already have the methods. It is the politics and economics we have to get right. Even in impoverished sub-Saharan Africa, the right investment and management of agriculture can boost food production dramatically. Malawi briefly managed it, tripling its food production through a fertiliser subsidy program, until the current drought destroyed the program. New irrigation initiatives are under way there, and should permit food production growth once more.

    An extreme case of increased food production is hydroponics. If no animal protein is consumed, it takes only 1000 sq. metres of land under hydroponics to feed the average adult. If we covered the wet part of Australia - the monsoonal northernmost third of the country -with hydroponics, enough food would be grown to feed 20 billion people. Obviously this is not going to happen, but it illustrates the potential of the world to feed a much larger population.
    Oh my oh my, get real, who in this climate of financial meltdown would fund your esoteric ideas
    and concepts. Economic security is not food production based, it is the export of goods and positive trade
    that produces a stable economy, the food that flows from it is based upon it. Where did you learn?
    Millions are starving in Africa, why? Because we fed them years ago, and they grew up to make more
    mouths to feed. Am sorry, but those are the cold hard facts.
    And your prediction on population growth is, shall we say, a mite misguided, to be polite.
    It is 7 billion now, and by 2050 it will be 10 billion given the present birthrate.
    Value your point of view Skeptic, but question your terms of reference.
    nokton.
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  22. #21  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Can you show that the population growth of the world is predicted to stay the same over the next 40 years?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  23. #22  
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    To Nokton.

    My population figures come from the United Nations web site. You may be still a bit behind the times, since they changed their figures somewhat in May this year. So, yes. The United Nations estimate is 10 billion around 2100, according to their "most probable" scenario. Actually, they vary their estimates, so that by 2100 the global population could be anything from 6 billion (with fertility lower than 2.0) to 16 billion. But the probability increases towards 10 billion.

    United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN)

    On food.
    Sure, I agree with you that economic growth overall is vitally important to give the impoverished a better chance in life. But food supply is the beginning. The most basic need which is unmet.

    The main reason millions are starving in Africa is corrupt government and lousy policies. Given a chance, Africa can feed itself quite well. Ditto for economic management. Better food and agricultural management is needed, and it should be generated by Africans, not outsiders. Those who are close to the 'coal face', but given the best of data on modern agriculture.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Nokton.

    My population figures come from the United Nations web site. You may be still a bit behind the times, since they changed their figures somewhat in May this year. So, yes. The United Nations estimate is 10 billion around 2100, according to their "most probable" scenario. Actually, they vary their estimates, so that by 2100 the global population could be anything from 6 billion (with fertility lower than 2.0) to 16 billion. But the probability increases towards 10 billion.

    United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN)

    On food.
    Sure, I agree with you that economic growth overall is vitally important to give the impoverished a better chance in life. But food supply is the beginning. The most basic need which is unmet.

    The main reason millions are starving in Africa is corrupt government and lousy policies. Given a chance, Africa can feed itself quite well. Ditto for economic management. Better food and agricultural management is needed, and it should be generated by Africans, not outsiders. Those who are close to the 'coal face', but given the best of data on modern agriculture.
    You impress me, skeptic, in your analysis of the situation of the African problem, there is wisdom in your words,
    but for wise words not to fall on deaf ears, something has to change. Then dear friend, how can one interfer
    and influence progress, while professing to recognise national sovereignty?
    With the best will in the world, Skeptic, how can we change things for the better?
    nokton.
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  25. #24  
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    To Nokton

    How can we help?
    Obviously, there will always be charities we can donate to. I am a regular and generous donor to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which carries out thousands of cheap and quick operations to cure cataract blindness in poor countries. They can give a blind person back his/her sight at a cost of about $US 40. Thereafter that person becomes a productive member of society. For this reason, I feel my donor dollar is doing a lot of good.

    For feeding Africa.
    I suspect that, apart from emergency food donations, the west is not actually able to do a lot of good long term. Malawi carried out its short term miracle, tripling its food production and briefly becoming a food exporter, by ignoring what the World Bank told it to do, and setting up its own program, based on local knowledge. I have this strong feeling that Africans are the best experts on how to raise African nations by their own bootstraps. Maybe we can help a little here and there, but Africans have to be at the core of any development. This is pretty much impossible under corrupt government, but the task of replacing corrupt people is still one for Africans to carry out. Not us.
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    [QUOTE=skeptic;292342]To Nokton

    How can we help?
    Obviously, there will always be charities we can donate to. I am a regular and generous donor to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which carries out thousands of cheap and quick operations to cure cataract blindness in poor countries. They can give a blind person back his/her sight at a cost of about $US 40. Thereafter that person becomes a productive member of society. For this reason, I feel my donor dollar is doing a lot of good.

    For feeding Africa.
    I suspect that, apart from emergency food donations, the west is not actually able to do a lot of good long term. Malawi carried out its short term miracle, tripling its food production and briefly becoming a food exporter, by ignoring what the World Bank told it to do, and setting up its own program, based on local knowledge. I have this strong feeling that Africans are the best experts on how to raise African nations by their own bootstraps. Maybe we can help a little here and there, but Africans have to be at the core of any development. This is pretty much impossible under corrupt government, but the task of replacing corrupt people is still one for Africans to carry out. Not us.[/QUOTE

    Thanx Skeptic, you have a deep understanding of the problems we share about mankind.
    And your evaluation I cannot fault. So in the spirit of the question, just we impose strict
    conditions on where the aid we give goes, or no aid at all? For me, and am an old man now,
    those conditions would be rejected. Corruption is endemic in the African states,
    and throwing good money after bad just supports the regime that creates the problem.
    Thanx your post.
    nokton
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    To Nokton

    Thank you for the positive feedback.

    Re aid to Africa.

    Yes, we need to be very careful where it goes. We know that billions of dollars of aid money has ended up in Swiss banks under the name of the dictator of the recipient African country. Indeed, a lot of the debt carried by African nations was loan money quickly transferred to such bank accounts.

    It makes life very difficult, when deciding how to best spend the donor dollar. As I said, I donate to a couple organisations that I know do a great job. However, there are a lot that do not. Certainly, we know not to simply give money to African governments hoping they will use it wisely.

    Luckily, there are groups with a good track record. A little research helps us to uncover those people.
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    Thankyou Skeptic for your honest and transparent response to my concerns.
    The big problem with aid and funding, is keeping the donor in the dark about
    such matters you speak of, or funds would soon dry up. That path does not
    imply duplicity, rather give time to address and solve the problem.
    Allow me to run an idea past you. That aid is given on the givers terms.
    The aid is not given to governments, but placed where its needed in deveoping
    an infrastructure that benefits the poor, and bypassing government interest in
    the funds. Ok Skeptic, it may be a wild idea, but has it been tried?
    nokton.
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  29. #28  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    One thing we can do to help improve governments in various parts of the world is make sure the populations have access to information - this can be through services like the BBC's World Service and, nowadays, the Internet.

    Also, by making sure that any aid goes to non-governmental organizations we can be more confident it goes where it should and deprive corrupt rulers from another source of income. (And let them know that we know what they are up to.) We can also provide support to populations that rise up against their rulers. I think the Libya example may be extreme. Freezing the assets of corrupt politicians once the population has thrown them out (1) can help get the message across. The really bad ones should be put on trial. Etc.

    (1) I think it would be difficult/illegal to do this while they are in power (sadly).
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    Making Intellectual property rights more reasonable is another potential to help the developing world. Our GM crops are so bound up by laws, biologist are having trouble even getting them for unbiased confirmation testing and they are often prohibitively expensive.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Ok Skeptic, it may be a wild idea, but has it been tried?
    nokton.
    To the best of my knowledge the answer is yes. Lots of things have been tried. Some fail because the recipient government will not permit them. Sometimes for pretty lousy reasons, or because of pure corruption.

    As I told you, I donate to the Fred Hollows Foundation. That group does not give money to governments, but sends in volunteers to train and work with local people.
    Donor money supports their efforts without being controlled by those who might be corrupt.

    The comment made by Strange about the internet is good.
    There is a program under way to develop a very cheap laptop, with wireless access to the internet, and try to get it into the hands of almost every family on the planet. We have seen the impact of information generating political change in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Perhaps the world can be transformed by getting local people everywhere better informed?
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    Perhaps the world can be transformed by getting local people everywhere better informed?
    For good and bad.

    Awareness of freedom and better life elsewhere, which is probably the one you were referring to pisses them off enough to start civil wars--always a messy, destabilizing, uncertain and messy business.
    Technical information (the fisherman now armed with a tide table for the first time)
    Networking. Jobs and trade opportunities.
    Cultural information sometimes not--imagine being a conservative parent who's daughter is now watching Hollywood films and dressing like a slut... etc
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  33. #32  
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    [QUOTE=Lynx_Fox;292545]
    imagine being a conservative parent who's daughter is now watching Hollywood films and dressing like a slut... etc
    African girl who now covers her boobs.
    Definitely a retrograde step!

    Seriously. I largely disagree with the thesis that more information is bad. Knowledge is power, and I would rather empower the poor bloody peasant in the fields, than the Robert Mugabe's of the future. At least teach him how to grow more food per acre.
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    Dont get me wrong skeptic I'm strongly in favor of the spread of information. We just can't ignore that there's also also some pretty strong downsides and destabilizing effects in some societies.

    I'd also argue it's difficult to even hang onto some cultural traits, that westerners would be ok with--the loss cultural foods, arts, and language and otherwise sometimes amazingly beautiful and unique aspects of their respective cultures which get swept away in the maelstrom of modernity. Even in the US we are much blander from coast to coast in regional cultural characteristics than we were four or five decades ago for the same reasons.
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    Lynx

    I would argue that there are a number of social factors that need to be lost.
    Think of the Arab Spring. Tunisia, Libya and Egypt overthrew evil dictators. There is no guarantee that the replacements will be better, but we can hope.

    Robert Mugabe and a number of others like him need to be removed. If we can educate the peoples of poorer and exploited nations so that they take the action that is required to get rid of the evils in their society, then their society will change. Sure, they may dump some of their cultural attributes, but not all cultural attributes are desirable.

    The beautiful and desirable parts of their culture are less likely to be lost. It is the evils that are more likely to go, when the people are informed.
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    but not all cultural attributes are desirable.
    I agree, but that also includes ours, which is backed by the juggernaut of power, money, and might and extremely well honed psychologically-based advertising model supporting their own forms of "evil" that often obliterates even the most highly desirably traits of other cultures
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    but not all cultural attributes are desirable.
    I agree, but that also includes ours, which is backed by the juggernaut of power, money, and might and extremely well honed psychologically-based advertising model supporting their own forms of "evil" that often obliterates even the most highly desirably traits of other cultures
    Oh my Lynx, please focus on skeptics premise, I cannot fault it. What it really comes down to,
    in the end game, is this, when are cultural attributes more important than survival. The cart
    before the horse comes to mind. With respect Lynx, putting a mouthful of food into a starving
    child, and damn any cultural prognostications, is what I feel Skeptic is about.
    nokton.
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    Pretty good precis, Nokton.

    There are many cultural attributes that are good, and plenty more that are bad. On the bad list, I include the paranoia of extreme tribalism. This is where people who are not members of the same tribe are classified as "non-people" and can be exploited, raped, murdered, enslaved etc., without any moral guilt on the perpetrator. Because they are not people. This cultural attribute is very, very common in 'primitive' societies. It was probably normal among our own ancestors.

    We also see this to a degree in street gangs in western cities. Those gang members look out for each other, but are happy to do anything, no matter how nasty, to non gang members. This cultural attribute needs to go! Most of the more 'civilised' world has dumped it. Yet it still causes enormous human misery in many countries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    but not all cultural attributes are desirable.
    I agree, but that also includes ours, which is backed by the juggernaut of power, money, and might and extremely well honed psychologically-based advertising model supporting their own forms of "evil" that often obliterates even the most highly desirably traits of other cultures
    Oh my Lynx, please focus on skeptics premise, I cannot fault it. What it really comes down to,
    in the end game, is this, when are cultural attributes more important than survival. The cart
    before the horse comes to mind. With respect Lynx, putting a mouthful of food into a starving
    child, and damn any cultural prognostications, is what I feel Skeptic is about.
    nokton.
    A fair point to get us back on track perhaps. (He was playing only with the broader discussion though...). Even in those instances though, there are "native," practices being replaced by short term unsustainable ones practiced by the West. If a farm can produce 5 times more food than the traditional way his family has used for 500 years, its only really better if it doesn't decrease the productivity long term. If his children can't grow food there at all due to salt, erosion or regional aridity, that information has done long term damage. Similar problems exist in horticulture when selecting breeds of animal less well adapted, harder on the land but more productive in the short term. Information is and of itself isn't enough to avert these negative situations, it's takes political stability and scientific analysis often unavailable to that same farmer.
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    Which means, Lynx, that there are no simple answers. We must try to apply all the knowledge and skill we have, both individually and collectively, to solve those problems. Ultimately, though, the responsibility will fall on the person at the 'coal face'.
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    hay, i m born in 1988.in last 23 years population of the world increases twice that's horrible specially in south Asia the population of south Asia is half of the world now the population of the world is 7 billion but the population of India and china is more than 2.5 billion. its a worry fact now tht world should be thinking about it
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Pretty good precis, Nokton.

    There are many cultural attributes that are good, and plenty more that are bad. On the bad list, I include the paranoia of extreme tribalism. This is where people who are not members of the same tribe are classified as "non-people" and can be exploited, raped, murdered, enslaved etc., without any moral guilt on the perpetrator. Because they are not people. This cultural attribute is very, very common in 'primitive' societies. It was probably normal among our own ancestors.

    We also see this to a degree in street gangs in western cities. Those gang members look out for each other, but are happy to do anything, no matter how nasty, to non gang members. This cultural attribute needs to go! Most of the more 'civilised' world has dumped it. Yet it still causes enormous human misery in many countries.
    With due respect Skeptic, what you speak of is tribalism, inherent in all societies, devoped or not.
    From the street gangs you speak of, to the football hooligans who attack opposing teams supporters,
    and opposing parties in a political system, however democratic it may appear to be. Tribalism is
    a hangover from the evolutionary process of natural selection, and only people who think as you
    do will break the process, more power to you.
    nokton
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    Fair enough.
    What is the opposite of tribalism? Perhaps internationalism? The belief that all people are deserving, and no single group, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, language group etc should be given preference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Fair enough.
    What is the opposite of tribalism? Perhaps internationalism? The belief that all people are deserving, and no single group, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, language group etc should be given preference.
    Skeptic, my friend, do not fall into the same trap many have with this vexed question.
    The first thing to realise, is that we are not all equal, that is not in conflict with deserving
    within your frame of reference. The opposite to tribalism is a difficult path to walk.
    It involves changing a mindset that leads to more misery for mankind, as evident
    in the current state of world affairs.
    Skeptic, there is a world of difference between being equal and being different.
    I am godless, but a committed humanitarian. Only ideas and a desire to influence
    entrenched ideas and dogma will prevail against tribalism. Hope this answers your
    question.
    You take care of yourself now,
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    The population has doubled twice in just the past century and is expected to be more than 8 billion by 2025 and may be 10.5 billion by 2050! Anyway, Education is key for many reasons, but take Japan for instance, they were way overpopulated, became educated in many ways and dropped population considerably. They even believed for a time that they wouldn't have enough for a strong workforce.

    It really should all be, beside the point. There are not too many people, just not enough of a planet. It is my opinion that millions should already be occupying the moon, and maybe just the same amount on Mars! We have to expand horizons. Think on a much larger scale. Our species could be totally wiped out in an instant by way of several different cataclysmic scenerios. As I'm sure that throughout the universe, life is pretty resiliant, it is intelligent life that appears to be so fragile. And if we care enough to give this to the next generations, at least as much as we have had, we had better make stronger attempts. It seems as though we have recently lost drive. What happened to the mentality of the mid 60s? I guess, if we could stop spending so much time and money protecting ourselves from each other, we might make that giant leap once more! Just one small step?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Pretty good precis, Nokton.

    There are many cultural attributes that are good, and plenty more that are bad. On the bad list, I include the paranoia of extreme tribalism. This is where people who are not members of the same tribe are classified as "non-people" and can be exploited, raped, murdered, enslaved etc., without any moral guilt on the perpetrator. Because they are not people. This cultural attribute is very, very common in 'primitive' societies. It was probably normal among our own ancestors.

    We also see this to a degree in street gangs in western cities. Those gang members look out for each other, but are happy to do anything, no matter how nasty, to non gang members. This cultural attribute needs to go! Most of the more 'civilised' world has dumped it. Yet it still causes enormous human misery in many countries.
    If you want cultural change to improve population outcomes there are two closely related issues.

    The first is the age of mothers at first birth. If the average is say 15-18 years old, you will have a vastly different population after even half a century from another group, which has exactly the same number of children born to each mother, where the age at first birth is 25+. What this shift does is to change the number of years of overlap of oldest and youngest generations. Grandmothers in their fifties instead of in their 30s. Great-grandmothers 75 or older versus less than 60.

    One big mistake the Chinese made was to enforce (regionally I'll admit) a one child policy with minimum marriage ages for men and women. What they didn't touch was the cultural preference for 4 generation families. So families expected that when people marry, they will instantly do the right thing and produce the next generation. There's nothing wrong with great-grandchildren. There's a great deal wrong with encouraging maximum overlap of too many (long-lived) generations.

    The other side of this coin is what will young women do if they don't marry young. Most reports and analyses advocate a passive approach. Increasing wealth of a country will 'allow' women access to greater education and other life options, thereby having a gradual, consequential effect on population. If anyone's looking for a charity to support, look for the NGOs that are directly going for the education+later marriage combination as the first step towards greater wealth and health in communities. Funnily enough, in the TV clip I saw, it was the boys in the school who were really happy about this. They were relieved that they wouldn't be expected to take on the burden of providing for a family as soon as they left school.
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