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Thread: Is more technology the answer?

  1. #1 Is more technology the answer? 
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Is more technology the answer?

    Technology is a positive feed back system. When the output of the system increases the system goes at a higher rate. There is no equilibrium in a positive feedback system. Capitalism is such a system.

    In a negative feed back system when the output increases the system goes at a slower pace or turns off completely, like the thermostatically controlled home heating furnace. Such a system seeks and maintains equilibrium. Our body is such a system.

    As our world population continues to increase we (humanity) face a big question: How will we feed everybody? Until lately, India thought that they had found the answer for creating cheap food for their hundreds of millions.

    “Farmers in the state of Punjab abandoned traditional farming methods in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the national program called the "Green Revolution," backed by advisers from the U.S. and other countries.

    Indian farmers started growing crops the American way — with chemicals, high-yield seeds and irrigation.

    Since then, India has gone from importing grain like a beggar, to often exporting it.

    But studies show the Green Revolution is heading for collapse.”

    When he Green Revolution was launched 40 years ago framers began to grow only high-yield crops instead of their traditional crops. The new crops required more water than the old crops so that farmers were required to create new wells. These new wells caused the ground water level to fall and the declining level caused the water to become more salty than before. These new wells required better and more expensive pumps, which led to indebtedness by the farmers.

    This led to a problem similar to the problem we in the US have recently experienced, i.e. India’s Wall Street equivalent grew fat and happy and farmers accumulated debts that they could not pay. This created a financial “quicksand”.

    The new crops demanded much more from the soil and the water wells pumped more salty water because of lowered ground water and the combination destroyed the soil.

    During the good years the farmers increased their standard of living and built new homes for their families, thus adding more debt.

    "It's like a disease that is catching on in the world," says Suba, "building a life that is like a house of cards."

    "The state and farmers are now faced with a crisis…India's population is growing faster than any country on Earth, and domestic food production is vital.

    But the commission's director, G.S. Kalkat, says Punjab's farmers are committing ecological and economic "suicide”… Kalkat says only one thing can save Punjab: India has to launch a brand new Green Revolution. But he says this one has to be sustainable.

    The problem is, nobody has yet perfected a farming system that produces high yields, makes a good living for farm families, protects and enhances the environment — and still produces good, affordable food.”

    India's Farming 'Revolution' Heading For Collapse
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=102944731


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Unsure what section that belongs in. Not here.


    British Columbia could absorb more Indians. Take some pressure off. The only requirement is they bring money to buy new houses, as BC's economy is still geared to immigration. So how do we get money to the Indian emigrants? The only money we can magic out of thin air is US dollars. Maybe US companies can offshore a lot more, favouring India?

    That'd help a little. Otherwise it's hopeless isn't it?


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Is technology an answer to what?

    Everything is technology. Philosophy and knowledge is a form of technology. The ability to criticize technology is technology.

    Anyway, there are more examples of technology at work, for both seemingly good and bad results, than just one. The fate(reputation) of technology, or anything shouldn't rest on one extreme example.

    There must be a "good" technology, for us to be able to identify "bad" technology.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I think you are hinting at the problem of overpopulation. Birth rates are lower in most industrialised countries, there may be socio-economic reasons, cultural and practical(birth control) reasons.

    Tech can increase the amount of people that can live on earth, but at some point we have to take a step back and see that we need macro-perspective guidelines. Population expantion has to be managed between boundaries until we get a stable population(not growing) at some point so better now then later. Imo we need incentives to make having 2 kids a favorable option, which means contraception needs to be available in developping countries where it isnt, and various incentives and services need to be put in place to make having 2 kids more appealing in developped countries with low birth rates. Im not suggesting forcing a number of kids, but having a set of policies/services/etc that help stir the average birth rate towards 2.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I didn't know the planet was overpopulated, I just thought developed countries consume too much, and didn't produce enough.
    Dick, be Frank.

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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I didn't know the planet was overpopulated, I just thought developed countries consume too much, and didn't produce enough.
    I grew up in India. Trust me, the planet is hugely overpopulated. (Of course - it depends upon what you consider over-population...)
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  8. #7  
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    According to current population forecasts, population aging in the first half of this century should exceed that of the second half of the 20th century. For the world as a whole, the elderly will grow from 6.9% of the population in 2000 to a projected 19.3% in 2050 (Table 1). In other words, the world average should then be higher than the current world record

    http://longevity-science.org/Population_Aging.htm
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Yes there is overpopulation, humans (and urbanization) are depleting large fishes in the oceans, destroying habitat and causing an extinction level event on the rest of the animals. I'm not advocating depopulation measures but growth as to be caped and reduced gradually, while minimizing our impact on the environment along the way(with technology and hopefully another socio-economic model).
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    "I grew up in India. Trust me, the planet is hugely overpopulated. (Of course - it depends upon what you consider over-population...)"

    It does depend on what is considered over-populated, although it seems most people consider that which is sustainable, to be well-populated.

    Population is not homogeneous, however. The whole world is not defined by what is locally self evident. What is true in India, for example, may not be true for South Africa, and what is true in the cities, might not be true for what is true in the country.

    "Yes there is overpopulation, humans (and urbanization) are depleting large fishes in the oceans"

    What if people's diets changed significantly and we managed to become sustainable?

    Technology and life styles can change dramatically.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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