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Will poverty ever be history?

#21 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 22:26

When it comes to hunger, I agree we know how to feed the world. that is good news, very good news.

The concern is increasing fragility in terms of how we feed the world. A tiny few sources of food increases fragility, it decreases optionality.

Star trek replicators are great for feeding the starving. When we rely on them, we increase fragility.
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Reducing poverty with more government transfer payments can reduce poverty which is a good thing. Making more and more of the population dependent on government payments increases fragility and reduces optionality.
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#22 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 22:43

Printing food?

"Soylent green is people!"

:P
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#23 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 23:47

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-23, 22:43, said:

Printing food?

"Soylent green is people!"

:P


Please keep an open mind, people are also animals.

"Soylent, The Magic Food Replacement Milkshake, Is Surprisingly Delicious"


http://finance.yahoo...KlTnCMAjZbQtDMD

"But I can tell you that after I finished my first glass, I helped myself to a second one"

Soylent is a real food you can buy today.

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This will shock many of us but nature, much of nature looks on people as food. Blame nature.
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#24 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 01:31

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-23, 21:37, said:

Damn, Mbodell stole my counter :(
But what is "moving slowly"?


I meant the social changes, and applying the technology to the real world problems of poverty elimination, was slow. Not the technology itself.

I mean the estimated cost to end extreme poverty around the world in 20 years is about a quarter of the US Department of Defense spending each year (for the 20 years). It obviously doesn't need to be the US only contributing, but it does put into perspective a little that the main issue is our choices of priorities. We already grow enough food to feed everyone in the world, we just allocate it in such a way that not everyone gets food. Again it is about choices, not technology.

So even as technology evolves fast, the social setting isn't evolving as quickly and the application of it to the alleviating poverty (instead of catering to the 1% - where most of the money and profit is) lags well behind.
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#25 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 01:39

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-24, 01:31, said:

I meant the social changes, and applying the technology to the real world problems of poverty elimination, was slow. Not the technology itself.

I mean the estimated cost to end extreme poverty around the world in 20 years is about a quarter of the US Department of Defense spending each year (for the 20 years). It obviously doesn't need to be the US only contributing, but it does put into perspective a little that the main issue is our choices of priorities. We already grow enough food to feed everyone in the world, we just allocate it in such a way that not everyone gets food. Again it is about choices, not technology.

So even as technology evolves fast, the social setting isn't evolving as quickly and the application of it to the alleviating poverty (instead of catering to the 1% - where most of the money and profit is) lags well behind.


why put this in terms of usa....


I mean we feel guilty for defending Germany and now you make us feel more guilty

In other words how about Germany and Italy and france and china and belgium doing this?

YOu claim stuff but offer zero evidence.

One silly claim is most of the money is with the 1%, clearly this is false.

An other silly claim is most of the profits is with the 1%, again false.
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#26 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 15:53

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-24, 01:31, said:

I meant the social changes, and applying the technology to the real world problems of poverty elimination, was slow. Not the technology itself.

I mean the estimated cost to end extreme poverty around the world in 20 years is about a quarter of the US Department of Defense spending each year (for the 20 years). It obviously doesn't need to be the US only contributing, but it does put into perspective a little that the main issue is our choices of priorities. We already grow enough food to feed everyone in the world, we just allocate it in such a way that not everyone gets food. Again it is about choices, not technology.

So even as technology evolves fast, the social setting isn't evolving as quickly and the application of it to the alleviating poverty (instead of catering to the 1% - where most of the money and profit is) lags well behind.


It's also about politics. We try to send food and other aid to Third World African countries, but they're involved in sectarian struggles and their governments block distribution to the starving masses. So even though there's plenty of food available, and people trying to feed them, children still starve.

And back home, there are idological disputes over the Food Stamp and WIC programs.

#27 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 18:54

I am getting the feeling that I have seen this movie before. Sixty years ago I became aware of two things: We had a food surplus in the U.S., in fact it was a troubling surplus, and people in much of the world were starving. To my adolescent mind, it seemed simple. Give our surplus food to the people who need it.

I came to realize that it is not so simple, not nearly so simple. The world is not an altruistic place, not an easy place, and often not a very nice place.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't do it. But if it were easy, we probably would have already done it.

One program at a time. Help is needed, no doubt about that.
Ken
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#28 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 20:07

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-24, 01:39, said:

why put this in terms of usa....
I mean we feel guilty for defending Germany and now you make us feel more guilty
In other words how about Germany and Italy and france and china and belgium doing this?
YOu claim stuff but offer zero evidence.


I did say "It obviously doesn't need to be the US only contributing". So yes Germany, Italy, France, China, and Belgium on their own could also end world extreme poverty, from a raising of resource point of view. BTW, where was your evidence. I did include links to evidence on my post 2 back. For instance, this one that does cover the question at hand about how much things cost.

But if the main point is to show that we don't need a technological change in order to be able to accomplish this, then showing the US alone could accomplish this is sufficient to make that point.

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-24, 01:39, said:

One silly claim is most of the money is with the 1%, clearly this is false.

An other silly claim is most of the profits is with the 1%, again false.


Those claims aren't that false overall, and make even more sense when applied specifically to the adoption of new technology to the problem of global extreme poverty.

How about more evidence for you: global wealth distribution. That shows the richest 85 people in the world have more than the 3.5 billion poorest. And the top 1% worldwide have about half of all the wealth world wide.

Again, this wasn't a throw away about occupy wallstreet but was in the context of the argument of applying technology to poverty elimination. Most technologies are applied first to where there is a market. And where there is a market is where the wealthy are. So early people doing 3d printing of food are going to focus on rich people, providing services to companies, etc. not providing 3d printing to the poorest 1 or 2 billion people on the planet. That is just naturally the way business and technology works.
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#29 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-24, 22:39

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-24, 01:31, said:

So even as technology evolves fast, the social setting isn't evolving as quickly and the application of it to the alleviating poverty (instead of catering to the 1% - where most of the money and profit is) lags well behind.
Due diligence, I'm a filthy capitalist. So, I do believe in trickling down. If only the rich get to print foie gras and purple caviar, they'll still eat less of other foods, which will lower demand for them, which will allow poor people access to more food.
It only fails when rich people don't need the product, like medicine for third-world diseases. Since even the rich need to subsist on calories, we seem to be in the clear.
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#30 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 06:22

I just don't think that technology can solve poverty, when lack of technology is not the problem. The world can already produce enough food to feed everyone adequately. But as Ken says, political strife in the third world prevents this from happening. Better technology won't change that.
Life is long and beautiful, if bad things happen, good things will follow.
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#31 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 06:57

View Postbillw55, on 2014-June-25, 06:22, said:

The world can already produce enough food to feed everyone adequately. But as Ken says, political strife in the third world prevents this from happening. Better technology won't change that.
I don't see how the conclusion follows from the premise. If people worked together you could do a lot of the things you do today with social networking, so in that sense social networking doesn't enable anything, yet it's responsible for quite a lot.
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#32 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 08:33

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-24, 22:39, said:

I'm a filthy capitalist. So, I do believe in trickling down.



Capitalism does not mean supply-side economics. You conflate an economic system with the religion of Reaganomics.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#33 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 10:47

Oh well. I was trying to warn you that I'm predisposed to a certain kind of thinking. That being said, do you find fault with my reasoning?
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#34 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 11:24

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-25, 10:47, said:

Oh well. I was trying to warn you that I'm predisposed to a certain kind of thinking. That being said, do you find fault with my reasoning?


Yes, because your reasoning assumes a truth based on faith rather than data and economic history.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#35 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 12:29

View Posthrothgar, on 2014-June-22, 10:41, said:

Please remind me what your farcical religion has to say about that one.

You don't know me at all, and yet you make assumptions about what religion I profess? Or is this, as Barmar seems to think, just a general moan about "religiosity"?
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#36 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 12:37

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-23, 23:47, said:

Soylent is a real food you can buy today.

Yeah, but it's not green. :P
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#37 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 12:41

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-25, 06:57, said:

I don't see how the conclusion follows from the premise. If people worked together you could do a lot of the things you do today with social networking, so in that sense social networking doesn't enable anything, yet it's responsible for quite a lot.

If people worked together. They don't. The majority of people in third world countries who have any power at all are out only for themselves. On top of that, they're corrupt by our standards. So they see anything like an influx of food intended for the masses as wealth for themselves. That's not "working together", that's "working for me".
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#38 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 13:49

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-25, 12:41, said:

If people worked together. They don't. The majority of people in third world countries who have any power at all are out only for themselves. On top of that, they're corrupt by our standards. So they see anything like an influx of food intended for the masses as wealth for themselves. That's not "working together", that's "working for me".


I think the correct approach is to do what we can. I don't know of Matt Ridley, the source of your original quote. Probably he never heard of me either so we are even. But the quote perhaps was in a context where he had some further point to make?

I think I can come to some sort of decent opinion as to whether Plan X might be helpful to alleviate current problem Y. But a view of what life will be like in 2100? Maybe cockroaches will rule the planet. maybe we will all live to be 150. I haven't a clue.

We do have a responsibility to the planet and to future generations. This is not provable, and in fact we can refuse to accept it. but most of us would like to see things get better, not worse. We have children and grandchildren but even if we did not it seems like a natural desire. Not logically forced, but natural nonetheless. So we should support efforts to make things better. "Make things better" is tough but perhaps achievable. Eliminating poverty? I'll believe it when I see it. And I won't see it.
Ken
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#39 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 13:52

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-24, 20:07, said:

Again, this wasn't a throw away about occupy wallstreet but was in the context of the argument of applying technology to poverty elimination. Most technologies are applied first to where there is a market. And where there is a market is where the wealthy are. So early people doing 3d printing of food are going to focus on rich people, providing services to companies, etc. not providing 3d printing to the poorest 1 or 2 billion people on the planet. That is just naturally the way business and technology works.


I'm not very familiar with the technology, but my suspicion is that "printed food" won't be as good tasting as real food, at least not for a while. We're not really talking about Star Trek replicators, but something closer to nutrition pills. There's also test tube meat, where they use cloned cells to grow beef in the laboratory. In most of these cases, rich people probably aren't going to be interested, they'll pay a premium to get the real thing. But it will be a boon to poor people, because they'll be able to get nutritious food at prices they can afford. It will probably also be used heavily by fast food restaurants. I'm sure McDonalds is chomping at the bit to be able to grow hamburgers in factories instead of farms.

#40 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 21:18

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-25, 12:41, said:

If people worked together. They don't. The majority of people in third world countries who have any power at all are out only for themselves. On top of that, they're corrupt by our standards. So they see anything like an influx of food intended for the masses as wealth for themselves. That's not "working together", that's "working for me".
You're getting lost in the analogy. "Political strife in third world countries" is exactly "but people don't work together without social networks". That was the point, to show that technology does enable things even if they weren't impossible before. So, the argument "if it were possible we'd have taken this possible route to it, ergo a new route won't help" doesn't hold.

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-June-25, 11:24, said:

Yes, because your reasoning assumes a truth based on faith rather than data and economic history.
I was trying to avoid a well-trodden side discussion. Suffice to say if you believe increasing the supply won't lower prices, then it's your position that's not grounded in data and economic history.
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