Re: The politics of biotechnology

jonwill (jonwill@erols.com)
Wed, 02 Jun 1999 10:45:05 -0400

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> Anders Sandberg writes:
>
> I am reading the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
> (www.pnas.org), containing the talks from a conference on world food supply. A
> very
> cheering view really; while there certainly are some big problems to solve the
> overall future looks reasonably bright globally (locally, there might still be
> plenty of
> trouble). However, one factor that appears to be very important for this to
> become true is the spread of biotechnology from the North to the South, and
> several
> speakers mentioned the problem of balancing intellectual property and profit
> with the need to get bioengineered crops to the poor countries. The problems
> appear to
> be economical and politicial in this area, not technical. The consensus seemed
> to be that what we need to fix food shortages is richer poor countries. Any
> ideas for
> extropian solutions of biotech spread?

"Reality: Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the world's food supply. Enough wheat, rice and other grains are produced to provide every human being with 3,500 calories per day. That doesn't even count many other commonly eaten foods - vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish. Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide: 2 pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs - enough to make most people fat! The problem is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food. Even most "hungry countries" have enough food for all their people right now. Many are net exporters of food and other agricultural products." See http://www.foodfirst.org/pubsabs.htm#wohuco

The problem then is that some people do not have the right pieces of paper (money) to buy food. If these people do not get food through charitable means they become losers under the current rules of the game of life (death through starvation). Changing the rules (politics) has never stopped this problem, but just made different winners and losers. That is why Buckminster Fuller http://209.196.135.250/ sought a solution through a game where political solutions to world tangible need shortages were disallowed. There are solutions through proficient use of current resources to allot of human problems (new technologies are need to solve the rest).

Cheers,
Jon
http://www.erols.com/jonwill/

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Anders Sandberg writes:

I am reading the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (www.pnas.org), containing the talks from a conference on world food supply. A very
cheering view really; while there certainly are some big problems to solve the overall future looks reasonably bright globally (locally, there might still be plenty of
trouble). However, one factor that appears to be very important for this to become true is the spread of biotechnology from the North to the South, and several
speakers mentioned the problem of balancing intellectual property and profit with the need to get bioengineered crops to the poor countries. The problems appear to
be economical and politicial in this area, not technical. The consensus seemed to be that what we need to fix food shortages is richer poor countries. Any ideas for
extropian solutions of biotech spread?

"Reality: Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the world's food supply. Enough wheat, rice and other grains are produced to provide every human being with 3,500 calories per day. That doesn't even count many other commonly eaten foods - vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish. Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide: 2 ½ pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs - enough to make most people fat! The problem is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food. Even most "hungry countries" have enough food for all their people right now. Many are net exporters of food and other agricultural products." See  http://www.foodfirst.org/pubsabs.htm#wohuco

The problem then is that some people do not have the right pieces of paper (money) to buy food. If these people do not get food through charitable means they become losers under the current rules of the game of life (death through starvation). Changing the rules (politics) has never stopped this problem, but just made different winners and losers. That is why Buckminster Fuller http://209.196.135.250/ sought a solution through a game where political solutions to world tangible need shortages were disallowed. There are solutions through proficient use of current resources to allot of human problems (new technologies are need to solve the rest).

Cheers,
Jon
http://www.erols.com/jonwill/
 
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