Re: Contributing to Society [was Re: Premature deaths [was: extropians-digest V7 #4]]

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 15:17:07 MST

On 1/7/02 12:26 PM, "Kai Becker" <> wrote:
> The problems you mention are mostly questions of fair distribution of
> existing material. "We" (meaning all humans) can easily produce enough food
> and vaccine to prevent the death of the over 40,000 children per day for
> example. But there's is not enough monetary profit in it. We could easily
> provide enough teachers to eradicate illiteracy. But the ROI would come in
> a decade or so. Too long to explain this to shareholders. And the 1st world
> would long have a real cure for HIV/AIDS, if the possible profit would be
> big enough (compared to the profit they currently make) and/or their own
> survival would be at stake.

It seems to me that you are completely missing the point. Starvation, for
example, is not caused by any intrinsic lack of resources but rather is a
situation caused directly or indirectly by intent. Simply giving food to
starving people in Africa is attempting to solve a problem that doesn't
exist (the "problem" being the unavailability of food). Which isn't to say
that people aren't starving. It is just that the starvation isn't caused by
a lack of resources; substantial effort was expended by individuals to
create the food imbalance. Giving a little food has done nothing to solve
the problem, and in some cases, made it worse.

The same story with illiteracy. In many parts of the world, it rarely has
anything to do with teacher availability. Adding more teachers would
contribute nothing. As with starvation, the resources exist but aren't
being utilized for various reasons that have nothing to do with the

As for an HIV cure, the private sector has expended astronomical amounts of
money looking for a cure, and there are dozens of biotech companies with
active HIV research programs that would have nothing to lose and many
billions of dollars to gain by coming up with an effective cure. Your
apparent assertion on this issue is absurd.

-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST