MEDIA: Re: Last night's NOVA/FRONTLINE special

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 08:18:47 MDT

>From: "John Marlow" <>

>Ooohboy. Africa. In a nutshell, here's the problem: It's always
>been a mess, it continues to be a mess, and it probably always
>will be a mess. Yes it seems like the humanitarian thing to do, to
>bring food to the starving masses--and I do not argue against
>this. Who could? But here is what happens--this causes the
>population to grow rapidly, producing a far larger crisis which
>must be solved with far more food, and so on ad infinitum.
>Eventually, by saving the first bunch you have rather directly
>caused the eventual and seemingly inevitable death-by-starvation
>of a far, far larger number of people.

You've identified a primary problem, simply increasing the food
supply and the population could explode, obviously it must be dealt
with on more than one level simultaneously.

>You hand them the tech to provide for themselves, they won't.
>They're too busy being oppressed by their own or other
>governments and slaughtered by warlords or neighbors.

Remember the lessons we've learned, handouts don't work, teach them
to fish, just don't give them the fish....

>The majority of the continent is a total write-off. Eventually
>they'll eat the wildlife or destroy its food/water sources.
>Kenya has it halfway together half of the time. A few of the
>northern nations. The rest? Pfff.

Part of why I am an extropian is to accelerate my own progress, but
I have a considerable amount of Buddhist ethic in me as well, and
this requires that I do what I can, when I can, to save as many of
the rest of sentient beings as I can.

>We think we have problems? We have inconveniences. Just to be born
>here (US) with all your marbles to decent parents is 99.999999% of
>everything you could want, when you think about it.

>Don't believe it?
>Tour Eritrea.

I'm somewhat familiar with Eritrea's problems, and as I said I
consider it part of being an Extropian that we address these

How many Eritreans are Extropians and don't know it yet?


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

Current reading: The Earth Manual by Malcolm Margolin

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