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What do you think is the biggest issue in Asia and how to deal with it?

Issue can be related to technology, environment, business and education field.

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  • May 15 2014: What ever it is, they will do much better once they have taken over America and stopped the biggest imperialist since the Roman Empire.
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      May 16 2014: Keith, are you serious?
      • May 16 2014: Well I hope not as an American, but as a realist I think China has a real chance at over taking our government which as you should know by now has already be taken over by Corporations. Also you should know that America's land, minerals rights, businesses and other assets are being bought up by other countries at an alarming rate. 2008 financial crisis should have been a wake-up call but America is to fat and lazy to get off the couch or care as long as they have their pizza, beer and TV. We have an enormous debt we owe to China and they will collect.
        http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-chinese-are-acquiring-large-chunks-of-land-in-communities-all-over-america

        Unfortunately I am dead serious and if they are smart and they are, it could be done without firing a single shot. Oh well, easy come, easy go. We waltzed in here and slaughtered all of the American Indians to get this land, did we really think there would be no Karma? Now because of our greed and karma, someone is poised to simply buy it from us. America is for sale and has been for years!
        http://youtu.be/I2KR0bPa92M

        How about this for a new name: Chinamerica it rolls right off the tongue.
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      May 16 2014: Don't worry Keith, China already is the biggest creditor to the US, so 'they' already 'own' 'you'.

      If China would not have become the most aggressive form of capitalism itself, it would have made for quite a funny side-note in history.... lol
      • May 16 2014: Let's just say they already have the tools needed to take over, history will as always tell the true story.
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    May 13 2014: Anh, When you say Asia you cover a lot of area .. not all of the countries have the same issues ... and one size does not fit all.

    Japan is suffering from all of the quantitative easing programs ... China is have growing pains ... India has political issues that is holding them back ... Singapore is the crown jewel in the Asia Crown ... etc ....

    Currently cheap labor is the drawing point ... however, the corruption in many countries defeat the savings incurred.

    If I must ... I would select instable governments as the chief issue for investors.

    A more specific question would gather more specific answers.

    Be well. Bob.
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    JB E

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    May 13 2014: Aside from the government supported industrial espionage from China, I really wish they would at least make an effort to change their culture so that they don't fish and hunt species to extinction. Shark fin, Rhino horn, whaling,. ect there is no reason why these things should still be hunted, fished or illegal trade supported by Asia. Furthermore the full on industrial scale pollution China produces crosses the ocean and effects lands and people far far from them, basically making their problems everyone elses, just because they have low expectations for quality of life doesn't mean the rest of the world does too.
    • May 13 2014: I totally agree that over fishing and hunting are big problems in Asia. I believe the governments are well aware of these, but they cannot find an effective way to prohibit their resident from over hunting and fishing. It is hard to change their culture, since it has been there for so long. Many of them believe that parts of the animal can be used to make medicine (even though not scientifically proved) or merely as a sign to indicate wealth. For example, they think the horn of the rhino can be used to treat many kinds of illness, or having that horn inside the house is a luck. These reasons make the horn valuable, and many people hunt rhino to sell for a good price. I agree with you that the government must be stricter in this issue to prevent many animal from being distinct. Do you think there is another way to do that, because i think changing culture is technically impossible?
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        JB E

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        May 13 2014: The US is going threw something similar in that we are plagued by illegal drug trafficking and drug use. Right now there is an experiment going on in Colorado where cannabis has become decriminalized and is being produced legally. This has taken much of the profits from the drug cartels and at the same time produced a lucrative business that is heavily taxed. If we use this as an model for the illegal trade in Rhino horns, for example, perhaps it could have the same effects. Rhino horns can be harvested with out killing the animal so farming the animal for the horns could take the profits from the criminals poaching them as well as support a lucrative business that could help turn the animal from the brink of extinction. If this logic does in fact work to curb the situation, it should work for other animals too right?
        • May 13 2014: Hi JB E,I think cannabis has become decriminalized and is being produced legally,it isn't a bad thing,on the contary,If it won't caused any problem,it means people is really can be free to choose what they think are right,not by law or any forcement,it is one of humanbeing progress.we should be proud of that...
        • May 13 2014: I am not sure if decriminalization will work in case of rhino. For rhino, i think it takes more knowledge and skills to take care of them, or maybe more organized. They are in the verge of being distinct in many countries in Asia, so i dont really know if it will work that way?
      • May 13 2014: Hi Anh,I think we do can change culture via education:one generation to another..
    • May 14 2014: Anh N. : It should be possible to create reserves for Rhinos , as well as other species. While I'm not an expert, it would be rather unusual to find animals which absolutely could not be bred in Zoos, etc.
  • May 23 2014: I have to disagree with population explosion as the major problem. Infact, I was under same impression some years back and it does not surprises me that many still have similar notion. On the contrary, it is the strength. I can't tell about whole of Asia, but I can surely tell that so called modern India lacks originality. The educational, judicial system and way of living is no more it's own. Every civilizations have there ups and down. Couple of centuries ago it was at it's peak and now the western civilization is at it's peak. It's matter of time only. Once they stop copying the west and start exploring what's good for them then no one can stop it in current times. It does not surprise mean that in 1600's Brit's came to India for trade as by then India was considered as a golden bird. And the money extracted from this country along with it's other resources and ideas had led to industrial revolution in UK. Result is India is now one of thea developing countries. It amazes me how a civilization at it's peak could be converted into a poor country in a matter of couple of centuries.
  • May 23 2014: China's economiic bubble will eventually bust. My guess is within two years. When it busts, the world will enter a second Great Depression.
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    May 21 2014: The biggest issue in Asia is population growth. Too many people, not enough natural resources, overuse of environmentally damaging fuels, the gobbling up of food-production land for housing, and the increasing reliance on the importation of food to feed the huge populations. Governments need to realize that population growth needs to be slowed. Not in the drastic one child policy of China, which has produced a population with too many males, but in such a way that encourages people to have less than 3 children. It is a difficult problem, but one that needs to be addressed NOW.
  • May 20 2014: maybe none of those you have listed,the political issue may be the biggest,but,it's a very sensitive problem.
  • May 19 2014: May be population is the biggest issue in Asia. I think pollution is also an issue. If we take care of our nature it too takes care of us. We need to plant trees, save animals from the verge of extension...... then automatically we will be rich in natural resources. though child education is very essential, most of the parents are not sending their children to schools instead they are sending them to work as they would get wages.Because most of the people below poverty line do not have money even to buy food.so we need to educate parents of such families to send their children to school. We need to encourage our parents and relatives to plant trees on important occasions.
  • May 18 2014: Some of you talk about china ,but in Asia,there are many countries ,such as India, ,Japan,Korea.SO,Chian not represent Asia.First I want say,I think the biggest issue is the population,The population in Chian is the maximun around the world ,and India is the second maximun population country.I admit the economy in China and India develop very well ,but on average ,everyone's still very low ,can not compare with USA and Europe countries.Beyond that ,there have so many different opinions ideals ,these different ideals have caused conflicts.In China and Indian ,there still exist a lot of problems in education, public service , transportation.If the population of Asia will decrease ,Asia will be better.
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    May 17 2014: Our human world becomes easily interconnected and overwhelmed with undigested information of all sorts. Many have a truly chaotic picture in minds. And it is chaotic in reality.

    On one hand most of the lost people cannot think for themsleves and want a leader to follow, no matter how stupid this leader could be. On the other hand everyone wants some change, but not really sure how realistic that change can be..

    The world cannot stop changing but the majority of us stubbornly think only based upon recyling patterns.
    This is why we have tragic and very bloody history and no country could avoid it. New changing environment, new technology, new methods of building, producing, using.. whatever, but no new methods of thinking in general.

    I wish someone would be able to picture the future but without borrowing spooky, outdated metropolis ideas and hellish mass production . Is it possible?

    Our better, more intelligent future is in creating sustainable living within local communities, specific local climate and natural resources. It's hard to imagine that this can be done in our madly industrialized world. But I think people in China are very capable of creating these SMALL futurictic communities, combining old local Sound tradition/culture/language, great skills and some carefully selected intelligent technology.

    No need to unify everyone and everything - we have that terrible experience in the past and have it at the present time. Every person deserves to live a meaningful life.
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    May 17 2014: China's government is paralyzed by CCP inflexibility, career bureaucrats, and increasing levels of corruption at all levels. The government has shown little ability to lead and inspire its citizens by creating a 'Chinese vision' or unify its ethnic groups. Indeed Chinese don't speak a common language and people from northern provinces disdain those from southern.
    Although America has suffered it is resilient, innovative, and creative, elements that don't characterize many other countries; certainly China, by her own criticism, lacks all of those elements.
    The imminent collapse of USA is frequently prophesied, but every Marxist grounded government has failed, while America continues to lead the world.
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    May 16 2014: Keen observers of the what is going on in Asia, especially in East Asia, are acutely concerned about the possibilities of conflicts that could erupt as a result of the territorial disputes between China and its neighbors.

    "Six countries lay overlapping claims to the East and South China Seas, an area that is rich in hydrocarbons and natural gas and through which trillions of dollars of global trade flow. As it seeks to expand its maritime presence, China has been met by growing assertiveness from regional claimants like Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The increasingly frequent standoffs span from the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on China’s eastern flank, to the long stretch of archipelagos in the South China Sea that comprise hundreds of islets. The U.S. pivot to Asia, involving renewed diplomatic activity and military redeployment, could signal Washington’s heightened role in the disputes, which, if not managed wisely, could turn part of Asia’s maritime regions from thriving trade channels into arenas of conflict..."

    "Thousands of vessels ply the East and South China Sea waters, from fishing boats to coastal patrols and naval ships. Increasingly frequent clashes between China and its neighbors heighten the risk that miscalculations by sea captains or political leaders could trigger an armed conflict, which the United States could be drawn into through military commitments to allies Japan and the Philippines. Policy experts believe that a crisis management system for the region is crucial..."

    http://www.cfr.org/asia-and-pacific/chinas-maritime-disputes/p31345#!/
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    May 16 2014: Over-population and territorial disputes are the biggest problems in Asia. Political corruption is also rampant in many parts of that continent.
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    May 15 2014: Regional instability appears to be growing but perhaps is symptomatic of stagnant economies: Japan, ROK, DPRK, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam are going nowhere, just running in place. When domestic policies are ineffective, some governments will focus citizens' attention on perceived external threats; misdirection is always good policy
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      May 16 2014: Mr. Lambert,

      How would you reconcile your statement with that of Mr. Keith W. Henline?
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        May 17 2014: Unable to reconcile with Mr. Henline who is off topic and opining about USA. Mr. Henline is not discussing biggest issues of Asia.
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    May 15 2014: personally I would like to see Asian people drinking more milk. Do you know why they don't drink much milk, Anh? Here is a chart showing worldwide milk consumption, you will see Asian countries are low: http://chartsbin.com/view/1491
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      May 16 2014: Let's hope milk will solve Asia's problems, Greg.
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        May 16 2014: what do you think are the problems milk has to tackle, Rodrigo?
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          May 16 2014: I was hoping you will be the one to elaborate on this since you were the one who brought up the issue.
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        May 17 2014: well, my difficulty, Rodrigo, is I always have an iota of doubt that a problem exists until I see it with my own eyes. But let's say life in North Korea is bad. Might it help if Kim Jong Un drank more milk, I'm thinking maybe.....
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          May 18 2014: Greg,

          Do you think if North Koreans have access to more milk, "things" there will be better?
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        May 19 2014: yeah, I tend to think so, Rodrigo, if "feels" to me like milk is a humanizing food, or a food that promotes mercy and diminishes cruelty. I will have to think why I believe this, well, you feel physically better on milk and you think more clearly as well. I wonder if there is something "savage" about meat-eating, it does seem more vicious? But I believe where people re-introduce milk into their diet, they should follow the Maasai precept "If a man drinks milk and eats meat on the same day, he is a glutton." I follow this rule tightly, I believe this may be part of the obesity problem in America, that people are willing to eat beef and other meat and consume dairy products in the same 24 hours.
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          May 20 2014: "When it comes to practical advice, fortunately, the two sides aren’t all that far apart. Consuming a cup or two of milk or equivalent dairy is fine, according to Willett. “The point isn’t that you have to give up dairy,” he says. “But it’s also important for people to know that they don’t have to drink milk to be healthy.”

          People who are lactose intolerant, of course, can’t easily drink milk. For them, and for people who don’t choose to drink milk, it is important to favor other sources of calcium. Examples include lactose-free dairy, and leafy green vegetables such as collards, spinach and bok choy, beans, and calcium-fortified orange juice or soy milk, and vegetables.

          It’s also wise to make sure you’re getting adequate potassium, which is abundant in tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, bananas, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables..."

          http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/dairy-truths?page=2
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        May 20 2014: I would tend to think that milk occupies a special place among foods, Rodrigo, as it represents the warmth, safety, love and security of being a baby and being loved by your mother. I would also think it has special physical properties, as I believe the physical bodies of mothers would evolve to provide the most delicious and health-promoting food for their babies, which is milk. Milk is the food that is most intimately prepared by a mother, Rodrigo, sure, she can boil and mash some vegetables and feed them to her baby, but this is not nearly so intimate as milk which is prepared within her own body from food she has eaten herself. This intimate preparation is part of what leads to milk being so good. Some will say that as babies we need different food than as adults, I myself do not believe this, I do not believe our needs change much at all food-wise from when we are babies versus when we are adults.

        In my case I am most aware of the benefits of milk as I live on it, I drink about two gallons a day of mostly skim and hardly eat or drink anything else. I have seen amazing benefits to my health and clarity of thought. I generally have the impression that if you drink a glass or two a day you won't see many of the benefits, but I still think that would be good for North Korea, if what we hear is true and life in North Korea is low-quality, and if, when they add milk, they will follow the Masai precept "If a man drinks milk and eats meat on the same day, he is a glutton."
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      May 16 2014: Asian people are known to be statistically highly lactose intolerant, Greg, which cause them to have troubles to metabolize unprocessed milk.

      According to wikipedia:

      'The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from 5% in northern Europe through 71% for Sicily to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries.'

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

      Lactose free milk is a very modern product and therefore to late in time to have had an influence on Asian food tradition.
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        May 16 2014: Thanks. But it seems like a chicken-egg question, Lejan ., which came first, the chicken or the egg, do Asian people reject milk because they are lactose intolerant, or have they evolved to become lactose-intolerant because they rejected milk? I would think that if you see the other races happily drinking milk, you would think the Asian people could evolve the body chemistry to enjoy it, too?
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          May 16 2014: My understanding of your motivation to live on milk is, that compared to other alternatives, it makes you feel physically better in doing so. To me a perfectly valid argument.

          What I wouldn't expect from anyone is to 'evolve their body chemistry' while deliberately renouncing their well being in their lifetime and in hope their children may develop a different metabolism from theirs. If there are more pleasing alternatives, of which there are, why would the majority of Asians want that?

          We both know that the pigmentation of our early ancestors skin was way more intense than ours, and almost pitch black. We also know, that colored skin is less prone to skin cancer than white skin is. And we know that the protective Ozone layer within our atmosphere can be negatively effected by the current climate change. In consequence and in prophylactical terms and in your line of thinking, wouldn't that mean, that all white skinned people should expose themselves deliberately and way more often and unprotected to direct sunlight in order to re-activate our DNA fragments for more natural pigment production for our unborne?

          There might come a time where there are no sun-blockers made anymore, nobody can tell, so 'just in case' we should do it?

          I don't know Greg, if I would be willing to risk even more cancer than I already do in hope for my children to grow a more protective skin against radiation. Especially as I assume it would need many generations to 'suffer' high casualties in order to genetically evolve.

          Given the excellence of the Asian cuisine, I more than assume, that Asians enjoy the pleasure of food very much, which brings even more doubt for me if they would agree to your proposal.

          Statistically, Asian people have the longest life expectancy among other nations, might this even be related that they don't consume so many milk-products?

          Health-wise, however they seem more to do 'just fine' without having their 'milk gotten'... :o)
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        May 17 2014: well, I follow your thinking and there is a certain excellence to it. But let's just say you're right. The question would still be why Asian people didn't evolve the chemical to handle lactose, and the other races did. Presumably the other races also have tasty alternatives to milk available, and yet they also have the capacity to drink and enjoy milk. I've never heard that Asian people made a pact that they wouldn't drink milk, so what happened that they didn't follow the other races in consuming milk?

        I disagree that there are more delicious alternatives available, I would say milk is the best tasting food, and the pleasantest in terms of texture.
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          May 17 2014: 'I disagree that there are more delicious alternatives available, I would say milk is the best tasting food, and the pleasantest in terms of texture.'

          As this is a matter of taste, I can't argue with you on this.

          Your question why 'Asian people didn't evolve the chemical to handle lactose' is directional and can be reversed in a way, that Asian people may have evolved out of their former ability to handle lactose - maybe for good reasons. Either way I have no answer to it and couldn't even say which direction is the right one to ask for.

          What I do know about food though is, that human preferences are by no means a valid indicator for its health, whatsoever. On the contrary, as - statistically - we tend to choose the 'unhealthy' over the 'healthy' in terms of quantity and frequency and at the expense of variety.

          This our habit makes perfect sense if our access to foot is unpredictable - as it aims for sufficient energy input as fast as possible and to buffer this energy for times of energy shortage - which makes fat and sugar so yummy to most of us - yet this habit terribly fails the moment food becomes easily and constantly accessible.

          Certain tendencies in food seems to be hardwired within our basic preferences, which in combination with decreasing physical activity tends to cause a multitude of health issues to our systems. The rise of obesity of almost epidemic proportions in first world nations may serve exemplary for this our 'weaknesses' in 'healthy food detection'.

          Judging by our teeth, which are those of omnivorous animals, I have my doubts that an unbalanced diet without need - in whatever form - should be chosen over a more balanced form. But this is just a feeling I have and not based on substantial knowledge, of which I don't have much in this field.
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        May 19 2014: thanks, excellent point that conceivably you could reverse. But if Asians evolved away from drinking milk, this would be hard for me to understand, Lejan .. Why, because I find that milk is the food that leaves me feeling the best physically, and I don't think I'm very different from other people, if Asian people got past their lactose intolerance, I would think they would find milk would be the food that would leave them feeling the best physically. Also, I find milk is the food that brings out the most creativity in me, I've had some interesting ideas centered around milk that I wouldn't have had around any other food, and I would think this would be the same for Asian people.

        I have several videos about my milk diet on YouTube, here is a link to one with some interesting comments from a woman named Maryna Melnyk (below the video), she says that in the Vedas it is asserted that very holy people can live on milk. I would say this is somewhat a testament to what I am saying about milk encouraging health and creativity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpAggB9CHtg
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          May 22 2014: Is considering yourself of not being 'very different from other people' what makes you believe of being a universally valid calibration standard concerning foods? And how do you perceive personal preferences concerning food other people have apart from yours? Are they 'wrong' from your perspective, or ignorant by not knowing what they are missing?

          How do you define your difference to other people? By visual comparison alone, or do you also dig into detail? And how would you consider someone suffering from food allergies compared to you? Are those people abnormal? And how do you spot them in your 'difference comparison'?

          And do you suggest that people in general should ignore what their body naturally rejects in order to finally 'feeling the best physically'?

          But then, maybe your single-sided diet could be seen that you didn't try hard enough to overcome your natural rejections towards almost any other food but milk?

          I don't know, Greg, but it seems you are not very tolerant with other peoples preferences and their biochemical realities? Would you deliberately feed someone, lets say, a peanut, with you knowing about that persons nut allergy?

          Feeling that milk 'brings out the most creativity' in you is fine with me, yet I assume that you didn't test any other food as excessively to draw your final conclusion that only milk is able to do this to you? Maybe you didn't give other food enough time to overcome your natural rejections when 'physical wellbeing' is your only measure? Maybe potatoes would make you even more creative than you are when you would only adjust to them over a long period of time and in the absence of physical well-being while getting there?

          I have my doubts, Greg, that your experiences with milk would be the same with other people as long those people wouldn't make the same decisions but on their own.

          What is your understanding of 'very holy people', Greg, and I am asking because I have no idea what that means.
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        May 19 2014: by the way, Lejan ., I keep thinking about our past conversation that it's no more moral to eat plants than to eat meat because you can't prove that plants don't have just as many feelings as animals. By this light, do you perhaps believe that nothing is more moral than anything else, for instance, it might be just as moral to build your house from felled trees as from stones, since who can prove that stones don't have feelings and hate having other stones piled on top of them? Might it be just as moral to kill someone as not, since who can prove but what when you kill someone they go to a better place?
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          May 22 2014: ' By this light, do you perhaps believe that nothing is more moral than anything else...'

          From our past conversation, this is a valid extrapolation yet it does not match my current morals at all.

          Like any other person so was I influenced by my moral environment in which I grew up which embossed my conscious and sub-conscious value system. By this I tend to rank loosely as follows:

          1. Humans
          2. Animals
          3. inanimate matter

          In detail, however, and given the fact that any 'moral' is man-made and my knowledge highly limited, I can not be certain that this order can be seen as 'absolute'.

          In general, humans to me is one of many animal species and all animal species are composed out of inanimate matter.

          So where and when do I draw my lines? And I figured, that my only measure is what feels right to me, while knowing, that this feeling will always be biased.
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        May 22 2014: yeah, that's about it, Lejan ., since I doubt my body is very different from other people's in how it responds to food, I think that other people would be hugely benefited by an all-milk diet as I have been. But I particularly think people would notice the benefits if they were diseased in some way, if you are healthy and able to intake solid, varied foods without noticeable bad effects, and you shifted to living on milk, you might not notice so many differences, but if you had some kind of disease and shifted to living on milk, I think you might notice yourself feeling substantially better. This is what I am trying to get the medical establishment to investigate in the United States, so far, as you might imagine, there is some resistance, but I am patient.

        What have I said that indicates I'm not sensitive to other people's preferences and sensitivities?

        I lived on a solid-food, varied diet for 49 years, and have now lived on milk for five. I have found the milk diet more interesting and stimulating to my thinking and creativity. You weren't around for a while, Lejan ., I hosted an interesting TED conversation on how deciding to drink milk from two jugs at a session rather than one because a baby would nurse from two breasts rather than one has stimulated my interest in ambidexterity: http://www.ted.com/conversations/23638/work_on_becoming_more_ambidext.html Since I am using both hands more now, it has renewed my interest in artistic drawing as it's interesting to draw with both hands.

        What experiences with milk that other people would have differently are you emphasizing? Of course everyone will have a slightly different experience?

        Well, I haven't had anyone around me refer to someone as a very holy person. Would people refer to Mother Teresa as a holy person? It is because she is kind, charitable, tries enormously to help other people? But people don't think of artistic people or scientific innovators, such as Picasso, or Einstein, as holy?
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          May 22 2014: Once again Greg, I perfectly accept your choice for food and the experiences you made with it, but I can't follow your arguments and conclusions you make from it and for other people.

          To me you found after 49 years your food niche which seems to serve your individual metabolism best, but I don't see this valid and substantial enough to transfer this to all people, especially as our species comes from a history spreading wider in experience than half a century.

          'What have I said that indicates I'm not sensitive to other people's preferences and sensitivities?'

          Expecting Asians to 'overcome' their lactose intolerance because milk serves you best.


          I don't know if people would refer to Mother Teresa as a holy person once they put Christopher Hitchens take on her into consideration.

          Helpful people we describe as philanthropist, which makes me think, that 'holy people' must have something else attached to them?
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        May 22 2014: on the peanut thing: Let us say that 90% of the human race ate peanuts, or perhaps lived on peanuts, and experienced enormous benefits. And the other 10% could not eat them, they lacked some chemical to process them. I would suggest to the 10% that they crush a peanut, and perhaps for a while they could eat one crumb from the peanut each day. Then for a while eat two crumbs. Then three, and so on..... In this way I'm thinking they might develop the processing chemical that the other 90% have until they could live on peanuts like the others?

        On morality: I see your thinking, Lejan .. But then how do you explain that there is often mass agreement on certain moral issues, for instance almost all believe murder is wrong, even a lot of murderers believe it is wrong and regret their crime.
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          May 22 2014: You are describing 'desensitization', which seems to work on certain allergies and people pretty well, yet not on all. Even slight traces of peanut, way less than a crumb, can cause severe allergy reactions in highly sensitive people which could cause them to collapse, even die in certain circumstances.

          Allergies, however, is an overreaction of an already existing immune system, which is different from a body not being able genetically to produce certain proteins to crack lactose within milk.

          If this gene simply isn't there (which I am only assuming here), what could desensitization do to make it appear? It would be the same to eat stones every day in hope our body would finally figure out one day how to use them as substantial food.

          If your example on mass agreement was true, how then do you explain the existence of wars?

          Do you expect man-eating tribes regret their deeds after dinner? Or tribes to question their shrunken heads collection?

          It appears to me a 'definite valid moral' would under no circumstances allow for any exceptions, as the moment it allows for it, it is loosing its 'definite' character, of which I think, it doesn't exist in morals at all.
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          May 22 2014: Mass agreement itself is prone to man-made concepts, by which it is no valid indicator for the existence of 'moral truth'.

          Indian tribes in Latin America killed western gold prospectors because those polluted the rivers with quick-silver which in return endangered the food-source of the natives. Was this murder or self-defense? And if it was self-defense, what I think it was, who comes to decide about whose 'life' ranks higher and for what reason? In comparison, the natives 'lived' and so did the gold washer, but the gold washer additionally gathered a rare metal which - by mass agreement - was considered precious and high of value, whereas the natives didn't supported this 'westerners need', which, of course, they could have. So was this killing morally valid and to whom?
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        May 22 2014: well, I wasn't thinking of it as desensitization, I was thinking of it as someone evolving the proteins to crack lactose. For me it would be similar to the principle behind innoculation: that something can be a dread disease, but if you innoculate the person with a small amount of the disease, they develop antibodies to resist the disease.

        How would you envision eating stones every day, as by definition you could not break them up with your teeth, and this is what we think of as "eating"? But if you swallowed some small stones every day, possibly the body would develop a use for them. I believe a chicken has a gizzard with stones in it that the chicken has swallowed, and the stones help to break up the chicken's food. But you would not be motivated to swallow stones unless you perceived a problem that you thought swallowing stones would solve?

        I have not known anyone with any allergy to peanuts, let alone where less than a crumb would cause severe reaction, have you?

        War appears to be different, as it involves mass killing rather than murder, which is generally a crime on one individual or a few individuals. Although there are "war crimes." But still, Lejan ., in the United States I would say nearly everyone is content with the concept of murder as defined in the penal code, there is a mass moral agreement. I would think it's the same in Germany, no? Where does that agreement come from?
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          May 22 2014: Innoculation is a stimulus to an existing immune system, it doesn't spawn a non existing immune system into existence.

          Take grass for instance, on which cows can perfectly live on, yet humans can't. Why? Because their metabolism can produce what it takes to break down grass into processable nutrient, which our metabolism can't. Given the abundance of grass, however, it would have been clever for us to evolve similar, but - we haven't. I don't know why, I only know, that on grass alone we wouldn't be able to survive, but cows do. Yet given the race of survival ever since, we could say that we didn't evolve smartly, because if we could process grass efficiently, our chances of survival would be definitely higher than without.

          Chicken - and other animals - use stones to increase the efficiency of breaking down foods in their stomach, which we don't need, probably because of our given peristalsis and the composition of our gastric acid.

          Chicken, however, seem to survive even without eating stones, at least I haven't heard so far that stones get feed to them in industrialized farming facilities.

          I had a school-mate who was highly sensitive and allergic against peanuts and nuts in general and in Germany products have to be labeled if they contain well known food allergens to prevent people to endanger themselves eating what they cannot cope with.

          The difference between killing and murder is only definition, right?

          In my understanding, the definition of murder within civil society stands morally higher than the definition of killing in wars, by the simple fact, that it takes way more detail into consideration to draw a judgment from, whereas in wars it is just enough to wear a certain uniform, or not even this anymore, nowadays.

          I always wonder how drone-pilots in the 'war on terror' define their enemies and on what database they do the killing. At certain places it seems enough to visually wear a weapon, a turban or to drive in a convoy to get killed, right?
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        May 22 2014: speaking of eating stones, Lejan ., have you ever eaten dirt? In some societies it is considered normal, for example in Africa I believe you can find in certain marketplaces dirt for sale for eating. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geophagy I myself have eaten it, three or four years ago I thought if I ate dirt I might get some insight into how the planet came to be. So I would occasionally eat a little, it tasted okay, it had many tiny stones in it that would slightly break up with chewing. It's rather noisy to eat because of those little stones. I found that eating dirt gave me some feeling of peace, there is some chemical in dirt that changed my brain chemicals so that I felt more peaceful. But the rewards were not so great that I continued. If you have eaten it, or decide to try it, I would be curious if it gives you that same peaceful feeling.
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          May 22 2014: I have heard from certain forms of clay to have some healing properties within the digestion system and which can be bought in drugstores. I have never used it, because my digestion is just fine, but I would try it if there was a chance. For curiosity alone I wouldn't buy it.

          As a child and during my military service I came to taste some soil, yet in neither situation it gave me any deeper understanding of this our planet by my sense of taste.
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        May 22 2014: well, one would have to know more about that situation. For sure, some situations where a death is involved may appear more ambiguous than others, but with an inquiry, perhaps a trial, a decision is rendered as to whether there was a murder or not. Here in America we would do a jury trial with 12 people. How do they do it in Germany? But how do 12 people reach an agreement on a moral issue if morality is relative?
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          May 22 2014: Morality is relative, Greg, and always will be.

          We don't have a jury trial in Germany anymore, and it got changed into three professional judges and two honorary judges, which are equal in voting power to the professionals.

          As much as I know about the jury trial in the US, agreement doesn't have to be mutual and the votes are counted individually for a final judgment?

          Mass agreement is not a surprising phenomena for a social species as we are, Greg, as it helps to reduce conflicts while living in groups.

          Just a view decades ago a divorced woman was seen as an highly questionable individual in regards to her morals. At that time, that was felt as the right thing to see it. Today, and in most western societies, this alienates most of us, woman and men, yet which generation got it right?

          Do you think a convinced Nazi would have had moral issues with the genocide of Jews in Germany at that time? Or a plantation owner with his/her slaves? As much as I know, their morals didn't tend too, so why didn't they resonate with 'true morals' if there are any?

          One of the biggest problems in morals actually is 'mass moral', as it allows for camp follower to evade personal reflections and to just 'swim the stream'. Especially then, when it decreases their personal risks.

          I think most of the US and German citizen would agree today, that no one should be exploited for no morally valuable reason. But why do most of us keep buying cheap cloth from China or Bangladesh even though we have all information at hand to be able to know, that our benefit is solely based on other peoples exploitation? Do you think that in the 'age of information' and the Internet, this kind of shortsightedness in consumerism is morally justifiable?

          And if not, where is our collective outcry if mass agreement was of higher value?
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        May 22 2014: nor I am looking to spawn a whole digestive chemistry into existence, only the chemical that cracks lactose. What are some of the things we evolve? Have we evolved thumbs? If we evolve external appendages, I would think we would, or could, evolve internal chemicals?

        I don't know if cows can live on grass, might they at least additionally need water? I don't know if humans can live on grass, it may be that we can digest at least part of it and be nourished by it. I certainly have eaten grass and felt I was getting some food value from it. I believe if humans ate more grass, they would evolve an internal chemistry and physiology to extract more value from it.
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          May 23 2014: Leaving genetic engineering aside, do you think animals are able to deliberately influence their DNA by conscious and repeated exposure to situations in which a 'missing' adaption becomes 'obvious' to trigger inner 'DNA changing mechanisms'?

          Cows need water too in addition to grass, and every now an then it seems they need a certain salt intake. Humans on the same diet run into efficiency problems pretty soon, as our digestion does not extract much nutrition from grass in a single go and our feeling of satiety would prevent for the intake necessary. Our teeth are also not designed to handle grass in large quantities and would wear out soon due to highly abrasive silica contents.

          Temporarily grass can help to fight the sensation of hunger and was used for this purpose often during wartimes when no other or too little alternatives where available.

          In order for humans to genetically evolve towards effective grass digestion, we would need to develop a system similar to that of ruminant animals as well as quickly regrowing teeth.

          As I do not believe that animals are capable to trigger mutation at will I don't expect those fundamental changes to happen.
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        May 22 2014: I had a friend when I lived in Los Angeles who grew up on a family dairy farm in New York state. He said they lived on hay and milk (in case you don't know, Lejan ., hay is a kind of grass.) I don't think he meant that when the family sat down to dinner, they piled hay high on their plates. I think he meant that when they were working with the cows and wanted something to munch on, it was natural to grab some of the cows' hay and eat that. I cite this as some additional proof that humans can get some nutritional value from grass.

        I'm still thinking about the morality issue, Lejan .. It seems worth pointing out that even where a large number of people adhere to one morality, another large and perhaps larger group may disagree. For example, with slavery in the U.S. we had the South favoring slavery, but millions of people in the North opposed it. I wonder at that time in the world if the majority of people on earth opposed slavery, or where people in other countries were on the issue. With the genocide of Jews, I don't know if people outside Germany were so aware of it. Clearly much, or most, of the world disagreed with the German mission to take over the world, thus they fought against her. If they had known about the genocide, I think most of the world would have abhorred it? I wonder if either case here could support a contention that the majority of people still agree on a certain moral viewpoint?
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          May 23 2014: Like your chat with Lehan. May I intrude?

          It is trully said:
          Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations, as it is developed as a system of social stratification. Slavery typically also requires a shortage of labor and a surplus of land to be viablle..

          David P. Forsythe wrote: "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom." Just like old Russia.

          However, Russians still have a very slightest sense of basic ethics or morals, mostly for the reason that they have never had a chance to be responsible for their own personal survival and existence in whole.

          While the whole Europe was released from slavery (most of the slaves were white people)
          by Napoleon who has brought some seductive ideas of Democracy making practical sense, Russians have been defending their dark ages lifestyle and mentality, with their own super-patriotic life!! (Remember Lev Tolstoy?) Well, Russians have been playing Serfdom to this very day. Rural Russians have never had their land (leased it or then had "Collective" land Colhos) they have never had their ID or a passport and could not freely move anywhere.

          As we may see while slavery has existed for thousands of years, the social, economic, and legal position of slaves was vastly different in different systems of slavery in different times and places.

          In relatively old-America most of the slaves were mixure of white Europeans and poor and undereducated black people shipped to America and sold to slave drivers or traders, by their own kind/race, the same black people from Africa.

          The morals or human rights were practiced mostly based on personal convinience or opinion of those who had the power to manipulate others.

          That is why I think all those things about moralities, human and animal rights. nature's and land preservation, are TOO NEW to our comprehension :)
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          May 23 2014: The situation in Asia was somewhat different but mostly because of the ancient cultural traditions. The cruelty of "handling" those who have been purchased or captured has been as horrific as anywhere else, where humans have had their oportunity to demostrate their inner nature. Right now we live in this blessed time when we have a little chance to change our old-selves, our mentality and deeds for the better.
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          May 23 2014: I think your friend was using exaggerated and figurative language to describe the importance their farm had on his family by using the 'intake' and 'outtake' figuratively on what they were living on.

          It is beyond question that humans can get some nutritious value out of grass or hay, yet it is not enough for humans to be able to survive on it -and water - alone.

          I don't think that many people opposed slavery during its hay days and that of colonialism in the western hemisphere and this probably by a mixture of ignorance, opportunism and out of own benefit reasons, which I was referring too in my modern example.

          Different than in was in Europe, the US was desperately in need for laborers at that time, which made it necessary to ship the slaves there physically, whereas Europe only shipped in the 'fruits' of slavery from their colonies, which made slavery itself less visible to an average citizen to start thinking critical about it. Additionally the western culture saw itself superior to any other even more openly at those days, which as result spoiled the sense of justice widely and this even up to this days.

          And even after the USA finally freed their slaves, the issue itself didn't vanish and just transformed and remained in racism ever since in US society.

          I am not saying, Greg, that there is no progress made in social evolution and that 'mass agreement' is by definition a bad thing. Yet I don't take this as an irreversible process and the ice it is growing on seems to remain highly fragile to me.
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        May 23 2014: well, Lejan ., did you ask if we can change our DNA at will? I'm not sure what you mean by the phrase "at will." I think our body has a life of its own independent of what our brain thinks or wants. Thus if we began to eat more grass, I believe our body would begin to develop chemicals and physiological structures to extract more value from it, our digestive chemistry would change and our teeth would change. I believe this process is inevitable, in fact we could wish in our brain that it not happen, and yet the body would do it anyway.

        I really appreciate your assertion that human beings are social, group-oriented creatures, and this explains why there can be mass agreement on a certain moral position. But are you saying people are like lemmings, that perhaps one person in the group establishes a moral position, and the rest follow in a conformist way to be part of the group? Somehow when I think of the proscription against murder, for example, it's hard for me to think that only one person established this position, and the rest unthinkingly followed. I would think most in the group genuinely have an aversion to murder apart from what their fellows are thinking?

        When it comes to a jury trial in the United States, yes, all 12 jurors must agree on the verdict. If they cannot agree, it is called a "hung jury," and the prosecutor must make the decision whether to re-try, or to abandon the case and let the accused person go free. It's different in Germany?
  • May 14 2014: I recognize that the Chinese, sort of the Asian "Romans", invented the three basic inventions that enabled the West to Imperialze most of the world in the last 220 years. Since they are now making an admirable comeback, we do have to consider their stability, as well as how to cooperate with them .
    Their basic human instincts are admirable. I especially like what is said to be the basic reason for the failure of Christian missionaries to convert them: i.e , they couldn't make sense out of the idea that babies could be "Evil". However, we should recognize that their history is not promising when it comes to tolerance for minorities, individual rights, etc. They just don't have the experience, or the cultural assumptions to handle it very well.
    For example, I believe that the Tian An Men affair is by now largely unknown to them, inspiring as it was in the beginning.
    But they are a good example in many ways, such as entertaining the concept that "Long Range Planning" might be more that 5 years, or whatever our Standard could be said to be. They are also , at present, doing a lot of work on the Energy Source which is probably going to solve that particular Crisis, i.e the Thorium LFTR, a safe nuclear fission system, which we, the inventors, have forgotten about. Very poetical and ironic.
  • May 13 2014: 1. population control - too many people and the need to supply them beyond basic needs - China is a good example - cars and fuel
    2. environmental controls - the pollution needs to be controlled or we will see people dying of illnesses and poison. (see clock makers of death clocks or hatters)
    3. human rights - important but you need to have basic needs and live before you can exercise your rights. Some might put environmental under human rights but I am not sure.
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    May 13 2014: The biggest issue in Asia is human rights, which can only be addressed by changing the national governments to democratic republics with free and open elections.
    • May 13 2014: Can you be more specific?
  • May 13 2014: Hi Dear Anh,I think there are lots of problems around us:education,environment,economy,individul critical thinking...security...a lot and a lot,which one is the biggest?I would like to say:education...there is a popular saying in China:no education is really horrible(没文化,真可怕)。
    • May 13 2014: Yes, education is the big one. I am an Asian learning in US. I have observed many differences between two education systems. They both have advantages and disadvantages. What do you think are the drawbacks of US education system?
      • May 15 2014: Um...I haven't been to US and all US education information I got come from internet.So I am afraid my understanding of US education system is limited.For that I often expect a chance to be there to observe what US education is:).

        But being Chinese,I know how profound education we have from China long history,diversities of culture development to build very good foundation for Chinese people to be educated.For example:Confucius,Taoist...and more Buddhism been transfered from Indian long time ago.For more,it is a country has been suffered a lot,but for it's long history herit,it is the most deep and profound background for Chinese people education.
  • May 13 2014: Hi Anh Nguyen,

    I would have to say the biggest issue in Asia is overpopulation. Overpopulation puts a big burden on natural resources in the region. This creates pollution and poverty problems in the same cities. The over population creates a class of people that have to work for so little while others prosper from their situations. It will take generations for people to move out of their class. Generations of poor create a feeling of despair and leads to illegal ways to get more money. Every country goes through these cycles, but it is always harder to break out of these cycles when there are more people than jobs.
    • May 13 2014: Yes, yes. I would say overpopulation is a really important reason leading to many problems in Asia. Firstly, we have to mention pollution and poverty like you said. Next, i would say depletion of natural resources and lack of education, and so on. Many problems are caused, since demand is much bigger than supply. I think the reason leading to overpopulation lies in Asia's culture. They prefer collectivism. They want their family to have as many members, and they believe that indicates the prosperity of their family. Another thing is gender discrimination. They prefer boy to girl. Many couple will keep having baby until they have a boy to keep their family name. Low quality of education worsens that bias as well. So I think one good way to deal with this is through education, even though it will take a long long time.
      • May 14 2014: There is a bias for having bigger families, but I noticed it is tied to the more people in a family allows the collective to survive. I guess it's all tied to money. With it, you don't need the big families to make it through life. With money you can also educate everyone for free. If people had to pay for an education, only the rich would have it. Some say money is the root of evil, but not having it is truly the root of despair.
      • May 14 2014: anh n. It doesn't seem quite accurate to say that the reason for large families is "Collectivism";it is more likely that , as in all agriculture based societies living on the margin, you need a large family to survive, when so many people die off young.
        And , as for Money, it is really a reflection of cheap energy. That's what enabled the West to take over the world, and that is what is powering China now. I am quite sure the Chinese are well aware of the problem, and they are certainly doing a lot more than the West is to solve the problem. They are heavily engaged in trying to get away from Coal dependence, unlike the West, where Ideological solutions , like the Ethanol swindle , are more common. The Chinese have a billion dollar, effort to develop the Thorium LFTR, whereas we, the inventors, have NO program. The US is so politicallly paralyzed that we cannot even manage to revive our formerly profiable Rare Earth mining industry. (Bureaucracy, money, and politics prevents the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from allowing this to happen.) (Ii is strongly related to the Thorium LFTR problem)