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Kevin Goodwin

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What can we do to get our intelligentsia to focus on the major problems of our time?

It seems that we (humanity, particularly in Western cultures) have far more (in number) intelligent people either complaining about, placing blame for, or making fun of the problems of our day than actually trying to fix them. How do we re-instill an attitude or belief that we can overcome our problems in people who have already stopped trying or never really believed it possible?

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    Nov 3 2011: I can think of no problem that woudn't be greatly deminished or entirely eliminated by slowly reducing the human population. Can you?
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      Nov 3 2011: Oooo! Are you another VHEMT member? I am!
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        Nov 3 2011: QUOTE: "...VHEMT..."

        Ah, hubris, thy name is human!

        I.e. Thinking ANY solution we can come up with of is somehow an improvement over evolution.

        That nature adapts (and will continue to adapt) to our incursions is a testament to nature, not to our cognitive contributions, such as they are. Having said that, we are part of nature and the role we play WILL have (is having!) an impact. What nature does with it is beyond our ken. Trial and error. Live and learn.
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          Nov 3 2011: If we haven't learned by now we soon will
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          Nov 3 2011: You realize, I hope, that there aren't actually cards to carry in that organization? There's not really any "membership" per se?

          "Live and learn"? Looks like we're failing on the second front. Which may, or may not lead to failure on the first.

          (The outcome will be determined long after I am gone.)
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        Nov 3 2011: QUOTE: "You realize, I hope, that there aren't actually cards to carry in that organization? There's not really any "membership" per se?"

        Yes, and aside from a youthful ... ah ... indiscretion, I would likely be a member.

        QUOTE: "Live and learn"? Looks like we're failing on the second front. Which may, or may not lead to failure on the first.

        True enough.

        QUOTE: (The outcome will be determined long after I am gone.)

        Also true enough (unless you're on the coast when the icecap melts sometime in the next 48 minutes ... hey, it could happen.)
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        Nov 4 2011: So would you consider this a representative monologue?

        http://www.pandora.com/music/song/bill+burr/population+problem?shareImp=true
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          Nov 4 2011: "We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative."

          :(
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      Nov 3 2011: So which do you prefer? World War III, the next Black Plague (AIDS on steroids), or nation-driven reproductive limits, like China and India have undertaken in the last three decades?
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        Nov 3 2011: Ahh, the unrealized promise of Bird Flu.

        But seriously, the best way to reduce breeding rates is to empower women to have fulfilling careers. A sizable number then either choose not to have children or delay it until too late.

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