Sunday, October 15, 2006

3.3 Billion--The Big 3 and the Little 3

Folks paying attention and believing in our ability to track with such precision know that this week the population of the United States will reach a particular milestone, 300 million people. CNN informs us that this is to occur at 7:46 AM EST on Tuesday (groan, moan, sigh—aw come on!).

Well, be it this afternoon during the Bengals game, sometime tomorrow or Thursday, it is beyond dispute that the most powerful country in the world, the third most populated, will reach a population of 300 million this week.

Take a good look at the map above, a population density map that shows where humanity lives. See two big blobs of dark red and purple on the other side of the planet? It’s not precise, but rather close to say that those two blobs are about 3 billion people.

"Them and us" make 3.3 billion individuals on this planet, over half of everyone. They are the big 3, the one before the dot. We are the little 3 after the dot.

So what does this have to do with the price of rice?

Well, a lot. Rapid advances in technology, in particular those in transportation and information technology, are dropping the barriers and borders between us all at a mind numbing pace that is producing dynamics we are only beginning to understand.

Globalization has arrived. Isolationism is dead. We can bitch about jobs going to India and China’s entry into the automotive industry (projected US price tag under $10K), and yes, this is mostly about India and China. Anyone following the economic development over there? (Hint: Price of copper—and what does copper do?)

We, the little three, consume something like a third of the world’s energy. Do you have any idea what would happen if the big three started behaving the way we do? (Hint: Global warming.) Consider that they might want to and also consider what would stop them if they made this choice. Some ideas to consider.

Let’s discuss education briefly. How well are we developing our kids? How are they doing over there? (Think computer scientists and programmers, engineers, physicists, folks that say "Wait a minute!" when CNN says the population will hit 300 million at 7:46 AM EST on Tuesday.)

Then there is religion and spirituality. The big three, in general, aren’t into the same religions as the little three. Somehow I doubt our relationship is enhanced by politicians who feel that those who have not embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior are evil sinners destined for damnation in hell.

I am not saying it is the big three against the little three. THAT’S THE POINT!!

Seen the film A Beautiful Mind about mathematician John Nash? There is a fabulous scene in a bar when he has his flash of game theory genius, realizing that the old "do what's best for oneself" paradigm of competition (Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations) did not maximize utility. It was genius of the first order.

The same thing now applies here on a global scale. It is no longer in the best interests of the United States to pursue the best interests of the United States alone.

We really, really need to figure this out, and arrogant "doing what's best for ourselves" policies, if they persist, are going to create grief on a scale not yet seen on this planet.


Blogger sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.





To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




10/15/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

sushil yadav,

You are my first guest from India. Welcome. Your links appear to be identical and the complete version of what you started in your comment here. Don’t wish to tangle with your thought velocity / gap in thought / emotion theory, people becoming machines, or the thinking/emotion stuff at this time. I will acknowledge that our comprehension of the implications of the rapid increase in the volume of information we process and the rate at which we do it is incomplete. That it has implications is beyond dispute.

The stuff at your link is extensive. For now, will just remark on a small subset of it:

Your forceful commentary on sustainability and development compels me to clarify my semantics. At this blog, sustainability refers to establishing equilibrium between the consumption and production of resources on a global scale. Precious metals will become harder to extract. We must address global warming and the nature of the atmosphere, photosynthetic limits and the nature of our diets.

Less obvious is my meaning for development, which refers to human development in the sense of wisdom, knowledge, and expanding our “enlightenment” in the broadest sense of the word. I am NOT referring to unlimited expansion of urban concentrations.

At this blog, development means education in the broadest possible sense of all wisdom, insight, and spiritual growth and maturity.

With these semantics, I assert development enhances our ability to achieve sustainability.

Have to dispute your remarks on mathematics, in particular your assertion that mathematical ability has anything to do with speed. If asked to add the integers 1 through 99, i.e. 1+2+3+4+…….+98+99, your remarks suggest the smarter mathematician would be the one adding them most quickly. Nothing could be less true. The mathematician identifies the 49 pairs of numbers that add to 100 (1/99, 2/98, 3/97, 4/96 and so on), yielding 4900, and then adds the middle 50 to get 4950.

Of course, that is infantile arithmetic, but the “higher level” notion points in the right direction, that sense of seeing the situation from a new angle or construct that yields a result.

I devoted several years of my life to mathematics, and can say that the experience of elucidating a sharp, remarkably elegant solution to a particularly difficult mathematical situation is one of the most intellectually gratifying experiences I’ve ever had.

Is there literature in English or are there organizations representing the views you express? Are there particular policies you would suggest now that we are 6 billion people, technology is not going away, and globalization is pressing our cultures into each other? I am always eager to hear suggested solutions.

Even at your links, folks are challenging you. We are all hungry for solutions.

10/15/2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...

Heh ... higher math is all about patterns. ...

A well-written entry which, to my mind, simply reinforces the need to develop alternative energy sources. Developing economies in India and China are, without question, going to demand more fuel for their engines.

That demand will not only lead to more pollution and global warming, it will directly lead to less fuel for _our_ economy. As the technological leader, it's incumbant upon us to find other energy sources or see our economy starve.

10/16/2006 7:14 AM  

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