[ExI] Yet another health care debate.

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Wed Sep 24 14:17:57 UTC 2008

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 08:20:20PM -0700, sjatkins wrote:

> realistically we are not now at this moment in a position to take care 
> of even the most basic of needs of every person on the planet.   

Sure we are.  We already grow enough food to feed everyone; estimated
costs of clean water supplies for everyone aren't that high -- WaterAid
says $10 billion a year to halve the number of people without access to
clean water
http://www.wateraid.org/usa/what_we_do/statistics/default.asp . 
There's your most basic needs right there.

> Realistically in this comparative world of actual scarcity there must be 
> some concentrations of what from some perspectives may seem unfair 
> quantities of wealth for much progress at all to occur.   Note also that 

"some concentration" is rather vague, even if true.

> my idealistic perspective above in no way requires that wealth be more 
> evenly distributed.  

Hard to be a germinating godseed when you can't afford food and water.

> wealth of all us.   In practice there are many points of diminishing 
> returns and the need to chose where the ROI is highest in the face of 
> less than adequate time and resources.   We can all work diligently 
> within our relative god-realm to get to a place of such abundance that 
> much more than what we have is available to all. 

Highest marginal return is probably with those who have the least.
Think: only 1/6 of the world is "First World".  The research population
could be at least 6x bigger than it is.  6x faster progress in science
and technology, toward that Singularity you want.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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