[ExI] [wta-talk] Designing and applying technology for thethird world

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sat Sep 25 21:36:07 UTC 2010

On Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> ...On Behalf Of Keith Henson...
> ...
>> Keith quoting:
>>..."On the other hand you have lots of people not only saying it
>> is not possible, but directly arguing that a human die-back
>> is more desirable than cheap energy."... Keith Henson
> Universal truth regarding those who calmly theorize a human die-back: they
> *always* envision someone else, and someone else's children, being the ones
> doing the dying back.  Never do they imagine themselves and their own
> children and grandchildren as starving, suffering, dying under horrifying
> circumstances, or doing anything other than enjoying a less populated planet
> after someone else somewhere else has finished dying.

It not that hard to imagine a situation where a starving country with
nuclear weapons might use threats against countries growing a lot of
food.  And might well carry out the threats if food were not
forthcoming.  After all, if they did and the threatened country nuked
them back it would solve their population problem.

Planned famines are a feature, not a bug, of authoritarian
governments.  Alternately the world is on the ragged edge in a lot of
places right now.  A bad harvest (like Russia had) two years in a row
and a lot of people would not eat.

One problem is nobody having a good idea of what to do with the energy
problem.  The other is that even if someone has a good idea, it's
nearly impossible to get anyone to do the *hard* work of checking that
it makes sense from physics, engineering and economics.

I have been involved with two such ideas.  You can see above how
people reacted to the first of them.


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