Global village

Ed Iglehart tipiglen at
Fri Feb 4 15:21:08 GMT 2005

"If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 
people, keeping all the existing human ratios the same, there would be: 
57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and 
south, 8 Africans, 52 would be female, 48 would be male, 70 would be 
non-white, 30 would be white, 70 would be non-Christian, 30 would be 
Christian, 80 would live in substandard housing, 70 would be unable to 
read, 50 would suffer from malnutrition, 1 would be near death, 1 would 
be near birth, 1 (yes, only 1) would be a university graduate, 1 would 
own a computer. 6 people (all from the USA) would posses 59% of the 
world's wealth. These six would be in control of the village."

I haven't checked the accuracy or the date of these ratios, but I wonder 
how closely energy consumption correlates with "wealth". I'm among the 
one percenters on several counts, including middleclass guilt, but I 
don't feel in control of the village....

"...the most striking and immediate effect of the spread of
European settlement beyond the boundaries of Europe itself was
its lethal impact on indigenous peoples and societies." -- Clive Ponting 
(A Green History of the World)

"The widespread belief that clean and abundant
energy is the panacea for social ills is
due to a political fallacy, according to
which equity and energy consumption can be
indefinitely correlated, "
"Even if nonpolluting power were feasible and abundant, the use of 
energy on a massive scale acts on society like a drug that is physically 
harmless but psychically enslaving. A community can choose between 
Methadone and ``cold turkey''---between maintaining its addiction to 
alien energy and kicking it in painful cramps---but no society can have 
a population that is hooked on progressively larger numbers of energy 
slaves and whose members are also autonomously active. "
-- Ivan Illich, 1978

Never borrow for what you don't need.
Never think you need what you have to borrow for.
-Irish Proverb

Here are the winnners of the M-LAW competition for wackiest warning 
label of the year:
1st prize Do not use for personal hygiene – on a toilet brush

2nd prize This product moves when used – from a child’s scooter

Previous winners have included:
* Remove child before folding – on a baby’s buggy
* Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally - on a 
digital thermometer
* Never remove food or other items from the blades while the product is 
operating - on an electric hand blender
* Harmful if swallowed – on a three-pronged brass fishing lure.
* Do not use this product as a toy, pillow, or flotation device - on a 
bag of air used as a packing material
* Do not use as a ladder – on a 30cm tall CD rack
* Never iron clothes while they are being worn - on a household iron
* Do not use the Silence Feature in emergency situations. It will not 
extinguish a fire - on a smoke detector
* Do not eat toner - on a laser printer cartridge
* And on a pair of cyclist’s shin guards – Shin pads cannot protect any 
part of the body they do not cover.
New Scientist’s Feedback regularly publishes absurd product warnings, 
and other funny real-life tales. For more amusement, visit at:,ZbccecfgijDJ&oid=UcjjbCB&iclitemid=XbgbbgfbCB&tid=WbijfcbCG 

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