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After reading this entry, you owe me a penny.

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Troacctid

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I was just reading Scientific American while munching on some Wheat Thins and potato salad, and there was this article about lab safety in science classrooms. This one kid died in a lab accident because her clothes caught fire and nobody got her to the safety shower in time. Her death was totally preventable, and she died anyway. It got me thinking about how much we seem to latch onto the sorts of death which are near-impossible to prevent, like random acts of violence, when we ought to spend a lot more time and energy and money than we do on more preventable causes of death or illness, like iodine deficiency in developing countries or something. Which got me thinking, how much do we value life, anyway? And should the U.S. value the lives of its own citizens over the lives of random starving Africans? Then I thought, of course it should--the government's job is to look after its own people. That's why we have our own government and other countries have their own governments. The whole reason we have separate levels of government (local, county, state, federal...) is so that people can govern themselves more efficiently. If the U.S. is going to help other countries, it does so through international organizations like the U.N. And then I thought, hey, I wonder how the U.N. is doing on its goals of eliminating poverty and hunger and stuff? And that got me wondering what those foreign aid charities who are always sending me pamphlets actually do with all that money. I suppose they use it to buy food or something? And then I figured, well in that case, donating to those charities eases suffering, but it doesn't solve the problem of world hunger at all...you don't lift people out of poverty by giving them food and aid--you need stuff like jobs and infrastructure and whatnot, that sort of thing. I don't know, is a donation model really feasible for that sort of thing? Because it seems like a good commercial presence with free trade and that sort of thing has probably historically been more effective than relying on social and emotional incentives and stuff like that, right? Something like that...

 

Around this point it dawned on me that if someone offered me a penny for my thoughts, I would be able to honestly say I was thinking about the economics of solving world hunger. That sort of realization tends to derail my trains of thought. :mellow:

 

Anyway...um...I'm sure there must have been something I was getting at with that story...

 

Actually, that reminds me of a joke. So there's these two beautiful young women who set up a kissing booth at the local fair, and after a little while a long queue has formed in front of it. Right next to their table is a man who set up a "Punch in the face" booth, and obviously nobody at all is queuing up in front of his booth.

 

Hehe. Get it?

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Another interesting fact about world hunger/poverty thatI discovered while doing a essay for world history this year is that the world produces enough food to feed twice its current population. And I didn't get your joke :(

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