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Old 04-19-2011, 02:45 PM
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Default Hans Rosling attacks Cameron

The well known professor of health Hans Rosling attacks Cameron and others who tries to hinder the buildings of the dams in Brazil. Han claims that those who are forcefully removed in connection with the building of such dams are just a tiny part of all who moves into the cities in todays world. He also do not like what he calles "the Crazy directors of the Avatars" that go to Brazil and try to stop the dams. He speaks about how high the infant mortality is among the Avatars (i presume he means the Na vi) and that noone lives in ecological balance in the rainforest but dies in ecological balance there. He also commends Brazils president for her motto "Electricity for all".

What do you think about Roslings attack?

from 65.25 into the programm (in Swedish):

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Old 04-19-2011, 08:27 PM
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Hans Rosling is an extremist developer. I think what he refers to as the "Avatars" are the indigenous people living in the rainforest and next to the river, as they are portrayed by Cameron as sort of the earthly equivalent of the NA'Vi.

If you do not know Rosling, there are some talks of him on "TED talks" that show what he is about. Basically he thinks that all people in the world should become industrialized, have cars, washing machines (he just LOVES washing machines) and a western lifestyle. He finds it great that more and more people in the world can afford that and wants the rest of the world to keep up. He admits that there are now as many poor people on the planet as decades ago due to population growth but thinks that bringing them industrialism will stop that. He kind of despises precivilized ways of life and seems to think of them in a hobbesian way of them having short, brutish nasty lives that are not worth it, that they have to labour all day just to get their basic needs fulfilled and die young of all kinds of diseases and that everything will get better once they start living in cities with nice jobs and so on. I dont know where his opinion comes from, maybe it is his experience and certainly a lot of people in the world have been dispossessed and developed into poverty from which they certainly want to escape, but that kind of poverty certainly is not the original state of these people.
Him advocating the dam project fits to his pro-civilization and development (and consequently anti-nature) mindset. The people dispossessed there will become exactly the poor he rants about and once they have lost their own ways of living and sustaining themselves, they will have to be fed and clothed by charity and of course then he and his likes can jump in and give them jobs, money, "proper" housing/clothing/education,...

This is the same old story - people make a living with the land. Then some people come along and either tell them they have to generate a surplus so they have to pick up unsustainable farming practices or they are driven off the land and into poverty. In both cases you end up with a poor class that then serves as an example of people who need to be developed and who also desire that - no wonder that they turn to that option that is presented to them after their "old ways" have gone.

Rosling certainly has some points - yes, it is not a desireable state to live in such poor conditions (which is not the original way of life of these people though) and yes, there are certainly illnesses and a high child mortality in these people. But to follow from that that it is better for them to be displaced, moved into cities or refuge villages does not make sense. Either let them decide about their futures themselves or give them the chance to have access to health services, but to force upon them a life in the city and as workers for aluminium smelters is not the way to go.

Rosling also seems to be the bad sort of democrat or more likely a utilitarian. He poses the "need" for electricity of many people over the rights of fewer people to keep living in a sustainable way. With that argument one certainly can justify all economic development and always place it over the needs of the natural world because of course humans do profit in the short run from environmental degradation of all sorts. But this is short sighted belief in the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:00 PM
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Leave him in the Amazonian rainforest and let Nature decide what to do with him.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:53 PM
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...and who is this idiot exactly? Never heard of him.
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Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
Leave him in the Amazonian rainforest and let Nature decide what to do with him.
heh... that's... one idea.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
...and who is this idiot exactly? Never heard of him.
He is a quite well known professor in international health that use to show up now and then on TV with his computerized presentation of statitics in the shape of bubbles.

Here you can see his "bubbles":

YouTube - Hans Rosling: No more boring data: TEDTalks

A presentation:

Hans Rosling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:09 PM
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His presentations are cool. I think he does a good job presenting what he wants to show and bringing people on his side. His presentations were used as an example in our latest presentation course. But flashy graphs and jumping bubbles do not make an argument. He also uses Ikea boxes and other stuff on stage to make presentations. He is a good presenter, but as I said - this does not really make an argument for the things he says. His data probably is correct, but the conclusions he draws from that are his opinion, and I disagree. From a pure health standpoint, counting number of births, deaths, average lifespan and so on, he probably has some points, but these numbers do not account for happiness, mental health and the sense of a full life and community (many of these actually do not really improve with industrialization, often they actually decline). So I am not saying he spreads myths, but he attaches his POV on the data very strongly and uses his presentation skills to get this across. In that sense he is a "good" propagandist (just not for the side I am feeling attached to). I do not know what he thinks he can gain from bashing Cameron or the indigenous of the Amazon other than contributing to the deepening of the divide between economists/right-win teaparty people and conservationists/indigenous rights movements/left-wing people.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
Leave him in the Amazonian rainforest and let Nature decide what to do with him.
Hold it!!

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Old 03-08-2012, 02:29 PM
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Here is a lecture by Rosling where he claims that fertilizers are necessary and that ecological living is the same as powerty. He also seems to support the notion that poor countries must use coal, hydroelectrical plants, nuclear plants and similar to boost development. He discuss these things from around 38 minutes and forwards in the film.

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The lecture is in English.

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:13 PM
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/me is thinking if it is actually worth suffering through that alomst one hour video to hear the old story about how it is justified for the world to suffer under massive industrialization just to give every person on Earth a washing machine (which was IIRC the topic of one of his previous talks that was luckily only a few minutes, so I could bear watching it). Of course he did not mention with a single word the destructiveness of any of this.

Meanwhile that other apologist Steven Pinker has also churned out a new book about how the present western culture is "the least violent culture ever". Yeah - that is what he claims and these claims are all wrong, but still he gets cheered because he says that "we" are all so great...
( Christopher Ryan: Pinker's Dirty War on Prehistoric Peace ) He also babbled about this on TED with the same misleading facts, cherrypicking data and all.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:51 PM
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Maybe the culture for humans, but certainly not towards other life, if that's where you're going.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:08 PM
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It should be noted that "Western culture" is also one of the biggest in history, so accidental harm to animals can't really be unexpected.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:07 PM
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No, Pinker is simply wrong. Scientifically and logical. Even in respect to human culture (not talking nonhumans right now). And Rosling does not know that infinite growth on a finite planet is not working.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:07 PM
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Infinite growth will never work without infinite resources - even if improvements can constantly keep pace, you will eventually end up hitting the laws of thermodynamics.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis
No, Pinker is simply wrong. Scientifically and logical. Even in respect to human culture (not talking nonhumans right now). And Rosling does not know that infinite growth on a finite planet is not working.
It's always staggering to me how anybody can be this stupid
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:49 AM
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I mean just look at what he thinks should happen - people in the rich nations should become wealthier because then the trickle down effect will give the poor majority washing machines and eventually cars? Where does he think all that stuff should come from when we are already aware that the limits will make it harder even for the wealthy nations to keep up their standard of living at the present. And then he wants to bring billions of people more onto that level while increasing the level of those that are now already wealthy? Its nice if he finds a correlation between wealth and health and lifespan and so on, but he completely ignores the question of where all that stuff should come from. He is dreaming and has to wake up.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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