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Date: 2024-04-21 Page is: DBtxt001.php L07-04-PROBLEMS-POSSIBILITIES
#4 PROBLEMS / POSSIBILITIES
in the SOCIO-ENVIRO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
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PROBLEMS
MANY ISSUES & EXISTENTIAL RISKS
SYSTEMIC FAILURES / HUNGER / POVERTY / HOPELESSNESS / DESTRUCTION
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INEQUALITY
Top 1% The Bottom of the Pyramid

Obscene Wealth

Terrible Poverty

Urban slums

Malnutrition

Starvation

Genocide
Corporate decision makers have eliminated many well paid middle class jobs
Many jobs were outsourced to places where wages were lower, working conditions dangerous and environmental impact uncontrolled. These places had positive economic growth at the expense of the workers who had lost their jobs! Corporate executives and stockholders also benefitted at the expense of those who had lost their jobs.
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FINANCIALIZATION

Stock market

Intangible value

Money supply

World GDP growth

US GDP growth

GDP v GPI
A digital virtual world has taken over from the real world
Binary logic is so much easier than reality. Computers have little ability to do complex thinking, and substitute massive speed for thoughtfulness. There is a lot more data, but not much more understanding.
This has been aided and abetted by business schools that equate financial wealth with success. Money wealth has grown rapidly, but not so much happiness, and natural capital has been degraded and destroyed.
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CLIMATE CRISIS
Cyclone Wind Eye of storm Hurricane Floods Floods
Leaders have failed to address the crisis of climate change for many years
Leaders in business, banking, politics and academia, as well as consumers, have done little or nothing to change 'business as usual' even though the scientific concensus since the 1980s has been that climate change was being aggravated by modern industrial activities. There is now a climate crisis.
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EVIL LEADERSHIP / NO MORAL COMPASS
Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh, Liberia Charles Taylor, Syria Bashar al-Assad Libya Muammar Gaddafi Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe Uganda Idi Amin
Some very nasty national leaders
National leadership matters. There was a lot of criticism of the role of colonialism much of which was justified, but leadership in many nations around the world is deeply flawed with those in power enriching themselves at the expense of the people. International assistance has been minimally effective.
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MANY ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED
INEQUALITY
A problem that has been growing for about 4 decades ... and ignored for all this time. Rich 'successful' people are responsible for this and will not do anything about it.
Obscene Wealth Terrible Poverty Juxtaposed More ... Open L0700-XR-Inequality
UNHAPPINESS
While many economic indicators have improved, many social indicators have deteriorated. Many people in rich countries are economically stressed and this is reflected in their behavior and state of health. For many things are getting worse not better.
Unhappiness Suicide Stress More ... Open L0700-XR-Inequality
STARVATION / MALNUTRITION
Mostly caused by war and violence, but increasingly also being caused by dysfunctional governing institutions and climate change.
Africa North Korea Somalia More ... Open L0700-XR-Food-Insecurity
WAR / DESTRUCTION
The value destruction associated with war is ignored in metrics like GDP ... though the production of the bombs that do the damage are included.
Aleppo, Syria Sanaa, Yemen Mosul, Iraq More ... Open L0700-XR-War
DEATH ... WANTON KILLING
The horror of killing ... genocide ... is tough to witness. But too many world leaders have been responsible for this behavior in both the distant and recent past.
Monrovia, Liberia Darfur, Sudan Rwanda More ... Open L0700-XR-Wanton-Killing
URBAN DEGRADATION
The modern 'for profit' market driven economy does not result in quality affordable housing, but rather extreme opulance or derelict properties and slums.
Detroit, USA Modern slums Kibera, Kenya More ... Open L0700-XR-Urban-Degradation
POLLUTION
Products are important to improve standard of living and quality of life, but most products post use then become waste that in many cases pollutes the planets for a very long time.
Air pollution Land fill Plastic More ... Open L0700-XR-Industrial-Pollution
LAND DEGRADATION
Undeveloped natural land is very important for the operation of the global ecosystem, but more and more of natueral land is being developed either for agriculture or for industrial or urban development.
Mining Deforestation Desertification More ... Open L0700-XR-Degraded-Land
EXTREME WEATHER
Extreme weather events are getting more frequent and more ferocious. This is not suprising given the huge increase in the latent energy of the climate system that results from just a small increase in global temperatuve.
Hurricanes Rain / Flooding Tropical depressions More ... Open L0700-XR-Climate-Change
DROUGHT / WATER SHORTAGES
In a drought ... without water, vegetation dies, livestock die and eventually people die. Without water, life cannot be sustained.
No water everything dies More ... Open L0700-XR-Drought-Water-Shortages
PUBLIC FINANCE CRISIS
The world has more money today than at any time in history. Financial wealth is at historic records. But most of this wealth is concentrated in a few private hands and public finance is starved of needed resources.
Investment bulls Stock Markets Money More ...
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POSSIBILITIES
MANY GREAT IDEAS AND INITIATIVES
GOOD PEOPLE / AMAZING TECHNOLOGY / HUGE POSSIBILITIES
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MOST PEOPLE ARE GOOD PEOPLE
There are good nice people everywhere on the planet. They need to have ways to better themselves and to better the world. A relatively few bad actors make a better world very difficult to achieve.

Arab Women Arab Men Indian family Nigerian Kids Vietnam worker US Worker
... and some exceptional leaders
Paul Polman Norm Chomsky Nelson Mandella Mike Bloomberg Martin Luther King John Glenn
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AMAZING TECHNOLOGY
Rapid technological development over past 200 years ... and accelerating
The challenge that needs to be addressed is to ensure that technology is deployed in a way that does good, and not in ways that have detrimental impact.
There is ample evidence that an uncontrolled market based system does not ensure that detrimental impacts are avoided. This is not a new problem. However, it has become increasingly problematic in recent decades as the enterprise system has been financialized and dominated more and more by performance metrics for profits, without equally powerful metrics about impact on society and impact on the environment.

AEROSPACE

Passenger Aircraft

Jet engines

Satellites
The Wright brothers made the first powered flight in 1903. The progress since then is amazing. Measured in time, the world is much smaller now with ubiquitous commercial flights, Jet engines have massive power, and satellites are able to watch our every move.
MEDIA and COMMUNICATIONS

Print Media

Search

Social Media
Media and communications are an essential feature of a civilized society. News moves faster now than at any time in history, but the accuracy, objectivity and truthfulness of the news has dangerously degraded. There is power to communicate but little power to moderate!
KNOWLEDGE
Albert Einstein
Print Media

Internet / WWW
The increase in raw knowledge during the past century has been amazing and is continuing to accelerate. At the same time there has also been an increase in the amount and speed of knowledge transmission. Unfortunately there has been a total absence of quality control related to the quality of the knowledge.
COMPUTER SCIENCE

Quantum computing

Telephony

Space technology
All sorts of possibilities now exist because of advances in technology. The challenge is to encourage the good and stop the bad. The problem is that power and profit is the dominant force in decision making with social good and environmental responsibility almost totally ignored. This is dangerous.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
Evolution of AI AI hardware Third Wave AI The algorithms that drive AI have the ability to sort through a lot of data very fast, draw some conclusions and then do another sort, and another and another getting more accurate answers the more they iterate. No question it can be helpful, but still not very good at understanding why!
ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING (EDP)

IBM

Microsoft

Oracle
In the early days of electonic data processing (EDP) these were the companies that dominated the market ... IBM for mainframe computers, Microsoft for personal computer operating systems and Oracle for database technology.
MATERIALS

Concrete

Plastics

High strength steels
Many modern engineering marvels have been made possible by the development of modern materials that are stronger and lighter than what has been available in the past.
MEDICAL SCIENCE

Genetic code / DNA

Pharmaceuticals

MRI technology
The progress of medical science is impressive. Sadly the benefits of amazing science is not widely available to the general public because of the appalling disorganization and political decision making that gets in the way. Better is possible, but the reality is ongoing degadation of world health.
FREIGHT TRANSPORT / LOGISTICS

Freight rail

Trucks

Container Ships
The movement of freight in the modern world is immense ... by truck, by rail, by sea and indeed by air. Big business has reduced costs by producing in low cost places and moving the goods to markets using the lowest cost logistics available. Much of this has been enabled by technology and business leaders and investors have done little to mitigate social and environmental concenrs.
PASSENGER TRANSPORT

Passenger Rail

Passenger Car

Passenger Bus
It is not so long ago that horses were the power that moved people, and we now take for granted the role of modern technology in enabling our movement ... the train, the car and the bus, not to mention aircraft. We are increasingly spread out which has both advantages and disadvantages.
PRODUCTION ENGINEERING / MATERIALS

3D Printing

Hot rolled steel

Composites
There has been huge progress in the engineering of materials over the past several decades. This has been an important factor in enabling improved production productivity and operational performance. Improved materials have enabled record profits in many industries.
ROBOTICS

Robotic welding

Robotic assembly

Robotic warehouse
The use of 'robots' to do routine tasks has been emerging for many decades and progressing with the development of relevant technology ... especially digital control technology. The use of echnology to improve production performance is not new, but the manner in which all of wage savings has become incremental profit is as bad today as it has ever been!
SOCIAL MEDIA

Google

Facebook

Twitter
The promise of social media has not been achieved ... rather the promise has been utterly compromised by greed and to a great extent incompetence. The potential for good is huge, but in practical terms the good has been overtaken by all sorts of bad.
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