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« Not Quite The Most Terrifying Video I've Ever Seen | Main | GOVERNATOR: "Turn Off the Spanish Television Set" »

June 14, 2007



Well, the right folks were upset by the climate-change-isn't-as-bad-as-starving-babies view....

It makes sense to me, even that they'd assume the very-much-unproven-view that humans are causing global warming, although my perspective might be warped by the logic class I just finished. Two of the proofs that you use if you don't have enough information are called "conditional proof" and "indirect proof."

Conditional proof is where you start by assuming that part of the solution you're looking for that's used prior is true, then use it to prove the knowns and end up with the solution you want.

Indirect proof is where you start by assuming the opposite of the solution you're looking for, then use it through the other knowns until you get a contradiction.

These are both used with the arguments reduced to equations; in this case, the solution would be "Human-caused global warming is real and not as cost-effective as babies, thus we should deal with it later" or (H*~C)>L .
I'm not sure what the rest of the assumptions used were, but there's fingerprints that they used formal logic in forming the view....
Hm, I may have to turn this into a post on *my* blog!


Those people who live on that island in Alaska that are cut off from food and emergency services half the year due to the lack of a bridge, probably don't consider their homes to be "nowhere."


How did they ever survive without it?


Mr. Lomborg's analysis was published in the Economist in 2004. It has details on the numbers he used to come up with the priorities listed. You can access to the link below if you have a subscription to the Economist or you can access the report in your local library, "Setting priorities among global challenges" June 3, 2004.



"unreflectively" is not, I think, the right adverb. Congresscritters doubtlessly reflect extensively on how they can get votes with an economy of effort on their part and favors (needing to be repaid) from other Congresscritters.

"Imprudently" perhaps. Augustine defined it: "Prudence is love choosing wisely between the things that help and those that hinder."


labrialumn- for 6.4 million *per person*, I think we can think of something else.

A Simple Sinner

All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty by P. J. O'Rourke is a worthy read for both a chuckle for the satire, and the ideas he will make you think about.

When in this video Bangledesh was discussed - more specifically aid to Bangledesh - it made me think of this book, written some 13 years ago.

Generally the biggest problem with Bangledesh, has been Bangledeshi government. They are not more "over populated" in the larger cities than the average SoCal city, than they have been governmentaly mismanaged, the aid already sent there in boat fulls is getting squandered, and the folks there have been impeded from wealth creation by their own government.

I hate to sound like an old man, but there is truth in some cliches - you can ONLY do so much. After that, the government that people demand and the people need to step in.


Prevention - much more economical than treatment.

Perhaps TED can tell us when we cut off health care treatment for fat old people who smoke and use that money for free clinics and medicine for poor people? It appears letting people with AIDS die is very economical, so cancer should play out the same way.

Hmmmmm. With great power comes great responsibility. Which smart people do we want making these decisions for us? Perhaps we should make a top-ten list of "most effective government-style decision making bodies of the 20th century" so we can identify the one with the best chance of success.

Alex Benziger.G

Motu Proprio has been signed.
The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church Will grow.

A Simple Sinner

"Which smart people do we want making these decisions for us? Perhaps we should make a top-ten list of "most effective government-style decision making bodies of the 20th century" so we can identify the one with the best chance of success."

Given the predispositions of the presenter, one would assume that pains would be taken to preclude the participation of too many American old white men...

I can't be the only one who noted Bjorn's concearn about the over-influence of old American white guys, in coming up with economic priorities...

Never mind whatever expertise they may actually enjoy, it is self-evident - at least to Bjorn & Co, that their sensibilities are not in line with what is right. "Old white Americans aren't known for thinking like me, so I asked someone else". Was there a question there to begin with?

francis 03

There's legitimate concern about cultural/demographic bias in this kind of venture. The raw data of economics-- how much different people value different things-- is gleaned from preferences revealed in the marketplace, polls, studies, etc. This study apparently was designed to weigh the costs of addressing problems against their benefits. Some elements of both costs and benefits are relatively straightforward; i.e., can be measured in dollars and cents. But others are much more difficult. The classic example is human life. Suppose that we know to a statistical certainty that banning cars will cost us 500 trillion dollars yearly in economic productivity, but will also save 5 million lives every year. How do we go about deciding whether such a ban is cost-justified?

In this study, you have all kinds of incommensurate comparisons like that. When we're talking about measuring and comparing the costs and benefits of social, cultural, environmental, and political changes in every corner of the globe, soliciting diverse opinions is essential to any sound methodology. I would be extremely concerned if, in deciding whether a given global approach to a global problem is possible, we were relying solely on old white American men to decide whether, e.g., providing free preatal care to all pregnant Bangladeshis is more important than providing clean drinking water to one-third of the population of central Africa.


Motu Proprio has been signed.
The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church Will grow.

My Car Insurance has been signed.
May Geico Cavemen Not Attack Me nor Global Warming Fanatics!


Foxflier, such as?

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