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Bucky Fuller & his World Game: Intro to Saving Planets

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World Game Never ForgetRebooted for 2008. A curated collection of documents, open questions, and new material for R. Buckminster Fuller’s original “World Game.”

This was one of the very first Brainsturbator articles I wrote: I’ve totalled it today and built something better.  I think now is a good time to be talking about Bucky’s vision of a World Game.  We have the technology to do this and a new administration could easily provide the funding.  I don’t think any of this material is Utopian or far out, but if you do, let me know why. 

Buckminster Fuller Helicopter Portrait

From the introduction to a World Game activity book:

“Now, for the first time in the history of man, all the political theories and all the concepts of political functions are completely obsolete. All of them were developed on the you-or-me basis. This whole realization that mankind can and may be comprehensively successful is startling.”

By comprehensively successful, R. Buckminster Fuller meant that every human being could live in abundance.  This idea gets dismissed even today as Utopian bullshit, but I’d like to frame this with a few short, simple questions:

1. Can the quality of life on Earth be improved?

2. Will everyone benefit from those improvements?

3. Is that worth spending time on?

To me, it’s self-evident that the quality of life, for many billions of human beings, needs serious improvement, here on Earth.  I also believe that all humans will benefit from ending hunger, poverty and oppression.  When everyone has a place at the table there’s no need for resource wars, violent revolutions, or terrorist acts.  When we all generate our own power and grow our own food, that will be the strongest and most stable domestic security possible.

Like you, though, I don’t have a printed copy of my detailed plans for How To Fix The World. Yet. I do have an idea, though: we should make Bucky Fuller’s World Game a reality today, and put it online for everyone to play with. This is basically a call for a government-funded world simulator game to “crowdsource” solutions for ongoing global problems.

We’ve proven that this model works, and we have the technology to make it happen—world simulators, as you’ll soon see, are already running, and being sold to corporations and militaries. 

Version 1.0

Buckminster Fuller Early World Game ClassThe first World Game was all on paper.  It was 1961 when Fuller announced the concept, noting modestly that he’d been doing it since 1927.  Although the dense “Fact Books” that got handed out to students were indeed generated by a computer database, for the most part Bucky’s version of the World Game was something students did on paper, using the figures and facts provided. 

This is the first element I’d like to update: What facts do you trust?  Who are the real authorities? Any thinking human would be suspicious of being handed a document that literally claims to tell you everything that is true about the Earth, whether that document is titled “An Objective Report by a Supercomputer” or “The Holy Bible.” Teaching people the basic source-synthesis methods behind doing their own research should be a logical opening lesson for any World Game.  Give kids the tools to build their own picture of the world.  Perhaps rather than handing out “world factbooks,” we could hand out blank templates where kids could research and fill in their own data and conclusions.

This is the question Bucky posed to students: “how can we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?”

image

Open Questions:

1. Does the technology exist to build a computer based 1:1 simulation of Earth? Yes, and it’s being sold to corporations and the US military. Check out Simulex, the brainchild of Purdue big-processor genius Alok Chaturvedi.  The best article on this system, and the horizons for world simulation tech in a Post-911 World™ check out Mark Baard’s excellent Register article, Sentient World: War Games on the Grandest Scale

2. Does computer software have a role in education? I’d argue it should—automated computer instruction, done right, is more efficient and effective than a bored teacher. However, there’s obvious obstacles here: although the world sim software exists, it’s not going to run on the classroom desktop, and you definitely can’t fit the databases involved here onto an elementary school system.  The immediate future will look more like, for instance, SimVermont: a 1:1 scale simulation of a much smaller sample population, just over 600,000 in the case of Vermont.  In a classroom setting, a local context would probably be a lot more captivating than the global approach, too.

3. Is Will Wright Already Working on This? Seriously, is he? Send me an email.

4. How Accurate is Ecosystem Modeling? Considering how much we don’t know about the soil-food web and other ecosystem exchanges, how useful could this simulator be?  Personally, I take it for granted that solutions will involve ecosystem design, living machines and permaculture—to be useful, the simulator would need to provide detailed ecosystem modeling.  Aside from fire simulators and large-scale crop management software, how much research is being on done on the math behind nature?

infographic complex behavior models

Running the Numbers

Once we begin to define our problem with numbers, we can begin to make models and perform calculations.  Because of the outstanding and almost total ignorance of issues at this global level of scale, examining the evidence leads to radical conclusions.  For instance, paying people to stay home from work sounds insane, but when you examine the numbers, especially in light of our coming energy crisis today, it makes more sense:

The majority of Americans reach their jobs by automobile, probably averaging four gallons a day—thereby, each is spending four million real cosmic-physical-Universe dollars a day without producing any physical Universe life-support wealth accredited in the energy-time—metabolic—accounting system eternally governing regenerative Universe. Humans are designed to learn how to survive only through trial-and-error-won knowledge. Long-known errors are, however, no longer cosmically tolerated. The 350 trillion cosmic dollars a day wasted by the 60 percent of no-wealth-producing human job-holders in the U.S.A., together with the $19 quadrillion a day wasted by the no-wealth-producing human job-holders in all other automobiles-to-work countries, also can no longer be cosmically tolerated.

Today we have computers that enable us to answer some very big questions if all the relevant data is fed into the computer and all the questions are properly asked. As for instance, “Which would cost society the least: to carry on as at present, trying politically to create more no-wealth-producing jobs, or paying everybody handsome fellowships to stay at home and save all those million-dollar-each gallons of petroleum?’’ Stated evermore succinctly, the big question will be: “Which costs more—paying all present job-holders a billionaire’s lifelong $400,000-a-day fellowship to stay at home, or having them each spend $4 million a day to commute to work?’’ Every computer will declare it to be much less expensive to pay people not to go to work. The same computers will also quickly reveal that there is no way in which each and every human could each day spend $400,000 staying at the most expensive hotels and doing equally expensive things; they could rarely spend 4000 of the 1980-deflated dollars a day, which is only 1 percent of a billionaire’s daily income.’’

image

When you look at the entire planet as a corporation, and consider every human on Earth to be an equal shareholder, then “service sector” jobs, like working the counter at Starbucks or greeting people at Wal-Mart is completely useless.  It creates nothing of value for humans except money. 

For less than the cost of managing the Starbucks corporation, we could just organize a Coffee Union, where for a membership fee, people can stop in at locations all over the city and get good fresh coffee.  This kind of operation would scale up very quickly to the point you’d no longer even pretend to verify memberships, you just let anyone who comes in have free coffee.  This would put most existing coffee shops out of business, unless they’re community hubs, but this should also be viewed as freeing up human labor.  Coffee is no longer a service we need provided to us by over-qualified wage slaves, and now they can focus on other things, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that logical, rational or simple. 

Until we’re applying the Coffee Union model to the world as a whole, we’re going to keep building towards increasing failure.  We’re reducing the need for human labor with technological innovation, and we’re increasing our population around the world.  This is forcing an increasing number of people to compete for a decreasing number of resources, and none of it is necessary.

image

Discordian Pope Robert Anton Wilson addressed this in his classic paper on The RICH Economy:

What I am proposing, in brief, is that the Work Ethic (find a Master to employ you for wages, or live in squalid poverty) is obsolete.

Delivered from the role of things and robots, people will learn to become fully developed persons, in the sense of the Human Potential movement. They will not seek work out of economic necessity, but out of psychological necessity—as an outlet for their creative potential.

As Bucky Fuller says, the first thought of people, once they are delivered from wage slavery, will be, “What was it that I was so interested in as a youth, before I was told I had to earn a living?

The answer to that question, coming from millions and then billions of persons liberated from mechanical toil, will make the Renaissance look like a high school science fair or a Greenwich Village art show.

image

That’s all for now...

This whole tangent was inspired by the Superstruct review I did at Skilluminati, so thanks to IFTF for lighting the fire.  There’s a lot more to come, as always.

Also highly recommended: Klintron’s positive and pragmatic presentation Left Behind: The Singularity and the Third World.  He gives a much needed reality check that still provides good news—the best kind of balancing act, these days. (Technoccult is also home to my running TAZ History which has covered Mound Bayou and Kowloon Walled City and my roundup on Afrigadget: the Low-Tech Goldmine.)

I’m working on a small-scale version of this project over at Vermontistan.

Daily Needs Average Human

Note: World Game is not the property of o.s.Earth, a corporation from New Haven that claims the “rights” to the World Game concept—a claim they will be happy to explain, starting at $5500. Obviously, anyone who puts the work into researching and compiling accurate data and making that accessible through a computer simulator with a “playable” user interface has built a World Game.  Obviously that World Game is better than the o.s.Earth process, which is a generic brainstorming conference that evokes the Bucky™ brand. 

25 responses to "Bucky Fuller & his World Game: Intro to Saving Planets"

  • avatar

    Oct 16, 2006 at 2:01 AM
    George
    says...

    Of course, this concept can work beautifully if it weren’t for one thing; money. Not that I agree with that, however, it is what it is. (I think) the first and most difficult step to implementing this type of plan is, getting the majority to accept the fact that money doesn’t have to make the world go round.

  • avatar

    Oct 16, 2006 at 2:31 AM
    thirtyseven
    says...

    Agreed.  We’re up against some insanely powerful and pervasive hypnotic conditioning.

    I think the best approach is creating communities that work and then corroding that old social order by showing them a better alternative by example.

  • avatar

    Feb 21, 2007 at 6:20 AM
    lam
    says...

    Good post, lol. Always Loved Bucky…
    What ever happened to him. He seemed to have such a bright future.

    Keep on Keeping on

    186

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 6:15 AM
    thirtyseven
    says...

    Updated for 2008.

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 7:27 AM
    Jonathan Storvick
    says...

    I’m going to have to take some time to digest all of this again… Great food for thought, bro.

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 10:24 AM
    Patrick
    says...

    It´s got to start with food.

    Inspiring post, food for thought on the design problem I´m working on.

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 12:15 PM
    Dan Bartlett
    says...

    Are you listening to my internets? I was reading Bucky articles and surfing Imaginify last night. I love Bucky’s whole approach, although at the moment I’m not specifically interested in the World Game, but just his general philosophy that we can design a world where everyone can live in abundance. This has been one of my deep convictions from day one. Thanks for the links.

    At the moment I’m trying to pin down the fundamentals of a sustainable, intelligent and community “base unit.” There seem to be lots of interesting ideas about localisation, permaculture, elegant technology, gift economies, demurrage currency etc. spinning around, but with little integration into a basic model for a sustainable “node.” For me at the moment, the key underlying elements are something like:

    - Ownership of land. As a foundation, this seems a very tough problem. Distribution of wealth is horrendous by all standards. Problems of hierarchy and control itself. Need to move away from the fantasy of never-ending economic “growth”
    - Sustainability
    - “Glocalisation” - localised communities with global links. Small worlds network theory, rhizome etc.
    - Basic design of communities and technologies based on an understanding of core human psychobiological needs. We all have roughly the same needs, and we’re happy when they’re fulfilled. This isn’t utopia, it’s common sense.
    - Teaching of basic life skills to everyone: cooking, growing food, nutrition, coping with conflict, clear reasoning, writing, reading, researching etc. (a Life Cirriculum to get everyone started down the right path! [starting to sound fascist.. going to move on])
    - Individual community empowerment: trade, and democratic integration with other communities (read: huge parties.)
    - Free access to information. Internet, libraries etc.

    I think there’s loads of space for innovation and integration here.

    Have you ever read Huxley’s Island? It’s probably my favourite book ever. It’s a vision of what Fuller wanted to achieve, albeit on a small remote island. Way ahead of its time and truly amazing: think empowered happy individuals, kids being taught applied psychology and sexual yoga in school, free contraception, a general Buddhist philosophy to life, hydroelectrics, sustainable trade, restricted industrialisation, use of psychedelic drugs to assist in actual experience of Buddhist philosophy… and a lot more.

    Also, have you read Jeff Vail? He’s written a lot of good material on energy, sustainability, elegant technology, rhizome, and future communities. He just did a 4 part series called Resilient Suburbia. He also talked a lot about 5th-gen warfare, which makes me think you’ve probably come across him.

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 12:25 PM
    Jonathan Storvick
    says...

    Dan, I’ve never read through your site, but I’m definitely going to now.  It seems like a lot of us are on the same page here.  How do you propose to implement some of this stuff?  I’m listening.

    Jon

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 12:48 PM
    Justin Boland
    says...

    Yeah, Jeff Vail is pretty exceptional.  He first introduced me to the “Rhizome” concept way back when and he’s gotten even more impressive since then.  That “Resilient Suburbia” series was especially good. 

    I haven’t checked out Island at all but there’s a copy at my friend’s house so I will be shortly.

  • avatar

    Dec 16, 2008 at 1:05 PM
    Dan Bartlett
    says...

    Due to my own tomfoolery there’s not much of what I discussed above on my site at the moment Jon. It’s currently mostly focused on individual self-development, transformation and all that. However, I am currently re-doing my main site with a focus on the issues of this post. I’m thinking of basing it all around Bucky’s challenge. It will be up in a week or so. I’m going to spend all tomorrow (haha, just realised it’s world design wednesday!) working on these topics and trying to come up with a good overview. Looking forward to working on these issues with everyone. Re; implementation, I don’t know, but I’m sure I can begin to know with a bit of research.

  • avatar

    Dec 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM
    sleepy weasel
    says...

    Where do you get off being so positive? These ideas you are talking about, they will not free anyone. I don’t know how you can do it without stealing away who people are now in a conscious effort to make them better by some metric.

    Just as an example, I believe in a sustainable lifestyle to the extreme, and I have talked about it on and off for going on 3 years with my girlfriend and I have gotten nowhere. That is one on one conversation. She won’t even agree to live without a washing machine and dryer. Facts, figures, theories and postulations are no match against a closed mind. Pol Pot had it partially right in that regard, you’ve gotta get ‘em while their young. Only problem with that approach is how do you without becoming a monster (even if you have good intentions).

    Maybe my approach is not compelling. Maybe my girlfriend is not the right target for my message. Going on 10 years of talking about these ideas with my parents and friends and nothing. Dead end.

    I am a pessimist because I don’t see people around me to give me a warm fuzzy in my daily life. I am in fucking what is supposedly an ideal town for fringe thinking, life is supposed to be wonderful here.

    Luckily, the planet will be fine. No tech at the disposal of humanity can do anything more severe than the planet has seen several times in the past. Humanity, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have much going for them.

    You also can’t plan out the future until you know what will be left of it when the dust settles and you made it.

    It would be interesting if you were right, but it will be interesting anyway.

    sincerely,
    the sleepy weasel

  • avatar

    Dec 17, 2008 at 8:01 PM
    thirtyseven
    says...

    No, only work will free people. 

    Otherwise, I’m definitely too young, too arrogant and too informed to stop trying to convince people. I figure I’ve got at least another 20 years in these batteries, time will tell.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 7:48 AM
    nathan
    says...

    I simply lack that much optimism. I want to think that our problems are fundamentally “design” or economic problems or problems that can be solved by rational solutions, e.g., careful deregulation to remove barriers to entry alongside socialization of increasingly complex infrastructure (e.g., the internet, it was always partly a military/university project to begin with) and safety nets like grants for training etc., or something like that.

    But i also can’t help but see that essentially every technological--i.e., anything outside of the body and the mind--move folds into its opposite. Cars free us to move around quickly and over great distances and with heavy loads. They also force us into that lifestyle. The internet makes it easier to communicate but is deeply alienating. etc. There can’t be a planet to “save” since every move shifts the damn game board, which wasn’t balanced to begin with. “Enochian chess.”

    Then there are just the basic problems underlying being pack killer apes who have unwittingly reified violence and nesting imperatives. Technology, too, as humans in their Epimethean glory must use it to survive. You can call this a “sprititual” sickness but that would be confusing.

    That said life is clearly better, from a numbers perspective, than it was a short while ago. My grandmother didn’t have a microwave to defrost frozen stuff. Poor people in the US eat better than they did two hundred years ago (well, maybe not, but they live longer). At least to date material progress has been relatively wide-spread for the top 3 billion people.

    I’m willing to change my opinion on all these points.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 9:46 AM
    nathan
    says...

    oh yeah, the questions

    1. Can the quality of life on Earth be improved? By what measure? By measure of “stupid consumer appliances” and “lifespan” yes. Is it worth living to 80, though, if you’re sicklier than someone who dies at 60 would be? That’s less tangible

    2. Will everyone benefit from those improvements? They don’t right now (see Africa, South America), but they could, some of the advances are contingent on exploitation (see also “Surplus Value"), some are not. Mexican day laborers’ families in Mexico benefit from illegal immigranst sending money home but is that optimal?

    3. Is that worth spending time on? Time is being spent on it right now

    1. Does the technology exist to build a computer based 1:1 simulation of Earth? Yes, but how accurate is it? And is it useful? And for what ends? Those 75 marketing categories for people are hit-or-miss, and the sheer number of categories indicates that predictive modeling as it’s done isn’t nearly as powerful as we’d like to think

    2. Does computer software have a role in education? What are you teaching? Computers aren’t going to teach you to aerate your soil or split wood, that’s for certain. Do you mean like propaghanda? Like “Compost Strike 2”?

    3. Is Will Wright Already Working on This? The SimPlanet guy?

    4. How Accurate is Ecosystem Modeling? Workable but probably awful, check out the Weather Channel’s million dollar weather reports. It would only be helpful if it was very accurate over a small scale (e.g., where do I put the microhydro plant)

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 10:27 AM
    hybrid
    says...

    Aren’t we already playing the game.  The problem is that have forgotten we were playing, fallen in love with the dynamics and we will do anything to save it, by creating another game within the game to represent THE GAME.  the scale is getting smaller and smaller.  spiraling down.

    peace

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 11:01 AM
    MantricSpork
    says...

    Nathan, Sleepy Weasel- Stop getting depressed because there are people who don’t agree with you. Find the free mutants and try to actually implement your ideas, don’t worry about persuading people who won’t hear it. The best way to persuade would be to DO it and show that it’s possible to create self-sufficient sustainable communities. It won’t and can’t get done on teh internets b/c creating a community requires RL work. Networking online is a beautiful tool to develop ideas and build relationships, but it has to come into the personal sphere in order to be physically implemented.

    Also- Is clean drinking water and fresh food “stupid consumer appliances?”

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 11:45 AM
    MantricSpork
    says...

    1. Can the quality of life on Earth be improved? Yes and no. People’s conditions can be improved (water/food/shelter). People who already have those taken care of can become more self-sufficient. Will people be happier? Maybe. On a certain level, people’s internal states stay constant. In the Zen sense, objective improvment of peoples’ conditions won’t actually improve their feelings of life. But hell, it couldn’t hurt.
    2. Does the technology exist to build a computer based 1:1 simulation of Earth? My info might be out of date on this one, but I thought Korzybski/RAW etc. etc. demonstrated rather conclusively that you can’t create a 1:1 simulation of ANYTHING. It would have to be the size of the thing you were simulating, and then there would have to be a simulation of the simulation to represent the simulation within the simulation....but maybe I’ve misunderstood the question.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 11:50 AM
    Daniel Chong
    says...

    Religion sidesteps the planetary problems by simply offering a vision of hope in the GAME OVER scenario. This framing allows for the elite to continue their plunder and advance their plans onto an inter-stellar level. The meek can inherite the earth.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 5:24 PM
    538880
    says...

    LOL my ENTIRE comment was erased this morning because I left it typed in this box.  And I even dl’ed notepad++ and neglected to use it.

    As you pointed out so well in an earlier PIZZASEO article, we should start refocusing on the creation of replacing systems rather than merely dismantling the current one(s).  Oh!  Let’s develop ways of presenting this information in a more digestable (Nup puN) manner.  How would you feel about 5,000 more farmlets cropping up on the creepy old internets?  Shakalakalakalaka!  Great comments, this is mostly just a re-hash of my first, lOst attempt.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 6:03 PM
    53880
    says...

    4. How Accurate is Ecosystem Modeling?

    What kind of information do you wish to obtain from this question?  I hesitate at such a question because of how many directions it could be headed in.  Does ecosystem modeling work at all?  Absolutely--I’ve been aiding in the production of land management software that computes an index rating based off of plant data accumulated through surveys.  This index represents the health of an ecosystem by calculating the frequency, abundance and quality of the flora and fauna.

  • avatar

    Dec 18, 2008 at 6:11 PM
    53880
    says...

    Until you convince your SUBURBAN neighbor of the benefits of tearing the fence apart and combining land, time and energy into a communal living/eating environment, you will suffer from the effects of the coming freedom/food/energy shortage.

  • avatar

    Dec 20, 2008 at 3:44 PM
    V
    says...

    I think a far more useful “game” than How to Make the World better, since the premise of the game is extremely anti-selfish - and is therefore preposterously unrealistic.  All the game ever shows is that if everything was run in terms of the “greatest good for the great number” - a goal that is (A) so macro nobody can actually implement anything and (B) a goal that I and many others don’t really care about (because if you did you’d sell your stuff and disperse it to the 3rd world).

    REAL WORLD GAME
    Simply have 2 teams -
    Team 1 essentially has all the current wealth, technology and violence capability - there goal is to make proactive measures to maintain their state of affairs and gain more control over others lives.
    Team 2 has nothing and figures out how to better their own lives and those they are close to and considers how to disrupt Team 1’s plans.

  • avatar

    Dec 20, 2008 at 6:05 PM
    MantricSpork
    says...

    V.- I agree with you to a certain extent. In many ways, the things which benefit everyone also carry a great deal of self-interest, and those are the things which it would be most productive to emphasize.

  • avatar

    Dec 20, 2008 at 7:55 PM
    Buster Fnriendly
    says...

    Hey thrityseven,

    I’m a long time fan of your work, and of Bucky’s.

    Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around the scope of what’s being discussed around here, it’s all very exciting, and also a little scary, but I’ll try to interject a little something useful.

    One thing that jumped out at me while I was reading through this was the little chart listing what one human (man) needed to survive for a day.

    The amount “90 grams protein” is what leapt out at me, since I have been studying, and reading up about nutrition informally for about a decade now, implementing various different approaches, and giving thought to the impacts of different styles of diet on a dynamic ecosystem.

    From my research I have reached a kind of impasse philosophically, that I am sure a better trained Synergist would be able to solve more elegantly than I have been able to so far.

    From an ecological stand point, a mostly vegan based diet is by far more beneficial for the biosphere than our current agribusiness model, which depletes soil via monocroping, and intensive animal protein cultivation.

    Specifically an arborealculture based form of food cultivation seems the most synergistic, along the lines of permaculture, food forests, and other such techniques. It requires far less energy to produce a pound of vegan food than animal foods. That is “arborealculture” the practice of cultivating tree crops, and integrated food forests, versus “agriculture” the practice of cultivating grain crops, which leads to deforestation, and desertification once the grasses have depleted the soil.

    So this is a factor in favor of veganism, or at least in favor of very limited omnivorous styles of diet relying mostly on plant foods, veganism being primarily a moral philosophy.

    Directly contrasting this, is my research into nutrition which has lead me to believe that a more omnivorous style of eating is healthier for most humans (there doesn’t seem to be a one size fits all dietary panacea for the human race.) Specifically a lower carbohydrate higher protein diet, concentrating on lean animal proteins, and green vegetables, with some of the other darker pigmented vegetables, and berries added in. (Vaguely the term “paleo-diet” is sometimes used here, but that’s it’s whole other thing.) This style of eating seems very compatible for producing a stable, fast, efficient metabolism for active humans. The base amount of protein for this style of eating is one’s target weight (ideal weight, whether one is there or not) to 1.5, or 2x the target weight in grams of protein. This type of diet is paired with an active lifestyle, and can actually reverse obesity, which is actually aggravated on a metabolic level by simply reducing calories with no other considerations.

    Naturally that’s why 90g jumped out at me.

    Diet can be very controversial, people can get more incensed about this issue than politics, or religion (because it’s even more basic to their world view perhaps?)

    The production of that much protein for 6-10 billion people (let’s say 150-250g per person) is no small feat. Especially since the healthiest types of animal proteins come from wild, or grass fed naturally raised animals. How is it that we can synergistically produce enough of these foods to feed a human population that large? Many vegetarians, and vegans claim that a healthy human needs only 40g a day. It gets complicated quickly.

    There IS something that gives me hope on this. In reading the book 1491 (I am sorry the author escapes me just now), which is about life in the Americas before europeans, the author mentions a theory that the Amazon may have been an elaborate game preserve, maintained, and created by the Mezoamericans, through their superior knowledge of horticulture, and plant/animal symbiosis. Again another controversial theory, but if one group of humans could discover how to do a thing, it stands to reason that another group could do the same.

    I hope.

    Anyway, I apologize for taking a single random facet and focusing on just that.

    Good luck everybody!

  • avatar

    Dec 21, 2008 at 12:08 PM
    MantricSpork
    says...

    Buster- What about plant proteins? I don’t have the stats on those, but surely that can help fill the gap. Amazon as cultivated breadbasket is a fascinating idea.

    As for informed optimism, did this guy have to wait until his neighbors had the same idea as him?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q
    http://www.pathtofreedom.com/
    He put sustainable living INTO PRACTICE, and immediately saw the TANGIBLE BENEFITS (self-interest).

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