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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Monday, April 23, 2007

I'd Like to Introduce My Friend - Reality


A WAY OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD
If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:
There would be 60 Asians, 13 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere (North and South), and 12 Africans.
51 would be female; 49 would be male.
70 would be brown; 17 would be white; 13 would be black.
19 would be Catholic Christians; 15 would be other Christians.
18 would be Muslim.
13 would be Hindu.
6 would be Buddhist.
3 would practice Chinese traditional and/or Confucian religions.
2 would practice tribal religion.
3 would represent all the other religions of the world.
50% of the entire world's weath would be in the hands of only 6 people...and all 6 would be citizens of the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing.
25 would use unsafe drinking water.
36 would have no toilet facilities
70 would be unable to read.
50 would suffer from malnutrition.
1 would be near death, 1 would be near birth.
Only 1 would have a college education.
No one would own a computer.
When one considers our world from such an incredible compressed perspective, the need for knowledge, tolerance, and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.
From Cynthia Kelly, director of Multicultural Education and Diversity in the Minneapolis Public School District.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Cats Staff said...

Things are improving though (economically) ...according to Hans Rosling who gave this TED Talk with cool graphs. He says the gap between rich and poor is disappearing. I think that is in the world as a whole, but in places that are already wealthy it may be increasing.

April 23, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Guess what, Kristine?

You just got Snoped!

On the other hand, that seems to be a rather different version to the one on Snopes, so maybe it is accurate after all. The point is well taken regardless.

Someone, I think Greg Epstein himself, made a similar point at the New Humanism Conference this weekend. He mentioned that over 30 million Americans identify with no religion. 30 million! It's quite interesting to have the actual number at hand. "10%" sounds piddling and weak, but one must remember how large America is. 30 million people is quite a lot for any identification!

Are there 30 million Scientologists? 30 million doctors or lawyers? There certainly aren't 30 million politicians. 30 million is quite a lot, actually. Enough to defy the easy dismissal that the tyrannous majority wants to give us.

April 23, 2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Geez, Joshua, I'm going to have to follow up on this. If this is inaccurate, then I'm the one who needs to go on a date with reality! ;-)

I got this from a workshop, not from the internets. It it's wrong, other people also need to know.

Then again, it is quite different from the Snopes version - I wonder if the one making the rounds on the 'net is a mutant.

April 23, 2007 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! My initial reaction to this was "Hot Ziggies!!! I'm top dog in this village." More lengthy reflection tells me that, as a rational skeptic with compassion for my fellow man, I'd be busting my ass trying to teach folks to read, to upgrade their housing, to make safe their drinking water, and so on. I'd be on the lookout for the crazy bastards who want to scrag my busted ass because I am an infidel. I would comfort the dying by not disputing his faith at that time. Let the poor fellow or lady pass on, hoping for a better deal beyond the grave. I'd hope there is a midwife in the one hundred, 'cause Ah don' know nuthin 'bout birthin' babies.
Scotius

April 23, 2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

We are top dog in this village, that's what so frightening. Even with all of our money problems, personal problems, etc. When I went to Jamaica and saw how people lived there, I said to myself, "I'm never going to bitch about my problems ever again." Well, of course I didn't live up to that.

Whether or not these figures are apocryphal (see above), it certainly makes you think about how fortunate you are. I don’t know nothing about birthing babies either, but happily there are things we can do – we can’t save the world, but focusing on an issue that concerns you and doing that well can really be a high.

April 23, 2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Some items do not seem to make sense. 50% of wealth in the hands of 6 citizens of the US but NO ONE owns a computer!?

It seems more appropriate to use the same type of statistics when dividing positions.

April 23, 2007 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thirty-six would have no toilet facilities- reminds of the way things were with us when I was a boy. Even so, although for a number of those years, we didn't have indoor plumbing, we did have facilities. At one time, the privy was a one-holer, and night time equipment was a 46-oz. can under the bed.

Whaddya need two holes in a privy for? It ain't as if yer gonna entertain guests there.

It is unwise to keep boots under the same bed as the can.
Scotius

April 23, 2007 4:10 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Kristine: In fairness, it's entirely likely that the version you cite was created in full awareness of the original inaccuracies. It really shouldn't be hard for somebody to look up statistics on most of these items and round off to populate the village.

(Or the Village: What do you want? Information. Who's side are you on? That would be telling.)

I'd do it myself, but honestly I should have been in bed an hour ago as it is.

April 24, 2007 12:30 AM  

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