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Topic: Sad News About Al Bartlett
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jul 28, 2013 7:05 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Sad News About Al Bartlett
Posted: Jul 26, 2013 11:33 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Richard Hake posted Jul 26, 2013 4:18 AM:
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in
> a recent post
> "Sad News About Al Bartlett" [Hake (2013)]. The
> abstract reads:
> Al Bartlett
> <> wrote that his non-Hodgkins
> Lymphoma,
> previously dormant, has returned such that doctors
> give him "30 days,
> plus or minus."

It is with the greatest of regret (and profound sorrow) that I read of the recurrence of Al Bartlett's lymphoma affliction.

I recall that, when I first came across Bartlett's work (via a post of yours at Math-teach, I believe), I was profoundly impressed by his saying:
> "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our
> inability to understand the exponential function."
> - A.A. Bartlett

In that sentence, he has memorably captured everything that is wrong with our (human) growth model.

Is there a way of setting things right? Given that the human population is already in excess of 7 billion today, and that it is likely to cross 10 billion very soon, any such optimism may only be a faint hope.

More in due course.

A couple more memorable sayings from Al Bartlett (as quoted by Richard Hake):
> " 'Sustainable growth' is an oxymoron."
> - A.A. Bartlett
> "Smart growth destroys the environment. Dumb growth
> destroys the
> environment. The only difference is that 'smart
> growth' does it with
> good taste. It's like booking passage on the Titanic.
> Whether you go
> first-class or steerage, the result is the same."
> - A.A. Bartlett
> "Can you think of any problem in any area of human
> endeavor on any
> scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term
> solution is in any
> demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by
> further increases in
> population, locally, nationally, or globally?"
> - A.A. Bartlett
> REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <> and
> accessed on 25 July 2013.]
> Hake, R.R. 2013. "Sad News About Al Bartlett," online
> on the OPEN!
> Net-Gold archives at <>. Post
> of 25 Jul 2013
> 16:29:59-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract
> and link to the
> complete post are being distributed to various
> discussion lists and
> are on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at
> <> with a
> provision for comment.

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