Date: Dec 7, 2012 5:49 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]

On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> This above is evidently a response to my
> "Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
> in which among other things I pointed out the morally challenged
> inconsistency of being against and even denigrating big government,
> the only thing that would end so much suffering and premature death
> caused by among other things lack of proper health care, yet
> practicing and otherwise being in favor of private charity. And my
> reply is to simply reiterate the mathematical facts:

Actually it was more a response to GS who was saying he wasn't willing
to judge my views in the same harsh light PT was bringing to bear.

Lets look at the mathematics again. Does "money" sustain human
settlements or something more basic: sun energy, photosynthesis, an
environment that predates money and can't be paid for i.e. can't be
replicated minus the geological time scale required to form it. Even
if you have trillions of dollars, you're not in a position to create
an Hawaiian island, unless maybe we're talking "floating cities".

Say you're like a small Medieval Catholic sanctuary in size, where
people live by the toll of the bell. There's morning vespers at 3 AM,
followed by a light snack, prayers, then breaking fast more in
earnest, followed by chores, a morning service and so on, around the
cycle. Many seasonal holidays punctuate the routine. Daylight
savings time is recognized. St. John's University MN is a model here,
where Father Wenninger lives (a geometer I've met).

Now lets anachronistically give them solar panels, a wind farm, and a
server farm in the basement. There's also a well equipped clinic and
some of the denizens know how to do C-sections on both humans and
non-humans i.e. the role of vet and doctor for humans is somewhat

Did I mention this colony was co-ed? In the warehouse area, they have
the approximately "50 machines" needed for civilization:

The introduction of high technology and the Web brought them out of
their formerly Medieval existence and now they're doing archival
electronic scanning of rare documents and streaming music for
additional income.

Tourists pay to come here on retreat and a few even get medical care
here, though it's a rather remote place and mostly the clinic serves
the full time residents.

So does the clinic depend on charity? Do these people need to go out
into the community with begging bowls? In this case, no, there's no
surrounding community to speak of and the hacienda raises its own food
for the most part. This is a remote location.

Most getting about is by electric ATV and by horseback, if not on
foot. Snowmobiles play a role in the winter (also electric).

Cash reserves are on hand for the infrequently delivered orders from
the outside world.

There's an airstrip and the regularly scheduled flight is only once
every two weeks, though other planes are parked here and might be used
in an emergency e.g. for medevac purposes.

There is no "big government" in this picture directly responsible for
the health and welfare of these denizens. Why? In part because many
of the people here are from refugee camps originally, where their
citizenship was either in question or in limbo.

Some had escaped Burma but never had Burmese passports. Gaining
citizenship in the USA is just not in the cards for a lot of them.

Do we still care about health care for people who aren't US citizens?

Paul seems parochially focused on his particular nation-state
(formerly a slave-owning nation, but now more of a prison-based
nation), one of the more backward and violent, with a lot of the most
ignorant teachers (some in political office), weak in STEM. He
understandably looks up to the the more together, older, happier
states such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and wishes his nation could
be more like those someday. One might even call him jealous.

I'm not sure if he includes Bhutan in his list of "happy states",
probably not, as income per capita is quite low there. Nevertheless,
the Bhutanese have had some successful PR as a Happiness Kingdom (not
unlike Disneyland in that respect, the Happiest Place on Earth [tm]).

Not everyone with health system planning experience needs to make the
USA their focus. Occupy was not and is not exclusively concerned with
the health and welfare of so-called "American" citizens. We care
about Arab and Farsi speakers as much as English and Spanish speakers.

Occupy was not and is not exclusively concerned with nation-states at
all, given how many humans have fallen through the cracks and are not
served in any way by the so-called "sovereignties". Take the refugees
from Burma for example. Thailand can't afford to make them a
priority, nor can Bangladesh. The UN mostly just wrings its hands.

Paul, on the other hand, is parochially obsessed with the immorality
of not helping "American citizens" -- but that need not be everyone's
principal concern.

Health care for non-Americans is a higher priority than health care
for Americans in many a health planning simulation. That's not
unethical and it doesn't demonstrate any anti-Americanism necessarily.
Given USAers account for only about 4.347% of the population of the
world, it makes perfect mathematical sense that 95% of expenditure on
health planning and programs belongs elsewhere.

Americans themselves may join a doctors without borders type outfit
and perform great service i.e. Americans themselves aren't all
obsessed with the 4% either, praise Allah. Having traveled globally
quite a bit, I've met many Americans who thought less in terms of
nation states and more in terms of ecosystems. Some worked for the
FAO in Rome, some were Peace Corps. I've welcomed learning from their
diverse perspectives.


Message was edited by: kirby urner