The whole humanity has always suffered a lot, from too cold winters, famine to long working hours. Just when the problems seem to go away new ones emerge. That way there is always at least some sort of work to be done. Some problems will go away to make place for new ones. And in this post these problems that are going away or changing are discussed. The first example is malnutrition.
When the whole world seemed to get richer and finally get close to getting rid of malnutrition, a new problem emerged that was never as widespread as now. What does it mean to be malnourished? When is someone malnourished? It means to have a deficiency of at least one of the following things: minerals, proteins, water, fats, vitamines and carbohydrates. How much you need depends on your specifications; gender, height and age. So its perfectly possible to be fat and be malnourished, when people think of the word ‘malnutrition’ they will more often than not picture someone hungry in a poor country, now that image is changing. And it should because now according to the Telegraph, a reliable british newspaper obesity is killing three times as many as malnutrition. The fear however for hunger is much greater. It’s like the motto is “it’s better to be fat than thin” nowadays. I think it’s hard or impossible to get rid of that prejudgement anytime soon because of the many famines that happened went paired with hunger. But on the other hand a society with severe obesity will adjust and buy healthy foods. That way people spend more on food to eat more and after they got overweight they buy relatively expensive healthy foods like salmon, pine nuts and raspberries. That way society will profit greatly; the raspberry farmers and shopkeepers will get paid twice as much. Statistically sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder, you are more likely to die from eating too much sugar than being killed by something with gunpowder.
A war seems so common, so basic. Many people don’t stand still to think about what war is. When is it a war, and when a big conflict? Perhaps a better question is what is a war?
War is by definition a live conflict that has claimed already more than 1000 lives. So a war is a conflict with a high death toll. The first war happened thousands of years ago, it was a conflict including the Sumerians. Since that time, 3400 years ago the humanity has only been at peace for 268 full years. So (3400 – 268) x 1000 = 3132000, assuming each year there was only one war with the minimum number of people that died. The actual number is much higher, estimates estimate that between 150,000,000 and 1,000,000,000, have died from warfare. The difference between the two is very big, we are talking about the lives of 850000000 people, roughly one ninth of the humans alive today.
War not only has influence on the front, when the soldiers are away, time doesn’t stand still. In the first world war when the men were away fighting, women became doctors, bankers and more things that were thought impossible for women to do. After the war ended and the soldiers returned, things went back to the way it was.
All the armed forces together have over 21 million people. That is over three million people more than all the inhabitants of The Netherlands together. There are over 21 million people that could for example cure cancer instead of mercilessly killing people and justifying it by saying it is their job. Sure, we need them now in this violent society (we need police officers and soldiers), but when and if the whole world becomes a place with peace and no violence at all, they will get unnecessary. In my opinion we will never come to this point, at most we will get close because in and after those hundreds of thousands of years humanity didn’t manage to get even close; today there are almost 200 countries. If very country united and traded, and had one universal time, imagine what kind of prosperity it would go paired with. Armies who have militaries weaken it, if there wasn’t an army in Sudan, then there wouldn’t be so much people leaving Sudan because of the army and becoming refugees. It’s perhaps not strange of the top 20 largest armies, 14 of them are in countries that are still developing. People are always going to be unhappy about something, it’s always been like that. So perhaps it is not a big surprise that right now there are dozens of wars ongoing. Men have at average a higher height and are more aggressive than women, so it’s maybe not a big surprise that 97 percent of the people who have a job including the military are male. Average citizens regard war as something noble, something that deserves honor. That is also why in the middle ages society was divided in three; clergymen the highest, the noblemen (actually the knights and the son(s) of them) second and the lowest were peasants. A more modern example is from the 21st century. When in Syria Isis came to power, people from different countries fought against and with them. They did that so they would become martyrs. To them it was better to die fast in a war in a foreign country, than live a peaceful full life. Martyrs get respect, from their country, from their family and from their ex colleagues. It is true that they get remembered for the heroic deeds for the fatherland, but for how long? How long will he or she be remembered? That depends. It could be that a martyr stays remembered for a hundred years and celebrated elaborately, like the unknown soldier, but it could also be that directly after a soldier dies, a revolution takes place leaving the martyr uncelebrated and forgotten at the end , like at the end of the first world war for Russia.
Some people may ask themselves if war is fair. Spoiler alert: it’s not. It is never fair to steal someone’s right to live, although sometimes you have no choice; if an armed person walks toward you with his or her gun in his or her hand, you don’t really have an option sometimes. But the army of the United States inflicts 10 to 20 times more damage to soldiers of enemies soldiers than the soldiers of the enemies inflict to their army. So after a war there is really no winner. There are only losers. Of course there are losers who lost more than the others. There are exceptions, but those are rare as wars can get out of control and escalate very fast; a good example is world war one. World war was thought to end very soon, but it became even a bigger war and the result were many casualties.
Some countries spent money on their army like they are in a live war. The United states spent almost 6 trillion dollars on developing nuclear weapons while spending only two trillion on health care. It’s interesting that while many citizens support war From the year 1900 to the year 1990, so including the world wars, the Korean war and many other wars 43 million soldiers died. But at the same time 62 million citizens died because of the consequences. Its strange that the citizens never learned that war is one of the worst things that could happen to them. Now weapons have gotten more dangerous for citizens; a nuclear weapon is designed to bring harm to the most people as possible in a very large radius.
I think that in the future the unlikely, but possible wars will unfortunately still happen due to the possible new weapons and the overpopulation, estimates estimate that by the year 2100, there are going to be almost 11 billion people on earth and people have conflicts faster because it will be more crowded (people will get on their nerves faster when it’s busier) and because its busier a possible war will take more lives.
Our current problems
In the (near) future our previous problems (levels of prosperity, health and harmony) will have likely reached high levels and likely our next targets will likely be things about immortality, happiness and divinity.
For modern people death is a technical problem we are currently solving. So in a way equality is going to be likely outdated, and immortality in because humans will very probably move on.
Here are the sources I used to write this post.
– Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari.
World population growth is expected to nearly stop by 2100 …https://www.pewresearch.org › fact-tank › 2019/06/17 › worlds-population-is-projected-to-nearly-stop-growing-by-the-end-of-the-century/
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