Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"The Decline Of Global Poverty": Humankind Is Waaayyyyyy Better Off Than When I Was A Kid

"The Decline Of Global Poverty"

If you’re over the age of 18, you probably grew up with the story of how the world is divided into the rich and the poor.

Alan: In 1967 I spent six weeks in the mountains of Hidalgo, Mexico. 

After spending a night puking and shitting face-down in the cow corral outside my thatched choza, I remember six campesinos carrying me on a litter down the nearly-dry creek-bed from the mountain hamlet of "Barranca Arriba," a two hour walk from San Nicolas which, in turn, was an hour by twice-weekly jeep from Jacala on the Pan-American Highway. 

While recuperating on a straw petate in the back room of a retired Army nurse who injected me with "something," I remember the sudden, inexplicable "banging of doors and windows" all across the barely-electrified town. 

Then the gunshot and post-climactic release from crisis passed.

The air stopped holding its breath.

Someone, I learned, had killed a rabid dog walking erratically in the town square. 

The experience clarified two things: I could have died from dysentery, and the gunman would have died an ugly hydrophobic death had his gun misfired and the dog bitten him.

In 1947 when I was born in Rochester, New York, an American's life expectancy was exactly 60 years. I am now 70 and will likely live into my 80s.

In 1967, I suppose Mexicans in my Sierra Gorda caserío could look forward to 40 or 50.

Until 1750, half of humankind died by age 8.

Until 1850, a typical homo sapiens lived half his life with toothache.

It is hard to sustain consciousness of how lucky we are.

We presume far too much.

"Conservative" "Christians," consumed by (self)righteous arrogance, cheer Armageddon, drool for the cosmic show-down between Manichaeism's eternally-divorced forces of Good and Evil.

All three Abrahamic religions are eager to "duke it out."

Buddhists are totally uninterested in this trumpery. 

Hindus only marginally.

The Deplorable One is an evangelical hero.

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