September 18th Readings Notes

March 15, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Sociology, Globalization
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“Best. Decade. Ever.” –Charles Kenney (pg. 13)  Easier for our brain to remember the tragedies in the past decade as opposed to our progress and success. (9/11, Enron scandal, countless devastating natural disasters, wars/violence around the world.)  Past 10 years people have “lived better, longer, more peaceful, and more prosperous lives than ever before”  1990 50% of world population lived on less than $1 a day. 2007 28% live on less than $1 a day.  Average world incomes have grown roughly $10,600 a year  Global battle against infectious disease…forecasts predicted unstoppable diseases spreading around the world, encouraged by rapid globalization  Vaccinations have increased  HIV/AIDS still presents a problem yet prevalence is consistently decreasing  Improved literacy/education  More than 4/5s of world population can read and write  Assisting in gender equity, more women beginning/continuing their educations  Although war is war, wars in past 10 years have included less violence and destruction than years past  Humanities effect on environment still a major issue and yet making improvements on climate change  Does technology encourage us to play a more active role in the major issues of the world, or easer to dismiss and forget about? Questions: 1.What are a few reasons why the author thinks the 21st century is the best? 2. What are some of the challenges that remain despite the successes of the 21st century? 3. Of the challenges and successes mentioned which do you think are most integral in the overall success of this past decade?

Pg.11) Q1: Identify and explain the significance of the five (5) basic growth and decline patterns? A: Linear, Exponential, S-Curve, Bell Shaped, and Threshold Change Linear change refers to equal incremental change yearly (or a fixed amount). An example of this would be how each year a person is only one year older or continuously depositing 100 dollars into a checking account each month. Exponential change focuses on fluctuations in terms of fixed percentages. It is like the interest system in most banks. The focus is on the percentage of whatever amount is currently being considered. For example, a bank account begins with a 100 dollars and a ten percent interest rate. The first time the account reaches interest it will be 10 dollars for a total of 110 dollars. The next time the account receives interest it will be 11 dollars because it will be based of ten percent of 110 dollars. ADDIE DID YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT DOUBLING TIME AND THE RATE OF [email protected] AND SUPEREXPONENTIAL pg 10? NOW WOULD BE THE TIME S-Curve change explains the type of change that is slow or steady and followed by a dramatic spike and ultimately leveling of. Hughes and Hill explain it in the real life context of animals in the wild on pg 10. Bell Shaped explains changes similar to the S-curve however the rise is much more gradual and there is a fall. If one were to chart test score averages it most often forms a bell curve shape. The lowest and highest grades would fall on the two end points and most of the students would fall somewhere in the middle. Threshold Change is simply explained as “quick jumps” in a trend. The price of gas is an example of oil change. If tuition fluctuated so that between 2004-2008 it cost 50,000 dollars to cover the cost of undergraduate education and $175,000 between 2008-2012 and $10,000 between 2012-2016 that would be a real-life example of threshold change.

Q2: Name and Identify two environmental changes mentioned in chapter 2 that are causes for concern. A2: Greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere and the destruction of forests Greenhouse Issue: Carbon dioxide allows sunlight to pass through easily but also reflect heat radiation to earth and raises the air temperature. HOWEVER it is still unclear whether carbon dioxide follows or causes rise in temperatures as stated in the 1988 World Resources Center. Deforestation Issue: Despite regulation, by 1996, 53% of all original rain forests were destroyed. Scientists worry about how the earth will tolerate changes when its own natural resources are missing and not replenished. Scientists even believe that the lack of trees may contribute or even further aggravate the green house issue. Q3: What are factors have contributed to major changes in life conditions? A3: Infant Mortality, the average human is “richer”, interhuman contact and education is increasing. IMF rate: has dropped which can be attributed to political agendas (laws restricting abortion) and advancement in medical technologies as well as greater accessibility to it. Between 1960 and 2003 the average GDPPCP increased by about $4000. With greater accessibility to books and the internet it is easier to gain access to education as well as increased level of illiteracy throughout the world. Technology also contributed to greater communication as well. In addition to the internet, television ownership and a rise towards urbanization increased communication. By 2004, nearly half of humanity lives in an urban setting. Just a Note: The idea of a “global village” has developed as termed by Alvin Toffler. People have the means to become involved in social structures outside of their immediate family and town and also expect much more government responsiveness than in the past.

Population & Demographic trends - Global population grew superexponetially - Europeans are seeing a decline in population - Larger populations (i.e., China, India) are seeing GDP per capita growth Economic changes 1) Geographic - Developing, densely populated economies are experiencing stabilizing GDP per capita - Movement towards global middle class - The Northern hemisphere is richer and more stable, therefore it’s more productive than the Southern hemisphere - Income per capita in developing countries is growing faster to converge ratio terms 2) Economic sector - As the service sector sees the same ~50% trend, the industrial sector becomes more dominant ~30% than the agricultural sector, which is ~10% - The sector portions are relatively reflective of all economies - The fourth, information sector, is prominent within advanced/developed nations - Information sector is often mixed with the service sector Agricultural and food trends - when looking at global cereal production, Africa has a relatively low production of cereal due to: o supplementary foods are more demanded (i.e., meats, fruits) o cereals could’ve been imported rather than domestically produced o gov’t subsidies promote non-grain production - Reverend Thomas Malthus (18th c) and Paul Ehrlich (1968) o Uncontrolled population naturally grows exponentially o Food supply grows linearly o Population, inevitably, outstrip food o Increasing death rate due to starvation can’t be prevented - No malnourishment decline due to: o Fertility falls but children and elderly are the vulnerable minority unable to get food independently o Population growth is still high in poorest nations Energy change - Typed of energies we use: o Human labor o Physical energies: oil, coal, wind, photovoltaic, geothermal, fossil fuel

Exploring and Shaping International Futures – Chapter One Action in the Face of Uncertainty 

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, Europeans explored, and from their point of view discovered, the rest of the world. o This action was done with great uncertainty, but they did not stop them; for example, they continued to push outward with great uncertainty in 1522, when one ship of five launched in Magellan expedition returned to Spain from the east with only 18 men completing the first voyage around the world.  Explorers attempted to reduce uncertainty by enhancing their maps of the world. o Perhaps the greatest of all mapmakers was Gerardus Mercator (15121594)  He developed a navigation-enhancing projection of three dimensions onto two and also produced the first global atlas. His maps reshaped human understanding and facilitated successful exploration  We devote about 2.5 percent of total global economic output to the pursuit of military security; but we simultaneously have created an insecure world with thousands of nuclear weapons and untold numbers of potential suicide bombers. Technology has improved, and because of that many dimensions of uncertainty frame our future.  Some of the choices that we make on any and all issues will have consequences. o We will never fully anticipate their consequences for ourselves or others because we are only mapping the world as we and others discover it. Question: What will be the future of human demographic, economic, environmental, and political-social systems throughout the twenty-first century? Answer: the easy and correct answer is that no one knows. If we believed that we had no control over the future, we might accept that response and return our attention to daily life. But most of us believe that our actions shape our own future and the future of our descendants.  

We cannot know the future, but it is essential to act in the face of that uncertainty To reduce the challenge to manageable proportions, we can decompose our general question about the future into three more specific ones: o Question one: Where do current changes appear to be taking us?

o Answer one: one of the most common techniques for studying change is extrapolation. Extrapolation is trend projection. If global population is growing at 1.2 percent per year, an extrapolation of the future assumes that it will grow 1.2 percent each year in the future. Same can be applied to a declining percentage. Extrapolation is not the only technique for exploring where change is taking us, but it is a starting point. o Question two: what kind of future would we prefer? o Answer two: Let us consider three sets of values, corresponding to three complexes of issues on which this volume focuses: the development of individual potential for all human, the achievement of security and fairness in human relationships, and the protection of the biological and physical environment. The widespread and universal human development, security and fairness in society, and environmental sustainability are desirable. o Question three: how much leverage do we have to bring about the future we prefer? o Answer three: analysis of human leverage is complicated for two reasons. One is that our values do vary somewhat, and we therefore may choose to differentially focus our attention with respect to leverage. The other is that our understanding of the workings of the world tend to vary quite substantially and to be underdeveloped, so that we frequently identify different courses of action to accomplish even nearly identical goals. This requires we go beyond extrapolation to casual analysis.  Example, there is an old story about a person falling from the top of the Empire State Building. As she passes the 51st floor, a friend at a window asks how it is going. The response is “so far. So good.” The reason that most of us see a little black humor in this is that we automatically supplement extrapolation reasoning with casual analyses, a consideration of cause-and-effect relations. Our central challenge us tgar we cannot know the future , but we must act as if we did. A good place to begin our assault on that challenge is with an attempt ti extrapolate trends and to investigate with fairly simple tools where the future might be taking us. Everything becomes connected to everything else, and tracing through consequences of action becomes messy for any analyst. This is why it is easier to use computer simulation programs, so that computers can trace the implications of our actions instead of having to find out “the hard way” Question: “Prediction is very difficult especially about the future.” Is this true?

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