Tag Archives: knowledge

Knowing or conceiving God?

I have no knowledge of, but only a conception of God.

It’s not money that grows on trees anymore

Children draw conclusions from what they can see.

I remember asking myself I was young where did ham come from, and not being able to give an answer. Processed food look so far removed from what they are made from that it is impossible to deduce what it is simply by looking at it.

So I am not surprized to read that Australian children (I grew up there) think cotton sock are from animals and yogurt come from plants. The logic could be mixing up cotton (from plants) for wool (from animals). Perhaps the logic for yogurt too is that it is from plants because the flavours are mostly fruit (strawberry, mango, apple, etc) or plants (aloe, which is a popular flavour in Australia).

Television, in a way, is a good window for information. The other source of information for me back then is books and public libraries. At least ithese were for me when I was a child in an age without the internet. Today’s children have no excuse for ignorance and laziness. The democracization of knowledge is one of the great achievements of our time now.

But the ease of obtaining knowledge in this age of information superhighway is also perhaps a loss of the ability to find out things for oneself in a genuine form of discovery and intimate understanding. Today’s children perhaps therefore rely on packaged information as much as packaged food that is, what I call, our supermarket culture.

But I think it is not only children who have trouble drawing logical conclusions about the world but also adults. Our world is complex. In this day and age learning to filter out the noise from the music is by no means easy. Nonetheless we must learn to filter it.

50 facts that should change the world

I have been reading 50 facts that should change the world by Jessica Williams. She is a television producer for the BBC. She fleshes out each fact with a 3-5 page essay. Well worth a read. Here I have only given the facts without the essay. Hopefully these 50 facts will change the world.

1. The average Japanese woman can expect to live to be 84. The average Batswana will reach just 39.

2. A third of the world’s obese people live in the developing world.

3. The US and Britain have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world.

4. China has 44 million missing women.

5. Brazil has more Avon ladies than members of its armed services.

6. Eighty-one percent of the world’s executions in 2005 took place in just four countries: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

7. British supermarkets know more about their consumers than the British government does.

8. Every cow in the European Union is subsidised by $2.50 a day. That’s more than what 75 per cent of Africans have to live on.

9. In more than 70 countries, same-sex relationships are illegal. In nine countries, the penalty is death.

10. One in five of the world’s people live on less than a $1 a day.

11. More than 12,000 women are killed each year in Russia as a result of domestic violence.

12. In 2006, 16 million Americans had some form of plastic surgery.

13. Landmines kill or maim at least one person every hour.

14. There are 44 million child labourers in India.

15. People in industrialised countries eat between fourteen and fifteen pounds of food additives every year.

16. David Beckham’s deal with the LA Galaxy Football team will earn him $100 every minute.

17. Seven million American women and 1 million American men suffer from eating disorder.

18. Twenty-eight percent of American teenagers have tried illegal drugs and more than a quarter are regular cigarette smokers.

19. One million people become new mobile subscribers everyday. some eighty-five percent of them live in emerging markets.

20. Cars kill two people every minute.

21. Since 1977, there have been nearly 120,000 acts of violence or disruption at abortion clinics in North America.

22. Global warming already kills 150,000 every year.

23. In Kenya, bribery payments make up a third of the average household budget.

24. The world’s trade in illegal drugs is estimated to be worth around $400 billion – about the same as the world’s legal pharmaceutical industry.

25. A third of Americans believe aliens have landed on Earth.

26. More than 150 countries use torture.

27. Everyday, one in five of the world’s population – some 800 million people – go hungry.

28. Black men born in the US today stand a one in three chance of going to jail.

29. A third of the world’s population is at war.

30. The world’s oil reserves could be exhausted by 2040.

31. Eighty-two percent of the world’s smokers live in developing countries.

32. Britons buy 3 million items of clothing every year – an average of 50 pieces each. Most of which end up being thrown away.

33. A quarter of the world’s armed conflicts of recent years have involved a struggle for natural resources.

34. Some 30 million people in Africa are HIV-positive.

35. Ten languages die out every year.

36. More people die each year from suicide than in all world’s armed conflicts.

37. Every week, an average of 54 children are expelled from American schools for bringing a gun to class.

38. There are at least 300,000 prisoners of conscience in the world.

39. Two million girls and women are subjected to female genital mutilation each year.

40. There are 300,000 child soldiers fighting conflicts around the world.

41. Nearly 26 million people voted in 2001 British General Election. More than 32 million votes were cast in the first season of Pop Idol.

42. One in six English teenagers believe that reality television will make them famous.

43. In 2005, the US spent $554 billion on its military. This is 29 times the combined military spending of the six “rogue states”.

44. There are 27 million slaves in the world today.

45. Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. That’s enough bottles to reach all the way to the moon every three weeks.

46. The average urban Briton is caught on camera up to 300 times a day.

47. Some 120,000 women and girls are trafficked into Western Europe every year.

48. A kiwi fruit flown from New Zealand to Britain emits five times its own weight in greenhouse gases.

49. The US owes the United Nations more than $1 billion in unpaid dues.

50. Children living in poverty are three times more likely to suffer a mental illness than children from wealthy families.