I think charity is great. Really great. There are a lot of sick, starving, miserable people out there in the world while I, for one, am having a pretty fucking great time over here. And did I mention I’m white and male?
The disparity is almost hilarious; for example, while I just rearranged the words miserable, sick and starving because I thought they sounded better in ascending number of syllables, a fuck load of people took their last hungry breath and died. I’ve just realised what made me think to write on this topic. I didn’t know how long puff pastry took to cook so I’ve got a pasty looking thing in the oven that ain’t getting browner at the rate I would like it to, and it’s way past my dinner time. I think I’m close to starving to death and that’s connecting me emotionally to all the little black babies on the other side of the world, with their funny little distended bellies and flies on their face and whatnot.
I’ve got a muesli bar though so I reckon I’m safe.
I’ve had the thought that to send food all the way to Africa* is quite expensive, but to drop it off on the way to somewhere else, not so much. The amount of food that cruises through the Suez canal and right by Ethiopia on a daily basis is truly colossal. Well, about 15 boats a day**. Maybe more ‘big’ than ‘colossal’. I’ve been spending too much time with the gays, everything’s a duh-ramah (jazz hands). New rule: every ship that cruises through the Red Sea has to drop off a container or two of whatever the fuck goes into Big Macs. I cannot for the life of me think of a Djibouti joke. The ships could drop anchor in Djibouti? Is Djibouti big enough for all that cargo? Meh.
I continued that thought, down the following path:
- how to get food to people that need food?
- how to get food to people that need it in the most efficient way
- how to calculate the most efficient way to convert dollars to lives saved
- how to build a statistical model that takes in every avoided death, how premature it is, how much pain is involved and blah blah blah
- that death isn’t avoided, it’s postponed, oh and …
… and then it hit me. Epiphany right in the side of the head. It doesn’t really matter that lots of people are dying. Kind of depressing sure, but the more I think about it the clearer it seems.
It doesn’t really matter that lots of people are dying.
How do I know it doesn’t matter? Because I’m not over there. You’re not over there. I’m not helping; you’re not helping. If it really mattered, we’d all be helping.
But it’s sad when we realise stuff doesn’t matter, and it’s nice to have stuff that does matter. So what does matter? Enter my new favourites saying. “What would the future do.” Because you know who the smartest group of people are? They’re not scientists, or a retarded person that can play a sonata after having heard it only once and is also getting pretty good at cutting his toenails. It’s not some as-yet-undiscovered genius or world leader either. It’s … everyone in the future. All of em. Go forwards a few hundred years and every single mutherfucker will be smarter than the best we’ve got right here in dumb-ol’ 2014.
Are the people from the future going to look back at us and say “wow, they sure did a great job of saving lots of lives, hey, … ugh … excuse me, you’re in my designated square 30cm of personal space. Ah fuck I dropped my keys. EVERYONE, EVERYONE! can we all waddle to the left a little I dropped my keys …”? No, they are not. They’re probably going to be quite shitty with us for helping the African’s breed.
Buckle up, this is going to sound racist but of course it isn’t. Most of the civilised world is at a nice steady replacement rate when it comes to having babies. Europe is shrinking a bit, America is growing a bit, China’s due to start going backwards soon but India and Indonesia are going strong. All in all fairly mundane stuff. To keep a population at this mundane level of growth, each lady needs to have around 2 or 3 children. 2.3 is the replacement rate. Europe is somewhere around 1.9, hence the going backwards. India’s at 2.5, China’s at 1.5, USA is bang-on 2. The average fertility rate for most countries in Africa is somewhere between … 4 and 7. Have you seen a pregnant woman eat? No wonder there’s no food left over there.
Sadly, 5 – 10% of babies will die before they send their first scam email, but that’s still a shit load of bebes for a bunch of countries where I’d always figured everyone was wasting away.
And so, the population of Africa is set to double by 2050. That’s double (!) in 35 years. I can’t get over that, five or six little ones per woman is enough to double the population of an entire continent in 35 years.
So saving lives is not what we need. And I think they’ve had quite enough genocide, so let’s just not mess with lives in any way.
What will really impress the people of the future is how well we spread knowledge into this giant sex-orgy of a continent. Fuck food, they don’t need any more food, they need laptops and internet. There, done.
*Africa is not a country.
**Referring to ships as boats is great.
I’m even going to link to a source!