Friday, August 17, 2012

A Few Interesting Links

You're welcome to use this post to link to anything else interesting and consistent with the themes of the blog.


Unknown said...

I'm pleased to see Chris Crawford is finally updating his game. The first version is decades old by now, but it was quite intricate already back then.

Greg said...

The game looks interesting, but this brought me up short:

"There's also a very disturbing level in which you must give equal consideration to the poor people around the world, millions of whom die every year from malnutrition. In that level, the most important consideration is helping agriculture grow enough food for everybody. Hint: it's impossible."

Well, maybe it's impossible in the game, but it's not impossible in the real world.

In researching my comment of yesterday, I found that India is currently the second-largest rice producer and in the top five for wheat, maize/corn and soybeans. Wikipedia (citing FAOSTAT) also says that India's yields for these crops are typically only 35% of those of advanced countries. Wikipedia's 'heat maps' of grain production also show that Africa is almost completely untapped in terms of food growing potential.

Given these two things, feeding everyone in the world adequately is a matter of making some relatively small investments and ensuring that everyone has the income to pay for food.

Difficult, but not at all impossible.

Greg said...

A couple of clicks away from the AI piece is a site called "Global Catastrophic Risks", dedicated to a book of the same name. The Introduction is available as a PDF on that site and is quite interesting.

The intermediate site, the Future of Humanity Institute, may also be worth a browse.

buck smith said...

World food production can be easily increased by more use of GMO foods. It is also almost certain that predictions of food shortages due to climate change are bogus because farmers will use GMO foods to adapt to climate change whether manmade or natural. Just as they have been for millenia. Cross-beeding = slow GMO

oystercatcher said...

actually nature has been playing the drought game for eons. plants that have adapted live in deserts.

this usda report discusses land resources and agriculture.