In these precarious times, there is enough for all

This wednesday the NCCR Trade Regulation and the Centre for Development and Environment had a joint event at the Kino Kunst Museum, the screening of the film Hunger in a world of plenty, followed by a podium discussion. Last month there was a discussion on the same topic on Swiss TV (in German).

I found it worthwhile to watch the film. It is important to realize that what is wrong in terms of food security is not the lack of food on a global scale, rather the fact that we do not manage to distribute it to those in need. Still the problem is not just distribution, it is also one of capacity building and the development of sustainable agricultural practices. It is indeed mind boggling that these days there are children on our planet dying of starvation. Beyond my comprehension is the fact that every five seconds a child dies from hunger-related diseases and elsewhere on the same planet overweight and obesity are killing more people than underweight. The access to food, in part, just reflects wealth, however that is not the whole story. 

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folk theories for folks on a ship

Raumschifferde was simply a great expedition. I love Hamburg, but more important the coffee was of superior quality. I unwittingly accepted an invitation from Matthias about speaking, and then found out that I had the keynote. It was however a fortunate set of circumstances. It so happened that the week before I was due to be in Athens where I did not have anything else to do than to work on my book, have a look at the Acropolis,  besides drinking coffee and doing a bit of Aikido with Sensei Jenny Flower. And so it was, plus a few more adventures including the preparation of this talk. By the way, most of the pics on the presentation are from Athens, the big exception being the four of the Basisbibliothek of the University of Bern. Even “le monde” of the 11th of february, used to quote Michel Foucault, was bought in Athens.

I will add a few notes to the presentation as soon as I get a few hours to work on those notes.

Change, Technology, Learning and Adaptation

Euan Semple concluded a recent post with an interesting observation:

Comparing the levels of technical competence of my kids with those of my non internet friends and comparing the peaceful majority at the student demonstrations in London to the wistful recollection of more politically engaged times amongst my middle class friends, I find myself wondering if the children are becoming grown ups and the adults are succumbing to voluntary infantilisation.

via – The Obvious? – Parents, children and wikileaks.

More than three years ago I asked another question that somehow seems rather on target:

After all, secrecy is still the currency of power. What are the power gate-keepers to do when secrecy ceases to be a valid currency because what was secret has become common knowledge?

In the face of change, inertia takes you into denial, survival will force you to adapt.