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How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

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  • How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

    This is very interesting - an estimate of how much more energy would be required to bring everyone else in the world to a minimum energy usage level equivalent to Spain or Italy, and without reducing existing nations' energy consumption.

    Short summary: It would be less than 80% increase overall. It would shift the present estimated fossil fuel reserve lifespan from 81 to 46 years. Think we might get more innovation and overall productivity, even disregarding the human welfare aspects, by having billions of more people educated and able to think of something besides survival?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/2...ty/#more-92065

    Lots of folks claim that the worst possible thing we could do is to allow the third world to actually develop to the level of the industrialized nations. The conventional wisdom holds that there’s not enough fossil fuels in the world to do that, that fuel use would be ten times what it is today, that it’s not technically feasible to increase production that much, and that if we did that, the world would run out of oil in the very near future. I woke up this morning and for some reason I started wondering if that is all true. So as is my habit, I ran the numbers. I started with the marvelous graphing site, Gapminder, to take an overall look at the question. Here’s that graph:

    Figure 1. Annual income per person (horizontal axis, constant dollars) versus annual energy use per person (tonnes of oil equivalent, denoted “TOE”). I’ve added the horizontal red line to show the global median per capita energy use, in TOE per person per year. (The median is the value such that half the population is above that value, and half is below the value.) Click here for the live version at Gapminder.

    So … how much additional energy would it take to bring all countries up to a minimum standard? We could perhaps take the level of Spain or Italy as our target. They each use about 2.75 tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) per capita per year, and they each have an annual income (GDP per capita) of about $26,000 per year. If that were true of everyone on the planet, well, that would be very nice, with much avoided pain and suffering. So how much energy would it take to bring the billions of people using less energy than the inhabitants of Spain and Italy, up to that 2.75 TOE level of consumption? Now, here’s the wrinkle. I don’t want to drag the top half down. I don’t want anyone to use less energy, energy is the lifeblood of development.

    So I’m not proposing that the folks using more energy than Spain/Italy reduce their energy consumption. Quite the contrary, I want them to continue their energy use, that’s what keeps them well-fed and clothed and healthy and able to take care of the environment and the like. As a result, what I wanted to find out was the following:
    How much extra energy would it take to bring everyone currently using less energy than Spain/Italy up to their usage level of 2.75 TOE/capita/year, while leaving everyone who was using more energy than Spain/Italy untouched?


    So, remembering that the figures in the graph are per capita, what say ye all? If we want to bring the energy use of all those billions of people up to a European standard, and nobody’s energy usage goes down … would that take five times our current energy usage? Ten times? Here’s how I calculated it

    First, I downloaded the population data and the per capita energy use data, both from the Gapminder site linked to in the caption to Figure 1. If you notice, at the bottom left of the graph there’s a couple of tiny spreadsheet icons. If you click that you get the data.

    Then, I combined the two datasets, multiplying per capita energy use by the population to give me total energy use. There were a dozen or so very poor countries (Niger, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, etc) with no data on energy use. I arbitrarily assigned them a value of 0.3 TOC/capita, in line with other equivalent African countries.

    Then, I checked my numbers by adding up the population and the energy use. For total energy use I got 11,677 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE). The corresponding figure for 2009 from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy is 11,391 MTOE, so I was very happy with that kind of agreement. The population totaled ~ 6.8 billion, so that was right.

    Then for each country, I looked at how much energy they were using. If it was more than 2.75 TOE/capita/year, I ignored them. They didn’t need extra energy. If usage was less than 2.75 TOE/capita/year, I subtracted what they were using from 2.75, and multiplied the result by the population to get the total amount of extra energy needed for that country. I repeated that for all the countries.

    And at the end? Well, when I totaled the extra energy required, I was quite surprised to find out that to achieve the stated goal of bringing the world’s poor countries all up to the energy level of Spain and Italy, all that we need is a bit more than 80% more energy. I’ve triple-checked my figures, and that’s the reality. It wouldn’t take ten times the energy we use now. In fact it wouldn’t even take twice the energy we’re now using to get the poor countries of the world up to a comfortable standard of living. Eighty percent more energy use, and we’re there.

    In closing let me note a couple of things. You can’t get up to the standard of living of Spain or Italy without using that much energy. Energy is development, and energy is income.

    Second, the world’s poor people are starving and dying for lack of cheap energy today. Driving the price of energy up and denying loans for coal-fired power plants is depriving the poor of cheap energy today, on the basis that it may help their grandchildren in fifty years. That is criminal madness. The result of any policy that increases energy prices is more pain and suffering. Rich people living in industrialized nations should be ashamed of proposing such an inhumane way to fight the dangers of CO2, regardless of whether those dangers are imaginary or real.

    Finally, regarding feeding and clothing the world, we’re getting there. It’s not that far to go, only 80% more than current energy usage rates to get the world up to the level of the industrialized nations.

    Anyhow, just wanted to share the good news. The spreadsheet I used to do the calculations is here.

    w.

    PS—Will this make the planet run out of fossil fuels sooner? Ask a person living on $3 per day on the streets of Calcutta if they care … but in any case, here’s the answer. As mentioned above, as of 2009 using about 11,500 MTOE per year. Total reserves of fossil fuel are given here as being about a million MTOE (although various people’s numbers vary). That doesn’t include the latest figures on fracked gas or tight oil. It also doesn’t include methane clathrates, the utilization of which is under development.

    That means that at current usage rates we have at least 81 years of fossil fuels left, and under the above scenario (everyone’s energy usage at least equal to Spain and Italy) we have more than 46 years of fossil fuels left … ask me if I care. I’ll let the people in the year 2070 deal with that, because today we have poor people to feed and clothe, and we need cheap energy to do it. So I’d say let’s get started using the fossil energy to feed and clothe the poor, and if we have to double the burn rate to do that, well, that’s much, much better than having people watch their kids starve …

  • #2
    Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

    Think we might get more innovation and overall productivity, even disregarding the human welfare aspects, by having billions of more people educated and able to think of something besides survival?
    Forgive the snark, but it seems that question was posed some time ago. We've been living with the answer for at least half a century.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

      Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
      it seems that question was posed some time ago. We've been living with the answer for at least half a century.
      Add to that the assumption that this would be a rational use of energy, something we've yet to see, and this is nothing to get excited about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

        Originally posted by Woodsman
        Forgive the snark, but it seems that question was posed some time ago. We've been living with the answer for at least half a century.
        I don't think it is snark - the problem is that I don't think the question is settled, either.

        A World Bank rejections for coal electricity plant construction show - there are clear other agendas as work.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

          Other agendas indeed.

          I still have memories from childhood where trusted people in authority assured our class that by "the year 2000" productivity increases and automation would be such that no one would need to work more than 15-20 hours per week. As a child this future was promoted to us as one that would ultimately free the mass of humanity to pursue their own interests, ushering in a renaissance of art, literature, science, etc. It was justified as the birthright of a decent and productive people.

          As I grew to adulthood I understood that a better approach would have been to use the productivity gains not for leisure, but to assist the less developed parts of the globe in raising their productivity and living standards. This would have the added benefit of reducing population growth and resource depletion. Secure and prosperous folk have fewer children, especially when they have reasonable expectations that their children will grow up to be healthy, productive adults and that they themselves will be provided for when age and illness makes them unproductive.

          The productivity increases arrived with the technology, as expected, but working hours continued to expand and real wages declined. So why didn't it happen? The "innovation and overall productivity [gains from] ... having billions of more people educated and able to think" is a self-evident good for most everyone. Surely the cohort in authority knows this. They understand all about innovation and productivity don’t they? They sure keep telling us they do.

          And yet it seems that such beneficial outcomes do not sufficiently overcome the benefits of the status quo (I'm reminded of the "problems of peace" Leonard Lewin wrote of in his "Report from Iron Mountain"). Maybe it's because some see a happy and productive population with plenty of leisure time on their hands as an existential threat. And to some it’s the devil’s playground.

          Of extraordinary convenience to the defenders of the status quo is the Calvinism embedded in the Western (mostly American) psyche. It posits all work as a moral good and anyone unwilling to submit themselves to it as a sinner deserving of contempt and exposure. God chooses His elect, poverty is evidence of his decision and besides, it’s the way things have always been. To suggest an alternative marks one as either an ignorant fool (“dream on”) or a reprobate scoundrel (“what are you, some kind of commie?”).

          So instead of full employment, a 15 hour work week, and bringing up the less developed world, we have a situation where productivity gains resulted in increased unemployment, declining wages and a diminishing standard of living to all but the elite. How come? Surely we have the means. We have the means to issue trillion dollar bailouts to favored groups. We have the means to support ever increasing counts of lawyers, financial analysts, and other such professions of dubious benefit to most of humanity? So why? Well, because "the market" says so. And if 1% of the population controls 98% of the disposable wealth, well then “the market” will reflect only those things considered useful or important for that 1% and few else.

          This view makes me somewhat unpopular among my attorney, financial analyst, PR, advertising, marketing, and professor friends, but that's understandable as in saying so I'm perceived as messing with their livelihoods. Of course in contemplative moments these same friends complain about the pointlessness and meaninglessness of their work; how they really only wanted to be a teacher, a musician, a poet, etc. Me, I wish they would have, but that’s not always feasible in a society where the general rule holds that "the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one will be paid for doing it."

          That many nice and rational folks are likely to defend this state as right and good seems all the more perverse to me, but I understand this as the natural outcome of 35 years of domination by right wing ideologues and the destruction of a functional American left. There's been no meaningful opposition to their ideas, so what other outcome could we have expected? And since “there’s no such thing as society,” there’s no need to consider the social impact.

          So with that we are witness to a curious spectacle where far right politicians, media pundits and corporate leaders successfully convince working and middle class Americans that their enemies are teachers, firemen, bus drivers and auto workers. How else could these middle and working class people be made to resent teachers and firemen for their wages and benefits, but still view as heroes and role models corporate executives, billionaire entrepreneurs and the various right wing standpatters?

          That's quite a trick.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

            Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
            Other agendas indeed.

            ....
            So instead of full employment, a 15 hour work week, and bringing up the less developed world, we have a situation where productivity gains resulted in increased unemployment, declining wages and a diminishing standard of living to all but the elite. How come? Surely we have the means. We have the means to issue trillion dollar bailouts to favored groups. We have the means to support ever increasing counts of lawyers, financial analysts, and other such professions of dubious benefit to most of humanity? So why? Well, because "the market" says so. And if 1% of the population controls 98% of the disposable wealth, well then “the market” will reflect only those things considered useful or important for that 1% and few else.

            This view makes me somewhat unpopular among my attorney, financial analyst, PR, advertising, marketing, and professor friends, but that's understandable as in saying so I'm perceived as messing with their livelihoods. Of course in contemplative moments these same friends complain about the pointlessness and meaninglessness of their work; how they really only wanted to be a teacher, a musician, a poet, etc. Me, I wish they would have, but that’s not always feasible in a society where the general rule holds that "the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one will be paid for doing it."

            That many nice and rational folks are likely to defend this state as right and good seems all the more perverse to me, but I understand this as the natural outcome of 35 years of domination by right wing ideologues and the destruction of a functional American left. There's been no meaningful opposition to their ideas, so what other outcome could we have expected? And since “there’s no such thing as society,” there’s no need to consider the social impact.
            cant say i disagree with any of this, woody - but will say that it was also a 'natural reaction' to the excessive rampup of the left's POV during the 1960's - along with the simultaneous rampup of the .mil-industrial complex (vietnam war) and 'the great society' delusion (aka the HUGE rampup of the .edu-industrial complex, as well as the social/welfare-industrial complex that then proceeded to bankrupt the country) resulting in the great inflation of the 1970's, resulting in the FIre-industrial complex - which then brought us directly to the repeal of glass-steagall, which then has brought us FULL CIRCLE 'back to the future' of the 1930's (and the 'heyday' of big gov, which the current occupants seem quite enamored with) - which will likely bring us 'back to the future' of.....

            the 1940's...

            So with that we are witness to a curious spectacle where far right politicians, media pundits and corporate leaders successfully convince working and middle class Americans that their enemies are teachers, firemen, bus drivers and auto workers. How else could these middle and working class people be made to resent teachers and firemen for their wages and benefits, but still view as heroes and role models corporate executives, billionaire entrepreneurs and the various right wing standpatters?

            That's quite a trick.
            yeah, it is - altho the unionization of the fed workforce (again, back in the 1960's, by an executive order, no less) had a great deal to do with the now completely OUT-OF-CONTROL buracracy that has developed - and I'M NOT SAYING that the .gov line-level employees are so much overpaid as they are too numerous - at least in a lot of states, where most of em seem to have one primary function and that would be to vote for those in the political class that give (away to) them the most.

            but it would be unfair to put _all_ the blame on that group (even tho their policies/politix are directly responsible for MOST of what we're talking about here)

            but otherwise a great piece, woody - thanks for the essay - you and dcarrigg help keep guys like me honest.

            just sayin.
            sez a 'small-r' type
            a former resident of a state that still understands the proper function of the .gov

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

              Excessive rampup? Okay, with the benefit of hindsight I could muster up a good argument for that. Then again it's easy to say when your not living under someone's heel. Recall "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" where King writes:

              We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.
              Note that this reference to "Asia and Africa" is the necessary condition for a complete understanding of the counter-reaction to the rampup of which you speak, but what a can of worms that is!

              Remember also that what came to be known as the .mil-industrial complex began in earnest mere months following the Nazi surrender. By the time Kennan pens the X Article in '47, it was evident that we would never demobilize from war footing as we had done in times previous. I'd like to be charitable and say that the warnings against the dangers of standing armies were completely disregarded by the "wise men" in the face of an existential threat from the Sovs, but the record of history shows otherwise.

              In his final years Kennan came to understand too late that "war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions." The same failure of understanding applies to the founders of the national security state, as it too would have its own momentum and carry the nation away from its longstanding intentions. And who knows what Johnson was thinking with his guns and butter, civil rights and civil repression schizophrenia? And then we got Dick and Hank as an encore, God help us.

              You honor me by putting me in the same league as dcarrigg. He's one smart cat. A truth teller and bullshit caller.
              Last edited by Woodsman; 08-23-13, 07:43 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

                Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
                Excessive rampup? Okay, with the benefit of hindsight I could muster up a good argument for that.
                appreciate your willingness to admit it, thankyou.

                Then again it's easy to say when your not living under someone's heel. Recall "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"....
                Note that this reference to "Asia and Africa" is the necessary condition for a complete understanding of the counter-reaction to the rampup of which you speak, but what a can of worms that is!
                i'll just have to take your word for whats in that can, woody, not having had the benefit of a high-falutin/debt-financed liberal arts education - mostly since my ole man was near bankrupted by the politix/policies of the state of our birth(s), thus forcing him(us) to become economic refugees of ole taxachusettes and fleeing north over the border into NH (to the weekend place) - and having grown up/come of age in the 1970's (k-12 MA public schools/'76grad) and listening to my ole mans litany of complaint (political and societal) during that era - him a product of great depression#1 (born 1920, ww2 vet, self-employed) and a life-long dem, uptil the late60's anyway - made me appreciate the opportunity i had to experience how the political systems/environment of the 2 neighboring states (MA & NH) have shaped both his views and mine - so lets just say i think there's a diff tween 'ideology' and what experience teaches one.

                and let me tell you, that after having lived for over 20years in a place where the sting of racism is _still_ an in-yer-face daily phenom, that i know only too well what it feels like - its again, how experience vs ideology can shape ones views on this stuff like this.

                and again will say that i DONT suffer the 'liberal guilt trip' of slavery/racism, when The US 'inherited' it from OUR former oppressors, who brought it to OUR shores, profited from it and institutionalized it in 'the new world' long before The Constitution was even penned ??? - and as i mentioned on another thread, being an American of Irish ancestry, i dont feel responsible, nor do i owe _anybody_ an 'apology' for what happened back in those daze - and seeing as The US has been The ONLY Nation/Society in history that has ever even addressed the question/problem/outrage of slavery/racism (and paid _dearly_ for it) - i still can not understand why - even after we have put a black man in the whitehouse - why this issue still keeps dividing us - other than its certain elements of the political class (never mind the media/chattering class, along with the welfare/social-industrial complex) that STILL KEEP PROFITING from it - and hey! - even tho i didnt agree with the results of 2008/12, it made/makes me proud to be an American that we DO have a black man as The Leader of The (almost) Free World (tho i think hilary would've been a better choice, for the dems anyway - or even better yet, colin powell - since i dont think one is _qualified_ to be POTUS unless one has done time in the .mil - or at least been a state guv'nah, aka state CEO - but thats a whole nutha can o worms, eh ;)

                Remember also that what came to be known as the .mil-industrial complex began in earnest mere months following the Nazi surrender.
                while that is/was apparently true, since the fears at that time (AFAIK) was that without the .mil machine kept running, a drop back down into the depression was the main worry - but it seems to me that while they had the chance to scale it back, it was more important (for the political class in the 1960's) to keep it humming, so vietnam is where it really got its legs (resisting the commies etc was a really good show and allowed that certain group a means to maintain control, no matter what the costs)

                ..... And who knows what Johnson was thinking with his guns and butter, civil rights and civil repression schizophrenia? And then we got Dick and Hank as an encore, God help us.
                not sure which Dick yer referring to, but at least the one in the '70's ended the draft just before i had to sign up.

                and talk about god-helping-us over/thru the next encore/redux of the nineties into the oughts - but the recent revelation that some of the same crowd is now on the BOD of the wapo, should give you a clue of why i think that ones experience trumps ideology

                You honor me by putting me in the same league as dcarrigg. He's one smart cat. A truth teller and bullshit caller.
                my pleasure, woody - and on this we're 100%

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

                  Thanks for sharing your background. Knowing a little about it now I can say that I believe you would have enjoyed and benefited from the experience of a quality liberal arts education. The knowledge and method of discovery it inculcates is the birthright of the scrappy kid with the wrong pedigree every much as the boys' from Andover and Choate.

                  Having had such a positive experience, it's hard at first blush to understand why you seem so eager to denigrate it as foppish and impractical. But when I think about how liberal arts programs are presented in the media and the astronomical costs I get it. And some of those kids are little snots! But surely you'll agree that all the foibles and failures of the world exist too in academia. Had you experienced a quality liberal arts program, I think you'd treasure it as I do. But truth be told, I steered my charges to the hard sciences and engineering if that tells you anything.

                  Your biography made me recall with pride that even back in the 70s a working class kid with moxie could scrape together enough money between jobs and support to pay net cash for a quality B.A. and even graduate school was within reach. He might have to suffer a few indignant sneers from the swells while cleaning up after them in the dining hall, but he could take pride in his resilience and determination. And he'd put up his k-12 public school education against any Choatie or Groton squish because he knew he had the intellectual chops to make the most of it. Back then a kid from the South Bronx or South Side of Chicago or South Miami or South Central LA could swing it with some sweat and a little luck.

                  I get that you don't feel liberal guilt. That's a good thing because I expect there's no reason for you to feel guilty about anything. In truth, the whole notion is bullsh*t promulgated by discredited right-wing propagandists like David Horowitz and Dinesh D'Souza. You are certainly correct that there's an important difference between what ideology and experience teaches. I think I did hear that somewhere once .

                  But then there's ideologically-based assertions that fly in the face of experience like this one:

                  "The US has been The ONLY Nation/Society in history that has ever even addressed the question/problem/outrage of slavery/racism."
                  With regard to slavery, this is a misread of history. Japan officially abolished slavery in the late 16th Century. The British abolished slavery in India in 1843. The Imperial Russians abolished slavery in 1861. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 brought the end to slavery in the Union held areas but it would take until war's end to see slavery destroyed along with the South's will to fight. Far from being the single exceptional case in the history of the world, the US was right around the middle of the pack of nations large and small. Places like Brazil and China would come around a bit later and the some of the last reports of institutionalized slavery were out of West Africa into the 1930s, although there are contemporary reports from Sudan.

                  And yes, then there's our sometimes black, sometimes multi-racial, sometimes post-racial president. It's curious to me that the symbolism of his ascendancy seems to be held as dearly by black people who experience racism daily as it is by whites interested in putting the question of race aside. There's lots of ideology at work here, too. One can be proud to be an American for electing a man like Obama as president in principle, but he himself has done so very little in which we can take pride.

                  From my perspective only his benefactors and clients distinguish him in any meaningful degree from the previous cohort. The policies themselves have been remarkably consistent across administrations (as is the design). Anyway, reasonable people will disagree on the details but it's a bit much to say that we've "addressed" racism in any definitive way here at home. I will say that we seem far more eager to do better about it here - both in our public life and our private conduct - than the people of the other countries I've visited. And of course there have been jerks and jewels among every place I've traveled.

                  I appreciate your perspective and I'm embarrassed and apologize if I've left the impression that I have some monopoly on truth or am free from self-deception. I've got much to learn and feel fortunate to have confidence in those few things I've come to know as fact and those few truths I've managed to pick up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How much more energy would the world need to bootstrap everyone to the level of Spain or Italy

                    now this is why i like to mix it up here on the 'outside' forums - i try to stay out of the more serious econ stuff behind the paywall, as thats why i pay for it, to learn, not argue/debate - so try not to distract and let those a lot smarter/educated than i am expand/expound upon the events/situations of the markets, things finance etc - here in the 'political economy' - that we find ourselves saddled with/almost enslaved by - but/so cant help but stick my .02 (and neck out) into these sorts of discussions - even when outgunned - as i've mentioned to dcarrigg, mr c1ue et al - i still enjoy getting involved in the debate - methinks it a trait of new englanders to discuss our diffs and i am always smiling when i'm typing, just soz ya know (i have more fun/get more enjoyment/gain more knowledge out of this place, than almost any other 'hobby' i've ever had

                    Originally posted by Woodsman View Post
                    Thanks for sharing your background. Knowing a little about it now I can say that I believe you would have enjoyed and benefited from the experience of a quality liberal arts education. The knowledge and method of discovery it inculcates is the birthright of the scrappy kid with the wrong pedigree every much as the boys' from Andover and Choate.

                    Having had such a positive experience, it's hard at first blush to understand why you seem so eager to denigrate it as foppish and impractical.
                    yeah, i guess so - some of my pals have mentioned i shouldve been a lawyer (or politician) - tho i really should've got an engineering degree, as thats what i've ended up being - when i do get to work - or maybe better yet, a geologist, working either in the oil/mining biz or maybe for the nat'l park service (had i only known...) - but even tho i was one of the smarter/higher IQ kids - the highest, my (electronics) shop teacher confided in me - got near straight A's up til midway thru jr year - school never really rang my bell/easily bored with/thru most of it - so dunno what would've happened, had i gone on past HS (and sorry to bore you with my self pity)

                    so seeming eager isnt necessarily the reality of why i appear to denigrate higher education - but i do wonder sometimes why those more educated than myself seem to need to make me think i'm stupid (esp my liberal pals - whats up with that, anyway) and dont hear an insult when its thrown at me - but whatevahs woody - its more like we grow too soon old and too late smart... that and just because i had to try being a skibum for awhile and even tho i still managed to work 40-60hours/week in a factory (at night mostly, so could ski 7days/week in them daze) - guess maybe i spent too much of my youth having fun.

                    or maybe had the legs of my little but profitable 24yo biz not been cut out from beneath me by the very same political economy that we are here to discuss, things might've been different (for both me and my ole man, since more or less same happened to him as well, starting in 1974...)

                    but thats ok - i get same sometimes from one of me brothers - the only one of us who did get degree'd (yale/econ and NO, he had to work/borrow/grant/scholarship his way thru, since we were pretty much a broke(n) family by then...)

                    again, sorry to bore you with my self pity.

                    But when I think about how liberal arts programs are presented in the media and the astronomical costs I get it. And some of those kids are little snots! But surely you'll agree that all the foibles and failures of the world exist too in academia. Had you experienced a quality liberal arts program, I think you'd treasure it as I do. But truth be told, I steered my charges to the hard sciences and engineering if that tells you anything.....
                    oh yeah, it certainly does.

                    I appreciate your perspective and I'm embarrassed and apologize if I've left the impression that I have some monopoly on truth or am free from self-deception. I've got much to learn and feel fortunate to have confidence in those few things I've come to know as fact and those few truths I've managed to pick up.
                    thanks (i think) thats good for you woody and i appreciate and thank you for sharing with us what you know.

                    but i cant even begin to keep up when things get to this level (esp being able to type with only 2fingers and cant think/compose any faster than that anywhy) so i know when to quit.

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