Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 17th, 2016

Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others

Hans Rosling had a question:

Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others — and how does this affect global population growth? Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions.

Hans Rosling. Global health expert; data visionary

In Hans Rosling’s hands, data sings. Global trends in health and economics come to vivid life. And the big picture of global development—with some surprisingly good news—snaps into sharp focus. Full bio

I’m going to talk about religion. But it’s a broad and very delicate subject, so I have to limit myself. And therefore I will limit myself to only talk about the links between religion and sexuality. 

0:30  I will talk of what I remember as the most wonderful. It’s when the young couple whisper, Tonight we are going to make a baby.” My talk will be about the impact of religions on the number of babies per woman.

This is indeed important, because everyone understands that there is some sort of limit on how many people we can be on this planet. And there are some people who say that the world population is growing like this — three billion in 1960, seven billion just last year — and it will continue to grow because there are religions that stop women from having few babies, and it may continue like this.

To what extent are these people right?

When I was born there was less than one billion children in the world, and today, 2000, there’s almost two billion. What has happened since, and what do the experts predict will happen with the number of children during this century?

This is a quiz. What do you think? Do you think it will decrease to one billion?

Will it remain the same and be two billion by the end of the century?

Will the number of children increase each year up to 15 years, or will it continue in the same fast rate and be four billion children up there? I will tell you by the end of my speech.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.|By Hans Rosling

But now, what does religion have to do with it? When you want to classify religion, it’s more difficult than you think.

You go to Wikipedia and the first map you find is this. It divides the world into Abrahamic religions and Eastern religion, but that’s not detailed enough. So we went on and we looked in Wikipedia, we found this map. But that subdivides Christianity, Islam and Buddhism into many subgroups, which was too detailed.

Therefore at Gapminder we made our own map, and it looks like this. Each country’s a bubble.

The size is the population — big China, big India here. And the color now is the majority religion.

It’s the religion where more than 50 percent of the people say that they belong. It’s Eastern religion in India and China and neighboring Asian countries. Islam is the majority religion all the way from the Atlantic Ocean across the Middle East, Southern Europe and through Asia all the way to Indonesia.

That’s where we find Islamic majority. And Christian majority religions, we see in these countries. They are blue. And that is most countries in America and Europe, many countries in Africa and a few in Asia.

The white here are countries which cannot be classified, because one religion does not reach 50 percent or there is doubt about the data or there’s some other reason. So we were careful with that.

 So bear with our simplicity now when I take you over to this shot. This is in 1960. And now I show the number of babies per woman here: two, four or six — many babies, few babies. And here the income per person in comparable dollars. The reason for that is that many people say you have to get rich first before you get few babies. So low income here, high income there.

And indeed in 1960, you had to be a rich Christian to have few babies. The exception was Japan. Japan here was regarded as an exception.

Otherwise it was only Christian countries. But there was also many Christian countries that had six to seven babies per woman. But they were in Latin America or they were in Africa. And countries with Islam as the majority religion, all of them almost had six to seven children per woman, irregardless of the income level. And all the Eastern religions except Japan had the same level.

 let’s see what has happened in the world. I start the world, and here we go.

Now 1962 — can you see they’re getting a little richer, but the number of babies per woman is falling? Look at China. They’re falling fairly fast. And all of the Muslim majority countries across the income are coming down, as do the Christian majority countries in the middle income range. And when we enter into this century, you’ll find more than half of mankind down here.

And by 2010, we are actually 80 percent of humans who live in countries with about two children per woman.

 It’s a quite amazing development which has happened.  And these are countries from United States here, with $40,000 per capita, France, Russia, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Algeria, Indonesia, India and all the way to Bangladesh and Vietnam, which has less than five percent of the income per person of the United States and the same amount of babies per woman.

 I can tell you that the data on the number of children per woman is surprisingly good in all countries. We get that from the census data. It’s not one of these statistics which is very doubtful.

 what we can conclude is you don’t have to get rich to have few children. It has happened across the world.

 when we look at religions, we can see that the Eastern religions, indeed there’s not one single country with a majority of that religion that has more than three children. Whereas with Islam as a majority religion and Christianity, you see countries all the way. But there’s no major difference.

There’s no major difference between these religions. There is a difference with income. The countries which have many babies per woman here, they have quite low income. Most of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. But there are also countries here like Guatemala, like Papua New Guinea, like Yemen and Afghanistan.

Many think that Afghanistan here and Congo, which have suffered severe conflicts, that they don’t have fast population growth. It’s the other way around.

In the world today, it’s the countries that have the highest mortality rates that have the fastest population growth. Why?

Because the death of a child is compensated by one more child. These countries have six children per woman. They have a sad death rate of one to two children per woman.

But 30 years from now, Afghanistan will go from 30 million to 60 million. Congo will go from 60 to 120. That’s where we have the fast population growth. And many think that these countries are stagnant, but they are not.

Let me compare Senegal, a Muslim dominated country, with a Christian dominated country, Ghana. I take them backwards here to their independence, when they were up here in the beginning of the 1960s. Just look what they have done. It’s an amazing improvement, from seven children per woman, they’ve gone all the way down to between four and five. It’s a tremendous improvement.

7:54 So what does it take? Well we know quite well what is needed in these countries. You need to have children to survive. You need to get out of the deepest poverty so children are not of importance for work in the family. You need to have access to some family planning. And you need the fourth factor, which perhaps is the most important factor.

 let me illustrate that fourth factor by looking at Qatar. Here we have Qatar today, and there we have Bangladesh today. If I take these countries back to the years of their independence, which is almost the same year — ’71, ’72 — it’s a quite amazing development which had happened. Look at Bangladesh and Qatar. With so different incomes, it’s almost the same drop in number of babies per woman.

And what is the reason in Qatar?

Well I do as I always do. I went to the statistical authority of Qatar, to their webpage — It’s a very good webpage. I recommend it — and I looked up — oh yeah, you can have lots of fun here — and provided free of charge, I found Qatar’s social trends.

Very interesting. Lots to read. I found fertility at birth, and I looked at total fertility rate per woman. These are the scholars and experts in the government agency in Qatar, and they say the most important factors are: “Increased age at first marriage, increased educational level of Qatari woman and more women integrated in the labor force.” I couldn’t agree more.

Science couldn’t agree more. This is a country that indeed has gone through a very, very interesting modernization.

 So what it is, is these four: Children should survive, children shouldn’t be needed for work, women should get education and join the labor force and family planning should be accessible.

The average number of children in the world is like in Colombia — it’s 2.4 today. There are countries up here which are very poor. And that’s where family planning, better child survival is needed. I strongly recommend Melinda Gates’ last TEDTalk. And here, down, there are many countries which are less than two children per woman. So when I go back now to give you the answer of the quiz, it’s two.

We have reached peak child. The number of children is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we have definitely reached peak child. And the world population will stop growing. The United Nations Population Division has said it will stop growing at 10 billion. But why do they grow if the number of children doesn’t grow?

Well I will show you here. I will use these card boxes in which your notebooks came. They are quite useful for educational purposes. Each card box is one billion people. And there are two billion children in the world. There are two billion young people between 15 and 30. These are rounded numbers. Then there is one billion between 30 and 45, almost one between 45 and 60. And then it’s my box. This is me: 60-plus. We are here on top.

what will happen now is what we call “the big fill-up.” You can see that it’s like three billion missing here. They are not missing because they’ve died; they were never born. Because before 1980, there were much fewer people born than there were during the last 30 years.

So what will happen now is quite straightforward. The old, sadly, we will die. The rest of you, you will grow older and you will get two billion children. Then the old will die. The rest will grow older and get two billion children. And then again the old will die and you will get two billion children.

This is the great fill-up. It’s inevitable. And can you see that this increase took place without life getting longer and without adding children?

Religion has very little to do with the number of babies per woman. All the religions in the world are fully capable to maintain their values and adapt to this new world.

12:27 And we will be just 10 billion in this world, if the poorest people get out of poverty, their children survive, they get access to family planning.

That is needed. But it’s inevitable that we will be two to three billion more. So when you discuss and when you plan for the resources and the energy needed for the future, for human beings on this planet, you have to plan for 10 billion.

Rabbi Michael Lerner Brings Down The House At Muhammad Ali’s Funeral

Berkeley-based rabbi Michael Lerner spoke as a representative of the Jewish faith at Muhammad Ali’s memorial service in Louisville today, and delivered a fiery sermon calling for a litany of social change, including the ending of drone warfare, the ending of Israeli West Bank occupation, and literally dozens of other things—commanding multiple standing ovations.

Here’s the text of Lerner’s presentation, as pulled (unedited) from closed captioning:

Master of compassion, gold of Compassion, send your blessings To muhammad ali and send your Blessings to all who mourn for Him and send your blessings for All the millions and millions of People who mourn for him all Over this planet.

I came here as a representative Of american jews so — and to Say that american jews played An important role with African-american struggles in This country and that we today Stand in solidarity with the Islamic community in country and All around the world. [applause]

We will not tolerate politicians Or anyone else putting down Muslims and blaming muslims for A few people — [applause]

We know what it’s like to be Demeaned.

We know what it’s like to have a Few people who act against the Highest visions of our tradition To then be identified as the Value to have entire tradition And one of the reasons that we At tokun magazine, a magazine of Progressive jews but also an Interfaith magazine have called Upon the united states Government to stand up to the Palestinian government that he Has jews is to understand that God has created everyone in Gold’s image and that everyone Is equally precious and that Means the palestinian people as Well as all other people on the Planet. [applause]

I know the people of louisville Has a special relationship to Muhammad ali and I had a Personal relationship in the 1960’s when those of us were Indicted by the federal Government for our varies stands — Various stands against the War in Vietnam.

I want to say that although he Was cheered on as the Heavyweight champion of the World, the truth is — tall Honor to him — but heavyweights — Heavyweight champions of the World come and go and sports Heroes come and go. There was something about Muhammad ali that was different. At the key moment when he had That recognition, he usinged it To stand up to an immoral war And say no, I won’t go. [applause]

And it’s for that reason that Tens of millions of americans Who don’t particularly care About boxing do care about Muhammad ali, because he was the Person who was willing to risk a Great honor that he got and the Great fame that he got to stand Up for the beliefs that he had, To spreek truth to power when The rest of the people around Him said no, no, you’re going to Lose your championship, and it Was taken away from him for five Years, but he stood up and was Willing to take that kind of a Risk because of that kind of Moral integrity. [applause]

So I want to say how do we honor Muhammad ali? And the answer is the way to Honor muhammad ali is to be Muhammad ali today. [applause]

That means us, everyone here and Everyone listening. It’s up to us to continue that Ability to speak truth to power. We must speak out, refuse to Follow a path of conformity to The rules of the game in life. We must refuse to follow the Path of conformity.

Tell the 1% who own 80% of the Wealth of this country that it’s Time to share that wealth.

Tell the politicians who use Violence worldwide and then Preach nonviolence to the Oppressed that it’s time for Them to end their drone warfare And every other kind of warfare, To close our military bases Around the world, to bring the Troops home.

Tell those who invented mass Incarceration that it’s time to Create an — a living income for Everyone in our C.E.O.

Tell judges to let out of prison The many african-americans swept Up by racist police and Imprisoned by racist judges. [applause]

Many of them in prison today for Offenses like possessing Marijuana that white people get Away with all the time. [applause]

Tell our elected officials to Imprison those who authorize Torture and those who tran big Banks and investment companies That caused the economic Collapse of 2008.

Tell the leaders of Turkey to Stop killing the kurds.

Tell israeli prime minister Netanyahu that the way to get Security for israel is to stop The occupation of the west bank And help create a Palestinian State.

Tell the next president of the United states that she should Pass a congress institutional Amendment to make all Legislation funneled by congress And the slate legislatures or All other sours of many — money Be banned, all other money, make It all public funding.

Tell her that the way to achieve Homeland security is not for us To try new ways of domination. The strategy of domination of The world of the other to get Security has been tried for the Last 10,000 years and it doesn’t Work. The way to get security is for The united states to become Known as the most generous and Caring country in the world, not The most powerful. [applause]

We could start with a global and Domestic plan to once and for All end global and domestic Poverty, Homelessness, hunger, inadequate Education, inadequate health Care.

Spiritual progressivities.Org, Come and join us. I want to affirm our commitment To the well-being of all muslims On this planet as well as the People of all faiths and secular Humanists as well.

We wish to may honor to the Muslims of the world adds they Continue the fast of ron dom and Share the loss of muhammad ali.

Peace be upon them, peace be Upon the prophet muhammad, peace Be upon all of humanity and Peace be upon us. Amen.

Whom are we amusing? (October 29, 2008)

I know! We are puppets.

Whom, I am trying to figure out,

Are we amusing?

Millions of small investors in stocks lost their life savings.

At least they played a game.


Over two millions of civilian Iraqis have perished

Since the Bush Jr. Administration invasion in 2003.

What role have the collateral dead played?

Over two millions of Iraqis babies died

From lack of medicines and powder milk

During the economical and oil embargo of Bush Senior.


What role do babies play?

I know!  We are all puppets.

Whom are we entertaining?

Why the ignoramus GW Bush had agreed to lead the World?

Because he is a fool, stupid. Good reason.

Dick Cheney survived ten years of congenital heart disease.

Why did he survive destiny?

Because he had to play to perfection the Devil incarnate of the decade?


I know!  But why thousands in Bangladesh have to die,

Every year, during the monsoon season?

Why millions in Africa have to die, every year, of famine , curable diseases and malnutrition?

Why hundreds of Chinese have to die, every day, in mining operations?


Why the rich Chinese Administration has to forget its famished citizens in the provinces?

I know!  But why the untouchables in India, sickly, and handicapped

Have mostly to suffer?


The affluent, healthy and influential are not that happy;

But why do they have to make fun at the expense of the “others”?

I know! Everyone could be playing a part.


Whom, I need to know,

Are we diverting?

Fools, jesters, and tragic-comedians dust you are.

Dust blowing in the wind.


Why can we not enjoy and be happy,

Making fun at our own expense?

Let us doubly entertain

Whoever are watching us!


Why journalists quit the profession? Commentary

By David Schick


David Schick

My “I quit traditional journalism” column.

I’ve dreaded writing it because I’m not convinced that anything I write here will add to the conversation. And who cares if I quit journalism?

Who am I, and why should you care what I think? Even if it’s all been said before, I think I’m writing this to explain—to myself—how I could love something one day, and not the next.

For clarity, when I say “traditional journalism,” I mean journalism produced by employees who are mostly chained to a desk, focused on typing up quantity to feed the beast.

It’s the type of journalism you’re most likely to see because it crosses your path during the day—talking heads in your home, a headline at a gas station, a subtle tone in your ear.

It dominates most other distributions because it’s been around longest and has had more opportunity to be repetitive.

But traditional journalism needs to turn itself around. If you need proof, ask yourself when was the last time you read something in your local paper, saw something on your local T.V. news station, or heard something on news radio that made you ask, “How is this news? Why is this news? What am I reading/watching/hearing on the ‘so-called’ news right now?!”

It’s not surprising why there’s more than one story out there about a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist quitting journalism because they can’t afford their rent or how journalism schools are “escalators to nowhere” or why entry-level journalists are being exploited to work over 60 hours a week.

No one respects the profession anymore, not even journalists, and no one has the ganas to fight for it.

To the people in the industry who’ve told me I need to “pick my battles,” you need to start battling.

You’ve given out too many inches—to public relations protocols, to government stonewalling, to advertising dictators—and now you’re being walked on for miles.

I realize a large majority of “traditional journalism” is basically marketing negative content, which writes itself and can be produced with little to no effort, but why are we the gossipers for the world? Who authorized this?!

All the traditional news does is deliver tragedy to your home, your heart, and your mind.

I’ll never forget covering my first crime scene. I arrived before the family. Their vehicle screeched to a stop at the crime scene tape and three doors flung wide open. The screams of sadness could be heard from the deceased’s relatives as they ran sobbing towards the lifeless body of their loved one.

There was a boyfriend, a girlfriend, and a previous restraining order against the boyfriend. She had only been in town for a couple of days to visit. She was shot and killed. He later shot himself. Not an uncommon story for this neighborhood.

I had just taken a photo of a large group of family and friends in a prayer circle outside the home. “You’re making it worse!” one of the family members yelled at me, and she was right.

I started to question the newsworthiness of murders. What details were important for the public to know? Which details violated someone’s privacy? For traditional media, it would appear the more personal, the better.

How often do you hear a news story that doesn’t make you cringe?

Imagine how many journalists spend their day waiting for tragedy to strike so they have something to report.

A sixth-grade student recently told me, “Journalism is sensationalism combined with bloodshed.” Bright kid. And he’s not wrong. As journalists, we’re trained to look for what’s wrong, not to look for what’s right.

In journalism school, you’re taught to be a bulldog.

You’re inspired to go after the tough stories. You’re told you to hold power accountable.

While traditional journalism thinks it has it all figured out with its code of ethics, it will let you destroy someone’s career on triple hearsay. Until you go after the wrong person, then it’s a problem and is swiftly shut down by the powers that be.

Unless you’re on your own, there’s no backbone in traditional journalism anymore.

Individuals don’t have the type of bankrolls and power that legacy media is slinging around—which appears to be dwindling. So what do you do? Why pick a career that barely supports its employees anymore?

I had more support to do real journalism as a student journalist. The Student Press Law Center referred me to a pro-bono attorney who went all the way to the Court of Appeals with me when I sued the state for violating transparency statutes. I fought the law and won.

When we stop looking for what’s wrong and do get to write about what’s right in the world, creativity seems to be restrained by style guides and editors who cut a line in your story because it’s too “hokey.”

I am posting the counseling statement I received on my last week at a local paper I worked for—and my response. To me, it’s another glaring example of why people don’t stick with traditional journalism these days.

Another publication I freelance for took me off a story for upsetting the public relations person at a school system. She was trying to dictate to whom I could and couldn’t speak with, and I wasn’t being “professional” when I made some generic tweets about dealing with PR people.

“We’ve made it clear to David that this is unacceptable to us. Unfortunately he seems to have let his frustration over not being able to speak to sources directly get the better of him.”

I don’t know a single reporter who wouldn’t complain or be frustrated over “not being able to speak to sources directly.”

How else are we supposed to write stories? And should we be spending our tax dollars on government employees who spend time sending screenshots of reporters’ tweets to their editors?

“The part of this story that alarms me is the editor taking you off the assignment,” Frank LoMonte, SPLC executive director, wrote in an email. “If the editor’s response to the PR person complaining is to take the story away from you, that gives the PR people exactly what they want—the ability to get the most aggressive, least docile reporters re-assigned.”

LoMonte continued:

“The idea of taxpayer-supported PR people acting as ‘mandatory gatekeepers’ to government employees ought to be against the law, period. If a government employee feels prepared to answer the question without the assistance of a PR person, then that’s always the quickest and most economical means.

Interjecting the PR person where she’s neither needed nor wanted serves no purpose other than ‘message control,’ which is never a valid use of taxpayer resources. Somehow we’ve gotten to accept this mentality that the government gets to spend taxpayer money on preserving a favorable image, which used to be understood to be ‘propaganda.’ This recent survey provides some data behind your anecdotal experience—access really is getting worse.”

My thoughts exactly, but I digress. Now I’m just ranting.

The biggest issue I take with traditional journalism is the illusion of objectivity. No journalist is objective, yet they are sent out into the world to report and are told to bring back just the facts. If our perspective is shaped by our cumulative experience, then the facts of individuals are subjective.

If traditional journalism is objective, then why does one person decide the front page?

Sure, you might have a team of editors discuss the most important story for the day. And those editors might get some input, but at the end of the day—someone decides what goes on the front page.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“As Hunter S. Thompson said,

‘So much for objective journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here—not under any by-line of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as objective journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.’
So, I’m done with it. I’m a writer, not a journalist. The difference is that I don’t pretend to know what it’s all about.”

Access to the truth is constantly obstructed by corporations, government, and editors By SPJ Georgia member David Schick Here it is.
My “I quit traditional journalism” column. I’ve dreaded writing …




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