Recently, while holding a discussion with a certain friend of mine who considers himself to be an intellectual, a rather radical proposal on how to share earth’s natural resources was made to me. The basic tenet of the proposal is this: that the earth’s natural resources should be shared equitably to all citizens of the world, and not just to the citizens of the countries where those resources happen to be found.
The basis for that proposal is easy to understand: given that the world belongs to all of us, as members of humanity, and the geographical borders we see are actually artificial. Thus, under this way of thinking, it makes no sense to have a scenario where only the people within the (artificial) geographical borders of the country where natural resources are found to be the only ones who benefit from those resources.
That radical proposal got me thinking about the possibility of one day having a truly borderless world. We already have such a world (or something resembling such a world) on the Internet. That is like where, for instance, any body from any country can, say, go to the Sbcglobal.net login page, or the Att.net email login page, and sign into his or her SBCGlobal email account there. That is ,with no consideration being made as to where they are, geographically: thanks to Internet’s governing bodies, such as W3C. Perhaps a point may come when this can be replicated in all spheres: including the sphere of sharing out the earth’s natural resources.
Few people will argue with the assertion that many of the conflicts that are going on in the world today are (at the core) related to resource sharing. The question does arise though: as to why the sharing of resources tends to be a major cause of conflicts – because many of the conflicts that are currently ongoing, and many of the past conflicts, are all related to the sharing of resources.
As it turns out, the main reason as to why the sharing of resources tends to be a major cause of conflicts is in the fact that the resources are, by nature, limited. Against that background, some individuals, or groups of individuals, are unable to get satisfied with the shares of resources they get and they decide to fight for what they feel is rightfully theirs: hence the various resource conflicts.
Perhaps we humans can learn about resource sharing from our computers: in which applications tend to share the limited computing resources very well and (in most cases) without getting into conflicts. That is how one is able to, say, seek Logmein remote support from a website such as www.logmein123.com whilst at the same time running a Linux Word Processing application. This happens without having the respective processes run into conflict over access to (the limited) computing resources.
Certain brands of vacuum cleaners are known to be more durable than others. Indeed, as far as durability goes, the difference between the best vacuum cleaners in the market and the worst tends to be very significant. That is where, for instance, you can have the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors lasting ten years on average, whilst the worst start falling apart within three months. Such differences in terms of durability are significant, hence the question as to why some vacuum cleaner are much more durable than others.
It emerges that there are two core factors that influence the durability of vacuum cleaners.
The first factor that influences the durability of vacuum cleaners is the quality of materials used in making the vacuum cleaner components. As the top materials science scholars at universities such as the University of Oxford will tell you, all materials are not equal, when it comes to making machine components. Some materials are significantly better than others. It follows, then, that the vacuum cleaners whose components are made using the best materials are likely to be more durable than those whose components are made using dubious materials.
The second factor that influences the durability of vacuum cleaners is the manner in which the vacuum cleaner components are assembled. As far as the best vacuum cleaners are concerned, you tend to find the quality of workmanship in assembling the components being extremely good. This is really just the same way that we find the qualify of workmanship in the assembly of the best cars – models like BMW being good: hence the durability associated with such products.
It has often been asserted that there are enough resources in the earth for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. But we all know that this assertion is theoretical: because the way the resources in the world are shared is anything but equitable. As things stand, the allocation of resources in the world is skewed: with some people getting more than they need for subsistence, whilst others get less (hence things like the malnutrition we see in parts of the world). So, against that background, we may ask ourselves how we can ensure that the resources in the earth are shared equitably.
The first way in which we can ensure that the resources in the earth are shared equitably is by seeing to it that we only put selfless individuals into positions of leadership. Here, we are talking about leadership from the lowest levels, to the highest levels at, say, the World Bank and the IMF (which is a tall order).
The second way in which we can ensure that the resources in the earth are shared equitably is by putting in place laws that promote equity.
The third way in which we can ensure that the resources in the earth are shared equitably is by starting to work towards getting rid of the artificial boundaries that we have put in place, so that in times to come, we can have absolutely free movement of people and goods across the world. This would ensure that the resources can be moved freely from areas where they are overabundant, to place where they are scarce.