• #Bill_Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong | Jason Hickel | Opinion | The Guardian

    There are a number of problems with this graph, though. First of all, real data on poverty has only been collected since 1981. Anything before that is extremely sketchy, and to go back as far as 1820 is meaningless. Roser draws on a dataset that was never intended to describe poverty, but rather inequality in the distribution of world GDP – and that for only a limited range of countries. There is no actual research to bolster the claims about long-term poverty. It’s not science; it’s social media.

    What Roser’s numbers actually reveal is that the world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money. The graph casts this as a decline in poverty, but in reality what was going on was a process of dispossession that bulldozed people into the capitalist labour system, during the enclosure movements in Europe and the colonisation of the global south.

    Prior to colonisation, most people lived in subsistence economies where they enjoyed access to abundant commons – land, water, forests, livestock and robust systems of sharing and reciprocity. They had little if any money, but then they didn’t need it in order to live well – so it makes little sense to claim that they were poor. This way of life was violently destroyed by colonisers who forced people off the land and into European-owned mines, factories and plantations, where they were paid paltry wages for work they never wanted to do in the first place.

    In other words, Roser’s graph illustrates a story of coerced proletarianisation. It is not at all clear that this represents an improvement in people’s lives, as in most cases we know that the new income people earned from wages didn’t come anywhere close to compensating for their loss of land and resources, which were of course gobbled up by colonisers. Gates’s favourite infographic takes the violence of #colonisation and repackages it as a happy story of progress.

    But that’s not all that’s wrong here. The trend that the graph depicts is based on a poverty line of $1.90 (£1.44) per day, which is the equivalent of what $1.90 could buy in the US in 2011. It’s obscenely low by any standard, and we now have piles of evidence that people living just above this line have terrible levels of malnutrition and mortality. Earning $2 per day doesn’t mean that you’re somehow suddenly free of extreme poverty. Not by a long shot.

    #infographie #néolibéral #manipulation #pauvreté

    https://seenthis.net/messages/756438 via Kassem

  • Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals : Nature News & Comment

    Scientists who do research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are not — for the moment — allowed to publish papers about that work in journals that include Nature, Science, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    #open_access #bill_gates (cette fois du bon côté !)

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  • Mountains of Kong - ZAM

    Once the ’Mountains of Kong’ crossed the African continent. A mountain range from the Niger river’s source in West Africa to the White Nile in the east was drawn onto maps for more than a hundred years up until 1995.

    However, the mountains were a figment of Scottish ’explorer’ Mungo Park’s imagination. They didn’t exist.


    Up to today, mountains of disinformation and stereotype with regard to Africa cloud our understanding of the continent.

    The image, for example, of ’noble primitives’ happily sharing their forests with wildlife in the Congo is as far from reality as the Kong Mountains once were. In reality, hippos trample harvests and bans on hunting cause starvation.

    Another example is #Fairtrade #chocolate: interviews by African investigative journalists with a couple of hundred cocoa farmers showed that all they need is better prices -and they are not getting these from Fairtrade.

    Another one: did we think that #malaria victims receive #free_medicines from #Bill_Gates ?

    #afrique #clichés #désinformation

    http://seenthis.net/messages/459352 via Fil

  • The most predictable disaster in the history of the human race - Vox

    lately, Gates has been obsessing over a dark question: what’s likeliest to kill more than 10 million human beings in the next 20 years? He ticks off the disaster movie stuff — “big volcanic explosion, gigantic earthquake, asteroid” — (...) Then there’s war, of course. But Gates isn’t that worried about war because the entire human race worries about war pretty much all the time (...)

    “Well, that was the Spanish flu.”


    The basic reason the disease could spread so fast is that human beings now move around so fast. Gates’s modelers found that about 50 times more people cross borders today than did so in 1918. And any new disease will cross those borders with them — and will do it before we necessarily even know there is a new disease. Remember what Ron Klain said: “If you look at the H1N1 flu in 2009, it had spread around the world before we even knew it existed.”

    Gates’s model showed that a Spanish flu–like disease unleashed on the modern world would kill more than 33 million people in 250 days.


    Underdeveloped health systems threaten developed countries

    #santé #épidémie #bill_gates #transport

    http://seenthis.net/messages/376836 via Fil