28 October 2012

The greatest problem of the world..

What is the biggest and most important problem of the world? What is the deepest and most disturbing issue, one that requires immediate action and everyone's attention and effort? But that's a loaded question. The real question should be - can there be a single major problem of the world?

For economists, one would remark that the greatest problem would be that of the current global financial/economic crisis and maybe somewhere about resource allocation and efficiency. After all, money runs the world today.

For geographers, the problem would be that of climate change and the way the earth's complex system is changing. From melting ice caps, to changed current directions and hotter summers and colder winters, in 2050.

For the theological, the problem would be of religious conflict and tensions in the name of God. Be it Jerusalem, Kashmir or the increased hatred towards Islam, religion today is no longer a simple path to God.

For the doctors, the greatest trouble is that of cancer, AIDS and other terrible terrible diseases that plague our home today. Finding a cost efficient and sustainable cure for these evils, and making sure they reach everyone that matters, is their top priority.

For the politicians, the worry is that we no longer participate in the political process. That the citizenry is not involved and no longer bothers to care about who rules them and how they rule. They must be motivated. Somehow.

For the academicians, its a matter of deep concern that there aren't enough schools and places for us to study. We can't read and write, and therefore are unable to think rationally. An education gives you wings.

For the philosophers, the question is more subtle. Are we fulfilling the purpose of life? Loaded question again. Does life have a purpose? Is there life beyond death? Is suicide okay? All these problems are relevant only if life is relevant. Must find the relevance of life.

For the activists, the problem is of equality and justice. That men and women, homos and hetros, human and animals, animals and plants, black and white etc. should all be treated equally. Not just physically, but in movies, in literature, in posters, in cartoons and all manifestations of this world.

For the minimalists, the problem is of food and water. That not all of us get enough good quality food and even when we do, there isn't good enough water to digest it. We must do something about these brothers and sisters of ours. Some Ghana Coco and Brazilian Soya?

For the douchebags, the problem is that we have so many problems that we are unable to resolve. Must be such a shock to know.

So, we now have a bunch of problems. How do we know which one of them is the single greatest? What yardstick should we judge them by? What characteristics would the single greatest problem of the world have? If and when it is solved, it should bring maximum relief. But what kind of maximum relief? Quantitative or Qualitative? Or a Weighted relief? Maybe, it should also have an element of urgency. So our factors are Time, Reach and Utility. Anything else?

No, the greatest problem is not that we cannot find the greatest problem.

That done. Think of the greatest problem of the world and measure it by those three factors. And see if you can find a single great problem of the world.

I am still thinking.  

No comments: