The title is a loose quote from an article by Stephen Hackings and for several years now, he is foreseeing the extinction of mankind caused by greed and stupidity.
Apparently there is no connection between greed and stupidity but actually they are closely interconnected.
Statistically, a few percentage of the human population owns ninety per cent of the Earth wealth. I am not assuming that those very rich people are greedy, it is just that the stats show that quoting from a Midnight Oil song: “The rich get richer and the poor get the picture” it is actually true.
Again, statistics show that “today, nearly 17% of the world’s adult population is still not literate; two thirds of them women, making gender equality even harder to achieve.
The scale of illiteracy among youth also represents an enormous challenge; an estimated 122 million youth globally are illiterate, of which young women represent 60.7%.
The 67.4 million children who are out of school are likely to encounter great difficulties in the future, as deficient or non-existent basic education is the root cause of illiteracy.
With some 775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all thus remains elusive.” The quote is taken from: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/education-building-blocks/literacy/resources/statistics
So, the very deep connection between greed and stupidity is revealed by the above statistics, I mean if greed will not help educating the hundreds of millions of human beings which are illiterate, stupidity will win and the human species is on a clear path to extinction.
The present day technology is able to mass produce extremely cheap PCs, laptops and smart phones and the super-IT-social media companies like Facebook, HP, Oracle can afford to provide free Internet on a global scale. This scenario, with almost free hardware and free Internet is crucial in preventing the planet of gradually being populated by stupider and stupider people. The IT can help in educating people, giving them the elementary tool for learning and avoiding the involution of the human species.
There are examples of laptops and mobile phones produced in India and sold for a few dollars apiece, there are examples like Facebook willing to provide free Internet in some parts of the world, so there is hope that the course towards stupidity and extinction can be avoided but it is not enough.
I know that it is not much we can do about greed ( L ) but the illiteracy problem can be solved at a planetary level via United Nations Organization and the rich Western nations. It is naïve to believe that tomorrow all the conflicts and wars will suddenly stop and the billions of dollars spent on wars will be used to fight illiteracy and stupidity but I strongly believe that if we do not try, our future is doomed.
There is an old joke about the world wars: A wise man was asked what weapons will be used in the third world was and his answer was: I do not know but the next war after that will be fought with rocks and sticks!