Orphans of Aids

And Other Matters At Large

'An educated opinion on where man stands in intellectual evolution today' (prompted by the article of title below that).

'Orphans of Aids' -An Opinion

Human 'knowledge' (there is no other kind) came into existence out of the 'neonate ignorance' natural of all organisms, and the property of 'deliberative capability' peculiar of hominid evolution. 'Natural ignorance', consequently, channeled the advantages of 'being knowledgeable' automatically along co-evolving 'pecking-order-based lines'. Knowledge, therefore, eventually and inevitably came to reside in what can only be identified today as 'aristocracy' -aristocracy, that is, by fact of hierarchic power regardless of the operational structure of that hierarchy, be that 'form of government or religion'. Knowledge, however, continues to evolve, and deliberative capability now tells us that it is only a matter of time before this 'knowledge evolved out of neonate ignorance' is superceded by 'knowledge based upon the nature of the organism'. 'The nature of the organism', however, is a matter of science and not of 'opinion evolved out of neonate ignorance residing as aristocratic and lower beliefs'. It is also 'only a matter of time' then, before the affairs of man are run not by the 'pecking-order-based beliefs of ignorant men', but by the 'heuristics' inherent that nature.

Why this explanation?
This explanation is precipitated by an excellent photographic essay titled '[African] Orphans of Aids' appearing in The Los Angeles Times, Monday, November 27, 2006, and also posted on its website. The point is that this particular situation exists -this situation, continuing wars, global warming, 'the Soylent Greening of the seas', et cetera, et cetera- are all to be expected of a 'still pecking-order-based mankind bumbling and groping its way into the future'. And if one looks at history in this respect, one should be able to see that the operational dispositions and mentality of man have remained fundamentlally the same -'pecking-order-based', ever since neolithic man set down first, relatively permanent structures some 10,000 or more years ago. Interesting also should be then, that science regarding 'the nature of man' has actually had all of some hundred and fifty years beginning with Darwin and advancing from there to 'better the human condition'. Scientists, however, are themselves flawed by belief systems and opinion; pecking order, lifestyle, religion and politics, consequently, 'only rot better thought away'.

This little essay is 'a lament for the suffering earth and its millions of suffering peoples and animals' -present, past and continuing- not because of 'natural ignorance', but for the failure of scientists to wilfully and proactively engage ignorance from the 'pecking-order-based-top down'.

[*2 - aristocracy n. pl. -cies 1. A hereditary privileged ruling class or nobility. 2. a. Government by the nobility or by a privileged minority or upper class. b. A state or country having this form of government. 3. a. Government by the best citizens. b. A state having such government. 4. A group or class considered to be superior. [OFr. aristocratie, government by the best < LLat. aristocratia < Gk. aristokratia : aristos, best + kratos, power.
The American Heritage Dictionary
Copyright (c) 1986, 1987
Houghton Mifflin Company]

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First posted: November 28, 2006; Last modified: November 28, 2006

November 27, 2006 Los Angeles Times
In southern Africa, children have been cast adrift by disease and victimized by their elders
Robyn Dixon

In 1990, nine years after the AIDS virus was identified, the map showing the worldwide spread of the disease displayed most of Africa in the palest pink. The infection rate among adults was less than 1%. Since then, the colors have deepened faster here than anywhere else on Earth. Southern Africa now is colored a bloody crimson. The infection rate is more than 15%.
   The statistics have been repeated so often they cease to shock, even as they soar: 25 million people have died worldwide. Forty million are living with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and as many as 14.5 million children have been orphaned by the disease, according to UNAIDS.
   The United Nations Development Program said last year that AIDS had caused the biggest reversal in human development ever recorded.
   Just as African countries were beginning to make headway on improving quality of life and decreasing mortality in the 1990s, the rising pandemic started to erase many of their gains.
   In fact, so sweeping are the repercussions of AIDS that some have asked whether the smaller states in southern Africa might simply collapse under the strain.
   If all that is difficult to measure, the cost to families and individuals is incalculable.
   Funerals have replaced weddings as the main family ceremony. People struggle to buy medicine. They borrow to pay for funerals. Breadwinners die and families plunge into poverty and hunger. Many families are made up of orphans and grandparents.
   Unprotected orphans are exploited sexually or economically, often by their relatives. A myth persists in parts of Africa that sex with a virgin can cure AIDS, a factor in the upsurge of rapes of babies and girls. No one can calculate the cost. Southern Africa can only try to endure the successive waves of infection, illness and death.

Robyn Dixon
25 million

Death toll from AIDS worldwide
24.5 million

Sub-Saharan Africans living with HIV
15% to 34%

AIDs infection rate in southern Africa
12 million