Bill Gates thinks a coming disease could kill 30 million people within 6 months – and says we should prepare for it like we do for war


bill gates
  • The next deadly disease that will cause a global pandemic is coming, Bill Gates said at a discussion of epidemics on Friday.
  • We’re not ready.
  • A flu like the 1918 influenza pandemic could kill 30 million within six months, Gates said, and the next disease might not even be a flu, it might be something we’ve never seen.
  • The world should prepare like it does for war, according to Gates.

If there’s one thing that we know from history, a deadly new disease will arise that will spread around the globe.

That could happen easily within the next decade. And as Bill Gates reminded listeners while speaking at a discussion about epidemics hosted by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday, we’re not ready.

As Gates said, he’s usually the optimist in the room, reminding people that we’re lifting children out of poverty around the globe and getting better at eliminating diseases like polio and malaria.

But “there’s one area though where the world isn’t making much progress,” said Gates. “And that’s pandemic preparedness.”

The likelihood that such a disease appears continues to rise. New pathogens emerge all the time as the world gets more populous and humanity encroaches on wild environments. It’s becoming easier and easier for individuals or small groups to create weaponized diseases that could spread like wildfire around the globe. According to Gates, a small non-state actor could rebuild an even deadlier form of smallpox in a lab. And in our interconnected world, people constantly hop on planes, crossing from megacities on one continent to megacities on another in a matter of hours.

According to one simulation by the Institute for Disease Modeling presented by Gates, a new flu like the one that killed 50 million in the 1918 pandemic would most likely kill 30 million within just six months now. And the disease that next takes us by surprise will most likely be one that we see for the first time when the outbreak starts, like happened recently with SARS and MERS viruses.

If you were to tell the world’s governments that weapons were under construction right now that could kill 30 million people, there’d be a sense of urgency about preparing for the threat, said Gates.

“In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking,” he said. “The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.”

pandemic disease ebola

Stopping the next pandemic

The one time the military tried a sort of simulated wargame against a smallpox pandemic, the final score was “smallpox one, humanity zero,” according to Gates.

But as he said, he’s an optimist, and he thinks we could better prepare for the next viral or bacterial threat.

In some ways, we’re clearly better prepared now than we were for previous pandemics. We have antiviral drugs that can at least do something to improve survival rates in many cases. We have antibiotics that can treat secondary infections, like pneumonia associated with the flu.

We’re getting closer to a universal flu vaccine. During his talk, Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would be offering $12 million in grants to encourage the development of such a vaccine.

And we’re getting better at rapid diagnosis, too, something essential since the first step against a new disease is quarantine. Just yesterday, a new research paper in the journal Science announced the development of a way to use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to rapidly detect diseases and to identify them using the same sort of paper strip used in a home pregnancy test.

Yet we’re not good enough yet at rapidly identifying the threat from a disease and coordinating a response, as the recent global reaction to the last Ebola epidemic showed.

There needs to be better coordination and communication between military and government to help coordinate responses. And Gates thinks that government needs ways to quickly enlist the help of the private sector when it comes to developing technology and tools to fight against emerging deadly disease.

As Melinda Gates said recently, the threat from a global pandemic – whether one that emerges naturally or one that’s engineered – is perhaps the biggest risk humanity faces right now.

“Think of the number of people who leave New York City every day and go all over the world – we’re an interconnected world,” she said. Those connections make us all vulnerable.

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Flu Vaccine Increases Your Risk of Infecting Others by 6-Fold, Study Suggests


A provocative new study on flu virus transmission found that subjects had 6.3 times more aerosol shedding of flu virus particles if they received vaccination in the current and previous season compared with having no vaccination in those two seasons.

Vaccination is predicated on the rarely questioned belief that it confers bona fide immunity against targeted pathogens. This is why the terms vaccination and immunization are often used interchangeably, a disingenious semantic confusion that is rarely confronted or corrected. In the case of flu vaccine, certainty about this approximates religious faith, with the CDC taking on the role of the Church, conventional doctors the clergy, and the published literature Holy Scripture.

But what if the literature fails to support the orthodoxy? There are in, in fact, hundreds of examples of this. We have gathered a modest 500 studies which show the untintended, adverse effects of many vaccines outweigh their purported benefits, all of which you can view on our open access database on the topic here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/anti-therapeutic-action/vaccination-all

The latest addition to this growing body of literature is found in a newly published article titled, “Infectious Virus Exhaled In Breath Of Symptomatic Seasonal Flu Cases,” published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).

The study found that flu carriers exhale significant quantities of infectious influenza virus, and that counterintuitively, sneezing is rare and not important for influenza virus aerosolization; nor is coughing required to transmit these particles. Simply breathing will do. Additionally, the study found that males shed influenza viruses in greater quantity than females through fine aerosols, and women cough more frequently. But what is most salient about the study was the following finding:

“6.3 (95% CI 1.9–21.5) times more aerosol shedding among cases with vaccination in the current and previous season compared with having no vaccination in those two seasons.”

For more details on the study design read the following:

“We screened 355 symptomatic volunteers with acute respiratory illness and report 142 cases with confirmed influenza infection who provided 218 paired nasopharyngeal (NP) and 30-minute breath samples (coarse >5-µm and fine ≤5-µm fractions) on days 1–3 after symptom onset. We assessed viral RNA copy number for all samples and cultured NP swabs and fine aerosols. 

We recovered infectious virus from 52 (39%) of the fine aerosols and 150 (89%) of the NP swabs with valid cultures. The geometric mean RNA copy numbers were 3.8 × 104/30-minutes fine-, 1.2 × 104/30-minutes coarse-aerosol sample, and 8.2 × 108 per NP swab. Fine- and coarse-aerosol viral RNA were positively associated with body mass index and number of coughs and negatively associated with increasing days since symptom onset in adjusted models.

Fine-aerosol viral RNA was also positively associated with having influenza vaccination for both the current and prior season. NP swab viral RNA was positively associated with upper respiratory symptoms and negatively associated with age but was not significantly associated with fine- or coarse-aerosol viral RNA or their predictors. Sneezing was rare, and sneezing and coughing were not necessary for infectious aerosol generation. Our observations suggest that influenza infection in the upper and lower airways are compartmentalized and independent.”

Clearly, if this finding is accurate and reproducible, flu vaccination may actually make you more likely to infect others. Or worse, it may also make you more likely to contract influenza in the first place. For instance, a 2010 Canadian study which looked at 4 observational studies found that 2008-2009 H1N1 vaccination was associated with a 1.4 to 2.5 fold increased risk of medically attended H1N1 illness during the spring-summer 2009.  

 And this is only the tip of the iceberg. We have been reporting on the conspicuous lack of evidence for flu vaccine effectiveness (and safety) for over a decade, based largely on the underreported failure of the Cochrane Database Review to show them effective (and safe), despite hundreds of industry-funded studies that have attempted to do so. Learn more: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shocking-lack-evidence-supporting-flu-vacc…

Also, there are well-documented iatrogenic effects of common vaccines like MMR and Rotavirus Vaccines, which include viral shedding and infection following vaccination. In other words, there is a significant body of evidence that the vaccinated actually infect the un- vaccinated.  Here are a few of our previous reports on this phenomena:

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Clearly, this undermines the ongoing campaign to identify non-vaccinating or anti-vaccine individuals and groups as a threat, or danger to others.  Ironically, the very group being blamed for infecting others — including by Bill Gates who declared non-vaccinators ‘kill children‘ — may become victims of being infected by vaccine-specific strains of viruses which are far worse than the natural/wild-type versions our species’ immunity has evolved with over countless millenia.

 

Bill Gates Thinks Cancer Therapies Could Serve a Much Wider Purpose


IN BRIEF

During a recent keynote address, Bill Gates advocated the creation of a bridge between the private sector and global health, nothing that research conducted by the former could help treat the problems of the latter.

A WIN-WIN SCENARIO

Bill Gates has high hopes for the future of cancer research, and not just in the battle for which it’s intended. The philanthropist thinks the same therapies researchers are developing to fight cancer could one day be used to “control all infectious diseases.”

Gates made the claim during his keynote address at J.P. Morgan’s Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. He told the audience that the immunotherapy used to treat cancer patients in the world’s more prosperous nations could eventually be used to control infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, and malaria in its poorest.

Unfortunately, according to Gates, the pharmaceutical and biotech companies conducting this research may not see any incentive to pursue such applications, but they should.

“[I]n health — as in many other aspects of life — the free market tends to work well for people who can pay…and not so well for people who can’t,” said Gates. “But over the last decade, our experience has shown that we can stretch the reach of market forces so the private sector’s most exciting innovations also benefit people with the most urgent needs.”

Gates told the audience that the private sector can benefit from achieving breakthroughs in global health, noting that developing economies are growing much faster than developed ones. Additionally, he believes the Gates Foundation can help mitigate any risk to the private sector by providing “more predictability” and by investing in companies with the technologies that could be useful for global health.

BEYOND CANCER

In 2016, an estimated 445,000 people died from malaria, 1 million from HIV-related illness, and 1.7 million from TB (including 0.4 million with HIV). If cancer treatments could prevent the spread of these diseases and help treat those already infected, we could see a significant decline in these figures.

But cancer research is just the start. As Gates said in his keynote, research to treat other health problems of “rich-world markets” could help doctors address the problems of poorer ones.

For example, research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s could be useful for those trying to treat the hundreds of millions of children with cognitive development issues due to growing up in poverty. Meanwhile, researchers in Africa and South Asia attempting to address undernutrition may glean valuable insights from obesity research.

By creating a bridge between the private health sector in developed nations and the global health community, we can ensure that all the world’s citizens have access to the best treatment options available. As Gates concluded in his keynote, reaching this goal of health equity in our lifetime isn’t just a possibility — it’s an imperative.

Jack Ma believes that artificial intelligence can lead to the outbreak of the World War 3.


Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, president of Alibaba, joins the list of personalities including Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking – who are alarming about the disaster that artificial intelligence can bring.

Jack Ma/Alibaba artificial intelligence
Jack Ma

“The first technological revolution led to the First World War, the second technological revolution led to the Second World War. This is the third technological revolution, “said Jack Ma in an interview with CNBC at Gateway 2017.

To avoid this, I believe that governments need to help citizens adapt to new requirements by investing more in education. People will not be replaced, however, by robots, because they have a characteristic that the machines will lack: wisdom. “I do not think the cars or the artificial intelligence will be able to replace wisdom,” President Alibaba said.

Artificial intelligence will create world’s first trillionaire – Mark Cuban


Artificial intelligence will create world’s first trillionaire - Mark Cuban
American billionaire Mark Cuban says the world’s first trillionaires will be the ones who invest in artificial intelligence technology (AI).

“I am telling you, the world’s first trillionaires are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of,” the Shark Tank billionaire said on Sunday at the SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin.

Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates © Tiksa Negeri

Faster than ever computer processors along with exponentially larger data sets are currently laying the cornerstone for the rapid development of artificial intelligence to new industries like insurance, according to Cuban.

“We will see more technological advances over the next ten years than we have over the last thirty. It’s just going to blow everything away,” he said.

To prove the point the investor said Google, which had recently started using AI, added $9 billion in revenue as a result.

“Whatever you are studying right now if you are not getting up to speed on deep learning, neural networks, etc., you lose. We are going through the process where software will automate software, automation will automate automation,” said Cuban.

The most wanted jobs and skill sets in the labor market will definitely change, according to the businessman.

“I would not want to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) right now. I would not want to be an accountant right now. I would rather be a philosophy major,” he said.

“Knowing how to critically think and assess them from a global perspective I think is going to be more valuable than what we see as exciting careers today which might be programming or CPA or those types of things,” Cuban added.

At the same time, the billionaire warned that low-skilled employees had already been losing jobs to robots and automation. Cuban called for deeper consideration of ways to create good jobs for Americans who have been put out of work by robots and AI.

A warning from Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking


“The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.” — Stephen Hawking.

There’s a rising chorus of concern about how quickly robots are taking away human jobs.

Here’s Elon Musk on Thursday at the the World Government Summit in Dubai:

“What to do about mass unemployment? This is going to be a massive social challenge. There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better [than a human]. These are not things that I wish will happen. These are simply things that I think probably will happen.” — Elon Musk

And today Bill Gates proposed that governments start taxing robot workersthe same way we tax human workers:

“You cross the threshold of job-replacement of certain activities all sort of at once. So, you know, warehouse work, driving, room cleanup, there’s quite a few things that are meaningful job categories that, certainly in the next 20 years [will go away].” — Bill Gates

Jobs are vanishing much faster than anyone ever imagined.

In 2013, policy makers largely ignored two Oxford economists who suggested that 45% of all US jobs could be automated away within the next 20 years. But today that sounds all but inevitable.

Transportation and warehousing employ 5 million Americans

Those self-driving cars you keep hearing about are about to replace a lot of human workers.

Currently in the US, there are:

There’s also around 1 million truck drivers in the US. And Uber just bought a self-driving truck company.

As self driving cars become legal in more states, we’ll see a rapid automation of all of these driving jobs. If a one-time $30,000 truck retrofit can replace a $40,000 per year human trucker, there will soon be a million truckers out of work.

And it’s not just the drivers being replaced. Soon entire warehouses will be fully automated.

I strongly recommend you invest 3 minutes in watching this video. It shows how a fleet of small robots can replace a huge number of human warehouse workers.

There are still some humans working in those warehouses, but it’s only a matter of time before some sort of automated system replaces them, too.

8 million Americans work as retail salespeople and cashiers.

Many of these jobs will soon be automated away.

Amazon is testing a type of store with virtually no employees. You just walk in, grab what you want, and walk out.

 A big part of sales is figuring out — or even predicting — what a customer will want. Well, Amazon grossed $136 billion last year, and its “salespeople” are its algorithm-powered recommendation engines. Imagine the impact that Amazon will have on retail when they release all of that artificial intelligence into brick-and-mortar stores.

US restaurants employ 14 million people.

Japan has been automating aspects of its restaurants for decades — taking orders, serving food, washing dishes, and even food preparation itself.

 And America is now getting some automated restaurants as well.
 There’s even a company that makes delivery trucks that drive around and start baking pizzas in real time as orders come in.
 Automation is inevitable. But we still have time to take action and help displaced workers.

Automation is accelerating. The software powering these robots becomes more powerful every day. We can’t stop it. But we can adapt to it.

Bill Gates recommends we tax robotic workers so that we can recapture some of the money displaced workers would have paid as income tax.

Elon Musk recommends we adopt universal basic income and give everyone a certain amount of money each year so we can keep the economy going even as millions of workers are displaced by automation.

And I recommend we take some of the taxpayer money we’re using to subsidize industries that are now mostly automated, and instead invest it in training workers for emerging engineering jobs.

The answer to the automation challenge may involve some combination of these three approaches. But we need to take action now, before we face the worst unemployment disaster since the Great Depression.

I strongly encourage you to do 3 things:

  1. Educate yourself on the automation and its economics effects. This is the best book on the subject.
  2. Talk with your friends and family about automation. We can’t ignore it just because it’s scary and unpredictable. We need a public discourse on this so we can decide as a country what to do about it — before the corporations and their bottom lines decide for us.
  3. Contact your representatives and ask them what they’re doing about automation and unemployment. Tell them we need a robot tax, universal basic income, or more money invested into technology education — whichever of these best aligns with your political views.

If we act now, we can still rise to the automation challenge and save millions of Americans from hardship.

Bill Gates, Admitted Eugenicist Warns Bioterrorism Could Kill 30 Million People


It isn’t clear if Bill Gates was veiling a threat to help depopulate the planet by 30 million people, if he was simply scare-mongering, or warning of a true cataclysmic-level bioterrorism event, but at the recently held Munich Security Conference the man who has been kicked out of India said that, “a genetically engineered virus such as small pox could wipe out up to 30 million people in less than a year.”

Gates is a multi-billionaire, and the founder of Microsoft, but he has also been a vocal supporter of questionable investments that have a profound impact on people’s lives. At one point, Gates owned 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, and his Foundation, with an endowment larger than all but four of the world’s largest hedge funds, is known to have its tentacles in many programs meant to sterilize, and force toxic vaccinations on unsuspecting and indigent populations.

The Gates Foundation is also heavily invested in companies that contribute to obesity, and a number of other chronic health issues, including McDonald’s, Pepsi-Co, Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Walmart.

The Foundation is additionally invested in Dynacorp, one of the biggest military industrial contractors on earth, whose clients include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI, CIA, and HUD — all government agencies notorious for rampant, unchecked and egregious fraud, along with Geo, a private prison group.

Then there’s the Foundation’s monetary support of the entire oil industry including: Exxon Mobile, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron, just to name a few.

Additionally, and perhaps most interestingly considering Gates’ warning of ‘highly deadly,’ genetically engineered strains of viruses that could wipe out a large swath of people, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also heavily financing Big Pharma and Big Biotech.

Gates helps fund institutions like the GAVI Alliance, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) – public-private partnerships purportedly devoted to saving Third World lives. These organizations are supposedly independent, but so heavily funded by Gates as to function as virtual arms of the Foundation, these organizations began to conduct large-scale clinical trials in Africa and South Asia in the mid-2000s for a number of vaccines meant to prevent the very type of mass bioterrorism he is now warning about.

These investments are important background information to have considering the implications of Bill Gates’ recent statement in Munich:

“We also face a new threat. The next epidemic has a good chance of origination on a computer screen [no surprise here since Silicon Valley has spent over a decade researching bioweapons created by genetic modification of viruses and bacteria] on a terrorist intent of using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the small pox virus, or a contagious and highly deadly strain of flu.”

Gates goes on to blame lacking international security for the possible epidemic of a new rogue virus, ignoring the fact that his own well-funded institutions are helping to create bio-terrorism weapons, otherwise known as germ warfare.

Just in case we weren’t sufficiently terrorized, Gates reminded the audience of the scale of the 1918 flu pandemic which infected around 500 million people and claimed between 50-100 million lives.

Gates asked our government to step up militaristic action against bio terrorism, yet this seems odd considering that our own Navy sprayed people off the coast of Los Angeles out of a massive hose, with a virus created in a lab as part of an experiment in the 1950s, affecting possibly 800,000 people without their knowledge or consent.

Then there’s the incidence of government researchers studying the effects of syphilis on black Americans without informing the men that they had the disease — they were told they had “bad blood.”

And the Army has droves of challenged medical reports questioning the “harmless stimulants” used in numerous different biological weapons, released on native populations.

In recent history, the military has tested the following pathogens on the public, often without their consent, and many more which likely have not been not revealed due to their highly classified nature:

  • Bacillus anthracis (anthrax)
  • Francisella tularensis (tularemia)
  • Brucella (brucellosis)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • Botulinum toxin (botulism)
  • Coxiella burnetti (Q fever)
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE)

For those who don’t believe sterilization and depopulation may be part of the agenda behind Gates’ statements, consider the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories (USBWL) existed as a suite of research laboratories and pilot plant centers located at Camp Detrick, Maryland from 1943 under the control of the U.S. Army Chemical Corp Research and Development Command, which undertook “pioneering” research and development into biocontainment, decontamination, and gaseous sterilization of germ warfare.

Exactly how has our military failed to address bioweapons terrorism?

Gates continued in his statement,

“Whether it occurs by the quirk of nature or the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists show through their models, a respiratory spread pathogen would kill more than 30 million people in less than a year.”

Silicon Valley has been talking about the bioterrorism battle and its price tag for years now. Tesla’s latest Model X will even have its own counter-bioterrorism system. It makes you wonder. Is Gates feeding us fear porn, as many did with Zika, Bird Flu, and other ‘probable’ epidemics that were pumped and dumped by mainstream media, or is he disclosing his next method of depopulation?

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://youtu.be/dV1VDmohSF8

Bill Gates: Take Taxes From Robots Who Snatch Jobs From Humans


Bill Gates Robot Tax

Short Bytes: The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has his idea to help people affected because of job automation, where AI-based robots are replacing humans. Bill Gates says there should be some kind of a robot tax for these machines. The organizations running them should pay the tax.

Various tech leaders have contributed their own share to the ‘AI robots taking our jobs’ debate. Like the Tesla boss Elon Musk, who believes in the future concept of a universal basic income when robots would replace humans in a majority of workplaces.

Bill Gates is another famous name to suggest something. In an interview with Quartz, he said there should be a robot tax. It should be levied by the governments from the companies deploying machine for humans. Well, it might give us a sense of satisfaction while visualizing our jobless future.

But the companies deploying the machines won’t be very happy to hear this. On the other hand, Gates doesn’t believe the companies would be outrageous on this thing. “It’s OK,” he said.

According to him, the robot taxes should be used to fund people working with kids in the schools and helping elderly people. Certainly, it’s a field where humans can still find their need.

Taking taxes from robots might be a good idea, but it would increase the operating costs for these robots. However, it would also slow down the rates with which automation is proliferating every day.

Musk’s idea of a global income becomes more visible when combined with what Bill Gates has suggested. Taking taxes from the robots and paying it to the people.

Government bodies across the world might’ve started to acknowledge the robot tax thing. But still, they’re yet to implement. An example is the European Parliament from Feb 2016, a robot tax proposal to help the affected workers was rejected. The Parliament, however, is working to set guidelines for ethical development and use of the robots, along with damage liabilities.

Polio Gone but Vaccines Will Continue


India was taken off the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) two months ago, but the polio eradication campaign will have to be continued in some format forever.

 

 

“The long promised   monetary benefits from ceasing to vaccinate against poliovirus will never be achieved,”  Neetu Vashisht and  Jacob Puliyel of the Department of Pediatrics at St. Stephens Hospital in Delhi report in the April issue of Indian Journal of Medical Ethics.

The doctors note that it was long known to the scientific community that eradication of polio was impossible because scientists had synthesized poliovirus in a test-tube as early as in 2002.

“The sequence of its genome is known and modern biotechnology allows it to be resurrected at any time in the lab,” they report.  “Man can thus never let down his guard against poliovirus.”

According to the authors it was unethical for WHO and Bill Gates to flog this programme when they knew 10 years back that it was never to succeed.  “Getting poor countries to expend their scarce resources on an impossible dream over the last 10 years was unethical.”

They say that another major ethical issue raised by the campaign is the failure to thoroughly investigate the   increase in the incidence of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) in areas were many doses of vaccine were used.  NPAFP is clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly.

The authors note that while India was polio-free in 2011, in the same year, there were 47500 cases of NPAFP.  While data from India’s National Polio Surveillance Project showed NPAFP rate increased in proportion to the number of polio vaccine doses received, independent studies showed that children identified with NPAFP “were at more than twice the risk of dying than those with wild polio infection.”

According to their report, nationally, the NPAFP rate is now twelve times higher than expected.  In the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — which have pulse polio rounds nearly every month — the NPAFP rate is 25 and 35 fold higher than the international norms.

The authors point out that while the anti-polio campaign in India was mostly self-financed it started with a token donation of two million dollars from abroad.  “The Indian government finally had to fund this hugely expensive programme, which cost the country 100 times more than the value of the initial grant.”

“This is a startling reminder of how initial funding and grants from abroad distort local priorities,” the authors note.  “From India’s perspective the exercise has been an extremely costly both in terms of human suffering and in monetary terms. It is tempting to speculate what could have been achieved if the $ 2.5 billion spent on attempting to eradicate polio, were spent on water and sanitation and routine immunization.”

In conclusion they say that “the polio eradication programme epitomizes nearly everything that is wrong with donor funded ‘disease specific’ vertical projects at the cost of investments in community-oriented primary health care (horizontal programs).”

The WHO’s current policy calls for stopping oral polio vaccine (OPV) vaccination  three  years after the last case of poliovirus-caused poliomyelitis.  Injectable polio vaccine (IPV), which is expensive, will replace OPV in countries which can afford it.

“The risks inherent in this strategy are immense,” Puliyel and Vashisht warn. “Herd immunity against poliomyelitis will rapidly decline as new children are born and not vaccinated. Thus, any outbreak of poliomyelitis will be disastrous, whether it is caused by residual samples of virus stored in laboratories, by vaccine-derived polioviruses or by poliovirus that is chemically synthesized with malignant intent.”

They argue that the huge costs of repeated rounds of OPV in terms of money and NPAFP shows that monthly administration of OPV must cease.  “Our resources are perhaps better spent on controlling poliomyelitis to a locally acceptable level  rather than trying to eradicate the disease.”

Beware of digital dictatorship


As 2017 begins and we flounder in our mad rush to force all of India into a digital economy overnight, it is worth pausing and reflecting on what the digital economy is, who controls the platforms and lines as well as some basic concepts about money and technology which have moulded our lives and freedoms, based on patented systems that are failing the people of “West”. Obsolete systems are moulding our patterns of work and our wellbeing — as a very large country, and as an ancient civilisation — into a cast that is observably too small.

We live in times where the non-working rent collectors and speculators have emerged as the richest billionaires. Meanwhile, the hard working honest people, like farmers, workers in self-organised economies (mistakenly called unorganised and informal) are not just being pushed into deep poverty, they are, in fact, being criminalised by labelling their self-organised economic systems as “black”. The Swadeshi economy is being labelled as the “shadow economy”.

“Short term pain for long term gain” has become the slogan for the dictated transition to a digital economy. But the pain is not just short term, the pain of millions of honest Indians who contribute to a truthful economy, wasting days on end, sacrificing their work, their livelihoods, their means of living, to standing at ATMs and juggling denominations and news reports. In rural India daily mile-long walks to banks have become commonplace, whereas rural communities would interact with the “financial world” a handful of times annually.

In Venezuela — where the exact same circus has come to town — there have been riots. On the contrary, in India, we have stood patiently in lines, in the misguided hope that the fabric of the Indian economy will be cleansed of the black money. The economy has been laundered, and the stains have spread.

To assess the long-term gain, we need to ask basic questions: Who will benefit from this so-called long-term gain?

Ten of the richest billionaires have made money riding on patents and monopolies over the tools of information and network technology. In effect, they are rent collectors of the digital economy, who have collected very large rents, at very high frequency, in a very short time.

Bill Gates and company made money through patents on software that were developed by brilliant people; they merely own the “workshop” — owning all the work that happens under their roof. Mr Gates used his monopoly to eliminate rivals and then to ensure that no matter what kind of computer you wanted it had to have Microsoft windows. If at this point, you think to yourself: “What about Apple Inc?” a quick search will enlighten you — Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft controlling shares are held by the same handful of private investment funds. This VC-armada is led by Vanguard Inc.

In an honest economy, such behaviour would be illegal, but in India we have baptised it as “smart”.

Do we need a Mark Zuckerberg to have friends and be able to talk to them?

No.

Communication and community, friendships and networks are the very basis of society. Facebook has not provided us with “the social network”.

Mr Zuckerberg has crowd-sourced the social network of the world from us. Our relationships are the source of “big data”, the new commodity in the digital world. Information technology seeks to rent information, sourced from us to us.

Digitalisation has spread to all areas. Let us not forget that many multi-national companies are playing a big role in pushing chemicals and GMOs on Africa, and patents on new GMO technologies and digital patents on the biodiversity of life on earth. This big seed grab was stalled at the recent convention on biodiversity meetings in Cancun.

John Naughton, a professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University and author of From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet has named the digital moghuls “robber barons” of our age.

As he perceptively observes in the Guardian: “In social networking Mark Zuckerberg has cunningly inserted himself (via his hardware and software) into every online communication that passes between his 900 million subscribers, to the point where Facebook probably knows that two people are about to have an affair before they do. And because of the nature of networks, if we’re not careful we could wind up with a series of winners who took all: one global bookstore; one social network; one search engine; one online multimedia store and so on.”

It already is one digital dictatorship. And we need to be asking far more questions than we are asking. We have blindly elevated means — which should be democratically chosen — into an end unto themselves. Money and tools are means, they need to be utilised with wisdom and responsibility to higher ends such as the protection of nature, the wellbeing of all and the common good.

Two sets of means come together in what is now declared the real reason for demonetisation — the digital economy. Money making and tools for money making have become the new religion and the government policy has been reduced to the facilitation of the imposition of the digital empires of the new moghuls. Why else is every department of government directing its energy at making Indians “digitally literate”, precisely at a time where people in technological societies are turning to India to learn her wisdom, her deep values of “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhna”, and the ability to live in community as one Earth Family — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam? We haven’t learnt from the atomised, alienated, lonely individuals that the souls of Western societies have been reduced to. The digital economy is a design for atomisation, for separation, to allow Indians to become individual consumers with abundant “red money” — credit.

Imposing the digital economy through a “cash ban” is a form of technological dictatorship, in the hands of the world’s billionaires.

Economic diversity and technological pluralism are India’s strength and it is the “hard cash” that insulated India from the global market’s “dive into the red” of 2008.

Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings about resisting empire non-violently, while creating truthful and real economies in the hands of people, for regaining freedom, have never been more relevant. Wealth is the state of wellbeing; it is not money. It is not cash. Money has no value in and of itself. Money is merely a means of exchange, it is a promise. As the notes we exchange state: “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of…” and the promise is made by the governor of the Reserve Bank. On that promise and trust rests an entire economy, from the local to the national level. At the very least, the demonetisation circus has “busted the trust” in the Indian economy.

In the digital economy there is no trust, only one-way control of global banks, of those who own and control digital networks, and those who can make money mysteriously through digital “tricks” — the owners of the global exchange. How else could the exchange traded funds like Vanguard be the biggest investors in all major corporations, from Monsanto to Bayer, from Coca Cola to Pepsi, from Microsoft to Facebook, from Wells Fargo to Texaco?

When I exchange Rs 100 even a 100 times it remains Rs 100. In the digital world those who control the exchange, through digital and financial networks, make money at every step of the 100 exchanges. That is the how the digital economy has created the billionaire class of one per cent, which controls the economy of the 100 per cent.

The foundation of the real economy is work. Gandhi following Leo Tolstoy and John Ruskin called it “bread labour” — labour that creates bread that sustains life. Writing in Young India in 1921, he wrote: “God created man to work for his food, and said that those who ate without work were thieves.”

Writing in the Harijan, in 1935, he cited the Gita and the Bible, for his understanding of the duty of bread labour. For him ahimsa (non-violence) were intimately linked to work, he identified “wealth without work” among the seven deadly sins. It is the bills of domination that the government should be banning, not merely the bills of denomination.

We live in times where the non-working rent collectors and speculators have emerged as the richest billionaires.

Imposing the digital economy through a “cash ban” is a form of technological dictatorship, in the hands of the world’s billionaires.

 Imposing the digital economy through a “cash ban” is a form of technological dictatorship, in the hands of the world’s billionaires.
Vandana Shiva trained as a physicist prior to dedicating her life to the protection of India’s biodiversity and food security. She is the author of numerous books and the recipient of numerous awards.