Sunday, January 30, 2011


      With the uprisings in Tunisa and Egypt,one gets to wonder just how fragile is civilization. With just a quick snapshot one can see it does not take much to throw off the cloak of civil society and to revert to a more primitive state.As much as the behavior of mob rule is abhorrent it pales in comparison to just how vulnerable we are as a society.Stop for a moment and ask yourselfs what is the greatest achievement of the human race.Right off the top of your head a number of possibilities come to mind. The computer,internet,cell phones,television,electric light,automobles, airplanes all are good candidate for the greatest achievement of mankind.However, though I hate to say this you would be wrong. The greatest achievement of mankind is the food and goods distribution.
     Wait you say how can that be the greatest achievement of mankind.Lets take food for an example. According to the latest estimate there are about 7 billion people on the planet at this time.Now if we assume that everyone only eats once a day, that is 7 billion meals daily. In a week that's 28 billion,in a month 192 billion,in a year 2.3 trillion meals.That means that food no matter were it is grown must tbe harvested,packaged and shipped around the world.If you assume more than one meal the numbers are staggering.Add to that all the manufactured goods that make up our daily lives,well you can see what I mean.
      Lets take the United States as an example.The United States is divided by the Mississippi River into two parts.Those east of the river and those that are west.Now there are only a finite number of bridges that cross the Mississippi River joining the two parts. Now most of the food we eat is grown on the plains of Iowa,Nebraska,and Kansas,its beef on the plains of Texas,Arizona,etc.Now what would happen if those bridges were destroyed. Cars and truckes would be stopped.Trains that bring goods back and forth across the Mississippi River would grind to a halt. Now how long would it be before food would become scarce in the major cities in the country. How soon would there be roits occuring in every city. Remembering that all the food and goods come into the cities by truck and train.Take Las Vegas as an example. Las Vegas is completely landlocked. It is a city of 1.5 million people,with 36million vistors a year.Every night a fleet of about 10 thousand or so trucks pour into the city each night disgorging there loads,only to return the next night.Some trains come in but the goods in them then must be unloaded into trucks for delivery to stores.On the east coast some goods and food could arrive by ship but how much and how soon.Remember you are probably talking about some were close to 100 million people.How soon before law and order breaks down, and its every man for himself.
      So this is why I hold that the distribution system that delivers food and goods around the world is bu far and away the single greatest achievement of modern man. Do you agree or disagree? What is the greatest achievement?

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