Are Poor Countries Doomed?

by on January 21, 2014

The Gates Foundation Letter: http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/

In which John discusses the three myths at the center of Bill and Melinda Gates's 2013 annual letter: 1. Poor countries are NOT doomed to remain poor. 2. Foreign aid is NOT a waste of money. (In fact, health aid at least is an astonishingly good investment.) 3. Saving children's lives does NOT lead to overpopulation. (In fact, decreasing infant mortality has consistently slowed population growth all over the world.)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexa January 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

I was surprised about the mortality rates

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Lucy January 22, 2014 at 8:18 pm

As was I.

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Annette January 23, 2014 at 11:31 pm

I think it is important to understand why countries in the developing world are poor and people think they are doomed to be that way. Then we can think critically about the problem and find new solutions and evaluate past solutions that are working. As a current social work student at the University at Albany this issue is very dear to me. I hope to one day work for a nongovernmental organization working to end poverty. I’m also really interested in the issue of literacy.

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Autumn February 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Dear Mr. Green,

Such as the fashion of a highly-regarded letter written in regards to “An Imperial Affliction” to a certain Peter van Houten, I set out today to deliver an equally as poetic address to you, the outstanding author of “The Fault in Our Stars”. I have recently read your book, and, let me just say, as I’m sure you have been told countless other times, well done. My goodness, this is truly one of the most spectacular books that it has ever been my pleasure to read.

After reading the Q&A that you did on your website (much appreciated, thank you) however, a few questions remain atop the expanse of rubble that this novel has reduced my mind to. I, as did many others, I assume, thought that the story would end mid-sentence as did “An Imperial Affliction”, up until the very moment when I read those last few sentences. Again, thank you. I would not have been writing this letter had such been the case. Quite honestly, I would have been heart-broken. Also, though I realize that we, the reader, are perceiving our opinion of Augustus Waters through an account filled with bias and favor, how in the world do you create such a personable character? You have managed to construct the very idea of romance and masculinity into a human state, and I am only left to marvel…how?

In addition, were you physically roaring with laughter, smirk upon your face as you wrote the scene nearing the end of the book when Hazel finds Peter van Houten awaiting her in her mother’s mini-van, accompanied by compositions of obnoxiously loud Swedish hip-hop music? I just about jumped out of my skin envisioning the mental image of being in such a situation, but shortly there-after, the very event struck me as utterly hilarious. On a related note, this serves to be the pinnacle of importance in this letter, how did you make everything so clever, and so funny at the same time? Waters and Lancaster have the most intellectually gorgeous conversations, just during their regular talks, but still there arises a truly lovely romantic line that pops up extremely-unexpectedly, and the leaves the reader, (at least such has been my experience), giddy and smiley and forces them to reread the paragraph or so, and grow increasingly happier each time that they do so. And when Lancaster lashes out upon Peter Van Houten in his home in Amsterdam? I can’t even. :)

Also, I digress here, but I have been watching “Mental Floss” videos for a really long time, and I had absolutely NO IDEA that you were the same guy! Paradox! I can’t believe I didn’t put it together. I saw your picture in the back of the book, and I immediately knew that I had seen you somewhere, I just hadn’t recognized where. Figured it out! Really though, it enabled me to hear the voice of the author (which I am continuing to find out that I strangely wonder after upon finishing a novel that becomes one of my favorites such as this? Do you ever get that?), and has given me insight into your personality, as well. You’re pretty cool. We share a lot of similar perspectives on things. And, could you please respond? I’d be tickled pink hearing from you. Maybe on your website homepage, or under the TFiOS tab? It would be MUCH appreciated.

But, as far as “The Fault in Our Stars” goes, I so admire how throughout the entire course of the story, you create such perfect description of the setting at hand, the emotions, visions, thoughts; you really embody the reader in the situation, and I couldn’t have enjoyed reading this story, I feel, more, because of this very thing. Though, as you may have observed, I described your writing style as perfect in the previous statement, which, I would assume, would draw forth much elaboration upon the very idea of perfection from your vast enigma of a mind. Is it attainable? Does it exist? Is such a concept mere ludicrous? Countless possibilities to be further explored!

The very reason of which I so enjoy your writing style. You manage to be entirely thought-provoking, attention grabbing, and mind-shattering as well as being hilarious and causing me to laugh aloud in the middle of a silent occasion (attracting many perplexed and disapproving glances from my fellow peers, rest assured), while at the same time gripping my very existence with a tale that feels as though it was written from the sub-conscience section of my very soul. I know, pretty extreme right? Simply stated, you’re a pretty kick-butt writer with a fantastic talent, and a wonderful book. I can’t wait to read “Paper Towns.” And, keep writing. I’d love to read more from you. “Quite frankly, I’d read your grocery lists.”

Sincerely,
-Autumn

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Amber M. L. Haag February 20, 2014 at 12:51 am

The Tale of Despereaux! (Childish book, but nonetheless, amazing)
The Divergent series!

On a different note, your books revolutionized reading for me; you have made me love reading :) Thank you

-Amber M. L. Haag

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Amber M. L. Haag February 20, 2014 at 1:00 am

The previous comment from me was meant for a video in which you asked us to recommend books that we enjoyed; however, my iPod (or I) got something mixed up and the comment landed here.

-Amber M. L. Haag

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Are Poor Countries Doomed?

by on January 21, 2014

The Gates Foundation Letter: http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/

In which John discusses the three myths at the center of Bill and Melinda Gates's 2013 annual letter: 1. Poor countries are NOT doomed to remain poor. 2. Foreign aid is NOT a waste of money. (In fact, health aid at least is an astonishingly good investment.) 3. Saving children's lives does NOT lead to overpopulation. (In fact, decreasing infant mortality has consistently slowed population growth all over the world.)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ana Claudia Menezes February 18, 2014 at 2:16 am

Nice to meet you John Green!I am in South Bend at UND atending a programme for Brazilian English Public Schools teachers. And your comments are fair enough. I believe in the power of Education. My son Breno is 12 years old and read your book ‘ The fault in our stars’. Cancer is not only a remarkable illness but it causes “courage, build strengths”. Your writing made people like my son interested in Peter can Houten you are just like Fernando Pessoa – Portuguese and like him you speak thru your writing and video. I ‘ m leaving IN sat and Brazil is no longer doomed we are awaking. My asked me for your books and he is only 12ys.

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