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People: Challenge to Survival

William B. Bean, M.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(1):163-164. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620070165021.
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One of man's identifying characteristics is the infinite capacity for illusion and confusion. The capacity of a human being to deceive others, unhappily, is exceeded only by his ability to deceive himself. No thoughtful person can get much pleasure or reassurance by close scrutiny of the results of the organized confusion of man-made masses of madmen. William Vogt's book, People: The Challenge to Survival, brings up sharply for contemplation some of the simplest problems of supply and demand as they affect human life. Oversimplified but in basic terms, the world's available material for food, energy, and things is being mined so fast that a number of end-points are already in sight. Citizens in America today use up many times their share of what the world produces, consuming at rates so high that the importation of raw materials has become an integral part of our economy. There is a feeling that


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