The goal of humanity

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mmmcannibalism
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:41 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Do you realize that what you're advocating, regressive primitivism, leads inevitably to extinction of the Human Race and all life on earth?

It's not that we need the resources of space, or even the resources of this planet, to continue our civilization, it's that these resources are directly necessary to preserve the species.

How would we become extinct because of it?? we didn't for THOUSANDS of years before the dawn of civilization. Weird that...


Your claiming humans should abandon everything we have naturally developed; and live like animals who have evolved entirely different biological structures. Try asking a fish to live with less of that swimming in water stuff it always does.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:53 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Do you realize that what you're advocating, regressive primitivism, leads inevitably to extinction of the Human Race and all life on earth?

It's not that we need the resources of space, or even the resources of this planet, to continue our civilization, it's that these resources are directly necessary to preserve the species.

How would we become extinct because of it?? we didn't for THOUSANDS of years before the dawn of civilization. Weird that...


How long did the Dinosaurs go before they were wiped out by lack of development in space?

Just because something hasn't happened yet doesn't magically mean it won't happen.
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I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Spoiler:
djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Do you realize that what you're advocating, regressive primitivism, leads inevitably to extinction of the Human Race and all life on earth?

It's not that we need the resources of space, or even the resources of this planet, to continue our civilization, it's that these resources are directly necessary to preserve the species.

How would we become extinct because of it?? we didn't for THOUSANDS of years before the dawn of civilization. Weird that...


Your claiming humans should abandon everything we have naturally developed; and live like animals who have evolved entirely different biological structures. Try asking a fish to live with less of that swimming in water stuff it always does.

Your claiming that agriculture, civilization and technology are natural things to being a species when, presented with all other species as a basis for comparison, that is overwhelmingly not the case. How then are these things that we feel entitled to do on this planet "natural"?
EdgarJPublius wrote:
Spoiler:
djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Do you realize that what you're advocating, regressive primitivism, leads inevitably to extinction of the Human Race and all life on earth?

It's not that we need the resources of space, or even the resources of this planet, to continue our civilization, it's that these resources are directly necessary to preserve the species.

How would we become extinct because of it?? we didn't for THOUSANDS of years before the dawn of civilization. Weird that...


How long did the Dinosaurs go before they were wiped out by lack of development in space?

Just because something hasn't happened yet doesn't magically mean it won't happen.

What happened to the dinosaurs was, by my definition, natural. There's nothing to say that colonization would amount to anything more than another set of future circumstances that would wipe us out, just as "naturally". Does it not seem, regardless of colonization, that we are kind of pursuing a course against the inevitable? Do you truly believe we will live in this universe forever? What illusions of granduer have we truly obtained and been blinded by that would allow anyone to truly believe that we are any more important than any other universal event in our past our future? There's a lot of universe out there, which is alluring to the fanatasies of colonization, but, given scientific deduction shows that we are just a matter of circumstance. Where does this sense of entitlement come from then?
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:21 pm UTC

Your claiming that agriculture, civilization and technology are natural things to being a species when, presented with all other species as a basis for comparison, that is overwhelmingly not the case. How then are these things that we feel entitled to do on this planet "natural"?


Would you then agree that something is only natural if more then one species does it? Because either your claiming that humans are unnatural, or you are claiming things are unnatural if they are exceedingly rare. How is the human ability to make a building different then a shark's ability to swim?

Aside, there are other animals with agriculture and technology.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Rowadanr » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:57 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Your claiming that agriculture, civilization and technology are natural things to being a species when, presented with all other species as a basis for comparison, that is overwhelmingly not the case. How then are these things that we feel entitled to do on this planet "natural"?


Would you then agree that something is only natural if more then one species does it? Because either your claiming that humans are unnatural, or you are claiming things are unnatural if they are exceedingly rare. How is the human ability to make a building different then a shark's ability to swim?

Aside, there are other animals with agriculture and technology.


Yes! There's really no such thing as unnatural, when you think about it.

My own thoughts on the perceived "choice" between regressing and consuming endlessly are below, under a spoiler because they are fugging long. I am unrepentant, I had a lot of fun writing it. Nor do I apologise for shamelessly modifying Goethe at the end.
Spoiler:
Okay, I stumbled upon this thread by accident looking for something else, started reading and am... utterly incredulous at the current debate which seems to be the conflict of "explode into the universe like a blight and keep consuming" versus "Go back to pre-story humanity and never do anything clever again" as if those are the only two options. This sort of One Or The Other argument, yes or no debate is something I've seen a really irritating amount of, especially among the countries that consider themselves to be under the label 'the western world'.

The question I always have in my head is: Can you people conceive of a number higher than two in day-to-day life. I don't doubt that you can, the question is rhetorical, but it's definitely what you're making it look like. People always seem to show a slightly distressing tendency to think in opposites, absolutes and extremes despite the fact that on any degree of close inspection, these do not exist in the universe. This is a part of the problems that are being raised here

Despite the opinions of both of the 'extreme' paradigms, there is actually such thing as balance and synthesis, especially in this situation. Both too much technology and none at all are both non-desirable at this point. A good goal, I think, would be to find a route where we can be both human and sustainable, after which we can move on to exploration, science and creativity. Because it can be done. Communities in various parts of the world demonstrate this today in places like Australia, New Guinae, parts of Polynesia, Lakdha and various tribal cultures. And the lifestyles demonstrated there, whilst taking quite a bit of work (fun work, though), are also compatible with clean technologies (I shall be defining 'clean' as 'not doing damage to ecosystems on either the global or local scales).
Human technology and methods can be of great benefit to earthbound "Nature", but only in rational moderation. One thing that I think really has to stop is inventing expensive contraptions to do things to which a simple solution already exists. There are thousands of these, but the two examples I use that are very common in western society are the dishwasher and the escalator. Bottom line, we knew how to do the washing up. Generally somewhat more efficiently than one of those big white box things, and doing the washing up is really quite fun in it's own small way, nice easy work to keep you occupied while your food starts to digest, the water feels good on your hands. And escalators? Elevators I can understand to an extent, but the sole purpose of an escalator seems to be to ensure people get as little exercise as possible in a public building. Both redundant, both pointless, arrogant wastes of electricity that could be better spent on other things.
Another really, really good example of a solution that we hit on early, abandoned for shinier things, and that should be returned to if the paradigm below is applied, concerns privies: The composting toilet is really the most clean, elegant and beneficial way a human can take a crap. Contrary to popular myth, they don’t smell any more than flush toilets, if well maintained they are far from unpleasant, and they make f’king fantastic compost. After three years, every spare nutrient and mineral from a given visit to the jakes will be back in the soil of your garden. But with large towns and cities getting more and more distant from agriculture and the haphazard building styles making public and personal compost heaps on that scale very hard to manage (as well as, sensibly for once, the risk of the not-yet-composted standing manure being at risk of getting washed out in floods and spreading disease. We can scratch that problem now, though) sewers were invented and things went downhill from there (not that, at that time, they were all that high up the hill in the first place, I have no idealism of the past. But some things worked). If people in westernized nations started growing their own food in multicrop zone gardens again, it would take a lot of pressure off many people to provide for themselves in fiscal terms, provided they were willing to make an investment of resources and exhausting-but-fun effort to start with, we could bring back composting loos on a large scale, and the fertile gardens will lessen people’s dependence on exploitive economies and… you get the point, I hope. A lot can be accomplished if shit happens responsibly.

So I think a good starting point as a "Goal of Humanity" would be to formalize and popularize the sort of green technology and design equivalent of Occam's Razor:
Can we accomplish this with a process that is simpler, has less environmental impact and is nicer for both people and the rest of the planet in general within it's specific context
. The context bit is incredibly important. And, if you find a design does not fit this paradigm, find a better solution and also apply the razor to the new solution, and so on until you find something contextually optimal.
This principle is widely recognized within the environmental community (it's a friend of mine's day job, in management terms), and I'm really surprised how it doesn't seem to be absolutely bleeding obvious to various people as it is to those who know it. But it really ought to be a universal rule of thumb.
And if employing these methods means completely redesigning large systems, subverting traditions, going against the status quo, massively changing or even abandoning entire economies, then have at it and take pictures!
We can learn a lot from the past (pretty much every era had it’s pros and cons along some line of development or other. I propose we nick the pros and leave the cons where possible) and from existing biological systems, whilst staying incredibly “modern” in terms of taking the good bits of this era, too, like the internet.
As long as people are provided for and happy on the lower levels of a Maslow pyramid and it’s being done sustainably and renewably…
I’m not saying it will be in any way easy, but for the most part the work is quite a bit of fun it’s
So.
Totally.
Worth it.

And after that, we can get on with having fun and inventing things creating and exploring and finding stuff out, as long as we remember to play nice with all the organism and systems we share this corner of the universe with. I advocate simpler processes and learning from the past, but I don’t condone regression in any way (well, you can if you want to, just don’t try to make anyone who doesn’t want to)
By all means technology, when it’s sustainable! By all means art! By all means building cities on the ocean! By all means fascinating new developments in science (I speak as an insatiable Philomath here), as long as important systems are not damaged in the process.
When I talk of finding simple solutions, I should clarify that I support widespread automation replacing a lot of menial labour wholeheartedly. I’ve worked in a few factories, they were shit. Though hopefully local food, open manufacturing and localized production can largely obsolesce mass-production on a lot of levels.

And by all means space! Once we design launch vehicles ships that are honestly safe, have a minimal footprint, and bring moving people and things to orbit into reasonable cost margins. Then we can go out to explore and experience and invent new ways of living, all the interesting stuff about space exploration.
But not to mine. Never for resources, except for what you need to make a habitat. Because we don’t need them. it’s much simpler to “apply the razor” and use the abundant resources that people don’t seem to realize we still have, with resource recovery, recycling those eye-wateringly large mines of rather complicated, but recyclable, wasted resources that are our dumps. To have a chance of living realistically on our planet, let alone in space, we need to have no concept of waste material. For some people, that’s already a reality.

To regress wouldn’t prevent our extinction, asteroids and snowballing tend to have a habit of showing up now and then. And for most people, especially considering the population is as large as it is today, it’s not very pleasant.
But nor will “progressing” in the way that a lot of people seem to think is the only option. Work of that sort is all grey, and the golden tree of life is green.

...
-Summer Glau


Also, while I'm here
EdgarJPublius wrote:Why downsize when there's a job that pays a higher salary than you and your family could ever use in countless generations and comes with countless Mansions that make what you live in now look like a hole in the ground just waiting for your application?

"...Like a hole in the ground"? Have you ever, y'know, been outside? It's really quite nice once you get used to the oxygen.
The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Vaniver » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:02 am UTC

I don't see why you guys waste time talking with savages.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I don't see why you guys waste time talking with savages.

Would you mind elaborating on whom you're designating a savage and why?
It seems the attempt of this thread is to pursue a common interest. I'm confused as to why there would be the need for condemnation.

It's been a while since I posted in this thread; I've kind of taken a break to collect my thoughts. I've been misguided with my persistence with "natural order". If anything it is a bit of a paradox, anything that could seem unnatural has occurred naturally so therefore how is it not? Anyway.

@Rowadanr I like what you wrote. It seemed well thought out and passionate. My only problem is that it seems your presentation exists in the same capacity as any really great presentation. It's a bit idealistic. Obviously we cannot perceive the things in our future that we don't yet know, but it would seem fair to say that our Earth's societies would have something to say about being so uniting. Your proposal would work miraculously if we all wanted to preserve our way of life collectively, but there are too many factors that get in the way. Countries that consider only obtaining wealth in their actions; politics (at any capacity) dealing with differing opinions on how to proceed; etc... I see far too many bumps in the road than working toward a global identity for our future. It's almost as if proposing communism. It looks great on paper, but in practice, it's a big mess.

I'd love to see a balance in Humanity's actions. Unfortunately I don't see that happening. I suppose I should just cut a piece of the pie while it's still warm and enjoy it for what it's worth.

I suppose our goal is to sustain our species indefinitely. It's just kind of sad considering this beautiful aspiration and the fact that, if we COULD actually pull together and allocate our resources and intentions correctly, it could be possible. I just don't see all the countries of the world agreeing with each other enough to put all the programs into effect that it would take in order to see that become a reality. It's too bad really. I fear we are doomed to burn out of our current civilization and then, hopefully, onto the next one where we may just learn from the mistakes of our current developing human history without going extinct. That would certainly be one for the history books.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Vaniver » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:52 am UTC

djkjr wrote:Would you mind elaborating on whom you're designating a savage and why?
What term would you use for someone who prefers the primitive to the advanced?

You are seriously putting forward the position that the highest form of mankind is the hairless ape, dumbly gaping at the pinpricks of light above him, terrified of lightning and its child fire, who is neither master of himself nor the world around him. What could you possibly add to this conversation?

(And no, I am not misunderstanding your position. The industrial revolution was mankind's birth, after a long and troubled pregnancy, and it is now passing through adolescence at best- if the 1800s were worse than the 1700s, it stands to reason that by the same metrics the 1700s were worse than the 1600s, and so on back to the "most natural"- which seems to mean nothing more than "least rational"- state of man.)
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
djkjr wrote:Would you mind elaborating on whom you're designating a savage and why?
What term would you use for someone who prefers the primitive to the advanced?

You are seriously putting forward the position that the highest form of mankind is the hairless ape, dumbly gaping at the pinpricks of light above him, terrified of lightning and its child fire, who is neither master of himself nor the world around him. What could you possibly add to this conversation?

(And no, I am not misunderstanding your position. The industrial revolution was mankind's birth, after a long and troubled pregnancy, and it is now passing through adolescence at best- if the 1800s were worse than the 1700s, it stands to reason that by the same metrics the 1700s were worse than the 1600s, and so on back to the "most natural"- which seems to mean nothing more than "least rational"- state of man.)

I love the blinded eye that one gets when disagreeing. It makes me laugh. Even when I fall victim to it myself.

What I was seriously stating (and irrationally trying to hold onto) was that primitivism is as good as anything else. That coming from the position of an individual who is sickened by the destructive and consuming nature of our current civilization, that the fantasy of our species returning to it's roots seemed romantic. But we're not a romantic species. We are as we are able to be interpreted. We're vile, savage, sadistic, arrogant and ignorant. If anything was born from the industrial revolution from our "in utero" past before that, it was the ability for us to believe these fallacies. We're not that important.... We're just another species only we have the ability to collect thoughts and tell stories. And just like every other species, we're going to die. Our goal is to prevent that, but that would be like preventing the sun from going super nova. Good luck and god speed with those delusions. And what, pray tell, have you contributed by lavishly gracing us with your, most obviously correct, point of view?

What term would you use for someone who prefers the primitive to the advanced? Sure savage. I'll play your game.
And what term would you use to describe someone who prefers judgement over contemplation? Right, close minded.

I suppose that instead of writing this though I'd be better to go and point at the bright day disc and beat my chest.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:58 pm UTC

And just like every other species, we're going to die. Our goal is to prevent that, but that would be like preventing the sun from going super nova.

False, that has never been stated as a goal. Preservation is nothing to the superior human.

Humans are the most complex beings in the planet with the most intricate social rituals, most nuanced view of our surroundings, and the greatest intelligence. We have experimented on ourselves further than any animal: we have become more evil, we have become harder, we have loved further than any other species. Our pursuits are one of the most intricate, our conceptions and simulations the most interesting, and our power much greater than the other species.

Have we become more intelligent after the Renaissance? I don't know. But I have no desire to become a primitive. "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

Edit: Again a nihilist/equalist (one of the reasons I DON'T think that humans have gotten that much better). "Primitivism is just as good as everything else." <- Read the Greeks man.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:31 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:False, that has never been stated as a goal. Preservation is nothing to the superior human.

How is that not our goal? To live? To preserve our existance? If that's not our goal, than what is?


infernovia wrote:Edit: Again a nihilist/equalist (one of the reasons I DON'T think that humans have gotten that much better). "Primitivism is just as good as everything else." <- Read the Greeks man.

Reading any historical document, however viable our flawed, would only amount to an understanding of our existance in that frame of time. How is it not as good as anything else? If what is determined as natural or unnatural is subjective, if ravaging our planet to our whim is just as natural, if species going extinct is acceptable, if our civilized infastrcture can be so rationalized into being a natural and acceptable thing (however insane it may seem to appear upon intense speculation) how is primitivism any different? Wouldn't any choice a species made, especially an intelligent one, be just as good as anything else? If we had remained primitive and died out due to inability to adapt, would that not have been just as natural and acceptable. I'm confused why that isn't as good as anything else when considering chaos and order as a structured pair, both existing simultaneously, instead of one or the other. How do the Greeks have anything to do with that? Or the Romans? The Aztecs? The Americans? The theologists or the atheists? It seems we're just one natural oddity after another compiling a collection of obscure history and storytelling. I really don't see the difference in our specis existance between how it exists now and how it could have existed had we not discovered the skills that have created it. What difference does it make? It's obvious that we exist to continue existing, just like every species. Adapting in order to make that possible. What greater purpose do we have in humanity than our instinctual desire to sustain and survive? Repopulate and ensure our existance?
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby morriswalters » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:36 pm UTC

At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished? How are we better than the "hairless ape, dumbly gaping at the pinpricks of light above him, terrified of lightning and its child fire, who is neither master of himself nor the world around him"? We have better tools and more knowledge. But we have managed to retain some of our worst traits, and it shows in the world around us. However as a bright point Neuroscience is starting to penetrate the brain in ways that may prove more useful than anything else that we have done to this point. Perhaps the best goal of humanity is to understand us.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby elasto » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?


The Life of Brian wrote:The interior of MATTHIAS'S HOUSE. A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. REG and STAN are seated at a table at one end of the room. FRANCIS, dressed in Activist gear — black robes and a red sash around his head — is standing by a plan on the wall. He is addressing an audience of about eight MASKED ActivistS. Their faces are partially hidden.

Francis: We get in through the underground heating system here... up through to the main audience chamber here... and Pilate's wife's bedroom is here. Having grabbed his wife, we inform Pilate that she is in our custody and forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?

Xerxes: What exactly are the demands?

Reg: We're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Roman Imperialist State and if he doesn't agree immediately we execute her.

Matthias: Cut her head off?

Francis: Cut all her bits off, send 'em back every hour on the hour... show him we're not to be trifled with.

Reg: Also, we're demanding a ten foot mahogany statue of the Emperor Julius Caesar with his cock hanging out.

Stan: What? They'll never agree to that, Reg.

Reg: That's just a bargaining counter. And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop her up, and... that we shall not submit to blackmail.

Omnes: (Applause) No blackmail!

Reg: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, not just from us, from our fathers and from our fathers' fathers.

Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.

Reg: Yes.

Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.

Reg: All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Xerxes: The aqueduct.

Reg: Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.

Masked Activist: And the sanitation!

Stan: Oh yes... sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like.

Reg: All right, I'll grant you that the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done...

Matthias: And the roads...

Reg: (sharply) Well yes obviously the roads... the roads go without saying. But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads...

Another Masked Activist: Irrigation...

Other Masked Voices: Medicine... Education... Health...

Reg: Yes... all right, fair enough...

Activist Near Front: And the wine...

Omnes: Oh yes! True!

Francis: Yeah. That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

Masked Activist at Back: Public baths!

Stan: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now.

Francis: Yes, they certainly know how to keep order... (general nodding)... let's face it, they're the only ones who could in a place like this.

(more general murmurs of agreement)

Reg: All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

Xerxes: Brought peace!

Reg: (very angry) What!? Oh... (scornfully) Peace, yes... shut up!

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:How is that not our goal? To live? To preserve our existance? If that's not our goal, than what is?

Think. Think hard. Don't fall for the weak desire to make everything equal, which is another way of saying, not to evaluate the two options. The human brain is one of the most powerful evaluation tools that we have bred, use it. Don't give up hope because this is a tough problem that requires a very nuanced viewpoint.

Here is something to get started: do you really want to live for a millennium?

Nihilist/Equalist wrote:Reading any historical document, however viable our flawed, would only amount to an understanding of our existance in that frame of time. How is it not as good as anything else?

Because, and I know this is a hard concept to understand, not every understanding is equal. Some viewpoints understand further and deeper than others. If everyone needs to 'see' because 'perfect understanding' is impossible, then the one who can see further is superior. Relativistic physics and Quantum Mechanics is superior to Newtonian understanding, the primitive's inferior to mine. Perhaps superior to yours though, by your admission.

And how is the primitive, who is a slave to nature, who can be wiped out by a famine and desert conditions, weather changes, various natural disasters, superior to the humans who have freed themselves from fearing wild animal attacks? Who understands the nature of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.? Your argument is self-defeating.

And the biggest mistake is believing in 'humanity' in the first place. Humanity is an abstraction.

morriswalters wrote:At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?

Reading the works of Macchiavelli, Nietzsche, Heraclitus, Newton, Einstein, Buddha, Caeser, Alexander, Christ, Genghis Khan, Tesla, Napoleon, Goethe, is that really your answer?

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Vaniver » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:And what term would you use to describe someone who prefers judgement over contemplation? Right, close minded.
What term would you use to describe someone who contemplates without concluding?

Considering the possibility that primitivism is better than or equal to other thoughts is part of the development of every individual. Concluding after consideration that primitivism is just as good as or better than the alternatives, however, is demonstration that the individual in question cannot think correctly, just like concluding after consideration that 2+2=5 is demonstration that the individual in question cannot add correctly.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

What term would you use to describe someone who contemplates without concluding?

A rapier rather than a wide slash. Again, impressive wit.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby morriswalters » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:23 am UTC

I assume your response was sarcasm but I'll reply in spoilers so you or nobody else has to read if they don't wish.
Spoiler:
elasto wrote:
morriswalters wrote:At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?


The Life of Brian wrote:The interior of MATTHIAS'S HOUSE. A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. REG and STAN are seated at a table at one end of the room. FRANCIS, dressed in Activist gear — black robes and a red sash around his head — is standing by a plan on the wall. He is addressing an audience of about eight MASKED ActivistS. Their faces are partially hidden.

Francis: We get in through the underground heating system here... up through to the main audience chamber here... and Pilate's wife's bedroom is here. Having grabbed his wife, we inform Pilate that she is in our custody and forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?

Xerxes: What exactly are the demands?

Reg: We're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Roman Imperialist State and if he doesn't agree immediately we execute her.

Matthias: Cut her head off?

Francis: Cut all her bits off, send 'em back every hour on the hour... show him we're not to be trifled with.

Reg: Also, we're demanding a ten foot mahogany statue of the Emperor Julius Caesar with his cock hanging out.

Stan: What? They'll never agree to that, Reg.

Reg: That's just a bargaining counter. And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop her up, and... that we shall not submit to blackmail.

Omnes: (Applause) No blackmail!

Reg: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, not just from us, from our fathers and from our fathers' fathers.

Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.

Reg: Yes.

Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.

Reg: All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Xerxes: The aqueduct.

Reg: Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.

Masked Activist: And the sanitation!

Stan: Oh yes... sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like.

Reg: All right, I'll grant you that the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done...

Matthias: And the roads...

Reg: (sharply) Well yes obviously the roads... the roads go without saying. But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads...

Another Masked Activist: Irrigation...

Other Masked Voices: Medicine... Education... Health...

Reg: Yes... all right, fair enough...

Activist Near Front: And the wine...

Omnes: Oh yes! True!

Francis: Yeah. That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

Masked Activist at Back: Public baths!

Stan: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now.

Francis: Yes, they certainly know how to keep order... (general nodding)... let's face it, they're the only ones who could in a place like this.

(more general murmurs of agreement)

Reg: All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

Xerxes: Brought peace!

Reg: (very angry) What!? Oh... (scornfully) Peace, yes... shut up!

We have fished a number of species to extinction, and continue today.
Fought two major wars in the last century with a death count estimated to be above sixty million.
We have dumped so much plastic into the ocean that it is creating zones were the concentration is so heavy that it is easily visible.
The number of conflicts happening in the World today shows no sign of decreasing.
Overuse of antibiotics is causing an increasing number of resistant types after only 70 years of widespread use.
We may be changing the climate in such a way as to change the ecology of the planet.
We still have enough Nuclear weapons to kill every man, women, and child on Earth. The Stakeholders are India, Pakistan,China,North Korea,Russia,Britain,France,United States, and Israel. And all the wannabes.
However perhaps I'm worrying needlessly.



infernovia wrote:Because, and I know this is a hard concept to understand, not every understanding is equal. Some viewpoints understand further and deeper than others. If everyone needs to 'see' because 'perfect understanding' is impossible, then the one who can see further is superior. Relativistic physics and Quantum Mechanics is superior to Newtonian understanding, the primitive's inferior to mine. Perhaps superior to yours though, by your admission.

Your basic instincts are the same. You react just the same as he did, you simply have more knowledge. Is your control any better? The Hunter-Gather used the resources until they were gone and then went somewhere else until they came back. We use all the resources until they are gone, and because we live so much longer and breed so much we can't move, and we are running out of resources.
infernovia wrote:And how is the primitive, who is a slave to nature, who can be wiped out by a famine and desert conditions, weather changes, various natural disasters, superior to the humans who have freed themselves from fearing wild animal attacks? Who understands the nature of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.? Your argument is self-defeating.

All these things still happen. Let the system fail in any meaningful way and modern industrial societies could have major problems, most large cities have less than 30 days of food. Look at France. Lewis Carrol described a situation something like I imagine we face.
"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:48 am UTC

We have fished a number of species to extinction, and continue today.

Because primitive human's never hunted anything to extinction?

Fought two major wars in the last century with a death count estimated to be above sixty million.

How many people would have even been alive to fight in those wars otherwise?

We have dumped so much plastic into the ocean that it is creating zones were the concentration is so heavy that it is easily visible.

... And?

The number of conflicts happening in the World today shows no sign of decreasing.

And pre-modern Man never engaged in any kind of warfare?

Overuse of antibiotics is causing an increasing number of resistant types after only 70 years of widespread use.


We've already wiped a number of extremely dangerous diseases out thanks in part to antibiotics, and saved countless people from epidemic disease as a result.

If the cost for saving untold millions from smallpox is that, in a hundred years the current families of antibiotics are completely useless (oh by the way, we're developing new kinds of antibiotics and new ways to combat disease constantly) then I for one pay it gladly.

We may be changing the climate in such a way as to change the ecology of the planet.

While developing the technology to bend the planet's ecology to our will, and to leave this planet for new pastures if we so choose.

We still have enough Nuclear weapons to kill every man, women, and child on Earth. The Stakeholders are India, Pakistan,China,North Korea,Russia,Britain,France,United States, and Israel. And all the wannabes.


Destroy the planet? Or fuel colonization efforts within our solar system, or even to nearby stars
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Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:27 am UTC

Morriswalters, your reason for returning to primitive society is simply that the humans now don't know how to use the weapons they built.

So? I don't see how you could be so fatalistic about current society but then affirmative of the primitive (after all, they are both going to die anyway, by your very own admission). And what about the primitives that will again try to increase in power once they are set back to that role? If you return to that mindset, then you can't be sure that they will stay that way. Because they will desire that power again. Just because you want to put your head in the sand does not mean that others will.

Again, read the greeks. There was a significant progress between the ice age man and them. Just because you tire of idiots of the modern age doesn't mean that the primitive age was better (or even the same).

Breeding, waste products, etc.

Of course, there is a solution to every problem that you have presented. It just requires a terrible sort of man (the word used as the russians do Ivan the Terrible).

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby elasto » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:06 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:I assume your response was sarcasm but I'll reply in spoilers so you or nobody else has to read if they don't wish.


People seem to be responding openly, so so shall I:

morriswalters wrote:We have fished a number of species to extinction, and continue today.
Fought two major wars in the last century with a death count estimated to be above sixty million.
We have dumped so much plastic into the ocean that it is creating zones were the concentration is so heavy that it is easily visible.
The number of conflicts happening in the World today shows no sign of decreasing.
Overuse of antibiotics is causing an increasing number of resistant types after only 70 years of widespread use.
We may be changing the climate in such a way as to change the ecology of the planet.
We still have enough Nuclear weapons to kill every man, women, and child on Earth. The Stakeholders are India, Pakistan,China,North Korea,Russia,Britain,France,United States, and Israel. And all the wannabes.
However perhaps I'm worrying needlessly.


morriswalters wrote:At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?


This comment strikes me as pretty ungrateful given that you probably wrote it from the comfort of a warm home, filled with plentiful food and drink; Indeed, you've probably never gone longer than 24 hours without eating in your life.

You will have written it on a computer so advanced even governments didn't have access to that kind of technology even 50 years ago.

You are probably in a nation with the most advanced healthcare the world has ever known. If you're even luckier, you will get it paid for through taxation so you can get a heart transplant, months of cancer treatment or anything else without it ever costing you any additional money - even if you were to lose your job and never work again.

As I read your comment I started to think of all the incredible advantages you have as a person alive in the West in 2010. I started to list them all to myself but it seemed to turn into the LoB Roman Sketch before my eyes.

Is the human race perfect? Of course not. But we could be within 50 years of hard AI, complete control of our genes and perhaps even effective immortality. In other words, it could all happen within our own lifetimes. The first person to live to be 1000 years old might already be alive today. It might be my own daughter.

Your comment just generally struck me as pretty ungrateful - a very 'glass half full' view of human advancement - prepared to ignore all the advances that will have made your life incredibly luxurious and comfortable compared to the typical citizen 5000, 500 or even 100 years ago - and seeing only all the stuff we haven't fixed yet.

That's a pretty miserable way to go through life if nothing else.

To put it another way, most humans throughout history have never had the luxury to 'worry about things' in the way you are. They were too busy working 18 hour days scratching vegetables from fields before dying from dysentery at 24.

My wife was in labour for 72 hours before they decided to give her a caesarean. Her cervix was undilated, and, 'left to nature', after another couple of days presumably she'd have just died. You ask: 'At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?' Well, for one thing, saving the life of my wife.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:35 pm UTC

I want to go back to the 'Antibiotic resistant' diseases for a second:

The Only reason this even seems like a threat now is that we have eradicated most of the more dangerous pandemic diseases. In reality, MRSA for example, is only slightly more likely to kill you than a slightly bad flu. If smallpox was still around then a disease like MRSA wouldn't even be on the radar.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby morriswalters » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

To start off with I like indoor plumbing, I have no desire to be the primitive. But we are a primitive man dressed in a Tuxedo. We haven't changed all that much if at all. We are still motivated the same way.

To elasto
Spoiler:
elasto wrote:
morriswalters wrote:I assume your response was sarcasm but I'll reply in spoilers so you or nobody else has to read if they don't wish.


People seem to be responding openly, so so shall I:

morriswalters wrote:We have fished a number of species to extinction, and continue today.
Fought two major wars in the last century with a death count estimated to be above sixty million.
We have dumped so much plastic into the ocean that it is creating zones were the concentration is so heavy that it is easily visible.
The number of conflicts happening in the World today shows no sign of decreasing.
Overuse of antibiotics is causing an increasing number of resistant types after only 70 years of widespread use.
We may be changing the climate in such a way as to change the ecology of the planet.
We still have enough Nuclear weapons to kill every man, women, and child on Earth. The Stakeholders are India, Pakistan,China,North Korea,Russia,Britain,France,United States, and Israel. And all the wannabes.
However perhaps I'm worrying needlessly.


morriswalters wrote:At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?


This comment strikes me as pretty ungrateful given that you probably wrote it from the comfort of a warm home, filled with plentiful food and drink; Indeed, you've probably never gone longer than 24 hours without eating in your life.

You will have written it on a computer so advanced even governments didn't have access to that kind of technology even 50 years ago.

You are probably in a nation with the most advanced healthcare the world has ever known. If you're even luckier, you will get it paid for through taxation so you can get a heart transplant, months of cancer treatment or anything else without it ever costing you any additional money - even if you were to lose your job and never work again.

As I read your comment I started to think of all the incredible advantages you have as a person alive in the West in 2010. I started to list them all to myself but it seemed to turn into the LoB Roman Sketch before my eyes.

Is the human race perfect? Of course not. But we could be within 50 years of hard AI, complete control of our genes and perhaps even effective immortality. In other words, it could all happen within our own lifetimes. The first person to live to be 1000 years old might already be alive today. It might be my own daughter.

Your comment just generally struck me as pretty ungrateful - a very 'glass half full' view of human advancement - prepared to ignore all the advances that will have made your life incredibly luxurious and comfortable compared to the typical citizen 5000, 500 or even 100 years ago - and seeing only all the stuff we haven't fixed yet.

That's a pretty miserable way to go through life if nothing else.

To put it another way, most humans throughout history have never had the luxury to 'worry about things' in the way you are. They were too busy working 18 hour days scratching vegetables from fields before dying from dysentery at 24.

My wife was in labour for 72 hours before they decided to give her a caesarean. Her cervix was undilated, and, 'left to nature', after another couple of days presumably she'd have just died. You ask: 'At the height of our civilization what have we accomplished?' Well, for one thing, saving the life of my wife.

I don't dismiss the technological advances or reject them. But we are still the irrational primitive at heart and it shows everywhere. This phrase strikes me "Your comment just generally struck me as pretty ungrateful - a very 'glass half full' view of human advancement - prepared to ignore all the advances that will have made your life incredibly luxurious and comfortable compared to the typical citizen 5000, 500 or even 100 years ago - and seeing only all the stuff we haven't fixed yet." so I'll directly answer it. I'm not ungrateful for human advancement, I simply state that I would love to see advancement in understanding of the human mind. Why do we still do the things we do. Grow the man to fit the knowledge. By the way I hope your wife is doing well, my wife had two cesareans before they came to the conclusion that even if you had one the second birth could be natural.


To infernovia

I don't wish to live the primitive lifestyle. But underneath that thin skin of urbanity that modern man wears he still is a primitive and it shows in everything he does. Advancements in Neuroscience may give us some insight into why we are the way we are. But people who believe that technology can pull them out of holes that they dig are the ones with their heads in the sand. It is an engineering truism that failure increases knowledge. But it is a piss poor way to work your way into the future, particularly if your failures can have catastrophic results. When we can answer these three questions we might have a chance. Where in the brain does consciousness reside, what is it, and how does it work.

To EdgarJPublius

Your first question is unanswerable, as to the rest, man has wiped out two diseases that I'm aware of. Certainly there has been conflict, one might ask why that is. You would think that with our vaunted intelligence that we would have figured out how to avoid them. I no longer spend money that I may not get, so I don't count on advances that may not show up particularly in medicine.
EdgarJPublius wrote:While developing the technology to bend the planet's ecology to our will, and to leave this planet for new pastures if we so choose.

How do you control something we barely understand? This attitude is one that I fear the most. We can describe components of our ecology but currently we we can't reproduce it on any scale. And there is no guarantee that we will be able to in the foreseeable future. I classify this thinking as "we will find if we need it". A not entirely rational point of view.
As an addendum to your last post smallpox is still around, in labs if nowhere else. See this.

I would never espouse going back to the "good ole days". That ship sailed a couple of billion people ago. What I would say is that I see technology like a tool box. I believe using what you need and no more, not in throwing away the tools. However the preceding is off point, my point was in my long winded way, is that we need to improve the man, so that he can use the technology that we need in a way that doesn't always cause more problems. For instance, as wealth increases birthrates tend to fall, ie the industrialized nations. Find the trigger for this and reducing the birthrate to something more sustainable could be an achievable goal. A lot of problems are caused by to many people using to many resources. Figure out why we have wars. The ins and outs of in groups and out groups so to speak.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

Your first question is unanswerable, as to the rest, man has wiped out two diseases that I'm aware of.

Two pretty nasty ones, and we've greatly reduced the incidence and danger posed by many more.

Certainly there has been conflict, one might ask why that is. You would think that with our vaunted intelligence that we would have figured out how to avoid them.

Well, we happen to be working on that one. The root of conflict is not something you can just sort of figure out by thinking about it real hard for a little while.

I no longer spend money that I may not get, so I don't count on advances that may not show up particularly in medicine.


I can understand the impulse to save rather than invest. It seems to me though that this mistrust of medicine is misplaced, medicine and pharmaceutical technology is one of the most consistent producers of significant breakthroughs.

EdgarJPublius wrote:While developing the technology to bend the planet's ecology to our will, and to leave this planet for new pastures if we so choose.

How do you control something we barely understand?


That's certainly a good question. But a better one might be 'how do you control something you don't try to understand?'

Sure, we're doing a bit of damage to the environment, but one of the major benefits we're getting from the technologies which cause that damage is a better understanding of the environment. If we waited till we understood the potential environmental effects of say, launching things into space on giant rockets, then we would never have been to the moon, because we would have never launched TIROS-1 and gained the basic ability to understand climactic phenomena granted by weather satellites.
Risk aversion is beneficial to a point, but not to the point of paralysis.

We're at a transformational point in the human story, developing the technologies we'll need to conquer our planet and the universe. Yes, developing these technologies is dangerous, we risk doing a lot more damage to the planet before we're ready, but I believe that a humanity which has survived the ice ages long enough to walk on the moon will be able to survive its adolescence and mature into a species fully capable of improving the world it has so damaged to get there.

This attitude is one that I fear the most. We can describe components of our ecology but currently we we can't reproduce it on any scale. And there is no guarantee that we will be able to in the foreseeable future. I classify this thinking as "we will find if we need it". A not entirely rational point of view.


How else would you do things? What strikes me as not entirely rational is your seeming belief that there is some 'better way' to be doing things, that maybe if only we'd only developed our technology in the right order then the world would be a better place.
Sure, there's a real possibility that this is true, but we can't see it, we certainly wouldn't have been able to see it a hundred years ago, or two hundred, or ten thousand. Maybe we'll be able to look back one day in the future and determine that if we'd just focused our efforts differently, we could have matured more quickly, without nearly as much risk. But we aren't in that position yet, we don't have the perspective to make that judgment call yet. That only comes with experience, with making mistakes and learning from them. When you're climbing a mountain, you don't look up to find the best way to reach the mountain, It's only after you've reached the top and you look down from the top with all the ridges and valleys laid out below you that the easiest path becomes obvious.

And it's no guarantee that there actually is a 'better' path to have taken. Technology isn't a map, you can't pick your route to each destination, choosing the scenic route or the short cut. It's a web of interconnected and mutually supported ideas and advances, each new technology is founded not just on the technology of it's component parts, but on a whole history of knowledge and ideas. This is one reason why it's so difficult to predict the importance of new technology even just a few years or decades away. You can't just look at the component technologies and predict what they will be used for, you also need the perspective gained from working with the component technologies, but also from having lived and worked in a world where those and other technologies are widespread.

You could travel back in time and explain the metallurgical processes and techniques necessary to make steel to an ironmonger, once you have the technology to make iron, you also have the technology to make steel BUT the ironmonger wouldn't be able to figure it out unless either someone told him, or he spent years, perhaps even centuries, tinkering with the metallurgical processes and connecting the results of different inputs and methodological changes into a comprehensive understanding. And even then, it takes the understanding of numerous other technologies to even understand why steel is useful.
If all you ever use iron for is basic tools and cooking implements, then steel offers nothing to you. It's only really in warfare that the value of steel is really apparent early on, and only after war makes steel swords and armor and chariots commonplace that new uses for steel are really developed. Sure, you could go back in time and explain how to make steel and how it can be used to construct buildings that are thousands of feet tall and bridges capable of spanning the widest rivers, but none of that stuff get's developed on its own without some nasty warfare to provide the experience and the perspective.

As an addendum to your last post smallpox is still around, in labs if nowhere else. See this.


That is immaterial, the point is that thanks to modern medical science, there hasn't been a case of smallpox in thirty two years.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:56 pm UTC

We're at a transformational point in the human story, developing the technologies we'll need to conquer our planet and the universe.

Which could cause so much additional suffering throughout the universe that even the catastrophic nightmare we've seen on earth since the Cambrian radiation 500 million years ago will utterly be dwarfed in comparison. Unless Abolitionism succeeds and can be shown to be evolutionary stable in the very long run, this is not at all a good thing. It could turn out to be the worst mistake we could ever possibly make, far exceeding extinction.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Abolition is the goal.
A goal we can't reach unless we try.
A goal we can't try to reach unless we survive.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:04 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Abolition is the goal.
A goal we can't reach unless we try.
A goal we can't try to reach unless we survive.

Nice rhetoric, but obviously false since by defintion, the end of sentience implies the end of all unpleasantness (in the future-like regions of space-time at least).

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:11 pm UTC

The end of unpleasantness is different from the maximization of happiness.


And anyway, not even in our wildest power-mad dreams could humanity hope to abolish sentience.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:And anyway, not even in our wildest power-mad dreams could humanity hope to abolish sentience.

Hm, I don't know. It seems comparatively easy to me. Certainly easier than to create some kind of stable and functioning utopia - or even colonize the galaxy without regard for the consequences. As far as we currently know, sentience may be a very local terrestrial phenomenon. In this case, all it would take is the destruction of life on earth before it spreads. Creating a stable mini black hole or strange matter could be enough - one singular physical project we might accomplish this century. Or we nuke high-tech civilization into oblivion, and a nearby supernova, gamma ray burst or simply the expected end of our sun will take care of the rest while it still only exists on earth.

As for sentience in other parts of our future light-cone, we might figure out how to nucleate a bubble of vacuum decay, spreading with light-speed. Beyond that, we probably won't be able to influence anything anyway. Such an action would prevent all future torture victims and the uncounted other kinds of suffering entities that would otherwise non-consensually come into existence to suffer involuntarily.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby morriswalters » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

It's not technology I don't trust, it's people. I full well understand how development works. But people make poor choices because they have internal bias's that they don't understand. A lot of those bias's are so evident that they have names. Others exist, or may exist, that aren't so apparent. Even a simple question of how we make choices at all is not well understood. As I said we have the primitives instincts with modern technology. That's my goal for Humanity, to understand us. In terms of technology we better get at it. As I stated earlier this is the Red Queens Race and we aren't running fast enough. I'm not going to worry about the Universe at all, as no one can present any evidence that we will be able to spread outward. In terms of this system only an optimist can believe that it could handle the overflow at our present rate of reproduction. Figure out how to live here while we learn if it's possible to go somewhere else.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:40 pm UTC

Hedonic Treader wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:And anyway, not even in our wildest power-mad dreams could humanity hope to abolish sentience.

Hm, I don't know. It seems comparatively easy to me. Certainly easier than to create some kind of stable and functioning utopia - or even colonize the galaxy without regard for the consequences.


Considering we don't know how to do any of those things, it seems premature to judge which would be more difficult.

As for sentience in other parts of our future light-cone, we might figure out how to nucleate a bubble of vacuum decay, spreading with light-speed. Beyond that, we probably won't be able to influence anything anyway. Such an action would prevent all future torture victims and the uncounted other kinds of suffering entities that would otherwise non-consensually come into existence to suffer involuntarily.


Presupposing that faster than light travel is impossible, an assumption that isn't actually supported by our current understanding of physics.
And once again, we run into the issue of having no basis to say whether or not triggering a vacuum collapse is even possible, let alone necessarily easier than developing a pain-free utopia.

Not to mention what actually happens inside the vacuum decay bubble. For all we know, there's a whole other universe in there we just created.

morriswalters wrote:It's not technology I don't trust, it's people. I full well understand how development works. But people make poor choices because they have internal bias's that they don't understand. A lot of those bias's are so evident that they have names. Others exist, or may exist, that aren't so apparent. Even a simple question of how we make choices at all is not well understood. As I said we have the primitives instincts with modern technology. That's my goal for Humanity, to understand us. In terms of technology we better get at it. As I stated earlier this is the Red Queens Race and we aren't running fast enough. I'm not going to worry about the Universe at all, as no one can present any evidence that we will be able to spread outward. In terms of this system only an optimist can believe that it could handle the overflow at our present rate of reproduction. Figure out how to live here while we learn if it's possible to go somewhere else.



I can understand that I guess. Though I'd add that those very same biases may just as easily be necessary for our future understanding.

We are actively trying to reach that understanding, and to reach some kind of balance on Earth while we develop our ability to get off it. maybe it's not fast enough, but maybe it isn't, and in either case, we're developing these things as fast as we can.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Not to mention what actually happens inside the vacuum decay bubble. For all we know, there's a whole other universe in there we just created.

Or very many. This possibility was explored in a sci-fi novel I recently read. You raise valid points, EdgarJPublius.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Headshrinker » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

(And no, I am not misunderstanding your position. The industrial revolution was mankind's birth, after a long and troubled pregnancy

Long and troubled?
im assuming you mean the problems tecnology has created.
in that case you are very wrong indeed my friend, the revolution was a sucsses from the start.
Life expectancy tripled, reduction in horse use led to less pollution and fewer fatalities on the road, there were more jobs, reduction in squalor, and increased class mobility to say the least.

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EdgarJPublius
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

I believe Vaniver was actually saying that the time before the industrial revolution was the long and troubled pregnancy (it would hardly make sense to have a long and troubled pregnancy after birth would it)

Also @Vaniver:

Have I said that I love you and that you're my hero recently?
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title


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