The goal of humanity

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meatyochre
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby meatyochre » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:33 pm UTC

krazykomrade wrote:
Taking Idiocracy as an example... At one point the female lead in Idiocracy asks (I'm paraphrasing from memory), "Do you think Einstein walked around thinkin' everyone was a buncha dumbshits?" The people seemed pretty happy most of the time, even though we as outsiders are supposed to find their lack of intellect humorous. Dogs and cats seem pretty happy most of the time, as long as their basic life needs are met. Do rabbits worry about tomorrow? Is a fish ever unhappy? Certainly it may feel pain when you catch it, and will defend against any pain to continue living, but is it future-seeing? Can a mosquito feel sadness?

Is happiness really the only, or even most important, thing about being alive?

Supposing it is, are there not higher and lower levels of that happiness (ie, the pleasure from being moved by music or a work of art versus mere physical satisfaction of sex or having one's basic needs met)? Dogs don't seem to worry about their own mortality, but also seem incapable of experiencing many things of great value as well.

The only necessary factor of life is that it perpetuate itself. Beyond that, I don't think it matters two bits.

Personally I have gotten more satisfaction from vicodin and weed (separately) than from viewing or creating any work of art, but I'm more hedonistic than average. Given the assumption that life is finite (our sun/the universe will end sooner or later), it will not matter what we leave behind for future generations, but what we experienced while alive.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Vaniver » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:02 am UTC

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby drunken » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:37 am UTC

This thread is neither about your personal interests nor archeology.

- Az
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Azrael » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:50 am UTC

Nor is it about flaming drunken. King Author, you're done in this thread.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Well... no. For instance, the abolishment of suffering could be achieved precisely by extinction. Nucleating a bubble of vacuum decay would certainly end all suffering in almost our entire future lightcone.

Err... So why should we go for such death drives?

It seems to me the problems of the world are not a product of simple disagreement on limited social phenomena. There are aspects of human life, for example genocide, that virtually no one agrees are good or should be continued, and yet they persist.

I can name quite a few people who agreed genocide was good, and managed to empower themselves and accomplish goals through their way. The Americans with the Atomic Bomb, the Nazis, Soviet Russia, the pollution of the Vietnam water supply which gives birth defects... etc. Can it be said that genocide is not a good thing when (if you are an american) you are reaping off of its benefits? Just because the mass murder happened 200 years before does not mean anything...

I am not fond of the hedonistic perspective, especially the slave overmind that HedonicTreader imagines. Mostly because I don't think the super powerful entity is actually doing anything different than any life-form now.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

I don't believe that the the Atomic Bombs qualify as 'genocide'
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

Well, it wasn't completed (the hatred was getting to that level though). But what do they call it now, "a necessary evil?"

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:Well, it wasn't completed (the hatred was getting to that level though). But what do they call it now, "a necessary evil?"


I believe we call it war not being pleasant for the parties involved; and to compare the use of possibly excessive force to the holocaust is absurd at best.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Azrael » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:03 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:Well, it wasn't completed (the hatred was getting to that level though). But what do they call it now, "a necessary evil?"

The same thing they called it then, 'war'. Or if you'd prefer the modern term 'collateral damage' during war. The primary differences are that the two nations were at a declared war with one another, and the driving motivation wasn't to exterminate either ethnicity. Nor do the actions qualify as 'determined', nor 'systematic' (two oft-used adjectives in formal definitions) when the aggressor stopped willing, and of their own accord, long before the point of eradication, merely because a set of self-imposed pre-existing conditions were met (i.e. unconditional surrender).

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

Maybe its just the person who I studied US History under, but the implication of having groups with no POW ever in their record seems genocidal in its own right. Its not the same thing, not in the same scale, and not as mechanically efficient, but certainly there is a sort of evilness in our action that matches the horrors that we accuse from the opponents.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:07 am UTC

infernovia wrote:Maybe its just the person who I studied US History under, but the implication of having groups with no POW ever in their record seems genocidal in its own right. Its not the same thing, not in the same scale, and not as mechanically efficient, but certainly there is a sort of evilness in our action that matches the horrors that we accuse from the opponents.


Could you clarify what that is referring to?
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Azrael » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:35 am UTC

infernovia wrote:... but the implication of having groups with no POW ever in their record seems genocidal in its own right.
If you're saying someone taught you that the US didn't keep POWs during WWII, then they're ... an idiot? Or at least a terrible teacher. And you need to do some basic research. I mean, that's just the first two google hits.

If the question is the disparity in population of Japanese combatants captured in battle vs German (somewhere in the order of 100x fewer), one has to take into consideration a generally noted unwillingness for the Japanese soldiers to surrender.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:06 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I believe we call it war not being pleasant for the parties involved; and to compare the use of possibly excessive force to the holocaust is absurd at best.

Btw, I am not arguing that the Americans were as evil as the Nazis or went to the same length that they did, but that they did rely on the horrors to become victors.

Az wrote:If the question is the disparity in population of Japanese combatants captured in battle vs German (somewhere in the order of 100x fewer), one has to take into consideration a generally noted unwillingness for the Japanese soldiers to surrender

Yes, I meant the Japanese.

I said groups, not the whole population. That the US wants POW is not something I could argue against. Just look at what US did with Hirohito.

As for the Bushido path, be that as it may, it doesn't seem odd to you that through the whole WWII a few of the groups (battalions/ whatever) did not capture even one soldier? Like some were literally known for this. I am trying to find an internet source for this, but I am finding it difficult to search for.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Azrael » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:50 am UTC

So you've moved from atomic weapons are genocide to some battalions may not have honored surrenders, if they were actually (uncharacteristically) offered? You're backpedaling.

Sure, warcrimes happened, and while tit for tat doesn't excuse it, ever hear of the Bataan death march? Furthermore warcrimes != genocide, and in this one the US came out comparatively smelling like roses.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby infernovia » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:39 am UTC

Uh... yeah I consider the Atomic Weapons pretty evil, maybe not "genocide" but certainly comparable to many atrocities. And I consider it a pretty big war crime especially in the way it was used. I do think that the threat of the genocide was very real at the time, at least, I would say that there would be a fair number of people who wouldn't be against the idea. I don't know about "smelling like roses" or whatever.

Anyway, I am sorry for using the examples I did. I probably could have made my point a lot clearer with a more focused one.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:22 am UTC

Set as spoiler because it is somewhat off topic.

Spoiler:
infernovia wrote:Uh... yeah I consider the Atomic Weapons pretty evil, maybe not "genocide" but certainly comparable to many atrocities. And I consider it a pretty big war crime especially in the way it was used. I do think that the threat of the genocide was very real at the time, at least, I would say that there would be a fair number of people who wouldn't be against the idea. I don't know about "smelling like roses" or whatever.


Considering that Japan invaded China in order to seize the local fossil fuels and other minerals, as a result 11 million Chinese (mostly civilian) were killed by Japan in WWII, hundreds of thousands of women forced into rape camps for YEARS, the Bataan death march, not to mention what happened in Korea and the Phillippines, and so on, even Russia smells like roses in comparison to Japan. Well, unless you are Ukrainian.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby krazykomrade » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:14 pm UTC

meatyochre wrote:The only necessary factor of life is that it perpetuate itself. Beyond that, I don't think it matters two bits.

Personally I have gotten more satisfaction from vicodin and weed (separately) than from viewing or creating any work of art, but I'm more hedonistic than average. Given the assumption that life is finite (our sun/the universe will end sooner or later), it will not matter what we leave behind for future generations, but what we experienced while alive.

You said earlier, in your post to which I originally responded, that "there's no reason to think that a "dumbing-down" of our species would be disadvantageous or undesirable" seemingly on the grounds that an Idocracy-like society would be happier. I was giving some suggestions why it would indeed be undesirable.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:48 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:The only necessary factor of life is that it perpetuate itself. Beyond that, I don't think it matters two bits.

Personally I have gotten more satisfaction from vicodin and weed (separately) than from viewing or creating any work of art, but I'm more hedonistic than average. Given the assumption that life is finite (our sun/the universe will end sooner or later), it will not matter what we leave behind for future generations, but what we experienced while alive.


Self-perpetuation is the only "important" part of life (on the grounds that a] it's the definition and b] without it, there is no life - not identical reasons). Anything else (happiness, non-euclidean geometry, and literary criticism) is irrelevant if it does not further self-perpetuation. I would argue that dumbing-down reduces the chances of self-perpetuation, since it might eliminate/reduce our ability to escape asteroid/exploding sun/central black hole/raptor invasion.

Nota bene: I'm talking about /life/, not /humanity/. So, depending on personal beliefs, the above may actually be completely off-topic. We could persist as conscious beings after physical death, rendering it irrelevant. Or whatever.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

drunken wrote:1) What are our current goals, as a species and as a society?


Our current goals??!! They don't exist. If our world has any shared connectivity at all it is that there is no unity. That being said, unity is our goal. An unachievable goal. So what are we doing? What are our goals? To exist as a species until we no longer can and to react with great vigor toward anything that gets in the way of that (of our ability to live or our ability to have a comfortable way of life). As a society (I can only speak for American society) we are trying to best move forward with the world and its interests, all the while not diminishing our way of life (We really like our cars).

drunken wrote:2) What alternative goals can we think of that we might pursue


We're overpopulated. The end. The only goal we may pursue would be to find a way to exist on this planet without further destroying it which is impossible. The only solution to overpopulation is genocide and governing bodies would never accept that.

drunken wrote:3) How can we evaluate such a collection of possible goals in order to decide upon one or more worthwhile ones to work towards?


Unless the world as a whole can realize the self-destructive nature we've adopted and from that understand that a complete change of lifestyle and society is required in order to prevent the harm we are doing to ourselves and the planet, nothing will change. New programs are not going to fix a problem with the foundation of our society.

It would seem the only solution to our worlds problems would be Globalization. Form one governing body and then control the populace from their in the most unfathomable anti-utopia way possible. That's the only solution I see without killing ourselves. But even that would fail.

(I understand these are wild statements, presented with the vigor off the cuff of my sleeve. I too wonder how I shall defend them :-P)
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:55 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:The only goal we may pursue would be to find a way to exist on this planet without further destroying it which is impossible. The only solution to overpopulation is genocide and governing bodies would never accept that.


Uh... is colonizing other planets/solid bodies no longer on the table?

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

bytbox wrote:Uh... is colonizing other planets/solid bodies no longer on the table?


I really feel like that being a possibility is very unrealistic. We simply don't have the resources, both physically and socially. What I mean by that is, if we were going to acheive that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality. With all our worlds resources in the hands of dozens of countires, I feel as if the politics of it would begin to break down (even if it were physically possible). I don't know enough about the science of colonizing another planet but I really feel like our capabilities of doing that are a little unrealistic.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:30 pm UTC

if we were going to acheive that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality


I don't see any reason why this would necessarily be true...
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
if we were going to acheive that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality


I don't see any reason why this would necessarily be true...


We certainly got to the moon without that. I see no reason not to expect a corporate-run moon colony 20 years from now.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:45 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
if we were going to achieve that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality


I don't see any reason why this would necessarily be true...


To my understanding it would take a great amount of resources if we were to be able to colonize the moon or another planet. Our resources are spread out throughout the world. For instance, America holds a lot of unrefined resources for the creation of high-tech items, but does not refine them themselves. China holds many of the worlds exports of refined rare minerals used in the creation of high technologies. This is just an example of multiple countries having a need to work together toward a common goal if it were to be achieved. Unless one country were to just buy these resources and develop this colonizing technology themselves. Wouldn't other countries hold offense to that? Watching the 1st world launch into space to start a brave new world, while the 3rd world is left on Earth to suffer the consequences of our actions.
Regardless! The whole idea about colonizing another planet doesn't solve anything, it perpetuates our own crumbling situation. The idea on whether or not it is feasible, achievable or otherwise is moot.

bytbox wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:
if we were going to acheive that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality


I don't see any reason why this would necessarily be true...


We certainly got to the moon without that. I see no reason not to expect a corporate-run moon colony 20 years from now.


Those colonies would need constant resupply, they would not be able to sustain themselves without HUGE leaps in technological advancements. Advancements we are not currently focused on. We're focused on medicine and consumable technologies. What country is going to jeoperdize its economic stance by putting a money pit/colony on the moon?
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:00 pm UTC

they would not be able to sustain themselves without HUGE leaps in technological advancements.

Really? Provided we manage to transport sufficient water to the colony (where "sufficient" is frighteningly large, hence the excitement about possible lunar ice), I believe we actually do have the technology for a wholly self-sufficient colony. It is somewhat impractical with our current technology, but it's possible. We're not that far off.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:
if we were going to achieve that the world would have to pool their resources and act as a singular unit in order to see it become a reality


I don't see any reason why this would necessarily be true...


To my understanding it would take a great amount of resources if we were to be able to colonize the moon or another planet. Our resources are spread out throughout the world. For instance, America holds a lot of unrefined resources for the creation of high-tech items, but does not refine them themselves. China holds many of the worlds exports of refined rare minerals used in the creation of high technologies. This is just an example of multiple countries having a need to work together toward a common goal if it were to be achieved. Unless one country were to just buy these resources and develop this colonizing technology themselves. Wouldn't other countries hold offense to that? Watching the 1st world launch into space to start a brave new world, while the 3rd world is left on Earth to suffer the consequences of our actions.
Regardless! The whole idea about colonizing another planet doesn't solve anything, it perpetuates our own crumbling situation. The idea on whether or not it is feasible, achievable or otherwise is moot.



What you're talking about is already basically how the world works. The U.S. buys the necessary raw and refined materials for pretty much all of the technology and luxury that is taken for granted in the U.S. from other countries. Why do you think the 'third world' would be any more offended by the U.S. colonizing the Moon without them than they already are that we have such a higher standard of living than them, or that their offense will somehow have any more impact on a lunar colony than it does on the U.S. standard of living now?

And colonizing another planet doesn't perpetuate our own crumbling situation, the moon and near earth asteroids have many resources that we are running out of on Earth, and which could enable a number of more sustainable/environmentally-friendly technologies.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:05 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Why do you think the 'third world' would be any more offended by the U.S. colonizing the Moon without them than they already are that we have such a higher standard of living than them, or that their offense will somehow have any more impact on a lunar colony than it does on the U.S. standard of living now?


First off, America is already one of the most hated countries for that reason. The idea of any country exercising such an elitist agenda as claiming the moon for their own intentions is exactly the kind of faux pas political agenda that would ostracize them. You said it yourself "more offended...than they already are". Is it not abundantly obvious that any more exercises in self-prevalence would throw the political world into an even more chaotic political storm ? Especially with the global climate as taxed as it is already with problems concerning our own station here on Earth.

EdgarJPublius wrote:And colonizing another planet doesn't perpetuate our own crumbling situation, the moon and near earth asteroids have many resources that we are running out of on Earth, and which could enable a number of more sustainable/environmentally-friendly technologies.


There's a contradiction here. How does it not perpetuate our own crumbling society, if it is true that it is indeed crumbling. How, by moving from one place to another, devouring the resources we're able to find there a solution? That sounds more counterproductive than anything else and an obvious recognition for the choice of word "perpetuation".

We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:18 am UTC

We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


The only way to avoid exhaustion of resources is to have few enough people dependent on a certain resource set that the resources regenerate as quickly as they consume them. (Meaning that they'll need to use, pretty much exclusively, the ones that /do/ regenerate, and reasonably quickly.) That means dispersion. It's not the "moving on" - though that helps - it's the spreading out.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:41 am UTC

djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:Why do you think the 'third world' would be any more offended by the U.S. colonizing the Moon without them than they already are that we have such a higher standard of living than them, or that their offense will somehow have any more impact on a lunar colony than it does on the U.S. standard of living now?


First off, America is already one of the most hated countries for that reason. The idea of any country exercising such an elitist agenda as claiming the moon for their own intentions is exactly the kind of faux pas political agenda that would ostracize them. You said it yourself "more offended...than they already are". Is it not abundantly obvious that any more exercises in self-prevalence would throw the political world into an even more chaotic political storm ? Especially with the global climate as taxed as it is already with problems concerning our own station here on Earth.



I'm not convinced at all that the U.S. would be anymore ostracized for colonizing the moon or other extra-planetary bodies than it already is. They certainly weren't any more hated after landing on the moon the first time, it was seen, and rightly so, as a monumental scientific achievement, not crass nationalism, why do you imagine the same wouldn't be true for the even more monumental human achievement of actually living on the moon for an extended period of time?
If there's one thing the so-called 'third world' likes more than hating the U.S., it's American Money and technology, if as you say, such an effort would require purchasing a large amount of material from other nations, then wouldn't these countries welcome our money? And such a feat of science engineering, like the original space race, will certainly come with other technological advances that would be beneficial to everyone.

And, even if your contention that the rest of the world would, for some ill-defined reason hate the U.S. more for colonizing the moon, then So What? When has the hatred and ostracization of other nations ever significantly impacted U.S. Policy? What possible mechanism does the dislike like of other nations have to prevent lunar colonization?

Anyway, as others have mentioned, it's not even very likely that it would be the U.S. government colonizing the moon. With several private companies now engaged in a sort of corporate space-race, it's much more likely that the next human on the moon will will plant a Space X or Lockheed-Martin flag in the lunar regolith than an American one


Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Umm... exactly? How is that any different from what you're advocating, or at all similar to what I'm suggesting?
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Dark567 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:27 am UTC

djkjr wrote:We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Entropy will eventually remove all energy from the universe, leaving it without resources. The universe is not sustainable. There is nothing particularly wrong with a system of using one rocks resources until depletion and then moving on to the next. They all will eventually be depleted anyway.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby bytbox » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:15 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
djkjr wrote:We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Entropy will eventually remove all energy from the universe, leaving it without resources. The universe is not sustainable. There is nothing particularly wrong with a system of using one rocks resources until depletion and then moving on to the next. They all will eventually be depleted anyway.


Entropy doesn't remove energy, it just makes it unusable.

Have you read Asmiov's The Gods Themselves? I dislike applying cosmological assumptions to real life. That problem is far enough in the future - and we know little enough about how the universe /actually/ works - that just "waiting for it to go away" isn't actually a bad idea. Let's assume entropy can be, at the very least, circumvented.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:14 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
djkjr wrote:We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Entropy will eventually remove all energy from the universe, leaving it without resources. The universe is not sustainable. There is nothing particularly wrong with a system of using one rocks resources until depletion and then moving on to the next. They all will eventually be depleted anyway.


Maybe in a few trillions of trillions of trillions of... hang on, lemme get my copy of "Death From the Skies".

Let's see now... 1092 years.

Something tells me that if we survive everything else for that long we'll have found a new universe to move into by then, or created one for ourselves.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

bytbox wrote:
We need to fix our problems here. Colonization of other planets/moons/asteroids is perpetuation for we'd only be doing it to gather whatever resources we could there, until they ran out, then off to the next one. Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


The only way to avoid exhaustion of resources is to have few enough people dependent on a certain resource set that the resources regenerate as quickly as they consume them. (Meaning that they'll need to use, pretty much exclusively, the ones that /do/ regenerate, and reasonably quickly.) That means dispersion. It's not the "moving on" - though that helps - it's the spreading out.

"Spreading out" on Earth would be no more or less productive than our current situation. In fact, continuing to disturb the ecosystem by converting forests into homes just further sinks our teeth into our preexisting problems. We have far more people than our Earth can sustain as it is already. Resources are not replenishing as fast as we are using them. Our goal needs to be a revision of our way of life. The truth of the matter is that the majority of people are not willing to make the change in lifestyle appropriate to put us on the right path toward a healthy future existence in the world.
Right now the "spreading out" needs to be thinned out. We need a war.

EdgarJPublius wrote:
djkjr wrote:Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Umm... exactly? How is that any different from what you're advocating, or at all similar to what I'm suggesting?

It is what I'm advocating. Colonization would amount to burning through another set of resources, and then another and then another... And it is exactly what you are suggesting proven by your prior statement here
EdgarJPublius wrote:And colonizing another planet doesn't perpetuate our own crumbling situation, the moon and near earth asteroids have many resources that we are running out of on Earth, and which could enable a number of more sustainable/environmentally-friendly technologies.

Our future is not locked into the industrial revolution and technological boom that we've had the luxury of experiencing in the very recent past. You have to consider that we existed on this planet thousands of years without facing ANY of the problems we've CREATED in the past dozen generations! How is it at all feasible to believe that the answer to that problem is "let's just go suck another rock dry"?

But I digress; the purpose of this forum is to question what the "Goal of Humanity" is. And I stand by my claim, colonization of the moon or surrounding objects or not, that we have no goal. If there needs to be one, it should be how to downsize our footprint on this Earth.

Relate resources to a salary. Now relate the planet to a big beautiful mansion that we've enjoyed living in for a long time. Only now our salary has been cut. You don't think that families answer is going to be "I'm just going to continue begging, borrowing and stealing in order to keep this place." No. That family is going to need to downsize in order to survive because that is the only practical and worthwhile thing to do. Why can't we see that ourselves? Because we're too damned comfortable in that mansion, the way we exist on this planet (our luxurious lifestyle) and we'd rather beg borrow and steal in order to sustain our amenities rather than make the difficult choice to downsize.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:
djkjr wrote:Ever play a RTS? Starcraft for instance? You play any one map long enough, all those resources will dry up and you'll have nothing left to build with.


Umm... exactly? How is that any different from what you're advocating, or at all similar to what I'm suggesting?

It is what I'm advocating. Colonization would amount to burning through another set of resources, and then another and then another... And it is exactly what you are suggesting proven by your prior statement here


So your plan is what? Burn through the resources here and then just kind of sit around and crumble? How does that solve anything?

EdgarJPublius wrote:And colonizing another planet doesn't perpetuate our own crumbling situation, the moon and near earth asteroids have many resources that we are running out of on Earth, and which could enable a number of more sustainable/environmentally-friendly technologies.

Our future is not locked into the industrial revolution and technological boom that we've had the luxury of experiencing in the very recent past. You have to consider that we existed on this planet thousands of years without facing ANY of the problems we've CREATED in the past dozen generations! How is it at all feasible to believe that the answer to that problem is "let's just go suck another rock dry"?


That's complete nonsense, in fact, I'm gonna call it what it is, regressive primitivism. Sure, we've created some problems in the last hundred years or two, but did you ever stop to think about what life on this miserable rock was like before we created these problems? here's a hint; it was MISERABLE. People died of diseases we didn't even have names for, hell, we didn't even know what a fucking disease was more often than not, it might as well have been demonic possession or an excess of blood. Starvation was rampant. You think 'world hunger' is such a terrible problem? try imagining what it must have been like before genetic engineering and mechanized harvesting meant that we could at least feed the greater portion of the population year round.
Sure, we've created some problems in the last little while, but we've solved far more problems, and every day we get closer to solving those problems that we've created int he pursuit of a better world.

You say that our future isn't locked into the industrial revolution and you're right, as long as we stay on this planet, it isn't the industrial revolution that constrains us, it is the limited resources of our home rock. You think that just going and 'sucking another rock dry' isn't the answer, but that's a fundamental misapprehension of what space colonization offers. We aren't talking about moving to the Moon and 'sucking it dry' before moving on to Mars to do the same and so on. We're talking about a whole new frontier, an unimaginable collection of wealth and opportunity that is for all practical purposes (and might very well in fact be) infinite.

Mankind is filling up the planet with waste and people, although there are many competing and often contradictory estimations for the ultimate human population limit of the Earth, there is a single thread binding such discussion together; that humanity is coming dangerously close to the limit. Space offers not just an opportunity to extend that limit, through resources exploitation in the form of asteroid mining and power generation, but break it entirely, by enabling humans to escape the Earth and live in colonies suspended in orbit, or even on other worlds.

Even just the area described by the earth's orbit holds so much of value that our own planet is less than a hovel by comparison. Unimaginable wealth in minerals, energy and living space.
These resources are not only desirable, they are necessary for the continuance of the Human race.

Relate resources to a salary. Now relate the planet to a big beautiful mansion that we've enjoyed living in for a long time. Only now our salary has been cut. You don't think that families answer is going to be "I'm just going to continue begging, borrowing and stealing in order to keep this place." No. That family is going to need to downsize in order to survive because that is the only practical and worthwhile thing to do. Why can't we see that ourselves? Because we're too damned comfortable in that mansion, the way we exist on this planet (our luxurious lifestyle) and we'd rather beg borrow and steal in order to sustain our amenities rather than make the difficult choice to downsize.


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?

You're the one who wants to beg borrow and steal resources to keep living in a dilapidated hut. You want to cannibalize our own future, thieving the limited resources of our planet to lock ourselves underground because you are afraid of coming out from the damp, dark hole we've been living in, afraid that the sun is too bright, and the wider universe too open.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:06 pm UTC

djkjr wrote:Right now the "spreading out" needs to be thinned out. We need a war.

Apart from the obvious human welfare cost, wars also destroy resources and productivity. Blowing things up for no productive reason hardly qualifies as "decreasing our footprint". Also, if your gloomy malthusianism is right, war will be inevitable, which means that we don't "need" it, it just happens eventually anyway. And no, I don't think it will be more or less destructive or controllable if we start the madness now deliberately. You may also want to take a look at the arguments in this thread.

Our future is not locked into the industrial revolution and technological boom that we've had the luxury of experiencing in the very recent past. You have to consider that we existed on this planet thousands of years without facing ANY of the problems we've CREATED in the past dozen generations!

Going back to that lifestyle is not desirable even if it were possible and sustainable. Our ancestors had entirely different problems. Ever imagined what it felt like to experience operation without anesthesia? Or freezing or starving to death, or being eaten alive? High-tech civ is the only system that can give rise to something better in the long run, and after 500 million years of suffering from wildlife, I fail to see a reason why this should even be considered a future worth sustaining.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby Hedonic Treader » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:12 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Mankind is filling up the planet with waste and people, although there are many competing and often contradictory estimations for the ultimate human population limit of the Earth, there is a single thread binding such discussion together; that humanity is coming dangerously close to the limit. Space offers not just an opportunity to extend that limit, through resources exploitation in the form of asteroid mining and power generation, but break it entirely, by enabling humans to escape the Earth and live in colonies suspended in orbit, or even on other worlds.

This may be true in the long run, but not in the window of time we have. Of course we need to slow down population growth and at the same time adopt much more efficient resource use than today. We're probably talking about the next 50 years or so, extraterrestrial resources obviously aren't the answer for that bottleneck.

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

I agree that we should be seeking more efficient, sustainable and environmentally 'friendly' technologies to support our civilization, and could almost certainly benefit from a little bit of frugality/austerity in the richer parts of the world. But in terms of the 'Goal of Humanity', however desirable a more efficient distribution and utilization of resources may be, it is not a long term solution to anything.
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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?

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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby djkjr » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

I've decided to take more time answering these things so that I may better be understood and articulate my thoughts more appropriately. I feel I've been misheard mostly because I've been too quick to write.
(Spoilers placed to save space)
EdgarJPublius wrote:So your plan is what? Burn through the resources here and then just kind of sit around and crumble? How does that solve anything?

Spoiler:
No, not remotely! I've either been misread or I miswrote. The example of RTS was to demonstrate how we are just like that single map and that if we continue on our same path, my theory is that we will end up running out just like that map. I'm aware it solves nothing, which is what I'm afraid.

EdgarJPublius wrote:That's complete nonsense, in fact, I'm gonna call it what it is, regressive primitivism...
Spoiler:
Sure, we've created some problems in the last hundred years or two, but did you ever stop to think about what life on this miserable rock was like before we created these problems? here's a hint; it was MISERABLE. People died of diseases we didn't even have names for, hell, we didn't even know what a fucking disease was more often than not, it might as well have been demonic possession or an excess of blood. Starvation was rampant. You think 'world hunger' is such a terrible problem? try imagining what it must have been like before genetic engineering and mechanized harvesting meant that we could at least feed the greater portion of the population year round.
Sure, we've created some problems in the last little while, but we've solved far more problems, and every day we get closer to solving those problems that we've created int he pursuit of a better world.

Spoiler:
Actually regressive primitivism seems to be the exact definition of what I'm implying. I'm not too totally convinced that we've solved more problems than we've created. It seems the only problems we solved are the ones we've created. Any other problem we solved or are attempting to solve that was not created by mankind and civilizations ramifications are natural and, according to the foundation of my theory in primitivism, is completely natural and therefore necessary. We only find them evil and distressing things because we do not wish to die. I'm sure no wild animal wishes to die either, but these are things they deal with everyday. I find it naturally unfair that we've diluted ourselves into thinking we're so superior that we should be entitled the ability to do these things. Primitivism seems to be what I'm implying. Thank you for the word.

EdgarJPublius wrote:"...These resources are not only desirable, they are necessary for the continuance of the Human race.

Spoiler:
Everything you wrote in your next response to me was beautifully summed up by your last sentence (above).This is exactly what I'm talking about. It is the basis of my refute. Why have we progressed in our civilization to such a point that it is necessary for these problems to be solved? We're creating these problems! The fact that we must look past our own home planet in order to ensure the continuance of the Human race the way we know it now is blindingly counterproductive to me. For thousands of years we have lived unnaturally and because of that feel that the way we are living is the correct way. It's no wonder the ideas Primitivism and Naturalism are so shunned.

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?

You're the one who wants to beg borrow and steal resources to keep living in a dilapidated hut. You want to cannibalize our own future, thieving the limited resources of our planet to lock ourselves underground because you are afraid of coming out from the damp, dark hole we've been living in, afraid that the sun is too bright, and the wider universe too open.

Spoiler:
I don't want to thieve our resources. I wish we could abolish the need for them altogether. I find the way we live far too unnatural for it to be at all acceptable or correct. I go along with it because I have to. I live in this world the way it is and to go against that is insane. Theoretically speaking, I'd rather deal with the perils of natural life and know nothing else than exercise such hidden disdain for how delopitated the world increasingly becomes.
Your interpretation of the mansion example is based on the belief that there is always more. That is the same belief we have had as a civilization for so long now and it is proving to be a fallacy. To me at least. I know I'm the minority here. I just don't see how everyone can walk on concrete into skyscraper buildings, drive automobiles to and fro and dine on mass produced beef served with all the toppings from several countries in one location and think that is natural.

Hedonic Treader wrote:Apart from the obvious human welfare cost, wars also destroy resources and productivity. Blowing things up for no productive reason hardly qualifies as "decreasing our footprint". Also, if your gloomy malthusianism is right, war will be inevitable, which means that we don't "need" it, it just happens eventually anyway. And no, I don't think it will be more or less destructive or controllable if we start the madness now deliberately. You may also want to take a look at the arguments in this thread.

Spoiler:
You're completely correct here. I stated the "we need a war" sentence because I was implying that there needs to be drastic change, but it's not going to happen with war. It definitely does happen eventually anyway. I just feel that the eventual war that will come will not be man against man. One of these days, far outside the scope of my lifestime, man is going to have to combat nature one last time and there wont be any way to protect against it. Newton states "for every action there is an equal and opposing reaction." This is one of the general law of physics. Well, we're doing quite a lot and it seems to be coming back at us, worse and worse, year after year, does it not? The question is how long before the breaking point? How many levees are we going to build up against our own flood of disrespect toward this world and nature before they break?

Hedonic Treader wrote:Going back to that lifestyle is not desirable even if it were possible and sustainable. Our ancestors had entirely different problems. Ever imagined what it felt like to experience operation without anesthesia? Or freezing or starving to death, or being eaten alive? High-tech civ is the only system that can give rise to something better in the long run, and after 500 million years of suffering from wildlife, I fail to see a reason why this should even be considered a future worth sustaining.

You're right, it's not desirable, because we're too damn comfortable with our controlled envirnment and novel ways of living. It may not be desirable, but it seems to be the path humanity is taking, regardless of what our goals are.

Goal of humanity = continue our progression in civilization | Path of humanity = to undoubtably fail due to nature
Last edited by djkjr on Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The goal of humanity

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:12 pm UTC

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.
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 djkjr » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

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...
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