Technology and Science will help

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sunson's picture
sunson
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Technology and Science will help

Too much gloom and doom and I'd like to instill some hope. :)

I make this claim: Technology and Science cannot be removed from humanity anymore. We might be living a very different lifestyle 50 years down the lane, but we won't have the mindset of those who lived the same lifestyle 200 years ago. Infact, I'm going to argue, even with lower energy (like say, what was available to large long running civilisations of the past) we'd still be living a much better life than them ignorant non-science people of the past. I'm going to lucidate how we're better off than the previous civilisations that have crumbled thus far.

Disclaimer: I'm going to assume that we would have somehow made population adjustments already. *somehow*... I don't know how - unfortunately I can't do much about this than just hoping for this to happen somehow.

Science is essentially just an off-shoot of philosophy with a bias-proof, fool-proof framework to analyse hypothesis and form theories. These theories help make fair assumptions... and we've made hell a lot of theories thus far and understood the world we live in today. The mayans were experts are astronomy? Hah, with the same energy, we can be much better experts - such is science. We know we can put a rocket into space if there is the energy. We know how to build an electrical generator. We know mechanics a lot better than any civilisation before. We even know how to make transistors because we've studied enough about eletricity by now! Just building a transistor is enough - the research is done, the fruits are ours if we preserve it... and I'm damn sure we will. Universities will be there - very much. Even if they aren't there for some period, they will evolve and they will eventuall re-learn. There will be enough of the stuff still left around to analyse and understand.

There are things we've learnt that is just damn difficult to get out of our system: We know what to expect as global warming eventually starts showing its effects. We even know how the eco-system functions... and how the earth is finite. The scars we've made on earth will remain here for a long long time. After centuries... Scientific Facts might become myths, History might get rewritten, legends might become religions... but the basic framework of science and the use the scientific framework will remain as a general practice handed over from generation to generation. These are life skills and those that don't have it will have a survival disadvantage.

Besides... Having seen the comforts of machines, we will eventually get towards ways to sustain ourselves with minimalistic machines... maybe very efficient machines. You can't get energy out of a machine by throwing more people at it... but you can make it efficient by bringing bright minds together. Here, is another hope of mine: That ideas will continue to evolve - people will make interesting things.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm not taking Environment into account, please read on...

If I had to write a science fiction book, my book will feature a world where we have clever use of animal, firewood, solar and microhydro power. This world will even have a market for crude electronics devices that optimally use the limited resources. There will be a whole lot of business with recycling and I'm damn sure the amount of metal we've taken out of earth... recycling them will give us a lot for a while to come. Just think about the metal in those battle tanks, cars and buildings. 'Mining' will all be above earth.

Disconnected, 'Speciated' newly evolving 'communities', not
forgetting the root-cause of why their world looks the way it does... will hold values of
sustenance so close, I'd not be surprised if every religion adopts those values. Those that don't, will fail and wither away.

Sure, there are assumptions I've made here that might break... but it will only expose
humanity's real smartness - will we learn and live better? Only time
will tell.

But eventually entropy wins. Hopefully, the martians will bail us out by then ;)

 

Arthur Vibert's picture
Arthur Vibert
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Joined: May 16 2008
Posts: 116
Re: Technology and Science will help

I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused - what is your point?

Arthur 

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: Technology and Science will help
sunson wrote:

Too much gloom and doom and I'd like to instill some hope. :)

I make this claim: Technology and Science cannot be removed from humanity anymore. We might be living a very different lifestyle 50 years down the lane, but we won't have the mindset of those who lived the same lifestyle 200 years ago. Infact, I'm going to argue, even with lower energy (like say, what was available to large long running civilisations of the past) we'd still be living a much better life than them ignorant non-science people of the past. I'm going to lucidate how we're better off than the previous civilisations that have crumbled thus far.

Disclaimer: I'm going to assume that we would have somehow made population adjustments already. *somehow*... I don't know how - unfortunately I can't do much about this than just hoping for this to happen somehow.

Science is essentially just an off-shoot of philosophy with a bias-proof, fool-proof framework to analyse hypothesis and form theories. These theories help make fair assumptions... and we've made hell a lot of theories thus far and understood the world we live in today. The mayans were experts are astronomy? Hah, with the same energy, we can be much better experts - such is science. We know we can put a rocket into space if there is the energy. We know how to build an electrical generator. We know mechanics a lot better than any civilisation before. We even know how to make transistors because we've studied enough about eletricity by now! Just building a transistor is enough - the research is done, the fruits are ours if we preserve it... and I'm damn sure we will. Universities will be there - very much. Even if they aren't there for some period, they will evolve and they will eventuall re-learn. There will be enough of the stuff still left around to analyse and understand.

There are things we've learnt that is just damn difficult to get out of our system: We know what to expect as global warming eventually starts showing its effects. We even know how the eco-system functions... and how the earth is finite. The scars we've made on earth will remain here for a long long time. After centuries... Scientific Facts might become myths, History might get rewritten, legends might become religions... but the basic framework of science and the use the scientific framework will remain as a general practice handed over from generation to generation. These are life skills and those that don't have it will have a survival disadvantage.

Besides... Having seen the comforts of machines, we will eventually get towards ways to sustain ourselves with minimalistic machines... maybe very efficient machines. You can't get energy out of a machine by throwing more people at it... but you can make it efficient by bringing bright minds together. Here, is another hope of mine: That ideas will continue to evolve - people will make interesting things.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm not taking Environment into account, please read on...

If I had to write a science fiction book, my book will feature a world where we have clever use of animal, firewood, solar and microhydro power. This world will even have a market for crude electronics devices that optimally use the limited resources. There will be a whole lot of business with recycling and I'm damn sure the amount of metal we've taken out of earth... recycling them will give us a lot for a while to come. Just think about the metal in those battle tanks, cars and buildings. 'Mining' will all be above earth.

Disconnected, 'Speciated' newly evolving 'communities', not forgetting the root-cause of why their world looks the way it does... will hold values of sustenance so close, I'd not be surprised if every religion adopts those values. Those that don't, will fail and wither away.

Sure, there are assumptions I've made here that might break... but it will only expose humanity's real smartness - will we learn and live better? Only time will tell.

But eventually entropy wins. Hopefully, the martians will bail us out by then ;)

 

 

I'm not sure how this thread leads to a discussion, but all the technology in the world will not produce food unless it produces food.  All the efficiency in the world not necessarily create intelligent/wiser individuals.

I predict that the only thing that will save us is a negative growth of population, that is, when we take one step forwards (as far as pop. growth) we need to take three steps back.  It's kind of like a budget.  It may be possible to decrease, the amount, of some bills by a few dollars but to make the kind of impact one really needs in a time of dire straits, he should just get rid of some bill completely.  That is, get rid of the cable, the iTunes bill, the eating out, etc.  This is not the best analogy, but as far as population is concerned, we need to just stop producing---period.  There are other options such as disease, rabid cancer, war, genocide, and etc. that could easily take the place of abstinence.  I think the best choice (thinking "futuristically") is abstinence.

Our collective consciousness/ mindset will be the only thing that can save this civilization from erasing all of the progress we've made in the last few hundred years.

Instead of looking to the government for self-sufficiency (which, looking up, is clearly not), we need to look to ourselves and neighbors who can help us, collectively, learn about and grow food.  I feel like an idiot not knowing how to feed myself.  Every public school in the world should teach, from grade school on, the fundamentals about gardening and history of agriculture and farming.  Like I said: Technology will not feed us; we must feed ourselves; and we can only feed ourselves IF THERE IS FOOD!

mpelchat's picture
mpelchat
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 214
Re: Technology and Science will help

I think the point is, to find a way of living in a natural sustainable way with nature and technology in balance.  Which I support this idea and we as a people ((humanity)) need to find this balance.  Perhaps even plan for it.

As stated, the population needs to "adjust somehow", to let this happen.  Which I believe is what will happen in the long run one way or another.

NASTY REALITY PART (those that do not want the advanced "red pill" please stop reading):

 

 

You have been warned. 

 

 

In other words for long term life of humanity on this rock population needs to reduce and stabilize.  Like China by population controls ((one child per family)), war, starvation, disses, sterilization of people with weak genes ((stopping the "Idiocrocy" scenario)) etc.  Population control is probable the most human.

If we chose to ignore this, than it will happen naturally.  Oil ends, we can not make the food needed anymore and desperation happens.  Basically the worst parts of the bible till balance is reached.  If balance can not be reached, humanity ends ((this, even for me, is extreme and I do not think it would happen)).

Or we can chose to do something about it like population control.  If anybody has another or a better Idea, would love to hear it. 

TRK29's picture
TRK29
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2008
Posts: 17
Re: Technology and Science will help

Re 2 and 3

There are a number of forums under different titles now moving quite close together.

If you look in on "The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See" you will find many comments on population growth and Technology. e'g at 27, 29,32,43,49

For my money world population is an issue which will overwhelm the attempts to find technological solutions to future problems of global warming, energy and food supplies, and the economy, since its impact is due to make its presence seriously felt in the very near future, certainly within 40 years, and impossibly so into the next century. The sooner the world takes on the challenge of reaching a stable population, the easier it will be to tackle. The longer we postpone even any discussion about it and grasp the nettle, the more dramatic will be the action that needs to be taken. If we wait for the penny to drop with the majority, because they are too busy getting on with their lives, it will be too late.

When faced with problems which require a big investment in science and technology, like limiting CO2 emissions, it is relatively easy to make a persuasive case, since we all can get behind  the fight against a common enemy, and we can show that we might have a better quality of life, or independence from fossil fuels, or in the last resort, avoiding being washed away by rising sea levels. Whatever it costs is OK with us.

The stupid thing about population increase control is that the solutions are already in our hands, with little in the way of extra cost, absolute guarantee of a better quality of life for those yet to be born, relative freedom from having to deal with problems of water and food supply, and the need for continuous supply of ever more houses, sewage systems, schools and so on. The difference is that population control has connotations of invasion of citizens rights and a nanny state and requires new attitudes and action for which we are all personally reponsible rather than new technology, which some "experts" can deal with.

New flat screen TV's give us instant gratification today, even if we have to pay for them tomorrow. A stable world population would be the greatest and most valuable present we could give our great grandchildren, for which they and their descendents would be literally eternally grateful, instead of eternally cursing us for leaving such a mess.

Of course you can't expect to get something good for nothing, and in exchange for stable population, we would have to give up the idea of the necessity for continuous year on year growth in GDP, continuous growth in crime figures and prisons, continuous growth in road congestion and pollution, and continuous wipe-out of wildlife species, which is what we have today. I suggest that would be no great loss.

 

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 480
Re: Technology and Science will help
sunson wrote:

Too much gloom and doom and I'd like to instill some hope. :)

I make this claim: Technology and Science cannot be removed from humanity anymore. We might be living a very different lifestyle 50 years down the lane, but we won't have the mindset of those who lived the same lifestyle 200 years ago. Infact, I'm going to argue, even with lower energy (like say, what was available to large long running civilisations of the past) we'd still be living a much better life than them ignorant non-science people of the past. I'm going to lucidate how we're better off than the previous civilisations that have crumbled thus far.

Disclaimer: I'm going to assume that we would have somehow made population adjustments already. *somehow*... I don't know how - unfortunately I can't do much about this than just hoping for this to happen somehow.

Science is essentially just an off-shoot of philosophy with a bias-proof, fool-proof framework to analyse hypothesis and form theories. These theories help make fair assumptions... and we've made hell a lot of theories thus far and understood the world we live in today. The mayans were experts are astronomy? Hah, with the same energy, we can be much better experts - such is science.

<snip>

sunson,

I assume you would be referring to the likes of Archimedes, Galileo and Newton as regards "them ignorant non science people of the past?

And how do you suppose those Mayans were able to determine the nature of our universe?

"The mayans were experts are astronomy? Hah, with the same energy, we can be much better experts"

What "same energy" are you referring to here. All I see they used is the power of observation perhaps on a full stomach so they could concentrate on those tiny specs in the sky using high tech squinting to convert their eyeballs into a telescope.They didn't do too bad given their "technology".

So on that note I would appreciate some of your "lucidations" as to why we oh so intelligent and smart individuals cannot seem to grasp even the simplist of concepts such as the exponential growth function in order to develop even a simple theory on how we might be able to save our asses. That would instill some hope!

Coop 

 

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Re: Technology and Science will help

Coop,

you said:

Quote:

So on that note I would appreciate some of your "lucidations" as to why we oh so intelligent and smart individuals cannot seem to grasp even the simplist of concepts such as the exponential growth function in order to develop even a simple theory on how we might be able to save our asses. That would instill some hope!

I'm not Sunsun, but I think I can answer.

The reason is education and intelligence are almost entirely unrelated.

We have some highly educated people in our society, and undoubtably, you scratch your head when they seem incapable of surmounting even the most mundane of grievances. What seperates this fella relying on decades of education from some fat guy sitting around watching TV who can clearly see that overspending on behalf of the government is wreckless and stupid?

Nothing. One has just been educated to believe that it's not possible to spend the united states into oblivion.

The other lives by the money in his account and knows better; perhaps because he's overspent and incurred highly irritating overdraft fees, but quite possibly because he took loans from Russian mafia liasons at some shady, back road auto-body shop. And because of that, he knows and fully appreciates the ramifications of spending other peoples money on your collection of die-cast model cars, opulent decorum from the local Bed, Bath and Beyond, neon Budweiser lamps and a new aluminum fly-wheel for his 1972 Trans-Am.

America is in a similar situation with China and Europe. The crap we bought with our loans wasn't too well thought out, and because of that, we have some important questions to ask ourselves.

The first and foremost should be - are we intelligent, or are we educated into believeing we are?

We are, on a national level, waking up from a bender with a serious case of the DT's, stumbling around like a drooling drunken, idiot, just in time to be served papers from Lady Liberty saying she's pressing charges for harassment. Meanwhile, the your family won't talk to you because of the monster you've become and the bank has canceled your line of credit.

If I saw this person, no amount of doctorates, bonafides or bull**** would convince me they are intelligent or educated enough to manage their affairs, let alone the lives of others, but that's exactly how we're acting. And as if that wasn't enough, we're not trying to manage the affairs of otters, salmon and nubian ibex as well.

Bravo.

Moral of the story, technology and science can't help a person so inept they can't act responsibly on any given facet of their life.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Technology and Science will help

"But eventually entropy wins. Hopefully, the martians will bail us out by then ;)"

There you go Sunson........  you've answered yourself in one sentence.

I think I know where you're coming from with this post....  I have similar feelings.  However, I must state that I believe we have achieved all the things we have achieved not because of science and technology, or because humans are oh so clever, but because cheap and abundant energy allowed us to invent all the stuff we're surrounded with.  Leonardo Da Vinci invented the helicopter, but he couldn't make one, let alone make one fly without fossil fuels, yet to be discovered.  If there hadn't been any coal, James Watt could never have invented the steam engine....

Our real strengths post TSHTF will be knowledge.  I'd like to add wisdom, but so far Homo Sapiens has not fulfilled the sapiens bit yet!

So yes, I agree we know a whole lot more stuff than the Mayans....  but are we any wiser?

Re population, having the knowledge to do vasectomies, for instance, is a big plus.  A five minute operation any doctor and nurse could do.  It's the KNOWLEDGE of how our reproductive systems work here that makes all the difference.  I'm not even sure that as little as 100 years ago this was properly understood.

I agree with you about the above ground mining.  So much refined metal everywhere.  And as population collapses, just think of all the building materia;s that will be left lying around.

If I had to write a sci-fi book, I'd have people demolishing (or rather dismantling) houses and stockpiling the materials for future use.  All those bricks and tiles and windows that no longer need environmental destruction to be created for future generations, allowing even for the natural environment to re-generate itself.  All it needs is population collapse...  the elephant in the room. 

Mike 

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 480
Re: Technology and Science will help
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Coop,

you said:

Quote:

So on that note I would appreciate some of your "lucidations" as to why we oh so intelligent and smart individuals cannot seem to grasp even the simplist of concepts such as the exponential growth function in order to develop even a simple theory on how we might be able to save our asses. That would instill some hope!

I'm not Sunsun, but I think I can answer.

The reason is education and intelligence are almost entirely unrelated.

<snip>

The first and foremost should be - are we intelligent, or are we educated into believeing we are?

<snip>

Aaron,

Agreed.  I would say "WE ARE educated into believeing we are (intelligent)."  We really lose a lot of observational capability when we buy into that concept. Knowledge and wisdom are replaced with data which is fed in via our educational system. The certificate (Degree) certifies the quantity of data you have agreed with!

Mike,

You said  "So yes, I agree we know a whole lot more stuff than the Mayans....  but are we any wiser?"

Direct observation of the current scene would say OBVIOUSLY NOT!  Although the jury has not yet been convened and I firmly believe we make our own destiny.  So we shall see how we do in this next quarterly exam. So far TPTB are failing the class but it will not be they that carry the day. That is what gives me "hope" so to speak. 

Damnthetorpedoes and bring on the crash!

Coop

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