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Tue Feb 17, 2015, 10:27 PM

When some long futuristic epoch comes to be and the next apex species forms on this planet...

Let's hope that they can do better than turning their civilization into a joke of a ponzi scheme run by Republicans in behalf of their oligarch masters.



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Reply When some long futuristic epoch comes to be and the next apex species forms on this planet... (Original post)
MrScorpio Feb 2015 OP
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2015 #1
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #2
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2015 #3
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #4
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #9
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #11
Newest Reality Feb 2015 #5
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #8
Newest Reality Feb 2015 #12
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #14
Newest Reality Feb 2015 #15
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #16
Newest Reality Feb 2015 #17
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #18
NuclearDem Feb 2015 #6
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #7
MrScorpio Feb 2015 #10
Fumesucker Feb 2015 #13

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 10:35 PM

1. We evolved as a clannish tribal species.

Sadly, we have not evolved past that.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 10:40 PM

2. I'm quite of the mind that our entire penchant for self-destructiveness is due to genetic imperative

We can't help ourselves.

I'm just hoping that we stay locked on this planet, instead of spreading our madness onto others.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 10:53 PM

3. It may very well be that we have reached the bottleneck that explainers the Fermi Paradox.

The size of the universe and the amount of time since its expansion and the probability of life suggest that we should have been visited and colonized and that interstellar civilizations should be visible.

Perhaps we are not unusual. Perhaps we are like other intelligent species that found working together for species survival impossible and destroyed ourselves.

Hope not.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:07 PM

4. Yesterday, I watched on CSPAN an author talk about her book...

She wrote about a probable sixth extinction and unlike the previous ones, this next one will be instigated by this planet's inhabitants.

It's pretty clear to anyone looking at the long game, that this planet's ecosphere wasn't developed to handle the extent to which we're abusing it. Although a few voices may have told us that we're headlong into destroying ourselves, as a species, we're not collectively able to invest in the behavior required to resolved this problem.

If we can do anything well as humans, we can delude ourselves.

The end, when it does come, will come with a whimper and we'll have no idea that our own hand had always been at play.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:25 PM

9. The first great extinction was when the oxygen released by plants killed off the anaerobic life..

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/07/28/the_great_oxygenation_event_the_earth_s_first_mass_extinction.html



Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic. They convert sunlight into energy and produce oxygen as a waste product. Back then, the Earth’s atmosphere didn’t have free oxygen in it as it does today. It was locked up in water molecules, or bonded to iron in minerals.

The cyanobacteria changed that. But not at first: For a while, as they produced free oxygen as their waste, iron would bond with it and the environment could keep up with the production.

At some point, though, as cyanobacteria flourished, the minerals and other sinks became saturated. They could no longer absorb the oxygen being produced. It built up in the water, in the air. To the other bacteria living in the ocean—anaerobic bacteria, remember—oxygen was toxic. The cyanobacteria were literally respiring poison.

A die-off began, a mass extinction killing countless species of bacteria. It was the Great Oxygenation Event. But there was worse to come.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:32 PM

11. I should have added that ours would be the first SENTIENT species to trigger its own extinction...

Last edited Wed Feb 18, 2015, 01:02 AM - Edit history (1)

Thanks for the info.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:08 PM

5. When we discover

in a large context, who and what we really are, then something might be able to happen.

It is possible, but as adaptable as we are, too many ideas about what is, along with conditioned strictures of culture, tend to obscure the potential we have.

That could change, but it would be like dragging ourselves out from under a huge boulder of assumptions. Yet, change is a constant.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:25 PM

8. That would depend on whether we're actually able of learning from our mistakes...

And stop ourselves from making even more exponentially larger mistakes.

Trends don't bode well for us, I have to day.

And frankly, I'm thinking that whatever changes we do make, they'll be too little and too late to allow us to sustain whatever form of civilization that we have now with any sense of consistency. A planetary reconstitution is sure to the limit the few options we may have.

Whomever is left, they're going to have to reassess humanity's role on this planet.

And it won't be anything that any of us in the present day have grown accustomed to.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:36 PM

12. Yes, I agree.

Well, in the larger sense, it seems that we have factions of our societies that are making the major thrust of decisions and perhaps they are to be held accountable for their impulsive goals of power, riches and status? That makes us liable for our collective response of apathy or going along with their impetus, I guess.

In a way, left to our own devices, it could be that there is too much emphasis on changing things at an ever accelerating pace. I am by no means conservative, nor am I Luddite, so going backwards is not my point. What I mean is that we are so infatuated with "changing the world" that we might be losing sight of at least getting to a more balanced, homeostasis in place of the change for the sake of change alone.

Much of the marketing of progress, to me, hinges on "growth" which is fueled by contempt for stability or satisfaction and encourages the kind of "growth" that means more, newer, better, fads, etc., leaving gratitude and the value of basic comforts, longevity and sustainability out of the picture, largely for the sake of profit and to support the insatiable drives of those I mentioned above.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:55 PM

14. I'm really interested in knowing whether the changes will be either natural or planned.

Last edited Wed Feb 18, 2015, 12:26 AM - Edit history (1)

Planned always have severest of consequences. They're usually the triggering mechanisms for things like global and regional conflicts and mass genocides. New religious and political movements struggling with existing ones. One side with "all the answers" intent on obliterating the other.

Organic changes aren't as drastic, but they have the quality of uncertainty and loss of control. It's just that humans are unfortunately not too accustomed to accept the loss self-imposed manifestation. Why else would owe nvent God, other than to explain the things that we're incapable of explaining, as well as serving to justify our own actions, whether they're sacred or profane?

We love to think that we're always calling the shots… That's another self-delusion, of course. If we did, we'd have flying cars and limitless non-carbon based energy at this point and no one would be homeless.

With where we are, we're between a rock and a hard place right now.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 18, 2015, 12:18 AM

15. That's a good philosophical inquiry and an open

viewpoint.

I think we get into ideas of emergence there. How much of our overlay of post-rationalization about history and events is similar to the idea that there is a separate, individual self that makes definite, conscious decisions? I mean that in the light of neurobiology and the fact that our response to a stimuli and reactions have been shown to occur up to six seconds before we are conscious of it.

It seems clear that there is a multitudinous interdependence and relationship between all phenomena, though you might agree, we are able to narrow our views down to the superficial, linear aspect of our ordinary waking consciousness and act accordingly. In a sense, we filter much of reality for survival and practical reasons, so perhaps creating gods and imposing the foundations for reality upon our consensus reality represented a means by which we created meaning, (which seems important to us) from which we then extrapolated reason and logic over the long haul. In sense, we do seem very prone to creating order out of "chaos", and injecting the chaos right back into the order when we see fit.

One of my concerns about our species is our seemingly innate predilection and capacity for abstraction. It has been a most useful tool in the context of our social nature and in the construction, collectively, of culture and society, (which are both higher order abstractions). We are so good at this symbolic representation of reality that it becomes a blessing and a curse primarily because we become lost in the representational mapping we use as a pragmatic function and are able to live in a pseudo-realistic realm of different degrees of removal from what is actual. For instance we might be interested in the topic of water and could talk about it all day in that case, while never seeing or touching the actual substance.

I get a sense that we might get to a point where we can recognize how deeply entrenched in a symbolic world we have become, (without abandoning abstraction as a tool). The impact we have on our biosphere itself, to me, is a result of our distance from actuality. While we watch science delve deeply into the nature of matter, it is possible that we can discover a new paradigm about our awareness and our perception to a degree that a deeper and more natural sense of reality itself can emerge, and that may not be as bland, old fashioned, or simplistic as it may sound at first.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 18, 2015, 01:01 AM

16. What really saddens me is the extent to which abstraction has taken over our lives...

With the main problem being in how malleable any one of us can take that abstraction to illogical ends, while insisting that it's not illogical at all. Fanatics and morons alike lack limits to illogical thinking.

In a sense, we can create our own realities and impose our vision of reality on to others, people with whom we have no virtual contact at all... (as well as environments we're separate, as you've pointed out.) I think that one of our greatest attributes is one of utter self-delusion.

This is, of course, the playground for the propagandists and polemicists, as well as the narrow minded. I'm quite sure that history as we know it is one great false narrative. Rather than the story itself, my first thought is to consider the motives of those who tell their story and rarely assign any objectively to it.

The more disconnected we are, the more impetus that we have to form connections, even if they're falsely arranged. We all have incentives to be led. Objective truths are rarely universally accepted, especially when they put our own investments at a disadvantage.

What's imagination and what's real? What gaps of fallacy are we willing to fall into and yet deny that we've fallen into them?

I wish that I had some answers, if in only to approximate some accuracy in my extrapolations. But, I lack a formal education and haven't taken the time to do more research, reading those who have taken much more time than I have thinking about this stuff. I'm quite sure that I'm treading well worn ground here, in my own haphazard way.

I am sure of one thing though, that were I to learn more, I would come to the immediate conclusion that I really don't know as much as I thought I did. More answers alway bring more questions.

What I'd love to do, however, is take my own abstractions into the realm of writing science fiction. Something positive. Extrapolate and build new symbols. It may never come to pass, but it's not intended to.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 18, 2015, 01:26 AM

17. Well, I admire

your demonstration of curiosity and inquiry. To me, we are so deeply immersed in the abstraction that we are talking about that some sound, deep thinking might be a means to divest ourselves of some of the layers of garbage that occlude our view.

One problem with some people's tendencies to disdain thinking and take an anti-intellectual stance is that they confuse intellect with amassing a lot of information rather than noticing that they are using that very same intellect in everyday life, regardless of their self-image or supposed lack of "smarts". Another problem is that some people come to the conclusion that intellect, reasoning and the simple logic, (or structures) of thinking are the problem and that the the solution is to keep things simple and stop thinking about things. Well, if you fall into a pit that someone dug with a shovel, you can use that shovel to try to dig another tunnel up and out if it is too deep to climb out of. No, the problem is not thinking itself, but that we most often do not think things through. Be it by way of distraction or lack of motivation, we tend to individually and collectively stop at what seems most practical or satisfying and go onto something else.

Your insight into the realization of how much you, I, (or the big WE) don't know is, to me an important means to clear the hubris of thinking we know more than we really do. Getting an idea of the immensity of what is not known is a big step for us all and a real milestone in attaining wisdom, as opposed to just knowledge, or only knowing "about". What I am getting at is a deep and intrinsic form of understanding that is richer and more clear than just subject matter alone.

Well, that's great to hear and I would like to encourage your journey into abstraction to forge new symbols and fashion ideas by way of fiction. Creativity is one aspect of our humanity that can bring fresh perspectives, beauty and even insight to light. It seems that the flow of creative expression that emits from our knowing might be an equivalent to the diverse facets of nature that are expressed around us everywhere. It may be a key.

I appreciate your thoughts on these matters. Keep thinking. Then take a break. Then think some more, etc.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 18, 2015, 01:39 AM

18. We know that the universe is huge...

But that's the start.

In learning more about it, we've found that we really have no capacity to describe how huge really it is.

The small mind thinks that they have those answers at hand, while the person with a greater grasp of reality knows that they really have no idea at all.

The same can be said of the world around us… We are limited by whatever the input we have.

The more I find out about the world, the more I realize that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.


The most successful quest for knowledge invariably leads to more questions than answers.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:11 PM

6. It will be the age of the kitteh

 

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:19 PM

7. There probably won't be enough time for that, depending on how far the ecosystem gets kicked back

The Sun is getting hotter as it is moving along the main sequence toward red gianthood and will make the Earth too hot for life in a few hundred more million years, well before actually reaching the red giant stage where it will expand about to the orbit of Mars.

Ever wonder what things would have been like if the Dinosaur Killer asteroid had missed?



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:29 PM

10. Oh yeah, I do..

The apex species may have evolved in more a way to achieve equilibrium with the environment, rather than our idea that we should have dominion over it.

Of course, that sort of species would be incapable of conducting this very conversation we're having right now.

Something to think about.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:55 PM

13. I suspect we may not be that unsusual for an apex species

As Neal Stephenson noted, a species gets to be apex by being last in an unbroken line of stupendous badasses. Do unto everything else before it does unto you.

Every single one of us is descended from ancestors that lived long enough to breed, something that was definitely not a given for virtually all of human history and right on back to the first unicellular animal.

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