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Response to Hoyt (Reply #114)

Sun May 8, 2016, 06:17 PM

119. Jared Diamond

 

"Civilized" man nearly destroyed himself and the world in the Cuban Missle Crisis (which catastrophe we now realize we avoided by pure luck, though for a few decades afterward, we thought we avoided it by clever use of carefully calculated escalating threats during the crisis).

Now, so many decades later, the threat of nuclear annihilation still hangs over us, with an increasing threat of nuclear terrorism added to nuclear war.

We have global climate change.

We have superbugs which our use of antibiotics have created.

We are on the threshold of replacing at least 40% of workers with technology, with nothing for those replaced people to do but to become wards of the state, with no hope of ever bettering themselves, no matter how hard they are willing to work or how fast they are willing to work or how much knowledge they acquire through how many years of study.

And not many years later, many of the remaining workers will be replaced with no new jobs to employ them (unless the government invents some kind of make work--maybe we could pay people to build pyramids again or dig ditches then fill the ditches up again).

The factory farm food we eat slowly poisons us, those of us who still have jobs, are increasingly driven to work like slaves to keep those jobs (average hunter gatherer worked 4 hours a day, and almost certainly had fun doing it--until the world became too overpopulated).

We are, thanks to technology, in a world where NONE OF US can be certain to have a livelihood tomorrow. So whatever money we make now, each of us should be saving every penny.

We have poisoned the water, earth and air. We have poisoned the ocean.

Each new generation of technology is invented mostly to cure the problems caused by the previous generations of technology.

And each new generation of technology requires exponentially more effort to develop, until there will come a time when it will do more damage or cost more money to create a new technology, than the damage and costs from the problem you want that new technology to cure.

If thanks to technology we destroy civilization--who would have proved smarter: industrial man or the handful of "primitive" rainforest hunter-gatherer still extant?

The rainforest dwellers would be better equipped to survive the self-destruction of civilization than would industrial man.

And if industrial man destroys all human life on earth or even all life on earth--on some other planet or planets there will likely be non-industrial lifeforms, who will continue to go about the business of surviving, reproducing, and evolving.

Over billions of years of life on earth, a species with our ability to industrialize is a complete anomaly.

Even cockroaches will likely outlast us.

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