• Alkis Piskas
    1.3k

    what is the root disease?Xtrix
    I think it has to be looked for in the human mind and ethics.
    The human mind --rationality, intelligence, understanding, acquisition of knowledge, etc.-- because it is based on this that situations are analyzed, future is predicted, good or bad (not ethics-wise) solutions are found and actions (not ethics-wise) are taken.
    Ethics, because it is based on this that right or wrong actions are taken that are for the benefit of a minority or the majority (at every level in the society), that responsibility is assumed or waived, that important/vital matters (for life as well as the environment) are handled or ignored and, in general, whatever concerns the survival of this planet and the people that live on it.

    Indeed, the initial 3 problems that you mentioned: overpopulation, climate Change and political corruption --as well as the epidemics that you have added later, and also pollution, shortage of fuel and energy sources, etc. -- depend completely on the above two elements. Don't they?
    There may be other important problems that humanity is faced with at this moment or it will be faced with tomorrow. Their root will always be the human mind and ethics.

    We have to exclude of course known natural phenomena and potential dangers for which Man is not and will not be responsible. Of which, I can't think any at this moment.
  • jgill
    2.4k
    We have to exclude of course known natural phenomena and potential dangers for which Man is not and will not be responsible. Of which, I can't think any at this moment.Alkis Piskas

    Living in Colorado I think about this occasionally: Yellowstone Caldera
  • kudos
    244
    I think it's a deeply human trait to be attracted to crisis. Somewhere deep within I take enjoyment out of analyzing, imagining, and even sometimes producing scenarios where life is at stake. And when I open up the crises, they don't seem fearful at all but very small, whereas when I run away from them they seem big enough to follow and squash me.

    To go without crises means to fully overcome mother nature, and achieve some type of philoso-scientific utopia. By that I mean a place where humanity could gain control over outer and inner nature. But why wait on a state that we see very far off and only existing in imagination when there are real states of harmony with nature that we have experienced and know can be achieved?

    I think overpopulation is the solution to the two other – and most other – problems. How to do it ethically is the real problem. How can climate change exist when there aren't enough human beings to consume the energy to cause it? How can corruption affect us all when we exist in smaller and more localized groups? How can there be shortage of work when one knows how to exploit natures fruit oneself? In mother nature's eyes, strife is the way to ascend, and excess comfort and ease the way to descend.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Most Important Problem Facing Humanity: Humanity

    We are our own worst enemy! The lion has nothing to fear except ... another lion.
    :lol:
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.3k
    Living in Colorado I think about this occasionally: Yellowstone Calderajgill
    Does it present an imminent threat for the people in Colorado? I hope not! :pray:
    Anyway, this is a local problem. Here, we are talking about the whole humanity.
  • Bitter Crank
    11.1k
    Nothing has happened since 2019 that changes our grim situation. What was true (false) in 2019 is still true (false). We were screwed in 2019 and we are screwed in 2022. We will be screwed in 2025.

    There is no "key problem" to address first, second third... Unless we can rewind history and delete everything that happened since 1700 CE, we are stuck with problems that are nigh unto insoluble. And even if we could rewind and delete, we wouldn't be any smarter this time than we were the last time.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    We were screwed in 2019 and we are screwed in 2022. We will be screwed in 2025.Bitter Crank

    :rofl: It's that bad, eh? I had my suspicions.

    There is no "key problem" to address first, second thirdBitter Crank

    Most insightful - I think this way of looking at things is because of right-handed people (the majority), disturbingly computerish. We lefties/southpaws are all about adiaphora (was Pyrrho left-handed?) - monochromatic vision, that's us.
  • Yohan
    671
    Here is an ironic take on the subject:
    “The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.”
    ― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

    On a similar note, Mark Twain said "You may die of a misprint."

    And there is an old saying "The devil's in the details"

    Also AI:
    https://m.youtube.com/shorts/K35MwKhmY64 (I doubt this story is true, but Musk may be right)
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    There is no "key problem" to address first, second third...Bitter Crank

    Of course there is. Unless we want to claim all problems are the same— or that problems don’t exist. But that’s absurd.

    I’d say any issue that’s potentially existential— nuclear weapon proliferation, for example — is more urgent and deserves more attention than others that are also important but not existential (say abortion rights).

    we are stuck with problems that are nigh unto insoluble.Bitter Crank

    I don’t think that’s close to true. Plenty of solutions. But if you’re correct— then we might as well “wave goodbye to each other,” as Chomsky would say. Either way I’m fighting to the end — for no other reason than “why not?”
  • Bitter Crank
    11.1k
    What I meant by "no key problem" is that our problems are entangled with each other--population, food production, global warming, CO2 emissions, global conflicts, etc.

    Yes, there are priorities: #1: cut CO2 emissions (a lot). Institute carbon capture (above ground and below). There are false solutions not worth pursuing: a billion electric cars replacing a billion gas-powered cars will help car manufacturers and investors--it's not what I would call a critical solution.

    Global warming is happening and consequent conflicts are arising. Drought, minor wars, failed government, etc. combine to create famine and further destabilize regions. And so on and so forth.

    You and I can make a long list of problems, and it quickly becomes clear that global solutions might be beyond our human managerial talents. There are many powerful interests that individuals, groups, and nations pursue, in the face of those interests being lethal in the long run. Russia invading Ukraine is an example. Brexit is another. Continued capitalist expansion is still more. On and on

    Decarbonization is a key solution that interferes with the interests companies, regions, and nations have in carbon.

    It is theoretical possible that we all unite to overcome all of these obstacles, and I hope we do. What supports my pessimism is our poor long-term record.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    115
    Expand & Elaborate ... please.Agent Smith

    In order to keep things soft, sweet and simple, I will say that once one gains a strong inner awareness, one is compelled to truly feel the shared implications of one's actions and thoughts and feelings. This empathy, that comes from opening inner space to observation and awareness, is the gift (as well as building block) that eventually leads to a new world.
  • jgill
    2.4k
    Living in Colorado I think about this occasionally: Yellowstone Caldera — jgill

    Does it present an imminent threat for the people in Colorado? I hope not! :pray:
    Anyway, this is a local problem. Here, we are talking about the whole humanity.
    Alkis Piskas

    This eruption 2.1 million years ago—among the largest volcanic eruptions known to man—coated 5,790 square miles with ash, as far away as Missouri. The total volcanic material ejected is estimated to have been 6,000 times the volume of material ejected during the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, in Washington.

    I recall reading the ash in Missouri was several feet deep. Volcanic eruptions are nothing to sneeze at.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.3k

    Really awful! :gasp:
  • Deleted User
    0
    This user has been deleted and all their posts removed.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    115


    That's a great question. I do. But, as with everything right now, all energies are expanding or growing in intensity. This includes the unwillingness to to look inside one's self.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    For me the immediate problem is the information apocalypse. If we don't get a handle on that, no shared narratives and therefore no social acceptance of any solution to whatever problems we agree exists. It's not the biggest but it's the first before you can effectively get to the rest.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    As if a man had had his legs bitten off by a shark, and we all earnestly inquire what is the most important problem; that he is drowning, that he is bleeding to death, that he is losing consciousness, that his cries are not heard, or that the shark is coming back for more?
  • Xtrix
    4.1k


    I’d say those are all relevant problems pertaining to his existential situation. I’d prioritize those questions over whether he believes abortion is a human right.

    Some problems are more important than others. Not every problem is an existential one.

    For those that are existential— than yes, they’re equally important. Nuclear weapons and climate change are existential — hence, they’re more important than others. Is there ONE problem or ONE cause? No, not always. But so what? My question is to provoke thought about the problems we face.
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    :mask: Re: a dramatic representation of Euro-American, or Northern Hemispheric (predominant driver of "the Anthropocene" via rampant, metastasing industrialization since 1800 CE) blame-shifting to the Global South ...

    Addendum to .

    [H]umanity is simply sawing-off the high branch it's sitting on – not endangering nature so much as endangering ourselves by accelerating the destruction of most of the natural conditions needed to sustain our species.

    If the Anthropocene isn't an auto-extinction event, it is a human population-crashing event, or gigacidal process, that by the mid-22nd century might thin the post-Anthropocene herd down to mere tens to hundreds of millions of infected/infested scavengers in the overheated, desertified, toxic, sprawling ruins of our late great technocapitalist global civilization largely "gone dark". H sapiens have survived and recovered from a number of population crashes in the last hundreds of millennia, but none as rapid and at the scale and amid such a polluted, irradiated, resource depleted environment as the one that's coming
    180 Proof

    :point: re: the Malthusian-Climate Change problem
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220905-is-the-world-overpopulated
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    As if a man had had his legs bitten off by a shark, and we all earnestly inquire what is the most important problem; that he is drowning, that he is bleeding to death, that he is losing consciousness, that his cries are not heard, or that the shark is coming back for more? — unenlightened

    Isn't that (medical) triage? What's missing is an understanding of planetary health - no one has any idea of Earth's vitals, crucial physical parameters, that help doctors tell the difference between ER/OPD cases. Is the Earth sick, is this an emergency or not, what's the etiology, how do I confirm the diagnosis, what's the best course of treatment, how do I monitor the Earth, as it ages, does Earth become prone to specific kinds of illnesses?
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    :up: :clap: Magnifique mon ami, magnifique!
  • Yohan
    671
    As if a man had had his legs bitten off by a shark, and we all earnestly inquire what is the most important problem; that he is drowning, that he is bleeding to death, that he is losing consciousness, that his cries are not heard, or that the shark is coming back for more?unenlightened

    Causal Reductionism:
    Assuming a single cause or reason when there were actually multiple causes or reasons.
    Logical Form:
    complex cause, fallacy of the single cause, causal oversimplification, reduction fallacy
    — logicallyfallacious.com

    I also found listed "6 common errors when solving problems"
    with one being, "Most incorrectly believe that root-cause analysis ultimately finds one cause."

    If you were to ask four people--“What’s the most important part of a car?”--you might get four different answers: the key, the engine, the driver, the battery. Each person thinks he or she is “right.” The person who says the battery is the most important part thinks that, without the battery, all the other parts wouldn’t function. It makes sense, but this same argument could be used for the key, the engine and the driver. The bottom line: There is no one right answer. There is no part of the system that is “most important”; without any element, the car won’t run. In this instance, four people provided different answers; all of them told the truth; not one is wrong.

    This seemingly paradoxical statement reveals a misconception behind root cause—the thinking that one thing caused the problem. People use the logic that if that someone didn’t follow the procedure, not following it caused the problem; if the procedure were followed, the problem would not have happened. Yet like a car needs all its parts to function properly, a problem requires multiple causes to happen. And those multiple causes make up the root cause. Put another way, a root cause isn’t one cause but a system of causes working together.
    ~reliabilityweb.com
  • unenlightened
    7k
    how do I confirm the diagnosis, what's the best course of treatment, how do I monitor the Earth, as it ages, does Earth become prone to specific kinds of illnesses?Agent Smith

    We do love our analogies don't we? Well doctor, when the patient has his hands round your neck and his foot on your testicles, the treatment I would recommend is a fast improvement in bedside manners.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    We do love our analogies don't we? Well doctor, when the patient has his hands round your neck and his foot on your testicles, the treatment I would recommend is a fast improvement in bedside manners.unenlightened

    :lol: Therein lies the rub, monsieur, therein lies the rub. Superb point!
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Recent article in the New York Times. For those that take issue with the phrase “most important” or argue — ridiculously, in my view — that we cannot really prioritize problems because they’re all interconnected, this article better demonstrates what I’ve been driving at.

    I quote it at length:

    This principle is what some health researchers mean by the idea that there are social determinants of health — that effective long-term solutions for many medicalized problems require nonmedical — this is to say, political — means. We all readily acknowledge that for diseases like diabetes and hypertension — diseases with a very clear biological basis — an individual’s body is only part of the causal reality of the disease. Treating the root cause of the “epidemic” of diabetes effectively, for example, would happen at the level of serious infrastructural changes to the available diet and activity levels of a population, not by slinging medications or pouring funding into clinics that help people make better choices in supermarkets filled with unregulated, unhealthy food. You’ve got to stop the guy running over people with the car.

    […]

    This doesn’t mean that all psychiatric symptoms are caused by stress, but it does mean that a whole lot of them almost certainly are. There is increasingly strong evidence for the idea that chronic elevation of stress hormones has downstream effects on the neural architecture of the brain’s cognitive and emotional circuits. The exact relationship between different types of stress and any given cluster of psychiatric symptoms remains unclear — why do some people react to stress by becoming depressed, while others become impulsive or enraged? — indicating that whatever causal mechanism exists is mediated by a variety of genetic and social conditions. But the implications of the research are very clear: When it comes to mental health, the best treatment for the biological conditions underlying many symptoms might be ensuring that more people can live less stressful lives.

    And here is the core of the problem: Medicalizing mental health doesn’t work very well if your goal is to address the underlying cause of population-level increases in mental and emotional distress. It does, however, work really well if you’re trying to come up with a solution that everybody in power can agree on, so that the people in power can show they’re doing something about the problem. Unfortunately, the solution that everyone can agree on is not going to work.

    Everyone agrees, for instance, that it would be good to reduce the high rate of diabetes plaguing the United States. But once we begin to de-medicalize it, diabetes starts to look like a biological problem arising from a vast swathe of political problems: transportation infrastructure that keeps people sedentary in cars, food insecurity that keeps a racialized underclass dependent on cheap and empty calories, the power of corporate lobbies to defang regulations, and so on. These are problems that people do not agree on how to solve, in part because some are materially benefiting from this state of affairs. This is to say, these are political problems, and solving them will mean taking on the groups of people who benefit from the status quo.

    […]

    And yet when the plan addresses suicide, it focuses on crisis intervention — as if suicide were a kind of unfortunate natural occurrence, like lightning strikes, rather than an expression of the fact that growing numbers of people are becoming convinced that the current state of affairs gives them no reason to hope for a life they’d want to live.

    Solving the mental health crisis, then, will require fighting for people to have secure access to infrastructure that buffers them from chronic stress: housing, food security, education, child care, job security, the right to organize for more humane workplaces and substantive action on the imminent climate apocalypse.
    — Dr. Danielle Carr

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/20/opinion/us-mental-health-politics.html

    Here I think it’s clear: while climate change, for example, is existential— it is, ultimately, a symptom: a result of a political and economic decisions, motivated by greed. Capitalism, then, is indeed the “infrastructure” that needs to be undone.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    From where I'm sitting, the most important "problem" facing humanity is a lack of inner awareness.Bret Bernhoft

    Personally, I don't know any humans who lack inner awareness. It is indeed hard even to imagine a human without inner awareness.

    I don't think this is a major problem, because it is simply isn't so.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Here I think it’s clear: while climate change, for example, is existential— it is, ultimately, a symptom: a result of a political and economic decisions, motivated by greed. Capitalism, then, is indeed the “infrastructure” that needs to be undone.Xtrix

    NO, it is not at all clear, but only if you use your own head to think, instead of getting utterly impressed by some rhetoric that appeals to you.

    I should have thought that it is overpopulation that is the force that currently destroys our own habitat. Capitalism and greed are not any more a driving force of our woes than the care extended to each human being to the maximum of our abilities to sustain their lives and help them create offspring. Hospitals, medical science, humanitarian governmening, are even more the culprits of our current state of disastrous outlook than capitalism or greed.

    The proof of this is simple. Imagine the human population with the same group behaviour as ours, but
    A. having altogether ten thousand members on the entire globe with a Capitalist, greedy system,
    and
    B. having the same number as today, without Capitalism. This changes the grounding premiss a bit, but it does not render the exercise impossible or unfair.

    Clearly, A would stop our troubles in their tracks, whereas B would not make any difference to anyone or anything inasmuch as the continuation of the destroying the habitat is concerned.

    QED, it is the overpopulation and not the economic forces that drive us to annihilation or to something near to it.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    115
    Personally, I don't know any humans who lack inner awareness. It is indeed hard even to imagine a human without inner awareness.

    I don't think this is a major problem, because it is simply isn't so.
    god must be atheist

    I know plenty of people who recoil in absolute horror when even a mention of "inner awareness" is uttered.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    I know plenty of people who recoil in absolute horror when even a mention of "inner awareness" is uttered.Bret Bernhoft

    Absolutely!! Absolutely!! I couldn't agree more.

    But it's not due to the lack of their own inner awareness. It is due to their abhorrence over the apparent pretension associated to things that people say who talk about "Inner awareness".
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    QED, it is the overpopulation and not the economic forces that drive us to annihilation or to something near to it.god must be atheist

    Except that’s a myth.

    It’s not overpopulation. When 7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions— I don’t think “overpopulation” is the problem.

    Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat

    It’s a nice story to tell ourselves. It once again absolves the behavior of the affluent and the powerful — which is the true driving force — of responsibility. But like most stories told by the capitalist class, it’s complete bullshit the moment you think about it more deeply.

    It’s on par with that other great story told about climate change: “natural forces.” “There’s little we can do, because…it’s the sun. There’s little we can do about global problems because… it’s overpopulation.”

    Complete rubbish.
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