• Jake
    775
    No. Absolutely not. I consider it (nuclear weapons) an ideologically driven misapplication of technology.karl stone

    Do we agree that nuclear weapons exist, and that so far, we've found no way to get rid of them?

    Could we maybe agree that you actually have no credible plan for how we might arrive at a utopian fantasy world where we don't get sucked in to "ideologically driven misapplication of technology", and that nobody else has such a credible plan either?

    Yes, of course, there are many wonderful theories about human transformation. We should all meditate, we should all become good Christians, we should join the Marxist revolution, we should accept science as truth, etc etc. We've been working on these projects for literally thousands of years, and guess what, we still aimed a bunch of huge bombs down our throats.

    Your intentions are excellent, and you pursue them with determination and durability, which merits our respect. But as an engineer, you've fallen victim to sloppiness. You've failed to think holistically, and thus you've failed to account realistically for a very important component of the situation you are attempting to address. Us. Humans.

    As wannabe engineers we should be looking for the weak link, the single point of failure which will cause our invention to crash. If we don't identify that single point of failure, then all the fantastic work we've done on the rest of our invention is for nothing.

    The group consensus you are speaking on behalf of wants to strap a rocket to a bicycle so the bike can go 300mph. The group consensus is very proud of the rocket and the speeds it can reach. And it's forgotten all about the 10 year old kid who will have to steer the bike.

    Good intentions.

    Sloppy engineering.
  • Jake
    775
    Think nothing of it - you wouldn't have stopped Jake banging his drum of doom if you'd ignored it. I tried that.karl stone

    Well, it's true that only the mods can stop me from banging this drum, agreed there.

    But is the drum a "drum of doom"? (catchy phrase, points for that!)

    Would it be a "drum of doom" to realistically recognize that our eight year old child is not ready to drive the family car? Would such a recognition be negative defeatism?

    Or would it perhaps be...

    Common sense, backed up by extensive evidence from the real world?
  • Jake
    775
    In other words, it's questionable what he's really committed to.praxis

    It's called "philosophy". You could look it up on Google if you wanted, pretty interesting stuff really. :smile:
  • Jake
    775
    To be fair, the doom part isn’t nonsensical. The alleged cause and hint of a solution (“some governing mechanism”) is.praxis

    Because poster Jake Blowhard on some tiny net forum has not immediately provided the solution of a governing mechanism, you take this as evidence that such a solution is impossible and can never be found by any group of human beings who might apply themselves to the challenge.

    Your assumption is quite flattering, and I thank you for the complement, even though the assumption is um, you know, pretty silly.
  • Jake
    775
    Because if it is - let me assure you, Jake isn't nearly as pissed off at what I said to himkarl stone

    Correct. I am not pissed off at anybody. Overly enthusiastic more often than necessary for sure, but not pissed off. Speaking only for myself, I don't object to jibes, taunts, poking in the ribs, and the occasional hysterical outburst. I agree with Karl, we're human, and all of this comes with the territory. The Nanny Mods will spank us where necessary, let the party continue.
  • Jake
    775
    What you're unwilling to admit is that you can't force a cultural reformation by restricting a valuable resource like knowledge.praxis

    Actually I have admitted this, though the admission may understandably become lost in the walls of typoholic text. I agree that I personally can't force a cultural revolution, and that it's likely that nobody else can either.

    But the cultural revolution will indeed come, and pain will be our teacher.

    Please reference my many mentions of the European wars example. That's what we're looking at. We're waiting for sufficient pain to arrive.
  • frank
    1.7k
    Question:

    No reputable scientist says AGW (anthropogenic global warming) will end civilization or the human species, but every reputable scientists will affirm that the right meteor impact could, and it appears that there are things we could be doing to defend the earth.

    How would you analyze the differences in popular response to these to issues?
  • praxis
    880


    One significant difference is that one has been politicized and the other hasn't. Perhaps Trump will try to politicize the threat of meteor impacts in an effort to fund his Space Force :nerd: and the issue will become championed by conservatives.

    Where are you going with this?
  • frank
    1.7k
    Where are you going with this?praxis

    I was thinking about the warnings of scientists that antibiotic use is breeding antibiotic-resistant organisms and every day we're approximately one mutation away from a resistant and plague- producing superbug. Then I started thinking about all the things that could cause the end of the world and I just landed on asteroid. How did global warming climb to the top of the pile? That's what I was wondering about.

    Perhaps Trump will try to politicize the threat of meteor impacts in an effort to fund his Space Force :nerd: and the issue will become championed by conservatives.praxis

    That's a great idea. I think we probably need a Mars colony for that. Only conservative astronauts will be allowed.
  • praxis
    880
    How did global warming climb to the top of the pile?frank

    The top of the pile today is the invasion force (destitute asylum seekers) header for the US Southern border. Trump wants to send 15,000 troops to stop this imminent threat to our great country.
  • frank
    1.7k
    I hope nobody is killed.
  • praxis
    880


    Don’t worry, the threat will be forgotten after Tuesday.
  • frank
    1.7k
    Do you mean his threats are just for show?
  • praxis
    880


    You wanted to discuss public perception of existential threats. My point is that it can be largely shaped by the media and influential figures who may use these perceived threats to pursue unrelated goals. Is a lot of this irrational? Yes, welcome to the human race.
  • frank
    1.7k
    So you're saying that global warming didn't climb to the top. It was chosen for its emotional appeal on both sides. It feeds the liberal's need to attend to the environment. It feeds the conservative's need to be a jackass about the environment. It was a hot year. IPCC scientists said something. It's important.

    So you have to look at who can use the issue. Nobody can really do much with the superbug issue. It doesn't sell right now. If we have a little epidemic that wipes out California, and threatens further damage, then it will be all about the superbugs, and global warming will wane in significance (even if it's a possible contributor to the plague situation.) The superbug will be a cause for fear, so it will make people malleable for political agendas, and therefore it's a significant issue.

    I think that's it.
  • ssu
    688
    You wanted to discuss public perception of existential threats. My point is that it can be largely shaped by the media and influential figures who may use these perceived threats to pursue unrelated goals. Is a lot of this irrational? Yes, welcome to the human race.praxis
    The truth is that there do exist threats, but the media and the public discourse focuses on some of them. And of course, some push an ideological agenda with it, some can have another agendas. One's own knowledge about the subject is the best way to separate the underlying facts from the various agendas.
  • praxis
    880
    ↪praxis So you're saying that global warming didn't climb to the top. It was chosen for its emotional appeal on both sides. It feeds the liberal's need to...frank

    I guess I'm only saying that people tend to pursue shortsighted goals, despite how irrational that may be. Do we need to look any farther than ourselves for evidence of this?

    :up:
  • frank
    1.7k
    I guess I'm only saying that people tend to pursue shortsighted goals, despite how irrational that may be. Do we need to look any farther than ourselves for evidence of this?praxis

    We usually don't try to fix things until it's already destroyed the neighborhood. We can get a collective freak-out going though. Did you see the PBS special about eugenics? It gathered all fears unto itself. There was talk of building a wall around the US to keep the genetically inferior hoards out. I think that's why they broadcast, actually.
  • praxis
    880


    That was before my time. Sorry you had to live through it, you old geezer.

  • frank
    1.7k
    That's me and my clones in the picture.
  • praxis
    880


    Cute, but shouldn't they have designed you to be a bit more... how can I say this delicately, smart.
  • frank
    1.7k
    I was built for love, baby.
  • praxis
    880


    Ah. Love will conquer all, so they say.
  • frank
    1.7k
    Love never fails.
  • karl stone
    172
    Do we agree that nuclear weapons exist, and that so far, we've found no way to get rid of them?Jake

    I don't believe in nuclear weapons. That's the level of denial I'm dealing with. But can we agree that science is - for all intents and purposes, a true description of reality - and thus far, we barely pay lip service to that truth?

    Could we maybe agree that you actually have no credible plan for how we might arrive at a utopian fantasy world where we don't get sucked in to "ideologically driven misapplication of technology", and that nobody else has such a credible plan either?Jake

    Could we maybe agree that if we recognized the fact that science is a true description of reality, we'd have no good reason to build nuclear weapons? That indeed, the fundamental motive for building nuclear weapons is ideological disagreement?

    Yes, of course, there are many wonderful theories about human transformation. We should all meditate, we should all become good Christians, we should join the Marxist revolution, we should accept science as truth, etc etc. We've been working on these projects for literally thousands of years, and guess what, we still aimed a bunch of huge bombs down our throats.Jake

    If we agree to the above - then setting 'accepting science as truth' among religious and political ideologies would be absurd. Science is objectively true - and that's not a matter of belief. To consider scientific truth on a par with religious and political ideology is just as absurd as it is for me to say I don't believe nuclear weapons exist.

    Your intentions are excellent, and you pursue them with determination and durability, which merits our respect. But as an engineer, you've fallen victim to sloppiness. You've failed to think holistically, and thus you've failed to account realistically for a very important component of the situation you are attempting to address. Us. Humans.Jake

    Here's something about us humans you don't know. We are drawn to truth. Truth is powerfully compelling - precisely because we are built by the function or die algorithm of evolution, in relation to causal reality - from the DNA up, to be correct to reality. That's a fundamentally truthful relation to reality that pre-dates intellectual awareness by a very long way. Consider, for example - the way a bird builds a nest before it lays eggs. Is that because it knows - and plans ahead? No! It's because those birds that didn't build a nest before they laid eggs are extinct. Surviving birds necessarily account for this temporal dimension of reality in their unconscious behavior.

    That's how deeply truth is ingrained in surviving organisms - and fundamentally, that's why we are drawn to truth. We know in our bones truth is important - and it is to this human being I make my appeal. Not the ideologically confused identities we wear - but the animal underneath, because that animal is right. That animal has been tested from the DNA up through to its physiology and behavior to be correct to reality - else be rendered extinct.

    The problem is intellectual awareness is limited. We have the same inherent compulsion toward truth, as demonstrated by the astonishing increase in knowledge over the past 15,000 years or so, of civilization. But the world is big and complex; and until very recently, we had little idea what was true. It's only 400 years ago we discovered the method to ascertain and distinguish reliable knowledge, from the wide - if not infinite range of hypothetical possibilities. In lieu of the ability to reliably establish truth - we made stuff up, and called it true. We built our civilizations on made up ideas we called truth, and then - this was our big mistake, when we discovered the method for establishing truth - we suppressed it to protect those made up ideas.

    The group consensus you are speaking on behalf of wants to strap a rocket to a bicycle so the bike can go 300mph. The group consensus is very proud of the rocket and the speeds it can reach. And it's forgotten all about the 10 year old kid who will have to steer the bike.Jake

    We have used science in many ways. It's difficult to ignore the fact science surrounds us with technological miracles - and horrors like nuclear weapons. What we have not done however, is believe science is true. We continue to believe the ideas we just made up - and draw from those ideas our identities and purposes. We tap into the power of truth, but then use it as directed by made up ideas. It's those made up ideas that provide us with the motive to build nuclear weapons. This is where your rocket bike analogy comes in - but accepting that science is a true description of reality, and drawing our identities and purposes from truth, there's no reason to apply science in such a manner.

    So I don't believe in nuclear weapons. You do. They are the product of your false belief - not of science, but of science disbelieved.
  • Jake
    775
    Could we maybe agree that if we recognized the fact that science is a true description of reality, we'd have no good reason to build nuclear weapons? That indeed, the fundamental motive for building nuclear weapons is ideological disagreement?karl stone

    What is your plan to remove such ideological irrationality from the equation?

    Ok, we need to accept "science as truth". But how? Unless you have some kind of specific credible plan for human transformation to share with us, then your "science as truth" religion is really little different than "the world will be saved when we all become good Christians". That is, so far it appears to be little more than just another vague utopian dream with little chance of ever occurring to the degree necessary.

    You keep saying that we need to align ourselves with reality, which is a valid concept in theory, but then you decline to align your theories with the reality of the human condition.

    Reality: Nuclear weapons exist, and nobody's utopian dream prevented that from happening, nor seems capable of fixing the problem. Real world fact Karl.

    If you are proposing that your utopian dream can accomplish what none other in history has succeeded in doing, ok, make that argument in some detail.
  • karl stone
    172
    What is your plan to remove such ideological irrationality from the equation? Ok, we need to accept "science as truth". But how? Unless you have some kind of specific credible plan for human transformation to share with us, then your "science as truth" religion is really little different than "the world will be saved when we all become good Christians".Jake

    I have no plan. Do you imagine I need one? I rather think I don't. I think that people know truth when they see it, and it compels them. They will compel themselves and eachother. How could one plan that? You mention Christianity - but if it weren't for a long series of unplanned and somewhat unlikely events, it would have been plowed under by time, and we'd all be worshiping Sol Invictus - or more probably, science as revealing the word of Sol made manifest in Creation.

    You keep saying that we need to align ourselves with reality, which is a valid concept in theory, but then you decline to align your theories with the reality of the human condition.Jake

    I wrote three paragraphs together above on the subject; which support the conclusion that truth is utterly compelling. What 'human condition' do you speak of? Are you attempting to claim there's some more fundamental naturalistic reality than that?

    Reality: Nuclear weapons exist, and nobody's utopian dream prevented that from happening, nor seems capable of fixing the problem. Real world fact Karl.Jake

    Not real. Nation states are not real things. They're just made up. There's no such thing as an indigenous population - we're all random collections of hunter gatherer tribes who formed civilization by agreeing to believe convenient lies. Those lies bring us within sight of our end - and you think I need a plan to compel people to embrace the truth? They will embrace it or die.

    If you are proposing that your utopian dream can accomplish what none other in history has succeeded in doing, ok, make that argument in some detail.Jake

    Shall I make it so long no-one reads it? Least of all you!
  • Jake
    775
    I have no plan. Do you imagine I need one? I rather think I don't.karl stone

    You're not obligated to have a plan for human transformation of course. But the "more is better" philosophy your technological suggestions are built upon depend upon such a transformation, for the simple reason that in our current state of maturity we can't handle more power.

    If you, or anyone, had a credible plan for how a critical mass of the human population might come to accept "science as truth", that enhanced human maturity might make it safe for us to continue to acquire new powers, including your technological suggestions. Your "science as truth" idea has value in that is shows that you realize that human transformation is necessary, but so far it's just another utopian theory.

    You're intent on aligning yourself with reality, which is good, and so I'm attempting to show you that at the current time the reality is that human beings show every sign of being significantly insane (nukes etc) and thus proposals which aim to give us even more power are irrational. If you, or anyone, had a credible plan for how to cure the insanity at the scale necessary, then that would obviously create a new situation where more things are possible.

    Reality: Nuclear weapons exist, and nobody's utopian dream prevented that from happening, nor seems capable of fixing the problem.Jake

    Karl, please read the quoted sentence again.

    1) Nuclear weapons exist. FACT!
    2) Nobody's utopian dream prevented that from happening. FACT!
    3) Nobody seems capable of fixing the problem. FACT!

    It is in to this factual reality that you wish to introduce even more power with your technological proposals.
  • karl stone
    172
    You're not obligated to have a plan for human transformation of course. But the "more is better" philosophy your technological suggestions are built upon depend upon such a transformation, for the simple reason that in our current state of maturity we can't handle more power.Jake

    Yes, we can handle it. If we know what's true, and do what's right in terms of what's true - if we value the sustainability of our existence, by those principles alone, we can handle everything technology has to offer.

    But let us be more specific. Consider smallpox. A terrible disease. So incredibly virulent - it was once weaponized, and then it was banned - and recently, utterly destroyed. It no longer exists anywhere on the planet. We did that despite being divided by various pre-scientific - religious, political and economic ideologies, into competing factions. The opportunity existed to do what was good and right for everyone, and we took it. A clear case of - less is better. And it's not the only such case. We routinely ban things because they're bad - CFC's for instance. How does 'more is better' explain that. DDT - another example. Your thesis seems to have a lot of holes in it.

    If you, or anyone, had a credible plan for how a critical mass of the human population might come to accept "science as truth", that enhanced human maturity might make it safe for us to continue to acquire new powers, including your technological suggestions. Your "science as truth" idea has value in that is shows that you realize that human transformation is necessary, but so far it's just another utopian theory.Jake

    It's not Utopian in the least. That implies how the world is now - is how it cannot but be, and the ideas I'm putting forward are unrealistic. What I'm saying is quite different. This isn't how the world should be, as demonstrated by the fact we are barreling toward extinction - fully conscious of the fact, and with the ability to prevent it - but are somehow unable to apply the technology we have. That's wrong. I only seek to put right what is wrong.

    You're intent on aligning yourself with reality, which is good, and so I'm attempting to show you that at the current time the reality is that human beings show every sign of being significantly insane (nukes etc) and thus proposals which aim to give us even more power are irrational. If you, or anyone, had a credible plan for how to cure the insanity at the scale necessary, then that would obviously create a new situation where more things are possible.Jake

    I disagree. Consider a traffic jam. By your analysis, you consider each motorist insane - but they're not. They are all behaving perfectly rationally. It's the situation that's insane - a collective irrationality. The nuclear stand-off is insane, but that's not because those involved are insane. They are behaving rationally to create an irrational situation. It's the ideological divisions between them that provide the motives - ideas that are contrary to a scientific understanding of reality.

    In reality, we all evolved on this planet - and are all members of the same species. The evolution of our particular branch of life is millions of years old. Civilization is 15,000 years old at the most - a veritable blink of an eye. Science is a few hundred years old - but it is the older truth. It was true before we evolved, before we developed civilization, it's eternally and universally true. Our mistake is to suppress that truth relative to ideas we made up in the blink of an eye, a moment ago.

    That is the basis of our collective irrationality, that's the reason we can't apply the technology we have - to avoid what we can clearly see coming. If you're telling me that setting out that truth - humankind will not see that it's true, and take it on board as a rationale to apply the technology we need to apply to survive - then maybe you're insane, but humankind is not.

    All we need, in my view - is an assurance we can do so safely, and that it won't transform everything and everyone - as you seem to imagine is necessary. It's neither necessary nor desirable that we turn the world upside down - and this leads to the principle of existential necessity I described earlier. Given that principle, we can safely accept a scientific understanding of reality in common as the basis to apply technology "insofar as is necessary to avoid extinction." All else remains equal - at least in the medium term. Longer term, I think we'll come to rely more and more on science as a lingua franca and level playing field for dealing with global issues, but that's for future generations to decide. Immediately, we can safely limit the implications, and should do so.
  • ssu
    688
    Ok, we need to accept "science as truth". But how?Jake
    My opinion is that science tries to uncover the truth, aims for an objective truth, yet what we do and what we want is a subjective question and objective facts simply cannot give us answers to the subjective decisions we have to make.

    It simply is false to say that by understanding objective reality we can decide what we want to do with that reality, how we should alter it to improve it. To think there would be an obvious guideline what to do is totally false, is an example of extreme hubris and very naive. This attitude simply leads to some Panglossian view where people actually deny that they are making subjective decisions (because they will at worst fall back on the idea that "science says so").

    We have to acknowledge that we make normative statements and in the end make political decisions and that those political decisions are open for debate by challenging political views.

    I think that Karl's point is important when scientific facts are thought to be opinions, to be cultural constructs or conspiracies of some evil people pushing their sinister agenda or something similarly hilarious. If that happens, then we are truly lost.
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