• Chris1952Engineer
    33
    Hasn't every civilization ever constructed eventually collapsed?Hippyhead

    Yes:
    Nature consists of competition, evolution and survival of the fittest at the Genetic level.
    Civilisation is competition, evolution and survival of the fittest at meme level.
    How else can there be progress in understanding and movement towards wisdom?
  • Hippyhead
    899
    Civilisation is competition, evolution and survival of the fittest at meme levelChris1952Engineer

    So I'm suggesting an evolution from a "more is better" relationship with knowledge which was appropriate in a long era when knowledge was scarce, to a more sophisticated relationship appropriate to an era of knowledge explosion. Moving beyond "more is better" will inevitably involve learning how to say no to some knowledge.
  • Cobra
    37
    5) Thus, science gives human beings new powers at an ever accelerating pace.

    6) Human maturity and judgment advances at an incremental pace at best, if at all. [...]
    Hippyhead

    I think what you are alluding to is more to do with rationality than science itself. Science is only a death trap if you do not have the reasoning skills to properly make decisions and distinguish between multiple forms of alternatives and alternative thinking-styles to optimize toward ones betterment. The pace at which a human judges something is an inability to suppress intuition to discern and make better judgment. There also may be present a fixation on the hypothetical, which is a facet of rationality as well, and can be mitigated and controlled through integrated reasoning skills, not only scientific in nature. There is a tendency for people to cling to hypotheticals on the basis of scientific thought, because being the smartest appeals more than being most reasonable, but this is not inherently problematic in itself.

    With diminished rationality, science can be misused ineffectively to where we cannot see a significant change in result and goals. People still moving at fast-pace, but foolishly. It is not the science that is the death trap, but the poorly made decision-processes diminished by underdeveloped forms of reasoning. Even with science we see those still fetishizing pseudoscentific methods or falling victim to scientism.
  • Hippyhead
    899
    Science is only a death trap if you do not have the reasoning skills to properly make decisions and distinguish between multiple forms of alternatives and alternative thinking-styles to optimize toward ones betterment.Cobra

    Agreed, science in itself is just a knowledge generating machine, a tool, a neutral phenomena, neither good nor bad in itself. And, "more is better" science was appropriate in the long era of knowledge scarcity. We no longer live in that old era, so it seems reasonable to question whether the "more is better" relationship with knowledge, and thus science, is still appropriate.

    So far we do have adequate reasoning skills to manage a great deal of the knowledge explosion. The problem is that the knowledge explosion now creates powers of enormous scale that brief failures of rationality can lead to game over events.

    It is not the science that is the death trap, but the poorly made decision-processes diminished by underdeveloped forms of reasoning.Cobra

    We've suffered from poor decision making since the beginning. But previously the powers available to us were sufficiently limited that even huge mistakes did not crash the system. It is science which gave us powers of sufficient scale to crash the system.

    We are being seduced by irrelevant examples from the past. Example, WWII was a horror show, but the mess was cleaned up in about a generation or so. WWIII will be a horror show too, but the mess won't be cleaned up for centuries, if ever.

    We look back at WWII and see we got over it, a very long established pattern. That pattern is outdated, irrelevant, it no longer applies. Our technology races ahead, while our philosophy (relationship with knowledge) remains stuck in the past. The gap between the two is widening at an ever accelerating pace.
  • Chris1952Engineer
    33
    Moving beyond "more is better" will inevitably involve learning how to say no to some knowledge.Hippyhead

    How do you propose to control the spread of knowledge and halt experiments in "dangerous" areas.
    Saying no to proliferation of nuclear weapons and some aspects of genetic engineering has not worked well so far.
    Who is censor going to be? You? The UN? An AI?
    How do you propose to enforce the rules?

    Sounds like "Big Brother/1984" to me.
  • Outlander
    769
    Yes. Not at first, not right away, and not by intent of design or nature of pursuit. But yes. The only question is for who. And due to the nature of science and technological innovation, can be one of the few true toss ups we have today. Of course, like responsible procreation, just because you stop and act responsibly doesn't mean everyone else will. And so, becomes an inevitable and necessary evil of a sort. Something of a race to oblivion I suppose. You learn to make the best of things.
  • Hippyhead
    899
    How do you propose to control the spread of knowledge and halt experiments in "dangerous" areasChris1952Engineer

    Based on what I can observe, and about a thousand conversations on this subject....

    1) Wait

    2) Watch the civilization collapse

    3) Wait a long time

    4) Try again

    I used to think we could reason our way around this, but no longer. It's too big of a shift to be accomplished with reason alone. But, to debate my own point, it's at least possible some calamity like a limited nuclear war might change the status quo mindset sufficiently.

    To partially address your question, here's an example.

    For a very long time humans lived on the edge of starvation, and so a "more is better" relationship with food was rational. In much of today's world obesity is a bigger threat than hunger, so we're in the process of editing the ancient "more is better" relationship with food. We've moved from a food scarcity to a food plenty situation, which is requiring an update to our relationship with food. Progress made the old relationship outdated and dangerous.

    This examples illustrates the kind of philosophical adaptation required in our relationship with knowledge, and offers some hope of success. But I don't have the answer of exactly how that happens.

    However, I am flattered by the question, which I've heard many times. The question seems to assume that if Hippyhead can't fix this, that proves that nobody can. :-) A charming fantasy!
  • AndrewGough
    1
    Science is amazing.
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