Stanisław Lem - Forum

English => Forum in English => Wątek zaczęty przez: innate w Listopad 01, 2005, 07:01:32 am

Tytuł: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 01, 2005, 07:01:32 am
A big topic, so I can keep myself entertained with it for a long time, even if nobody else participates.

What is to come? Lem gives us synsects in a few works, and Deckard recently reported that Bomba Megabitowa represents the net as being replete with danger.

There are so many dystopian futures that I can all too readily imagine.

It's hard because we tend to extrapolate a single trend, forgetting that nothing extends to infinity and that everything else shifts and reacts when one thing changes a bit.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 02, 2005, 03:29:11 am
Dystopian future #1: the mushroom cloud.

Humans have had atomic energy for some sixty years now. How we have (mostly) kept from being transformed into radioactive ash is a great mystery. There are plenty of unbalanced people in power, for one thing. There are powerful people who Truly Believe in their ideologies--if things start to look bleak for them, might they not feel that nothing remains to be lost? Also, we usually think of missiles, but I guess people can fit all sorts of things into shipping containers.

In 1983, Stanislav Petrov went with his feeling that the computer systems were in error. And so I live.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 02, 2005, 10:17:14 am
As usually You've touched a pretty interesting subject innate. I really like it.

Dystopian future which you assigned number 1 on your probable list of possible futures is obviously the one quite a few people consider (including me). The world stands on the edge of a global catastrophe, the balance is really gentle. Great players on political scene like the USA, Russia or China will never use their nuclear potential against each other. They realize that this is, I would say, the two-edged weapon. Moreover, each side knows the side effects of using nuclear weapon - years of radioactive contamination, black rain, mutations and so on. The worst thing is that technology boost makes things smaller and smaller and soon atomic bomb or missile will be easy to hide in a typical suitcase. Even nowadays we receive reports that many unstable little coutries want to develop their own nuclear technologies. This is indeed a big problem because these people don't want to follow rules of global nuclear disarmament, which shows their lack of responsibility for humankind. Many SF writers and SF movie directors have already created visions of a world destroyed by a global nuclear conflict (take for instance Mad Max series or The Blood of the Heros). The question is why it didn't happen? I'm not able to answer that question. I simply don't know. We can of course draw different kind of conslusions but I don't think we will finally get the answer.

As number 2 I would like to propose a completely different future. It was described in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. I have to confess that this book made a great impresion on me. Since I don't know if You are familiar with this story I don't know if I can say anything more in this subject (I just wouldn't like to give away a great plot of this book for those of You who haven't read it yet). So I'll wait for your acceptance if I can reveal the story of this great book.

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 02, 2005, 04:26:21 pm
Why haven't we blown each other up yet?  Let's all thank those unsung heroes, whomever they are, who persuaded/dissuaded the then-currnent and current leaders from moving towards nuclear armageddon.  I think of the British officer (Peter Sellers) and his (admittedly fruitless in the end) attempt at defusing the upcoming war in Dr. Strangelove.  Among the madness, a cool head is the only thing between death and life.  That we don't know their names is a pity.
Cheers, Socrates

Dystopian future #1 (for me):  People spend so much time in front of the tv/computer that they forget to propagate and we die out "naturally", out of old age.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 02, 2005, 09:02:53 pm
 ;D Hehh Socrates you gave us the answer  to all the riddles!  ;) I forgot about this dude Peter Sellers - he's the cure for all evil on this planet... ;D

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 02, 2005, 09:25:18 pm
Deckard: Sure, go ahead. I've read it.

Socrates: I think most people are still out there working hard to spread their genes. (and if the outside world were filled with people who like to think and talk about interesting things, maybe I'd join them...)

[actually, if we simply died out by neglecting to reproduce, I'm not sure that I'd regard that as dystopian]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 03, 2005, 10:54:06 am
OK then, Clarke depicts evolution of humankind into a brand new form of life. It's a little bit connected to transhumanism but in fact it's different. I wouldn't like to reveal whole story but some part of it (especially the conclusion) has to be shown. A new generation of human kind was born to be usual kids. Not more and not less similar to present children. But after some time their parents started to lose contact with them. Kids were not recognizing parents and seemed to be in a sort of trance. Regular people (their parents) were under the impression that those kids are talking to each other without making a sound. Soon they found out that those strange kids have many other gifts like telekinesis and probably a lot more. Children were becoming one global mind absolutely not related to our world. Human kind transformed itself into something new. Something beyond our imagination.

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 03, 2005, 08:26:27 pm
What do you think of that future, Deckard? And what do you think of variations on it that are more realistic in detail? Considering what you had said about transhumanism and Eutyphronics, I would have guessed at first that you would disapprove, but I'm not sure.

[I just reread your first post on it, and it sounds like you regard it with approval, though the fact that you enjoyed the book doesn't necessarily mean that you bought into what happened at the end...]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 03, 2005, 09:19:27 pm
Well, I mentioned Clarke's idea as an opposition to your dark future no. 1 - the nuclear one. I don't believe that what happens in Childhood's end is a possible future, but of course I find it very interesting and even surprising. It's rather obvious that we want to see our future in good colors, while Clarke shows it in a very specific way. We lose even our own planet Earth in the sake of transformation into something new. So on one hand it's a sad story and on the other it looks like the proper course of evolution. To me the conclusion is not explicit. And this is what makes the whole story so good.

As far as transhumanism and eutyphronics are concerned I'm on the side of the second one.  ;)

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 03, 2005, 10:12:28 pm
You make good sense. It's actually been long enough since I read it that I don't remember too many details.

My dystopian future #2: No more clean water.

We can get by without a lot of things, but not without water.
I thought it was bad enough that we use up  our water to have green lawns in dry places and to wash our vehicles, but sometimes one hears of the unimaginable waste of water that goes on in industry.

(A horrifying story that I heard of recently is of a coal company in the desert of the American southwest. For decades, they have been crushing coal, mixing it with precious dwindling underground water, and sending it through a huge pipe for hundreds of kilometers. The amount of water that has been contaminated and lost was large enough that it was hard to grasp.)

Oh, and we waste so much water by not being sensible with our agriculture, growing things in arid places that require heavy irrigation.

We claim to be special because we have foresight, but in practice we do what works best for us in the short term, just like bacteria given a source of sugar. First, grow rapidly until it's used up. Second, die.

With contaminated water, there's distillation or hopefully a more energetically efficient technological fix, but if you live somewhere dry and the wells go dry...
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 04, 2005, 04:15:35 am
As for dystopian nr 1 (innate, shouldn't you call your topic 'possible dystopian futures'?), the atomic blast one; I think that nuclear armageddon is quite impossible, until at least some freak on drugs presses the red button. In my oppinion the 'fragile ballance' Deckard described, is not that fragile at all, because nuclear weapons are mainly used to frighten and threaten hostile countries than to blow things up.

I just hope, of course, that the 'cool heads' mentioned by Socrates will never fail.

As for the dystopian future which included humanity dying out thanks to neglecting breeding for the sake of computer games, I think, like innate, that this should be called utopian and considered as the only way of Heaven on Earth coming true.

About water contamination. I know quite a few things about water refinement, and am aware that there's nothing that nature wouldn't deal itrself, if we gave it time.  (Maybe besides nuclear contamination....) So if Texaco or any other companies installed multimilion dollar ecological installations, stopped pollution and so on, we would have  large amounts of drinking water anywhere.

But then again, it won't happen.
So, if I were to guess, I think technologically developped nations will continue to devastate Earth, until some LARGE and evident dying starts. And I don't mean Africa's population dying out of hunger, which is a fact - but is not connected to ecology that much, but I mean, for example, I don't know... maybe people in US starting to die because of lack of water.

This could open some eyes.

--
Forgive my cosmic grammatics.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 04, 2005, 05:31:14 am
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innate, shouldn't you call your topic 'possible dystopian futures'?
heheh. Well, I just haven't gotten to my non-dystopian future yet. I'll look into writing it up.

fragile balance: I do think that shipping containers and, like Deckard said, suitcase nukes are a problem. There's little downside to such aggression if nobody knows who did it.

clean water: That's true that city water is generally formerly-yucky water. Maybe I should focus more on the scenario of water no longer coming from the wells in dry places.

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people in US starting to die because of lack of water
Even that might not help if My Dystopian Future #3 happens, in which AI and robotics advance to a point where "the rest of us" and our labor are no longer needed, where a few people own everything and the rest of us are free to die. (But if they were then completely secure and threatened by nothing, might they feel humanitarian impulses? Possibly. Once people have enough hundreds of millions of dollars, they often start giving money to universities and libraries and various institutions, after all.)

[Terminus' heaven on earth scenario: there is a site out there called The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (http://vhemt.org).]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 09, 2005, 07:31:34 am
Another dystopian future: fundamentalist religion and general irrationality on the rise.

George Orwell wrote: "In  philosophy,  or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four."

The problem is that those who believe that two plus two equals five -- or particularly those who have gathered a lot of followers who can be persuaded that two plus two equals five -- are quite capable of buying guns or airplanes or whatever.

They can use the tools while denying the principles underlying their function, and my guess is that it may be getting easier.

(And then there are people who can compartmentalize their thinking such that  it equals four in their professional lives and five in their personal lives...)


But maybe that's too vague to count as one of my dystopian futures, so here's another: poisonous and mutagenic chemicals in everything.

Here it's particularly difficult to discern the truth because on one side you have corporations for which profit motive overrides all else, and on the other side you have people who really, really, really believe in the false distinction between natural and artificial. There are probably some people in the middle trying to understand things without bias, but they're never going to get the headlines.

For potential mutagens, we often give it to some E. coli (or something) that isn't supposed to be able to grow, the idea being that a mutagen will increase the rate at which a broken enzyme will mutate back to a functional state. I can't remember what they do for potential poisons -- inject them into mice or something? In any case, the state of the art is currently so primitive that we don't have a very good idea of what we're doing yet.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 09, 2005, 12:05:19 pm
Fundumental religion is absolutely not likely to take over our entire world - maybe a tiny part of it - like nowadays. Religious fanatics are relatively small groups of people. Their radical outlook is not acceptable by people across the world. They can of course spread their religious visions, postulates and other things but this doesn't have any future. History says that people really hold freedom in high esteem which means they will fight for freedom and against all people who want to limit that freedom.
Moreover I think that the times of religions having great impact on societies is almost over. Western Europe is hardly religious except of Scotland. In Central Europe there's only Poland very devoted to Catholicism.

And dystopian future of poisoned world. Hey we already live in such, don't we?  ;) :D

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 09, 2005, 04:47:51 pm
1) "Possible Futures" is a pretty good movie starring Tilda Swinton and others.
2) I think Innate meant that rel fanaticism will become more relevant and lead to armageddon not because it will spread from person to person thus enveloping the entire world in one huge religious cloud, but rather that those who are religious to the point of absurdity will get their hands on some powerful devices capable, in the name of god, of enveloping the entire world in a mushroom cloud.
3) All of these scenarios are quite right.  I put my RMB on crazy people (aka Bush et al) starting too much crap with people who would be happy to go to heaven, and take as many people with them as they can.
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 09, 2005, 08:03:58 pm
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I put my RMB on crazy people


What does it mean to 'put one's RMB' ? ::)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 10, 2005, 07:27:20 am
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Moreover I think that the times of religions having great impact on societies is almost over.

Man, I hope so. In my little corner of the world, things can look so bleak. This growing trend of placing religious mythology in school science curricula is a serious evil. I personally can't remember whether evolutionary processes were mentioned in my classes, but at least we left out the myths.

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Innate meant...rather that those who are religious to the point of absurdity will get their hands on some powerful devices...

yup.

RMB: It's an abbreviation for renminbi, Chinese money.

Another dystopia: the one that goes by the excessively neutral name of "climate change". There's the idea of what will happen if trends simply continue, resulting in things like:
- Sea level rises. Nobody's ever explained to me why it's quite so catastrophic for it to rise a foot or two, but apparently the effects are large...
- CO2 levels rise and temperatures rise. In the past, at least the animals and vegetation could shift regions and temperature and precipitation patterns changed, but that will be hard now that we have made their ranges discontinuous by the liberal application of pavement and that sort of thing.
- Pollutants, ozone, melanomas, natural selection teaching a harsh lesson about life to those of us who are low in melanin.
and so on...

But the scarier things are the unstable 'switches' that we can only speculate about, things that change abruptly. For example: the danger that the ocean currents will suddenly shift that give much of Europe a much warmer climate than it "should" have at that latitude. Or the speculation I've seen of huge amounts of gas in the ocean perhaps just deciding to come out of solution one day.

I'm not too sure how large the effect is on the ecosystem as a whole. Some have called the era of modern* man the sixth mass extinction, but I don't have a good understanding of how readily something else can step in to fill the role of whatever has been killed off.

* I feel a bit self-conscious whenever I use the word "modern" to describe my own time. I like to imagine an intelligence happening to read my words in thousands or millions of years and finding great amusement in the myopic perspective of this strange creature that I am. Five thousand years ago, somebody stood where you are now, and they surely thought that whatever was going on in their lives was pretty important, but it was all swallowed up, leaving no trace. Sometimes the only thing to cheer me up is the thought that we might somehow be so lucky as to have current times turn out to be so unremarkable from a distant perspective...
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 10, 2005, 10:11:35 am
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Man, I hope so. In my little corner of the world, things can look so bleak. This growing trend of placing religious mythology in school science curricula is a serious evil. I personally can't remember whether evolutionary processes were mentioned in my classes, but at least we left out the myths.


Yeah, I heard 'bout it in news. I was pretty shocked to hear that people in America eagerly want to teach children a biblical point of view of how human was created. This is unbelievable!!! Tell me something more about if You can...

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RMB: It's an abbreviation for renminbi, Chinese money.


The first thing I came up with was that RMB is an abbreviation for Right Mouse Button.... hehehe... :D ;)



CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 10, 2005, 10:38:45 am
Somewhere I read that rising sea levels will submerge many countries which are below sea-level even now (was it Holland or something like that?).  I heard as well that even a 2 degree change in the ambient temperature of an ecosystem will disrupt the entire mating/breeding/sleeping habbits of key species, thus leading to a balance shift and huge consequences.  Maybe the US should sign on to Kyoto after all...
Ren means people, and minbi (I guess) means currency, so RMB is people's currency.  "Cien" (pronounced in a Polish way) means money.
South/Middle US always fascinated me.  How, how can people still, in this day and age, believe in Adam's rib, Kain and Abel, etc?  And teachers at that, too?  People who are supposed to be objective and disseminate scientific knowledge?  For people reading about this in other countries this is more comic than tragic, and I have a feeling that they have a hard time treating the US as a truly developed country.
Cheers, Socrates
Sorry about the US rant - feeling a bit negative today (anti-stupidity feelings well up within me at times, and I then must write as above).
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 11, 2005, 05:28:16 am
We've always been pretty crazy like this. I've come up with lots of hypotheses why this is, but I still don't understand it well. I think part of it is isolation from other people and broader perspectives, but that doesn't explain why most of Canada, despite being similarly geographically isolated and sparsely populated, has much more sensible inhabitants.

Things have been getting worse, though, since the current ruling party has spent a few decades allied with the fundamentalists for their votes.

I wonder whether it will surprise you that no politicians in the US can admit to agnosticism or atheism unless they are running for local offices in a few large cities. It's just not accepted that non-christians can be "moral". I'm somewhat cautious about who I tell that I am not a believer -- and I'm definitely more outspoken about it than most.

As for why they hate science in particular, powerful people want to be able to shape everybody else's perception of reality. (appends quote)

Renminbi: Ohh... Well, until yesterday, I thought that renminbi was a fraction of a yuan for some reason.

in this day and age: When I took science courses in the university, my classmates were nearly all christian (though generally not fundamentalists). I was very surprised, though perhaps I shouldn't have been. Some of the professors, even...

the US not a developed country:
When we were struggling to understand how we let the people of New Orleans die, some hit upon the idea that maybe it truly does make the most sense to think of the US as a third-world nation -- great wealth alongside great poverty, no social cohesion, etc.

Here's at least a local dystopia, though I'm not sure it is of the sort that is likely to spread widely: chemical contentment. A very large number of people are taking antidepressant medication and a very large number of people are taking calming medications (e.g., against "attention deficit disorder"). Although some people need them due to inherent brain chemistry problems, I think many are using them to numb their rational and natural responses to their environment. It's easier to change oneself than to change the world, but the world is the one that needs to change. (it's been too long since I read The Futurological Congress for me to tie it in with this...)
Well, "change oneself" is incorrect. More like "allow oneself to be changed".



An extra bit on reality from an article that was published last year. The author was quoting "a senior adviser to Bush":
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The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
(ellipsis in original)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 11, 2005, 04:15:52 pm
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Things have been getting worse, though, since the current ruling party has spent a few decades allied with the fundamentalists for their votes.


Wow, You probably don't know, but Poland was just about to elect new president and new government. Votes went to the right wing which is very closely related to catholic fundametal organizations. Actually they (the right) owe them a signifacant advancement in winning the elections. Religion shouldn't have an influence on politics. We have enough bad examples of such a marriage in history. Well, all we can do is now wait and see.

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I wonder whether it will surprise you that no politicians in the US can admit to agnosticism or atheism unless they are running for local offices in a few large cities. It's just not accepted that non-christians can be "moral". I'm somewhat cautious about who I tell that I am not a believer -- and I'm definitely more outspoken about it than most.


I've never been to the US and don't know much about internal politics in America. According to what Carl Sagan depicts in his book "Broca's Brain": The first amendment to the US Constitution supports religious diversity and doesn't exclude critisism against religions - more, it encourages to critisism. In this situation it looks like American politicians don't obey the law, or the religious convictions of quite a few people are above the law. Despite of which is right a similar situation is in Poland. Catholic church says that 80-90% of Polish society is catholic. This declaration has never been confirmed by any real examination. In my humble opinion this number is exaggerated. So when one says that he's an atheist it's somewhat strange for many people down here, who were born ,in most cases, into the catholic families. Those people in bigger part have never thought of any kind of verification of their convictions. They are the catholic (the Good People) regardless of the Bible they had never read and many other dids their God would have never approved.
I also heard of the Bible Areas in the US. Geee, this is hard to believe. But similarily in Poland a regular priest is still thought the most important person in many villages. Is this a 21st century?

Shakes? Me tooo..... ;-)

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 11, 2005, 07:32:40 pm
I'd read that somebody on the right had won. What seemed odd to me at first was that the report said that he was the identical twin of somebody else in a politically important position. Then I remembered that, for our next election in 08, some people want the president's brother to run as the ruling party's candidate and some others want the ex-president's wife to run as the second party's candidate. There's something very strange about human psychology there...family ties or simply name recognition...

One would be legally allowed to run for office in most states, but political parties wouldn't back a nonbeliever and the people wouldn't vote for him. A couple of states still have laws requiring some sort of oath for all officeholders stating that they believe in christianity, but I'm not sure whether they could still be enforced if somebody refused.

The wording of the part of the First Amendment on religion forbids the nation from selecting an official religion or preventing people from practicing their religion. (To what degree later amendments can be construed to restrain individual states depends on the interpretation of the people who happen to be on the high courts at a given time.)

Sagan: I've been thinking about asking Terminus to try to make something based on the famous Pale Blue Dot photo, but I'm not sure whether it could work in the size of the signature images. Sagan's words when he asked us to consider that image seem beautiful to me.

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They are the catholic (the Good People) regardless of the Bible they had never read

Yes! Somehow they can feel that it defines them as good -- that because they can call themselves christian, this automatically makes all of their actions unquestionably correct and their detractors evil. It was not too long ago that I learned that most of them have never actually read their book. If you had one book that was supposed to contain all truth and moral authority, how could somebody not want to take a look at it now and then? Some have said that reading the bible is what turns the most believers into nonbelievers.

Sometimes religion seems to be nothing more than a...stick to hit one's enemies with.

[speaking of which, I just remembered the title Malleus Maleficarum]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 12, 2005, 03:20:23 am
Ah yes, the Kaczynski twins - weren't they the lead roles in "O dwoch takich co ukradli ksiezyc"?
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 12, 2005, 07:23:04 pm
Here are some more. I used up my dystopian ones.

When a developing chick uses up the yolk in its egg, it is time to hatch and chase bugs. When we have used up the cheap petroleum, it will be time for us to mature as well.

Afterward? I think we can adjust. The reason that change is hard is that we naturally optimize for the current state. The US is a car culture, with employment, food, and everything else generally far from wherever we live. Economy of scale, I suppose. Our public transportation is somewhere between bad and nonexistent, but there's no reason this can't change. So there would be fewer superultramegamarts and more...neighborhoods. Descriptions of European cities make it sound like you already have this, so having local neighborhoods where you can get things must not be a lethal condition.

In a way, I hope there is change because I hate to need the big, dangerous automobile. I would like a world that is safe for pedestrians and cyclists. Honestly, though, I don't think sustainable sources of energy will be expensive enough to force very large change (and if they are expensive, our wide disparity in wealth suggests it won't be the sort of change that one would want).

I know I'm being particularly US-centric in this future, but it's the only place I know. Some worry that our food will become more expensive because everything is currently trucked/flown thousands of miles. (Insert stereotype of fat Americans here) I don't really buy this argument, since ingredients are really cheap and it's not hard to cook food for oneself. Anyway, we can often grow the food closer -- and it's not the end of the world if everybody moves away from desert cities like Las Vegas. There's no advantage to life in Vegas.

Some worry about winters in very cold places. This is a problem. Part of it, though, is our own fault in that we have huge and wildly impractical houses. We have one idea of what a house should be like, but we have all kinds of climates -- and then we wonder why it's expensive to keep it comfortable inside.




And here's a...somewhat hopeful future -- progress in a somewhat halting fashion... This one is a matter that we've already touched upon on occasion: easier communication and interaction bringing about a broader perspective.

Some people regard only their immediate family as fully human. For others, it can be town, tribe, state, nation... For some, it's anybody sharing their ideology or their ethnicity.

But on the whole, over time, the circle of humanity has widened. (I thought that the widening circle of humanity was a phrase from Dawkins, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.) Not for enough, and not far enough, but it has widened.

If you only know of other groups by what you are told by the leaders of your little group, you'll hate and fear them. If you meet some of these others, you find that they're just people.

Then again, maybe it's simply mercantile: as it became advantageous to trade with others, hatred of them began to conflict with the desire for wealth.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 14, 2005, 12:03:46 am
Here's another dystopia that I forgot about. We've talked about it elsewhere, so I won't say too much: distancing.

It's easier to kill people if you push a button in response to stylized abstractions on a screen. It's easier to harm your customers if you interpose layers of employees who do your bidding because it's policy and you put a layer of customer service people who have no power to change anything. It's easier to harm your citizens if you have them caged up miles away in Free Speech Zones and you never have to see their faces.

You can do more evil if you don't do it yourself. And you know what Stanley Milgram learned about obedience...
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 14, 2005, 10:12:08 pm
I don't know.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 15, 2005, 05:23:29 am
Stanley Milgram was the psychologist with the famous obedience experiment. It's well worth looking around on the web for a few articles on it. He also wrote a book about it.

If I remember correctly , he started thinking about the matter of obedience because of the Nuremberg Trials. The world expected monstrous deeds to have come from people who were obviously monsters, but these seemed so much like regular unexceptional humans. In particular, the Nazis tended to emphasize that they were just doing their jobs -- and they seemed to believe what they were saying, that the fact that it was their job  somehow made their part in the murders of millions...justifiable in their minds.

The experiment:
One person (teacher) would be given the task of presenting a memory test to a second person (learner) in another room. If the learner makes a mistake, the teacher presses a button to give the learner an electrical shock. Also, for each mistake, the voltage goes up. The higher volgate levels say things like "extreme danger". The maximum was 450 V.

At a certain point, the learner starts pounding on the wall and shouting about a heart condition. Later on, there are screams of pain. Eventually the learner stops responding at all.

The teachers are freaked out by this, but there's a man there with a white lab coat telling them things like "you must continue", "it is vital to the experiment that you continue", "you have no choice", etc. The teachers are nervous and sweating and unhappy, but they generally keep going. The man in the lab coat tells them that no response is equivalent to a wrong answer, and the voltage keeps going up. A lot of people kept pressing that button at 450 V.

Of course the learner wasn't really being shocked, but think of it: the teachers just answered a newspaper advertisement, came in with the expectation of earning a few dollars for some short experiment, and suddenly they're in a position where they think they're killing a man because somebody tells them to. They had nothing to lose by walking out, but it is our nature psychologically to accept the rules of our little environment.

Beforehand, Milgram talked with other psychologists to see what they thought would happen. Everybody expected, as you probably would, that only a very few deranged people would go through with giving dangerous shocks. Our incredible obedience was a huge surprise.

We all think "I wouldn't! No way! I am no monster." and most of us are wrong. And so we learn that many (most?) monsters are merely men under a particular set of circumstances.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of talk about the ethics of the experiment. There were people who felt that it was unethical because the subjects felt distress, because they learned an uncomfortable truth about themselves. As if there were anything more important than learning the truth about ourselves, particularly the uncomfortable truth that we will only face with resistance.

(Other eye-opening experiments: 1) Asch's conformity experiment where a group of people would be asked which line is longest. The rest of the group would give a particular wrong answer. Many subjects in that position could not bring themselves to give the correct answer. This has obvious implications for jury trials. 2) Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment where some people were assigned the role of guard and others were assigned the role of prisoner. They took to their roles to a shocking degree, and the guards spent their time tormenting the prisoners.)

I know it's a very long answer to a very short question.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 15, 2005, 02:03:15 pm
Wow, your knowledge on this subject is just mindblowing!
It's all extremely interesting. I have recently read a book about Auschwitz (by Laurence Rees) and the matter of obedience among nazis is significant there.  
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 15, 2005, 05:42:53 pm
I did have to cheat and look up some details that I couldn't remember...

Do you recommend the Rees book?

The only ones I've ever read concerning Auschwitz focused on the victims. First Viktor Frankl's book, which was all about hope and retaining your humanity, etc. ... and then Tadeusz Borowski's story collection, which was ... not. The latter made a real impression on me, and I've wondered ever since how things truly were.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 16, 2005, 12:55:34 am
Well, Borowski's stories are part of high school education here in Poland, so I've read them too. I guess they're close to the truth.
Of course I recommend Ress. The book gives large insight into the personalities of to Nazis. There are many examples where Rees emphasises the fact they were not just innocent and manipulated soldiers - they showed much initiative and creativity theirselves. So it wasn't just obedience.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 16, 2005, 04:21:11 am
Do you guys have a rather standardized curriculum in school? I've seen a few comments now about certain works being a part of Polish education.

It's scary to look out my window at people walking their pets, or driving their vehicles, or taking out trash, and know that other circumstances could have them smashing and killing gleefully enough.

(Is there any way to adapt the idea that Douglas Adams had about the B Ark?)

Scandinavians claim to have genuinely civilized societies. I wonder how much truth there is to that. What I'd read made it sound like the social safety net did everybody a world of good psychologically, but all the same there are cheerleaders for every system.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 16, 2005, 02:50:47 pm
According to your obedience examples I was familiar with Stanford prison experiment only. The others are of course very intriguing too, especialy that one about treating people with high voltage. To sum up: we could say that the bigger part of people would be able to turn into monsters in extraordinary circumstances. But what about the rest, that short percentage which doesn't behave like the others. Did scientists give any reason why those people didn't follow the "common" way?

What do You mean by standardized curriculum?

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Listopad 16, 2005, 04:18:18 pm
Speaking about the possible future those who say that the mankind will extinct like dinosaurs are right.
 Here I agree with A.Clarke ,he wrote a short story about the end of human civilization all that we`ll  leave after us is trash.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 16, 2005, 07:07:00 pm
Umm, I don't remember anything profound about the disobedient minority, but it's been some time since I read the book.

standardized: All schools teaching the same things, perhaps using mandated texts.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 19, 2005, 02:27:51 am
Cytuj
Speaking about the possible future those who say that the mankind will extinct like dinosaurs are right.


But then again as nowadays' science claims, dinosaurs were extinct due to an ancient cataclysm (the meteor - crash hypothesis); what it implies is that the extincion itself was rather sort of rapid (in geological terms, it was a eyeblink matter).
Whereas humanity, even if it's to be extinct one day, won't go out with a bang, in my opinion.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 20, 2005, 10:27:09 pm
I've been meaning to tackle the biotech/nanotech future directly, but my efforts come out...probably overly optimistic. I like the idea of being able to make things for yourself if you have suitable software and a lot of patience (there's a reason why plants and people and everything else take a long time to grow).
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 21, 2005, 01:17:09 am
Now here comes my contribution to your future scenarios:
- China's 'world domination'.

China is growing stronger as a country, and brutally controls its 'provinces' (such as Tibet, which is slowly devastated without any respect for human rights). Yet its economical strength increases, which can not be denied. Most interesting fact is that comunism there, despite its obviously totalitarian character, seems to be quite fruitful (at least when observed from abroad).

So, what do You think about sons of Mao pressing their red buttons one day?  (Socrates, I await Your opinion).
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 21, 2005, 02:20:04 am
It would not be prudent for me to discuss these things right now.  Censorship does exist here, and, well, not to be paranoid about it, but Big Bro is always watchin' an' monitorin'.  Give me a year or two when I get back to the west, and we may then discuss the other side of this interesting country.  Czasem mi patrza na rece i nie chce zeby  patrzenie przeobrazilo sie w czyny.  
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 21, 2005, 02:32:59 am
Ok, I get it ::)
Stay sharp ::)

Cheers.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 22, 2005, 06:23:14 pm
 ;)
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 23, 2005, 04:28:24 am
I don't have much of a sense of what they're up to politically these days. However, it does sound like energy requirements are rising very, very sharply with the growth of industry and migration of people to the cities. I read an article about it this morning mentioning that they make heavy use of coal, but I don't know how long their reserves are expected to hold up... There will be conflict.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 23, 2005, 08:41:52 pm
Hmm You think they're gonna need somebody's else's resources? I doubt that - country that giant & vast has all it needs within its boundaries.

(hopefully)

Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 24, 2005, 02:57:00 am
It's fun in Harbin nowadays:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051123/hl_afp/chinaenvironmentblast_051123054010
and
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20051123_1.htm

Do check it out.  

Cheers from Harbin.
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 24, 2005, 09:43:36 am
This only assures us that if someone wants to make a local catastrophe he only needs to attack local resources like power plants, water supply networks or in the time of global communication destroy computer networks. This a pretty possible dystopian future no...... ???

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 24, 2005, 03:32:17 pm
Did I mention  the earthquake as well?  It's the end of the world here.  People are kinda scared shitless.  I'm sleeping lightly and with my door open (it's -15 here).  Many foreigners have gone to greener pastures in Beijing or Xian; I figure I'll stay and take pictures if anything happens.  

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/11/22/worldupdates/2005-11-22T131634Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_-224574-1&sec=Worldupdates

Cheers from Harbin,
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 25, 2005, 01:32:35 am
Wow, now that's a shitty situation :(
I'm deeply concerned about Your safety! Take good care, man...

Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 25, 2005, 01:41:50 pm
Staying alive, staying alive, ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alllliiivvee....
Took some pictures of the infamous Songhua today from the building I teach in.  They cordoned off half of our university so that people can't get near the river - I'm located on the very bank of the river, and could throw a rock into it from my doorsteps.  Today and for the past few days it looked much wider than it did before, and the ice is gone.  Trying to stay indoors as much as possible.  Everything is, so far, ok.  I guess I won't be trying the Songhua fish (a local delicacy) anytime soon.  
Cheers from Harbin,
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 25, 2005, 02:45:01 pm
Now, I finally know what You're doing. Could You be more specific (privately maybe?) about your position at the University?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckert w Listopad 25, 2005, 04:09:56 pm
Maybe something related to your language skills Socrates?

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Listopad 26, 2005, 03:45:28 am
I'm very simply a common English teacher here in Harbin, trying to learn Mandarin, and making contacts for the future.  There are far too many benefits in China, I think, not to go for at least a year.  The Kung Fu/Tai Chi/Nunchuck lessons are worth the trip themselves.  It was either Iran or China, but considering the socio-political situation in the former country, I chose China.  
Cheers from Harbin,
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Listopad 26, 2005, 09:23:00 pm
Yikes, yikes, and more yikes! Days without water?

(speaking of water, I have just moved to an area mere feet above sea level, so I now encourage everyone not to cause my dystopian future of rising oceans and inundation. )
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Listopad 28, 2005, 12:20:19 am
Hm, I live a few hundred meters above sea level. Let them glaciers melt :)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 03, 2005, 01:03:20 pm
I guess that it is a mistake to think that some natural cataclism killed dinosaurs.The thing is that now I read "Summa Technologiae"and remembered some views that this extinction may be the result of evolution.
They grew smaller and some turned to birds.
  Imagine yourself a situation when you create a huge card castle no matter how patient you are it will finally fall.And next time someone more talented than you will make another but castle.
 I`m driving at that if the system or mechanism becomes too complicated it undergoes a  failure. It means that we don`t notice how slowly disappear,extinct like animals mentioned above.
 You , maybe, know that all the viruses getting into a man`s organism cause mutations, that`s why about 30 percents of our DNA is a work of theirs.              
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 03, 2005, 06:03:38 pm
Do you speak here of humans themselves or of humans combined with their cultures and technology?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Miranda w Grudzień 05, 2005, 12:48:09 pm
When I think of those dinosaurs exhibited in museums...hard to believe that those were  to complicated to live on! Or is size the evolutionary complication you compare with card castles? Like the idea that the castle in the clouds killed the dinosaurs.

But seriously. The idea of a reverse evolution is convincing. Dinosaurs became birds. But shouldn´t there be more traces of their interim phaenotypes?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Grudzień 05, 2005, 08:37:51 pm
That's the main problem - finding the traces. Theoretically, the number of fossils is not strictly corelated with the number of a given population.
This, mainly, is why the hypothesis of a meteor killing dinosaurs is so strong among scientists ::)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 08, 2005, 04:18:01 am
From all of these scenarios, I was hoping that I would figure out what will happen, but...I don't know. It's likely that the near future will be reasonably similar to the present when viewed from the larger perspective. Bad guys will wreck things and good guys will repair and improve things. Some will struggle for control and others will struggle for freedom. And I think -- I hope -- that we have gained too much understanding for it all  to be lost, hidden, burnt.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Grudzień 08, 2005, 04:40:52 am
We have, but, alas, the human mind is not a continuum that streches from the early humanoids to the present man - each person must develop him/herself anew every time they're born.  That that is the scary part.  I trust the ones who've developed correctly, but he ones who haven't/will not shall destroy the world with fire and brimstone...(or something to that effect).  
Eternal Don Quixote,
Yours Truly,
Cheers,
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 08, 2005, 07:06:34 am
...ice / Is also great / And would suffice.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Miranda w Grudzień 08, 2005, 12:33:53 pm
Does being cryptic add to pass on existing knowledge or the state of development on the level of learning-everything-over-again individuals? Or is it part of making human contiuums impossible?

Why discussing possible futures in hermetic circles? Or are the bearers of secret knowledge the ones thought to outlive the ice....?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 08, 2005, 03:29:46 pm
One more view .  
 You see there appear some forecasts about the close disaster whch is going to destroy all the living things on our planet.
 Recently I`ve heard one of them,it says that in six years the sun will explode.But according to my information the guaranteed term of the device which the star is about 100000000 years.
 So , I`m driving at that sick persons who don`t want to die in pains invent something that can kill them quickly. As most of them are egoistic ,they envy the others `cause it is easier to die knowing that the whole world is dying together with them.
 
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 08, 2005, 08:01:24 pm
Cryptic? In the age of the search engine?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 10, 2005, 01:27:39 pm
What is cryptic ? Are you talking about foreseeing the future?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 10, 2005, 06:34:02 pm
cryptic: I think she disapproved of my quotation.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 13, 2005, 06:21:02 am
You know what? I forgot the future in which all humanity follows various schools of Lemism, with the usual mythologizing of the central figure, perverting of his works to conform to each school's faith, burning of books, rivers of blood, and so on. No spaceflight on the Sabbath (a rule that I observe strictly!)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 14, 2005, 04:55:18 am
Oops, sorry people. I didn't mean to put a damper of this thread. I guess I should of warned you all before dropping this on you all.
I was reading the thread and ran across a few post that reminded me of my story. I thought maybe you all might enjoy it. It's just an idea I wrote down for a friend back in April of 04, and as you can tell it's still a bit rough with a lot of loose ends that need working on.
I hope I didn't scare you all off.

Ever since the Christian neo-conservatives took over the US  government, they have been scaring the hell out of me.
My story is more of a nightmare than science fiction!

I was wondering, can you tell I suffer from Fundy-phobia?

Chuck

And no, "I do not suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it!"  ;D
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 14, 2005, 07:13:09 am
Nah, things are just winding down as we run out of futures.

Cytuj
Ever since the Christian neo-conservatives took over the US  government, they have been scaring the hell out of me.

Ditto. Wrapping themselves in God and Country in order to murder and steal.

I was hoping that Europe would provide something of a civilized counterbalance, but now I hear all of this about our own CIA Gulag (characteristically outsourced) in Poland and elsewhere...

[plus they don't seem to be genuine xians or genuine conservatives. There is real power in manipulating the language. (Um, not that Orwell and a zillion others haven't already observed that.) I thought there was something to Lakoff's ideas on framing...]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Grudzień 15, 2005, 12:37:56 am
Cytuj

I was hoping that Europe would provide something of a civilized counterbalance, but now I hear all of this about our own CIA Gulag (characteristically outsourced) in Poland and elsewhere...



Now well the fact that CIA hides imprisoned terrorists behind our barns doesn't signify that Europe is less civilized, or unable to balance the situation ::)
I must say that here in Poland nobody believes this stuff about CIA until it is proved decently. We've already had Loch-Ness monsters, Russian spaceships and stuff like that so nobody gives a damn.

As for American neoconservatives taking over, I feel for you all ::)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 15, 2005, 07:02:24 am
Europe as counterbalance: It also worries me when I hear from time to time of the EU and others adopting our various crazy ideas about patents, copyright, etc.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Grudzień 15, 2005, 12:14:33 pm
Well but the patent right didn't make it in the European parliment, happily ::)

(As for the freedom of software... well... when one lives so close to Russia... ::)  )
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 15, 2005, 09:10:02 pm
Talking about possible futures, what do you all think of this supposable coming Singularity event?

http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/vinge/vinge-sing.html
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 16, 2005, 01:29:49 am
I don't have much of an opinion on whether it will come, since I don't think we know the shape of the problem well enough.

It would be nice for greater intelligence to come into existence, though sometimes I wonder whether there's a degree of intelligence beyond which one no longer values existence -- a point where drives no longer have effect.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 17, 2005, 05:46:52 am
Cytuj
I wonder whether there's a degree of intelligence beyond which one no longer values existence -- a point where drives no longer have effect.


That's a good one!
It gave me pause to think. I think it may depend on what you mean by drives, and on how you define existence?

There's a Buddhist saying that goes something like this (as best as I can remember):
In the first stage of enlightenment there are mountains.
In the second stage of enlightenment there are no mountains.
In the final stage of enlightenment the mountains return.

What I believe this means is in the beginning we are filled with questions about existence. And anguish over the meaning of it all.
When we reach the second stage we realize that existence doesn't really exist. (The Buddhist maintain "There is emptiness at the heart of all matter"so therefore existence is an illusion.)
In the final stage we now understand all that there is to understand. We have no more questions, so we can sit back and enjoy the illusion for what it is.
We can live life just for the sake of living it.

The Zen Master goes to the well to drink its cold water. He knows the well and its water are an illusion, but that does not stop him from enjoying his drink. In fact, his enlightenment makes his drink of water all the more pleasing.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 17, 2005, 08:24:42 am
Yeah, it does parallel that.

I was thinking about how most people go after status, money, sex, alliances, etc., without reflection. I can see the arbitrary-for-the-organism, necessary-for-the-gene nature of it and wish that it all would distract me less from the nicer parts of life. And so I found myself wondering whether one could reach a level where the "axioms" built into one could be seen for what they are and be ignored/extracted. Even to like the things that one likes, even to exist and continue to enjoy good things. (And Lem's characters have sometimes sung the praises of nonexistence.)

But that would be to erase the illusion of meaning/importance completely, whereas your Zen master would enjoy the arbitrary game.

[Camus' Sisyphus also comes to mind. He was not free, but he embraced the absurdity or something like that.]
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 17, 2005, 12:39:54 pm
CCKeiser drew one more utopy,and I want to stress the mere fact that where the knowledge ends religions and beliefs appear.This strikes me deeply `cause in Ukraine there exist Catholic ,Orthodox and Satanistic churches and all possible sects.
I personally see many things we have no relation to.Cell-phones,players,computers may be assembled here but the parts are made in China and Malaisia.
 The same thing happens in notorious USA .All they have is also made in China.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 17, 2005, 01:00:23 pm
Does it mean that Americans grow dumber trying to build democracy in the East , making the people who cannot read `n write vote for a man whose name they are unable to read and who consequently will pump the Iraq oil somewhre beyond the borders of the country.
 Why I know about Amerca why should I care `bout it when the Ukrainian agriculture and  industry are completely destroyed and sold out?
 I`m a citizen of banana republic which bananas nobody is going to buy through radioactivity.THE ONLY THING REMAINED IT IS YUZHMASH which produces ENGINES FOR RUSSIAN SPACE SHIPS>
 
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 17, 2005, 07:41:51 pm
Cytuj
where the knowledge ends religions and beliefs appear.

Yes indeed. People in speculative fields have to remain always vigilant against unwarranted faith engendering something cultlike.

Not making anything: If trade is seriously disrupted, we will all be seriously screwed. We don't even assemble things. We just buy things using credit cards. When the limits on credit cards run out, we get home equity loans so that the banks can take our houses if we don't pay back the loans.

You still can't grow crops safely in much of the Ukrainian soil? Dude, that's terrifying. We humans don't really need that many electronic or plastic things, but we need bread.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 19, 2005, 05:26:38 am
Cytuj
...I want to stress the mere fact that where the knowledge ends religions and beliefs appear.This strikes me deeply `cause in Ukraine there exist Catholic ,Orthodox and Satanistic churches and all possible sects.



From my perspective all beliefs are simply information, and I include the belief in science here as well. Why should we fear information? The more diversity there is, the more choices we have.
In my opinion most of the problems in our world have come from the attempts to eradicate information and limit our choices.
Because we disagree with the information offered by another philosophy we attempt to discredit it, limit its exposure, or eradicated it from existence.

All Information is Knowledge. Even if it is something we do not agree with.
As long as we are free to choose what we wish to believe, why should we be afraid of what others believe?

Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 19, 2005, 09:17:18 am
 
Cytuj
all beliefs are simply information

This is nonsense.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 19, 2005, 02:49:29 pm
Let`s be more optimistic and believe in people and knowledge<I mean science>,the pain may not last forever ,the relief comes anyway it can be either recovery or death.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: def w Grudzień 19, 2005, 07:47:47 pm
Cytuj


From my perspective all beliefs are simply information, and I include the belief in science here as well. Why should we fear information? The more diversity there is, the more choices we have.
In my opinion most of the problems in our world have come from the attempts to eradicate information and limit our choices.

I say
Because we disagree with the information offered by another philosophy we attempt to discredit it, limit its exposure, or eradicated it from existence.

All Information is Knowledge. Even if it is something we do not agree with.
As long as we are free to choose what we wish to believe, why should we be afraid of what others believe?




I take all beliefs into account and take the points of this which I believe to be true. This mean I have a wide range of beliefs
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 23, 2005, 04:25:58 am
Somebody in the Netherlands has a big collection of end-of-world scenarios (http://www.exitmundi.nl/intro2.htm). I thought it was kind of amusing, but of course YMMV.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 23, 2005, 08:24:14 am
Cytuj


I take all beliefs into account and take the points of this which I believe to be true. This mean I have a wide range of beliefs


Greetings def

Welcome to the forum.


Sorry I have not replied sooner, I really didn't want to leave your post just hanging here, but I had other matters to attend to.

Yes, I too take everything into account and then arrange them according to my own beliefs. I believe just about everyone does pretty much the same.

I actually wrote you a much longer reply, but I am feeling guilty enough about taking this possible futures thread off topic, I decided against posting it.
You are welcome to e-mail me if you wish.

As for possible futures, I am wondering if we will ever travel to another star system?
The huge expenditure required to do so is so prohibiting, I don't think it will ever be attempted.

I cannot imagine any compelling reason to do so.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Grudzień 24, 2005, 04:03:40 am
Apart from reading our beloved Chuckie's messing with-the-head statements ::) I'd like to write something concerning this thread's title.

So: Recently, Stanislaw Lem gave an interview for our local polish weekly "Przeglad" ("Survey"), where he outlined his expectations for humanity. And basically he said that he expects us to head towards nuclear conflict sooner or later. He gave a brief example of Teheran arming against Israel by buing a mid- and short- range ballistic missiles from Russians, and said that the overall situation of the world, which is kinda poor, is mostly the consequence of American President's doing.
As for Bush, Lem said, that along with all Bush'es characteristic comes one major feature: the guy is simply stupid. And "even is some Arab commando knocked Bush out", there's no hope for succesor, for Dick Cheney is not really wiser ::) That is why the political situation of the world is quite unstable.

All the above are just quotations (not word-by-word translated, for I write what I remember...)

That's it for me. Merry Xmas.
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Grudzień 24, 2005, 06:54:21 am
nuclear conflict: What do you bet, one conflict that escalates until we practically sterilize the landmasses, or will we fry a chunk of the Earth every decade?

I wish the dolphins good luck! (Not really. I suspect that 'civilization' is something which only befalls terrestrial creatures. To the ants, then!)
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 25, 2005, 01:44:10 am
Cytuj
Apart from reading our beloved Chuckie's messing with-the-head statements ::) I'd like to write something concerning this thread's title.

So: Recently, Stanislaw Lem gave an interview for our local polish weekly "Przeglad" ("Survey"), where he outlined his expectations for humanity. And basically he said that he expects us to head towards nuclear conflict sooner or later. He gave a brief example of Teheran arming against Israel by buing a mid- and short- range ballistic missiles from Russians, and said that the overall situation of the world, which is kinda poor, is mostly the consequence of American President's doing.
As for Bush, Lem said, that along with all Bush'es characteristic comes one major feature: the guy is simply stupid. And "even is some Arab commando knocked Bush out", there's no hope for succesor, for Dick Cheney is not really wiser ::) That is why the political situation of the world is quite unstable.

All the above are just quotations (not word-by-word translated, for I write what I remember...)

That's it for me. Merry Xmas.


Yeah, and 50% of the USA agree with Lem.

"Stop the planet! I want to get off!"
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: cckeiser w Grudzień 25, 2005, 03:16:18 am
Cytuj
...when the Ukrainian agriculture and  industry are completely destroyed and sold out?
  I`m a citizen of banana republic which bananas nobody is going to buy through radioactivity.THE ONLY THING REMAINED IT IS YUZHMASH which produces ENGINES FOR RUSSIAN SPACE SHIPS>
  


Dear wetal

If you cannot sell the bananas, sell the dirt.

Chornobyl' is a big part of history, and I bet there are millions across the globe who would love to own a little piece of that history. I for one would love to have a small vial of radioactive Ukrainian dirt from Chornobyl. All you need is a picture of the plant on a letter of authentication ( maybe with the coordinates where the sample was taken), and a few grams of dirt taken from as close to Chornobyl' as you can get. Seal the dirt in vials and sell them on e-bay.
It would be nice if the samples were actually radioactive though, even if just mildly radioactive, so you may have to get pretty close.

It may even be interesting to sell larger quantities of Chornobyl' soil just for the curious to plant things in to see what comes up! The United States is filled with curious people!

Yeah, I know Terminus, I left the door wide open with that last statement!  :D
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Grudzień 26, 2005, 11:27:05 am
Yes,tourism is a solution.People enjoy watching some ruins.Egyptian pyramids is a prove.
As  I know there exist some tours  to Chornobyul for inquisitive foreigners.And does it matter if radioactivity harms your health?
Tytuł: Re: possible futures
Wiadomość wysłana przez: daffodil2006 w Marzec 28, 2006, 08:38:14 pm
I'll write more later. The only thing I know for sure that we'll have the single language and religion sometimes. It must unite us.