Humans, Do We Have a Future?

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Do Humans Have a Future as the Top Species living on Mother Earth?

  • Nope

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Maybe Slightly

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Maybe 50-50

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • I'm confident they do

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Absolutely

    Votes: 1 7.1%

  • Total voters
    14
  • This poll will close: .

Huntn

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planet-earth-spectacular-sunset.jpg


We are smart, damn we are smart, by our accomplishments the smartest the planet we named Earth has to offer. But in my opinion we are not so advanced, not from a species survival standpoint. In fact some people think we are well established on the way to destroying ourselves. Why are we not talking about the following?

Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct in 7,800,000 years, according to J. Richard Gott's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that we have probably already lived through half the duration of human history.

Each day, the extra heat that is trapped near our planet is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima bombs. There are no known technologies that can be deployed at world scale to reverse the warming, and many climate scientists feel that the window for doing so is already closed, that we have passed the tipping point and the heat is on runaway no matter what we do.

Yesterday I watched a show that touched me. Sure some will laugh, it is called the Queen’s Gambit, a fictional story with a basis in competitive chess from the 1960s about a girl who I would describe as not normal, ends up in an orphanage after her mother tries to kill them both and discovers chess.

Although I won’t insist that everyone love this ;), what a great story, that illustrates a spectrum of human cultural and emotional challenges, social cliques, differences between people, some who have basically zero social skills, but are geniuses while commenting that there can be a thin line between genius and madness. It also dealt with how people deal with failure, how they could personally fail, recognize their limitations, but find it in themselves to assist others still in the game so to speak (of competitive chess), to be champions.

Then this morning I woke up and during my drive to the gym was captivated by Led Zepplin’s All of my Love on the radio, and although I’ve known it, I was struck by the tremendous abilities of creativity and expression some humans possess. We can do some good things!

But as a group, how can we be so F***** UP? Maybe we possess both genius and madness. Can we simultaneously be “so advanced” yet so screwed up?? Is it a matter of what intelligence we have is overruled by our ID, our emotions and prejudices, and really we are not quite as smart as we think we are, or maybe it’s not some of us as much as it is the dumb shit masses around us? I’m going to resist posting examples as I think most of us have identified the political problem, at least in the US. And the US is not the only troubled spot in the world, but I digress.

I’ve often said that the problem is that individualism is great, but that we desperately need to be more like the ants and the bees or encapsulated by a simple phrase, we need much more of We>Me thinking and what we have today is an avalanche of Me (greed)> We. Capitalism is based on individual greed and grab as much as you can, yet some number of us tout that Capitalism is the best. I suppose if you are comfortable with your status, then Capitalism is good, but not all of those who are comfortable think that, at least not Wild West Captalism. Another discussion for a different post, can Capitalism serve the masses? Maybe if it's heavily regulated. It does not seem to be serving the masses today, although some minority are doing quite well under it.

Are we wired to be greedy or is it just a matter of faulty development?

This applies on a spectrum from smaller social groups, to society where we see well off (wealthy) continuing to grab more of the pie, while the economics of average citizens has been sliding since the 1960s. On a world wide scale, those countries with plenty, arguably are too tribal and are not as generous as they need to be when it involves the survival of our species, and even the world as we know it. Look at the Paris accords, our hearts are in the right place, but it's unlikely we'll ever have it in us to make the needed sacrifices until we see DOOM written on the wall and it's too frick'n late.

So what do you think, do we stand a chance?



Note: This post is a personal milestone, because it’s the first philosophical post I’ve placed on TalkedAbout that I have no plans to stick in MacRumors PRSI. As far as I’m concerned, MacRumors can suffer the drought for the lack of my intellect. ;) Most of the lower primates over there would scream, swing madly on their bars, and try to piss on me, along with a certain weasel who’d be scheming with his hammer. Lol.
 
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thekev

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Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct in 7,800,000 years, according to J. Richard Gott's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that we have probably already lived through half the duration of human history.

I wouldn't read too much into such conjecture. It's more of a thought experiment than anything. The argument is actually dynamic in the sense that recomputing the result in 100 years may give you a different result. Overall though, extinction events sometimes occur. It's hard to say exactly when one will happen.

 

Huntn

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“If God is coming He ought to make it by then...”
Is that a que sera answer? :) If we don’t care about taking care of the planet so be it, maybe we were not meant or developed to be survivors.
I wouldn't read too much into such conjecture. It's more of a thought experiment than anything. The argument is actually dynamic in the sense that recomputing the result in 100 years may give you a different result. Overall though, extinction events sometimes occur. It's hard to say exactly when one will happen.

Just as important to examine why the smartest species on the planet is too self absorbed or in denial, or thinks it just too hard to stop contributing to the global warming event, that’s if we don’t blow ourselves up first.

We, at least a large number of us are demonstrating an inability to deal with facts when they adversely effect us. The Trump phenomena and support for a smooth talking :poop::poop::poop: Liar who shouts sweet humongous lies in their ears, choosing their jobs over the environment is a splendid example, choosing a fantasy where they come out ahead while simultaneously being robbed.
 
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iMi

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The level of optimism in this poll... We're a bright, cheery bunch of assholes, huh? :ROFLMAO:

We have a lot going against us. First, there is the baseline risk of our species being wiped out by either an astroid impact or an unusually high volcanic activity. Even a strong enough solar flare could strip away our atmosphere making it a shitty place to inhabit. We focus on these types of disasters because they are terrifyingly sudden and catastrophic. That's what a human brain is conditioned to ponder and work to prevent. Just look at the billions of dollars invested in tracking astroids.

Second, there is a much more subtle risk. We're in the middle of the next mass extinction event right now. Thousands of species are disappearing every year because of human activity. We make the mistake of separating humans from the rest of the ecosystem, as if we were not interconnected, but that is simply not how evolution works. Plankton, for example, produces the majority of the oxygen we breathe. Bees pollenate the vast majority of our crops and they are disappearing. Our food-chain is a real thing and it's being dismantled. The midwest, here in the States, is responsible for growing the vast majority of corn, which in turn feeds our livestock and much more. The entire region relies on non-renewable, underground aquifer to operate. Water is running out. Rain in the region would be insufficient and pumping water out of the Great Lakes would create other challenges. These are just a couple of examples. There is a pattern all over the planet. These are bright, flashing warning lights. Very few pay attention to them and when they speak up, they are labeled as alarmist extremists.

So, yeah... we're fucked.
 

Huntn

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The level of optimism in this poll... We're a bright, cheery bunch of assholes, huh? :ROFLMAO:

We have a lot going against us. First, there is the baseline risk of our species being wiped out by either an astroid impact or an unusually high volcanic activity. Even a strong enough solar flare could strip away our atmosphere making it a shitty place to inhabit. We focus on these types of disasters because they are terrifyingly sudden and catastrophic. That's what a human brain is conditioned to ponder and work to prevent. Just look at the billions of dollars invested in tracking astroids.

Second, there is a much more subtle risk. We're in the middle of the next mass extinction event right now. Thousands of species are disappearing every year because of human activity. We make the mistake of separating humans from the rest of the ecosystem, as if we were not interconnected, but that is simply not how evolution works. Plankton, for example, produces the majority of the oxygen we breathe. Bees pollenate the vast majority of our crops and they are disappearing. Our food-chain is a real thing and it's being dismantled. The midwest, here in the States, is responsible for growing the vast majority of corn, which in turn feeds our livestock and much more. The entire region relies on non-renewable, underground aquifer to operate. Water is running out. Rain in the region would be insufficient and pumping water out of the Great Lakes would create other challenges. These are just a couple of examples. There is a pattern all over the planet. These are bright, flashing warning lights. Very few pay attention to them and when they speak up, they are labeled as alarmist extremists.

So, yeah... we're fucked.
There are some bright ones among us, but as a rule we’re just worried mostly about a spectrum of things along the lines of our individual comfort depending on our economic situation. The people who are struggling for their next meal or where to sleep, I really don’t blame them, but those I’d classify as comfortable I do blame because this seems to be the extent of our existence while unable for whatever the reason to digest threats that are not immediately threatening or hard to analyze.

Sure our scientists analyze them, warm us about them, but a substantial group of average people would rather listen to professional scam artists who just want control over their lives, by whispering sweet little lies to them. Note the scam artists are not smarter, they are just focused on controlling the sheep and oblivious to the threat consumed with their personal wealth even as the system collapses.

Dire warnings based on global,warming, a mass extinction, you are right we just wipe our hands of it, if it can’t be seen or felt, hell even when it is felt, denial. For the situation to hit home, something drastic like more hurricanes, super storms. 👀 Ok, something more, like the icecaps melting and oceans rising. 👀 Ok, it’s going to have to be something that not only touches us but really hurts us, like the food supply collapse, something that destabilizes society. Of course at that point we're just along for the ride, at this point as far as global warming we probably all ready are.

The bottom line here even with Paris accords being a bandaid, is that the world made up of nations who based on their economic systems, could not address this threat, because it would be too uncomfortable to stop it. This is the culmination of hundreds of thousands of years of development, we are just not up to the task of acting in a manner where we can survive as a species. That is my projection.

If short of a total wipeout, we likely will remain the top species on the planet, but I can only lean on one of my science fiction movies to imagine what future we will face, something like Interstellar where the Earth has been trashed beyond being livable for billions.

 
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Gutwrench

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We didn’t come along on our own, you know. If it hadn’t been for the K-Pg mass extinction we wouldn’t be here now.

Humans being extinct within 8 million years is now what’s keeping the enlightened up at night? Lol, since borrowing trouble from the future is the new fad lets keep in mind the sun will become a red giant in 5 billion years. Solve that too.
 

Huntn

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We didn’t come along on our own, you know. If it hadn’t been for the K-Pg mass extinction we wouldn’t be here now.

Humans being extinct within 8 million years is now what’s keeping the enlightened up at night? Lol, since borrowing trouble from the future is the new fad lets keep in mind the sun will become a red giant in 5 billion years. Solve that too.
Yes, sure, maybe we were not destined to survive, not wired for it, and the Fermi paradox is right on. Not meant as an insult, but you appear to be thinking these things are out of our control. We are not animals roaming the plains accepting what nature dishes out.

By virtue of our intelligence we can make a difference. Global warming is the perfect example, we could of made changes in the 80s, there was no excuse except it would adversely effect our economy, and we did not want to change our behavior because it would be too expensive, and the mantra from the Right was this is an exaggeration or a hoax. So be it, we reap what we sew, just don’t rationalize it because it will likely be our grandkids paying.

In the 1800s, experiments suggesting that human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases could collect in the atmosphere and insulate Earth were met with more curiosity than concern. By the late 1950s, CO2 readings would offer some of the first data to corroborate the global warming theory. Eventually an abundance of data, along with climate modeling would show not only that global warming was real, but that it also presented a host of dire consequences.
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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This topic is a little too heady for me at the moment, but I thought I'd post a semi related thought I had recently. Why did one evolutionary path lead to dinosaurs which as far as I know was nowhere pointing to the brain power and skill of humans, and then with one extinction event we end up with humans at the top of the evolutionary chain? It seems on one path size was the advantage and the second path brain power was.
 

Scepticalscribe

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This topic is a little too heady for me at the moment, but I thought I'd post a semi related thought I had recently. Why did one evolutionary path lead to dinosaurs which as far as I know was nowhere pointing to the brain power and skill of humans, and then with one extinction event we end up with humans at the top of the evolutionary chain? It seems on one path size was the advantage and the second path brain power was.

Dinosaurs existed for around 165 million years; even though I am an intellectual snob (and I was an academic in a previous life), I really doubt that the "brain power" argument is valid in this context.

This was a version of life that positively thrived until some sort of deux ex machina (an asteroid) did for them.

For all of our intellectual capabilities, mental capacity (and I have paid a visit to the stunning museum in Nairobi that has a section devoted to Lucy and one of the other early hominids - absolutely fascinating, my mother would have loved it), we have only been around for the best part of 100,000 years.
 

Thomas Veil

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Forty years ago I'd have bet our brains and common sense could help us think our way out of almost any problem. Judging by what I've see lately, I have to retract that view. It's not that there aren't still people who are smart and have good judgment, it's just that they just seem to be a dwindling minority.
 

Huntn

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Yes, the sun becoming a red giant is out of our control.



Wtf, we certainly are animals who are part of nature. 🤦🏼‍♂️
Well when the Sun turns into a red giant we’d better be interstellar. And the second point also seems to allude you, we are not like every other mammal, we are aware of what we are doing, have the knowledge of what effect we have on the environment, and can actually alter our behavior that makes a difference if we want to, unlike the rest of the animals who are basically oblivious and who btw seem naturally in tune with their environment unlike us. That is the burden of knowledge...
 

Huntn

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This topic is a little too heady for me at the moment, but I thought I'd post a semi related thought I had recently. Why did one evolutionary path lead to dinosaurs which as far as I know was nowhere pointing to the brain power and skill of humans, and then with one extinction event we end up with humans at the top of the evolutionary chain? It seems on one path size was the advantage and the second path brain power was.
My understanding is the dinos were swatted by an asteroid, opening the door to accelerate mammal development. And while extinction level events like a big rock hitting the Earth, have and could happen again, we actually do have the technology to deal with that if we want to spread the money on it. But plan on listening to the cries about how that costs too much. Not quite in line with the Fermi Paradox, but along the lines of having knowledge and refusing to act on it, such as Global Warming which might be the Fermi Paradox in action, :unsure:
 

Apple fanboy

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We are smart, damn we are smart, by our accomplishments the smartest the planet we named Earth has to offer. But in my opinion we are not so advanced, not from a species survival standpoint. In fact some people think we are well established on the way to destroying ourselves. Why are we not talking about the following?

Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct in 7,800,000 years, according to J. Richard Gott's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that we have probably already lived through half the duration of human history.

Each day, the extra heat that is trapped near our planet is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima bombs. There are no known technologies that can be deployed at world scale to reverse the warming, and many climate scientists feel that the window for doing so is already closed, that we have passed the tipping point and the heat is on runaway no matter what we do.

Yesterday I watched a show that touched me. Sure some will laugh, it is called the Queen’s Gambit, a fictional story with a basis in competitive chess from the 1960s about a girl who I would describe as not normal, ends up in an orphanage after her mother tries to kill them both and discovers chess.

Although I won’t insist that everyone love this ;), what a great story, that illustrates a spectrum of human cultural and emotional challenges, social cliques, differences between people, some who have basically zero social skills, but are geniuses while commenting that there can be a thin line between genius and madness. It also dealt with how people deal with failure, how they could personally fail, recognize their limitations, but find it in themselves to assist others still in the game so to speak (of competitive chess), to be champions.

Then this morning I woke up and during my drive to the gym was captivated by Led Zepplin’s All of my Love on the radio, and although I’ve known it, I was struck by the tremendous abilities of creativity and expression some humans possess. We can do some good things!

But as a group, how can we be so F***** UP? Maybe we possess both genius and madness. Can we simultaneously be “so advanced” yet so screwed up?? Is it a matter of what intelligence we have is overruled by our ID, our emotions and prejudices, and really we are not quite as smart as we think we are, or maybe it’s not some of us as much as it is the dumb shit masses around us? I’m going to resist posting examples as I think most of us have identified the political problem, at least in the US. And the US is not the only troubled spot in the world, but I digress.

I’ve often said that the problem is that individualism is great, but that we desperately need to be more like the ants and the bees or encapsulated by a simple phrase, we need much more of We>Me thinking and what we have today is an avalanche of Me (greed)> We. Capitalism is based on individual greed and grab as much as you can, yet some number of us tout that Capitalism is the best. I suppose if you are comfortable with your status, then Capitalism is good, but not all of those who are comfortable think that, at least not Wild West Captalism. Another discussion for a different post, can Capitalism serve the masses? Maybe if it's heavily regulated. It does not seem to be serving the masses today, although some minority are doing quite well under it.

Are we wired to be greedy or is it just a matter of faulty development?

This applies on a spectrum from smaller social groups, to society where we see well off (wealthy) continuing to grab more of the pie, while the economics of average citizens has been sliding since the 1960s. On a world wide scale, those countries with plenty, arguably are too tribal and are not as generous as they need to be when it involves the survival of our species, and even the world as we know it. Look at the Paris accords, our hearts are in the right place, but it's unlikely we'll ever have it in us to make the needed sacrifices until we see DOOM written on the wall and it's too frick'n late.

So what do you think, do we stand a chance?



Note: This post is a personal milestone, because it’s the first philosophical post I’ve placed on TalkedAbout that I have no plans to stick in MacRumors PRSI. As far as I’m concerned, MacRumors can suffer the drought for the lack of my intellect. ;) Most of the lower primates over there would scream, swing madly on their bars, and try to piss on me, along with a certain weasel who’d be scheming with his hammer. Lol.
Here's the problem as I see it. Any attempt to reverse things will have a huge financial cost. Those in charge of the world who are looking to balance the books so to speak don't see this as a priority. Why? Because the massive global impact of our actions doesn't impact their lifespan. They are in their 60's and older. They know they will be worm food long before the world becomes uninhabitable.

I think there has never been a bigger push towards green policies, but it is too little too late.
 

Eraserhead

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The problem that we are struggling to solve is that many businesses are too obsessed with profits and that government is too obsessed with process.

The biggest flaw with business is that it increasingly only works well for the better off and screws over the poor - especially as employees.

The biggest flaw with government is that very little thought has been put into handling any edge cases at all - if all goes well it’s fine but as soon as there is a problem it can be very challenging to resolve successfully. The other issue is that government culture doesn’t allow people to be wrong about stuff but not lose their jobs and mostly treat it as something to learn and do better about - which is how mistakes should be best handled.

In terms of climate change any solution that requires government intervention is going to upset many people far more than it should because the general experience is poor.
 

Eraserhead

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Here's the problem as I see it. Any attempt to reverse things will have a huge financial cost. Those in charge of the world who are looking to balance the books so to speak don't see this as a priority. Why? Because the massive global impact of our actions doesn't impact their lifespan. They are in their 60's and older. They know they will be worm food long before the world becomes uninhabitable.

I think there has never been a bigger push towards green policies, but it is too little too late.
I think we can do more than we think with a pretty low budget and/or with private money.
 
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