7 Billion and counting !

Ken G.
Bronze Member
Posts: 1352
Joined: 2008-03-20
User is offlineOffline
7 Billion and counting !

    Hey,we need to balance ourselves   .  

Signature ? How ?


smartypants
Superfan
smartypants's picture
Posts: 598
Joined: 2009-03-20
User is offlineOffline
When did we cross the

When did we cross the seven-billion mark? Did this just happen recently?


Rich Woods
Rational VIP!
Rich Woods's picture
Posts: 868
Joined: 2008-02-06
User is offlineOffline
How many useless, cubical

How many useless, cubical dwelling, reality TV watching, Walmart shopping dullards do we have to infest the planet with before most of us realize that we do not posses the DNA to create a miniature human who could possibly grow into a productive member of society?....

 

Anyone who watches "Jersey shore" should immediately be sterilized.


smartypants
Superfan
smartypants's picture
Posts: 598
Joined: 2009-03-20
User is offlineOffline
Rich Woods wrote:How many

Rich Woods wrote:

How many useless, cubical dwelling, reality TV watching, Walmart shopping dullards do we have to infest the planet with before most of us realize that we do not posses the DNA to create a miniature human who could possibly grow into a productive member of society?....

 

Anyone who watches "Jersey shore" should immediately be sterilized.

It's more that there are just way too many of us stupid Americans. The most productive countries, India, China, Japan, are producing some of the most brilliant people on the planet in the process.


Thunderios
atheist
Posts: 261
Joined: 2010-12-26
User is offlineOffline
If people were to be 100%

If people were to be 100% efficient, in stead of the average 10% (estimate, by me Laughing out loud) they are now, we would waste a lot less stuff and easily make it to outer space to use the fuel and resources in asteroids and everything, and we would rule the universe in a mere billion years or something. But people don't want to make us 100% efficient because of ethics and everything.
So what do you guys think? Should we destroy our emotions and become 100% rational, like Doctor Who's Cybermen, so we can rule the galaxy, and maybe even make sure the universe doesn't die out (stopping entropy and inflation), or finding the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.
It doesn't matter what you think, by the way, eventually some sinister corporation will do it anyway, and rule the world because of it.
(Was that a little bit off-topic?)


Blake
atheistScience Freak
Posts: 991
Joined: 2010-02-19
User is offlineOffline
Thunderios wrote:But people

Thunderios wrote:

But people don't want to make us 100% efficient because of ethics and everything.

 

It isn't either-or.  By becoming more ethically minded we can become more efficient.  Not only are most unethical practices inefficient to any reasonable end, but greater morality in itself can be considered a social end, so any drive to ethics would be an increase in efficiency.  Of course, this is partially dependent on the weight one gives to different axioms of moral priority.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Without our emotional life,

Without our emotional life, life truly would be pointless.

You cannot make a purely rational argument as to why we should 'want' to survive.

Even the Cybermen have to have programmed into them a purpose, a compulsion, to recruit more Cybermen.

The problem is the nature of some of those drives, which made sense in our distant past when we were a small part of life on the planet, struggling to survive.

We still have those drives to gather ever more resources to ourselves, to dominate or destroy competing groups, to 'be fruitful and multiply', which are have to be throttled way back or turned off altogether if we are to actually survive in a half-way tolerable world.

Part of the problem is that evolution, both genetic and cultural, has no purpose, no long term goal, beyond mere survival of the genes, the memes, with no account of the long term, or even the survival of an individual line of inheritance.

"Efficiency" is relevant in consumption of limited resources, but of course the Second Law of Thermodynamics means that we cannot reach 100%.

The mantra of "growth" for its own sake has to be killed. Even the most modest exponential growth will still eventually use all available resources in the Universe.

But it is not viable for only a few to cut back on growth, since the rest will just overrun them, so it is hard to see how true sustainability can get established. We seem to need to be about to "hit the wall", collectively, to have imminent disaster staring us in the face, before enough of us can be persuaded to apply the brakes, but that will probably be too late to avoid some unpleasant times, if we survive at all.

On a more positive side, there are indications that birth rate will fall in more prosperous, educated societies, like Western Europe, but there we see the problem I already mentioned, immigration from cultures with a more primitive expansionary perspective threatening to disrupt and overwhelm them.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
So it is now semi-official

So it is now semi-official that if I survive the coming year (probable because I am only 47) then I will have lived to see the population of the world double.

 

OK, how is this not a huge WTF thing? Seriously, name a problem that we may be facing that would still be a problem with many fewer people in the world.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
But it is not viable for only a few to cut back on growth, since the rest will just overrun them, so it is hard to see how true sustainability can get established. We seem to need to be about to "hit the wall", collectively, to have imminent disaster staring us in the face, before enough of us can be persuaded to apply the brakes, but that will probably be too late to avoid some unpleasant times, if we survive at all.

 

That is a good point BobSpence1. However, I am left wondering if there is a reason why human life is supposed to continue. A great extinction event could happen at any time and no matter how much of our vaunted progress we have made up to that point, we are pretty much fucked.

 

Granted, it is entirely possible that a planet full of self absorbed humans could be what triggers the next extinction event. Of course, given certain assumptions, which I suspect are not currently warranted, we could put the brakes on that possibility. Even so, we could get hit by a huge meteorite tomorrow and there is nothing that we can do about that.

 

Even if we do survive all possible crisis points, evolution never ends. A million years from now, we will be something different and there is certainly no reason to even assume that intelligence is assured in that distant future.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
The mantra of "growth" for its own sake has to be killed. Even the most modest exponential growth will still eventually use all available resources in the Universe..

 

OK, would that actually be a bad thing? Why?

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Filling the Universe means

Filling the Universe means that you are then finally forced to stop the Growth thing, which by then will probably be so built in to the ethos that it will be an even more painful adjustment.

Just think, if we are to continue at this rate, then even if we found an entire new Earth tomorrow, it would be filled to the same level in the space of your current lifetime. Then we would need two new ones for the next lifetime... and so on.

Aside from that, do you really prefer over-crowding to having space to breathe?

What is the virtue in blindly seeking to maximize our numbers, rather than finding the optimum for the resources and readily accessible space available?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
 Well played bobSpence1.

 Well played bobSpence1. The question was, of course, facetious. Even so, the serious answer merits a response but let me get on topic before I move on to that.

 

If I had my druthers, world population would be limited to what we can actually sustain over the probable long haul. What the actual number should be could be argued but just for grins, let me suggest that sustainable energy should set the limit.

 

OK, to maintain the means of energy production for thousands of years, we need to maintain something resembling an industrial economy. If sustainability of energy production amounts to a third of what we are now using, then a total world population of around 2.5 billion people is probably a reasonable limit.

 

Past that, the facetious question really has rather little to do with taking over the universe. Somewhere in our future, there must reasonably be a limit that we are bound to be unable to overcome and if we continue maximizing our numbers the way that we have, then when we reach that limit, things will really suck.

 

Right now, we know what the current limit is. This planet is the only one that we have. We do not have the technical ability to move enough people into space to consider anything like a viable colonization effort and even if we did, there is nowhere to go.

 

At best, there are only the moon and mars that are even worth considering and it would take centuries of work and trillions of dollars (at current market value of course) before either of them could reach a tech level that would support farming for more than a couple thousand people. Venus has surface conditions to extreme that the engineering to make it viable would be astonishingly improbable. However, even if we did manage that, the solar system is pretty effectively used up.

 

Then there would be whatever the issues are that would come up with interstellar travel. Honestly, I don't think we can do that, ever. I know that you have already expressed a distaste for the Fermi paradox but it is a question and somehow it has an answer.

 

We are the first species to be able to consider it or we are the only species that can exist just doesn't sit well with me. In a year and a half, the Kepler telescope has already found over a thousand star systems and in only a ten degree wide field of view. That much is just the low hanging fruit. It would seem to violate the Copernican principal to suggest that there are not an abundance of potential life bearing planets out there. Many have to be a couple billion years older than the one we seem to be stuck on.

 

They are hiding from us or they have us on some type of lock down (as in Carl Sagan's Contact) is an idea that I find similarly objectionable. If we assume that there is life out there and it has the stones to colonize the galaxy, then it seems that it would take a massive conspiracy to keep us isolated. Really, it would only take one alien ship captain to disagree with, well, galactic authority to spill the beans.

 

There is some physical limit that prevents every conceivable method of interstellar travel seems to not fit with what we know of the galaxy. However, we do not know enough to gainsay the idea and we have yet to try anything beyond the two Voyager probes. They may well not be at wherever the barrier lies just yet or even be a thousand years away from it. This still doesn't sit too well with me but the fact is that we don't have diplomatic relations with the entire rest of the galaxy so there must be an explanation somehow.

 

OK, let me assume that the third explanation is wrong. Well, just how hard would it be to put the entire contents of the current internet onto hundreds of blu ray discs, put them in a mass storage array and add on a modern computer and the appropriate radio gear?

 

If the whole thing comes out to a metric ton, well that is something that we can launch if we want to. If we did that, it would only take about a million years to have such a probe in every solar system in the whole galaxy. The fact that we don't seem to have at least one of those in our solar system speaks to the idea that there is some reason for interstellar travel being unachievable even by that method.

 

But whatever on that account. The earth is our limit as far as we know and even if we do manage to develop real space travel, the solar system is probably the limit. FSM forbid but if the resolution really is that we are the first or only species, we are still certainly stuck to our own galaxy.

 

Then too, current observations show that in about two billion years, the local group will merge to for a single super galaxy. During which time, the other galaxies will just become that much more distant. That and the available matter to continue forming new stars is going to run dry.

 

The point being, we have one planet that we seem to be stuck to. We really have the means to fuck it up so bad that we don't manage to survive for another thousand years or we can get our act together and at least try to make the best of what we have in there here and now. If we do manage to break free, even the wild ass speculations above still tell us that there is some limit and we will reach whatever that is long before we could use up the whole damned universe.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=