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Why haven't we really advanced much as a species lately? | Page 4

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by JUST BLEED GOD, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Metal_Daze Geonor St Gregor

    Metal_Daze
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    Yes sir! I admit I went hard but you didn't need to go as far as using the word Zeitgeist! I really heard an old man complain when I read your post, I'm sorry. Being above 40 myself, I can't ignore I often have the same thoughts, I just try to resist them with some useful optimism.

    I have to admit that 2017 has been very hard on optimism but I will not be defeated so easily! Sorry to have offended you, it was not my goal: I tried to resist the urge to hate the present.

    It is hard, I admit.
     
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  2. Bagatur Black Belt

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    scientists have detected gravitational waves a few years ago and just recently got the first metallic hydrogen, the application of which could be immense.
    but no, we arent progressing, not really.
     
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  3. Soda Popinsky Whore Moans

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    Everyone knows there has been a very concerted effort by many to discredit science in the past 17 years. I don't know if that is the culprit, but I know it's not helping.
     
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  4. sub_thug Black Belt

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    Yes, I understand the irony. And I think that many in this thread have put their heads so far down into Sherdog that they do not see the world happening around them. An unfortunate byproduct of how simple and easy their lives have become due to all of the technological and scientific breakthroughs that we've made as a species.

    Yes, we are bad at recycling materials. We probably need to devote more time, resources, and effort towards creating efficiencies in that process. However, we haven't. At the end of the day, we accept modern paradigms that certain things can be recycled, and some can't. That's not really true though. Ultimately, all waste is still made of atoms. We have structured those atoms in certain ways to create molecules and then structured those molecules to create chemicals. There are certain chemicals or even molecules that can't be recycled, but that's it. We need to advance our understanding of atomic restructuring to create true efficiency in that area. When that becomes practical, then markets will readjust to demand greater efficiencies, rather than allow for an unchecked rising cost of production for everything. In the meantime, I am comfortable with creating some proper incentives, such as implementing a carbon tax on large carbon producers. If that is deemed impractical by somehow who has a deeper understanding of tax policies, perhaps a tax break could be offered for those who continuously wean themselves away from carbon byproducts. There shouldn't be any reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, removing the capitalist system that has carried us to this point. Of course, make no mention of what we would actually replace it with. I'd rather manage the problems that we know about today, rather than trade today's problems for an unknowable problem set by implementing something entirely new and potentially devastating.
     
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  5. sleepwalk pork roll, egg and cheese belt

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    I recently came across a youtube video that might needlessly start arguments here but also offer perspective.



    Putting aside ones feelings about Ben Shapiro, NDT, or the verbiage used to catch our attention, Shapiro offers us this:
    Our criteria for "progress" should be varied as progress itself comes in various forms and areas. In all those old movies with flying cars and moon colonies, they're still using magnetic data tape and cathode ray tube monitors. In 1972, we stopped going to the moon but we started mapping the surface of the Earth using geosynchronous satellites. We connected the world through fiber optics and then wireless. The poor in third world countries have access to technology and health care unimaginable a generation ago. And technology often finds a home in unintended places: viagra was meant to treat hypertension and the Kinect gimmick nobody used on their Xbox is being used in med schools for virtual surgery.
     
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  6. scorpipede ♠♠♠♠ išrišimas♠♠♠♠

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    lack of struggle in first world countries. Plus the internet.
     
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  7. cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are

    cooks1
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    The real problem is not that people don't recycle, though that is an issue. The problem is that we don't manufacture things in such a way that they can easily be recycled. We must make it to be recycled. And we can absolutely do that with almost everything. Today. We do not need a single additional technological advancement to accomplish that today. The problem is that we are making things to get maximum profit out of the resource, not maximum use. We are eventually going to need to move to a resource based economy that focuses on getting maximum use out of a resource as opposed to maximum profit. We will probably not be able to accomplish that in a capitalist system.
     
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  8. Phlog Black Belt

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    3d printers, computing technologies, material science, all have advanced a great deal.

    We have electric cars.

    The going into space has been relegated into private industry because of the ramifications should countries be the driving force. The stakes are greater now in the nuclear age, war must be fought by proxy. Space colonisation would be an act of war between the major powers. It's just not a sensible option.

    You seem to be wilfully blind to the developments.
     
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  9. Fedorgasm Black Belt

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    Humanity has peaked already. We're on the down swing now.

    As a species we have stopped evolving. In order for natural selection to work, we have to allow the weak to die off before they reproduce. But we humans like to take care of our weak, and enable them to live as long as possible and pass on their inferior genes. Therefore humanity no longer evolves. And may, in fact, be devolving.

    Another contributor is capitalism. More and more people are doing things that make money rather than advance society. For instance, 200 years ago if someone discovered a cure for a disease, they'd share that cure with the world. Today, a pharmaceutical company will buy the rights to the cure and put it on a shelf so they can continue to profit from drugs that treat the disease but don't cure it. Similar things have happened in the energy sector.

    And last but not least, the social changes have made us weaker. Anti-bullying philosophies and participation trophies have made us weak. It has taught millenials that being weak is acceptable and there is no need to improve yourself.
     
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  10. ralphc1 Gold Belt

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    We spent a lot of money going to the moon as a part of the cold war against the Soviet Union at a time when the economy was good and almost everybody in the US had a good job. That changed when manufacturing moved out of the country.
    Even during the good times, the government was spending more than they took in through taxes. The oil producing countries decided they needed to get more for their oil playing the US and Soviet Union against each other.

    Another big component in the decline of space exploration were the things we found out by leaving Earth orbit. Radiation is a big problem. Trying to develop a reuseable system also delayed the program and raised the costs. People try to extrapolate technology thinking something happened in a short time when it is actually a compilation of efforts over many, many years.

    There were a couple of series on the BBC that showed how these things came together. One was Connections and the other was The Day The Universe Changed.
     
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  11. cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are

    cooks1
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    You don't simply remove capitalism, anymore than it was implemented on a dime. Capitalism evolved.
    And other systems will eventually evolve and capitalism will eventually go extinct.

    Most people don't even know what capitalism evolved out of. It evolved out of scarcity. Scarcity of basic resources. Food, water, shelter, security.

    You know what else evolves out of scarcity? The vast majority of all wars and violence.

    We are at a point in human history that has literally never existed prior to now. Even with the 6 billion people on the planet we have. We are at a point where if resources were used to their maximum efficiency, there would be almost no scarcity. No scarcity of food, water, shelter, education and even no scarcity of most 'creature comforts'.

    For capitalism to be maintained and to thrive, scarcity must be maintained. So Capitalism must either maintain current scarcity or create new scarcity. Or at least the perception of scarcity.

    Global abundance is the enemy of capitalism.

    I am not saying this to change the world. I want to be as filthy rich as the next guy. Why? Because I live in a capitalist world and those e are where the lines on the field are painted.

    But it would be foolish and naive to simply assume a socioeconomic system that's coming up on 1000 years old pretty soon is the planetary optimal for perpetuity.

    Think about a society a few orders of magnitude beyond us on the evolutionary scale. Do you really think they are still dicking around with buying and selling shit?????
     
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  12. cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are

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    Agreed. There are many benefits and drawbacks to capitalism, and you have done an excellent job describing the drawbacks. Instead of discoveries being used for global abundance, they are hoarded and protected to manufacture scarcity.

    A wonderful example of this is the polio vaccine. It was in administered in the US in 1961. By 1979, we had essentially eradicated polio in the US. 10 years later there were still hundreds of thousands of new cases all over the world. And it took billions of dollars of charity from the Gates foundation to bring the global total down to a few thousand cases a year over the past 15 years.

    The AIDS vaccines are an even better example. Millions of people unnecessarily died from AIDS. MILLIONS. All due to artificially manufactured scarcity and greed. That is not a symptom of a rapidly evolving society.
     
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  13. cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are

    cooks1
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    Henry Ford's wife drove an electric plug in car that could go over 200 miles between charges over a century ago. They were not rare.
     
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  14. tdluxon Black Belt

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    We've gone from horse and buggy to space travel, AI, common air travel and nuclear physics in like 3 generations... that's actually incredibly fast on an evolutionary scale
     
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  15. n...not crazy Black Belt

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    People just aren't that interested in technological progress. Convenience? Sure. But nobody cares if we go back to the moon, mars, etc and it's way too expensive for an apathetic populace.

    We will have to depend on private enterprise, and see if that kicks off any curiosity to really get shit going.

    Also, it should be mentioned that coal is cheap. Fusion will only come by necessity, it seems.
     
    #75
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  16. Orgasmo Black Belt

    Orgasmo
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    Fundamentally, we haven't made any significant advances in physics and chemistry to push the boundaries of technology. Information technology has helped us relay and obtain information at a much faster pace, but you can't digitalize your way to Mars.

    Think of science like a computer. Maths, physics, chemistry and engineering are the hardware, while information technology is the wiring/software that connects them. No matter how good your wiring/software is, it's not going to get you places if you don't have the solid foundations in place. We need revolutionary methods of producing energy, manufacturing spaceships and new ways to carry out spaceflights before colonization of Mars would be possible.

    The future envisioned by Star Trek (set in 23rd Century) is way too optimistic in terms of space exploration. In a lot of ways, we already have those fancy handheld gadgets and computers. But there ain't no Star Trek without FTL travel.
     
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  17. sub_thug Black Belt

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    If you want people to make stuff that is more easily recycled, then incentivize them to do so with your purchasing habits. Call your elected leadership and talk to them about creating tax incentives (either stick or carrot) that will encourage them to make more recyclable products. Capitalism works, but you just have to incentivize the right stuff.

    I think you're being a bit idealistic here. Do you think that you can remove all war and violence by eliminating scarcity of resources? The last two wars that the US engaged in were not motivated out of scarcity. One evolved out of being attacked by an organization that was headquartered in Afghanistan, and the other was the direct result of a personal vendetta because one elected leader hated a particular autocrat.

    And we are not at a point where people can have as much as they want of everything. Ergo, there will always be greed to contend with. From there creates competition. You aren't going to cure greed. You're better off merely harnessing it for the collective good, creating a system where altruists can also profit. My boy Elon Musk comes to mind as one of the latter.

    Capitalism isn't optimal, but it's better than all the other bad options.
     
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  18. Phlog Black Belt

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    Yeah, I know although the 200 miles I find unbelievable. They also had zero safety features.

    The hard limits on fuel economy are down to aerodynamics in the main. The weight due to safety apparatus.
     
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  19. cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are

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    You are correct that capitalism represented an quantum leap from previous approaches when it evolved. And many great things have some to pass under capitalism.

    Unfortunately, Capitalism is nothing more or less than an invert of how a socioeconomic system should be formed and executed. And that is why it will eventually meet it's doom.

    It is NOT designed to meet the needs of the people that participate in it. Rather, it is set up to promote and allow competition. And from that competition, people will obtain various levels of personal wealth. How this affects the needs of the people is more or less beside the point. If the people benefit, that's fine. But if the vast majority of wealth or resources end up in the hands of a very few, at the expense of the many, that is a perfectly normal outcome and acceptable as well.

    So- What would an alternative look like? Well, the planet has tinkered with a couple of alternatives. The Soviet Union and China tinkered with the dreaded 'Democratic Socialism'. From my perspective, both of them failed not because of the 'socialism' aspect, but because neither of them took Democracy seriously. And because they perhaps went too far in reducing the incentive of the people, and relied exclusively on national pride, which ebbs and flows. The one thing Capitalism has done better than anything is incentivize humanity.

    Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are tinkering with Democratic Socialism in varying degrees right now, while not completely abandoning capitalism, and are producing a quality of life superior to that in the US in most respects. But they are smaller more homogenous countries. So while we might take lessons, no guarantee it would work for us.

    One thing Norway does right though that few other true Democracies do, and we definitely should do, is grasp the very fundamental concept that the resources native to that country belong to everyone, and should benefit everyone. Norway’s North Sea oil reserves are owned by the country as a whole and not private corporations, and the income generated is distributed across the entire population.

    That fundamental concept is what needs to be taken to a global mandate if we want to truly evolve. The worlds resources belong to everyone and should be use to maximum efficiency to benefit everyone.

    What you are describing is not capitalism. It is the government manipulation of capitalism.
     
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  20. freaky Freakiest Poster Belt

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    In the past 10 or 20 years people have been researching COMPUTERS. Computers is where the money is at. Nobody cares about space or real science. Just look at the past 10 or 20 years. What advanced the most? Phones and PC. I seriously do think AI will be the future. We need to pour more money into space exploration.
     
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