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Thread: Can This Shithole Be Saved?

  1. #1
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Can This Shithole Be Saved?

    Earth, I mean.

    Is humanity circling the toilet bowl? Are things getting better or worse, and by what measure?

    In the late 18th century, William Godwin and Thomas Malthus had an interesting debate/rivalry concerning the ultimate limits of the human condition. Malthus is famous for his contention that population growth would eventually exceed the capacity of the planet to support it, leading to a declining standard of living, wage slaves, exploitation...[you can see how Malthus (and Ricardo) were important influences on Marx].

    Godwin believed in the perfectability of humanity. Essentially that humanity was headed in the right direction, learning, growing, becoming more capable of solving problems. He foresaw (in a very general sense) improvements in technology, but he put most of his eggs in a different basket: that people would improve in a moral or spiritual way, leading to greater social justice, and an improved capacity to address human needs.

    How would you measure "the improvement of mankind", and has there been any? What are the categories you'd use to evaluate this, and what trajectory are we taking in each? If things are headed downhill, how can it be turned around?
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Member nonperson's Avatar
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    I think we are going backwards. I think it started sliding back in 1968.

  3. #3
    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    I think we've been getting consistently better and show no signs of stopping. I wouldn't want to have been born even fifty years ago, and if I could choose I would have been born even later. The only thing that really worries me is climate change and the possibility that we could fuck our ecosystem too quickly to figure out how to fix it, but I have hope that we can solve that problem.

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    Member Browser's Avatar
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    Once virtual reality becomes affordable there will scarcely be youngsters remaining who care about housing space. Furthermore, once our eyes are tricked, the rest of our senses will not trail far behind.

  5. #5
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

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    Suburban Legend C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    I think we've been getting consistently better and show no signs of stopping. I wouldn't want to have been born even fifty years ago, and if I could choose I would have been born even later. The only thing that really worries me is climate change and the possibility that we could fuck our ecosystem too quickly to figure out how to fix it, but I have hope that we can solve that problem.
    There hasn't been a mass die-off in the "first world" in a very long time. A lot of the population depends on an elaborate infrastructure just to survive, and if some catastrophe causes it to stop functioning then I expect that mass die-off will happen. Whoever called it "Spaceship Earth" is right in the sense that Earth has artificial life support systems like a spaceship, only if they fail completely, not everyone will die, just most of us.

    However, a catastrophe of that scale is not on the immediate horizon. As of now, it would be unexpected.

    Sleep soundly!
    "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is reality. Your cries do not move me." -- Sistamatic

  7. #7
    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    that sure is a 120-page powerpoint file that looks like it went with a speech.

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    I think overcrowding and increased pressure on natural resources will eventually lead to the feminization of men. For a society to flourish under such conditions, everyone will have to learn to get along. Once violence and power-seeking are bred out, the resulting society will be able to distribute the remaining resources more optimally. And we won't waste so much energy on fighting wars and shit. People that aren't ruled by primal instincts will probably also breed less, thus reducing the strain on the environment until it reaches steady state. If this sounds boring to you, you're dangerously close to being obsolete.

  9. #9
    Member Browser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    I think overcrowding and increased pressure on natural resources will eventually lead to the feminization of men. For a society to flourish under such conditions, everyone will have to learn to get along. Once violence and power-seeking are bred out, the resulting society will be able to distribute the remaining resources more optimally. And we won't waste so much energy on fighting wars and shit. People that aren't ruled by primal instincts will probably also breed less, thus reducing the strain on the environment until it reaches steady state. If this sounds boring to you, you're dangerously close to being obsolete.
    You've thought a lot about this, haven't you?

  10. #10
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    In what sense is femininity about getting along? That is not the impression I get from my interactions and observations of women.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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