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capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 02:01 PM
hi
Chris Evans (the radio presenter) raised a point on the BBC yesterday that has had me thinking since. In the past we were pretty fully occupied with issues of survival. our continuation depended upon how effective we were at hunting and gathering, and if we got it wrong and chased the wrong creature or ate a poisonous berry we could well die. as we became more successful as a species and needed to spend less time simply surviving we found things to entertain us, and now we are so 'successful' that we can go online and amuse ourselves popping virtual bubble wrap.
have we, mr Evans asked, reached the end as a species? is it just about all up for us?
now, i have been convinced of this for a long, long time (being a 'grumpy old man') but what do you think? is it the end?
yes, i'm still feeling bored; because i can't get on with the work i am supposed to be doing cos the client is out. so i am offloading on the forum. sorry.
cheers
nigel (preparing himself for the end of the species)

Paqman
April 29th, 2009, 02:24 PM
hi
have we, mr Evans asked, reached the end as a species? is it just about all up for us?


Nope. The only thing that determines a species' fitness is it's ability to adapt to change in it's environment. Humans are numerous, and occupy every region of the globe. We're also non-specialists (we eat all sorts of things, and live in all sorts of places). That puts us in a pretty good position to survive any change in the environment and continue to adapt and evolve.

billgoldberg
April 29th, 2009, 02:27 PM
hi
Chris Evans (the radio presenter) raised a point on the BBC yesterday that has had me thinking since. In the past we were pretty fully occupied with issues of survival. our continuation depended upon how effective we were at hunting and gathering, and if we got it wrong and chased the wrong creature or ate a poisonous berry we could well die. as we became more successful as a species and needed to spend less time simply surviving we found things to entertain us, and now we are so 'successful' that we can go online and amuse ourselves popping virtual bubble wrap.
have we, mr Evans asked, reached the end as a species? is it just about all up for us?
now, i have been convinced of this for a long, long time (being a 'grumpy old man') but what do you think? is it the end?
yes, i'm still feeling bored; because i can't get on with the work i am supposed to be doing cos the client is out. so i am offloading on the forum. sorry.
cheers
nigel (preparing himself for the end of the species)

I think evolution through natural selection will change us Homo Sapiens to something better equipped for this day and age in the next few centuries/millennia.

chrisinspace
April 29th, 2009, 03:08 PM
If you're really bored and interested in this topic, here is a very interesting theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_argument

I first came across it in Stephen Baxter's book, Manifold: Time. The theory is called the Doomsday Argument and they label the end of humanity as the "Carter Catastrophe".

The gist is this (I stole it from this post (http://www.bautforum.com/science-technology/34648-carter-catastrophe-statistical-doomsday-argument.html) in another forum):


Imagine that two big urns are put in front of you, and you know that one of them contains ten balls and the other a million, but you are ignorant as to which is which. You know the balls in each urn are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 ... etc. Now you take a ball at random from the left urn, and it is number 7. Clearly, this is a strong indication that that urn contains only ten balls. [...]

But now consider the case where instead of the urns you have two possible human races, and instead of balls you have individuals, ranked according to birth order. As a matter of fact, you happen to find that your rank is about sixty billion. Now, say Carter and Leslie, we should reason in the same way as we did with the urns. That you should have a rank of sixty billion or so is much more likely if only 100 billion persons will ever have lived than if there will be many trillion persons. Therefore, by Bayes' theorem, you should update your beliefs about humankindís prospects and realize that an impending doomsday is much more probable than you have hitherto thought.

RazVayne
April 29th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Tread lightly!

CJ Master
April 29th, 2009, 03:34 PM
End of the line?Doomsday?
But people,we have only just begun!
There was a study concerning the effects of TV and Internet from a psichological point of view and it was discovered that they both made people feel "special" and that everything was directed towards them.This boosted their selfishness to new limits.
I mean come on,some people actually believe they will witness the end of the world or the Second Coming or whatever just because they can't settle with their own mortality and the fact that the thing that has been happening for millenia will happen to them,Death!
No Heaven,no "I'm gonna die but so is the rest of the world",just plain old death.

As much as I disagree, I recommend that talking of religion stops here before yet another flame war starts.

artir
April 29th, 2009, 03:46 PM
I think that the next big step in human evolution will come with genetic engineering. Now this isn't done because a objectively better race than human would be created, since not everybody can access the gen. engineering.
But in a huge amount of years, when money no more exists and goods are available in huge quantities, which i hope it'll happen, everyone will be able to access that technology and thus evolve to a new stage of human evolution :)

hatalar205
April 29th, 2009, 03:46 PM
I think we have already crossed the end of line.

capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 03:48 PM
I recommend that talking of religion stops here before yet another flame war starts.

i certainly didn't want to start a religious war. i just thought it might be interesting to discuss the point i heard on radio.
i am currently losing myself considering the 'doomsday argument'. that should occupy me for a fair while.
cheers
nigel

chrisinspace
April 29th, 2009, 04:19 PM
i am currently losing myself considering the 'doomsday argument'. that should occupy me for a fair while.

I know. I'm not sure I adhere to it, but it's a fascinating argument. It has just randomly popped into my head occasionally ever since I read that book a couple of years ago. I can never explain it in my own words without thoroughly confusing people.

Dragonbite
April 29th, 2009, 04:32 PM
Maybe this whole thing is Nature's way of "thinning the herd" just like lightning starting forest fires serve the purpose of thinning out sick and diseased trees and shrubs so that the strong and healthy can survive.

Problem is, we keep moving our houses into the woods so when Nature tries to clean itself up we go and put out the darn fires!

Maybe that's what Global Warming is, a thinning of the herd?

GrouchoMarx
April 29th, 2009, 05:40 PM
But now consider the case where instead of the urns you have two possible human races, and instead of balls you have individuals, ranked according to birth order. As a matter of fact, you happen to find that your rank is about sixty billion. Now, say Carter and Leslie, we should reason in the same way as we did with the urns. That you should have a rank of sixty billion or so is much more likely if only 100 billion persons will ever have lived than if there will be many trillion persons. Therefore, by Bayes' theorem, you should update your beliefs about humankindís prospects and realize that an impending doomsday is much more probable than you have hitherto thought.

This doesn't make any sense. The two urns model is not applicable because at no point in history did we choose between "two possible human races".

mxboy15u
April 29th, 2009, 05:58 PM
We will"evolve" ourselves with machines more likely than not. Suits that protect us from harsh environments, computers connected directly to our brain to augment higher thinking, artificial strength and physical protection.

If the earth is really going through some climate change it would have to be severely drastic to end humans, look at what we have survived in the past and where indiginous people are still settled currently. Really no currenty extreme environmental conditions can stop humans completely.

Dragonbite
April 29th, 2009, 06:26 PM
We will"evolve" ourselves with machines more likely than not. Suits that protect us from harsh environments, computers connected directly to our brain to augment higher thinking, artificial strength and physical protection.

If the earth is really going through some climate change it would have to be severely drastic to end humans, look at what we have survived in the past and where indiginous people are still settled currently. Really no currenty extreme environmental conditions can stop humans completely.

The biggest hurdle of cybernetics is connecting to the brain, and that is advancing quite nicely. And nano-technology will provide a huge aid to evolution/adaption.

Although that doesn't the next evolutionary step for man is not even flesh-and-blood, but robots. Yes, I,Robot (the book, not the movie) comes to mind. Maybe that's why Apple is "iThis" and "iThat".. so they can coin the term iRobot and sue Microsoft in the future?!

capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 07:32 PM
Maybe that's why Apple is "iThis" and "iThat".. so they can coin the term iRobot and sue Microsoft in the future?!

they would surely have to sue Isaak Asimov too.

we have been creating protective suits since the first proto human put on a bit of animal skin, but it's true we are working towards the exoskeleton. Honda has a piece of equipment to lend increased strength to operators haven't they?
what i worry about is a kind of have/have not world developing - a william gibson distopia where the wealthy have access to and control of immense technological advantage and a massive underclass which subsists on outdated, adapted and illegal pieces of kit. a place where people go for vacations in campers in convoy and 'camp' at night in security controlled compounds. well i say worry, perhaps that pitches it a tad strongly - i am certainly not anti tech by any means. but i can imagine the first cave dweller banging a couple of rocks together and an old grumpy simian in the background grunting the cave equivalent of 'no good'll come of it - you mark my words young ape-my-lad'
cheers
nigel

SunnyRabbiera
April 29th, 2009, 07:34 PM
I believe that we are reraching the end of our current civilization, right now our planet is overpopulated, global climate change is at crisis level, the global economy itself seems to be rotting away at a incredible rate.
We are in many ways repeating history, not seeming to learn from past mistakes.
We are currently repeating the time of the great depression, before that we were repeating the era of Vietnam.
We haven't moved forward, we moved backwards!
And if we dont do something about it soon, we face the end one way or another, rather it be World War III or some kind of other global catastrophe we seem to be on the edge of both.

Dragonbite
April 29th, 2009, 07:52 PM
We are currently repeating the time of the great depression, before that we were repeating the era of Vietnam.
We haven't moved forward, we moved backwards!
And if we dont do something about it soon, we face the end one way or another, rather it be World War III or some kind of other global catastrophe we seem to be on the edge of both.

The difference between now and the Great Depresion is
During the GD, they didn't have anything so getting food on the table and clothes on their back was primary. Today we have to *gasp* get rid of CABLE TV?!! OMG!!
When the GD hit, they were comparing it to a "Great Depression" that happened about 50 years prior... which of course, when that happened, was refering to the "Great Depression" of 50+ years prior...
During the GD, things were more localized so if one area could not sustain you then you migrated to another. Today there is the internet so you could, theoretically, work from anywhere over the internet providing you have a connection. Plus cars are so much more common that commuting and hour can get you in a 50 mile radius of home.
People today are so sucked-into marketing that they feel they HAVE to have the latest iPod, iPhone, Cable TV to keep up with American Idol, Bluetooth, DVR, Prius, Webkins, texting cell phones with data packages, double-mochaccino-skim-milk-latte and other designer coffees, flat/plasma/widescreen TVs, and much, much more to be "happy" (or at least keep up with the Joneses)
The governments are doing too much to try and return the economy to the happy-happy world it was before instead of letting the darn greedy companies fail, the CEOs be chased with pitchforks and torches and give a grim illustration of why companies should run the straight and narrow. As one company fails the others will get stronger off of the carcass and so on. Maybe then the ones that did not get ahead because they were doing the legal and moral thing can get their due?!

PuddingKnife
April 29th, 2009, 07:55 PM
No. But peak oil will certainly change things quite a bit.

capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 08:04 PM
When the GD hit, they were comparing it to a "Great Depression" that happened about 50 years prior... which of course, when that happened, was refering to the "Great Depression" of 50+ years prior...

i read a piece some years ago where a journalist had a collected set of statements about how dreadful the young people of 'today' were compared to 40 years previously. it seemed like a typical piece of moaning until you realised that all these statements were collected from people living at different times back to classical greece. so 20th, 19th 18th centuries and so on...
and every one was saying much the same 'the youth of today is disrespectful, criminal, drunk, lewd. not like when i was young, we were angels...'
cheers
nigel

swoll1980
April 29th, 2009, 08:08 PM
I think that the next big step in human evolution will come with genetic engineering. Now this isn't done because a objectively better race than human would be created, since not everybody can access the gen. engineering.
But in a huge amount of years, when money no more exists and goods are available in huge quantities, which i hope it'll happen, everyone will be able to access that technology and thus evolve to a new stage of human evolution :)

You mean like Ivan Drago (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Drago)

sisco311
April 29th, 2009, 08:15 PM
they would surely have to sue Isaak Asimov too.


Or Karel and Josef Čapek. Karel Čapek introduced the word robot. He later credited his brother, Josef Čapek, as the true inventor of the word.

swoll1980
April 29th, 2009, 08:15 PM
No. But peak oil will certainly change things quite a bit.

Does peak oil, and Duke Nukem Forever, have the same development team?

capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 08:27 PM
hi Sisco

Or Karel and Josef Čapek. Karel Čapek introduced the word robot. He later credited his brother, Josef Čapek, as the true inventor of the word.

i thought that the word actually existed already when the Capeks wrote the play? i may be wrong about language, but i thought it was a Czech (please correct me if im wrong) word meaning 'slave'. i have been waiting for a chance to see R.U.R for years - it was staged in our local theatre back in, i think, the 1930s but i have never seen it on anywhere else.

one day, one day...
cheers
nigel

PuddingKnife
April 29th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Does peak oil, and Duke Nukem Forever, have the same development team?

Is that a joke?

swoll1980
April 29th, 2009, 08:32 PM
Is that a joke?

Yes

PuddingKnife
April 29th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Yes

Well it was a valiant effort nonetheless.

lethalfang
April 29th, 2009, 08:45 PM
What will happen to the next generation?
They will grow up and worry about their next generation.

sisco311
April 29th, 2009, 08:51 PM
hi Sisco


i thought that the word actually existed already when the Capeks wrote the play? i may be wrong about language, but i thought it was a Czech (please correct me if im wrong) word meaning 'slave'. i have been waiting for a chance to see R.U.R for years - it was staged in our local theatre back in, i think, the 1930s but i have never seen it on anywhere else.

one day, one day...
cheers
nigel

Yes, you're right. The word robota means literally work, labor or serf labor, and figuratively "drudgery" or "hard work" in Czech and many Slavic languages. (wikipadia)

As an aside, in Hungarian the word robot/robotolŠs has the same meaning (presumably due to Slavic influence).

capnthommo
April 29th, 2009, 09:03 PM
thanks sisco
it's frustrating when you want to see a movie or play and all you can find is the occasional reference to it. i've eveb seen a couplke of photos from the stage play in my local theatre, but no more than that.

i must go now, i am tired and have a toothache!
cheers
nigel