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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Spreading cheer!

I think we're finally gonna try to see Children of Men today.

Speaking of dystopia...

I've been doing some more pondering about the obstacles facing our species as we stumble towards the next paradigm shift, whatever it may be. I have serious doubts as to whether we'll even reach the finish line. There's a cruel irony to almost: "We almost had the foresight, creativity and discipline to avert Armageddon."

The hurdles before us are legion, but I've got a few faves.

Further environmental degradation could lead to mass-scale diaspora, violent competition for resources, reactionary authoritarianism and the re-introduction of 19th-century plagues. That's in addition to those sad polar bears. Maybe we should give cloud seeding a try.

Then there's the religious folks  — most of humanity, with pockets of resistance — whose inability to break out of their eschatological programming is driving civilization to the brink of all-consuming conflict.

WMDs, astronomical impact objects, lack of clean tube socks — I could go on and on.

Each of these issues could prevent us us from identifying and implementing necessary correctives, creating the grimmest feedback loop of all — a self-perpetuating, ever-accelerating engine of destruction and confusion.

I believe that most, if not all, of the problems facing humanity can be solved, but I worry that we're too distracted to do so. Our "waking up" point should have already happened. What's the big holdup?

Then again, I'm hardly an enlightened being — most of my brain power goes towards debating the pros and cons of the new iPhone. There's a little space left for Wired Magazine. Say, wasn't their last cover story called "The Science of Human Enhancement"? Damn, I haven't even read it yet. See what I mean?

This is ostensibly a music blog, but there are other topics to consider. As much as we value art, there has to be something resembling a stable culture for it to exist. I mean, at least Dostoevsky had his gulag.

On a positive note, I've become rather intrigued by M-Theory — the "what, me worry?" of Elegant Physics.

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Comments

Bill Simmon

Not to be a complete blog whore, but for more on religion, science, and even a little eschatology and m-theory, see these candleblog posts and ensuing comments threads:

Beyond Belief
Beyond Belief II (Oh Christ, you're not serious?!?!?)

Tanner

Dirty tube socks eh Casey? Looks like someone needs to read "The benefits of Kleenex" by Buckminster Fuller.


Ohhh!

ben

Only problem is that you have to:
1. make people not be religious (force them to think like you think). Punishments will be required.
2. forcibly divide resources giving them to those who you think are most deserving.
3. "neccessary correctives" are a bitch to define exactly.
NOW you can add to the apocalyptic furnace individuals or organizations who, using emergency force, try to implement competing "necessary correctives"

casey

I know, I know. It's all been tried before. The Cultural Revolution in China, etc.


The "necessary correctives" are meant to imply engineering breakthroughs that could help protect humanity from a myriad of cataclysms, whether they be self-inflicted or otherwise.

For example: We could put some of the $$ we spend on post-orbital weapons research towards actually scanning space for incoming impact objects. We can currently cover only a fraction of what we need to.

And there are tons of other r&d projects we could get cracking on, provided there were economic incentive to do so. Hardly any scientists are going into biological field research. It's because all of the money is in genetics and pharmaceuticals. Species are disappearing left and right, but we have a rather incomplete idea of the impact this has on the overall ecological balance. We need to fund, fund fund!

Ditto alternative fuel sources; we probably could be way further ahead on this than we are.

Anyway, you get the idea.

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