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paradigm_shift

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I decided to make this thread in light of a recent thread in which many people felt that 'technology' was in some way a bad thing. It is not a direct response to anything in the thread, but only my thoughts on this matter in general.

Firstly, we must ask ourselves, what is our Goal? What is the one thing we must do? The answer is, of course, to escape from this planet. It is fairly easy to hypothesise that this is in fact the reason we exist - merely as a tool in Life's great struggle for survival.

Put simply, it is plain that we have all our eggs in one basket. We are simply at too much risk here. The threat of nuclear war will hang over our heads, and although I don't suggest for one minute that a nuclear war is likely, or that it would destroy all life, it is still possible. There is also the risk of being hit by a comet, which we will be unable to protect ourselves against for a while yet. Humans have been lucky to inhabit a time-space in which no major worldwide extinctions have taken place. But from the fossil record we can see that there have been many such catastrophes throughout time, most famously the Dinosaurs, and even earlier than that, 95% of all life was exterminated at one point - a major setback if ever there was one. This is not to mention the unknown risks of 'global warming', whether it is caused by humans or not, and also possible 'super-diseases' in the future which may simply catch us unawares and take us by storm.

Presumably, the Luddites that want to regress to an era of minimal technology do not mean that they would like this only to last for a short time. They mean they would like this Luddite attitude to permeate the whole of human life in the future.
And if, by some extraordinary chance, we stay on this planet, at one with nature, revelling in our simple lives, for a million years? What then? Ten million? Is this concievable? If it is not, let's say that the Luddites at least postulate that it would be DESIRABLE. So, what of when this planets time is up? If you say that by such an obscenely distant point in the future, we will have colonised other planets by then, then how do you justify your anti-technology philosophy? Why should we put off the march of technology at all, if you concede that eventually we will have to bow to necessity and get our act together?

Of course, the march of technology can never actually be stopped, so to philosophise about stopping it is a purely academic pursuit. But are there more reasons why it is a bad philosophy?

What is it that humans have done throughout their entire history? Living and dying, breeding and dreaming, these things belie our hunger for improvement.
A human will look at something, and say, 'How can I make it better?' It is this that has lead our species to dominate the planet, to knock aside all resistance, and eventually, to even begin to domesticise the raw process of 'natural selection'.
For that is the key - although we came from this world, and belong to it as it belongs to us, we yearn to be separate from its dispassionate mechanisms. A Luddite will go camping or grow vegetables, and claim that this modern world is 'forgetting the basics, denying our true instincts' and so on. But would this same person be content to live from second to second, fighting for survival every day, and to be ultimately bound by natural selection (that is, the weak or frail, or the abnormal would be rooted out and at the very least fail to contribute to the gene pool).
This is how our ancestors lived.
That's the crux of it - they want to feel as if they are somehow part of the 'nature', yet they would not for a minute care to give up medicine, electricity, advanced forms of transport, computer technology and so on.  The fact is, we have always advanced and we live to advance. To go back now would be a terrible mistake.

And the Luddite argument relies on the assumption that current methods of producing energy will somehow always remain. This is not the case. Although current methods pollute and are harmful, it is clear that they will not last, and soon we will be forced to use renewable sources in greater abundance. Would they oppose future technology if it did not pollute in any way? Yet we need current technology in order to research for future technology.

Although it may be pointed out that I may be misusing the term 'Luddite' here, as there are actually very few real Luddites around, I am in fact attacking the rather flimsy, 'trendy' attitude that many people seem to have that 'technology' is nasty and 'nature' is the way to go. I feel I have shown this view to be somewhat misguided. Technology is the culmination of millions of years of life's evolution, so that life might not be doomed to die on this planet.






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Philosophy is questions that can't be answered, religion is answers that can't be questioned
 


Posts: 2 | Posted: 6:38 PM on April 19, 2003 | IP
StormCrow

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The lack of push for interplanetary expansion could (although, not neccissarily) could be attributed to the fact that we DON"T need to yet. Polution, Ozone and Global Warming AREN'T the big problems that many pinky leftists believe them to be. Believe me when i say that I very much desire the human race to continue exisiting. It is however arrogant to assume that because humans ceased to exist, that other forms of life would not continue to flourish. I have heard it said "neccisity is the mother of invention" this is a true statement, and let me alter it slightly by saying, "If neccessity is the mother of invention, than survival is the founding matriarch." Why doesn't the human race leap to the stars. Simply put, we don't need to. Not yet least wise. In fact it's rather impracticle, given our current technology to even attempt such a colonization feat. If one is so interested in surviving, surely one wouldn't needlessly waste human life in endevours for which it is not yet ready.


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"The Way of the Warrior is the two-fold path of pen and sword. Even if a man possess no natural inclination he may be a warrior by sticking assidously to both divisions of the Way."

-Shinmen Musashi
 


Posts: 112 | Posted: 10:21 PM on April 26, 2003 | IP
DarKnight

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Take a look around you.
Is over population becoming a problem? increasingly yes. Do we have space? more then enough.
Why even bother considering fantasting voyages outward into space when we haven't really fully used what we've got. There is still vast amount of good land space and we haven't really assesed the full potential of living underwater. People exuse submarine habitation as a joke but the practicalities involved are no more difficult (if not vastly easier) then off-world colonization.
I'm not saying we shouldn't keep an eye open I simply aim to remind people that this planet is not as doomed as post-apocaliptic science fiction would have us believe.


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I know the beauty in the shadows of the people and strive to serve as their guardian.
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 10:20 AM on May 14, 2003 | IP
StormCrow

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Very true darknight! There is already a company, creating modular surface vessles (primarily for wealthy people at the moment) and docking stations that would serve basically as connectable floating cities. 75% of the surface area of our planet is water. We've hardly even developed the 25% that is land. If you look at the number of people in the world, in comparison to the amount of land we have, you'll quickly see that over population isn't a problem at all....it's really just liberal propaganda designed to draw attention away from real problems in the world.


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"The Way of the Warrior is the two-fold path of pen and sword. Even if a man possess no natural inclination he may be a warrior by sticking assidously to both divisions of the Way."

-Shinmen Musashi
 


Posts: 112 | Posted: 12:37 AM on May 18, 2003 | IP
Void

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All it would take was a horrific virus or a meteor impact and we could all be dead. At least if we colonised mars or the moon for example, they would survive to repopulate the planet if disaster occured.
 


Posts: 66 | Posted: 09:00 AM on June 5, 2003 | IP
rehtafdnarg747

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I am forced to agree with Void and paradigm_shift.  It is foolish to beleive that this world alone has the ability to sustain for much longer at the rate of our populations growth.  It was mentioned that we have not considered underwater colonies, and that we do not "posses" the technology for such an excursion.  Is it not true that the difficulties of space have been modeled underwater?  Isn't there more room in space then there is in our own sea?  Then consider the effects we could have on marine life, we could just by living there be ending our own excistance.  Then the question of technology comes into play.  Is it not true that we have a space station that can hold life?  Is it not true that we have the ability of flying to the moon while keeping a crew alive?  Yes it will require lives, not to a positive effect but that is an irrevrsible consequence of any major undertaking.  Did it not cost us human lives to master the sea?  Wouldn't it be tragic if we did not take into veiw the possiblilities of things that could wipe us out?  I ask you, wouldn't it be better to lose half the people on this world in an effort to save us than lose the entire human race for the mere fact we weren't willing to risk it?  Wouldn't it take the same amount of effort, yet have a greater result, to do this than look to our seas for safety?  Ask yourself, Could I live with myself if I rejected the only path for human survival?


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Rehtafdnarg
 


Posts: 3 | Posted: 7:58 PM on April 23, 2004 | IP
    
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