We’re toast. Among hydrogen bombs, asteroid strikes, supervolcanoes, rogue artificial intelligence, nanotechnological war, grey goo, superviruses, biological weapons, runaway global warming, strangelets, mini-black holes, probabilities will eventually catch up to us and we’ll become extinct. It is an impossible obstacle course.
What is that supposed to mean? Obama gave Norelco razors to ghetto denizens?
Posted by SHaGGGz on 01/29 at 09:59 PM
@Cygnus: 1) The former recognizes all benefit more longterm when the pie is grown collectively, the latter doesn’t care about this and prefers higher short term gain at the expense of others. Think Ford vs. Koch.
2) The selfish actor, in the short term.
4) No, you’re doing it right now.
@Intomorrow: The Obama phone of course!
Posted by Intomorrow on 01/29 at 10:58 PM
Notice Romney made the remark about ‘gifts’ after he lost the election; saying—when it is safe to say—Obama won the election but he won it because the 47 percenters got freebies only Romney’s people deserve.
That is the entire entitlements debate in a nutshell: virtually everyone thinks their people deserve what they get.
Posted by SHaGGGz on 01/29 at 11:07 PM
The notion that Obama was trying to win office based on the promise of giving out “free stuff” to “takers” was a common theme running all through the election, well before he won.
Posted by Henry Bowers on 01/30 at 12:23 PM
I enjoyed this very much. Can anyone suggest reading on the Global Brain? I’m not familiar with it (but perhaps it’s familiar with me! Hahahaaaaaa).
Global Brain defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_brain
Check the bottom of the page for the references.
Also: The Global Brain FAQ http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/GBRAIFAQ.html
Posted by rtbarretto on 02/02 at 03:24 PM
CygnusX1 - interesting questions. These are some of the questions that should be debated and thought deeply, but always having in mind a supergoal. I called the answer to those questions “intermediate steps”. Those steps may not be in a direct, straight path towards the ultimate goal, but should move in that general direction.
In the case of “The Tragedy of the Commons” there are so many categories. Think energy. Solar energy is a resource that will not be depleted for a few billion years. We just need to capture a infinitesimal fraction every day to power the entire planet. Think food, what about the 30% of worldwide food production that goes to waste every single day. What about eating a fish meal in Chile and getting to know the fish you’re eating came from Australia, where people are fishing just a mile away in your hometown? Because it makes ‘economic sense’? Because you’ll save a buck? No one is measuring the carbon footprint and negative externalities of that when they look at a menu. What about technologies that promise to eradicate the need for food? What if we become autotrophs? Or have technologies that enable just that? Take population. Great strides have happened. My grandparents had 8,9 children per couple! My parents generation had 4,5 average. My generation is having 2,3 max. But there are still people, specially in underdeveloped nations and from the lower class having 8,9,10 children. Then you have to fight old ideas of the Church who refuses to give contraceptives believing it will lead to a life of moral decay. That argument may sound reasonable, but upon closer inspection it is not the use of a contraceptive or not that determines values. If a house is on fire, you don’t sit and think about “let us build fireproof material for the benefit of mankind”—you throw water at it! Solve the problem, course correction later.
Posted by CygnusX1 on 02/03 at 07:49 AM
Thanks! Your points are important also, especially this..
“What about eating a fish meal in Chile and getting to know the fish you’re eating came from Australia, where people are fishing just a mile away in your hometown? Because it makes ‘economic sense’? Because you’ll save a buck? No one is measuring the carbon footprint and negative externalities of that when they look at a menu. What about technologies that promise to eradicate the need for food?”
I guess this is the downside to globalisation of markets, yet efficient use of transportation and logistics and “local awareness” may go a long ways to mitigating effects of climate change and towards energy efficiency, IF we Humans could just think towards being a little less Self-ish?
So why don’t governments and markets act upon these inefficiencies? Could the use of Oil and fossil fuels and profiteering have anything to do with this?
I am totally in agreement with you regarding Solar energy. We just need to find ways to effectively “transmit” the Solar energy abundant in space, to the planet surface without warming it? Microwaves and others forms of transduction of energy have been suggested.
Regarding problems associated with increased global population and well being. Not sure if you have seen this, but this is one of my favourites highlighted at IEET
Visualizing Global Population Growth Hans Rosling
” The world’s population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth. “