Random thoughts

Ramahs

Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017
It seems everyone agrees that the time period we each grew up in was the best of all possible worlds!

I disagree. The time period I grew up in was not nearly as good as the next generation, and their time period was not as good as the next one. I would love to be a kid in today's world, vs. the world as it was when I grew up. I am seriously jealous of kids these days, and I admire them for dealing with and handling all the bullshit so much better than my generation could have!

If time travel was possible, I would want to travel forward in time, but by no means would I ever want to go live at any point in the past. The further back you go, the worse it is. Hell, medical science alone is enough of a reason not to want to go back.
 
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vapviking

Old & In the Way
I disagree. The time period I grew up in was not nearly as good as the next generation, and their time period was not as good as the next one. I would love to be a kid in today's world, vs. the world as it was when I grew up. I am seriously jealous of kids these days, and I admire them for dealing with and handling all the bullshit so much better than my generation could have!

If time travel was possible, I would want to travel forward in time, but by no means would I ever want to go live at any point in the past. The further back you go, the worse it is. Hell, medical science alone is enough of a reason not to want to go back.
Okay, you are an optimist; tomorrow will always be better (like in "Annie!"). My reference to Voltaire's Candide ("best of all possible worlds") seems at least somewhat apt.

And you would jump at the chance for a world you don't know yet rather than any you've ever seen or heard of?

I don't think the world is on a destined trail; on the whole there's no progression from "something worse" to "something better".
As @florduh said, we play the ball as it lies. Sometimes we sink it, sometimes we shank it. But the course itself hasn't changed much over time.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
I am seriously jealous of kids these days

Before last year, I hadn't played video games for over 20 years. I went from Playstation 2 era, to today. I keep thinking, Jesus Christ are these little shits today so lucky. I'd have killed for graphics like these when I was in middle school. So I get the jealousy for sure. They're also much better than me and my friends were in High School. In retrospect, we were little monsters.

If I could time travel, it would be at least 100 years into the future. I'm a cautious optimist about the long term future. It seems like we're living in the middle of a technological revolution. It might not feel like it but... the Fall of the Roman Empire is like one page in textbooks. But multiple generations were born and died during that time, and most probably didn't think they were living during the Fall.

We don't really know how things are gonna shake out over the next few decades. So while I am jealous of kids today in some ways, I'm also quite worried for them. Especially the really young ones. AI is poised to eliminate a significant percentage of white collar jobs over the next 30 years.

There's also climate change. Kids today are the ones who will have to pay the bill we've been running up for the last few decades. If they live in the First World, they'll probably be fine. Or they might be dealing with worldwide crop failures.
 

macbill

Oh No! Mr macbill!!
Staff member
Tomorrow, May 18th, marks the 42nd anniversary of the Mt St Helens eruption. Luckily, the wind was blowing Eastward: Spokane was plunged into darkness, but we who lived South 30 miles or so had a clear view of the billows of dust and gas.
120517-Mount-St.-Helens-660.jpg
 

coolbreeze

Well-Known Member
on the whole there's no progression from "something worse" to "something better"
Strictly true but nonetheless incomplete: There is no necessary progression, but there is a clear historical progression, one that we have chosen and made. At least in terms of human health and happiness. The poverty rate at the turn of the 20th century was in the 90% range in the US, premature death was ridiculous, hardly anyone had representation in gov't, and wars rolled through willy-nilly. Our parents and grandparents made even more spectacular success in the wwii/post-war period. This is not to say that they did enough or that everything is peachy.

This is to say, "keep the faith." We have made our world a safer, healthier place over unbelievable challenges and we're smarter, richer and more engaged than ever before. We face huge, existential challenges in the immediate future and especially young people must know that they can take these things on and if not solve them, then mitigate them until they can be fixed.

Tomorrow, May 18th, marks the 42nd anniversary of the Mt St Helens eruption. Luckily, the wind was blowing Eastward: Spokane was plunged into darkness, but we who lived South 30 miles or so had a clear view of the billows of dust and gas.
120517-Mount-St.-Helens-660.jpg
Man, there's a great Dead show around the following eruption...
 

BabyFacedFinster

Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing.
Tomorrow, May 18th, marks the 42nd anniversary of the Mt St Helens eruption. Luckily, the wind was blowing Eastward: Spokane was plunged into darkness, but we who lived South 30 miles or so had a clear view of the billows of dust and gas.
120517-Mount-St.-Helens-660.jpg

And if it happened today, no one would see it because they would all be staring at their cell phones until they stepped in lava.
 

vapviking

Old & In the Way
This is to say, "keep the faith." We have made our world a safer, healthier place over unbelievable challenges and we're smarter, richer and more engaged than ever before. We face huge, existential challenges in the immediate future and especially young people must know that they can take these things on and if not solve them, then mitigate them until they can be fixed.
I have to here admit that I am, at heart, an optimist.
I grew up in the 50's and 60's, post-war Amurica had really hit its stride.
Heck, the Age of Aquarius was dawning, it was gonna be awesome!
And there would be jetpacks for everyone!

But even in the face of all the 'progress' there's been serious decline. In a little over a hundred years, a mere blip on the radar of history, we've unleashed nuclear power, all but trashed our own habit (globally) and sent untold other species into oblivion. All this and plastics, too!

I think we are richer because of our exploitation of fossil fuels...and third world labor.

And wars still roll through willy-nilly. They pop up all over the place!

To solve any of those issues, a world-wide can-do attitude will be required. Right now in US we are debating whether to allow children to legally discuss if they have two dads (or moms). We've dumbed things down to the point where folks don't understand an what an existential challenge really is.

I stay optimistic because I have kids and grand kids; me being downhearted will not serve them in the least...so I give them as much love and encouragement as they will absorb from an old guy.
The fourth grade strings concert was a treat last night; I have been the support system for my grand daughter's violin practice...

But we are collectively headed down the crapper, for sure.

Cool story about the Dead show on the day of that eruption, thanks!
 

coolbreeze

Well-Known Member
I have to here admit that I am, at heart, an optimist.
I grew up in the 50's and 60's, post-war Amurica had really hit its stride.
Heck, the Age of Aquarius was dawning, it was gonna be awesome!
And there would be jetpacks for everyone!

But even in the face of all the 'progress' there's been serious decline. In a little over a hundred years, a mere blip on the radar of history, we've unleashed nuclear power, all but trashed our own habit (globally) and sent untold other species into oblivion. All this and plastics, too!

I think we are richer because of our exploitation of fossil fuels...and third world labor.

And wars still roll through willy-nilly. They pop up all over the place!

To solve any of those issues, a world-wide can-do attitude will be required. Right now in US we are debating whether to allow children to legally discuss if they have two dads (or moms). We've dumbed things down to the point where folks don't understand an what an existential challenge really is.

I stay optimistic because I have kids and grand kids; me being downhearted will not serve them in the least...so I give them as much love and encouragement as they will absorb from an old guy.
The fourth grade strings concert was a treat last night; I have been the support system for my grand daughter's violin practice...

But we are collectively headed down the crapper, for sure.

Cool story about the Dead show on the day of that eruption, thanks!
I feel you. I'm from the same gen (edit: 60s-70s), have seen the same things. I have the same worries. But despite the way the events of the day make us feel, the trends are clear.

HOWEVER, they are not a fact of nature, they are something we think up, create, and do. We have failed, it is true, to deal with our biggest crisis so far. But our children will have a better understanding of the science and the politics, they will be better educated, they will fix this because their lives and happiness depend on it. We must impart to them the unbelievable successes they are capable of, both because they DO have that potential and we should encourage them to live that, but also because it's the only hope. We can't let them die because we lack the imagination to allow them a reason to live.

This sounds ridiculously pollyanaish, I admit, but we really have made huge strides and that's what they will need to do too. And with all the loss we have suffered in terms of life on the planet, etc. we must bear in mind that those are lost to our basest and most selfish instincts. The point of democratic self rule is to correct our path, and that we regularly do despite the immensely powerful forces that want to tell us no.

Oh, and I may have slightly oversold that show, but the stories are gold.
 
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florduh

Well-Known Member
The only issue with the whole "the arc of the universe eventually bends towards progress" thing is, some problems are time limited. Climate change is one example. I assume newer generations will take the problem more seriously than we have. But at this point, they can't keep the plane from crashing. At best, they'll be able to pull up on the stick a bit so some of the passengers can escape the wreckage.

Climate change is at least prominent in the culture. I believe we're less, possibly much less, than 100 years away from creating superintelligent AI. Few seem to be concerned by this. If we heard a race of superintelligent aliens were gonna land in 100 years, I assume we'd start preparing. But our civilization is in that exact situation right now. Hopefully the new superintelligence we're birthing will be aligned with human flourishing. No guarantees though.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator GIF by Filmin


My random thought of the day is, given the size and age of our galaxy, we should see clear evidence of intelligent life. Even assuming faster than light travel is impossible, enough time has passed for the entire galaxy to have been colonized many times over. Yet we see no evidence anyone has even attempted it.

It sure looks like something trips up intelligent species that prevents them from surviving to a glorious Start Trek future.
 

coolbreeze

Well-Known Member
the whole "the arc of the universe eventually bends towards progress" thing
"It" doesn't. We do, by choice and action.

Climate change is at least prominent in the culture. I believe we're less, possibly much less, than 100 years away from creating superintelligent AI. Few seem to be concerned by this. If we heard a race of superintelligent aliens were gonna land in 100 years, I assume we'd start preparing. But our civilization is in that exact situation right now. Hopefully the new superintelligence we're birthing will be aligned with human flourishing. No guarantees though.
Has me worrying, too. Everything will change and we probably won't recognize how or the extent. Hope to hell they're prepared.

My random thought of the day is, given the size and age of our galaxy, we should see clear evidence of intelligent life. Even assuming faster than light travel is impossible, enough time has passed for the entire galaxy to have been colonized many times over. Yet we see no evidence anyone has even attempted it.

It sure looks like something trips up intelligent species that prevents them from surviving to a glorious Start Trek future.
True, but there's also another realistic option: we're the first. ( to be clear, we don't have to be 'first', we only have to be within a few hundred thousands or millions of years of the first so that their actions are not yet visible, and perhaps wouldn't be for maybe hundreds of thousands of years. That's a very small blip in time, but a lot of development time for us.)

It may be that we face some kind of ultimate failure, but what we face now is not necessarily it. Unless we passively allow our habits to dictate our course.
 
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florduh

Well-Known Member
True, but there's also another realistic option: we're the first.

Just based on the size and age of the galaxy, I kind of doubt it. But who knows. This is why I pray we find no evidence of microbial life on Mars or anywhere else in the Solar System. If life is truly rare, that would explain why we see no evidence of advanced intelligent life anywhere in the galaxy. If microbial life is common... that means "The Great Filter" is ahead of us. Not behind.

In any case I think we should act like we're the vanguard of intelligent life in the galaxy and act accordingly. At a minimum, that means taking care of the only place in the known universe that isn't a hellish shithole.
 

Ramahs

Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017
My random thought of the day is, given the size and age of our galaxy, we should see clear evidence of intelligent life. Even assuming faster than light travel is impossible, enough time has passed for the entire galaxy to have been colonized many times over. Yet we see no evidence anyone has even attempted it.

From what I understand, our radio and other broadcasts since the first time we ever created such a thing have not reached beyond a very small sphere of space in the spiral arm of our galaxy, This means that no one outside of that may have any reason to think we are here. I also suspect that any other intelligent life that may exist may unfortunately be just like us, limited to wondering what life may be found in their void of space...simply due to the spatial limits of the physical nature of the universe.

What we know currently seems to indicate that it's highly likely that intelligent life has evolved elsewhere, just like it has here but somewhere else in the universe. However, we have not confirmed that yet. Hopefully we will at least confirm microscopic life on a local planet or moon in our solar system soon, which will count for our first evidence in history of alien life!
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
From what I understand, our radio and other broadcasts since the first time we ever created such a thing have not reached beyond a very small sphere of space in the spiral arm of our galaxy, This means that no one outside of that may have any reason to think we are here. I also suspect that any other intelligent life that may exist may unfortunately be just like us, limited to wondering what life may be found in their void of space...simply due to the spatial limits of the physical nature of the universe.

What we know currently seems to indicate that it's highly likely that intelligent life has evolved elsewhere, just like it has here but somewhere else in the universe. However, we have not confirmed that yet. Hopefully we will at least confirm microscopic life on a local planet or moon in our solar system soon, which will count for our first evidence in history of alien life!

For sure. And we're kind of in the boonies of the Milky Way. Radio only reaches so far. But that's just considering civilizations that exist now-ish. The Solar System is "only" 4.5 billion years old. But the Milky Way is 13.5 billion years old. Estimates say even moving slower than light, it would only take a spacefaring civilization 1 million years to colonize the entire galaxy. Enough time has passed for this to have happened hundreds of times over. For whatever reason, this apparently has not happened.

Deep time cuts both ways I guess. Maybe so much time has passed that evidence of a galactic civilization millions of years ago has been swept away by the ages. Also we don't know what we don't know. Maybe black holes aren't natural. Maybe they're burnt out alien power stations or the remnants of a galactic war.

Despite what I said, I'd be very intrigued if we started finding extraterrestrial microbes in the Solar System. It just might not be the best news for humanity. In a rare bit of algorithmic kismet, this popped up in my YouTube this morning:

 

coolbreeze

Well-Known Member
Kinda hard to miss if "it's turtles all the way down"

turtles-all-the-way-down-sam-hollingsworth.jpeg
Since the end is never told...


For sure. And we're kind of in the boonies of the Milky Way. Radio only reaches so far. But that's just considering civilizations that exist now-ish. The Solar System is "only" 4.5 billion years old. But the Milky Way is 13.5 billion years old. Estimates say even moving slower than light, it would only take a spacefaring civilization 1 million years to colonize the entire galaxy. Enough time has passed for this to have happened hundreds of times over. For whatever reason, this apparently has not happened.

Deep time cuts both ways I guess. Maybe so much time has passed that evidence of a galactic civilization millions of years ago has been swept away by the ages. Also we don't know what we don't know. Maybe black holes aren't natural. Maybe they're burnt out alien power stations or the remnants of a galactic war.

Despite what I said, I'd be very intrigued if we started finding extraterrestrial microbes in the Solar System. It just might not be the best news for humanity. In a rare bit of algorithmic kismet, this popped up in my YouTube this morning:


Just a had a thought: the great filter must be behind or just ahead of us, or else we'd see the product of someone's AI, assuming that's the filter, or comes before it. And, assuming, i guess it has the same need to fill niches that life does.
 
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florduh

Well-Known Member
I just learned that .01% of bitcoin holders own 27% of the bitcoin. This is funny because crypto bro's are always droning on about how these unregulated securities are going to decentralize wealth and power. Meanwhile they were creating a system with 100x worse inequality than the "real" economy. An economy that's already rapidly approaching pre-French Revolution levels of inequality.

348d58ba8639e083a79c08c7931d8a07f6bcfc471ea70f2d5ab65e1469c4558d_1.webp
 
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Cheebsy

Organicly inVerted
Professor Brian Cox: Maybe humans are the Martians

Professor Brian Cox has reflected on the possibility that humans could be Martians - rather than the suspected life forms on the planet of Mars.

The renowned physicist told the BBC's Sunday Morning programme there were still lots of unknowns and suggested that life on Earth could have originated elsewhere.


There is a short video in the link, I hope it works worldwide.
 

coolbreeze

Well-Known Member
Maybe humans are the Martians
Obviously! It's time we grokked this in fullness!

Edit: What blows my mind is that life has apparently restarted on Earth a number of times following cataclysmic strikes. As I understand, simple organisms are thought to have survived deep within larger chunks of ejecta, to fall back to Earth and repopulate/evolve. On an episode of Tyson's Cosmos he covers this (I think) and discussed how that life-bearing ejecta could also just wait...until some other body comes by and pulls it into its gravity well, and to its surface where it can infest the body with life.
 
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vapviking

Old & In the Way
I think each of the world's major religions holds, at its core, a grain of truth.
I can relate at least a little bit to all of these depending on context,

Religious Views of the World

Taoism: Shit happens.
Confucianism: Confucius says, shit happens.
Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.
Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?
Hinduism: This shit happened before.
Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah.
Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else.
Native American: What is the medicine of shit?
Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserve it.
Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?
Pantheism: It's all the same shit.
Atheism: I don't believe this shit.
Agnosticism: What is this shit?
 
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