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-   -   The Future of the Human Race. (http://www.nubblies.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17384)

Mr. Blonde 08-07-2009 11:43 PM

The Future of the Human Race.
 
I have a few friends that I discuss with (Bald nerd is one, hopefully another will be joining soon) the future of the human race on two primary planes: The pointlessness of our current (arguably, our entire) existence on this planet, and how badly we are fucking it up. I'm by no means at all a hippie or anything and i'm far from composting all my waste, but to be around the world, and with all the information we have available to us and see all the things that are completely fucking up our ecosystem, its hard to say how much longer we're going to be able to sustain life on planet earth. There are so many problems, ranging from the well known (deforestation, pollution, general wastefulness) to the lesser known but still very important.


Here is a good article to get started about what the future holds for humans if we don't get our shit together: Consumerism is 'eating the future' - opinion - 07 August 2009 - New Scientist

Highlights:

Quote:

More specifically, all we're doing is what all other creatures have ever done to survive, expanding into whatever territory is available and using up whatever resources are available, just like a bacterial culture growing in a Petri dish till all the nutrients are used up. What happens then, of course, is that the bugs then die in a sea of their own waste.
Quote:

Although we like to think of ourselves as civilised thinkers, we're subconsciously still driven by an impulse for survival, domination and expansion. This is an impulse which now finds expression in the idea that inexorable economic growth is the answer to everything, and, given time, will redress all the world's existing inequalities.
Quote:

American economists and the government of the day decided to revive economic activity by creating a culture in which people were encouraged to accumulate and show off material wealth, to the point where it defined their status in society and their self-image.
I'm sure many of you are already familiar with the next two concepts, but just for a re-hash:

Quote:

...globally, we're already in "overshoot", consuming 30 per cent more material than is sustainable from the world's resources. At present, 85 countries exceed their domestic "bio-capacities", compensating for their lack of local material by depleting stocks elsewhere, in countries that have "surpluses" because they're not consuming as much.
Quote:

The worrying thing is that if everyone on Earth adopted American lifestyles overnight, we would need four extra worlds to supply their needs, says Rees.
Quote:

Without global management, destruction will continue, producing food and energy "crunches" that make the credit crunch look like a tea party.
Quote:

Solving the other problem – the advertising that feeds our desire to acquire – might be more tricky. In an ideal world, it would be a counter-advertising campaign to make conspicuous consumption shameful.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:

Pararelli is even more pessimistic. The only hope, he says, is a disaster of immense scale that jolts us out of our denial. "My sense is that only when the brown stuff really hits the fan will we finally start to do something."
I wonder how long everybody is going to go along ignoring the elephant in the room before they're FORCED to start realizing "if we don't do something soon, we are fucked"

I can personally say I live a pretty minimalist lifestyle, even moreso now than in AZ (although thats kind of obvious). One of the many reasons I quit the nightlife scene (on top of the fact of how pointless of a career path it was) was that I couldn't dumb myself down to enjoy myself surrounded by mental and physical vanity almost nonstop in my life. Lack of intellectual discussions aside, people don't even care. Its like the human race in modern culture is on life-auto-pilot. WHY does everyone work so hard to get money/posessions? Most people can't even answer that question (the answer is to attract a mate, get a family and spend all that money on them, until they run out and go into debt for the most part, fyi). And if they are intelligent enough to answer the question, they accuse you (me) of being a cynic or a pessimist.

Clearly I don't hold any of you in the ranks of what i just said, but I also don't know all of you that well. I'll leave that introspection to yourselves.

Landing Strip 08-07-2009 11:49 PM

Have you read "An Inconvenient Truth"? I know many people who are disgusted at the mere thought of Gore's book.

Mr. Blonde 08-07-2009 11:53 PM

I haven't, nor seen the movie, but I happen to currently have an amazon cart ready to be checked out. worth it?

Landing Strip 08-08-2009 12:03 AM

I haven't seen the movie, but have read the book. It's basically a documentary. It's very easy to read. Gore has it set up to be very visual; tons of pictures, charts, and graphs. It is quite informative, but some people would question his data.

Basically, I find it worth reading if you have an open mind.

SittinOnDubsWGW 08-08-2009 12:37 AM

it was a decent documentary. I saw it with one of my extremely liberal environmentalist buddies when it came out (he paid for any of his friends willing to see it). I still always question the validity of those types of documentaries though.

I've actually thought about this from time to time. I think we'll see in our lifetime, major changes regarding power. I would like to see us use more nuclear power as well as more developments of other alternative fuels.

Efficient public transit would be extremely nice to have. I think one of the things that makes it more difficult for the US is just the sheer size of our nation. This applies to a lot of other technologies, as it isn't cost effective to implement a lot of the ideas due to coverage of the area is far too costly.

Mr. Blonde 08-08-2009 12:44 AM

Power/fossil fuels is just one facet of the challenges we're going to have to overcome. Overpopulation, food sources, food COST (i predict that it will skyrocket within the next 50 years as we continue to overconsume), chemicals in the environment...

DDTempest 08-08-2009 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde (Post 382820)
Power/fossil fuels is just one facet of the challenges we're going to have to overcome. Overpopulation, food sources, food COST (i predict that it will skyrocket within the next 50 years as we continue to overconsume), chemicals in the environment...

Fifty years is pushing the envelope a bit much, I can't really fathom the world going more than 100 years between global conflicts, especially as China and India come on board with their Americanized consumerism. Right now global powers are already playing "who's my little buddy?" with every second and third world nation on the planet to secure resource rights for the coming decades.

The real X-factor is science. I fully believe that science can essentially overcome nearly any "problem" posed to humanity given enough incentive. Shit, high school kids are breeding bacteria that break down plastics and chemical treatments that make the metal skeleton for large stone works (bridges, highways, etc.) nearly rust-proof. Basically the first country to implement a space elevator and a way to effectively shield radiation outside of the Earth's magnetic field will have free reign of the Solar System and all its resources.

Even if we don't escape the planet, we'll soon enough be in a position where mining old garbage dumps for resources will become a lucrative endeavor.

I could see it going either way.

Landing Strip 08-08-2009 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DDTempest (Post 382822)
Even if we don't escape the planet, we'll soon enough be in a position where mining old garbage dumps for resources will become a lucrative endeavor.

Whether or not you are saying this meaning leaving Earth and living in space/ another planet, or just escaping the perils of Earth's limited resources, I think that, even though living in space would be one giant leap for mankind, it would be a bad idea. By the time we have the technology to live in space, we'd also have all the futuristic space technology you only see in movies. This would probably make for a decline in human evolution. I imagine the process of moving to space and living there to be quite similar to the computer-animated film Wall-E.

Ugly Bastard 08-08-2009 01:05 PM

I like the spirit of this thread, but I think in general you guys are being over-dramatic. There's a lot of ego-centrism in play here; humans since the beginning of civilization have thought that their generation would be the one to witness armageddon and destruction. The Earth can sustain a human population of 20 billion or more without too much trouble. That's still so far away. Some of the major problems that humanity thinks they're facing, global warming in particular, are basically just the new religion of "educated" elite upper-middle class whites. We're not even sure if humanity has made the slightest contribution to this issue; it could very well just be a part of the natural cycle of Earth's heating and cooling. Climates change, species go extinct. This is a natural part of Earth's evolution.

f3lix 08-08-2009 01:16 PM

Gore made a science fiction movie, not a documentary.

Had he been stupid enough to run for president again, his "data" would have been exposed for all his false claims. The scientific community really just didn't care to fight him at the small number of people who actually believed his story.

Just 30 years ago, the opposite "climate shift" was occuring and all the talking heads were saying we were going to go into an ice age.

If you really want to buy into the Earths 4.5 billion year old existance being overrun by a decade of data, then enjoy wasting yours time on this "cause"

Landing Strip 08-08-2009 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ugly Bastard (Post 382832)
it could very well just be a part of the natural cycle of Earth's heating and cooling. Climates change, species go extinct. This is a natural part of Earth's evolution.

Agreed.

ninjaface 08-08-2009 03:01 PM

Its almost hard to believe that there are so many people not able to realize that human existence is but a geological blink of an eye.

DDTempest 08-08-2009 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Landing Strip (Post 382829)
This would probably make for a decline in human evolution. I imagine the process of moving to space and living there to be quite similar to the computer-animated film Wall-E.

We're already on the cusp of post-human evolution. Through genetics and bionics the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" is going to grow by leaps and bounds. The poor folks will get to stay on Earth while the money will endeavor into space and a "space middle class" will be working for large corporations in a form of indentured servitude to pay for their bioengineering etc. The whole trans-humanism thing is really some pretty interesting stuff to look into if any of you are bored and I am sure it will go hand in hand with space travel.

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DDTempest (Post 382846)
We're already on the cusp of post-human evolution. Through genetics and bionics the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" is going to grow by leaps and bounds. The poor folks will get to stay on Earth while the money will endeavor into space and a "space middle class" will be working for large corporations in a form of indentured servitude to pay for their bioengineering etc. The whole trans-humanism thing is really some pretty interesting stuff to look into if any of you are bored and I am sure it will go hand in hand with space travel.

long distance (outside our solar system) space travel is currently unfeasible and space travel within our solar system is unprofitable and expensive. the future of space travel depends on:

(1) the discovery of a planet that can be colonized and has resources of value.

and

(2) either the ability to travel light speeds, or finding a portable and nearly 100% renewable energy resources than can last the thousands of years it would take to get to the next nearest solar system.

The growth rate of space travel technology and achievement lags far far behind everything else. We went from launching the first rocket into space in 1942 to traveling to the moon in less than 30 years. 40 years later, we haven't even achieved a manned mission to mars. Unless we discover a way to travel faster than light, your dystopian space middle class future sure as fuck won't be happening in this millennium.

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 12:22 AM

The nearest solar system is 4.2 Light years away.

the speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s


top speed of space shuttle = 8000 m/s


time to travel to next star system = (299792458 / 8000) * 4.2
= 157391 years

assuming next solar system has a planet

Landing Strip 08-09-2009 12:33 AM

Would your equation yield years or light years?

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 12:44 AM

years, a light year is a unit of distance

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 12:54 AM

hmmm you got me thinking about it because the units of measure don't seem to correctly cancel

light takes 4.2 years to get there
light is 37474 times faster than a rocket propelled shuttle

so it should take a shuttle 37474 times longer than light to get there, right?

Landing Strip 08-09-2009 01:09 AM

I'm aware that a light year is a unit of distance.

The units in the equation do not yield a measurement of time. The meters/second in the speed of light and speed of shuttle would cancel each other out when they are divided by each other. Multiplying that quotient by a unit of distance (light year) would equate in.. well a unit of distance.

Landing Strip 08-09-2009 01:28 AM

I cannot comprehend your most recent calculations because I am having a difficult time comprehending light years.

Here:
4.2 light years to nearest star
8,000 m/s= top speed of shuttle
1 light year= 9.4605284 10^15 meters
1 year= 31,556,926 seconds

(4.2 light years) X (9.4605284 10^15 meters/ 1 light years) X (1 second/ 8,000 meters) X ( 1 year/ 31,556,926 seconds) = ... This is weird. My calculator gave me the same number as your initial equation's answer (157391.0402426396 years)

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 01:29 AM

A light-year is equal to:
exactly 9,460,730,472,580.8 km

thats 9460730472580800 meters

from now on L is 9460730472580800 meters

there are 31 556 926 seconds in a year
(4.2 * L [m]) / 8000 [m/s] / 31,556,926 [s] = 157391 years


----
u unit of distance
y = unit of 1 year

a light year is 1 u/(u/y)

my original equation:
(299792458 [m/s] / 8000 [m/s]) * 4.2 [u/(u/y)] all units cancel out except year

NEVER CHALLENGE DORK, TWAT.

Landing Strip 08-09-2009 01:49 AM

ID, too bad I was able to justify a valid equation and answer first. You're skepticism led you to a more believable justification. FAG.
...
ID, too bad I was valid. You're skepticism led you to a FAG.
...
ID, too bad I was you're skepticism. You a FAG.
...
ID, too bad you're a FAG.

Repugnant Abomination 08-09-2009 01:54 AM

Nobody cares, Blonde, because nobody alive today has to live with the consequences of their actions in tomorrow's future. And frankly I think that's difficult to argue with. Nobody really has a collective "for the good of the species" mentality. Now if we find a way to cheat death and stop the aging process then people will start to care.

THEINCREDIBLEdork 08-09-2009 01:58 AM

actually, my original justification is valid, and more simple, and therefore better. You did sneak your post in before mine, but most of my time was spent trying to find a way to dumb it down enough for you to understand it. I've also been multitasking by playing with my balls at the same time. You don't have balls. This is what happens when a woman tries to comprehend something outside the kitchen.

Mr. Blonde 08-09-2009 04:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Repugnant Abomination (Post 382858)
Nobody cares, Blonde. Now if we find a way to cheat death and stop the aging process then people will start to care.

Agreed. Interestingly enough we're already getting up there with nanotechnology; I wonder if people will actually start changing their behavior once they're able to live longer. I also wonder if our descendants will hate us for how reckless we are/were. Almost like a future version of slavery. At the time, it was status quo and therefore most people were okay with it. 300 years later, we're ashamed of our ancestors.


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