We're doomed. What is the answer?

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7Wannabe5
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 5:30 am

ZAFCorrection wrote:History is a lot stickier than people give it credit for. Up into the 20th century there were political leaders still calling themselves some variation on Caesar, going on two millennia since a particular family in the city of Rome used that name. The "everyone needs a bachelor's degree" meme will surely carry on in some form for at least 200 years.
I should note that I agree with the notion that there is some level of technology that we will lose and never again retrieve in same form, because large deposits of the materials and the ability to coordinate global sourcing will no longer exist. IOW, I believe that the appropriate technology movement is right-minded. I am fascinated by John Michael Greer's notion of doing something like reviving old patents. This is very much analogous with my passion for reviving the information found within pre or lost copyright books. I would be very much in favor of an ERE field trip to the vaults in Washington in search of inspiration for some projects.

OTOH, in the U.S. and Canada, there is a long history/tradition of universal education in situations of very low technology. As I noted elsewhere, my 78 year old multi-millionaire friend grew up on a farm that didn't even have a tractor and attended a high school with only 40 students. Since I have recently observed why Johnny does or doesn't know how to read in variety of situations, including one that is an early example of heavy influx of refugees, I am quite secure in my belief that the number one factor is whether Johnny has a parent who values education, can read, and possesses a large working vocabulary in any language.

Since the majority of the world's current cultures and religions now support "the book" (very much inclusive of modern nuns-on-the-bus Catholicism), and do not limit this level of transmission of knowledge to an elite class, I don't foresee anything resembling complete breakdown of this system within 200 years even under very dire circumstances. When I think of the Dark Ages, it's the lack of transmission of knowledge rather than the break-down of vast plumbing systems which seems most troubling, and I don't believe that the two systems are absolutely interdependent. Further evidence would be that there are places in the world today where plumbing is advanced and education of the non-elite is not.

There are also realms of recently acquired knowledge and even basic applied science that can be taught and advanced without great deal of necessary use of modern technology. For instance, I do not possess even the most basic knowledge and practical skills outlined in most chapters of "The Knowledge", but I am pretty sure that I could come up with a better plan for "agriculture" than this book's suggestion of reversion to Norfolk four-course system maybe making use of a simple plow formed by melting down the metal scavenged from a 21st century cloud-computing warehouse. My multi-millionaire poor farm boy's family actually used something very similar to this system in 1940s/50s Illinois. So, he grows and tills in cover crop of alfalfa on his large garden plot where he is also resolutely back-breeding his own strain of tomatoes to wild inedible form, because he is too frugal to even buy a fresh pack of seeds :lol: My point here being that something that many people might not know is that the hobby of gardening has advanced as much as the profession of farming in the last 200 years, and the technology needed to do 21st century gardening (as epitomized by Carol Deppe's book, "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving" or Steve Solomon's work on the topic of soil mineral content, or Elaine Ingham's work on the topic of soil microbiology) is much less than even that needed by Claude Shannon, another early 20th Midwestern small town boy, when as a child he built his own telegraph system to communicate with his buddy who lived one farm down the lane, and could result in much better results than simple reversion to Norfolk system.

Campitor
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Campitor » Fri May 03, 2019 11:18 am

Not actually constructive but given the topic and responses in this thread - perhaps the irony of this George Carlin video may help with any moroseness at our impending doom.

https://youtu.be/7W33HRc1A6c

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jennypenny
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jennypenny » Sat May 04, 2019 12:18 pm

Nature routinely culls the herd. When it does, make sure you're not one of the inferior or undesirable who gets culled. And make sure you're not too close to one either, lest you become collateral damage.

Campitor
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Campitor » Mon May 06, 2019 6:26 am

jennypenny wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 12:18 pm
Nature routinely culls the herd. When it does, make sure you're not one of the inferior or undesirable who gets culled. And make sure you're not too close to one either, lest you become collateral damage.
Nature is oblivious to evolutionary superiority and/or survival hierarchy. Nature extinguishes indiscriminately and it's up to the survivors to make do. Sometimes the removal of the strongest allows the weakest to ascend. The only game nature plays is Russian Roulette.

7Wannabe5
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon May 06, 2019 7:01 am

No and no. Evolution is not random, but it is also true that "survival of the fittest" has more to do with "fit" the puzzle piece than "fit"ness aerobics or any other sort of metric-measured hierarchy. The environment, inclusive of activities of members of your own species, changes and those who are adaptable or lucky enough to be a good "fit", survive, attract mates, and successfully raise offspring.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Mon May 06, 2019 7:46 am

https://www.ipbes.net/news/Media-Releas ... Assessment ... This just out today. It's an 1800 page report on biodiversity and ecosystem services and is the first intergovernmental report of its kind (in contrast people are working on the 6th for climate change due in 2021).

In short, around 1/4 of all plant and animal species now risk extinction. All trends are negative and will continue beyond 2050+, but in typical form, the message is that we can still make a difference if only we change pretty much everything (technological, economic, and social values and goals) starting right now. So I guess that's the answer... and that we'll just go ahead and change everything starting right now :?

Here's the current situation:
https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/2 ... .large.jpg (graphic "pie" chart)

Noting that in terms of total biomass for land based vertebrates, humans now take up a full 35% using up another 59% for our livestock. This leaves 6% for the remaining wildlife which is converging on 0%. The takeover of nature is almost complete.

It would be interesting to separate out the plant species humans grow for food to see if they're equally dominated by just a few species, since epidemics are nature's preferred way of eradicating mono-crops whether they be potatoes or humans. There's a lot of concentrated "food" now lined up for the right virus or bacteria.

Campitor
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Campitor » Mon May 06, 2019 10:29 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:01 am
No and no. Evolution is not random.
Evolution is only a single component of Nature so there are more variables that make it random. Mutations and Meteors don’t distinguish based on fitness, IQ, knowledge, or skill set. A virus or fungus that proliferates as a result of warming will not care how “prepared” an individual or group is. Ditto for the unfit but violent crowd who forcefully deprives people of their survival stash/bug out shelter.

History, recent and ancient, is replete with strong groups and species being wiped out by unplanned natural events. To quote Rumsfeld, “there are unknown unknowns.” This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for disaster or try to mitigate human based pollution. What a true bug out scenario looks like when civilization collapses from severe climate change will tax even the most prepared.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jean » Mon May 06, 2019 11:17 am

I see a strong convergence between monotheisms and monocrops. Domesticating ourselves into a spiritual monocrop was a great mistake.

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Ego
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Ego » Mon May 06, 2019 12:17 pm

For me it always seems to boil down to this...

According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself

Megginson


There is only one way to get better at adapting to changing environments..

Induce change. Practice adapting. Repeat.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by J_ » Mon May 06, 2019 1:35 pm

Ego wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:17 pm
There is only one way to get better at adapting to changing environments..
Induce change. Practice adapting. Repeat.
So well said. Let it be the motto of our "learning tribe(s)"

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Bankai
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Bankai » Mon May 06, 2019 3:24 pm

Ego wrote: According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself
There are also 'lucky winners' of the changing environment, for example, currently in human realms, hundreds of thousands of highly introverted analytical people benefit from six-figure salaries from the internet bubble.

Jean
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jean » Mon May 06, 2019 4:17 pm

Yes, it's the other way around from what most people imagine. There is a change, and your own deviation from the previous optimum gives you a huge advantage and you have more sucess than other living beings. Training for change is a sysiphean task, and the ability to do so will only help you if it keeps changing.

daylen
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Mon May 06, 2019 5:12 pm

Campitor wrote: A virus or fungus that proliferates as a result of warming will not care how “prepared” an individual or group is.
Individuals that are more strict about sanitation procedures could be selected for in this scenario. Perhaps being less open, less extroverted, and more conscientious would decrease the likelihood of infection. Less open people would be more wary of outsiders, less extroverted people would interact with others less, and more conscientious people would keep their immediate environment clean.

It is also common for viruses to stop spreading short of infecting the whole population of its host. Otherwise, the host and the virus could go extinct (or the virus would have one fewer population to infect). Some viruses may only infect/kill a certain host if they have some particular trait (perhaps at a low level, e.g. gene expression).

For the most part, I agree with you that there is probably a significant chance component.
Ego wrote:According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself
One component of this is the rate of replication. Humans are the best species at learning, but we pay a cost with a long dependency period that creates a flexible frontal lobe. Rabbits on the other hand are quite dumb, but they produce lots and lots of offspring.
Jean wrote:Training for change is a sysiphean task, and the ability to do so will only help you if it keeps changing.
Yeah, for much of human history people could be killed if they criticized a principle of [insert religion here]. A conservative strategy is often adaptive, because moving/changing requires a lot of energy (e.g. plants, large reptiles, etc). For humans, it is probably worth the risk to acquire basic skills.
Last edited by daylen on Mon May 06, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prognastat
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by prognastat » Mon May 06, 2019 6:33 pm

It's also hard for a disease to kill an entire species as once population density gets very low it gets much harder for it to successfully transmit.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon May 06, 2019 7:33 pm

It would be interesting to separate out the plant species humans grow for food to see if they're equally dominated by just a few species, since epidemics are nature's preferred way of eradicating mono-crops whether they be potatoes or humans. There's a lot of concentrated "food" now lined up for the right virus or bacteria.
We’re seeing this right now with respect to commercial banana production. Pretty much all the bananas sold in supermarkets (at least in the US) is one cultivar, Cavendish. Panama disease is running rampant thru Asia. Apparently we started cultivating Cavendish because it was resistant to Panama disease, but now it’s not. Panama disease pretty much wiped out the other bananas that used to be grown commercially (and apparently those old bananas were much tastier).

Interestingly, other banana species are pretty much gone or at least not grown in great numbers, and while wild bananas have seeds, Cavandish are pretty much all clones of the same plant.

So enjoy that banana on your cereal while you can....

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Ego
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Ego » Tue May 07, 2019 12:27 am

Jean wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:17 pm
Training for change is a sysiphean task, and the ability to do so will only help you if it keeps changing.
Sysiphean?

Thank you kind sir for providing the perfect opportunity to repeat my favorite quote from the article about becoming a polymath.

https://aeon.co/essays/we-live-in-a-one ... a-polymath
I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food designed for a few go further. Far from expressing shame at having no pump, they told me that carrying too many tools is the sign of a weak man; it makes him lazy. The real master has no tools at all, only a limitless capacity to improvise with what is to hand. The more fields of knowledge you cover, the greater your resources for improvisation.
Limitless capacity to improvise. Take a look at Sclass's Fixit Log or 7W5 the Warren Buffet of Emotional Intelligence. And, of course, Jacob's web of goals.

These are examples of novel solutions to problems. Mutations. In a fast changing environment these improvisations can 'fit' the new circumstances when the tried-and-true solutions fail.

The person who avoids change rarely finds himself in a position where he needs to improvise. Inducing change and then coping through improvisation causes the disperate skills and fields of knowledge to overlap and spread.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jean » Tue May 07, 2019 5:25 am

I mean that if you prepare for a change, when you're ready, you'll have to prepare for an other possible change. If individuals of a specy are simply good at adapting, it's only an advantage if it keeps changing. OTOH, having a diversity of qualities means that for many outcomes, on part of the population will be ready and have an edge in the newly changed world.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Tue May 07, 2019 11:03 am

Change is the most relative concept I can think of.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Tue May 07, 2019 11:06 am

Invert, always invert.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by oldbeyond » Tue May 07, 2019 11:33 am

I rediscovered this post last week, it seemed relevant to the topic: http://archdruidmirror.blogspot.com/201 ... rning.html

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