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The Future Of The Human Race


Mister Pappy
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Where will we be in another 2,000 years? Will we have continued to expand our knowledge, or will we be extinct - only a memory in the vast universe? How will we survive our ignorance and technological development? I share the video below - one of my favorites - to set the thought in motion. I would like to hear and discuss your views about the future.

 

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Nice topic Pappy.

 

To predict the future of humanity, I would first have to understand. Alas, I do not understand humanity. But I have very high hopes for us.

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Nice topic Pappy.

 

To predict the future of humanity, I would first have to understand. Alas, I do not understand humanity. But I have very high hopes for us.

I understand what you are saying, but to be speculative, do you think we will survive?

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Nice topic Pappy.

 

To predict the future of humanity, I would first have to understand. Alas, I do not understand humanity. But I have very high hopes for us.

I understand what you are saying, but to be speculative, do you think we will survive?

 

I know you didn't ask me, but I'll answer anyway. Of course we will survive... how many of us and in what condition is anybody's guess, though.

 

I like to think that in a couple thousand years, we humans will infest much of the solar system, and might even be spreading our pestilence elsewhere in the galaxy. Possibilities are damn near unimaginable if we only manage to get a substantial population off the planet. Our technology is unprecedented, and I HOPE it'll allow us to do bigger and better things (to what end, you may ask? 'Cause we've got nothing better to do!). But much longer-lived societies and world orders have fallen in the past and are all but forgotten. Societies seem to implode and be re-invented over and over, at random intervals. I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

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Societies seem to implode and be re-invented over and over, at random intervals. I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

I believe the odds are against it as well, but I also like your optimism. I don't know if I share it. I think our emotional make-up - specifically our greed - may be our undoing. We seem unable to work together toward a common goal, and I find it highly unlikely that this type of species could accomplish the feats you are describing. Maybe we will learn and move forward.

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I understand what you are saying, but to be speculative, do you think we will survive?

Yes, I think we will. To bounce off of what you said to Rank Stranger, I don't believe greed is our primary flaw. Mostly I think it is our short-sightedness. If we were to adopt the view that we should be good ancestors, then I think we could be very greedy indeed and it wouldn't really be a problem. I would like to see all of humanity's children be rich and powerful.

 

That's what I want. Just as we are more powerful than our ancestors 1,000 years ago, I'd like to see future generations be more powerful still.

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Societies seem to implode and be re-invented over and over, at random intervals. I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

I believe the odds are against it as well, but I also like your optimism. I don't know if I share it. I think our emotional make-up - specifically our greed - may be our undoing. We seem unable to work together toward a common goal, and I find it highly unlikely that this type of species could accomplish the feats you are describing. Maybe we will learn and move forward.

 

 

Well one could argue that much of human 'history' (as opposed to 'pre-history') has been slow and jerky progression toward that end (working toward a common goal). Through both social and technological evolution, we've managed to build and hold together progressively larger and more complex societies (with plenty of hiccups and trial-and-error along the way). It took us Europeans quite a long time to manage to colonize other lands on any scale... and we humans have just barely waded out into Space. So it might be several more thousand years before we manage to colonize other planets/moons/space stations/etc. Or maybe we'll get lucky in this round- we DO have impressive tools that we've never had at our disposal before. Unfortunately, we humans have alway used the most powerful and advanced 'tools' to kill each other. I'm sure we'll keep doing that.

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I understand what you are saying, but to be speculative, do you think we will survive?

Yes, I think we will. To bounce off of what you said to Rank Stranger, I don't believe greed is our primary flaw. Mostly I think it is our short-sightedness. If we were to adopt the view that we should be good ancestors, then I think we could be very greedy indeed and it wouldn't really be a problem. I would like to see all of humanity's children be rich and powerful.

 

That's what I want. Just as we are more powerful than our ancestors 1,000 years ago, I'd like to see future generations be more powerful still.

 

+1 on all that. But I suspect that Mr. Pappy would include 'short-sightedness' in his definition of greed. I think you and I had a discussion along these lines before.

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I understand what you are saying, but to be speculative, do you think we will survive?

Yes, I think we will. To bounce off of what you said to Rank Stranger, I don't believe greed is our primary flaw. Mostly I think it is our short-sightedness. If we were to adopt the view that we should be good ancestors, then I think we could be very greedy indeed and it wouldn't really be a problem. I would like to see all of humanity's children be rich and powerful.

 

That's what I want. Just as we are more powerful than our ancestors 1,000 years ago, I'd like to see future generations be more powerful still.

 

+1 on all that. But I suspect that Mr. Pappy would include 'short-sightedness' in his definition of greed. I think you and I had a discussion along these lines before.

If we can agree on that goal RS, then it seems to me that we merely (merely!) need to iron out the means to achieve it.

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We are definitely short-sighted and we have a tendency to create things that get so big we can't control them anymore. I'm referring to government, banks, Wall Street, etc. - all led by desire for money and power. But, I think the human race will survive.

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I don't know, I see the human race, based on history to be unpredictable. I would like to see us continue on, colonize other planets and advance our level to a type I or beyond civilization. I, however, don't have that much faith in my fellow humans at present, so we'll see. Whether or not I'd like something is beyond the point however, I don't see us as progressing past our current level, but rather a stagnation and eventual decline. But who knows. I like to be optimistic about the human race, but there is a reason I own a large number of guns as well, because shit can hit the fan very quickly. Not saying I think it will happen, but just saying when push comes to shove, we all resort to our baser instincts when it might, or might not happen. Basically, I chalk it up to not knowing, there's so many factors that go into this question, that I really have no idea. I think life will continue, whether or not, it is life as we recognize it I am not sure.

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I disagree with Steven Hawking. I don't think we humans will ever kill ourselves off; I don't think we have the capability to do that. We're a hardy and resourceful bunch. Sure, we could bomb each other back into the stone age... and languish in radioactive dark ages for thousands of years. But short of some natural disaster on the scale that wiped out the dinosaurs... I just don't see extinction happening on anything but a geological time-scale.

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If one looks at teh technological advancements in the 1st 10 years of the 21st century, there is a long way to go before space travel becomes economically feasible. For now it remains the realm of science fiction and we will be better off depopulating the planet and learning to live in harmony with it instead of destroying it. By depopulation I mean limit to one child per couple till there is balance again, will only take 40 or so years but that can only work in a dictatorial place like China or technologically advanced cultures. Sadly, the economy is dependent on new consumers so it is a catch 22.

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I disagree with Steven Hawking. I don't think we humans will ever kill ourselves off; I don't think we have the capability to do that. We're a hardy and resourceful bunch. Sure, we could bomb each other back into the stone age... and languish in radioactive dark ages for thousands of years. But short of some natural disaster on the scale that wiped out the dinosaurs... I just don't see extinction happening on anything but a geological time-scale.

 

You don't think a nuclear war could drive the human race to extinction?

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I would gander that we would still exist as a species, but we would have fewer and fewer races due to increasing exogamy. But I don't foresee America sticking around that long, hell, I don't think America would last a quarter of that.

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I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

 

New technology often equals new wealth. The question remains whether new technology can offset current reliance on limited commodity resources in order to sustain advances, which in turn create new wealth.

 

Then we have to add nukes and weaponized bacteria/viruses to the equation. Were it only for the former, I'd say we would continue to advance, but for the later, I don't know.

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I think our current state is incompatible with any nobility or potential we may or may not possess. If we make it through the next 2,000 years, It'll be another 10- 100,000 years before we're really capable of becoming the mostly Utopian community we imagine ourselves headed toward.

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I disagree with Steven Hawking. I don't think we humans will ever kill ourselves off; I don't think we have the capability to do that. We're a hardy and resourceful bunch. Sure, we could bomb each other back into the stone age... and languish in radioactive dark ages for thousands of years. But short of some natural disaster on the scale that wiped out the dinosaurs... I just don't see extinction happening on anything but a geological time-scale.

 

You don't think a nuclear war could drive the human race to extinction?

 

No- I don't. Obviously it could cause enormous problems... might even put much or all of humanity back into the stone age... but I just don't see how it could cause extinction. Unless the tens of thousands of warheads out there were specifically targeted to cover every square inch of every populated area on earth- there would be areas left untouched. I mean, even in a worst-case all-out nuclear war, who's going to nuke Easter Island? Or Antarctica? Or the deserts of Mongolia? Or western Kansas? These are shitty places- 'wastelands', you could say. But people live there. And if the criteria is 'survival', then that's setting the bar pretty low. Human existence might become nasty, short, and brutal (as has been the case in plenty of times and places)- but it'll continue.

 

There would be plenty of long-term problems caused by increased radiation, and it could last a long, LONG time... but the sort of isotopes that could make your hair fall out and kill you quickly are relatively short-lived (half-lifes on the order of days or weeks). Cancer sucks, but it wouldn't keep critters from reproducing (and we are critters). I think our perception of our planet is a little skewed by how easily communicate, how connected we are, and quickly we can travel these days. But it's still a BIG world. There's plenty of room for radioactivity to disperse- and the sites of previous nuclear explosions show that. Water, wind, and even critters scatter and dilute radioactive material. The half life of some radioactive isotopes can be thousands of years... but much of that will be dispersed long before it decays. And short of Tsar Bomba, a nuclear explosion doesn't necessarily render an area uninhabitable indefinitely. Hell, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still populated. The area around Chernobyl may not have many human inhabitants (only because we humans kinda know better), but wildlife is thriving from what I've read.

 

Of course there's the prospect of 'nuclear winter'- but who the hell knows? That's anybody's guess. I suppose that there could be a weather event on the order of the 1816 'year without a summer' (due to volcanoes and low solar activity)... but that was no extinction event. There have been over 2000 nuclear (test) explosions over the past 60+ years, and the weather seems to still work well enough.

 

So while there's plenty to fear there, I just don't think nuclear war could wipe us ALL out.

 

 

 

I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

 

New technology often equals new wealth. The question remains whether new technology can offset current reliance on limited commodity resources in order to sustain advances, which in turn create new wealth.

 

Then we have to add nukes and weaponized bacteria/viruses to the equation. Were it only for the former, I'd say we would continue to advance, but for the later, I don't know.

 

I really don't know enough about biology to have a strong opinion. But the worst natural plagues I can think of only took out large fractions of the population... certainly not everybody. But again, 'extinction' is a pretty high standard. I don't see how any super-bug could cover the entire earth quickly enough to take out every last human. When we Europeans came to North America, we proved that lots of human diseases can't travel across oceans unless there are humans to carry them there. I don't know how the equation is changed if you 'weaponize' the germs... but I still think Easter Island and the like would be spared.

 

 

I think our current state is incompatible with any nobility or potential we may or may not possess. If we make it through the next 2,000 years, It'll be another 10- 100,000 years before we're really capable of becoming the mostly Utopian community we imagine ourselves headed toward.

 

Who are 'we'? Utopia is the last thing I expect out of us humans.

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Nice topic Pappy.

 

To predict the future of humanity, I would first have to understand. Alas, I do not understand humanity. But I have very high hopes for us.

 

Which bit don't you understand?

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I think our current state is incompatible with any nobility or potential we may or may not possess. If we make it through the next 2,000 years, It'll be another 10- 100,000 years before we're really capable of becoming the mostly Utopian community we imagine ourselves headed toward.

 

Who are 'we'? Utopia is the last thing I expect out of us humans.

That's why I said "we" in the general sense, and I said "mostly Utopian". In fact, I agree about utopia being unlikely from us, which is why I said if it were even possible, it won't be for thousands of years more.

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If modern society continues I think we will have the necessity of going to the stars, because this planet will be way too frickin crowded. Even if plagues started taking out chunks of the populace, who would want to stick around with the bodies? At that point the very wealthy would be more than willing to dump large resources in getting the hell out of dodge.

 

As for the future of the species, I doubt there will be any earth-shattering biological changes to speak of. We don't, in biological terms, struggle all that much in our current environment. As a result I do not think that group behavior will change all that much either. New tools, might cause other pre-existing instincts to kick into high gear and others to drop, but I don't think this will be enough to tinker with the genome.

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If we are not being attacked and dominated by alien civilisation, not wiped out by bird flu/pig flu or whatever shit virus/bacteria, yellowstone stone park don't explode and put earth into another ice age, strike by a off-course meteorite,some crazy idiot blowing every country up by their nukes or climate warming destroying conditions, in the next 10 years or so, I don't see much improvement.

 

Occupying other planets? With USA having such trade deficit and the next generation paying off this generations' debts, space research/travel I think will be minimal, unless China help in financial terms.

 

Let's live life one day at a time, and make it better for the next generation in every small way we can, if not, your kids will have a tougher time.

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I have no idea whether ours will remain prosperous and stable long enough for us to really break away from our 'roots'. I reckon the odds are against it.

 

New technology often equals new wealth. The question remains whether new technology can offset current reliance on limited commodity resources in order to sustain advances, which in turn create new wealth.

 

Then we have to add nukes and weaponized bacteria/viruses to the equation. Were it only for the former, I'd say we would continue to advance, but for the later, I don't know.

 

I'm not worried about weaponized viruses in the long term. Some zombies are pretty bad-ass, depending on the movie. In a few thousand years we could have a zombietopia.

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