posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 11:46 AM
LostNemesis, while I don't personally agree with on that one detail, I'm glad we can all concede that something big is happening to our planet. We
live in a world specifically designed for within the physical parameters of the latest short interglacial, which has so far lasted only 11,000 years.
Some call it the Holocene epoch. In fact, extreme hot and extreme cold geological periods do dominate our planet. This is relevant because we actually
speciated in one of those extremely short intervals of relative calm between them. So any sudden shift in climate isn't that good for us at all,
either way you look at it.
So if we were to somehow lose hold of our technological ability (through the systematic collapse of civilization), there is absolutely no reason we
should survive, in our present form (our DNA would change), beyond this relatively short period of time. Surely we don't want to evolve. Any
specialized biological evolution would be a step backward, I'm sure, as we would have to sacrifice something, and since our brain currently requires
the largest amount of our energy, that would be the very first target I'm absolutely positive. On the other hand, there could be some sort of
selective pressure as a result of reciprocal meshing between our mental capacity and our need to survive. But even this scenario is entirely
contingent on the survival of a band of people that manage to reproduce for several generations, and at a certain tipping point this loops back onto
itself until we find ourselves at the first scenario, where we evolve into something grotesquely unfamiliar. It would be very unlikely that we could
do both at once, both preserve mental capacity and survive harsh environmental change. That would actually require more technological innovation, but
this scenario is examining what happens to us AFTER civilization collapses, so that point is moot as well (we wouldn't have the foundation or the
patience to rebuild under such difficult circumstances). Either way, humanity no longer exists in each of these scenarios. And we want to preserve
humanity, right? Isn't that what the sum total of all our art, history, literature and all other modes of human expression is in the end about?
Anyway, I went off on a tangent...
What I don't understand is how our civilization can expect to weather life on this planet without thinking about the future. I have some theories on
the deficiency of long-term rationality in humans, but I won't go into that; it's much too lengthy. There is a whole evolutionary history connecting
all the species on this planet, which yes, does include Homo sapiens, that limits our ability to prepare for catastrophic failure at some point or
another (obviously life has persisted in whatever shape it has taken, but the key is that individual species aren't permanent in any way). I mean, if
life were effectively one massive, globular organism then sure, my argument wouldn't hold, but to think that species, which are so physically small
as to be locally contingent on their environment, can survive without adaptation is a crucial mistake.
Ok, this all seems like common sense and I'm sure many of you are aware of this. But our government obviously isn't. And if our government isn't,
then we can be certain that the majority of the people aren't, considering there are thousands upon thousands of private interest groups and lobbies
that would rather put their own specific desires ahead of the bigger picture... So we have to utilize this tool that is liberal democracy to its
fullest extent, because we're so far below reaching capacity, and I might say we are essentially failing our forebears the ancient Greeks with the
misuse of this exceptional gift, for whatever it's worth, and for all my own contentions with Democracy in general...
It's fitting that the mechanical engineers are finally exchanging their opinions with the world beyond. If we're going to work to ensure our
survival into the indefinite future, to pass down all our art, our most special thoughts, our dearest emotions, and this allowance that we call
intelligent consciousness to posterity, then the first step is in re-engineering our relationship with the world. There is definitely a renewed
interplay between person and environment, and this next century of our life will define that special transaction.
[edit on 22-2-2009 by cognoscente]