reply to post by redoubt
So I see that you agree, but disagree.
output at maximum in order for the survivors to grasp a piece of it before it all collapsed.
What is this "out at a maximum" that the survivors will get a "piece" of. Perhaps I wasn't explicit enough. My fault.
The science that seems to be interesting everybody nowadays - myself included (hence my username) - is neuroscience. The holy grail of neuroscience is
to figure out how exactly the brain works. Now, this task in itself so big, so mammothly enormous, it will take hundreds of years at our current
to ever map out and understand all it's features, from the atoms which make up the proteins which make up the neurons - then understanding
those neurons - all 100 billion of them - in all their indescribable complexity (each neuron has 1000 to 10000 synapses); and to boot, we would also
need to understand the relationship between glia cells (atrocytes, oligodendrycites, microglia, etc) and neurons. There are around 800 billion to 1
trillion glia cells.
Right now, our technology is far too inferior to handle the complexities of the human brain. Electron light microscopy, MRI (in its myriad forms) PET,
etc, are helpful. But they are still too primitive to really help us figure out basic things about how the brain works, particularly in a real-time
sense. Ideally, brain scientists would like a MRI which provides the visual clarity of an electron microscope. Currently, MRI resolution is 1000 times
less than light microscopes, which in turn are 1000 times less than electron microscopes.
In short, science still has a LONG way to go.
The futurist Ray Kurzweil, known for his wacky unrealistic theories, wrote a book called "live long enough to live forever". He's hoping that
neuroscience will advance to the point - 20 or 30 years from now (majority of neuroscientists think hes a wackjob) - where we can scan the
"connectome" of the brain - the interconnections of the brains 100 billion neurons (100,000,000,000 X 10,000 possible connections, and this is
assuming glia don't play a bigger role in cognition than currently thought) and via this "connectome", we can transfer our consciousness (the
connectome is assumed to be the conscious personality) to a computer where our lives can be simulated as a program.
This sounds a little far fetched, especially to those of us philosophically inclined. But, still, there's companies like Alcor (cryonics) which freeze
sever heads and bodies in -196 centegrade temperatures in hopes that future science will have the means to "resurrect" them. One neuroscientist - Ken
Hayworth - wants to plasticize his brain in a special resin before
he dies. He too believes that the existing conscious personality is nothing
but the sum of connections between neurons.
In short, all this hubbub about defying death is pretty exciting. Even though it might be a chimera, still, brain science in particular - and genomics
as well - has UNBELIEVABLE promise. But cures wont be coming anytime soon without more and more minds taking part in this cumbersome process of trial
and error. No war will "advance" this. Computers, etc - they are fantastically advanced, but people seem to be under the impression that computer
technologically is indicative of the overall pace in scientific progress. Quite the contrary. Computers are flying forward like foxes while medicine
is lagging behind at turtle pace. Unless you would like to bequeath the world to computers (as certain computer geeks believe) - fine, nothing I can
say to that. But if human beings want to prosper, want to improve their prospects for living longer lives, we need more researchers, more funding - in
short, a large prosperous international economy. And capitalism is big engine of it all.
No doubt, climate change and environmental issues are a problem. But they will never be treated so unilaterally as the "prime issue" when a) it's
hardly even noticeable b) minor changes can be made to attenuate the problem c) the current pace of the scientific enterprise is dependent on many
minds working and sharing their ideas.
There's many variables to consider. But when you analyze them all with a scientific mind - and no doubt science is growing in preeminence in the west
- you come to the conclusion that climate and environmental issues can be handled without lowering the worlds population. Newer technologies will no
doubt emerge - as the electric car is - that will make us less dependent on fossil fuels (carbon issue can be halved by this action alone). We can
make geater use of solar, wind and geothermal energy than we currently are. Geothermal alone has enormous prospects that have not be adequately
explored, if you ask me. All this can help save the environment.
Another major issue is efficient use of resources. Renewable forestry projects will help keep our hands off ancient forests, like the Amazon, Russian
forests, central African forests and southeast Asian forests. And still there's much that can be done without killing people.
This would be the logical response. Protecting the environment while making the most of the advantages elicited by a large human population.
edit on 10-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)