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Old 2012-10-02, 13:14   Link #21
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
No.

Earth produdes 2800 calories per human each days, by far enough to eat what your body needs.

Of course going to macdonalds makes you eat in one meal what you should have gained in 2 days.

Everybody could indeed eat at his hunger, the reasons why there are still one billon people starving lies somewhere else.
I was talking resources generally, not food. I'm talking about Steel, Plastics, Cars, Airplanes, Iphones, Computers and most importantly of all: Energy. We will always find new and interesting ways to use energy, but alas, there's only so much of it.

But let's talk about food. Sure, there's enough grain out there to prevent most people from starving. But the problem is not grain, contrary to news reports that always focus on the very worst parts of the world, the poor of the world by and large are not starving. The bigger problem is that some widely desired food crops are limited. We might have enough Rice, Corn and Wheat for everyone, but do we have enough Steak? Enough Bananas? Cashew Nuts? Peppercorns? Oranges? Cod? Shrimp? Lobster? Many of these foods are not essential part of our diets, but people desire them anyway. What's a better way to distribute them amicably then to put a higher price on the rare things? That way a consumer can choose between eating 5 Kilos of Oranges, or 1 Lobster. It's the only fair way to distribute these things that also reflects choice.

The way to solve these poverty issues is not to stamp down one group's lifestyle to elevate another. It's to grow the pot big enough that these things can be available to all. And to keep control of the beast, and stop it from wrecking the planet, the governments need to step up and put a cost on trashing the environment. And we can grow the pool. With genetic engineering and agricultural science, we can make hardier, more nutritious and better tasting crops. We've already been genetically engineering our foodstuffs for centuries, it's called breeding. Now we can do so faster and more precisely.

It's also to help these groups learn trades and techniques to be productive, and be able to buy more goods and lead better lives.

Peter Joseph is talking Utopian Bullcrap. It's just communism dressed up in different language. And it's problems are the same as Communism. The beauty of our system is that it's center-less, it's just people acting in concert with one another.

His problem is that he thinks our species is a bunch of dumb super monkeys (his words, not mine) that willfully destroy and live to entertain ourselves with nothing more then the latest fart jokes. He thinks we need some greater intelligence to guide us. I say we're good enough to manage ourselves, and that, actually, we're not dumb monkeys willfully destroying everything. We have changed, engineered, the world to be to our liking, we have not simply destroyed, we have built! And why shouldn't we? The world is ours to use and exploit in order to provide ourselves with a better life.

Our culture is not one that is in decline. It has problems, sure, but right now it is greater and more developed then at any other previous point in history. That fact that he can even broadcast his little show to millions over the internet is proof of that.

If there is any threat that could bring down our civilizations, it's that people might become disillusioned with our democratic(and dare I say Free market) ideals that got us here in the first place. There are certainly problems in our system (for one, I'm unemployed...), but the solution is not a complete revolution. It's reform.
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Old 2012-10-02, 14:49   Link #22
Fahd
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I think one of our big'ish problems (at least in the UK anyway) is that the government is always looking to get re-elected, and so will try to tinker at the edges with projects that will only take a couple of years, so that the electorate then gets a couple of years to notice their effects (if any). So an example of this is that every government coming in will claim that the healthcare service and schools "aren't working" and they must be fixed! We might see a few small infrastructure projects, but by and large, big ticket items that can get cross-party support will get pushed, and pushed and pushed off to a future date; see: CrossRail or Thameslink 2000. The latter so called because it was supposed to finished by 2000, when instead it will be finished by 2018.

And if there isn't cross-party support, or the infrastructure project is controversial? Then we'll get an endless barrage of "reviews", legislation will then be purposed, and finally dropped (see: Heathrow/south-east airport capacity expansion).

I guess I just wish that long-term planning was rewarded for at the election box...


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Peter Joseph is talking Utopian Bullcrap... He thinks we need some greater intelligence to guide us.
That sounds a little like Dr. Breen in Half-Life 2 talking about instinct .
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:11   Link #23
Nightbat®
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The reason communism didn't work was because the idealist weren't idealist, but greedy businessmen/powermongers
the Russian aristocracy was replaced by a new one, as was done in the French, American -ANY- revolution

and in EVERY revolution, they start with people manipulating the disgruntled 'commoners'
adressing their fears and worries and promising change and improvements, while pointing out the 'flaws and wrongdoings' currently taking place

...Puh-Lease

it actually shows how stupid we still are!

If you want something honest, go find an interview with George Carlin
who as a comedian bitches and moans about everything wrong in the (US) society
(often hitting the nail on the head)
but when asked the question why he won't become a politician, answers that if he did, he will have to become 'part of the problem', compromise, 'sell out'

Problem with our current society is that we all act like sheep
If we finally learn to stop following every new shepherd that comes along, just maybe we'll learn to take care of ourselves and cooperate with 'the other sheep'
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:15   Link #24
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by Nightbat® View Post
Problem with our current society is that we all act like sheep
If we finally learn to stop following every new shepherd that comes along, just maybe we'll learn to take care of ourselves and cooperate with 'the other sheep'
And in the process bring about the downfall of modern society.
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:25   Link #25
monsta666
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
But let's talk about food. Sure, there's enough grain out there to prevent most people from starving. But the problem is not grain, contrary to news reports that always focus on the very worst parts of the world, the poor of the world by and large are not starving.
Food distribution is certainly a problem but farming methods are also problematic and will get increasing worse going forward. Modern agriculture and the methods employed from the green revolution are unsustainable. Much of the inputs such as pesticides/herbicides (oil), fertilizer (natural gas or coal in the case of China) come from fossil fuels. As these inputs become more scarce so does the price of food. In fact the correlation between food prices and oil prices is very strong:

Food and oil prices
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Also another point to note is that whilst yields have increased throughout the 20th century these productive gains are barely keeping up with population growth in recent years. If population growth exceeds growth in yields then we can expect the price of food to rise further. The price of food globally is already reaching danger levels and there is a strong correlation between civil unrest and high food prices.

Crop yield growth over population growth (red line):
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Food prices and riots
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The current prices are almost matching the highs of 2008 and with the major drought in the US, the biggest food exporter in the world, we can expect food prices to rise significantly going into 2013. How the poor will fair in the third world countries with these price rises is any ones guess.

In addition to this agriculture is very water intensive and the regions which produce a lot of food such as the US, India, China are extracting water resources at unsustainable rates. These rates are unsustainable because they are depleting deep water aquifers which will not recharge naturally through normal rainfall. If these aquifers become depleted then food productivity will decline significantly exasperating the problems previously mentioned.

Also another problem faced with farmers is that of soil degradation. Much of the modern methods cause the topsoil to be removed and its nutrients to be lost, as a result farmers are becoming increasingly dependant on fertilizers to make of for this dead soil, which has other negative consequences to natural ecosystems.

What must be addressed sooner rather than later is that population growth and growth in food consumption must be halted otherwise we will truly face a global food crisis in the coming decades. GM foods could provide some respite but such technological advances do not address the fundamental issues so they cannot be seen as panacea. Also like most things I believe GM foods will suffer from the phenomenon of diminishing returns.

I do think that in such issues the free market is poor at handling such problems for the simple fact that by the time price signals are sufficient to cause behavioural change it is already too late to undergo meaningful action. As a result of this some central planning is required to foresee these problems as the market will not offer a solution until it is too late. The delays in feedback are just too late to be useful and these delays can even worse if the price signals are distorted via subsidies or taxes which are heavily prevalent in the food industry both direct and indirect.
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:34   Link #26
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
And in the process bring about the downfall of modern society.
Society?
You mean the society that want the less fortunate (read: people with low income) to die because they can't afford their healthbill
because otherwise they can't afford a heavily overpriced Ipad 5?
Or the society that buys off their conscience to charity because they can't be buggerd with actually going to help the less fortunate, without a good paycheck or it looking good on their resumé?
(not to mention most charities going bankrupt the moment it wouldn't be tax-deductable)
The society that prefers to have their coworker(s) fired instead of collectively taking a lower paycheck?
The society that let's their children be brought up by strangers because their to busy getting ahead in life

Oh THAT modern society?

Which oddly resembles most of the old societies that have fallen already
(the only thing being modern that you don't actually have to travel to the colloseum these days to see the gladiators fight, but still be able enjoy mindless entertaiment like they did 2000 years ago)
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:44   Link #27
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbat® View Post
Society?
You mean the society that want the less fortunate (read: people with low income) to die because they can't afford their healthbill
because otherwise they can't afford a heavily overpriced Ipad 5?
Or the society that buys off their conscience to charity because they can't be buggerd with actually going to help the less fortunate, without a good paycheck or it looking good on their resumé?
(not to mention most charities going bankrupt the moment it wouldn't be tax-deductable)
The society that prefers to have their coworker(s) fired instead of collectively taking a lower paycheck?
The society that let's their children be brought up by strangers because their to busy getting ahead in life

Oh THAT modern society?
Hm, modern society, let's see what modern society has accomplished:

1) Created the internet and has connected billions of people around the world
2) Encouraged and enabled international trade, allowing goods and foods to be available during any season
3) Allowed space flight and the creation of the international space station
4) Made advances in food production resulting in an evolution of wheat and grain production
5) Developed technologies that increase individual productive capacity many-fold through machines and mass production
6) ..Next stage technology allowing mass production level quality and cost on a customized basis (ie. 3D printers, etc)
7) A society that has allowed individuals to rise beyond their station and status from birth, that they wouldn't be allowed in ancient hierarchical societies
8) Incredible medical advances that have eliminated numerous fatal diseases and increased life expectancy

Oh wait, we're talking about the same one..

Last edited by willx; 2012-10-02 at 16:01. Reason: So as not to presume to speak for anyone else :p
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:46   Link #28
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
Much of the inputs such as pesticides/herbicides (oil), fertilizer (natural gas or coal in the case of China) come from fossil fuels. As these inputs become more scarce so does the price of food. In fact the correlation between food prices and oil prices is very strong
Eh, rising fuel prices increases the costs of just about everything, as it is a fundamental cost to almost every business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
What must be addressed sooner rather than later is that population growth and growth in food consumption must be halted otherwise we will truly face a global food crisis in the coming decades.
The majority of the world's population growth is in the poorer/developing regions, as people have more children either due to high mortality rate and/or financial reasons (extra worker in the household), it's not something that can simply be "fixed", nor is it universal - just go ask Japan about their population growth problem.

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Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
Also like most things I believe GM foods will suffer from the phenomenon of diminishing returns.
what, they're just gonna suddenly not grow as well?
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:46   Link #29
Sumeragi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbat® View Post
Society?
You mean the society that want the less fortunate (read: people with low income) to die because they can't afford their healthbill
because otherwise they can't afford a heavily overpriced Ipad 5?
Or the society that buys off their conscience to charity because they can't be buggerd with actually going to help the less fortunate, without a good paycheck or it looking good on their resumé?
(not to mention most charities going bankrupt the moment it wouldn't be tax-deductable)
The society that prefers to have their coworker(s) fired instead of collectively taking a lower paycheck?
The society that let's their children be brought up by strangers because their to busy getting ahead in life

Oh THAT modern society?
Technically, that is the United States modern society. Things are quite different in other parts of the world.
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:49   Link #30
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Technically, that is the United States modern society. Things are quite different in other parts of the world.
Technically, that's a cherry-picked and skewed version of someone's view on the US modern society, which can be done for every single part of the world.
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:54   Link #31
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
what, they're just gonna suddenly not grow as well?
Depending on the type of GMO, you have to constantly import seeds to keep growing food.
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:57   Link #32
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Depending on the type of GMO, you have to constantly import seeds to keep growing food.
Hmm, ok. Not seeing how that can be viewed as diminishing return though?
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Old 2012-10-02, 15:59   Link #33
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Hmm, ok. Not seeing how that can be viewed as diminishing return though?
Various reasons:

1. Genetic diversity might be threaten, which could lead to actually deficiency in growth.
2. It can be cost prohibitive to keep importing seed, and then the country can be ruined by not having any other sources to grow food.
3. The potential cost of solving health problems related to GMOs can be very high.


That's off the top of my head.
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Old 2012-10-02, 16:51   Link #34
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
What must be addressed sooner rather than later is that population growth and growth in food consumption must be halted otherwise we will truly face a global food crisis in the coming decades. GM foods could provide some respite but such technological advances do not address the fundamental issues so they cannot be seen as panacea. Also like most things I believe GM foods will suffer from the phenomenon of diminishing returns.

I do think that in such issues the free market is poor at handling such problems for the simple fact that by the time price signals are sufficient to cause behavioural change it is already too late to undergo meaningful action. As a result of this some central planning is required to foresee these problems as the market will not offer a solution until it is too late. The delays in feedback are just too late to be useful and these delays can even worse if the price signals are distorted via subsidies or taxes which are heavily prevalent in the food industry both direct and indirect.
You're right that agriculture is a big issue, with several technical challenges to be overcome. I personally think that we will be able to overcome them, but it doesn't change the fact they're there.

For all the over focus on the short term that free markets might seem to have, I think that our current "western civilization" probably has a better track record on agriculture then any other. We've managed to go a good 100 years without any major famines within our own countries. Furthermore, individual farmers tend to be pretty good at having a long term outlook, and they usually maintain good stewardship over there land. I would say things get worse the more land is collectivised into anonymous entities, be it a collective farm or a corporation. In a corporation or collective, no individual feels responsible for the land, and so they only concentrate on short term yields. An individual farmer, on the other hand, is tied down to his land, and is interested in maintaining it's long term fertility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Hm, modern society, let's see what modern society has accomplished:
Exactly. People seem to have a bad habit of accentuating the negative. I'm not saying we're perfect (Financial crisis anyone?), but we've managed to achieve a lot, much of it in just the last 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Various reasons:

1. Genetic diversity might be threaten, which could lead to actually deficiency in growth.
2. It can be cost prohibitive to keep importing seed, and then the country can be ruined by not having any other sources to grow food.
3. The potential cost of solving health problems related to GMOs can be very high.
On GMOs, I think people are too quick to condemn them. Some things to bear in mind:
1. This is already an issue without GMOs. It's something to bear in mind, but I'd say in the future you might see more "redundant" varieties of GMOs as more get designed. If you have several high yielding crop varieties, it means that the world food supply will be more resilient to sudden outbreaks of crop disease. Also, hopefully we'll keep up our building of seed banks in order to house genetic material. But building more high yield varieties is something that will obviously take time.
2. The Farmer is not being forced to buy the non-reproducing GMO. He has a choice between his old seed, the non-reproducing GMO seed, and even reproducing GMO seed. Don't forget, there's competition here. Farmers will choose what they believe is financially best, which will largely be the most resilient, highest yielding, lowest fertiliser using, best tasting crop. All these things are possible all at once. People seem to think you have to have tradeoffs. Like to have high yields it has to taste worse. Not true! You can have your cake and eat it!
3. A possibility, but to be honest, I don't see how GMOs are any more dangerous then a new crop bred using standard methods. If anything, in the long run it will be safer, as Genetic Modification is a lot easier to control then plant breeding. With plant breeding it's basically a lottery, with GM we can pick and choose exactly what we want. So we can take infuse our grain with the property of another plant that allows it to resist wheat rust, without risking accidentally taking it's property to cause people to break out in random rashes...

The only limit on food yields is the amount of energy falling from the sun, along with the amount of carbon and other elements in the soil and atmosphere. We're pretty far from those limits. And anyway, our population growth is slowing. The big thing to me is that if we can really increase our crop yields, it means we'll be able to turn over more of our land back to being Jungles and Woodlands.
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Old 2012-10-02, 16:55   Link #35
monsta666
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Eh, rising fuel prices increases the costs of just about everything, as it is a fundamental cost to almost every business.
True that and I would say the rising cost of businesses has played a part in the recent economic slow down across the globe. Still, the correlation between food prices and oil prices is stronger than most commodities, goods or services so for this reason I thought it was worth bringing up. Furthermore, unlike lots of goods or services which are luxuries, food is essential for survival. The connection between food, oil and water are very strong yet many people do not see the connections between the three elements. If you have time I would seriously recommend you watch this mini series by the BBC titled the future of food. Here is the first part:

YouTube
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
The majority of the world's population growth is in the poorer/developing regions, as people have more children either due to high mortality rate and/or financial reasons (extra worker in the household), it's not something that can simply be "fixed", nor is it universal - just go ask Japan about their population growth problem.
It is certainly a difficult problem and one that cannot be easily fixed. Yet with the right policies of birth control and good education it can be done. Fertility rates are closely related to the education of women. The more educated women are the lower the birth rate and fertility rates declines further for every stage women progress in the education system. If women have some financial security then they will have less children. Society also benefits from lower birth rates because more money can be invested on each child for public services such as education and healthcare. Such services are overwhelmed in exploding populations.

As for Japan, yes they have a demographic time bomb and this does spell economic trouble. But I will ask you this, our modern economies can only function on perpetual growth otherwise it will breakdown don't you think this can be a problem in a world of finite resources and energy? A declining population maybe bad but I argue that rising populations will ultimately pose the biggest problems in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
what, they're just gonna suddenly not grow as well?
What I meant by diminishing returns is the return on investment will be less. As you become better at producing a good more efficiently the amount of money needed to improve efficiently increases. However this increase in cost is not matched by a similar increase in production hence diminishing returns. It cost a lot of money in research in development to bring GM crops yet the benefits will be much more limited than what we gained from the green revolution thus GM food is another example of diminishing returns. Also like the green revolution there are hidden costs in the use of GM food some of which are not properly understood. These costs cannot be dismissed when making an informed decision on whether to pursue this new technology.
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Old 2012-10-02, 17:02   Link #36
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
On GMOs, I think people are too quick to condemn them. Some things to bear in mind:
Being neutral in the entire debate, I was only replying to what the diminishing returns might be. However.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
3. A possibility, but to be honest, I don't see how GMOs are any more dangerous then a new crop bred using standard methods. If anything, in the long run it will be safer, as Genetic Modification is a lot easier to control then plant breeding. With plant breeding it's basically a lottery, with GM we can pick and choose exactly what we want. So we can take infuse our grain with the property of another plant that allows it to resist wheat rust, without risking accidentally taking it's property to cause people to break out in random rashes...
Genetic modification is actually even harder than plant breeding, with the large amount of possible things to go wrong given we still do not have the complete information of how different genetics work. Basically, GMO is about as safe as regular breeding, taking both the best and worst cases together.
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Old 2012-10-02, 17:33   Link #37
Ithekro
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I was under the impression that at least in the United States the methods of George Washington Carver were still in use (crop rotation and the use of crops that can put nutriants back into the soil).

The probem with a society falling, is that if it is large enough and the fall actually breaks the economy and things stop working, or the less advanced societies try to over run them and loot everything...that the world basically regresses a few hundred years in technology and in how they treat each other. Europe 900 AD was probably a terrible year for society and humans in general over 200 AD under Rome. The Middle East and Byzathium were in better shape (as was probably China) but the fall likely held us all (as a species) back for several hundred years.

Even small things give us problems on a larger scale. Take the two space shuttle disasters. Blocked progress for at least a decade, maybe two from where scientists were expecting us to be in space in the 1970s and early 1980s. Some technologies were shelved, other ignored. Projects went different ways and the computer went rapidly to what we have today. But manned spacecraft being built today are basically Apollo types with better software and hardware.
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Old 2012-10-02, 17:58   Link #38
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Hm, modern society, let's see what modern society has accomplished:

1) Created the internet and has connected billions of people around the world
Yeah and we're reeaaaally liking eachother more
so much infact, that the concept of war has faded from our memories

Quote:
2) Encouraged and enabled international trade, allowing goods and foods to be available during any season
For those who can afford it

Quote:
3) Allowed space flight and the creation of the international space station
The chinese gave us rockets a millenia ago
I can also give you a "We can put a man on the moon but we can't..." rant if you wish

Quote:
4) Made advances in food production resulting in an evolution of wheat and grain production
yet still World starvation
Luckily for most who still don't know what internet or a spacestation are

Quote:
5) Developed technologies that increase individual productive capacity many-fold through machines and mass production
Yup, 1 machine allowing you to fire 300 workers

Quote:
6) ..Next stage technology allowing mass production level quality and cost on a customized basis (ie. 3D printers, etc)
and there go another 400 on the unemployment list

Quote:
7) A society that has allowed individuals to rise beyond their station and status from birth, that they wouldn't be allowed in ancient hierarchical societies
You'd be amazed that Aristocracy is still very much alive allthough it contains less 'nobel/royal' blood

and 'allowed' my ass
it's still very much "who you know" not "what you can do"
I also still don't see anyone passing up their promotion because their colleague 'needs/deserves it more than I do'

Quote:
8) Incredible medical advances that have eliminated numerous fatal diseases and increased life expectancy
The biggest advance was penicillin
and most medical advances are being hampered because there's too much money to be made from chronic diseases
(and the biggest killer every year: the Flu, still has no counter)

also very nice we've increased life expectancy, ofcourse we stopped caring for our elderly and put em away in retirement homes so we don't have to bother with them anymore unlike those barbarians long ago

Quote:
Oh wait, we're talking about the same one..
Same story, different stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Technically, that is the United States modern society. Things are quite different in other parts of the world.
I don't live in the US, yet alot of those things apply to my country as well
and indeed, things are quite different in other parts of the world
most notably being NOT MODERN things

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Technically, that's a cherry-picked and skewed version of someone's view on the US modern society, which can be done for every single part of the world.
Are you trying to tell me we are an enlightened race where we love and help eachother
Or are we more like the old Egyptians greeks, romans, vatican, pretty much every other old civilization, where we want power, resources, territory, fortune, admiration
only with better toys?

The value of life has only diminished by the increase in population
the estrangement between people has become bigger even though the distances have been closed with modern transport, media and communication
the more and bigger we encounter tragedy -which has become closer again thanks to media/communication- the more desensitized we're becoming
...with the sad knowledge that any feeling we have quickly fades after changing the channel

I don't agree with the topic title of a cultural decline
but there's no advancement either
We're still letting people die needless deaths, we're still scewing eachother over to get ahead in life
and the more we see, the less we care
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Old 2012-10-02, 18:24   Link #39
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Peter Joseph is talking Utopian Bullcrap. It's just communism dressed up in different language. And it's problems are the same as Communism. The beauty of our system is that it's center-less, it's just people acting in concert with one another.
That's the beauty of it, but also the problem. It is only when we're united that we can accomplish some really amazing feats. Otherwise you have various groups expending energy fighting one another, either for resources or to outright stop what they're doing. "Progress" means different things to different people, and I suspect that this desire to unite everyone is partly why people get so worked up and argue with one another, trying to change people's minds yet stubbornly clinging to their own ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
His problem is that he thinks our species is a bunch of dumb super monkeys (his words, not mine) that willfully destroy and live to entertain ourselves with nothing more then the latest fart jokes. He thinks we need some greater intelligence to guide us. I say we're good enough to manage ourselves, and that, actually, we're not dumb monkeys willfully destroying everything. We have changed, engineered, the world to be to our liking, we have not simply destroyed, we have built! And why shouldn't we? The world is ours to use and exploit in order to provide ourselves with a better life.
Are we really good enough to manage ourselves? Almost everything about our current society is based around an expectation of growth and unlimited resources. The resources aren't unlimited. Many fisheries are becoming exhausted, and oceanic life diversity is decreasing. "Easy access" oil supplies have been exhausted, and now we're forced to go on to the more difficult ones. Climate change is occurring, and we're not adjusting because people are hung up over whether Man or nature is to blame. Deforestation has been occurring at an alarming rate.

Is this sustainable? I don't think so.

It's not that we don't have options, though. We could change our energy sources, and we could more efficiently manage our natural resources (fisheries, forests, etc.). Yet these things cost money and take effort. It's the "smart" thing to do, something that will likely be deemed critical as time goes on, yet it seems to get the absolute lowest priority that society could give it. There are even some people who are against such initiatives.

It seems to be a problem of short-sightedness. It isn't a pressing problem today, and it may not even be a pressing problem in your lifetime. So, why should you care? That sort of attitude - the here-and-now, all-about-me thinking - is rather befitting of being termed "dumb monkeys willfully destroying everything." We may be building some impressive things, but if we're crapping up our fish tank to the point that we'll ruin ourselves and everything that we've built, how smart is that?
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Old 2012-10-02, 19:50   Link #40
monsta666
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, England
Age: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It seems to be a problem of short-sightedness. It isn't a pressing problem today, and it may not even be a pressing problem in your lifetime. So, why should you care? That sort of attitude - the here-and-now, all-about-me thinking - is rather befitting of being termed "dumb monkeys willfully destroying everything." We may be building some impressive things, but if we're crapping up our fish tank to the point that we'll ruin ourselves and everything that we've built, how smart is that?
What we can say is man does not live up to his name of homo sapiens i.e. man the wise. We are highly intelligent but not very wise. The average man lacks the foresight and wisdom to see and adequately navigate these long-term issues. If a person does see it (and this is the minority) then their need for gratification is stronger than their desire towards short-term sacrifice for long-term rewards.

I know today I have been acting like some kind of advertiser but I would highly recommend reading George Mobus blog on Question Everything. He delves much into the issue of human psychology and sapience. Most important he discusses much of the issues you described in this post. A most intelligent man and I feel you would enjoy reading his blog, in the free moments you happen to have. I have noticed in his recent blog entries his tone has taken a distinctive negative tone which is a bit trouble but still, if you delve into his many posts you are bound something that will engage your mind in perhaps way you had not even considered.
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