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Author Topic: Women vs. Men
Sxeptomaniac

Member # 3698

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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 16:36      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
nerdwithnofriends wrote:
Personally, I'm of the mind that if we really fuck up this environment, we have the ability to craft a new one.

When have we successfully done this? It would be foolish to bet the existence of all life that we've ever found on this planet without proof that we can at least do this on a small scale test first. It's not like we have a backup that can be restored, after all.

Agreed. To use the "flung into space" analogy, suppose the group of people turned out to have a greatly insufficient time to construct the spacesuit, and/or the only materials available were a box of popsicle sticks. There's a good chance the hypothical man will die. Human ingenuity has limits.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

Posts: 1590 | From: Fresno, CA | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 17:18      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
nerdwithnofriends wrote:
Personally, I'm of the mind that if we really fuck up this environment, we have the ability to craft a new one.

When have we successfully done this? It would be foolish to bet the existence of all life that we've ever found on this planet without proof that we can at least do this on a small scale test first. It's not like we have a backup that can be restored, after all.

Agreed. To use the "flung into space" analogy, suppose the group of people turned out to have a greatly insufficient time to construct the spacesuit, and/or the only materials available were a box of popsicle sticks. There's a good chance the hypothical man will die. Human ingenuity has limits.
I'm not advocating fdisking the planet, I'm just saying. I look forward to seeing what we do with terraforming new planets if/when we get there.


Sxepto, what I was trying to say with that analogy is that, given a reasonable amount of time, people will come up with a solution. Cats will never be able to do so.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
catgoddess
Geek
Member # 6838

Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 18:36      Profile for catgoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
Sxepto, what I was trying to say with that analogy is that, given a reasonable amount of time, people will come up with a solution. Cats will never be able to do so.

Your entire analogy depends on so many relative variables, that it is almost impossible to hypothesize about.

1. Intelligence is relative. In order to compare what a human would do in that situation to what a cat would do you would have to find a group of humans and a group of cats with the same level of intelligence. Perhaps if you left out the word "intelligent", you would have a better analogy. But then it really has no point. So I think you're pretty much SOL. (that whole comparing apples to oranges thing)

2. I'd like to see you successfully communicate that idea to a group of cats.

3. You assume (you don't really know) that an "intelligent" human would survive their fling in space and a cat would not. Unless that human is Buzz Aldrin, I'd say the human and the cat have pretty much the same odds for survival.

quote:
I've had this argument before with a friend. However, she allowed me to see another point of view: instead of looking at how much instinct an animal is born with, look at the time until it reaches sexual maturity.
Why in the world would sexual maturity possibly influence instinct since by definition, instinct is something a species is born with...

quote:
I find the idea that instinct is superior to knowledge simply mind boggling; Yeah, it seems cool that a creature can do something we can't, but that's a combination of its physiological specification to its niche, and eons spent doing the same thing. Eons! Thousands of generations it takes to do something near perfectly in an environment, and yet as soon as there is a significant change, they fail miserably.
Do not confuse instinct with evolution... or ecosystems. There is a relationship there, but they are not the same things. It's like saying an engine is a car. Sure, the engine is part of a car, but it isn't the entire car.

I'd like you to show me a large sampling of human beings that respond well to change. I urge you to do this in a Union environment - preferably in Detroit.

quote:
You say that even though we are harmful to the environment/ecosystem, and that all processes stop with us, we are not superior. Why not? If species A and B are competing for resources, wouldn't species A want the ability to destroy species B so that there was room for more A?

Yes. Except they are incapable of realizing that there is a better way: the destruction of another species. I know it sounds bad, but provided there's harmony within your species and the destruction of another would yield a higher standard of living for your people, wouldn't you do it?

There's that megalomania again... Doesn't anyone ever wonder why human beings can only survive by destroying things (not to mention each other)?

quote:
I guess I'm the worst kind of environmentalist: the one that only protects that which is necessary for a happy existence. I see saving near-extinct species as nothing more than stroking our own vanity; because we can, as it were. It doesn't really matter to our survival whether or not an endangered species survives; it merely makes us happy to think that we've saved this thing, and oooh it's pretty and magestic and all that sort of shit. I guess I'll never understand.
We are a relatively new addition to the world around us. All we have managed to do is destroy thousands of species of plants and animals in our tenure. These species didn't just die off... we KILLED them. WE destroyed them.

I'll use rainforests as an example. We humans have destroyed plants, animals and other human beings in our thirst for things to make us "happy". This destruction has made it impossible to use plants (at least the extinct ones) to cure human diseases. We've shot ourselves in the foot for photocopies. That makes me pretty unhappy...

Rainforests house 75% of the world's animals and plants. They're there for a reason, people.

The destruction of rainforests has catastrophic planetary consequences. The removal of this ecosystem alters planetary light reflection. The consequences of that are significant changes in rainfall patterns and wind and ocean currents.

I'm fairly certain that impacts our survival.

quote:
Personally, I'm of the mind that if we really fuck up this environment, we have the ability to craft a new one.
I'm with Steen... when have we ever been able to do that? The only thing we've managed to do on this planet is destroy it... that's not exactly the same thing as building one...

--------------------
"I love humanity but I hate people." Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posts: 102 | From: Rochester, NY | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
ScholasticSpastic
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 20:17      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't improve, but I can modify:
quote:
catgoddess:
2. I'd like to see you successfully communicate that idea to a group of cats.

Damnit! I was all over that one! I was going to say something like, "nerdwithnofriends, you can talk to cats? And they understand you? That's really cool!"

quote:
catgoddess:
3. You assume (you don't really know) that an "intelligent" human would survive their fling in space and a cat would not. Unless that human is Buzz Aldrin, I'd say the human and the cat have pretty much the same odds for survival.

nerdwithnofriends, how long would it take YOU to assemble (or raise the funds to purchase) a working spacesuit AND some kind of reentry platform so you don't burn up on your way home? I'm not entirely certain I could do it given a long enough time for my cat-competitor to have died from old age.

quote:
catgoddess:
Rainforests house 75% of the world's animals and plants.

Land animals. Pretty soon it'll be the full 75% because the reefs are pretty much screwed. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up, but then pragmatism kicked in. We'll always have dirt.

quote:
nerdwithnofriends:
Personally, I'm of the mind that if we really fuck up this environment, we have the ability to craft a new one.

We have three options there:
1) Terraform Mars before our ecology completely crashes and then wonder how we're going to move 20 billion people (oh, we can get there, you just wait and see...). Remember, it's a round trip of over one year. Do the math. We'd still be moving colonists when the Sun exploded.

2) Let this world go to shit, and then, after the majority of the population has DIED OF STARVATION OR EXPOSURE TO TOXINS OR DISEASE realise that there aren't enough of us left to get the job done. Terraforming a planet quickly enough to help people who already live there is a massively labor (and energy) intensive project.

3) Screw up the whole argument and save our world economy and tens of billions of human lives (and tens of trillions of animal and plant lives) and avoid the impending appocalypse. Why give up before we see proof that it's hopeless?

I find our willingness to destroy our environment distressing. Primarily because we are animals who claim to love their offspring. Okay, so I don't know about you, but my SON's comfort is actually much more important to me than my comfort is. How could I be a good father and fuck up his home?

--------------------
"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

Posts: 540 | From: Vernal, UT | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
catgoddess
Geek
Member # 6838

Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 20:39      Profile for catgoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
quote:
nerdwithnofriends:
Personally, I'm of the mind that if we really fuck up this environment, we have the ability to craft a new one.

We have three options there:
1) Terraform Mars before our ecology completely crashes and then wonder how we're going to move 20 billion people (oh, we can get there, you just wait and see...). Remember, it's a round trip of over one year. Do the math. We'd still be moving colonists when the Sun exploded.

But dammit, we'd beat out Fluffy and her gang of catnip sniffing, paper-wad swatting, butt-licking, hairballs.

Personally, I think we might beat out the cats because they don't like Tang.

--------------------
"I love humanity but I hate people." Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posts: 102 | From: Rochester, NY | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
ScholasticSpastic
Highlie
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Member Rated:
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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 20:50      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
catgoddess, fluffy is just decimating bird and rodent populations. We're equal-opportunity decimators... We don't have to worry about the survival-in-space contest because we're better at being cats than cats are. Cats are hunters. Hunters kill things. We're the first species on Earth (stupid name for a world...) to come up with a way to hunt (kill) all living things at the same time! We win!!

--------------------
"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

Posts: 540 | From: Vernal, UT | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 21:37      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
/me smacks his forhead with his palm

I guess my analogy was horrible. I still think it illustrated a good point, but whatever.

My point is that while cats (why do we keep talking about cats? Why did I keep talking about cats?) respond very well to their defined environment, they have no capability to survive a 'radical' environment change. And I'm not talking environment as in ecology, I'm talking environment as in environment.

I'm trying to dispute catgoddesses notion that animals are superior to people because they are incapable of rational thought.


SS: Can I talk to cats? I guess you could say that. Communication with my cat at home (well, she's actually my mom's/sisters, but she's the only one of the two I give a damn about) is limited to name-calling, head scritches, tummy scratching, long staring contests, and the occasional foot to the ribcage (not hard, but just enough to let her know that she is not going outside again). [Smile]


That's why I made a point of not saying 'talk to the cats' in my original post. Catgoddess noted it was like comparing apples to oranges, and that's exactly my point- we are so far out of the feline league that you can't compare the evolutionary advantages. We have communication, both written and verbal, a thought process capable of synthesizing solutions to any problem given the time, and a host of other tools that we either stumbled upon by chance or that nature was kind enough to give us.


Maybe another analogy would work: Eskimos. They live in the North. Where it's cold. Really cold. In fact, they need start chemical reactions in order to produce heat to survive.

How many other species are capable of producing fire at will? None that I'm aware of. And yet, the barren northlands of our Canadian brethren are so cold and inhospitable that it really boggles the mind as to why anybody would want to live there. SO it must have been necessary, and not out of want. And fire (and now that I think about it, the ability to go whaling) are the 'technologies' responsible for allowing those people to live up there. (Side note- are the terms inuit and eskimo interchangeable? Or are they different tribes/people?). Those technologies are available to people soley through the use of human intellect.


And as to the whole synthetic environment thing... What I'm trying to say is, maybe if we designed an environment to fit our needs as a species, instead of just having slowly joined the established as a new species and then thrusting our new technology onto it, there would be far less conflict.

You're right, Steen. We've never done it before. But when have we tried to start from scratch? I just find it hard to believe that with our knowledge of physics, biology, and especially genetics and the manipulation thereof, we couldn't engineer plants and animals (but why would we need animals?) to do our bidding. Especially when the technology is evolving all the time. I'm not saying you could do this in a year, or a decade, or even a century, but it could be done. Like I said, I look forward to seeing what they do with mars or whatever planet we colonize.

--------------------
"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
catgoddess
Geek
Member # 6838

Icon 1 posted February 01, 2007 21:56      Profile for catgoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
I'm trying to dispute catgoddesses notion that animals are superior to people because they are incapable of rational thought.

The fact that you haven't succeeded in your quest may be directly related to the fact I never made that claim.

I merely said that humans (and free will) were not superior. Nothing more. Nothing less.

--------------------
"I love humanity but I hate people." Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posts: 102 | From: Rochester, NY | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged


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