Is there not a noose at the end of mankind’s technological rope? And, knowing this, would not a “superior” extra-terrestrial race have the common sense NOT to leave their own planet?
Maybe and no. Eggs and baskets and all that.
…or perhaps using that rope is the only way to climb out of the (terrestrial) pit we’re currently stuck in.
And who’s to say that just because our particular rope has (or does not have) a noose at the end of it means that the other race’s rope has the same features?
I’m confused about this whole noose thing.
Predictions of global nuclear annihilation went out in the early ninties, and we were just worried about ecological disasters (either manmade, or natural).
Assuming that’s your “noose,” wouldn’t the wise race want to, as dalovindj says, put its eggs into more than one basket?
Excuse the absence. I was out buying some rope. I meant “noose” in the sense that as technology becomes more and more fine, there are more and more problems. For example, no matter what a computer is supposed to do, and does do correctly, the only thing you can GUARANTEE it will do is to break down. That’s the nature of technology, and a wiser race would know that and not even make wheels, much less space vehicles. But maybe I’m wrong?
IMHO, that makes them a timid race rather than a wise one.
To proceed with the earlier (and misunderstood) analogy, it’s also possible that there is a noose at the end of our particular rope, but that sticking our head in that noose is an option rather than a requirement.
Re: “IMHO, that makes them a timid race rather than a wise one.”
Do you mean “timid” in the sense that they are afraid to try new things? Or to try to better themselves? Or,? And who do you think is going to inherit the Earth, anyway? Not that I’m a religious believer, Christian or otherwise, but the statement, “the meek shall inherit the Earth”, just makes sense, at least IMHO.
Re: “…sticking our head in that noose is an option rather than a requirement.”
I didn’t mean it as an option OR a requirement, merely as a natural, unavoidable progression.
As Frank Zappa said–
And even if you are right, so what? The Earth may become a toxic cess-pool of a world; either through pollution, or a natural disater—like a major geologic event. Why would the Meek want it?
No. Better to boldly face the future, & all it’s potential problems. We seem to be good at solving problems. Building tools & technology is what Man is best at. Three cheers for Science in general!
Re: Bosda di’Chi of Tricor
"We seem to be good at solving problems."
No offense, but are you some kind of Liberal, or what?
Yes, we seem to be good at solving technological problems–with more technology, but is this advancing the race? Look at the new cars. Sensors everywhere. Air Bags. Engines completely sealed. I’m old enough to remember when you could actually work on your car. Is this progress and problem solving?
If you want to make a muddy pool clear, you don’t try to pick out the suspended particles,as this will only stir up the pool and make it muddier. Better to wait and let the particles settle on their own.
Re: "“Building tools and technology is what man does best.”
Unffortunately, you’re right. Maybe you could help build a “Brotherhood Machine.”
My car will break down in several years, to the point where it’s useless. That doesn’t mean that it’s not useful now; I can certainly do more at this moment with my car than without.
Yes, cars have advanced in technology. So have computers. Yes, they’re not perfect, and the answer is often more technology.
It seems you ignore the practical benefits we are constantly deriving from technology, both now and in the future. We don’t have a cure for cancer, but cancer sufferers live longer now than they did fifty years ago.
I manage the computer department at a manufacturer. The director of marketing asked me whether or not computers had actually improved the efficiency of our operations, since it seemed to him that we were in as much of a mess now with lost files and misplaced communications as we ever were. I replied by asking how many people we would have to employ to do the same things we currently do if we threw out our computers and replaced them with pens and calculators. He conceded that we’d have to at least double our staff.
I can’t tell whether you’re complaining that technology isn’t the saviour of humankind, or that technology is still looked at as such.
You are wrong because you have the luxary to state your opinion on a computer, inside a comfortable structure, protected by the relative safety that 10000+ years of technology has brought you. As an interesting thought experiment, go into the wilderness for a year without any clothes, weapons or other flawed technology and see how wise our pre-wheel ancestors really were for setting us down our current path.
The only thing we are guaranteed to do is die. A wiser race would have killed themselves by now.
This thread is funny in a sort of bitter, black-hearted humor sort of way.
“Gorgon the Destroyer will eat your technology, puny Earthlings!”
I think that you are missing the most important aspect of all: What is meant by the word “superior”?
I suspect that the species-trait which counts most your context, Tyrrell McAllister, is one which is very widely attributed to humankind: Curiosity. Wisdom or “superiority” has little to do with anything. Humans, and perhaps all primates, are curious individuals and that, if nothing else, should lead us to want to travel into space–as well as dig below the Earth’s surface and scour beneath Her seas.
I think that what the Op is discussing is the geometric progression of complexity in modern systems.
Systems become tremendously large and interwoven to such degrees that they are no longer discreet.
At some hypothetical point of size and complexity, you lose control over the system. You can no longer diagnose or fix it, nor can you afford to discard it. The only way you can continue to adjust it is to add more systems, which of course serves to increase the complexity.
Then, instead of having a progressively more useful and efficient technological system, you have one where advancements actually disrupt it, and it becomes regressive.
Eventually unforseen synergies of the interwoven complexities (how’s that for a phrase?) create a critical and unrecoverable breakdown.
Well, as --msmith537–correctly pointed out, this philosophy, while possibly tenable, is impractical. I don’t have the money to be able to take a year off and run around naked, even if I could get away with it. I might like to try, though. All I was looking for was a little agreement with the OP, and I’ll take --Scylla’s–above comments as such. Thanks. Maybe we should cut this thread.
And remember: “When the Blind Lead the Blind—Get Out of their Way!”
Well, you are wrong Raoul Anatherwan: Scylla’s reply does not agree with the OP.
In my opinion, there are some serious logical stability-point vagaries in Scylla’s above discourse. (One might use the term “mental intercourse” rather than “discourse,” but that might be considered impolite.) In one respect, Scylla’s point of view is so simplistic to be outright incorrect.
Oh, it’s not my argument, but I was wondering if that was what the OP was getting at.
Raoul Anatherwan wrote:
They’ve always been the most plentiful critters on the face of the Earth – and under the face of the Earth, for that matter – and they will continue to be for as long as the Earth is inhabitable.