Author Topic: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature  (Read 452 times)

Online Shiranu

Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« on: November 04, 2018, 01:57:04 AM »
I've been thinking a lot about Blade Runner's world (I told you I am slightly obsessed), and it has made me reflect on both how humanity ten, twenty, fifty generations will view our society looking back... and also how humanity, despite being of nature, seems to inherently crave seperating itself from nature.

Firstly, in a world ravaged by climate change as seems more and more the inevitable future... I believe humanity will survive damn near any thing that get's thrown at us. We may lose a huge percentage of our population, but we will adapt and rebuild. But imagine what that society will be like... imagine people who may never have seen a natural tree before, who have never seen blue oceans, snow capped mountains, golden deserts... people who have only known cold metal and machinery that provide the necessities of life. Imagine this is all generation after generation has known...


How will they view us? Why would they be in awe of how we lived? We live trapped on the whim of nature; it may be uncomfortably hot, people may die of freezing colds, or torrential rains, or any other plethora of natural disaster. Crops may fail, water may run dry, nations must fight over resources to survive... how horrible would that sound to someone who has never known want because machinery and technology has provided for them... who's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so-on never endured the changing of seasons or the fickle nature of nature?

They may view us the way we view hunter-gatherers... quaint, primitive people.


This then makes me think... it is weirdly ironic that, of all the creatures of Earth, humanity may have the greatest capacity for grasping the beauty of nature, for we have the capacity to observe it and add to it's beauty in ways no other creature can... and yet the greatest beauty of them all (the fact that we are nature's way of observing itself) seems to be something humanity is inherently opposed to... we insist that we are something separate from nature.

This likely comes from the fact that nature is not all roses, and that nature is always looking for ways to destroy us... but just because it is not all petals does not mean it is therefor all thorns.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Baruch

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 03:53:44 AM »
There is no free lunch, conservation of energy forbids it.  Our nature comes at the expense of the slow death of the Sun.  The Sun and the solar system came at the expense of maybe two previous generations fo stars (both most likely giant stars ... we have remnants of super novas in ourselves, the elements heavier than iron).  How can the biosphere be any different?  Homeostasis is our means of overcoming entropy (the corruption of energy).  We do that until we can't ... death ensues and our bodies get recycled.  But our atoms are recycled about every 3 years anyway.

An analogy.  Can human society achieve something forbidden by the laws of physics?  Economic free lunch is a fallacy .. that comes about because the money isn't honest, it is corrupt ... the value changing over time and from person to person.  So write yourself a million dollar check, and cash it if you can.  Why won't anyone believe you?  Because if you didn't "earn" that money, it is a kited check.

How does the biosphere respond to human habitation?  With physics, chemistry and entropy.  Entropy is the ratio between available energy to do useful work (say homeostasis) and total energy.  As long as the accounting is honest (no energy moving in or out of a region) entropy naturally increases.  Our survival depends on the Sun violating that accounting, thru Solar light.  Otherwise the Earth outside the core, could freeze solid and all life would stop.  The impact of human habitation depends on the number of people of course.  We had a smaller impact in the past.  Life can't continue unless you earn your homeostasis, which is made possible by the "not really free lunch" of Solar light.  The Sun is paying forward for your survival.

With a large, high industry civilization, the impact has to be large on the biosphere.  There are two ways to respond.  Fewer people or a return to pre-industrial life style or both.  Usually both, because without industry (based on cheap energy sources) you can't have an industrial life style.  The coal beds and petroleum deposits payed forward ... so you can drive your car and heat your house.  But they don't exist infinitely, and there are negative consequences from using them.  Solar and wind power are available, but they aren't cheap, if you need to convert their output to liquid fuel (high density) which is required for industry.  This is why science fantasy is necessary to imagine a space traveling humanity.  As things in fact are, we can build outposts in the Solar System beyond the Earth, but these are not different than outposts in Antarctica.  They are for the few.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 05:41:32 PM »
If civilization collapses, even if humans don't go extinct, our descendants will likely know nothing of us at all (except for maybe stories around the campfire), until such time in the far future when they rediscover the sciences and their paleontologists dig up what they can find of our era. No way to know what that far futurity will think of us.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline Baruch

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 06:39:09 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If civilization collapses, even if humans don't go extinct, our descendants will likely know nothing of us at all (except for maybe stories around the campfire), until such time in the far future when they rediscover the sciences and their paleontologists dig up what they can find of our era. No way to know what that far futurity will think of us.

It does.  We will.  Humans aren't special, except as a negative example.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 10:16:44 AM »
Mankind - like every other creature in nature - wants their life to sustain.
But the natural conditions that circle mankind dont always give the useful environment.
So people change the circle where they live. to change the evrironment means to be abstracted from it.

Mankind will exist and spread over the planets. For us the first principle to survive is to change where we live and to adapt there... science and tech. will allow us to adapt. there is no way out than to found galactic confederation... πŸ˜€

Offline Hydra009

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 11:08:57 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Firstly, in a world ravaged by climate change as seems more and more the inevitable future... I believe humanity will survive damn near any thing that get's thrown at us. We may lose a huge percentage of our population, but we will adapt and rebuild. But imagine what that society will be like... imagine people who may never have seen a natural tree before, who have never seen blue oceans, snow capped mountains, golden deserts... people who have only known cold metal and machinery that provide the necessities of life. Imagine this is all generation after generation has known...
You're basically describing Warhammer 40k.

Offline Baruch

Re: Philosophical Musings on the Future of Man & Nature
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 12:51:13 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You're basically describing Warhammer 40k.

Well, how are young people's imaginations informed today?  Sci-fi and video gaming.  It isn't thru a careful reading of Hobbes' Leviathan.

Some of this is quite good ...

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Both R and D could lean a lot from this short cartoon.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 02:13:42 PM by Baruch »
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk