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Old 05-19-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default The Best of Times, or The Worst of Times?

This argument was taking place over on the Syria thread, so I thought I would move it over here:

Whatever time you want to argue that the zenith of America occurred, I would have to argue that our best years are behind us. And that goes for the entire world, not just America. IMO, the well being of humanity is directly tied to it's population, which determines the availability (and cost) of the basic necessities of life. At 7 billion, we have reached the breaking point. Already, we can see that the most advanced countries in the world can no longer cope with the societal pressures of their populations. Countries, including the U.S., are buckling under the economic pressures of caring for aging populations. You can't provide health care to that many people. You can't create enough jobs for the generations that follow. The impacts on the environment of food production on steroids is unsustainable and the oceans are crashing under the human burden. A report came out the other day that enormous amounts of sea life, enmasse, are migrating away from the Equator as the oceans heat up. Those that can't migrate are dying.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1107161959.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...42e_story.html

How many millions in the Tropics rely on that protein source? The effects of advancing climate change, hand in hand with concurrent water shortages, have already led to some political upheavals, like in North Africa. Meanwhile, at this critical phase in civilization, the uber-rich have figured out a way to remove much of their assets from the world economy, to the tune of $32 trillion dollars. Every man for himself, eh? Or maybe they're just smart enough to look down the road a bit?

What do you think it will be like in 2050 when there are 9 billion of us? We're headed for an inevitable crash, IMHO.

Not only that, but the least developed countries are leading the world in population growth. In other words, those countries already unable to deal with their current populations are the ones producing the most new people, and that is the recipe for disaster. http://www.prb.org/Publications/Data...opulation.aspx

Those people are going to have to go somewhere to find something to eat and drink.

This is one of the key reasons we need to fight back against the Right Wing revolution taking place in America. When the **** hits the fan, they will undoubtedly morph into a nationalist, fascist movement. IMO, there are signs of that already happening. The Nazis started out as a "fringe" movement too. The chaos of post-WWI Europe provided them with a path to power.

Meanwhile, on the so-called Left which I suppose Obama represents (and who I would argue isn't "left" at all) they seem to be relying more and more on the power of the state. The Left Wing tyrant is not any better than the Right Wing tyrant, IMO. Perhaps both "wings" find some comfort in the idea of a law and order police state that their faction controls? It's an easy abyss to fall into when chaos hits.

The U.S. government is already failing under the pressures of its current load of problems. It has become entirely dysfunctional, as a matter of fact. They couldn't agree on a resolution to make it National Pineapple Day in honor of Hawaii. So what happens as those pressures are incrementally ramped up, year after year? More storms, and much worse ones? More chaos abroad as regimes fall and vital resources are threatened? More crashing food supplies like the one in Pakistan that set off the Arab Spring?

Here's who we get most of our crude oil from, in order:
CANADA
SAUDI ARABIA
MEXICO
VENEZUELA
NIGERIA
IRAQ
ANGOLA
ALGERIA

Other than Canada, not a picture of stability. The Sauds hold their position intact by the use of dictatorial police powers. We all know how long that kind of **** lasts.

Anyway, I don't see how anybody can argue that our best days are still ahead. Doesn't make any sense.

Or is it just the irrational belief that technology will bail us out?

Last edited by Rohirrim; 05-19-2013 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Only a quantum leap in consciousness will shift out quality of life. In order to make way for an entirely new human perception the old ways of living in the world must die away and that will not happen voluntarily. It is that death we are in the throes of now.

How or if we will emerge as a species remains to be seen. To survive we must realize we are all One thing and live accordingly.

The problem is we are all sleep walkers.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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And on top of that, it seems to me that what technology does, by its very nature, is create fewer jobs. Technology makes it possible for fewer people to do more work. Not a good match for a growing population.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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And on top of that, it seems to me that what technology does, by its very nature, is create fewer jobs. Technology makes it possible for fewer people to do more work. Not a good match for a growing population.
FACTOR IN ROBOTICS advancements and very soon we the people become "useless eater" to the power elite. What do you think they will do about the fact over population is arguably going to make life on earth unsustainable for most species ?
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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And on top of that, it seems to me that what technology does, by its very nature, is create fewer jobs. Technology makes it possible for fewer people to do more work. Not a good match for a growing population.
Ro, machines have been replacing human beings for over a hundred years now. It doesn't seem to have had an significant (or any) effect on employment.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Ro, machines have been replacing human beings for over a hundred years now. It doesn't seem to have had an significant (or any) effect on employment.
What was the global population 100 years ago?

Try apples to apples
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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What was the global population 100 years ago?

Try apples to apples
Ro's theory is that as machines replace people in jobs more people, in terms of a percentage of the workforce, should be permanently unemployed. That should hold true no matter what the population of the workforce is.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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Ro's theory is that as machines replace people in jobs more people, in terms of a percentage of the workforce, should be permanently unemployed. That should hold true no matter what the population of the workforce is.
resources are the same planet size is the same. We have gone from 1 billion people in 1900 to 7 billion, things are not the same relative to the asset we all live off of.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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Ro's theory is that as machines replace people in jobs more people, in terms of a percentage of the workforce, should be permanently unemployed. That should hold true no matter what the population of the workforce is.
And I think it will in the future. Technology will replace workers while workers produce more workers. Do the algebra.

Here's another problem: Can economies grow infinitely on a planet of finite resources?

Right now it takes thousands of workers to build the millions of IPhones that Apple can sell. Let's say robotics can replace those workers in a few years and build even more phones, cheaper - plus they never need time off? What happens in SE Asia? China?

The whole point is that humans have created modern civilization based on principles that are unsustainable. Will there come a point in time when we can't innovate our way out of the problems we have created? Judging by what is happening in the natural world, I'd say we're on that threshhold.

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Old 05-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #10
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And on top of that, it seems to me that what technology does, by its very nature, is create fewer jobs. Technology makes it possible for fewer people to do more work. Not a good match for a growing population.
It's a double edged sword. Technology creates new efficiencies which will undoubtedly improve some aspects of life and it will also likely improve the rate of food production but yes it will also lead to fewer jobs.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #11
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War. War is and always been out species equalizer. Lemmings run off cliffs. Some animals give birth to 1 pup a year. Humans kill each other.

When it has truly reached its breaking point there will be a big war and our numbers will reset. Likely at or near the same time of some disease outbreak.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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Another factor: The First World countries are going to have to close down immigration if they hope to survive. It's no longer a question of a melting pot. Look what's happening in Europe? They are being drowned by immigration. Their cultures are getting pushed aside. Islamists in Copenhagen have launched a campaign to create Sharia Law Zones in the city. France and Germany are forced to deal with an enormous Muslim population that not only doesn't believe in the cultural foundations of Western Civilization, including democracy, but wants to do away with them. Imagine in twenty years when their numbers have doubled, or tripled? Countries will fall from within and get taken over.

Will the cultural values of those who breed the fastest win?
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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A real orgy of doom you got going here.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #14
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A real orgy of doom you got going here.
I think when you look at what is actually taking place in the world, stripped of any kind of bull****, the outlook is not good. I don't see any obvious fixes. Do you?
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #15
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I think when you look at what is actually taking place in the world, stripped of any kind of bull****, the outlook is not good. I don't see any obvious fixes. Do you?
Dude tax carbon emissions are we are good to go...
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #16
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Dude tax carbon emissions are we are good to go...
That might be a good economic lever for moving people toward inventing more sustainable, and healthier, energy alternatives. Wouldn't do anything for the population, though.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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That might be a good economic lever for moving people toward inventing more sustainable, and healthier, energy alternatives. Wouldn't do anything for the population, though.


I was being facetious. That was meant to mimic Wags solution which of course will only serve to be the spring board to global domination
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #18
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I think when you look at what is actually taking place in the world, stripped of any kind of bull****, the outlook is not good. I don't see any obvious fixes. Do you?
Not easy fixes, true. One of the races is between our population growth and the treatment of women. Another is between our energy needs and fossil fuels and the problems they cause.

I'm not quite ready to write off Homo sapiens just yet.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #19
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Not easy fixes, true. One of the races is between our population growth and the treatment of women. Another is between our energy needs and fossil fuels and the problems they cause.

I'm not quite ready to write off Homo sapiens just yet.
I'm not writing off humans. What worries me is our track record. What we should be doing is seeing the writing on the wall and changing our direction. What I fear we are doing is just hurtling toward some cataclysm, after which we will be forced to change, like it or not.

Hell, half the country has their heads in the sand and they just don't want to hear about it. Look at people like Imhofe? There are people who just flat don't believe in science. It's the 21st century and there are some trogs out there who want us to base our society on the writings of nomadic desert holy men who lived two to four thousand years ago. And many of these nutjobs have political power. If they can't impose their will, they can certainly obstruct anything they don't agree with.

So, in the final analysis, even if we do agree on the change needed, we don't have the political apparatus to implement it. We're at a stalemate. And that's just America. Go to some places in the world like Afghanistan or Africa and you find people who's mindset is just barely out of the paleolithic. Try and explain overpopulation and birth control to them. Hell, they're still burning witches.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #20
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I think when you look at what is actually taking place in the world, stripped of any kind of bull****, the outlook is not good. I don't see any obvious fixes. Do you?
People like you said the same thing 20 yrs ago, 50 yrs ago, 100 yrs ago. Hell go back to the caveman days and there was probably some caveman painting the end of the earth on a cave wall.

One day god will decide when our time is up. Not one second sooner.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #21
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People like you said the same thing 20 yrs ago, 50 yrs ago, 100 yrs ago. Hell go back to the caveman days and there was probably some caveman painting the end of the earth on a cave wall.

One day god will decide when our time is up. Not one second sooner.
How did you come to believe that?
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:59 PM   #22
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How did you come to believe that?
There is a "faith" gene you are born with....if your lucky. seriously I guess its just how i was raised. I respect my father and he believed. He was smarter then any of you so I will continue to respect his ways. He was also a scientist and an engineer so its BS that faith and science do not mix. You just must have faith that god created science. Science is both to enrich our lives and test our faith.

Then as an adult I just feel it often when I am engulfed in nature or i see a person sacrifice their own happiness for other people. When I help people instead of only caring about myself i get this feeling inside that we are all one family and someday won't need govts or nations. Then i realize we have a long long ways to go, but giving up and saying **** it there is no god, only science matters, IMO is not how the human race will best serve itself.

Then lastly I was visited by an angel the night my dad died that looked just like my grandma. She told me not to be sad and to live my life in his honor. probably just a crazy dream from being so upset but you never really know do you?
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:06 AM   #23
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People like you said the same thing 20 yrs ago, 50 yrs ago, 100 yrs ago. Hell go back to the caveman days and there was probably some caveman painting the end of the earth on a cave wall.

One day god will decide when our time is up. Not one second sooner.
This combination of population and climate change has never happened before. You know, quite a few scientists now accept that we are living in a new era they call the Anthropocene (although geologists want to stick with Holocene). What it represents is that man now controls the planet. We can wipe out entire rainforests in a generation. We are destroying the coral reefs which have existed on this planet for 10 thousand years and are the nurseries for 25% of the life in the sea. We can change the makeup of the atmosphere. We dam rivers and plow under wetlands. We can level mountains.

And then there are a bunch of us who can say with a straight face that we don't have any effect on the climate and it's all up to god.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #24
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The Zenith for America is always in the future.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #25
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The Zenith for America is always in the future.
That was what the Romans said about Rome
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