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OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 08:43 AM
Free, completely automated food production. Don't wanna go to work today? You're covered! The Farmotron in your backyard has got your back, Jack! Do nothing with your life, do strictly only things that are meaningful to you. "Success" is re-defined on a cultural level, survival becomes even more a thing of the past. With all this free time to think, the culture undergoes a spiritual renaissance, or just a renaissance in general. There are no doubt other reasons for getting paid, but still, working for food would be eliminated. Thoughts?

Ribald
10th-April-2014, 08:57 AM
It's coming and I can't wait.

Ada
10th-April-2014, 09:46 AM
Yes, let's work for sewerage. And garbage trucks.

Resource management won't agree.

Pyropyro
10th-April-2014, 11:03 AM
There's no such thing such as "free". What's the catch?

If you're going for a there's no catch answer then I'll just consider this as a good starting point for a story rather than something applicable for RL.

Helvete
10th-April-2014, 11:47 AM
There's no such thing such as "free". What's the catch?

If you're going for a there's no catch answer then I'll just consider this as a good starting point for a story rather than something applicable for RL.

I agree with this. Just look out how politics controls technology, or how it controls anything else which could be good. Financial gain becomes the ultimate goal, as it's the type of society we live in and this invariably degrades the quality of things being produced. If the quality isn't indirectly degraded it will happen directly; to make profit you must first have a problem to solve. If there isn't a problem then why not make one.

TheHabitatDoctor
10th-April-2014, 12:25 PM
Disconnect between dream, reality, and history. How can we do free if we can't even do cheap?

How many years was Prontosil delayed because it was too cheap to manufacture and would lead to no profit without first developing and patenting a molecule that was less effective yet patentable?

What about Streptomycin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Schatz_(scientist)#Streptomycin_controversy )?

PATENT MOAR!!!11

In a world full of scientific illiterates accompanied by a developed world filling with yet more entitlement and the remainder rocketing toward carrying capacity, can we really expect this anarchist utopian idealism to effectively take root to the point where it actually becomes meaningful?

Meaningful on a meta scale?:
http://www.cliodynamics.info/auxiliary/infograph.jpg
Not all ants are queens... and queens are very over-rated too, fwiw.

OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 12:40 PM
Ok, drop the free aspect. The farm-o-tron system^TM (jk) will become more affordable when it's been around for a while. I added that it would be free simply to allow the pondering of what its effect would be on a cultural scale, if everyone had one.

My thought is it's possible to automate the growing of plants (I suppose it's just a theoretical garden-o-tron for now, no animals) to a point where you only need to harvest them (which would be in such a way that you only need to harvest on the day you want to eat it), and perhaps plant them.

If we've come to an understanding of the natural world in such depth as we have in modern times, and we've sent men to the moon and back, etc. then we can certainly automate the growing of plants. Plants already grow automatically, they just need a little support and monitoring, especially in often alien climates.

A central component of the garden-o-tron would be sensors monitoring the PH level, soil nutrients, sunlight, water, and whatever other variables. This information would be used by other components. For example automatically watering more on hot days, and making the glass of the greenhouse slightly more opaque if it's too hot, and turning the fans on. The system would maintain homeostasis for the plant without the user having to water it, add something into the soil, or whatever. Optimally, the system would also be able to detect evidence of pathogens and somehow automatically counteract their proliferation.

I feel that as humans we should already have agriculture down to a tittle. And as Ribald Gomez said about this automation "It's coming, and I can't wait." I'm interested in what the effects are going to be on the average person's life, and our culture, once it becomes wide-spread. I posted this in the scientific section because it's a theoretical machine thingy, I'm interested in both its theoretical structure and its implications.

Pyropyro
10th-April-2014, 12:43 PM
What you said is basically a Greenhouse :)

OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 12:46 PM
and the remainder rocketing toward carrying capacity,

Yea, as the population increases food production becomes a more important issue.

nil
10th-April-2014, 12:48 PM
What kind of food does the Farmotron™ produce? I being a filthy American weighing 400 pounds and having a voracious appetite, you can understand why it is necessary to know whether I can still enjoy all of my favorite trans-fat, sugar, and cholesterol filled foods.

Anyway, I guess it could be useful if I don't feel like getting up or going out. Any time saved due to this incredible invention will most definitely be spent watching more reality television, uploading selfies to Instagram to Facebook and Instagram, and Snapchatting with people I don't know.

As Ribald said, it's coming and I can't wait. Thanks for creating the Farmotron™ for us OrLevitate!

OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 12:52 PM
What you said is basically a Greenhouse :)

Well yea! But you don't have to do stuff you just ride around going on adventures with your blue chocobo and come back every now and then to pick up some more food from the garden-o-tron. It's like that plate in harry potter that mcgonagal made that just kept loading up with scones or whatever british food and never went empty.
:king-twitter:

OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 12:55 PM
Thanks for creating the Farmotron™ for us OrLevitate!

No probs, I just might create it. Unless you've got a better idea.

To answer the question, it would yield plant stuff, and could easily incorporate chicken eggs. Haven't really thought about much beyond that, and I'd have a problem knowing that while I was away from the Farmotron it might be malfunctioning and just slaughtering all the animals if I incorporated meat into its yields.

Pyropyro
10th-April-2014, 01:02 PM
Well yea! But you don't have to do stuff you just ride around going on adventures with your blue chocobo and come back every now and then to pick up some more food from the garden-o-tron. It's like that plate in harry potter that mcgonagal made that just kept loading up with scones or whatever british food and never went empty.
:king-twitter:

Well you need to design a better transportation mechanism then (or teleportation if you're feeling ambitious).

Automatic agriculture is feasible in the near future. You just need to fix the ICT components. The farm to customer route is a lot trickier.

Latte
10th-April-2014, 01:13 PM
THD nudges at what will be the main hurdle and societal weapon used to delay and (try to) stop the large scale economic decentralization made possible by better and new technologies to come. The concept of intellectual property will be used as casus belli to use wage tax funded security forces to enforce it, and globally, military and subversive means indirectly cause the current power relations to remain as much as possible.

What we see in pharmacology, agriculture, and haltingly starting in the creative product & software industry and to a lesser extent some other industries are harbingers of the struggle to come.
Flexible physical production technology coupled with efficient decentralized power generation technology can become a very dangerous stage where the masters of the status quo feel immensely threatened.

Expect legislation that harvests the usage of the power of finance and debt, including access to the global and/or local financial systems to be used as leverage to threaten and keep in line individuals.

nil
10th-April-2014, 01:17 PM
No probs, I just might create it. Unless you've got a better idea.

To answer the question, it would yield plant stuff, and could easily incorporate chicken eggs. Haven't really thought about much beyond it, and I'd have a problem knowing that while I was away from the Farmotron it might be malfunctioning and just slaughtering all the animals if I incorporated meat into it's yields.
No no, it is a fine idea, and if you intend to make one, by all means. You would get nothing but support from me.

My post was only meant to hilight one of the potential negatives that would arise from the widespread use of such a machine. Blind idealism has its uses, but it is always the case that it will become corrupted when it meets reality. Not to say that solving the problem of world hunger wouldn't be a fantastic thing, quite the contrary, but you have to ask yourself before you bestow that technology onto the world, is it worth the negative side effects that would arise? Is humanity ready for it? What to do about the businesses that will want to monopolize food production, the politicians that want to tax and regulate the device? What effect would it have on the economy, both vendors and farmers, people who make their living by working the land?

Such a device would most certainly have a place, but I'm not sure it would have a place in this age. People are too opportunistic, and the worldwide economy wouldn't at all benefit from everyone having a cheap source of food. As society progresses ever onward, it will be an idea ever more within reach of being fully comprehended by its constituents. But why give such a great gift to a society that will only either misunderstand or abuse it? Is that not like, say, giving a computer to an animal? It will not know what to do with it and in all likelihood will either ignore it or break it.

TheHabitatDoctor
10th-April-2014, 01:21 PM
I'm interested in what the effects are going to be on the average person's life, and our culture, once it becomes wide-spread. I posted this in the scientific section because it's a theoretical machine thingy, I'm interested in both its theoretical structure and its implications.
So a permaculture model that incorporates multiple trophic levels and harvests at maximum sustainable yield.... which is basically what that old hag mother nature had produced before we came along and mucked it up. The pH & macronutrient monitoring et all are/were already built in, too.

The coolest link first (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23802036)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophic_cascade
http://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/Lynx-Hare_cycle.gif
And of course the carbon/water/nitrogen/phosphorus/etc cycles.

------
Basically, a lot of future "progress" is dependent on looking back at the past, identifying case studies of things we've broken, figuring out how they once worked to the best of our ability, and expanding them into other applications. It's backwards as hell.
Yea, as the population increases food production becomes a more important issue.
An issue that cheap freely available food doesn't address. History says that when we encounter new/cheap sources of food/resources in general, we:

1. Breed like rabbits because people = labor = power.
2. Go to war on unprecedented scales.
3. Contract new diseases and health conditions.

http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html

scorpiomover
10th-April-2014, 01:44 PM
Free, completely automated food production. Don't wanna go to work today? You're covered! The Farmotron in your backyard has got your back, Jack! Do nothing with your life, do strictly only things that are meaningful to you. "Success" is re-defined on a cultural level, survival becomes even more a thing of the past. With all this free time to think, the culture undergoes a spiritual renaissance, or just a renaissance in general. There are no doubt other reasons for getting paid, but still, working for food would be eliminated. Thoughts?Sounds like someone has been watching a lot of Star Trek: TNG.

OrLevitate
10th-April-2014, 01:51 PM
Sounds like someone has been watching a lot of Star Trek: TNG.

Yep, well I haven't watched ST in a long time but I was indeed going to write at the end of the initial post, "One step closer to Star Trek?"

Cognisant
10th-April-2014, 02:47 PM
Universal fabrication is still a long way off but autonomous and efficient delivery systems are not, for example imagine Amazon starts delivering stuff from small dispatch centres via drones, these dispatches could be in every suburb with larger regional and national dispatch centres delivering goods to them, which in turn they get from factories.

Expanding this into a kind of food delivery system would be easy and that system would cater to whatever food people want to buy and whatever way of paying for it suits them, so you could pay for a monthy or yearly subscription and your meals will be delivered to you when you use an app on your phone to indicate you're ready to receive them.

I'm actually working on is right now :D

TimeAsylums
10th-April-2014, 03:10 PM
'you fucking commie' why don't you love capitalism?

walfin
10th-April-2014, 04:32 PM
Yeah I do think we should have a magical plate. Cover it and open it again and, hey presto! Food appears.

But I suppose we might have to settle for a miniature automated hydroponic farm. Automated hydroponic farms are not infeasible, they just need to be made smaller.

Analyzer
10th-April-2014, 05:32 PM
Can't be free if there is scarcity of materials and goods.

Latte
10th-April-2014, 07:11 PM
Ah, yes. I forgot about large scale land ownership... and with it natural resource property.


Shitty mcshit shat many "legal" hurdles towards economic decentralization once it becomes feasible and efficient.

Affinity
10th-April-2014, 08:05 PM
Keep dreaming

Ribald
10th-April-2014, 09:35 PM
I guess the scale of what is about to happen in history just hasn't occurred to most of you guys yet. It's hard for me to relate to at this point, but now that I think of it I do remember a time when I didn't believe any of it either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYN18d7gHg
^short clip about molecular nanofactories, must-see. 2030s technology. Shows how an atomically precise laptop 1 billion times more powerful than those of today will be produced in minutes, atom-by-atom.

It is just hard for me to imagine, now, how anyone doesn't realize this is all happening. Don't you see the precursors to what OP is talking about in 3d printers and such? Very soon it will apply to food and it will be many of orders of magnitude cleaner and more efficient than our current system. That, and it will happen in confluence with >10 other equally revolutionary tech booms. This is the singularity.

At the very least, you should realize everything is going to be different. Star Trek TNG is going to look like a hilarious joke by 2050 (probably more like 2030). There is no conceivable reason at this point why there would not be staggering abundance. Barring a tremendous disaster, there will be no more poverty.

I suppose in the same vein, there were people in the 1800s who were skeptical about new-fangled electricity and didn't believe that it would be all over the country within 100 years... but really far, far more than that, having built the foundation for 10s of other paradigm shifting technologies that brought us into the modern age. Well, this century's changes will dwarf those of the 1900s. I know it isn't natural to realize that, but it's a sure bet.

Imagine yourself as a typical person in 1914. What would you have realistically expected to see at that point? My guess: probably not much, if anything. By the end of the century, though, my god...

Affinity
10th-April-2014, 10:14 PM
I guess the scale of what is about to happen in history just hasn't occurred to most of you guys yet. It's hard for me to relate to at this point, but now that I think of it I do remember a time when I didn't believe any of it either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYN18d7gHg
^short clip about molecular nanofactories, must-see. 2030s technology. Shows how an atomically precise laptop 1 billion times more powerful than those of today will be produced in minutes, atom-by-atom.

It is just hard for me to imagine, now, how anyone doesn't realize this is all happening. Don't you see the precursors to what OP is talking about in 3d printers and such? Very soon it will apply to food and it will be many of orders of magnitude cleaner and more efficient than our current system. That, and it will happen in confluence with >10 other equally revolutionary tech booms. This is the singularity.

At the very least, you should realize everything is going to be different. Star Trek TNG is going to look like a hilarious joke by 2050 (probably more like 2030). There is no conceivable reason at this point why there would not be staggering abundance. Barring a tremendous disaster, there will be no more poverty.

I suppose in the same vein, there were people in the 1800s who were skeptical about new-fangled electricity and didn't believe that it would be all over the country within 100 years... but really far, far more than that, having built the foundation for 10s of other paradigm shifting technologies that brought us into the modern age. Well, this century's changes will dwarf those of the 1900s. I know it isn't natural to realize that, but it's a sure bet.

Imagine yourself as a typical person in 1914. What would you have realistically expected to see at that point? My guess: probably not much, if anything. By the end of the century, though, my god...

Oh I don't doubt that the technology itself will exist. My doubts lie in the utopia you think all this technology is going to create.

Ribald
10th-April-2014, 11:45 PM
Oh I don't doubt that the technology itself will exist. My doubts lie in the utopia you think all this technology is going to create.

We already do live in a utopia.

Cognisant
11th-April-2014, 12:07 AM
We are living in times of unprecedented change, however people themselves are still just monkeys.

Food will get cheaper, more avalible and more interesting.
But there will still be people starving.

doncarlzone
11th-April-2014, 12:17 AM
We are living in times of unprecedented change, however people themselves are still just monkeys.

Food will get cheaper, more avalible and more interesting.
But there will still be people starving.

True, however, there will be less people starving - at least percentage wise. Poverty has decreased world wide dramatically in the last 40 years and will likely continue to do so in this century.

Ribald
11th-April-2014, 12:18 AM
We are living in times of unprecedented change, however people themselves are still just monkeys.

Not if words have meanings...

Food will get cheaper, more avalible and more interesting.
But there will still be people starving.So, what do you think is going to reverse the trend (http://www.adb.org/features/12-things-know-2012-poverty-reduction-asia-and-pacific)? After all, people starved by the tens of million in China and the USSR alone in the middle of the 1900s. Now no such thing happens (not by the 10s of millions in 1 country in just a few years, that is), and in fact it happens less than ever.

Cognisant
11th-April-2014, 12:35 AM
I don't disagree that things are getting better.

Ribald
11th-April-2014, 12:41 AM
Yeah, I mean I think people will starve less and less but not forever. There might still be inequality and all, but I do think there will be a minimum standard of living that will continue to rise.

Mental health is a big one for me; I see it increasing along with all these other things. Our understanding of psychology historically has been beyond awful. As that improves I think it will make a huge difference.

scorpiomover
11th-April-2014, 01:36 AM
Yep, well I haven't watched ST in a long time but I was indeed going to write at the end of the initial post, "One step closer to Star Trek?"If in Star Trek, ships coming in to star-dock regularly find that their sensors go on the blink, because star-trucks going by have sensor blockers to stop their bosses continually checking that they haven't been taking a nap after 18 hours non-stop driving, maybe.

scorpiomover
11th-April-2014, 02:09 AM
I guess the scale of what is about to happen in history just hasn't occurred to most of you guys yet. It's hard for me to relate to at this point, but now that I think of it I do remember a time when I didn't believe any of it either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYN18d7gHg
^short clip about molecular nanofactories, must-see. 2030s technology. Shows how an atomically precise laptop 1 billion times more powerful than those of today will be produced in minutes, atom-by-atom.

It is just hard for me to imagine, now, how anyone doesn't realize this is all happening. Don't you see the precursors to what OP is talking about in 3d printers and such? Very soon it will apply to food and it will be many of orders of magnitude cleaner and more efficient than our current system. That, and it will happen in confluence with >10 other equally revolutionary tech booms. This is the singularity.

At the very least, you should realize everything is going to be different. Star Trek TNG is going to look like a hilarious joke by 2050 (probably more like 2030). There is no conceivable reason at this point why there would not be staggering abundance. Barring a tremendous disaster, there will be no more poverty.

I suppose in the same vein, there were people in the 1800s who were skeptical about new-fangled electricity and didn't believe that it would be all over the country within 100 years... but really far, far more than that, having built the foundation for 10s of other paradigm shifting technologies that brought us into the modern age. Well, this century's changes will dwarf those of the 1900s. I know it isn't natural to realize that, but it's a sure bet.

Imagine yourself as a typical person in 1914. What would you have realistically expected to see at that point? My guess: probably not much, if anything. By the end of the century, though, my god...Imagine you were a typical person growing up in the 70s. Suddenly, there are these things called personal computers, which can store all your information, categorise it, search it and find anything you want to know. Imagine that they can be linked up to form an international global network, that houses all of human knowledge. Imagine that you can search anything in science, and find it instantly. Imagine you want to phone a friend, and find his number instantly, even though he isn't on Skype or on any social networking sites. Imagine that with these machines, in a few years, offices will be paperless. Imagine that everything will run smoothly, that there will be no queues or anything like that. All this will come to pass very soon, because the technology pretty much demands it.

Now imagine that you fast forward 40 years into the future. There is no global database for the whole of science. Imagine also that the international global network exists, but where most of it is used to show videos of Korean boys body-popping, and people twittering about how they had a good bowel movement 4 minutes ago.

Imagine also, that in the 70s, we have so much food, that we have mountains of butter and sugar more than we need. Poverty will be a thing of the past before we hit 1979.

Now imagine that you fast forward 30 years into the future. There are plenty of people in the richest countries in the world, who can only afford to eat one meal a day, and look like they are from a refugee camp.

The future didn't turn out like we expected it would. Not at all.

OrLevitate
11th-April-2014, 02:16 AM
So, you guys have offered excellent counter points to this ideas inception. I'm still interested in the effects it would have on society if everyone who isn't homeless had one of these autogardens. I like to think that the shorter work week would lend itself to more innovation, more focus on things people think are more important, whatever that may be. I can't shake the idea of it causing a bit of a renaissance, the way the original agricultural revoluution did. What would be the opposite possible consequence?

doncarlzone
11th-April-2014, 02:21 AM
The future didn't turn out like we expected it would. Not at all.

No in fact it turned out a lot better than what most people expected.

Also, nobody expected poverty would end by 1979 - where did you get that idea from? There was an oil crisis in both 73 and 78. In fact the goal of halving world poverty has already been reached five years earlier than expected. Look up The Millennium Development Goals.

TheHabitatDoctor
11th-April-2014, 04:37 AM
I guess the scale of what is about to happen in history just hasn't occurred to most of you guys yet.

It is just hard for me to imagine, now, how anyone doesn't realize this is all happening. Don't you see the precursors to what OP is talking about in 3d printers and such? Very soon it will apply to food and it will be many of orders of magnitude cleaner and more efficient than our current system. That, and it will happen in confluence with >10 other equally revolutionary tech booms. This is the singularity.

At the very least, you should realize everything is going to be different. Star Trek TNG is going to look like a hilarious joke by 2050 (probably more like 2030). There is no conceivable reason at this point why there would not be staggering abundance. Barring a tremendous disaster, there will be no more poverty.
^This post is only missing promises of ridiculous amounts of gold and 40 virgins.

I'm putting 1000:1 odds favoring that within the next 50 years inequality will only continue to increase due to the creation of a new valuation system coupled with a revolution in surveillance technology.
My doubts lie in the utopia you think all this technology is going to create.
^
So, what do you think is going to reverse the trend (http://www.adb.org/features/12-things-know-2012-poverty-reduction-asia-and-pacific)?
The instability of the global financial system?

"Hey guys, we eradicated poverty! And then our currency became valueless and all our efforts over the past 200 years have been negated. :slashnew:"
So, you guys have offered excellent counter points to this ideas inception. I'm still interested in the effects it would have on society if everyone who isn't homeless had one of these autogardens. I like to think that the shorter work week would lend itself to more innovation, more focus on things people think are more important, whatever that may be. I can't shake the idea of it causing a bit of a renaissance, the way the original agricultural revoluution did. What would be the opposite possible consequence?
You're basically looking at a rough overall transition sequence from a core economy rooted in hunting-gathering --> agrarian --> industrial --> service --> information --> leisure. People like to think of the information economy in terms of people getting paid for their ideas, etc., when in reality it's based on information about people and deeply rooted in surveillance and controlling power structures.

Sure, autogardens would reduce necessary labor time required for survival, but that doesn't mean people won't be put to use for other types of labor, and that doesn't mean production is adequately compensated for. Autogardens don't negate the power of rhetoric, tradition, psy ops, usury, bureaucracy, etc. All of your innovation r belonging to me!... or, more specifically, the owner of the nanotech laptop factory Ribald mentioned.

scorpiomover
11th-April-2014, 05:01 AM
No in fact it turned out a lot better than what most people expected.

Also, nobody expected poverty would end by 1979 - where did you get that idea from?Ummm....I was there.

There was an oil crisis in both 73 and 78. In fact the goal of halving world poverty has already been reached five years earlier than expected. Look up The Millennium Development Goals.I'm a trilfe confused. The Millennium Development Goals were set at the Millennium Summit in the year 2000. They have no relation whatsoever to things people expected in the 1970s. So what you're saying seems to be contradict logic.

Ribald
11th-April-2014, 07:13 AM
Poverty has decreased in America. So has violence.

Education and health have increased. Oh, and discrimination based on race, gender, etc. is at an all time low.

Just because things are still drastically bad in many ways now doesn't mean they haven't improved. I find it unproductive to merely whine about how everything is the worst it has ever been and only focus on the bad things that happen. Nobody wants to listen to you (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/opinion/global-warming-scare-tactics.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0). I'd say it's mostly because being so negative is sanctimonious and egotistical. Or just how unproductive it is. I dunno which is worse.

For my part I do believe things are VERY wrong with the world right now, and I have a great deal of concern for it. I think corruption is rampant and consumerism is outlandishly excessive. I think the system is broken and needs to be fixed or gotten rid of. I think those things should be brought to light, but not at the exclusion of all the great developments we are seeing in the world at the same time, which I think deserve to be respected and not taken for granted. Our progress in science is thrilling. The social changes we have made in the last 100, 200 years (and beyond, even) are simply mind-blowing, and they need to continue. We have resources at our fingertips that no one ever really dreamed of. That means something and you people are assholes for not appreciating it, but rather spitting on it and not even proposing a remotely sensible alternative (other than using twigs for dentistry, apparently).

OrLevitate
11th-April-2014, 07:36 AM
I feel like I know Selena Gomez now.

Ribald
11th-April-2014, 07:59 AM
Yep that's me, Ribald with the Selena Gomez avatar who blindly loves technology and is a baseless optimist about everything (http://www.intpforum.com/showthread.php?t=19340) who refuses to see any negatives!

scorpiomover
11th-April-2014, 11:28 AM
Poverty has decreased in America. So has violence.

Education and health have increased. Oh, and discrimination based on race, gender, etc. is at an all time low.

Just because things are still drastically bad in many ways now doesn't mean they haven't improved. I find it unproductive to merely whine about how everything is the worst it has ever been and only focus on the bad things that happen. Nobody wants to listen to you (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/opinion/global-warming-scare-tactics.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0). I'd say it's mostly because being so negative is sanctimonious and egotistical. Or just how unproductive it is. I dunno which is worse.After World War I and the Great Depression, the world really was much better than it had been. Poverty decreased. War decreased. Education increased. Health improved.

For 5 years before World War II, Churchill kept telling people that Germany was arming for war. People thought he was being overly pessimistic too. Had people listened, they would have been able to demand that Germany keep to its treaties to not re-arm, and Germany wouldn't have been capable of taking over half of Europe, or the Holocaust.

For my part I do believe things are VERY wrong with the world right now, and I have a great deal of concern for it. I think corruption is rampant and consumerism is outlandishly excessive. I think the system is broken and needs to be fixed or gotten rid of.I agree. As an INTP, I looked at why. Almost every time disasters happened, whether in my life, the life of others around me, the companies I worked for, and in the world in general, I found that people were being warned that things were not so hot, and danger was around the corner, but was at that stage, preventable, and in those cases, people said they were just being too pessimistic, and refused to listen. That's how we got 3-mile island, Chernobyl, Pearl Harbour, the Second Gulf War, the Y2K bug, and probably 90% of the problems that I've seen in my life and in other people's lives.

When people did listen, the problems were addressed early, which made them, cheap and easy to solve, and so problems didn't occur. Everything went along smoothly.

I've had this experience so often, and seen it in the annals of history so many times, that it's practically a rule.

Some people call it Murphy's Law: if things can go wrong, and you ignore those negative possibilities, they will, and usually, in far worse ways than anyone's worst imaginations.

Ribald
11th-April-2014, 12:33 PM
The problem with that post is hindsight bias or sampling bias or both. Yes, it is easier to look back and identify causes of disasters than it is to identify them before the disaster. Second, it only takes into account the times that disaster did happen and none of the times disaster did not happen, which obviously can't really be accounted for. I mean, yeah, any time there is a problem at all there must be causes that happen beforehand. We don't live in a problem free world. And it is impossible to identify problems that didn't happen. Which is the same kind of superstition (or at least a related one) that leads my religious neighbor to believe that she knew when someone was about to call her on the phone because she was thinking of them right when they called. She didn't account for the 99 billion times it didn't happen and so attributed high significance to the 1 time it did, which was actually a pretty probable event given how much time there is in a person's life. In other words, you notice the exceptions, but when the rule is followed you don't notice it at all, and so you think the rule is never followed.

That said, what you are saying kind of helps prove my point (that solutions are better than warnings), not that I think my point is absolute. Sometimes warnings are good. Specifically I think there are certain parties, especially at this forum, who excessively and unproductively dwell on the negative and I believe it is, as I stated, due to a sort of sanctimonious egotism motivated by god knows what. I would not exactly compare them to Winston Churchill. Nor would I compare myself to Winston Churchill, but personally I have recently made threads about the threats I see from Islam, which is my number 1 problem with the world probably, and North Korea. People got all hissy-fitty at me for doing it both times, so whatever I guess, but my point is at least I am not constantly making those sorts of threads and posts as if it is part of the basis for my identity. Basically.

OrLevitate
11th-April-2014, 01:53 PM
Realized I'm an INFP. Took me a while, I know. This should be a common thing, where INFP's take idealistic notions and throw them into the pit of INTPs to dissect. It was interesting for me at least.

scorpiomover
11th-April-2014, 02:26 PM
I wasn't clear about my post before. I meant to re-write it. But you beat me to the punch.

Things happen in life. Some of then are to our benefit. Some are to our detriment. A lot of the things that happen that are to our detriment, are easily preventable, if we are willing to think about them beforehand, and come up with simple and cheap ways to minimise the harm, or even prevent the situation happening at all. This is called "hazard prevention". In driving, it's called defensive driving, and is how we are taught to drive in the UK, because it eliminates the vast majority of potential accidents, with only a minimal cost to the driver.

When it comes to the future, hazard prevention is just as beneficial. Dale Carnegie pointed out that most of the time, people who are unwilling to consider the worst, usually come off the worst, because if they did, they could easily see ways to prepare ahead of time, so that the future potential hazards can either be minimised with little cost, or can even be prevented from happening at all.

However, there are a lot of young people around today, who have no clue on what to do if things don't get better. They see what's in the media and are terrified. But the media are not telling them how to prepare for potential hazards. So, they want to believe that the future is going to get better and better, because anything terrifies them to the point where they just can't handle even thinking about it. It's a shame, because if they were willing to develop hazard prevention skills, a lot of the problems that are happening today, would never occur, and those that would, would be only a small annoyance, but nothing that we can't handle.

The problem with that post is hindsight bias or sampling bias or both. Yes, it is easier to look back and identify causes of disasters than it is to identify them before the disaster.Yesterday, my boss was panicking about a virus that stopped many of his clients' businesses from trading. I told him I'd look into it. It didn't take me long to find out that the problem was one of those 1-in-a million cases, that was not realistically predictable, and to even try, would cost far more in time and thus in money, than the cost those problems cause. I told him that there was nothing he could have realistically done, and there was nothing to worry about, and that if any of his clients complained about it, then if he explained the situation, then they'd understand that the cost of prevention would cost them far more than they lost, and they would understand that the most practical thing to do, was to not worry about it.

Second, it only takes into account the times that disaster did happen and none of the times disaster did not happen, which obviously can't really be accounted for. I mean, yeah, any time there is a problem at all there must be causes that happen beforehand. We don't live in a problem free world. And it is impossible to identify problems that didn't happen.Actually, you can. It's just a matter of assessing what things are likely to happen, how likely they would happen, how much they cost to fix, and how much it would cost to put in measures now to prevent them beforehand.

If you're in business, you have to do such risk assessments to stay in business. If it doesn't happen today, it can and often does happen soon. If you don't, the you go out of business within a few months. Likewise, if you spend all your money on things that probably won't be a big issue, or can't really be stopped anyway, you'll have nothing with which to continue making money.

Which is the same kind of superstition (or at least a related one) that leads my religious neighbor to believe that she knew when someone was about to call her on the phone because she was thinking of them right when they called. She didn't account for the 99 billion times it didn't happen and so attributed high significance to the 1 time it did, which was actually a pretty probable event given how much time there is in a person's life. In other words, you notice the exceptions, but when the rule is followed you don't notice it at all, and so you think the rule is never followed.I'm surprised she's religious. The vast majority of religious people refuse to accept such things exist, because they believe such premonitions come from the devil. I've met a lot of people who believe in premonitions. The vast majority are not religious in the slightest. The few who are religious, are extremely unconventional. I asked them about the details of their premonitions. They reported that they too had mistrusted it for years. But when they had such premonitions, they were so often accurate, that it was silly to ignore them.

There are of course some who believe in unfounded premonitions. But to do so, when the evidence shows that they don't have such an ability, is a clear case of mental illness. Fortunately, with so many people being openly acknowledged with clear signs of mental illness, we've got a huge amount of data to draw on. What we can see, is that mental ilness in such cognitive failures, happens across the board. A person who thinks they have premonitions just because of one or two cases of coincidence, forms opinions based on very little data. They're the type of person who, upon reading one argument for atheism online, immediately concludes that atheism is the only possibility without ever considering the alternative. They show the same types of jumping to conclusions all the time. If your neighbour is always doing things like telling you and others to keep clear of your friend with glasses becaus she read in the paper yesterday that e a guy with glasses killed someone, then she's batty. But if she doesn't do that sort of thing all the time, then the chances are that she's sane, and that whenever she gets such premonitions, they usually are accurate.

That said, what you are saying kind of helps prove my point (that solutions are better than warnings), not that I think my point is absolute. Sometimes warnings are good.The purpose of raising warnings without solutions, is to appraise you of potential hazards where you seem to be ignoring the potential for danger, and where you clearly could come up with a solution so easily, that it's not worth mentioning one, or where there are factors in your life that the speaker would probably not know about, that would be vital to developing a solution, making any solution that the speaker could come up with, either useless to you, or even cause you even more problems.

Specifically I think there are certain parties, especially at this forum, who excessively and unproductively dwell on the negative and I believe it is, as I stated, due to a sort of sanctimonious egotism motivated by god knows what. I would not exactly compare them to Winston Churchill. Nor would I compare myself to Winston Churchill, but personally I have recently made threads about the threats I see from Islam, which is my number 1 problem with the world probably, and North Korea. People got all hissy-fitty at me for doing it both times, so whatever I guess, but my point is at least I am not constantly making those sorts of threads and posts as if it is part of the basis for my identity. Basically.The issues of fundamentalist Islam and North Korea were raised decades ago. A lot of people have put a lot of thought into them already. If Islam poses a serious threat, then it would have been a good idea for us to not invite Muslims to come and study chemistry in Western universities and then go home, because chemistry teaches one how to make IEDs out of household chemicals. If Islam is a serious threat, then it would have been a good idea to not open the doors to immigration and allow millions of Muslims in each Western country. But now it's a done deal. We taught them how to make IDEs and suicide bombs. We've let so many in our countries, that if they did want to take us on, we'd have millions of terrorists and suicide bombers, far more than our police, national guard and armies could handle. Even if they could, we've let so many live so close to us in our cities, that if the police, national guard and army tried to get rid of them, they'd probably end up killing far more of us than them due to collateral damage. Even if we just tried to get them out now, they're so used to living in Western countries, that any attempt to oust them would be seen as some form of eradication comparable to the holocaust, and would cause them all to rise up against us. There are 1.5 billion Muslims right now, and they're in countries in the Middle East and Africa, which we rely on for natural resouces, such as petroleum for our cars and plastics, and precious metals for our computers and smartphones. If we nuked them, we'd end up making all those resources radioactive, and that would force us back to agriculturalism. But we've become so used to technology, that the current generations would probably not cope. Even if they could, our cities would become wastelands. We'd need at least 50-100 years of homelessness living in the rain with no way to make enough antibiotics to keep from a few hundred million from catching pneumonia and TB due to sleeping in the rain. The time to do something about stopping the spread of Islam, is long gone. If we plan now to move back to agriculturalism, then we might be able to set up a plan to move the Muslims back to their home countries in another 50-100 years. But we're not doing anything of the kind. We're going the other way entirely, which is making us more and more dependent on them, and thus giving them more and more power over us.

North Korea has a similar problem. Before they had nukes, the U.S.S.R. and then China were protecting them. If we hadn't opened the door to brining business to China in the 70s, then by the 90s, when the U.S.S.R. fell, we might have stood a chance taking on China. But we were so interested in making money, that we didn't think about the potential hazards. Now that NK has nukes, it's impossible. If even one nuke goes off, every other country that has a nuke will assume that WW3 is happening, and that everyone else will start shelling their nukes, and so they'll shoot their nukes to try to get them before they can get their nukes going. The whole situation is a powderkeg. So we can't afford to launch one at NK anymore, not unless everyone in your country wants to commit suiicide simultaneously.

IMHO, our best hope is to make friends with them as much as possible, and to use what weapons we have, to convince them that to oppose us would lead to us nuking them and thus them also being killed off as well, thus giving them a strong incentive to be friends with us in return.

TheHabitatDoctor
11th-April-2014, 09:52 PM
Poverty has decreased in America. So has violence.

Education and health have increased. Oh, and discrimination based on race, gender, etc. is at an all time low.

Poverty is measured in dollars and educational attainment is over-rated. Unless you're really into defending degree mills, standardized testing scores, and abstruse majors in 18th century basket weaving. Health is a conditional thing; a product of population density, genetics, economics, and politics.

Case study: Life expectancy in the Democratic Republic of Congo has increased >20% since 1960 from 41 to 49.6 years. Meanwhile in that same time period the Second Congo War amassed 5.4 million deaths with another million in the Rwandan genocide and another ~100k in the Congo Crisis.

And this:
http://www.cliodynamics.info/auxiliary/uspv.jpg

Terrorism's an interesting phenomenon, no? Just happens to pop up when other forms of violence decline.

We have resources at our fingertips that no one ever really dreamed of. That means something and you people are assholes for not appreciating it, but rather spitting on it and not even proposing a remotely sensible alternative (other than using twigs for dentistry, apparently).
Define "we." We the developed world tudors in mcmansions? We as in humanity? We as in Ribald is secretly posting from Mogadishu?

Why do you insist that others propose solutions to problems that may not in fact be problems? Ultimately there's no support that these "great developments" will solve anything. Problems, if they exist, aren't solved merely because solutions exist.

Sure, let's be optimistic. Lemmings are a great example of optimism. There must be something better at the bottom of that cliff or across those miles of open ocean! There must be!

Pyropyro
12th-April-2014, 12:08 AM
Realized I'm an INFP. Took me a while, I know. This should be a common thing, where INFP's take idealistic notions and throw them into the pit of INTPs to dissect. It was interesting for me at least.

Having idealists around is better than having cynics around. At least idealists put up a fight. Cynics are simply cowards hiding on a veneer of pseudo-intellectualism.

Duxwing
12th-April-2014, 12:27 AM
I guess the scale of what is about to happen in history just hasn't occurred to most of you guys yet. It's hard for me to relate to at this point, but now that I think of it I do remember a time when I didn't believe any of it either.

Please be careful with those beliefs lest they should become uncontrollable: you sound like a new cult member. :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYN18d7gHg
^short clip about molecular nanofactories, must-see. 2030s technology. Shows how an atomically precise laptop 1 billion times more powerful than those of today will be produced in minutes, atom-by-atom.


Our computers already are atomically-precise--so precise that we've learned that electrons will unintentionally 'jump' across any transistor smaller than about twelve atoms.


It is just hard for me to imagine, now, how anyone doesn't realize this is all happening. Don't you see the precursors to what OP is talking about in 3d printers and such? Very soon it will apply to food and it will be many of orders of magnitude cleaner and more efficient than our current system. That, and it will happen in confluence with >10 other equally revolutionary tech booms. This is the singularity.


The technology you describe is ages ahead of what we have. Food fundamentally comprises proteins so complex we know not even how each one is made--much less how to make them. Furthermore, creating large, palatable pieces of food would require even more advanced technology, and doing it at scale would require enormous advancements.

Until that technology arrives, we could eat lab block.


At the very least, you should realize everything is going to be different. Star Trek TNG is going to look like a hilarious joke by 2050 (probably more like 2030). There is no conceivable reason at this point why there would not be staggering abundance. Barring a tremendous disaster, there will be no more poverty.


You neglect logistics. Enormous industrialization requires enormous investments of people, money, and natural resources. People are everywhere. Money can be borrowed. Natural resources are not abundant. Therefore, we would require some almost miraculous way to acquire enormous quantities of resources. Where? The asteroids? The Moon? Not unless we have a space elevator, which you have not mentioned.


I suppose in the same vein, there were people in the 1800s who were skeptical about new-fangled electricity and didn't believe that it would be all over the country within 100 years... but really far, far more than that, having built the foundation for 10s of other paradigm shifting technologies that brought us into the modern age. Well, this century's changes will dwarf those of the 1900s. I know it isn't natural to realize that, but it's a sure bet.

Imagine yourself as a typical person in 1914. What would you have realistically expected to see at that point? My guess: probably not much, if anything. By the end of the century, though, my god...

I might have expected Europe to be ruined, which it was for a while until we built it again. Next we ruined it again. I thereafter have expected peace, and we almost blew up the world several times. Now we teeter along, held together by smiles and tenuous trade. We have miles to go.

-Duxwing

OrLevitate
12th-April-2014, 06:14 AM
Cynics are simply cowards hiding on a veneer of pseudo-intellectualism.

I heartily agree with this description.

TheHabitatDoctor
12th-April-2014, 06:52 AM
Having idealists around is better than having cynics around. At least idealists put up a fight. Cynics are simply cowards hiding on a veneer of pseudo-intellectualism.
I heartily agree with this description.
hehe... I think you're all too focused on optimism and/or cynicism instead of the system that produces optimism and/or cynicism. :p

Josteen
12th-April-2014, 02:13 PM
I certainly support this idea and it's realization in the future, but i doubt that it can happen in the near future, as long as greed, apathy and hypocrisy is still a thing.
The need to dominate and to be on top of others, to be better than others exist in each and everyone of us no matter how much you deny it and how much you try to mask it, the need to be acknowledged or honored by others is already related and was one example of it.
Even for us INTP the least human by definition, of all the 16 types of mbti personality, some of our action and thoughts were driven by it.
People with the power/money to do this thing have little motivation to see this realized, while those without the it might have the motivation but not the power to make it happen

Pyropyro
12th-April-2014, 04:00 PM
hehe... I think you're all too focused on optimism and/or cynicism instead of the system that produces optimism and/or cynicism. :p

Well systems don't have tantalizingly punchable mugs :D

But yeah, I agree that there are many factors in play that create the cynics and the optimists.