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  1. #826
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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Corrupt capitalism as it is is indeed destroying nature and our way of living. Can't people see it?

    Maybe it's deserved because of the greed? It's just sad that the innocent ones get hurt in the process too.


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpMireGgxJ0
    It's not capitalism per se, but industrial civilisation in general. If anything, socialist economies are far worse for the environment than market-governed social democracies. The Soviet Union was notoriously destructive of the environment and the contrast between socialist North Korea vs capitalist South Korea is quite stark. When the DDR reunified with West Germany, the cost of cleaning up what was actually a relatively tiny country even by European Standards, nearly bankrupted the mighty West German economy.

    The Soviets managed to make the Aral Sea disappear and contaminate vast areas of Siberia, with Industrial pollution and radioactivity through mining and Nuclear Testing. Novaya Zemlya, an arctic Island larger than the island of Ireland, will be uninhabitable pretty much forever.

    The larger issue is what Dmitry Orlov calls the Technosphere, an emergent, self-sustaining organism that runs on technology and the destruction of the biosphere, the natural habitat. The Technosphere will continue growing until it collapses (hopefully) or until it kills off its host, the biosphere. Its growth is ever more worrying, because it is now married to AI and the global internet, so it is in some sense already sentient and we are its slaves, serving its needs in direct conflict with our own biological needs, which would call for a sustainable biosphere. There is every chance that we will see hell on earth within our lifetime, if the technosphere doesn't collapse due to its own internal contradictions. Infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet.


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  3. #827
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Your points are very well taken. When I first learned that the Aral Sea was drying I was very sad. I've seen similar things here in the states, such as the Colorado River drying up.

    It's all pretty tragic.

    Is this Technosphere part of some peoples' push for us, as humans, to connect to it?

    I don't see that really being a good thing. I see loss of control being too easy.

    My brain's connection to the world and universe would be screwed up, I think, if I was connected to some kind of AI.

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  5. #828
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Your points are very well taken. When I first learned that the Aral Sea was drying I was very sad. I've seen similar things here in the states, such as the Colorado River drying up.

    It's all pretty tragic.
    Yeah, there are similarities for sure. Both are due to overuse of fresh water resources in a desert environment. The disappearing Aral Sea is an awesome (and terrible) sight to behold. I once flew over it when I was going from Moscow to Delhi. It is surrounded by desert and the landscape looks like mars, pretty much. Then you see the remains of this great lake, the size of a sea, and two smaller lakes that still exist within what used to be the Aral Sea. It is because of irrigation schemes in the desert, in order to grow cotton. Absolute madness.

    Is this Technosphere part of some peoples' push for us, as humans, to connect to it?

    I don't see that really being a good thing. I see loss of control being too easy.

    My brain's connection to the world and universe would be screwed up, I think, if I was connected to some kind of AI.
    The Technosphere is supposedly its own thing, it does things for its own benefits, for its own growth and humans are merely its pawns, though it is very good at manipulating humans to do its bidding, willingly and even enthusiastically. Just look at all the tech obsessed people all over the world, who can't wait to get the next new shiny gadget and you can see how it operates.

    A good analogy would be a corporation. Technically, a corporation doesn't even exist, it is just a piece of paper, but in actual fact it chews up and then spits out people it uses to achieve its own aims, it is greater than any human that it supposedly employs and is in blind pursuit of profits and infinite growth, to the detriment of everything else. However, a corporation is just a much smaller piece in the puzzle that is the technosphere, but the way it operates is pretty identical.

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  7. #829
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I can't get past the idea of humans being at the heart of it. They run corporations. Sooner or later, there is a human involved.

    Who's trying to control this Technosphere? It may be hubris and they may really be unable, but aren't there still humans behind the scenes doing what they think controls the system?

    I guess it's just the same folks who think they run the corporations.

    I feel like they'll end up, if un-checked, being giant organized crime entities.

    Which is what an Oligarchy is, right?

    Does the Technosphere work well with corporations?

    (I guess I should go learn more)

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  9. #830
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I can't get past the idea of humans being at the heart of it. They run corporations. Sooner or later, there is a human involved.

    Who's trying to control this Technosphere? It may be hubris and they may really be unable, but aren't there still humans behind the scenes doing what they think controls the system?

    I guess it's just the same folks who think they run the corporations.

    I feel like they'll end up, if un-checked, being giant organized crime entities.

    Which is what an Oligarchy is, right?

    Does the Technosphere work well with corporations?

    (I guess I should go learn more)
    The classic movie, Metropolis, had a pretty good depiction of what they saw as the dangers of a self-emergent, cannibalistic and self-destructive industrial, technological utopia. In the movie they referred to it as "Moloch", a Biblical reference to the Devourer, an ancient Jewish deity that mass human sacrifices were made to.


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  11. #831
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    I don't understand how a technosphere would be bad for the planet itself. Any system that enhances a flow of information that enhances education, particularly for women and girls in developing nations, will drop birth rates.

    People toiling away indoors on computers, working from home, aren't burning gasoline.

    Technology is really bad for people in many respects, but if it keeps going, it might be great for the planet.

    We have to radically, radically drop our numbers. There's way too many human beings on this planet. We act like it belongs to us and it doesn't.

    It's all about birth rates.

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  13. #832
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    My husband and I were talking about population. The current pandemic has taken around one percent of the human population, correct? (hard to know exact numbers)

    He felt like that wasn't a tremendous impact on population.

    I reminded him that we're going to continue to have more of these pandemics because of the various practices of factory farming, being in close quarters with animals, hunting bushmeat, etc.

    Avian flu, SARS, Covid-19, these are just the beginning.

    All the people out there who think this stuff is a hoax are in denial. It's understandable. Why admit that practices which are worldwide and show no signs of stopping will likely endanger or possibly kill your family? Most people don't want to. Denial is much easier.


    The question of whether a Technosphere would be good for the planet lie in it's motives. That is, if a technosphere has motives. What drives it? What is its purpose? What if its purpose is to mine all surfaces?

    Just speculating.

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  15. #833
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Collapse of health is a factor in societal collapse.

    Today, Environmental Health News released the findings of its two-year investigation into exposures of families in southwestern Pennsylvania to fracking chemicals called Fractured: The Body Burden of Living near Fracking. The chilling results in the reporting by Kristina Marusic show that families living near fracking operations have alarming levels of chemicals like xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, toluene, and others in their bodies, in their air, and in their water.
    As most already know, one or two or ten studies do not amount to enough evidence. There are now thousands on this issue.

    The infuriating part is that the Commissioners announced their intention to ban fracking in 2017, two years before events of 2019. They had sufficient evidence then, when only about 700 studies had been done. Today’s report from EHN is the latest contribution to a body of research that now totals about 2,000 studies.
    Last edited by Dreamtimer, 2nd March 2021 at 12:09.

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  17. #834
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    My husband and I were talking about population. The current pandemic has taken around one percent of the human population, correct? (hard to know exact numbers)
    No, not even that much. According to the latest numbers, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has so far cost roughly 2 million human lives, and there are about 7.4 billion people living on this planet. So it's not even 0.3% of the global population yet at this point.

    But of course, the pandemic isn't over yet, and there are now already strains of the virus against which the vaccines aren't even effective, as well as strains that are both more infectious and more lethal at the same time.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  19. #835
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    No, not even that much. According to the latest numbers, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has so far cost roughly 2 million human lives, and there are about 7.4 billion people living on this planet. So it's not even 0.03% of the global population yet at this point.
    Actually, you misplaced the decimal, it is more like 0.3 percent and quickly approaching half a percent globally, which is certainly significant. In most of Europe the death rate is well over 1 percent of the population and in some places, like the UK (and Hungary) it is now approaching 2 percent. Those are actually staggering numbers, though tempered by the fact that most of those who passed away were elderly and/or chronically ill, so many of them would have been lost even without the pandemic.

    But of course, the pandemic isn't over yet, and there are now already strains of the virus against which the vaccines aren't even effective, as well as strains that are both more infectious and more lethal at the same time.
    That is the big worry, yes, we may find ourselves battling yet another new strain every couple of months with further lockdowns and new vaccinations for the foreseeable future. We'll be very lucky if life gets back to normal in 2022 or 2023.

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  21. #836
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    My husband and I were talking about population. The current pandemic has taken around one percent of the human population, correct? (hard to know exact numbers)

    He felt like that wasn't a tremendous impact on population.

    I reminded him that we're going to continue to have more of these pandemics because of the various practices of factory farming, being in close quarters with animals, hunting bushmeat, etc.

    Avian flu, SARS, Covid-19, these are just the beginning.

    All the people out there who think this stuff is a hoax are in denial. It's understandable. Why admit that practices which are worldwide and show no signs of stopping will likely endanger or possibly kill your family? Most people don't want to. Denial is much easier.


    The question of whether a Technosphere would be good for the planet lie in it's motives. That is, if a technosphere has motives. What drives it? What is its purpose? What if its purpose is to mine all surfaces?

    Just speculating.
    The thing about the technosphere is that it is a parasitic organism predicated on infinite growth. The current economic system, which underpins it, simply isn't viable without economic growth, which is why politicians and economists obsess about it so much. In our debt-based monetary system, previous loans can only be paid off by constantly expanding the money supply and growing the economy. As soon as there is contraction, the system becomes incredibly unstable and is always one black swan event away from total collapse.

    In 2008 it was Bear Stearns that almost brought down the House of Cards, now there are several things, too numerous to mention. It may yet survive, but with each crisis, it becomes less and less resilient.

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  23. #837
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Actually, you misplaced the decimal,
    I corrected it in my original post. Wasn't my fault; the typo monster bit me.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  25. #838
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    We'll be very lucky if life gets back to normal in 2022 or 2023.
    Humanity...



    What a fantastic gif. A blue dumpster, with a red and white star is on fire, floating on the water, and in the foreground is a sign for people parking for the red, white and blue thrift store. Unless it's a movie with CG, you just can't plan these things.

    Whoever took that,
    Last edited by Dreamtimer, 3rd March 2021 at 12:08.

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  27. #839
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    As I point out in my book The Last Hours Of Ancient Sunlight, in the process of all this population growth we have consumed virtually all of the world’s wild spaces. We’ve harvested the oceans, razed the forests, and are burning thousands of acres of the planet’s jungles every hour.

    In my lifetime, more than 80% of all the wild animals on Earth have vanished, and today over a million species are on the verge of extinction. Just since 1970, North America has lost about a third of all our birds. Scientists have declared an insect apocalypse; as that “bottom of our food chain” vanishes, and it’s pollinators with it, it threatens the entire web of life on this planet.

    Humans, and animals raised by humans for food, are now the dominant species on earth; fully 96% of all mammals on this planet are us and our livestock.
    ---Thom Hartman

    https://thomhartmann.medium.com/the-...w-71f386bd21a2

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  29. #840
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I recall the Star Trek TNG episode in which Picard is scanned by a probe. During the 20 minutes or so he lives a lifetime on a planet which died. There were no more bacteria in the soil.
    They knew they were dying and wanted to be remembered.

    Earthlings have a couple spacecraft out there. That's something anyway...

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