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Are you hoping for / and or expecting, a global civilisational collapse?

I both hope and expect that global civilisation will collapse as soon as possible
3 (5.7%)
Yes, I hope that global civilisation will collapse as soon as possible
2 (3.8%)
I expect that global civilisation will collapse within the next few decades
11 (20.8%)
I do not expect global civilisation to collapse, nor do I hope for it to happen in the foreseeable future.
15 (28.3%)
I hope that global civilisation will not collapse in the foreseeable future
7 (13.2%)
I do not expect global civilisation to collapse in the foreseeable future
3 (5.7%)
I expect that global civilisation will collapse within the next few decades, but I hope that it won't happen.
12 (22.6%)

Total Members Voted: 53

Author Topic: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?  (Read 3406 times)

MyACIsDying

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2019, 12:46:58 AM »
..
Does the "equality" in these countries and resulting "potato-ness" of their general citizenry serve the citizens, or does it serve the royals, allowing a political system that "liberals" have always been against to survive intact into the twenty-first century?
..
That great empire you speak of must surely be of great fitness compared to those potato countries! Healthy, capable, intelligent. I mean, when you get personal.. Do you really think my great grand parents, potato farming labor immigrants from Germany where such a menace to one of the longest reigning kingdoms in the world, The Kingdom of Denmark? Their surplus production enabling comfort potato's to obsess about how the world works and provide better answers then God did it. Kierkegaard is my personal Danish potato favorite.

TerryM

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2019, 12:57:58 AM »
^^
I'm Irish. We got no trust in potatoes.


"Fool me once & - & - You'll never fool me again"
A quote by a famous chowder head.
Terry

bbr2314

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2019, 01:18:00 AM »
..
Does the "equality" in these countries and resulting "potato-ness" of their general citizenry serve the citizens, or does it serve the royals, allowing a political system that "liberals" have always been against to survive intact into the twenty-first century?
..
That great empire you speak of must surely be of great fitness compared to those potato countries! Healthy, capable, intelligent. I mean, when you get personal.. Do you really think my great grand parents, potato farming labor immigrants from Germany where such a menace to one of the longest reigning kingdoms in the world, The Kingdom of Denmark? Their surplus production enabling comfort potato's to obsess about how the world works and provide better answers then God did it. Kierkegaard is my personal Danish potato favorite.
OMG. I did not insult potato farmers. I said they are potato people. I.E. they are just like potatoes with spuds for eyes and ears.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 02:37:38 AM by bbr2314 »

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2019, 02:34:54 AM »
American exceptionalism delusionalism  :o

(I say this as an American. And a Canadian.)

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2019, 02:51:22 AM »
Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism

Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state. Our inverted totalitarianism pays outward fealty to the facade of electoral politics, the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, and the iconography, traditions and language of American patriotism, but it has effectively seized all of the mechanisms of power to render the citizen impotent.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/sheldon-wolin-and-inverted-totalitarianism/
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2019, 07:32:25 AM »
Neven
I can't imagine that you'd approve of Sagan's dream of an ever expanding Human Race with planet after planet falling victim to our rapacious needs. It's identical to the Capitalist Manifesto demanding growth or death.
The very system that you've railed against for so long. :-\


If we can't satisfy our needs and wants here where we evolved, what makes you believe that we'd do better elsewhere?
Terry

Completely agree with Terry here. That's the correct view :)

I think Carl Sagan was very smart but didn't see his biases, his cultural preconditioning.
Almost noone does.
No calibration with 'outside' (reality) = Thinking 'inside' (the culture bubble).
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2019, 07:54:15 AM »
Some very exciting discussions happening in this remote corner of the great Arctic Sea Ice Forum!

By the power vested in me as the instigator of this silly questionnaire I'd like to make a few statements:

1) The fall of the Roman Empire was not a "civilisational collapse". It was a societal collapse (loss of societal complexity), but the civilisation that harboured the Roman Empire continued to happily grow and evolve.

2) I use the term "global civilisational collapse" in an apocalyptic sense. This does not imply that it happens all at once, but it does imply that some future generation (even one born today) will realise that they live in a post-apocalyptic world, and are rapidly heading to a civilsation based exclusively on subsistence farming.

3) Human civilisation is not "bad" or "evil" and pristine nature has no value in and of itself. All values are purely humans, morality has only the human dimension.

4) Human behaviour is truly destructive, but this is a direct result of evolutionary forces that work on biological, societal and technological levels, unremittingly and blindly, to create lifeforms that use ever more energy. Humans are simply the pinnacle of this unrelentless evolution.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

wili

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2019, 08:53:57 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, b.

From your phrase, "civilsation based exclusively on subsistence farming" I'm guessing your definition of 'civilization' is more what I would call merely 'culture.'

Generally, as the etymology of the word implies, 'civilization' implies a high degree of social structure, specifically including cities and the specializations they allow and foster.

If you have a more nuanced meaning of civilization you intend to use here, perhaps you could share that with us, too.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2019, 09:07:54 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, b.

From your phrase, "civilsation based exclusively on subsistence farming" I'm guessing your definition of 'civilization' is more what I would call merely 'culture.'

Generally, as the etymology of the word implies, 'civilization' implies a high degree of social structure, specifically including cities and the specializations they allow and foster.

If you have a more nuanced meaning of civilization you intend to use here, perhaps you could share that with us, too.

Good point. The word "civilisation" is clearly derived from (or at least strongly related to) the latin civilis, meaning citizen, and originally in the narrow meaning of "living in a city".

I use the word in a very broad sense, including essentially everything that could be called culture, society, technology and knowledge, but also and not least the inhabitants themselves.

A "civilisation" based exclusively on subsistence farming will still include substantial amounts of culture and technology, and people might well be living in "cities" in the archaic sense (i.e. more than a few hundred people)

Whether "civilisation" implies a high degree of social structure is debatable, but then we could also debate what a "high degree of social structure" means. If we take it to imply inequality, then yes, that can well exist in a purely agrarian society. Same goes for complicated cast structures, religious and societal norms etc.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2019, 09:12:08 AM »
Sorry binntho, I disagree with your whole list 1)-4).

I strongly disagree with your 3).
Morality is general, but all other life has to live within living nature's contraints because they have to. This gives by definition a high morality. Good.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2688.msg200350.html#msg200350
My research moved on a little. I can define good and bad from my definition of morality.

Civilisation (humans in a social hierarchy conquering and expanding with technology) is bad.
Value is a human fantasy concept. Morality is real.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

grixm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2019, 09:14:48 AM »
In other words, "global civilisational collapse" is the Apocalypse, Armageddon, the Breakfast of the Gods or Ragnarok. Almost no people will survive, and the survivors will at be at preindustrial technological levels.

By that definition I don't expect it. Massive climate change, war and/or recession that kills like 50% of people might happen, but I think enough will survive to keep a civilization going.

The reason is that we have this huge buffer of technology that makes surviving really easy when you think about it. We have farms, factories and power plants that are largely automated and can produce food and essential goods for thousands of people per employee. With a ratio like that, those systems should in turn easily be able to sustain all the industry required to keep them operating, like parts and engineering for the machines. We even have the knowledge and tools to fight back if traditional processes like plant agriculture fails, by genetically modifying plants to survive in different climates. I struggle to imagine what kind of sudden and absolute devastation could completely disrupt that self-sustaining feedback loop.

We don't really notice it these days because unrelenting capitalism have squandered all that potential into trying to satisfy an endless, wasteful consumerist culture, but once people start realizing that they are in danger and focus their efforts on essentials like food, we would be able to produce a ridiculously high abundance of it.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 11:22:16 AM by grixm »

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2019, 09:17:47 AM »
Sorry binntho, I disagree with your whole list 1)-4).

I strongly disagree with your 3).
Morality is general, but all other life has to live within living nature's contraints because they have to. This gives by definition,
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2688.msg200350.html#msg200350
My research moved on a little. I can define good and bad from my definition of morality.

Civilisation (humans in a social hierarchy conquering and expanding with technology) is bad.
Value is a human fantasy concept. Morality is real.

Well, obviously morality is a human construct. What else can it be? It is an abstract concept, and all abstract concepts are human constructs.

The same goes for concepts like "natural" and "unnatural". Humanity in it's current state is exactly a result of evolution, the current human civilisation is exactly as "natural" as all the rest of the biosphere.

because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2019, 09:23:08 AM »
In other words, "global civilisational collapse" is the Apocalypse, Armageddon, the Breakfast of the Gods or Ragnarok. Almost no people will survive, and the survivors will at be at preindustrial technological levels.

By that definition I don't expect it. Massive climate change, war and/or recession that kills like 50% of people might happen, but I think enough will survive to keep a civilization going.

Quite. And if we take historical examples of massive losses of human life, in the region of 30 - 50%, then it takes about two generations to get back on form. In Europe, the pandemics of late 14th century killed perhaps 30 - 60% of the population. Two generations later Europe was repopulated.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2019, 09:30:35 AM »
Neven
I can't imagine that you'd approve of Sagan's dream of an ever expanding Human Race with planet after planet falling victim to our rapacious needs. It's identical to the Capitalist Manifesto demanding growth or death.
The very system that you've railed against for so long. :-\


If we can't satisfy our needs and wants here where we evolved, what makes you believe that we'd do better elsewhere?
Terry

Completely agree with Terry here. That's the correct view :)

I think Carl Sagan was very smart but didn't see his biases, his cultural preconditioning.
Almost noone does.
No calibration with 'outside' (reality) = Thinking 'inside' (the culture bubble).

This assumes that human evolution is over. Of course, it is not.

Aspects may have slowed or stalled, but that will soon be corrected. Keep in mind the time frames involved. Agriculture was invented less than 10 thousand years ago. H. sapiens emerged ~300 thousand years ago. Hominin tool use evolved ~3 million years ago.

The collapse of current civilization is very unlikely to be the end of human evolution. But it will mean the re-emergence of selection. There should be plenty of time (before e.g. the next comet strike) for a more intelligent form of global hominin civilization to evolve -- provided that evolution is capable of producing such, which is by no means certain. But current civilization is merely the first iteration, so it's far too soon to judge.

If, eons from now, future hominins do move to other planets, they will no longer be the same as current humans. By necessity, they will have evolved to no longer destroy the ecosystems they inhabit.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 10:05:47 AM by petm »

nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2019, 10:38:45 AM »
Thanks for chiming in petm :)

In my view: Evolution by natural selection is over for the human race.
Everytime civilisation humans meet or are discomforted by natural limits, they try and find technofixes. E.g. child mortality, illnesses, immunesystem etc.
Our gene-pool has gotten very polluted in the past 50 years.

It is very short-term thinking because at some point in the future humans' whole life has to be techno-controlled. Ebola? Anti-biotic resistance? We can fix it  ::). General decreasing mental health? Civilisation doesn't want to know or think about the future effects.

In civilisation, nobody looks far into the future to evaluate the consequences of their actions; of mass technology use.
"We can magically fix everything, we are so smart. There are no drawbacks" hahaha.

Medical technology and other technology have effectively removed most (all?) natural constraints of living in ecosystems. No natural selection.

Civilisation has long ago betrayed their roots and are accelerating farther away from those roots and reality.
One of the powers of high intelligence is the capability of seeing consequences in the future. Where is our so-called high intelligence? I think it is operating in insane abstractions, in dreams, cut off from reality.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2019, 10:45:23 AM »
I feel that there is a very limited understanding of evolution when it comes to us humans.

So here goes:

1) Humans have evolved into a technological species. Using technology is part of the biosphere, and is a result of evolutionary drive. It is not some deviation from the "normal".

2) Human thought / society / culture  is all controlled by evolutionary forces. Evolution in it's purest sense explains creatitivity, development of societies and cultures, rise of technology etc. All of this is a result of the same evolutionary forces as created multicellular life in the first place.

3) The "rest" of nature has no claim on us or our activities. Evolution is precisely "the survival of the fittest", at the moment we are by far the fittest and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2019, 10:49:54 AM »
In my view: Evolution by natural selection is over for the human race.
Everytime civilisation humans meet or are discomforted by natural limits, they try and find technofixes. E.g. child mortality, illnesses, immunesystem etc.
Our gene-pool has gotten very polluted in the past 50 years.

I mostly agree. Except for the immune system, which provably continues to rapidly evolve, many areas of human evolution are stalled, notably brain evolution. My point was that selection will resume once civilization collapses.

wili

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2019, 10:53:31 AM »
Well, I guess that pretty much tells us all we need to know about where b is coming from!  :o

It's actually a pretty standard modernist view point, if not always so bluntly and honestly stated.

It's convenient how 'it's all natural' nicely wipes the entire species clean of any possible culpability!
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2019, 11:00:56 AM »
the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it

I agree with your main point that humans are in no way outside of nature or evolution. This part though... either you don't know anything about ecology, or it's a joke.

(And it's worth noting that your (3) fundamentally contradicts your (1) and (2).)

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2019, 11:03:44 AM »
Well, I guess that pretty much tells us all we need to know about where b is coming from!  :o

It's actually a pretty standard modernist view point, if not always so bluntly and honestly stated.

It's convenient how 'it's all natural' nicely wipes the entire species clean of any possible culpability!

Well, that's the thing. There is no possibility of a species being culpaple of anything. And culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts of no meaning in the natural world.

Is it convenient? How?
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2019, 11:06:10 AM »
It's convenient how 'it's all natural' nicely wipes the entire species clean of any possible culpability!

Does it?

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #71 on: August 28, 2019, 11:08:32 AM »
Binntho, you keep contradicting yourself. You say both that we are not outside nature and outside nature. Which is it?

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #72 on: August 28, 2019, 11:08:57 AM »
the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it

I agree with your main point that humans are in no way outside of nature or evolution. This part though... either you don't know anything about ecology, or it's a joke.

A bit tongue in cheek I'll admit! Besides, I'm sure that there will be lots of parasites and epiphytes and what have you that will find rich evolutionary niches alongside us.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #73 on: August 28, 2019, 11:09:51 AM »
Binntho, you keep contradicting yourself. You say both that we are not outside nature and outside nature. Which is it?

Where did I say that we were outside nature? I may have, but I don't recall doing that since that is not my position.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

Avalonian

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #74 on: August 28, 2019, 11:11:14 AM »

3) The "rest" of nature has no claim on us or our activities. Evolution is precisely "the survival of the fittest", at the moment we are by far the fittest and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it.

I'm a palaeontologist, immersed in evolution on a daily basis. It's what I do. This post demonstrates a complete failure of understanding of how ecosystems work, and what 'fittest' means in an evolutionary context. In Darwin's teminology, it refers to  being best adapted to be able to successfully reproduce within the current environment. Ecosystems are hugely mutually supportive, including the apparently antagonistic elements; when the conditions (i.e. the surrounding ecosystem) change, the concept of what is fittest changes as well. During mass extinctions, for example, it's a catastrophically bad idea to be a reef-building organism, marine plankton, or a land vertebrate over 25 kg. Mass extinctions occur when the rate of species loss passes a particular threshold, at which point ecological perturbations lead to further collapse.

Secondly, and purely personally, if this attitude expressed in (3) were to become normal, I would no longer want to live in such a world. It's a similar concept of domination over nature that convinced me to give up on christianity when I was about 5. It's also the type of attitude that will, in my view, guarantee societal collapse as a result of a wider ecological collapse.

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #75 on: August 28, 2019, 11:11:51 AM »
Perhaps a bit of sloppy nomenclature ... such as abstract concepts not belonging in the "natural world" - yes I admit, it's not always easy keeping the arguments straigth!
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #76 on: August 28, 2019, 11:12:26 AM »
Where did I say that we were outside nature? I may have, but I don't recall doing that since that is not my position.

Here:

culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts of no meaning in the natural world.

And more importantly, here:

3) The "rest" of nature has no claim on us or our activities. Evolution is precisely "the survival of the fittest", at the moment we are by far the fittest and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it.

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #77 on: August 28, 2019, 11:20:13 AM »

3) The "rest" of nature has no claim on us or our activities. Evolution is precisely "the survival of the fittest", at the moment we are by far the fittest and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it.

I'm a palaeontologist, immersed in evolution on a daily basis. It's what I do. This post demonstrates a complete failure of understanding of how ecosystems work, and what 'fittest' means in an evolutionary context. In Darwin's teminology, it refers to  being best adapted to be able to successfully reproduce within the current environment. Ecosystems are hugely mutually supportive, including the apparently antagonistic elements; when the conditions (i.e. the surrounding ecosystem) change, the concept of what is fittest changes as well. During mass extinctions, for example, it's a catastrophically bad idea to be a reef-building organism, marine plankton, or a land vertebrate over 25 kg. Mass extinctions occur when the rate of species loss passes a particular threshold, at which point ecological perturbations lead to further collapse.

Secondly, and purely personally, if this attitude expressed in (3) were to become normal, I would no longer want to live in such a world. It's a similar concept of domination over nature that convinced me to give up on christianity when I was about 5. It's also the type of attitude that will, in my view, guarantee societal collapse as a result of a wider ecological collapse.

I think we all know what "fitter" means in that phrase so unhelpfully cooked up by Herbert Spencer. And I am using it to mean "the fittest to propagate".

But in my personal view, the underlying driver of evolution is the ability to use energy. So "the fittest" would then be "the one that uses most energy" - implying of course that more energy use will better enable the species to propagate.

I am also aware that I am getting dangerously close to the Christian concept of man dominating nature, I am pushing that envelope on purpose to oppose precisely the thought that man is outside nature and thus somehow able to dominate it. Or more precisely perhaps, to oppose the thought that, since man is outside of nature, he has no right to partake in it on his own cognizance, but only according to some vague "natural" rules.

And I totally agree with you - if views like mine were widespread it would not be to the benefit of mankind. Same goes for the obvious fact that we have no free will - thank the gods that most people believe otherwise!
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #78 on: August 28, 2019, 11:22:05 AM »
Secondly, and purely personally, if this attitude expressed in (3) were to become normal, I would no longer want to live in such a world. It's a similar concept of domination over nature that convinced me to give up on christianity when I was about 5. It's also the type of attitude that will, in my view, guarantee societal collapse as a result of a wider ecological collapse.

I agree and unfortunately I think that's just where human nature (the group mentality of H. sapiens) inexorably leads. But as an evolutionary scientist, take hope! We may yet evolve into something better -- in fact we must, or perish. Actually, this is one of the most beautiful evolutionary feedbacks of all. :)

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #79 on: August 28, 2019, 11:22:21 AM »

And more importantly, here:

3) The "rest" of nature has no claim on us or our activities. Evolution is precisely "the survival of the fittest", at the moment we are by far the fittest and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, the rest of the biosphere can either evolve to be useful to us, or pretty enought that we will want to protect it.
Well, that's exactly why I put the crows feet around "rest", thereby indicating that the position that there is a "rest" as opposed to "us" is not held by me. Apostrophes do have meaning!
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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petm

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #80 on: August 28, 2019, 11:27:35 AM »
Perhaps a bit of sloppy nomenclature ... such as abstract concepts not belonging in the "natural world" - yes I admit, it's not always easy keeping the arguments straigth!

Perhaps. Or perhaps it reflects a fundamental contradiction in your synthesis. Worth considering, I would suggest.

Avalonian

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #81 on: August 28, 2019, 11:35:32 AM »

I think we all know what "fitter" means in that phrase so unhelpfully cooked up by Herbert Spencer. And I am using it to mean "the fittest to propagate".

But in my personal view, the underlying driver of evolution is the ability to use energy. So "the fittest" would then be "the one that uses most energy" - implying of course that more energy use will better enable the species to propagate.

I am also aware that I am getting dangerously close to the Christian concept of man dominating nature, I am pushing that envelope on purpose to oppose precisely the thought that man is outside nature and thus somehow able to dominate it. Or more precisely perhaps, to oppose the thought that, since man is outside of nature, he has no right to partake in it on his own cognizance, but only according to some vague "natural" rules.

And I totally agree with you - if views like mine were widespread it would not be to the benefit of mankind. Same goes for the obvious fact that we have no free will - thank the gods that most people believe otherwise!

Good to hear you were slightly tongue-in-cheek here! However, the bold part isn't an absolute: it's a momentary condition that can last a long time, or a geological instant. If conditions change, and populations collapse, then it wouldn't take much at all for some species of ant (for example) to become dominant on land (by your definition).

I get what you're saying about dominance, but it might be a red herring; I suspect most dominance by tyrants in human societies comes from within, and they only raise themselves 'above' the masses later.

nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #82 on: August 28, 2019, 11:56:27 AM »
@wili I completely agree.
Convenient; easy; stress avoiding; worldview instability avoiding. Brain systems trying to maintain stability.
You have found the unconscious act of the brain to dodge the bullet :).

@petm
Thanks for the immune system correction.

@binntho
"And culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts of no meaning in the natural world."
It has a name: conscience. The body signalling low morality = "you're doing something bad to your human social group".
In other social animal groups, behaving bad will get the group to correct the individual. This guilt is real, it is a social group characteristic/mechanism.

@avalonian
Thank you for your expertise, high morality and correcting this "survival of the fittest" nonsense ;D
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binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #83 on: August 28, 2019, 12:33:28 PM »
But in my personal view, the underlying driver of evolution is the ability to use energy. So "the fittest" would then be "the one that uses most energy" - implying of course that more energy use will better enable the species to propagate.


However, the bold part isn't an absolute: it's a momentary condition that can last a long time, or a geological instant. If conditions change, and populations collapse, then it wouldn't take much at all for some species of ant (for example) to become dominant on land (by your definition).

Well, I think it's an absolute - but of course not always attainable.

Life (and all that implies, including human thought and technology) is a localised decrease in entropy (i.e. increase in order). So if we think of a hypothetical "law of evolution" it could be along the lines of "the lower the localised entropy, the fitter the species".

And if entropy goes down in one place, it has to go up in another, implying a transfer of energy. So all evolution (including biological, sociological, technological etc.) is about increased use of energy. Energy efficiency is a bonus if possible.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #84 on: August 28, 2019, 12:37:01 PM »

@binntho
"And culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts of no meaning in the natural world."
It has a name: conscience. The body signalling low morality = "you're doing something bad to your human social group".
In other social animal groups, behaving bad will get the group to correct the individual. This guilt is real, it is a social group characteristic/mechanism.


Interesting point here, whether animals feel guilt similarly to what we feel. I for one would not maintain that they do not.

Feelings are not abstract, but they are purely individual. The names we give them are abstract and applying them to groups is nonsense.

Quote

@avalonian
Thank you for your expertise, high morality and correcting this "survival of the fittest" nonsense ;D
What nonsense? Are you sure you understand what we are writing?
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

karl dubhe2

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #85 on: August 28, 2019, 12:44:26 PM »
Yes, I've always liked films like Mad Max, and reading books about such tripe.  It would be awesome to live as our savanna dwelling ancestors did.   After all, aren't you enjoying the mix of Nineteen Eighty Four and the Handmaid's Tale?

/s

This sort of questioning thread is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?   :)

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #86 on: August 28, 2019, 12:58:53 PM »
Yes, I've always liked films like Mad Max, and reading books about such tripe.  It would be awesome to live as our savanna dwelling ancestors did.   After all, aren't you enjoying the mix of Nineteen Eighty Four and the Handmaid's Tale?

/s

This sort of questioning thread is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?   :)

Yes it's way out there! But discussions in another thread made me wonder ... after all, praying for the end of times is a common human pastime?
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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Neven

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #87 on: August 28, 2019, 02:12:50 PM »
From the Wikipedia entry on Social Darwinism:

Quote
Peter Kropotkin argued in his 1902 book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution that Darwin did not define the fittest as the strongest, or most clever, but recognized that the fittest could be those who cooperated with each other. In many animal societies, "struggle is replaced by co-operation".

Quote
It may be that at the outset Darwin himself was not fully aware of the generality of the factor which he first invoked for explaining one series only of facts relative to the accumulation of individual variations in incipient species. But he foresaw that the term [evolution] which he was introducing into science would lose its philosophical and its only true meaning if it were to be used in its narrow sense only—that of a struggle between separate individuals for the sheer means of existence. And at the very beginning of his memorable work he insisted upon the term being taken in its "large and metaphorical sense including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny." [Quoting Origin of Species, chap. iii, p. 62 of first edition.]

While he himself was chiefly using the term in its narrow sense for his own special purpose, he warned his followers against committing the error (which he seems once to have committed himself) of overrating its narrow meaning. In The Descent of Man he gave some powerful pages to illustrate its proper, wide sense. He pointed out how, in numberless animal societies, the struggle between separate individuals for the means of existence disappears, how struggle is replaced by co-operation, and how that substitution results in the development of intellectual and moral faculties which secure to the species the best conditions for survival. He intimated that in such cases the fittest are not the physically strongest, nor the cunningest, but those who learn to combine so as mutually to support each other, strong and weak alike, for the welfare of the community. "Those communities", he wrote, "which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring" (2nd edit., p. 163). The term, which originated from the narrow Malthusian conception of competition between each and all, thus lost its narrowness in the mind of one who knew Nature
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binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #88 on: August 28, 2019, 03:01:25 PM »
I think human evolution is sure proof of this: Co-operation makes a species much fitter than individualism. And co-operation means more order which means less entropy which means more energy usage ....
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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kassy

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #89 on: August 28, 2019, 03:04:28 PM »
Well, that's the thing. There is no possibility of a species being culpable of anything. And culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts

So we can think about if we humans are guilty of something or not.

If you have any awareness of the whole world you see we clearly have a sustainability problem.

And with AGW we risk* putting our kids and grand kids etc in a position where they are far worse of due to degradation of sinks and ever more damage as long as CO2 etc grows YOY.

We could do more.
We knew we should do more for at least a decade ago or so. (being generous)
But lets make some money and win an election first.

The fight is about our posterity more then us. Saving as much as possible of animals and plants that are unique would be nice too.

We are totally guilty of over-exploitation of resources. All individual actors only contribute a bit but it is death by a thousand cuts.

Not sure if that leads to collapse but it leads to many deaths and avoidable suffering.


* present tense for hope

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #90 on: August 28, 2019, 03:17:21 PM »
Well, that's the thing. There is no possibility of a species being culpable of anything. And culpability and guilt are human, abstract, concepts

So we can think about if we humans are guilty of something or not.

That's the thing - is collective guilt something that can be said to exist? Is it ever morally defensible to assign collective guilt? Nazis and Zionists would answer yes, but I'd say not.

But then again, since guilt is a human construct, why not also collective guilt?

Quote

If you have any awareness of the whole world you see we clearly have a sustainability problem.


Agree absolutely, and with all the rest of your post.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

kassy

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #91 on: August 28, 2019, 03:53:01 PM »
We face collective consequences so we need collective efforts.
Lack of them implies collective guilt.

Personally i blame the western rich consumers. Most of them do not care why we got that wealthy or how we maintained that level. I used to tease my girlfriend about the little girls sewing her really short skirts. And then she wanted to free the cows but the next day they would explode if they were not milked.

Some large dutch brewer had a really interesting ploy to suck money out of the African breweries into the tax haven of the Netherlands. (We do much financial crap that does not help the world).

Basically reality divided between elections where we vote for the guy promising jobs, safety etc.
And in between they pass all kind of technical laws which screw you but which are to abstract to discuss.

We are especially collectively guilty of taking everything for granted but you can´t really blame individuals. Now we have a generation growing up who do not have that luxury so things will change.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #92 on: August 28, 2019, 04:02:42 PM »
The problem with words like "collective guilt" is that they are essentially meaningless.

Besides, since I do not believe in free will, I guess I shouldn't even believe in individual guilt! Anyway, I don't think you can blame any subset of humanity. We are all the same, all equally culpable.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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kassy

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #93 on: August 28, 2019, 05:06:58 PM »
Or does it just feel better if you think about that this way?

If you think about intergenerational justice some of posterity might disagree.
Then again you will never have to face what they face so just reject guilt.

As hinted above it is hard assigning specific blame to individuals but you cannot believe in AGW and reject guilt because we did that, we are the bloody A.

A lot of people might subconsciously think about money and damages but that is not what it is about.

We have a moral obligation to do what is best for the future even if it costs us a lot now because the potential gains could be so great. But most people don´t think like that. Can we just amble along at the current comfort level? (Baby boomer demography not helpful either, 70 yo´s are not that open to change). No, that ship has sailed.

You have the power to assign any meaning and meaning operates in a context. You can recognize generational transactions or not.

Then you can think about what is fair free will allowing...
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #94 on: August 28, 2019, 05:45:04 PM »
where are we going? CO2 emissions both heat the planet and acidifying it's oceans. The geological record shows that it is possible to both melt the ice caps and acidifying the oceans to the point where calcium carbonate deposition ceases in certain locations. The carbon cycle we humans are acclimated to is dependent upon deep and bottom water formation driven by ice formation at the poles. With enough CO2 and heat the ice formation begins to fail and the engine that drives the carbon cycle begins to fail.
 Civilization at this point is both causing the poles to melt and the oceans to acidify. Civilization is completely dependent upon fossil fuels to feed itself. We will continue to add CO2 and we will get closer and closer to the point where we have harmed the carbon cycle to the point where the oceans carbon sink cannot move atmospheric carbon into the deep oceans as efficiently as it currently does. Carbon will then accumulate in the atmosphere at ever increasing rates.... A positive carbon feedback.
 It is what we all know we need to avoid and what we as a civilization are failing to accomplish.
These things are inevitable at some point should we continue our current emissions.
 Civilization is at this point in time dependent upon fossil fuels to feed itself and there is no current technology that can replace our current fossil fuel driven agricultural systems. The carbon cycle has a breaking point. The Geological record shows it has happened before.
 Very small agrarian societies are not in my opinion civilizations. Civilization to me is a definition of what it takes to build large cities. Resource extraction and food funneled into large population centers that do NOT feed themselves, do not grow their own energy resources and IMO unsustainably mine energy and resources from distance and usually by force.
 So if I say I wish civilization would collapse because I think it will cause an uncontrollable carbon feedback cycle that will both cause the extinction of myriad other life forms and send earth into a place that takes a hundred thousand years for the planet to recover from ,then what , I am the monster?  I love life, I love humans, but I don't love cities or civilization. Humans could exist on this planet without all the consequent damage we are inflicting upon it.
 If we were to return to small agrarian societies there would be far fewer humans, so what? Civilization and technology facilitate our destruction , I would not mourn their passing. Civilization cares not about small agrarian societies  other than how to extract resourses from them. Agrarian societies do not preempt the ability to form civilizations but civilization may preempt even agrarian societies should we collectively hit a nasty carbon feedback tipping point.
 How close are we ?
 

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #95 on: August 28, 2019, 05:48:52 PM »
Then you can think about what is fair free will allowing...

There is no free will - therefore no justice and no fairness (reaches for the beer with one hand while covering his eyes with the other, muttering  "... the horror ... the horror ...")
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
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nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #96 on: August 28, 2019, 05:50:43 PM »
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2893.msg225294.html#msg225294

Neven, many thanks for posting that beautiful angle.
I loved reading it. More details, a zoom-in. Added knowledge and truth imo.

@kassy last 5 posts or so
Great reading your words. You are a very sharp knife in the drawer imo.
Thanks for your high morality, your analytic powers and expertise.

@Bruce
Great to read your post. Another very good view.
I think you, kassy and avalonian are beautiful humans. :)

@binntho
It seems to me that you are dominating these kind of discussions. Drowning out other points. Not constructive. Sorry but that is my observation.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

binntho

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #97 on: August 28, 2019, 06:01:20 PM »
@binntho
It seems to me that you are dominating these kind of discussions. Drowning out other points. Not constructive. Sorry but that is my observation.

Absolutely right. Perhaps I've been a bit more assertive here than I would normally be, seeing as how I started the thread.

As you can see, I think I've got it all worked out and tend not to listen to what other people have to say. And I have a provocative streak and am at times tempted to rile people up. All failings that I've come to know and accept, and being as old as I am, I don't think I'll change much.

So the occasional heads-up is appreciated! (I've got a system with my bosses, if they need me to shut up in meetings they scratch their noses vigourously. I'll take it, nanning, that your nose is now well scratched.)
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

Neven

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #98 on: August 28, 2019, 06:34:16 PM »
Civilization to me is a definition of what it takes to build large cities.

With the advent of the Internet, do we actually need civilisation? In my view the only thing that makes cities useful, is that they allow a wide variety of potential partners. The problem is, in my view, that city dwellers never really grow up. I would forbid entry for anyone below 16 and over 30.  ;)

But seriously. Do we need cities? What if a global civilisational collapse could be incurred without war and misery, simply by tearing down cities bit by bit? That's something I would probably hope for, but not expect. Power structures would never allow so many people to become more independent. Because that's what cities really are: dependency clusters for potato people who never grow up (where does bbr live?  ;) ).

Dependency creates power. Power corrupts.
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nanning

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Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« Reply #99 on: August 28, 2019, 07:11:04 PM »
Nice view imo. Question everything :).

But sorry Neven, I disagree with you on the power thing (I think it is important to give another view)
Quote
Dependency creates power. Power corrupts.

In a broader human perspective,
Dependancy should create trust, love and affection.

In a system without social hierarchy there is no 'power'.

"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome