Earth. Our planet?
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01-06-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
Hah, first time you ignored my post. Too disturbing?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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01-06-2014, 03:24 PM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
(01-06-2014 07:38 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(31-05-2014 10:53 PM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  I rest my case.Drinking Beverage
Do you think cockroaches will be surprised when the outer layers of a red giant sun engulf the planet?

Probably not. I think they will fly with us in our ships.

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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01-06-2014, 03:29 PM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
(01-06-2014 07:36 AM)living thing Wrote:  But if we do want to reproduce successfully, we cannot reproduce carelessly. Shagging is fun and we should all probably do it more often (maybe then we'd fuck less with each other), but having fifteen mouths to feed is not fun, especially if you only have three children with five mouths each, when it becomes scary. Regardless of the mouth-child ratio, the point is that careless reproduction can kill you, me, and everyone else. I'm talking, of course, about cancer.

Also, shagging members of the same sex is a good practice when overpopulation is imminent. Or, just whenever. Wink


(01-06-2014 07:36 AM)living thing Wrote:  It would be useful for us if we understood that we are a social animal; our individual survival depends entirely on help we receive from our closest biological relatives (other human beings). You only have to see our infants to realise just how dependent we are on the care we receive from others; killing a human child is so easy, that tiny viruses and bacteria can do it, that if the child doesn't just kill him or herself by mistake. So we cannot just afford to compete and compete and compete for a shag; we need to learn to help each other if we want the products of our shags to have their own chance to shag. If we cooperate for the benefit of the whole humanity (for example by not taking what we don't need, thus leaving it available for whoever may need it) we can gain abilities that none of us will ever have individually. Exiting this planet is a collective effort and, in the long run, it will be a necessity.
(01-06-2014 07:36 AM)living thing Wrote:  Who can say what is helpful for humanity? Anyone who spends some time observing other living beings. It's not like I have spent my whole life observing them in every minute detail, but even I can see how cooperation (collective multitasking) is helpful for life at pretty much every stage. Individual genes are hardly able to do anything by themselves, but genomes (cooperative collections of genes) are able to do things no individual gene could ever dream of if genes had an underlying structure enabling them to dream. Individual cells are fairly capable of doing things, but they're quite useless when it comes to building, for example, a house; multicelled organisms are cooperative collections of cells, often able to build external housings. An individual ant is a wimpy little multicelled thing, however an ant colony (a cooperative collection of them) can build things that impress even human engineers. What could humanity not do, if we all put our abilities and efforts together for the benefit of all?

Well, obviously, it's easy to tell what is beneficial for the life of an individual, or even a group of individuals. But I was referring to the entirety of Humanity, to which I thought the original post referred.

Sure, humans have been "successful" in the natural selection arena because of socialization and cooperation. These things were crucial to the continuation of homo sapiens, I get that. But we're not in any real danger of dying out anymore (barring a nuclear disaster or some other stupidity like that). We're getting better and better at becoming more and more numerous, and I would love to see planetary colonization. The point I was making was just that continued expansion may not be a reality and, at this point, it's too tough to tell.

(01-06-2014 07:36 AM)living thing Wrote:  I'd say life is order. In a universe that is constantly changing towards a more disordered state, life is the process by which matter arranges itself into order. It is a virtual illusion, of course; every life has a beginning and every life reaches an end. Meanwhile, it can be fun.

I almost wish I could have this kind of perspective. I see the entire process of life as a violent flare of energy devoid of any kind of laws that might be seen outside of a gory Colosseum arena. But I can still have fun Wink

(01-06-2014 07:43 AM)living thing Wrote:  Inherit it? From us? So it is ours!

I'd say we haven't really inherited it from them yet, but like DLJ suggests, they share it with us; even if we don't really want to share it with them. But baby seals! Who wouldn't share the planet with them?

It's funny how there seems to be a selective pressure towards animals looking like stuffed toys.

Lol. My [apparently poor] attempt to make a joke and quote the bible should not be interpreted as a statement that the Earth may *actually* be inherited.

And I agree with you about stuffed toys. I'd go a step further and say that the predilection for stuffed toys is actually the transferred predilection for babies (anthropomorphism etc.)
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02-06-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
Hello Jeffasaurus, how are you? Those little arms still not helping your piano skills? Big Grin

(31-05-2014 06:08 PM)Jeffasaurus Wrote:  I love the idea of an altruistic planet—all life forms working together for the betterment of everyone. Unfortunately, humans are self-absorbed assholes, who would rather maximize their personal profit (not necessarily just monetarily) at the expense of anything else.

If this planet "belongs" to anyone, it's either the Arthropoda, or Cyanobacteria.
I'm sorry I skipped your short yet interesting post. I agree with most of it although the last "if" is quite an if; I don't think this or any other planet belongs to anyone. But there is another word I am not sure I agree with, even though I like the notion it conveys; altruism.

I'd love to describe myself as an altruistic person, but I fear I'd be lying just to make myself appear interesting. When I promote mutual cooperation for the benefit of all, I have my self-interest in mind, because I understand how the set consisting of all human beings includes me.

I need other people in order to live. For example, I'm not a predator but a scavenger, I sometimes roam the meat section of the supermarket where I find my prey conveniently chopped and packed; I depend on other people doing the killing for me. I once managed to hunt a small marine animal which I later ate, but I didn't really know how to cook it properly so I didn't enjoy the experience as much as I do when I order it in a restaurant; I prefer relying on people who know and hopefully enjoy what they're doing. Cooperative multitasking is so convenient!

That is why, when people around me need anything, I offer my help, and if it is something I can provide, I do it gladly; not only because helping other people overcome their problems makes my life seem not entirely useless, but also because when I need help, it causes me joy to receive it. Unexpected help from a stranger, when I cannot achieve something alone, generally makes me smile; it gives me hope in the future of humanity. But people will not be able to help me if they are struggling with their own problems, so if I want to expect unexpected help when I need it, I must ensure that people in my surroundings have as few personal problems as possible; it is convenient for me to provide help to strangers while I'm able to, because I never know when I'll need help from a stranger.

I'd like to live in a planet where people were helpful to each other, because I think life with seven billion potential helpers would probably be much easier than life with seven billion potential parasites, but I'll never achieve that if I'm not helpful myself; I'm part of the people in the planet too. So by promoting mutual cooperation or even behaving cooperatively, I'm afraid I have my own selfish interest in mind.

I don't think anyone must sacrifice their own chance to experience life for the benefit of others; sacrifices can be useful and even emotive, but in my opinion they can only be voluntary. Asking other people to sacrifice for me when I cannot be sure I'll be able or willing to sacrifice for them would seem unfair, so I wouldn't be comfortable appealing to other people's altruism; I'd rather appeal to their own selfishness.

But I certainly agree with you in one thing. We do seem self-absorbed assholes who would rather maximize our personal (and immediate) profit at the expense of anything else (such as our grandchildren). Why do you think that may be? Is it that we are too unimaginative to foresee the consequences of our actions? Is it that we are blinded by our desire to own everything? A bit of both? Neither?

Thanks for sharing your view, Jeffasaurus. Have a good time!
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02-06-2014, 10:50 AM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
Hello Dom, how are you?

I generally try to follow threads sequentially, but I don't always achieve it. Sometimes, out-of-order messages catch my attention and I end up skipping posts. Please excuse my rudeness.

(31-05-2014 08:28 PM)Dom Wrote:  Realistically, it's ours, we dominate it and do whatever the heck we want with it and everything on it.
Can I sell it to non-terrestrial aliens?

(31-05-2014 08:28 PM)Dom Wrote:  Are we responsible stewards?
But that's two questions, not one.

No, we don't always behave responsibly, in the sense that we don't always stop to think about the consequences of our actions before we perform our actions recklessly, and no, we're not stewards of this planet; we are just lucky enough to have been assembled into existence on it. We may be luckier than other living beings regarding the abilities of our brains, which enable us to use our environment in ways that few other living things in this stellar system can (for example, we can use the energy released during the fission of rather unstable chemical units to boil water, and then channel the steam through a turbine inducing an electric current that we can then use for all sorts of purposes), but I don't see how that would imply that we are in charge of this planet; that bit of abstract "knowledge" seems more likely derived from the idea of there being a supreme ruler of the universe whose representatives are human beings.

(31-05-2014 08:28 PM)Dom Wrote:  Nope, we torture all the other animals at will, we destroy the vegetation, and we multiply like rats destroying everything in our wake and causing immeasurable suffering.
While I agree with your nope, I'm not sure I agree with the multiplying like rats thing; I'd say we multiply like cancerous cells.

The high reproductive rate of rats is a fairly stable strategy, depending on the energetic cost of producing offspring and the likelihood of survival of that offspring. Unless a new ecological niche becomes available, populations fluctuate but on average remain quite constant over time, because overgrowth decreases the likelihood of individual survival, so the process is self-regulated through a feedback mechanism.

Human beings, however, are quite effective at extracting energy from our surroundings; collectively, we can afford to produce large offsprings. But we are also quite good at understanding the threats to our survival, and we do put large efforts into neutralising those threats, especially in places where monetary resources are abundant. Infancy death rates (especially in the so-called "first" world) are lower in our lifetime than ever before, so our population does not fluctuate around a fairly constant average; it grows exponentially, like tumours do.

But unlike cancerous cells, we do have the ability to foresee the consequences of our actions, that is probably one of the greatest usefulnesses of our imagination. We can elaborate thoughts like "if I do this, that will happen" and abort our actions if we suspect an undesired outcome. Sadly, we seem more concentrated in using our imagination to elaborate thoughts like "if I say this, those gullible people will give me their money"; we seem obsessed in accumulating as many collective resources as possible for the benefit of our own reproductive lines, like cancerous cells do.

So I don't think it is fair towards rats that we compare ourselves to them. Do you know what I mean?

However, as heterotrophic organisms, we cannot live without destroying other living beings; while I digest a lettuce leave, its cells die. But if I didn't eat stuff my cells would die, so what I can do is help the lettuce genes avoid the threats to their survival (by planting their seeds; by ensuring they have access to water, nutrients and sunlight; by removing their own parasites, etc.) and they will help my genes by producing nutritious leaves that I can eat. The same is applicable to other plants, animals, funghi or whatever. Heterotrophy needn't imply parasitism; it can imply symbiosis.

(01-06-2014 03:13 PM)Dom Wrote:  Hah, first time you ignored my post. Too disturbing?
Made me jump and scream, and a little bit of feces almost came out but I managed to hold them in. Please don't write those things again!!!

Thanks for the reminder and for your original contribution. I hope you'll have a great day with no unnecessary rain, but I suggest that you grab your raincoat, just in case Wink
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02-06-2014, 10:53 AM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
(01-06-2014 03:24 PM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  
(01-06-2014 07:38 AM)living thing Wrote:  Do you think cockroaches will be surprised when the outer layers of a red giant sun engulf the planet?
Probably not. I think they will fly with us in our ships.
But the thing is, do you think they will fly in our ships with us, or thanks to us?

I mean, when someone sees a cockroach on some wall of the spaceship, do you think they'll smile and say "Mhmmmm, a cockroach. It reminds me so much of the planet of my ancestors!" or will they say "Ugh, a cockroach!" and chase it with a spacesuit boot?

I hope you're right and they do come with us in our ships, although I'm not too sure I'll get to go myself, so I don't really care if there are cockroaches in "our" ships! Tongue

Cheers!
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02-06-2014, 11:31 AM
RE: Earth. Our planet?
Hello again catgoblin, how's it going? Thanks for your reply.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  Also, shagging members of the same sex is a good practice when overpopulation is imminent. Or, just whenever. Wink
If those involved in the shagging do so willingly, then I'm happy for them regardless of the number and combination of sexes. I like my relationships to be with one (or even two) members of the complementary gender, but when it comes to other people shagging, it's not me who has to like it; I just hope they'll enjoy it.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  Well, obviously, it's easy to tell what is beneficial for the life of an individual, or even a group of individuals. But I was referring to the entirety of Humanity, to which I thought the original post referred.
Humanity is a group of individuals; I don't think there is an upper limit to the number of elements that form a group. In fact, the number of individual constituents in humanity is far less than the number of cells in my body, which is another group of individuals. The whole terrestrial ecosystem is a group of individuals, so I'm not sure why we cannot learn from other living beings and apply that to humanity.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  Sure, humans have been "successful" in the natural selection arena because of socialization and cooperation. These things were crucial to the continuation of homo sapiens, I get that.
We're successful thanks to cooperation at several levels of our structure; our individual genes cooperate with other genes in our genomes, several organelles with different histories cooperate with each other in our eukaryotic cells, our cells cooperate with each other in our bodies and we cooperate with other human beings, although not to the point where humanity can be described as a cooperative unit. Competition is valuable for life in many ways, but the most important leaps in our evolution have occurred through episodes of mutual cooperation; this is not just about our own species.

When it comes to our species, I'd say the main reasons for our success, so far, are most likely our ability to understand and reproduce abstract information in our minds, and especially our ability to produce it in our own brains; we can not only learn from our observation of distant stars, but also use that information in order to imagine what the likely future for our nearest star will be. And it doesn't look bright.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  But we're not in any real danger of dying out anymore (barring a nuclear disaster or some other stupidity like that). We're getting better and better at becoming more and more numerous, and I would love to see planetary colonization. The point I was making was just that continued expansion may not be a reality and, at this point, it's too tough to tell.
You and I are unlikely to see a red giant sun. Humanity, unless it dies out sooner, will probably have to face such event, and travelling to Mars will not solve the problem; human beings may need to learn how to exit this stellar system. We seem to be on the right track; we've already managed to get an object outside the heliosphere (although that wasn't at all my merit). But Voyager 1 may stop receiving commands if we kill ourselves for the greatness of our gods and/or countries; I see that happening with the kinds of weapons we've managed to invent.

I'd say continued expansion is not possible because things in the universe are becoming increasingly distant apart as time progresses, and the rate at which they do does not seem to be slowing down; there will probably be a time when no other planets are reachable with the energy that is available. But that will probably be in the long, long run; hopefully long after this planet exists no more. Meanwhile, there is plenty of universe for many generations of us to explore and hopefully enjoy while learning if there is a way to cheat enthropy. Seems unlikely, but who can claim to truly know?

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  I almost wish I could have this kind of perspective. I see the entire process of life as a violent flare of energy devoid of any kind of laws that might be seen outside of a gory Colosseum arena.
Funny, that's almost how I view the universe itself; life seems a tiny pocket of order in such a vast and violent chaos. While the universe has been losing order in the last over 13 billion years, living things on this planet have been gaining complexity for 3 or 4 billion years, and especially in the last 50,000 years or so when we've been producing complexity ourselves.

Living in the universe can be a violent experience, but that's most likely because of the anarchic universe we live in; life itself is quite ordered. Life can be seen (at least by me) as a process by which ordered information (specific arrangements of matter and patterns of change) can transform unordered matter and change into more ordered information. For example, when a virus injects its genome into a host cell, its genes are able to use the cellular machinery and the cell's stored energy in order to transform random arrangements of aminoacids and nucleotides into many viral particles, so many that the cell typically dies in the process. One might ask why don't they do that to their own balls, instead of doing it to those poor cells, but I don't think viruses have the balls to do that.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  But I can still have fun Wink
And I hope that you will. I certainly recommend that you try to, as much as possible. Even while you do useful things.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  Lol. My [apparently poor] attempt to make a joke and quote the bible should not be interpreted as a statement that the Earth may *actually* be inherited.
I'm sorry, my bad. I'm not much into scriptural readings, so I didn't recognise it as a sarcastic biblical quote.

(01-06-2014 03:29 PM)catgoblin Wrote:  And I agree with you about stuffed toys. I'd go a step further and say that the predilection for stuffed toys is actually the transferred predilection for babies (anthropomorphism etc.)
Oh, I'd say "surely" but, you know, just in case...

Many of us seem hardwired to care for mammals with round features, most likely because our infants are very dependent on our help and they've got round features; the genes upon which both traits rely are a successful combination. By contrast, genes that make mammals with round features look delicious don't go well with genes for roundish children; they are likely to disappear in only one reproductive cycle. And that may be why many people, when they see a baby seal, go "awwwwwww" instead of "yummy!"

But I'd say mammals finding the puppies of other mammals cute probably goes beyond our species; adoption across species is not uncommon. I wouldn't be surprised if it were a mammalian thing, rather than strictly anthropomorphic.

I'm still not sure we agree entirely in our views, but it is a pleasure exchanging them.

Have fun!
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