# Science , did it make a difference ?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Bluecrux, Apr 13, 2009.

1. ### BluecruxLight BearerRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
78
Essentially, what I think is that presently, we would be able to do without all the Sci & Tech if we were made to believe that it doesn't exist .

I know it's bit hard to imagine a life without all the daily stuff we use . . .
-refrigerators, television, mobiles and computers of course
The healthcare we devised that adds a lot of years to our lives
-medicines , surgical instruments and other gadgetry
And certainly a lot to add to our luxury .

But humans lived ages ago without all such things . And I don't think they had more things to complain that we have . Observe closely, take anything which you think adds to the satisfaction in your life or which is vital to your daily life .
For example, paper .
Helps you with noting things but can you take into account how paper production affects ecology ?
Most of the other things you use do . See, on one side it's adding to your necessary and luxury but on the other side , it has long term implications on the chances of your survival .
Medicine - You are afraid that without all the Medicare ( as a result of Science ) you'd fall ill ? I'd say that today due to contamination and pollution, the grave danger of falling ill has gone up . Plus there's been an explosion of stress related diseases . About 26% American adults suffer from mental disorders .

We'd better probably die calmly of a disease and accept it as god's will . If we know the cure exists, we'd try to be like a restless fish pulled out of water .

The joy which science gives us is momentary and temporary .
The problem is basic . Unlike other animals, humans can't be ever content with anything . Happiness lies in being content with whatever is given .

3. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

Messages:
7,780
I suspect that we are evolvin away from "animal-type" hayypness an mor toward a purpose-driven esistence which will include a manufactured contentment.!!!

5. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
I think you've made this point quite clear. However, you are falling into the trap of glorifying the past as a scapegoat for whatever problems you can't overcome today; ironically, you seem to be the uncontent in a crowd of "relatively content"s.

The issues you bring forth (e.g. psychological disorders and obsessive-dependence) are valid, but I think you are wildly underestimating how "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" life has been for many before technology messed everything up. =P

I think you are having a hard time accepting that life was perhaps just as easy and hard yestertime as it is today, for different reasons.
On the negative, perhaps
-having to deal with more solitary "psychos"
-more superstitious mob rule (and certainly not just concerning religion...)
-fear of surviving sleep (due to night raids)
-fear of wildlife attacking you
-fear of disease (what causes it? is it the gods? is it your neighbor?)
-fear of going crazy (imagine all of the ideas you have today that would be entirely questionable/anathema/'psychotic' if you did not have an entire online community to validate them?)

and on the positive, for many of the reasons you are mentioning.

From my experience, it is a natural stage of philosophical inquiry to question everything around you to the point of convincing yourself that the world was better before. This probably has something to do with reading historical philosophical texts (they spent a lot of time glorifying the familiar rather than the anxiety-inducing unknown future).

...and not to say that they're wrong; I certainly believe technology has caused more problems than it's fixed. That we, as a species, don't evolve as fast as our technology; we are supplying wants rather than needs, thus malnourishing ourselves and wasting lots of resources in the process.

But maybe we merely need to think ourselves adapted to adapt? Perhaps one leads evolution with the mind?
It is that kind of philosophy that might be the most interesting and useful at this point in time. Or not. :bugeye:

cheers,
g

7. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
P.S. the other major problem i find in your argument is that you are speaking hypothetically of a time that would most likely never exist; "a mind once stretched by a new idea fails to regain its original shape."
i.e. our technology has been inevitable; deal with it! =P

8. ### Dr MabusePercipient ThaumaturgistRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
714
"Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times." - Gustave Flaubert

Times were much harder in the past. They were never as good as people like to think they were.

You buried many children, you could die from a small cut, etc.

Oddly enough people are happier in harder times. Like a man in the desert being given water, how mere water is then better than heroin for pure ecstasy, hard times make a person look for and really appreciate small bits of joy and satisfaction.

9. ### BluecruxLight BearerRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
78
All the points you mentioned, fine, the life then was wild and insecure .

But I think that we belong to the privileged strata of the society .
We cannot say on behalf of the world's entire population . Okay, we might be able to sleep nicely, without fear of disease and with availability of a doctor just a call way . But exactly how many people on earth are priveleged to such a sleep? Just a slice of the entire population .

But let us assume still, on an average , the living conditions have improved .
How long do you think you'd breathe your lungs into clean fresh air ?
How long before we run out of all major energy sources ?
How long before the earth gets pollutes to such an extent that quite a percentage of lifeforms start disappearing and more and more of earth gets inhabitable ?
How long before the polar ice melts away flooding huge chunks of coastal areas ?
How long before some country's nuclear arsenal falls into wrong hands ?

All those things you mentioned are insignificant as compared to these threats . We are so busy into our daily lives and so accustomed to our comforts that we never look into what really lies ahead of us .

10. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
counter-questions:
1. how long do you think it'll take us to adapt to "polluted" (different composition) air?
2. how long before we tap new, more abundant energy sources? (e.g. better use of solar)
1-2. how long before we leave our planet in search of new ones?
3. note: animals have already started flourishing in the Chernobyl aftermath, due to few humans living there. How many new lifeforms do we have due to current conditions? i.e. I'm pretty sure Earth will be inhabited until it blows up and/or gets hit by something extraterrestrial
4. how long before we go swimming?! and/or adapt to oceanic lifestyles? or start living in spacecraft, hovering above the surface? etc. etc. (and that's even if the ice caps melt as severely as you fear)
5. how long are you going to support a lifestyle of fear and whining? (haha, okay, a little dramatic, but you get the idea).

Lastly: on contraire, we--as a human race--are too busy being afraid and paranoid that our lives are weak shadows of what they could be if people stopped taking life so seriously and put their energy towards enjoying it (and spreading that joy/adventure) with those around them.

cheers,
g

11. ### BluecruxLight BearerRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
78
Evolution is a relatively slow process compared to the rate at which environment is degrading. I don't think humans would be able to adopt to
coming times without significant loss of resources, living and non-living.

Well anyway, thethread was related to "Success" of science and we have been deviating away from it.
And I guess that there's a truth to the statement that all great races have to end
It's quite right that we should live for the moment but at the same time see that our lifestyle doesn't influence others.

Cheers.

12. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
Of course, I just wanted to play devil's advocate. I bike/walk as much as possible, don't eat meat too often (inefficient resource and i've grown to dislike the taste), generally try to live as sustainably as possible, and I'm on these forums (so I care at least a little about the future of mankind).

My research also shows me that most "scientific" endeavours of the last 50 years are done by obsessive idealists who refuse to accept that maybe things are better if we leave a lot alone and try to relax more. e.g. tons of pesticides, etc. on our agriculture that do serious damage to the workers, cost a fortune, and could be easily replaced by traditional methods of crossplanting crops which take care of each other, and/or other "folk" remedies that require talking to the local people (heaven forbid). e.g. banana trees, and tilting them a certain way.

c'est la vie!

13. ### OliHeute der Enteteich...Registered Senior Member

Messages:
11,888
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

14. ### Blender3d777Registered Member

Messages:
19
Not science, only the idea put into peoples head that they need to succeed in life, makes peoples lives miserable. Because you cant define success, people strive for it...and spend there whole life striving for it, and living less of a life then those people who have nothing. People in third world country's have no cares, if they have food and a place to sleep there content (and, oh yeah, a hospital and health care...since health is the only real reason to advance science in the first place, apart from curiosity

).

The media is the problem here, not science. The media tells us that we should feel like crap if we don't have a PlayStation 3 or a blue ray player, because it means we are not successful, and the person next door, he is...and because he is just that much more successful than us, we become jealous. So we work our rumps off to be as good as that guy, and we lose sight of whats important...nothingness, being content with our lives, genuinely having fun.

So no, advancing science is a good thing...so called "Progress" is not, well not in my book anyway.

15. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
haha, yes.

I think one major problem is that we're mostly using the scientific method in micro studies rather than in macro/holistic studies. e.g. instead of recognizing/accepting that pesticides and a lot of other toxic/dangerous manmade "solutions" (e.g. radiation therapy) just cause more problems, we seem to think we just haven't perfected the "science"/chemistry enough, and so pour TONS of resources (time, money, etc.) into more experiments. The true scientific method, in my opinion, would lead us to Mr. Shaw's quote, and then perhaps more into perfecting our social skills and taking care of each other with proven solutions (and then using our free time to experiment with less stable ideas). like Linux stable binaries and linux beta/experimental binaries.

17. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

Messages:
7,780

Wit the circumstances humanity has its NOT "somptin we can fix"... but a all-knowin all-powerful "God" coud fix it... an coud fix it instently.!!!

18. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

Messages:
24,690
If you're talking about the people in the Third World, please tell us more.

You have the dais and the PowerPoint projector. Please give us the general outline of the plan you would follow to lift those people up into a better life.

How long would it take? What level of resource commitment is required? What would we in the First World have to sacrifice in order to make it happen? What controls would you put in place to make sure that things turn out the way you intended, rather than going terribly wrong and ending up with yet another British Empire, Third Reich, USSR or Vietnam War?

Then explain to us briefly why no one else has thought of the same thing, considering the number of bright, motivated and sincerely caring people on this planet. Or if they have thought of it, explain why it didn't work and what you would do differently.

Is it that you're the only one who knows how to execute the plan properly, with all the necessary safeguards and self-corrections, so you have to be in charge? Several of those other people have been in charge, and things went awry.

Let's just take a simple example: Famine in Africa. This is stupid, right? How can this happen? The relatively unpopulated Western Hemisphere can produce enough food to feed the entire human race three times over without even straining. And the citizens of the United States are arguably the most generous people in the world, especially when you count the confiscatory taxes we pay to a government that sincerely tries to spend a lot of that money on helping the poor people in the Third World. Our nation singlehandedly could pay for the surplus food that the rest of the Hemisphere could easily produce, which would be enough to feed the starving Africans, Turkmens, Cambodians and others. In the bargain it would make the farmers in Chile and Bolivia a whole lot more prosperous too.

Why then isn't it working? What's stopping that food from getting into the mouths of the people who need it? Contrary to cliches, it absolutely is not "Corporate America" or "American Politics" or "Capitalist Pigs" or "Greedy American Consumers." We're all 100% behind it and we all push real hard to feed the hungry, because doing it would not reduce our quality of life at all! Our churches and other charitable institutions work overtime to collect the money that we throw at them, spend it on food, box it up, load it on ships and aircraft, and send it to the places where people are dying. Our government does its part too, using the money it yanks out of our pockets in taxes.

So why are the people still starving? Because the food does not get to them. It is intercepted by their corrupt government officials. They sell it on the black market and use the money to buy villas, Hummers, champagne, hookers, and lots and lots and lots of weapons.

How you gonna solve that problem, Blender? Start another war?

19. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
No, silly, we're gonna use charitable assassins! :yay:

20. ### Blender3d777Registered Member

Messages:
19
Im not trying to be god here...I dont have many answers to those questions(even though they all seem to be sarcastic), but "considering the number of sincerely caring people on this planet"...well thats the point, we dont have enough. If everyone was able, or should I say willing, to make sacrifices, and give we would be better off. But you cant get every person to willingly do anything, except maybe be selfish.

But you would think with the amount of technology we have, the ability to do just about anything, im sure we could figure out how to fight(maybe not end) hunger, in our own country. Because believe it or not, there are starving people in America, but we are all so busy with our own business to notice this

I say we start here first, Africa can wait.

And to answer that last part, well someone could get off their lazy arses and actually do it themselves, like my friends who went to guatamala did...yep these are the kind of people we need, the people who dont just hand their money over and pray for the best, they actually make a difference.

21. ### WaZuNgRegistered Member

Messages:
32
let's just start everywhere!

22. ### Blender3d777Registered Member

Messages:
19
Ha, I like how everyone on this site has to argue everything, I was merely trying to identify the problem, I didn't say i was gonna burn down your house...