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View Diary: Who can own the future? (262 comments)

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  •  A cockroach was on his back on my dining room (5+ / 0-)

    floor a few weeks ago.  I decided to leave him there and see how long it took for him (or her) to die.  7 days without food or water.  

    Bad housekeeping in the name of science!

    I think the ending is a bit more traumatic than Mark's singularity thesis: we are a species that has triumphed by virtue of domination, therefore we continue to try to dominate everything around us, including each other.  Our religions are based on the concept ("Dominus vobiscum" can be loosely translated as "May you be dominated") and our social structures are predicated on it.  

    I think the Enlightenment was an aberration.  Altruism is a concept that conflicts directly with the dynamics of our own evolution from lion and tiger meals to masters of even the atom itself (from tree scramblers to planetary deforresters).  IOW, we are doomed because our need to dominate is so ingrained that, in the end, we will bend our whole world to our fatally imperfect will.

    This is why, whenever there is a potential discovery of cellular life elsewhere (as in the infamous misstatement of Bill Clinton proclaiming fossilized microbes in a meteorite) futurists everywhere shudder: if life is that abundant and evolution is that robust, then the Fermi paradox can most easily be answered by this sentence: ultra-alpha species inevitably destroy themselves because they can't do otherwise.  More of a bang than a whimper, I'd say.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:29:53 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "Dominus vobiscum" (0+ / 0-)

      "Dominus" = "The Lord"
      "vobis" = "you"
      "cum" = "with"

      So that phrase should be translated as "The Lord be with you," not "May you be dominated. . . ."

      •  I was an altar boy. I know. I said "loosely." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lone1c

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:39:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough. Although one might argue (0+ / 0-)

          "May you dominate" would fit the spirit better, particularly in the Middle Ages. . . .

          •  Actually, if you take it in context with the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotlizard

            formulaic response, "Et cum spritu tuo," its underlying meaning is more in line with my loose translation, to wit:

            Literal: "May the Dominator be with you; And with your non-corporeal self."

            ie, "May you be dominated; even in your mind."

            Very Orwellian, if you ask me.

            And the gist fits the Middle ages but from the opposite, 1%perspective that you offer: the operators of religion were the agents of their dominant diety.  The masses at Mass were the dominated.

            Ever wonder why the most radical fundies these days call themselves "Dominionists?"

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

            by nailbender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:47:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  OTOH our concept of life may be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nailbender, dinazina, bluedust

      too limited. Maybe all the churn we see in the universe around us are expressions of life? Not biological, but something else? Something that lives in the fields of electromagnetism, maybe Higgs even?

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