Author Topic: Talking to Nigel  (Read 1616 times)

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2017, 04:03:12 am »
Yeah, I don't dispute that there's not even enough funding to go around for the scientists who are out there, let alone a whole new generation of them. I think where I was going with that was more than just "scientist shortage". I think if there were more people with access to such education, it might nudge the cultural pendulum a little closer toward making it more popular to fund the sciences (and the arts, for that matter) more adequately.

You're right about the average smarts of the human race. I am lucky to work in a field where you have to have more than the average amount of brains to get by for any length of time, and I don't deal with the general public like I used to do in retail or services. Still it's evident that a lot of people, including more than a few who seem fairly bipedal at first impression, who just can't make some of the leaps that I didn't even realize were leaps until I saw them struggling. I don't mean to be all "look at me and how smart I am" about it, because in a lot of ways i'm not. But I'm amazed at least a few times a week at people who say something or do something that makes me absolutely sure aliens are real because there's no way a planet full of THAT invented the atom bomb.

As for scientists in office, I don't think there are words in the English language that capture how ready I am for that. The real tragedy is being unable to make headway with a lot of people not because they are evil, but because they are just incapable of getting it.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2017, 04:33:43 am »
Accessibility of higher education is a huge deal, and I think it would stand a better chance of changing were academia not already so shrouded in mystery and a sense of elitism that many, if not most, working-class people tend to take the "Don't need no stinkin' free collidge" perspective. They are, after all, also the ones who vote down college funding bills.

When I say that most people are pretty fucking stupid, the thing I also try to remind myself of is that smart people aren't that much smarter than average people. That means that I'm not all that smart, either; I just am able to grasp some fairly simple interrelated concepts that elude most people.

I might be a smart human, but talk about damning with faint praise... humans aren't very smart. Smartest organism on the planet (maybe), but um, still pretty fucking stupid.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 04:44:19 am by Mesozoic Mister Nigel »
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2017, 04:43:38 am »
People don't realize how very much control we actually have over our social system. I think the problem is dispersal of responsibility, combined with a representative system; it gives the public the impression that laws are simply handed down from on high without influence from the public. This seems to be especially true among the every-four-year voters, who seem utterly baffled by where Presidential candidates come from.

It's like watching The Blue Lagoon.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2017, 05:04:30 am »
That's what prompted me to post that dead-end idea somewhere in Aneristic Illusions about purposely working toward the obsolescence of the current political paradigm. People do see the government as essentially foreign to their lives -- and that goes for the entire left/right spectrum. It's either a malicious occupying power or a benevolent quasi-deity handing down commandments of good intentions, in the minds of most people. When people talk about "disenfranchisement" they usually mean people who don't vote. But most voters -- even most activists -- are still fundamentally disconnected the whole philosophy of self-government and their place in it. And we tend to ignore local politics way too much on top of that. I am hoping there might be a few rays of sunlight that break through this permanent thunderstorm in DC, in the form of pockets of regional or at least local/municipal engagement since it's evident that the "benevolent quai-deity" is really nothing of the sort.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2017, 01:11:39 pm »
More response here than anticipated, will get through it properly ASAP.

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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2017, 01:50:48 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2017, 02:12:17 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

It's unbelievably frustrating. And depressing. You know what we would have accomplished if we were solitary rather than social creatures?

NOTHING. We would be cats.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2017, 04:10:40 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

It's unbelievably frustrating. And depressing. You know what we would have accomplished if we were solitary rather than social creatures?

NOTHING. We would be cats.

Social is awesome up to a point but the problem is it doesn't seem to work at the kind of scale we're trying to pull off. Couple of hundred people is a force to be reckoned with. Couple of billion is a total clusterfuck. Somewhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of billion the whole thing falls to pieces. Collectively we're not smart enough to make it work. Maybe it's Dunbar's fault, maybe there's more to it.

IQ is on a distribution curve with most falling slap bang in the middle of dumbfuckistan. A couple of smart people can wrangle a couple of hundred dumbfucks between them, just the way nature intended. Too many dumb fucks, tho and a critical mass is reached. Societal meltdown is inevitable. Factor in the lack of life skills and interdependence that comes with modern civilisation and you have massive potential for lulz but very little for any kind of progress.

I think the human race has hit an upper bound of functionality and the most likely outcome is we all die, crushed by the weight of our own collective stupidity. Democracy is at fault - allowing stupid people (the majority) to vote means you will get the worst possible decision to every question posed, every fucking time. The alternative is fascism which seems to result in the execution of millions of dumbfucks every time it's attempted. Communism? Nope. Again the dumbfuck issue wrecks that one.

I really can't think of anything useful I can do at this point beyond staying well out the way whenever there's a large gathering of dumbfucks. It's working out fine for me so far but I'm under no illusions that eventually the breathable air and the drinkable water will be gone.

Either that or somebody takes over at the eleventh hour and pulls humanity out it's nosedive. Wish I had an idea but on the bell curve I'm at the point where I'm smart enough to see the big picture but too dumb to come up with a solution.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2017, 04:49:52 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

It's unbelievably frustrating. And depressing. You know what we would have accomplished if we were solitary rather than social creatures?

NOTHING. We would be cats.

Social is awesome up to a point but the problem is it doesn't seem to work at the kind of scale we're trying to pull off. Couple of hundred people is a force to be reckoned with. Couple of billion is a total clusterfuck. Somewhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of billion the whole thing falls to pieces. Collectively we're not smart enough to make it work. Maybe it's Dunbar's fault, maybe there's more to it.

IQ is on a distribution curve with most falling slap bang in the middle of dumbfuckistan. A couple of smart people can wrangle a couple of hundred dumbfucks between them, just the way nature intended. Too many dumb fucks, tho and a critical mass is reached. Societal meltdown is inevitable. Factor in the lack of life skills and interdependence that comes with modern civilisation and you have massive potential for lulz but very little for any kind of progress.

I think the human race has hit an upper bound of functionality and the most likely outcome is we all die, crushed by the weight of our own collective stupidity. Democracy is at fault - allowing stupid people (the majority) to vote means you will get the worst possible decision to every question posed, every fucking time. The alternative is fascism which seems to result in the execution of millions of dumbfucks every time it's attempted. Communism? Nope. Again the dumbfuck issue wrecks that one.

I really can't think of anything useful I can do at this point beyond staying well out the way whenever there's a large gathering of dumbfucks. It's working out fine for me so far but I'm under no illusions that eventually the breathable air and the drinkable water will be gone.

Either that or somebody takes over at the eleventh hour and pulls humanity out it's nosedive. Wish I had an idea but on the bell curve I'm at the point where I'm smart enough to see the big picture but too dumb to come up with a solution.

There are alternative social organization plans that would mitigate the problem, and even benefit from the incompatibility between ideologies that is tearing our society apart. The problem is that all of these schemes would require the support of billions of people who will never understand why they are better than the nation-state model, and wouldn't be able to comprehend the systems for distributing goods and services well enough to be productive. This, to me, is the most tragic thing about the state of human civilization in the 21st century: There are solutions, we haven't hit some upper limit on physical possibilities, but those solutions will never be implemented because people in general are too dumb to understand them, and we'll never get the kind of critical mass required to push them into fruition.

Honestly I'm about as optimistic as you are. I can only hope that we manage to go out with a light show that's fun to watch until the blast waves hit.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2017, 05:45:35 pm »
This, to me, is the most tragic thing about the state of human civilization in the 21st century: There are solutions, we haven't hit some upper limit on physical possibilities, but those solutions will never be implemented because people in general are too dumb to understand them, and we'll never get the kind of critical mass required to push them into fruition.

Very this. I used to think it was simply a problem of convincing dumbfucks that logic and reason were good but no amount of argument, from minds far superior to mine seems to make a dent.

I feel perfectly justified in mocking and berating and hating them for it, given that there really is no avenue available to me that I can see that would have any positive effect. Lot of people all "you gotta keep trying" and I totally respect them for that but that's not me. I got no inclination to piss upwind. I don't see it working.

Education helps. Lot of dumbfuck-ness comes from ignorance and lack of access to effective thinking strategies. Thinking is a relatively new thing on the evolutionary timetable. It's still possible to have the necessary equipment and lack the skill to use it. Lot of dumbfuck children could prolly grow up to be smart but the dumbfuck parents would block it every step of the way.

I'm neither optimistic or pessimistic. To me it could go either way. There are tech giants right now, pwning the old economy seven ways from sunday. I'm cynical about them, too but, in the - lesser of two evils - scenario I'm faced with? Let's just say I prefer to be fucked by these ones. They use plenty lube and they always buy you roses on valentines.

They preach biotech and sustainable energy and space exploration and connectivity and education and they're ploughing resources into these things big time. I'm not saying shit don't stink in the valley but those are my options as I see them and one seems to offer the potential for our race to at least survive into the next century and the other seems inclined to want to end it all.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2017, 06:37:01 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

It's unbelievably frustrating. And depressing. You know what we would have accomplished if we were solitary rather than social creatures?

NOTHING. We would be cats.

Social is awesome up to a point but the problem is it doesn't seem to work at the kind of scale we're trying to pull off. Couple of hundred people is a force to be reckoned with. Couple of billion is a total clusterfuck. Somewhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of billion the whole thing falls to pieces. Collectively we're not smart enough to make it work. Maybe it's Dunbar's fault, maybe there's more to it.

IQ is on a distribution curve with most falling slap bang in the middle of dumbfuckistan. A couple of smart people can wrangle a couple of hundred dumbfucks between them, just the way nature intended. Too many dumb fucks, tho and a critical mass is reached. Societal meltdown is inevitable. Factor in the lack of life skills and interdependence that comes with modern civilisation and you have massive potential for lulz but very little for any kind of progress.

I think the human race has hit an upper bound of functionality and the most likely outcome is we all die, crushed by the weight of our own collective stupidity. Democracy is at fault - allowing stupid people (the majority) to vote means you will get the worst possible decision to every question posed, every fucking time. The alternative is fascism which seems to result in the execution of millions of dumbfucks every time it's attempted. Communism? Nope. Again the dumbfuck issue wrecks that one.

I really can't think of anything useful I can do at this point beyond staying well out the way whenever there's a large gathering of dumbfucks. It's working out fine for me so far but I'm under no illusions that eventually the breathable air and the drinkable water will be gone.

Either that or somebody takes over at the eleventh hour and pulls humanity out it's nosedive. Wish I had an idea but on the bell curve I'm at the point where I'm smart enough to see the big picture but too dumb to come up with a solution.

There are alternative social organization plans that would mitigate the problem, and even benefit from the incompatibility between ideologies that is tearing our society apart. The problem is that all of these schemes would require the support of billions of people who will never understand why they are better than the nation-state model, and wouldn't be able to comprehend the systems for distributing goods and services well enough to be productive. This, to me, is the most tragic thing about the state of human civilization in the 21st century: There are solutions, we haven't hit some upper limit on physical possibilities, but those solutions will never be implemented because people in general are too dumb to understand them, and we'll never get the kind of critical mass required to push them into fruition.

Honestly I'm about as optimistic as you are. I can only hope that we manage to go out with a light show that's fun to watch until the blast waves hit.

This right here is why religion was invented.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2017, 08:00:25 pm »
To illustrate my point about humans being not that much smarter than dogs, try having this conversation with some random members of the general public, and see how many respond with "I don't care about benefits to society, I care about me and mine".  They don't fail to make the connection between society and themselves because there's some mysterious disconnect, they're really just that fucking stupid.

OGODTHISTHISTHISTHIS.  It's probably the single most frustrating thing I encounter when I meet someone who's smart enough to be clever, but dumb enough not to see the common connections.  They twist themselves into knots trying to rationalize their selfishness, and throw up massive defenses to protect their core flawed premise.

It's unbelievably frustrating. And depressing. You know what we would have accomplished if we were solitary rather than social creatures?

NOTHING. We would be cats.

Social is awesome up to a point but the problem is it doesn't seem to work at the kind of scale we're trying to pull off. Couple of hundred people is a force to be reckoned with. Couple of billion is a total clusterfuck. Somewhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of billion the whole thing falls to pieces. Collectively we're not smart enough to make it work. Maybe it's Dunbar's fault, maybe there's more to it.

IQ is on a distribution curve with most falling slap bang in the middle of dumbfuckistan. A couple of smart people can wrangle a couple of hundred dumbfucks between them, just the way nature intended. Too many dumb fucks, tho and a critical mass is reached. Societal meltdown is inevitable. Factor in the lack of life skills and interdependence that comes with modern civilisation and you have massive potential for lulz but very little for any kind of progress.

I think the human race has hit an upper bound of functionality and the most likely outcome is we all die, crushed by the weight of our own collective stupidity. Democracy is at fault - allowing stupid people (the majority) to vote means you will get the worst possible decision to every question posed, every fucking time. The alternative is fascism which seems to result in the execution of millions of dumbfucks every time it's attempted. Communism? Nope. Again the dumbfuck issue wrecks that one.

I really can't think of anything useful I can do at this point beyond staying well out the way whenever there's a large gathering of dumbfucks. It's working out fine for me so far but I'm under no illusions that eventually the breathable air and the drinkable water will be gone.

Either that or somebody takes over at the eleventh hour and pulls humanity out it's nosedive. Wish I had an idea but on the bell curve I'm at the point where I'm smart enough to see the big picture but too dumb to come up with a solution.

There are alternative social organization plans that would mitigate the problem, and even benefit from the incompatibility between ideologies that is tearing our society apart. The problem is that all of these schemes would require the support of billions of people who will never understand why they are better than the nation-state model, and wouldn't be able to comprehend the systems for distributing goods and services well enough to be productive. This, to me, is the most tragic thing about the state of human civilization in the 21st century: There are solutions, we haven't hit some upper limit on physical possibilities, but those solutions will never be implemented because people in general are too dumb to understand them, and we'll never get the kind of critical mass required to push them into fruition.

Honestly I'm about as optimistic as you are. I can only hope that we manage to go out with a light show that's fun to watch until the blast waves hit.

This right here is why religion was invented.

So what's to replace religion in the strange times?

How does religion reach that part of people that can convince them of things that reason cannot?

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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2017, 08:11:15 pm »
Religion has been replaced by kim kardashian and social networking. All the things that the intellectuals look down their noses at. That's what leads the masses by theirs.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2017, 09:00:49 pm »
So science has gotta get sexy and social?

I guess in the past there have been some pretty prominent popularisers of science - Sagan etc. There's still a lot of people out there now trying to do the same thing but they seem to be getting too involved with how RIGHT they are and forgetting that teaching people stuff they don't want to learn is better done by sneaking it past as entertainment rather than presenting it as a challenge.

Another route I guess is the memebombs one - taking complex ideas and trying to condense them into digestible pieces. Problem is that dumb people aren't likely to be able to extrapolate any meaning from an idea that has been compressed so much. Gotta play on people's hopes and fears.
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Re: Talking to Nigel
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2017, 09:42:49 pm »
I don't think persuasion even matters. Leave the opportunity to learn by all means but all you really need is their attention. On anything. You're dangling a pocket watch on a chain. Then you take their money and you spend it on hadron colliders and medicine  and important stuff.

This thing with your president. It's a total clusterfuck, yeah but it's also a precident. TV characters can be president now. There's opportunity for anyone who sees it.
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Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and its not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnt matter." -- Max Tegmark