Author Topic: Push the button already  (Read 9134 times)

chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2020, 09:06:41 pm »
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.
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tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2020, 09:11:25 pm »
“Technology is useless” was implied by “life is fundamentally the same as it was in the 1300s.” Because that’s a damnable lie.

The rest isn’t in the first post, sure: it came from your responses to being called on that really dumb statement about life being fundamentally the same as it was ~700 years ago.

This is because you think I'm inviting you to imagine yourself magically transported back 700 years. Obviously life is better for you in 2020 than it would be for you, a person from 2020 in the 1300s. Maybe I should have said the same sorts of pressures that people in the 14th century had to deal with (do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?) are still faced by us today, only that we have the 21st century versions of those things. I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2020, 09:17:59 pm »
(do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?)
Those concerns also apply, more or less, to the denizens of an ant colony.

Quote
I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
So, what, in your opinion, would qualify as a fundamental difference?
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tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #63 on: June 16, 2020, 09:20:28 pm »
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2020, 09:20:51 pm »
Except the ANSWERS to those questions have fundamentally changed.

Moreover, there are NEW pressures. Do I have to worry about being identified by cameras even with a mask on? Will I be identified as the enemy, as an ally, or uninvolved? Is there something I can do to make one more likely than the other?

Do I have to worry about my homeland becoming a nuclear test site? Not even just being burned down by the enemy — my own king rendering my home uninhabitable for the sake of greater weapons against the enemy.

Am I being eavesdropped on on my phone? Is it even possible to communicate securely at a distance? Will the act of secure communication be suspicious in and of itself?

These aren’t even possible to fully reconcile in 1300s terms. The camera thing is special because cameras are everywhere and you literally never know if you’re in the field of view of one or who it might report to or if it has the resolution to identify you at the distance you’re at. Nuclear weapons testing is a uniquely 21st century worry. Personal surveillance wasn’t possible in the 1300s, there wasn’t even a way to verify a given identity EXISTED, no matter what resources you had.

You are WRONG.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2020, 09:25:28 pm »
One of the most insidious and dangerous assumptions we have is the silly idea that human history has a direction. That in some meaningful way, life in the 21st century is fundamentally different (even "better") than life in, say, the 14th century, or the 21st century BCE for that matter.

The second sentence in the above claims that not only has there been an improvement in the last 600 years, but that nothing much has changed.  There are literally hundreds of counterexamples, mostly technological, some social.

You move on to say that longer lifespans aren't intrinsically a good thing.

As for your specific example, clean water and sanitation are better if we take it for granted that longer lifespans and higher population density are better.
Sanitation is an improvement if you have one human involved.  You don't need a high population density.  And it's not just the length of the lifespan, it's also the part where you don't shit yourself to death from dysentery.

Here's another example:  improvements in agriculture and transportation mean we can amortize the effects of local crop failures.  That means the tribe that worships Enfen-Loqa of the sevenfold tongue, doesn't have as much of an incentive to kill the proselytes of Amur-Hoth, just to ensure their access to the food supply.

3. The final question about what we have gained, as might be evident if you remember that it is the last line in a larger piece and not just a singular lonesome question posed all by itself without context, is asking whether our technological progress has made a difference in the fundamental, innate feeling of being a human being or our chances of being fulfilled as a member of society.
Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.

And THIS FUCKING ANSWER IS INSANE IDIOTIC DANGEROUS HORSESHIT.

Sanitation wasn’t the lone fucking driver of increased human lifespan, it was also the reduction of UNRELATED infections, better care of NON-DISEASE HEALTH PROBLEMS, the introduction of DENTISTRY and a billion other things that INCREASED quality of living and DECREASED stress. IF YOU WANT A SHORTER LIFESPAN IT WILL BE MORE FUCKING PAINFUL YOU ABSOLUTE DIPSHIT.

Go look it the fuck up. YOU DIE IN CHILDHOOD, OR YOUR LIFESPAN CORRELATES TO YOUR STRESS LEVELS.

I didn’t fucking misinterpret you one fucking bit and your REPEATED ASSERTIONS I HAVE are almost as offensive as this repeated brainless DOUBLING DOWN ON SOMETHING FACTUALLY FUCKING WRONG AND PERSONALLY INSULTING.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2020, 09:29:13 pm »
And if you want to know the whole “noble savage larping” statement’s source, it’s this exact nonsense. Because the entire idea of the “noble savage” is that “they have found a better way of life in their ignorance and low quality of living, we ALL should so aspire to be so enlightened”. LARPing because you want to actually live that way, unlike even the most ardent anti-Western indigenous folks I’ve met.

So fuck you for saying I misread you when you’re saying exactly what I thought you said.
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tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #67 on: June 16, 2020, 09:30:05 pm »
(do I have a home? do I have food? do I have a community that supports me? do I have to worry about assholes from the next kingdom over burning my town down next wee? will I catch the plague and die?)
Those concerns also apply, more or less, to the denizens of an ant colony.

Quote
I thought that would be implied by the qualifier "fundamentally", as in, "does it mean something fundamentally different to be human in 2020 than it meant in 1320".
So, what, in your opinion, would qualify as a fundamental difference?

1. yes, ants are also alive. is this ... a revolutionary concept?

2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress - one of which can easily be learned from other cultures that we routinely regard as having nothing to show us because they don't live like we do, and the other which can be learned from each other simply by listening. merging what we have learned through science and technology with what others have learned through long experience and direct human contact might produce such a fundamental change.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #68 on: June 16, 2020, 09:35:22 pm »
Productivity is NOT directly connected to technological progress. We fucking need technological progress to not all die of climate change in the next hundred years. Productivity is a capitalist ideal, not a technological one.

And social progress will not fundamentally change anything either, cause if people on the internet helping other disadvantaged people doesn’t fucking count then the government doing so shouldn’t either. The Internet is more accessible than living in a particular set of nation states.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #69 on: June 16, 2020, 09:36:55 pm »

Your chances of being fulfilled as a member of a society (whatever the hell that means) are somewhat lessened if you're dead.

Everyone dies. If I was as cynical as you, it wouldn't matter whether the life expectancy was 40 or 400, since death zeroes out your chances anyway, right? So we are arguing the same point: a modern, industrialized society with sanitation that extends the average lifespan to 70 years doesn't really accomplish much if you run out of time and die before coming to grips with who and what you are. I'm not saying I'd rather people die sooner, I'm saying I personally would rather have a shorter life feeling at peace and accepted by my peers than a longer life feeling isolated and constantly in fear for my survival.

No, we're not arguing the same point, since I don't assume that "coming to grips with who and what I am", or "feeling at peace and accepted by my peers" are necessarily a goal to strive for.  However, if you are striving for that goal, then have a longer life would give you more time to accomplish it.

Further, you're still stuck on a false bifurcation.  If you're constantly in fear for your survival, you aren't going to have a longer life.  Stress kills.  I expect that the length of someone's life and their perception of the quality of that life are highly correlated.
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #70 on: June 16, 2020, 09:47:44 pm »
Quote
The very culture we complain about is the culture that allows us to give a damn.


That’s what I took altered to be saying when she mentioned something to the effect of “all meat on the bones is racist” back in the ‘so about these riots’ thread, IIRC. The fact that some are using that privilege to address systemic oppression and abuse is in itself a thing of wonder, given that it COULD undermine the vantage that permits that expression. The moral ground wins over the ethical in this case, I think, there's BEAUTY and TRUTH in that.

Yeah, the thing about the arrow of history is that the rising tide may not lift all boats, but it lifts more and more boats.

It sucks if you're on a short anchor chain, though.


As long as I stay in my hermetically sealed cabin tho, master says I don’t have to wear a leash  :horrormirth:

chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #71 on: June 16, 2020, 09:58:40 pm »
1. yes, ants are also alive. is this ... a revolutionary concept?
You listed certain aspects of the human experience, as an example of things that haven't changed fundamentally in 600 years.  But since those aspects are shared by ants, one could read that as implying that the human experience is fundamentally no different than the ant experience.

Quote
2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -
I don't consider that a fundamental difference.  There have been revolutions throughout history which had social progress as an aim, and it's not as if we have entire populations dedicated to technological progress now.

Quote
one of which can easily be learned from other cultures that we routinely regard as having nothing to show us because they don't live like we do, and the other which can be learned from each other simply by listening. merging what we have learned through science and technology with what others have learned through long experience and direct human contact might produce such a fundamental change.
Technology is an artifact of long experience (spread out over several lifetimes), and we couldn't have reached the current state of modern science without a hell of a lot of collaboration (human contact).
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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2020, 10:50:08 pm »
So this one time, I was trying to find the party. I had crossed the borders of several nation states already, all without a passport or the slightest wave of any ID. Finally, at a record store down by the banks of the Vltava, I was told which station and train to catch. When it was time, I got into the cabin. Slowly, the others filtered in. Soon, they were everywhere; occupying every square inch of that train, even laying down two-deep on the overhead compartments. Conductor literally could not check ticks. That is what is meant when they say “until everyone is aboard”

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #73 on: June 16, 2020, 11:11:09 pm »


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.

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Re: Push the button already
« Reply #74 on: June 19, 2020, 03:41:12 am »


2. i think one fundamental change would be to refocus our attention from productivity and technological progress to efficiency and social progress -

One leads to the other.  Never at a uniform rate, but it's still true.

You aren't anyone's chattel property.
You are not by law bound to the land you live on.
You are not bound by law to a religion.

All of these things were caused or partially caused by increased technology.

Example:  Slavery prior to the invention of the horse collar was an economic necessity, if you wanted food to be available.  Not necessary for profit, but actually necessary.  Further explanation as requested.
Necessary to support (ab)users of what kind of system?