Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Think for Yourself, Schmuck! => Topic started by: Junkenstein on February 25, 2017, 01:06:08 am

Title: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Junkenstein on February 25, 2017, 01:06:08 am
I met Nigel, returning from a day spent hard slicing the brains of small reptiles. Or as I like to call them "The spawn of Roger". Our collective mood was both elated and distraught thanks to range of personal events and our remarks on our joys and woes was recorded by a passing NSA agent. Thanks to a FOI request that I have on standing order I can CTRL+C/V the text directly for your enlightenment.

N: I guess one of the main stressors now is my Father's developing Altzihmers. It's just kind of shitty that medical research doesn't get a considerable degree of funding compared to the shitloads that always seem to get spent on self destructive or useless shit, you know? We could be curing so many more things by now it's unreal.

J:I console myself by thinking that in a few hundred years whats left of humanity will mock this era mercilessly for spending so much time, money and effort on say, sports or landmines,meth and beer and never combines them, compared to dealing with, for one thing, diseases. 21C - Advanced enough to know better, still too dumb to bother. It just keeps on showing how far we haven't come as a species. 

N:No shit! We are fucking IDIOTS. One of the most infuriating  things is that there is some evidence that Alzheimers may have a root that is strongly influenced by human behavior, but we don't know what it is. Because humans are pretty much barely above dog-level intelligence, it is hard to get funding to study anthropogenic roots of disease.

J: Dog level seems generous. A lot of people I encounter wouldn't rate above a fucking goldfish. Hells, we all know a couple of people who would lose a battle of wits against your average carp. And the depressing thing is that we've not even got that far to realise it about ourselves thanks to dunning-kruger.

I've said for a while that if 10% (FFS, even 1%) of football transfer fees or Hollywood film budgets, you know, leaving the sacred military alone, was mandatory to be put to medical research/care, the average life expectancy would probably be past 100 by now. And that's just looking at the past 30 odd years. But let's not do anything too crazy because socialism. Let's develop a system where our left wing politics is practically indistinguishable from our right wing stances. Instead we let this shit continue because big explosions and paying morons millions to kick a ball is apparently a better use of resources.

N:Goldfish do at least have rudimentary problem-solving skills. And you have in fact been outsmarted by one at some point, at least by it's own standard so it fucking wins, doesn't it?
 
J:Fair enough, if that's the standard you're stetting.

Unfortunately, Dog problem-solving and reasoning can be estimated to range from about 60-85 on an IQ scale, taking into consideration that dogs have almost none of the cortex that predicts future outcomes and so can't plan ahead at all. IQ is based on a normal distribution with a human average of 100, the distribution mean. Below 85 is considered cognitively impaired, above 115 is considered intellectually gifted. These are facts. That's one standard deviation in each direction. 

J:I think I need a drink.

That means, that Roughly 78% of people are within one standard deviation from the mean. That's what we're dealing with. Not to sound like an elitist prick, which is an easy hole to fall into when discussing reasoning skills, but the general lack of intellectual reasoning ability in the majority of the population means that we will probably never, ever get even the small fraction of funding for science that could significantly improve the lives and health of everyone, because sportsball and bombs is what's best for fun and profit.

-------------

Nigel, test run, bit rough, considered going into zimbardo for further counterpoint? feel free to add/alter anything you see fit. I've thrown in bits here and there so turnabout fair play etc.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 02:21:41 am
I like what you've done with it so far! I'm not sure what else it needs... maybe QG or Salty or someone will chime in with suggestions?
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 25, 2017, 02:12:04 pm
As it stands this is not currently my jam. I'm really into entertainment as a maintainer of sanity and cultural adhesive. Even though I totally recognize the amount of money going through both the blockbuster and sports systems is criminally excessive, calls to put that money to better use get my hackles ever so slightly up. It's not that you're wrong, I know it's a slippery slope thing happening in my head where a perfectly reasonable statement is getting twisted into the absurd, it's just I start to hear all kinds of stuff about "real jobs" and "real art" and down-the-nose looking at anything that isn't STEM and all that. Again, it's a personal problem. I'm just having trouble getting through it to something useful which is why I've been keeping my mouth shut.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:12:11 pm
As it stands this is not currently my jam. I'm really into entertainment as a maintainer of sanity and cultural adhesive. Even though I totally recognize the amount of money going through both the blockbuster and sports systems is criminally excessive, calls to put that money to better use get my hackles ever so slightly up. It's not that you're wrong, I know it's a slippery slope thing happening in my head where a perfectly reasonable statement is getting twisted into the absurd, it's just I start to hear all kinds of stuff about "real jobs" and "real art" and down-the-nose looking at anything that isn't STEM and all that. Again, it's a personal problem. I'm just having trouble getting through it to something useful which is why I've been keeping my mouth shut.

The problem, in this case, isn't some sort of elitist concept that biomedical research should get MOST of the money, but more of a sad and desperate wheezing cry for biomedical research to get even, say, 1% of the money.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:12:42 pm
Maybe that's looking down the nose and not the begging for scraps that I see it as.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:16:17 pm
I guess that explains why people don't give a fuck about the deep cuts to science funding. You know why you hear so much about funding STEM and getting more people into STEM and increasing accessibility of STEM fields?

Same fucking reason people are so sick of hearing about Black Lives Matter. Because we're over here getting shat on, budgets slashed, made fun of, as the populace leans ever more anti-science.

You can think of us as elitist pricks while continuing to treat us like shit if that makes it easier to do.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 25, 2017, 03:18:52 pm
I really tried to make it clear that I agree with you that biomedical and shit ALL the sciences need more money, and sportsball doesn't need a fraction of what it gets.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:25:17 pm
I really tried to make it clear that I agree with you that biomedical and shit ALL the sciences need more money, and sportsball doesn't need a fraction of what it gets.

Yeah, I'm just saying that the knee-jerk reaction of loathing and contempt, while you in particular may be able to recognize it in yourself as irrational, is probably pretty typical and reflective of why biomedical research will never, ever, ever get the funding we need to actually solve problems and improve people's lives. We're probably about a decade away from being declared Enemies of the People and pulled out of labs to go work on farms, North Korea-style.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:25:50 pm
With your permission, I think your post should be folded into the piece, because it fits so perfectly.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 25, 2017, 03:29:05 pm
Yeah totally. Sorry for the defensiveness, I've been stuck at NAZI PUNCHING ON EDGE for a while and I keep getting in arguments I don't mean to.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2017, 03:33:20 pm
Yeah totally. Sorry for the defensiveness, I've been stuck at NAZI PUNCHING ON EDGE for a while and I keep getting in arguments I don't mean to.

I feel that, super hard.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on February 25, 2017, 05:54:16 pm
STEM should be so much higher on our cultural priority list it isn't even funny. But in our intensely materialistic, instant gratification-based society where nothing is worth doing unless it's for money, it's hard to find any inspiration for STEM. That we've made the advances we have is amazing, given the conditions under which most of it is made. And everyone superficially "understands" how important it is, but our medical and technological accomplishments might as well be black magic to most people. They're so uninvolved in the process that real science and medicine actually feels to an alarming number of people like just an alternative to hocus-pocus quackery like prayer and homeopathy, as if it's functionally on the same level as those. Even well-educated, "sophisticated" people are easily fooled. I include myself in that statement, too.

What makes matters worse is that even if there were billions of dollars on the table for serious and long-term investments in STEM fields, we have priced education out of the reach of millions of would-be scientists. It seems to me that if we made education itself more accessible, there would be a lot of people who put the energy they put into healing crystals into STEM instead.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2017, 12:58:08 am
Accessibility is also a huge issue, and not just monetarily. The time commitment to become a top-tier scientist, starting in grad school, is out of reach for many people, especially those with families. I can only pull it off because Salty is phenomenally patient and supportive, and my kids are old enough to be OK with me working a minimum of 50 hours a week. If I was a single parent with kids under 13, it would not be possible at all.

That said, as it stands we are all competing for the same grants, and more researchers without more grant money would be a complete disaster.

I know most people can't get inspired by scientific research, which is why it's up to researchers to be inspired. Most people don't need to be inspired by science (although, we did go through a spectacular century of people being more or less in love with science - that ended around the time of Carl Sagan's death, coincidentally), but legislators should be smart enough and educated enough to realize that society benefits tremendously from scientific research. This should not be mysterious to anybody; the evidence literally surrounds us everywhere, every waking moment.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2017, 01:16:00 am
Annnnnnd this is why we need support and initiatives to get scientists into politics. It's alarming that so many politicians are making decisions about science funding from a position of near-total ignorance, and using public ignorance as a fulcrum point with which to launch attacks on reason and further superstitious ideologies.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2017, 01:26:11 am
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. They can't even logic that far. Some might be able to if you held their hand, which is why education is so important, but a larger proportion, even with education, believe it because an authority figure told them to, not because they actually grasp the concept themselves.

This isn't  because people are bad, or wrong, or immoral. It's because the ape called homo sapiens is just not all that smart, on average. Luckily, we are usually smart enough to choose leaders who are smarter than we are. Clearly, though, that scheme is not foolproof.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Junkenstein on February 28, 2017, 01:11:39 pm
More response here than anticipated, will get through it properly ASAP.

Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: LMNO 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Vanadium Gryllz 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?

Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Vanadium Gryllz 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: P3nT4gR4m 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.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on February 28, 2017, 10:24:26 pm
"Science" dumbed down for the masses isn't science anymore. People do need something easy to follow, that takes little effort and gives them someone to feel superior to. It's just that there is no such thing that is also non-destructive and effective. The best we can hope for is all-out nuclear war, which is at least non-destructive after a few million years.
Title: Re: Talking to Nigel
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 28, 2017, 10:46:12 pm

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?

Religion is, essentially, just a bunch of simple rules that don't require any thought to follow, imbued with a sense of special importance to get people to actually follow them.

That's it.

We, as a society, have managed to kind of sort of get most people to follow some other simple rules, like washing your hands after you poop, brushing your teeth regularly, and following basic food sanitation guidelines.

If you have ever been frustrated by a conversation in which the other person really wanted a black-and-white, always-or-never type of answer, when the real answer is always context-dependent, and you couldn't figure out why it is they simply couldn't grasp the fact that the answer is "it depends", the reason is the same as why people like religion. It packages rules up in easy bite-size instructions that they can simply obey without all that laborious thinking.

Science rarely, if ever, offers simple binary rules that are independent of context. That's because the real world is complex and variable, and outcomes depends heavily on context.

So, pretty much the only thing that fits the bill is superstition, ie. religion. I include the occult in there, as well as nature worship in all its forms (including "natural healthy living" superstition) because it's really just simplistic rules dressed up in pointless complexity to make its practitioners feel smarter than they are.

The method that has worked the best for humanity, for the longest, is the practice of hiring really smart people (for people) to do the complex thinking about complex problems, and then follow their leadership. This tends to fall apart periodically, especially when the advice of the really smart people contradicts the simplistic rules of superstition.