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Author Topic: Does this make me a dreamer, or a realist?
Slash the Berzerker
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I love reading about this. It actually gives me chills.

While we sit here and blow each other up over crap that no one will care about in 100 years, two little robots that WE made are rolling along on the surface of another world.

I feel like the static is drowning out the stuff that actually matters.

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Jacare Sorridente
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You're a dreamer. The static is what prevents us from doing more of this kind of thing.
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Beren One Hand
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But are we going to spread our static beyond our gravitational confines? [Frown]
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zgator
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NASA would get a lot more press if they installed a saw blade or flame thrower on them.
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Scott R
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If we could just move all the static to Mars. . .
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Slash the Berzerker
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100 years from now, will middle schoolers be reading with pride that their grandfathers removed Saddam from power? Or will they be reading with pride that their grandfathers put robots on Mars, and began the exploration of that world?

I tend to suspect it will be the latter. But everyone who lives in the 'real' world is all worked up about the former.

And the signal to noise ratio gets worse and worse...

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mr_porteiro_head
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Hmm.. Let's look back 100 years. what do *we* look back at with pride?
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Telperion the Silver
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You're a realist Slash! There is nothing more important than the survival of Humanity, and getting off this planet is the only way to ensure our long term future. [Smile]
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T. Analog Kid
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wouldn't you say there is room to look back on the Wright Brothers and Teddy Rooseveldt's Rough Riders both with a bit of pride?
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Alexa
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I am reminded of the Bible when Jesus said "the poor you will always have among you." We will always have enough problems here on earth to draw resources away from space missions, but I think we should invest more and more in space. The problems will always be here, but let’s at least not give up on human exploration.

Did they put windshield wipers on the solar panals to keep the dust off the power supply?

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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
There is nothing more important than the survival of Humanity
I have seen this sentiment many times, but every time I see it I wonder at the logic of it. Why is the survival of the species so important? I can personally think of a large number of things I consider more important.
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Beren One Hand
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Please list them. I'm curious. [Smile]
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Scott R
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. . . my bid for complete and total world dominiation among them.
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Slash the Berzerker
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TAK:

I personally couldn't care less about the rough riders. I think that the Wright brothers beginning heavier than air flight is a vastly superior accomplishment.

And I do not think history will be kind to this phase of American global domination.

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Telperion the Silver
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Because we are the only known sentient race. We are the Universe made manifest. Another way of putting it: we owe it to the Universe to survive.
We are rare and precious. The Universe has split itself up into many pieces and we are some of those pieces. As we explore the world and people around us, we are actually exploring OURSELVES.

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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
Because we are the only known sentient race. We are the Universe made manifest. Another way of putting it: we owe it to the Universe to survive.
We are rare and precious. The Universe has split itself up into many pieces and we are some of those pieces. As we explore the world and people around us, we are actually exploring OURSELVES.

Pshaw. We don't know anything about the prevalence of the life in the universe. We can barely detect other nearby extra-solar planets, so what what makes you think we are so rare?

I am not sure of what you mean by "We are the Universe made manifest".

quote:
Please list them. I'm curious.
Well, as an obvious start a life well-lived is much more important than mere continuance of life.
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Slash the Berzerker
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Jacare, usually only people who believe in an eternal and immortal soul believe that. [Smile]

I would rather have a long and wasted life than a short and well lived one, thank you very much.

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Dagonee
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quote:
getting off this planet is the only way to ensure our long term future.
What is the rationale for this statement?

Dagonee

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Corwin
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Slash, I'd rather have a long AND well lived one, but since it started on the wrong foot, I guess I'm going to settle for your choice too... [Dont Know]
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Gottmorder
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quote:
100 years from now, will middle schoolers be reading with pride that their grandfathers removed Saddam from power? Or will they be reading with pride that their grandfathers put robots on Mars, and began the exploration of that world?

I tend to suspect it will be the latter. But everyone who lives in the 'real' world is all worked up about the former.

And the signal to noise ratio gets worse and worse...

key word 'suspect'. It seems to me that the Mars rovers will be as important as Sputnik was about fifty years ago.

Yes, it was a great feat, but was it the most important thing to happen? No. In that year, Britain, France, and Israel were in Egypt, the Civil Rights act, the Cold War was in full swing. In 1958 we then have the formation of the UAR, Kruschchev comes to power, Iraq has a revolution.

When people look back at this time, they'll learn about things like the US in Iraq, North Korea with nukes. Maybe they'll be in the middle of a lesson on the after effects of Septemer 11.

You act as though what we do here on Earth is nothing, but you're wrong. Earth is the cradle of humanity, what we do here will echo for thousands of years and shape what we do when we finally reach for the stars. Let NASA do its thing and study the red planet, which may be our next step into space, but before we do, we must worry about shaping the future so our descendents can step into space.

That 'noise' you hate is our world, and our home, and what the rest of the universe may learn about us centuries down the line.

[ April 07, 2004, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Gottmorder ]

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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
Jacare, usually only people who believe in an eternal and immortal soul believe that.

I would rather have a long and wasted life than a short and well lived one, thank you very much.

Maybe mostly people who believe in souls believe that, but it doesn't have to be so. Just alter the definition of what a life well-lived means. Would you rather live for 10 more years if your every desire were granted you, or for a hundred more years laboring as a coal miner from dusk till dawn?
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Da_Goat
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I think the real solution is to castrate any men over 50.
quote:
Well, as an obvious start a life well-lived is much more important than mere continuance of life.
I agree with you to an extent.

But we're talking about the continuance of a species, right? And if the species were to die out, that means future generations wouldn't have a life to live well.

[ April 07, 2004, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Da_Goat ]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Gott:

While I do not disagree, I do wonder if the current state of affairs in Iraq does more to help ensure that future, or is it making things worse.

Again, I suspect that it is making things worse.

[ April 07, 2004, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Slash the Berzerker ]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Jacare:

A coal miner for a hundred years, no question.

Even swinging a pick, every moment of consciousness is a gift.

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Gottmorder
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Well that's something we won't know until it's over. Afterall, when he first came to power, Hitler was priased for getting Germany out of economic depression. [Wink]
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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
But we're talking about the continuance of a species, right? And if the species were to die out, that means future generations wouldn't have a life to live well.
Well, if the continuance of a species is the important thing then humans need to all die since we are ending species continuance right and left.

[ April 07, 2004, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Jacare Sorridente ]

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Beren One Hand
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"Well, as an obvious start a life well-lived is much more important than mere continuance of life."

More important than the continuance of ALL human life? I think not. I agree with your statement as applied on an individual level, but I cannot think of a single moral construct that would have any significance if we are all dead.

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Beren One Hand
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"Well, if the continuance of a species is the important thing then humans need to all die since we are ending species continuance right and left."

But the robots will save us right? [Wink]

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Alexa
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Slash,

suspect we have no idea if it is making it worse or better. The answer depends more on the Iraqis than anyone else or anything America does.

I once heard an economic professor say citizens get the government they deserve. I have thought about that often...I am still thinking.

If they deserved Saddam, then it will be worse or as bad. If Saddam somehow got an unfair advantage over his citizens where they could not alter their government, then it will be very beneficial.

[ April 07, 2004, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Alexa ]

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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
Jacare:

A coal miner for a hundred years, no question.

Even swinging a pick, every moment of consciousness is a gift.

Seriously? I can see going for the hundred years if there were some kind of growth possible- a hundred years as a university student, or a hundred years as a biologist.

Of course, this is just mental masturbation anyway since no one gets that choice.

How about this then:
Would you rather die or continue life as a vegetable tied to life support machines?

I'd choose death.

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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
More important than the continuance of ALL human life? I think not. I agree with your statement as applied on an individual level, but I cannot think of a single moral construct that would have any significance if we are all dead.
Maybe that requires a Christian viewpoint.
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T. Analog Kid
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Beren,

I emphatically believe that the individual is more important than the species in general. Maybe it comes from watching Star Trek IV too many times as a teen ("sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many"), but I think Slash is onto it.

Those of us that believe in the immortality of the soul believe that a human individual goes on forever and that the mere nations are, by comparison, mere accidents of the moment, no more important in the final analysis than which homeroom you had in 2nd grade.

Slash probably thinks I've gone insane today, as I think this is about the 50th thing we've disagreed on. [Big Grin]

[ April 07, 2004, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: T. Analog Kid ]

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Beren One Hand
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Disagreement with Slash is hardly a sign of insanity. (It might be an indication of the opposite actually [Razz] )

You guys are probably right about the religious viewpoint. Because I am not sure about what will happen in the afterlife, I tend to think whatever values we hold dear, they have no meaning beyond our ability to practice them in this life, and this life only.

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Slash the Berzerker
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Jacare:

Even coal miners grow. You could get to be a very good coal miner. You could develop relationships with those you worked with. You would have your nights to yourself to pursue your own interests.

As to your second question, ask Christopher Reeve's if he would rather be dead.

I am of the opinion that life is the only thing I really have. Everything else is window dressing. I can imagine very few situations where death is preferable.

Alexa:

Sadly, religion throws your theory (and your professors) right out the window. Through their religion, these people will be manipulated into a government they would not wish upon themselves.

Believe me, we will NOT be happier, nor with the Iraqis, when a fundamentalist cleric rules Iraq. Then Iraq will become what the administration was claiming it to be prior to the war. A hotbed for fundamentalist terrorists.

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T. Analog Kid
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Beren,

Slash has already given us the definitive word on insanity:

quote:
If the desire to be castrated, then eat your own severed penis, then be stabbed to death and eaten is not insane, then there is no meaningful definition of that word.
<still looking for every availible opportunity to post that quote>
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pooka
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When I was watching Nova, I was sure they said they were sending the rover to Goose Egg Crater. [Blushing]
quote:
Gusev Crater
I'm pretty sure there are folks who don't believe in the soul or God who feel a life lived well is a good goal. I don't personally feel continuation of the species is an emotionally compelling motive for me. Though I do have 3 children. If I were worried most about the species I suspect I would have more than that and care less about their individual quality of life.

P.S. The Spanish American War was a lot more similar to the War on Terror than it is to Vietnam. The only way this war is like Vietnam is that the same people are at home watching TV.

Getting back to your primary question, you are a dreamer who has the joy of seeing a dream become reality.

[ April 07, 2004, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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Beren One Hand
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TAK, I worry about you sometimes. Wait, I take it back. I worry about Slash a lot more. [Wink]

Pooka, having lots of kids is not necessarily the key to species survival. We may one day decide that the best way to ensure our survival is to mandate population control. Then there would be a direct conflict between species survival and certain religious ideals.

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ak
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I agree with Slash completely. (About Mars too.)

The poor we have always among us. Those who say we need to concentrate and solve intractible problems here at home before attempting to go off planet are very short sighted.

The most interesting feature of the solar system is life, and the most complicated and spiritual form of life we know is humanity. Humans (or intelligence) are not at all a foregone conclusion of evolution. Life is still mainly about bacteria. Evolution is very contingent. The tree of life is a bush and not a ladder. Had that asteroid zigged instead of zagging 65 million years ago there would be no humans. No tool users. Nobody who is technological.

We are the only species we know of who write symphonies and paint the Sistine Chapel. That matters. It's important. It would be terribly sad if we let our baser natures prevail to the point that all that dies out. Terribly sad if we don't leave descendants.

Extinction is not inevitable. There was a bacterium alive on Earth 3.5 billion years ago who has living descendants. I want humans to leave descendants. I don't want the journey to stop here. There is such a very long way for us to go. The choice is ours to make.

[ April 07, 2004, 04:30 PM: Message edited by: ak ]

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Telperion the Silver
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I say "we are the Universe made manifest" because I think we are. We are "Star Stuff", as Carl Sagan put it. We are all composed of the same matter. You, me, the tree, the computer, the air, the earth... all made up of the same matter and energy. We are fragments of the Universe that are self-aware. Thus we are the Universe made sentient! [Smile]

Think of each piece of matter or person as a wave in the ocean. Each wave is separate, but also part of the whole ocean. We are all connected.

As for why I say that we need to get off the Earth to survive for the long haul is simple. The Sun. Sol will eventually die. It will take a long time, of course, but it will happen. Right now we have all our eggs in one basket. For us to survive and take our proper role in the Universe we need to make sure that when the Earth dies we are away. And of course we have the much shorter term threat of climate change, asteroid impact, war, and pollution.

We cannot survive outside this biosphere. We even need gravity to live properly. So instead of us changing all this oil into air why don't we mine the Moon or Mars or the asteroid belt? Why don't we put up solar collectors in orbit to really get some good solar power and then beam it down to Earth? Space will allow us to preserve our planet's biosphere for a much greater period of time... till the time when we must leave. [Smile]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Naw, by the time the sun is ready to go out, technology will be so advanced that someone will just pop in another Rejuva-Star pill and give it another 4 billion years.
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ak
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And by the time the galaxy flies apart from dark energy, we'll all be making our own big bangs in our basements, and hopping inside to live there. (Probably filling them up with our spirit children.)
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Telperion the Silver
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Hmmm.. yah. That goes along with my idea that eventually we'll be able to make our own stars, and thus turn back the tide of Universal entropy. [Smile]
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T. Analog Kid
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quote:
thus turn back the tide of Universal entropy.
Ah... now we're definitely dreaming [Smile]
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twinky
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As an aside, living ten more years with my every desire granted is drastically different from me living a well-lived life.

But perhaps that's just due to the nature of my desires. [Evil Laugh]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Yeah, me too.

My first thought when I read that was, "My first wish is that I be the very last person to die."

The rest of humanity better hope I never find my own genie bottle.

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Gottmorder
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quote:
Extinction is not inevitable. There was a bacterium alive on Earth 3.5 billion years ago who has living descendants. I want humans to leave descendants. I don't want the journey to stop here. There is such a very long way for us to go. The choice is ours to make.
Yes, but no matter how far out we reach, it's always nice to have a home still waiting for you. Earth is, and always will be, an important aspect of humanity for the simple reason that it is our home. I'm not suggesting that we solve all problems here on Earth, but we need to know how to work together if we are to succeed out in the rest of the galaxy.
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Slash the Berzerker
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Don't you think goals bigger than our personal problems are part of working together?

I think we need a goal bigger than 'how many square feet of the planet do I get to control'. Which is, at bottom, the cause of most of our problems.

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Gottmorder
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control may not be the best medium for it, but remember that it was competition that got us into the Space Age in the first place. [Wink]
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Slash the Berzerker
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Hey, I am all for changing to 'how many lightyears of space do I control'. There is literally no square inch of land on earth that someone doesn't control. Expansion equals aggression in this scenario.

In space, expansion does not have to come with war as its price tag. At least for a while.

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maybe, although eventually it'll be like Earth but on a larger scale. That's the problem, you can't satisfy everyone and eventually someone's going to want to do something about it.
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