At what point will we not need to advance scientifically? Is there an endgame?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Jan Ardena, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    And can be fixed even more readily with new advancements (cheaper/simpler desalinators, cheaper solar/battery systems etc)
    Because we can do more than one thing.

    As an example - why are you posting here, instead of helping people?
    We are.
    Nope. Capitalism works even better when there are fewer poor people (more consumers.)
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Capitalism is not known for its wisdom. Getting it to work better is sometimes a difficult matter of coercion.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I agree that there no inherent wisdom in capitalism. However, its driving force is greed - and that is satisfied when markets expand.
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  7. TheFrogger Valued Senior Member

    CAPITAL-ISM. Having money.
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    If it can be fixed now, why wait for more advancements?

    It seems a bit like stocking your fallout bunker with food, and clean water for your family, in case of some nuclear disaster. While starving and dying of thirst, day to day.

    But we don’t seem to be able to, given that just in the US alone, a powerful, scientifically advanced country, poverty is embarrassingly high, and on the increase

    Maybe so I can help people to focus on this issue, which will carry on deteriorating, unless we take our heads out of our asses?

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    If the population were reduced to half a billion people, do you really think capitalism would suffer?

    Your links were nice. But I’m not talking about charity. I’m talking about channeling all the scientific development, and technology into making the whole world a better place. A place where doesn’t have to be any poverty.
    Then, after that is okay, we can enjoy sending people into outer space.

  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You haven't drawn any valid conclusions. We provide meaning to life. I didn't give you any insight into how I have provided meaning to my life. I simply addressed your comments about "what is the point".

    "Scientific advancement" isn't a "thing". What is the point to you having kids when your neighbor already has kids that are (theoretically) just as good as your kids? There is no population shortage so that isn't the point. If we are looking for the point we have to look to each individual. Your point may have been that your wife wouldn't stop nagging you until she had a kid, or you wanted more people in the house, or someone to take care of you when you are older or whatever. There isn't a societal point necessarily and there is no grand plan other than biology.

    Learning to live together doesn't require any scientific advancement. Nothing is stopping "us" from learning to live together.

    Do we really need more poetry? Don't we have enough? Shouldn't we be building houses for the poor instead of writing poetry?

    These subjects aren't related.

    You may not be knocking scientific advancement but there is something about people wanting to know answers that is bothering you on some level.

    This can be done and it always could have been done. If people elect only politicians that mainly focus on those things then that's what that society would be focused on. That's not what people do however.

    This has nothing to do with people/companies/governments pursuing research in scientific fields. Nor does it have anything to do with people pursuing poetry/law/business/farming or anything else.

    Contentment is an individual state. "Science" isn't an individual. It's just knowledge and you seem to be arguing that we already have enough knowledge and now we should stop and just be "content".

    Should we have been content in 1900? There is no logic to this line of reasoning.

    If there is any "goal" to anything it is on the local level. If a company/government creates sophisticated AI there is a goal or reason for that project. Maybe it's AI in the medical field so that healthcare can be extended into parts of Africa where that is lacking.

    Or maybe it's to make surgery more effective or maybe it's just to do what man isn't so good at doing. Or maybe it's just to help make a car. Who cares?

    What does "unending scientific advancement" even mean. Have we learned enough about what causes cancer? Have we learned enough about alternative power sources?

    Sure, in the same sense that if there was no more scientific advancements after 1800 would that be a detriment to current world situation?

    What is the "current world situation" by the way? Why is there a need to stop scientific advancement? What is the goal there? Are we just going to stop scientifically advancing?

    You talk about "science" as if it is a "thing". There is pure science which is study for the sake of study largely in university research labs. This is generally where new discoveries take place. There is applied science which would be something like taking something that was discovered in a pure research lab and developing it into something practical. This might be done at Intel if it involved a new chip, for example. Or if it involved new battery technology then it would be done by a battery company.

    There is medical research, there is research in any scientific area. It could be in biology, geology, materials science. Whatever. Maybe there is a company down the street from you working on building a better garage (something mundane) and they spend a few days a week trying to develop a better paint for the floor.

    That's applied science as well. Why would anyone be worried about stopping that?

    I won't try to derail a civil discussion such as we are having but (correct me if I'm wrong) I think your concerns in this area are related to your religious beliefs. It's annoying that "science" seems to be gnawing away at the religious explanations that have been given over the years.

    This has nothing to do with science/goals or anything else. It's just a side-effect. If it were possible for people who wrote poetry to somehow have the side-effect of gnawing away at religious explanations then this same annoyance with "science" would now be directed toward "poetry". Right?

    Or maybe it isn't even that. Maybe it's that to you "science" seems to be the new religion and you find that to be annoying. I disagree that science is the new religion but I think that maybe you feel that way.

    Most science isn't the esoteric news articles that pop up that can seem like all that is being studied now is useless and a waste of time. Again, "science" isn't a thing and most scientific endeavors are just practical research and engineering and just companies working on their product lines.

    Your real concern, as stated, was just anti-knowledge and when stated like that of course you aren't for that.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The US has a uniquely large and influential population of Christian fundamentalists, which prevents it from enjoying many of the benefits of scientific advance.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It depends on how it's done.

    But overall likely not, because now you have half a billion people less that capitalism has to support.
    Why don't you channel all your efforts into making the whole world a better place, instead of posting over 11,000 times on this forum? Why not do that first - THEN bloviate on the Internet? Wouldn't that be the compassionate thing to do?
    It IS being fixed now. (See the links I showed you.)
    Starvation in the US (a better measure of poverty than how many iphones you can buy) has steadily decreased over the decades.
    Why not channel all that time and effort spent posting (which for you has been a lot) into making the world a better place? After that's done, you can bloviate to your heart's content.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And it is also satisfied when markets are wrecked in the process of robbing them.
    As is visible in the rising inequality within the US as a market.
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    It is often considered one of the most common meanings of one's life. Life is about the journey, not the destination.

    Why would it not be so that such a life philosophy is reflected in our learning disciplines?
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    "endgame" political correctness for "agenda"
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I agree that spending more money on a social safety net rather than on an overly large military would be a better use of money. Living within our means would be more sustainable and results in greater true strength than doing what we are currently doing.

    This has little to do with science though and everything to do with politics.

    Regarding capitalism, small population, large population, it works the same. It's just a method for organism an economy.

    Politics is what is messy and is what is usually the weakest link. Smaller is usually better here. It's not so much that less government is better (although that could be argued). I'm arguing that smaller areas of government (smaller countries) are usually more prosperous. It's hard to have common values once the area gets large enough.

    The countries with the highest standards of living are usually small countries. Just being small isn't enough however as there are plenty of poor, small countries.
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Scientific advancement is for the betterment of mankind as much as any advancement in knowledge is. Is it better to know or remain ignorant? As an evolutionary trait we have curiosity to expand our knowledge base. Improved knowledge often opens up ways to do things more efficiently, meaning resources can spread further, meaning we as a species can survive more easily.
    AI, for example (since you raised it) is in and of itself a curiosity, a Mt. Everest. It is there as a puzzle to be cracked. Its application, however, will be to either augment and thus improve our decision making, either in terms of accuracy or speed, or to replace humans and thus free them up for other tasks. E.g. In the medical realm AI will eventually be able to scan through X-rays and scans far faster and likely with far more accuracy than humans, reducing the waiting time before diagnosis, freeing up doctors to perform more important work like the actual surgery.
    Robotics and AI might also make those surgeries far quicker, less invasive, and thus more successful.

    Does that mean that it will be for the betterment of every individual on the planet? Not immediately.
    Yes, we could stop all scientific endeavours, all research, and look at helping those on the planet to live better. And many people go out of their way to do that. Most do not. Survival of the species doesn't necessitate it.

    There are several views that would say that scientific advancement is most certainly for the betterment of mankind, as a species: it aids our survivability. We are currently living on a single rock in space, and could be struck by a large enough object to wipe out all life on the planet in one fell swoop. So one might say that the survival of our species might very much depend upon us being on more than one planet, or if not planet then having more than one colony of size, even if that colony is space-based.
    That notion alone should give us an aim: to not have all our chickens in the same basket. And only scientific advancement can do that.

    But ultimately it will still come down to simple curiosity. We advance our understanding because we want to know. Or at least there are still enough people within the population who want to know. Many are simply content that others want to know, and that as a result things will advance. Others are oblivious to it all.
    Even if we turned all the practical resources we could inward to the betterment of every person on the planet, we would still want to explore, still want to discover new things. And we would always look to put those new findings into making things more efficient.

    It reminds me of an argument for people never volunteering for the first manned ships to explore other stars... The advances in technology would mean that the first ship gets overtaken by the second, which in turn gets overtaken by the third, and so on, so that the first to reach the new star is the one that left earth last, and the last to arrive is the one that left first. So you should never be on the first!
  18. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I didn't read 99% of the thread...

    The premise leads to subjugation of women not having medical science to help in childbirth.

    I hope that was succinct.
  19. TheFrogger Valued Senior Member

    We are without limits to scientific advancement: there is no endgame. It will continue forever...
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I didn't read your reply, but clearly the problem here is sugary breakfast cereals.
    DaveC426913 likes this.
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    You think so?
    Let me remind you that the Middle East was a thriving scientific hub at one time, until the fundies got a hold of government. Now they teach terrorism instead of science or any science they teach is for terrorism.
  22. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    The advancement of science will continue as long as those countries who can afford it, continue to invest in it.
    Which will mean them placing their investment above other national and international "needs".

    Military science and technology in particular are usually given more status than famines overseas.

    Just sayin'
    Write4U likes this.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I think the bottom line is that scientific advancement tends to promote human happiness, in all its aspects, on average.

    Suppose that scientific advancement had stopped in the year 3000 BCE, or in 1 CE, or in 1200 CE, or in 1700 CE, or in 2000 CE, or whatever date you want to consider. After any given date, there would be more people suffering and dying needlessly then if scientific advancement continued into the future.

    Note: primarily, I'm not talking about subjective happiness here. Human beings are great at coping with the circumstances in which they find themselves, whatever they may be. People living in poverty are not as unhappy in themselves, on average, as you might expect them to be based on objective measures of their circumstances compared to those of the rich, for example. But objectively, their lives are far more difficult than those of the rich.

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