Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Peter Griffin, Sep 27, 2002.
stem cells in teeth
Log in or Sign up to hide all adverts.
seriously?! maybe you can PM me sometime about that....i would be quite interested in hearing about stem cells in teeth. ahem...
The funny thing is that anyone responded to it. I hate cooking but I wouldn't expect my saying so to start much of a conversation.
I kind of hate science. Not what it is when studied with freedom but I hate what the education system makes it, alot. Its like they intentionally make it as boring and tedious as possible. You have to learn about so much crap that no one could possibly give a shit about.
But I like animals and the idea of the different species throughout the universe and I like psychology. In fact, psychology is the only "order" I can say I like, biology, physics, chemistry all of those "subjects" are filled with boring crap when feeded to you by someone else but they all have heaps of interesting aspects in real life. I guess I could say I love science but I hate society, but I like society if I am studying why it sucks(psychology) so I don't know what I like Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
I like european lesbian teens thats for surePlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
A more interesting question might be why we bother to do science. Is it just our selfish genes prompting us to find ways of cramming more people in?
The future is becoming less bleak. Really!
If you're thinking that the main thrust of research is to find ways to lower the infant mortality rate, to raise life expectancy, and to keep the ever growing population of humans fed, you're only partially right. Stop and give tribute to all those other scientists who toil in obscurity, perfecting more powerful ways for us to kill each other!
More seriously, it has been discovered over the past fifty years or so by anthropologists and sociologists (they're scientists too) that birth rates decline as prosperity rises. That explains why the birth rates in western Europe, Japan, the U.S., and Canada have dropped below replacement levels. The only thing that keeps our Ponzi-scheme social security programs from collapsing is immigration.
It's also been observed in the Third World. In the most prosperous (or least impoverished, depending on your point of view) countries, where per capita GDP has risen from fifty bucks a year to several hundred, birth rates are dropping dramatically. Like from eight or ten children per couple to four or five. As the Information Age allows countries to link into the world's economic infrastructure without needing trillions of dollars to invest in the construction of factories, those family sizes will continue to shrink. You younger people will live to see the eradication of truly abject poverty, as every resident of Earth earns enough money to pay for at least a subsistence diet and a roof not made of cardboard.
Even the doomsayers have lightened up. They were predicting an endless doubling of the population at 20th Century rates: 12 billion by 2030, 24 billion by 2060, 48 billion by 2090. Now they are actually talking about the population PEAKING at less than ten billion, around fifty or sixty years from now, and then starting to DECREASE.
Science will be able to turn back to useful pursuits that will enrich your lives, like video games in 3-D and Big Macs that will still be warm by the time you get the bag home!
Well Fraggle Rocker I very much hope that you are right. But I don't think so. Falling rates of population increase cause economies to stop expanding, and no politician can allow that to happen. Thus in the Uk we have a drive to increase immigration in order to maintain economic growth.
This is disguised, rather conveniently, by all the attention paid to illegal immigration. However I have just finished working on a regional project designed to help employers employ more immigrants. The project was informed by figures giving a necessary increase in immigration in the millions! over the next twenty years. Why? Specifically to maintain economic growth and paid for by the government for this precise purpose. There is no possibility of this ridiculously crowded country become less so.
The only hope is that we drop wealth creation as an ambition and replace it with the creation of quality of life. You can imagine how the industrialists that fund politics would react to such a suggestion.
Maybe miracles can happen but I see economic collapse as the only answer.
Paradigm shift. Paradigm shift.
Me too. My wife and I often remark on the paradox that we, who have no progeny, are sometimes moved to tears by the world that is being left to the younger generations; while the parents of those generations drive Winnebagos (that would be a "caravan" the size of an "omnibus," in your dialect) with bumper stickers declaring, "We're spending our children's inheritance."
Predicting the future is tough in any era, but impossible in the vortex of a Paradigm Shift.
Q.E.D. You're basing your analysis on an Industrial Era economic model. Remember that information is not manufactured and distributed and paid for using the commercial devices of the Industrial Era. If you don't believe me, just take a second look at the music downloading controversy and realize who's going to prevail.
That, unfortunately, ties in with my other point. Social Security, or whatever you call it over there, is a true Ponzi Scheme. The "interest" paid out to the early "investors" is simply stolen from the "capital" of the later ones. The same thing is happening here. The old folks (and they must be really old because we were born during WWII and we don't think like they do) who categorize people by skin tones are screaming about immigration and the government pretends to mollify them. But in reality the government's goal is to assimilate the immigrants into the economy (whether they pursue formal citizenship or not) to buoy up the Social Security system. And in the process, those old farts get to have their maids and gardeners. I guess lack of integrity can be a blessing when one is an asshole.
I'll wager that your government is merely doing the same as ours. Trying to keep its Ponzi scheme from crumbling and bringing in some people who are willing to perform the less glamorous labor that our own young people are "too good" for.
Certainly we will all see some crowding. The most optimistic population estimates still foresee a 60-70 percent worldwide increase before it levels off. It will be harder on your country than ours, with our vast swaths of unpopulated terrain in its western half. So perhaps a few more of you will follow your ancestors' malcontented cousins to the U.S., Canada, or Australia, which will still seem spacious by your standards. You will surely be welcome.
Or just let "wealth" be redefined as it is during every paradigm shift. Two hundred years ago a common measure of "wealth" was a head count of slaves; for centuries before that it was cattle. In a post-industrial society where things of value can be instantly replicated by pushing a button, where shiny personal machines will no longer be needed for daily circular journeys in imitation of a gerbil's exercise wheel as we learn to telecommute and teleconference, you can be sure that the measure of wealth will be quite different.
The dinosaurs among us who are frightened by change will surely regard what's happening as an economic collapse. The rest of us will just look upon it as a readjustment. I don't know if you're another of these precocious youngsters who keep embarrassing me with their writing skill, but if you are I'm sure you'd be embarrassed in turn to let on that you're not as eager as someone three times your age to watch the future unfold. As the Thompson Twins put it, "Here's to future days."
i'm reading something between the lines, but i am not sure what it is.
yep, whenever someone says "I would be VERY interested in..." they are obviously ... is the word ... patronizing? you.
uhhh how you say ... patronizing I like to pretend english is my second language, it makes me seem smarter than I really arePlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
..... I mean amPlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
in the end it doesn't really matter...science is just my job. I'm used to the fact that no one is interested in my work and I am used to the fact that only a limited people in the world will actually read any of my articles.
That's the nature of science.
Only a few people understand what you are actually doing and only a few people will actually want to read about what you are doing.
Ukk. Sometimes I hate science. Am am studying for a PhD in bacterial genetics and for the past two months not a single thing has wanted to work. but when it does, I'm sure I will love it again.
I like casual sciences more than deep/theoretical ones. You can say I post more in Gen Sci rather than Phy&Math; the latter is just so confuzzing.....
I don't see the relevance of that.
I'd say that rising populations are required to sustain economic growth. Only incidently does it have an effect on Social Security.
I don't know what Ponzi means. But it's about ecomomic growth, not Social Security. (It is here anyway).
Overcrowding is not in the future, it's now.
Yeah, that's exactly the worry. Our population level's are unsustainable (and unbearable) now.
One doesn't have to frightened of change to be frightened at the way the world is changing. Change for the better would be fine.
Don't worry, I'll bet I'm older than you are, and my fear for the future is for future generations, not for me.
I think personally they are the utter most vile of people. These sorts of people have ruined my life, and could not even work out my name.
They spent my entire adult life doing some sort of experiment with my life, and never where right once.
They think they will answer the big questions of the universe, no they will not, they cannot even tell me whom i am, after 21 years of targeting my life.
I only wish that science wasn't so damn difficult to understand. So much math and chemistry to learn as well as many other things that are very difficult to get a grasp upon. Although I do try to learn as best I can, a little here and there.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
That's what every economic model since Adam Smith has assumed without comment.
But it's a pretty big "incident" since several of the countries that are among the world's largest economies have Social Security programs that are textbook examples of Ponzi schemes. They rely on an ever-larger pool of young employed people to pay for the retirement of an ever-larger pool of retired people. That worked out just fine in the middle of the last century when ten workers were supporting one retiree. But now ten workers are supporting three retirees, and in two more generations they'll be supporting six. If by some miracle the system survives that crisis, after the total global birth rate falls below replacement level at the turn of the next century, eventually they'll be supporting twelve retirees. Unless the Post-Industrial Era economy makes every worker a billionaire (in 2013 dollars), that just ain't gonna work.
Of course the one thing we should know by now is that we can't predict the future on the other side of a Paradigm Shift. None of the farmers in the 1600s (and in the 1600s 99% of people were indeed farmers) could have predicted the incredible amount of surplus wealth that average working people have today. That we'd need a whole new industry called "advertising" to encourage us to spend it!
Perhaps amazing unexpected technological progress will save the Social Security system.
Charles Ponzi was an Italian-American con man in the early 20th century. He marketed an "investment" scheme that promised fantastic profits--for example, 50% ROI in 45 days. By using his own modest fortune to actually pay out these sums (rather than having absolutely any investment business going at all) he quickly established a reputation and people flocked to him. From then on all he had to do was use the capital "invested" by the new suckers to pay the "interest" to the original suckers, and pocket the leftovers. As long as an ever larger pool of new suckers kept giving him new money, he was able to keep the original suckers happy while he kept collecting half of the "investments" for himself.
Obviously this could only go on for a short while, and the scheme collapsed in less than one year. He had bilked people out of millions of dollars, which would be tens of millions in today's money. Several banks collapsed. He was caught and sent to prison.
But the concept is still alive. Bernie Madoff's scheme was very similar, and he bilked people out of eighteen billion dollars, 50 times Ponzi's achievement.
The reason Social Security is a Ponzi scheme is that it works exactly the same way. The government does not invest our money. They squander it on a military that is larger than the next nine largest militaries in the world combined. They subsidize tobacco farmers to grow tobacco and then hire advertising agencies to launch anti-smoking campaigns. They are the largest employer in the country, with sixteen layers of bureaucrats who sit around "administering" each other all day.
So when it comes time to write the pension checks every month, guess where they get the money? From the deductions taken from the paychecks of people who are working now! This is why my Social Security check does not represent a return on the money the government has been taking from me since 1961. It is money they took from somebody else last month! It never earned one dime of interest!
Like any Ponzi Scheme, it is doomed to collapse. It's widely predicted that long before the end of this century, as the birth rate continues to plummet, it will no longer be self-supporting (in other words, making do by confiscating the "investments" of working Americans) and will have to be subsidized by taxes.
It's hard to say what the saddest aspect of this is, but consider this: If instead of giving all that money to the government, I had invested it very conservatively, my pension check would be double what it is today!
Depends on where you live. The Western Hemisphere is still very sparsely populated. More than 75% of the land in California, which is universally regarded as "crowded," consists of farms, forest and desert. The ratio is even higher in Canada, although until Global Warming takes over much of its land is not easy to farm. But even countries that are stereotyped as "crowded," like Brazil, are gigantic food producers.
There are a lot of things about the USA which immigrants from other countries never thought about, that turn out to be rather unnerving. One of them is the low population density. Our movies all show Manhattan with its gigantic buildings blocking the sun, or Los Angeles with it's gridlocked traffic extending fifty miles in every direction. But come here to the Washington DC region and you'll find very few buildings more than ten stories high, and long before you reach the end station on the subway system you'll actually be traveling aboveground through towns with nothing but two-story single-family houses. In fact, the Washington-Baltimore corridor has the third largest tree canopy in the country! There's greenspace on every block and I don't think you could find a place to stand here where you wouldn't see trees nearby in every direction.
"Unbearable" is subjective. But they're certainly sustainable. The only reason people in countries with despotic governments are starving is precisely their despotic governments. We Americans alone ship boatloads of food to the Third World. But it's intercepted by government agents who sell it on the black market. The rulers use the money to buy limos, Swiss villas, champagne, hookers, and guns to make war on the despot in the next country. Fortunately the internet provides these people with a way to communicate and organize, so every year the number of people under despotic regimes decreases.
As for the energy crisis, bear in mind that a huge fraction of the world's energy is used for transportation. The internet is gnawing away at that problem too, as more and more people can do their jobs from home instead of schlepping themselves across the landscape twice a day. Which requires them to eat energy-intensive fast foods, hire nannies who drive their own cars, engage plumbers and electricians who drive over to do minor repairs they could do for themselves if they had a couple more hours at home, etc. Sure, janitors still have to work on site, but modern equipment allows a building to be cleaned by a much smaller staff. And if the people who work in that building could work at home, it might be shut down--lights, water, elevators, air conditioning, everything!
The day will come when most people travel only for recreation and socialization. Meanwhile, process-control software makes manufacturing more energy-efficient and reduces the number of miles required to deliver our food and other goods.
I'd like to introduce you to an old fellow named Charles Dickens. He said the same thing about the Industrial Revolution. He was dead wrong. Today in the developed countries even farmers don't work 100-hour weeks, and half of the population works sitting down. Professionally composed and performed music is available 24/7, and the library is so large that you could play it 24/7 and never hear the same one twice. We have friends all over the world, not just our neighbors and the people we work with. Most of us have taken a vacation in a foreign country. And for those of you who are parents, consider this sobering statistic: You can reasonably expect all of your children to grow up! Our cemeteries are no longer littered with tiny gravestones.
The beginning of any Paradigm Shift is difficult and scary for the people who have to live through it. Can you imagine the chorus of bitching 12,000 years ago when men were told that they no longer had to roam around the countryside, sleeping in caves, hunting animals with clubs and spears and occasionally getting into a fight with a bear? Not only that, but now they couldn't live that way even if they wanted to, because they had to stay home to cultivate the garden and herd the cattle. Worse yet, their wives demanded that they build them these newfangled things called "houses" that the ladies in the next valley had. And furniture. And pottery. And...
I'm sure there was a Charles Dickens alive then who predicted the end of the human race. But since writing hadn't been invented yet, we'll never know. The technology of writing was invented in the Bronze Age, another Paradigm Shift that surely scared a lot of people. Saws? Wheels? No more wooden plows? The world is coming to an end!
I'll be 70 this year. All I can do is look at 12,000 years of history, since the Paleolithic Era gave way to the Agricultural Revolution. Life has gotten considerably better. Not monotonically of course, there have been numerous setbacks--many of which can be blamed squarely on religion, when the hell are we going to cleanse ourselves of that accursed relic of the Stone Age? Even communism was inspired by Christianity, as I've noted several times. ("To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities," is an elaboration of a line from the Book of Acts.)
Science unlocks the mysteries of the entire universe, from the formation of galaxies thousands of light-years across, to the behavior of subatomic particles so small that it's not clear whether the concept of "size" can even be applied to them.
Do you really think this could be simplified? Maybe so, but it will take a pretty fancy computer. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Delete irrelevant post.
I hate very much
Then why did you come to SciForums? This place is all about science.
Separate names with a comma.