What age are we in?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by arfa brane, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No of course not. It's about ratios and broad causes/effects.

    A free market economy generally results in growth. People trying to make their own lives better find opportunities to get others to spend money, usually by creating new products / services.

    It's a <i>tendency</i> not a formula.
     
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Without good number we have speculations.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, we have observations. This is history, after all.

    Having qualitative observations without quantitative evidence doesn't mean all we have is speculation.
     
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  7. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    I have a Masters in History from Purdue, so I do know something about that. It makes me conservative with regard to speculation as to drivers for which we have no good data.
     
  8. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I guess that makes it safe then.
     
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Why would it?
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Fair enough. So then you know that numbers are not always available for history and prehistory. That doesn't make the knowledge useless or merely speculative.
     
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    "History" it seems has the depth perspective of a one eyed man in a blizzard.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The language of "we" and "age" seems to extrapolate unduly from local economic situations. The "age" being experienced by the residents of Africa and South America and large regions of Asia seems different, in the implications of your opening post, from the "age" being experienced by the Americas north of Mexico or Western Europe or Japan, for example. Especially, since it came up, the roles of population growth in these various places do not seem easily reconcilable. Just an impression.
    We have piles and piles of good data related to the economic structures of human life in industrial and agricultural economies, including the current situation in the US. Thomas Piketty included the US in his recent analysis and report, for example - his thick book is largely a dry pile of data and breakdown.
    Over the sustainable human population of a given economic region under the given technological regime?
     
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Agree.

    The ages should not be too dependent on the humanocentric details of mankind's progress. But I found the "Anthropocene" Age to be applicable because it describes ..."the current time, in which humans have had an enormous impact on the environment. ..."

    If the animals - and the planet - could talk, I think they'd agree that the era where mankind has a significant impact on the planet is an era in its own right. We are changing the planet as much as any glacier or blue-green algae did.
     
  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    True, just soft.
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    The current age, or overlap, includes a whole lot of science and it's not just physics. We know a lot more about human behaviour.

    We know that past societies have folded because they had unsustainable economic systems. Simultaneously, we know we have a much better understanding of fundamental physics, and cosmology. We understand that the things we don't yet understand could require modifications or extensions of our current best theories.

    In a sense, that means we know more about what isn't known than we used to.
     
  16. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    By the same token, despite this advanced knowledge, we display a host of behaviours that we are addicted to which seem to ensure a hasty demise of our current state of affairs.
    IOW this chasm between knowledge and practically applying what we know is the greatest unprecedented quality of our civilization, and it is precisely this which has provided us with "the athropocene" age.

    I was reading the other day about an economics projection on decreased GDP due to diminished access to drinking water in the next 30 years.

    The fragility of the current situation is that there is currently only one experiment in human civilization operating. Everything is so centralized and interdependent, that one catasyrophic failure in one part could easily wipe out everything else. In previous ages there were several functioning empires, operating independent from each onher .... so if one collapsed, another was left to cultivate advancements of culture and technology.


    Tl;Dr : we may have outsmarted ourselves
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    When the Roman Empire fell, nothing took its technological place for hundreds of years. A new civilization had to emerge from the ruins. Likewise with the Mayan, Egyptian, and ancient Chinese collapses.
    There are hundreds.
    The Soviet Union, when it failed catastrophically in 1989, was the largest empire on the planet in land area, the second most powerful in military capability and diplomatic influence.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I think the point is that what emerged from the ruins of the Roman Empire was helped, in part, by other civilizations.

    I read a book called "How the Irish Saved Civilization" that details monks and scribes copying and vast collections of manuscripts about Western civilization and hiding them away through the centuries after Rome's fall, until a new society could learn from them. Fascinating book.

    Ancient civilizations weren't so interdependent. Whatever befell one was not likely to affect another in the same wave.

    Empire ... country ... :wiggles hands:

    What befell USSR was not something that simultaneously affected other countries.

    What if it were something like a fertility disease, or loss of oil or global warming? Those could affect virtually all countries unilaterally.
     
  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Just to add a few things, what emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire was not smooth sailing, and saw the current roles of western and middle eastern culture reversed (the europeans were the backwater terrorists and the middle easterners were the centres of multiculturalism, knowledge and culture).

    Also what collapsed in the soviet bloc, amongst other things, was their economic independence. IOW it wasn't so much a collapse but an integration and amalgamation into international markets. What crumbled was the communist's ability to exist in an economic environment (relatively) independant from international stock trade, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Not to mention taking between 500 and a thousand years of disease-ridden, ever-present death and poverty.
     
  21. Throbber Registered Senior Member

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    I'm thirty-eight.
     
  22. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    Seeing how this planet is all messed-up and shitty it will never be an utopia. Utopia is just not possible for humans because humans always want money and more power.

    The Soviet Union tried to create an utopian society and it failed. There will always be some people who will make a perfect society fail

    Also the resources of the Earth are limited and are dwindling and humans cannot live peacefully with each other. It's just in our nature I believe.

    http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-utopia-possible
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  23. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Pandemic. Come on!

    After we're gone the porpoises will come out of the sea and teach the bears to make fire. Then it begins again, until the next comet strike.
     

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