What can we do? Evolution.RoboticRevolution.Disease/Addiction


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I'd be interested in hearing opinions on some of these things.

I have been thinking about whether or not it makes sense to believe in a world that can really work perfectly. It seems as though humanity as a whole began as a species with general everyday survival as the goal. Then things shifted to making life as easy/enjoyable as possible. Part of the world seems to be on its way to reaching these goals but there's clearly a big portion of the world that is not. And even still, are the people who live in the most fortunate parts of the world really moving in the right direction? Scientific and technological advancements in the world keep "increasing" our standard of living but at the same time it seems like a lot of bad can come of it.


We're using all these tools to improve our lives. We are becoming increasingly lazy as a society and losing a big part of our heritage. Very little is natural (i.e. not man-made) anymore in every day life. I thought evolution was supposed to be survival of the fittest in the sense that, mutations happen, and if those mutations help you survive and mate, while other around you are unable, then evolution occurs and your genes carry on. This is going to sound harsh and I don't mean this as a suggestion, but am rather just asking the question, if we work towards keeping all people alive and allow for the disadvantageous mutations to survive in the genetic pool using medicine and technology, are we fighting evolution (not to mention over-populating the world)? And if we are fighting off evolution, who's to say that's wrong? It likely has a great deal to do with how we currently define what it means to be human. A pretty definitive trait we have is the ability to empathize.

robotic revolution.

It will sound a bit silly but, over the past few years I've watched so many movies and television shows that warn us about creating intelligent life (Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, The Matrix etc.), and coupled with some thought on the subject, it is finally getting to me. In many of the films where humanoid robots are created (it is acknowledged that in reality humanoid robots are pretty impractical and inefficient for most tasks compared to other designs - yet many still have a desire to create them), a character will mention something about how god created man in his image, and man created robots in their image. I understand what the temptation of it is, the ability to basically play god/create some sort of life. Even though it is so unnecessary, will eventually create robots that are not only more physically able than us, but also in many ways smarter (not necessarily all - i.e. creativity). It sounds so science fiction, but if you think about it, it really is going to happen.

The part that is scary is that even if people are very careful to make sure these robots would never turn into a "Matrix" or "Terminator" situation (as silly as it may sound) for whatever logical reason may exist, we are really just betting on the sanity of mankind which is not something to bet on lightly. People are not perfect, and as such we can never expect our creations to be. Truly nothing that is harmonious with the current mindset of "good" human beings can be done to stop this all from happening. Human beings do things just to show that they can be done, even if no other benefit is apparent. We WILL create artificial life. We WILL make it as powerful or interesting as possible. We WILL somehow lose control over it. And even if someone questions the morality... "If you won't do it, someone else will."

disease and exposure / addiction

We continue to move away from our own natural connections to the world, and it seems to be harming us. All these signal waves in the air, and all of these chemicals, and radiating devices. I was told that I live in a generation in which every individual will get cancer at some point of his or her life. The computer I'm typing this on right now could be contributing to that, and yet, I probably will never know for sure, and am so set in my way of life that I probably will never do anything about it. I read an article yesterday about people getting depressed after watching Avatar. Apparently after seeing the vivid world in 3D, and seeing the way the native characters live and connect with their world, people have become obsessed with the idea that they may some day be able to really experience this. Apparently these feelings have been attributed to some sort of separation anxiety, which is common after being engrossed in films or television for long periods of time. If a large portion of your recent memories exist in a fictional world, you have trouble relating to the world you really live in. Anyway, what these people recognize in this film is not really all that wrong as far as I can tell. We're losing touch with our connection to the real world. Although computers and technology these days give us access to the "world" we never could have had before, we can now just sit in our homes, and sit alone, and enjoy the stimulation from a screen as it creates a world for us. It is so tempting, and once you give in, it is very hard to let go of. MMO games are a great example. I've seen the depression hit people as they wish to truly exist in their online world, rather than the real one. These sorts of experiences are escapist, and makes people feel good on some level...at least at first.

This is probably getting rambly... so...

Anyway, the overall question here is basically how scientific progress and humanity fit together moving into the future, and if it actually is possible for things to become stable, or if we're moving in the wrong direction.