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Author Topic: Virus  (Read 16386 times)


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Re: Virus
« Reply #25 on: 05/05/2006 17:14:05 »
Originally posted by Hadrian
So I would like to state my belief that human destruction is different. We have a choice to be in this world as one with it or resist it. We can live in perfect harmony with nature like gardeners of the world. We can see to it that all we use is replaced.

I (not surprisingly) totally disagree at every level.

We have no choices, and we cannot either live in harmony with, nor resist, nature.  We are a part of nature, we cannot escape it, and we can neither choose to resits it, not choose in any way our relationship to it.  All we can do, however much it may appear to us otherwise, is abide by the rules nature gives us.  The rules nature provides us are not as pretty and comforting as the idealised images of nature might suggest, but they are the only rules we have.

The idea of the gardener is interesting, because a garden is in fact a totally artificial environment (insofar as one can make a distinction between artificial and natural).  A gardener chooses which plants he want in his garden, and which he destroys.  A gardener decides how to landscape his garden.  In that very narrow domain, the gardener may use the facilities that nature provides, but he very much tries to take control of the environment, and use those rules to make his own, very artificial, creation.


But we have become dazzled by our technology and fooled in to thinking that somehow we have evolved.

I don't think the technology has very much to do with it.  We have always thought of ourselves as special it is a part of the human psyche, long before any modern technology came about.  Just look at the biblical (or any other religious) notions of humanity, and they all somehow believe that humans are separate, and different, from the rest of nature.

Even your own comment above, about the notion that humans, alone amongst all of nature, somehow have choices that are denied to other species in nature; clearly indicates that you too believe that humans are somehow special, that they are above other species.  I think this is a false belief, although it is an understandable one.


 If we were to lose every processor, every satellite and all our gadgets too we soon find out that we are no smarted then we ever were.

I would in no way dispute this I think far too much is made of intelligence.  Intelligence is a useful tool, but it does not of itself make us innately different to anything else, it merely provides us with a particular type of tool that we have found particularly useful.


We may have gained in some ways but we have lost so much to do it. Most people in our society would be totally unable to survive on there own wits. Tasks like finding food and shelter would be impossible for millions.

I would not argue with this it has always been my belief, that in the end, whatever you do, you do not (in the broad scheme of things) either win or lose, you just hold different positions; positions that while they may differ, are not better or worse than the position you had before, or the one you will hold later.


As a child I remember being taught that the Roman Empire fell because they became soft and unwilling the fight. I now think the one factor was that small farmers north of  Rome were bought or forced out of there land over time. When this happened Rome lost a resource of passionate men who would fight not of Rome but for their land.

All empires fall the British Empire also fell.

I think that neither of the arguments you mention are realistic.

Yes, as empires mature, the people get soft.  What actually happens is that people, as they build on the benefits of empire, and become entrenched in their position, and find that they have too much to lose in embracing change, so they are unable to accept change.  We also see this in Western industrial economies, that increasingly hold entrenched positions, and are increasingly unable to change the structures within they work.  This is not just about employers, or property owners, trying to hold on to what they have; it is also about trade unions resisting change; about the electorate being reluctant to change; about the political hierarchy finding it difficult to accept or implement change.

This is not something that is peculiarly human; any animal that is successful at doing something, becomes ever more specialised in doing that one thing, and finds it ever more difficult to adapt to the inevitable changes in the environment around it.

At the same time, as the empire is ever more entrenched in its present position; its enemies are constantly learning and adapting.  Because its enemies have little to lose, they find it easier to adapt and innovate, until they get to the point where their innovation can overcome the inertia of the empire itself.

This is true whether one talks of political/military empires, or of economic empires.

The case of the Roman empire has its own features, not least our own historic distortions on the matter.

Firstly, the Roman empire had massive trade throughout it dominion, and imported enormous amounts of food from across Europe and North Africa.  In fact, Libya (which, at the  time, referred to the totality of North Africa) was considered the grain basket of the Roman empire.

The other factor is a clear distortion about the notion of the collapse of the Roman empire itself.  Because of the schism between the Eastern and Western churches, the Western Church has always used the term 'Roman empire' to refer to the western Roman empire.  In fact, long before the collapse of the western Roman empire, the empire had moved its capital to Constantinople, and hence the loss of the city of Rome did not actually constitute the loss of empire; although there is no doubt that it was a major blow to the empire.  The Roman empire only truly fell in 1453, when the Ottomans overran Constantinople just 39 years before Columbus discovered America, which is not mere coincidence.


Human destruction is all about how we destroy are place on this planet at our peril. It is about profit over people. It is about losing our connection with the land with nature, with ourselves.  

On the contrary, human destruction is also about human construction, it is about our attempts to adapt to the changing environment, and to construct for ourselves a niche (even a very big niche, that will support our big population) in which we can survive.

I am not saying that we do not sometimes (even often) get it wrong, but the only way you never make mistakes is by not trying.


Offline Hadrian

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Re: Virus
« Reply #26 on: 05/05/2006 18:58:45 »

Bless you George  

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Virus
« Reply #26 on: 05/05/2006 18:58:45 »


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