Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: Here's the Deal

This is not making fun of him.  We both love this character.
This was submitted by my close personal IRL friend, the anonymous who refers to me as "Jackie."  Enjoy!

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We are at a critical crossroads both in this country and as a species. The choices we make for this world in the next 30 years is going to set the stage for either our survival or our demise. Within 30 years, we have to find a viable alternative to fossil fuels, find a real solution to overpopulation, figure out a way to limit the drain humans are on the resources of Earth, and lay the groundwork for real deal space exploration. We either do these things, or humanity suffers immensely.

Unfortunately, we are being blinded by petty things to see the truth. Money, greed, power, control, war, famine, etc are purely human constructs. Real sobering thoughts I have on a daily basis include such things as how did the first modern machines and the first modern tools come into existence? They were built by hand, and then those crude machines built better machines, and those machines built better machines.

Do some research on the Ford River Rouge plant and you will get a snippet of what I am talking about. Raw iron pellets came in the loading dock, and with the exception of the tires, somehow they built a car out of the raw components. Every screw, fastener, knob, axle, wheel, body panel, suspension and drive train component was created on site. That is an absolutely staggering amount of engineering and display of human ingenuity.

I used to laugh when guys like Jimmy Kimmel would feature a little survey from "people on the street" wherein they would ask a random person a ridiculously easy question such as "Who is the vice president?" or where they wanted to end the "sufferage of women" and only one person knew what it meant. I find this is more and more becoming our reality... people just not paying attention to anything. People are being distracted by all the meaningless things.

What good is it for us to participate at our fullest capacity as individuals in a society where people have no clue why Neil Armstrong is famous... but in the same breath can name every winner of American Idol and Survivor. What is really scary is that same stupid son of a bitch who doesn't know who Neil Armstrong is has the same absolute power as I do over our laws and elected officials.

At the end of the day, we are all just stuck on this floating little orb. We our losing our ability to think for ourselves and are becoming closer and closer to just being cogs in those crude machines I think about. The most important skill in a human's arsenal is the ability to learn, and we as a people are losing our grip on that.

8 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

I agree with the first sentence, but disagree with the rest of the paragraph. I refer you to Thomas Malthus and the various panicked "peak oil" declaration over the past decades.

I am in violent agreement that we are a very unserious people, and I blame a government that treats us like children instead of the adults we are, sovereign over our own lives.

It's a cliche, but the safety net has turned into a hammock.

Back in my grandparents' day and beyond, if you grew up stupid and useless, you were probably going to have a miserable life and die young.

Now, government subsidizes stupidity and rewards it, so we get more of it. Who need industry and thrift when scamming the system is so much easier?

Anonymous said...

Silver,

Do you think there is limitless oil and coal? They are resources you are only going to find where life was. There is no going to the moon or the asteroid belt and bringing back petroleum.

If it was just gasoline I could vaguely understand the "haha, who cares" attitude that people have. Unfortunately we rely on petroleum for so much more than fuel.

The issue with overpopulation is you won't know its a problem until it is way too late. The Bacteria in a Bottle analogy. Imagine if we let the Deer population grow unchecked, the result would be unhealthy herds, more car accidents, and eventually they would starve themselves out because they cannot possibly compete with humans, and the local environment can only withstand so many. So we go and kill them, and thus, their populations remain healthy and balanced. No one is advocating we capture all the deer there is and throw them into a pit and have an AC-130u come along.

There is a reason Dire Wolves and the Megalodon went extinct. By all rights at first glance you would say "whoa whats going on, these animals could kill everything that could threaten them, how did they die out?" The problem was they did kill everything there was to eat, and smaller species of dogs who needed 1/10 the resources survived.

Logically... if we continue to use up a finite resource we will eventually run out of it. That goes for oil, coal, copper, etc. I don't see how that is a hard concept to agree with.

Yes, we are collectively becoming less aware. We have the same number of people in Washington representing the interests of 150 million Americans in the 1950's as we do in 2012 with 300M Americans. Our voices are being silenced. I think Ron Paul is on to something when he says the country is just too vast and varied to throw blanket policies at, and returning a lot of power back to the states where it belongs would be a huge step in the right direction. That way I could go right down the street here and speak my mind with people IN my community in front of the people who are making the choices. How many times have you watched C-Span and thought to yourself "damn that congressman is a freaking idiot, he isn't even thinking about what he is saying."

Jersey McJones said...

Silver blames the government and the welfare state for everything bad under the sun.

That's a big part of the problem we have today - we're all ideology, no reality. We are no longer rational but rather rationalizing.

JMJ

Jack Camwell said...

"We are no longer rational but rather rationalizing."

Well put Jersey.

Silverfiddle said...

Anon: Of course I believe our resources are finite. It would be foolish to think otherwise. My point is that this kind of hand-wringing has been going on a long time. We are continually finding vast new reserves of petroleum, and new technology will one day replace fossil fuels.

I agree that too much is centralized in DC. They give us one-size-fits-all solutions when we are not a one-size-fits-all nation.

Got any more ridiculous bumper stickers, Jersey?

I'm not rationalizing anything. I am trying to figure out how we got to such a pathetic state.

Remove the negative consequences from an action and you will get more of it.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt we have enough time to develop a battery technology that has a similar energy density as gasoline or diesel. Right now our battery technology is about 1/3rd as energy dense, and that is using petroleum to make certain items in the batteries as well as causing horrific damage to the environment.

Assuming we did find a means to contain it we have to charge the batteries up... solar technology currently uses petroleum products to function. Mass wind farms offer a lot of promise, but only in certain areas. Hydroelectric is awesome however you can't just build a dam somewhere without considering the consequence to the region. They built a hydro generator in Africa sometime ago to prevent flooding and get energy... turns out they royally screwed over farming, the ecosystem, and the erosion patterns of everything past the dam and shot it the whole region all to hell. The solution being worse than the problem.

Another at first glance solution is Geothermal, and I would say if you had enough geothermal wells to power the world you would most certainly trigger some heretofore unseen tectonic catastrophe that could be wildly unpredictable.

I would love to know about these vast discoveries of petroleum. The problem with finding oil now is that you have to find exponentially more than you found in the past... which is NOT happening, and hasn't happened for over 40 years. Oil Shales offer oil at the cost of the environment. What good is it to have oil at the cost of a fucked up planet.

Norway found a "Giant reserve of oil" in the arctic recently that was around 600 million barrels. That would supply the world for *1* week. Seems like an awful waste of time to leverage 10 months of effort to get 1 week of oil for the planet.

Whenever you see "500 million barrels, giant discovery" just realize that is how much the planet consumes every workweek.

The EPA bans cars like the GM ev1 and the newer Ford and VW diesels that double the economy you can get in the states... they are afraid if we use less gasoline the gas tax won't cover the cost of the roads. That is how twisted it is. We gotta head this off now before the problem becomes impossible to solve.

manapp99 said...

"We are no longer rational but rather rationalizing."

This would imply that at one time "we" were rational. When was that?

Silverfiddle said...

I'm not a petroleum expert, I just read the news, and it is full of news about huge new finds with experts talking enough for hundreds of years, and that's just oil. You've heard, no doubt, that we're now the Saudi Arabia of Natural gas?

Life is full of tradeoffs, and there are no magic bullets.