DoctorOfSpace wrote:Continued from: viewtopic.php?t=62&start=60#p5919
Most of the singular issues you point out could be contributors in the long term, but many are not really issues at all.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post The planet's sixth mass extinction is underway and it's because of human overpopulation crowding out the rest of the species on the planet and altering the balance.
I don't agree with overpopulation. While there is local overpopulation and poor resource distribution, we are nowhere near the carrying capacity of the Earth. When I mention population increase as a contributor, I mean only in regards to the number of ways a technology can be misused and how devastating a mistake could be.
Nick Bostrom's example about nuclear weapons applies
suppose it had turned out that there was some technological technique that allowed you to make a nuclear weapon by baking sand in a microwave oven or something like that. If it had turned out that way then where would we be now? Presumably once that discovery had been made civilization would have been doomed.
Future and near future technologies will put equally dangerous capabilities in the hands of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions of people. Advanced 3D printers, biological printers, and perhaps eventual nanofabricators will give people incredible powers over their environment.
It seems almost inevitable to me that even with proper safety nets in place someone will use these technologies to develop their own WMDs.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post rising rates of various illnesses is actually indicative of that happening.
Humanity is also fairly close to curing most diseases, big changes are happening in the biotech field. I don't see this as being a cause of human extinction.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post Incidentally our food and fresh water supply isn't in such good shape either.
Vertical farms, lab grown meats, genetically engineered crops, and breakthroughs in desalination are currently happening. It is only a matter of a few years before these things start becoming more mainstream. The idea of a water crisis on a planet that is over 70% water is absurd, it is inevitable that desalination will become economically viable.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post because the vast majority of our food comes from about half a dozen sources, and if even one of those collapses, we're going to be in really bad shape.
Poorer nations would be but most developed nations have excess food storage for themselves. Unless there is a horrific environmental collapse this is not a huge concern.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post As for fresh water and yet another reason NOT to consume meat (besides the problems of antibiotics and hormones, and how animals get treated on conventional farms and the fact that meat farming significantly contributes to climate change) is the fact that meat farming uses up a significant amount of fresh water.
Same thing applies as I said before, water is only an issue because we make it an issue. Desalination will happen, it already is happening, and there won't be a water problem.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post I'm not even going to get into the dangers of corporate monopolization a la Monsanto or any of the other issues we face due to collusion between multinational corporations in terms of the dumping of toxic waste and its cover up. This occurs across a wide range of industries, from the fossil fuel industry, to the pharmaceutical industry, to agriculture and beyond.
This is something I would agree is a problem, but current advancements will also help to correct these issues.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post What are your thoughts about AI actually helping our long term survival and us being able to use it for space travel?
Unlikely. I used to agree with the Kurzweil notion of AI being benevolent and growing beyond it's programming until I went for my degree in biology. I came to the conclusion that any notions of going beyond your programming is impossible, you are limited by your programming because you are your programming.
Human systems have always been imitations of nature, while a designer can design better tools nature has had a few hundred billion years head start on things like brains. We humans only function in the way we do because of conflicting goals, we have to rationalize a compromise for these goals, any AI we design with current or even near future level tech will probably only have one or two goals and inevitably those goals will not align with ours. I see it as almost inevitable that humanity in one way or another will go extinct from AI, either by merger (optimistically unlikely), or incidental as a byproduct of the AI just doing what it was going to do. There are more ways for AI to go wrong than for it to go right.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post The idea of placing human consciousness inside bodies that can last indefinitely has always intrigued me- however that won't help allay the human overpopulation problem any.
It would solve any overpopulation problem if you could do it efficiently, but we are nowhere near an overpopulation crisis.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post We have to get to ZPG somehow, but if we do
Population right now is declining in all developed nations, outside of immigration. I see no problems with curing aging now and giving people indefinite lifespans. The resources to sustain around 12bil humans already exist and it wouldn't take much to at least guarantee people the basics.A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post That and portable and controllable fusion
This ties into what I said regarding inevitable destruction. Humanity right now could survive another 50 years or another couple million years but the inevitable end is extinction. We will go extinct by either changing ourselves or accidentally destroying ourselves.
I currently lean more towards self destruction, but that may be long after I am dead. Lots of people often mention solving the energy problem or heat death problem by breaking physics, this applies
Thanks for the detailed post, Doc! I refer to overpopulation in the sense that crowding too many people into a certain area creates pollution which creates disease. In inner cities we have higher rates of asthma, cancer, etc- because of this. A Stanford study a few years ago also linked autism and adhd to car pollutants that are absorbed by the womb during pregnancy and affect the brain of the developing fetus. I read that the ideal population of the planet is around 1 billion.
I like genetically engineered food but not at the behest of monopolization by large corrupt corporations like Monsanto. I want you to look over a few articles from the NY Times that I've been reading.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/busi ... .html?_r=0
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/busi ... short.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/busi ... -deal.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/11/busi ... short.html
I like nonprofit GMO developers not companies like Monsanto which have a bad corrupt history of destroying the environment. This here is a prime example of misuse of technology in search of profit that you were referring to and covering up the toxic nature of glyphosate and using even more toxic pesticides to cover up its shortfallings.
I have been waiting for desalination myself- I thought it was pretty ridiculous that the California drought was such a big problem (until recently) with them bordering on the largest ocean on the planet!
The programming is the brain though right? What if we kept that programming intact but just gave it a much more durable body- one that is free of aging. We would not be improving the processor, but we would be giving it a better operating environment. Or do you think that might have its side effects too?
Do you think that space colonization, freeing ourselves from the closed system of Earth is the one path we have that avoids self destruction? Spreading ourselves out would seem to be the best way to avoid it- not keeping all our eggs in one basket so to speak/type
When you mentioned humanity being an imitation (actually a part of) nature, it reminded me of something fascinating- slime mold networks actually resemble human architecture like subway systems. Our farms also resemble the kind of farms that ants build (they even have their own cows- aphids!) We have several intelligent animal species on our planet that are self-aware, and understand abstract concepts like zero and that when they look in the mirror they are seeing their reflection, invent their own words, create and use tools and even take care of their injured and bury their dead- elephants, dolphins, african grey parrots, dogs, bonobos, chimps, etc. They have around the intelligence level of a 5 year old human.
Out of curiosity, do you watch the series The Expanse? Fascinating series about solar system colonization.
[color=#ffffff]Negative mass’ created at Washington State University[/color]
[color=#ffffff]PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University physicists have created a fluid with negative mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. Push it, and unlike every physical object in the world we know, it doesn’t accelerate in the direction it was pushed. It accelerates backwards.
The phenomenon is rarely created in laboratory conditions and can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos, said Michael Forbes, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. The research appears today in the journal Physical Review Letters, where it is featured as an “Editor’s Suggestion.”
Hypothetically, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be either negative or positive. People rarely think in these terms, and our everyday world sees only the positive aspects of Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion, in which a force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration, or F=ma.
In other words, if you push an object, it will accelerate in the direction you’re pushing it. Mass will accelerate in the direction of the force.
“That’s what most things that we’re used to do,” said Forbes, hinting at the bizarreness to come. “With negative mass, if you push something, it accelerates toward you.”
Conditions for negative mass
He and his colleagues created the conditions for negative mass by cooling rubidium atoms to just a hair above absolute zero, creating what is known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, predicted by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein, particles move extremely slowly and, following the principles of quantum mechanics, behave like waves. They also synchronize and move in unison as what is known as a superfluid, which flows without losing energy.
Led by Peter Engels, WSU professor of physics and astronomy, researchers on the sixth floor of Webster Hall created these conditions by using lasers to slow the particles, making them colder, and allowing hot, high energy particles to escape like steam, cooling the material further.
The lasers trapped the atoms as if they were in a bowl measuring less than a hundred microns across. At this point, the rubidium superfluid has regular mass. Breaking the bowl will allow the rubidium to rush out, expanding as the rubidium in the center pushes outward.
To create negative mass, the researchers applied a second set of lasers that kicked the atoms back and forth and changed the way they spin. Now when the rubidium rushes out fast enough, if behaves as if it has negative mass.
“Once you push, it accelerates backwards,” said Forbes, who acted as a theorist analyzing the system. “It looks like the rubidium hits an invisible wall.”[/color]
[color=#ffffff]Avoiding underlying defects
The technique used by the WSU researchers avoids some of the underlying defects encountered in previous attempts to understand negative mass.
“What’s a first here is the exquisite control we have over the nature of this negative mass, without any other complications” said Forbes. Their research clarifies, in terms of negative mass, similar behavior seen in other systems.
This heightened control gives researchers a new tool to engineer experiments to study analogous physics in astrophysics, like neutron stars, and cosmological phenomena like black holes and dark energy, where experiments are impossible.
“It provides another environment to study a fundamental phenomenon that is very peculiar,” Forbes said.[/color]