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View Full Version : Isaac Asimov on how to save the planet



parallaxicality
2012-Apr-16, 07:54 AM
Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO0sCs8jI4k)

Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHPQCnHHl4&feature=relmfu)


How sad that we seem to have gone in reverse in the 20 years since his predictions...

grapes
2012-Apr-16, 08:17 AM
Which predictions?

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-16, 08:22 AM
That we would all come together as a global nation in the name of space exploration

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-16, 07:05 PM
That we would all come together as a global nation in the name of space exploration
I'm not sure I follow.
I watched both parts and he was talking about humanity and global cooperation on Earth.

What did he say specifically about space exploration? What exactly did he predict?

This video was 1989. Before that, the only international cooperation in space was a quick handshake for apollo-soyuz.
Since that, we've had mir-shuttle, multinational input to shuttle technology, ISS, and multinational planetary probes.
How did we go backwards?

ravens_cry
2012-Apr-16, 07:28 PM
Aye, I'm going to have to agree there.
Oh, I would love it to go further, but American astronauts been routinely sent to a space station built through international cooperation aboard Russian spacecraft?
That's pretty awesome if you think about it.

MAPNUT
2012-Apr-16, 08:52 PM
I think the future always comes slower than we expect in the ways we expect, and faster than we expect in the ways we don't expect. Right?

ravens_cry
2012-Apr-16, 08:55 PM
That seems an apt, if perhaps a tad over pat, way of putting it.

grapes
2012-Apr-17, 07:49 AM
That seems an apt, if perhaps a tad over pat, way of putting it.I was impressed with the number of three-letter words you worked into that comment. How about "That was an apt, but a tad over pat, way to put it." :)

It was not much more than twenty years ago that the Berlin wall fell, and then the Soviet Union dissolved. Thirty years ago, I heard comments that I might ride into space--now that's where we've fallen down! Let's push to get grapes into space.

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-17, 08:45 AM
I'm not sure I follow.
I watched both parts and he was talking about humanity and global cooperation on Earth.

What did he say specifically about space exploration? What exactly did he predict?

This video was 1989. Before that, the only international cooperation in space was a quick handshake for apollo-soyuz.
Since that, we've had mir-shuttle, multinational input to shuttle technology, ISS, and multinational planetary probes.
How did we go backwards?

Well not so much a prediction as a recommendation. He suggested that the only way we could combat global warming is if the UN were replaced by a single global government, similar to the way in which the Articles of Confederation were replaced by the Constitution. Just as the country unified with the expansion to the West after the Civil War, so he suggested the world could unify over space exploration.

The point that I was making was: a) not only is belief in global warming lower than it was in 1989, but b) we're farther than we were back then from the possibility of a world nation.

Van Rijn
2012-Apr-17, 09:15 AM
The point that I was making was: a) not only is belief in global warming lower than it was in 1989, but b) we're farther than we were back then from the possibility of a world nation.

I doubt both of those (maybe I'm wrong, but as I remember it, global warming wasn't generally considered to be as solidly established in 1989). We do have more debate now, but that's because we are now debating expensive plans and projects to affect CO2 level. When it gets to spending money, it just generally is going to be a tougher, more heated debate

Also, I can't imagine there would have been any serious work on a single world nation in 1989
, but I'll note that I think a world nation at that or this time would be a spectacularly bad idea. Maybe in a few centuries it might be worth considering.

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-17, 11:00 AM
Oh no, i don't think there was any project, or even movement, toward a world nation back then; however I do feel that in the last 20 years we have become, if anything, more insular and xenophobic.

And just to clarify, I don't think a world state would be a good idea either, unless we became a world nation first. Nations form from the bottom up, states from the top down.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-17, 11:49 AM
He suggested that the only way we could combat global warming is if the UN were replaced by a single global government...
I'm not disputing that part of it because that's the message I recieved from it.


... so he suggested the world could unify over space exploration.
That's the part I was talking about since you explicitely stated space exploration. We have been. Maybe not totally, but we are getting pretty good at it. Not many countries have a lot of a space program to make it that visible.

ravens_cry
2012-Apr-17, 12:39 PM
I was impressed with the number of three-letter words you worked into that comment. How about "That was an apt, but a tad over pat, way to put it." :)

Heh, I noticed that once I wrote it but decided to leave it as is.
On-topic, if we spent even five percent of what we spend on ending lives, wow, just imagine where we could be.

Celestial Mechanic
2012-Apr-18, 04:53 AM
{Snip!} Nations form from the bottom up, states from the top down.
I'd never given this much thought before but you are quite right. This is very important in understanding history. The history of Europe is about (among other things, of course) the replacement of states by nations, sometimes gradually (Holy Roman Empire --> Germany), sometimes violently (Austria-Hungary --> Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia + pieces distributed to Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy).