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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Nov-24, 03:24 PM
Does anyone else feel very disillusioned with the times that we live in? Every day there seems to be a new crisis or something new to live in fear of. Lets see...there's terrorism, avian influenza, various wars...it gets to be a little much. Maybe it's the news media, maybe it's me. Maybe I should just turn-off the televison. Was it like this in the last century. Maybe it's just more of the same. Same (bad word) different century.

Fram
2005-Nov-24, 03:38 PM
I think it was worse in the previous century, but then again, this one is hardly started. Although it may look different, more and more countries and peope have a long lasting peace. Diseases (and bad ones) do appear, but other ones are vanishing. Terrorism, while of course terrible for those who have to endure it, is a sign to me that things are getting better overall, and the "bad guys" are no longer running countries but are small bands of desperate people fighting a losing battle. Yes, we have Al Qaeda and so on, but on the other hand does it look like the biggest problems with IRA and ETA may be over. Many countries in South America are more stable and less dangerous than they have been in a very long time. The biggest part of Europe has had its longest peace in a very long time as well. Some large third wordl nations are becoming richer, and slowly many people in those countries no longer live in poverty (although they obviously still have a long way to go).

I'm not blind to the many problems the world and individual countries, regions, and especially people face everyday, and for some of those the sitaution now is worse than e.g. ten or twenty years ago, but overall, I'm cautiously optimistic.

captain swoop
2005-Nov-24, 03:43 PM
Nothing is any worse, it's just we hear more about it and quicker.
In the UK anyway up until the 1970s most people got their news from the Papers, then the evening bulletin on the BBC. Now we have it 24 hours within minutes of it happening from everywhere in the world.

Lianachan
2005-Nov-24, 03:57 PM
Maybe I should just turn-off the televison.

That's it exactly. It's no worse. For most, if not all, of the world it's considerably better. You just get to hear about more of the bad stuff these days. Bad news sells, and when coupled with speed of light global communications - you can get to hear about almost anything bad that happens almost anywhere.

Argos
2005-Nov-24, 04:29 PM
Always expect the worse. Life = pain.

montebianco
2005-Nov-24, 04:35 PM
Does anyone else feel very disillusioned with the times that we live in? Every day there seems to be a new crisis or something new to live in fear of. Lets see...there's terrorism, avian influenza, various wars...it gets to be a little much. Maybe it's the news media, maybe it's me. Maybe I should just turn-off the televison. Was it like this in the last century. Maybe it's just more of the same. Same (bad word) different century.

Would you prefer to have lived in some other historical period? If so, when would that be?

Just out of curiosity, I'd like to hear estimates of what percentage of people in human history would have preferred to trade in their lot for that of the average person in an industrial society today. Anyone want to throw out a number?

01101001
2005-Nov-24, 04:44 PM
I heard some statistics -- and I certainly don't remember the precise numbers -- just the flavor, that went something like: in the 1990s in the US the number of murders went up 5% (probably not murder rate, which might even have gone down) while television-minutes devoted to reporting on murders went up 600%. It wouldn't surprise me if the same sort of thing happened to all sorts of attention-grabbing ugly events.

Remain calm. Stay skeptical -- even of what I'm reporting.

Moose
2005-Nov-24, 08:20 PM
Maybe I should just turn-off the televison.

This wouldn't be a bad idea, Banquo. Things are never as bad as the news media makes it out to be. They never have been.

You might consider a more local focus to your life, slow down your pace a bit. Take time to visit a museum, see a play, drink in some of the local culture. This is always worth doing, and so few take the time to enjoy themselves these days.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-24, 08:44 PM
y'k now what we should do? Band together and establish GNN! The Good News Network. 24 hours a day of nothing but good news. With global communications, there should be plenty of stories.

The only time bad news would be allowed would be as background for good news "Farmer Joe, whose house was washed away when the dam broke, was rescued unharmed by two dogs and a chicken - all owned by his neighbor."

Cl1mh4224rd
2005-Nov-24, 09:00 PM
Was it like this in the last century.
Probably. You'll have to ask the folks who went through WWI or WWII...

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-24, 09:09 PM
I just hope that it stays "good". The fact that we're allowing torture in secret prisons, though, suggests to me that we're letting privileges and freedoms slip in the name of "protecting ourselves".

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-25, 02:47 AM
There are 2 options, this is our lowest point in our future as a human race, and we continue to exist, or we all die within the near future, so look at this point in time as our chance to save our human race...wether we do something about it or not....who knows:confused: But I think within the near future something is going to happin that will wake everyone up and convince people that something has got to change, but until then we are stuck in this time of fear...so deal with it I guess.:neutral:

01101001
2005-Nov-25, 03:08 AM
There are 2 options, this is our lowest point in our future as a human race, and we continue to exist, or we all die within the near future.

Those are the only two options?

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-25, 03:14 AM
Those are the only two options?

Within our control, yes, if you know any more, please share them.

Hale_Bopp
2005-Nov-25, 03:29 AM
Yeah, media coverage has a lot to do with it. You have people worried about getting avian flu from their Turkey today, yet these same people won't wear seatbelts or lose a little weight! The less likely a particular disaster is to happen to you, the more likely people seem to be really worried about it!

I am not worried about dying from bird flu or terrorism. I am worried about what all the panicy idiots here will do when something like that strikes!

Rob

Van Rijn
2005-Nov-25, 07:36 AM
As I grew up, I had nightmares about nuclear war. There was a very good chance that much of the developed world, including everyone I knew, wouldn't survive the twentieth century.

My father was lucky - he made it through WWII alive. Many of his crewmates weren't so lucky. Also, too many of the kids my parents grew up with died fighting the war.

When she was a child, my mother very nearly died of scarlet fever - they really didn't think she was going to survive. My father had a very close call with whooping cough. Most of the families they knew had lost a child to one disease or another.

For that matter, I had a very bad case of bronchitis when I was young. If it hadn't been for antibiotics ...

And my sister told me how she would stay away from the theaters, public pools and other public places during "polio season."

I know there will be unpleasant things this century, and there are always things you can worry about, but you need to use perspective.

Fram
2005-Nov-25, 10:12 AM
Within our control, yes, if you know any more, please share them.

Well, there is the option that this is not the low point for humanity, but an average or even high point. Perhaps things will get worse again, but that does not need to be the end of humanity at all. Perhaps things will stay more or less like they are now. Perhaps we will make this place better and better and we are at an absolute high when some Terror From Space (TM) strikes and humanity ends anyway.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-25, 08:44 PM
Well, there is the option that this is not the low point for humanity, but an average or even high point. Perhaps things will get worse again, but that does not need to be the end of humanity at all. Perhaps things will stay more or less like they are now.

Eventually we die as humans, no matter what, the reason is the question. This is what I believe to be something we need to watch for as a species, (as in the future) we will be to reliant of a particular source,(EX: computers) to do our everyday operations, and some event will take that source away, killing a large portion of "humans" and the survivors (it there are any) will die because we wouldn't know how to survive in nature as we can today, as we are less reliant today as we will be in the future. But this is all speculative, who knows...:confused: (If you would like me to explain further I will)


Perhaps we will make this place better and better and we are at an absolute high when some Terror From Space (TM) strikes and humanity ends anyway.

I don't consider that within out control, but I would love for that to be the reason we go, instead of us killing each other:D ;)

beskeptical
2005-Nov-25, 09:37 PM
Life expectancy is very high in modern countries compared to the past. That has been setback by HIV in less modern countries.

It's the news more than the actual risk. And maybe the nature of risks are different. I'm not worried.

genebujold
2005-Nov-25, 09:52 PM
Fear is a good thing, provided we choose the right things of which to be afraid.

The problem is that there are to many choices.

The appropriate things to be afraid of are those things which redirect our efforts to more productive things, such as survival, or which affect our future survival.

If you or your progeny are not in New Orleans, and you hear of a hurricane about to swamp New Orleans, fear is irrational.

If you hear of a global energy crisis involving oil and natural gas, however, and you have means to do something about it (write your congressmen, the president, your local newspaper - everyone), and you don't, and you're afraid, then your fear is rational.

If you're afraid, do your part. Then go on with life, knowing you've done your part. If you haven't done your part, then do your part!

"Inaction has resulted in more human disaster throughout the course of history than all other action, be it offensive or defensive." - Uknown, but strongly substantiated throughout history.

Please note that there's just one species of bird who choose to do nothing when it first encountered humans. It was called the "Gooney Bird," and in just a few short years, it became extinct.

I, for one, refuse to become extinct because I chose to do nothing when circumstances called me to do something.

Note: Circumstances are always calling us to do something. Very rarely is inaction part of that something.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-25, 10:13 PM
In general, I disagree with Dragon Star - we are definately at a high point as a species. Just because we are at a very dangerous point as well is no reason for pessimism (speaking as a devout pessimist)

in the past century we have eradicated a disease, made immense leaps in agriculture, learned incredible amounts about our universe... the list goes on.

I am not in the least bit worried about humankind becoming dependant on some technology, the loss of which will drive us to extinction. Death of millions, possible, but not extinction.

Extinction of our species will come from two venues - we'll do it ourselves (biowarfare, nuclear..) or it will come upon us from the universe at large- supervolcanoes (ha) or killer asteroides (much more likely, in my opinion)

The answer, in both of these situations, is to expand off this planet. Settle as many other locations as possible - moon, mars, jovian moons, asteroides, man-made structures in space... anything we can think of.

Maybe even consider gene alteration to allow us to live in places we would not normally consider suitable.

genebujold
2005-Nov-25, 11:55 PM
Ok. I'll become a snail. Hit me! Come on, I haven't got all century! Hit me!

(a week later)

Well? What are you waiting for? Hit me!

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-25, 11:58 PM
Am I the only one that thinks that Gene's just pulled a helluva weird non sequitor?

Enzp
2005-Nov-26, 02:52 AM
Every time I see on TV something awful that someone has done in this country, I always try to remember that there are 300 million other people who didn't do that.

In this day of instant communication, if a bus goes off the road in Peru, we hear about it here. When I was growing up that didn't happen. Doesn't mean more busses are careening off roads in Peru than before.

War, terrorism, disease...when were there not these things? 50 years ago polio was a frightening thing in this country. Today you never hear of it. 50 years ago your liver fails and you are dead. Today you can have a transplant. 50 years ago there were canals on Mars, today we can see pictures freshly taken from close up of the Martian surface.

The bird flu thing is only a potential disaster, but the 1918 flu epidenic actually happened. In the 1860s we had war on or own soil. Today we have Pat Robertson spouting nonsense. At least Pat isn't shooting anyone. The black death is behind us. The Inquisition is behind us - I think. Hitler, Stalin, nobody rises to those levels today.

I think that while we can always point to some problem or other, things overall are not so bad today. I can't think of a golden era that was really golden.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-26, 06:51 AM
In general, I disagree with Dragon Star - we are definitely at a high point as a species. Just because we are at a very dangerous point as well is no reason for pessimism (speaking as a devout pessimist) in the past century we have eradicated a disease, made immense leaps in agriculture, learned incredible amounts about our universe... the list goes on.

Hi LurchGS, I totally agree that we have done great things, no doubt, but I believe as a species we need to change now, because it does look bad for us the moment, and you surly can not deny this, unless you live under a rock.:D


I am not in the least bit worried about humankind becoming Dependant on some technology, the loss of which will drive us to extinction. Death of millions, possible, but not extinction.

It really depends on the situation, and how far along we are as a civilization. Really, your right, it would probable not be extinction, but we do tend to take the easy way out, and that could lead to our fall.



Extinction of our species will come from two venues - we'll do it ourselves (bio warfare, nuclear..) or it will come upon us from the universe at large- super volcanoes (ha) or killer asteroids (much more likely, in my opinion)

Hmm....The killer asteroid thing is out of the picture, we now have the technology to prevent this, the only way I see this being a problem is if many asteroids come at us at once, but this is a extremely unlikely event. (And the Alien extermination thing is a real possibility, at least I think so.)


The answer, in both of these situations, is to expand off this planet. Settle as many other locations as possible - moon, mars, jovian moons, asteroids, man-made structures in space... anything we can think of.

Agreed


Maybe even consider gene alteration to allow us to live in places we would not normally consider suitable.

Hmm....I have a problem with this, putting yourself inside something that lets you endure extreme places is fine, but changing the body for this is a strange idea. I see no reason to change the genes unless it is to save mankind from some kind of disease or something like that.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 06:53 AM
I'm for genetic engineering myself, but I would say that there's most likely going to be strict limits on it. For instance, I doubt that making anyone born to look a certain way, or at least to look "inhuman", will be allowed.

However, when we inhabit other worlds, the question is: Do we adapt the world to fit us, or ourselves to adapt to the world? Someday that issue might seem far more ethical than it does right now.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-26, 07:41 AM
I'm for genetic engineering myself, but I would say that there's most likely going to be strict limits on it. For instance, I doubt that making anyone born to look a certain way, or at least to look "inhuman", will be allowed.

However, when we inhabit other worlds, the question is: Do we adapt the world to fit us, or ourselves to adapt to the world? Someday that issue might seem far more ethical than it does right now.

Good question, I believe we would need to find a common ground between the two. I think we need to take a serious look at where we would choose to inhabit, the best it fits us, the better. I think it would be stupid to make a permanent home on say a planets moon. The more like earth, the better. We keep looking at mars as the answer, but I think we need to find a better place, with a stable atmosphere and even water, that would be perfect.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 07:52 AM
There should at least be colonies on moons, though, for mining resources. You would need an on-hand staff there for a while, and they would need families. Unless, of course, you could have an automated system capable of supporting such an endeavor with trustworthiness.

Gillianren
2005-Nov-26, 09:02 AM
Hmm....The killer asteroid thing is out of the picture, we now have the technology to prevent this, the only way I see this being a problem is if many asteroids come at us at once, but this is a extremely unlikely event. (And the Alien extermination thing is a real possibility, at least I think so.)

In fact, we do not have the technology to prevent this, no matter what Hollywood thinks. (Oh, and Lonewulf: "gene" altering. Get it? It's funny!)

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 09:06 AM
In fact, we do not have the technology to prevent this, no matter what Hollywood thinks. (Oh, and Lonewulf: "gene" altering. Get it? It's funny!)

GET YOUR PAWS OFF MY JEANS, WOMAN!


...no, I don't get it. But it's late. I will sleep and meditate on your pun, and then I will comment.

genebujold
2005-Nov-26, 05:24 PM
Actually, we do have the technology. It would take us less than a week to mate a thermo-nuke dialed to the highest yield with a guidance package and actually launch it with a proximity detonator (contact? 1000'?) armed by remote.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-26, 07:18 PM
In fact, we do not have the technology to prevent this, no matter what Hollywood thinks. <snip>

OK, I will re-write my statement, we have the potential...but we are scanning the skies for these things, if one comes our way, we can prepare. Explosions are the only thing needed, and depending on how close it is, the explosion may not need to be that big, but if we let it go to close, then we would have a serious problem because the explosion needed to change it's path would be immense. This also depends on how large it is as well.

EDIT: Sorry genebujold, I didin't know you posted, I thought everything was still on the first page:D

LurchGS
2005-Nov-26, 07:44 PM
OK, I will re-write my statement, we have the potential...but we are scanning the skies for these things, if one comes our way, we can prepare. Explosions are the only thing needed, and depending on how close it is, the explosion may not need to be that big, but if we let it go to close, then we would have a serious problem because the explosion needed to change it's path would be immense. This also depends on how large it is as well.


Potential, yes. Actual technology.. probably not. First, we'd have to spot the thing a LONG way away. If it's visible in a common telescope, it's already too late (he says, without checking figures). Depending on orbital mechanics and mass of the object, it would need to be millions of miles away.

As for the weapon itself - definately contact. In fact, you'd probably want a series of progressively larger (higher yield) weapons all impacting in the same place. You'd need to time the impacts so the resultant thrust was allways in the same direction, of course.
The idea here is fairly old - each explosion creates a deeper crater in the original site - focusing more and more energy into a narrower and narrower conic section (essentialy creating a badly designed rocket nozzle). The more energy is forced into a common direction, the more energy is useful in changing the momentum of the object.

Shattering is not a valid concern, unless the original object is sufficiently large so as to result in chunks that are themselves planet killers. In that case, I doubt we could shatter it (or even re-direct it) in the first place. If we CAN shatter it, and do so (for whatever reason), oh well. Granted it's still dangerous, but it's the difference between everything being killed off and most of us being killed off. If those are my choices, I know which I'd take.

Doodler
2005-Nov-26, 08:02 PM
Does anyone else feel very disillusioned with the times that we live in? Every day there seems to be a new crisis or something new to live in fear of. Lets see...there's terrorism, avian influenza, various wars...it gets to be a little much. Maybe it's the news media, maybe it's me. Maybe I should just turn-off the televison. Was it like this in the last century. Maybe it's just more of the same. Same (bad word) different century.

Terrorism has been around for quite a while now. The only difference between now and then is how we choose to address it. (Not that we're necessarily handling it in the most intelligent manner out there, but that's a different debate)

The various flu threats? BBP, I lived through the onset of the AIDS pandemic, a few hundred people dead from a bad case of the sniffles doesn't come close to the frenzy that kicked up when HIV was still a mystery to us. I've seen an infectious disease's casualty toll climb by thousands over the course of a couple months. Nothing we've been hit with since then even ranks.

War is a fact of human life. I think someone once stated (not that I can verify it one way or another) that over the course of the last two thousand or so years of human history, there've been about ten without a major military conflict going on somewhere? Even if its not absolutely accurate, its close enough to say that there hasn't been a decade that didn't see humans rather efficiently killing each other somewhere in the world.

I think the only thing I've seen this century that wasn't seen last century are the hurricanes. We've had bad ones before, don't get me wrong, but this year was definitely one for the history books. But be mindful, this year we broke a record that was set over 50 years ago, so bad years aren't unheard of.

Yeah, business as usual for us.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Nov-26, 08:07 PM
Hey, Banquo, it's only just started! Give it a chance. ;)

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-26, 10:34 PM
Potential, yes. Actual technology.. probably not. First, we'd have to spot the thing a LONG way away. If it's visible in a common telescope, it's already too late (he says, without checking figures). Depending on orbital mechanics and mass of the object, it would need to be millions of miles away.

As for the weapon itself - definately contact. In fact, you'd probably want a series of progressively larger (higher yield) weapons all impacting in the same place. You'd need to time the impacts so the resultant thrust was allways in the same direction, of course.
The idea here is fairly old - each explosion creates a deeper crater in the original site - focusing more and more energy into a narrower and narrower conic section (essentialy creating a badly designed rocket nozzle). The more energy is forced into a common direction, the more energy is useful in changing the momentum of the object.

Shattering is not a valid concern, unless the original object is sufficiently large so as to result in chunks that are themselves planet killers. In that case, I doubt we could shatter it (or even re-direct it) in the first place. If we CAN shatter it, and do so (for whatever reason), oh well. Granted it's still dangerous, but it's the difference between everything being killed off and most of us being killed off. If those are my choices, I know which I'd take.


I once heard on the discovery channel that they are looking at putting high powered lasers on the moon that could place enough pressure on the object to throw it out of its orbit, does anyone know if this is plausible? :think:

I mean..the energy required would seem to much for a simple laser, if would take immense power to do this right? Or am I underestimating the power of lasers?

Oh, and I am sorry Banquo for altering your thread, after these questions are answered I will stop, I didn't realize I was straying away from the topic

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 10:41 PM
Huh? I don't think lasers have any "kinetic" force. I doubt a laser could "push" anything. I'm probably wrong.

Hugh Jass
2005-Nov-26, 10:41 PM
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Fear is not unique to this time, it is not unique to this century. Someone somewhere has been proclaiming the end of the world is near basically all of written history. They were wrong 1000 years ago and are wrong now. We are in a time that is more prosperous, with a better outlook than anytime in human history. This trend of continued improvement of the human race will continue for as long as we can see. There is nothing out there that is truly a threat to our species here and now. Yes, there are some bad things, natural disasters, these are not a threat to the world wide population, maybe individual cities, but not beyond that. Viruses? We have been out lasting viruses long before we were human, and currently we are developing technology to address them more directly. The outlook for our species is good, to think otherwise is to be taken in by the fear mongers.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-26, 10:52 PM
Fear is not unique to this time, it is not unique to this century. Someone somewhere has been proclaiming the end of the world is near basically all of written history. They were wrong 1000 years ago and are wrong now. We are in a time that is more prosperous, with a better outlook than anytime in human history. This trend of continued improvement of the human race will continue for as long as we can see.

Agreed!


There is nothing out there that is truly a threat to our species here and now.

There do seem to be potential threats, though, that threaten the physical safety of many people. The threat of a "supervirus" or "superbacteria" is out there, and never before have people interacted so closely for so long for such a long distance. As well, we do have to plan on what might be a threat in order to prepare how to defend ourselves; just because it's unlikely an asteroid will hit us, doesn't mean that they won't!


Yes, there are some bad things, natural disasters, these are not a threat to the world wide population, maybe individual cities, but not beyond that.

Agree.


Viruses? We have been out lasting viruses long before we were human, and currently we are developing technology to address them more directly.

I agree overall; health care is far better and far more powerful than in the past.


The outlook for our species is good, to think otherwise is to be taken in by the fear mongers.

Yes, the outlook is good; but not perfect. There are threats out there. Just remember: Recognization, prevention, and above all -- perspective!

That last word is the most important. Don't lose perspective.

Ilya
2005-Nov-26, 10:55 PM
Hmm....I have a problem with this, putting yourself inside something that lets you endure extreme places is fine, but changing the body for this is a strange idea. I see no reason to change the genes unless it is to save mankind from some kind of disease or something like that.
Personally, I want gills. Eyes that can focus under water would be nice too. Also I would appreciate a stomach that can digest anything hyena can digest. (Actually, I am halfway to that already -- I never had an upset stomach in my life, and had eaten things... not fresh is a serious understatement.)

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-26, 10:59 PM
Huh? I don't think lasers have any "kinetic" force. I doubt a laser could "push" anything. I'm probably wrong.

Wow, for once I am right about something....

I fould a great article in Popular Science...CLICK (http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviationspace/f99d5b4a1db84010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html)

Neat right?

Sorry LurchGS, you were right, we do not have the tech yet, but it is only about 20 years away!:dance:

LurchGS
2005-Nov-26, 11:16 PM
Huh? I don't think lasers have any "kinetic" force. I doubt a laser could "push" anything. I'm probably wrong.

sure it does, ever seen a radiometer? I think that's what it's called - one of those little gizmos with four vanes inside an evacuated globe, each vane is black on one side, white on the other. Expose it to just about any light source and it spins..

but I think Dr (I'm assuming he's got a doctorate) Campbell has the right idea, as far as Lasers are conserned. Don't count on lilght-pressure, instead, burn off selective surface - make the object behave like an out--gassing comet.

He's also correct in that we need a multi-layered defense - in addition to the lasers, solar sails, etc also need to be used.

Good to see a rational proponent of the overall concept.

Further eveidence, I think, that we are NOT living in a "Century of Fear" - instead, it's more like "A Century of Hope"

collegeguy
2005-Nov-26, 11:46 PM
[QOUTE=FDR march 4, 1933]
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Fear is not unique to this time, it is not unique to this century. Someone somewhere has been proclaiming the end of the world is near basically all of written history. They were wrong 1000 years ago and are wrong now. We are in a time that is more prosperous, with a better outlook than anytime in human history. This trend of continued improvement of the human race will continue for as long as we can see. There is nothing out there that is truly a threat to our species here and now. Yes, there are some bad things, natural disasters, these are not a threat to the world wide population, maybe individual cities, but not beyond that. Viruses? We have been out lasting viruses long before we were human, and currently we are developing technology to address them more directly. The outlook for our species is good, to think otherwise is to be taken in by the fear mongers.[/QUOTE]


Of the many scenarios that people say might doom the human species (global warming, oil depletion, nuclear war, etc), the only that presents the possibility of wiping out the species might be nuclear war IMO.

I say "might" because there have been many different scenarios proposed as outcomes and usually only the worst ones lead to total annihilation, although bombing society back to the Dark Ages is the most common and is terrible enough to keep the fear on people.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-27, 01:02 AM
[QUOTE=LurchGS]Further eveidence, I think, that we are NOT living in a "Century of Fear" - instead, it's more like "A Century of Hope"[/QUOTE

:clap: Thats a great point:clap: But I would more like this Century to be the "Century of Discovery". I want to be here for our best achievements, pft, who doesn't? But I feel we are being bogged down by stupid things, such as Colombia crash, and people thought that NASA was going to be shut down, and many people wanted it to be shut down,that seems ridiculous to me. Earth is just a steeping stone, and it's time we go to the next don't you think? Yes the crash was bad, and I am sorry for the families of the victims, but it is a worth while sacrifice if the people doing space experiments are willing to do what they do so we can take the next step, I feel this to be the most important step in our success, so I say let's get-er' dun!:D

LurchGS
2005-Nov-27, 01:18 AM
of course it was bad... but how many people lost their lives that year in aircraft crashes? (much less highway crashes). What made it seem worse was A) everybody in the world saw it happen live, and B) aside from the cost in lives, it cost a multi-billion dollar hunk o' machinery.

In this way, our 'conquest' of space and the making of the shuttle have bitten us in the posterior. Emotionally, going into space is seen as everyday.. ho hum. Which, in a way, it is - but it is also still *exploration*, and exploration is *always* dangerous. For every Lewis & Clark, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of bones in the wilderness.

Or, if you want to look at it differenly, we are building a great new thing. Construction *always* entails risk. Last I looked, insurance calculations for the construction of highrises still include estimates on loss of life and limb. Of course, such things are never made public - who would appreciate a building if they knew that it was expected that for every 60 floors, at least one human was expected to die? The public would go nuts.
the same is true of going to space. It's dangerous. it's dangerous. it's dangerous. you can't say it enough. It's not a surprise to those who voluntarily strap themselves to the world's largest roman candle. It's not a surprise to me (and I'd go in a heartbeat if they'd let me)

Returning to the "Century of Discovery". I won't disagree with that - but *because* it's that, it's also, and more so, the Century of Hope.

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-27, 01:33 AM
of course it was bad... but how many people lost their lives that year in aircraft crashes? (much less highway crashes). What made it seem worse was A) everybody in the world saw it happen live, and B) aside from the cost in lives, it cost a multi-billion dollar hunk o' machinery.

In this way, our 'conquest' of space and the making of the shuttle have bitten us in the posterior. Emotionally, going into space is seen as everyday.. ho hum. Which, in a way, it is - but it is also still *exploration*, and exploration is *always* dangerous. For every Lewis & Clark, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of bones in the wilderness.

Or, if you want to look at it differenly, we are building a great new thing. Construction *always* entails risk. Last I looked, insurance calculations for the construction of highrises still include estimates on loss of life and limb. Of course, such things are never made public - who would appreciate a building if they knew that it was expected that for every 60 floors, at least one human was expected to die? The public would go nuts.
the same is true of going to space. It's dangerous. it's dangerous. it's dangerous. you can't say it enough. It's not a surprise to those who voluntarily strap themselves to the world's largest roman candle. It's not a surprise to me (and I'd go in a heartbeat if they'd let me)

If feel the exact same way, I would go in a heartbeat as well, (mostly because I hate people, and they tend to be everywhere these days:p ) Only 1 per 60? I figured it would be more like 3, that kind of surprises me. I guess I thought that because you watch those shows on discovery when the people are like 400 feet in the air, and they walk across a 20ft beam in 30mph winds. Funny, now that I think about it, I would go into space with knowing I would never return... but I would never try to walk across a 20ft beam knowing I would have a chance to survive...:p

LurchGS
2005-Nov-27, 01:50 AM
If feel the exact same way, I would go in a heartbeat as well, (mostly because I hate people, and they tend to be everywhere these days:p ) Only 1 per 60? I figured it would be more like 3, that kind of surprises me. I guess I thought that because you watch those shows on discovery when the people are like 400 feet in the air, and they walk across a 20ft beam in 30mph winds. Funny, now that I think about it, I would go into space with knowing I would never return... but I would never try to walk across a 20ft beam knowing I would have a chance to survive...:p

They do it a lot higher than that, too.

The 1 in 60 was pulled right out of the... air, pardon the pun. That's for death, not injury, anyway. If it were one for every three floors, it would be VERY bad.

I told my wife before we ever got married that if the chace ever came my way I would take it, whatever the consequences. Of course, she's terrified for me :)

James_Digriz
2005-Nov-27, 06:53 AM
Does anyone else feel very disillusioned with the times that we live in? Every day there seems to be a new crisis or something new to live in fear of. Lets see...there's terrorism, avian influenza, various wars...it gets to be a little much. Maybe it's the news media, maybe it's me. Maybe I should just turn-off the televison. Was it like this in the last century. Maybe it's just more of the same. Same (bad word) different century.

The bird flu is overblown hysteria so cross that one off your list. And yes it's the news media. There's a reason it's called Tradegy TV.

Think of how it must have been to live through WWII. Or just live 100+ years ago. None of this stuff you mention is new to this century and a ton of good stuff is. Like the fact I can comunicate with you wherever you are instantly at 10:53 from my computer room.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-27, 07:05 AM
It's not limited to Televison, either - the printed press has the same - find some horrible thing and blow it up - all in the name of scooping the other papers and breaking the story first, and it's even better if they can destroy somebody in the process.

This recent spate of "journalists" getting caught not checking their facts or out and out lying disturbs me. The tendency of the other members of the media to treat each incident as 'well, the basic story is true, the facts were just embellished' actually worries me. I read *1* US paper, and 1 *Brit* paper. The rest are hogswallows of specious argument and lopsided journalism. I watch the local news programs for local stories - some of which affect me.

Century of Hope - I HOPE the journalist get their socks on right, it's getting easier to believe a five-year-old with a cookie-crumb mustache.

James_Digriz
2005-Nov-27, 07:10 AM
It's not limited to Televison, either - the printed press has the same - find some horrible thing and blow it up - all in the name of scooping the other papers and breaking the story first, and it's even better if they can destroy somebody in the process.



You know you have a problem when you hear Journalists say they got into the News buisness to change the world. I thought they were supposed to report the news?

LurchGS
2005-Nov-27, 07:11 AM
You know you have a problem when you hear Journalists say they got into the News buisness to change the world. I thought they were supposed to report the news?

exactly. Same is true of judges

Hugh Jass
2005-Nov-27, 07:17 AM
Yes, the outlook is good; but not perfect. There are threats out there. Just remember: Recognization, prevention, and above all -- perspective!

That last word is the most important. Don't lose perspective.:exclaim: :exclaim:

That is actually my point. I don't see anything out there currently as a threat to the whole species. There are some things that could certainly ruin our day, but as long as we as a species continue to recognize, prevent and keep perspective, our species is safe.

Hugh Jass
2005-Nov-27, 07:23 AM
And yes it's the news media. There's a reason it's called Tradegy TV.

This actually came up a bit ago for me. We used to only have a few storms per winter. Now everytime we get more than 2 cm of rain within 50 miles the local news stations call the weather report "STORM WATCH". Storm?!?! we got 1/2 inch of rain and no wind!??! I think it is a great analogy for where all of the news buisness has gone. The Daily Show started as pure entertainment but many many people out there say that's where they trust for news stories, because at least there honest about wanting to be entertainment.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-27, 07:44 AM
I dunno how things are there in cannukia, but down here, if they say 'Storm Watch', it's because NOAA told them it's a storm watch. it has a specific meaning, don'tchaknow.

The problem is that MSM focuses on the bad side of any situation. Recently the local homeless shelter was short of turkeys for gobbleday. Did they point out that the shelter already had x thousand? no, the press harped on the fact that the shelter was short 1500 (or something like that)

When my Search and Rescue group went out Friday to search for a missing 6 year old girl, virtually every story ended with a quote from the Arvada Police Chief proclaiming it a fruitless effort because his men had already been over the same ground (no, they hadn't - at least, not where we were. They canvased the neighborhoods, so the volunteers doing that were certainly covering old ground. But in searches, it's ALWAYS a good idea to cover the same area twice)

As it happens, while I tend to agree with him that the girl is deceased, there is no way his force could have covered the area we did properly. Police dogs are not trained to search for lost people, nor are they trained to search for bodies.

But that's not the point - I am digressing. now I must undigress. Returning to the original point, *every* broadcast ended with that quote from the Chief. Not one offered up hope for the family, for the girl, or for the neighbors...
doomsayers, the bunch of them.

Maksutov
2005-Nov-27, 01:00 PM
Does anyone else feel very disillusioned with the times that we live in? Every day there seems to be a new crisis or something new to live in fear of. Lets see...there's terrorism, avian influenza, various wars...it gets to be a little much. Maybe it's the news media, maybe it's me. Maybe I should just turn-off the televison. Was it like this in the last century. Maybe it's just more of the same. Same (bad word) different century.The only persons living in "a century of fear" are those who think they are.

Those of us who don't are living what's called "life", with all its inherent dangers and potential.

It's been that way since the first cell/DNA/RNA replicated.

sarongsong
2005-Nov-27, 07:29 PM
Overcoming fear is the prime directive of human existance, IMO, and, oh, how we love to scare and be scared by each other.