Jump to content
You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 135 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

21 hours ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

And then, 2160 years after the onset of the age of Aquarius, we get the age of Sagittarius, and again after 2160 years, the age of Capricornus, Scorpio, Libra, etc. Until after Earth's 26,000-year precession cycle is complete and, just like now, we're back in the age of Pisces again.

Well. That explains why everyone else is doing swimmingly and I'm just floundering around. 🤭

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2021 at 8:13 PM, Gopi Passiflora said:

Before modern times, there was the Stone Age. Then there was the Agriculture Age. For a while humanity was concerned with the collection and manipulation of matter (i.e. tool-making and agriculture.)

Then eventually, we had the Industrial Age, where the collection and manipulation of energy was the main driver of the economy (i.e. steam engines, automobiles, etc.) Finally, the time we live in is called the Information Age, in which the collection and manipulation of information is the main driver of the economy (i.e. Computers and the Internet.)

But what do you think will come next?

 

The Age of Gideon

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, AnthonyJoanne said:

It's axiomatic that as technology develops we see society react to that development and eventually reform around it. I use society in the broad sense ... including government, the people, organisations ... the whole enchilada as it were.

Historically there has been a percentage of society which has resisted technology for a variety of reasons. The Industrial Revolution had examples of workers committing sabotage for instance. The machine age, therefore, must be view not only from the perspective of the technology, but from the perspective of society. Or to put it another way - the technology is not the only change which needs to be viewed as part of the age ... the shift in society as a result of that technology is just as significant.

A lot of people believe that we are deep into the information age, or that we're actually moving into a new age. This is, I believe, quite wrong as it fails to address the fact that society has not absorbed and adjusted to the changes of the digital age in any meaningful way.

There's no question that we are in the information age, but at the moment we're still in the early stages ... as can be seen by the fact that the legal systems around the world are not even remotely suited to addressing the issues which the information age has brought to society. Nor have we (as a society) developed the mechanisms which are necessary to function in the information age.

It would be easy for me to use a contemporary example, given what's been going on in the world recently ... but I'll try for something a little less controversial: The shape of the Earth.

If you fire up your browser of choice and go to youtube you will find a quite amazing number of videos proclaiming that they prove that the earth is flat. Now I'm not going to bother going into these proofs, suffice to say that there are also a number of videos debunking everything claimed by the flat-earthers. It's quite interesting viewing, but it can also leave you with an unsettling feeling that humanity is getting dumber at an accelerating rate. Let's not discuss the Reverse-Flynn effect as that would derail the topic btw.

I suggest, therefore, that one of the mechanisms necessary for society to embrace the information age is the automatic tendency to verify information before accepting it as fact. Unfortunately, in the past few years, we've seen that far too large a percentage of the human race is either unwilling, or incapable of doing so.

I offer, as proof of my contention, another example. Again it would be easy to use a contemporary example, but I'm trying to avoid having this thread get drowned in political rhetoric, so I'll go with something a bit older: Lysenkoism.  For those of you who don't know here's the lede from the wikipedia article

And here are the effects (same source)
 

What you may not know is that in 2016 a paper was published in which details current attempts to defend and resurrect Lysenkoism.   

For those who don't want to read the paper, I'll summarise that we're seeing an attempt to rewrite history and science for political purposes. 

The only way to address this is for the people who are being presented this disinformation to examine it and compare it to opposing information. Unfortunately ... right now, we're seeing moves to eliminate inconvenient facts through deplatforming and (let's be honest) duplicitous 'fact checking'. Unproven (and unprovable) claims abound on the 'net ... and pointing out the flaws in those claims gets one a quick trip to the digital gulag.  (Speaking of which ... did you know that in 2018 Students at Goldsmiths University in London described Gulags as places of compassionate rehabilitation? How's THAT for disinformation.)

To support my contention that we have a history of rejecting information based on what we know to be true (which may well be wrong) I offer the story of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. These two researchers received the Nobel Prize in 2005 for research they carried out in the 1980s. You can look them up, but the short version is that Marshall and Warren were the researchers who showed that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) plays a major role in causing many peptic ulcers. To give you some more information ... the first paper wherein they presented their research was rejected in 1983 by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia. At the time decades of medical doctrine held that ulcers were caused primarily by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid. Now we know that medical doctrine was wrong.

The reality is that, if the Information Age is to be a positive for humanity, then two things are necessary. Society will need to be based on critical thinking ... the ability and willingness to examine information presented to you to ascertain if it's consistent and provable. The second thing is the freedom for information to propagate without interference. And this brings me back to youtube and the flat earth theory, to illustrate the point.

The people who are making the flat earth videos are going against conventional knowledge. But so were Marshall and Warren. So it's necessary that they (anyone who is opposing conventional knowledge) be permitted to do so ... because they may just be right. However it's equally important that people who have evidence that disproves any incorrect information out there be able to present their information so as to correct the record. Then it's up to the people who are being offered those opposing informations to think about it critically and decide for themselves.

Until we achieve that, then society will not have adjusted to the information age. Whether or not we will is still up for debate.

 

 

 

So basically, in a nutshell, the truth is out there but the truth may change over time.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2021 at 11:20 AM, Bree Giffen said:

Artificial intelligence is another growing technology where A.I. could solve problems that have plagued humanity for years. As humans we don't trust ourselves or each other. We often blame failures on being human. More importantly, we can't see a way to change these things but A.I. can by thinking literally out of the box that is humanity.

Technology, taken as a generic "thing," is of course a boon.

It's how it is to be deployed, and who will end up controlling it, that worries the hell out of me.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I'm generally an optimist, I see reason for caution...

On 1/26/2021 at 10:20 AM, Bree Giffen said:

For the future, I see commercial space exploration growing which could bring about a true space-faring interplanetary age. Steven Hawking said we need to get to other planets and it looks like we will.

We're damaging our own planet faster than we're developing the ability to colonize others. Elon Musk, one of the biggest proponents of interplanetary travel, might also be the greatest risk to it, with SpaceX wishing to deploy several times more satellites in the next decade than we've launched since Sputnik.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome

On 1/26/2021 at 10:20 AM, Bree Giffen said:

Artificial intelligence is another growing technology where A.I. could solve problems that have plagued humanity for years. As humans we don't trust ourselves or each other. We often blame failures on being human. More importantly, we can't see a way to change these things but A.I. can by thinking literally out of the box that is humanity.

Teach your children well.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/02/04/137602/this-is-how-ai-bias-really-happensand-why-its-so-hard-to-fix/

On 1/26/2021 at 10:20 AM, Bree Giffen said:

There is also the unlocking of the human genome where we are now in the process of figuring out which genes do what. I think there will be countries and labs (and middle school students!) that won't be timid with genetic manipulation and we could be seeing 'life changing' technology.

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/05/27/530210657/how-a-gene-editing-tool-went-from-labs-to-a-middle-school-classroom

There's been concern about the ethical use of gene editing techniques like CRISPR and the new, improved Prime. Ethics review board have been suggested as a way to curb overzealous experimentation, as has been done in China. I see a problem here. If the science is simple enough for middle school students to do (DIY editing machines can't be too far in the future), ethics boards will be of no use. I see this as the potential thermonuclear equivalent of 3D printed guns. Or, in light of this...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_drive

...the potential Black Plague equivalent.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2021 at 10:27 AM, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

TL;DR that's entertainment

I think this is a problem with sophistication. The days of being a polymath declined as we moved out of the age of enlightenment through the Victorian era, and entered the Quantum century. When we had a simple model of the universe (Newtonian Euclidian Aristotelian), knowledge was finite; as we explored further and began to discover uncertainties and increased detail the amount of knowledge that could be known with certainty decreased, the amount of detail that had to me mastered to make sense of a particular discipline increased. The amount of knowledge you have to try an assimilate today is massive,  but to add to that problem, large areas of it have to be regarded as still uncertain and therefore you also have to add in the extra study of emerging studies. Most people don't want to be living on the bleedin' edge and want surety.

There is another even more fascinating problem that has a bearing on the rise of conspiracy theories: that is the 60 or 90 minute saga. Since the thirties, we have been exposed more and more to radio, film and TV programs that in the 30,60 or 90 minutes present a problem, arrive at the solution, and most importantly, wrap up all the loose ends. We expect this same nice short full encapsulation to apply to everything, and so when a report comes out into the 9/11 or 7/7 catastrophes, people are not happy with the grey areas that cannot be explained due to lack of available knowledge and distrust the story. It's like a movie that finishes at the end with not all the villains exposed and not all the crimes solved, not all the retribution carried out. We expect life to be to the same standards as movies or TV programs. Knowledge now has to conform to the same standards as entertainment in order to be assimilated, it it doesn't, it's not taken on board.

As successor to the "Information Age" -- where information is, formally, reduction in uncertainty, I quite like "the Quantum century" in which quantum mechanics exhibits ineluctable uncertainty, the very theoretical limits of information. On the other hand, the next step within the Information Age is quantum computing, so maybe there's no escaping the Information Age.

Or at least I expect the Information Age to outlast lifeforms. If nothing else, the radio frequency symbols we've sent into space for about a century are an information legacy. Better if we graduate our entire consciousnesses from biology to pure mathematical patterns for transmittal and assimilation, somehow, before our biology bites the dust. Colonizing another planet might buy a few generations, come the next human extinction event on earth, but never mind biology, a "longer now" can't depend on any specific physical instance. An unlucky asteroid would destroy a 10,000-year clock, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Mollymews said:

agree. the bio-engineering age. I think tho that extended life will be a byproduct of bio-engineered human body part replacements

But unless they can keep the brain from deteriorating we will wind up with an aging population with perky boobs and stiff appendages and not know what to do with them!

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, AnthonyJoanne said:

It's axiomatic that as technology develops we see society react to that development and eventually reform around it. I use society in the broad sense ... including government, the people, organisations ... the whole enchilada as it were.

Historically there has been a percentage of society which has resisted technology for a variety of reasons. The Industrial Revolution had examples of workers committing sabotage for instance. The machine age, therefore, must be view not only from the perspective of the technology, but from the perspective of society. Or to put it another way - the technology is not the only change which needs to be viewed as part of the age ... the shift in society as a result of that technology is just as significant.

A lot of people believe that we are deep into the information age, or that we're actually moving into a new age. This is, I believe, quite wrong as it fails to address the fact that society has not absorbed and adjusted to the changes of the digital age in any meaningful way.

There's no question that we are in the information age, but at the moment we're still in the early stages ... as can be seen by the fact that the legal systems around the world are not even remotely suited to addressing the issues which the information age has brought to society. Nor have we (as a society) developed the mechanisms which are necessary to function in the information age.

It would be easy for me to use a contemporary example, given what's been going on in the world recently ... but I'll try for something a little less controversial: The shape of the Earth.

If you fire up your browser of choice and go to youtube you will find a quite amazing number of videos proclaiming that they prove that the earth is flat. Now I'm not going to bother going into these proofs, suffice to say that there are also a number of videos debunking everything claimed by the flat-earthers. It's quite interesting viewing, but it can also leave you with an unsettling feeling that humanity is getting dumber at an accelerating rate. Let's not discuss the Reverse-Flynn effect as that would derail the topic btw.

I suggest, therefore, that one of the mechanisms necessary for society to embrace the information age is the automatic tendency to verify information before accepting it as fact. Unfortunately, in the past few years, we've seen that far too large a percentage of the human race is either unwilling, or incapable of doing so.

I offer, as proof of my contention, another example. Again it would be easy to use a contemporary example, but I'm trying to avoid having this thread get drowned in political rhetoric, so I'll go with something a bit older: Lysenkoism.  For those of you who don't know here's the lede from the wikipedia article

And here are the effects (same source)
 

What you may not know is that in 2016 a paper was published in which details current attempts to defend and resurrect Lysenkoism.   

For those who don't want to read the paper, I'll summarise that we're seeing an attempt to rewrite history and science for political purposes. 

The only way to address this is for the people who are being presented this disinformation to examine it and compare it to opposing information. Unfortunately ... right now, we're seeing moves to eliminate inconvenient facts through deplatforming and (let's be honest) duplicitous 'fact checking'. Unproven (and unprovable) claims abound on the 'net ... and pointing out the flaws in those claims gets one a quick trip to the digital gulag.  (Speaking of which ... did you know that in 2018 Students at Goldsmiths University in London described Gulags as places of compassionate rehabilitation? How's THAT for disinformation.)

To support my contention that we have a history of rejecting information based on what we know to be true (which may well be wrong) I offer the story of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. These two researchers received the Nobel Prize in 2005 for research they carried out in the 1980s. You can look them up, but the short version is that Marshall and Warren were the researchers who showed that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) plays a major role in causing many peptic ulcers. To give you some more information ... the first paper wherein they presented their research was rejected in 1983 by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia. At the time decades of medical doctrine held that ulcers were caused primarily by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid. Now we know that medical doctrine was wrong.

The reality is that, if the Information Age is to be a positive for humanity, then two things are necessary. Society will need to be based on critical thinking ... the ability and willingness to examine information presented to you to ascertain if it's consistent and provable. The second thing is the freedom for information to propagate without interference. And this brings me back to youtube and the flat earth theory, to illustrate the point.

The people who are making the flat earth videos are going against conventional knowledge. But so were Marshall and Warren. So it's necessary that they (anyone who is opposing conventional knowledge) be permitted to do so ... because they may just be right. However it's equally important that people who have evidence that disproves any incorrect information out there be able to present their information so as to correct the record. Then it's up to the people who are being offered those opposing informations to think about it critically and decide for themselves.

Until we achieve that, then society will not have adjusted to the information age. Whether or not we will is still up for debate.

 

 

 

You've presented two examples pointing to the pitfalls of censorship.
1. Scientific truths are usually rejected initially, and some of these truths turn out to further advance our knowledge (turn out to be true), and so we should not simply censor new information we disagree with at its initiation but instead aim to use the Scientific method to either prove or disprove. The Scientific method is designed to take care of this problem, and when allowed to operate freely any initial pushback on new theories gives way as tests by other Scientists proceed in the effort to find truth.
2. We should take care that we are reaching conclusions based on Science and not censoring information based on political motivation, as did the Russian scenario you cited. It is this 2nd objection to censorship that is most often cited currently -- the belief that it is one party trying to control the other via their politics.

But are there cases where censorship of information should be acceptable? For example, what if messages allowed to circulate freely in pre-WW2 claiming Jews were inferior had been countered by squashing this information? This would likely have saved millions of lives lost in the Holocaust, and the price paid via a limitation in freedom surely would have been worth it.
We are aware, through sociological/psychological/historical studies, that humans have a tendency to find scapegoats for their woes and desire to punish those they find to blame, especially in troubling times, and so allowing the promulgation of hate groups via giving them a platform to spread their lies can have grave consequences. What about the freedom of a hated person not to be murdered -- shouldn't it take precedence over the freedom of an individual to flame the hate that would cause such a murder?

You said:
"The only way to address this is for the people who are being presented this disinformation to examine it and compare it to opposing information. Unfortunately ... right now, we're seeing moves to eliminate inconvenient facts through deplatforming and (let's be honest) duplicitous 'fact checking'. Unproven (and unprovable) claims abound on the 'net ... and pointing out the flaws in those claims gets one a quick trip to the digital gulag".

Can you link to these "inconvenient facts" and "duplicitous fact checking" related to claims on the net which you say are now tossed to the digital gulag? (ones related to our current censorship at major media websites). All I see is a censoring of factions in society that desire to spread hate and circumvent the rule of law we all agree to when living in a democracy.
I don't doubt that censorship can go too far and so we need to be cautious, or that unscrupulous players can take advantage when too much power is given to them -- I'm just saying that I'm not seeing it at this point and so some links demonstrating this unfair censorship would be useful. 

Edited by Luna Bliss
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vivienne Schell said:

Grmpf. how can I delete a double post? Or a post in general?

You cannot delete posts.  Most people just edit one and remove all characters except for a single space or dot -- posts must have at least one character.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2021 at 8:30 AM, Bree Giffen said:

Probably the Ice Cream Age. 

We've been through that one already. It only lasted about twenty years before it melted so many people missed it.

  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the next age is the Age of Fear

Fear that governments will outgrow the people that put them there and become more about the elite staying in power.

Fear that at some point some person/nation/group/government will unleash something far worse than Covid-19.   Something that CAN'T be cured.

Fear that information will be so controlled that no one will ever know the truth.

Fear that education will be so dumbed down and controlled that we will become exactly what "1984" predicted. 

 

Saying all that I am still going to live life to its fullest and carry on. 

 

As they say, "Embrace the suck and move the f*** on" 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2021 at 11:49 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:

If the science is simple enough for middle school students to do (DIY editing machines can't be too far in the future), ethics boards will be of no use. I see this as the potential thermonuclear equivalent of 3D printed guns. Or, in light of this...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_drive

...the potential Black Plague equivalent.

That reminds me of a novel by Frank Herbert, perhaps the most frightening science fiction novel that I have ever read >>> https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-plague-frank-herbert/1100353731

The White Plague

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2021 at 11:20 AM, Bree Giffen said:

There is also the unlocking of the human genome where we are now in the process of figuring out which genes do what. I think there will be countries and labs that won't be timid with genetic manipulation and we could be seeing 'life changing' technology.

We're going to need that, because we're rapidly making the place uninhabitable in so many ways.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

We're going to need that, because we're rapidly making the place uninhabitable in so many ways.

Or we could, you know . . . actually change our behaviour so that we aren't always THAT neighbour, the one who is so scummy and selfish that they make the neighbourhood utterly unbearable for the responsible and socially-conscious people living there?

Just a thought . . .

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Or we could, you know . . . actually change our behaviour so that we aren't always THAT neighbour, the one who is so scummy and selfish that they make the neighbourhood utterly unbearable for the responsible and socially-conscious people living there?

Just a thought . . .

Oh well if that is a genetic thing then there is nothing one could do to change that. Need a new defense where instead of a plea of insanity, one uses a plea of being genetically challenged. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Arielle Popstar said:
2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Or we could, you know . . . actually change our behaviour so that we aren't always THAT neighbour, the one who is so scummy and selfish that they make the neighbourhood utterly unbearable for the responsible and socially-conscious people living there?

Just a thought . . .

Oh well if that is a genetic thing then there is nothing one could do to change that. Need a new defense where instead of a plea of insanity, one uses a plea of being genetically challenged. :)

Cooperation is as much a function of Darwinism as competition and selfishness, unless you subscribe to Jordan Peterson's lobster theory which claims it's acceptable for some to lord it over others. But even if the cooperation dynamics in evolution would be proven untrue that doesn't mean our human brains could not circumvent evolutionary tendencies.

 

jordan peterson lobsters.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

That reminds me of a novel by Frank Herbert, perhaps the most frightening science fiction novel that I have ever read >>> https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-plague-frank-herbert/1100353731

The White Plague

There is a film on Netflix with a very similar theme called Only.

Also I believe we are only in the beginnings still of the so called information age, we haven't seen it's full potential and scale put to use yet. The next thing is an expansion of information availability and how it's used in everyday life, far larger than we currently experience it, IMO.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 135 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...