Saturday, January 10, 2015

astro picture for the day . . . "We will achieve Victorious peace!"

Image Credit & Copyright: CHART32 Team, Processing - Johannes Schedler

Quote for the day,

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein

Many people take on the idea that the American civil war was about rascism. But as Alvin Toffler in his 'Third Wave'(if I'm remembering correctly; either that or Powershift) argues the civil war was about the new industrial north versus the agricultural south. The whole rascism and slavery thing was a side issue.  I agree.  When the industrial north won, opportunities for change was opened up.  They botched it!  At least in terms of civil rights, they did.

They came up with a 'separation but equal' doctrine, or at least they thought. The Plessy v. Ferguson supreme courth decision established it. This was in 1896, so that's a ways from the end of the civil war. Basically, the Plessy v. Ferguson instituted segregation! Out of good intent, came bad! I'd almost bring up computer programming.  You think you've written the computer program, but until you run it, you don't know if it works as you thought it was going to. Similarly, the Apollo program thought they had the life support systems thought out in a nice tidy package, but the 1967 fire that killed three astronauts in a routine check proved them wrong real quick. the audiotapes of that event are still not readily available!

Unless people prove deductively what they think they're doing, they're most likely hiding assumptions.  Usually, these assumptions are based on personal problems and inner fears that they dare not look at. The nanotechnologists today think their so rational and perfect little human beings. They have all these ideas of 'disruptive technology'(by Eric Drexler himself), and this empathy craze, where you're not allowed to criticize people(as far as I can tell!  You try to talk to them, and they don't say anything). I remember a Chris Peterson of the foresight institute getting all excited about some scientific idea that suggested if a certain part of the brain is too small, then you get what are called psychopaths; for her, that was it; problem licked! End of discussion!  Seems to me we have a bunch of 'separate but equal' doctrine like ideas amongst these super duper intellectual futurists. 

Another idea, this time from Hollywood, comes from H.G. Well's "Things to Come", still the best rationalists/scientific humanist sci-fi movie ever.  In it, he points out the screwy logic of a local warlord after a world war puts the world into a dark ages.  His rule is "We will achieve Victorious peace!"

Seems that at the turn of the nanotech revolution, we're missing out on our chance for social change for the better. Don't worry, these things always come to a tipping point!

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