Stephen Hawking: Explore space for humanity's sake

Apr 10, 2013 by Alicia Chang
In this photo provided by Cedars-Sinai, British cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who has motor neuron disease, gives a talk titled "A Brief History of Mine," to workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Cedars-Sinai, Eric Reed)

Stephen Hawking, the British physicist who spent his career decoding the universe and even experienced weightlessness, is urging the continuation of space exploration—for humanity's sake.

The 71-year-old Hawking said he did not think humans would survive another 1,000 years "without escaping beyond our fragile planet."

Hawking made the remarks Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he toured a stem cell laboratory that's focused on trying to slow the progression of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Hawking was diagnosed with the 50 years ago while a student at Cambridge University. He recalled how he became depressed and initially didn't see a point in finishing his doctorate. But he continued his studies.

"If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way," he said.

Renowned for his work on and the origins of the cosmos, Hawking is famous for bringing esoteric to the masses through his best-selling books, including "A ," which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Hawking has survived longer than most people with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS attacks in the brain and spinal cord that control the muscles. People gradually have more and more trouble breathing and moving as muscles weaken and waste away. There's no cure and no way to reverse the disease's progression. Few people with ALS live longer than a decade.

Hawking receives around-the-clock care, can only communicate by twitching his cheek, and relies on a computer mounted to his wheelchair to convey his thoughts in a distinctive robotic monotone.

Despite his diagnosis, Hawking has remained active. In 2007, he floated like an astronaut on an aircraft that creates by making parabolic dives.

"However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at," he said Tuesday.

Dr. Robert Baloh, director of Cedars-Sinai's ALS program, said he had no explanation for Hawking's longevity. Baloh said he has treated patients who lived for 10 years or more.

"But 50 years is unusual, to say the least," he said.

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Lurker2358
1.4 / 5 (21) Apr 10, 2013
Hawking said he did not think humans would survive another 1,000 years "without escaping beyond our fragile planet."


Does he have a scientific basis for that claim, or is it like his "one plus negative one equals zero" crap?

What specific evidence does he have that is more compelling to suggest that we are threatened on any significantly greater level than humans were throughout history and prehistory?

Since he doesn't believe in Bible prophecy, what is the basis of his claim?

there's been no report of a meteor on a guaranteed collision course.

There's no evidence humans are going to kill one another in a global nuclear war, because so far everyone who has the capacity is rational enough to avoid it.

There's no evidence of a pandemic capable of beating all our modern technology and knowledge and killing everyone.

So what's the deal?
ValeriaT
3.7 / 5 (18) Apr 10, 2013
I dunno, who is greater freak separated from reality here: Hawking or just you.
Q-Star
3.6 / 5 (19) Apr 10, 2013
I dunno, who is greater freak separated from reality here: Hawking or just you.


Bears repeating Zeph. Good for ya Sir. Why would Hawking be faulted for having an opinion (which I think is a good one) from someone who posts so many "conjectures" founded on circular reasoning, unsupported assumptions, and tries to pass it all off as a "2 plus 2 equals 4 process".
nowhere
4.5 / 5 (12) Apr 10, 2013
Does he have a scientific basis for that claim, or is it like his "one plus negative one equals zero" crap?

You say that as though our universe isn't a mathematical one. Maybe you have another method to understand reality than maths and logic?

What specific evidence does he have that is more compelling to suggest that we are threatened on any significantly greater level than humans were throughout history and prehistory?

Life has always been unacceptably fragile. To think that all of human effort and existence is riding on one 'ship'... why not double our chances with a second one? aren't we worth it? Not too mention limited resources, limited space, danger of advanced plague, danger of a space impact, radiation contamination, global environment change, dangerous advanced technology. There are many reasons to hedge one's bets. Especially when what stands to be lost is so important.
Quarl
4.7 / 5 (10) Apr 10, 2013
I'm a wee bit confused...I thought that if you added one plus negative one that you did indeed end up with zero.

How interesting.

As for the threat level: there could be no threat whatsoever and it still would be a good idea to go into space. Why? Because more humans are born than die. Countries already look at each other with the eyes of the haves and have-nots. Without a convenient extraterrestrial threat or something similar the resource envy will only get worse with time, IMHO.
Infiniteloop
3.8 / 5 (8) Apr 10, 2013
A Question for Lurker2358;
Does somebody need a hug?
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (13) Apr 10, 2013
I'm a wee bit confused...I thought that if you added one plus negative one that you did indeed end up with zero.


Hawking wrongfully believes that the Universe can have spontaneously come from nothing without the need for a creator, quite literally because "one plus negative one equals zero", because he believes that energy and "negative energy" are perfectly balanced and add up to zero.

I have shown, without having been refuted, that such cannot be the case, because the number "0" is not representative of true nothingness, and that moreover, empty sets are not representative of true nothingness. They are the solutions to either finite or transcendent equations, or laws.

If you add one and negative one and get zero, that is true, but if the universe is like that, then you must recognize that the identity of Addition is required to be transcendent in order for that to be true. If the identity of addition is transcendent then logic is transcendent, and logic is intelligence.
cantdrive85
1.2 / 5 (18) Apr 11, 2013
What did Stephen Hawking say when his computer crashed?

Nothing.

After a few nights in the hospital Stephen Hawking is finally stable.
It only took 2 bricks behind his wheels.
nowhere
5 / 5 (14) Apr 11, 2013
Hawking wrongfully believes that the Universe can have spontaneously come from nothing without the need for a creator


And you wrongfully believe the universe was created by an all powerful creator that just existed, quite literally because you were conditioned by a book written by humans who were desperate to explain their existence. Your belief extends to ideas outside the universe, to a place where understanding and reason break down.
grondilu
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2013
Mankind has existed for about 200,000 years. And we are, at least from an ethological point of view, very different from early humans, considering all our cultural baggage, technical capabilities and so on. If we compare ourselves to dinosaurs, as usually done in these matters, we are thus very young and extremely smart, and yet dinosaurs ruled during millions of years.
My point being: we would almost certainly survive any cataclysm of celestial origin. We can predict any dangerous impact, we can prepare, and we (or at least a minority of our population) could survive in a highly degraded environment. There might be threats to human survival, but they are not of cosmic nature.
People who claim we should explore space in the sake of human survival as a species are not completely honest, imho.
nowhere
5 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2013
Hawking wrongfully believes that the Universe can have spontaneously come from nothing


If you add one and negative one and get zero, that is true, but if the universe is like that, then you must recognize that the identity of Addition is required to be transcendent in order for that to be true. If the identity of addition is transcendent then logic is transcendent, and logic is intelligenc

Slippery slope. Hawking's theory doesn't deal with the "creation" of the universe, it talks about the origin of it. At the origin, the big bang singularity, you have the furthest point we can go back to. This is the 0 point in his one plus negative one scenario, but it is still within the bounds of the universe. To deal with creation we would have to go back further, which is impossible as "going back" is a function of time, which is a property of the universe and doesn't exist beyond the origin.
grondilu
2.3 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2013
When I look at the Wikipedia article about "impact winter", I read:
> "There would still be millions of people who die in the initial impact, and the impact winter that follows, but the human race would likely survive an impact no matter the size"

and this sentence is provided with two references of academic studies.

So really, I don't understand exactly in which way the exploration of space is necessary for our survival as a species. Anyone can provide me a link to an article that defends this thesis?
nowhere
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2013
So really, I don't understand exactly in which way the exploration of space is necessary for our survival as a species. Anyone can provide me a link to an article that defends this thesis?

I doubt his worries are primarily that of an impact event. Even considering the "probable" survival of an impact even, you have neglected any other potential global catastrophe.
grondilu
2 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2013
I doubt his worries are primarily that of an impact event. Even considering the "probable" survival of an impact even, you have neglected any other potential global catastrophe.


Then I wish the article had been clearer about this global catastrophe we should fear. Whether it's a SuperVolcano, a Gamma Ray burst or anything like that, I can't see how it would turn earth into anything worst than any celestial body in the Solar system.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (12) Apr 11, 2013
So really, I don't understand exactly in which way the exploration of space is necessary for our survival as a species.

All eggs in one basket. Drop the basket and it's "end of humanity".
There are many possibilities (and a few certainties, like our sun eventually going 'red giant' and destroying the Earth). So spreading out is a necessity at some point.

But Hawking's certainly talking about man-made desasters when he's referring to a timeline of 1000 years (gray goo scenarios, all-out ABC-warfare, etc.), not supervolcanos, killer asteroids, or gamma ray bursts, which happen a lot less often than that on average.
grondilu
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2013
But Hawking's certainly talking about man-made desasters when he's referring to a timeline of 1000 years (gray goo scenarios, all-out ABC-warfare, etc.), not supervolcanos, killer asteroids, or gamma ray bursts, which happen a lot less often than that on average.


I don't see any man-made disaster that could make earth a worse place to live than mars, for instance.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2013
I don't see any man-made disaster that could make earth a worse place to live than mars, for instance.

Well, Mars isn't able to support human life. So what exactly is your argument?
grondilu
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2013
I don't see any man-made disaster that could make earth a worse place to live than mars, for instance.

Well, Mars isn't able to support human life. So what exactly is your argument?

My point is that there is no other place than Earth that is capable of supporting human life, therefore I don't understand when people say that our survival as a species depends on space exploration.
Unless of course we manage to improve our propulsion techniques enough to go interstellar, but right now it's still pure science fiction.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2013
I don't understand when people say that our survival as a species depends on space exploration.

Space exploration may include (but is not limited to)
- habitat construction (which we are close to be able to do)
- terraforming (which we are nowhere close to be able to do)
- alteration of our biological form to suit other environmental conditions (which lies somewhere in between the above two on the feasibility scale)
- transferring human thought into another substrate (i.e. ditching the human body for something more versatile)
- ...
Q-Star
2.8 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2013
I don't see any man-made disaster that could make earth a worse place to live than mars, for instance.

Well, Mars isn't able to support human life. So what exactly is your argument?

My point is that there is no other place than Earth that is capable of supporting human life, therefore I don't understand when people say that our survival as a species depends on space exploration.
Unless of course we manage to improve our propulsion techniques enough to go interstellar, but right now it's still pure science fiction.


But don't we increase our "options" by continually pushing our engineering limits to and past the extreme limits?

Over the course of our history as a species, those in "the present" have always been "certain" that there were limits to what could ever be achieved. And so far their "certain" assessments have usually failed the test of "time".
grondilu
2 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2013
Over the course of our history as a species, those in "the present" have always been "certain" that there were limits to what could ever be achieved. And so far their "certain" assessments have usually failed the test of "time".


It's not just because you think something can be done that you are visionary. If I advocate for the construction of a gravity train or cities in the bottom of the ocean, everybody will call me a fool. Somehow when someone advocate for manned space exploration of the solar system, everybody gets excited. Yet it's not much easier technologically. It's also basically pointless economically and useless scientifically. And it won't even save humanity of anything, since its survival is not threatened by external factors.

Space exploration is mostly a delusion fueled by decades of science fiction literature and filmography.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2013
And it won't even save humanity of anything, since its survival is not threatened by external factors.

Erm...have you ever looked at the night sky? Or at pictures of the Hubble telescope? Stars exploding, galaxies colliding, black holes and pulsars sending extremely deadly radiation doses out into space?
Then the occasional killer asteroid or massive ecological change.

There are tons of external factors that threaten our survival. We've gotten VERY lucky so far. But our luck won't hold forever.

If I advocate for the construction of a gravity train or cities in the bottom of the ocean, everybody will call me a fool.

Unless you know how to build a gravity train: yes.
And cities at the bottom of the oceans (however neat that would be) would not ensure survival any more than what we have right now. So I think your examples are missing the point by quite a bit.
GSwift7
4 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2013
I agree with some of the posts here, in the sense that 1000 years is a rather arbitrary length of time. Why not choose 2000 years, or some other number? Regardless, the longer the period of time, the greater the odds of something bad happening. There are a handful of things that 'could' happen in the next few thousand years which are capable of completely sterilizing the planet, though they are astronomically unlikly to happen to us in that time period. So, the question comes down to whether there is value in doing something to hedge the bet. That leads to the obvious question of whether there is intrinsic value to us in preserving some future humans. I would say that it sounds like a good idea, but all opinions are equal on that one.

As for short term global disasters, I'm surpised nobody has mentioned an ice age. According to the patterns of recent glacial/interglacial cycles, we could be due for one any time. This is the most likely global distaster I'm aware of in <10k years.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2013
Erm...have you ever looked at the night sky? Or at pictures of the Hubble telescope? Stars exploding, galaxies colliding, black holes and pulsars sending extremely deadly radiation doses out into space? Then the occasional killer asteroid or massive ecological change. There are tons of external factors that threaten our survival. We've gotten VERY lucky so far. But our luck won't hold forever
Yeah, not to mention this...

"WASHINGTON—A new U.S. intelligence assessment says for the first time that North Korea may have developed a nuclear device small enough to mount on a ballistic missile..."

-So what do you think NOW, AA? Think we should still be coddling terrorists and tyrants? Or maybe we (the US, defender of all that is good I mean) should be preparing something preemptive and decisive?

Angriff ist die beste Verteidigung. No matter how many people leave this planet, it will still be full of people. So there is no excuse to let it be trashed by baby-faced despots. Stimmt?
antialias_physorg
3.8 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2013
I agree with some of the posts here, in the sense that 1000 years is a rather arbitrary length of time.

The point he was making was that we need to start working on this. We can't put it off forever. The spcific time period is irrelevant (except for the notion that it isn't forever, but also not so short that there's no chance of achieving it. So 1000 years sounds about right.)

That leads to the obvious question of whether there is intrinsic value to us in preserving some future humans.

Since humans make up their own value systems: yes. (There is no such thing as a 'univesal value system' free from context).

Making up our own value/decision systems is a large part of what intelligence is. And the drive for survival that is part of our biological legacy is a factor that is HEAVILY selected for in evolution. (or better: the absence of such a factor is HEAVILY selected against)
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2013
I most certainly said nowhere that one should 'coddle' terroists or dictators. But one should nevertheless try to understand why they do what they do. Because otherwise one is the puppet of those (terrorists/dictators) who KNOW why WE do what we do.

Angriff ist die beste Verteidigung....Stimmt?

Stop trying to sound erudite. You only make yourself sound like a fool.
(It's "Stimmt's?". A sentence needs a verb.)

You really are very superficial in your logical abilities, so I'll try to explain this in baby-logic:
Nation X thinks it is the defender of "all that is good"
Guess what: ALL nations think that of themselves. So any nation (even NK) could use your 'logic' to justify a preemptive strike.

It's sort of sad that such simple things have to be explained.
Ed_Hughes
1.4 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2013
Not in a 1000 billion years will mankind or any ET in our Universe will be able to travel to a near solar system to colonize. Light speed will never be approached much less developed an anti Einstein drive. You would have to travel in a dimension that has nothing to do with the Universe we live in now. You would have to creat a new dimension.
Some where many galaxies away there might be ETs that were fortunate enough to have a life or duplicate sun solar system that is within reach but it is a one way trip. And to inhabited a duplicate Earth would that has dinosaurs or saber tooth tigers do ETs kill off the existing life forms for their own gain.
Will humans colonized space and our solar system. No
Will humans exhaust all Earth resources. It has been estimated that right now we need 2 1/2 Earths just to maintain our current condition. Yes
Will we die off without ever communication with ET. Yes
We are here to stay forever and ever.
Earth/Mankind is not forever.
So SH why the con?
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2013
But Hawking's certainly talking about man-made desasters when he's referring to a timeline of 1000 years (gray goo scenarios, all-out ABC-warfare, etc.), not supervolcanos, killer asteroids, or gamma ray bursts, which happen a lot less often than that on average.


So, wouldn't it be more feasible to fix the problems on our home planet, before expending enormous amounts of resources, trying to get somewhere else, only to find out that the conditions of the planet that we've arrived at (i.e. moon/Mars) is not suitable as well as being a more hostile environment than the planet we had to begin with? Just makes no sense to me. Unless we're talking about things that can't be prevented like a supervolcano or a comet impact. I tend to agree with grondilu on some things.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2013
Light speed will never be approached much less developed

So? Why do you need light speed to go to other stars? What's wrong with the idea of generation ships (or hibernation ships)?

That we won't colonize has another reason: Once you have something that can be indefinitely in space (like a generation ship), that can sustain a good environment indefinitely - why would you want to go down permanently to a planet with a much less viable ecosystem?

Will humans colonized space and our solar system.

Our solar system is much closer at hand. So your 'no drive available' argument fails there already.

Will humans exhaust all Earth resources

You are aware that the earth is 13 thousand(!) km in diameter? and that we have, in our search for resources) not even scratched the top few kilometers (and that only on land)? Getting at resources is not a problem of availability. It's how hard you're willing to work to get them.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2013
So, wouldn't it be more feasible to fix the problems on our home planet, before expending enormous amounts of resources,

As with everything it's not quite a black and white issue. You can do both at once. Just allocate some resources to the one and some to the other. Depending on the timeline you give yourself (1000 years?) the burden can be quite minimal.

There are ALWAYS problems on Earth to fix (it's not like new ones don't crop up), they will never go fully away.

Well, they will go away. Right at the point when we get killed off by some external/cosmic factor because we didn't allocate any resources for getting away in time.

as well as being a more hostile environment than the planet we had to begin with

Planets we go to will be more hostile. All of them.
We have adapted to this one for billions(!) of years. That's a significant part of the age of the universe. That another planet just happens to suit us fine (or better) is EXTREMELY unlikely.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2013
make up their own value systems: yes. (There is no such thing as a 'univesal value system' free from context)
AA still stuck with that '60s tabula rasa nonsense. Life has an intrinsic, biological 'value system' based on survival and propagation. Human morality is mostly derived from the tribal dynamic, which often requires sacrifice of personal survival and repro rights for the good of the tribe. This too is biological as we have been selected for it over 1000s of gens.

Life which has survived has done so by forcing itself into every habitable nook and cranny it can find, through population pressure, and adapting to fit. It survives by gathering info about it's environment. The higher the lifeform, the farther it's senses can reach, the more info it can gather and process, and the more able it is to avoid danger and exploit resources.

Humans are obviously best at this. We can see far into the future and back into the past, and we can understand just how much danger we are in.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2013
Stop trying to sound erudite
I dont have to try, it is natural.
You only make yourself sound like a fool.
(It's "Stimmt's?". A sentence needs a verb.)
Stimmt is a verb, es is a noun, nicht wahr?
You really are very superficial in your logical abilities, so I'll try to explain this in baby-logic:
Nation X thinks it is googoo waaah
Many nations are still operating within the perception of their own 'tribe'. This dynamic tells them to attempt to outgrow their enemies and then overwhelm them.

Maximizing this dynamic through religion is how the west conquered the world. But it no longer has a place in this world. The west is the best hope this species has of surviving. Only it can reduce growth, and thereby end conflict, on this planet. Only the west has the ability to develop the tech needed to colonize other worlds.

This is good. This is obviously worth defending at all costs. I think even toddlers would agree, if not yet corrupted by bankrupt liberal doublethink.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2013
There are ALWAYS problems on Earth...they will never go fully away
The problem with bankrupt liberal doublethinkers is that, like mother Teresa, they are content to treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause of the problem. Like mother Teresa, they actually profit from the disease itself.

There are GOOD cultures and BAD cultures on this planet. The GOOD ones have figured out how to maintain population growth in concert with available resources. The BAD cultures are still growing far faster than their ability to sustain themselves, and so find that they must STEAL what they need from their neighbors.

Over the ages various religions and credos have evolved to maximize and exploit this dynamic. This makes BAD WORSE. With every technological advance, the situation becomes more critical.

The west has consistently destroyed these cultures, and will continue to do so, because it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that it be done.

Only the west is dedicated to a single tribe of humankind.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2013
The problem with bankrupt liberal doublethinkers is that, like mother Teresa, they are content to treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause of the problem.

The violence is the symptom. You might reflect on that. Much like your ranting an raving and your "us good - them bad" mentality is a symptom.

There are differing value systems an no absolutes (there are systems that work better than others - but that's besides the point).
Preaching 'freedom' and ramming that value through with violence doesn't work. It's a self-defeating attitude at its core.

If you're (that's a general 'you') so sure your value system is better suited for everyone then lead by example. Don't try to convert by the sword. Other cultures (those you call 'bad') have that approach. You (that is a specific 'you') are no better than them in that regard.
You're just as evil as them BY YOUR OWN standards AND theirs - whereas they are just evil by your set of standards.

You're the greater evil. So - meh.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2013
The violence is the symptom. You might reflect on that
But what is the cause? 'Our children are starving' is the most frequent explanation. I have shown you time and again growth rate comparisons between west and the obsolete cultures. This alone can explain why they are the source of most all the trouble in the world.
There are differing value systems an no absolutes (there are systems that work better than others - but that's besides the point)
OF COURSE there are, and as I said they are based upon survival and propagation. Obsolete cultures are gluttons. They demand unlimited freedom to pursue both.
Preaching 'freedom' and ramming that value through with violence doesn't work
And you FAIL to grasp the concept of inevitability. You want to talk while the children in these cultures are starving and their parents are blaming YOU.

You wish to feed them and leave a much greater problem for your children?
grondilu
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2013
Erm...have you ever looked at the night sky? Or at pictures of the Hubble telescope? Stars exploding, galaxies colliding, black holes and pulsars sending extremely deadly radiation doses out into space?
Then the occasional killer asteroid or massive ecological change.

There are tons of external factors that threaten our survival. We've gotten VERY lucky so far. But our luck won't hold forever.


Again, as pointed out in the Wikipedia article about impact winter: "mankind would likely survive an impact of any size".

As for your other examples, they are not serious threats. You mention galactic collision for instance, and it's a terrible example as it won't happen for us before billions of years and it will probably be harmless anyway (the star density is so low that star collisions or even close approaches are very rare during a galactic collision)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2013
Don't try to convert by the sword
Its funny - germans should know better than anyone else what religion-based forced growth can cause.

Industrialization in religion-based culture resulted in unprecedented population growth in germany in the 1800s. As the children began to starve, this culture told germans that they had the intrinsic right to take Lebensraum from the blasphemers and the Untermenschen who obviously did not deserve it.

And like you would do, western powers tried to reason with them. But their people continued to suffer. It took 2 world wars to break the back of the culture which CAUSED this problem.

And it was not fascism - fascism was only the end-stage symptom of a disease which no amount of talk or prayer was going to cure.

And we see these EXACT SAME conditions at work elsewhere in the world today. And you (that is a specific 'you') seem to think that talk is somehow going to work THIS time??

THIS time, the bad guys have nukes. You had better talk fast.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2013
You're just as evil as them BY YOUR OWN standards AND theirs - whereas they are just evil by your set of standards
Ignoring an enemy until they are breaking down your door is evil. Sacrificing your children and your culture for the sake of empty ideals, is evil, and this is what you are proposing.

It is exactly what the little godman was preaching, and this is where you get it from. Martyrdom is the most heinous form of violence.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2013
And another thing
I most certainly said nowhere that one should 'coddle' terroists or dictators. But one should nevertheless try to understand why they do what they do. Because otherwise one is the puppet of those (terrorists/dictators) who KNOW why WE do what we do
What makes you think the motivations of the typical terrorist/rogue regime are such a mystery? I explained to you WHY people in these virulent cultures resort to violence.

We have been battling and killing Taliban and al Qaida forces for decades but they remain a threat. Why? Because they have a constant supply of young hapless replacements from around the region; kids who have absolutely nothing else to do but sit around and slowly starve, or fight about it.

By all rights these organizations should have been destroyed long ago but they continue to grow because they feed off these religion-based cultures. It is the same in kachmir, Lebanon, somalia, western India, and anywhere else where religion dictates growth.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2013
This Equation is as old as agriculture, as old as religion itself. It has few variables. Increasing T only results in a significantly greater increase in V (violence), with a greater probability of C (collapse).

The civilizations which were unaware of this equation, or which chose to ignore it, are no longer with us. They were all outgrown and overrun.

The only enduring Solution has always been to accept the immutable nature of this Equation, and then to arrange for it to operate Constructively.

Leaders realized long ago that this Equation meant that the people were the enemies of rulers everywhere. And the only chance they had to preserve the civilization they worked so hard to build, was to cause the people to fight one another in constructive, and not destructive, ways.

'All is meaningless' cried solomon in ecc3. 'How can I ensure that all I have created will endure after I die?' And then the heavenly chorus gives him his Answer. 'A PROPER Time for Everything under the Sun.'
zaxxon451
2.7 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2013
The universe doesn't need humans destroying any other planets. Humans need to figure out how to live sustainably on this one or die out.
beleg
2.8 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2013
Avoiding a misanthropist label, Hawking appeals to humanity for humanity's sake. There can be no appeal for a planet or for all life on a planet we know will see an end.
For the sake of all other life and the planet we must leave.
The above statement can not be stated without the taint of misanthropy publicly.

Publicly you can state below:
"SH...is urging the continuation of space exploration—for humanity's sake."
The caption is highlighted in black.

antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2013
The universe doesn't need humans destroying any other planets. Humans need to figure out how to live sustainably on this one or die out.

We can go out into space and remain on earth. That we can leave doesn't mean that everybody has to leave.
As with any frontier some will not want to go - and that's OK. (And at first we'll certainly not have the capability for a significant percentage of the population to leave anyway.)
OttJ
3 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2013
I think 1000 years is far too long, but I'm not talking about extinction; I'm talking about descending into utter chaos. We are on a really dangerous path right now. The combination of runaway technology and capitalism with its attendant social philosophies is what's going to kill a lot of us. Think about it: automation, a basically asymptotic growth in tech, and workforce displacement as a result of both. The last economic crisis we had displaced about a million workers, who will never find work in their career fields again. Multiply that by twenty, thirty, or forty. What do we do about all of those displaced workers? We don't have the social support systems in place to take care of the million. And it's coming. I give it 50 years, not a 1000. Fifty years until the world automates itself into a global, unprecedented crisis.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2013
The last economic crisis we had displaced about a million workers
This is more like 20 million. This process began in earnest with the industrial revolution. Automation quickly caused the German revolution and gave rise to communism.

Innovation exacerbates economic cycles, causes more rapid growth and more extreme collapse. It is only since ww2 that we have been able to affect the growth of populations through family planning. ONE BILLION abortions in addition to contraception means that that the worlds population is perhaps 1/3 smaller than it would have been, had the prewar religion-based cultures remained in existence.

Things would be pretty good here in the west if it didn't have to absorb the overflow from the religionist cultures still in existence. As it is, we need to be able to recover revenues lost to machines, which now flows into the pockets of the machine owners.

I say we figure out how to pay the machines directly and tax them immediately for the work they do.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2013
I see I was also conservative;

"the number of people who are no longer "in the labor force" has risen by nearly 5 million, from 79.3 million in Dec 2008 to 84 million as of last month..."

-That's in the US alone. Automation will soon leave the factories as autonomous machines begin driving and piloting themselves, building buildings, repairing roads and bridges, replacing surgeons, lawyers, entertainers, policemen, soldiers, and most every other middle class worker and professional.

At present there is no way of recovering income tax revenue previously paid to human workers. Machine owners will never give it up willingly.

But in theory it should be far easier to track the amount of work machines do, the cost of their maintenance, storage and recycling, their impact on the infrastructure, and the energy and material they consume. We can pay them directly as we now do human workers. But tech will enable us to do this much more efficiently, with far less waste and theft.
phorbin
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2013
I agree with some of the posts here, in the sense that 1000 years is a rather arbitrary length of time. Why not choose 2000 years, or some other number?


It lends a sense of urgency.

That is, we want to get around to it before the cosmic pinball game puts more than one ball into play.
grondilu
not rated yet Apr 14, 2013
remove this please. Sorry for the inconvenience.
aroc91
5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2013
I have shown, without having been refuted, that such cannot be the case, because the number "0" is not representative of true nothingness, and that moreover, empty sets are not representative of true nothingness. They are the solutions to either finite or transcendent equations, or laws.


You have shown nothing. Krauss and Hawking, on the other hand, know what they're talking about.

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