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Sprogget
28th Sep 2011, 10:17
We are set for the end of days. Cheerful huh?

Since the end of the 2nd world war, there have been over 250 recognised wars, many thousands of armed conflicts and more than 23 million people killled -three times as many as in the previous 500 years.

The pace at which we are entering into war is accelerating exponentially. As a species, occupying the last 100,000 years or so, you can take the one minute to midnight clock as a decent analogy of death and destruction on a global scale quite reasonably since the advent of mechanised warfare since around 1900.

The seeds of our demise seem inexorably programmed into the same higher intelligence that gave us Da Vinci, Mozart and Picasso. One only has to inhabit internet chat rooms - like this one to see the futile and pointlessness of the debate that has two bald men arguing over a comb for days on end - ok a petty example, but a true enough one all the same.

The same intelligence that developed the capability to annihilate at the touch of a button leads us to another function of intelligence - probability.

That we have a proliferation of nuclear weapons all around the globe, from the USA to Russia, stopping off at France, The UK, Pakistan, Israel (probably...), Iran (probably...) India, China and possibly South Africa draws the inevitable conclusion that our very nature demands that sooner or later, those weapons will be fired either by design, madness or accident - and there have been many, many accidents already involving nuclear weapons. Madness is up for debate.

As my life passes, I believe more and more that we won't go out with a whimper. It won't be some vulgar little bacteria that finishes us off, or a petty famine or somesuch, no it will be us that surely does for us. The battlefield encroaches ever closer with each passing year. The qualities of greed, ego, covetousness, anger and madness will see us off - and it's happening at a faster and faster rate.

tony draper
28th Sep 2011, 10:24
Hmmm yer,but then again, does our species deserve to survive?:uhoh:

Slasher
28th Sep 2011, 10:32
I dunno - look at how chimps in the wild go on murderous
rampages and then ask do those little buggers deserve to
live too?

The luvvies call that Nature. When humans do it for territorial
reasons its called war.

OFSO
28th Sep 2011, 10:34
Silver lining......all my life I've been a tight git. And known as such.

But Monday last week, in my favourite Turkish restaurant in Islington, after an excellent meal with the inner circle of my family, I looked at the bill, thought what the hell (i.e., Sprogget's probably quite right) and paid it myself.

Smiles all round (some gasps of amazement, I must admit) and I felt great.

Now's the time to be charitable to friends and family, get revenge on your enemies, roger whom you will, and finish reading Gormenghast.

tony draper
28th Sep 2011, 10:40
I have long thought that the human race suffers from collective insanity in the same way a group of perfectly normal humans can turn into a mob when their numbers reach a critical mass,individually or in small goups we are ok,collectively in large numbers we are doolally tap.
:)

rh200
28th Sep 2011, 10:50
Since the end of the 2nd world war, there have been over 250 recognised wars, many thousands of armed conflicts and more than 23 million people killled -three times as many as in the previous 500 years.

What is the ball park death toll for WW1 and the rematch WW11 including their new acolytes.

Cacophonix
28th Sep 2011, 10:58
fhyClodR780

"I've done a lot
God knows I've tried
To find the truth
I've even lied
But all I know
Is down inside
I'm bleeding

And super heroes
Come to feast
To taste the flesh
Not yet deceased
And all I know
Is still the beast
Is feeding.

And crawling on the planets face
Some insects called the human race
Lost in time
And lost in space
And meaning."

Caco

handsfree
28th Sep 2011, 11:01
WW1 about 17 million
WW2 between 50 and 70 million
1918 Spanish Flu 50 to 100 million.

Wilfred Owen summed it up nicely

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

tony draper
28th Sep 2011, 11:06
Did some googling tother day for another thread,apparently 150,000 of us shuck off this mortal coil of natural causes worldwide every day,unless one's calculator is up the creek that's about 54 million a year,I make that lemmee see add 2 shift the 1 about 3.5 billion that mean 3.5 billion have died since the end of the war not because of war.
One shall not defend those figures the battery on me ancient calculator is near dead and the display is flickering.
The world main problem is despite that huge number,not enough of us are dying
:uhoh:

Storminnorm
28th Sep 2011, 11:34
Personally I blame the NHS.

ILS32
28th Sep 2011, 11:37
The biggest problem is yet to come.What happens when scientists discover a cure for everything.The Earth as approx 6 billion inhabitants and growing.There are no world wars to cull the population and with the advancement of science living longer.All diseases are eradicated no one dies.The future is unsustainable if the number of people on this planet Earth keeps on multiplying.Insufficient food,water etc.What do we do? sterilize some ,what criteria do we use.Kill everyone who reaches say 50 years of age.
I'm glad that I will not be around when these sort of decisions will have to be made.

tony draper
28th Sep 2011, 11:59
True, perhaps the biggest curse on mankind was the discovery of Penicillin.:(

Storminnorm
28th Sep 2011, 12:02
As a 70 yr old I'd just like to object to the 50 limit ILS.
94 would be better I think.

sitigeltfel
28th Sep 2011, 12:08
One thing is for certain, religion and/or politics will be at the heart of mankinds demise.
Therefore, if we get rid of all the politicians and god botherers, the ordinary folk would be able to live in peace.

My talents are wasted :}

Checkboard
28th Sep 2011, 12:10
China has had an official one child per couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy) policy since 1978 (and a two child policy before that)...:ok:


However this graph (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:CHN&dl=en&hl=en&q=chinese+population+graph#ctype=l&strail=false&nselm=h&met_y=sp_pop_totl&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:CHN&ifdim=country&hl=en&dl=en) shows quite a few must be cheating. :uhoh:

ILS32
28th Sep 2011, 12:26
Sorry Stormingnorm for any distress I may have caused you.I expect to live till I reach 100 years old,4 years after you.The age limit then comes into being the day after my death.

Um... lifting...
28th Sep 2011, 12:30
According to your first link, the one-child policy applies only to urban couples, and said link indicates that's only about 35% of the population. Throw in a bunch of rural first-born girl babies, then a smaller batch of second-born girl babies, then a bunch of hayseeds who breed a litter's worth of babies of whatever sex, you put 700M more Chinese on the planet in 32 years without too much trouble.

sisemen
28th Sep 2011, 13:56
I suspect that within 18 months Iran will chance its arm and either lob a nuke or pack one into a truck towards the general direction of Israel.

Then it will be game on.

The rest of the Islamic world will have to decide where they stand and a great deal of death and destruction will result.

Some industrial concerns and governments will make a killing (in both senses of the word) and those at the periphery will survive and prosper.

In any event it wouldn't be the end of this set of primates.

Solid Rust Twotter
28th Sep 2011, 14:00
It's the human condition. We ate the Neanderthals after all and have been killing (and eating) each other since before we first began tottering about on our hind legs. Those unable to keep up were lost but the new trend seems to be to encourage those who would otherwise be lost to breed, kind of like prey species breeding faster than their predators.


Soylent Green anyone?

ORAC
28th Sep 2011, 14:34
We ate the Neanderthals after all I think the classic phrase, "kill the men and **** the women" was closer to the truth (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/01/there-might-be-a-neanderthal-in-your-dna.html)....

lomapaseo
28th Sep 2011, 14:40
The thread title is misleading.

Of course there is a future, unless you intend to eff yourself while reading this.

It's just that the future may not mimic the past.

Live with it.

stuckgear
28th Sep 2011, 14:46
The biggest problem is yet to come.What happens when scientists discover a cure for everything.


The wifelet and I were having a recent discussion on projected human lifespan (mm.. gerat pillow talk !)

The wife works in the medical field and as such her contention was that human life expetency will start to decrease. As we become dependent on pharamlogical 'results' new strains have already emerged that are resistant and as pharmalogical dependence grows, more resistant strains of disease and infection will proliferate as the human body has developed little resistence capability.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Blackdeath2.gif


The Black Death originated in or near China and spread by way of the Silk Road (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road) or by ship.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-china-3) It may have reduced the world's population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population) from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-4)
The plague is thought to have returned at intervals with varying virulence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virulence) and mortality until the 18th century.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-5) On its return in 1603, for example, the plague killed 38,000 Londoners.[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-6) Other notable 17th-century outbreaks were the Italian Plague of 1629–1631 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Plague_of_1629%E2%80%931631), and the Great Plague of Seville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_Seville) (1647–1652), the Great Plague of London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_London) (1665–1666),[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-7) and the Great Plague of Vienna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_Vienna) (1679). There is some controversy over the identity of the disease, but in its virulent form, after the Great Plague of Marseille (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_Marseille) in 1720–1722,[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-8) the Great Plague of 1738 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_1738) (which hit Eastern Europe), and the Russian plague of 1770-1772 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_plague_of_1770-1772), it seems to have gradually disappeared from Europe. By the early 19th century, the threat of plague had diminished, but it was quickly replaced by a new disease. The Asiatic cholera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_cholera_pandemic) was the first of several cholera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera) pandemics to sweep through Asia and Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#cite_note-9)


There are currently at least two strains (one in madagascar) of plague which are, to date, resistant and do not respond to any known treatment

indeed, our 'brilliance' will likely be our undoing one way or another.


The same intelligence that developed the capability to annihilate at the touch of a button leads us to another function of intelligence - probability.



When the game is over, the kings and pawns end up in the same box.

Octopussy2
28th Sep 2011, 15:38
QUOTE especially if we lost mostly the best half to lose UNQUOTE

And which half would that be, BandAide?

Jeez.

:ugh:

radeng
28th Sep 2011, 16:47
The answer (for men) is that any man over the age of 100 capable of copulating with an attractive 19 year old female will be shot just after the magic moment....

Shack37
28th Sep 2011, 16:48
Siseman

I suspect that within 18 months Iran will chance its arm and either lob a nuke or pack one into a truck towards the general direction of Israel.

Then it will be game on.


My money would be on Israel getting her retaliation in first. Of course someone may top Madinnerjacket before that.

Katamarino
28th Sep 2011, 17:24
And which half would that be, BandAide?

We can start with the permanent welfare scroungers...

crippen
28th Sep 2011, 19:07
and then those posters who get banned on PPRuNe.:E:E

Out Of Trim
28th Sep 2011, 21:31
I've always thought. If politicians want a war? Much better and easier for both sides to kill the politicians instead! :ok:

yotty
28th Sep 2011, 21:41
This is interesting How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth? (part 1 of 6) - YouTube

jungle drums
29th Sep 2011, 01:30
I seem to remember someone talking recently about a popular scientist David Suzuki talking about this 20 years ago - exponential population growth will be our killer.

His analogy - "beetles in a jar"

You start with a couple of beetles that can procreate at a rate that doubles their population with every generation.

Very quickly the jar is 25% full - but the beetles still have plenty of space - 75% of the jar is still available.

But now they are only 2 generations from annihilation.

rh200
29th Sep 2011, 01:55
I think the classic phrase, "kill the men and **** the women"Actually when I first read that a while ago I assumed it was the women after the Neanderthals. Due to what I call the "Troy Francois" syndrome (google Troy Buswell. Adel Carrs, Francois whats his name). Also known as the metro sexual versus bad boy problem. Thought the early Neanderthal women would be to much like bush pigs compared to our ancestors.

Slasher
29th Sep 2011, 03:50
...religion and/or politics will be at the heart of mankinds demise.

Barring a large asteroid marked "FOCD Earth" I tend to agree.
I've always said that Religion and its sister institution Politics
divide the world's peoples who would otherwise be friends. By
never taking both of them seriously we can all get along.

Dr Jekyll
29th Sep 2011, 06:23
Population growth isn't exponential though, it's actually slowing down. Generally people who expect most of their children to survive stop after 2 or 3.

hellsbrink
29th Sep 2011, 17:50
Population growth isn't exponential though, it's actually slowing down. Generally people who expect most of their children to survive stop after 2 or 3.

A point that most people forget. As infant life expectancy rises, the amount of sprogs produced drops. You just have to compare the birth rate in the UK now with what it was 100 years or so ago.

Solid Rust Twotter
29th Sep 2011, 17:58
Depends where you are. Infant mortality went down in most of Africa but the birth rate was pretty much unaffected. Working in the Sudan for OLS it wasn't uncommon to see villages populated pretty much entirely by small children and young teenagers with very few adults and virtually no really old folks.

hellsbrink
29th Sep 2011, 19:34
Then I'll move the whole comment to "mortality rates".

The same applies. As mortality rates dropped, so did the birthrate. And that goes for the UK in just over 100 years ago, Victorian times.

Let's face it, the countries that are breeding like rabbits on fertility treatment are the ones with the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate. As life expectancy rises, and infant mortality drops, the birthrate drops.

Solid Rust Twotter
29th Sep 2011, 19:44
That could be more of a First World phenomenon, Mr Brink. As mentioned, here in the Third World it's a very different story. Populations are expanding at an alarming rate, quite often in areas unsuitable to support them, which is where the WFP steps in and complicates things a little more. No idea what the answer is. Well I do, but it'll never catch on - Education....

radeng
29th Sep 2011, 19:50
About 10 years or so ago, I was at an international meeting where I was chatting to a guy from the Indian MoD. He's spent time over here liaising with suppliers and was a great fan of Wadworth's 6X.....

However, talking about these things and his answer was 'Educate the women. Every time you do that, prosperity increases and birth rate drops'.

Probaby a radical approach from a male brought up in the Indian culture, but as he pointed out, where it was done, these things happened.

hellsbrink
29th Sep 2011, 20:11
Well, SRT, what's the life expectancy in, say, Malawi, and the life expectancy?


I'll give you a clue.

40.85 births per 1000 persons, life expectancy 52.48 years (female). And that's not the lowest life expectancy, btw.

People breed like rabbits on fertility treatment when their life expectancy is low (in general, some cultures do believe that a huge family is more of a status symbol). They don't expect to live because of thing like food, and disease, so breed more. You did hit ONE nail on the head by saying "education", but missed "medication", "contraception", "nutrition" and "hydration".

When governments there use food and water as a weapon, there are problems and these are well known. The "civilised world" could feed them, if you think about it, but that is the failure you talk about regarding the WFP is the small matter of the "governments" allegedly running these countries (whilst ignoring the other issues from those in charge of the country involved who keep the food, etc, for themselves. That's unless you think the stories about money from Band Aid suddenly being turned into Rolls Royce's filled with all sorts of goodies were lies). "Medication" for basic diseases could be provided easily (Africa is literally dying for cheap morphine, yet wiping out the poppy fields in Afghanistan is a better option??? :ugh: . That's one example.), and other, basic, drugs could be provided for next to nothing IF "First World" governments (and charities) actually thought about it. As far as "contraception" goes, say hello to frikking religion and we can bring in "education" too. Will I go on?

But the bottom line is that those in power in these countries are lining their pockets (Just look at Rhodesia Robert as a perfect example) at the expense of those "below" them, and until the so-called "First World" grows a pair of balls and then goes in and starts sorting these countries out regarding medication, food, water, etc, then nothing will change. What is seen in Africa is a product of the "First World" wringing it's hands and saying "we can't do anything". That has to change if they are serious about things.

Dr Jekyll
29th Sep 2011, 20:50
Has anyone any examples of countries where the standard of living, life expectancy etc, was better when it was less densely populated?

Slasher
29th Sep 2011, 22:51
We ate the Neanderthals after all

I think the classic phrase, "kill the men and **** the women" was closer to the truth....

Some truth in that link about Neanderthal being part of our
genes.

If one recalls the activities one was involved in when one is
accused of being a Neanderthal, one can logically conclude
that Neanderthals -

Loved going to pubs, getting drunk and pissing all over the
road on the way home while singing dirty songs and telling
everyone around them to go fcuk 'emselves

Shagged the wife's buxom younger sister and/or buxom best
friend

Wolf-whistled chicks and flashed a bit of tongue

Beat the shit out of some bastard who desperately needed it

Humiliated raving poofs in public and made fun of them

Raffled off the stag night stripper numerous times till every
bugger got laid


In all the above examples, one is usually accused of being a
Neanderthal or a bunch of Neanderthals.

I think they died out because homo sapiens out-geeked 'em
which is a pity - I would've made one bloody happy textbook
Neanderthal! :E

Cacophonix
29th Sep 2011, 23:04
Cos of the lack of Doulas! No, I meant dildos... oops no, that was a Freudian slit...

Shame on me

Caco

t8cWPzUzywE

tony draper
29th Sep 2011, 23:21
According to the Paleoanthropologists it took 200,000 years for we Englishmen to become modern humans, lord knows how long it will be before the rest of you catch up.
:rolleyes:

chksix
30th Sep 2011, 15:37
A greater threat to all life on the planet is the speed at which we destroy the food chain from the bottom. The whole pyramid is about to crumble as the oceans die and the jungles are cut down.

Mac the Knife
30th Sep 2011, 16:18
"There are currently at least two strains (one in madagascar) of plague which are, to date, resistant and do not respond to any known treatment"

Yersinia pestis 17/95. Strain 17/95 exhibited high-level resistance to eight antimicrobial agents, including not only those recommended for therapy (streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline) and prophylaxis (sulfonamide and tetracycline) of plague but also drugs that may have represented alternatives to classical therapy, such as ampicillin, kanamycin, and spectinomycin. Resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin, sulfonamide, and streptomycin-spectinomycin was due to the production of a TEM-1 penicillinase (blaTEM-1), a type I chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (catI), a type I 3'-O-aminoglycoside phosphotransferase [aph(3')-I], a drug-resistant dihydropteroate synthase (sul1), and a 3"-9-O-aminoglycoside adenylyltransferase (ant3"9), respectively. Resistance to tetracycline was by efflux [tet(D)]. The isolate remained susceptible to cephalosporins, other aminoglycosides, quinolones, and trimethoprim. Most likely, the activity of trimethoprim, despite lack of synergism with sulfonamide, accounted for the patient's recovery.

Yersinia pestis 16/95. Strain 16/95 was resistant to streptomycin but remained susceptible to spectinomycin and other antimicrobial agents, including those recommended for plague therapy and prophylaxis. The MICs of streptomycin and spectinomycin for this strain were 1,024 and 16 mg/liter, respectively (13 (http://aac.asm.org/cgi/content/full/50/10/3233#R13)).

That is hardly "...do not respond to any known treatment.." - if you're going to be alarmist at least get it right.

Not that it isn't worrying though.

Mac

Storminnorm
30th Sep 2011, 16:28
I was thinking of going to Madagascar to see the Lemurs.

I've changed my mind now.

CATIII-NDB
30th Sep 2011, 17:50
Actually the title of the thread is quite profound (unusual for JB) - the previous posts have answered the question. We live in a ocean of microbiobial evolution. Life is a victory of organised cell division over the entropy of decay. The problem lies with the rate of evolution of the viri/bactria and intermeadiate forms. Many can evolve very quickly. Flu a right litte sod.

Because of the misuse of antibiotics over the last 70 years or so, and I do not mean just in humans, think of mass meat production for example. We have gradually lost the advantage these chemicals have given us.

Zhukov once said "Quantity has a quality all of its own"

CAT III

Sprogget
30th Sep 2011, 18:12
I don't think they have at all. I was talking about the mixture of probability and weapons that can destroy everything, but mostly probability.

Matari
1st Oct 2011, 00:10
Things have actually never been better on this green earth of ours.

War, pestilence, famine, plague, tragedy and tyranny is the default human condition.

That we in the west live in relative peace and prosperity, with health care and lifespans topping four score and ten, is unique in all human history.

Be grateful, have a pint, squeeze your sweetie, tussle a kid's hair, and give to those less fortunate.

It could be much worse.

Slasher
1st Oct 2011, 04:56
War, pestilence, famine, plague, tragedy and tyranny is the default human condition.

You forgot power-shagging (literally and figuratively).

stuckgear
1st Oct 2011, 07:50
Mac, i stand corrected :O

i recalled the MDR strain (ip275) as being completely resistant. should have checked before making the posting. mea culpa.


by the way, any personal take on the dependence of antibiotics ?

11Fan
1st Oct 2011, 18:05
What does it matter anyway?

You fall out of the womb and then you crawl across hostile territory to an open grave.

vulcanised
1st Oct 2011, 20:50
You fall out of the womb

Most chaps spend a fair bit of their lives trying to get back in.

Sallyann1234
1st Oct 2011, 20:58
This is the most miserable thread I have ever thread on pprune.

con-pilot
1st Oct 2011, 21:03
This is the most miserable thread I have ever thread on PPRuNe.

Oh now don't despair, after all, even if they kill you they can't eat you.






Oh wait, there are places where they do.



Never mind. :uhoh:

con-pilot
1st Oct 2011, 21:05
Oh, one more thing.

I plan on living forever, even if I have to die trying. :p

OFSO
1st Oct 2011, 21:23
Even if you have to go on trying "power-shagging" ?

I'm still not sure what it is......even took me three goes to spell "shagging" correctly. God, what a miserable spectacle of humanity I am.......

tony draper
1st Oct 2011, 21:28
My generation were born at just the right time,most of us have enjoyed reasonably easy interesting lives compared to those that went before us and I suspect those who will follow, and with a bit of luck we shall probably make our exits just before it all goes pear shaped,
We are the generation of the blessed.
:)

TZ350
2nd Oct 2011, 19:13
Quote : Slasher
[ If one recalls the activities one was involved in when one is
accused of being a Neanderthal, one can logically conclude
that Neanderthals -

Loved going to pubs, getting drunk and pissing all over the
road on the way home while singing dirty songs and telling
everyone around them to go fcuk 'emselves

Shagged the wife's buxom younger sister and/or buxom best
friend ]

Wolf-whistled chicks and flashed a bit of tongue

Beat the shit out of some bastard who desperately needed it

Humiliated raving poofs in public and made fun of them

Raffled off the stag night stripper numerous times till every
bugger got laid


In all the above examples, one is usually accused of being a
Neanderthal or a bunch of Neanderthals.

I think they died out because homo sapiens out-geeked 'em
which is a pity - I would've made one bloody happy textbook
Neanderthal! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/evil.gif

If these evolutionary " traits " were more in vogue, life would be a lot more fun and the world wouldn't be such a fcuk up .............:hmm:

Mr Optimistic
2nd Oct 2011, 20:33
I was going to type something about getting a grip and manning up, that was until I read about Encephalitis Lethargica. Is there no end to this horror story ?

Shack37
2nd Oct 2011, 23:06
I was going to type something about getting a grip and manning up, that was until I read about Encephalitis Lethargica. Is there no end to this horror story ?


I was going to look up Encephalitis Lethargica in Wikipedia and then I thought, naaahh why bother.

Gibon2
3rd Oct 2011, 17:19
According to these articles, things are actually looking pretty good on the violence-and-destruction side:

Wars are not inevitable. - Slate Magazine (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2009/08/does_peace_have_a_chance.html)

Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why should you believe in world peace? - Slate Magazine (http://www.slate.com/articles/Arts/books/2011/10/steven_pinker_s_the_better_angels_of_our_nature_why_should_y ou_b.html)

From the latter:


Modern homicide rates in Europe—one of the few regions where records are trustworthy enough to permit such comparisons--are 10 to 50 times lower than in the Middle Ages. Murder rates fell by two orders of magnitude in the northeast United States between 1625 and 1900. The past few centuries have also seen precipitous drops in state-sanctioned violence. That includes corporal punishment (from cutting off the hands of thieves to whipping students) and capital punishment, especially combined with torture (drawing and quartering, burning at the stake). Slavery and despotism (which allows tyrants to kill and torture on a whim) prevail only on the margins; 800 years ago they were the rule. As for war, Pinker presents evidence that it killed on average about 20 percent of the population of pre-state societies in the Old and New Worlds, a casualty rate higher than that of the most war-torn modern states.


The decline of state-sponsored violence has obviously been erratic, and at times we have lurched backward, notably during World Wars I and II. The latter claimed more victims, in terms of absolute numbers, than any other conflict in history. But Pinker denies that these massive bloodlettings—and the genocidal slaughters that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and other tyrants perpetrated against their own people—shatter any hope that humanity is becoming more civilized. Since World War II, none of the world's major powers has waged war against each other, and historians have cautiously begun calling this period the Long Peace. Since the Cold War ended, smaller-scale conflicts—including civil wars, insurgencies, genocides, and terrorist attacks—have taken less of a toll, too. Pinker calls this two-decade period the New Peace. Annual war deaths have fallen over the past 60 years by more than an order of magnitude, from about 500,000 to 30,000 per year, according to one estimate.

You're all a bunch of dreary pessimists: you've never had it better, and you're still predicting a sorry end...

er340790
4th Oct 2011, 04:19
They reckon computers will become self-aware around 2029.

SO LET THEM FIGURE IT ALL OUT FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!


(Suspect their 'solution' might involve our removal from the gene pool though. :{ :{ :{)

Sciolistes
4th Oct 2011, 05:10
What happens when scientists discover a cure for everything.
If they do then Glucose-Smerkline-Beachbum will disinsentivise those scientists that discovered it, lock it in a safe for a rainy day lest current exorbitant profits become affected.