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Author Topic:   Is The World Getting Better Or Worse?
Faith
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Posts: 30028
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 31 of 56 (838524)
08-23-2018 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by NosyNed
08-23-2018 10:33 AM


Re: Learning New Things
Sometimes a lot longer than that. It took hundreds of years for Canaan to come to the "fullness of time" before God brought judgment against them. It took hundreds of years before God judged Israel too by the Assyrians and Babylonians. The "fullness of time" is how things work with judgments: they have to accumulate. It gives time for repentance so God will rescind the judgment too. Nineveh repented and was spared the judgment Jonah preached to them. The repentance didn't last unfortunately but they were spared for a while.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Hyroglyphx
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Posts: 5600
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 32 of 56 (838581)
08-23-2018 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
08-19-2018 4:05 PM


Is the world getting better or worse?

Obviously there is a lot to be desired in the sheer broadness of the question without compartmentalizing it into specific context. It really is a question relative to circumstance.

I think if we take an aggregate approach we can determine that population increases globally demonstrate that at the moment there is enough food, enough water, few enough global conflicts, few enough natural disasters, and few enough pandemics to maintain the overall upward population curve. We could use that as a determining factor to measure success, never mind how nebulous it might be, I suppose.

We can also logically deduce that eventually a competition of resources will result in a decline of the human population. One day, maybe in our lifetime, populations will rapidly decline. It might come as a collapse of the global market, an outstripping of natural resources, a series of cataclysmic disaster, famine, pestilence, massive war the likes the world has never seen... maybe a combination.

There will be another KT extinction event again... whether that's nature's doing or by man's own hand, as sure as I know the Sun will rise tomorrow I can predict the same certainty that one day everything will be disastrous... for someone. And if a handful of mankind can somehow survive, they will start over from zero.

But perhaps you didn't mean on such a grand scale. Maybe you want to know if life is better now than it was in the 1950s. If you ask the Chinese, they might say their lives improved considerably. They shifted away from an agrarian existence and are set to overtake the US. I don't know... is that better? Is that worse? Point is, we really don't have a reference point. It's all relative to what we each individual would describe as "better" or "worse."

I guess the question itself is kind of like a stationary bike. It's fun to do, but it really doesn't get you anywhere.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

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Taq
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Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 33 of 56 (838778)
08-27-2018 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
08-23-2018 8:20 PM


Hyroglyphx writes:

We can also logically deduce that eventually a competition of resources will result in a decline of the human population. One day, maybe in our lifetime, populations will rapidly decline. It might come as a collapse of the global market, an outstripping of natural resources, a series of cataclysmic disaster, famine, pestilence, massive war the likes the world has never seen... maybe a combination.

The big one would be food, and from what I can see there is still plenty of arable land available across the globe. The Green Revolution has produced massive increases in food yield per acre, as well as created new varieties that can grow in places where it couldn't be grown before.

But perhaps you didn't mean on such a grand scale. Maybe you want to know if life is better now than it was in the 1950s. If you ask the Chinese, they might say their lives improved considerably. They shifted away from an agrarian existence and are set to overtake the US. I don't know... is that better? Is that worse? Point is, we really don't have a reference point. It's all relative to what we each individual would describe as "better" or "worse."

If we look at the basics of what a human needs, the Chinese are WAY better off. They are no longer threatened by famine. They have access to good housing. Child mortality has plummeted, and access to health care for everyone is much better. Is it better to move into a middle class per Western ideals? I think most Chinese think it is better.

If we want a hard and fast measure of improvement we could chart the number of people who buy KFC chicken. I think we could say that the current conditions of the human species is finger lickin' good.


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Taq
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Posts: 7594
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 34 of 56 (838779)
08-27-2018 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Faith
08-23-2018 2:13 AM


Faith writes:

There is always a time gap between the cause and the effect.

There are also false prophecies.


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Stile
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Posts: 3257
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 35 of 56 (838793)
08-28-2018 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Taq
08-27-2018 4:51 PM


Taq writes:

The big one would be food, and from what I can see there is still plenty of arable land available across the globe. The Green Revolution has produced massive increases in food yield per acre, as well as created new varieties that can grow in places where it couldn't be grown before.

There's going to be another big one in the next 5-10 years.

Vertical farms are becoming a thing (growing indoors).

The idea of hydroponic growing indoors has been around for a long time.
But only recently has the electrical costs of the lighting (thanks to new LED technology) come down enough to make it viable to be done commercially for a profit.

The first few (in Canada - I don't know about other countries) are just starting to be organized/built right now.
These are simple - growing mostly just what's referred to as "micro greens" - easily grown plants that usually take only 4 - 25 days or so to grow enough to be harvested.

But if they're successful... and there doesn't seem to be much standing in their way... larger farms will follow as technology progresses. Larger farms = larger plants.

I have no idea if it will be "big enough" to make a significant impact in this or that market... but my guess is it will eventually replace most farming just as automation has eventually replaced most assembly lines. It's simply more efficient - much greater harvesting yield for the resources you put into it.
If it's possible (economically and physically) it just makes more sense - you can control your environment -> no pests to worry about.
And you also don't have to worry about fertile ground -> you can put a vertical farm in wherever you can put up a building and run electricity to it. Out in the desert. Middle of a big city. Wherever.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 30028
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 36 of 56 (838801)
08-28-2018 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Taq
08-27-2018 4:54 PM


Taq writes:

Faith writes:

There is always a time gap between the cause and the effect.

There are also false prophecies.

Yeh but the time lag is biblical: the "fullness of time" is a big concept in scripture connected with God's judgments on a nation for their transgressions; but prophecies of when Judgement Day is to begin are human cogitations that juggle various biblical and historical indicators that shouldn't be presented as dogmatically as they unfortunately so often are. Nevertheless Judgment Day will eventually happen and the prophetic signs will be rightly recognized by some Christians at least.


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1.61803
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Posts: 2794
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 37 of 56 (838804)
08-28-2018 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
08-20-2018 4:50 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
jar writes:

What major conflicts are we in now?

The US is at war with: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger.

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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caffeine
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Posts: 1513
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 38 of 56 (838806)
08-28-2018 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
08-21-2018 8:58 AM


Re: A Couple Clarifications
My comment that "we're still the violent, brutish thugs we were 200,000 years ago" was in the context of evolution. We are not improving as a species regarding qualities like kindness, generosity, peacefulness, empathy, etc. To whatever degree we as a species possessed those qualities, and their opposites, 200,000 years ago we still possess them to the same degree today. Evolution doesn't work that fast.

I'm not so sure I agree with this. 200,000 years is certainly enough time for noticeable evolutionary change. Much less than that, I would think. Think about the duplication of the gene that codes for amylase production - this is hypothesised to be a recent mutation that has arisen since the dawn of agriculture, but is common among most of the world's population. Interestingly enough, similar mutations are fixed in dogs - presumably in reaction to domestication and the resultant increase in starch in their diets.

Now, you may be thinking that the production of a digestive enzyme is completely different to 'human nature' and so a bad comparison, but think some more about the dogs. Domestication has wrought dramatic changes in the temperament and behaviour of our pets and livestock. As seen in the famous experiment with foxes in Siberia, intense directional selection would do this in remarkably few generations.

Some humans have been living in towns. cities and states for millenia, in social envirnoments totally different from those experienced by some band of hunter-gatherers 200,000 years ago The selective environment, from the point of view of genetic influences on temperament, is clearly not the same. Population has also rapidly expanded, which increases the probability of selectively relevant gene variants appearing.

It seems very unlikely to me that the degree to which we possess traits like generosity, kindness, empathy etc has remained unchanged since the Pleistocene.


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 39 of 56 (838809)
08-28-2018 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by 1.61803
08-28-2018 2:24 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
The US is at war with: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger.

The key word you seem to have overlooked in jar's question is 'major'.

Sure, any conflict is major from the perspective of the person getting shot, but I don't think this is what was being asked. If the fighting in Niger is a major conflict, what could possibly count as minor? A couple of guys scuffling in a pub in an argument over a spilt pint?

Further, I'm a bit confused by your use of 'at war with'; since clearly to you it doesn't have the face meaning. In most of the conflicts you list, the US is cooperating with the local government. Now, I can see how you might look a situation where the US is violently propping up a fig leaf of a regime in the face of massive popular resistance as being at war with the country, but this clearly does not apply in most of the listed cases. In Somalia, for example, there is a small US force that is supporting the much larger African Union force, both of which are fighting to support the Somali government - itself a fragile construct created from the alliance of most of the country's warring factions. Much of the north of the country has declared itself independent, but the US is not involved there. I'm unclear how this could be seen as the US 'at war with' Somalia.

WIth regards to Niger and Iraq, do you even know where these countries are? I'm at a total loss as to how the US could be currently considered to be at war with either. If having soldiers there is enough, are you also at war with Germany?


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 40 of 56 (838810)
08-28-2018 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by 1.61803
08-28-2018 2:24 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
But can any of those be called major conflicts?

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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Taq
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Posts: 7594
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 41 of 56 (838814)
08-28-2018 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Faith
08-28-2018 2:12 PM


Faith writes:

Yeh but the time lag is biblical:

That's what all the false prophets say.


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Taq
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Posts: 7594
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 42 of 56 (838815)
08-28-2018 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by 1.61803
08-28-2018 2:24 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
1.61803 writes:

The US is at war with: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger.

For a comparison, in the 5-7 year span of WWII the death tolls were 20 million Soviets, 20 million Chinese, 7 million Germans, 5 million in the Holocaust, 6 million in Poland . . . well, you get the idea. There isn't anything really approaching these numbers right now.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2794
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 43 of 56 (838838)
08-29-2018 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by caffeine
08-28-2018 3:34 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
caffeine writes:

WIth regards to Niger and Iraq, do you even know where these countries are?

Yes.

caffeine writes:

I'm at a total loss as to how the US could be currently considered to be at war with either.

Nevertheless.

caffeine writes:

. If having soldiers there is enough, are you also at war with Germany?

No.

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2794
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 44 of 56 (838839)
08-29-2018 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by jar
08-28-2018 4:06 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
Hi Jar.

jar writes:

But can any of those be called major conflicts?

I guess it is a relative term. They are major enough for the white house to release this report for funding war to Congress:

“Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Military Force and Related National Security Operations,”

Officially we are at war in the seven countries mentioned according to the unclassified portions of the report that the NY Times got ahold of. I feel it is important we do not forget that. So minor as they may seem.....Lest we forget.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2794
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 45 of 56 (838840)
08-29-2018 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Taq
08-28-2018 6:35 PM


Re: What the world is really is irrelevant.
Hi Taq,

Taq writes:

There isn't anything really approaching these numbers right now.

Of course your right, thankfully.

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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