We are living in the age of idiocy, we are also living in the age of the greatest smarts. It’s a tale of the two psychologies. If idiocy wins, we are doomed, if smarts win, intelligence will blossom in the galaxy.
It all depends upon having enough of a spirit of inquiry. And it’s literally a question of survival, not just honoring the human spirit.
Young and brash idiots, obsessed by power and money, that is, power and power, will scoff. They will crow “multiculturalism” does it all. However, not all cultures are equally inclined to inquire. And not enough inquiring will smother us all:
No Spirit Of Inquiry, and Soon, No Breathing:
Climate destruction is extending far beyond the threat of melting polar ice caps — it’s threatening to smother us all.
A new study published in the science journal Nature in winter 2017 found that the ocean’s worldwide oxygen content has ALREADY declined by more than 2% between 1960 and 2010. Ooopss. Looks like even the idiots will run out of oxygen. This is what I called “Global Hypoxia”:
Scientists have warned about the ocean’s declining oxygen levels on marine life, and its resulting impact on humans. However the conventional prediction was 1% to 7% down by 2100 CE. Thus the present state of affairs turns out to be much worse than the conventional thinking had it. A study from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, by Sunke Schmidtko, Lothar Stramma and Martin Visbeck — considered data dating back to 1960, and compared with the situation in 2010.
Data on oxygen, temperature and other factors relating to the world’s oceans, enabled them to map the overall oxygen loss around the globe.
“We were able to document the oxygen distribution and its changes for the entire ocean for the first time. These numbers are an essential prerequisite for improving forecasts for the ocean of the future,” wrote Schmidtko.
2% may sound like only a small change, yet it doesn’t take much of a drop to change the state of oceans to something completely different. The only organism in the ocean that thrives with little-to-no oxygen is anaerobic bacteria (it’s back to three billion years ago!)
“Just a little loss of oxygen in coastal waters can lead to a complete change in ecosystems — a small decrease in oxygen like this can transform from something desirable to very undesirable,” said Professor David Baker, at the University of Hong Kong’s Swire Institute of Marine Sciences.
Oxygen in the world’s oceans is not evenly distributed. 2% drop is just an average. In some parts of the world, there has been a much steeper decline of oxygen levels, bringing dead zones. In 50 years, the North Pacific lost the largest volume of oxygen. The largest percentage lost was in the Arctic Ocean.
“The oxygen losses in the ocean can have far-reaching consequences because of the uneven distribution. For fisheries and coastal economies this process may have detrimental consequences,” wrote Stramma. Yes, to say the least. Mass die-offs is already a fact.
Are people more or less inquisitive? Yes. Different cultures have different levels of tolerance for the spirit of inquiry, assuredly:
Cultures more or less revere inquiry. When a culture reveres inquiry, We The People naturally asks how come those who have power got it to start with. Thus any authoritarian, let alone fascist hereditary society, such as the Late Roman empire’s theocracy called “Catholic Orthodoxy”, will be leery to encourage inquiry. The Roman state of the Christian theocrats died of that. And so did all Muslim dynasties.
For example of how inquiry can get discouraged, in the Qur’an, god tells the Believers that there are questions they should not ask, because “god knows and you don’t”. Thus a good Muslim scholar should be careful before asking a question, whether that’s a question which can be asked, or one such that, by asking it, one displeases the divinity, which may then decide to skin them alive and regrow their skin to be able to flay them, again and again…
As a result, the Arabs transmitted knowledge rather than creatING it (quite a bit of “Muslim” culture was not Muslim at all, as the Muslim empire consisted in the beginning of more than 95% non-Muslims, for generations).
There is the secret of Europe’s world domination. Not trade, not colonialism, not gunboat diplomacy. Instead: a greater culture of inquiry. Observing a greater inclination to inquiry in the European tradition is not to crow that somehow “Europeans” are superior, but to crow that intellectual superiority is an acquired trait, part of culture, which one can inherit, non genetically.
A striking example is the case of Gerbert of Aurillac. There was the world’s top intellectual… and he became preceptor to the young emperor Otto II (who called him back when he was 16 years old, to come out of his “rusticity” of the Franks, by teaching him the “subtlety of the Greeks”).
And, later, Gerbert d’Aurillac became Pope, before being savagely interrupted by death. Pope! Elected Bishop of Rome, while having taught for decades that mathematics, physics and theology were… separate and equal. One can’t imagine any of this in Muslim lands. So why to insist Islam should be respected? Why should cultures antagonistic to inquiry be respected?