Archive for April 18th, 2019

The Greater The Height, The Harder the Fall: Humanity Towering Above The Abyss

April 18, 2019

Humanity is basking blissfully on the vast beach of possibilities now uncovered by the tide of progress. Comfort rules: the classic pitfall. It was famously observed, even at the imperial Roman court, in the Second Century, that everything was great, but a sentiment of doom and gloom nevertheless was present. And rightly so: the empire would start unravelling under Marcus Aurelius, a few years later. Now we don’t have that luxury: clearly, the biosphere as civilization always knew it, is coming to an end, in front of our very eyes. But still, most are in denial, and clinging to their creatures’ comfort… and the going is still good, better than it ever was.

Those tourists enjoyed the low tide, but may have known enough to realize this was a tidal wave coming, but faster than they thought possible. So it is now for humanity at large. For the great wave to come, the great beach needs to be uncovered. Finally panic will come… too late for many. That wave, when it reached the shore (in the back of the cameraman), was 30 meters in places, hundreds were killed, in this spot alone.

So it always was: the worst of all possible worlds is introduced by the best of all possible worlds, which gives it all the impact it needs. As we confront the Sixth, and First Man-Made Extinction, a possible shutdown of the food and oxygen supply looms:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/global-hypoxia/

Agreed, that’s the worst possible case. So precisely we have to prepare for it, instead of waiting for all to burn… we have to confront how people think.

That was not supposed to happen, because it didn’t happen before. But so it always is, with the greatest catastrophes.

So how do people think? Well, first humans think as scientists. Humans are naturally born scientists. Thus, to understand how humans think, a detailed case is provided by the case of science, or, more exactly, diverse aspects of science, and how they evolved.   

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a book by Thomas Kuhn, asserted that the deepest science advanced by shattering the preceding systems of thought. By opposition to gradualism. Kuhn listed a number of reasons for this… But forgot the most important ones. And these same reasons preside over the thinking of most people (including our dreadful leaders-into-oblivion).

Some famous academics, such as Steven Pinker and the Plutos financing him (Gates) believe we are living in an excellent world, better than any before. That’s entirely correct. But, since 2014, 17,000 illegal immigrants have been known to have drowned in the Mediterranean. This is very telling: it means the post colonial order is worse than the colonial order. Meanwhile some obsess with Trump wanting to complete the wall that the Democrats erected.

A red herring, one more: illegal immigrants arrests are the highest in a decade.

Per capita, Germany and Japan emits more than twice the CO2 of France. And the USA, nearly four times. The UK is closer to France than to Germany-Japan. Those who focus on the morality of completing “the Wall” should focus on CO2 instead.

It’s the CO2 that will bring Armageddon. Therein the abyss, the countdown to ecological unsustainability. And yes, the collapse of the Roman state was preceded by a similar effect. Not CO2, but exhaustion of natural resources… And mental resources (for the exhaustion of these metal resources, contemplate Notre Dame burning: French leaders now are not up to Middle Ages expertise!) On a much smaller scale, obviously, but still enough to kill the golden goose.

Patrice Ayme

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Note: Lamarck and Cuvier were both research professors at Museum of Natural History, circa 1800. They both believed in biological evolution, and taught it. However, they were great enemies. Lamarck believed in gradualism: biological evolution was caused by a number of forces which acted day in, day out. Cuvier, instead believed in catastrophism… for example all dinosaurs go extinct in a catastrophe and mammals then appeared. They were both right.

The same sort of think happens in scientific, and, more generally, mental revolutions. Gradualism everyday, but great lurches forward, sometimes. A major stabilization force is what I call the ANTI-IDEA. On this, more soon, barring some new catastrophe not seen in 856 years…