[ExI] Fermi Paradox and Volvo star systems
ben at zaiboc.net
Fri Apr 3 16:28:44 UTC 2020
On 31/03/2020 17:26, billw wrote:
> I dunno. A lot of this seems so artificial, and of course that's all
> it is. I am deeply romantic and would hate to see that changed in any
> way. I hate what we are doing to this planet and don't want to live
> in a habitat circling Jupiter or somewhere. Why mess with perfection?
'Artificial' is what we do. What we strive for. Nature is far from
perfection, and we are constantly trying to make it better. It's what we
have been doing since we began. If that were not true, we'd still be
swinging from tree branches. What we are doing to the planet (that bad
things we are doing to it, that is) is unintended fall-out from that
process, and we will learn to do it better, do less damage, fix the
damage we have done, and continue to improve on nature.
We will do that or destroy ourselves in the process. There is no middle
course, no 'sustainability'. That's just shorthand for failure. It's
either up or down for us. Anything else is just balancing on a
knife-edge and we know where that leads.
There's nothing wrong with 'artificial'. Think about what the word
means, where it comes from. It's the expression of our highest impulse.
The word is unfairly denigrated, and I think this is just luddite
propaganda. There's a tendency to idealise nature, to regard anything
'natural' as necessarily good, but a moment's thought should expose that
for the dangerous lie it is.
Rather than the conflict between 'natural' and 'artificial', we should
have a conflict between doing things well and doing them badly. We can
better ourselves and the world well, or we can do it badly. Mostly,
we've been doing it pretty badly so far, but that doesn't mean we
shouldn't do it at all, it means we need to get better at it. Lots better.
And we are learning all the time.
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