[extropy-chat] (no subject)

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Oct 24 08:30:43 UTC 2005

On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 12:03:41AM -0700, paul illich wrote:

> So whilst one chunk of mankind scurries off that way to
> learn how we can live in closer harmony with our natural

The harmony part has always been a myth. The damage
has always been limited only by low population density.
Good stewardship has always been anecdotal, and mostly
limited by the leverage at culture's disposal.
Arguably only control of matter at molecular scale will
allow our ecological footprint to dwindle to nigh zero,
and be it by moving away from planetary surfaces.

> environment (at the same time using the increased
> scientific understanding required to tame nature as
> well), another lot runs off the other way seeking to
> 'decouple' our fate from the global ecology.

Both are one goal. You have to be able to control
climate in order to be safe from its natural excursions.
If you want to tread softly, agriculture is not the way.
> Self-sufficient O'Neils and other types of biosphere in
> space might help, but short of leaving the planet surely

Closed-loop ecosystems are a low-technology approach
to sustainability as above so below. A better approach would
be put recycling on a much smaller footprint, or, even better,
to recast the human primate into solid state, with some 10-100 W
energetic footprint and deep space as native habitat.

> such 'decoupling' is a disaster? Either it makes us so
> independent of the biosphere that we casually destroy
> it cos you know who cares anyway (I do not believe this 
> variety of decoupling can come about in the first place
> without us getting definitively off-planet), or we 

At least energetically self-sustainability for households
is not that far away. Reducing material flow and decentralising
means of production are farther off.

> continue to damage and make wild (through oversimplification
> and industry imposed feedback synergies) tyhe environment
> we have just as we are now - undecoupled, just pretending 
> we are actually not dependent on the global ecology.

The difference is that we think we're decoupled now,
but we aren't. 
> And why is being part of the global ecology such a bad 
> thing anyhow? As we learn more and more of how it works,

Because, occasionally, it kills you.

> we can live in closer harmony to its broad needs whilst
> protecting ourselves, so long as such 'protection' includes
> birth control etc... Whereas, decoupling denies us many
> of the survival tools we might need if we hit a diversity
> bottleneck, which, decoupled from a larger biosphere, we
> surely would?

We already have hit a diversity bottleneck only some 100
individuals wide not very far back in our history. It's
only gotten better since, and with postbiology we can hopefully
do much, much better.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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