[extropy-chat] Easter Island not a human-created disaster?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Jan 8 20:02:33 UTC 2007

On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 10:55:53AM -0500, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

> ### No Eugen, humans typically gain advantage by introducing alien
> species (wheat, potatoes, cattle, etc.) and changing ecosystems.

For most cases, you're correct. However, some specific fragile
ecosystems do not tolerate introduction of new species and human
meddling (the extinct megafauna of the Americas is an illustration
of the latter).

Also, we haven't yet seen the end of the experiment. In absence
of dramatic breakthroughs (autopoietic molecular systems) what we're
doing now is not very sustainable, not just through our numbers.
Our current primitive technology gives us leverage do do more damage/
human unit, and this trend is getting worse as such tools spread
further. So we need to make a series of concerted breakthroughs, soon,
and this is our challenge.
> The occasional plague of rats or snakes is just a trifle compared to
> the benefits of alien species.
> -----------------------------------------------
> >
> > Assuming you're correct in this particular case, do you think
> > all the other cases in 'Collapse' are similiarly dubious or bogus?
> ### Yes, societal collapse due to natural, extrinsic causes is very uncommon.

You're channelling Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Socities, but Diamond 
gives plenty of examples where Tainter was empirically very wrong. Have you
read "Collapse"? If you haven't, you should.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
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