[ExI] what if

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Sat Dec 15 23:43:28 UTC 2012

On Sat, 15 Dec 2012, Stefano Vaj wrote:

> On 15 December 2012 19:24, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> > Forgot to mention, but we are not 2000 years after Romans (and other
> > ancients) in terms of technological advances. Not even 1500. I understand
> > than we surpassed them just some 300 years ago, with introduction of
> > calculus and steam engine... and rediscovery of concrete, of which for
> > example Colosseum and Roman Pantheon had been built.
> >
> Indeed. I believe to remember that the agricultural returns (proceeds? how
> does say that in English?)

Yields? Products?

> got back to Roman standards only in the XVII-XVIII century.

Interesting, isn't it. I believe I have heard/read the same thing but 
can't recall where.

What terrifies me is how fragile civilisation really is and how easily 
people throw it away, neglect and forget.

> This is why I find Kurzweil's exponential curves, even though S-shaped,
> pretty unpersuasive.

Seems like this kind of curves one gets if one limits oneself to the last 
hundred years only (and assumes there was just flat line before that). I 
don't want to delve into subject of history importance again. I think some 
people would definitely gain lots of perspective by understanding there 
was something before us, too. Of course, I am not suggesting they are 
under educated, maybe just a bit too much... shortsighted? Or too much 
wishful thinking?

Since we are at it, I wouldn't mind if humanity reached this blessed 
immortal happy existential plateau, me included. I just think there are 
lots of unpredictable obstacles on the way there and I don't think once we 
are there we will be happy for eternity. Rather, I'd expect lots of 
factors making it hard (or impossible) to stay on this plateau in the long 

History is paved with ideas looking great but failing to deliver in real 
life. Why this one idea would be any different?

In other words, rather than imagining great happy future as kind of given 
I'd rather keep asking myself what I have overlooked.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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