When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:22 pm

franco b wrote:
wsherrick wrote:Perhaps we are designing these robots out of what I believe is the deep and profound desire to obtain the unobtainable. To achieve perfection. The whole push of Human History is to climb back up from our fall from Grace to put it in Christian terms. A living being has the spark of the unknowable, the spark of the Divine. We can make choices. Some of us like Green others like Purple. We have the ability to think in abstract terms. You mentioned the built in knowledge and instinct of animals. Somehow they have those traits put into them. We don't even understand how that happens. We want to be like God and try to create a being in our own image. I don't think it'll ever happen.


Nicely put, but that desire to forever improve things is also programed in. Thoreau lamented that because of the pressures of his civilization he had lost some of the wisdom he had been born with.

There is also the possibility of the hybrid, part man, part machine. The use of artificial limbs or a pace maker are primitive examples.


I think we have the, "instinct," to improve our situation by gathering wealth for ourselves if possible. This coupled with our natural curiousity leads to things like discovery and invention. Mankind lived for thousands of years with almost no improvement in his situation. Kings and soldiers of the King got their wealth by plundering it from somebody else and they got it by robbing it from the poor people who were in servitude to them. All of a sudden just a few centuries ago humans suddenly started improving their lot. What happened to change what had been the norm for most all of history?
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:19 pm

wsherrick wrote:I think we have the, "instinct," to improve our situation by gathering wealth for ourselves if possible. This coupled with our natural curiousity leads to things like discovery and invention. Mankind lived for thousands of years with almost no improvement in his situation. Kings and soldiers of the King got their wealth by plundering it from somebody else and they got it by robbing it from the poor people who were in servitude to them. All of a sudden just a few centuries ago humans suddenly started improving their lot. What happened to change what had been the norm for most all of history?
We have a parliament of instincts the satisfaction of which is what makes life at least satisfactory. When interfered with or conflicted the result is neurosis or even deviant behavior.

The need for security made necessary the protection of strong leaders and the advent of Feudalism, something we seem to be regressing toward today with a government elite ruling a working class peasantry and in which the ruling idea is loyalty to the leader.

Improvement in the conditions of life have always been the result of technology. The evolution of technology, like biological evolution, is punctuated by long periods of stasis with sudden leaps forward. Those leaps as technology evolves have become closer and closer together.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:35 pm

wsherrick wrote:I think we have the, "instinct," to improve our situation by gathering wealth for ourselves if possible. This coupled with our natural curiousity leads to things like discovery and invention. Mankind lived for thousands of years with almost no improvement in his situation. Kings and soldiers of the King got their wealth by plundering it from somebody else and they got it by robbing it from the poor people who were in servitude to them. All of a sudden just a few centuries ago humans suddenly started improving their lot. What happened to change what had been the norm for most all of history?


They got tired of everyone taking their stuff?

I'm not sure humans in general have the natural curiosity you describe.

You can still find places where people live as they have since the dawn of time.

If their environment meets their needs, there is no incentive to change.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:30 pm

jpete wrote:
wsherrick wrote:I think we have the, "instinct," to improve our situation by gathering wealth for ourselves if possible. This coupled with our natural curiousity leads to things like discovery and invention. Mankind lived for thousands of years with almost no improvement in his situation. Kings and soldiers of the King got their wealth by plundering it from somebody else and they got it by robbing it from the poor people who were in servitude to them. All of a sudden just a few centuries ago humans suddenly started improving their lot. What happened to change what had been the norm for most all of history?


They got tired of everyone taking their stuff?

I'm not sure humans in general have the natural curiosity you describe.

You can still find places where people live as they have since the dawn of time.

If their environment meets their needs, there is no incentive to change.


You are right in the sense that in the past, curious people often times got burned at the stake or just maybe stoned to death. I don't believe in an automatic, "evolution," of events. Everything in the universe requires causality. I don't accept the traditional tenents of evolution. It's nonsense and it is it's own form of Religion. What I am getting at is the blind belief that we have now that scientific advancement, be it robots or new garden hose nozzle, is automatic. I am trying to spark some thought about a larger picture. You mentioned environment. That's what I'm trying to get at here. The enviroment that allowed an Edison to exist had to be in place for him to do what he did. The average person just goes through the motions of trying to swim in what ever pool he was born in. The average joe is enlightened by a Charles Dickens, his life is easier because of an Edison, he lives longer because of a Louis Pasture, but; these exceptions to the mundane have to be free to be exceptions. I guess I am not being clear in my attempt to describe what I am trying to say. The environment that allowed all of this rapid advancement is being destroyed right in front of our eyes. We are returning to a pre enlightenment World a lot quicker than most can realize. So, if that is the case, then what is the future really going to be like. We take so much for granted in our comfortable, get it now, Big Mac existance.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:03 pm

Disagree with the first part but agree with the conclusion.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:32 pm

wsherrick wrote:You are right in the sense that in the past, curious people often times got burned at the stake or just maybe stoned to death. I don't believe in an automatic, "evolution," of events. Everything in the universe requires causality. I don't accept the traditional tenents of evolution. It's nonsense and it is it's own form of Religion. What I am getting at is the blind belief that we have now that scientific advancement, be it robots or new garden hose nozzle, is automatic. I am trying to spark some thought about a larger picture. You mentioned environment. That's what I'm trying to get at here. The enviroment that allowed an Edison to exist had to be in place for him to do what he did. The average person just goes through the motions of trying to swim in what ever pool he was born in. The average joe is enlightened by a Charles Dickens, his life is easier because of an Edison, he lives longer because of a Louis Pasture, but; these exceptions to the mundane have to be free to be exceptions. I guess I am not being clear in my attempt to describe what I am trying to say. The environment that allowed all of this rapid advancement is being destroyed right in front of our eyes. We are returning to a pre enlightenment World a lot quicker than most can realize. So, if that is the case, then what is the future really going to be like. We take so much for granted in our comfortable, get it now, Big Mac existance.


To a certain extent, I understand and agree with you. It may be a problem of "seeing the forest for the trees" in that right now, today, we are seeing a fairly small part of the forest of inventions. With a little hindsight, we should be able to pick out individual "trees" like Pasteur or Dickens. Edison was Edison due to him being a great marketer rather than inventor. Not saying he didn't know how to make stuff, but he had a pretty good staff doing most of the grunt work.

Will we look back and talk about Steve Jobs the way we talk about Edison? Or someone else possibly?

Things are still happening. People are still pushing the envelope. Who knows what will come out of CERN? Or the exploration of Mars?

I don't really worry about going back to the Dark Ages just yet. Yes, most of us are on the treadmill, but there are still people out there doing the big stuff. Whether we know about it or not.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:52 pm

jpete wrote:I don't really worry about going back to the Dark Ages just yet. Yes, most of us are on the treadmill, but there are still people out there doing the big stuff. Whether we know about it or not.
William spoke about the environment in which the great inventors worked and his feeling that that environment is being destroyed leading to retrogression. Not leading to another Dark age but putting in road blocks. Anytime anyone seeks to regulate the internet there is fierce opposition because most feel it will kill the spontaneity and creativity. It's the same with industry and invention.
franco b
 
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:02 pm

The internet is just another tool to speed communication and disseminate ideas. Things progressed before the internet, and will continue with or without it.

As to the topic, I'm not sure humans will become "obsolete", we'll just do different things.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:48 pm

jpete wrote:The internet is just another tool to speed communication and disseminate ideas. Things progressed before the internet, and will continue with or without it.

As to the topic, I'm not sure humans will become "obsolete", we'll just do different things.


We got along without cars and newspapers too. A lot better with them though.

Agree on the obsolete part.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:26 pm

franco b wrote:The need for security made necessary the protection of strong leaders and the advent of Feudalism, something we seem to be regressing toward today with a government elite ruling a working class peasantry and in which the ruling idea is loyalty to the leader.

You said a mouthful there! A fine description of the current political climate! How often were the peasants roused to fight for the local Lord, against the peasants of the neighboring Lord, with the result that one or the other Lord became richer and more powerful, while the peasants were at best still peasants and at worst dead? Modern US politics is a bit more subtle, but the principle is the same.

Yep! Off topic! Sorry, Richard, but that's the way the best threads evolve.
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:57 pm

This just in: :)

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation ... rain.chip/

(CNN) -- Making computers behave like humans has taken another step forward.

IBM on Thursday announced it has created a chip designed to imitate the human brain's ability to understand its surroundings, act on things that happen around it and make sense of complex data.

Instead of requiring the type of programming that computers have needed for the past half-century, the experimental chip will let a new generation of computers, called "cognitive computers," learn through their experiences and form their own theories about what those experiences mean.



Here's IBM's page on it: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ ... uting.html
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Re: When Humans Become "Obsolete", What Then?

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:24 pm

Might very well provide insight into human behavior as well.
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