Progress

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Toby
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Progress

Postby Toby » 26 Jun 2018, 13:44

Are things generally "getting better"?

Do you believe in the general perception that the human race is "progressing" towards an improved state?

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Re: Progress

Postby Diamond Dog » 26 Jun 2018, 13:57

It couldn't get no worse.
a bunch of dudes jamming but some of the abrupt edits serve as a reminder it owes a lot to technology. It finds ***** distancing himself from his musical past, but it sounds equally far from the dense abstraction his music would take on later

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Re: Progress

Postby ORORORO » 26 Jun 2018, 14:00

No, of course not.
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Re: Progress

Postby Darkness_Fish » 26 Jun 2018, 15:07

Yeah, I think there's indicators that things are generally getting better, although obviously it's hard to be specific about anything as sweeping as 'the human race', and it may well only be a better state of affairs for mankind, rather than the planet or the environment.

We seem to be slowly moving away from our old superstitions and dogmatic beliefs around religion, which removes one way of differentiating people, leading to less prejudice on that ground. Obviously, there's a big religious divide between Christianity/The West and Islam, but I think that will dissipate as fewer people become inclined to follow restrictive historic texts. There's generally a wide-spread belief, or at least acceptance, that you shouldn't discriminate based on race, and so practices such as slavery are less widespread than in the recent past. Most countries are quite averse to war since the end of WW2. Of course, there are still regular conflicts, but the major players generally dip their toes into conflicts, the idea of balls-out nuclear destruction is a lingering threat which deters super-power vs super-power conflicts. Also, widespread casualties go down badly with a voting public, and so the west now largely only attack tinpot dictatorships such as Iraq, when they can be sure they pose no significant damage-dealing capabilities. Mass casualty warfare as on previous scales seems less likely, and even invading tinpot dictatorships can no longer guarantee flag-waving nationalist popularity.

I don't think it's an inexorable march to utopia, but I think there's a lot we're moving away from which is positive.
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Re: Progress

Postby Deebank » 26 Jun 2018, 18:33

Toby wrote:Are things generally "getting better"?

Do you believe in the general perception that the human race is "progressing" towards an improved state?


Worth reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari if you’re genuinely interested.
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Re: Progress

Postby Toby » 26 Jun 2018, 19:03

It's on the list but I'm generally cautious with overviews that try to explain such a huge expanse of history. They always cause more problems than they solve in my experience.

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Re: Progress

Postby Deebank » 26 Jun 2018, 20:57

Toby wrote:It's on the list but I'm generally cautious with overviews that try to explain such a huge expanse of history. They always cause more problems than they solve in my experience.


It’s very good.
The later bits about how we are much better off than ever before are very persuasive - and feed into his follow up Homo Deus.

There are a couple of bits I took issue with but on the whole a very cogent effort.
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Re: Progress

Postby trans-chigley express » 27 Jun 2018, 05:54

We have made no progress with pollution. We are all going to drown in a sea of plastic or choke on polluted air. The environment is pretty much screwed and the worse is still to come.

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Re: Progress

Postby ORORORO » 27 Jun 2018, 10:13

trans-chigley express wrote:We have made no progress with pollution. We are all going to drown in a sea of plastic or choke on polluted air. The environment is pretty much screwed and the worse is still to come.


Yep.

It doesn't matter about the other stuff really.
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Re: Progress

Postby Toby » 27 Jun 2018, 10:20

Pollution is a relatively new concept with regard to the environment though, and it is only in the last 20 to 30 years that its impact has begun to be felt quite properly.

I agree that the worse is yet to come, but I suspect it will be properly addressed in the next generation or two. There are signs that a fight against it has begun - certainly people are aware of its impact far more than, say, 20 years ago.

Personally I think progress is a chimera. We live in a highly scientific age, more so than at any other time, where we map things according to scientific achievements. We live much longer than we have ever do, less people die of disease than ever before, we can go into space etc. But realistically, what are the actual benefits of those things? People live longer so that they end up in homes, live half their lives old, have dementia for years, are a significant drain on the state because of their pensions, and even if we do go into space, it has no practical consequence in many respects. Yes, the technology from the space race has been massively significant, but it has had a terrible impact too.

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Re: Progress

Postby ORORORO » 27 Jun 2018, 10:42

Toby wrote:Pollution is a relatively new concept with regard to the environment though, and it is only in the last 20 to 30 years that its impact has begun to be felt quite properly.


'properly'!

The hippies were protesting in the sixties that we were destroying our planet! Corporations have been aware of the damaging nature of their practices for longer than that. I remember being at college in 1986 and students were talking about non-chlorine bleached toilet paper and McDonalds packaging giving off dangerous gases.

You might feel the 'impact' only relatively recently, but an enormous amount of damage has already been done - diminishing/extinct species, the depletion of the ozone layer, melting ice caps etc. etc. - and it's now urgent. But because of the essentially selfish nature of governments and corporations, and the blissful ignorance of most of the world's population, I'm pessimistic.
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Re: Progress

Postby Toby » 27 Jun 2018, 10:52

There's a difference between middle-class hippies moaning about stuff and the average person in the street though. I think that the "narrative" of pollution has only recently really been realised at a fundamental level - it seems that the impact of Blue Planet II had a significant effect on how we perceive the impact of plastic.

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Re: Progress

Postby ORORORO » 27 Jun 2018, 11:06

Toby wrote:There's a difference between middle-class hippies moaning about stuff and the average person in the street though.


Makes no difference to the state of the planet tho'!

I don't really know why you're focusing so much of people's awareness of these issues when that makes no odds. Facts are facts.
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Re: Progress

Postby The Modernist » 27 Jun 2018, 11:29

Toby wrote: Yes, the technology from the space race has been massively significant, but it has had a terrible impact too.


In what way?

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Re: Progress

Postby gash on ignore » 27 Jun 2018, 12:35

The Modernist wrote:
Toby wrote: Yes, the technology from the space race has been massively significant, but it has had a terrible impact too.


In what way?


75% of his output post-Space Oddity :(
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Re: Progress

Postby Deebank » 27 Jun 2018, 14:03

The Modernist wrote:
Toby wrote: Yes, the technology from the space race has been massively significant, but it has had a terrible impact too.


In what way?


Satellite technology has allowed us to see the mess we’ve made for one thing.
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Re: Progress

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Jun 2018, 14:06

I'm glad I don't have kids put it that way.
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Re: Progress

Postby ORORORO » 27 Jun 2018, 14:12

:cry:
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Re: Progress

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Jun 2018, 14:16

Climate change is the Big One obviously. How protected we will be in western countries I honestly don't know. Fuck knows the impact on the third world.

It doesn't worry me that much though because it still seems quite abstract and, reasonably, far away. I mean I'll be dead in 40 odd years at best so I'll probably ride it out.

What bothers me more is the shift towards right wing populism at the moment.
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Re: Progress

Postby Toby » 27 Jun 2018, 14:55

Humanity has not been able to enact any sort of global response to any crisis in its history and I'm not sure it can do so for climate change. Whether it will be the disaster that everyone predicts remains to be seen though. Western civilization has apocalyptic tendencies.