In a message dated 5/16/2001 12:47:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< My meaning was that there may BE no "long term." We'll be
extraordinarily fortunate to stagger through another century. >>
I understand your suggestion of many threats to human and biotic existence,
be a Spike or a Nuke or Global Warming or whatever.
We may indeed wind up in the shit can of annihilation, but that has been
pimped before by many journalists and Paul Ehrlich in the Population Bomb,
the Club or Rome, and the rest, including neonazi survivalists of the 1980s
and such. I would suggest that the human species will survive, and that it
may, well, have to deal with problems, that have to do with dealing with
I hold with George Dyson's more convivial view that we will be part of what
makes SIAI work, but it will take astronomically, more computational power,
then even Kurzweil has suggested. For example; look how much computer
capability have increased over the last 20 years, and it is having an impact,
but nothing that has approached the science fiction of a William Gibson, or a
We do suck at environmentally friendly technology for energy and using raw
materials. That is largely a part of the marketplace, and how it interweaves
with human psychology. Why split water for hydrogen fuel cells, if gasoline
is so cheap (circa 2000)? Why make hydrogen fuel cells, if the old, IC
engine is the only thing to drive? You get the idea, its all linked.
Pessimism as such, seems to be worse for a society, especially a democracy
(republic) then optimism. People who are pessimistic settle for less and are
less critical of their "leadership." People can also turn to psychotic types
of leadership, out of a sense of desperation.
I think what is needed is honesty, less bullshit from journalists and
scientists and promoters of this or that. Or if they are promoters of X or Y,
let them state it clearly.
Peter Jennings is happy to editorialize (American Broadcasting Company) while
he reads the news. Verification of what he claims, is often a harder matter
We need honesty to make good choices.
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