Re: Information & Power (was: RE: Einstein's Brain on the internet)

John Marsh (
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:23:40 -0700


On Thu, 29 Apr 1999 21:00:19   Spike Jones wrote:

>OK Ill take this on.

>Granted this was a sad loss. However...
>> What would we know today if we had this information?
>We would know a lot about how people in the old days thought.
>What would we learn about anthropology? Nothing! We know
>far more about ancient humans than would have been recorded
>in the library at Alexandria.
That is completely rediculous. Technology can only reveal clues surrounding a culture, but does little to reveal the cultural milieu itself. Ok, so we know they used fire to create ceraminc pots, and they had what appears to be a panthiestic style of worship. That tells us nothing. If we actually has a score of translated documents in their own words, it would tell us substanially more than what we could do through some carbon dating. Besides, how can you possibly know the Library of Alexandria contained nothing worth considering? To you claim to know what you don't know? Sounds paradoxical to me. Besides, much of modern science traces it routes directly back to manuscripts recovered from Alexandria. Imagine howe much more time would have been saved, had Alexandria not burned. We could have entered the sceintifc/technological age back in the 12th Century. Imagine that! This is because we have technology.
>There is no evidence that the ancients had anything we would
>consider advanced technology.
Please explain to me the discovery of an electrical battery with copper wire found in Iraq and dated to the 8th Century B.C.
>the collection at Alexandria was spirited away and hidden, then
>we found it today, we would find therein no breakthru insights
>that we have not already independently rediscovered in the
>intervening years.
Again, this unfounded and it implies that nothing but the hard sciences have absolutely no value to human culture. Who is to say that certain insights that the ancients had would *not* give fresh perspectivea into our current delima's?
>Should we charge ahead with the altering of the human genome?
>Should we unleash nanotechnology, specifically the nanoreplicator,
>as soon as it is physically possible to create?
>Should we work towards a singularity, even if it means the passing
>of the human race as we know it? Should we work to slow it?
John HotBot - Search smarter.