Monday, April 06, 2015

is there any basis for intelligent people to hope and be hopeful?


14:49: Since the rise of western monotheism the human experience has been marginalized. We have been told that we were unimportant in the cosmic drama. But we now know from the feedback that we're getting from the impact of human culture on the earth that we are a major factor shaping the temperatures of the oceans, the composition of the atmosphere, the general speed and complexity of speciation on the planet... A single species, ourselves, has broken from the ordinary constants of animal nature and created a new world, an epigenetic world,...a world based on ideas...downloaded out of the human imagination and concretized in three dimensional space... 29:29: Consciousness is the generalized word that we use for this coordination of complex perception to create a world that draws from the past and builds a model of the future and then suspends the perceiving organism in this magical moment called the now where the past is coordinated for the purpose of navigating the future. McLuhan called it "driving with the rear-view mirror" and the only thing good about it is it's better than driving with no mirror at all. 36:10: Reality is accelerating towards an unimaginable Omega Point. We are the inheritors of immense momentum in our social systems, our philosophical and scientific and technological approaches to the world. Because we're driving the historical vehicle with a rear-view mirror it appears to us that we're headed straight into a brick wall at a thousand miles an hour. It appears that we are destroying the earth, polluting the atmosphere, wrecking the oceans, dehumanizing ourselves, robbing our children of a future, so forth and so on.

I believe what is in fact going on is that we are burning our bridges. One by one we're burning our bridges to the past. We cannot go back to the mushroom-dotted plains of Africa or the canopied rainforests of 5 million years ago. We can't even go back to the era of...200 years ago. We have burned our bridges. We are preparing for a kind of cultural forward escape. 39:35: Nobody's in charge. 41:16: We are central to the human drama and to the drama of nature and process on this planet. 41:34: Every model of the universe has a hard swallow...a place where the argument cannot hide the fact that there's something slightly fishy about it. The hard swallow built into science is this business about the big bang. Now let's give this a little attention here. This is the notion that the universe, for no reason, sprang from nothing in a single instant. Before we dissect this, notice that this is the limit test for credulity. Whether you believe this or not, notice that it is not possible to conceive of something more unlikely, or less likely to be believed. I defy anyone. It's just the limit case for unlikelihood: that the universe would spring from nothing in a single instant for no reason....It makes no sense. It is in fact no different than saying, "and then God said, 'Let there be light!'".

What the philosophers of science are saying is "give us one free miracle and we will roll from that point forward, from the birth of time to the crack of doom. Just one free miracle and then it will all unravel according to natural law and these bizarre equations which nobody can understand but which are so holy in this enterprise." Well I say then if science gets one free miracle then everybody gets one free miracle.


BigDonOne said...

Anyone, who has ever tried to keep a well-manicured yard looking good, absolutely knows how fast Mother Nature will reclaim her turf once humanity backs off. As an extreme case, Mt. St. Helens blew, wiped out a zillion trees and killed all the fish in nearby waters. It's all well on it's way to recovery, trees are back and fish are re-populating. If humans disappeared tomorrow, a couple hundred years would restore earth to primeval just fine (all that oil and gas originally underground was useless anyway).