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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
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    Default A Comment about Destiny

    "There are worlds on which life has never arisen. There are worlds that have been charred and ruined by cosmic catastrophes . We are fortunate: we are alive; we are powerful; the welfare of our civilization and our species is in our hands. If we do not speak for Earth, who will? If we are not committed to our own survival, who will be?

    The human species is now undertaking a great venture, that if successful will be as important as the colonization of the land or the descent from the trees. We are haltingly, tentatively breaking the shackles of Earth - metaphorically, in confronting and taming the admonitions of those more primitive brains within us; physically, in voyaging to the planets and listening for the messages from the stars. These two enterprises are linked indissolubly. Each, I believe, is a necessary condition for the other. But our energies are directed far more toward war. Hypnotized by mutual mistrust, almost never concerned for the species or the planet, the nations prepare for death. And because what we are doing is so horrifying, we tend not to think of it much. But what we do not consider, we are unlikely to put right."

    Carl Sagan - Cosmos - 1979

    Nothing is True comments:

    Perhaps not as flowery as Pale Blue Dot but certainly a powerful statement: simply stated with many layers to consider, many implications to unravel and a good starting point for shaking the conversation about focus, priorities and distraction to the core of the subject: what are we trying to do? To become?

    Why would we ever allow the petty, ridiculous arguments that fill, and in most cases replace, our abilities and ambitions to take root at all, let alone rule our society? Why allow rulers at all? We spend the majority of our time in the realm of politics, an important directional motivator for modern society, arguing about which specific humans should be marginalized and abused for the monetary gain of a select societal cancer whose primary ambition is to destroy the world in the pursuit of an immediate influx of social, political and economic power.

    S.M.H.

    If 1 in 10 people had the brain power and foresight of Sagan (just as an example) and 1 in 10 people were given the opportunity to express their talents and 1 in 10 people were actively working for the betterment of the sustainability of mankind... what a world we would inhabit. In just a few short decades we'd have a literal army of hundreds of millions of scientists, philosophers, engineers, teachers and artists, mostly working together - and assuming the social backing of such a structure, the explosions of knowledge, culture and innovation surrounding ancient Greece, Egypt & the Renaissance could easily be exponentially dwarfed annually. A culture that inspires and rewards knowledge and wisdom will grow in both categories. A culture that shuns critical thinking and creativity while rewarding greed, avarice and thrives on fear is going to become more fearful, more hateful and what innovation does occur will be in favor of the latter two categories, with only accidental windfalls in the benefit to mankind, offset by the exploitative value of their development and implementation.

    We all believe to varying extents in the ability to and the the necessity to create, shape and act out our part in our destiny. As pointed out by Sam Harris, we probably do not have control over what choices our mind presents to us to decide between and it is obvious to everyone that we don't get to choose what circumstances are presented to us for action, but we all consciously choose which of our impulses we act upon.

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  2. #2  
    msndrstood's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Well said, Sensei.

    Well said.

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  3. #3  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Carl Sagan was always one of my favorites growing up. I hope you've seen some of the latest episodes of "How The Universe Works" on the Science Channel, really interesting stuff!
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  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  
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    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by msndrstood View Post
    Well said, Sensei.

    Well said.

    Sent via The Big, Bad, Beautiful Note 3
    Thanks, lol ... another random 5AM post... those always seem to be the longest.

    Quote Originally Posted by palandri View Post
    Carl Sagan was always one of my favorites growing up. I hope you've seen some of the latest episodes of "How The Universe Works" on the Science Channel, really interesting stuff!
    The closest I come to most TV shows is Netfix, but I'll keep an eye out for it. I make a point to DVR shows that are going to be awesome.

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  5. #5  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    "Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization."

    Agent Smith to Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)
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  6. #6  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    When you look at the states in the union that rank poorly in categories such as Education and Health, you see a pattern begin to develop. Those in power see nothing wrong with limiting access to education in the people they want dominion over. I've actually worked with people that have tried to withhold knowledge in an attempt to gain an advantage. Those very people are a detriment to our societal growth.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    Those in power see nothing wrong with limiting access to education in the people they want dominion over. I've actually worked with people that have tried to withhold knowledge in an attempt to gain an advantage. Those very people are a detriment to our societal growth.
    Some people believe that we should have the right to information. This was discussed in a different forum thread, Additional Constitutional Rights (link).

    Smartphones can help in this area. You can access the entire internet in any place that gets a cell phone signal. It won't solve everything, but it's a start.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott7217 View Post
    Some people believe that we should have the right to information. This was discussed in a different forum thread, Additional Constitutional Rights (link).

    Smartphones can help in this area. You can access the entire internet in any place that gets a cell phone signal. It won't solve everything, but it's a start.
    One of the great tragedies of our society is the way our education system is handled. The affluent don't want their tax dollars going towards education for children impoverished areas, and some people claim that specific races have a predisposition for poor academics. They don't mention how difficult it can be for the inner city children to focus on an education when they aren't even guaranteed the basics, or when their parents are too tired working all day to come home and give their children the support needed.

    One of the more glaring hypocrisies I notice from people that believe in Laissez-faire policy and a Darwinian approach to our society is when you ask them about schooling children. Suddenly, their child must go to the best schools, their child should be given a leg up to separate them from the rest. For some reason they would rather their children be given a leg up at the expense of another child being held down. If they were really serious about a Darwinian approach, why not give everyone EQUAL access in schools, and let the best naturally rise to the top? Of course, when you rig a system to benefit a select few, Darwinism stops becoming relevant, and you get people working in positions that they're not qualified for.

    One of the reasons I like watching athletic sports is that there are no excuses. A person either has more or less talent than the rest and the separation is obvious. Granted, greed has crept into that industry as well, just look at "A-Roid", Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, etc. Nothing is sacred anymore.
    Last edited by TXGTOU; 02-05-2014 at 07:35 PM.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    If they were really serious about a Darwinian approach, why not give everyone EQUAL access in schools, and let the best naturally rise to the top?
    I think people say they believe in Darwinism, but they really don't. They prefer to give their own children a better education. Is this illegal?
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  10. #10  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott7217 View Post
    I think people say they believe in Darwinism, but they really don't. They prefer to give their own children a better education. Is this illegal?
    It's not illegal, it's natural for you to want to give your child the best, but to deny another child because you want your child to have an edge, it's why so many children of successful people end up being duds. The kids are so removed from the real world that they don't develop the skills and attributes needed to be successful. Look at that ID-ten-T kid that lives in my neck of the woods (Dallas Texas) that was underage drinking and killed 3-4 people. They claimed he had "affluenza", sounds like a load to me. If a child isn't challenged correctly then they're not going to develop correctly. I say give all kids a fighting chance to be successful and let nature sort out who is and who isn't successful. If we did that, we'd probably have more people in positions that they got because of merit, and not because of who they know.

    That would probably mean that GWB wouldn't have become president either, and I'm ok with that.
    Last edited by TXGTOU; 02-07-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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  11. #11  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    We are frightened of the unknown. So, if we can replace that with something more tangible and familiar, such as fear, hate, and aggression targeted to specifically cause divisionism, then we can feel like masters of our own little universe. This has simply been expanded upon by our society, so that we are now both polarized and self-polarizing. But can we do something about it? Do we have any choice? Well, I'd like to quote from an episode of Babylon 5.

    Ambassador Londo Mollari: "I believe that I have been touched. That I am meant for something... greater. A greater darkness or a greater good, I can no longer say. All I have ever wanted is to serve our people. I need to see what is before me. If I should escape it, or embrace it. If there is any longer a choice."

    Lady Morella: "There is always choice. We say there is no choice only to comfort ourselves with the decision we have already made. If you understand that, there's hope. If not..."

    Whether my own hypothesis is correct or not, the one thing I can say with certainty is that there are three things required for society to change. First is the will to change. Second is putting forth the effort to change. Third is to stop arm-wrestling ourselves over the decision to change. We, as society or as individuals, are our own greatest limiting factor.

    There exists what I think is an interesting and indeed useful parallel.

    A (in modern times) little-known fact about the U.S.'s space program in the 1960s is that, while we were doing the Gemini missions, we started to space walk. Ed White, who was later killed during a plugs-out test for Apollo 1, had successfully performed an EVA. At that point it was assumed by all and sundry that doing an EVA was simple. However, almost all of the men who followed nearly killed themselves trying to function outside. All, that is, until Buzz Aldrin (these days principally of Apollo 11 fame) went up there.

    Here's the reason, and the parallel. We grow up and have a lifetime of experience understanding how to move and interact with everything about our environment. If I put a box on the floor of your living room and ask you to pick it up and place it on the table, you all have a very good sense of how to physically do that. The problem is that you're taking advantage of the mechanical leverage you have of being gravity-coupled to the Earth. When you're in space, for every bit of effort you put into manipulating something, you receive an equal amount of effort back at you by the object. If you aren't properly braced in place, you have ZERO mechanical advantage, and you push yourself around while trying to instead move the object around. The result of this fact is that the men who failed in their EVAs dehydrated themselves and almost pushed themselves to the point of having heart attacks through over-exertion. And, the harder they tried to overcome it, the more effort they were exerting against themselves. Buzz figured this out while still on the ground, and so he didn't try to find a better way to overcome the problem; rather, he understood his way out of it and approached EVAing via a different means.

    The more we struggle, in most conventional senses, the more we're actually counter-balancing our effort to DO something with effort to PREVENT ourselves from doing that thing. The thing to do is NOT to try harder. It's to STOP trying to fight ourselves (or oneself in the case of the individual) and recognize this for what it is, and then simply move on and just do the thing we (or the individual) wants to do and thereby accomplish the goal. That's it, period. Nothing more complicated than that.

    The only real difference between an individual stopping fighting themselves and "just doing it", and society going through this, is that there must be something else present: SOLIDARITY. We all have to be working together, on the same page, and at the same time.
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  12. #12  
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    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Tall Mike 2145 View Post
    We are frightened of the unknown. So, if we can replace that with something more tangible and familiar, such as fear, hate, and aggression targeted to specifically cause divisionism, then we can feel like masters of our own little universe. This has simply been expanded upon by our society, so that we are now both polarized and self-polarizing. But can we do something about it? Do we have any choice? Well, I'd like to quote from an episode of Babylon 5.

    Ambassador Londo Mollari: "I believe that I have been touched. That I am meant for something... greater. A greater darkness or a greater good, I can no longer say. All I have ever wanted is to serve our people. I need to see what is before me. If I should escape it, or embrace it. If there is any longer a choice."

    Lady Morella: "There is always choice. We say there is no choice only to comfort ourselves with the decision we have already made. If you understand that, there's hope. If not..."

    Whether my own hypothesis is correct or not, the one thing I can say with certainty is that there are three things required for society to change. First is the will to change. Second is putting forth the effort to change. Third is to stop arm-wrestling ourselves over the decision to change. We, as society or as individuals, are our own greatest limiting factor.

    There exists what I think is an interesting and indeed useful parallel.

    A (in modern times) little-known fact about the U.S.'s space program in the 1960s is that, while we were doing the Gemini missions, we started to space walk. Ed White, who was later killed during a plugs-out test for Apollo 1, had successfully performed an EVA. At that point it was assumed by all and sundry that doing an EVA was simple. However, almost all of the men who followed nearly killed themselves trying to function outside. All, that is, until Buzz Aldrin (these days principally of Apollo 11 fame) went up there.

    Here's the reason, and the parallel. We grow up and have a lifetime of experience understanding how to move and interact with everything about our environment. If I put a box on the floor of your living room and ask you to pick it up and place it on the table, you all have a very good sense of how to physically do that. The problem is that you're taking advantage of the mechanical leverage you have of being gravity-coupled to the Earth. When you're in space, for every bit of effort you put into manipulating something, you receive an equal amount of effort back at you by the object. If you aren't properly braced in place, you have ZERO mechanical advantage, and you push yourself around while trying to instead move the object around. The result of this fact is that the men who failed in their EVAs dehydrated themselves and almost pushed themselves to the point of having heart attacks through over-exertion. And, the harder they tried to overcome it, the more effort they were exerting against themselves. Buzz figured this out while still on the ground, and so he didn't try to find a better way to overcome the problem; rather, he understood his way out of it and approached EVAing via a different means.

    The more we struggle, in most conventional senses, the more we're actually counter-balancing our effort to DO something with effort to PREVENT ourselves from doing that thing. The thing to do is NOT to try harder. It's to STOP trying to fight ourselves (or oneself in the case of the individual) and recognize this for what it is, and then simply move on and just do the thing we (or the individual) wants to do and thereby accomplish the goal. That's it, period. Nothing more complicated than that.

    The only real difference between an individual stopping fighting themselves and "just doing it", and society going through this, is that there must be something else present: SOLIDARITY. We all have to be working together, on the same page, and at the same time.
    Buzz is my idol. I met him on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. It was a most unforgettable moment. Waited in line for 4 hours. And that was a feat unto itself, but I did it and have his autograph as well. Well worth the wait. Buzz is the man.

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  13. #13  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Tall Mike 2145 View Post
    We are frightened of the unknown. So, if we can replace that with something more tangible and familiar, such as fear, hate, and aggression targeted to specifically cause divisionism, then we can feel like masters of our own little universe. This has simply been expanded upon by our society, so that we are now both polarized and self-polarizing. But can we do something about it? Do we have any choice? Well, I'd like to quote from an episode of Babylon 5.

    Ambassador Londo Mollari: "I believe that I have been touched. That I am meant for something... greater. A greater darkness or a greater good, I can no longer say. All I have ever wanted is to serve our people. I need to see what is before me. If I should escape it, or embrace it. If there is any longer a choice."

    Lady Morella: "There is always choice. We say there is no choice only to comfort ourselves with the decision we have already made. If you understand that, there's hope. If not..."

    Whether my own hypothesis is correct or not, the one thing I can say with certainty is that there are three things required for society to change. First is the will to change. Second is putting forth the effort to change. Third is to stop arm-wrestling ourselves over the decision to change. We, as society or as individuals, are our own greatest limiting factor.

    There exists what I think is an interesting and indeed useful parallel.

    A (in modern times) little-known fact about the U.S.'s space program in the 1960s is that, while we were doing the Gemini missions, we started to space walk. Ed White, who was later killed during a plugs-out test for Apollo 1, had successfully performed an EVA. At that point it was assumed by all and sundry that doing an EVA was simple. However, almost all of the men who followed nearly killed themselves trying to function outside. All, that is, until Buzz Aldrin (these days principally of Apollo 11 fame) went up there.

    Here's the reason, and the parallel. We grow up and have a lifetime of experience understanding how to move and interact with everything about our environment. If I put a box on the floor of your living room and ask you to pick it up and place it on the table, you all have a very good sense of how to physically do that. The problem is that you're taking advantage of the mechanical leverage you have of being gravity-coupled to the Earth. When you're in space, for every bit of effort you put into manipulating something, you receive an equal amount of effort back at you by the object. If you aren't properly braced in place, you have ZERO mechanical advantage, and you push yourself around while trying to instead move the object around. The result of this fact is that the men who failed in their EVAs dehydrated themselves and almost pushed themselves to the point of having heart attacks through over-exertion. And, the harder they tried to overcome it, the more effort they were exerting against themselves. Buzz figured this out while still on the ground, and so he didn't try to find a better way to overcome the problem; rather, he understood his way out of it and approached EVAing via a different means.

    The more we struggle, in most conventional senses, the more we're actually counter-balancing our effort to DO something with effort to PREVENT ourselves from doing that thing. The thing to do is NOT to try harder. It's to STOP trying to fight ourselves (or oneself in the case of the individual) and recognize this for what it is, and then simply move on and just do the thing we (or the individual) wants to do and thereby accomplish the goal. That's it, period. Nothing more complicated than that.

    The only real difference between an individual stopping fighting themselves and "just doing it", and society going through this, is that there must be something else present: SOLIDARITY. We all have to be working together, on the same page, and at the same time.
    One of the things I look for when I decide which candidate to vote for is how the candidate tries to engage me. Are they using emotion to reach me or are they actually trying to reach me at an intellectual level? When you look at some of the candidates that try to call someone else an elitist, it's generally because they're trying to pander to someone via their emotion. No good decision can be made when it's based on emotion. You look at some of the themes from the past few election cycles, and you can see what candidates are trying to pander to the dimmest among us.

    I have a game, see if you can identify the party...."We have to fight then over there so we're not fighting them over here", "They're coming to take away good American jobs", "They're putting a strain on our country's resources by claiming welfare even though they're illegal", "They're spending us into unsurmountable debt", "They're coming to take away your right to bear arms", "They have a socialist agenda". The list goes on and on and on. I personally don't see how anyone can let a politician engage them from a place of such emotional negativity. It's actually a shame that so many people are ok with being emotionally blackmailed into voting a certain way. I have to admit though, my favorite is when someone tries to turn a voter off their opponent by claiming them to be an elitist..."Look at that thur politician, trying to use fancy shmancy words on you!!" We don't like it when we hear that intelligence is bullied in the classroom, but we're ok with politicians that try to mock intelligent conversation. This country sure could use a renaissance.
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  14. #14  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    This is also part of how I judge a candidate, TXGTOU. Well said.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott7217 View Post
    "Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization."

    Agent Smith to Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)
    I think this is dead on. IMHO, this will forever be our fate. It's baked into our DNA.
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  
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    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Synycalwon View Post
    I think this is dead on. IMHO, this will forever be our fate. It's baked into our DNA.
    If you're right, it shan't be forever, or at least forever won't be very long. Technically of course it's true, "perfection" is unattainable and probably doesn't mean anything other than as an abstract in any case. But a change must happen and in the physics sense of time, soon.

    Without a significant and global resolve to turn to a sustainable and mostly peaceful civilization, our species will self destruct taking most living things with us. Sure, given enough time, another species may grow to thrive from whatever remains, but the threat of humankind perishing from the earth in a self inflicted nuclear armageddon is currently more probable and closer to the horizon than any fate in which we fall (or adapt) to climate change, cosmic annihilation, natural disaster or alien invasion and several of those must be conquered, in addition to the reformation of humanity into a sustainable and peaceful global culture if we ever want a chance of escaping the fate of the Earth in favor of potential uncharted homes elsewhere in the Galaxy.

    Keep in mind, it doesn't matter which country fires first nor at whom they fire. It takes two stupid people to destroy the species, if not the concept of life itself. Anything "baked in" can evolve and everything that doesn't adapt soon becomes extinct.

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  17. #17  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    But a change must happen and in the physics sense of time, soon.
    Where would be a good place to start? What should we change first? There are so many things that need fixing. We need to prioritize our actions.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: A Comment about Destiny

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott7217 View Post
    Where would be a good place to start? What should we change first? There are so many things that need fixing. We need to prioritize our actions.

    I think we need more empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. We need to better understand each other, and we need to mostly understand that people are not born evil nor born with hate in their hearts. Through the course of a person's life, the institutions of hate can be both subtle and/or blatant. Indirect institutions of hate can range from certain religions that teach a veiled message of intolerance, to schools where students congregate based on social class (better known as nerds, preps, jocks, etc).

    A few examples of our lack of empathy, I see it quite often in our justice system. A few years ago there was a Hispanic mother that didn't secure her child correctly in their vehicle, and the baby fell out of the window and the mother ran over the baby killing it instantly. The mother was charged and sentenced to jail time. Not even a year later, a Caucasian family left their child with Down's syndrome in a hot car and the child died. The officers on the scene (both incidents took place in the jurisdiction of the Dallas Police Department) said they weren't going to press charges because the parents had suffered enough.

    That lack of empathy is why our society is in the shape it's in. I've seen it in a few posts on this site as well. When we refuse to show empathy towards others because of our own prejudices, or assumptions, we're just contributing to our own societal decay. Based on some of the calloused attitudes that some of my fellow AC posters display on what seems like a daily basis, I don't see us getting any better as a society.

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