hello again,

ok, this is the last peep out of me on this quite OT thread. i will 
gladly carry on the conversation privately with anybody who is 
interested in doing so.

after a few days reflection, i can see how my original post was as 
emotionally motivated as it was intellectually motivated, and so a few 
things were not particularly well thought out.

what can i say, my entire worldview shifted drastically in a fairly 
short amount of time, i was emotional, sorry.

something which some of you have pointed out is that i can probably put 
my IT skills to good use in working towards a solution. this is probably 
a very good idea which i may consider along with my permaculture 
studies. some people seem to have concluded that i intended to save the 
world single-handedly by giving up computers, that is clearly 
nonsensical and is not what i meant to convey. i do think a culture 
moving away from unnecessary and unsustainable technologies is a must 
however.

some of you mentioned the idea that going backwards or regressing is 
what i was advocating. someone even mentioned isolation in a commune 
behind a plow. that is not what i am advocating, quite the opposite. 
current agricultural practices are incredibly primitive. the so called 
'green revolution in agriculture' in the mid 20th century essentially 
just took an incredibly naive system (ecologically speaking) and poured 
gallons and gallons of petroleum on top of it. something akin to trying 
to improve on the recursive factorial algorithm by running it on faster 
and faster machines. the principle problem with these practices is 
precisely the plow and the notion that mono-cultural agriculture can be 
sustainable. *many* civilizations have fallen due to this most basic of 
naive assumptions. ours is up next in line.

i can recommend an excellent book on the history of these issues called 
"dirt, the erosion of civilizations" by David Montgomery, a professor of 
earth & space sciences at the univerity of washington.

you may also be interested in a BBC documentary that explores the food 
crisis which petrocolapse is threatening great britain (and everybody 
else) with. it goes into permaculture in the last 1/3 of the film.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=farm+for+the+future&emb=0&aq=f#

some people mentioned the dubious notion of 'the singularity'. at this 
point in time, in contrast to for example, the dire warnings of the 
worlds climatologists which are science fact, the highly speculative 
notion of 'the singularity' is science fiction verging on religion. i 
think that that is something to keep squarely in mind. but even if it 
were not fanciful wishful thinking, the energy required for that kind of 
phase transition simply will not be available. just about everything 
including growth economies are about to start shrinking. finally, the 
question of whether it is even desirable needs to be asked, when we 
already have 3.9 billion (see below) year old 'technologies' which quite 
readily sustain life when not abused.

here is a video by somebody i believe has a firm grasp on the 
relationship between populations, economies, technological progress, 
etc. and their underlying reliance on energy and resources. he touches 
on theories like "the singularity" at one point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFjFG24BeX8

the biggest problem with the techno-fixer mentality that i have however 
is that i do not believe our technologies to be all that fantastic. can 
you get the brightest minds in engineering today and have them build a 
system which can be sent to say, mars, and which can reproduce while 
diversifying, and last billions of years while morphing to survive 
various cataclysmic planetary wide shifts in climate, and impacts from 
space etc.. we can hardly keep the wheels on our bloody mars rovers from 
falling off, and you want me to believe that there is a technological 
singularity looming? the technological singularity happened several 
times over the past 3.9 billion or so years, with the emergence of 
autocatalytic networks, going into early bacteria, and then eukaryotes, 
etc. we have all around us 3.9 billion year old technology honed by 
massively parallel incremental design (evolution). it is many many 
orders of magnitude more complex and resilient than our tinker toys, it 
is our life support system, and we are destroying it's capacity to 
support human life. it will outlive us.

there were some comments which along the lines of, just let 'evolution' 
happen, don't get in the way. it is difficult to argue with such a 
position. when somebody says we must all die, while bowing down to the 
alter of this so called 'evolution' which is essentially just a culture 
of plunder gone rampant, and an incredible hubris vis a vis our 
rudimentary technologies. i just consider that one of the many 
sociopathologies of civilization, or perhaps a coping strategy of 
particular individuals who are educated enough to understand the data 
science is feeding us, but not knowing which way to turn for solutions, 
intellectualize and abstract away the very real dread which most sane 
human beings feel when felt with the prospect of annihilation. human 
beings lived for hundreds of thousands of years before the culture of 
plunder took over and now threatens all of our lives.

here is the video which affected me most, just because it shows just how 
easy it can be working with nature using intelligent ecological design 
to get what we want, e.g. health, a clean green biodiverse environment, 
good fresh food, etc. instead of working against her as we have been for 
about 10,000 years now:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7404455615181917912&ei=wnDnSZfSCaryqAOwg9HvBg&q=permaculture

so there it is, i'll now shut up and let you get back to rubying.

_c



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