Is anybody else getting the feeling that we’re closer than ever to going extinct as a species? This isn’t the last virus. Climate change is not going to stop or reverse. Fukashima is still dumping nuclear material into the ocean. And don’t even get me started about nuclear weapons.
A sentient species that cannot, after thousands of years, unshackle itself from supernatural world beliefs doesn’t deserve being spared from extinction. It’s 2021 and the majority of people are still goobers worshipping ancient bullshit. It’s best for the planet if we go into that dark night of extinction, hopefully without nuking the planet on our way out.
Early humans worked together and survived the ice age. I’m sure many of us will survive the dumb-pocoalypse.
Depends on how many is “many”. There was a time when humans went through a population bottleneck that got us down to like 10,000 individuals.
That IS a lot, if one is trying to make lunch for everybody, but not so much when it’s the entirety of humanity.
The species will go on for some time, but civilization would be pretty shaky with too few people.
Marshall McLuhen’s prediction of this return to tribalism in the misinformation age only reaffirms Kierkegaard’s recognition that: “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
I’m hopeful that there are a number of fantastically positive contributions to the ongoing march of Progress that outweigh the troglodytes out there holding us all back in the Stone Age.
Thanos, is that you?
I used to have a t-shirt with this emblazoned on the front. SK has always been a (tedious) favorite because he nailed patterns of behavior that persist to this day.
Posting this way too often lately, but here we go again
I will not go down quietly. I will struggle to the last to make this a better world than I found it.
Zizek said in a debate: “Everyone’s favourite Kierkegaard!”
Aside from all the Christianity and mindless submission to one’s leap of faith and killing your son just 'cause, I have to admit SK changed up my worldview. Definitely inspired my alter ego’s social critique.
I get told off for my pessimism (whereas i call it realism) and i understand that it can be like you’ve got an energy vampire in your group but i feel like how can i be anything else for all the reasons stated. It just feels like denying reality and of course i want us as a species to confront the climate emergency head on and enact sweeping changes NOW but there are too many people in high positions of power dependent on their salaries to not take it seriously.
Just heard this quote from Kierkegaard: “A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”
*Given the nature of most of my responses to articles on BoingBoing and the think tank that makes up this forum, I should slow my roll.
We’ve been much closer in the past! One study estimates that homo sapiens were down to only 40 mating pairs about 70,000 years ago.
As for now, outside of some cosmic event like a meteor (maybe a mega volcano?)… no I don’t think so. I think climate change would have to get so bad that we asphyxiate the entire planet, which seems unlikely… and even so, would probably take 1,000 years of everything going perfectly wrong.
People have looked at the possibility of a nuclear holocaust for decades, and it’s unlikely that it would make the entire planet uninhabitable. Certainly unpleasant for most, but it wouldn’t be evenly distributed.
The math works out in our favor. Losing half our population would be absolutely devastating… but there’d still be 4 billion of us left (that only sets us back to the population level in the 1970s). Even if climate change or nuclear war killed 99% of the population… that’s still 80 million people remaining. At that point food and fresh water also become much easier to come by.
We’re a bunch of irrational jerks, but we’ve got staying power.
Based on what? We have n=1 for intelligent life. Maybe we’re maturing much faster than normal.
How about the fact that we’ve solved all sorts of similar problems before? Nuclear weapons used to orders of magnitude more of a threat than they are now. Fukushima is nothing compared to Chernobyl but we survived that. We fixed the ozone hole, which at the time all the Chicken Littles said was the end of humanity.
Sure Trumpers and the like are a problem, but humanity on the whole is orders of magnitude more educated and rational than at any time in history.
By every single measure, the best time in human history to be alive is right now. Quality of life, outlook for the future, life expectancy, free time, agency over our lives, education level, all at unprecedented highs.
There’s exactly one thing that will kill us- defeatist attitudes. You don’t think humanity deserves to live? Feel free to exit. You think we won’t solve these problems? Then shut up and get out of the way of the people who are working on it. Then thank us later when you’re still okay and we didn’t let your shitty attitudes interfere.
Everyone always thinks they live in the end times. They are always wrong on the macro level and completely right on the personal.
“Free time” is an interesting one — there’s a lot of debate over it. Medieval peasants apparently had more than 100 holidays mandated by the church where labor was outlawed… but during that time you’re tending to your home and livestock anyway, so you get to a point where you have to start defining “free.”
Hunter-gatherers are also speculated to have had a lot of free time on their hands if you buy into any part of Original affluent society - Wikipedia. There’s reasonable logic on both sides of the argument really.
Regardless, you can make an endless list of things that are better… so I agree with the optimism. How lucky we are to live during a time where the majority of our babies survive and most people aren’t wallowing around in their own filth.
You’re not alone, Doc.
We do not ‘go gentle’; we RAGE.
Existentialism? I wouldn’t worry about it.
And humans were much more geographically limited then. A single event and that band was gone. We’re on every piece of this blue marble now, none of which will be effected in the exact same way or degree.
Our survival toolbox is quite a bit more extensive too. We can ruin the planet significantly. We can crash our population significantly. Sometimes I think the people saying that humans will be eliminated; it’s really their preferred outcome.