HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » Stewart Brand: Why Enviro... » Reply #27

Reply #27


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:57 PM

27. All of us see the world and try to construct a mental analog,

a model if you will, that makes sense to us. There's no way we can comprehend and analyze the whole of it so we simplify by necessity.

My model looks at your model and sees something overcomplicated to the point of uselessness. Mine, for better or worse, boils down to:

1) My more or less objective perception of the current state of affairs
2) My estimation of where things are headed
3) My personal assessment, based on my ethics, self-preservation, and past experiences as to where things should be headed
4) My ideas at what might bridge the gap between #2 and #3.

That's all that matters to me. I don't necessarily believe in free will, but I believe the determinism that guides our fate is much more complicated than you make it out to be - because this "maximizing power throughput" stuff is not only has no analog in human events, but in any other animal species. It's an attempt to formalize behavior like Bertrand Russell tried with logic - tempting, but doomed to failure. People and animals have consciously changed their behaviors to ensure survival - that's part and parcel of the deterministic way they're wired. People, arguably, are even capable of changing the way they change their behaviors. How can metabehaviors be explained in terms of simplistic power-throughput equations? It's not a monkey typing Shakespeare, but a sea slug.

As an example - if your theory was correct, the CO2 output of the US would have gone up as the economic growth has returned in the last few years. But it hasn't. A cynic can look at that result and create all kinds of excuses for why it's an illusion, but can't justify them - the fact is, at least to some extent, that public perception of the problem of global warming is acting as a stimulus for behavioral and/or policy changes. Activism that includes changing ourselves. We can argue all day whether it's enough to make a difference, but even allowing that discussion is an admission that we aren't doomed to a predetermined fate. We're simply not as helpless as you think we are.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
wtmusic Feb 2013 OP
kristopher Feb 2013 #1
FBaggins Feb 2013 #9
PamW Feb 2013 #23
dumbcat Feb 2013 #43
gcomeau Feb 2013 #2
phantom power Feb 2013 #3
wtmusic Feb 2013 #5
dbackjon Feb 2013 #4
kristopher Feb 2013 #6
dbackjon Feb 2013 #7
FBaggins Feb 2013 #12
diane in sf Feb 2013 #20
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #8
wtmusic Feb 2013 #10
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #11
wtmusic Feb 2013 #13
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #17
wtmusic Feb 2013 #19
appal_jack Feb 2013 #21
LineLineLineLineLineLineReply All of us see the world and try to construct a mental analog,
wtmusic Feb 2013 #27
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #28
joshcryer Feb 2013 #14
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #15
joshcryer Feb 2013 #18
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #22
joshcryer Feb 2013 #24
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #25
joshcryer Feb 2013 #29
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #30
joshcryer Feb 2013 #31
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #32
joshcryer Feb 2013 #33
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #34
wtmusic Feb 2013 #37
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #38
wtmusic Feb 2013 #39
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #40
wtmusic Feb 2013 #41
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #42
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #44
kristopher Feb 2013 #45
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #46
hatrack Feb 2013 #16
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #26
jpak Feb 2013 #35
wtmusic Feb 2013 #36
Please login to view edit histories.