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How Much Knowledge Is Too Much?


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Redirect all research that isn't immediately pressing in to research of the human mind.

 

Some current research is pressing, global warming comes to mind. Discovering the Higgs and going to Mars etc can wait. They'll both still be there when we're ready.

 

My thesis is that if we don't do first things first, we'll never be ready, as we'll be dead or scrounging for bugs in the forest.

 

How can we be sure that in pursuing mind research we won't develop mental weapons of some kind?

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Based on this comment, I will presume you have no idea how so many countless of the most profound advances we've experienced resulted from accidents. Research focused on specific benefits tends to mi

I'm worried we're not spending enough money in science.

The only way we can make a wise decision about anything is if it is an INFORMED decision. That means we need to understand what actually happens in the universe and the relationships involved.   Wit

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Teach the next generation of brain scientists.

Teach them what? They don't need astronomy, inorganic chemistry, or physics to research brains. And once your great change is complete and there are no more physicists, chemists, or anthropologists left, who takes up where your disenfranchised generation left off? We just going to leave behind a few Post-Its to help them carry on?

 

Your approach will not save the human race - it will doom it to slow extinction.

 

 

Very sensible indeed. Really, it is. For the early 20th century.

 

We no longer have time for slow and sure. Knowledge isn't just developing, it's accelerating.

 

Funnily enough, I am pretty sure that in the early 20th century we were still bashing each other in the head with rocks (figuratively speaking) on a grand scale. And our ethics development doesn't need to keep pace with the development of knowledge, it needs to keep pace with the development of our society, and the changes in how they interact. Thus far it seems to be doing that.

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How can we be sure that in pursuing mind research we won't develop mental weapons of some kind?

 

Very good question!

 

I'd say the only we can be sure of is that staying on the present course will eventually lead to the end of all such good questions.

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Have you heard of religious fundamentalists? Have you heard that the government and armed forces of Pakistan and Iran have a number of them?

 

You do of course have a point but even religious fundamentalists need followers, why risk killing all of yours? Even religious fundamentalists have a basic understanding of reality and sending all of your followers to allah or jesus is only appealing to a very small fringe...

 

There you go, now you're catching on. :)

 

I still say the voice of reason is stronger now than it ever has been and will only get stronger.

 

Osama bin Laden punched the U.S. in the nose, knowing it would bring the largest military force in history right down on his head.

 

yes but short of nuking them how to you stop religion? (like that would work) You geld it like the west has done, people like Osama are relics of the past, we need to do something about that small group of people and why they have power. Religious fundamentalists are in all religions, they are a clear and present danger here in the US but the presence of batshitcrazy doesn't mean you need to change the entire human race so it cannot be batshitcrazy. The need for batshitcrazy has to be addressed.

 

You're of course entirely 100% right that it didn't happen. You have to continually be right in every such circumstance from now on. No room for error, if you're wrong just once, game over.

 

No, please show how you can assert that as though it is fact... even a total nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would not be the end of the world and i think they can and do benefit from the knowledge gained in the cold war, no one can win such a battle... they know it and that has tempered their response to their conflict...

 

Teach the next generation of brain scientists.

 

Only so many people can be brain scientists...

 

Very sensible indeed. Really, it is. For the early 20th century.

 

And we are even more reasonable now and I think we will continue to improve, there are holdouts on the fringe but these people are fringes...

 

We no longer have time for slow and sure. Knowledge isn't just developing, it's accelerating.

 

And that's a bad thing why? Do we have to be so reasonable that we cannot have basic disagreements before we can proceed forward with knowledge?

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Very good question!

 

I'd say the only we can be sure of is that staying on the present course will eventually lead to the end of all such good questions.

 

 

Typist, you should really stop grinding that ax, the edge will eventually wear away... There is no way to predict the future out come of any research. We cannot know what scientific discovery will save or doom the human race or even if any of them will, all we can do is keep on truckin'...

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I still say the voice of reason is stronger now than it ever has been and will only get stronger.

 

I don't disagree. So what? One bad day is all that's needed.

 

No, please show how you can assert that as though it is fact... even a total nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would not be the end of the world and i think they can and do benefit from the knowledge gained in the cold war, no one can win such a battle... they know it and that has tempered their response to their conflict...

 

So far...

 

And that's a bad thing why? Do we have to be so reasonable that we cannot have basic disagreements before we can proceed forward with knowledge?

 

We can proceed forward with knowledge when we are mature enough to handle it responsibly. The more knowledge you want to have, the more mature we need to be.

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Beats fast extinction! :)

 

 

That may be your opinion but extinction is extinction.. if the human race wants to send it's genome into the future we will need knowledge, in a million years our descendants among the stars might not be human but at least they will be... To risk that possibility and trade it for slow extinction on this tiny planet is unacceptable to me...

 

I don't disagree. So what? One bad day is all that's needed.

 

You keep saying that unsupported assertion...

 

So far...

 

It will always be so far...

 

We can proceed forward with knowledge when we are mature enough to handle it responsibly. The more knowledge you want to have, the more mature we need to be.

 

Who makes that decision?

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Typist, you should really stop grinding that ax, the edge will eventually wear away... There is no way to predict the future out come of any research. We cannot know what scientific discovery will save or doom the human race or even if any of them will, all we can do is keep on truckin'...

 

Please don't take offense, but while you sincerely believe you are arguing for progress, you are actually arguing for continuing to do the same thing over and over again without change. The status quo. The same philosophy of knowledge we've always used, since the beginning of time. You are arguing for the past.

 

I'm the one arguing for learning something truly new, how to be sane.

 

Insanity of various flavors and levels thoroughly infects every human life, and every human situation. We see it on forums on a daily basis, and everywhere else too.

 

Why shouldn't we grow some balls, and take on that challenge? It's a worthy challenge! Why settle for the same old crap over and over again?

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Please don't take offense, but while you sincerely believe you are arguing for progress, you are actually arguing for continuing to do the same thing over and over again without change. The status quo. The same philosophy of knowledge we've always used, since the beginning of time. You are arguing for the past.

 

Again a strawman, I am not arguing any such thing and you know it...

 

I'm the one arguing for learning something truly new, how to be sane.

 

No you are making the same tired old argument against progress that has been used since humans could argue, No og, you can't use that rock to make a tool, it's not the one we usually use...

 

Insanity of various flavors and levels thoroughly infects every human life, and every human situation. We see it on forums on a daily basis, and everywhere else too.

 

Insanity is in the eye of the supposedly sane, your world sounds a lot like 1984...

 

Why shouldn't we grow some balls, and take on that challenge? It's a worthy challenge!Why settle for the same old crap over and over again?

 

Why is it automatically either or?

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Perhaps I can turn this question on its head. Science may to discoveries that could destroy humanity. On the other hand, we face a number of very serious problems -- climate change, energy production, overpopulation, healthcare -- whose solutions can only come from advanced scientific research. Would you have us abandon one possible route to extinction to favor another?

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Typist,

 

The mention of 1984 in relation to your vision of sanity, is an important element arguing against your vision of a "sane" world, arrived at through "only" studying our tendency toward "insanity". You cannot be the sole judge. This is not a situation that one will, one judgement, could possibly take everybody else's will and judgement, into account.

 

While there may be advantages to yielding power and authority to an "elite", that knows "better", the ultimate power and responsibility belongs to the individual. And it is better to have educated individuals ruling each other through a collective understanding, than having a Mullah rule, keeping his subjects poor and ignorant to retain power.

 

You fear the "one bad day" that might, in a million years, occur, if technology advances to the point where each individual has the ability to "push the button" that takes us all down. And your solution is to "change human nature" by finding a sanity gene and an insanity gene and outlawing the later, even if the removal of said tendency would keep people from enjoying themselves in non doomsday ways.

 

Your thesis, has a weakness. What about the human Genome is so important to assure the survival of, that you would destroy its very nature, to accomplish its continuance?

 

Better to advance on all fronts, and reuse good ideas, and improve upon them, and discard the bad ideas that don't work. Trust, but verify, so to speak. Promote the valuble and stand against the harmful. As individuals, as groups, as nations, and as humanity.

 

Stupid indeed to stop everything, until Typist is satisfied that no one will make a bad judgement.

 

We are already looking into the human mind. You are not the first to notice the value in understanding ourselves. We have been doing that since Plato and probably before. But we have been looking into understanding the world around us, as well. The investigations on all fronts, should not stop. No reason to stop. And every reason to continue. Regardless of the guy on the street, with the Placard that reads "The End is Near".

 

The end is NOT near. Has never been near. The only thing near is tomorrow.

 

Regards, TAR2

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Knowledge is too much when it reaches the point where it narrows our minds.

 

 

 

 

Show 3 different people have come upon the same large amount of knowledge.

 

1. one person uses that knowledge for good and the benefit of humanity.

 

2. one person uses that knowledge to the highest degree they can and believes nothing else anyone tries to tell them.

 

3. One person uses that knowledge for their own personal gain.

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If you beings were wise we wouldn't keep repeating the same atrocities or mistakes.

 

Poverty exists because social hierarchy, economics, and human nature demands it. Other people's poverty is profitable.

 

Nuclear weapons. I still give it time before we eventually kill ourselves off and destroy this planet once for all eternity.

 

Knowledge is a means of power. It is only sought for it's own sake.

 

Human beings are void of virtue. Virtue is illusory.

 

Technology in the hands of primates has done well to advance heathens but as of yet civilization still does not exist and probably never will.

 

There is nothing civilized about this planet.

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What?

 

Except you, right? You are the only glimmer of decency and common sense on the planet.

 

And what's this "you beings" crap.

 

Like you are made of something different than the rest of us.

 

There are billions of people, doing the right thing, all the time, and it has been such for quite some time.

 

If you have some knowledge that the rest of us beings don't have, why don't you share it, or put it into practice to make the corrections required for everybody to have this perfect life you envision.

 

But quit belly-aching. Your belly-aching doesn-t make anything better.

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To Tar:

 

You beings was a typo from my automatic word corrector.

 

I meant to say humanity or humankind.

 

In my first post I never claimed a different status from everybody else.

 

Belly aching?

 

I call it a simple and astute observation.

 

Your progressivist hopefulness for the future falls on deaf ears.

 

Human nature has not changed by very much in 3500 years.

 

What makes you think this time is any different?

 

I'll be glad to hear your arguments but please don't waste my time with defamations or personal insults.

 

The internet is riddled with them everywhere and it is nauseating.

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To Tar:

 

You beings was a typo from my automatic word corrector.

 

I meant to say humanity or humankind.

 

In my first post I never claimed a different status from everybody else.

 

Belly aching?

 

I call it a simple and astute observation.

 

Your progressivist hopefulness for the future falls on deaf ears.

 

Human nature has not changed by very much in 3500 years.

 

What makes you think this time is any different?

 

I'll be glad to hear your arguments but please don't waste my time with defamations or personal insults.

 

The internet is riddled with them everywhere and it is nauseating.

 

EternalPessimist,

 

My argument would be that some human discovered how to hunt faster and stronger animals, and shared his knowledge or at least was observed and copied. Same with farming, husbandry, material science, all the sciences, all the arts, all the trading and laws and civilization we all enjoy. We have worked together to dominate this planet and use it to our advantage, and to take care of it, when we use it too much. For every conflict humans have engaged in, there has been a human resolution. Why should "this time" be any different.

 

Regards, TAR2

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Well, shouldn't the discipline that brought us nuclear weapons, a tool that allows us to erase human civilization in 30 minutes, be subjected to relentless scrutiny when it announces another major project? I find such scrutiny to be entirely lacking, and this seems remarkable indeed.

 

Do you mean nuclear science? The same discipline giving energy sources to human populations without any other source? Dating technology to geologists? Advanced imaging techniques for diagnostic purposes in medicine? Radiomolecules for studies in chemical, biological, and forensic sciences? Prototypes of quantum computers...

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I did not read this entire thread, the first couple of pages were enough.

 

Typist. I admire your intellect and your faculty for reason. You are also obviously a patient debater. Overall your argument is extremely convincing and at its core right.

 

I would say that one point you SHOULD make and I don't know that you haven't is that the money spent on the LHC and the advancement of PARTiCLE PHYSICS need not be totally lost to science. There are plenty of valid research avenues where the entirety of that money could have been spent and knowledge would have surely been advanced. Genetic research comes to mind. Thousands of ills will most certainly be cured by deeper understanding of the genome. This is just one example of many, with extremely tangible benefits that need not be predicted. A grade school kid understands the consequences of their genetic dispositions.

 

One thing that I would point out is that far more of a concern in regards to technological advancement with knowledge is our ALREADY TOO INVESTED dependency upon technology. Everything we do today is dependent on the electrical grid, satellites in space, sensitive electronics...and all of these things are at the mercy of the very thing that gives us life, the SUN. One very strong coronal mass ejection aimed at this planet will shut it down in 8 minutes. Forget forewarning. That's next to impossible. CME's are the equivalent of a cosmic tsunami. Gas pumps won't work, therefore shipments and deliveries stop and crop harvesting is thrown into the stone ages. This is just the beginning of the mass starvation that will occur in just a few weeks time. That pesky thing called thirst might get you sooner since water sources in many areas are pumped with technology. Perhaps understanding the Higgs particle will resolve this shortcoming of technology, but I doubt it.

Granted, there are people working on this problem too, and perhaps they will discover an answer. Somehow I do not see us ever being able to shield the world and it's satellites better than the natural magnetic field does. And it is far from adequate in the face of a super solar storm.

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