RE: vanished civilizations

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Jun 26 2001 - 07:39:56 MDT

> With the risk of nuclear
> war receding, the threat of our ending with a bang no longer has a chance
> of galvanizing us to halt our course. Our risk now is of winding down,
> slowly, in a whimper. Corrective action is blocked by vested interests, by
> well-intentioned political and business leaders, and by their electorates,
> all of whom are perfectly correct in not noticing big changes from year to
> year. Instead, each year there are just somewhat more people, and somewhat
> fewer resources, on Earth.

The last sentence of this quote reveals a remarkable ignorance of the nature
of technology. Technology allows us to use resources from off Earth, and to
use substances that weren't previously identified as useful resources, and
to use substances previously identified as resources much more efficiently.
Technology basically meaning "matter organized in special ways according to
our intelligence." Technology of course may ultimately allow us to leave
our human bodies behind as well.

The analogy between societies like Easter Island and ours is pretty darn
forced. Yes, they had tech too, but they didn't have the accelerating curve
of tech development that we have now. They were on a very different point
in the overall tech development curve of intelligent races.

I guess that on a list like this, I've already said more than was necessary.
Perhaps the best thing would have been to ignore this silliness. But
there's always the risk that someone might take it seriously...


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