humanity   3908

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Lost on Mars
"Again repeating Arendt: “The scientist qua scientist does not even care about the survival of the human race on earth or, for that matter, about the survival of the planet itself.” In its purity, the quest to vex nature’s secrets from her sees human beings as simply something more to deconstruct. Indeed, in Out of the Silent Planet and its sequel, Perelandra, the danger is never aliens but humans. The promoters of space are not such pure scientists as Arendt’s type. But, as lost in the cosmos as the rest of us, they nevertheless seek self-transcendence by means of scientific achievement. We may indeed arrive at a place where the survival of the human race on Earth is of less consequence to those possessing power than the furtherance of an abstract humanity that has abandoned much of what made it human."
space  science  humanity  from instapaper
4 days ago by dakrone
Tawana aka Honeycomb on Twitter: "In my plot to actually undo racism, I find myself thinking about the ways we have allowed the narrative of "privilege" to stagnate antiracism organizing."
"In my plot to actually undo racism, I find myself thinking about the ways we have allowed the narrative of "privilege" to stagnate antiracism organizing.

It reinforces hierarchy. It reinforces Blackness/POC identities as inferior (underprivileged), and it promotes performative testimonials of white guilt and acceptance of hierarchy as a "fact" with a never-ending solution.

What would it mean to actually tell white people that they aren't privileged. That the things that are being claimed as a privilege are basic human rights? How do we get beyond the notion of civil rights, if we make human rights a privilege?

At what point in antiracism organizing do we allow white people to truly look inward at the deficit to their humanity, caused by the notion and system of white supremacy?

It is typically those white people who feel they have failed to live up to the notion of white superiority/system of white supremacy, that we find creating the levels of violence we see in white communities. The very same system that creates violence in Black & POC communities.

It's time for a new conversation. New language. The way we've been doing things has turned into a performance. People still get to go home feeling either superior or inferior.

The way to systemically challenge white supremacy is to call to attention it's need to create an underclass, an othering in order to survive. Without the inferior, there is no superior. Where are the people who truly want to dismantle white supremacy? They aren't allies . . .

They are co-liberators who recognize that their humanity is tied up into dismantling white supremacy as well. They aren't opting in with white privilege testimonials. They are standing up against police brutality, gun violence, etc., because they see the connection.

They aren't entering rooms thinking they are more intellectual than their Black & POC comrades. They recognize that there is a difference between schooling and education. And they respect the expertise that comes from Black & POC communities, about their own experiences.

If we are truly going to systemically struggle against this white supremacist system that is killing us all, we gotta be willing to listen to each other. We have to be willing to admit that we haven't gone deep enough in the struggle against racism.

I don't need to hear another white person perform a privilege testimonial for me. I know that most don't even believe it. I can see it in your faces. I would argue you are right. I would never argue that anti-Black racism isn't a global phenomenon, or that we don't experience

inordinate amounts of blatant racism because of the color of our skin. They translate into policy, police brutality, schooling, etc. However, what I need folks to do is pause and look at the impact in white communities. This is not a comparison, it's a mirror.

None of us are living up to the system or standard of white supremacy. We are literally dying! On our street corners, in schools, in churches, in mosques, in synagogues, in movie theaters, at marches, at marathons . . . I don't have all the answers. I have a bunch of questions.

Somebody gotta start asking them."
privilege  race  humanrights  2018  antiracism  performance  superiority  inferiority  schooling  education  liberation  humanity  humanism  racism  whitesupremacy  guilt  whiteguilt  hierarchy  civilrights 
5 days ago by robertogreco
The Great Filter—the most important question in history
You don’t need 10,000,000 alien civilizations to have us tripping over old warp cores and wrappers from Phaser Burger. You just need one. For any of the “maybe they’re just quiet” objections to work, it would require that every single civilization that developed, regardless of the conditions in which it developed, would independently and uniformly determine that they would be quiet homebodies. No one, not a single Klingon Musk or Darth Bezos could ever get the idea of venturing out to colonize or launching self replicating probes. That answer seems much, much less likely than what the evidence suggests: There is no one out there.

Really, when you put the Great Filter together with Fermi’s question, there seem to be only two possible outcomes.

Answer One: Intelligent life is a fluke.

Maybe life is much more rare, much more unlikely, than our theories would suggest. All the substances required to create life seem common enough, and there are all those planets. But maybe there’s a step we don’t understand. Or maybe life is common, but it’s the development of complex life that’s rare. Maybe if we get out there, will find that our galaxy is really the Slimy Way, filled with planets overrun with the simplest forms of life, and nothing else. Or maybe it’s intelligence. Or technology — a lot of creatures on Earth, on both land and sea, seem to have reached the simple tool-using stage, but maybe getting from pointy stick to pointy stick with stone attached is just much, much harder than it looks. We don’t know which step, but one of the steps between “having a planet that appears suitable for life” and “having a technological civilization” may be a near impossible move.

This, by the way, is the Good Answer. The answer you should really, really hope is true. This is the answer that says “Yes, there is a Great Filter that stands in the way of developing a technological civilization, but we have passed that filter. The universe—the lonely, empty universe—is at our feet!”

Answer Two: Intelligent life is a disaster.

This the less good answer. The answer that says “Yes, there is a Great Filter out there … and it’s in our future.” What’s particularly bad about this is that everything would suggest that it’s in our immediate future. Because given not too much longer to hang around, this little group of monkeys is likely to escape and start being the sort of interstellar pest who would build a McDonald’s franchise on someone else’s moon … if there was anyone else.

Here’s what makes this excessively worrisome: We have no reason to think that developing intelligent life is all that hard. After all, in the one example we know of it all worked out. We know that in our Solar System, there are three planets that are at least somewhat “Earth like” and somewhat near the habitable zone. Of those, one developed life. That one went on to pass every other proposed bottleneck of the Filter theory. So as far as we can tell … it’s not that hard.

Answer two says that sure, intelligence may be as common as sand, but holding onto a technological civilization isn’t just hard, it’s essentially impossible. There are very good reasons to believe this is the correct answer.
future  research  science  space  life  history  humanity  questions  tech  technology  intelligence 
15 days ago by msszczep
Is technology re-engineering humanity? - Open Future
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” This truism—by the media-scholar John Culkin about the work of Marshall McLuhan—is more potent than ever in the age of data and algorithms. The technology is having a profound effect on how people live and think.
technology  humanity  future 
25 days ago by corrales
How Technochauvinism Derailed the Digital Future - The Atlantic
In a special bonus episode of the podcast Crazy/Genius, the computer scientist and data journalist Meredith Broussard explains how “technochauvinism” derailed the dream of the digital revolution.
future  Technology  atlantic  humanity  gender 
5 weeks ago by jorgebarba
How Technochauvinism Derailed the Digital Future - The Atlantic
But in the last few years, the most successful tech companies have built a new economy that often accentuates the worst parts of the old world they were bent on replacing. Facebook’s platform amplifies preexisting biases—both of ideology and race—and political propaganda. Amazon’s dominion over online retail has allowed it to squash competition, not unlike the railroad monopolies of the 19th century. And Apple, in designing the most profitable product in modern history, has also designed another instrument of harmful behavioral addiction.
future  humanity  technology 
7 weeks ago by corrales
Only human, after all: how evolution left us ill-equipped for modernity
Only human, after all: how evolution left us ill-equipped for modernity
https://www.ft.com/content/0df23354-8c2f-11e8-b18d-0181731a0340

“While the evolutionary drivers of bipedalism, like those of subsequent brain growth, are a matter of debate, the broad consequences are clear. It left our hands free to evolve into exquisitely dexterous manipulators that could make tools and then cultural artefacts — and today operate keyboards and phone pads with remarkable ease. “Nearly all that our species has achieved or made has been with our hands,” writes Vybarr Cregan-Reid in Primate Change.”

“Paradoxically, in the light of the current human population explosion, one of the biggest handicaps that evolution has placed on Homo sapiens is our extremely low fertility. Human reproductive inefficiency is far out of step with the reproductive abilities of other animals including primates. And there are few explanations for this; most human fertility problems, from low conception to high miscarriage rates, remain mysterious.

We cannot blame our reproductive inefficiency on any single big problem such as the hazard of squeezing a baby’s huge skull, required to house our big brain, through the female pelvis. Yes, this makes human childbirth extremely hazardous for mother and baby but “the entire reproductive process, from the production of sperm and eggs to the survival of infants, is plagued with problems,” Lents writes. “In practically every part of that system human beings have more faulty biology than any other mammal we know of.””
books-non-fiction  humanity  health 
8 weeks ago by craigryan
A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work | World Economic Forum
"...no less than 47% of all American jobs and 54% of those in Europe are at a high risk of being usurped by machines. And not in a hundred years or so, but in the next 20. “The only real difference between enthusiasts and skeptics is a time frame,” notes a New York University professor. “But a century from now, nobody will much care about how long it took, only what happened next.”
society  humanity  technology  future  trends 
8 weeks ago by corrales
Twitter
Big win for and today w/ the International Whaling Commission voting against lifting a ban on…
humanity  whales  from twitter_favs
9 weeks ago by sustainitycoach

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