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Anonymous Poster

Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 5:42 AM

I'm in my mid twenties. When I look at the pages of history, year 50s and 60s were full of scientific exploration. There were lots of hopes about space travel. Every year there was a breakthrough, in space exploration. In that age, year 2000 might have looked like a wonderful space age, where people would fly to moon and mars, and would be building stations on planets.

We're in 2010 now. We rarely get to see any enthusiasm. People and media are so focussed on next version of electronic gadgets and operating systems, and browser. Targets of space exploration are continuously postponed. Of course, some Asian countries are starting, but they're mostly reinventing old technologies, no breakthrough like new propulsion systems etc.

Let us not just discuss this issue from point of view of individual nations. Let's talk this issue as concerned to whole of humanity. And please don't just boil down reasons to bureaucratic/absence of cold war/ lack of funds. We need to introspect from all points- lack of progress in critical technologies, COST, culture, arrival of "soft technologies" like IT/ Bio/medical which dragged talent from "Hard engineering and science" like Physics, mechanical, electrical, aerospace.

Please give your opinion.

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#1

Re: Where did humanity fail?

06/11/2010 6:41 AM

I personally think that any further exploration of the moon or mars should be completely unmanned missions and that attempting to send people is a complete waste of time and money. Until we can come up with a way to travel at the speed of light or place ourselves in cryogenic suspension, the idea of colonizing space will remain in the movies. If we were able to develop the technology to safely work and operate in the depths of the worlds oceans, that technology would easily cross over for use in space.

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#2
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Re: Where did humanity fail?

06/11/2010 6:51 AM

"If we were able to develop the technology to safely work and operate in the depths of the worlds oceans, that technology would easily cross over for use in space."

Two different environments entirely.

Space may have the absence of pressure (1 bar), but the temperature extremes (±250°C), radiation, lack of gravity, propulsion mechanisms, mass, and accessibility are virtually opposites of each other.

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#7
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Re: Where did humanity fail?

06/11/2010 7:48 AM

Right, it was an over simplification, I was referring to the actual structure, in one case pressure is being kept out and in the other, it's being kept in. The point I was trying to make is that there is plenty of exploration still to do right here on earth, in my opinion.

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#10
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Re: Where did humanity fail?

06/11/2010 8:06 AM

Yes. The underworld is no less amazing and in many ways more reachable. Sending humans to the bottom of the ocean is more a routine thing than sending humans to low Earth orbit and a good bit less risky.

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#64
In reply to #10

Re: Where did humanity fail?

10/22/2018 3:05 PM

Although, I believe the early 60's is the last time humans went "deep" . Too much pressure produces "stress", the lack of pressure produces "nothing", I choose somewhere in between like the beach.

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#3

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 6:53 AM

Simply put, after a few Moon landings in the early 1970s the world simply became bored with it.

The passion has never returned since.

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:59 AM

That is so true, there was a surge in interests with Appolo 13. but for different reasons.

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#4

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:33 AM

One should never state opinion as fact.

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#8
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:51 AM

Can you elaborate?

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#16
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 3:49 PM

Is that a fact?

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#17
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 4:38 PM
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#5

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:42 AM

Necessity will always be the mother of invention and cooperation.

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#6

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:42 AM

Don't lose sleep over it, written history can show a number of different views, In the 50's and 60's ask the people that actually lived it. Their was turmoil and doubt there also.

p911

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#43
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 7:12 PM

Duck and cover.

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#11

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 8:27 AM

As I've said before on CR4, one major problem is that there isn't really any "there" to go to. Pioneering space isn't like colonizing an unknown continent here on Earth.

Sure, we can maybe technically send a few people to EO space stations and Mars and some of the other planets / moons. But none of those places holds even the tiniest promise of being remotely self-sufficient. With neither our current technology nor that envisioned as feasible within the next few decades, we simply can't afford (in many ways, not just monitarily) to send a constant wagon-train of supplies to shore up a romantic dream.

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#12

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 8:30 AM

fail......some would say it failed in the beginning with Adam

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#13

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 8:31 AM

The questions you ask cover a lot of ground and require complex replies, but here are (IMHO) four very general reasons for the differences between then and now.

1. Low-hanging fruit. In the 50s and 60s, as aerospace grew out of its infancy, the goals were simple and achievable with a reasonable expenditure of time and materials. Rocket ships, orbiting satellites, space stations, trips to the moon, robot spacecraft to other planets -- these were the 'low hanging fruit' that were easily picked. Once the low-hanging fruit have been picked the fruit higher-up requires a significantly greater expenditure of time and materials, which the taxpayers are less willing to fund.

2. Technology has moved on. In the 50s and 60s aerospace engineering was a rapidly-expanding field. In addition to the government-funded NASA programs and military aviation, the aerospace companies were competing with each other to build the fastest, biggest passenger jets. At the same time the television industry was rapidly growing. As a result, electronics engineering became a rapidly-growing field as well. When the transistor became mass-producible, the field exploded. These days aerospace engineering and electronics engineering are mature fields.

3. Chasing the dollars. In the 50s and 60s, military spending was a major chunk of the federal budget. The cold war was hot. Funding NASA was part of the cold war. It was all inter-related, where federal dollars bought hardware. These days the military budget is a much, much smaller chunk of the federal budget, and much of the military budget is for counter-terrorism and homeland security which are fought more with computers and electronic analysis (software) than with aerospace hardware. Also, these days a much larger chunk of the federal budget is for social programs, so private companies and contract agencies are now chasing social spending to provide social services (software). That's where the money is going.

4. Look to private enterprise. What's really exciting these days, in terms of aerospace developments, are all of the private companies getting into rockets and orbital spacecraft. This was an almost non-existent field in the 50s and 60s. There is still a lot of money to be made in rockets and low-Earth-orbit spacecraft. Using the low-hanging-fruit analogy, NASA picked off the biggest and juiciest of the fruit back then, but there are a lot of new, smaller pieces of fruit to be picked which NASA is too bureaucratically encumbered to do. Perfect for the smaller, cheaper private enterprising companies to go after.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 8:39 AM

"1. Low-hanging fruit. In the 50s and 60s, as aerospace grew out of its infancy, the goals were simple and achievable with a reasonable expenditure of time and materials. Rocket ships, orbiting satellites, space stations, trips to the moon, robot spacecraft to other planets -- these were the 'low hanging fruit' that were easily picked. Once the low-hanging fruit have been picked the fruit higher-up requires a significantly greater expenditure of time and materials, which the taxpayers are less willing to fund."

I think not by a long shot! Getting humans to the Moon was the most technologically advanced thing we (humans) have ever done. It required vast amounts of technology that wasn't even invented. We also did it in a timeline that exceeded all expectations.

40 years later it is still a daunting task to get there again.

The 50s and 60s were not low hanging fruit goals. These were stretch goals of the highest magnitude and one of the reasons it captivated the worlds attention.

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#15
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 9:26 AM

You misunderstand. I wasn't saying getting to the Moon was easy. I was saying that, of the possible projects NASA could take on, it was achievable with a reasonable expenditure of manpower and materials at the time. It was a piece of fruit 'within our grasp' -- back when NASA was run by engineers, not bean-counters. And back when NASA's budget allowed the engineers to be creative. No one would disagree that getting to the Moon was an amazing achievement.

Conversely getting men to Mars, for example, is so much harder, requiring an enormously larger expenditure of materials, time, and manpower, it was unthinkable as a realistic goal back then or even now. Getting people to any of the other planets is likewise a near-impossible task at this point. Given the mindset of the bean-counters at NASA and the politicians in Washington, getting to the Moon is, in many ways, harder now than back then.

The next 'piece of low-hanging fruit' will probably be a trip to one of the asteroids that occasionally comes near the Earth.

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#65
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

10/31/2018 4:06 PM

Today, an i-phone could get us there, in 1969 the computers filled a room. I watched them launch to the moon, then watched them land. When they landed, I was sitting across from the "Wright Flyer" at Kitty Hawk N. C. An amazing feat.

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/14/2010 10:37 AM

4. ... There is still a lot of money to be made in rockets and low-Earth-orbit spacecraft. ...

To quote Jerry McGwire (movie, not character): Show me the money! Where is the money to be made?

Lifting mass off the ground is hard enough - try 100 pounds over your head. Now try lifting that mass 100 miles straight up, and consider that you can't do much useful with just 100 lbs of material. When Obama recenty floated the idea of privatizing the "easy" stuff, the big defense contractors basically responded, "I just don't see a business case for us." (That might be an exact quote.)

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#18

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/11/2010 7:45 PM

So where did humanity fail? Let me count the ways.

  1. People got lazy, possibly due to modern conveniences. Instead of be willing to put in hard work & research to get their answers, they expect everyone to serve it to them on a silver platter. Just look at the number of homework cheats that post questions asking us to solve their homework for them instead of them doing it first and posting their working here for us to verify.
  2. People developed short attention spans and impatience, possibly due to the fast pace of modern living. Instead of perserverance, people want instant gratification. Because of this, if they fail just once or even if they only marginally succeed, they give up.
  3. People found new role models. Where people once idolized scientists and explorers, today it's movie idols, pop stars and athletes. Because of this, people are no longer inspired to become researchers. Instead, they aspire to becoming singers and actors.
  4. Because of the ignorance caused by the above, conspiracy theorists/scammers have now blossomed. With them come lies about over-unity devices and how science is suppressing evidence of benign aliens who want to save mankind etc. There are even people who claim that scientific discoveries prove their religious beliefs, and when science fails to prove what they believe, then they claim that scientists are suppressing evidence to support their points of view when they themselves are allowing their own beliefs to influence their evaluation of the facts. All this have led to people preferring to believe that life will be better if only the "wicked" scientists are ignored and that the solutions to all their problems will eventually come when they give their money to the scammers to continue their "research". Just look at the over-unity threads and even New Age nonsense that sometimes pop up here.
  5. Due to budget cuts etc many scientists have now sold their souls to devils aka politicians and business interests. End result: instead of conducting research objectively, many scientists now produce reports that favor their sponsors' points of view. Likewise, they also engage in never-ending research that only produce promising outcomes but never meaning final results just to keep the research grants coming.

There are many more reasons than what was just listed above, but I personally think that these are the most important reasons.

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#29
In reply to #18

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/14/2010 11:52 AM

Dvader -- GA...; No, an excellent answer! You have presented important ideas and put them in a concise well stated piece worthy of inclusion in any good newspaper's editorial page.

Thanks, Ed Weldon

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#50
In reply to #18

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/18/2010 1:11 PM

Hi Vader,

We can give many reasons to succeed or fail in any endeavour. Look around and you discover that individual, team or group of individuals, nations, and humanity have ideas, goals, and work hard to arrive to the final and glorious moment. When this moment is achieved, all enthusiasms are slowed down and finally everything become normal, inactive, bored, and dead. In the 50s, everyone talked about space and another worlds with another people. Today, it takes $20 millions or more to go to the space for a few days and watch the earth from a few hundred kms.

In the other hand, a new electronic gadget affords everyone great pleasures for hours, days, and more. Also, everyone can pay for it!

However, we are involved in many small and interesting things like Iraq, Afganistan, the oil spill, and more.

Time passes and interests are changing with it. The world getting older as we do but our interests for new things still high, just we have to branch or connect people, the mass to it, Gil.

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#19

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 3:21 AM

To understand what happened in 50 years to the space program you need to look at what the space program has accomplished that affects every day life as people view it. New science derived from extraterrestrial exploration and discovery is very nice; but such accomplishments usually take generations to turn into something people want and need. The exception is earth satellite technology, which has given the world lots of really neat things.

But the idea of manufacturing or growing things in space under zero gravity has fizzled. And for good reason keeping the arms race out of space produced little in the way of military applications other than intelligence gathering from satellites and precise GPS technology.

Beyond Earth orbit there has been no useful product other than scientific knowledge and no serious practical applications seem to appear other than far off ideas like preventing asteroids or comets from crashing into our world. Unfortunately all the other large volume of useful scientific findings, inventions and actual engineering experience that has come as a byproduct of the process of space exploration has little connection in the public mind with the Space Program itself.

So small wonder people's biggest interest in the space program comes from media productions revolving around the discoveries of what's out there. In a time of fiscal near crisis an entertaining science project the size of NASA's proposal package is going to be a tough sell.

Ed Weldon

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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 11:30 PM

I'm replying to myself here (yes there is truth to the anecdotal observations about old people talking to themselves a lot).

I guess I missed the point of the OP's topic in that it wasn't just about the Space Program. Ok, so the whole world is going to Hell in a handbasket. No,wait a minute! things are getting better. Humanity is failing. Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes here's real evidence of failure. No here's evidence of success....

C'mon guys, let's focus on real problems and how to solve them. Let's come up with measures of the magnitude of the failures and the same for the total costs of the solutions. Where no good solution exists let's find a way toward good solutions.

We all know what's wrong. Trouble is if the "wrong" affects us we want to fix it, and as cheaply as the lowest bidder can offer. If it doesn't affect us then we want no part of any solution that we think negatively affects us. That's human nature. It's also the nature of lizards and worms albeit at a more simplistic level.

Side note, here......profit driven media loves to entertain lizard brained customers. I'd love to speculate here about what you would get if you cross bred a lizard and a sheep. But then most everybody would get mad at me; if you are not of that frame of mind already.

The big question to me is "are we going to act like a growing population of sheep-zards while we continue to destroy the world we live in?"

Ed Weldon

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#41
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 12:26 PM

"Quote" what you would get if you cross bred a lizard and a sheep.

I love your analogy. No one would get mad because it would be too deep for them to comprehend. Those who do comprehend know that it doesn't apply to them.

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#20

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 4:15 AM

Agreeing with most of what has been already said - I would add that we were borrowing against the future to pay for it, unfortunately we are now that future and the debt has to be paid. This leaves less room for grandiose projects with little chance of payback.

The '50s and 60s were a time of technical breakthrough in these fields, the technology has matured but there has been no real step change in the technology since. We are only going to get incremental advances until there is another step change in technology.

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#21
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Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 7:35 AM

I would add that we were borrowing against the future to pay for it, unfortunately we are now that future and the debt has to be paid.

The economy is too complex to pin it on that.

But if I would some it up, like yourself, it was mostly a mismanagement of business (the government), where there was no payback that did come from technology advances....more so from a grab for the money, whether it be a government program, or a fiscal pyramid scam backed/ignored by the government.

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#22

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 7:50 AM

Thank you, people. You've given very appropriate and wonderful thoughts to think over. I'm curious to see if someone can give any other reasons.

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#23

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 10:28 AM

I do not know whether we should be debating where did humanity fail?

Humanity has not FAILED. From Stone Age to now- fantastic progress has been made. I studied when were still using slide-rule for calculations and transistor had been invented. The invention of transistor to replace vacuum tube changed the world- as it was the first step towards miniaturization.

On my first job I assembled/tested the first IC which had just 6 transistors. Today we have millions on a chip.

BBC had once shown a serial on inventions which changed our lives for the worst (something like that) and it was the TELEVISION. Frankly without the picture tube we would never had oscilloscopes, ECG, computers etc. But the invasion of TV into house resulted meant dining table habit was gone. People sit around TV and watch it, but talk to each other less. The other day I got a mail – A little child wrote an essay- to say that it would like to be a TV. The reason was everybody gave most attention to the TV and not to others. But did the inventor ever imagine bad effects of his invention on lives of people?

Nobel invented the explosive and Rutherford gave us the nuclear energy. But both did not expect that we will have nuclear bombs and two nations will have ego clash on who owns most destructive power. Whoever expected that mobile / satellite phones & GPS which are such a convenience will be used by terrorists during Mumbai Carnage of 26/11, and conduct serial, synchronized bombs!!?? Who expects advances in medicine will be used by terrorists to embed RDX and bombs inside boobs of suicide bomber ladies. So one side – you may be seen as invading privacy of all decent ladies, otherwise someone taking advantage of that good nature.

One side we preached womanizing is bad and we should have high moral standards in society. God introduced HIV, AIDS to world so that humans will try to stay within limits. Look at I-Pill introduced by MNCs to make money- on one hand may be convince – to avoid unwanted pregnancies , it is being widely used by teenagers (advertisements also target the same) to indulge in early premarital sex. Then why can't it continue later and we have extramarital sex and then divorces. Whether i-Pill introduction is right or wrong can go into endless debate!!!

Monsanto trying to launch terminator genetically modified seeds to corner agricultural production of the whole world (to take huge money) - could also lead to CIA / FBI introducing some genes to result in other diseases etc targeting certain consumers. (Hope you are aware of the Thalaidomide babies in Japan). POWER & MONEY Corrupts all minds!!!!

Master Card – introduced plastic money concept thus over turning all old monetary policies. People lived beyond their capability to repay.

American marketing gurus introduced concept of incentives, bonuses etc for selling cards. Youngsters were employed. Cards (and similar other marketing products) were sold to undeserving people- so that they individually could get incentives. To hell with the company.

There was no passion in working. it was purely for earning. All professionals became mercenaries.

In Japan all companies had people over 70 to 80 years still heading, guiding companies. Old people were respected. The new generation cares a hoot for old values. Americans introduced Directors, Vice President, managers at 30 years, 40 years etc. India still has Prime Minister, Finance Minister and other top ranking people who are past 65 to 70 years (while on paper retirement age is 6o for some and 65 for academics). Our Indian economy is thriving with matured politicians and economists. My Economist Professor is past 80 years advising the PM !!! Americans selected young OBAMA- who in turn nominates youngsters and we have two huge democracies on experiment – young and old. India is culturally older though younger in democracy, run by older seasoned people.

I use the following equation to teach impact of impact on environmental destruction. I = P*A*T where I = Impact on environment. P = Population. A = Acquisitions (call it material consumption, ambition etc etc), T= Technology. This is where the following statement made by someone is repeatedly used in the context of the equation.

"I would add that we were borrowing against the future to pay for it, unfortunately we are now that future and the debt has to be paid."

Rapid industrialization resulted in fast progress – but also meant faster consumption of earth's resources. I still have not understood whoever fixed salary levels at whatever level it is today and what is purchasing power. With that the western or developed nations – with huge pay packets started living luxuriously and in turn consumed earth's resources faster. With TV, faster air travel, people in other parts of the world saw how someone was enjoying, while we in India China lived happily with no cars, no TV etc. Then acme the MNCs who in their greed for money could buy politicians and India + China reformed. Now the huge population (I can go on giving lot of reasons- as I teach whole semester on this topic) wants to have similar life style like the developed nations. This is where the T= Technology issue comes in. Developed nations plundered the earth's resources (not bothering to leave anything for future generations). Now even Mr Obama is saying – why we have more carbon emission is because Indians are buying more cars (which we could not afford till nearly 1995)!!!!! OR invent something new (T = Technology factor) – which will give same luxury with lower or zero carbon emissions.

This is where discussions breakdown in Copenhagen etc – where US and developed nations are being told by India and China to cut carbon emissions (indirectly meaning start living less luxuriously) as immediately as possible and India and China to be allowed to raise their standard of living of their people to certain threshold, before they too would have to cut carbon emissions.

BUT – this also gives a huge opportunity to question everything (T- factor) – be it product, process or method of conducting / managing (including pay packets!! And luxury spending there after) business. (This is what I have been doing and running into huge controversies on CR4- asking me whether I have understood old things). Question all old know things - IC engine, Carnot cycle, Sterling cycle, Newton's laws, Einstein's' theories etc etc. Did our scientists develop synthetic life or was it just fungus etc – which lead to invention of penicillin? Who says there cannot be another Shockley, Einstein, and Thomas Alva Edison?

I understand that the law of Thermodynamics (forgotten- don't take me to task) states that every system is ORDERLY to begin with and degrades to disorderly state with time. But the world as per Hindu theory of cycle – will move towards very orderly state of peace, prosperity, growth with order – after all those contributing to disorder, negative thoughts etc etc – are removed from the scene (you will understand what it means is- there will be large scale destruction – population coming down, negative thinkers like terrorists will get wiped out – leaving nice people peace, happiness and prosperity). So keep working, be innovative, be positive and rest leave to the Lord- he will take care of all good people- not to worry. So everyone has to mediate, introspect, do soul searching – whether he is eligible or not.

It is nice to note even Harvard Business School si looking at SOUL SEARCHING, Values in life, kind of future larders etc etc.

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#62
In reply to #23

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

08/01/2011 8:15 PM
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#24

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/12/2010 3:07 PM

Humanity failed when you were born.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/14/2010 6:01 AM

Because Americans will never learn from mistakes- at your age. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU EXPORTED RECESSION. YOU KILED THOUSANDS OF PEOPEL IN BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY. Mr Anderson like people get shielded form your Government. You have no ethics.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/14/2010 7:08 AM

sure we have our set of problems, but for us to export recession, that would also mean mean we exported the growth to have recession also.

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/14/2010 11:31 PM

India , China continue to grow despite American Recession. These countries did grow despite American Capitalistic, selfish (aimed at making individuals personally rich) approaches will continue. Who said America was responsible for growth of the whole world!! This where you live like frog in a well. Don't know the outside world!!!

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 1:48 AM

Guest --

We all have ethics. But they differ between cultures. Which ones are the best? It depends on your metrics and your cultural viewpoint. India and China avoided recession largely because they avoided the gambling that caused it.

One thing appears certain. The ethics of the USA and I daresay those of many other nations are undergoing some stress and debate in the current rapidly changing world. The measure of future success will depend again on the metrics.

Personally I, as an American, am not especially happy about the direction our nation is taking. Great material prosperity is not having the best effect on the USA in preparing us for a future. Yet there is still little inclination among our people to give up any of the material gains we have realized in favor of some other future path. Most of us offer only token sympathy for the individuals among us who have fallen or been pushed off the train. All too often our biggest concern is how we can profit from their misfortune. Many call this "dog eat dog; winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" the "American way". The USA is known worldwide as the "land of opportunity". But the reality is that many do not succeed.

Will it continue to be successful? Who knows? We are competing with many other cultures who have different formulas often driven by their own circumstances, some unfortunate, that they cannot easily change.

I believe Western democracies are being tested now and are under no guarantee of continued success and prosperity. "Freedom" includes the freedom to engage in self destructive behavior. In the USA freedom of speech as put forth in our Bill of Rights may well be our undoing insofar as it allows a small rich segment of our population to control the rest via the growing power of modern electronic media. But the comfort and material enrichment that such control provides may only be temporary.

History has shown that people will fight harder to keep what they have than to gain what they don't have. It has also shown that the defense can most easily be overcome by an offense that overwhelms rapidly before the defenders can organize their forces.

We've taken one heavy shock with the financial collapses of 2008 largely brought on by poorly rigged gambling at high levels of our financial institutions. A majority of Americans were largely unaffected by the resultant recession and continue to enjoy a lifestyle that they deeply believe they are entitled to fueled by the ongoing ability of governments to borrow money and the confidence of investors in the permanence of US asset values and income sources. Will we be strong enough to handle the next shock wherever it may come from? Will we as a country knuckle down and start building our assets or will we continue to squander them in favor of the entertainment provided by foo-foo luxuries and wasteful games?

And with respect to the rest of the world when are we going to quit trying to export this behavior to everyone else?

I don't think humanity has failed yet. We have a lot of failed experiments and there will be more. But there can still be a successful future if we all work at it. The key is the word "we".

Ed Weldon

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#60
In reply to #33

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

07/20/2011 9:07 AM

Excellent. Very objective and well thought

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#34
In reply to #30

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 7:04 AM

I am going to differ with you on that view.

China and India are growing precisely because of Western influence. Both countries need places to export their goods and services. Without the West as a customer there would be no growth.

While I don't know the specifics, my understanding is that China is in danger of a economic reversal and walk a tightrope of their own. I don't know the economics of India.

However, I do understand the ethos of India and it has been the reason that your people have prospered so well. You are hard working and you see the potential returns when you invest in yourselves with a quality education and a strong drive toward excellence.

I know many that have immigrated here and are doing very, very well. The reason that people immigrate here is that they realize (even more so than those that have been born here for generations) that there is opportunity here that exists nowhere else on the planet.

Actually, we don't live like a frog in a well. The reason is because we are an aggregate or mix of many, many different cultures. Many of our citizens and citizens to be are from India. We welcome them and the many others that come here because of the valuable contributions they make to our society, both in culture and in their hard work.

We are a nation of immigrants and each bring a unique part of their homeland here to share and enrich our nation. It has been the backbone of our nation and one of the primary reasons for our success.

All of the successes and improvements in the human condition are due to two factors; free enterprise and a strong will to succeed (make a better place for our children).

Capitalism is a two edge sword. As you know, a sword can kill and maim as much as it can be used in surgery to restore or bring new life into this world. That means it is up to each one of us to wield that power as responsibly as we can. We can use that power for great ill, but it is nobler to do good.

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#61
In reply to #34

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

07/20/2011 12:52 PM

Rem acu tetigisti

I totally agree that the US is the greatest land of opportunity; if you have talent, you can exploit it here to the fullest as nowhere else.

From my childhood, I have always admired the US and what it stands for. Where else will you find GM, GE, GD, USS, Du Pont, 3M, IBM, ITT (ATT), Intel, Northrop, Boeing, Raytheon.......... and most of all Hollywood. (Every weekday I watch your old Western serials in the evenings).

Engineering school was based on the the MIT model and all text books were US.

I gained true insight into Physics through Feynman's lectures.

You may not believe that the US least discriminates people, and will recognise worth regardless of your colour or country of origin. I have worked in many parts of the world and can vouch for this.

I know examples do not prove a rule, but using the extrapolation principle used in the binomial theorem, one can establish a pattern.

The US company I work for is a hundred year old pioneer in the field of designing, building and reconditioning of heavy equipment for the steel mills.

I had returned to India after many years in Canada. This company made contact with an old classmate of mine for someone to design custom gearboxes for them. I got in touch with them as I had over thirty years experience in machine design. We hit out right from day one. In two years I designed over twenty gearboxes to their stringent conditions. They then asked me if I could come over to the US as I could be of greater use to them.

They arranged for everything and on my arrival was met personally by their VP and GM engineering at the airport. They took us out to dinner that night and lodged us at a hotel suite till we got a house. They paid the rent, installments for furniture and car for six months, over and above a salary way beyond my needs. All appliances were paid for. The GM personally found us a house, took us to the S.S. office and M.V. for my car licence, bank accounts etc.. I have complete freedom to to work and develop designs that did not exist before with all encouragement and support from all in the company. The company has over 300 people working at this site and is almost exclusively white. I am one of the rare coloured person here and have never felt a iota of discrimination. I should know. India with all its castes and creeds and prejudices, is a country that discriminates the most.

Many of my college mates from IIT, who have done exceptionally well in the US, reinforce and attest my premise, with similar experiences.

The US has always attracted and nurtured the best talent in the world(including, I must say, some brilliant Nazis in rocket science) which is what made it the greatest.

Do not bother with the US basher, he is only green with envy.

It is only unfortunate that this country in recent times has relinquished its position as the prime innovator and a leader of science and technology.

Like someone asked me the other day, "Where are the Americans in America?"

Indeed where are the likes of Alfred Sloan, Andrew Carnegie, Bell, Watson, Geneen, Steinmetz, Hughes, Ford, Edison, to name a few.

This depressing time is only a passing phase. I came to the US in 2009 at the peak of recession much to the dismay of my people at home. I had full faith in this country and was sure that it will bounce back to prosperity.

When my work here is done I will go back to India, the place of my birth and where I belong. I am proud of my Indian lineage just as you are of yours, and wish you all the best

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 12:20 AM

Who would have guessed a joke would get such a nasty response. The OP must have come from China. Their economy may not be so good when we put a stop to their cyber warfare, and stop them from copying all our work!

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 12:52 AM

You are absolutely right. To avoid this kind of cyber warfare- decency, code of conduct (may be unwritten) must have been maintained. Now kindly introspect and see - that earthlings also same code of conduct and ethics irrespective of religion, nationality, colour of skin, age, gender.

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#53
In reply to #26

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/01/2011 8:53 AM

You are confusing Corporations, who have no soul and are driven purely by profit motives, with Government which is necessary to protect the national resources of a Nation from despotic mercenaries.

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#35

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 8:43 AM

We came ,we saw,we conquered

I believe the prevailing attitude regarding further exploration of Space is:

The Juice isn't worth The Squeeze

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#36

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/15/2010 2:13 PM

The Thread title/question is much larger than the it's fleshing out by the OP.

If space exploration is taken as the only criteria for whether or not humanity has failed, then the implied, unspoken question is whether humanity has turned it's back on seeking knowledge.

DVader1000 mention's "New Age nonsense". I would have to know more specifically what is defined as "New Age" and what part of this is "nonsense". I will assume this includes the term "spirituality" since many lump that in with the term "New Age". Of course, the embracing of teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, is not "New" in any sense. I would agree there is a lot of nonsense, but mostly because of partial understanding, not because there is no truth connected with the theory of spirituality. And I would define spirituality as the seeking of super-sensory knowledge, as opposed to sensory knowledge.

All of science's knowledge is at the level of senses; mostly seeing and hearing. The knowledge of spirituality is not experienced via the 5 senses we know. Therefore, it is almost impossible for the two branches of knowledge to have a common-ground discussion. There have been plenty of "holy men" (teachers, gurus, masters... or whatever one wishes to term them) throughout history that have specifically told people that ultimate truth has to be searched for within (using super-sensory, or internal seeing and hearing). The few people (as Jesus intimated) who were attracted to their teaching were, in most cases, given a way to test the theory via contemplation, meditation (or whatever focusing attention is termed in any of the many "systems" of spiritual seeking). (And it is not hard to find this perspective in Jesus' teachings as some might think -- since most English speaking people who are religious have embraced Christianity.) Did he not teach his disciples in secret, apart from the crowds, about the "mysteries of the kingdom?" (Of course this premise could be a whole book, much less a simple few sentences in a CR4 post.) And the reason there seem to be inconsistencies and contradictions when comparing the teachings of all those who we revere as holy men is that not all "teachers" had risen to the same level of inner knowledge.

To me this is where humanity has failed. When such people leave the scene their teachings generally deteriorate into moral and ethical precepts with the "inner" side being lost. Unfortunately, there is much more to this story than most people would dream and/or could accept. But if one is earnest in seeking this sort of knowledge, with pure motives, sooner or later this desire will lead to a path to this sort of knowledge. If this sounds too "New Age", it may be because the true spirit of science isn't being attended to. Any scientist would say s/he is in search of Truth. They just don't recognize that there a Truth beyond the senses. If mystics (past and present) say there is such a thing as "inner" seeing and "inner" hearing -- and inner realms -- and say there are means to investigate (using your own consciousness as the laboratory, and that the basic truth -- inner light, sound and realms, being verifiable from one human to the next) and you don't have an interest in trying it, then you can't say it isn't true in an absolute sense; only that it isn't true for you since you refused to test the hypothesis. Man spends his whole life looking outward and never looks within. Without this inner knowledge, all the technology and science that can ever be, will result in harmful applications of this knowledge. When Jesus said, "There are many mansions in the House of my Father...", do you think he meant some location in the physical realm or within in one's own consciousness? We ignore these kind of statements and think sensual knowledge is all that is available to us.

Just think, most of the great theories and discoveries of science happened not when applying our physical senses, but when applying our consciousness to a problem. And in many cases the discovery is an intuitive flash. So what we think of as our "scientific" knowledge has actually come from "inner" processes that most don't even understand. Why not devote some time to seeking this kind of knowledge?

To never look for an inner side to life and knowledge is the ultimate failure of humanity.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 3:01 AM

"To never look for an inner side to life and knowledge is the ultimate failure of humanity."

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Inward looking is essential. This is what Harvard Business School has started in right earnest and to see what kind of leaders are required in future. When people start looking inward, they also understand- not to point fingers at others. Values systems (without bias of any kind) of every nation could be different and there has to respect and tolerance for these. See Nobel Laurette Economists were not able to stop recession in America!!! India and China only got the contagious disease from America (with all MIT, Harvard, Stanford and top universities, scientists etc etc).

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 11:17 AM

Guest quoted: "To never look for an inner side to life and knowledge is the ultimate failure of humanity."

I disagree with the "ultimate" part.

Introspection is of first order importance in body maintenance and self improvement. It is about putting one's mind in order and keeping it under proper control. This is most important for those of us gifted with strong intellects as well as the ability to influence the thinking of others. Just because your complex brain is capable of creating an inner world of dazzling complexity does not mean that you must devote yourself to its exploration at the expense of the needs of the rest of yourself.

And take note that it is about "self". When self leaves earthly life whatever improvements to the body and mind that were made go with him/her to whatever one's belief system has as the next stop in existence. What is left behind is a trifling small amount of borrowed matter/energy and whatever record of one's existence on Earth that is worthy of preservation. It is this record for the benefit of future learners as well as the substance of what anyone did for the rest of humanity that counts.

To me the ultimate failure of humanity will come when we finally and irresolutely place ourselves on a pedestal of our own importance.

My guiding thoughts on the subject:

What you do for yourself is just body maintenance and self improvement. What you do for others is what counts. "Me" is just a part of "we" If "me" does not contribute something to "we" of what use is it?

And that handful of molecules you consist of? The universe and the laws of physics have no respect for the limits of human perception.

Ed Weldon

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 12:12 PM

I had just written my response about self-introspection and when it was posted I then saw your response about introspection. So now I would add to what I said, that in merging the small self with the greater Self is when we truly are able to serve the "we" as opposed to the "me", because we will see the greater "Me" in all and act accordingly. Is that not at the root of Jesus saying, "For I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not..." That is a direct equation with the greater Self being clothed in matter as the small self. Mysticism is the root of all truly spiritual lives.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 11:58 AM

What you are referring to is self-introspection. This is necessary but is quite apart from the inner seeking and experience I referred to. No doubt, self-introspection can transform a person's life but not nearly so much as an inner experience of inner light, sound and other realms will (And ultimately merging the small self with the one Self.)

Self-introspection depends on some rule or set of rules that you are measuring your own behavior by to see if you meet them; then correcting that behavior. Depending on your world view your rules may vary from the next person. So self-introspection alone will not lead to a peaceful and loving world that so many wish and pray for. There is also the fact that in spite of the best intentions to correct behavior, some behavioral responses (anger, lust, and greed to name some difficult ones) will still be lurking in the mind. As long as these responses are even latent there is no guarantee of keeping them subdued. Ethical training is more or less what you are referring to. It is only a first step to inner knowledge. Nothing can substitute for the experience mentioned above.

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/16/2010 2:30 PM

Guest -- You propose that the failure to search for the inner "Self" is the failure of humanity. This is like saying a failure to attain any high level of accomplishment is a general failure of the lot. I would say you are projecting your own experience/observations on the rest of humanity that cannot begin to understand or even be capable of the mental (in a general sense) exercise you speak of.

Perhaps Humanity will someday evolve to a level where most are capable of deep exploration of the inner Self. That could well be the ultimate success of our kind. This of course assumes that the inner Self is as good as we'd like it to be. But the best we can do now is learn and apply the wisdom that comes from the teachings of our great prophets. Given a view of history that learning process will continue to be painfully slow and produce cyclic variations that too often swing to the negative side.

Are these swings THE failure of Humanity? Kind of hard to say when we do not well understand the mathematics or constants of the cycle function.

I say to any of you who have mustered the personal capabilities to make this journey of discovery into the realm of your inner Self; do it! And when ready share the wisdom you have gained with as many or the rest of us as you can. The net result is bound to be good for humanity in spite of the negativity occasionally produced by some disciples of the prophets.

But for the rest of us who still retain the inner instincts of the lizard we had best depend on personal discipline to make our lives productive and successful and a positive credit to humankind.

Ed Weldon

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/17/2010 12:30 AM

I have been comfortable from the discussions which we see on our Spiritual channel. It is in Hindi as well as in English - from Brahmakumaris. You can keep in touch with them on www.Brahmakumaris.com. They will not fleece you. Instaed my lecturing pl get more understanding on this from them. Anotehr very reputed, popular organisation is Chinmayananda Ashram in Bangalore. He is no more, but his organisation does wonderful work even today. His disciples are Dayananda Saraswati - now settled in USA and Sukhabodananda (Prasanna Trust -n Bnagalore). Bothese are highly qualified and speak excelelnt english and are great orators. Worth listening to them. You will get answers to all points raised by you.

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#45

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/17/2010 2:10 PM

Dear, your question is directionally aimed at this answer;

By the permission of ''the Almighty'',

this is where it began

this is where it ends

All pride belongs to ''the Almighty''

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#46

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/17/2010 7:38 PM

Humanity has never failed. I think we have to look at the bottom line; survival of the fittest. Powerful nations can offer a secure existance to their citizens. That will only continue as long as the power is retained. If power is lost, so is the survival rate. Depending on your position on the ladder, will determine whether you will survive or not. The scientific exploration you speak of helps a nation to secure itself and retain power in a competitive world. New technologies are needed to maintain the power base. It's really all about competition. It doesn't matter what the technology is. It's who has it and who controls it. My country has given me much that I appreciate, but once power is lost, it's every man for himself. I feel we are all just pawns on the chessboard of life. Give thanks for what you have, but don't expect it to go on indefinitely. This is already the fact in many countries in the world; one minute, peace and tranquility; the next, wholesale disaster without any hope of rescue. We live in a country where we can feel secure that if in trouble, someone will bail us out. People in other small countries don't have that luxury. They have starvation or death to look ahead to. Make the most of the time you have on earth. Survival will always be your #1 agenda.

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/18/2010 7:52 AM

ga. its finding and keeping that balance of security funded through prosperity

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#49
In reply to #46

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/18/2010 1:11 PM

Oops, I missed this on the way down. GA.

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#48

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/18/2010 9:59 AM

Who rendered the verdict? I dispute the notion, progress has ever come in spurts, we make lightning jumps and then spend time to consolidate gains.

It makes no sense to compare the less-than-average consolidation period with a growth spurt, as has been done by the OP.

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#51

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

06/23/2010 7:03 PM

i believe alot comes down to money. Another lack of interest and push. Then being pre-occupied with other things. What we really need to do is colonize the moon... and build things there. with that we can hop skip and jump from planet to planet. (as we figure out how to deal with the environmental issues on each) first step colonize the moon prolly 30 years from the beginnings of that then 100 years from being done right.. then to mars prolly 70 years from that... then another 150.. and so on and so forth within our corner of the universe... there's no need to wait for cryogenics... or light speed travel.. we won't get there any faster waiting for them.. but we will get there faster by instilling a sense of wonder by just doing it.. exploring... it'll be our children our childrens children that have the desire... to instill this we have to keep doing exciting things... we have to keep moving forward... and yes it's been slow lately but the hurdles double in size each time... by the time we reach pluto... the next step maybe out of reach for a 1000 years... and that's ok.. as long as we keep moving forward and trying... when we are finally able to colonize the galaxy and other galaxies it will be an amazing diverse world... full of wonders, perversions, and things we can't imagine... just like our world is now.. if you look closely enough

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#52

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

07/19/2010 5:58 PM

The human race has not failed -- at least, not any worse than before.

Granted, the "Space Boom" of the 50s and 60s has ended. Instead, we have witnessed a boom in communications. Commercial satellite networks, cell phones, GPS, Internet, security cameras, the whole cable/wireless industry -- it's incredible!

I looked up at Sputnik and I watched the moon landing on TV. Now I can call Singapore more easily than I used to call New York and I can do more research online in an hour than I used to accomplish with a full day in the library. What will the next boom be, I wonder? I can't wait to find out!

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#54

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/01/2011 9:39 AM

When I was a youngster in Boy Scouts, we would lie on our backs out in a clearing in the woods in Florida and wait for Telstar to pass by. If you remember, it was the first privately funded satellite and was only able to transmit analog signals in 20 minute increments.

NASA used these same analog signals up until the early 70's. Now we have hundreds of communication satellites in geo-stationary orbit all transmitting digital signals.

Credit my brother for helping to write the first computer program that would allow digital radios to talk to each other without losing data. He worked for the Collins Radio Company and in 1973, the U.S. Skylab Program started using Collins digital radio equipment to provide communication from the astronauts to earth. Over the rest of the 70's the entire Space Program was converted to digital communications equipment, changing out the analog equipment around the world to digital radios.

http://www.rockwellcollins.com/Our_Company/History.aspx

http://www.rockwellcollins.com/sitecore/content/Data/Products/Communications_and_Networks/Communication_Radios/AN-ARC-210_Talon_Programmable_Digital_Communication_System.aspx

Once the computers on the ground were able to directly communicate with the computers on board the Space Shuttle, astronauts jobs became less that of a pilot and more that of a scientist. This was the beginning of the end of manned space flight. Not because we no longer want to 'go there' but because our computers and robotic machines can safely do a better job of it than a human can.

We are there in spirit tho. Recessions always put a damper on space exploration. When we are on a soup bone economic slump, the gravy projects always get left off the stove.

Mankind has always progressed in 'steppes' or plateaus. As was mentioned, whenever we discover a new technology, we spend a lot of time incorporating it into our daily lives until something new is required to either take advantage of the universal application of that new technology or solve some huge problem it created.

Right now world population is more than double that of 1960 and will probably be doubled again in the next 40 years. More people means less land means and most of us will be dependant on Corporations for our food. Hopefully they will grow a soul and not make staying alive dependant on economic stature.

Food production should be made our next 'space exploration' project, especially since we are killing our oceans as fast as we can.

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Power-User

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/01/2011 12:15 PM

129CBRider -

I've thought about this one a lot. As you note in your excellent post, life in space is expensive and unsafe; robotic enterprises make a lot more sense. Growing food in space is doable, but I think the long-term solution is to use the Earth for food production and to use space for heavy processing and manufacturing. The Earth already provides a perfect environment for growing food. Space, on the other hand, allows us to build robotic factories in a zero-G (or micro-G) environment. Waste products can be reprocessed in space without harming the Earth; in the worst scenario, the most dangerous substances could be launched toward the Sun.

This scenario would maintain Earth's unique biosphere without penalizing industry, which could use space in an efficient robotic manner without polluting Earth.

What do you think?

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: I'm outa here
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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/01/2011 2:06 PM

First we need to finish developing the anti gravity technology. .....EW

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Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/01/2011 5:47 PM

Haha...I've been trying to convince people for 40 years that the best way to recycle nuclear waste is to shoot it into the sun!

Not affordable at today's payload prices tho.

As suggested, anti-gravity launchers will have to be invented before we can do that.

Or a rocket powered one of these:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7239270@N04/1442875099

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Power-User

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Location: Illinois, USA
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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/02/2011 4:27 PM

Yes, launching nuclear waste from Earth's gravity well would be horrendously expensive.

However, if the waste is generated in orbit, it won't take much power to nudge it into a sun-diving spiral. And if it's on the moon, a simple mass driver will do fine.

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Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 986
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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

02/02/2011 6:27 PM

Laser energy transfer from space based nuclear generators to earth based super capacitors.

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Power-User

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#63

Re: Where Did Humanity Fail?

10/22/2018 2:57 PM

The cream rises to the top. Cream has no religion, race, gender, age, (unless it's cheese) . But it must be nurtured to become cream. Politics does not nurture in my mind, and only allows milk to stand too long and go bad. The thing that works is community. Someone from far away can't quite grasp the heart of a community , and far away is a relative term. Too many people are under the illusion that they are milk, when they are actually cream.

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