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  #31  
Old 06-15-2010, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post
"We've created a new technology... now we have to find a reason for it to exist."
"We've discovered you can manufacture cells... It COULD possibly be used to cure Cancer."
"We've built the world's largest particle collider. It MIGHT be used to find other dimensions."
So you'd rather we sat there and did nothing about these? I don't even know where to start with that...

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You could indeed argue that this is the very nature of discovery. You have to try and fail. But do the rewards outweigh the impact of the discovery process? Say we do find there's another dimension. What to do with that knowledge? Try and harness it's power? That just starts another 'discovery' ball rolling and, in turn, as the demands for discovery become ever higher, there is ever-increasing consumption of precious resources and damage.
How exactly? There are numerous applications for similar discoveries, such as improved energy sources (removing the need for fossil fuels), faster than light travel, and simply understanding the nature of the universe is an important goal in itself.

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The question is do we really need all this relatively useless, virtually unapplicable 'knowledge' and technology or can we get by without it?
Depends how you argue it's useless. So you think cancer research is useless? Sorry, but the people I know whose lives it has saved would disagree, as would I. I'm going to stop before you succeed in making me angry now.
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  #32  
Old 06-15-2010, 06:56 PM
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I concur with what GLaDOS just said: necessity is the mother of invention. I believe certain what Fkeu is trying to say is, if there's no necessity, why to look for solutions for problems we don't have yet?

My point is similar. I believe that useless knowledge should be erased; but for example cancer cures should not, there is a necessity: thus it must be covered.

And well, as long as man has the need -or better said, desire- of curiosity; we will keep going on our experiments and scientific progress, even if they're completely impractical. EG, the World Guiness Records Book: who is not curious about how many cigarettes can a man have in his mouth?

I guess man is not only interested in the practical side; you know what they say, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".
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  #33  
Old 06-15-2010, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post

My point is similar. I believe that useless knowledge should be erased; but for example cancer cures should not, there is a necessity: thus it must be covered.
I think I can see one problem here and it is the definition of "useless knowledge". I really don't want to be in the position of someone who needs to solve this . Why? Because this is very dangerous since knowledge that looks useless now can be a clue to some future solutions of different, and who knows, maybe fatal problems. Branches of different science fields often merge at some point and I think idea of "cutting" it now, even if it looks weird and useless, is not wise.
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  #34  
Old 06-15-2010, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Na'vi_supporter View Post
I think I can see one problem here and it is the definition of "useless knowledge". I really don't want to be in the position of someone who needs to solve this . Why? Because this is very dangerous since knowledge that looks useless now can be a clue to some future solutions of different, and who knows, maybe fatal problems. Branches of different science fields often merge at some point and I think idea of "cutting" it now, even if it looks weird and useless, is not wise.
Well, things are useless in a certain level. For a just survival level, the knowledge needed is almost nothing, for example. The more advanced we become, the more knowledge we will need.

Anyway, when I say "take out", I don't mean "burn all books and forget everything about that"; I just say there are more relevant issues who need to be prioritized above the search of intelligent life or investigation on robots which can clap or dance; for example, focus progress on ways to sustain our current lifestyle without running out of resources, or take rid of diseases or hunger.
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  #35  
Old 06-15-2010, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Anyway, when I say "take out", I don't mean "burn all books and forget everything about that"; I just say there are more relevant issues who need to be prioritized above the search of intelligent life or investigation on robots which can clap or dance; for example, focus progress on ways to sustain our current lifestyle without running out of resources, or take rid of diseases or hunger.
Oh I obviously misunderstood what u wanted to say. And yes, I agree with this.
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  #36  
Old 06-16-2010, 11:41 AM
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So you'd rather we sat there and did nothing about these? I don't even know where to start with that...
Perhaps those were poor examples. What i'm basically trying to say is why are we trying to discover things that could, possibly, maybe take us further into things when theres more pressing issues at hand. On THIS planet, in THIS dimension with OUR people.

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How exactly? There are numerous applications for similar discoveries, such as improved energy sources (removing the need for fossil fuels), faster than light travel, and simply understanding the nature of the universe is an important goal in itself.
The way I see things is as a graph with a curve gradually incresaing in steepness. The longer time goes on and discoveries are made, the harder you have to work and them more you have to push the boundaries of what is wrong and what is right and the more you have to put in to get out. I'm just worried what we're now putting in - in terms of both physical resource and 'bad' ethics* - is far in excess of what this planet and we as a species can handle.

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Depends how you argue it's useless. So you think cancer research is useless? Sorry, but the people I know whose lives it has saved would disagree, as would I. I'm going to stop before you succeed in making me angry now.
I didn't mean to make you angry and i'm not expressly saying that Cancer research is useless at all... I personally have been affected by Cancer as well.

I think what Zenit said here;

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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes
I just say there are more relevant issues who need to be prioritized above the search of intelligent life or investigation on robots which can clap or dance; for example, focus progress on ways to sustain our current lifestyle without running out of resources, or take rid of diseases or hunger.
said it better than I did. There are issues more important than observing planets lightyears away that we may never visit for example.

I apologise. I find it difficult to get what I think across in a coherant way.

*This is another argument however.
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  #37  
Old 06-16-2010, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post

I apologise. I find it difficult to get what I think across in a coherant way.
Curse of internet discussions, it's very easy to misunderstand, when ideas need to be compressed into a few lines.

oh...and it's even worse if you are not english, like me...
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  #38  
Old 06-16-2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Na'vi_supporter View Post
Curse of internet discussions, it's very easy to misunderstand, when ideas need to be compressed into a few lines.

oh...and it's even worse if you are not english, like me...
Very true.

I did not want to come across like that, because that's not what I think at all.
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  #39  
Old 06-16-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I believe that useless knowledge should be erased; but for example cancer cures should not, there is a necessity: thus it must be covered.
Why should "useless" knowledge be erased? The definition of useless is entirely dependent on perspective. You may deem information such as the number of asteroids in our solar system as useless, to you, but for others there is purpose. Why should we destroy information, isn't that a step backwards?

The search for information, useful or useless, is, in other words, curiosity. If people are curious about searching for planets at unreachable distances, so be it, why should you say that information is useless and should be erased? In fact, this "useless" information in is no way useless, if people like searching for intelligent life elsewhere, futile as it probably is, then the information gathered is not useless.

I believe that there are bigger issues on hand, but that in no means that "lesser" issues should be discarded, just considered "less necessary" if you get what I mean.
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  #40  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:01 PM
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All right. I made a bad word choice with "erase".

But let me explain my full thoughts on the matter:

First of all, I believe we should prioritize where we want to progress. For example, for me it has more priority looking ways to reduce our consumption level so we reach a sustainable level and we can keep this going; instead of looking how we can increase our computer's speed in a 1'8 %, or how we can make a human-like robot.

Second, I believe knowledge nowadays is way too much specialized. We should simplify our theories to a bearable level for not only scientists and specialists: they must be accessible to everyone, everywhere; specially in this Communication Era.

I can see also a lack of general knowledge on basic or non-technological activities. Such as, agriculture, stock breeding, mining, mechanics,... People know how to use a computer or an iPod but not how to change the motor's oil or how to fix an electrical breakdown. It's a significant loss of knowledge that may be permanent if we don't learn soon, before our parents -who teach us or make most of this works for us- are gone; and we may be producing in the future machines we don't know how to handle in case of failure unless we're specialists.

And finally, I don't support at all book burning. I don't mean erase, because as you well said Dreaming, it'd be a significant loss as well. But once again, we should prioritize our areas of investigation so we can fix our issues in order of importance.
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  #41  
Old 06-16-2010, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Second, I believe knowledge nowadays is way too much specialized. We should simplify our theories to a bearable level for not only scientists and specialists: they must be accessible to everyone, everywhere; specially in this Communication Era.
Yes agree there should be more popularization, but there have to be always specialized knowledge for people who design things. We can't know everything in deep but it's unfortunatelly needed if there is a need to build something more complex.
And I have to mention that main problem is that people simply don't want to "know" if it comes to science. From what I have learned, majority of people just want to study and work in domains, where they can earn huge amount of money. Most of my friends from high school attended economy college and the answer to my question "Why" was - because it's easier, we don't need to learn too many new things during life and I will have a "good" job.

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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I can see also a lack of general knowledge on basic or non-technological activities. Such as, agriculture, stock breeding, mining, mechanics,... People know how to use a computer or an iPod but not how to change the motor's oil or how to fix an electrical breakdown. It's a significant loss of knowledge that may be permanent if we don't learn soon, before our parents -who teach us or make most of this works for us- are gone; and we may be producing in the future machines we don't know how to handle in case of failure unless we're specialists.
Very good observation. And in fact I have doubts if the using iPod is any serious technical knowledge. My opinion is more radical, because I think that people are lacking knowledge in technical activities too. We are becoming society of users. People just buy thing, than they use it and if their "toy" breaks, they send it for repair in better case, in worse case just throw it in the container and buy new one. Less and less people know how to do the basic tasks you mentioned. This consumer society is lead by false believe that there will be always someone who can do "support". And it's completely wrong (and fatal if you take into account dependancy on tech...).
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"Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life."
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  #42  
Old 06-16-2010, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
All right. I made a bad word choice with "erase".

But let me explain my full thoughts on the matter:

First of all, I believe we should prioritize where we want to progress. For example, for me it has more priority looking ways to reduce our consumption level so we reach a sustainable level and we can keep this going; instead of looking how we can increase our computer's speed in a 1'8 %, or how we can make a human-like robot.

Second, I believe knowledge nowadays is way too much specialized. We should simplify our theories to a bearable level for not only scientists and specialists: they must be accessible to everyone, everywhere; specially in this Communication Era.

I can see also a lack of general knowledge on basic or non-technological activities. Such as, agriculture, stock breeding, mining, mechanics,... People know how to use a computer or an iPod but not how to change the motor's oil or how to fix an electrical breakdown. It's a significant loss of knowledge that may be permanent if we don't learn soon, before our parents -who teach us or make most of this works for us- are gone; and we may be producing in the future machines we don't know how to handle in case of failure unless we're specialists.

And finally, I don't support at all book burning. I don't mean erase, because as you well said Dreaming, it'd be a significant loss as well. But once again, we should prioritize our areas of investigation so we can fix our issues in order of importance.
Ah okay I see what you mean, for a second there I thought you were trying to play God or something.

It is true that our world is spending too much time riding the technological wave, as we're forgetting our basic necessities because we're so distracted on luxuries. We're living in a "Do want!" world when we should be in a "Do need!" one.

The problem is is that technology is turning all of us into perfectionists, we live in a society that wants anything that is better or faster than what we already have. If you could afford either a 48" or a 50" TV would you get the 50"? Simply because it's bigger? Soon enough a 70" TV will come out and someone will get that because it does a better job than the 50", it goes on and is probably society's biggest problem when trying to overcome today's issues.
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  #43  
Old 06-16-2010, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Na'vi_supporter View Post
Yes agree there should be more popularization, but there have to be always specialized knowledge for people who design things. We can't know everything in deep but it's unfortunatelly needed if there is a need to build something more complex.

And I have to mention that main problem is that people simply don't want to "know" if it comes to science. From what I have learned, majority of people just want to study and work in domains, where they can earn huge amount of money. Most of my friends from high school attended economy college and the answer to my question "Why" was - because it's easier, we don't need to learn too many new things during life and I will have a "good" job.
There will always have to be a way to get deeper in the subject, yes; but what I say is that we should provide a sort of introduction to it, something basic, resumed and simplified; just like you're not taught calculus at grade school, or you do not get into quantum physics before learning the three laws of Newton.

And sadly, the reality is people are not interested in science because this modern lifestyle tells them that is not necessary at all to make a living. Now the pleasure or need to know has been replaced by the right to have an education, and everybody hates knowledge thanks to forced learning.

We need more Mr. Kittings who make education a passionate subject


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Originally Posted by Dreaming Of Pandora View Post
Ah okay I see what you mean, for a second there I thought you were trying to play God or something.

It is true that our world is spending too much time riding the technological wave, as we're forgetting our basic necessities because we're so distracted on luxuries. We're living in a "Do want!" world when we should be in a "Do need!" one.

The problem is is that technology is turning all of us into perfectionists, we live in a society that wants anything that is better or faster than what we already have. If you could afford either a 48" or a 50" TV would you get the 50"? Simply because it's bigger? Soon enough a 70" TV will come out and someone will get that because it does a better job than the 50", it goes on and is probably society's biggest problem when trying to overcome today's issues.
Exactly, this is exactly what I was referring to since the first moment of the discussion. It's the wants over the needs. And this is what I meant by prioritization: firstly take care of the needs of the people, then let them do what they want. Curing diseases and getting rid of hunger, provide basic services to everyone or look for a way to sustain our current progress rate harmlessly; those are the needs. The wants are looking for quicker computers, larger football stadiums, faster highways; increasing our progress rate to be over the rest of countries,...

I think there's a difference between both: a need focuses on the what (services, infrastructures, education,...) whether a want does so on the how (bigger TV, quicker roads, larger infrastructures, excellent education,...).

And what I meant "unnecessary" knowledge, I meant the wants-related knowledge. The needs-related is completely useful and, of course, needed.

But then again, I didn't mean that we should take rid of all the wants-related knowledge; just deprioritize it.
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  #44  
Old 06-17-2010, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
All right. I made a bad word choice with "erase".

But let me explain my full thoughts on the matter:

First of all, I believe we should prioritize where we want to progress. For example, for me it has more priority looking ways to reduce our consumption level so we reach a sustainable level and we can keep this going; instead of looking how we can increase our computer's speed in a 1'8 %, or how we can make a human-like robot.
Yet you fail to see that for example, improvements in robotics can relieve labour intensive human tasks and allow reduced environmental impact.

Quote:
Second, I believe knowledge nowadays is way too much specialized. We should simplify our theories to a bearable level for not only scientists and specialists: they must be accessible to everyone, everywhere; specially in this Communication Era.

I can see also a lack of general knowledge on basic or non-technological activities. Such as, agriculture, stock breeding, mining, mechanics,... People know how to use a computer or an iPod but not how to change the motor's oil or how to fix an electrical breakdown. It's a significant loss of knowledge that may be permanent if we don't learn soon, before our parents -who teach us or make most of this works for us- are gone; and we may be producing in the future machines we don't know how to handle in case of failure unless we're specialists.
That would only be possible for most people with a huge loss, we have to accept that some people just can't be skilled in everything, it's a consequence of the diversity of development... As it is, I may not know anything about agriculture, but I certainly know the basics of cars or electrical work as well as computers (and indeed, other areas too)... The main problem is lack of interest... So many people just THINK it's hard, or won't be of any use, making it a self fulfilling prophecy. Look at the number of idiots in the world...
It's like the theory that eventually, humanity will split into subspecies based on physical and intellectual differences, which is in my opinion likely to eventually happen.

Simplifying something to the lowest common denominator will just result in a actually going backwards, because as a result, there will be no incentive for people to improve, and each generation will get stupider, in effect the last few centuries of human evolution occurring again in reverse.

Quote:
And finally, I don't support at all book burning. I don't mean erase, because as you well said Dreaming, it'd be a significant loss as well. But once again, we should prioritize our areas of investigation so we can fix our issues in order of importance.
Perhaps, but because you dislike something, I think that in a way you can't see the woods for the trees, you are completely ignoring the uses that are directly in line with what you mentioned earlier.
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  #45  
Old 06-17-2010, 10:05 AM
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It is really impossible to know all knowledge since some of it, mainly technical oriented, became very complex. For example (I can speak only for "computer crowd" since I am working in this field) if you want to design computer systems, you probably won't be able to possess strong knowledge in mining, agriculture etc... Beleive me that it takes lot of time and effort to do these highly specialized jobs and I really don't have time for learning all existing skills. Maybe it's not right but it's only possible way, with the exception of genius people . Secondary reason is the fact that most of narrowly specialized people don't have many side interests, I don't know if it a common rule or just only my case.
If there is a pressure on people to know generic knowledge than we will start loosing majority of experts.
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