Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hubris times Hubris

Boy, do I have a doomsday scenario for you.

A major event in the history of human hubris is coming up when the world’s most powerful particle accelerator comes online in Switzerland in 2007. This is yet another possible threat to humanity that everyone that is even remotely critical to science and technology has dreaded for years.

It’s described as a potential «black hole factory», and even the scientists behind the project admit, «there is a slim chance that those black holes, either one or in tandem could swallow the Earth».

This is more of the same, really to those of us feeling that technology has grown far too essential, dominant in human life. This is just one more logical extension of the atom bomb and other advanced technological inventions, exclusively or collectively, threatening all life on Earth.

Before the first atom bomb exploded in New Mexico in 1944 concerned scientists warned that the explosion might create a firestorm that might grow and ignite the atmosphere. The threat was true. The fact that it didn’t happen doesn’t change that. It was playing dice with the fundamental forces of existence. And when this «tool», this newest toy becomes operational, the dice will be thrown again.

Black holes might not be real. It’s just yet another unproven scientific theory, after all. But if the theory has even a shred of truth to it, we should all be worried, very worried.

As I understand it small black holes such as these will shed mass instead of picking up more like the hungry wolf their bigger siblings are usually described as being. But what if the people doing the calculations are… wrong? To err is human, after all, even though no one in authority seems to subscribe to that evident fact anymore. The holes may band together and grow, for some unknown reason. The Earth could be swallowed whole, devoured in the blink of an eye, or it could happen more slowly, but once the process has begun, there is no way of halting its beyond destructive power. There will be no second chance, no way of stopping the flow of blood from our wrist. I’ve stated for quite some time that the dominant force in the current human society is suicidal, and this proves it yet again, beyond as it is, of anything we’ve seen of hubris so far (and we’ve seen a lot).

Even if we should be lucky again, and we survive our own insanity… again, such a lucky strike shouldn’t be taken as a carte blanche to keep screwing with the building blocks of the Universe, but I fear it will be. Technology has long since proven itself inherently wrong and detrimental to long term human survival, but that doesn’t stay the Scientist’s hand. The call of flawed curiosity must be answered, come what may. There are quite a few possible variations on a future scenario where advanced technology continues to play a part in our life, but, one way or another, the end result is pretty much guaranteed.


Acharya S said...

Sigh. Looking around this planet, sometimes I think, hey, bring it on!

But there are some really great beings here who deserve to live.

Better science than religion!

BTW, I like reading your blog, Amos, except the white on black is very hard on my aging eyes...

P.S. That's a cool picture of you - I wish I had hair like that!

Anonymous said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.





To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




Unknown said...

We do seem as humans to have great difficulties in thinking about the consequences of our actions. Risk taking was probably great in the African savannah, but with all the complexity of modern technology can be more dangerous than we bargained for. We need a social cautionary principle that forces us to assess consequences more seriously.