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The Perils of Short-Termism

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44 minutes ago, Countryfox said:

 

This ...   is a deep, thought provoking and very meaningful thread where clever chaps like Mac, Lifted and Bucey can ponder on the state of the world.   They will conclude that, to save the planet, lots of changes need to take place ...    sadly, that will never happen so basically ...    we’re fvcked.    This, however, may not be a bad thing as although we might cease to exist ‘others’ ..  like insects for example, may still be around.   Way, way, into the future a thread similar to this may exist but with slightly different user names ..  like Antboy, and Locustbreath for example.    

 

I hope that helps ...   :thumbup:

Mind 

Blown

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Just now, yorkie1999 said:

Crocodiles have been around for millions of years and all they worry about is their next meal!

Humans ain't much different really. We're just monkeys that got lucky :thumbup:

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20 minutes ago, Izzy said:

Humans ain't much different really. We're just monkeys that got lucky :thumbup:

The point is that the secret to long term survival is to think in a sort term manner.

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32 minutes ago, yorkie1999 said:

Crocodiles have been around for millions of years and all they worry about is their next meal!

 

7 minutes ago, yorkie1999 said:

The point is that the secret to long term survival is to think in a sort term manner.

 

You are just anthropomorphising.

 

Crocodiles neither worry or think.

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11 minutes ago, Buce said:

 

Where does it indicate that they are capable of worry or thinking?

According to research by a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, crocodiles think surfing waves, playing ball and going on piggyback rides are fun

 

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Just now, yorkie1999 said:

According to research by a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, crocodiles think surfing waves, playing ball and going on piggyback rides are fun

 

 

They are reacting to experience with pleasure; that is not the same as 'thinking' in the context that you first posted it. They don't have any concept of things like 'future' or 'self'. Very few creatures do.

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The obvious solution is extending the human lifespan. Not something that I'll benefit from but really we are just an arrangement of chemicals. If we overcome the limitation of the natural lifespan then we remove a lot of the reasons for short term thinking.

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Why are people so obsessed with saving the human race?

 

The human race will die out whatever anyway, as will the much more advanced aliens elsewhere and any other animals which evolve on the Earth in millions of years, likely much smarter and more intelligent than we are - the entire universe and multiverse. everything is finite, everything is pointless. Humans are less than an atom in a grain of sand in the universe in the grand scheme of things A meteor could drop out the sky tomorrow and kill us all anyway.

It's not about being "greedy" or "selfish" or "materialistic", it's about understanding and coming to terms with your own and the universe's general finality and utter pointlessness. Humans aren't long-term communal animals like ants or bees who will give their lives for the long-term survival of their colonies - that's because we understand how finite and precious life is. People won't give up their liberty and individual free will and choice so we can save humanity from dying out a tiny fraction of a fraction of the period of the universe than they would have done anyway - people won't die or work 90 hour weeks to stop global warming, people won't obey restrictive and oppressive government laws which turn humans into pod people either and the people who try and give their lives meaning (when there isn't any meaning) by rallying behind some political cause for how we can save humanity will almost certainly regret it on their deathbed.
 

Just be nice to people and enjoy good company with your family and friends and try to travel and see as much of the world as you can while you are here. Think about this too much and you'll waste your life away. "Humans being ****ed" has nothing to do with human interference but just the laws of physics and the ultimate finite nature of existence anyway. The universe itself is just as much "worm food in the end" as we are,

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7 hours ago, Kopfkino said:

 

But that's only for people that have added a value to us (at whatever level that might be). It's the availability heuristic whereby we mostly respond to things that are imaginatively available to us, or even for which we can easily draw examples. We find it impossible to attach a cost (a cost feeling) to future events for which we can't imagine or we can't compare. So people of the future have no specific value to us - in fact our own being of the future holds little value to us when evaluating costs of what we do/don't. The reality is people of the future have a greater value (depending on how we discount that value) but we can't evaluate that or tap into it to make it useful. Add in costs attached to moral uncertainty  and an unequal distribution of power that adds costs to anyone trying to action anything and you're ****ed. I'd also wager that this misanthropic approach people take, that 'we just have to do this' is counter intuitive. 

 

 

A pretty good assessment of the human condition and its limitations IMO.

 

Now, knowing the problem...is there any kind of solution at all, I wonder?

 

5 hours ago, LiberalFox said:

The obvious solution is extending the human lifespan. Not something that I'll benefit from but really we are just an arrangement of chemicals. If we overcome the limitation of the natural lifespan then we remove a lot of the reasons for short term thinking.

There's something in this. Put a person in a situation where long-term (geologically) consequences might end up affecting them personally rather than some abstract idea about the future, and perhaps it might motivate them more.

 

2 hours ago, Sampson said:

Why are people so obsessed with saving the human race?

 

The human race will die out whatever anyway, as will the much more advanced aliens elsewhere and any other animals which evolve on the Earth in millions of years, likely much smarter and more intelligent than we are - the entire universe and multiverse. everything is finite, everything is pointless. Humans are less than an atom in a grain of sand in the universe in the grand scheme of things A meteor could drop out the sky tomorrow and kill us all anyway.

It's not about being "greedy" or "selfish" or "materialistic", it's about understanding and coming to terms with your own and the universe's general finality and utter pointlessness. Humans aren't long-term communal animals like ants or bees who will give their lives for the long-term survival of their colonies - that's because we understand how finite and precious life is. People won't give up their liberty and individual free will and choice so we can save humanity from dying out a tiny fraction of a fraction of the period of the universe than they would have done anyway - people won't die or work 90 hour weeks to stop global warming, people won't obey restrictive and oppressive government laws which turn humans into pod people either and the people who try and give their lives meaning (when there isn't any meaning) by rallying behind some political cause for how we can save humanity will almost certainly regret it on their deathbed.
 

Just be nice to people and enjoy good company with your family and friends and try to travel and see as much of the world as you can while you are here. Think about this too much and you'll waste your life away. "Humans being ****ed" has nothing to do with human interference but just the laws of physics and the ultimate finite nature of existence anyway. The universe itself is just as much "worm food in the end" as we are,

And I thought I flirted with nihilism every so often.

 

Doesn't stop you being exactly, unequivocally right about the facts of the situation...but I would posit that the difference in survival time if we do think long-term as opposed to if we don't makes it worth the effort to do so, but then that's because I get a nice warm feeling from helping other people and I don't see that part of me changing anytime soon.

 

I guess it comes down to how you derive meaning from your life (if you believe there to be any) and I think we've both chatted about that before - and this is the one particular hill I would die on, and have zero regrets about it.

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Would help if we had a definition of short termism. If it means sacrificing every winnable cup game for the medium / long term future, then I think we should live for today. 

 

Live for today, let tomorrow take care of itself. My dad worked all his life and thought he would make up for lost holidays etc when he retired. He died within three years of stopping work.

 

I would rather we had tried to win some silverware the last two years than throw away opportunities that may never happen again in my lifetime, all for an uncertain future. Grab opportunities when you can, particularly when you are responsible for carrying the hopes of tens of thousands of fans. 

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16 hours ago, Buce said:

 

No, we wouldn't.

 

That kind of change needs to come at an international level for it to be effective.

 

 

I agree, but I, and probably millions like me, don’t do enough to effect it at an international level. On a personal level I do more than most but probably still not enough, but as you said change needs to come at a higher level.

 

So how do you do it? Join Greenpeace? Vote Green Party? Join Swampy up a tree? The problem is the old ways are steeped in stigma of fringe looney lefties and support will be marginalised. What is needed is a new cause, Climate change, and a new political movement that embraces it, which is what is lacking at the moment. There are millions possibly billions out there that see climate change as an issue but with no co-ordinating voice. I think people are waiting for it to happen organically but maybe it needs someone to push it, I don’t know who maybe me, maybe you or Leicsmac, maybe all it needs is a hash tag. I am guilty as anyone of sitting around waiting for someone else to do something about it.

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7 hours ago, BoyJones said:

Would help if we had a definition of short termism. If it means sacrificing every winnable cup game for the medium / long term future, then I think we should live for today. 

 

Live for today, let tomorrow take care of itself. My dad worked all his life and thought he would make up for lost holidays etc when he retired. He died within three years of stopping work.

 

I would rather we had tried to win some silverware the last two years than throw away opportunities that may never happen again in my lifetime, all for an uncertain future. Grab opportunities when you can, particularly when you are responsible for carrying the hopes of tens of thousands of fans. 

On a wider global scale it's like the new Brazilian president agreeing to cut down more of the Amazon rainforest because there's short term economic gain out of it.

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38 minutes ago, Captain... said:

I agree, but I, and probably millions like me, don’t do enough to effect it at an international level. On a personal level I do more than most but probably still not enough, but as you said change needs to come at a higher level.

 

So how do you do it? Join Greenpeace? Vote Green Party? Join Swampy up a tree? The problem is the old ways are steeped in stigma of fringe looney lefties and support will be marginalised. What is needed is a new cause, Climate change, and a new political movement that embraces it, which is what is lacking at the moment. There are millions possibly billions out there that see climate change as an issue but with no co-ordinating voice. I think people are waiting for it to happen organically but maybe it needs someone to push it, I don’t know who maybe me, maybe you or Leicsmac, maybe all it needs is a hash tag. I am guilty as anyone of sitting around waiting for someone else to do something about it.

 

I am placing my faith in the young.

 

The emerging generations seem to have their heads screwed on on this issue and many others; whether there will be time for them to undo the damage the previous generations have inflicted on the world and humanity, is another matter.

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