[NetBehaviour] Why we're doomed

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Thu Apr 7 03:02:01 CEST 2022

Why we're doomed


Some utterly redundant, trite, incorrect, repetitious, haughty,
idiotic, nonsensical, unoriginal, insane reasons for why we're
where we are, including bad sociology, worse cosmology and
physics, ignorant anthropology, and just poor writing, as day
turns to night - did you know that day _passes through evening_
to get there?

1 Fragility of good things - more things can go wrong than can
go right. The more complex the system, the more things there
are, the more things can go wrong. Think catastrophe theory.

2 World-wide electronic networks that in spite of redundancy
(or because of it) are incredibly vulnerable - the fact that
networks are "universal" creates an enormous volume of
accessible code. The greater the volume, the greater the risk.
Given direct transmission throughout the electromagnetic
spectrum, access conceivably might be anywhere. Even with
quantum encryption, there are vulnerabilities that quantum
computers might be able to access. It's always a race; who's
looking through your doorbell?

3 There will always be bad leaders at the top - power generates
power; power generates violence generates power. The more a
leader is not held responsible, the more their power hardens.
There are always workarounds for elections, which have their own
vulnerabilities - not only machines and accountancies, but
threats on local levels. A pattern emerges of bypassing term
limits. The bad leaders appear to owe nothing to anyone; encased
in power, their ability to manipulate the public is enormous.
Control the media, control the public, the country, potentially
the world. Money follows power follows money. (And let's not
forget that elections might not really be necessary, and for
leaders to be held "responsible" somebody must be outside that
sphere, yet holding power within it. If that was me, for
example, I might just seize power myself, just a few crumbs from
the table.)

4 Of course global warming - and with the fires and droughts and
increased energy use, the world is facing ecological catastrophe
without limits. Wind power etc. provides miniscule relief as
temperature rises; the northern ocean is already under stress
with new shipping lanes, new potential for mining and conflict.
More hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, windstorms, bog burnings,
peat burning, forest fires, grassland fires, poaching, hunting,
gun-running, wildlife trade, rogue fisheries and whaling, more
of everything, more more!

5 Ruthlessness characterizes authority - ruthlessness sends a
statement - that the only determination of a country may be the
employment of military intervention and armament at any cost.
Standing in front of a tank may well mean getting shot. Destroy
a city or crop-land or dams or ecosystems is either irrelevant
or deemed "necessary" by many leaders, and it just takes one to
create catastrophic changes in nations and the planet as a
whole. New diseases welcome!

6 Overpopulation - overpopulation drives hunger, desecration,
catastrophe, local wars, not-so-local wars. Some countries have
this in check, as do plagues, but the overall tendency is
increased people, dwindling food and water, and ecologies
tending towards monocultures, which have their own dangers.

7 Dwindling resources - this is clear enough with regard for
example to minerals and forests; it also applies to storehouses
for safe passage, food and water. Pollution seeps everywhere,
from the visibility of the night sky to the trash on Everest.
Global supply chains, mega-ships also carry their own dangers of

8 Putin is indicative of always the same old story - there's
always a story and it is always the same story. Sycophants,
weapons, implicit violence, etc. See above. It's surprising that
this occurs repeatedly; the book Strongmen defines it in depth.
Think of dictators as almost natural in the sense of instituted
violence, and as long as control is hierarchical, the top, in
terms of money, weaponry, isolation, and power, runs things
without the slightest consideration of the majority of the
population. These outbreaks of brutality and fury will continue
and increase as the world becomes more desperate.

9 The reach, violation, absolute - hypersonics and nuclear in
general. The former implicit in post-industrial civilization,
the latter implicit in the universe itself. Sooner or later
perhaps, every culture realizes the power of hydrogen, nuclear,
neutron bombs; these become increasingly miniaturized, with
faster and faster delivery times. Sooner or later, mistakes will
happen; sooner or later groups will go rogue; sooner or later
nuclear waste will dominate the ecosystem.

10 There's no fundamental defense against any of this - it's
built into the world, into any world; it's characteristic of
this universe. Think of the earth as a suicide machine, driven
by population growth and the resulting coagulation of waste,
resources, weaponry, The Dawn of Everything notwithstanding. In
a sense it's not us, it's the stardust we're made of, our
cosmology. (Think of "Everything you know about the world is
wrong" - but in fact "Everything you know about the world is
right, is absolutely correct." You've known this all along.)

11 Lack of concrete evidence for "intelligent" civilizations
elsewhere in the universe - well this doesn't state that there
aren't such, whatever "intelligent" and "civilizations" mean -
just that there is no evidence and this seems problematic. Of
course there might be some such utterly untoward that remains
unknown, deliberately or simply by distance, inherent lack of
cosmic reach. The evidence, such as it is, minus ufos, seems
weighted towards emptiness, nothing; there are times, though,
that I think we may always already be viewing signs of spooky
action at a distance from elsewhere in the universe.

12. "There's always AI" - yes there is and it will grow
inconceivably, unbelievably, strong. Folks, there are comets,
asteroids, other stuff. And one of those AI things is likely to
set off the super-hyper something, and that will be it. Hard as
it is to believe, and yes, I'm repeating myself, the universe
isn't really designed for the continuation of intelligent life
(note the irony); earth might have stromatolites around again if
Gaia's (what's left of it) lucky - I've seen the tidal pools -
they're incredible.

13. The relative size of the universe and the vulnerability of
our planet - here we are as an adjunct of lots of the above. In
short we're tiny, filthy, violent, consuming, somewhat crazy,
absolutist, messy, insistent, destructive and nasty critters
that are busy making a mess of their own back yard. (That's

14. Oh, and let's not forget nearby nova, supernova, planetoids,
sola mega-eruptions, and that Tesla flying out there - that
should do it. And remember - when you go outside, _always_ carry
a steel umbrella.


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