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The Place and Value of Science

 
 
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 12:14 pm
@cupofcoffees,
What about the fact that these jobs are disappearing as machines become more and more able to reproduce themselfs and other machines? Assembly lines, factories even medical jobs are partially mechanized! A Gamma knife can do what a surgeon and scalpel can't, and physicists are the ones who program these machines in correspiondendce with the doctors.

As we mechanize more and more, those who do not have sufficient ability and do not fit into the social structure will be pushed out. Those who cannot do technical jobs will be the homeless with little hope for 'rehabilitation'(in the sense that they might be fit back into the jigsaw puzzle). I could easily see machines eliminateing lower level technical jobs if it seemed more cost effective. It would mean that a human would have to oversee the machines, and periodically check to see if they are all working on track, but for the most part machines can take care of themselfs, they can form a closed system. The one thing that they lack is will, direction, a goal. This is where humans are unique. We have a will, and the imagination to create goals.

What happens to these extra pieces though? They have no place in this society. Only the very top minds and the artists fit in here. In this society, the blue collar worker is an extinct beast. The masses no longer fit as machines take hold. This society is not an impossibility.

That being said, why anthropromorhpize oil? Who are these slaves? The lower class workers? The proletariate? There is no one who escapes the machine. We all are part of the machine. We all reap certain benefits from the machine. We all drive cars, even the poor, even in third world countries. We have laptops for 100 dollars thanks to Bill Gates and cars for $2000 thanks to Ta-Ta motors. Nearly everyone benefits from the machine, we are sybiotes. No one is a slave to the machine, that is false. A better analogy would be that of addiction. We are addicts. We crave the fruits of the machine and are tantalized by its promises of a better tommorow. We are told to contribute oo the machine, to give sacrifices and burnt offerings, and this god does pay back to us what we give ten fold, and draws us in closer.

There are many who live mostly without the fruits of the machine, but many of them live outside the machine as well. In no modernized country are there many who can manage to live outside of the machine, and thus nearly all pay homage to it and in return have their addiction fed. I must admit, I would live in the lap of luxury rather than throw myself to the chaotic wilds, but that is of course the natural, animalistic preference. Look at how easily man brought many a beast to him through promise of comfort and then those who would not come willingly, they were dragged in through domination by the whip. We are like animals fed by our masters, protected, and obedient in return, and why not? Have we not chosen this path to at least some degree?

I do not think this is how things are, our system is a grid of inter-cooperation. A balance of skills and goods driving towards the optimization of comfort. We, as a species and in general, seek comfort. We submit to certain rules which are all manifest of our species in order that we achieve our goal of first saftey and then comfort. This is what progress is in modern society, a path towards least resistence, a path towards least upset, lest difficulty, least autonomy. There is no slave driver but our own fear and comfort seeking drive. There is no dark overtone, and no beacon of hope, just a muddled grey with a few bright and dark speckles. The goal of comfort might in actuality conflict with survival instinct, but unwittingly so. We may well be spelling out our demise thanks to this cultural momentum towards comfort, and we will deny this day in and day out. Demise seems so distant that we think it an impossibility until it stares us in the face and then often we still deny it. Comfort. That is what is here. Now. In. That is what we itch for, that is what we are feening for.

I do not believe the dark implications of slave driver and slave, nor the light-hearted hopeful imlications of progress, only a dreary middle, a path towards denial and comfort. A path for the heards to walk along, and one that all of us play into to some degree. It may well spell our demise, but death is much more comfortable in a lay-z-boy during the game...maybe with a beer hat.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 12:25 pm
@Zetetic11235,
I personally feel that the strong should help the weak, the intelligent should help the dumb, and the rich should help the poor. The able should help the unable, but the unable should not depend upon that. They must do their best with their situation and not make themselves children waiting for parents.

The comment I made is scary, and realistic. This is the general attitude of developed nations today. Often no matter intelligence, race, gender ect. We hope that ingenuity can replace compassion without reprocussions, that impersonal interactions will not result in detatchment from other humans. This is not so.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 12:57 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Quote:
No one is a slave to the machine, that is false.


If we are not slaves to the machine, and are instead addicts, we should, theoretically, be capable of overcoming the addiction - we should be capable of leaving the machine.

But is this possible? Does the machine let us leave, or does the machine keep us chained and bound? Well, we can test this. Write a letter to your government thanking the government for everything it's done over the years, and explain that, while you are appreciative, you are no longer interested in being part of the machine. Explain that you no longer want to pay taxes or recognize the laws, ect. See how long you last before the machine literally chains you - and tosses you in prison.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 03:33 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
That, my firend, is when radicalism becomes realism. When everyone feels that way, then there will be a violent struggle. When I do, its their way or Zimbabwe. They would tell me to piss off or worse, but if I want to live on their land I have to follow the rules everyone wants me to. It is the nature of the social contract as well as the corrupted form of it we now live under. I am free to leave with no where to go. Remember though, it can't happen here, not with the government to take care of us.Wink

I am fine with the premise of the machine though. I would give up some freedom to for some freedom from. Give up the freedom to kill for the freedom from a killer(as best can be given, theoretically we have balance; the more likely a killer is to get away with it, the more easily I could commit the act, so the same degree of freedom is ncessarily preserved). To tell you the truth there are times when I wish we were like the vulcans, as unappealing as it seems to most people. A race committed totally to logic and preservation over impulses and weakness.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:23 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Quote:
A race committed totally to logic and preservation over impulses and weakness.


Then we would have no art, no love, no... well, none of the things that make human life bearable.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:47 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I've often found logic beautiful, but again, many do not agree, which is why I stated that most would totally disagree. Its just Aesthetic preference. I'm a math guy, I'm very good with math and I love theoretical problems and logical analysis. Of course, this emotion would be superfluous in the vulcan society, but I sometimes get to the point that I feel everything would be easier if we were vulcans. I can analyze a direct problem over a closed system far easier than a vague one over an open system.

I do not agree that art will neccessarily be eliminated, for that assumes one, that it is superfluous when considered from a logical framework and two, that it is somehow damaging in a logical society, and this logically art is damaging to our society at present in some aspect, and the only thing keeping it in place is irrational preference.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:52 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Sure, we can find logic beautiful; I've enjoyed logic philosophical treatise as art. But the Vulcan has no capacity for this appreciation, as you point out. And ease... do we really want life to be so easy? Love is tough.

Do Vulcans have art? Art requires emotion, that's what makes art compelling.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 07:28 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Art does not neccessarily require emotion, art can be form, unique organization. Escher's art did not for the most part require emotion to my knowledge. There is a certain art to perfection, which I think is one of the most beautiful things about Fuedal Japanese culture. There is an art to form, there is an art to technique. There are many arts in many things. Art in and of itself may not exist, but it will not be prohibited and past works not destroyed. There is a such thing as functional art, it has its place. There are certain aspects of art that will die, but there is still potential for others to come from a vulcan aesthetic, I am pretty sure that an aesthetic is not discluded here. It certainly will not be human art though.
Aedes
 
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Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 06:22 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;23785 wrote:
Art requires emotion, that's what makes art compelling.
I think I agree with Zetetic that art doesn't require emotion, though it often employs it. Art is such a heterogeneous domain, and I think that all art requires is the impulse to create. I'm a very committed amateur photographer, and while some of my pictures have a strong emotional drive (especially ones I labored over in the darkroom as gifts), not all of them do.

Think of this example. I took this multiple exposure of the Boston skyline overlooking Logan Airport as flights took off (right over my head -- it was frickin' loud there). This shot required a lot of science (there were a lot of technical challenges in taking a photo like this) and some creativity (being able to see this photo there even though real-time the scene didn't look like this).

http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/members/aedes/albums/paul-s-photos/7-evening-departures.jpg
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 06:27 am
@Zetetic11235,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
... Art requires emotion, that's what makes art compelling.


Zetetic11235 wrote:
Art does not neccessarily require emotion, art can be...


Ohhh... good point. Though a bit off topic (down the rabbit trail we go), I think it good to take a brief repose and look at it (as it seems you two do).

My take: Art does not *require* an emotional element for it's appreciation, there are simply too many factors that can hold worth independently. But for 'beauty', I believe it to be just so. It's a subtle element (perhaps even subconscious), but the "awe"-factor of beauty's recognition seems to have just a wee-pinch of emotional reaction therein.
0 Replies
 
 

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