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Author Topic: Is war good? And is the West doomed?  (Read 1486 times)

Offline TheWB18

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Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« on: February 25, 2013, 02:07:04 PM »
http://chronicle.com/article/In-Ian-Morriss-Big-History/137415/

Article about the recent works of the Stanford historian Ian Morris. Some of his more interesting arguments:

1. War, by consolidating cultural groups and allowing for the creation of big societies, has been a net positive for humanity;

2. The West has "won" 14 of the last 15 millennia in terms of social productivity, but that will come to change by the first half of the next century;

3. We are potentially coming upon a crucial moment in history not seen since the late centuries B.C., when we will either fundamentally transform what it means to be human , or else overextend Earth's capacity to support and us an die en masse.

Offline travis1983

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 08:43:17 AM »
First...the Earth is just fine. It has gone through a lot worse than what we humans have even put it through---Meteor that killed off most life and did horrible devastation--an Ice Age, and other natural occurances. Do we have a lot of people? sure. But dont listen to Al Gore and his fanatics.....we will never run low on water: we have desalinization methods being used in many areas to turn saltwater into freshwater...so lets calm down on that part.

Also the west is doomed? why? I see no reason to suggest that unless Europe and US dont address radical Islam. There were times when countries such as Iran were our friends---more open and free. I point to Turkey and Albania as prime examples. But radical Islam and Sharia Law are a major threat especially to Europe.  The French are FINALLY waking up. I hope its not too late.

War is never good...soldiers despise war. However to secure liberty and freedom war sometimes is necessary and justified. Those who say it is not...remember they cultivate their freedoms from the actions of war

Offline Chadwickhhs

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 01:18:26 PM »

First...the Earth is just fine. It has gone through a lot worse than what we humans have even put it through---Meteor that killed off most life and did horrible devastation--an Ice Age, and other natural occurances. Do we have a lot of people? sure. But dont listen to Al Gore and his fanatics.....we will never run low on water: we have desalinization methods being used in many areas to turn saltwater into freshwater...so lets calm down on that part.
There is now more tonnage of boats in the ocean than fish. Each year, three times as much rubbish is dumped into the world's oceans as the weight of fish caught. More oil reaches the oceans each year as a result of leaking automobiles and other non-point sources than the oil spilled in Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdez or even in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. The amount of sea life in tonnage has deteriorated 80% from the population 100 years ago. But yeah, planet Earth will be fine... it's just gonna kill off everything that's been pestering it first.

And Desalination is problematic because it requires more energy consumption which burns other valuable resources. You'd end up trading one calamity for another.
Sources:
http://www.livescience.com/4510-desalination-work.html
http://marinebio.org/marinebio/facts/index.asp



On topic however, war is very productive. Productive not necessarily being interchangeable with beneficial. War is a means of power distribution and consolidation. It could be entirely replaced with its subtle sister of economic assimilation. Leaving morality out of the question there is no doubt that war has led to competition and thus invention. It has also however burned books and buried the inventions of prior rivals (to the dismay of our post-enlightenment world). This whole discussion relies on too many unknowns.

Honestly... the Borg had it right. If you're gonna wipe out a civilization... you could at least catalog it first.
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

Offline wrinklebump

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 01:35:18 PM »
I just now somehow realized how much the Reapers have in common with the Borg.
Livin in a pathetic epidemic with schizophrenics buyin synthetic bodies on credit

Offline TheWB18

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 03:24:53 PM »

First...the Earth is just fine. It has gone through a lot worse than what we humans have even put it through---Meteor that killed off most life and did horrible devastation--an Ice Age, and other natural occurances. Do we have a lot of people? sure. But dont listen to Al Gore and his fanatics.....we will never run low on water: we have desalinization methods being used in many areas to turn saltwater into freshwater...so lets calm down on that part.
There is now more tonnage of boats in the ocean than fish. Each year, three times as much rubbish is dumped into the world's oceans as the weight of fish caught. More oil reaches the oceans each year as a result of leaking automobiles and other non-point sources than the oil spilled in Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdez or even in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. The amount of sea life in tonnage has deteriorated 80% from the population 100 years ago. But yeah, planet Earth will be fine... it's just gonna kill off everything that's been pestering it first.

And Desalination is problematic because it requires more energy consumption which burns other valuable resources. You'd end up trading one calamity for another.
Sources:
http://www.livescience.com/4510-desalination-work.html
http://marinebio.org/marinebio/facts/index.asp



On topic however, war is very productive. Productive not necessarily being interchangeable with beneficial. War is a means of power distribution and consolidation. It could be entirely replaced with its subtle sister of economic assimilation. Leaving morality out of the question there is no doubt that war has led to competition and thus invention. It has also however burned books and buried the inventions of prior rivals (to the dismay of our post-enlightenment world). This whole discussion relies on too many unknowns.

Honestly... the Borg had it right. If you're gonna wipe out a civilization... you could at least catalog it first.
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

I think the argument to be made here is roughly along the lines of war being the old world mold upon which modern Western patterns of economic assimilation have been based. Sort of how neo-colonialism ("purely" economic colonialism) has replaced for the most part the system of enslavement and oppression and enfeeblement by force which brought the West to the fore.

In fact, if you take 1 and 2 together you might anticipate 3 involving some sort of new, even-more-subtle means of enforcing dominance, this time perhaps developed and used by the East. (East and West being pretty clunky terms, but go with them)

I imagine it will have something to do with China learning to create a specific type of air contaminant, which it will also develop the technology to remove, and then threatening to release it on the rest of the world in a Doctor Evil-like ploy at world domination.  :afro:

Offline Frozencat99

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 03:36:11 PM »
The radicals of all faiths, not exclusive to Islam, are quite problematic for our world. I mean, most of us are aware of a specific somebody who said a certain deity justified a certain on-going war.

War is a great example of how societies try and balance the inevitable gains in commerce and productivity streamlining and the loss of capable manpower. For many societies, that capable manpower is disproportionately disadvantaged, so in that sense, whether or not war is good depends on your social standing. The rich unduly benefit from war because, except in cases of conscription, they rarely have to worry about being cannon fodder.

I think I agree with Chadwickhhs, in that the Earth will almost assuredly be fine. Life on the planet is another matter altogether. It's not like the Earth cares whether or not we populate it.
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Offline annoymous

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 10:23:28 AM »
These radical leaders were all initially sponsored and backed up by the states. Smoke and mirrors and false flag operations. Two heads of the same beast. Pepsi/Coke Democrat/Republican Christians/Islam. Iran used to follow Zoraster. Korea was Confucianist. Everyone is getting whittled down into their 2 choices. Now the hot topic is  pro gun or anti gun control. Paradoxical conversations to keep us busy. 

Offline TheWB18

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 11:29:51 AM »
I think the West is doomed, because we can't have a conversation about *big* ideas without it becoming about *small* ideas, like the U.S. history of supporting radicals.

My take on the article is that Morris makes an interesting argument based on historical trends. Whether we can use history to predict the future has been a constant question for historians. His analysis though fits right into the "East vs. West" mega-narrative, which he acknowledges; it also fits in with the gloomy predictions that the East will overcome that have been so popular in the West for a few decades.

I don't think he would even consider radical Islam; he's talking about events that change the course of human history, mostly changes in living patterns, use of technology, and social structures shifting...in relation to these kinds of forces, a handful of 9/11s would be so much pee in a jar.

Offline kyndo

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Re: Is war good? And is the West doomed?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 01:40:32 PM »
I think I agree with Chadwickhhs, in that the Earth will almost assuredly be fine. Life on the planet is another matter altogether. It's not like the Earth cares whether or not we populate it.

I think I agree with your agreement with Chadwickhhs in that the Earth will almost assuredly be fine. Life on the planet will also be fine. Human life on the planet is another matter altogether, although I suspect even the worst nuclear/biological/chemical/Kpop holocaust imaginable will still result in a bunch of survivors. At least for a while.   ;D :cheesy::smiley: