What Is Wrought Through Science and Publishing?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Annie, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/13/AR2005101301783.html

     
  2. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    There's always two sides to a single coin, and knives cut both ways.

    The resurrection of the Spanish flu virus has likely been instigated with only the best intentions of the scientists involved. They wish to understand the genome of the virus better to be able to better combat it in the future - an example of “know your enemy”.

    The fact that this may have dire consequences would the knowledge fall into the wrong hands has captivated the human psyche for centuries, giving rise to horror tales such as the monster of Dr. Frankenstein. These stories inspire fear and have captivated it’s readers since the time they were created, for they are anchored to our very reality.

    History is riddled with examples of this very fear. For example, after scientists had begun to understand and harness the energy that is captured in atoms, this knowledge has brought us nuclear power plants and atomic bombs. Both the creative and destructive power have seen use in humanity’s recent history.

    Should man stop it's scientific progress for fear of insane individuals that may use the knowledge for their selfish goals? That seems to be the question.

    Ancient man has discovered a way to harness fire, which made his survival through the ice ages a little more likely. It brought us warmth and a culinary revolution. Of course, fire has been used throughout our history to burn the houses and the families of our proclaimed enemies to ashes as well – a clear example of the coin or knife parabel.

    We will have to come to grasps with the idea that we are what we are: a very curious primate with the ability - through our highly developed cognitive functions - to manipulate the environment with our discoveries. For good and for bad. That's how it has always been and how it always will be.

    Our continued increase in knowledge of the world will go hand in hand with the ever increasing risks and fears of the other side. The coin nor the knife, can grow bigger on one side alone, thus the potential destructive force of the other side will grow ever greater.

    Are we lost in a vicious circle that will drag us ultimately to our doom?

    It seems we are quite close already, since we are now in a world where radical Islamists are pitted against the sole superpower of the western world. The potential backlash of the other side is growing by the day, and nuclear proliferation has seen a revival as of late.

    But then, we’ve lived through the Cuba Crisis, where we were at the knife’s edge – a push of the button away form nuclear war between two superpowers, the USA and the USSR. However close it may have been, common sense managed to prevail that day.
    And it is my believe it will in the future.

    The alternative, would we to have given up on that discovery of taming the flames in our earliest days, is that we might not even have survived to exist today.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I guess it's safe to assume that good morals and values are the only thing saving humanity from self destruction. or maybe just old plain fear of death keeps certain folks civil.
     
  4. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    I'm curious, are there any particular folk you are referring to in both cases?
    I would think we've grown beyond the Dark Ages where fear of death ruled supreme.
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    No--just speaking of the eternal battle of good vs evil. I don't think we have outlived that concept.
     
  6. Harmageddon
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    Agreed.
    However, the simplicity of good vs. evil pitched in an epic battle for control may actually be fought between forces that are as of yet hardly recognized.

    It seems to me that nowadays this battle is supposed to be fought between evil radical Islamists on the one hand and holy Americans on the other.
    In this, Europe seems to take a weak stance on the subject.

    You may be familiar with the phrase: divide and conquer.
    It is brilliant in concept: create a division in the enemy's camp and when they have but annihilated one another, it is easy for the third party to conquer their remains.

    What if you consider this idea and imagine the current growing division between radical Islam and America (or more accurately, the west, since America is considered by many the frontier of the west).

    Although I'm convinced America has the upper hand in the conflict, since it is far superiour in both military and technological advancement, you should always consider the fact: who would benefit from the mutual annihilation (or mutual draining of resources) of America (or even the west) and the Middle East?

    There are many candidates.
    And you should never underestimate the enemy.

    As a last remark: I'm not trying to scare the shit out of you, or blame whomever springs to mind. I am trying however for you to see the conflict in broader terms. These are after all global politics, and it's not a nice game.

    P.S.: this discussion does not really seem to belong in this thread anymore.
     

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