It is a characteristic of human behaviour that as a whole thatÂ we are inherently very stupid. PerhapsÂ ignorance is a better term. For one thing, we fail to learn by other people’s mistakes. Looking back at former civilisations, it is always noteworthy how blatantly ignorantÂ humanityÂ was about the consequences of its own actions. Even knowing what we know now about the past, we always seem to over-estimate our current intelligence level.Â And we claim to live in the age of information!
Take a look at the following article, specifically the Kardashev scale. We might well achieve “type II status” within a few thousand years (conquering our solar system). But delving into stage III and predicting how long it will take at this point in time is just plain stupidity. Here we are now -puny as ever- we have barely managed to map a solitary planet in any sort of true detail (forget about the watery bits called oceans for a second) and some of us are speaking of dominating an entire galaxy?! Does the expression “too big for your boots” mean anything to this guy? I could think up some race of humongous alien beasts, even the smallest example would simply wipe us all into oblivion with some kind of antimatter strike not even aimed properly, but just over in our general direction… not the slightest hesitation or thought involved… you know… a truly fearless species with a billion year headstart on our technology and one that hasn’t evolved from tiny frightened monkeys. You get the idea. That’s the sort of hiccough one might consider when planning our civilisation’s progression into deep space. A massive encounter (for us) wouldn’t just hinder that time projection it would be our termination. And that silly little graph would cease to exist. The arrogance Like we are the first to attain any sort of intelligence level. It’s even more optimistic that a baby who cannot even properly step out of the bathtub yet, hoping to swim across an entire ocean in record time. Good luck to it. It could very well happen given time, but it’s not going to be an easy task, certainly nothing anyone would predict.
We make many assumptions and then try to predict the future. I’m ironically prediciting thatÂ based on this trend, pretty soon, we’ll realise that our current civilisation is terribly arrogant. Within aÂ short timespan current attitudes are going to change, as they always do -Â we don’t ever live in one age or another, but we live in a dynamic time where things inherently change. Only the rate of change and its direction differs.
Today for example, we think we can solve any problems that come our way, that nothing is too great for us to overcome. For example,Â during a timeÂ when greenhouse gas emissions are ever-increasing, we are still urbanising natural spaces at a horrendous rate. We are effectively destroying our free-growing, self-spawningÂ air recyclers.Â What could be more stupid to know about something and stubbornly refuse to act on it? Do we really think that science will one day provide a moreÂ impressive &Â economical method of CO2 -> O2 conversion than the humble tree? What could possibly be more senseless than that?Â Is it just laziness, or is the reluctance to change more deep-rooted?
In this respect, our societies are suprisingly rather ignorant. Our species standsÂ in the most dominant position on Earth. Yet as we pat ourselves on the back for our cleverness of invention, we mostly destroy everything natural around us and seek a synthetic alternative. Although inevitably, in some way or another, the multiple consequences of our actions usually bite back with a vengeance.
The sad fact is,Â our current circumstances are due to our way of life (which we choose).Â It seems to me that the consumerism & novel modes of entertainment we have devised are merely a way to distract ourselves from all the doom and gloom. We have almost adapted to today’s world, immune to this concrete jungle.Â I for one have never been too proud of what we have achieved here. I wonder, when, if ever,Â are we going to change?
For example,Â when are people going to not take their energy consumption for granted? (Pedalling on an exercise bike, mostÂ people would be lucky to average a continuous power output of a mere 250 Watts!) When are people going to stop blaming Australian cow farts for the global warming phenomenon, and look towards their own vehicles as a source of the problem? When are we going to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle? When will we stop fooling ourselves about the state ofÂ the Earth’s future? When can we stop pretending to be so incredibly naÃ¯ve?