Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Are you impressed with expertise in Geography? :lol:
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Absolutely :lol:

I guess if people are willing to live on Mars, then why not Antarctica?

Personally, I would hate living in a place where it's unpleasant or impossible to be outside most of the year. You probably wouldn't mind as much, right?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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It would depend. McMurdo would probably get on my nerves, but a nice big settlement like an arboretum enclosed in a football stadium would be fine.

Since Antarctica is protected by international treaties, who do you think should be allowed to settle there?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I would say people should be allowed there for reasons involving science, art, and exploration.

Wouldn't it be nice if Antarctica served as a model of multi-national cooperation and integration? Could the moon and Mars also present such opportunities?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Under current treaties, that's exactly what's happening. But I wonder how long that will last when civilians start to settle these places.

Would you be happy with a one-world government?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Yes, as long as I get to determine it :lol:

But seriously, I hope we gradually move to one world government. I don't see it happening anytime soon because the rich countries will resist it and the poor countries will push for, and we both know which countries have the most power and clout.

So under what scenario could a single world government happen?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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It's hard to imagine any scenario that would result in a world government, because I think all nations, rich and poor, would resist the idea-- and that's probably a good thing. Unification is good, but homogenization is not.

What do you think about adopting the metric system?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I'd be perfectly okay moving to the metric system. It wouldn't take long learning the conversions. I've traveled a lot outside of the US and am kind of used to metric measurements anyway.

Why has the US resisted it? Would you be okay with it?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I don't know why the US has resisted it, but I hope we continue to do so. As I said, I'm against cultural homogenization. Should every country also speak the same language, and wear the same clothes, and eat the same food, and listen to the same music, and celebrate the same holidays?

How do you feel about Esperanto? :lol:
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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You're right of course that homogenization is bad. You remember one of my favorite philosophers, Yuvall Noah Harrari. He's written that nationalism has a good part and a bad part. The bad part of nationalism is, of course, believing that your country is superior to other countries. The good part, though, is valuing one's unique heritage, customs, language, topography, etc.

Esperanto is an attempt at universalism of language, correct? Seems silly. I kind of embrace the current model that allows for different languages and also allows for one to dominate if it is practical (like English currently and Chinese in the future).

Do you see any problem with China soon likely becoming the world's dominant superpower?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I don't see it happening any time soon, but I would definitely have a problem with a totalitarian, fascist regime dominating the world. On the plus side, people would appreciate America better. :lol:

Would you rather learn Chinese or Esperanto?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Chinese, for sure. I don't see their country deciding to change their official language to Esperanto any time soon.

What about you? Is fluency in Esperanto your goal?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 1:19 am
Chinese, for sure. I don't see their country deciding to change their official language to Esperanto any time soon.
Yeah, but Esperanto would be easier to learn. :lol:
What about you? Is fluency in Esperanto your goal?
I want to speak Esperanto like a native. Just kidding. English will always be the best language to write in, because, like America, it is a mish-mash of many different cultures, making it the most flexible and nuanced language that ever existed.

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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Not really, but occasionally there are studies that give me pause.

Have you had any personal experiences suggesting telepathy is real?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I haven't, no, and I'm skeptical of any studies that show positive results. To be able to broadcast and receive thoughts, the human brain would have to include transmitter and receiver organs, which have not been identified, and which would likely need to be larger than the human head, and it would have to produce enough power to broadcast the information great distances, which it does not (and which would result in people electrocuting each other on contact if it did). It would also need to have an extremely efficient mode of data transfer, since it usually involves real-time audio and video-- something which modern cell phones are barely capable of. So in order to accept telepathy as real, we'd have to assume some new and unprecedented form of energy that interacts with human minds, yet is entirely disconnected from biology. It seems a bit far fetched.

Biotechnological telepathy, on the other hand, is certainly possible. Do you think it will ever be adopted?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Are you referring to something like this?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Pretty much, although it could take many forms, and almost all of them would require some serious technological innovations.

How do you think people would respond to the opportunity to connect their brain to a computer or the Internet or another brain?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I think it might sound good in theory, but imagine how terrifying it would be for all your secrets to be known by a computer or another person.

Would it be possible for some personal or incriminating information to be shielded?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Well, the big challenge would be getting it out there to begin with. How do you digitize a thought or memory, when it's a combination of electricity and physical changes to nerve cells and the links between them? Plus the fact that different parts of memories are stored in different regions of the brain. I think protecting private information will be easy.

Do you think there will come a time when people will sell their memories to others?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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That's fascinating. DS9 did an episode where they visited a planet on which O'Brien was sentenced to many years of prison, but in the form of memories only. Although he never served a day in jail, he was scarred from memories of having served decades. Much of the episode centered on helping him with his PTSD.

So yeah, if they can figure out how to transfer memories, you'll see a terrible misuse of this ability and a wonderful good use of it. Imagine buying memories of having sex with a celebrity like Raquel Welch or visiting any attraction anywhere in the world or even sky-diving. Perhaps you could even obtain memories of dying from someone recently deceased.

What are your thoughts about this?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Undoubtedly, like any technology, there will be good and bad. I can imagine a vast library of memories stored away for future generations, like the "Palace of the Past" that was mentioned by Arthur C Clarke. There would be questions about privacy and whether memories can be subpoenaed, as well as their admissibility in court-- would a digitized memory be accurate or subject to the same vagaries as biological memory (perhaps you could download the same memory a thousand times and never get the same version twice)? And, of course, there will be the sports and danger and travel and sex memories, which would raise questions about the rights of the other people in the memories. Good times! :lol:

What do you think about the possibility of using implanted memories as a form of mental health therapy?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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That's brilliant. I hadn't thought of that.

Plus we haven't talked about erasing memories. That's something Dr. McCoy would do -- erase a painful memory.

But if I could avoid unhappiness by simply erasing a memory of, say, a bad marriage or hitting my knee against a table, wouldn't that mean I'd be more likely to repeat that mistake in the future? Shouldn't we be learning from past painful events?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I was going to bring up erasing memories. I think that may be even more difficult, if not impossible, since you'd not only have to track down a very specific set of recordings that are messily distributed across a biological organ, but you'd have to somehow alter the cells and dendrites and ganglions and whatevers with unimaginable precision. Personally, I'd be against it, since experience is what makes us who we are-- and bad experience can result in increased empathy or perspective and so on, so it's far from a bad thing.

Do you think it's possible for the human mind to run out of memory like a hard drive?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 11:19 pm
I was going to bring up erasing memories. I think that may be even more difficult, if not impossible
Plus we now know that memory is "embodied", i.e., it is more than just mental. It becomes entangled with emotions which are connected to other body parts beyond the brain.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 11:19 pm
Do you think it's possible for the human mind to run out of memory like a hard drive?
Well, Sherlock Holmes said that the brain is like your attic. Eventually, you run out of storage room. But who really knows? It's an open question.

What about memory for dreams? Would you be bold enough to receive one of my horrifying dreams that I cannot bring myself to share in our dream thread?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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There may be a black market for something like that, too. A new fad for the Goths.

You bring up a good point about memories being entangled with emotions. Is it possible that memories would download like the bones of an experience, with no emotional context? Or would they come with the full context, causing the recipient to develop feelings for the people in the memory-- love or contempt, admiration or revulsion?

And how about this: Could emotions be downloaded without context? Talk about therapy.
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