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  #61  
Old 10-17-2008, 12:53 AM
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The whole domination of the world by the western powers are based on upholding a consumer economy on a scale never seen before in history.(well maybe some of the old crazy royal families in ancient Rome could match -burning down Rome and all..)

There is really only one incentive/driving power behind political and in the same footsteps -military expansion .

Economics .

There have been older systems that include less turn over,less money ( if any at all) etc -but it is a proven fact that these did not yield the same socioeconomic changes OR technological advances - and those changes that did come were infinitely slower -taking many generations to take root.

(democracy,electricity,abolition,antibiotics,legal equality etc)

Now- the consumer economy is the driving power behind the hegemony of the west -and the motivation for it .It is geared largely to run on fossil fuels -petroleum products in particular .The faster you can burn the oil means that the faster money will come in to fill your coffers.

A change will not come before it will start paying of to use other fuels and/or people start getting serious about enviromentalism meaning voting into power those who would actually let the consumer economy suffer and the enviroment thrive.This means massive social upheaval and political change .Millions of jobs will be lost .Living standards will drop drastically .The economy would have to change meaning that manufacture would be done closer to the markets,recycling would be the order of the day and people would have to pay more dearly for the items they purchase -and also they would have to take better care of them as they are more expensive than before.

Quite possibly the drop in living standards would only be felt for those of us lucky enough to be in rich western countries or are rich in the poor world .

The oil will run out .The wars to control it will become harsher and larger in scale and involve more of us than today .Hopefully noone will nuke eachother in the process ,but you never know.

Afterwards a new economic system will emerge -one that uses less petroleum products ,and quite posibly relies heavily on another fuel source .Some say this will be thorium or uranium even -meaning that new wars will follow to conquer areas where this resource is abundant etc etc .

There is always a reason to hope that alternate fuels like vegetable oils etc will win the day and become prevalent -meaning that a new economy based on the supply of such oil could become big.Some parts of the world already run vehicles on alcohol and vegetable oil etc .But in the end I take my marxist view of the historic process over the more cheery " it will all be alright in the end "..

all in my humble opinion of course
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  #62  
Old 10-17-2008, 02:09 AM
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I kind of agree with you and my problem is: if someone can site me an invention that was made over the past 60 years, I'll be happy to know. I'm not talking of improvement but of pure inventions (inventions that have an impact also such as TV, car, radio, aircrafts, fuel engine...). As far as I know all that we have today was invented at least 60 years + ago and that might bring us to the point that you gave about older societies. Aren't we slowing down, making the crisis perfectly normal? When I studied in the U.S. in the 1990's, I found an impressive and rich society; when I visited in the 2000's I found a country getting poorer and fast (not impressed anymore); a country that had developped some aspects that I somewhat could compare to Brazil. Today, my computer, car... are much more modern than the ones own by my U.S. friends unless they have enough money to buy foreign goods. Don't worry we are following the same path: over the past year France got less unemployed but the percentage of poor jumped from 11% to 13%. In the meantime, India got 22% more millionaires.

Then, I agree about hoping for some changes just to start the engine again. I don't know what you mean by economics but currently I found that our societies have gone for profits only, leaving benefits behind. Profit, from my point of view, is only the fuel and we forgot putting it in the engine. I have more respect for Howard Hugues when he pursues his crazy dreams or for Bill Gates when he gives 500 million$ for AIDS than for the guy currently leading Mycrosoft or IBM (I forgot which one) when he buys a third huge yacht. I'm all in support of life pleasure but when it finally goes to only that, I'm not sure we are going somewhere.

However, I agree with you about the idea that "everything will be fine at the end". Strangely I consider a possible general nuclear burst to be part of the fine end. Not one I'm hoping for so, therefore, If we could avoid that one, I'll be more than happy.
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  #63  
Old 10-17-2008, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
I kind of agree with you and my problem is: if someone can site me an invention that was made over the past 60 years, I'll be happy to know. I'm not talking of improvement but of pure inventions (inventions that have an impact also such as TV, car, radio, aircrafts, fuel engine...).
The fuel cell. Particularly the ones that run on hydrocarbons. They are the way of the future.
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  #64  
Old 10-17-2008, 02:30 AM
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The fuel cell. Particularly the ones that run on hydrocarbons. They are the way of the future.
Didn't thought about them, that might be a very positive sign.
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  #65  
Old 10-17-2008, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohoender
Didn't thought about them, that might be a very positive sign.

Are you smoking something? And you aren't sharing it!!!!

Solar cells
Chemo Therapy
Microprocessor
Micro Surgery
Artificial Heart


The new developements are there, they may be small, but small things do have an impact even though they go unnoticed.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jester
Are you smoking something? And you aren't sharing it!!!!

Solar cells
Chemo Therapy
Microprocessor
Micro Surgery
Artificial Heart


The new developements are there, they may be small, but small things do have an impact even though they go unnoticed.
I was waiting for you on that one

Solar cells are known since something like 1869 (sorry the process was recognized in 1839 and the first cells were made in 1883), chemotherapy was first used in 1909 (sifylis I think), microporcessor is only an improvement and computers were invented before WWII, microsurgery is an improvement that dates back to the early 1960's (I give you that one, nevertheless, as it is only about 50 years old), artificial heart could be considered as one but the first application dates back to 1953 (55 years ago again so I wasn't that far).

So, no I'm not smoking anything but I wish I was. However, I remain open to objections and I'll be happy to be proved wrong Actually, I was by Targan (fuel cells dated back to the 1970's, I overlooked that one) and I hope someone can find more counterexemple of this. Our grandparents have done a lot, I still wait for our parents to prove the same, we haven't done that much so far (may be nothing) and hope that our kids will.

This in an opinion of course, don't take it as an offense, and I hope to change it some day. The problem, is that I have been conforted in it overtime. Moreover, when I see American friends working like crazy just to get poorer everyday that makes me mad, about as much as when I see somme people (for exemple in France) that can make a descent living just siting around in their armchair. Nothing wrong about sitting around but, then, assume your choice. I'll agree that everyone must get enough to eat but I don't see why they should deserve a flat screen cable TV and a cell phone.

Last edited by Mohoender; 10-17-2008 at 08:03 AM.
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  #67  
Old 10-17-2008, 08:36 AM
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ARGH!!! You are playing with a fine line here.

Da Vinci had concepts for alot of ideas and things too, but the ability to follow through was not possible for another four hundred years. There are big differences between theory and reality.

Lets follow through with,

Synthetic Fibers
Lazer Technology
FIBER OPTICs
MASS COMMUNICATION <the ability to transfer massive amounts of data>
Micro Dot
Space Tavel
Deep Sea Exploration
Deep Space Exploration
Rusable Space Vehicle
Modern metalurgy <we have developed some stuff that leaves the bessemer process in the stone age>

As for chemo therapy I was speaking in the common use as a anti cancer drug treatment. Which is leaps and bounds ahead of what it was 40, 30, 20 and even 10 years ago.

HIV treatment, in the last 30 years it has improved.

Anti Biotics, from Sulfa drugs, to Penicilin to any number of modern drugs that are being developed all the time. <of course new bacteria are also developed as well.>


Some of the above systems needs more than one form of technology and developement to make them work.

I am certain you can find primative examples and theories in history to say "its not new" but the idea and the reality of the idea are two different things. I mean going to the moon is not a new concept. Jules Verne even wrote a storey about it, as he did with deep sea exploration. However, the actual brining it to fruitiion is something all together different.

Remember, there is often a lag of technology even when it is available. Two prime examples would be the B-52 and then the Space Shuttle. When they were designed they have the technology of the day, but by the time they were completed and came off the assembly line the technology included in them was old. The same applies to many of the modern fighter aircraft, the lag between design and completed. Which makes one wonder what the current technology is that hasn't be incorporated into something?
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  #68  
Old 10-17-2008, 10:27 AM
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You are right about the fine line. That's why I said pure invention no improvements or applications. In fact, what I truly think is that people are inventing new things almost every day (small ones and big ones). The true problem will be that our current society will not finance them thinking that their ideas are either too risky or too expensive (after all they are fools). Even the new exemples that you gave are mostly from the early 1960's (for the most recent ones).

Synthetic Fibers (artificial silk 1799)
Lazer Technology (Einstein 1917, 1950 for a working one)
FIBER OPTICs (principle 1840, 1952 for a working one)
MASS COMMUNICATION <the ability to transfer massive amounts of data> (field of study not an invention)
Micro Dot (working process in 1870, WWI and WWII...)
Space Tavel (working process 1919, V2 in space in 1942, sputnik 1957)
Deep Sea Exploration (first working instrument 1840, lowest ocean point at 10911m, Jacques Piccard in 1960, nothing more ever since)
Deep Space Exploration (1957-1976, no program since that time outside of probes)
Reusable Space Vehicle (probably)
Modern metalurgy (to vast a domain as you said)

As a result we do a lot of research to improve the existing. Why starting an all new concept we just need to improve the old ones. If you go to people they are inventive, many have talents (if not all) and they are often dedicated. That's why I agree with HQ when he says that everything at the end will be fine.

I grew up dreaming about Mars and whatching Outlands. I woke up recently to learn that U.S. will stop actively participate in the international space program (too expensive). In the meantime, chinese have made a missile that can destroy sattelites (2005), they are sending people into space, they plan to land on the moon, they have organized olympics games for the handicaped that matched the normal one (almost no images of it), the Russians are selling Europe Soyuz, Iran sent a sattelite in orbit... I happen to hope being Chinese and I don't like that idea.

A friend of mine who died last year told me some times before that our society is not collapsing. He argued that it already collapsed some 40 or 50 years ago, stating that we just don't know about it. He had a good chance to be right but that doesn't mean the end. There is a good chance that we will go for a new start but it might be good not to wait too long. It's nice to finance the banks but he might be wiser to finance "Joe the Plumber" to put it as your candidates did. I would think that we baddly need some Openheimer, Einstein, Ferdinand Porsche, Clement Ader, Wrights brothers...

Last edited by Mohoender; 10-17-2008 at 10:29 AM.
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  #69  
Old 10-17-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
You are right about the fine line. That's why I said pure invention no improvements or applications.
There is a problem with the concept of "pure invention". IC engines can be traced back to the Greek steam engines.

Personally I think cell phones are a revolutionary advance which happens to be bolted onto an older technology (telephone system) and using another older technology (radio waves). But look at how it revolutionized communications in Africa and eased communications in areas of Europe where stringing wire was difficult.

My suggestions would include
Cell Phone
RFID tags
CAT/MRI scanning equipment
Internet
Digital Data Storage
GPS
Buckytubes

Of course someone could say GPS is just an improvement over the compass, sextant and clock. While digital data storage is only an advanced form of punch cards. When you increase the ease of use of something by a factor of over one million it really should be considered a revolutionary advance IMO.

And there is a reason why 60 years was picked. World War II accelerated development in some areas by 30 years IMO, leading to a bit of a skew in a chart of humanity's development of technology.

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
You are right about the fine line. That's why I said pure invention no improvements or applications. In fact, what I truly think is that people are inventing new things almost every day (small ones and big ones). The true problem will be that our current society will not finance them thinking that their ideas are either too risky or too expensive (after all they are fools). Even the new exemples that you gave are mostly from the early 1960's (for the most recent ones).

Synthetic Fibers (artificial silk 1799)
Lazer Technology (Einstein 1917, 1950 for a working one)
FIBER OPTICs (principle 1840, 1952 for a working one)
MASS COMMUNICATION <the ability to transfer massive amounts of data> (field of study not an invention)
Micro Dot (working process in 1870, WWI and WWII...)
Space Tavel (working process 1919, V2 in space in 1942, sputnik 1957)
Deep Sea Exploration (first working instrument 1840, lowest ocean point at 10911m, Jacques Piccard in 1960, nothing more ever since)
Deep Space Exploration (1957-1976, no program since that time outside of probes)
Reusable Space Vehicle (probably)
Modern metalurgy (to vast a domain as you said)

As a result we do a lot of research to improve the existing. Why starting an all new concept we just need to improve the old ones. If you go to people they are inventive, many have talents (if not all) and they are often dedicated. That's why I agree with HQ when he says that everything at the end will be fine.

I grew up dreaming about Mars and whatching Outlands. I woke up recently to learn that U.S. will stop actively participate in the international space program (too expensive). In the meantime, chinese have made a missile that can destroy sattelites (2005), they are sending people into space, they plan to land on the moon, they have organized olympics games for the handicaped that matched the normal one (almost no images of it), the Russians are selling Europe Soyuz, Iran sent a sattelite in orbit... I happen to hope being Chinese and I don't like that idea.

A friend of mine who died last year told me some times before that our society is not collapsing. He argued that it already collapsed some 40 or 50 years ago, stating that we just don't know about it. He had a good chance to be right but that doesn't mean the end. There is a good chance that we will go for a new start but it might be good not to wait too long. It's nice to finance the banks but he might be wiser to finance "Joe the Plumber" to put it as your candidates did. I would think that we baddly need some Openheimer, Einstein, Ferdinand Porsche, Clement Ader, Wrights brothers...

So you are saying that we as a society, I mean most of the world at least are stagnating, standing still and in some cases slipping backwards instead of moving ahead ceatively. Hmmm, yeah, I will beleive that! Then again toss in bueracracy and that stifles everything, but then again with finite resources how do you determine who gets what?

As for dreams of Mars and such, yes Iwas promised a mansion on the moon by the time I grew up! That missions to Mars and Jupiter would be as common as driving to grandmothers house for Sunday Dinner!!!!

As for space exploration. NASA is strange, you know they will be retiring the Space Shuttle fairly soon. They are already working on a new reentry orbiter. From some of the designs it is supposed to just fly rather than blast off like the traditional rocketships.

And these is/was some talk of returning to the moon.

Plus, we have had a couple vehicles land on Mars and they lasted much longer than their intended lifespan. And they did find signs of water! And those two were within the last year to 18 months.

And another lander went to one of the other planets, Mercury or Jupiter, I forget, maybe it was Saturn? That was about six months ago as well.

However, you are talking about a what, 50 or 60 year period in time which is really just a blink of the eye in comparison to time of man and even less when compared to times beginings. So eh, no biggie.

I mean think of this, how long did it take for something of metal to catch on and spread throughout mankind?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:46 PM
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Jest

I agree and, of course, you right about the lifetime. However the previous bursting period was no more than about 100 years, 150 at most (not much more then).

Every society goes from bursting to slow moving period from time to time and as comm is faster these periods might get shorter. Usually, it ends up with hard political changes (often peaceful).

No really big deal in fact and also that is the positive point with crisis. They force governments and people to react out of their small comfy habits. As you kept saying, people don't like changing, but time of changes are not always negatives. As I said I'm a pragmatic idealist. I like dreaming but I know I'm living in a real world. The only thing is that I'm not averse to change.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:17 AM
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I have to disagree with the suggestion that deep space exploration has ceased. Yes it has been decades since the launch of probes designed to leave our solar system but with the advances made in areas such as radio interferometry and aperture synthesis, the commissioning of near earth orbit telescopes operating on various wavelengths and even techniques such as using black holes as telescopes by taking advantage of gravitational lensing, astronomers have now been able to look so far back into our universe's past that they are nearing the actual limit. This is because the early universe, prior to the birth of the first stars, was so compact and hyper-dense in energy that it is not actually possible to look at what was going on inside.

Being able to perceive the earliest possible echoes of our primordial universe is, IMO, pretty darn impressive.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
I mean think of this, how long did it take for something of metal to catch on and spread throughout mankind?
I suspect even today there are still a few isolated tribal peoples who have not yet encountered (or are yet to start using) metal implements. In the deepest parts of the Amazon for instance. Even here in Australia there are still a few desert dwelling Aborigines who can remember encountering white people for the first time and thinking they were spirits or monsters of some kind.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Targan
I have to disagree with the suggestion that deep space exploration has ceased. Yes it has been decades since the launch of probes designed to leave our solar system but with the advances made in areas such as radio interferometry and aperture synthesis, the commissioning of near earth orbit telescopes operating on various wavelengths and even techniques such as using black holes as telescopes by taking advantage of gravitational lensing, atronomers have now been able to look so far back into our universe's past that they are nearing the actual limit. This is because the early universe, prior to the birth of the first stars, was so compact and hyper-dense in energy that it is not actually possible to look at what was going on inside.

Being able to perceive the earliest possible echoes of our primordial universe is, IMO, pretty darn impressive.
You right Targan but I found it too late to take that one out
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Targan
I suspect even today there are still a few isolated tribal peoples who have not yet encountered (or are yet to start using) metal implements.
Or perhaps glass ones. Just a recommendation that everyone here should see the movie "The Gods Must be Crazy" if they have not.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:54 PM
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I have to disagree with the suggestion that deep space exploration has ceased.

I think that one of the things that Mohoender is trying to say is we are not taking risks. Of course the science advances. And of course, a lot of our knowledge is based on previous advances. We are able to see more far away because we are standing over the shoulders of all the previous generations before us. After all, it's the history of human civilization since the invention of the alphabet. But we are not taking risks. A pair of months ago, in a Catalan radio program, I had the opportunity to listen the words of U.S. president John F. Kennedy related to the conquest of the moon. "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." (Google, o course . Even an European like me, 40 years after they were pronounced, can grasp the tremendously power and self-confidence emanated from these words. Please, understand that I'm not talking about politics, but, could you imagine the same illusion, self-confidence, ambition and innocence in the current US president or in the current European Union?
40 years ago!!! And there are not any nation in Earth with a permanent base in the moon!!! Be proud Americans, because the first step of Neil Armstrong deserves to be written in gold letters in the history of mankind. I have the illusion to see the live show of the first human step in Mars... well, I'm still young...

Please, don't misinterpret my words. Of course, science advances. But it's necessary to offer to the people ambition, self-confidence, illusion and an understandable project to support. An, once this support is gained, a nation (or a group of nations) can assume the risk. I would wish that, as 40 years ago, the tangible scientific gains could be part of a political program. We have discover a new micro-planet, we have superb photographs of Mercury surface...And of course these are important goals, but do you imagine :"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of discovering if water is present in Mars" ? A little disappointing...

And I'm not talking only about the magnitude of the goal that could be achieved in future investigations. I'm talking to explain that in a understandable way. The CERN experiments, per example. They are expanding the forntiers of the known physics. Is there any way to explain it to the general public? Any way to transmit the illusion and the motivation of the scientists who are working in it? Sure, there must be some way. After all people was sensible of all the apocalyptic messages about it.

Mmmm... In threads like that I would wish to be more fluent with my English
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:22 PM
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But, two cars is the norm here, at least in the bedroom communities of California. And as I said we do not have a mass transit system worth a damn. The bottom line, alot of people have a commute of 40 plus miles to work each way. For me, a 30 to 40 minute commute is pretty good, and that is the case for most people in my city.
I think we differ from Europe in that way, the towns in Europe are al ot closer, you can walk, bike or take a bus between them easily. We are more spread out here and you can also include Canada and even Australia. I remember a joke that "in Europe, towns are two kilotons apart, in the U.S., they are more like 200 kilotons apart." Mass transit in this country can only do so much. Heck, where I live, a car is required survival equipment. When I was 16 and a half, I got my first car from my father, he was drunk when he bought a Caddy so he "had an extra car laying around." So I got a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix. Miss that car, velor seats, AM/FM/8-Track. That car allowed me to do after school activities. I've been driving 25 years tomorrow as well.

Like it or not, we are married to the car.

Chuck M.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Targan
But oil is a finite resource. Why is it okay for one nation that just happens to have huge wealth at this point along the human timeline to use up the vast majority of the world's oil all by its self when it could use it much less quickly by adopting more fuel efficient vehicles or, even better, spend some of that vast wealth on developing engines that run on other fuel sources?

Apologies again for any offence but "we have a free market economy so it is fair and reasonable for anyone with sufficient money to drive whatever they like and burn as much fuel as they like" strikes me as greedy and, dare I say it, ignorant. One day, hopefully, currently underdeveloped countries will become developed countries and will need raw materials and things like crude oil and they'll look around and realise that in the decades and centuries before the countries that became developed and rich first used everything up. And used up the resources in an incredibly wasteful way which just adds insult to injury. As a person living in a rich western country I feel very guilty about these things. We tend not to care about those that will come after us and especially seem not to care about those who will come after us who are not part of our own nation or culture.
OK, I'm not trying to be mean, adversarial or whatever. I know there are times we've debated before. I used to worry about these things all the time myself and then after a lot of thoughts, well, this is my take.

Well, then the free market will switch to alternate means of fuels as time goes on, most likely fuels that can be put in current engines with little or no modification. I don't think the oil situation is as bad as they say, yes, it is finite, but then again, if you believe in the closed Universe, we have a finite material in the Universe too. I do lean towards the theory that oil is made by some process in the Earth itself, I know in the 1970's a Soviet scientist put forth the idea, separate from the organic theory that we've been taught. Sure oil is formed that way too but there could be other ways too. There are lots of tapped oil oil fields that have oil again. There are many oil fields that were like that here in Pennsylvania and if oil reaches a certain price, they will be put into use again.

Time for Dr. Chuck, the armchair psychologist, heel philosopher and working class Pittsburgh Hunky.

I consider myself a "1970's era laid back guy."

I hate all this talk of guilt. We have to live in the world of the now. There are some things I have to leave to God and His will. I have to learn that sometimes it is better to let go. Anyways, why worry, I have enough problems as it is, paying bills, trying to get by. Your stomach churns, you burp and fart and people yell at you. No wonder we have a demand for acid reflux drugs.

I don't deny we have problems, some we have solutions for like atomic power and the use of butenol and clean coal. We have done much to make things better in the world, even by the 1950's, here in Pittsburgh, the air was cleaner at that time than it was in the 1930's. I've heard it all, "we will be dead by 1985, we will be dead by 2000" and so on. I'm still here and things are OK. Science will march on and there will be answers to other problems. We have too much finger pointing and worry out there. It ain't worth it to fight the current in the river all the time and "go with the flow."

John Lennon had a 1966 song with The Beatles called "Tomorrow Never Knows," taken from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. As the song goes, "turn off you mind, relax and float downstream." Man, I'm starting to sound like Dr. Timothy Leary, I'm sure God will take a few points from me acting out of character. I still like the Zen-like quality.

If you want to make it simpler, I like the 1970 song from "Wet Willie" called "Keep on Smilin'" or more recently, Bobby McFerrin's, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," from 1988. I think I'll adopt "Don't Worry, Be Happy" as my song.

We got to get over this guilt and take stock in the good things we have. It ain't healthy. I know with my recent loss of my kitty, Pixie, I wonder if I could do things different and I start to feel guilty. Then I do realize I cannot go back and replay things, it was just her time to go with God. I know she knows we did all we could for her and she still loves me from Heaven.

I guess I just get tired of everyone pointing fingers at people saying they need to feel guilty living in a rich country, White-Man's guilt, guilty at having a good paying job, eating too much, and so on. We have to get over that psychological hangup.

Sorry for the deep topic, but man, it had to be said.

Dr. Chuck M.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:59 PM
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The fuel cell. Particularly the ones that run on hydrocarbons. They are the way of the future.
Agreed, as time goes on and they become more economic, we will see them. Plus we can use the existing fuel system or bio-fuels.

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:05 PM
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There is always a reason to hope that alternate fuels like vegetable oils etc will win the day and become prevalent -meaning that a new economy based on the supply of such oil could become big.Some parts of the world already run vehicles on alcohol and vegetable oil etc .But in the end I take my marxist view of the historic process over the more cheery " it will all be alright in the end "..

all in my humble opinion of course
I don't think the scarcity of resources are as bad as some say although I think more of the problem lies with the economic system, distribution and more sources for products from other nations along with cheap labor. I've touched on this before but like you, "it will be alright in the end" although it is more of a God and religious view with me. I guess deep down inside, I'm the resident "Holy Roller."

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:08 PM
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I kind of agree with you and my problem is: if someone can site me an invention that was made over the past 60 years, I'll be happy to know. I'm not talking of improvement but of pure inventions (inventions that have an impact also such as TV, car, radio, aircrafts, fuel engine...). As far as I know all that we have today was invented at least 60 years + ago and that might bring us to the point that you gave about older societies. Aren't we slowing down, making the crisis perfectly normal? When I studied in the U.S. in the 1990's, I found an impressive and rich society; when I visited in the 2000's I found a country getting poorer and fast (not impressed anymore); a country that had developped some aspects that I somewhat could compare to Brazil. Today, my computer, car... are much more modern than the ones own by my U.S. friends unless they have enough money to buy foreign goods. Don't worry we are following the same path: over the past year France got less unemployed but the percentage of poor jumped from 11% to 13%. In the meantime, India got 22% more millionaires.

Then, I agree about hoping for some changes just to start the engine again. I don't know what you mean by economics but currently I found that our societies have gone for profits only, leaving benefits behind. Profit, from my point of view, is only the fuel and we forgot putting it in the engine. I have more respect for Howard Hugues when he pursues his crazy dreams or for Bill Gates when he gives 500 million$ for AIDS than for the guy currently leading Mycrosoft or IBM (I forgot which one) when he buys a third huge yacht. I'm all in support of life pleasure but when it finally goes to only that, I'm not sure we are going somewhere.

However, I agree with you about the idea that "everything will be fine at the end". Strangely I consider a possible general nuclear burst to be part of the fine end. Not one I'm hoping for so, therefore, If we could avoid that one, I'll be more than happy.
Good points. Yeah, you have an interesting thought there. I use a computer from 1999, my cars are from 1994 and 1977 (got to make that one roadworthy), my TV is from 1982. I guess as long as I can surf the internet and play Diablo, drive around and watch "Airwolf," I'm alright with that.

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohoender
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I agree and, of course, you right about the lifetime. However the previous bursting period was no more than about 100 years, 150 at most (not much more then).

Every society goes from bursting to slow moving period from time to time and as comm is faster these periods might get shorter. Usually, it ends up with hard political changes (often peaceful).

No really big deal in fact and also that is the positive point with crisis. They force governments and people to react out of their small comfy habits. As you kept saying, people don't like changing, but time of changes are not always negatives. As I said I'm a pragmatic idealist. I like dreaming but I know I'm living in a real world. The only thing is that I'm not averse to change.
I have a belief, well I share it with Toynbee, that Empires last 200 years before they crash, shrink, whatever. If you take the British Empire, the defeat of France (what is the French view on this, I'm interested) in the Seven Years War in 1763 could have been the big accomplishment that made Britain an Empire.

BTW, here in the U.S., we call the Seven Years War, "The French and Indian War." I live in the area where the whole war started between George Washington fighting the French at Ft. Duquesne and it spread all over the world. In fact, it was truly the "first world war."

Well if you fast forward 200 years, you get 1963, at that time, decolonization of the British Empire, and others, was well underway. I often said that the "War of 1812" established the United States as a power to stand alone. Again take 200 years, you get 2012, well we are almost there and some say we are in decline. I hope now, but I do say we have more competition in the world.

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:28 PM
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I think that one of the things that Mohoender is trying to say is we are not taking risks. Of course the science advances. And of course, a lot of our knowledge is based on previous advances. We are able to see more far away because we are standing over the shoulders of all the previous generations before us. After all, it's the history of human civilization since the invention of the alphabet. But we are not taking risks. A pair of months ago, in a Catalan radio program, I had the opportunity to listen the words of U.S. president John F. Kennedy related to the conquest of the moon. "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." (Google, o course . Even an European like me, 40 years after they were pronounced, can grasp the tremendously power and self-confidence emanated from these words. Please, understand that I'm not talking about politics, but, could you imagine the same illusion, self-confidence, ambition and innocence in the current US president or in the current European Union?
40 years ago!!! And there are not any nation in Earth with a permanent base in the moon!!! Be proud Americans, because the first step of Neil Armstrong deserves to be written in gold letters in the history of mankind. I have the illusion to see the live show of the first human step in Mars... well, I'm still young...

Please, don't misinterpret my words. Of course, science advances. But it's necessary to offer to the people ambition, self-confidence, illusion and an understandable project to support. An, once this support is gained, a nation (or a group of nations) can assume the risk. I would wish that, as 40 years ago, the tangible scientific gains could be part of a political program. We have discover a new micro-planet, we have superb photographs of Mercury surface...And of course these are important goals, but do you imagine :"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of discovering if water is present in Mars" ? A little disappointing...

And I'm not talking only about the magnitude of the goal that could be achieved in future investigations. I'm talking to explain that in a understandable way. The CERN experiments, per example. They are expanding the forntiers of the known physics. Is there any way to explain it to the general public? Any way to transmit the illusion and the motivation of the scientists who are working in it? Sure, there must be some way. After all people was sensible of all the apocalyptic messages about it.

Mmmm... In threads like that I would wish to be more fluent with my English
Hmmm, yeah, we achieved a lot more in the 1960s with space travel and did it all with discrete components like transistors and early integrated circuit chips. Had World War II not happened and/or the Cold War, we'd be lucky to be on the Moon by now. I always thought as an armchair alternate historian, had Gavilro Princip (the true man of the 20th Century, look what he caused) messed up and as long as no one else took his place, World War I might have not happened and we'd be living in a much different world now. I would say the world of 2000-2010 would probably resemble around 1970 or so.

I was 3 when we landed on the Moon. I was hoping we'd be on Mars by the 1980's. I know in a technical sense, if we really, really, really, really had to, the technology to go to Mars was achieved by the late 1960's. As to Moon flight, if they had the rocket thrust needed, it could have been done as early as the 1930's. It seems like you need the will and the money but I think the will is more important. If you have that, you can, well most of the time, find the money. The Cold War gave us that in the 1960's.

I know we are retiring the space shuttle and going back to a space capsule, it is almost like the old Apollo.

CERN is pretty interesting but it does not have the visibility a space programs has.

If anyone remembers the old 1990's cartoon series, "The Tick," he had an interest take on this. In the episode, "Grandpa Wore Tights," it showed one of the villains, "The Terror," in 1948 giving Joe Stalin "atomic robot zombie men." The question was asked, "how did they do that," and the Tick said, "back then, science worked in broad strokes, today it's all molecule, molecule, molecule."

Chuck M.

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Old 10-22-2008, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man 1966
If you take the British Empire, the defeat of France (what is the French view on this, I'm interested) in the Seven Years War in 1763 could have been the big accomplishment that made Britain an Empire.

BTW, here in the U.S., we call the Seven Years War, "The French and Indian War." I live in the area where the whole war started between George Washington fighting the French at Ft. Duquesne and it spread all over the world. In fact, it was truly the "first world war."


Chuck M.
I'm not really good about that matter as I don't like that period. 18th century is the century I like the least. The only thing I can say would be that this war is the result of a long period of turmoil that started with Louis XIV. Most people, will tell you that he was a great king, but I don't agree. He made only wars, won many of them, never finished a lot of others and drove the country to Banckrupcy.

The end of it was probably the French revolution and the Napoleonic era. Again I don't like the guy as I prefer Napoleon III.

That brings me to another thing. I'll disagree with you when you seem to imply that wars make things go faster. Peace and peace only do that. War has only one goal: destruction and destruction alone. I won't argue anymore on that, however, as there is no way to change my view on this.

Don't try to argue, you'll waste your time, but I had to say it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohoender
I'm not really good about that matter as I don't like that period. 18th century is the century I like the least. The only thing I can say would be that this war is the result of a long period of turmoil that started with Louis XIV. Most people, will tell you that he was a great king, but I don't agree. He made only wars, won many of them, never finished a lot of others and drove the country to Banckrupcy.

The end of it was probably the French revolution and the Napoleonic era. Again I don't like the guy as I prefer Napoleon III.

That brings me to another thing. I'll disagree with you when you seem to imply that wars make things go faster. Peace and peace only do that. War has only one goal: destruction and destruction alone. I won't argue anymore on that, however, as there is no way to change my view on this.

Don't try to argue, you'll waste your time, but I had to say it.
Well, I'd like to add that World War II did make some things develop faster, television for one. Although television was technically feasible before World War II, I think the war did accelerate the use of UHF radio waves (more TV channels), microwave communications and smaller vacuum tubes. Same with computers, but that's my take.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:04 PM
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Well, I'd like to add that World War II did make some things develop faster, television for one. Although television was technically feasible before World War II, I think the war did accelerate the use of UHF radio waves (more TV channels), microwave communications and smaller vacuum tubes. Same with computers, but that's my take.

WWII had radio guidance systems, the Germans had the first video guided missiles they used for anti ship purpioses. Wire guided, night vission, guidance systems for rockets and missiles.

Computers were first developed as well.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:21 PM
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WWII had radio guidance systems, the Germans had the first video guided missiles they used for anti ship purpioses. Wire guided, night vission, guidance systems for rockets and missiles.

Computers were first developed as well.
True and also High Definition TV was developed then, IIRC, it was developed during World War II in Vichy France, Rene Barthelemy came up with a 1050 line system and the Germans basically pirated it. I know after the war, France had a system of 819 lines, it was black and white but very high definition for it's time. I'm also amazed they developed vacuum tubes so small, they had them in artillery shells as a part of a "radar" system to explode and make schrapnel for anti-aircraft or ship use.

Here is a link on the High Def TV: http://www.earlytelevision.org/raf.html

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:41 PM
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I'm not really good about that matter as I don't like that period. 18th century is the century I like the least. The only thing I can say would be that this war is the result of a long period of turmoil that started with Louis XIV. Most people, will tell you that he was a great king, but I don't agree. He made only wars, won many of them, never finished a lot of others and drove the country to Banckrupcy.

The end of it was probably the French revolution and the Napoleonic era. Again I don't like the guy as I prefer Napoleon III.
I know that continued with King Louis XV as well, I know when the French were screaming for reinforcements in the French and Indian War (Seven Years War), the middlemen took their cuts and this really hurt the French against the British. Meanwhile, you had the American Indians who generally sided with the French but there were times they played the French against the British and vice versa. I know King George III of Britain did his share to bankrupt England, this was a help to the American Colonists in the revolution (although France, Spain and to a lesser extent, Poland helped too), but England was bleeding money so that helped usher the victory in the American's favor.

I think here in the U.S., we are facing similar problems economically, IIRC, you made the point that it seem the U.S. is starting to slip a bit with people having older cars and computers and so on, I know the economic problems we are having are contributing into that. A lot of people don't buy cars every 2 to 4 years like they used to, but keep them longer. My Explorer is 14 years old, almost 15 and if I get my Mercury Cougar on the road again, that car will be 31/32 years old. I know people in this area who still drive 30 and 40+ year old cars. I know an amateur radio operator who bought an AMC (aka Nash) Ambassador in 1964 and he still drive it to this day. He is in his mid 90's and he drives and talks on the radio at the same time. Around here, I still see a guy driving a 1962 Mercury and another with a 1971 Ford. Cars from the 1980's are still common.

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Old 10-23-2008, 02:44 AM
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About TV, I disagree strongly. It was not developped at all during WWII. It was developped in the 1920's and 1930's. Actually WWII never accelerated its developement, it delayed it. TV had been available to the public in the early 1950's but without the war it would certainly have been available in the early 1940's (for France).

Vichy France has nothing to do with it (actually you had no TV under Vichy). As of June 1940 all the french national press, TV and Radios were taken over by Germany. The only press publication allowed by Germany was "l'Humanité" (communist) that was printed up to 1941. Not surprising when you recall that USSR was allied to Germany and that the French communist party was instructed, by Moscow, to help the German in all their military efforts. If you want to know more about this ask U.S. historians they are good and very knowledgeable about that.

About TV, it was emiting from Paris, under strict German regulation (actually it was turned off until 1943). However, the developement was done under the 3rd Republic with a regular program as early as 1937 (100 TV in Paris). A program was on the air every evening between 20pm and 21pm (about). It was slowed down a lot as a result of the war.

In the US, General Electric started with it in 1928. 11 years before the war (First politician on TV in 1928). The admited date for its invention is around the mid-1920's (1924 or 1923) in the U.S.. By the way TV was invented by Russians who emigrated to the U.S. after the soviet revolution.

If you look closely at everything else you might find the same, Wars delay things except, of course, when the thing is a military application. Germany sent a missile to lower space in 1942 as they wanted such device to deliver an atomic bomb to New York and Washington in 1945 (U.S. have been very good and a bit lucky on that one).

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Old 10-23-2008, 08:14 AM
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Good points. Yeah, you have an interesting thought there. I use a computer from 1999, my cars are from 1994 and 1977 (got to make that one roadworthy), my TV is from 1982. I guess as long as I can surf the internet and play Diablo, drive around and watch "Airwolf," I'm alright with that.

Chuck M.
I think you are right to be alright with that. People should buy as they please. What make me worry a little more, however, is the access to technology or goods. A year ago, a friend of mine was living in California using a Mac computer. As she needed some upgrade, she couldn't find it in the U.S. and was forced to order it from Hong Kong. That upgrade was not even the one from the last generation.

When I was visiting in 2003 I looked for an USB key. Everything I found was half as good as what we consider here as basic. When I ask the guy in the wide computer shop his answer was: "We don't make this" or something like. When, I was studying in the U.S. in the 1990's I used to delay some purchase as I knew I could find better stuff in U.S.. It doesn't seem to be the case anymore. When I finally got back to France, I had a full suitcase of stereo material that I smuggled through the border.. Next time I'll go to U.S. I'm thinking about doing it the other way around.

Last year I used to play "Starwars" on the internet. I tried to avoid playing with Americans. They were nice and helpful people but my computer could feel the jetlag. I could go down one floor, get a beer and their computers were still loading their character. Strangely, the company running the game was next door (almost) to their place. I finally asked. All were using computers I put in the trash can about 6 or 7 years ago. One was using a brand new computer, however, he was an expatriate living in Germany and was amazed by the quality of computer stuff that you could find there for the same price than in U.S.

Don't take me wrong we are not doing that all better. For my wife hobby, she is ordering in the U.S.A. what was built here in france, 100 miles from our place. That company just went banckrupt and I don't have to wonder why.
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