The world is only getting better, not worse.

I think the common belief that it is going bad with the world is wrong.

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else below.

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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#61  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Feb 27, 2014 8:19 am

The world is getting worse. I can tell, I am older. Therefore the world is worse. :-)
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#62  Postby hyena » Feb 27, 2014 12:33 pm

People generally don't go to war because they hate each other. It's nothing personal, it's just about the money. Less wars means we have perfected a system to screw someone else over economically without having to risk our lives.


That's a rather oversimplified model, a common saying. Things obviously don't work so simple as that in a society at this time. But the reason is irrelevant for this thread, people are dying less from violence, I don't see why you wouldn't label that as good.


More inflation now. Things cost more than before. Maybe things are worse now.


A growing economy can turn the situation around fast -- the government took on a lot of debt during World War II, but the growth of the economy afterward made the debt irrelevant. Economics is hard to predict.

Or just naive.


Nope, it seems like a mark of maturity, of sophistication, like you've seen everything and know better, ego stuff. Cynicism or optimism have nothing to do with naivety, it's just a way of perceiving info. Just thinking everything will just be alright, indeed is naive.

I think most cynics want the world to be better, it's just that they don't see how that's going to happen.


Consciously they would, though it's not that easy. They want the world to be bad, to justify their feelings. They want the world to be bad, so they have an excuse to withdraw from it. Many fantasize about some zombie apocalypse to happen, for example.

What's the point of leaving the house on election day," they say, "the whole system is rigged!" Convenient, considering you didn't feel like leaving the house anyway. "What's the point of giving money to the homeless? They'll probably just spend it on crack!" Convenient, considering it also lets you keep the money. "Why bother starting a business, I'll just get crushed by the corporate giants!" Convenient, in that it also saves you a few decades of 16-hour work days and three ulcers. "Why try to make friends, all of the people my age are shallow, brainless jerks!" Convenient, in that this lets you just stay home and watch a Breaking Bad marathon instead, which just happens to be what you wanted to do anyway.

Cynicism doesn't cause inaction. The desire for inaction causes cynicism. And so you fight to defend your cynicism tooth and nail.

Of course, everyone can do a little good each day, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.


It surely does matter in the grand scheme, people get influenced by each others state of mind. This is the entire reason why that poverty dropped, why less people were killed. We're getting more tolerant, gay marriage and all that stuff, we're living longer than ever.

I surely agree, many things still are very bad... But it's obviously getting less and less, statistically seen there is no argument against. Problems are getting less and less, this isn't very hard math. It IS getting better, this isn't an opinion, it's logical conclusion. Unless you think more problems are good, and less problems bad.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#63  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 27, 2014 12:46 pm

The idea that wars are always traceable in the end to economics is good old Marxist Communism. Not even the Communists think that way any more.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#64  Postby zulumoose » Feb 27, 2014 1:06 pm

Just about everything that is going wrong with the world is due to an increasing ignorant population (the more educated people are, the lower their birth rate) and the use of fossil fuels.

A new energy source and a big technology enabled education drive through the least educated countries and we are halfway sorted. Neither of these things are unlikely in the medium term, just compare the tools available for energy and education now to what was around 50 years ago.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#65  Postby quas » Feb 27, 2014 7:29 pm

Frank Merton wrote:The idea that wars are always traceable in the end to economics is good old Marxist Communism. Not even the Communists think that way any more.


War, what is it good for?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#66  Postby hyena » Feb 27, 2014 10:18 pm

quas wrote:
Frank Merton wrote:The idea that wars are always traceable in the end to economics is good old Marxist Communism. Not even the Communists think that way any more.


War, what is it good for?


Well, it's sometimes a prisoners dilemma. Then sometimes the most rational thing to do is to invest in fire arms. There isn't really a 'big' reason.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Game_theory
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#67  Postby hackenslash » Feb 28, 2014 1:29 am

Scarlett wrote:
P.s. Vienna is top of my list of cities to visit some day, it's my husband's favourite city. He travelled a lot with the RAF, lucky bugger :roll:


It's my favourite city too. In fact, it's the only city I like.

Should you decide to go, let me know. I have a friend who owns some holiday apartments near the Naschmarkt, just outside the city centre. I can get you a good rate.

I should be over in the next year or so, Blobby. I'll let you know.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#68  Postby quas » Feb 28, 2014 4:59 am

hyena wrote:
quas wrote:
Frank Merton wrote:The idea that wars are always traceable in the end to economics is good old Marxist Communism. Not even the Communists think that way any more.


War, what is it good for?


Well, it's sometimes a prisoners dilemma. Then sometimes the most rational thing to do is to invest in fire arms. There isn't really a 'big' reason.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Game_theory


How is that even related to anything?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#69  Postby Briton » Feb 28, 2014 10:32 am

I know this has been posted before but it's an eye opener as far as population growth goes. Excellent documentary.

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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#70  Postby tuco » Feb 28, 2014 12:28 pm

Interesting presentation indeed, but it tells us almost nothing whether or not there will be enough resources for everyone and ..I seriously believe its possible .. is just not good enough. Seems, we hope that technology will provide. Sure, do not panic, but I am not sure how rational is to believe in technologies which are often not even invented yet. How many cars and washing machines there will be in 2100 with 11 billion people, and how much energy will be needed to run them?

The reindeer were getting better too - http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comics_en ... ew-island/
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#71  Postby hyena » Mar 01, 2014 3:41 pm

quas wrote:How is that even related to anything?


...

lesswrong.com/lw/dbe/introduction_to_game_theory_sequence_guide/
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#72  Postby quas » Mar 01, 2014 4:24 pm

I don't see the relevance? I said the purpose of war is to take resources. So what does that have to do with game theory?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#73  Postby hyena » Mar 01, 2014 6:09 pm

quas wrote:I don't see the relevance? I said the purpose of war is to take resources. So what does that have to do with game theory?


The decision to wage war "ought" to be rational, in the sense that it ought to be based on estimated costs and gains of war. Next, war "ought" to be instrumental, in the sense that it ought to be waged in order to achieve some goal, never for its own sake; and also in the sense that strategy and tactics ought to be directed towards just one end, namely towards victory. Finally, war "ought" to be national, in the sense that its objective should be to advance the interests of a national state and that the entire effort of the nation ought to be mobilized in the service of the military objective.

The purpose is not always to take resources (and even when it is, game theory still comes into play), sometimes it's attack them before they attack us, for example. This is where Game Theory comes in, the choices. Take the cold war prisoners dilemma, for example...

Defect = Invest in firearms
Cooperate = Invest in other things, such as schools.

If America choices to Cooperate, but Russia does not. Russia has the advantage for more preparation. The same way, the other way around. So the most rational thing to do, was, defect.



http://www.econ.umn.edu/~evdok003/ColdW ... Theory.pdf
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#74  Postby hyena » Mar 01, 2014 6:11 pm

It's like chess, that's why game theory is relevant.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#75  Postby hackenslash » Mar 01, 2014 6:14 pm

quas wrote:I said the purpose of war is to take resources.


That's an extremely narrow view, and almost entirely incorrect.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#76  Postby quas » Mar 13, 2014 5:48 pm

So what other reasons for going to war?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#77  Postby hackenslash » Mar 13, 2014 5:55 pm

What reasons for not reading the thread, in which some of them have been discussed? Britain entered WII, because it was preferable to capitulation (and even that was a close-run thing). There are many reasons for going to war, and many of them have little to do with the taking of resources.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#78  Postby DougC » Mar 14, 2014 1:50 am

Scarlett wrote:
P.s. Vienna is top of my list of cities to visit some day, it's my husband's favourite city. He travelled a lot with the RAF, lucky bugger :roll:

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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#79  Postby quas » Mar 14, 2014 2:58 am

hackenslash wrote:Britain entered WII, because it was preferable to capitulation (and even that was a close-run thing).

From Britain's viewpoint, she had to enter the war because she does not want her resources taken from her. This supports the contention that war is merely an extension of economic policy.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#80  Postby Frank Merton » Mar 16, 2014 2:24 pm

War has many causes and I think Britain's entry into W2 was mainly a matter of honoring treaty obligations and outrage at the Nazis and the understanding that sooner or later they would have to fight anyway.
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