Category Archives: Philosophy

Human Extinction

Would it be a tragedy?

Note that he doesn’t consider the possibility of homes for both humanity and other terrestrial life off planet.

FWIW, if I had to choose between saving a few lives and all of the art in the Louvre, it’s not at all obvious that the lives have higher value. I can certainly imagine some people willing to sacrifice themselves for it, but that issue isn’t in his question.

Social Psychologists

Are they impeded in their work by their refusal to accept evolutionary psychology?

In short, yes. It’s part of the Left’s war on science, and its war on human nature. If people aren’t tabula rasas, how are we to create the New Soviet Man?

[Update a few minutes later]

This is interesting:

On an optimistic note, Buss and von Hippel point out that their survey found that a substantial minority of social psychologists did endorse findings rooted in evolutionary biology. But still there is a long way to go until the schism in psychological and theoretical perspectives is bridged – a situation they believe is likely made worse by the lack of proper training in evolutionary sciences in psychology*. “Not a single degree-granting institution in the United States, to our knowledge, requires even a single course in evolutionary biology as part of a degree in psychology,” they write, adding that this is “an astonishing educational gap that disconnects psychology from the rest of the life sciences.”

I hadn’t been aware of this, but it’s one more reason to not take the field seriously.

Welcome To The Narcisscene

This is from last summer, but I finally got around to reading it. I’m wondering what the implications are for space colonies, potential botanical gardens and zoos in the solar system, and the O’Neillian/Bezos vision of earth as a nature park.

[Update a while later]

In reading this:

Because one cannot conceive of the length of geologic time, one cannot comprehend the brevity of the past 75 years in relation to it. The Anthropocene, if officially recognized, would be inconceivably ephemeral, momentary — indeed, instantaneous — existing only in real time. But it will endure until the Götterdämmerung, that is, until humans go extinct; it will run to the end of recorded history — turning the hourglass of geologic time upside down.

…I’m reminded of people who believe that every hurricane or fire is some unprecedented event, caused by our SUVs, when most are unaware of what happened a century ago, let alone millennia.

The Space Settlement Summit

I attended it a few weeks ago. So did Jeff Foust.

It’s not going to happen until the line of affordability crosses the line of desirability for a sufficient number of people. Over the weekend, Elon made the point that living on Mars is not for the faint of heart (or as a haven for rich people).

Meanwhile, the NatGeo series Mars has started to explore the legal issues, an area in which I am currently involved. Note that Dennis O’Brien is a big fan of the Moon Agreement (that he calls the “Moon Treaty”). I am not.