To First Page

Planet Earth

 

How we got into the current mess and how to get out

 

Unfortunately, some ancient attitudes of our ancestors that were optimized for life in the hunter-gatherer world are malfunctioning in the modern world, which now faces the likelihood of extinction in either of two ways. Evolution has produced a rich collection of life forms but the number of species is now declining because of environmental pollution caused by humans and is slated to be the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

We are the first species to have seriously messed up the planet and must try to avoid the next extinction by quickly turning things around using education, genetic engineering, and other advancing technologies. However, this process may be short-circuited at any time by a nuclear war that can kill most living things in a few hours. If either of those things occur another species will take over, as happened after each of the last five disasters.

 

The World is Changing but Not Fast Enough. My parents were born in small Midwest farming communities in the first decade of the 20th Century, which was still the horse-and-buggy era but with quite a few people riding the recently invented bicycles.  It is odd that it took so long to invent bikes, given that technology sufficient to do that had existed since the invention of chariots around 1,200 years ago

 

Maps

 

David Rumsey, Download 67, 000 Historic Maps in High Resolution.  You do not need to be a Stanford student or faculty or staff member to access the vast treasures of the Rumsey Map collection, offering access to 67,000 maps from all over the globe, spanning five centuries of cartography.

 

Innovations

 

L. Earnest, Help Create a Truly Happy New Year. Given that we live in a four-dimensional world, keeping track of time and planning future uses of it are important aspects of our lives. Numerous calendars have been used around the world, each associated with an organized religion, the most widely used today being the Gregorian. This note proposes a non-sectarian Planetary Calendar that can also be used to track religious and other holidays and is so simple that you can carry it in your head. One radical element of this proposal is that it puts the entire planet in a single time zone. However, this note also reviews some local calendar history that spread around the world.

 

L. Earnest, Celebrate Solstices but Forget Christmas, which has several things wrong with it.

 

L. Earnest, Form Pacifica Now advocates the secession of California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to form a new nation called Pacifica with a truly democratic government, the first in 2,500 years.

L. Earnest, Our fantastic minds make artificial intelligence a dead end, just like us. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors evolved s set of attitudes and fantasies that enabled tribal coordination and eventually made them the dominant species on Earth despite living in a difficult and ever-changing environment. Modern humans live in a very different and rapidly changing world and our retained fantasies are causing world-wide destruction but it may be possible to get around this problem by using genetic engineering and robotics to create super-humans who think rationally.

L. Earnest, Can computers cope with human races? This 1989 computer journal article pointed out that racial classification was invented long ago by racists for the purpose of discriminating against people they viewed as inferior. Even though there is no scientific basis for such classifications they have since been adopted by modern society as if they meant something, have been incorporated into certain laws and appear in all public media even though these classifications are meaningless nonsense. The article showed how races can be defined based on DNA analysis but that appears to be pointless. Indeed, no one has so far bothered to do it, yet the public media, pseudo-scientists in the medical profession and other racists continue to pretend that there is a basis for racial classification.

 

L. Earnest, SAGE like Forrest Gump. The SAGE air defense system, which was initiated by MIT with funding from the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950s, was a technological marvel that provided the first interactive computing system for multiple people. It included the first point-and-click graphical user interface and the first computer network, which spanned the U.S. and provided the technological foundation for the Internet. Each of the 23 main vacuum tube computers occupied the area of a football field.

            However, it was also a fraudulent defense system but that fact was kept classified so that the public would not learn about it. As a result, the conspiracy between Wall Street and the Pentagon that brought this about was able to keep it going for 25 years at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of billions of dollars, making it the biggest such fraud of the 20th Century.

            I have been talking about this publicly for the last 50 years but public media have declined to mention it because they are largely controlled by Wall Street. However some of it has just leaked out – see Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste. Hopefully the public will eventually figure out this ongoing fraud and shut it down.

 

Opinions

L. Earnest, Mating Games, For evolution to advance efficiently it is important for individuals of all species to select the best mate available. Various species have evolved different strategies for doing that.

L. Earnest, How modern fake racial classification systems came out of the old fake continent of Europe. One of the biggest fantasies carried by people over the last few hundred years is that racial classification has a scientific basis. The view that white people are superior to all others is embedded in the minds of many people and is still embraced by public media around the world. But how is the race of each person determined? By a blow of the eye, which is nonsense. Daily newspapers and televisions report percentages of races in various employments and other activities, none of which has any scientific basis. Certain governmental agencies embrace Affirmative Action, which gives preferential treatment to certain “minorities” even though there is no real way to determine who qualifies.

L. Earnest, Our Fabulous Fantasies. Many people like to pretend that they think and act rationally even though there is ample evidence to the contrary. Each of us lives in a fantasy world set by our DNA inherited primarily from hunter-gather ancestors dating back millions of years but modified somewhat by evolution since then and further by our personal educational and life experiences but some aspects of our inheritances cause us to think and act irrationally.