There are many different ways to grow "organic" foods, and using a statistical comparison rather than a functional comparison over long periods of time is a poor excuse for pro-business farming methods (as opposed to pro-soil or pro-environment). Conventional agriculture is an extractive process, whereas fully organic and biodynamic farming methods are husbandry methods that add fertility to the soil over time. Another aspect is that conventional food production has created a system dependent on foods that people DON'T EAT, wasting much of the food they grow so efficiently just to increase profits through high meat diets with low nutritional content. The health care costs should be included in the results of conventional farming in order to determine if what they are calling food actually IS such. Since the USDA numbers comparing pre-WWII foods to todays foods show a big drop in Vitamin A, etc., then it is important to evaluate the end products for their usefulness to people, not just filling bellies with calories. In addition, there is the loss of work-at-home physical labor through the population, and its associated health and transportation overhead costs, which are only supportable with cheap energy right now. We have spent the last 100 years replacing people on farms with petroleum-based pesticides and machines. Unless we find viable alternatives, organic farming will be the future of food, whether we choose it or not.
Money doesn't buy intelligence. It just buys more ways to be dumb.
One advantage of the standardization idea is that development would be more stable over the long term, rather than having people compete every day against all other comers, they could develop toward one platform at a time, and do theoretical R & D toward the next gen cooperatively. The speed of advancing computer technology used to be quite important at increasing efficiencies in the work environment, but now that we are not waiting for our computers to boot and reboot every time we plug in a bit of information from hardware, the work efficiency increases aren't so much. Development of software and hardware could benefit greatly from a plan to stick with one architecture for some fixed period of time. The resources saved could be banked or used toward making the next release (every 4 years?) or architecture standard ready for use with more intelligent and effective testing before implementation. The backdoor/hacking/security issue can then be addressed in a more stable fashion (keyed interfacing that doesn't allow hardware/software to connect without a matching code/chip. If the result is an architecture that is stable and gets the work done, then we can drop a lot of the wasted competition redundancies and failed business startups which tie themselves to nonstandard equipment/software. Standardization has pros and cons, depending on how deep the standardization needs to go and at what cost in overall work effectiveness.
Which theory of gravity? Technically, a theory of gravity isn't practical until someone comes up with a mechanism to manipulate it. That is where the threat/promise comes to bear. Drill a hole under your enemy and send their city into space with a Device. Defenestration of an entire chunk of the Earth. "Earth in the Balance" writ large. Too bad nobody has been able to understand gravity, though....eh?
Agriculture, for example, eventually leads to food that makes people lazy and stupid, but it leads to a lot more of them. If our food makes our children lazy and stupid, how will they ever find out? Written language and civilization allow people to share risks and labors, leading to atrophy of the parts of the brain which interface with the real physical world and making them dependent on social groups and vulnerable to charismatic bullies. The current crop of humans spend their formative years creating a fantasy model of the universe, and upon physical maturity, they lock themselves up in it, avoiding as much of the inconvenience of reality as they possibly can. Who'dathunk?
Two points: First: The physics didn't clearly show that it was impossible: only that the black holes created would dissipate. Second: Since when can you convince the ignorant of anything using physics and logic? It wastes your time and annoys the pig. (Never try to teach a pig to sing.) "You can't win with these people." - "Paul"
Ahh. The opposite of religion: the Perfect Product. Invent something that no one ever expects to see and charge them a tenth of their wealth and their soul. Fusion creates enormous amounts of wealth with the belief in a product that is guaranteed to produce something in an infinite time scale. huh.
Buying milk from a farmer. Pretty much everything a farmer does is illegal in one way or another. http://www.acresusa.com/books/closeup.asp?action=search&prodid=1601&catid=&pcid=2
Well, the patent system is a reflection of a time when we needed to encourage the use of resources to fill up an 'empty' (sigh) frontier with white folk and their gadgets. The concept fails when applied over an open-ended time frame. You either have to accept that everything is already in the public domain or that 'property' (intellectual or otherwise) is a process of denying resources from some in order to increase their price (perceived value, not actual value). Usefulness ("has a use") becomes a moot point. What we need is a restriction that something has to be more useful to the future of the universe than it consumes in resources (including the resources used to get the patent). "Net Useful" or "Net Future Usefulness" ("Future Usefulness"....F.U.....naahhhh
THEN it might be a useful system. Meanwhile, ideas are like armpits: everyone has at least two and they both probably stink. Don't mortgage the kids on it unless you already own the government and can force people to pay through the tax/debt system.
With enough lawyer money, you probably will. It just might be kinda watered down in the process.
Unfortunately, too much of philosophical teaching and study is devoted to arguing the inane differences between dead philosophers, or their sexual habits. Other big philosophical questions turn into games that nobody can win except choosing to not play the game. I notice you don't mention any farmers with philosophy degrees (I know a couple.) Sometimes, a philosophical honesty kicks in and one realizes that answers that work will be built or grown from the bottom, not dropped from the top, and that humanity just doesn't want to be saved from itself. Philosophy may provide a framework, but random fate decides if people let it remain standing or burn it to the ground with pitchforks and torches. The most effective philosophies will have a fire lit under them to start with. The problem with the Jedi school is that it is made of paper and crayons: many of our modern models of the universe are the same. Being in good company is all that matters to some people, and if we could find more good company, maybe we wouldn't need so many philosophers....
Yes. The education system grew as a product of the culture that wants children to comply with its paradigm of sameness. Technology and consumption have gone way beyond the capabilities of a homogeneous system to adapt to the rate of change. The culture will change again, for better or worse, and the simplest thing to do is stop expecting the trailing edge (teachers) to be the driving force. In a culture of consumption, education only serves to increase consumption. There is no margin where someone gets to ask, "What are people FOR?" or, to be more specific, to say, "What are people good for?" instead of always "What is good for the people we have?" The latter is too often turned into "What do people want?" without asking if people know what is good for them, or what they are good for.
Depends if they nailed it or not.
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Good answer. How much of the conqueror/advanced technology civilizations is actually stolen from their own future? Simple example: monetary debt. Borrowing money is a promise to use resources that one doesn't have yet.