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Yoshikko
November 15th, 2011, 6:30 AM
I was inspired to make this thread by a convo I started based on the Extinct Black Rhino thread, with Nica (her idea), Derk and Drakow.

Basically, we started about talking how I can't believe how another animal species had gone extinct. Someone said that that is what happens when humans are greedy, but I disagreed. I said that it was in the nature of humans. We have the power and technology that the animal kingdom does not have, and we abuse it and cheat nature's rules to take over, is my opinion.

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Now, at one point, I said that we wouldn't be able to survive, if we didn't have the technology that we had right now. I said that I thought that was because technology is in our system, and our habits and instinct have adapted to it. As a matter of fact, I think that it is making our survival instinct unecessary, because technology is doing all the work for us and we are used to it. Our own survival instinct is fading away because of it, in my opinion. I think that if technology would disappear, or if we wouldn't be able to rely on it anymore, that the majority of us, wouldn't be able to survive. I think this because we have relied on it for so long, that our survival instincts just watered away because it wasn't a necessity for us to survive anymore. [edit] Also, I must say reading the comments up till now that I do agree with the fact that we would be able to adapt, eventually, because we still have the knowledge. But like Toujours said, I believe that it would definitely take us more than one generation.

-How do you think that technology has influenced us and our means of survival?
-How do you think things would go if all technology would be to disappear or let us down?

You can answer these questions and use them as a base for discussion.

flight
November 15th, 2011, 6:40 AM
I say that we would be able to survive without technology. Would the majority of us find it difficult? Sure! After all, a lot of us don't make it a hobby crossing the Sahara desert every day, or crossing dangerous rainforests every weekend, but in the end, I think it's really hard to think that the human race would die off due to lack of technology. I think what most people are forgetting in regards to that is that we're an extremely stubborn species. Imagine the kind of knowledge that it actually took in order to get to where we are today.

If technology somehow disappeared, we'd just revert back to our old ways, or at least, that's really how I picture things to be. Wilderness survival, for most of us, is kind of a difficult thing, but our instinct would naturally kick in to defend ourselves from wild animals. If we didnt have guns anymore, we could just use some rocks, grab a few sticks, some bark from a tree or something or some other earth-born material and just make a slingshot! See? It's because of our stubbornness that we're able to adapt and survive in literally almost any situation. For example...

Lets say it gets really hot or something. No one says we have to wear clothes. Probably a small cloth over the crotch area, but other than that, not really. It's perfectly fine for the most part to walk around naked. If it gets too cold? Kill animals and use their skin for cloth.

As easy as I'm making things seem, I do agree that, it would take a lot for the majority of us to get used to, especially for those of us whom, like I said, aren't extreme survivalists or anything of that nature. So would some of us die off? Sure. The human race as a whole, however, would probably still continue for quite a while before maybe dying off, but that's a huge maybe, depending on the number of resources that we could find that can ensure our survival.

So all in all, the situation varies, but ultimately without technology, we could survive for a good long while given the means to, however difficult it may be for the majority of us.

PkMnTrainer Yellow
November 15th, 2011, 6:45 AM
...Technology is not magic. O-o If you want to prevent us from just making more, you literally have to kill us all in the first place or like, /destroy the world/. I'm just saying. Let's say every piece technology just vanishes. What in the world is stopping us from sticking rocks on sticks and starting crafting again? What's stopping us from making fire? What will stop us from chopping down trees and making a house with the mentioned tools? What will stop us from using flaming wood to light places and fend off predators? Ultimately we'd just rebuild. o3o

What I'm saying here is that technology is just as much a natural part of our relation with the earth as anything else. If we want to remove it, either we go or the earth goes. There's really no exceptions.

Oryx
November 15th, 2011, 6:46 AM
First of all the word 'technology' needs to be well-defined. Does it apply to basic tools, or only things using electricity? Is it only technology if only we can use it? The basic definition is "Machinery and equipment developed from scientific knowledge", but that leaves open for example spears. They're equipment, but are they technology? Is 'scientific knowledge' required to make them? I guess for the purposes of this post I'll assume that technology is defined as anything from agriculture and beyond (using this history as a guide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology#History)), so non-technology would include imo stone tools, clothing, shelter, language, and crude weapons.

I don't believe that our survival instinct is going away. That's not something that's learned. No one had to teach you to pull your hand away from a hot stove or to raise your arms if your face is under attack. I mean, even as a small child your survival instinct can kick in if you're in a bad situation so it's genetic, and there's no reason for it to be bred out. It being bred out of society implies that people without survival instincts are either more likely to survive or more desirable as mates than people with it, which I don't think either is true. We may have less of one than in the past because people without a survival instinct can in fact survive and have children in our society, but I don't think it'll ever go away to the point that we wouldn't be able to get it back.

I think that if technology suddenly disappeared and we were back to the Stone Age, it would take humans approximately 2 generations to adapt. The first generation would be lost, possibly dying off in large numbers, while their children will be better adapted because this will be what they grew up with. We would be completely adapted by the second generation, who knew nothing ever except for the Stone Age. Yes, a lot of people would die, especially older and sicker people. But keep in mind that those people would never have survived back before we had technology anyway; it's not that less people now would be able to survive, it's that we have so many more that wouldn't be alive now if not for technology that there would probably be many, many deaths. Also, the life span back then was much shorter so anyone that's living at a normal lifespan will have already overstayed their welcome in a Stone Age world as it is.

But I believe that technology is such an ingrained part of us that to take it away from humans would be like taking away the survival techniques used by other animals, because that is why we're still alive today. We were never meant to be stronger or faster or tougher than the animals around us, we survived because we're smarter, and therefore technology is a big a part of our fiber as strength is a part of a tiger's.

miltankRancher
November 15th, 2011, 7:01 AM
Since our generation have woke up in a world where almost everything have been touched by technology, it is hard to imagine a world without one. IMO, it would be hard to survive. We would be going back to the Renaissance ages. It would be hard to adapt at first, but we could.

Survival skills are not like your recent Physics formula or equation. It is based on something called instinct. It is built inside a person's mindset. No matter how long one stays in front of a PC or TV, he will always without any hesitation, flinched from an unexpected pain or heat. Unless we count some medical statuses or something, people will always rely on the fully functioning reliability of our human instinct passed down throughout time.

Binary
November 15th, 2011, 7:25 AM
Technology is a depiction of Human advancement, knowledge of the world around us and manipulation of tools and machines; this too, is a rather abstract concept, in my opinion. Not just because I find this difficult to put forward in sentences, haha. While it may be true that technology has a huge significance in this modern world, technology wasn't born in its own self-presence.

Technology has made our lives easier, that much is true. We can't deny the fact that we inevitably use technology in our day-to-day lives. Survival however, is a natural instinct. We wouldn't have reached this far without it. We wouldn't have 'survived'. I don't believe that our survival instinct is fading away. In contradiction to this, it's actually getting stronger everyday, in my opinion. Everyday we're learning more about the world around us and ourselves. We're inclined to know how things work; it's simply curiosity. We strive to know more, increase our knowledge base. And this, in return, has gifted us with what we humans are commonly acquainted with as 'technology'.

Technology is a boon for human civilization, but I believe it's also deteriorated the world around us. But I could be wrong. Well, we are also dependent on technology to save our Earth. This may depend on however you interpret how technology has affected us.

Okay. So, what if technology were to disappear this very instant in just the blink of an eye? Well, that can't possibly happen; it may be a difficult scenario to imagine, but can be thought about theoretically. What if we were all suddenly teleported back to the Stone Age? Or let's say, an age in which technology didn't even exist, because I believe we had 'technology' even in the stone age; with all those stone weapons and such. Even if we had to live in a world in which 'technology' did not exist, it doesn't mean that human progress will rewind centuries back. We possess technology within ourselves.

Sure it would be hard. I would not have even known my Math homework if I had not asked my friend on msn a while ago, haha. But think about it.

marz
November 15th, 2011, 8:05 AM
Technology is such a broad word here. I'm going to assume you mean we're left with none of our innovations, and basically brought back to a primal state of living, where the best shelter is under a rock and the best source of heat is a wood-burning fire that you gathered yourself.

First of all, the population has just hit 7 billion. That would be the first problem. Without technology, there is no mass production, which means plenty of people won't be getting fed. In that regard, yes, the loss of technology would kill plenty of us. However I don't think we would completely die out. Given that situation, I would learn to do what it takes to survive. Since I live in the city, I would probably first loot all supermarkets and get a supply built, which would keep me going while I learn to hunt and do whatever is necessary. I'd have to somehow move away from the city into the wilderness where there are actual things to hunt, but without a car that might be very hard. It'd take a lot of adaptation, but I think if you're with several people whom you trust, surviving without technology is possible. We as humans always adapt to what changes in our environment. That's how innovation is possible. Half a century ago, computers were not on anyone's desk. Now they're practically everywhere. The only problem here is that technology generally has one purpose: to make our lives better/easier in some way. We'd be going opposite to that which would be something very different.

I think it's quite possible, but our population would dramatically decrease within the first decade or two. Which could be argued as a good thing. In some ways, technology has worsened our life in the long run. If you think about it, for example, it's at the root of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Without technology there is no mass marketing and mass consumption, without which we don't have as huge of an economy and therefore do not have 1% of the world owning 38% of the world's wealth. Of course other factors play into that but that is one of the main ones.

Yoshikko
November 15th, 2011, 8:08 AM
Technology is a depiction of Human advancement, knowledge of the world around us and manipulation of tools and machines; this too, is a rather abstract concept, in my opinion. Not just because I find this difficult to put forward in sentences, haha. While it may be true that technology has a huge significance in this modern world, technology wasn't born in its own self-presence.

Technology has made our lives easier, that much is true. We can't deny the fact that we inevitably use technology in our day-to-day lives. Survival however, is a natural instinct. We wouldn't have reached this far without it. We wouldn't have 'survived'. I don't believe that our survival instinct is fading away. In contradiction to this, it's actually getting stronger everyday, in my opinion. Everyday we're learning more about the world around us and ourselves. We're inclined to know how things work; it's simply curiosity. We strive to know more, increase our knowledge base. And this, in return, has gifted us with what we humans are commonly acquainted with as 'technology'.

Technology is a boon for human civilization, but I believe it's also deteriorated the world around us. But I could be wrong. Well, we are also dependent on technology to save our Earth. This may depend on however you interpret how technology has affected us.

Okay. So, what if technology were to disappear this very instant in just the blink of an eye? Well, that can't possibly happen; it may be a difficult scenario to imagine, but can be thought about theoretically. What if we were all suddenly teleported back to the Stone Age? Or let's say, an age in which technology didn't even exist, because I believe we had 'technology' even in the stone age; with all those stone weapons and such. Even if we had to live in a world in which 'technology' did not exist, it doesn't mean that human progress will rewind centuries back. We possess technology within ourselves.

Sure it would be hard. I would not have even known my Math homework if I had not asked my friend on msn a while ago, haha. But think about it.

I agree with you on some things, but one thing you said though, that we are dependant on technology to save the earth (I assume you mean because the earth is kind of damaged right now), it was technology that caused it to be in this state in the first place.

Esper
November 15th, 2011, 8:41 AM
Survival has two sides as I see it. There's the survival instinct which pretty much everyone has from millions or years of evolution and that's not going away whatever cushy lives we have now by comparison to our tree-climbing ancestors. Then there's the actual ability to survive which is pretty easy in our current day and age (in most places anyway) because of the support systems we've built up - hospitals and medicines, widely available food, and even cities and human settlements as a whole where we can reliably find all the things we need to survive.

There are lots of people in the world who don't have much in the way of modern tech and they survive. Their lives aren't necessarily as "good" as most of ours, but they aren't dying out. Of course many of them still have things borne out of the post- cave-dwelling world: an iron stove, a wheelbarrow, some clothing made with modern machines, a clock, and things like that.

Even then, humans have survived up to the modern era. We could do it again, as a species if not as every individual. Lots of people would die without modern tech. No medicines means lots of diseases would run rampant. No modern transportation means places that don't grow their own food would go hungry very quickly. And so on.

Binary
November 15th, 2011, 8:51 AM
I agree with you on some things, but one thing you said though, that we are dependant on technology to save the earth (I assume you mean because the earth is kind of damaged right now), it was technology that caused it to be in this state in the first place.
Yeah. Actually, I've mentioned both sides of the argument:
Technology is a boon for human civilization, but I believe it's also deteriorated the world around us. But I could be wrong. Well, we are also dependent on technology to save our Earth. This may depend on however you interpret how technology has affected us.
But I've left this paragraph pretty short and vague; it's questionable. But, like you've mentioned in the first post, you could take the extinction of a particular species of animals as an example.

Captain Fabio
November 16th, 2011, 2:01 AM
To put it simply, it would be very hard and most things would completely crash, not in the computer software way, but we survived without it once before, so we could again.

twocows
November 16th, 2011, 3:06 PM
Is it really a big deal if a few animal species go extinct? There are literally millions of different species.

Also, I think the pursuit of advancing technology is nearly an end in itself. I have no problems with moving forward.

Livewire
November 16th, 2011, 3:25 PM
Is it really a big deal if a few animal species go extinct? There are literally millions of different species.

Also, I think the pursuit of advancing technology is nearly an end in itself. I have no problems with moving forward.
I believe it to be a big deal when we ruin the natural beauty and biodiversity around us.

twocows
November 25th, 2011, 10:14 PM
I believe it to be a big deal when we ruin the natural beauty and biodiversity around us.
Beauty is not an end in itself, at least not in my book. And on top of that, I don't find animals beautiful, nor do I find things beautiful just because they're natural.

Neither do I consider biodiversity an end in itself. About the only argument I can think of that would make sense to me is that it can screw up things we rely on.

Oryx
November 25th, 2011, 10:32 PM
Beauty is not an end in itself, at least not in my book. And on top of that, I don't find animals beautiful, nor do I find things beautiful just because they're natural.

Neither do I consider biodiversity an end in itself. About the only argument I can think of that would make sense to me is that it can screw up things we rely on.

The way I see it, the natural world is packed with complexities that we haven't yet touched on, not even close. I mean, just think about the life forms that were able to live on arsenic instead of phosphorus - that was only about a year ago, and those life forms weren't in some deep crater somewhere, they were in a lake in California. The more we change the environment around us, the more we destroy chances like that - what if that life form had gone extinct due to our actions before we had discovered that?

The more diversity we have, the more opportunities we have to learn about the world around us and the more opportunities we have to adapt that knowledge into new, you guessed it, technology. I do feel knowledge is a good in itself, but what it can be applied to is also even better.

Livewire
November 26th, 2011, 10:52 PM
Beauty is not an end in itself, at least not in my book. And on top of that, I don't find animals beautiful, nor do I find things beautiful just because they're natural.

Neither do I consider biodiversity an end in itself. About the only argument I can think of that would make sense to me is that it can screw up things we rely on.

Not everything is meant to be regarded in that very narrow, robotic utilitarian view. You can't just assign value to something as subjective as Beauty, or nature.

twocows
November 27th, 2011, 1:10 PM
Not everything is meant to be regarded in that very narrow, robotic utilitarian view. You can't just assign value to something as subjective as Beauty, or nature.
I resent that. First of all, my views are far from utilitarian, and I am not being robotic. The idea of the "end in itself" is actually the complete opposite of utilitarian; it is deontological (Kantian, specifically). I value any species that is rational, self-aware, and capable of emotion. This includes people. Past that, I only value things insofar as they value us as a species. That's not robotic, it's just that I value different things than you.

I don't care if the purple striped cockroach-gerbil goes extinct unless it impacts us as a species. If you, on the other hand, were about to die, I would care very much about that. Just because my values are different than yours doesn't mean I don't care about anything.

Esper
November 28th, 2011, 11:13 AM
I think the argument for keeping the purple striped cockroach-gerbils from going extinct - at least beyond the arguments for beauty and nature - is specifically that it will impact us as a species. Not drastically, most likely, but there are immediate, practical reasons to have a lot of biodiversity in the world and that's for us to improve our understanding on a lot of different things in the biological/chemical/medical sense. It's an argument that we should hedge our bets. We don't know of the gerbils will be useful to us so we shouldn't assume that they won't.

Lalapizzame
November 28th, 2011, 5:04 PM
That sounds a lot like an argument one would use for lots of things that rely on the ambiguity of what these useful features would be.

I am in agreement with twocows here but place special emphasis on how these species affect humans. We can't accept the "future benefits" argument for everything nor can we disprove it. At the very least, we need a clear and sensible theoretical argument about these benefits, not a deliberately vague postponement argument.

Esper
November 29th, 2011, 9:14 AM
In the absence of any benefit to be gained by pushing species to extinction I think a "deliberately vague postponement argument" is more than sufficient.