Acceptance of the Unknown

Acceptance of the Unknown

I have spent most of my life firmly believing in human intelligence;  and that we possess a vast amount of knowledge regarding the universe in which we exist. Today I have concluded that I was wrong.  Although we have explored nearby planets and multiplied our knowledge base many times since I was a child………… ignorance still rules.  We are still in the very low percentages of the total knowledge and understanding of our universe….. perhaps some fractional slice of 1%……. So what?

Can we do better? Should we do better? Must we do better? What would we change? My first enemy would be arrogance; the type that stems from the “vast knowledge” that we claim to possess. Far too many of us are quick to judge the “ignorance” and the beliefs of others as being wrong, with an implied “ and only we are right” .   However if we reverse the telescope and recognize the limited 1% that we presently “see” or understand, we can cast away the constraints of arrogance and open our hearts and minds to what is yet to be learned.

If we teach our children nothing else…… we must teach them this!

There are critically important questions that we must all consider now and try to find better answers.  My own arrogance stimulates me to present a few.

Is there a limit to how many people we can sustain on our planet?  If so, do we try to manage population irrationally ( war & famine ) or rationally ( birth control).

Does the reduction of plant life in combination with the combustion of fossil fuels for heat, transportation, and energy create the possibility of an atmosphere that will not sustain mammalian life?

Is there any purpose or benefit in “protecting” our planet for the full period of its natural life? This might be 100 million years or more, as opposed to 100 years or so continuing with our current plans, policies, and refusal to accept scientific evidence if it interferes with economic growth.  How in the world do one become more important than the other?

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Peering into our economic future

I had a rude awakening yesterday. I was watching a TV show called “Shark Tank” where new product and service ideas are presented, presenting the “sharks” with an opportunity to support the ideas with investment. This becomes a sorting process, bringing the best ideas to market.

A young couple had designed a wonderful new product, made of plastic. The molded components were manually assembled and packaged for shipment, creating a huge labor input for final delivery of the product to the retail seller.

The inventors were patriotic as well as clever and wanted to have the product made in the USA. Unfortunately the “sharks “ were not so patriotic, bundling their offers of investment with an insistence that production be moved offshore to reduce product cost to a minimum. The owners tried to resist but the investors were insistent.  Their cost target was to be less than 20% of the product retail selling price. To do this the product had to be manufactured offshore.

These venture capitalists are the designers of America. What we will be in the future will be greatly affected by the thinking of these economic leaders whose economic design parameters have a single focus; the creation of personal wealth for themselves.  The result of this limited focus is “economic blindness” with regard to America’s welfare, and future blindness with regard to the impact of our   crisis level problems; global warming, overpopulation, and limited supply of hydrocarbon fuel sources .