Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: The social consequences of partisanship in the face of slow moving catastrophe

  1. Top | #1
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    12,972
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    31,185
    Rep Power
    58

    The social consequences of partisanship in the face of slow moving catastrophe

    Does the transition of man from kin group organization to multi-tribe group organization mean the end to mankind when the earth evovles IAC with man's activities?

    Australia Shows Us the Road to Hell https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/australia-fires.html?

    Paul Krugman writes
    In a rational world, the burning of Australia would be a historical turning point. After all, it’s exactly the kind of catastrophe climate scientists long warned us to expect if we didn’t take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, a 2008 report commissioned by the Australian government predicted that global warming would cause the nation’s fire seasons to begin earlier, end later, and be more intense — starting around 2020.Furthermore, though it may seem callous to say it, this disaster is unusually photogenic. You don’t need to pore over charts and statistical tables; this is a horror story told by walls of fire and terrified refugees huddled on beaches.
    So this should be the moment when governments finally began urgent efforts to stave off climate catastrophe.

    When we were family organized, even kin organized we could effectively operate in a strong man mode when necessary. But Germany and Japan and Italy and Spain and Russia (USSR version) put that to lie through the twentieth century. None survived, all collapsed. Strong men were rejected because their staying power wasn't that of a more resilient well informed cooperative organization.

    Now that organization is being challenged by slow moving environmental catastrophe, climate change, in the making. Our reactions tend to be late. In this case maybe too late for us to come through it as a species.

    I invite your comments and takes on what I have sketched. Is it correct, are we doomed, will we crumble under the pressure of slow developing disaster? Or do you see man adapting to yet another challenge, this time as a survivor in a multi-tribal world again denying destiny of species to becoming extinct.

  2. Top | #2
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    10,463
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,977
    Rep Power
    50
    Partisanship is a part of the problem, but imo the major aspect of the problem is reversing the inertia of thousands of years of technical progress which was undergone with no knowledge that we could affect our climate. IOW, it's very difficult to meaningfully change our world significantly, without destroying it ourselves.

    Are we doomed? Depends on your definition of doomed. Are things going to get worse ecologically? Definitely. But life has been in existence for a very long time, and the industrial revolution was only in the past few centuries. Living on a material rock, in a material universe, as a material species comes with challenges. In the long arc of history before we're engulfed by the sun, this is our cross to bear.

  3. Top | #3
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    12,972
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    31,185
    Rep Power
    58
    Oh, I'm optimistic on life surviving. Sulfur forms exist at ocean vents FCS.

    I'm talking about human cultures and societies. Are Talismans that communicated friendship, our religious and artistic bent which seems to have enabled our expanded social organization, going to survive. Or are we going back to Homo Erectus kin-family social structure where linear thinking prevailed. Yeah, it's in the tools and icons and in evidence about the brains from brain casing studies. We're going at trying to limit inclusion about as hard as we ever did right now. We are evolved from HE after all.

    By doomed I mean is our species current social culture becoming irrelevant fitness wise.

  4. Top | #4
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    4,166
    Rep Power
    15
    We're an adaptive species. It's hubris to think that the end of this civilization or that necessarily connotes the end of humanity. But I think there are good reasons to think that nation-states are not an eternally robust concept; their flaws are beginning to seriously outweight their benefits. I'll be interested to see what replaces them, and anxious to see whether it is something we will all find palatable.

  5. Top | #5
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    12,972
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    31,185
    Rep Power
    58
    My take is that we take the path of least resistance and retrace previous successful tribal structures where leaders came and went along with existence of this or that kinship and micro-gene line under gathering ecological pressure. Doing so mitigates against an evolution toward more adequate inclusive cultural structures against a, slow to us, but fairly long decline in environment. I'm not sure times of change and adaptation are compatible.

    After all we're arrived at agriculture, communication, and social structures beyond family and superstition, yet we reflexively react by isolating groups when ecological pressure builds.

    Building on larger than kin grouping has lead to where we are now. More isolation is probable if we resort to clan, tribe, family. Apparently around the time of Lake Toba we found a resource, sea protein, at a time of evolutionary bottleneck which permitted gains in fitness such as communication across tribes and social experimentation.

    Maybe it will happen again, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Regression has happened before. Neanderthal had evolved brains even larger than ours but they organized in smaller groups under pressure from climate where they slowly lost advantages including tool making capacities.
    Last edited by fromderinside; 01-11-2020 at 08:40 PM.

  6. Top | #6
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    4,166
    Rep Power
    15
    I would be keen on an essentially tribe-and-confederacy model such as that which used to govern North America. But I have no idea whether that is in any sense likely. The truth is that if you look at hard numbers, large kinship networks have never become unimportant in terms of predicting lifeway and political affiliations, despite the aesthetic perception many Westerners have of an essentially independent existence. If you think about it, even other social divisors such as race and class are usually proxies for family identity. But I do not know if this has the heft and weight to displace the great hegemonic pools of political power that grew over the last three centuries.

  7. Top | #7
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    10,463
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,977
    Rep Power
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Oh, I'm optimistic on life surviving. Sulfur forms exist at ocean vents FCS.

    I'm talking about human cultures and societies. Are Talismans that communicated friendship, our religious and artistic bent which seems to have enabled our expanded social organization, going to survive. Or are we going back to Homo Erectus kin-family social structure where linear thinking prevailed. Yeah, it's in the tools and icons and in evidence about the brains from brain casing studies. We're going at trying to limit inclusion about as hard as we ever did right now. We are evolved from HE after all.

    By doomed I mean is our species current social culture becoming irrelevant fitness wise.
    Yea I was referring to humans and human culture, point being the obvious one that in the grand scheme of life's history, humans and global warming are dust.

    IMO, human history is tightly tied to tool-making - what has differentiated us from other species is our ability to manipulate our environment and create tools. Those tools are typically used toward the end of energy intensification, and with increasing energy output per capita we see a correlating increase in social complexity. IOW, the nation state is a product of agriculture, and now also fossil fuels and electrification. Energy input equals social specialization and complexity, equals nations where reproduction is quite easy.

    But with industrialization our energy intensification has become exponential, so what we're seeing now is something like a mega reaction of the biosphere in response to human history - the world becomes less habitable.

    The question to me there is does the world become less habitable and to what extent, or does it become uninhabitable, and how long does our technology survive. At some point, by necessity, our numbers will need to drop in response to less available energy, but I see no reason to think that in the aftermath of that, when the world re-generates to it's former state, similar civilizations / states won't come to exist again. Because our civilization is essentially a response to energy availability.

    I don't know that I would expect much complexity beyond the nation-state,though, outside of groupings like the Eurozone. At some point social organization can no longer be self-contained by a bigger grouping.

    And then the meteor hits and we're back to a world of rodents and small mammals. Probably still results in civilization eventually.

  8. Top | #8
    Senior Member Tharmas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    886
    Archived
    184
    Total Posts
    1,070
    Rep Power
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    And then the meteor hits and we're back to a world of rodents and small mammals. Probably still results in civilization eventually.
    I’m not so sure of that. Human intelligence strikes me as something of an evolutionary fluke. After all, the dinosaurs lasted a couple of hundred million years without developing a civilization. In terms of evolutionary radiation and number of species the heyday of our family, the great apes, was the Miocene. In some ways our ancestors were simply lucky to have survived into the Pleistocene,

  9. Top | #9
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada's London
    Posts
    10,463
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,977
    Rep Power
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    And then the meteor hits and we're back to a world of rodents and small mammals. Probably still results in civilization eventually.
    I’m not so sure of that. Human intelligence strikes me as something of an evolutionary fluke. After all, the dinosaurs lasted a couple of hundred million years without developing a civilization. In terms of evolutionary radiation and number of species the heyday of our family, the great apes, was the Miocene. In some ways our ancestors were simply lucky to have survived into the Pleistocene,
    Dinosaurs developed intelligence (mainly in birds) but may have not had the necessary physiological features or social structure for human-like cultures to develop.

    For civilization, I'd think it's not so much a fluke, but a rare occurrence that is within the realm of possibility given the right conditions. It happened for us because of the mass extinction of dinosaurs, leaving small mammals to flourish. So I don't see why the same thing couldn't or shouldn't happen again, given enough time. You're right that it may not, but it could.

  10. Top | #10
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    12,972
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    31,185
    Rep Power
    58
    I think earth has come too far down the energy curve for intelligence to arise again. Dinosaurs were indeed the stuff from which mammals came but temps were higher and so too was life productivity. Therefore living things had more potential niches resulting in more diversified speciation.

    However your tool argument also seems somewhat wanting. As I mentioned Neanderthal developed larger brains than did homo Sapiens but they did not develop tools at the level of man, staying much nearer to the tool levels of Homo Erectus. Then their low group size militated against them using cultural knowledge for surviving or even competing with the much more broadly cooperating, communicating, better tool wielding, Homo Sapiens.

    Our broad inclusiveness has been a boon to us since before our taming of animals and development of farming. In fact these very discoveries drove our willingness to accept others for commerce and support which in turn lead to cities and cultures. What has driven our most recent advances are not tools per se. Its our ability to aggregate in large diverse numbers to get things done, our social cooperation, communication, and sharing are driving our current leap to the head of the predator class. Now our only challenge is our nature based on from whence we come, families, tribes, identified communities.

    Civilization is now our strength. That is under threat by a slow developing catastrophe which is already driving us to consider isolation, segregation, narrow faith, discrimination rather that joint effort, science, and progress for overcoming the threat.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •