Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > The Real Priorities for the Human Race.

@TBYJ "Well you could argue that homosexuality might be self-limiting by the same argument, but it's not."

I'm not sure you're right there, but in any case, homosexuality doesn't preclude breeding, whereas staying in your room and never socialising with anybody except your mum almost certainly does.

Jul 12, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Jul 11, 2013 at 10:23 PM | Dung

now that comment I completely agree with, although as others have said (and I think you agree) we need balance to walk forward :-)

and that to me is what your post is hinting at, we are in danger as a species (in certain western cultures at least) of tech/progress standing still or even going backwards, madness (think of the children).

I am the typical denier stereotype & 40 yrs agoish as a teenager coming to adulthood watched the moon missions & thought a glorious future awaited humankind, we would spread out to the solar system & eventually the galaxy (what resources problem) like seeds from planet earth (can you tell i have always loved SF, still think the Gaia theory has some merits, outside looking at the stars thinking am I/we/earth alone in that vastness, but not revisited my thoughts on this for a while).

following on that brings me to comment from -

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM | TheBigYinJames

like johanna I had to goggle "hikikomori" and I kind of struck a cord when I read this - (delete if OT Bish)

The dominant nexus of hikikomori centers on the transformation from youth to the responsibilities and expectations of adult life. Indications are that advanced industrialized societies such as modern Japan fail to provide sufficient meaningful transformation rituals for promoting certain susceptible types of youth into mature roles. As do many societies, Japan exerts a great deal of pressure on adolescents to be successful and perpetuate the existing social status quo. A traditionally strong emphasis on complex social conduct, rigid hierarchies and the resulting, potentially intimidating multitude of social expectations, responsibilities and duties in Japanese society contribute to this pressure on young adults.[12] Historically, Confucian teachings de-emphasizing the individual and favoring a conformist stance to ensure social harmony in a rigidly hierarchized society have shaped much of East Asia, possibly explaining the emergence of the hikikomori phenomenon in other East Asian countries.
In general, the prevalence of hikikomori tendencies in Japan may be encouraged and facilitated by three primary factors:

Middle class affluence in a post-industrial society such as Japan allows parents to support and feed an adult child in the home indefinitely. Lower-income families do not have hikikomori children because a socially withdrawing youth is forced to work outside the home.[13]
The inability of Japanese parents to recognize and act upon the youth's slide into isolation; soft parenting; or even a codependent collusion between mother and son, known as amae in Japanese.[14]
A decade of flat economic indicators and a shaky job market in Japan makes the pre-existing system requiring years of competitive schooling for elite jobs appear like a pointless effort to many.[15] While Japanese fathers of the current generation of youth still enjoy lifetime employment at multinational corporations, incoming employees in Japan enjoy no such guarantees in today's job market.[16] (See Freeters and NEET for more on this.) Some younger Japanese people begin to suspect that the system put in place for their grandfathers and fathers no longer works,[17] and for some, the lack of a clear life goal makes them susceptible to social withdrawal as a hikikomori.

now that also is very relevant not just to Japan.

Jul 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Dung, you're posing the Spock question - do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? The film answer is no, if you’re human. It’s a feature that has advanced our species in the past. Consider an injured caveman. On the surface it might seem logical to let him die. Less competition for food and mates but also less support in the next hunt or when the neighbouring tribe comes looking for trouble. Thus we find benefit in co-operation. At first glance we might wonder what benefit we get from saving wildlife or advancing the developing world. Well if snakes vanish, then rats and mice might flourish or if bees are lost then crops will go un-pollinated. We’re not at the point where we can casually lose species and know we won’t feel their loss. When it comes to people starving in Africa it might seem sensible to let them die, given that we are looking at over population, but that might lead to migration, war and other problems. A better option is to move them along the route of capitalism and development. That way there should come a time when not only will they be able to feed themselves but might be selling things to us. Consumer societies are the embodiment of co-operation.

Ideally we move many subjects along together and try not to let any problem become too dominant. Thus we don’t drop all forms of medicine in order to concentrate on one disease. Some issues are too large to solve just yet. eg Throwing too much money at trying to solve asteroids or volcanoes might mean we starve another area of science where the very solution to the asteroids might emerge. What point of saving the planet from an asteroid in 2123AD when we all get wiped out by a pandemic in 2015? Thus many issues must be moved along together even if some issues do no progress as fast as we like.

It’s where climate dogma goes wrong. It ignores all the tangible problems that fossil fuels solve in favour of one huge theoretical problem. It insists we use renewables when maybe we should be considering climate engineering or even a wait and see attitude.

Incidentally the hikikomori might be the future of the human race if CAGW was real. People who do very little, rarely breed and live their lives almost entirely in cyber space would need very little energy or space. However it might also mark the final nail in mankind's evolutionary coffin.

Jul 12, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

On the NEET / hikikomori subject

Third of young unemployed 'rarely leave house'

Many young unemployed people feel marginalised, pessimistic and lacking in control over their lives, claims a survey by the UCU lecturers' union.

The survey of youngsters not in education, employment or training - so-called Neets - found a third had experienced depression and more than a third "rarely left the house".

Jul 16, 2013 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames


great post ^.^ and we must swap SF authors if poss.


As I understand it instinct is born partly of genetic programming and partly of experience and perhaps they are the same thing? Theoretically we are the most intelligent life form on the planet but humans do not always use intelligence to make choices and decisions, they go with"gut feelings" and instinct.
However we are now aware that there are threats that could destroy us all in an instant and I think gut feeling and instinct are not going to deal with this threat.
There WILL be an ELE (watch more films folks hehe) or extinction level event on the planet and although we have been lucky so far we surely have to wake up to this. We have a window of opportunity to give ourselves a shot at getting to the next level and colonising other planets. Unfortunately we do not know how big this window is but we know that if an ELE happens tomorrow we are not ready ; goodbye, sayonara, thats all she wrote.

Jul 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Well statistically we're much more likely to have a few city levelling events first. Those would concentrate the mind. The recent Russian event put the wind up them and they did start talking about co-operating on NEOs.

Yellowstone is fairly closely monitored and unlike earhquakes, volcanoes do tend to announce their mood before they go boom.

Killer viruses are at an interesting point with at least three biggies on the table, the baddest of which has variations that kill 100% of ferrets infected. There is a solution for those scenarios but it requires fast, decidive action... we're toast.

The human race isn't built for nebulous issues. Without clear evidence of an immediate danger we go off the boil. It's one of the reasons CAGW isn't getting much traction. Politicians who are sold on AGW don't have nightmares of burning temperatures, they dream of glory at having saved the planet. They're cooling on the issue because it's sooooo haaard and the public haven't thrown a single rose petal in gratitude. It hasn't once occurred to them to cut their own CO2 footprint.

Unfortunately without suitable wakeup events we are at the mercy of the fads of our leaders. Tony was scared of Iraq, Brown and Bush were nervous of influenza, Obama's into AGW, Regan was scared of aliens and Cameron is scared of being a Conservative.

Jul 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


I don't disagree with anything you said (which is getting to be an annoyingly regular thing ^.^) but it is not an answer to the problem. I will now open myself to total ridicule and explain my theories.
I think it is almost certain that many intelligent species have developed in our universe (that at least is an idea shared by many top scientists) but maybe they all shared similar threats that wiped them out before they were ready.
There WILL be a species in the universe that has solved or will solve these problems and acquire the technology to move to other star systems. Considering the implications, I would quite like it to be us.
Last year I started a discussion in which I explained that antimatter engines were a reality and also that stable antimatter had been discovered in the Van Allen belts. I was laughed out of town but it was all true and showed that we were not that far away from being able to travel to another star. All the information is available from NASA.
The human race is flawed but it has so much potential and it would be a real disaster if (through stupidity) we did not take the opportunity that we have been handed.

Jul 16, 2013 at 11:04 PM | Registered CommenterDung


re - SF - to many to mention, but at the moment Iain M. Banks is in my thoughts for obvious reasons.

will be greatly missed by me & many others (sure you & he could have had a great blog chat on this thread topic, but not to be).

Jul 17, 2013 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

PS - have noticed Neil Asher ( has commented a few times on the BH site in the past (or was it the future ?)

Neil, are you still out there ?

Jul 17, 2013 at 1:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh


Banks was up there as one of the greats in my book and I only have one and a half of his books left to read. Not only his loss but also the manner of his passing was tragic.
Another Scotsman who might be headed for greatness but has no recognition yet is John Meaney.

Jul 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered CommenterDung

thanks for nudge to check on Meaney Dung.

he's been quite for a while, but just checked his site at your prompt and he has a new book out -
TRANSMISSION, volume 2 of his latest space opera trilogy.

Absorption vol 1 was a while ago, so can't wait to catch up on his work.

probably boring anybody else left on your thread, sorry readers :-)

Jul 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh