Thinkers August 20 2013: Our vulnerability to natural disasters.

 Extropia DaSilva: So, welcome to Thinkers!
[2013/08/20 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: today the topic is…
[2013/08/20 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: Are we more, or less, vulnerable to natural disasters?
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Scarp Godenot: More vulnerable.
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Ari (arisia.vita): welcome Tara
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Zobeid Zuma: Less!
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: oh hello Tara:)
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Hi Tara
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Zobeid Zuma: Way less.
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): My apologies for missing the last couple of weeks, and for being late today.
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Scarp Godenot: There are more natural disasters now due to climate change.
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t think there’s much real evidence to support that.
[2013/08/20 15:34]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): How do you measure that, Scarp?
[2013/08/20 15:35]  Scarp Godenot: I rely on the advice of knowledgeable scientists who have showed this to be true.
[2013/08/20 15:35]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, maybe they should tell the rest of the world instead of just you? Because I haven’t seen it.
[2013/08/20 15:35]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I don’t think a simple count is that easy to come to – after all, there’s a lot more people who put themselves in the way of what otherwise would not be a disaster.
[2013/08/20 15:35]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I would say about the same level of vulnerability. Vulnerability to natural disasters, as the Bible observes, comes from sin (greed, sloth, pride, envy, gluttony, lust, and anger), and we are just as sinful now as back when it was written. (Heh. I defy anyone to really argue against that. heehee. Yes, I’m in a mood.)
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Extropia DaSilva: Less? Ok., if a major solar storm happened hundreds of years ago, it would have had basically zero impact, but these days it might knock out the communications networks which run modern society. So we are MORE vulnerable.
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Except for the fact that idiots built half of Nawlins below sea level, Katrina wouldn’t have been half the big deal it was.
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Zobeid Zuma: We’re MORE vulnerable to a solar storm. That’s the glaring exception, not the rule.
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And if they hadn’t been so tied up in recovery from Katrina, Rita wouldn’t have been as much of an issue.
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Zobeid Zuma: There are many, many other kinds of natural disasters than solar storms, and we’re better equipped than ever to handle most of them.
[2013/08/20 15:36]  Scarp Godenot: I’m really not going to debate global warming here, that ship sailed long ago. If you choose to be in denial that is your problem.
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok well, floods. The more we build on flood plains, the greater the disaster when flood strikes, no?
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Tara, you see? That’s greed and sloth at work
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Indeed, Rhi.
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Second Life: Roberta ‘bobbi’ Melodie (bobbi1969.melodie) is offline.
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): We build on fault lines, we build on beaches – OH, GODDESS we build on beaches!
[2013/08/20 15:37]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, is that a fancy way of saying you don’t have any rational reason to believe in global warming, and anyone who doesn’t believe as you do is immoral?
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): If the rock falls and kills you, is it the fault of the rock that you didn’t get the fuck out of the way?
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Zobeid Zuma: The Galveston hurricane in 1900 killed around 8000 people. Can you imagine anything like that happening now?
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah.
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Tara, yes, and the rock should be tried and convicted. It would have been under the law of duodands
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Scarp Godenot: We are also much more vulnerable to man caused disasters. Like chemical poisoning or habitat destruction leading to crop failures.
[2013/08/20 15:38]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I agree with that, Scarp
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Extropia DaSilva: more vulnerable how?
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Zobeid Zuma: When buildings on beaches get washed away, I’m not sure if that counts as a “natural” disaster. :/
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Indeed, Zobeid.
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I guess because there are more of us, we are more interdependent, and technologically dependent, we re, in some ways, more vulnerable
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Scarp Godenot: Let’s take fracking for example. Something that didn’t exist not that long ago. Now water tables in fracking areas are being destroyed.
[2013/08/20 15:39]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I will amend my statement, dialectically, to mean, that we are just as prone to natural disasters now, due to sin, but that the impact of them can be far worse. (Although you could argue that is due to sin too)
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And there’s reporter effects, as well – if a Hurricane hit Florida in the 1600s, did anyone give a shit?
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Zobeid Zuma: I heard they never found that fracking actually caused that.
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, in case anyone is listening, is actually agreeing with me; he is just using different terminology
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah but 1% of 6 billion would be a larger number of people affected than 90% of 1 million but the later would have been a greater tragedy if 1 million was the entire human race, no?
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Is “fracking” a natural disaster?
[2013/08/20 15:40]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, that’s a really good point
[2013/08/20 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: No it is useful.
[2013/08/20 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: apart from nuclear it is probably the most practical source of energy we have at the moment.
[2013/08/20 15:42]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, it’s a stopgap.
[2013/08/20 15:42]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Tara, no, that’s fricking–as in frick & frack
[2013/08/20 15:42]  Zobeid Zuma: It’ll delay peak oil by a few years.
[2013/08/20 15:42]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* Until we can get the stuff back out of the landfills and reprocess it into useable materials.
[2013/08/20 15:43]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Hydrocarbons are not power generation – they’re power *storage*.
[2013/08/20 15:43]  Scarp Godenot: Fracking release methane to the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas 24 times more powerful than CO2.
[2013/08/20 15:43]  Zobeid Zuma: I once had a book that covered the history of natural disasters. It covered all kinds, but I soon found a pattern.
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: Does our interdependency make us more vulnerable? Say an earthquake levelled Tokyo, what would that mean for all the industries around the world which rely on Japanese products?
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: what was that pattern/
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: ?
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Second Life: Barbie (isobela.flute) is offline.
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Zobeid Zuma: The ones with high death toll that kept repeating were: earthquakes, famines, plagues.
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, I think I just said that earlier. Interdependence does make us more vulnerable
[2013/08/20 15:44]  Scarp Godenot: There is a good example of more vulnerability. Earthquakes causing nuclear meltdowns.
[2013/08/20 15:45]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): James Burke makes that *EXTREMELY* clear in The Day The Universe Changed, and in the opening episode of the first Connections series.
[2013/08/20 15:45]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): But then our ability to respond makes us less. Take the way an earthquake is handled in, say, Mexico City vs. San Francisco. Policies lock capital out of Mexico, don’t encourage the development of technologies to mitigate, and what could be a mild disaster turns into a major one
[2013/08/20 15:45]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok…but on the other hand does it not also make us more resilient? For instance, with global communications the rest of the world can spring into action and come to the aid of countries which suffer a natural disaster.
[2013/08/20 15:45]  Zobeid Zuma: We’re much less vulnerable to famine now, due to globalization among other things.
[2013/08/20 15:46]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Wow, maybe I don’t need to talk; no one is responding, and Extie is playiing Gwyn and saying everything I do.
[2013/08/20 15:46]  Zobeid Zuma: We’re much less vulnerable to earthquakes in the *developed* world, where building standards are high.
[2013/08/20 15:46]  Extropia DaSilva: Sorry. I do not mean to.
[2013/08/20 15:46]  Zobeid Zuma: Plagues are scary, though. There’s a lot of danger there, in an age of rapid global travel.
[2013/08/20 15:47]  Extropia DaSilva: Tara, I really love that Connections series. And the first episode is real food for thought, Who would have believed one simple switch could cause that much havoc?
[2013/08/20 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): So, we do things that help us in disasters, but at the same time, we’re doing things that hamper us in disasters – as well as placing ourselves in the way of those disasters.
[2013/08/20 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I do too – and they’re finally up legally on YouTube.
[2013/08/20 15:47]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Connections helped me understand the positive side of the plague. Without it I wouldn’t have a job or be able to vote
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Scarp Godenot: Our reaction to Hurrican Katrina showed us how completely unprepared we are for gigantic disasters.
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Not really, Scarp.
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Scarp Godenot: Yes really
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Extropia DaSilva: If you are a building firm which is better for business: Homes which withstand Earthquakes or homes which collapse in Earthquakes?
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): What it showed us is how badly the Louisiana Government is.
[2013/08/20 15:48]  Zobeid Zuma: Katrina was preventable. People had been warning for decades that New Orleans was vulnerable, but there was no sense of urgency to fix it.
[2013/08/20 15:49]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): No, it showed us what happens with the Army Corps of Engineers runs things.
[2013/08/20 15:49]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* But once it hit, everyone was yelling “Where’s FEMA?” when FEMA wasn’t even supposed to be on site for 2-3 days.
[2013/08/20 15:49]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, why fix it? You can’t during a hurricane; and if there is no hurricane, there is no problem
[2013/08/20 15:49]  Extropia DaSilva: How do you fix it, though? The Japanese are world leaders in defences against Tsunami and a fat lot of good it did them.
[2013/08/20 15:49]  Zobeid Zuma: I guess sort of like hardening the electrical grid against solar storms today. Everybody knows it’s a problem, nobody wants to spend money to fix a theoretical problem that they haven’t actually experience yet.
[2013/08/20 15:50]  Scarp Godenot: Don’t forget that entire sections of the gulf coast were wiped out in that storm. That had nothing to do with levees. It was a tidal surge.
[2013/08/20 15:50]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Instead, Blanco and Naiglin were doing the best to pass the buck for what they had *NOT* done.
[2013/08/20 15:50]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* I *LIVE* here, Scarp. I lived through Rita, and the aftermath where we got a lot less help because so much was focused on New Orleans.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Scarp Godenot: Coastal areas are more vulnerable to all types of storms now due to oceans rising.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, I don’t seem to be contributing to the conversation, at least judging from responses to what I have said, others are making my points, and I do have work to do in RL (and a nap that is overdue), so take care all
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Zobeid Zuma: You can’t prepare for everything. The Japanese tsunami was the maximum worst case scenario.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And yet we just keep *BUILDING* there.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Second Life: Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone) is offline.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Sorry, Rhi – have a good nap.
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: bye Rhi:)
[2013/08/20 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: sweet dreams.
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Scarp Godenot: And people still build in river floodplains and on top of earthquake faults. You can’t stop greedy developers, apparently.
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: did Ari leave too?
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Ari (arisia.vita): not that I noticed
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Zobeid Zuma: I can still see Ari.
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh:)
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Just moved to another place.
[2013/08/20 15:52]  Scarp Godenot: Did Rhiannon just have a hissy fit?
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: Scarp, with 6 billion and counting, eventually we have to build on flood plains and fault lines just to make enough housing for all.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Second Life: Gwyneth Llewelyn is online.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: I think so, yes.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Zobeid Zuma: Oh that’s not true. There’s plenty of empty space.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, maybe not in Japan…
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): No – we don’t even *NEARLY* have to build on flood plains and fault lines.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: what, like the Sahara and Antartica?
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Scarp Godenot: Building housing on farmland will eventually result in a food crisis. Already affecting things in many countries.
[2013/08/20 15:53]  Zobeid Zuma: There’s lots of wide open spaces here in Texas. (Maybe that’s why so many are moving here?)
[2013/08/20 15:54]  Zobeid Zuma: Surburban sprawl eats up a lot more land than necessary.
[2013/08/20 15:54]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): 6 arcologies on the scale of Todos Santos in Niven & Pournelle’s _Oath of Fealty_, would hold the entire population of Louisiana in 24 square miles.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Zobeid Zuma: Fifty miles out of Dallas, you’re still in the sprawl.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Scarp Godenot: Lots of wide open spaces everywhere, but no water there…. heh
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: I think fault lines provide a lot of energy like easily obtainable oil, which is why we have such grand cities built on them. You know, kind of like how volcanic soil is so rich and fertile that normally it makes a lot of sense to build Pompeii in the shadow if Vesuvius.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Indeed.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t think so, Extie.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Scarp Godenot: Fault lines and oil? I think you have that a bit mixed up.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Second Life: Gwyneth Llewelyn is offline.
[2013/08/20 15:55]  Second Life: Gwyneth Llewelyn is offline.
[2013/08/20 15:56]  Zobeid Zuma: Texas is extremely geologically stable, but we have oil.
[2013/08/20 15:56]  Extropia DaSilva: Maybe. I just seem to recall a program which said there was good economic reasons for building on fault lines.
[2013/08/20 15:56]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Personally, I wouldn’t mind treating volcanic areas as fertilizer mines…
[2013/08/20 15:56]  Scarp Godenot: The oil economy is unsustainable. The entire carbon economy is unsustainable as well.
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *chuckles*
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: no it is not.
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Zobeid Zuma: Oh that reminds me of something funny….
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): There really is no such thing as a matter economy…
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): It all comes down to energy.
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: evolution has relied heavily on carbon for the past 6 billion years:)
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Scarp Godenot: Carbon as fuel is the carbon economy
[2013/08/20 15:57]  Second Life: Gwyneth Llewelyn is online.
[2013/08/20 15:58]  Scarp Godenot: as you well know
[2013/08/20 15:58]  Zobeid Zuma: In south Texas they have a program to harvest mesquite trees and send the wood chips to Europe to be burned in power plants.
[2013/08/20 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: Sounds mad to me, Zo.
[2013/08/20 15:58]  Zobeid Zuma: Makes *no* economic sense, except as a way to beat the carbon tax in Europe.
[2013/08/20 15:58]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Fuel is simply a way to store and transport energy.
[2013/08/20 15:59]  Scarp Godenot: Hello? Don’t you people understand the greenhouse effect?
[2013/08/20 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: I fail to see how it makes environmental sense, either?
[2013/08/20 15:59]  Zobeid Zuma: Sure, Seren did a whole presentation on it a couple of weeks ago.
[2013/08/20 15:59]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* She did a very good one.
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Zobeid Zuma: It’s just that mesquite chips are a carbon-neutral biomass fuel, so… They don’t have to pay carbon tax/credits when they burn it.
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: The greenhouse effect is when gases in the atmosphere let heat from the sun in but when it reflects off the earth’s surface, it traps it and this causes the planet to warm up. yes?
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Zobeid Zuma: Basically, yeah.
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Yep. Kinda required actually to keep the Earth habitable.
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: right.
[2013/08/20 16:00]  Scarp Godenot: oh gawd
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Extropia DaSilva: Unless it is a runaway greenhouse effect like we have on Venus.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Scarp Godenot: I’m in a room with a bunch of global warming denialists.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Extropia DaSilva: No.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Extropia DaSilva: I have never denied it.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Zobeid Zuma: Anyhow, Seren had all the charts showing that temperature hasn’t been rising anything like how the models predicted.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): You’re in a room with a bunch of people who have looking into the subject, and come to a conclusion you disagree with.
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Scarp Godenot: Well let’s just elect Seren head of the Union of Concerned Scientists then, right?
[2013/08/20 16:01]  Zobeid Zuma: That’s only short-term, though. It may be nothing more than a blip in the larger trend.
[2013/08/20 16:02]  Extropia DaSilva: My point is only that climate change WILL happpen no matter what we do, so rather than prevent it we need strategies to live with it.
[2013/08/20 16:02]  Zobeid Zuma: I thought Union of Concerned Scientists was an anti-nuclear group?
[2013/08/20 16:02]  Extropia DaSilva: I think we should, My Seren is the smartest person I know.
[2013/08/20 16:02]  Zobeid Zuma: I’d rather go to an actual scientific body for my analysis.
[2013/08/20 16:03]  Scarp Godenot: Or live with your own denialist fantasies.
[2013/08/20 16:03]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): You know one *REALLY* effective greenhouse gas? Chlorofluorocarbons. CFCs.
[2013/08/20 16:04]  Scarp Godenot: The evidence is clear for any who care to look. The people who study this for a living are almost universally in agreement.
[2013/08/20 16:04]  Extropia DaSilva: Climate change is definitely a reality.
[2013/08/20 16:04]  Scarp Godenot: Human caused climate change is also a reality.
[2013/08/20 16:04]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Oddly enough, the recent (last 10 – 15 years) cooling trend matches up really well with the decay of CFCs in the atmosphere after we quit producing them since they created the Ozone Hole.
[2013/08/20 16:05]  Scarp Godenot: What cooling trend? There is no such thing.
[2013/08/20 16:05]  Zobeid Zuma: It’s not so much cooling as lack-of-warming, especially relative to what was projected.
[2013/08/20 16:05]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Neat how *THAT* bit of geo-engineering went through fairly well, since, well, they actually had verifiable evidence, and not just a statistical possibility.
[2013/08/20 16:05]  Scarp Godenot: The numbers show warming. It is inescapable. Go look.
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I thought it worked out to a 0.05F cooling, Zobeid?
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Zobeid Zuma: We looked at them a couple of weeks ago when Seren had her charts up.
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Scarp Godenot: The ozone hole is still there btw, just not growing.
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Actually, Scarp, it’s shrinking – A LOT.
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Extropia DaSilva: But other experts (or so they claim) have other numbers which tell a different story, Scarp. so I guess it depends on which authority figures you trust.
[2013/08/20 16:06]  Zobeid Zuma: Yes, getting rid of CFCs has been a success story.
[2013/08/20 16:07]  Extropia DaSilva: what about acid rain?
[2013/08/20 16:07]  Zobeid Zuma: We did a great job of resolving acid rain, too.
[2013/08/20 16:07]  Extropia DaSilva: and smog..
[2013/08/20 16:07]  Extropia DaSilva: London used to have terrible smog..
[2013/08/20 16:07]  Zobeid Zuma: Smog has gotten somewhat better, but still a serious problem.
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: Gwynie!
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Zobeid Zuma: Hi Gwyn!
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Booh!
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: Hey, we upset Rhi:(
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: We did?
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What hapened?
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: Yeah..
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* Indeed – Parts of China have some *TRULY* nasty smog issues.
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Zobeid Zuma: And Gwyn is looking awesome as usual.
[2013/08/20 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh yes. What a nice hat!
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I imagine Ari is enjoying the lap dance.
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol… thanks. Hats are a rarity in SL!
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Ari (arisia.vita): I enjoy Gwyn 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Second Life: Scarp Godenot is offline.
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I imagine eventually *something* will rezz for me to see where I am lol
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: what happened? She reckoned I was repeating everything she said and nobody was addressing the issues she raised.
[2013/08/20 16:09]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I figured you would.
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: so anyway Gwyn..
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Zobeid Zuma: I was too busy spouting off my own opinions to listen to her. I am ashamed. 😦
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aw.
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Second Life: Scarp Godenot is online.
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me sighs
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: topic today is..
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: Are we more, or less, vulnerable to natural disasters?
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Ari (arisia.vita): wb Scarp
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Who’s we?
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: the human race.
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Zobeid Zuma: That’s the theoretical topic. In practice, we’ve said quite a bit about pollution.
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: And compared to whom?
[2013/08/20 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: modern civilization?
[2013/08/20 16:11]  Extropia DaSilva: earlier civilizations
[2013/08/20 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: If we compare humans with cockroaches, then, yes, we’re more vulnerable
[2013/08/20 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, earlier civilizations! Hmm
[2013/08/20 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Let me see, which ‘earlier civilization’ is still around?
[2013/08/20 16:11]  Zobeid Zuma: And I think it’s obvious that we’re less vulnerable to *most* natural disaster, with a couple of glaring exceptions, such as a big solar storm, or a global pandemic.
[2013/08/20 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Two: Japan, China
[2013/08/20 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Our civilization: still around, still alive, still kicking
[2013/08/20 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So….
[2013/08/20 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, I’d say we’re less vulnerable 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:12]  Scarp Godenot: More people in more risk areas than ever before make us more vulnerable to Tornados Hurricanes, Floods, Fires and Earthquakes.
[2013/08/20 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: whispers: Well! That’s another story!
[2013/08/20 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s the Sigma Factor
[2013/08/20 16:13]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, I raised the example of the Galveston hurricane of 1900 which killed an estimated 8000 people. That simply couldn’t happen in the USA now.
[2013/08/20 16:14]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The percentage of stupid people is slightly growing over time. But in absolute numbers, there are FAR more stupid people now. And stupid people make stupid mistakes and get killed easier.
[2013/08/20 16:14]  Extropia DaSilva: If an asteroid slammed into the earth I suspect that hunter-gatherer and primitive agricultural peoples would fare better than us moderns who cannot make lunch without the help of modern appliences.
[2013/08/20 16:15]  Zobeid Zuma: I’d question that the percentage of stupid people is growing. I think it’s shrinking for a number of reasons.
[2013/08/20 16:15]  Extropia DaSilva: assuming the asteroid made modern technology inoperative:)
[2013/08/20 16:15]  Scarp Godenot: Fox news is proof that the number of stupid people is growing…. heh
[2013/08/20 16:16]  Zobeid Zuma: Yes… It’s an asteroid made of that rare element, anti-technetium!
[2013/08/20 16:16]  Zobeid Zuma: Fox is getting a dose of competition starting today.
[2013/08/20 16:16]  Extropia DaSilva: Is it rarer than Unobtanium?
[2013/08/20 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: “hunter-gatherers” are not civilization. Civilization takes its name from ‘civis’, another name for citry. You need advanced agriculture for that. So, sorry, Extie, you can get primitive CULTURES with hunting/gathering and low-tech agriculture but not *civilization*
[2013/08/20 16:17]  Second Life: Steampunkables (joey.aboma) is offline.
[2013/08/20 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: Good point Gwyn..
[2013/08/20 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: Well..
[2013/08/20 16:18]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Besides, it’s not like things like “crop rotation” and “directed breeding” are concepts that can be wiped out simply by an asteroid.
[2013/08/20 16:18]  Second Life: Lilly (taylor.schroeder) is online.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Second Life: Sylfie Del Vanima (sylfie.minogue) is online.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): In a lot of cases, simply knowing that something can be done is enough – sure, building the tools to build the tools to build the tools can take some time.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Extropia DaSilva: In Connections, James Burke reckoned that if you want to survive the end of the modern world you need to know how to work a horse or oxen-drawn plough, since it was that which enabled us to build civilization in the first place.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Second Life: Flenser Juergens is online.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now Zo, I’m not sure if you have good arguments for the overall stupidity to be shrinking, but I actually know about one. Nowadays, we have far more ways to figure out what stupid people are dping. so we’re flooded with news about stupid people. That does not mean there ARE more stupid people. It bjust looks like that, because, well, in the past, stu+pid people were not worth talking about 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Extropia DaSilva: you would also need to know when to sow and harvest the plants, of course.
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: yes, after millenia 😛
[2013/08/20 16:19]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): But can we say that oh, the 1700s, when the majority of the luxuries were hand-made or simple factory made, were really that nasty of a time?
[2013/08/20 16:20]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And simply having the concept of the assembly line and interchangable parts is a huge step forward.
[2013/08/20 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Tara: the majority of people in the 1700 (that’s 99% of the human population 🙂 ) didn’t have any luxuries.
[2013/08/20 16:20]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): They did, Gwyneth – we just think of them as necessities now.
[2013/08/20 16:20]  Zobeid Zuma: I just think that developing brains-and-minds respond to good nutrition, education and mental exercise, and people are getting more of those things than ever before.
[2013/08/20 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nowadays, perhaps 10% has. The good news: the population grew, so, as an absoluite number, there is a HUGE improvement
[2013/08/20 16:21]  Extropia DaSilva: I agree, Zo.
[2013/08/20 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: mORE, NOT NECESSARILY BETER 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: oops sorry
[2013/08/20 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: my ears are ringing!
[2013/08/20 16:22]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hard to type with 1 FPS and 5% packet loss on a stolen wifi connection 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:22]  Zobeid Zuma: SL hates packet loss.
[2013/08/20 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I side with SL on hating packet loss, but, alas, you get what you pay for hehe
[2013/08/20 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Anyway… I can agree that earlier cultures were better prepared to survive,
[2013/08/20 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: after all, we humans survived ice ages….
[2013/08/20 16:23]  Extropia DaSilva: so can we end the topic and get back to the question of whether faster internet or a more powerful computer makes for a better SL experience?
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehehe
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Well, there’s two parts to “faster internet” – bit rate, and latency…
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Extropia DaSilva: Say my goal in life was to have a zero lag SL. How do I achieve that?
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Zobeid Zuma: I still think global epidemic is the big thing we’re under-prepared for.
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: On the other hand, there is a HUGE gap between ‘human culture’ and ‘human civilization’ ( = living in cities)
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Zobeid Zuma: Along with solar storms as Extie brought up.
[2013/08/20 16:24]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): You can get some hella fast bitrates over satellite, but the latency is a *KILLER*.
[2013/08/20 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: yes
[2013/08/20 16:25]  Zobeid Zuma: Zero lag? You’d have to go where the servers are.
[2013/08/20 16:25]  Extropia DaSilva: Yes Zo. I read a scary book about how misuse of antibiotics has left us vulnerable to diseases.
[2013/08/20 16:25]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* Global pandemic – yes… If something like the Spanish Flu hit again… *FUCK*.
[2013/08/20 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Someone dropping a singularity in Earyth’s core might also be not easy to survive 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:26]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Or UV-tolerant Ebola…
[2013/08/20 16:26]  Extropia DaSilva: why? is sex a cure?
[2013/08/20 16:26]  Zobeid Zuma: /me facepalms!
[2013/08/20 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hmm. hahahahaha
[2013/08/20 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, I’d say the human species would survive a global pandemic with a 10-20% mortality rate
[2013/08/20 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: We DID survive 33% or so mortality rate in the Middle Ages
[2013/08/20 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: As for a direct impact of a ‘civilization-killer’ asteroid…. good question
[2013/08/20 16:27]  Zobeid Zuma: The native americans probably got it a lot worse, some have estimated up to 90%. But they were hit with a whole spread of diseases at once.
[2013/08/20 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: If the planet blows up, the answer is ‘no’
[2013/08/20 16:28]  Extropia DaSilva: But you know how a few years ago we were supposed to have a pandemic from bird flu and swine flu but never did. Is that because it was a false alarm or because we prevented a pandemic somehow?
[2013/08/20 16:28]  Zobeid Zuma: Plagues and warfare destroyed their society and left a post-apocalyptic wilderness, sort of like a low-tech Mad Max movie.
[2013/08/20 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right, Zo. Because natural micro-organisms will never be 100% deadly – if they kill all hosts, they cannot reproduce either
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: both those cases were frauds, unfortunately
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But there are things that are no frauds.
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Zobeid Zuma: They are working on a universal flu vaccine by the way.
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Extropia DaSilva: like Spanish flu?
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, I’ve read that….
[2013/08/20 16:29]  Zobeid Zuma: But that still leaves plenty of other diseases to worry about.
[2013/08/20 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh yes!
[2013/08/20 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: One minute left!
[2013/08/20 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: And, of course, synthetic virii and bacteria 🙂
[2013/08/20 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: These can be genetically tailored to kill 100% of their hosts, contradicting evolution….
[2013/08/20 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: So final answers..If you started off thinking we are more (or if you thought less) vulnerable have you changed your mind now?
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Zobeid Zuma: Synthetic phage viruses might be what save us from antibiotic-resistant bacteria!
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Not me, I’m stubborn
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Good answer, Zo!
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I think we’re more vulnerable to some, less to others, and 99% of our vulnerability is our own stupidity.
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Extropia DaSilva: I tend not to change my mind cuz I am usually right.
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: pfft
[2013/08/20 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Tara: you are RIGHT:
[2013/08/20 16:32]  Extropia DaSilva: OK my time is up!
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