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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Israel Perez: on 6/8/14 at 13:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Peter Thanks for your comments. I'm still uncertain of whether my...

Peter Jackson: on 6/7/14 at 0:09am UTC, wrote Israel, Thanks for your comments. We're certainly intellectually immature....

Israel Perez: on 6/6/14 at 23:42pm UTC, wrote Last week when deadline was supposed to be, I was among the finalists, now,...

James Putnam: on 6/6/14 at 22:22pm UTC, wrote Dear Israel, Never mind about my rating. It should have helped, but, not...

James Putnam: on 6/6/14 at 14:43pm UTC, wrote Dear Israel, I just rated your essay. It had to have raised up in the...

James Putnam: on 6/6/14 at 13:50pm UTC, wrote Israel Perez, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Yes it did clarify your...

Israel Perez: on 6/6/14 at 2:34am UTC, wrote Hi Luca Thanks for reading my essay and commenting. Is that the only...

Israel Perez: on 6/6/14 at 2:22am UTC, wrote Hi Neil Thanks for reading and commenting. Indeed, finding union is the...


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FQXi FORUM
May 26, 2018

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Indeed, the problem is quite complex... by Israel Perez [refresh]
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Author Israel Perez wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 14:57 GMT
Essay Abstract

Herein I discuss the present state of humanity. Nations are still struggling for hegemony and supremacy and, their influence on global affairs is determinant for the future of humankind (similar to the situation around World War II). Despite the global economical, social and political instability, we should work together to improving our lives and the lives of the generations to come. Science and techonology have always played a fundamental role in human history and still they have much to say in this respect. First, I identify the major players; then I propose the ideal that should steer humanity: well-being and a united world. To this end I single out our most important problems and concurrently propose some viable solutions. The key factors to succeed are education, work, wisdom, and union. After we humans reach a stable stage, we can relax and enjoy the future.

Author Bio

Israel has a Ph. D. in experimental condensed matter physics, he just finished a Postdoctoral stay at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and he is now looking for a new position.

Download Essay PDF File

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Alan M. Kadin wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 22:41 GMT
Dr. Perez,

I read your essay with interest. (I also remember your essay from last year.) I agree that "the problem is quite complex". Indeed, I believe that the problem of achieving a long-term-sustainable global civilization is impossible, if we assume a global population of 10 billion or more. I argue in my essay "Just Too Many People: Towards a Sustainable Future Earth" that a primary goal in steering humanity over the next several centuries must be to decrease the population to levels (~1-2B) present in the 19th century. This is not a popular argument (as perhaps indicated by my low Community Rating thus far), but I believe that this issue should be discussed rather than suppressed.

Alan Kadin

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Denis Frith replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 12:14 GMT
Dealing with the current over population is clearly one issue to be addressed in steering the future. But another one is that are far too many aging cities and associated infrastructure irreversibly using up the limited natural material resources.

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Author Israel Perez replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 14:51 GMT
Hi Alan and Denis

Many thanks for reading my essay. Indeed, overpopulation is a big problem. I believe that by the end of the century the population will no longer grow and must probably will decrease. Right now we are more than 7.2 billion and the planet is capable of sustaining this number. Of course, we are wasting a lot of resources and it is hard to tell for how long the planet will tolerate this number. I agree that less population would be better but reducing the population to 1 or 2 B is a solution that cannot be implemented in the short or mid term. Besides, governments should agree on this and create laws (as in China) to limit the number of children per family. I don't think this is feasible in the short term and we need to seek other viable solutions. The world is so dynamic that making plans for several centuries is not practical.

I do think we could do so many things to improve our world in the following decades. First we should address some basic problems: First, citizens are not informed and aware of the problem, so they behave naively when using resources. Second, they most of the times do not care even if they are informed. Thirdly, most industries and governments do not worry much about pollution and energy consumption, since they do not design sustainable programs to reduce the energy consumption and natural resources. We need to change a series of negative habits first. I think that our priority should be the well-being of the planet. This should be the ideal to follow. If the planet is ok and we live in harmony with it, we are guaranteeing the well-being of future generations.

I'll take a look at your essays asap and comment on your threads. I wonder if you have an idea or estimation of how long the planet can sustain human life with 2 or 7 billion.

Cheers

Israel

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John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 17:07 GMT
IP

The growth of the US and other technology lagging countries such as China now, Japan after WWII, etc. is the lagging countries simply copy the developed technology of the US and Europe. Creating the new technology is extremely expensive. Coping is cheap. The developing countries can be more profitable with fewer resources devoted to advancing technology. Therefore, their growth can be...

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Anonymous replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 14:11 GMT
Dear John

Thanks for leaving your comments and reading my essay. There are some points you raised that draw my attention.

JCH: The growth of the US and other technology… ...do something with the US$.

All other countries after WW2 never surpassed economically the USA. Japan was demilitarized and its political system was replaced. China, on the other hand, is close to surpass the USA (and has no military restrictions) and when this occurs things will look different because the USA will be second in the list. Obama has complained that China is not playing fair but IMHO the USA isn't either. Apparently, China wants to play a major role in world affairs, let's see what happen in the following years.

JCH: The usual European war and cold periods (starvation), solved the population problem.for Europe.

I agree that these events have to do with the decline of the fertility rate in Europe, but, these are not the only factors: economy, politics and moral values have changed since then, they are important too.

JCH: “The barons are organizing.” suggest the required action is already happening… ...The path toward the kind of constitutional change is already happening.

I was not aware of this. I need to do my research to get the deeper feeling of what you say. My guess is that the world will be united when no barriers and competition exist.

JCH: No we wouldn’t

Why?

JHC: I note the people suffering the most are in politically unstable and low structure sophistication (tribe organization). The first thing to do is to change the political structure.

I agree, although it is not a rule.

Regards

Israel

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John C Hodge replied on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 18:26 GMT
The “No we wouldn’t.” comment.

I think we do not have enough understanding to be able to determine the one ideal to advance humanity. Therefore, picking an ideal leaves us venerable to forces we don’t understand. Also, I think the appropriate ideal must change as technology changes.

We would have to be in the same world government that controls the only military to prevent war but not competition.

The organizing is happening in the US and perhaps Europe. The other areas of the world need to first attain the “State” type of organization as defined by Diamond. I note a large part of Africa and the middle east is organized as tribes with one tribe overseeing other tribes as defined by Diamond). For example, this is the reason for the fighting in Syria.

I agree with the no barriers and competition. No barriers to money or people movement such as the US between the states. But not between Europe states (nations).

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Author Israel Perez replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 13:38 GMT
It seems that you think that technology is driving the world, although it is important I do not think it is the only and most important factor. I think political and economical interests have more influence in global affairs. We have seen this in the past.

Actually, the UN is promoting human rights and above all democracy and freedom. It appears that for the USA these are the ideals the world should follow.

Regards

Israel

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 14:19 GMT
Dear Doctor Perez,

Your essay was exceptionally well written and it was impeccably organized. I do hope that it does well in the competition.

Regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author Israel Perez replied on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 17:07 GMT
Dear Joe

Thanks for your wishes. I wish you the best too. I haven't read yours but I'll do it asap.

Regards

Israel

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John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 18:27 GMT
I would like to list your essay as a reference for my essay in a comment. The suggested text is “The following essays may be viewed as added references in the introduction of this essay: …”.

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Author Israel Perez replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 13:39 GMT
Ok, no problem, thanks for cite my essay.

Israel

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 01:17 GMT
Dear Author Israel Perez

You have raised the issue and very specific core.

10 points for : " Hopefully by then, there will not

be borders, poverty, or wars"

Hải.CaoHoàng

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Author Israel Perez replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 13:41 GMT
Dear Hoang

Thanks a lot for reading the essay and for the high score. I'm glad you enjoy it. I'll read yours asap.

Regards

Israel

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Ajay Bhatla wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 04:43 GMT
Dear Israel,

Very well written essay with a lot of data and information. A very easy read, indeed

A bit of the logic bothers me:

You rightly say "that the world will unite and work together ... ... Seems to me at this moment of history, utopic" and later you emphasize "this is the most troublesome part". But, then you ignore this stark reality and say "the first step is then to agree what we want for our future."

So two questions:

Q1: who all are included in your "we" and "our" ? To some extent groups have already formed with different members in the "we" and "our" for a whole lot of reasons. Will your ideas accommodate multiple groupings?

Q2: why can humanity not have more than a single ideal. After all, how can anyone going to bed again on an empty stomach, or suffering for the third time in 2014 from water-borne illness care about global warming and its impacts?

I believe that the diversity of life circumstances and the dramatically differing hopes and expectations of all who comprise humanity throw a wrench in your recommendation.

To be fair, I invite you to read my essay and tell me what you think of my idea that preserves different ideals and seeks to build on human diversity.

Thank you

-Ajay

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 02:09 GMT
Hi Israel,

I agree with Ajay that it is a well written essay, I enjoyed reading it. He has raised some interesting questions.

I like that you have clearly set out what you regard the problems to be and addressed them in turn.It makes it easy to follow and seems very organised and well informed. It's a historical, political, economic and sociological account that is rather optimistic, though you will not speculate beyond the end of the century.It would have been interesting to hear your view on the kinds of technologies that might be useful in steering the future. For example, the increasing use of computer technologies might reduce consumer consumption of resources as more and more people live their lives online. You might also have used that science and technology section to introduce some physics.

Growth rate of population may be dropping but the carrying capacity of the Earth is also dropping from pollution, soil erosion, desertification, drought, flood, building on land that could be used for food production. To feed the population we have relied upon mechanized agriculture and fertilizer use. It is a question whether alternative fuels will be able to replace oil for agriculture and fertilizer production, as it becomes harder to find and extract. That as well as the a fore mentioned problems threaten the high productivity needed to sustain the billions that will need feeding.

You wrote " Once our basic problems are solved, we will relax and enjoy our lives, just like retirees.Of course, this will not imply that progress will stop, it will mean that we have reached stability and that the world is united." Really? If only it were that easy.

Good luck, Geoorgina

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 23:00 GMT
Hi guys

Sorry for not replying before, I have been very busy days but I'm back. I thank you for reading my essay and leaving some comments. As I mentioned in my essay the problem is very complicated and it would require several Ph. D. theses to address all problems.

Ajay:

I would like to address your questions.

Q1:

When I say "we" or "our", I refer to humans. In modern civilization, we have erected institutions and organizations to steer politics, economy, science and technology, culture, military forces, etc. These kind of organizations are devoted to shape the world. They are the ones that create new tendencies and define our present style of life. So they should be responsible for making sure the well being of the global population. I would suggest the creation of global projects to guarantee food supplies, water and some other basics to all humans. The UNESCO is one of these organizations but it has not been effective in achieving its objectives. So, despite that countries are struggling for hegemony countries need to strengthen these kind of agencies.

Q2:

Of course we could have many ideals, but lets say, that I'm encapsulating many ideals in just one: well-being. This ideal has many implications. Well-being means a good quality of life for everybody, it implies many of the basic humans rights such as: the right to live a worth life, the right to have a nice job, right of freedom and happiness, health, food, etc. My vision is that we should have a world in social, political and economical equilibrium and we need to have clear from now on what we want for the future.

I thank you for the invitation to read your essay and indeed I'll do it asap.

Cheers

Israel

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 23:09 GMT
Hi Georgina

Thanks also for reading and commenting, I appreciate it. I have some comments on the points you raise. Unfortunately, the space in the essay is limited and I indeed wanted to discuss something more.

I mainly do research in condensed matter (and also in the foundations of physics) and I am aware of some potential technologies, but I'm also aware of their limitations. I...

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 14:58 GMT
Israel,

A very professional essay. We have agreed in the past and I'm glad to agree with your views again. I was somewhat concerned for a while that you had downplayed the role of scientific advancement in our long term development but I suppose your quite comprehensive basic list brought the balance back. For me it seems that human failings are largely beyond our control to steer, but advance through better understanding of the universe is potentially always within our grasp, even if we often take too long to grasp it.

In an ideal world you identify many key problems and aims, now all we need I suppose is an ideal world and more intelligent way of thinking to reveal better understanding and apply change sensibly!

Your affinity for the foundations of physics should allow you to see the self apparent results of a journey beyond Earth-centrism by Bob and Alice in my essay. Unfortunately it may then be a little too large for those on Earth. I wonder what you think.

Thank you. Best wishes

Peter

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 13:40 GMT
Hi Peter

Thanks for reading my essay and for leaving your nice comments. I'm glad you liked it. I'm aware that science has much to say in the following years. Although, I don't see clearly what technologies will be dominating in the next decades, that's why I preferred not to discuss much about this topic.

P: ...now all we need I suppose is an ideal world and more intelligent way of thinking to reveal better understanding and apply change sensibly!

Indeed, we need to be wise but in my view, as a species, we are still immature.

Thanks for the invitation to read your essay, I'll do it asap and leave my comments.

Best Regards

Israel

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Peter Jackson replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 00:09 GMT
Israel,

Thanks for your comments. We're certainly intellectually immature. It's nice to find those who realise it. I see your essay is on the cusp, I hope my score will help and that it makes the cut.

Best wishes.

Peter

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Author Israel Perez replied on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 13:35 GMT
Dear Peter

Thanks for your comments. I'm still uncertain of whether my essay is among the finalists or not but thanks a lot for rating it.

I also notice that you are among the finalists, congratulations!

Good luck, I hope you could make it to the first places!

Best Regards

Israel

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 14:26 GMT
Dear Israel,

Thank you for reading my essay and for leaving a comment about it. I answered your question about whether or not my essay addressed the steering of our future. This is my answer:

There is no way for anybody to steer any future unless the majority of folk are aware of the exact point that they are steering from. Frighteningly, most all of the other essayists have only...

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 14, 2014 @ 20:36 GMT
Dear Joe

Thanks for your comments. Now I understand what you mean, steering the future is complicated. With respect to light, I notice that you have a theory of your own in mind which is quite different from the one currently accepted. So, I'm afraid I cannot be of much help in this case.

Good luck in the contest!

Regards

Israel

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Christian Corda wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 07:55 GMT
Dear Israel, As I promised in my Essay page, I have read your interesting Essay. Here are my comments/questions:

1) Concerning China's economical growth and power, I read some recent data in Italian media. It looks that such economical growth and power could increase even better than you write in your Essay.

2) Your statement "For our surprise, in 1989, the URSS collapsed." is in general correct. On the other hand, the (at that time unknown) economist Judy Shelton had confidently predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union in her book "The Coming Soviet Crash" (1989).

3) I did not know that for a couple of decades the global population remains steady and then starts to slightly drop after 2050. This could be an important point for humanity as overcrowding is really a big problem. On the other hand, you also write that population will re-start to grow in next century also because science will further increase lifespan.

4) I like your definitions that "science is a human activity whose main objective is to generate rational knowledge" and "technology is the application of this knowledge for the convenience of mankind".

5) I agree with your dream that "In a united world, in a world free of poverty, there should be no borders, one common language, one economical, political, social, and cultural system; one common philosophy". I feel myself as a "world's citizen".

6) I did not know the "solid rain" and the "artificial" animal muscle for human consumption. They look to be two very important tools which deserve a better diffusion in the world.

7) Actually, huge disparity in salaries is not only between developed and developing countries, but also between different people in the same country.

8) Concerning energy sources, what do you think about nuclear energy?

You wrote a nice Essay, which enjoyed me. Thus, I will give you an high score. Best luck in the contest.

Cheers, Ch.

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 23:48 GMT
Dear Christian

Thank you for reading my essay and leaving your comments. I'm happy you enjoyed it. I would like to reply to your comments/questions.

1) Current China's growth has no parallel in history. There are some speculations of whether China will surpass USA the next decade or not. I think, we will fortunate to see if this is true or not in the following years. But from the...

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Christian Corda replied on May. 17, 2014 @ 07:50 GMT
Dear Israel,

Thanks for your replies. I agree with your point that those who control energy resources will not change to new energy alternatives until petroleum gets exhausted.

I have also seen that my reply to your question in my Essay paged satisfied you. I am happy for this.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 17, 2014 @ 17:38 GMT
Ok, no problem!

Cheers

Israel

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on May. 18, 2014 @ 12:22 GMT
Dear Israel,

Your essay is well written, and interesting. You discussed hot problems: education, jobs, pollution, energy, water and food, and point out some possible solutions. You said "The ideas presented here should be implemented by governments, institutions, agencies, industries, scientists and technologists. All these spheres should work together under the same goal and prioritize projects towards improving the quality of life." Do you have an idea how to motivate them to implement these ideas? Some of these institutions are already motivated for some of the ideas, as one can see from the fact that they are working at them. You also said well that "First, we should be informed as much as possible about the global and local situations. If we are well informed and understand the problematic, we will be aware of its dimension and we will know what to do." Good luck in the contest.

Cristi

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear Cristi

Thank you for reading my essay and for commenting.

You: Do you have an idea how to motivate them to implement these ideas?

It is a very interesting and difficult question. Indeed I have some ideas. As you point out there are already institutions and organizations devoted to solve the problems. But why problems continue to aggravate as time goes by? In my opinion there are forces such as political and economical interests, overpopulation, etc., that overshadow and hamper any positive progress from these institutions. First thing to do is to be informed. Second, to form groups of scientists and people who share the same ideals and who wish to work together to deeply study the roots of why the work of these institutions has not been effective. The idea is to understand why there is no significant progress and based on the result of this research some specific actions could be taken to undermine the negative forces.

Third, this group of people should launch constant informative campaigns via mass media. This will make people aware of the dimension of the problems. Also the group should promote their activities to get more people involved. This new organization can develop projects so that institutions that are already working on solving problems become more effective.

Of course, projects should be long term years or decades, and the organization should look for funding sources.

Good luck in the contest

Best Regards

Israel

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 14:35 GMT
Dear Israel,

thanks for your interest.

You are right I don't mention these principles explicitely.

I had the following in mind: the driving force is science and humanity should invest also in this direction, there is no central plan (evolution is enough) but one needs a communication between the species. Finally the selection process is the adaption of the technologies according to our needs. Humantiy should also allow a development in any direction without any limits (but fulfilling ethical requirements etc.).

I will also looking forward to read yours.

Good luck in the contest, too

Best

Torsten

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 18:51 GMT
Israel,

This was both a reply to your comment on my thread and your essay as well, So I thought it logical to cross post it here(slightly edited);

"I did read your essay and went back and reviewed it. As you say, the situation is overwhelmingly complex when we start considering all the actual details. That is a big part of the reason why I like discussing physics, rather than...

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 01:20 GMT
Dear Dr. Israel

You have written an intelligent, realistic yet optimistic essay providing an overview of the possible futures we can experience in the next decades. I find everything you have written realistic and reasonable, but I wish I had your faith in governments, institutions and organisations to steer our future. All these are governed by human beings who could be either wonderfully altruistic and creative, or selfish and stupid, depending on internal politics. If someone were to invent a perfect solution to the energy question, will not the countries and governments benefiting from oil economy oppose its implementation, because it will decimate their wealth and power?

Another cause of concern is the dependance we all have on computerised systems. Everything from global banking to the running of hospitals and traffic systems could be jeopardised if anything were to occur to disrupt this amazing flow of information.

Your faith in technology reminds me of another excellent essay written by a student Mohammed Khalil. Good luck to you and to us all!

Vladimir

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 05:48 GMT
Dear Vladimir

Thanks for reading my essay. Still, I do not think it is optimistic but objective. For instance, in the following two decades electric cars will displace conventional cars. This will considerably reduce the emission of CO2 and noise levels.

Some governments are struggling for hegemony, that's their primary goal. They are constantly trying to steer the world for their convenience. What shall we do? It is not that I trust institutions or governments but they are in charged and in control of steering the future of people, so we should work with them to find solutions, otherwise, I see no options to solve the problems.

You: Another cause of concern is the dependance we all have on computerised systems.

No at all, we have lived without computers in the past. That's not a big deal.

You: Your faith in technology...

If technology doesn't save us, who or what is going to do it? businessmen? politicians? Religion? Technology have saved us in the past and it will in the future, but it may also destroy us.

Best Regards

Israel

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 17:40 GMT
Israel,

You provide an organized and complete accounting of your concepts on the steering process. My concept of "working together" is a common good rather than the self-interest motivation promoted by western culture. I see "looking beyond" our solar system and our technological orthodoxy and "looking within" to harness the untapped power of the brain, the microcosm of the universe.

I would like to see your thoughts on my essay.

Jim

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 19:36 GMT
Dear James

Thanks for your comments and for reading my essay. Somehow we have to promote "common good". For sure, I'll take a look at your essay asap.

Best Regards

Israel

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James Lee Hoover replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 19:10 GMT
Israel,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my essay.

Jim

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 20:30 GMT
James

I was nice reading your essay.

Good luck!

Israel

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Brent Pfister wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 21:20 GMT
Israel,

You gave an excellent explanation of the problems and some practical solutions. One nit: GDP was listed in Billions but I think that should be Trillions. Maybe that is a difference of long and short scales that the world needs to reach agreement on. Thank you for writing your essay!

Brent

Happy Path

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 23:05 GMT
Dear Brent

Thanks for reading my essay. I think you are right, they should be trillions. I'm sorry for that. I'll read your essay asap.

Good luck in the competition!

Best Regards

Israel

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 13:15 GMT
Israel,

Knowing that you are a relatively new PhD, it was so encouraging to me, to read, " ... science is a human activity whose main objective is to generate rational knowledge. Technology, on the other hand, is the application of this knowledge for the convenience of mankind."

I have seen many (even professionals who should know better) flout or even outright abandon the objectively-tested rational philosophy of science in favor of programs that either conflate science with technology, or favor some inductive system of knowledge absent of theoretical framework.

On the point that you make:

" ... the world is narrowing their gaps and opening their borders. But the fact is that the world is so diverse that reaching such harmonious point in the near future appears not to be feasible ..."

I used to believe the same. I discovered a rational method with the possibility to ensure a continuous trajectory toward that harmonious point.

Great essay, high mark from me. Thanks!

Tom

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Author Israel Perez wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 22:13 GMT
Dear Thomas

Thanks for your nice comments, I'm glad you enjoy it. There are some fields of science that work in the border between science and technology... this is what is call basic research and applied physics. So there is no clear line to demarcate where science ends and where technology begins. Some people just say science, meaning both science and technology, although this turns out to be misleading specially for students and laymen.

With respect to your second comment, I think national interests are sometimes above human rights and ideals such as well being. Perhaps your rational method may help to reduce the gaps.

Good luck!

Best Regards

Israel

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Charles Gregory St Pierre wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 04:03 GMT
Dear Israel,

Thank you for your essay. It was informative and well organized. You provide some concrete solutions to some of the technical issues. While you nicely describe some of the problems with nations, their populations and their economics, I wish you had provided more explicit solutions to some of the social issues. To be fair, these issues are indeed complex, and it is my impression few have adequately addressed them. I think you needed to provide more motivation for everyone to cooperate. Global union is all very well, but most, or almost all, people must be shown it is to their individual benefit to join into such common effort. I think this conflict of interests makes it very difficult for a global society to be stable.



Still, a good essay, and I wish you the best luck in the competition.

Sincerely,

Charles

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Charles Gregory St Pierre wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 04:18 GMT
Dear Israel,

Thank you for your essay. It was informative and well organized. You provide some concrete solutions to some of the technical issues. While you nicely describe some of the problems with nations, their populations and their economics, I wish you had provided more explicit solutions to some of the social issues. To be fair, these issues are indeed complex, and it is my impression few have adequately addressed them. I think you needed to provide more motivation for everyone to cooperate. Global union is all very well, but most, or almost all, people must be shown it is to their individual benefit to join into such common effort.



As for future populations, I am afraid I am not so optimistic. I call to your attention reference 5 of my essay, the Human and Nature Dynamic (HANDY) model of population growth and decline. It was in the press about two months ago, and earned a disclaimer from NASA, which helped sponsor it.



Still, a good essay, and I wish you the best of luck in the competition.

Sincerely,

Charles

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Charles Gregory St Pierre replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 04:21 GMT
Oops. I didn't think the first one registered, but I did want to include the HANDY reference.

Charles

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 13:51 GMT
Dear Charles

Thanks for reading my essay and for your comments. I wish the length of essays were much longer so I could address some of the topics widely. This limitation gives the impression that some topics are just touched.

I have indeed considered explicit solutions but the analysis throws something paradoxical. There are some issues: The first is that fore several decades or perhaps centuries we have been depleting our natural resources at great pace. As a consequence, we have considerably altered our environment. If this trend continues, there will be a collapse in several aspects of life. The second issue is that there are organizations and institutions devoted to solve many of these problems but issue 1 has shown that these efforts have been ineffective. This means that there are some forces that are more powerful than those trying to solve the problems. These negative forces include: political and economical interests among nations, overpopulation, etc. So, in order to make headway we need to undermine these negative forces. And this requires a deep analysis and a radical change in the way we humans are running the world.

I scanned your HANDY model and I agree that an egalitarian society would give the best results, unfortunately this social model goes against capitalism. This is the most difficult part. Capitalism is irrational in the sense that is based on the principle of inequality. So, we need to think in strategies to deal with this. As I said it is complex.

You: I think you needed to provide more motivation for everyone to cooperate.

I agree but, in my view, we first need to give a deep thought and build an program that guarantees an effective impact.

Reference 5 looks interesting, I'll take a look at it as soon as possible.

Good luck in the competition too!

Best Regards

Israel

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James Dunn wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 12:05 GMT
Israel,

In your essay I see a partial list of what needs consideration related to the steering of humanity. The world for humans is based in social and emotional perspectives superimposed upon disjoint logical domains. So we tend to need to piece together many people's efforts to get a workable solution.

Humans tend to classify systems of observations of relationships to create...

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Author Israel Perez replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 14:33 GMT
Dear James

Thanks for commenting and reading my essay. The space in the essay is limited and it is not possible to give a ample discussion on the topics I touch.

You mention vixra and cite a website dealing with it.

Vixra is just a repository but it is not about science because science not only means generation of knowledge but also professionalism and high quality standards. Unfortunately, the quality of what is published in vixra is not monitored. You may find good and really bad material and on average the quality is far inferior than the quality of the material published in the arxiv. Even arxiv lacks a peer-review system and therefore is not seen as strict science.

I have given a deep thought on the opening peer-review issue. I think, this will be detrimental for science because it will reduce the its quality. Vixra is the clear example of this.

You said: I proposed this... ...related participants.

I think, this already exists. Repositories such as arxiv and journals concentrate the knowledge generated by scientists.

You: How to Steer the Future of Humanity? Education of the young to be broadly thoughtful and Action-oriented

I agree, education is fundamental to steer the future. Thanks again for your comments. I'll try to read and comment on your essay asap.

Good luck in the competition!

Best Regards

Israel

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 05:18 GMT
Israel Perez,

"In a united world, in a world free of poverty, it seems to me, there should be no borders, one common language, one economical, political, social, and cultural system; one common philosophy."

Do away with diversity?

"Our first mission is then to create the conditions and means so that the present and future generations enjoy the basic human rights, namely: access to food and water, education, job and health."

Our present goals.

"One can compare the present state of humanity to an adolescent who is still forging his character and future. In the future, humanity will reach adulthood and will be able to make wise decisions. Hopefully by then, there will not be borders, poverty, or wars. Once our basic problems are solved, we will relax and enjoy our lives, just like retirees. Of course, this will not imply that progress will stop, it will mean that we have reached stability and that the world is united."

Once we solve our basic problems, we must continue to work. It will require work and sacrifice to maintain a just stability. Conformity is not to be desired over diversity as a goal. Goodness comes in both forms. So does evil. The struggle to have goodness victorious over evil will continue into your ideal world. I think that having formalized unity as an ideal puts goodness at risk. I see little difference between formalized and forced unity. I share your humanitarian goals but not your politics. I won't be rating your essay, so no harm done. Good luck.

If I have misunderstood you, please tell me.

James Putnam

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Author Israel Perez replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:17 GMT
Hi James

I'd like to make some comments concerning the issues you raise.

Do away with diversity?

To answer your question we just have to look back to our history. Take for instance the American civil war in 1861-1865. Thanks to that war, today USA is not divided in North and South. Just a small quotation:

"After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 Union...

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James A Putnam replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 13:50 GMT
Israel Perez,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Yes it did clarify your essay for me. I reread it now in light of your reply. Thank you for sharing your opinion through your essay. Good luck in the contest.

James

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James A Putnam replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 14:43 GMT
Dear Israel,

I just rated your essay. It had to have raised up in the standings. I didn't look at what it was. I am surprised to see where it is now. If your rating did not increase, or worse decreased, please let me know.

James

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 19:48 GMT
Israel, I like your perspective, values, and goals as expressed here. Finding genuine formal union (as between nations) may be very difficult or even out of reach, but (as others here have suggested), our informal social networks might enable our being able to accomplish this "underneath" our nation-states. Cheers.

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 19:51 GMT
That was me, author Neil Bates, showing as Anonymous even though the screen looked just the same as it did while I was still logged in (i.e., had the "Logout" showing.) Please, FQXi, fix this - how about showing the comment author heading on top of preview?

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Author Israel Perez replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:22 GMT
Hi Neil

Thanks for reading and commenting. Indeed, finding union is the most difficult part. I do not see clear how to solve this problem. As I mentioned in my essay, the struggle for supremacy may lead us to war. This is something that many people still do not understand, but it is a reality well studied by political scientists.

Cheers and good luck in the contests

Israel

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 04:33 GMT
Hi Israel,

Indeed the problem is quite complex.

I agree first priority must lie in fighting poverty means access to food and water.

The problem lies in the steering capacity of this complex world. Individuals with different need organized in local communities with their need in countries with different needs etc. That is maybe why we would like to have a united world with common goals. Steering would be much easier.

Is that the only possibilty to steer the world?

Regards

Luca

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Luca Valeri replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 06:15 GMT
This was me. It logged me out. Had to change my babies diaper :-)

Luca

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Author Israel Perez replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:34 GMT
Hi Luca

Thanks for reading my essay and commenting.

Is that the only possibilty to steer the world?

Somebody asked me this same question some time ago and I don't think I'm the right person to answer it. Economists, political scientists, presidents will have a better answer because the answer requires a deep knowledge in different aspects of life such as politics, economy, science and technology, demography, etc. Despite this I think that we all have similar problems and we should work for the same goals.

There are several ways to steer humanity and this would depend on the goals. Even if nations have the same goals, they can have several methods that led to the same goals. That's why we should first define our major ideals and then work for those goals. From my perspective, well-being is such an ideal because it encompasses many aspects of human life. Once we know our ideals, we have to develop the methods to achieve them and then take actions. I think this is the most difficult part but history has shown us that this is possible.

Cheers

Israel

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