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02/10/2013

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Andrew Kirk

Watched the vid. It is somehow very, very sad. Morpho-Bank, indeed.

Ben

Incredible blog entry. There really is a lot to learn here, clicking on all of the links are a must if you're ignorant about this stuff like I am.

Diogenes

Dave,

I love you, man - just say'n

It's always about perspectives - EVERYTHING ... it's that matryoshka doll thing. (thanks again for that metaphor) Most stuck in the tiniest, adolescent, narcissistic ones.

Great post - thanks. Takes me back to Koestler and human evolution gone wrong. And, this came to mind...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx2GoEV5yf0

As Ever...

Martin

Here's my second video suggestion for DOTE:
http://energy-reality.org/

Okay, the site alleges there is some way out away from these images, to some sort of "energy future,"
but there are hundreds of thousands of other photos that could be inserted from vivid energy dumps across the globe, and blueprints for many, many more energy projectsto come that could be the subject of next decade's coffeetable book.
Still, I like the concept.

Oliver

Thanks Dave, this post is better than any LSD in opening the mind. That is, of course, if one's mind has evolved beyond the level of some of the commenters on the article you linked to: Ancestor of All Placental Mammals Revealed.

Jeez, why do creationists even bother to visit science sites? I suppose it's the same reason self-appointed moral guardians visit porn sites. ;-)

JohnWDB

@Martin, re: the video, it appears even wind farms bother them. As such, the only energy future they could be comfortable with would be one in which we use far less energy...which would be more like a third-world agrarian society. Good luck with raising support for that.

If wind farms are a problem, though, then really anything industrial is a problem, or anything involving concrete and steel. I think most of us would rather live in a world without those things but still benefit from their conveniences. I'd like to live in the garden of eden but still have endless information, entertainment, air-conditioning, and hot water.

The key is obviously consuming less, but humans en masse are not capable of that. Even the indignant hipsters aren't capable of that, using iphones and eating imported quinoa-asparagus wraps while they scoff at polluters. We eventually will consume less, or consume each other, but only because of cruel necessity, not choice.

Brian

So, thought experiment...

If the Anthropocene ends in another extinction of the dominant life form on the planet (namely, us), what would be your guess for the next "mother of life forms" in whatever age follows?

Insects are always popular, but my vote might be for yet another small mammal, maybe a vole (based mostly on Murphy's Law and my inability to keep these little creatures from destroying my lawn each winter). Creatures similar to this have survived hotter and colder climates, meteor impacts, the existence of other dominant species, disease, etc. The track record suggests they have staying power.

Mr. Roboto

I recall reading a magazine article that said that the common ancestor of all complex multicellular organisms was the sea-sponge. Obviously, that's going rather further back than the common ancestor of all placental mammals.

Shawntoh

Great bloggin' as usual, sir. Bravo!

Why do I get the feeling, that is, since it clearly looks like we all came from some ratty lookin' squirrels and, in the 21st Century, when the nuke bombs and radioactive waste finishes off most of the mammals, starting with the humans, that the only thing left, or the last thing to die from the mammal family of creatures on earth, will be some mutated ratty lookin' squirrels or mutated squirrel-like rats?

Not even Samuel Beckett would be so cruel to come up with such irony, methinks, but somehow, rats, ragweed and roaches will be the only thing to survive, if anything at all, on earth from the fatal follies of humans...

Shawntoh

Forgive me, here's the reference to the "rats, ragweed and roaches"...

http://articles.philly.com/1991-08-16/news/25807639_1_mass-extinctions-david-jablonski-rain-forests

Mike Roberts

I just got round to this blog post. Thanks for updating us, Dave. This is fascinating stuff. It (scientific research) is, perhaps one of the aspects of civilisation that is actually worth preserving and will be missed as the world continues its simplification.

Deep time is certainly a difficult concept to wrap one's head around and, I think is a major problem with those who don't seem to grasp the science of various aspects of our environment and evolution.

On a less serious note, I wonder why video makers like to add irrelevant music to informational videos (not that I like it that much on entertainment videos).

Martin

@JohnWMB, you make perfect sense to me.
Wind, though, seems quite evidently full of problems: massive amounts of concrete and fossil fuel in the construction, intermittency, destruction of habitat, small-ball.
The amount of extractive mining that goes in to each of our western lives, from keyboard to screen to road to shoes, makes us beasts of the plains, even the quinoa-wrapped.
These well-intentioned opponents of the corporate extractive order seem to think, hope, plan for "sustainable" resources to replace each and every one of these massive extraction campaigns, as if we'll have cellphones made out of marshmallows and biomimic'd tapioca screens.
Intentional, voluntary, self-managed reduction of global energy demand - yeah, sure, coming right aroudn the bend.

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