“Culturally Insensitive Gáy Pôrn (featuring a Didgeridoo)” – (TJ Kirk)

Here we have something that made me laugh and damn near spit out my coffee this morning. And that was just reading the title of the video!

It seems that Men.com has found a whole new use for the Didgeridoo.

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The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists

I first came across this whole situation yesterday when browsing Twitter. It peaked my interest, being that I at first mistook it as a retort to a previously published (and very much criticized) paper on (I believe) the similarities of Trans-racialism and Transgenderism. Do not quote me on this, I don’t directly deal with this stuff (persay), but I often find myself discussing it with someone directly involved in these areas.

Either way, though it seems that the internet is incapable of being even slightly critical of the rational Gods of Atheism, for me, that luxury went away a long time ago. Which is why when I suddenly start seeing tweets from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and other so called thinkers praising some paper that I am unsure of, my first instinct is “I must be missing something here”. Good thing I know the right people to help me verify this stuff.

If my grasp is correct . . . what we have here is an EXTREMELY frustrating wasted opportunity. Rather than use this as an opportunity to focus on the problem of academic journals publishing almost anything for the right price (note that the hoax paper was turned down by one journal, and the authors had to PAY for publication!), most of the attention is being put towards slamming gender studies.

For fuck sakes, you rationalist dipshits . . . these papers are benchmarks. They are sourced by media (among others) for any number of reasoning’s. Thus it is of the utmost importance that it is not easy to publish trash as credible material.

To miss this important teachable moment just because trashing Gender Studies is more enticing click bait (lets be honest!) is asinine. If anything, it exposes on a brilliantly grand scale what I have known for a long time already . . . that even the so called “rational” community isn’t beyond ideological sheepishness.

Click below to read the full article. Comments on the article can be left there, and comments on my input can be left here.

Ketan Joshi

There’s a multi-directional cacophony of gleeful back-patting ringing out across my Twitter feed at the moment. The outpouring of joy stems from an article published in Skeptic Magazine. Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay managed to submit a hoax article to a gender studies journal, and are hailing this as a profound, thermonuclear indictment on the entirety of gender studies, social science and the “academic left”. They wrote that:

“We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal” 

Their article was initially rejected by a journal, “NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies”. But they were referred to a smaller outlet, ‘Cogent Social Sciences’, that offers publication where you ‘pay what you like’ (apparently, they didn’t pay anything).

On the face of…

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What Is The Value Of Life? + Other Realizations Of 3 Decades Of Existence

I’m getting old.

In truth, I am only 28, going on 29 this June. Some would say that I am still a spring chicken. Or as my old boss would say, a young buck (I don’t think he knew that there was a racial element to the term). Either way, I haven’t been around all that long compared to many old fucks.
I don’t really see myself as having much going on in the long term, either. I always say that I really can’t see anything beyond 50.

In truth, I have never looked all that far ahead. Something that started in my rough period of high school. A time of life when my main motivation was some future date of suicide  which would never materialize. Yes, it was a coping mechanism of my young mind. With a successful outcome, it would seem.

It would seem. Funny way to showcase the obvious (I assure you that I am not the first ever super natural entity to ghost write my own blog. Literally!). Yet, fitting.

The journey of the years following was rewarding. Filled with new experiences, interactions and people. Many of the experiences of teenagers occurred for me in adulthood, but none the less, I’ve done things. More than many who know me would ever realize.But it all has become rather stagnant of late. And I am running low on distractions, of late.

I suppose that this period was always coming, however.

I have never really felt myself working towards any long term goals. I know of and seen those people around me (in high school mainly). And I even came across a few after. Generally, they were to good to even both respecting the peasant cashier and former classmate serving them.
But either way, I never could see that far ahead.  So I didn’t even bother trying, opting to just live day to day. School was less about preparation for life than it was a time to see friends. Until work became the new combination socialization place and distraction (shitty irrational jobs).

At first, I had a fairly healthy social life outside of the workplace. But even that eventually faltered as people made the wise decision to move away to greener pastures. Though I wanted to, I felt stuck here, in obligation to my needing folks. Something I don’t even think my closest relatives understand (though I don’t listen to any of their advice anyway, being that they have never demonstrated any other agenda than having all of the family in (or near) the center of the universe . . . Winnipeg).
The internet helped for awhile. Being a keyboard militant atheist (among other things) gave me something to do, a group to identify with, and other factors that drive macros everywhere. But even that can only go so far before one gets bored. Of having the same old conversations. Same lines, different audiences.

I would have my world (0r at least, my perception of it) altered by the introduction of philosophy to my life. Not officially persay. I have not taken any philosophy courses, and can’t quote Descartes, Nietzsche or Heidegger on demand. Philosophy purists (if you will) have used this against me in my short lived visits into philosophy groups, when I couldn’t refute using quotes from whomever. But those groups (only one really) were fun to play in. Its amusing to see so called philosophers (studied ones, no less!) not recognizing nihilism when its right in their faces.

Either way, though I don’t like creating or enabling dichotomies, it seems to me that there are 2 types of philosopher. Those that are more than happy to interact (of which generally don’t seem to get it), and those that don’t interact generally (often regarded as the better philosophers).
Despite the world desperately needing the input of the latter group, they tend to stay away from the public domain. Which is unfortunate, since good advise can NEVER permeate if it is only seen in academic circles.

Despite all of this, I do not call myself a philosopher. Not even because its status as a label (I try and stay away from unnecessary ones). Its more of a combination of the adjective  seeming unwarranted (I have not formally studied philosophy) and unfitting (I just can’t see myself as deserving). Comparatively to some of the others that call themselves philosophers, maybe (some of these people make me look like Nietzsche). But none the less, I am undeserving.

Either way, one may wonder where I am going with this. I went from my depressing life, to some tangent on not feeling that I am philosopher. It ties in however.

I mentioned earlier that philosophy helped me in my perception of the world around me. The best way to describe it, is that its influence enabled me to take a step back from largely EVERYTHING and EVERYONE, in order to gain a better picture. This insight helped me to see the problems with any number of ideologies (including some of my own). Though Atheism previously bored me, this change made many of its adherents frustrating (the full range of this experience can be read from the start in the Atheism Criticisms category of this blog).
Being able to see these problems, and being able to communicate them, are 2 VERY different things however. People stuck in the grips of ideologies of ANY kind are not often open to compromise. I suppose I thought I would see a different result because I was talking to a group that takes pride in self-labeling themselves as logical, rational, reasonable, free thinking.
However, in the age of the digital echo chamber, such are now only empty labels. Logic, Reason, Rationality, Nuance, Free Thinker, Truth. Anyone that stings 2 thoughts together can (and often DOES!) call it any of the above. And as for Truth, that is another word that can (and HAS!) been hijacked by the inept. Thus, I neither use nor take seriously ANY of them in conversation.

Its not necessary to label persons or arguments with intellectual buzzwords. Because these traits will be apparent even without highlighting them.

I titled this piece “What Is The Value Of Life?”.

Its an interesting question. It is also interesting how I posed the question when I first started typing this out. Rather than the seemingly more humanistic Does Life Have Value? , I went instead with the more corporate and legal resembling What Is The Value Of Life? . The question that a court or corporation is forced to consider if their malpractice causes injury or fatality to innocent bystanders.

Its an interesting question to ponder, even in just relating to the word value. What does this mean to you?

For many, the money element is the most controversial. The monetary worth of those we love and care about is a necessary enigma for those dealing with class action lawsuits or life insurance policies. But outside of money, what is value?

Presence? Sentiment? Reliability?

I have no answer to this question. I don’t even know if there really is (should there be?) an answer to this question. Its up to you how in depth you want to take it, I suppose.

Though I do not have any thoughts on the interpretation of Value in the posed question, I do have an answer to the question as posed in the typical manor of this discussion. That answer being that, No, life does not have any intrinsic value.

Be it plant, animal, human (even though we are in the last category), or bacteria, there is no value to any of it. The only value is what we assign. But in the grand scheme of things, this is still moot.

That is correct. Outside of the bubble of human consciousness, our existence has no value. No reason for being. No purpose. No worth. Its a big part of what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom (and biotic life, really). Our manufactured sense of purpose.

So no, I don’t think we have any purpose, or point. In a way, I envy plants, animals, bacteria, and even less intelligent humans for not having to ever face this knowledge, this ultimate red pill. I envy them that come at me with claws out due to my nonchalant stance towards things like abortion. I remember the days before my unfiltered acceptance of reality would often get me labeled as Evil or Psychopathic.

Its funny to hear such words as that, as though I am another Hitler or Stalin. Because I am far from it. I am just an everyday person, like anyone else walking the streets of a city or town near you. I am annoyed by (and thus tend to avoid) people, but I still am compassionate. I give to different charities that do good works towards the likes of both endangered and harmed people AND animals. I do what I can to put the macro’s of my society back on track from bickering so we can focus on the big ticket items that harm us all (like climate change).

Humans annoy me. But I am still one.

There are people and creatures near and dear to me that I assign value to. I just don’t regard my species (or a species near and dear to us, such as the feline) as being MORE valuable for some reason. With a world population that is well beyond any former metric of prosperous , humans are in no way an endangered species. Past societies would likley marvel at the exponential growth of our population in the post petroleum years.

If anything, our exponential growth is turning us (and almost everything else alive today) into an endangered species. Energy and resource waste aside, on a planet with finite (and ever shrinking!) resources, and in an ever more unstable climate, to much emphasis on pro-birth is going to bite us collectively in the ass.

 

 

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“Liberal Purists” Vs. “Corprate Democrats”

While this issue has crossed my mind before (long before the election), recent events have pushed it to the forefront for many. It started with a segment from Bill Maher’s weekly show “Real Time”, in which he told liberal purists to basically go fuck themselves. It was not a bad segment. If anything, I think it was about time for someone to say it.

But as expected, there was backlash. Though likley from multiple sources, the one I came across (and the one I will respond to) originated on Kyle Kulinski’s Secular Talk news show. While I understand where he is coming from and express some agreement, there are problems.

But first, for context, here are both applicable segments (as featured on the Secular Talk channel).

I like the segment on the part of Maher (as I have said before). And I agree that Kyle has a point. But as seems to be a habit of Kulinski, he has turned it into a dichotomy. Bill Maher and defenders of the corporate democrats Vs “WE TOLD YOU SO!” liberals.

The first thing I have to acknowledge is the elephant in the room. The deception that cost the DNC the election (not REALLY, but none the less . . . ). Sanders should have been at the helm. He was, and really still is, the most popular politician in America. He is slowly pissing away that credibility in touring with the status quo democrats (as opposed to telling them to go fuck themselves. Or just retiring!). But none the less, he has something that Americans like. He EVEN NOW easily unites both populist branches of American politics, despite having several scary labels attributed to him. If he was run against Trump, he would have EASILY wiped the floor with him.

This is not to diminish Hillary however. Though certainly not the IDEAL candidate by any means of measure, she became a better candidate in the days leading up to the election. She had to as a women (like it or not, as a women, you have to be EXTREMELY well read even when in competition with an orangutan). But even with that, there was just to much baggage.
Stealing the nomination from Bernie Sanders was a big part of it. But there was also a lot beyond that. Not just the emails, and other stuff that blew up just before the vote either. Also legacy hatred (some of it which may even be more on Bill than her), and flat out irrational and unfounded disdain. I am sure we have all seen this in friends and family that talk about all of her alleged and hard to find crooked dealings. Despite the fact that Trump has likley committed every one of those allegations IN REALITY. But that doesn’t fly for these people because . . . fuck it.

Find me a person (or several people) that have verifiable claims of being screwed over financially by the Clinton’s and I will take the crooked Hillary thing seriously. That’s not to end the conversation either. If you knew such a detail, feel free to comment.
I just know that asking the same question of Trump would result in MANY results. And that’s just the ones we know about.

Either way, there were both legitimate and stupid reasons to not be in favor of a Hillary led democratic campaign against a Trump led GOP campaign. One of the more glaring ones seemingly being showcased by Kyle Kulinski, was this potential outcome. President Trump.

Uh. Even after 100 days, those 2 words just DO NOT belong together. Like delicious dogshit.

Either way, while that turned out to INDEED be a factor that should have been taken into consideration, its also a somewhat false argument. Because it is a self fulfilling prophecy set in motion by the left itself.

I get it. Bernie Sanders was, as far as candidates come, superb. He had an excellent history both in terms of activism and voting. He had a platform that energized Americans (particularly otherwise politically apathetic liberals!) to a degree that may well have surpassed even Obama’s 2008 campaign. And his message was universal. Given the chance, he would likley have resonated with a huge cohort of the population that ended up casting the “Fuck it!” vote for Trump.
Since all Trump could really bring to the table was a salesman’s mentality and carefully chosen sticky insults (crafted by psychological experts), it would likley have been a breeze.

Yes. Looking back, if the goal of the DNC is to WIN, one would have to be comatose to not ask “What the FUCK?!”. One theory I have is that Bernie would be horrible for corporate donations, and as such needs to be stymied at all costs (even if it means conceding the election). If this were the case, it would put the DNC pretty much on par with the GOP as “The most dangerous organization in human history” (to quote Noam Chomsky).

But tin foil aside, yes, what happened wasn’t right by ANY means. However, even with the underhanded way that Hillary ended up in the position, what is the more logical thing to do?
Abstain, or worse, help move Trump (a PROVEN lyin and crooked buffoon!) into office by voting him in? Or casting a vote for Hillary, a candidate that is far from ideal, yet competent enough to actually KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THE JOB ENTAILS?!

“We told you so!”

On behalf of the American left that actually participated by voting either Dem or independent, and on behalf of the rest of the world looking on in surreal agony, let me say 2 words . . . fuck you.

While some of the worries expressed by Maher and others like him may be questionable, because of you asshole abstainers, the world is creeping ever closer to . . . WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!

Nuclear War? Hitler 2.0?

I have no idea. I feel for every single person out there that has children living anywhere on this rock. Because be it in the short or the long term (turning the clock back on climate change), the left screwed them over.
Yes, it IS the right that is running rampant back to the 1800’s. And yes, even the corporate democrats are more open to fossil fuels than one would like. But at least they ACKNOWLEDGE climate change.
So instead of competency, we end up with a baboon and puppet that makes Sarah Palin look like a scholar in comparison. Fine, possibly to far. But at least I know where she stands!

S: “Drill baby Drill!”

T: “Pharmaceuticals are far to expensive! . . . oh, so you need less regulation . . . Nothing to see here folks!”

Indeed, American liberals got screwed over by their supposedly representing party. But what culminated following November 8th was not inevitable by any means. It did not have to happen. So while I acknowledge the legitimacy behind the hesitation to support Hillary . . . piss off with the “We told you so!” shit.
Many criticize the American right for being blindly patriotic to a point of danger. Well, I think that something similar exists on the left. Only in that case, these people are so blindly fixated on their flawed system that they negate to consider that they are a SUPERPOWER. Like it or not, American decisions matter.

Despite this scathing criticism, I have to congratulate cohorts of the left for using this time to seek viable change. Though at least 3 grassroots groups have sprung up seeking candidates of change, Justice Democrats seems to be one of the more popular ones. And they are vetting and running candidates even faster than I thought they would. Organized and created in January (if memory serves), they are already pushing for high level DNC positions. And I think these people actually have a chance.

While I knew that Bernie’s run would energize a new generation even if he was unsuccessful, I have to admit that President Trump is likley creating momentum that we may not have seen under Hillary.

The only silver lining to this presidency that I have been able to find so far.

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Nations Banning Kosher / Halal Meat, And Norway Pondering Banning Circumcision

This is a rather interesting one to chew on. Belgium (the latest out of a number of nations in Europe) on the verge of banning the production of Halal / Kosher meat products. Though it would seem a silly (and possibly discriminatory) move on its face, it turns out that there is an animal rights angle to it.

For meat to be considered kosher by Jews or halal by Muslims, the animal must be conscious when killed. In theory, that goes against the law since slaughterhouses are required to electrically stun the animals first, to lessen mental and physical suffering. Most countries have granted exemptions for religious slaughter, but in Europe, that unanimity is crumbling.

You learn something new every day. That Kosher / Halal meat at the supermarket is not exactly like everything else right next to it. In my opinion, its actually worse than the infamous and evil western comfort food Foie Gras.

Whats worse than that is how often I see those Halal items (at least at my local supermarket) marked down, with many still sitting on the shelf with few days left on the expiration date. Not only will the animal have suffered pointlessly, it will also have been for nothing.

In all, I can’t say I disagree all that much with such a law (banning the production of Kosher / Halal meat). It could be argued as pointless, being that these products will be imported from (and thus, produced) elsewhere. But nations have a right to govern as they want in their territories, so if they want to outlaw production methods deemed inhumane, so be it. And besides, if everyone took the “Well the US isn’t taking steps to curb carbon emissions, why should we?” stance on everything . . . we know how that would end.

Were pretty sure already. But that would be just further assurance.

The environment committee of southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect in September 2019 if the parliament’s plenary approves the ban later this month.

N0 matter what happens in Belgium, it won’t be for another 2 years anyway.

Norway Government Party Weighs Banning Circumcision, Reaping Fury From Rabbis and Jewish Groups

Also in the category of religiously based abuse (this time to a child, rather than an animal however), we have circumcision. And a rather amusing quote.

“This decision, in the heart of Western Europe and the center of the European Union, sends a terrible message to Jewish communities throughout our continent that Jews are unwanted. … We call on legislators to step back from the brink of the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II.”

Just a little over the top, don’t you think? Apparently not.

My viewpoint on this is obvious. I have no tolerance for the Catholic churches seemingly official policy of turning a blind eye to the diddling of children in its flock, so I certainly have no tolerance for something that is just as bad. Actually no, worse.

And no. There is a big difference between systematic discrimination and genocide, and putting your foot down on practices that are genuine child abuse. To pull the holocaust card in this case is just insulting to the millions lost to that horror.

It bears remembering that, if the Progress Party has its way, circumcision will remain legal in Norway, but only for those 16 and older. At that age, should an uncircumcised believer desire to go under the knife, the bill before parliament allows such an informed decision.

Offering that choice strikes me as a great deal more enlightened than having adults decide that the private parts of their babies or toddlers must be trimmed with a sharp instrument, based on nothing but “tradition.”

And there it is.

Its not about discrimination or antisemitism, as is the case being made (unsurprisingly, being that such is really the ONLY case that can be made). Its about choice, mandating that the people directly impacted by the actions actually have a say in the matter.

And its not just those living with the beliefs of Judaism and Islam that are affected by this either. To my knowledge, my family has no direct connection to either faith. In fact, most of us  tend to be drawn more to Roman Catholicism (the faith of my grandparents). Despite this, I also didn’t have a choice.

In truth, its something that I had never given a thought to for the vast majority of my life. I just didn’t know (how often do you go around showing other friends your pecker? Not a part of life for many, I would imagine. But I won’t judge, either!).
And even in the extremely odd circumstance where the topic would come to mind for some reason or another, I had picked up somewhere that it was for my benefit. A more healthy and hygienic way to be.

Yet that is not really the case either. There are indeed exceptions that will favor circumcision. But that can be said for the removal of virtually ANY body part.

Religion, tradition, ignorance, it really does not matter the motivation. Its to late for me to make the decision for myself (as is the case for millions of people). But its not to late to give the decision back to children everywhere.

Good for the Progress party in Norway for attempting to bring this into the mainstream by way of a change in legislation. Hopefully the cause will be taken up by many others as well.

If you have some time to devote to a podcast (great way to motivate one to do housework!), I recommend this episode of Aron Ra’s podcast The RAman. I learned many things I didn’t have a clue about previously, and I suspect that you will to.

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The Evil Of Man

Though I don’t engage in the world of religious debate nearly as much as I once did (by that standard, not at all really!), I still have strong feelings, though they are now more focused than they used to be. Although I have adopted a more or less live and let live philosophy, I have no tolerance for abusers of power. People that use their religious credentials to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting (or UNWILLING) flock. In fact, flock may not always be the best term. As in the story I am about to share, not all the victims of religious abuses necessarily have a choice in the matter.

A nun in Argentina is being accused of helping to cover up the sexual abuse of several priests, as was only revealed recently by a now teenage survive of the abuse. At a school for deaf children.

The quoted material following was written by David G. McAfee and published VIA The Friendly Atheist’s platform.

It’s not often that a story involving the Catholic Church and sexual assault shocks me, but this is one of them: a nun in Argentina is accused of helping several priests rape children at a school for the hearing impaired, and covering up their crimes.

I will stop here and say that, at this point, NOTHING (this included!) shocks me anymore, in terms of abuses ignored, condoned and practiced by church officials of all stripes. Maybe its because I know of so many cases of such evil that I have become desensitized to it. Maybe its because I know how power dynamics work in humans.

Either way, nothing surprises me anymore. The sooner we all accept that the only difference between a church member of ANY level and us is label, the better off the victims of the crimes of these opportunistic scumbags will be.

Investigators began looking into Kosaka Kumiko, who was reportedly charged Friday with physically abusing the kids and helping the priests sexually abuse them, after a 17-year-old girl said the nun covered up her sexual assault by forcing her to wear a diaper in class at age five to conceal bleeding. The five priests accused of assault were arrested last year.

For her part, Kumiko has denied the allegations.

I knew nothing of the abuses, I watched over the children… I’m innocent… I did not know about the abuses. I am a good person that has given my life to God.

Everyone has a right to a fair trial, and all such allegations like this need to be carefully considered.

But having said that . . . what a piece of work.

The police don’t go around arresting church officials for no reason. There has to be good reason to pull the trigger on that warrant (particularly in a place like Argentina, I would think). As for playing the god card . . . BIG SURPRISE!

Sorry lady . . . having seen the “I swear to god!” shtick used so many times by liars on shows like Dr Phil (I USED to watch it), it no longer works on me. If anything, it has the opposite affect.

Although this is a confusing case, one thing is clear: these children were hurt by their caretakers — those who allegedly gave themselves to a moral deity — and that is unacceptable, whether or not a nun was involved.

Religious organizations, and the Catholic Church specifically, have failed at preventing incidents like this from occurring and holding their representatives accountable when they do. This isn’t an isolated event.

Its why I call the Catholic church one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) organized crime organizations in the world.

Priests and nuns aren’t above the law, nor should they be above religious reproach. We need to ensure children are protected from people who will use the shield of religion to hide their despicable behavior and help them expose abuses to sunlight. If the Church won’t help, then the Church should be punished accordingly.

Exactly.

#InvadeTheVatican

Does this type of thing happen because terrible people are drawn to positions of power within the Church, or is it a result of the faith itself and its dogmatic celibacy requirement for clergymen? I suppose we don’t know for sure, but I think we can all agree it needs to end.

Its an interesting thing to ponder. And I don’t think its as much a matter of either/or, as it is a mixture of many factors.

There is no doubt that the power of the priesthood is a draw for many. Its a position of almost infallible authority, ripe for exploitation by certain personality types. And I have no doubt that the celibacy requirement also feeds into this.  Particularly in the case of the churches everlasting nemesis, homosexual pedophilia. What other context in the world would one with such behavioral traits be so at home? None.
And what other organization in the world has done so much to remain a brick wall to the pursuit of justice of such crimes (pedophilia of any kind)? None.

Indeed, it needs to end. But that will only happen if religious organizations lose their infallible status. If officials refuse to make changes from within, than outside intervention should not be off the table.

If there is continued refusal of a given religious organization to comply with a given jurisdictions requests, how about revoking  its tax free status?
They are not respecting the land on which they are directly affecting in their operations, so why should they get our respect?

 

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“STEPHEN HAWKING WARNS WE HAVE 100 YEARS TO LEAVE EARTH” – (Newsweek)

Stephen Hawking is at it again.

He said something like this last year, and I thought about writing a piece criticizing it then. But I decided not to. Mainly because I thought I was missing something. Being that he is Stephen Hawking . . . and I am me.

However, being that this has come up yet again, I feel a need to comment. To comment on this new trend of the wise and the wealthy claiming that the best future for us as a species,  is off of this planet. To me, it seems not just an unlikely proposition (given the time frame), but also delusional.

http://www.newsweek.com/stephen-hawking-warns-100-years-earth-extinction-593609

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that humanity needs to become a multi-planetary species within the next century in order to avoid extinction.

I do not really doubt the assessment. These days, I increasingly wonder if 100 years is being generous. Things are getting interesting enough as to make me wonder if millennial’s investing in pensions is just a waste of money. I actually had to consider this  myself very recently (when given a pension application from my workplace). 

As for humans needing to become interplanetary . . . lets evaluate that assertion. Though inter (intra?) planetary travel may well be in our future, I don’t think it (let alone the possibility of life on another planet!) will occur within the next 100 years. Nor should it be the focus either.  

Its easy for the Hawkings, Musks and Branson’s of the world to look to the skies (and Mars) for a new home away from home. Aside from money and status allowing for the exploration of this dream, that money and status also guarantees them a place in this new world. Though presumably they would CLAIM to be doing this research for altruistic reasons (has anyone pressed any of these people on this?), with the structure of our societies and the typically self serving nature of the species, I really doubt there will be much room for most of the plebs in this newfound Oasis.
If I see this Mars experiment as anything, its an experiment and project of (and for!) the rich. For one thing, I am unclear as to how one can be self sustaining on a planet without even an atmosphere to offer protection. Even if it is just a stepping stone to who knows what . . . its not a very good one.  And we can be sure that even if the scientist’s pull this off, making the transition will not be easy. And likley not cheap either. 

One could interpret this whole “humanity must find a new planet to avoid extinction” in a dark way. Saving even a small group of the most wise or well to do people on earth would in fact count as avoiding extinction. They would more than likely rebuild in the new world. Without an effort to at least REIN IN the coming problems and calamities of past scientific breakthroughs before focusing on this new venture, its hard to imagine a different ending. 

One should also consider human nature when contemplating this big move. Looking around at what we humans typically call accomplishments, 3 traits come to mind. 

1.) Arrogance

2.) Self Serving

3.) Short Sighted

Take this little blue ball of life that spawned and nurtured us into existence. From the very beginning, rather than  regarding it as something to be cherished and protected, it was typically viewed as a challenge. Something to be dominated, a beast to be tamed. Though this phenomenon is now more visible than even before (thanks to modern equipment and construction techniques), it has always been the case. Though the path of destruction left in our wake previous to the industrial revolution and petroleum was relatively small, it is now effectively all encompassing.  Even places that we do not live (and have never lived!) are now chronically changed due to our reckless disregard. Even many previously unexplored areas of our planet (like many areas of the deep Ocean) have our fingerprints all over the place!
Be it the shrinking Arctic and Antarctic ice masses, or the ever growing plastic soup that is increasingly plaguing every single ocean (and even some fresh water bodies like the Great Lakes), our ability to trash is almost incomprehensible. Even outer space isn’t beyond our reach, with all manor of space junk becoming problematic for current equipment. Even the moon (and probably Mars) has some of our junk left behind (along with the various explorers fired off into the depths, never to return).

Fine, the last 2 may not exactly be fair. The knowledge factor holds a lot of weight for most. If it costs millions / billions to make these projects happen, then a little clutter certainly won’t matter a whole lot to most.

For me however, it is all part of the big picture.

To condense this all nicely, the quote is right. Humans are a virus. A cancer to virtually anything we touch. I doubt this will change even if our surroundings do. Be it the miserable hellhole that is Mars or some other distant planet, humans may move, but our internal workings won’t change.

We even completely saturate invisible radio spectrum! Other planets don’t stand a chance.

Given this, I really do find a need to ask a question that will be seen as unthinkable by many. That question being, is it all worth it? We have hundreds of years of history to look back upon for context. Generally, we don’t learn.

This is not to say that I am a red buttoner (a name for people that would eliminate the human race if given the chance at the red button). In fact, to be perfectly frank, I think that many of these so called red buttoners should take some SELF initiative towards that end goal, if they really think that is the best solution.

We should do what we can to reverse the mess that we have caused to the earth (even if results may not be ideal). But as for evicting when times get tough, I think it would be unethical. Not just due to those left behind (human and creature), but also for the other pristine worlds that will no doubt be forever altered by our presence.

Even if I step aside from the entire previous argument and just look at this from a naturalistic standpoint, I still come to a similar conclusion. The earth is a self resetting system. Life forms come and go. If we are destined to be just another evolutionary cul-de-sac (to reference George Carlin), that wouldn’t bother me. Entropy is a part of life.

I suspect that we will ultimately end up going this route anyway. Though our decisions now may well decide how rough that road will be.

As difficult as it may be for many to comprehend, there is nothing wrong with just letting nature take its course.

 

Existential risks include climate change, overpopulation, epidemics and asteroid strikes, according to Hawking.

Efforts to create a human colony on Mars are already underway, with billionaire Elon Musk hoping to establish a settlement within the next few decades through his aerospace firm SpaceX. “I don’t have a doomsday prophecy,” Musk said in 2016, “but history suggests some doomsday event will happen.”

I don’t doubt it. But I DO doubt that we will escape that fate on a planet that I can not see us as having any hope of making a self sufficient run. Post apocalyptic earth or post apocalyptic mars.

Would it really matter?

Hawking predicted last year that the chance of a species-ending event on Earth was a “near certainty” when all possibilities were taken into consideration.

“Although the chance of disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next 1,000 or 10,000 years,” Hawking told the Oxford University Union in November.

“By that time, we should have spread out into space and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.”

I think I have addressed this in the previous paragraphs.

Despite the dire warning, Hawking did have some positive news for the assembled students. He pointed to how our fundamental understanding of the universe has advanced in his lifetime and said it is a “glorious time to be alive and doing research into theoretical physics.”

He added: “Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 50 years and I am happy if I have made a small contribution. The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to understanding the laws that govern us and the universe is certainly a triumph.”

THAT is his positive news? That humans are better off and triumphant because of misdirected efforts at understanding our universe?
(
as opposed to finding ways to reverse our slow suicide)

Again, that may be a bit harsh. But considering the supposedly wise mind that we are dealing with, the material comes across as far from it.

Mars can be a VERY long term goal. Something to occupy our time once more pressing circumstances have been dealt with to the best of our ability.
But Mars as a replacement for a planet that our carelessness is slowly sucking dry?

No.

Frankly, that is delusional thinking that may well ENSURE the endgame that these people desperately want to avoid.

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