Pat Oliphant by Pat Oliphant

Pat Oliphant

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  1. Stipple

    Stipple said, about 3 years ago

    I grew up in the fifties and sixties.
    What America is now is almost identical to Russia during the cold war years.
    And strangely enough, Russia is now closing in on how we were then.
    Life is odd at times.

  2. omQ R

    omQ R said, about 3 years ago


    Nah, Russia is regressing, too.

    A couple of months ago I was in Vienna when the story broke out that a villa, owned by the US, in the neighbourhood of a park I take my daughter to, was intercepting most of the city’s/country’s internet traffic run over fibre.

    What’s so interesting in Vienna? The International Atomic Energy Agency is based in Vienna as well as a whole plethora of other UN agencies and offices. I imagine something similar in Geneva, another city that hosts many UN offices.

  3. emptc12

    emptc12 said, about 3 years ago

    What you say is probably what each person within his generation has thought – and yet humanity somewhere, somehow continued. Some idea took hold and things got better, and that idea yielded to another —

    “The old order changeth yielding place to new
    And God fulfills himself in many ways
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world…”
    (“Morte d’Arthur,” Tennyson)
    However, I think our era is unique in that limited resource technology is the “good custom” we rely on. As you say, this is a perfect storm situation: I think our large population plus energy needs plus climate instability plus consumerism plus human psychology are major factors in the equation that will equal disaster. Not disaster for the planet, because it will adjust as always — but for us.
    To expand several levels on your “Hell in a Hand Basket” theme: Don’t you think that humanity in this present incarnation is reaching its limits to growth? How long can unstable beings as we are squabble like children with such dangerous weapons at our disposal? I’m thinking beyond poison gas and nuclear, toward an imminent viral tsunami in the future. We could be the unwitting agents the Earth uses to cleanse itself of us.
    Would an “upgrade” (or a “downgrade,” a downsizing) be necessary to sustain us further? An adjustment so we operate beyond organic limitations? We have to be either less intelligent (as a harmonious hive society) or more intelligent (as in quantum computers) to meet coming challenges, I think.
    A great speculative fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle,, THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE, shows a civilization that is limited by its biology and endlessly cycles through disasters. Its underlying theme is, Do intelligent life forms physically evolve once they form civilizations? And, Does the underlying biology of a species ultimately limit its ability to adapt and survive?
    I think terrestrial biology limits our thoughts and actions, and that our present inconveniences and disagreements are childplay in comparison to coming problems. Some adult intervention is needed.
    Think no small thoughts! If nothing else, it’s entertaining.

  4. dennis17

    dennis17 said, about 3 years ago

    Gentlemen (and non-gentlemen) do read each other’s mail. Reasonably competent ones don’t get caught at it. Bugging friendly heads of state is something really not to get caught at.

  5. Stipple

    Stipple said, about 3 years ago

    The problem most threatening is one never arising before.
    World population versus World food supply, If a perfect world with unlimited oil based fertilizer and optimized GMO crops AND disaster free infrastructure to deliver food equally to all peoples everywhere…
    Food runs out in 2050.
    None of those three requirements will be met and two of them are actively fought against.
    Ypoons7666 and I cannot be further apart in philosophy, but science cares not for philosophy and apparently we are seeing similar ends through very different eyes.
    It is truly an end not previously a problem at any other time in the history of Man.

  6. Stipple

    Stipple said, about 3 years ago

    Sorry, belief in magic is a major impediment to solving the problems.
    Magic has never worked in the history of the world, period.
    Counting on it when the very existence of civilization is at risk is the height of foolishness for those wishing to survive.
    Those who expect magic to save them may not care, but being rational I am hoping for realistic solutions which can only come about with a majority of people being rational.
    I am not having much hope when reading posts like above.

  7. omQ R

    omQ R said, about 3 years ago


    Baslim is one of “our” science geeks on this site. I don’t think science would be 2nd in any of his posts.

  8. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, about 3 years ago

    Progress would be a World that does not see the need for a dominant power. Given the historical failure of empires, such a world order could evolve, possibly some version of United Nations.

  9. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, about 3 years ago

    Amen to that!

  10. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    Just spent the last week repairing and painting fence before it turned cold, which it did this evening. Sometimes repairs are necessary, like after “W” sent 8 years totally destroying American credibility around the world. It, in part, had something to do with the millions around the world protesting our invasion of Iraq, and the damage Bush’s dedication to Reaganomics, with no effort to correct a bad course, to a crash in 2008, and continued severe problems into the Obama administration in 2009, "W"’s last “budget year”.

    It’s already coming out in press around the world that it’s the right-wing U.S. MSM most ’bent", and trying every effort, on every issue, to Blame Obama. Which is exactly why those upset about those rightfully “blaming Bush” for all the trouble, and deaths, HE DID CAuSE, are the idiots.

  11. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 said, about 3 years ago

    Seeking dominance has often been in the face of expanding population and dwindling resources. Birth control would need to be part of the equation. Development of a cheap and near limitless energy supply would be required and possible. I don’t think man’s nature has to evolve to achieve peace and harmony. Many local communities of man have learned to work in harmony for the greater good. The Nordic countries and Switzerland have found that success is more possible in peace than war. There is hope for mankind.

  12. weakstream

    weakstream said, about 3 years ago

    Ive been around a lot longer than most of you,
    and it looks to me like the world is proceeding normally.

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