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Are humans living beyond their competence?


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:18 PM

In a word: yes.  Humans are not competent to live in the society that they have created.  And this is to the extreme detriment of all.

This phenomenon is illustrated neatly, if unwittingly, in the tv series/film: Longitude.  It tells the story of 18th century clockmaker John Harrison’s contribution to horology: he made a clock of sufficient accuracy that it could be used to determine longitude at sea.  Thus, for the first time in British seafaring history, sailors were able to calculate their ship’s exact position.  This new technology saved the lives of countless seamen who were otherwise dying in droves, in their thousands upon thousands, because, being incompetent navigators, they got lost at sea e.g. they did not know how far they were from the nearest land, or even which land etc, etc..

In the film, Harrison is presented as a hero, whose clock saved those lives.  My view of Harrison, or, rather, of the naval authorities of the day who belatedly realised there was a growing problem --- too many shipwrecks, too many people drowning at sea etc --- is that they used Harrison’s navigational tool as a means to lock the stable door AFTER the horse had bolted.

In other words, people died because they involved themselves in activities that were WAY beyond their competence. If you can’t navigate, you should not be crossing oceans.  If you can’t navigate, you should not be circumnavigating the world.  In short, if you can’t navigate, you should not go to sea.  And if you ignore your incompetence, then you get what you asked for.

This phenomenon, this gung-ho and to-hell-with-the-consequences mentality, is just as evident today as it was in the 18th century.  More so, in fact.

People are incompetent and are still meddling with things about which they understand nothing.  For example, people are not competent to prescribe pills.  They are not competent to build hospitals and other major institutions.  They are not competent to design a home let alone decorate a home.   People are not competent to run nuclear power stations.  They are not competent to travel faster than walking pace.  People are not competent to interfere in other people’s lives (such as running charities or giving to charity).  They are not competent to poke about another’s insides i.e. perform surgery.  They are not competent to run the armed services (if they were competent to run wars, soldiers would not just be canon fodder, dying in droves). They are not competent to be toying with the environment.  They are not competent to be genetically modifying crops/animals.  People are not competent to run farms (farms are far less efficient than they were 100 years ago).  They are not competent to run an economy, a government or a country.  They are not competent to be using computer technology…………...the list of incompetencies is endless.  

In a nutshell, humans should never have been allowed out of the cave.


#2    Ashotep

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

What, so you think we should all just crawl under a rock.  If people hadn't started dabbling in things we knew nothing about we wouldn't have electric and a host of other things that makes life better.


#3    Child of Bast

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

Well aren't you just a depressing ray of sunshine pantodragon????

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#4    Rlyeh

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:42 PM

Yes, everyday you wake up.


#5    Still Waters

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:46 PM

View Postpantodragon, on 02 April 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

Humans are not competent to live in the society that they have created.  And this is to the extreme detriment of all.

In a nutshell, humans should never have been allowed out of the cave.
Speak for yourself!

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#6    stillvoice

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

Humans need to be controlled as we have proven as you say that we are incompetent and untrustworthy what is required is a shift in human consciousness which produces an overarching ideology which can regulate human behaviour at every level so we can create a sustainable society or social order which is fair and just. The closest we have come to this is the ideology of communism which has never been implemented in its proper form and it is arguable whether or not this is possible because social structures and human interaction are based on unfair hierarchies. A new form of morality untainted by religion which encompasses the whole spectrum of human experience is needed to guide the evolution of human consciousness until we are responsible enough to determine our own destiny. Whether a revolution against human nature is possible without some external agency prompting the change is questionable but fundamental changes throughout history have been brought about through changes in consciousness and new ideas so a new age of all encompassing morality and passivity is required which needs to be spearheaded by a movement which could be trans-human or anti human and subverts and undermines human nature.

Edited by stillvoice, 02 April 2013 - 03:57 PM.


#7    AliveInDeath7

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:54 PM

Yes, we shouldn't strive to do better. Let's all go find our own cave and beat up a mammoth.
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#8    krypter3

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 02 April 2013 - 03:40 PM, said:

Well aren't you just a depressing ray of sunshine pantodragon????

I have to agree, most of the posts you've made have been of an overly negative genre.

I like to think I'm competent enough, providing for my family and in raising my children.  That's all one can really do unless you aspire to be the leader of a country or something.


Say we have one man you wants to be president and one man who want's to raise his kids.  The first man becomes president and the second man raises two, three, four hell maybe even five children into decent adults.  Neither man is more competent than the other.  Saying our race as a whole is incompetent seem's...for lack of a better term....rather naive or narrow minded.

Edited by krypter3, 02 April 2013 - 03:59 PM.


#9    Child of Bast

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

View Poststillvoice, on 02 April 2013 - 03:49 PM, said:

Humans need to be controlled as we have proven as you say that we are incompetent and untrustworthy what is required is a shift in human consciousness which produces an overarching ideology which can regulate human behaviour at every level so we can create a sustainable society or social order which is fair and just. The closest we have come to this is the ideology of communism which has never been implemented in its proper form and it is arguable whether or not this is possible because social structures and human interaction are based on unfair hierarchies. A new form of morality untainted by religion which encompasses the whole spectrum of human experience is needed to guide the evolution of human consciousness until we are responsible enough to determine our own destiny. Whether a revolution against human nature is possible without some external agency prompting the change is questionable but fundamental changes throughout history have been brought about through changes in consciousness and new ideas so a new age of all encompassing morality and passivity is required which needs to be spearheaded by a movement which could be trans-human or anti human and subverts and undermines human nature.

Based on this I'm thinking pantodragon is an Illuminati agent trying to get us to realise why we need NWO and a OWG.

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#10    simplybill

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

pantodragon,  I fear you may be painting yourself into a corner of hopelessness. Please, please, walk away from your computer and go for a walk or call a friend or ask God for the wisdom to expand your view of the world. For some reason, you've blinded yourself to the goodness concealed under the corruption.
An example from my own life: I've been sober now for almost 30 years, but back in my drug and alcoholic days I was feeling helpless and worthless and I actually attempted suicide.  The overdose didn't kill me, and I was woken up by my neighbor (a fellow alcoholic) that had been to cooking school and just felt like making a huge meal that day and he wanted someone to share it with. He brought over a ham and potatoes and vegetables and we sat there and stuffed our faces.
At that point in my life, I'll admit, I was one of the "dregs of society". But a fellow alcoholic gave me hope and pulled me up from that dark well of despair.
If even the dregs of society can bring hope into the world, then all of us can have hope.
God bless you sister.

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Richard Wurmbrand in Reaching Toward the Heights.

#11    Sweetpumper

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:18 PM

Ah yes, more doom and gloom from pantodragon.

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#12    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:18 PM

View Postpantodragon, on 02 April 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

In other words, people died because they involved themselves in activities that were WAY beyond their competence. If you can’t navigate, you should not be crossing oceans.  If you can’t navigate, you should not be circumnavigating the world.  In short, if you can’t navigate, you should not go to sea.  And if you ignore your incompetence, then you get what you asked for.

You are leaving out some pretty obvious facts in your litany of human incompetencies, namely, that for everything you've listed, you ignore that humans have shown themselves to be competent, at surgery, at navigating, at farming (jeez, seriously...).  The fact that people fail for all kinds of reason does not make them 'incompetent' the way we usually use that word.  The opposite of perfection is not 'incompetent', and you seem to want absolute perfection from every human endeavor or 'we're not competent' and apparently shouldn't be doing it or 'meddling' with it, which is absurd.  

By your reasoning, humans are incompetent at walking because sometimes they trip and fall, LeBron James is incompetent at basketball because he misses shots, etc.  Thankfully in the real world, we have people who are willing to take these risks of failure that are inherent in everything.  Why do I think that if your appendix were to burst for example that you'd have surgery to remove it (as opposed to dying), even though, using your logic of course, your odds of surviving such an operation must be very low since 'humans are incompetent at surgery'.

There is absolutely nothing preventing you from going back and living in a cave if you'd like and if you really feel like that's what humans should do; good luck getting a decent internet connection...

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#13    redhen

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:09 PM

View Poststillvoice, on 02 April 2013 - 03:49 PM, said:

The closest we have come to this is the ideology of communism which has never been implemented in its proper form

I've heard this excuse far too many times now.  All the atrocities, massacres and genocides perpetrated by Communism are not aberrations. They were carried out according to Marx's book. Rivers of blood are a necessity under Communism. It is a hideous utopia.


#14    stillvoice

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:57 PM

View Postredhen, on 02 April 2013 - 10:09 PM, said:

I've heard this excuse far too many times now.  All the atrocities, massacres and genocides perpetrated by Communism are not aberrations. They were carried out according to Marx's book. Rivers of blood are a necessity under Communism. It is a hideous utopia.

Similar criticisms can be levelled against capitalism and the poverty and inequality which it is responsible for.

Pure communism has never been fully realised and if you know about communist theory you will be aware that none of the communist states have ever progressed beyond the  'dictatorship of the proletariat' stage to full communism.


#15    StarMountainKid

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:09 AM

I have to agree somewhat. Our technological society may be running away from us. As the basis of society becomes more complex, only experts understand its workings and can operate it. The rest of us are living beyond our competence, or better said, the rest of us are not competent enough, we must rely too much on these experts.

These experts may in fact become our new ruling class. A technocracy ruled by engineers. From my personal experience, I definitely don't want to be ruled by engineers.

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