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Are humans living beyond their competence?


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#16    sk8tan71

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:08 AM

pantodragon, such a lovely dystopian view of the primate homo sapiens.  Man may start out as being incompetent, but like all other primates does have the ability to develop competency.  But to go back to your view point, the only way man should do something is if it has been highly tested and vetted, the reality is that you can test, but until you have a real world application of an invention, you cannot discover its short comings and correct those deficiencies without real world experience.  

Now the issue that should really be discussed is that mankind allows a willful ignorance to flourish, one that affects the ability to transmit information from one person to another.  I worked for Gateway in the mid-90s in technical support, to get hired for that low paying crap position, you had to know parts of the computer and describe their function.  Today, the same job could be performed by monkeys with the same amount of success because those "technicians" couldn't tell the difference between a capacitor and a resistor if your life depended on it.  But on a more broader-based viewpoint, television "news" networks, which in reality are just boxes of hot air being spewed like the Valdez on the Alaskan coast.  It doesn't matter your political affiliation, both major "news" networks in America (Fox News and MSNBC) present opinion as fact on a daily basis which creates these spirals that highlight incompetence of society as a whole.

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#17    FlyingAngel

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:29 AM

Right, and Columbus wouldn't discover America and there would be no civilization there.


#18    Beany

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

I work in a university full of competent people, faculty, staff, and students. And our alumni are no slouches themselves.  I guess how you view the world depends on where you're standing.


#19    Child of Bast

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:51 PM

View PostFlyingAngel, on 03 April 2013 - 11:29 AM, said:

Right, and Columbus wouldn't discover America and there would be no civilization there.

There's civilization here? :P

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#20    FlyingAngel

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:52 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 03 April 2013 - 03:51 PM, said:

There's civilization here? :P
Yes, there is; but there wasn't.


#21    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

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

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.

Have you just realised nobody really knows anything about anything?

Boy do some people like to covince themselves that they do but thats arrogance or willfull blindness.


#22    Beany

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:40 AM

Uh, I don't think anyone allowed humans out of the cave. I believe that figured out how to do that all by themselves, which is an argument for some modicum of competency. So we have a handful of people judging competency without giving one reason why they should be taken seriously. That's a sweet deal for those standing in judgment, for sure. No need to prove competency, education, maturity, life's experience, IQ, or any of the markers  that give one credibility. Caveat emptor!


#23    pantodragon

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:15 PM

View PostHilander, on 02 April 2013 - 03:36 PM, said:

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.

No.  I think you should start to think for yourselves instead of swallowing the advertising.  Start looking inside the box, instead of just reading what it says on the packet.  Then you might find the host of other things that make life worse.  You're living in a fool's paradise.

Edited by pantodragon, 04 April 2013 - 01:17 PM.


#24    Beany

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

I think in many ways we've been trained to be cynical, to focus on the bad and ignore the good. It's in most of the news we see and read, and has become standard behavior amongst some of our so-called leaders. In many ways, we have become us vs them, seeing the world in black and white, and ignoring the many shades of gray. It's clear that the US has become polarized, and that the polarization is a hindrance to getting things done. It used to be that people could disagree without insulting one another, and were willing to consider another's opinions and experiences instead of rejecting them out of hand. In that way, we learned from one another and created community. This is how we solve problems, by working together, and this is how mankind will survive. The thing about cynicism is it's so easy. It doesn't require much thinking, and it requires absolutely no doing, it's a free pass to simply observe and judge, and frees one from any obligation to participate or to contribute to problem-solving. Yet these same cynics make use of what civilization offers: education, health services, trains, planes, tax refunds, electricity, flu shots, voting rights, television, internet, computers, wi fi, cell phone. etc. while at the same time declaring modern society is a waste of time and populated by people who are useless idiots and haven't accomplished anything worthwhile. Go figure.


#25    Render

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

It's okay everyone, panto just admitted she finds herself ignorant and it is her that mindlessly swallows advertising. She hates herself and projects it onto everyone on this forum.

Behold her admittance of ignorance: http://www.unexplain...0

It was panto who has been living beyond her competence all along.

Edited by Render, 04 April 2013 - 03:59 PM.


#26    simplybill

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:20 PM

"...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..."

You may see it differently Panto, but that phrase from your OP gives me hope. My life has been a series of adventures, and as I approach my 60th year I'm having a bit of a mid-life crisis: What if there are no more adventures? What if I'll soon be "over the hill" and forced to spend the rest of my life just waiting out my time here on Earth? I find myself secretly wishing I would be fired from my job and compelled to leave my comfortable life to embark on a new adventure. It is the safe harbor that I fear. The unknown may prove me to be incompetent, but it promises a more interesting life.

Edited by simplybill, 04 April 2013 - 09:26 PM.

Every warrior is happy when his enemies flee before him, but much more blessed is the man to whom his fiercest enemies can come with confidence, knowing beforehand they will be received with love.
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#27    Beany

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:30 AM

View Postsimplybill, on 04 April 2013 - 09:20 PM, said:

"...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..."

You may see it differently Panto, but that phrase from your OP gives me hope. My life has been a series of adventures, and as I approach my 60th year I'm having a bit of a mid-life crisis: What if there are no more adventures? What if I'll soon be "over the hill" and forced to spend the rest of my life just waiting out my time here on Earth? I find myself secretly wishing I would be fired from my job and compelled to leave my comfortable life to embark on a new adventure. It is the safe harbor that I fear. The unknown may prove me to be incompetent, but it promises a more interesting life.

I'm in my 62nd year, and woke up the other morning with a bad attitude about work. Then I got a grip, and realized that the day was another opportunity to do some problem solving, to perform an act of kindness or compassion or generosity, to support a co-worker, to just listen to someone who needed to talk, to appreciate the beautiful land where I live, to find creative ways to approach my job. Our days are mostly blank slates, we fill it up with the choices we make. So make something beautiful, nurturing, healing, fun. I'm like you, the safe harbor scares me. I don't want my life to be a repeat of the day before. So my practice for 2013 is to try new things. New music, new authors, new recipes, new road trips, new clothing styles, haircuts, new plants in my garden, it's been fun so far, and not one disappointment. I refuse to settle for routine & comfortable just because they're known quantities.


#28    flbrnt

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:40 AM

I hope we ARE living beyond our competence. I hope I am living beyond my competence. I want to be more tomorrow than I am today and how else am I to achieve it? How else is my species to evolve but to adapt to a world that is beyond its competence? I hope it is always onward and upward.


#29    burt_ie

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:07 AM

If we should be back in a cave there would be no internet...which you used to let us know how incompetent we all are.


#30    CrimsonKing

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

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

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.

Do not worry panto one of these days we will go the same way as the dinosaurs,all the negativity in almost everyone single one of your post about human intelligence and humans in general...Your hopes and dreams and every thought in your head will come true!Because one day HUMANS will cease to exist!In the great expanse of the universe we will never be missed.Only this little speck called earth will ever know we were ever here,and even earth will one day disappear.The universe will keep going as if we were never existed,it will just keep going,and going,and going.There feel better now  :clap:

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu




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