Mod+ 280. KEN JORDAN OF REALITY SANDWICH ON CONSCIOUSNESS CULTURE

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Right!

    Everyone here with some science training knows that exp(a t) becomes insanely large as t increases if a > 0. That means that unless we found a way of caring for exponentially more people for the indefinite future, we are in trouble at some point. Even Moore's Law has run out - at least for CPU clock speeds.

    Following that logic through, the exponential population growth will end at some point, and there are good ways to end the growth, and really horrible ways for the growth to end. My argument is that if we put our heads in the sand and pretend the population growth can continue indefinitely, we (or rather those who come after us) will encounter the horrible limit to population growth.

    Talking about limiting population growth maybe sounds inhumane to some, but I think quite the opposite. I don't want billions of people to starve - even in the future - I want the human population of the Earth to continue for a long time (hey, we might get reincarnated!).

    As regards greening the Sahara (I have seen suggestions that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere might help that process), I'd like to see that used to make life better for the people we already have on the planet, not used as an excuse (before it has even happened) to ignore the relentless increase in our population.

    David
     
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  2. alkhemst

    alkhemst New

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    I don't know if you looked at those videos but consider the total fertility rate. Because men don't have babies we need at least a fertility rate of 2 to keep the world population stable. Currently at a rate of 2.33 if we continued down that line, we'd have a steady growth but not exponential. However this fertility rate has been in steady decline for a while now.

    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate

    It would make sense the population growth rate is also in decline and that seems to be the case...
    Population growth rate

    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth

    These also match world bank data: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW and http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN

    So while population as a number on it's own looks daunting, total fertility rate and population growth paints a different picture. Looking at that data makes the whole exponential growth fears look very alarmist. The other thing to consider is that when an average world fertility rate falls below 2, which appears to be where it's heading looking at the trends, the medium age of a population must be going up. So then we have an aging population issue arising and already becoming apparent in developed countries for example in Japan: http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnis...ime-bomb-of-ageing-population-20150503-1mync0 .

    The older we get the more support we need and the less independence we have. The burden of that support has to come from younger generations. Reflecting on that about six years back a family member of mine was telling me that it's selfish to have kids, that she's not going to have any because the world is already overpopulated. That was her response to the news of having my first child with my wife. She's also a pious vegan and staunch advocate for stopping global warming...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  3. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well what those figures really show is that population growth is concentrated in certain parts of the world - Nigeria for instance. Now sure, if we could supply every Nigerian family with a nice house, car, and job we might see a drop in the birth rate, but realistically that isn't going to happen.

    The problem is that any part of the world that becomes overpopulated, is going to see a drastic drop in living standards - the very thing that encourages people to have more children - which is a vicious circle.

    Possibly if you spent some time in one of the really overpopulated parts of the world (something I admit I haven't done) your views might change a bit.

    Unfortunately, after seeing the way "Climate Change" data is handled, I do also want to treat those figures and graphs with a bit of caution.

    Please remember that I was only suggesting that we should try to persuade people to keep their families down to replacement levels.

    David
     
  4. Judith

    Judith New

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    Sorry, I disagree. Overpopulation is not a myth. If you look at any animal population that has a hockey-stick graph of population growth, what follows is a plummet. Talk to any wildlife biology PHd and you will get the same response (my husband was one of these).
     
  5. alkhemst

    alkhemst New

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    In this case the worldwide population growth rate plummet started in the 60s - over 50 years ago. Given the average life expectancy is 70-80 in another 30 years that actual population number would have to start falling.

    The question is what defines "over", and I'm led to believe its tied to availability of resources. The next question I sort of posed is are we actually utilising the resources we have including our own intelligence as a resource?
     
  6. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    [quote="alkhemst, post: 72472, member: 1374"

    The question is what defines "over", and I'm led to believe its tied to availability of resources. The next question I sort of posed is are we actually utilising the resources we have including our own intelligence as a resource?[/quote]

    The question is, would you really want us to do that? I mean if we really did utilise all the resources we have, then if the population expanded further (or there was a problem with food production somewhere), there would - almost by definition - be starvation. Besides, utilising all the resources would also mean perhaps cutting down the Amazon to grow food. Even the Sahara is a unique place, and habitat to a few species, so even greening that would have a down side.

    Sure, our population dynamics isn't quite like that of other animals, because we really can make some surprising innovations to increase the supply of food, which deer on the Kaibab plateau can't do, but I don't see this process as unlimited. If, for example, we ultimately colonise other planets, it is very unlikely that we could take more than a minute fraction of the population there, and any Terra-forming process would probably take centuries.

    David
     
  7. alkhemst

    alkhemst New

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    I get your point David, but I generally feel there's a deeper reason to being in a state of scarcity as a human race, that if we fail to address that no amount of population reduction would do anything really about solving.
     
  8. Bro's Badass Neighbor

    Bro's Badass Neighbor New

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    Just admit you were wrong and move on.

    Furthermore, the planet is greening as a "natural" consequence of human population increase.

    more people = more CO2 = more vegetation = more food... See that?

    This brings us back to the absurdity of the global warming or climate change or the whatever-you-call-it hoax. CO2 is great and I wish global warming wasn't fiction. It's ironic that members of a tropical species would be scared of a little heat. Bunch of babies.
     
  9. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    I'm sure I'm trying to revive a long dead thread here and attention is now focused elsewhere. However, I would make the point that any time I hear fear mongering, I start to tune out the message.

    Fear mongering is a manipulation of the emotional drive that lies within all living things to survive. It shuts down the cortex, hence critical thinking, and before too long your spouting idiotic talking points that often have little basis in reality. The powers that be know this all too well. Which is why fear propaganda is so effective.

    Moreover, if Mr. Jordan really is as "in tune" with the spiritual world as he claims, then why is it he is receiving vastly different messages from others who have "seen the other side"?

    What I've found is that those who have had NDEs almost always come back with three distinct messages, over and over and over again. And that is one, there is no such thing as death, two love is the most important thing and three ALL IS WELL.

    I've seen so many other so called "spiritually awakened" people participate in their own version of fear mongering, often in order to sell a book.

    Not that we should trash everything with reckless abandon, but that regardless of what our perception may be in this physical life on this physical planet, everything really is ok. There is nothing to fear. Loving one another as we wish to be loved, forgiveness and treating all things with respect are paramount. Everything else stems from this. If everyone were capable of behaving this way, everything else would take care of itself.

    Instead we are constantly bombarded with messages that humans are a scourge on the earth. We are a cancer. We are unimportant and a cosmic mistake. Our lives have no meaning, our universe has no meaning. What's the problem with the death of millions from starvation, war and disease when human life is meaningless...no, harmful.

    I for one do not believe that overpopulation is a real threat. With the population density of New York City, the entire current population of humans on the earth could fit into the state of Texas.
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/could-7-billion-people-live-in-a-texas-sized-city/

    I also believe that "climate change" is pure unadulterated bullshit.

    In assessing the truth and value of any "alarmist" type claim, one has to look to who benefits from the so-called "solutions" and who doesn't.

    Damn near every bullshit story like overpopulation and climate change suggest solutions that would annihilate the poor, destroy the middle class and preserve life for the wealthiest among us. This is all nothing more than the same old social Darwinism of the 19th and 20th century elitists, dressed up in some snazzy new 21st century clothing. Even science backing up this disturbing mound of donkey shit is nothing new. Science was bought and paid for a long time ago. Just like our political system.

    Everyone seems to forget that truth and reality are only correct in ones current time and space. We all seem to forget that each generation before us believed they were the pinnacle of human evolution and achievement. We look back now and snicker at how "stupid" or "misguided" these poor fools of old where. Never realizing that we too will come to also be known as the fools of old.

    The only truth is that no one knows what the future holds. The future is determined by a nearly infinite number of factors. We are kidding ourselves if we truly believe that a computer model can tell us the fate of our world, while relying on data from-at best-5500 years ago, on a planet that is ~4 billion years old and a species that is ~200,000 years old.

    Are we so naive that we believe we truly understand our planet (much less universe) and who or what our species really is?

    The one truly shameful aspect of human beings is their inability to understand the limits of their own understanding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
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  10. alkhemst

    alkhemst New

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    Cant say I disagree with you on anything there. I reckon you're spot on that much of our belief systems are driven by emotions. The conundrum is because we suppress them by the belief systems we ascribe to, we're already invested never seeing the truth that exposes those beliefs, so cognitive dissonance is sort of the after-effect. Well that's my belief :)
     
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  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    well said! thanks for the reminder.
     
  12. Judith

    Judith New

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    I've had an NDE as well as several OBE's. And I still believe the human population is in "overpopulation" mode. Don't feel the need to argue the point here...simply stating my beliefs.
     
  13. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    I'm not relying on NDE testimony alone in what I believe to be a non-issue. The major problem with NDEs and other "spiritually transformative experiences" is that these people are using a human brain to interpret, relay and analyze this "other realm" content. It's every bit as unreliable as any other human endeavor. One thing is certain: the brain as an organ is highly limited. There are concepts it just cannot understand until/unless a foundation for understanding certain content is lain. I think this is where our "evolution of the mind" comes from. Slow, incremental changes to neural pathways over long periods of time.

    We can only know what we know. The mind boggles at the wealth of knowledge we have, yet, I cannot believe for a single moment that we have even touched upon the tip of the informational iceberg. We do not know what we do not know.

    Perhaps one of my most favorite bastardizations of reality by mainstream science is this idea that we know roughly 5% of what there is to know about the nature of matter (what it is, really, I would argue we are at approximately 0% knowledge). How do they figure? Any attempt at quantifying what we don't know is an exercise in utter futility.

    I think most people here on the forum and that listen to the podcast are fairly intelligent people. But no matter how intelligent one is, there is virtually no way whatsoever one could possibly come to fully know and understand all knowledge that we are currently aware of. Much less that which we cannot even fathom that we do not know. So we look to the so called experts. Well, the only problem with that is, they are still only human. We can only do our best with what we know. But if history (the minuscule amount of recorded history that we do have anyway) is any indicator, we can likely bet the full pot on the likelihood that most of what we believe we know today, in 2015, is dead wrong.

    Given that, I rarely get too riled up over claims made in an effort to terrorize people into some sort of action, often against their own best interests.

    I often wonder where, exactly, do these people who believe in overpopulation live? Where on this earth have they been? I grew up in the western U.S. I've driven from one end of this country to the other (and it's a BIG country!) and the vast majority of it is vast amounts of space. Forests, mountains, prairies, lakes and rivers of all sizes. And the vast majority of it is completely unpopulated.

    It's almost like its a bunch of people from New York City, San Francisco, London, etc. any major city, that have never ventured outside of the city except by air, and they honestly believe the whole world is like these cities. There's a joke here in the U.S. That basically anything but the east coast or west coast are "fly over states". Meaning the vast majority of the U.S. isnt worth visiting, much less living in. Which is pure idiocy. Most of the states I have been in (31 plus Washington DC) are beautiful and virtually untouched by humans. Life of all kinds thrive all across the U.S., with and without human intervention. And you could try arguing that it's not about space, it's about resources. Well, as I've stated, the vast majority of the US I've seen has all manner of life thriving just fine. And this is only one country. Where is there any evidence for this lack of resources?

    Also of note, isn't it interesting that it's always someone else's sacrifice these people are always asking for. The poster child for global warming, Al Gore, hasn't bothered reducing his "carbon footprint" in the slightest. You've got these empty headed celebrities flying their private jets down to Antartica, never realizing the pure irony in their actions (more likely they do realize it, but don't care).

    As for overpopulation, whose going to be the first to volunteer their family or their children's or grandchildrens right to reproduce? Certainly not the wealthiest of us. No, they are just the kind of people this world needs. It's all those icky poor people that need to do humanity a solid and sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
     
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  14. Judith

    Judith New

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    I think you are very young, Vault. I live in the west...and grew up in cities. I am 72 years old. My footprint is small. I had my tubes tied after two children. The western land I knew as a young adult does not exist any more. I've hiked and ridden on horseback many miles in west. At present in my rural area there are corporate interests trying to take away our water. You have not lived long enough to gain a long-term perspective IMHO. One of the great things about reaching a "certain age" (if you have been an aware person ) is that you gain a certain perspective. The down side is that our culture doesn't value the older person's viewpoint. Sigh.;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  15. Alex

    Alex New

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    I agree with Vault. who cares about the age thing... wisdom shines regardless.
     
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  16. Mr Opti

    Mr Opti New

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    Thank you for reviving the thread, Vault! :)
    I agree with most of what you have written here. Especially in terms of how to find a constructive perspective from our tiny knowledge, your focus on love and empathy, how fear is tied to spirituality and I like your perspective on what to carry with us from NDEs and what implications that may have for our perception of reality.
    That said, I kind of feel like I've listened to another show than you. I didn't hear any fear mongering from Ken Jordan. (And neither have I seen any fear mongering in this thread.) There is a big difference in stating what you believe is true and fear mongering. The fear part comes when you are processing what you believe to be true. How you react to it. Of course there are "truths" (I use "truth" in lack of a better term, I suppose I mean something like "perceptions of reality") that more easily can result in a fear-based response than others, but what you believe to be the current state of things is something different from how you respond to this belief.

    I think your mention of All is well is really well worth pondering. My take on this is that there is a deeper level on which all is well, but on our day-to-day-level far from everything is well. I don't suppose anyone here would say that there is no suffering, and your post here, Vault, oozes of empathy. But then, if you accept that there is suffering, and still want to believe that all is well, I think you have to take some kind of leap of faith. This kind of faith is a foundation for acceptance of what is, and a natural effect of this faith is growing empathy.

    What I have found, this last year or so, is that it is possible to live in a state of sorrow and joy simultaneously. Those to feelings are not contradictory (although one would think they are). Accepting what is, leads to joy, sorrow (a good sorrow) and empathy and a better functioning frontal cortex. (Quite a lot about feelings and their physiological effects (and the role of the heart in all of this) can be found here: https://www.heartmath.org/research/research-library/ )

    My point is not that you are wrong, Vault. My point is that I think that Ken Jordan might be more in line with your perspective, than what seems to have been your take on him.
     
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  17. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    I totally agree. Accepting the notion that underneath it all everything really is as it should be requires a huge leap of faith, a naughty word in this 21st century of ours.

    My belief is often (I say often, not is, because I still go through my own existential crises every now and then) that we are living in a highly complex illusion in the sense that what we think we see isn't always what it appears to be, but that this is necessary to learn and evolve. I believe this is termed the "Earth school" philosophy. Perhaps there is a more sophisticated term for it, but I don't know for sure. So it is as has been said for millennia, this reality is the illusion. I have no proof of this, hence the occasional plunge into existentialism, but it seems logical and "feels right" in an intuitive sense. So yes, huge leap of faith there.

    This reminds me of a sort of epiphany I had not long ago.

    I had just watched the Zeitgeist movie, which concludes on a very sour note. Lots of propaganda about how manipulated and used we all are and have been for a very long time. Now, I don't put much stock in much of what was said in the movie, and much of it has been disproven, but instead of leaving me feeling lowly and helpless, it made me realize that regardless of circumstances we may find ourselves in, we always have a choice. Now, the materialists want us to believe we don't, but I believe we do. Convincing people that they do not, now that is the illusion.

    So, I have a choice in what I choose to believe, what I choose to put my faith in. I can either choose to believe that I am nothing, in a nothing universe. That I am an organic automaton, that has no choice but to be the animal that must be lead by the nose according to the whims of those who believe they know better (though what precludes them from being these self-same "automatons" I'm not really sure). Or I can choose to put my faith in the words of ancient Mystics, spiritual leaders, scientists who dare to go beyond the socially acceptable limitations to thought, reason and experimentation, and everyday people like me, who have had an extraordinary experience of the like that is entirely unsurpassed by anything else we know.

    Theirs is a message of love, forgiveness, innate respect and freedom.

    So it seems to be a choice, between a narrow focus on suffering and inevitability. Where your mind is boxed in like a dog in a cage. Where you aren't allowed freedom of thought, because such freedom does not exist.

    Or

    The freedom that comes with opening your heart and mind to the possibilities of what is or can be. Where you are a being of great value and potential. Where the mind is not shackled to the limitations of what is, but is freed by the infinite nature of what we choose to create.

    Now, I acknowledge that this is a sort of false dichotomy I have presented here and that faith and belief can be far more nuanced. The important thing is that we realize we do have a choice. We always do. Those choices may be constrained by certain factors, but choice always exists.

    So why, then, would I ever choose to believe in a materialist philosophy? Why would I choose to cage my mind and close down all possibilities of alternative thought?

    It almost seems like a no brainer. But I realized, the materialist philosophy has been so ingrained in us in ways we don't even realize. So much that often our default position is one of materialism. And this is reinforced every day through media and pop culture, so much to the point that spirituality is almost a dirty word. And nobody wants to be the social leper. So they keep variant ideas and beliefs to themselves for fear of ridicule. Nobody wants to be on the other end of the likes of a Hawking, Dawkins, Randi, Shermer, et al. shaming rant. To be placed upon the pyre of social ridicule. So, we keep it to ourselves and tell ourselves "it's not so bad". When inside we are all desperate to feel connected with each other and our universe. Something that I think we can all agree has been dropped by the wayside in this great endeavor to become a so-called "enlightened society".
     
  18. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    Perhaps you are correct, that had I stuck it out through the entire interview, I would see my ideas may coincide with his, but when he started going into this environmental stuff, I just really lost all desire to continue on.

    Fear mongering isnt only relevant when speaking of people wearing sandwich boards, screaming in the streets about death, destruction and the end of days. I think the modern version of fear mongering is far more subtle. It's delicately said, in tones dripping with a sort of empathetic arrogance. I have yet to to hear or meet an environmentalist that doesn't think their shit doesn't stink. They all carry themselves with the air of the righteous indignant, and it's always about "the children" or as its said now "future generations".

    Don't get me wrong, I want a clean, thriving Earth as much as the next greenie. I love my children more than life itself and there is nothing I wouldn't do to ensure them a healthy happy life. But I'm also realistic. I understand that life is messy, and there are things beyond our control, and by that I mean beyond human control. We are also limited by the time in which we live and the knowledge we currently possess.

    I have yet to see a proposed solution to these "threats" that don't involve huge sacrifices for the least advantaged and an unprecedented violation of human and civil rights.


    I recycle. I do my best to support organic farming and animal breeding. I care about our planet. But I'm not deluded into believing that we somehow, as human beings, have less right to be here than any other species. I also understand that we are a product of this Earth. Our bodies are composed of the very elements that make up our universe. We are physically connected to this planet in a very profound way. But we are just part of the system. We are, at base, animals. Another species on a planet home to billions of them. Not that that is all we are, but should this physical existence result in the extinction of our species, along side millions upon millions of other species in the billions of years past, do we really have much control over that? Or could it be there is far more to the equation than we can even fathom? Future generations are important, sure. But we all, here, on Earth today have to deal with the here and now. Destroying life, or the quality of life for billions is not the answer. It never will be. That is something I believe 100%.
     
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  19. Another problem is that people try to make sense of the afterlife by analogy to the physical universe. The afterlife is non-physical. There is no time and no distance, those are physical properties. You can't understand the afterlife by analogy to the physical universe.
     

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