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(New Scientist)   Imagine Earth without people   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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27983 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Oct 2006 at 8:12 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

206 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-10-12 10:03:16 AM  
Hmmm, I always stopped at imagining Earth with no George Bush. I never thought to go the next step and get rid of everyone.
2006-10-12 10:05:06 AM  
So let me get this right: We're going to go down in a blaze of glory?
2006-10-12 10:07:06 AM  
"2006-10-12 08:47:55 AM crawlspace

What kind of eco-twinkie crap is this? Pfffft. Any article that uses the phrase 'light-polluted' instantly loses me. "

Well then I might suggest that you have never seen the difference between the sky in the city, and the sky out in West Texas. You can't seriously be suggesting that there is no such thing, can you? If you want to get all hear-no evil, etc. that your business, but it exists.

/betting that your a shrubie
//boy its fun to watch you guys implode
///not a second too soon...
2006-10-12 10:08:03 AM  
The ultimate left wing enviro fantasy.
2006-10-12 10:09:09 AM  

Ok, let's say we accept what you say and call 'domination' and 'better' social constructions. Using your logic we cannot use anything rooted in social conceptualisation for analysis. Since language is a vehicle used to share conceptual understanding of the world (which is based on a social understanding anyway because even if you say an aspect of though used in language arises internally in isolation this would eventually become conceptualised on a wider scale) This basically disregards any use of language at all, which leaves us with what? Do we just not analyze anything? What kind of 'analysis' can we 'resolve' is we have no 'tools' with which to 'do' 'it' becuase everything, at some level, is socially constructed (This is because even that which is 'real' becomes, to us, 'real with socially constructed implications'). Have you ever actually thought about what is left when we remove the human conceptual understanding of the world? And think about this, does labelling something as 'socially constructed' somehow minimize how real it is if the notion of 'real' (or false for that matter) is itself socially constructed? If you have a way of shutting out social constructions from the resolution of mental processes with an external world then I'm all ears.
2006-10-12 10:12:09 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

I 'like' the way you 'write'
It's 'very' 'good'

'apostrophes are the new slashies!
/not really
2006-10-12 10:12:14 AM  


Imagine people without earth.

I think you mean:
[image from too old to be available]
2006-10-12 10:13:09 AM  
citizen905: Why get rid of everybody? Why not just the people we don't like? That'd give us some breathing room.

I hope that you realize that would mean:

1)most of the United States population, by it's own people.
2)then, for most of the other countried of the world, they'd also would pick getting rid of the rest of the US.

you sure you'd wanna go that route?
2006-10-12 10:14:59 AM  
I believe Bill Waters said it best in his comic strip Calvin & Hobbes "The one species who's extinction would benefit the planet the most is man" I also favor "The surest sign that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us yet"
2006-10-12 10:16:48 AM  
Imagine the world without beavers making their stupid dams everywhere. Humans aren't the only ones modifying the environment to suit their purposes.
2006-10-12 10:17:36 AM  
Just another sign that real, serious environmentalists are suicidal, self-loathing psychos. Anyone that advocates the destruction of humanity is sick in the head. Anyone who thinks it would be "better" if humanity died out needs some serious medication.

I refer you to the Cold War, sir, for your "psychos advocating the destruction of humanity." Remember MAD? Now wipe that spittle from the corner of your mouth.

Environmentalists are misanthropes, to be sure, but it's hard to take the environment seriously and not come away with the impression that people suck.
2006-10-12 10:21:20 AM  

haha, yeah I was trying to emphasise the notion of language as a chain of individual concepts by 'doing' 'this' but it probably didn't work very well. But, come on, don't you ever get frustrated when people just call something 'socially constructed' and think that somehow ends all argument? Its high time someone stood up for structuralism! come on everybody, who's with me?

/please don't pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism
2006-10-12 10:21:24 AM  
karooble, you're my new big damn hero.

Unavailable for comment.

/it was the first thing that came to my mind, I swear!
2006-10-12 10:22:34 AM  
This reminds of one time I was listening to Rush L( had to, boss used to listen to it-- made me laugh), and he was stating how he was sure that animals DIDN'T HAVE FEELINGS, and couldn't really THINK. Now, I always hate it when people personify their pets actions, but I was astounded. Having grown up on a farm in Minnesota, I had ample interaction with a number of different animals throughout, I can tell you without any doubt, they do have feelings and they can think. Whether its quantifiable as human type thought, I can't say. But to deny they do is foolish. I guess my point in this is that why is it always these self described conservatives who de-cry any attempt to regulate the impact that people are making on the planet. Why are they always denying the implicit connection that we have with the planet and with other species?? Shouldn't someone who is conservative, by their very nature "conserve"? Would they not hedge their bets, until they knew for sure, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER?? Or would they just laugh at you for trying to understand exactly what is going on, assault you with ad hominem attacks ( little more than a variance of "hey you big dummy!"), and continue to blithely walk into the unknown. Come on, a least stick to your own self-professed ideology, even if you seem to be ignorant of its tenets.

/fo' real
2006-10-12 10:22:37 AM  
Imagine the world without beavers making their stupid dams everywhere. Humans aren't the only ones modifying the environment to suit their purposes.

You realize the only reason there's beavers all over the north is there's no wolves, right?
2006-10-12 10:22:38 AM  

It's a thought experiment you self-righteous twit. Calm down, breath a little and unbunch your panties.
2006-10-12 10:23:12 AM  
"On the map of light pollution, does anyone else think it's artificially dark in and around the Mid East? Wouldn't Israel be registering at least something?"

Too cheap to turn the lights on.
2006-10-12 10:29:26 AM  
Cool article.
It's always interesting to take a look at the 'what ifs' in science.
2006-10-12 10:29:29 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

/please don't pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism

Stop! You're bringing up bad memories of my childhood when all the kids at the playground would pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism.

/still have no idea what you're talking about
//and I'm a pretty bright guy.
2006-10-12 10:30:13 AM  
... and not one mention of Derrick Jensen. Not one.
2006-10-12 10:30:43 AM  
chiaroscuro: Too cheap to turn the lights on.

People still make jokes about the Jews? Brilliant!
2006-10-12 10:31:12 AM  
So who will fight for the animal's freedums? 4 legs good 2 legs bad!!!
2006-10-12 10:35:42 AM  
I do, every day.

/humans suck
2006-10-12 10:36:39 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-10-12 10:37:05 AM  

People still make jokes about the Jews?

This is Fark, we make about everyone and everything.
2006-10-12 10:38:34 AM  
Since the humans killed the dinosaurs, I guess it will be up to our mongoose pals to avenge their death and kill all the humans.

The Flintstones ruined your brain.
2006-10-12 10:39:10 AM  
Damn it all.

This is Fark, we make about fun of everyone and everything.

Fixed that for me.

/I need more coffee
//sweet delicious coffee
2006-10-12 10:41:17 AM  
Sorry, that's 4 legs good 2 legs better.
2006-10-12 10:41:42 AM  
2006-10-12 10:43:49 AM  
If there something bad happens and there are no humans around to record it does it really - er - happen?

View the END OF THE WORLD as linked to SPOOTAGE
2006-10-12 10:44:36 AM  
PETA's wet dream.....
2006-10-12 10:46:29 AM  
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is on the planet, does it still make a sound?
2006-10-12 10:47:11 AM  
don't worry people we wont be around for long....
2006-10-12 10:48:12 AM  
It's easy if you try.
2006-10-12 10:51:35 AM  
Wait, no people?

Who would the Republicans have to blame then?
2006-10-12 10:51:40 AM  
I sometimes wonder what's worse: Going about a normal human existance, leaving an average environmental footprint... or revering this type of claptrap and not killing yourself.

Choice is yours. More pizza for me, then.
2006-10-12 10:52:40 AM  
2006-10-12 10:08:03 AM Lerxst2k

The ultimate left wing enviro fantasy.

Why do you right-wing sociopaths insist on destroying the planet? It's amazing how far denial of evidence, common sense and logic will go with you people.

/because you're sociopaths, duh!
2006-10-12 10:57:23 AM  
Pretty sure I read this two years ago.
//2 mins. for reposting.
2006-10-12 10:57:40 AM  
2006-10-12 11:02:38 AM  
Beerden suggests:
Why do you right-wing sociopaths insist on destroying the planet? It's amazing how far denial of evidence, common sense and logic will go with you people.

/because you're sociopaths, duh!

Yet another liberal corners the market on "tolerance". Remember, folks - they're the only ones who "tolerate" people.

The rest of it is so NOT over-the-top. Ding - thanks for playing; enjoy your parting gifts.
2006-10-12 11:03:41 AM  
see...this is a lot of things people screeching "We're killing da EAAAAAAAAAARTH" fail to note.

We're not killing the earth. We're simply effecting changes that will make it unlivable for ourselves. Millions of years ago, plants started to release a corrosive gas that damaged life forms and wiped many of them out when they breathed it. It's called "oxygen" :P

There'll still be a biomass. We may not recognise it, or be able to live on it, it may be full of mutated bacteria and gerbils with wings, but life can adapt to a whole lotta shiat. We're only screwing what we recognise as being "life".
2006-10-12 11:08:41 AM  
"Imagine Earth without people"

I do. Everyday. (Hovers finger over red button.)

2006-10-12 11:09:41 AM  
The most important thing this article touches on, is that in a million years there would be little to no evidence of us. Therefore by using incredibly circuitous and invalid reasoning, there must have been an advanced civlisation 1 million years ago.
Anyone who disagrees is a commie-nazi.
2006-10-12 11:13:01 AM  

are you saying that we should move...BEYOND HOPE?!?!?!

/yeah eco-anarchism
2006-10-12 11:14:19 AM  

I don't know if it was a book. But Geogre Clinton had a short lived TV show on HBO that was a outer limits type show called comic slop and that was the theme of the first show. I can't beleive I remember this crap.
2006-10-12 11:18:29 AM  

Ok, since I'm not sure what part didn't make sense (sorry, I don't write very clearly) I've tried to trim down what I've been saying. I don't intend to be patronising I'm just trying to be clear. Also, the way I'm using some of these definitions is probably horrible but this is fark so don't be too hard on me. So:

concept (C) = anything the mind can think of that represents a discrete object, be it social, physical or whatever
socially constructed (SC) = a concept built through social exchanges composed of language

The argument I responded to is that 'if C = SC' (such as when whats his name said 'better' = SC) therefore this minimizes its relevance to something. So, for example, someone will say Gender = SC and therefore should not be used as a meanigful category for job selection or whatever.

My argument was that simply if C = SC this does not, by definition, change anything. The grounds for this is that language basically encompasses the human conceptual understanding of 'reality'. Language basically is a chain of interacting concepts which are given meaning through social exchanges anyway. For example, if Bush calls someone a 'terrorist' he is actively constructing that concept through the associations that object has. That word is now altered because of the concept it now represents, given the new associations. So if I said that the word 'terrorist' was SC, does that change anything? No, because everything I am drawing on to even think of that question is using a chain of concepts which are given their meaning in a social context anyway.

I moved on to say that concepts, as we use the word in everyday speech, are actually all the mind really has. Concepts are merely the mind's way of partitioning the world into manageable parts. Thus, to negate concepts as SC is to negate the relevance they have to how we make sense of what our lives mean (which is itself a process of relaying concepts through associating one concept with another, eg 'success' = 'money' = 'good' etc)

Structuralism = there is an underlying structure to the world.

I was using this to say that qualifying social construction in this was does not reject it as a viable theory. by moving to a more radical interpretation of the processes underlying object construction (since structuralism seems to be associated with modernist conceptualisation such as the reality of 'progress').

How was that?
2006-10-12 11:36:09 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

You talk purty. Unfortunatly, you suffer from an advanced case of claptrap-itis.

Structuralism = there is an underlying structure to the world.

Sadly, there isn't. Rules (i.e. physical laws), yes.
Structure is something that is an interpretation of those rules.

The universe is a random place, careening on its own.
No structure.
No guiding hand.
The fact that we exist at all to try to interpret what's going on is a happy accident.
2006-10-12 11:40:13 AM  
Just another sign that real, serious environmentalists are suicidal, self-loathing psychos. Anyone that advocates the destruction of humanity is sick in the head. Anyone who thinks it would be "better" if humanity died out needs some serious medication.

Where, precisely, does the article advocate the destruction of the human race?

As for better, the phrase is well-qualified. The rest of the biosphere would do better if humanity were absent, which is fairly self-evident. That neither says nor suggests that it would be morally better for us to be gone.
2006-10-12 11:40:20 AM  
An Earth First dream come true...
2006-10-12 11:41:14 AM  
The Earth needs us like bears need sweatpants
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