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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    Look more long term, rather than immediate gratification (another thing humans seem to suck at). We could just have less children, and gradually reduce the world's population year by year.

    If we were as smart as you claim, we could find a way to make that work and mitigate any side-effects.

    almost all "developed" countries have a declining population if you exclude immigration.

    There is way more than enough people out there. We just need to give many of them better education and resources.
    The biggest concern I have with population growth is human psychological health. Human megacities are like beehives, where few people have the chance to experience Nature whether rurally or as a preserve. But, why not ask Tokyoites to see if people like it there?

    Other than that, the resource problem is lickable, and the more educated minds we have the larger our capacity for innovation to solve present and future problems.

  2. - Top - End - #242

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    On the contrary, the only reason to believe that the growth of technology and the human population is unlimited rests in making a single, unprovable assumption that because a relatively short period of human history has exhibited exponential growth, this must continue indefinitely into the future. This is a typical error of extrapolation, and something that any halfway decent course that covers even basic linear regression (you know, an actual tool used by actual scientists for genuine scientific discovery) will warn you against in very strong terms.

    And there's very good reason to believe that the exponential extrapolation is wrong. It's well understood that organisms, when sufficient resources are available, will grow exponentially (or even super-exponentially) over a brief period of time. They will not continue to do so indefinitely however, because the available resources are finite. Instead their longterm growth will follow a logistic curve, which asymptotes out at the carrying capacity of the system, baring more complex interactions that cause a subsequent population crash. These are often seen in predator/prey dynamics, or any other case where over-use depletes a necessary resource at well above its replacement rate.

    Now interestingly enough, an exponential and a logistic curve are essentially indistinguishable early on. This means that there's absolutely no way to tell whether the logistic or the exponential curve dictates your future growth based on past observation. Here's a simple example of the two curves showing how closely they can match:

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    And here's how they differ in longterm behavior:
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    If you only have data up until Time = 4 (time unit is arbitrary in this example), it's difficult to impossible to tell them apart. And there's other curves that could also fit our observed data extremely well. Here for instance is a piecewise polynomial curve that matches about as well, and goes into immediate decline after time = 4.

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    A smoother function would be more plausible, but there's a limit to how much time I want to spend monkeying around with these curves, and this communicates the point fairly well.


    So we can't tell much about which curve we're on, simply by looking at the past. Again, it's bad science to extrapolate very far into the future based solely on the fitted curve. Next year will probably exhibit similar traits to this year, sure, but that does not extend well to even 100 years into the future, let alone thousands or millions.


    What then can we tell? The human population has grown very fast in the last few hundred years, thanks mostly to harnessing stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuels. This is not surprising, since we have basically gained access to a new source of calories, albeit ones we don't eat directly but instead use for agriculture and other purposes. There's nothing about this that suggests we aren't following a logistic curve, any more than we should expect a drop of bacteria put in a petri dish to grow to be the size of the world by next Wednesday because it exhibits exponential growth for the next 24 hours. Our timeframe is simply longer, and our petri dish isn't growth medium but hydrocarbon bonds formed by plants millions of years ago.

    The situation is probably worse for us than for the bacteria however. A bacteria formed late in the logistic growth curve will need about the same caloric inputs as a bacteria formed early on. Humans however have exhibited a substantially less efficient growth curve; we seem to require more and more energy inputs for correspondingly smaller increases in population growth. Energy consumption might rise exponentially, but the population does not. So the future population looks basically like the current population, it just consumes vastly more.

    Which is sustainable if the world can meet an exponentially expanding need for energy. It almost certainly cannot; and the side effects of pollution and ecosystem damage have a very good chance of lowering the effective carrying capacity of the planet substantially. Put differently, we're in the indistinguishable-from-exponential phase of a growth-crash curve, because we're 'preying' on millions of years of accumulated environmental production and durability. Eventually our consumption will burn through both the existing stores and the replacement rate, and we'll look like the coyote population right after eating all the rabbits. Starving and dying of diseases in vast numbers. Or, if we manage to raise global temperatures enough to kill off enough phytoplankton in the oceans, suffocating.


    Now if we actually have free will, and can buck the evolutionary drive to consume as much as possible, we can get to choose which curve we follow. The logistic, or the one that crashes. So far as I can tell, we seem to be defaulting for the crash-curve. The most substantial proof I can think of that we are truly different from an animal following a predator-prey cycle is if we stopped increasing our consumption, instead of idiotically assuming the rules we can clearly see don't apply to us because we're all special'n'crap.
    A fine display of pessimism. But, you haven't been paying attention: I'm not talking about increasing actual population density, I'm talking about increasing potential population density, as a measure of our resilience and power projection into the Universe. Yes, this means developing fusion, and whatever lies beyond fusion. This will ensure our standard of living can continue to improve, even for those inconvenient people in the tropics who must be overjoyed at the prospect of having to choose between drug refrigerators and air conditioning because of the ecology nuts' insistence on energy conservation. 'Cause polar bears'n'crap.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    A fine display of pessimism. But, you haven't been paying attention: I'm not talking about increasing actual population density, I'm talking about increasing potential population density, as a measure of our resilience and power projection into the Universe. Yes, this means developing fusion, and whatever lies beyond fusion. This will ensure our standard of living can continue to improve, even for those inconvenient people in the tropics who must be overjoyed at the prospect of having to choose between drug refrigerators and air conditioning because of the ecology nuts' insistence on energy conservation. 'Cause polar bears'n'crap.
    No. Itīs simply realism to realize where we're standing right now, what happens around us, measure our impact and footprint and act accordingly, because we have evolved to the point that we begin to see the big picture and this still includes us being a part of the natural world around us.

    What we destroy is gone, never to come back, with no chance to recreate it. We do not get some kind of loan or venture capital for it, there is no deal that we overextend/overconsume now but will make it up once we have fusion and can conduct asteroid mining. That's not how it works.

    We have fallen into the predator dilemma and will soon start to suffer from it, where soon is dependent on how efficient we are getting at delaying it.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    The same reason ocean depths, or the dark, or an alien species would be terrifying for a lot of people - the unknown. Not to mention, it's in your DNA to want to live under any circumstance for as long as possible.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsonchristina View Post
    It's natural Every one is feared of Death..


    EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN,
    BUT NOBODY WANT'S TO DIE.

    I am not afraid of my own death, but i am afraid that it will happen to my loved ones some of them before than me, and that fear is only because the great pain i'll suffer for that loss.

    There is nothing scary in death, either there is something behind the veil or not, you won't suffer anymore and If i am right there will be perfect and timeless love. I, however, like i said before in the thread, am afraid of the pain, illness and lack of dignity that can happen before death.

  6. - Top - End - #246

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    I think of it this way: People aren't afraid of death, they're afraid of the unknown. Although you can believe what you wish, no one actually knows what happens after you die.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack3004 View Post
    I think of it this way: People aren't afraid of death, they're afraid of the unknown. Although you can believe what you wish, no one actually knows what happens after you die.
    I'll expand on this further.

    People are afraid of the unknown, and stone people are afraid of sudden radical change. Death combines both, there's the possibility of one of the most radical changes possible that happens in an instant, and we have no way of seeing what's on the other side with any degree of accuracy.

    Okay, time to go deeper while keeping clear of problematic topics.

    As far as I can tell there are roughly four ways people deal with this. 'Life continues after death', 'I have not existed for longer than I have existed', 'I have no choice but to believe that I have no choice, so worrying is pointless', and 'live life to it's fullest, leave no regrets'. For some people these ways work perfectly, for others they don't take away the fact that we can't know. At this point it's not even knowing accurately, we don't have a way to revive the dead[sup] citation needed [/blue] and so we can't know at all. We're not even entirely sure of the dividing line between 'nearly dead' and 'corpse'. At the same time we have spent so long as a species trying to push back death, is it really something we consider good even if it is natural? There are logical reasons for death on a macroscopic scale, otherwise three planet would be overrun. But on both the personal and the societal scale we seem to desire to push death back.

    For many people death is fine until it comes to them or their loved ones.

    Now there are two 'memes' in society, pro-immortality and anti-immortality. At this point the anti side is certainly louder, but I wouldn't say that means they're larger. I'm also somewhat jealous of those five with death, I have enough sleepless nights already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    It's a fact that everyone is going to die one day, whya re people so afraid of it?

    it's like being afraid that the sky is blue, it just is, there is nothing you can do about it.

    I really don't get what the fuss is all about.

    Death and mortality are, and have been for as long as I remember, my greatest obsession.

    The thing that troubles me the most is a difficult concept to expose. I barely grasp it myself.
    I can't conceive the "sensation" of not existence. I know, rationally, there is no sensation in death but our life is perceived as a more or less uninterrupted flux of coscience. It's pretty unconciveable the idea of "prolonged absence of sensation and tought". Personally, I find the idea terrifying.

    As an atheist and materialist, I don't believe in afterlife. It's not a simple opinion, it's a certainity ( I cannot, obviously, provide evidence for this ). So death is the end of everything, the ruin of your personal world. Since universe cannot be directly related to ( we just use our perception to interact on some level with our surroundings ), death is like the end of your personal universe. Everything that you felt, experiencet, researched, fought for, everything is fated to crumble in dust.

    Death has no respect for love, affection, ambition, dream. It devours everything and plunder human life in futility. Even worse, it's a shadow that constantly lingers over humanity, therefore the need so many people feel to immortalize somehow their brief life, trying to achieve some kind of permanence in the memories of their children and loved ones. Yet even those will die, one day, and even memory will fade.

    So, people are afraid of death because death is the quintessential incarnation of fear.
    " Death is a disease! It's like any other... there's a cure. A cure! And I will find it. "
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Conradine View Post
    As an atheist and materialist, I don't believe in afterlife. It's not a simple opinion, it's a certainity ( I cannot, obviously, provide evidence for this ). So death is the end of everything, the ruin of your personal world. Since universe cannot be directly related to ( we just use our perception to interact on some level with our surroundings ), death is like the end of your personal universe. Everything that you felt, experiencet, researched, fought for, everything is fated to crumble in dust.
    Worse than that, for your own purposes its equivalent to being erased retroactively (unless either eternalism, eternal return, or the many-worlds theory is correct)

    Quote Originally Posted by Conradine View Post
    Death has no respect for love, affection, ambition, dream. It devours everything and plunder human life in futility. Even worse, it's a shadow that constantly lingers over humanity, therefore the need so many people feel to immortalize somehow their brief life, trying to achieve some kind of permanence in the memories of their children and loved ones. Yet even those will die, one day, and even memory will fade.
    I think a better (although still fleeting in the face of eternity) way would be to keep detailed journals and save up money to have them transferred to HD Rosetta. And also have your body plastinated

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Eye View Post
    It's a fact that everyone is going to die one day, whya re people so afraid of it?

    it's like being afraid that the sky is blue, it just is, there is nothing you can do about it.

    I really don't get what the fuss is all about.
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    "You... little... *****. It's what my old man called me, it's like it was my name, and I proved him right, by killing all the wrong people. [And], I love ya Henry, and I'll never call you anything but your name, but you gotta decide; are you gonna lay there, swallow that blood in your mouth, or are you gonna stand up, spit it out, and go spill theirs?" - Unknown

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Clearly people aren't afraid of letting dead threads not stay there, though.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

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