everything has its time

I’ve heard some pretty pessimistic stuff lately, and I wish to allay any fears regarding the state of the world. First, I read an article citing a study predicting the extinction of all fish species (except jellyfish, although they’re technically cnidarians) by 2048, if I recall correctly. Then, I saw a paleontologist on The Colbert Report who said that man could be going extinct (this point was also raised in my ecology class).

http://www.biguglyfishies.com/There are several reasons that neither of these issues is either real, or a problem. Regarding the fish, who needs ’em? Look, if the fishing industry wasn’t tossing chum at me left and right trying to get me to eat “sushi” or, worst of all, “caviar,” maybe fish would have a chance. But as it stands, they’re dragging up all kinds of disgusting stuff that should remain down there creating ecologically-diverse ecosystems so stuff that’s not so disgusting can flourish. Regardless, if the fishing industry doesn’t see fit to change their methods, I’ll be fine without fish as an option for dinner. They smell terrible, they’re entirely too healthy, and they just don’t taste that good. It would be a shame to not have any “killer shark” or “boy riding whale” movies though.

http://www.traditionalmexicancooking.com.mx/history.htmlSo what about man’s impending extinction? Man has been dominating this planet for as long as I can remember (and, apparently, as long as recorded history can remember), so I think we’ve learned a thing or two about “existing.” Man’s population is continuing to grow on a global level, increasing ~1.3% per year. Though this is down from ~2.1% growth between 1965 and 1970, we’re becoming more stable and it’ll actually be a good thing when fertility equals mortality. Of course, being a religious man, I’ve got to believe that we’re going to be around here long enough to get what’s coming to us, but even those who don’t subscribe to such beliefs can look at the numbers and see that we’re not declining. Like any species, we’re being held in check by natural devices (disease, war, natural disaster, etc.), but anyone who thinks we’re being wiped out needs to consider the size of the average Mexican family.

5 thoughts on “everything has its time

  1. I heard a pretty interesting application (theory by a completely unqualified guy to make the theory) of Moore’s Law (That thing which states that in more words “processors get twice as fast every 18 months”.) He applied it to other real world fields of study (ie medicine was the most interesting), by pointing out that life expectancy was beginning to follow the trend of Moore’s Law (he had a bit of evidence, but it was kind of inconclusive). Which seems OK, until you realize that eventually life-expectancy would be growing by more than 1 year/year. Therefore, everyone born after a certain year would live forever. This could be problematic if it worked, because it begins to interfere with life. (Which in the end was his implied point: Moore’s Law will eventually taper off when it interferes with life.) Guy’s name is Ray Kurzweil.

  2. Moore’s Law always struck me as a load of crap. How it got the designation “law” is baffling. It’s just a random assertion that companies have fought to prove true over the years.

  3. It’s more than an assertion. At very least it’s a theory. Over the last 30 years it has been followed almost to a T, even though we are ahead of the curve currently. There are a lot of stipulations that aren’t thought of most of the time. It is possible to make a processor now that would be astronomically fast, have tons of cache memory on it, multiple core, the works, etc. There just happens to be another stipulation to Moore’s “Law” that accounts for the price. There is a lot to it, but it is an interesting theory.

  4. It’s something he came up with based on an observation of current trends – seems assertive to me. Like you said, we’re the ones making it hold true. For that reason, its designation as a “law” seems skeptical to me, since it could easily be broken by over- or underachieving.

    A theory would be an explanation for the trends. Simply saying that they’re “explained” by summarizing the trends doesn’t really theorize anything. Evolution, cells, and even the germ basis for disease are all still technically “theories,” despite overwhelming evidence on their behalf. It seems unfair for Moore’s observation to be more credible than those. But yes, interesting nonetheless.

  5. Haha, yeah. Anything 30 years old in almost every field is considered new. However, in computer science, 30 years ago was just the beginning

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