Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord."
Did jolly old Jacob stumble upon visitors from another galaxy do members think?
" ... Did jolly old Jacob stumble upon visitors from another galaxy do members think?"
I don't know. My own guess would be that it was simply a dream. Out of interest, gerard, have you ever tried shaving with Occam's Razor? Stephen Hawking once wrote that he did not think the human race would survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet.
Like Stephen, I am an optimist, gerard. We will reach out to the stars. I commend such an approach to everyone reading The Third today. Given Stephen's dire warnings about the future, however, we may not be around to see the twenty-second century. Our ongoing survival — even if it is under our current state of technological development — could be considered a positive outcome. Many have suggested that we have already reached our pinnacle as a species. Congratulations to all!
Back in 1992, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote 'The End of History and the Last Man', in which he argued that our current political, technological, and economic mode was the final stop on our journey. He was wrong, of course; Fukuyama's book will forever be remembered as a neoconservative's wet dream written in reaction to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the so-called New World Order.
More realistically, however, the call for a kind of self-imposed status quo has been articulated by Sun Microsystems cofounder, Bill Joy. Writing in his seminal 2004 article, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us", Joy warned of the catastrophic potential for twenty-first century technologies like robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology. Subsequently, he called for technological relinquishment — a kind of neo-Luddism intended to prevent dystopic outcomes and outright human extinction. The prudent thing to do now, argued Joy, is to make do with what we have in the hope of ensuring a long and prosperous future.
The philosopher Martin Heidegger observed that time “persists merely as a consequence of the events taking place in it.” Now, researchers are finding that the reverse may also be true: if very few events come to mind, then the perception of time does not persist; the brain telescopes the interval that has passed.
So the human brain may act like a telescope, cynic 09, assuming that the present time exists in the first place. Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity suggest not only that there is no single special present but also that all moments are equally real. Fundamentally, the future is no more open than the past.
'Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know ... '