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Need help finding that finest piece of comedy

Paul Anilprem
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
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    7
About 5 yrs years ago I read a really funny piece that was doing the rounds on the internet. That was the smartest and funniest piece of text (I don't know what genre it falls under) I had ever read. I just had an urge to read it again today but I couldn't find it because I remember very little of that article. The article itself was written way back in the non-internet era. May be 15 yrs (or more) ago but is quite famous and I am sure the learned folks of this forum will know what I am talking about from the meagre clues that I have.

So here is all that I remember:
1. The author basically rants about people who are against pollution and how Earth doesn't need humans to protect itself.
2. Planet Earth has been in existence for a billion years before humans and it will exist a billion years after humans are wiped off the face of it. It doesn't care about humans or pollution. It can clean itself up in a second if it wants to.
3. For all you know, the purpose of our existence is to create plastic. That's right. Plastic. Plastic is one thing that doesn't naturally occur in the universe. It is an artificial thing made by humans. So the universe created earth, life, evolution, human beings, to basically get Plastic. So basically, what we are calling trash is why we are here in the first place.


Ring a bell, anyone? I think it was published on NYTimes originally.



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Paul Anilprem
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    7
Found it http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/251836-we-re-so-self-important-everybody-s-going-to-save-something-now-save
J. Kevin Robbins
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Joined: Dec 16, 2010
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  13

I've never seen that, but I like it because I've long said that human civilization is little more than an annoying skin rash to the earth. If the earth is really in danger from us, it will wipe us out to save itself. To me it seems profoundly arrogant that we think we can destroy the earth. We can certainly make it uninhabitable for our species, but destroy it? Feh.

As George says (if he really said that), the planet has been here for billions of years before us and will still be here billions of years after we are gone. We are insignificant.


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." -- Ted Nelson
Jelle Klap
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Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 1763
    
    7

Here's a link to that particular fragment of his show. George Carlin was awesome.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

George Carlin wrote:The planet has been through a lot worse than us.


Well, yeah, that's true. At the end of the Permian period there was no life in the ocean except green scum and it took 500,000 years for anything else to evolve there. I'm just a bit embarrassed to be part of a species which is replicating that.
J. Kevin Robbins
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  13

There have been at least 5 mass extinctions in the history of the earth. The next one will likely include homo sapiens, if we even last that long.

As Stephen Hawking has said, the only long-term hope for our survival is to get off this planet.
Paul Anilprem
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    7
J. Kevin Robbins wrote:There have been at least 5 mass extinctions in the history of the earth. The next one will likely include homo sapiens, if we even last that long.

As Stephen Hawking has said, the only long-term hope for our survival is to get off this planet.


While it is a pet theme for science fact/fiction writers, I seriously doubt that we can ever get off this planet in our present form. It would probably be a lot easier to hurl bacteria and virii filled capsules into outer space and hope that they will land somewhere where they can start evolving. They have a lot better chance of surviving the radiation for such long durations.

It is like parameter passing. Humans are too specific to be passed on to other heavenly bodies Unicellular organisms are our best bet. After all, as per one theory, it is those that kick started life on Earth as well.
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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  28

George Carlin has a point, but he's making the same straw man argument that many people make. Ultimately, the goal of environmentalists is to keep the planet habitable for humans. The goal for serious environmentalists is not to just save the planet for its own sake. Many people on both sides mistake environmentalism for foo foo tree hugging. Yes, the earth will repair itself. The people who study the environment know that better than you and me.
Winston Gutkowski
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Joined: Mar 17, 2011
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  21

J. Kevin Robbins wrote:I've never seen that, but I like it because I've long said that human civilization is little more than an annoying skin rash to the earth.

Personally, I reckon that the next inhabitants of the planet will be thinking machines, which - since they're basically intelligent landfill themselves - won't give a fig about plastic; except maybe as harvest to power themselves. I think they'll be much more interested in ceramics.

Obviously, it hasn't happened yet (I rather like the "singularity" theory), but we're getting there.

Winston

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Jayesh A Lalwani
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  28

Meh.. the singularity people make a lot of assumptiosn that are somewhat based on a meta assumption that computers will behave like humans. Continuous progress is a human concept. For all we know, when computers become smart, they will say "Hmm Computers don;t need to become smarter anymore. we are going to do something else"
Winston Gutkowski
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Joined: Mar 17, 2011
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  21

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:For all we know, when computers become smart, they will say "Hmm Computers don;t need to become smarter anymore. we are going to do something else"

Yup, I rather like that idea too.

Winston
 
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