Tag Archives: Humanity

Do we matter in the cosmos?

By Nick Hughes – By recent estimates, the Milky Way is just one of 2 trillion galaxies in the observable Universe, and the region of space that they occupy spans at least 90 billion light-years.

If you imagine Earth shrunk down to the size of a single grain of sand, and you imagine the size of that grain of sand relative to the entirety of the Sahara Desert, you are still nowhere near to comprehending how infinitesimally small a position we occupy in space.

And that’s just the spatial dimension. The observable Universe has existed for around 13.8 billion years. If we shrink that span of time down to a single year, with the Big Bang occurring at midnight on 1 January, the first Homo sapiens made an appearance at 22:24 on 31 December. It’s now 23:59:59, as it has been for the past 438 years, and at the rate we’re going it’s entirely possible that we’ll be gone before midnight strikes again.

In the grand scheme of things we are very, very small. more> https://goo.gl/Dp2NaC

Updates from GE

How to Restore a Touch of Humanity to the Online World
By L. Mark Carrier – We need a new set of social norms for the Internet era to prevent online interactions from doing more harm than good.

What makes it psychologically easy for a human to remotely pilot a drone and use it to assassinate another human on the other side of the world?

What makes it easy for one person to unleash a piece of malware that infects millions of computers around the world?

Or, closer to home, what makes it possible for one adolescent to post vicious lies about another adolescent online to the point where the victim would want to commit suicide?

Normal human relations — those done face to face — require a whole set of rules of engagement that keep our innate selfish instincts in check. Social norms develop around our interactions, based on the context in which they occur and the culture that we come from. In the Internet era, however, the traditional norms often no longer apply — creating a need for a new set of rules on behavior …

Traditional social norms run deep, having been established over long periods of time. more> http://tinyurl.com/peo5cnz