The Biosphere, Self-Regulation and Human Control

Russian Studies in Philosophy 13 (2):90-94 (1974)
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Abstract

A previous speaker has compared man's earth with communal quarters. The comparison makes its point but is probably not quite exact. If one were to look for a more accurate simile of the same nature, one might say that mankind is now living in a bus following an exponential highway. In front of it looms either an insurmountable hill or a chasm, and the passengers on the bus see the future through the prism of their emotional mood. Some insist that it stop and that they move into caves, while others urge ascent into outer space or placing hopes on the "perhaps" of self-regulation. These extreme points of view have in common the fact that they are based on a feeling of hopeless helplessness. Terrestrial caves are not much better than those in outer space, while existence on other cosmic bodies requires not only the creation of an earthly environment in the ordinary meaning of the word but of artificial gravitation as well, or else the weakened muscles would be unable to support the mortal bodies of the "lunatics" and "martians." To stop dead or slow things down with a yellow light is also impossible. To stop is the equivalent of death or vegetating anabiotically, since natural systems cannot function under conditions approximating idling speed.

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