What if?

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Ratchet
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What if?

Post by Ratchet »

First, this may seem like an uneducated, or "dumb" question by some of you, but I'm seeking honest opinions.

What do you think would happen if the American government were ever to be overtaken? From a rather ignorant teenager's view (myself) the world seems to be brainwashed by the government and any disagreement between any country is exaggerated largely by the media. The media makes it seem almost as if the world could cease to exist at any moment because everyone has nuclear bombs and everyone is more than willing to just start dropping them at any moment.

I realize that's not an exact representation of what goes on, but I also know many of you actively follow world news and the government. What are the odds that the United States gets overtaken at some point in the future from a foreign invasion of sorts? What would happen to Americans? Would the change be drastic, to a dictatorship? Or is this unlikely to ever happen? I know our government hides an insurmountable amount of information from us, what is really going on? Is it possible for the corruption of our government to end, and our nation to return to the fundamentals of "liberty, justice, and freedom for all"?
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Re: What if?

Post by Word »

You seem to refer to the entire political class when you say "government". I'd rather try to sanction big corporations that enforce their interests in an amoral way while causing paranoia like your own.
The world is too interdependent for another world war, the only thing that is never completely impossible is a revolution, or drastic reforms, from the inside of a state. Your politicians are supposed to represent the people to get elected, so it's unlikely that all of them are just "brainwashing" you.
I know our government hides an insurmountable amount of information from us, what is really going on? Is it possible for the corruption of our government to end, and our nation to return to the fundamentals of "liberty, justice, and freedom for all"?
That's based on the simplistic assumption that the government really wants only the worst for you. Most people realize that it's complicated to decide if your lives are worth more than your privacy. Nobody here can really know if PRISM etc. are dangerous or the opposite, you'd have to ask the CIA boss and hope he's honest.

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Re: What if?

Post by sinewav »

Word pretty much summed it all up, but if you are worried another country will going to attack the United States stop worrying right now. No one can compete with our military and the world could not weather another global war, so just forget about it. But maybe you think because our military is so huge we could be forced into a police state? The size of our military works against that idea too because of the broad spectrum of people that comprise our military, police, and other civil service positions. Imagine how many Snowdens and Mannings there would be if the government started clamping down on the citizenship with weapons. There is no chance of a revolution where the citizens rise against the government in armed conflict for the same reason that another country can't attack us. (Note: this is also why I think the gun laws in this country are idiotic. If anyone thinks they are arming themselves against the government and forming a militia they are a moron. Your automatic rifles won't do shit against sidewinder missiles.) So that leaves civil war, but it is still a remote possibility and I can't imagine where the lines would be drawn. There is just too much diversity.

Also, all that founding father BS is just that. The United States was never, at any point in time, about "liberty, justice, and freedom for all"? Sounds like you've been listing to too many radical radio shows.

Finally, here is the advice I give to everyone bitching about the government: Don't like it? Go to law school, join the ACLU, get involved in local politics, and avoid using exclamation points when you write.

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Re: What if?

Post by Ratchet »

Well, I wasn't pretending that I believed the stereotypical paranoia of things such as "brainwashing" and such, I just didn't really know how to word it as if to start a discussion about it. I have no clue what's actually going on, and I wanted your sorts of answers to see how you felt about the general topic.
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Re: What if?

Post by 2+2=5! »

Generally I think there are bigger things to be worrying about. Personally I believe we are headed towards global economic collapse / WWW III or even a Mad max situation as things break down and people fight over resources for survival.

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Re: What if?

Post by Clutch »

inb4 America annexes Canada

-edit-
Also a bit surprised we make the top 15 on that list
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Re: What if?

Post by Jonathan »

If any one thing would help it's quality education. So many bad things subsist on malignant ignorance.
Clutch wrote:inb4 America annexes Canada
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Re: What if?

Post by Lucifer »

I was genuinely concerned when we went into Afghanistan and Iran started making nuclear noise that we were being setup. If our military were engaged in three wars of the sort that Iraq and Afghanistan were/are at the same time, a power like Russia by itself, or possibly the asian cooperation league (whatever it's called) as military allies *could* have invaded and stood a fair chance of militarily occupying the continental united states. All the technology in the world can't protect us when most of it is overseas and their logistics are cut off in a blitz.

But as both Russia and the US can testify, military occupation and conquest are very different things. Lessons we learned in Viet Nam, Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, and next in Syria. (Actually, we had better strategies for Libya, and hopefully we'll use those lessons in Syria)

WWIII, in my opinion, is going to be fought by new states formed with certain fundamental values similar to the ones currently present in whatever geographic areas these states form in. It will be a large-scale war for resources fought first with whatever weapons are left over from the collapse event, and is it drags on with progressively less technologically advanced weaponry until it'll be IEDs, rifles/handguns, homemade rockets and mortars, and swords, bows, and arrows, with horse, motorcycle, and improvised vehicular cavalry all serving in the same armies. And that's assuming some of our manufacturing infrastructure can be salvaged.

What the collapse event will be is anybody's guess. I'm thinking global warming.

How the US will split up? Look at the blue states. :) There will be a west coast coalition that'll probably include Nevada. I'd expect Utah and Idaho to form their own coalition or descend into permanent anarchy. The rest of the southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, the western part of Texas, and some Mexican states) will form into a majority hispanic state. The rest of Texas will descend into civil war, along with most of the south. The midwest will be largely unchanged, but will stop exporting and will be invaded by whoever organizes quickest. The red belt across the great lakes will form up and immediately invade New England, who will also form up. Florida will stand alone, Puerto Rico will finally be free, and Alaska will revert to a primitive state (along with most of Canada. The populated southern part of canada will join with the US states near them, except for the belt across the north of the midwest, which will either see a disapora west or east or form up its own group and invade south).

Mexico will split up into states roughly corresponding to latitude, largely controlled by previous drug lords. South America will probably survive relatively unscathed, except for famine sweeping the areas. We might see a few borders change, but otherwise it'll look the same when it's done.

Greenland will become a base for pirates, as will most of the caribbean.

Panama will be either rich or conquered in short amount. Whichever state ends up controlling it (assuming it doesn't fall into perpetual warfare) will be unbelievably rich. That or the panama canal will be destroyed.

Hawaii will also become a pirate base of sorts.

Y'all take it from there and figure out what the rest of the world will look like when WWIII starts. :)
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Re: What if?

Post by Ratchet »

Impressive. Very impressive. :P
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Re: What if?

Post by sinewav »

I think WWIII is a myth. I am not seeing any indication that something like that would happen or even could happen, realistically. WWIII just seems like a Cold War artifact we should discard, a pre-Internet idea. That last bit there is the point I want to make: the Internet has changed everything. Ideologies divided by geography are eroding rapidly. WWIII is happening right now, I believe, as a global war of ideas -- ideas on how we should proceed through the 21st Century and beyond. And ultimately everyone will win the war, the loser's lives will get better. There are massive problems ahead of us, global warming being the most pressing. It'll be rough for a while but I think we will be Ok. Collectively, the creativity of millions of people working on the same problem make humanity a supercomputer.

You might think I'm a bit too optimistic. I guess it's because I read a lot of science blogs and the stuff I see is pretty inspiring. Just today I saw a lab had achieved +31% efficiency on a solar panel. It was only 2 years ago we were struggling to get to the 20% mark. There are so many advances in energy research, many of which are almost ready to roll out. Energy crisis? I think we will actually dodge that one. Fresh water and air are the real challenges, but again I think we should be able to overcome those problems without too much loss of life (human and animal).

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Re: What if?

Post by Lucifer »

sinewav wrote:I think WWIII is a myth. I am not seeing any indication that something like that would happen or even could happen, realistically. WWIII just seems like a Cold War artifact we should discard, a pre-Internet idea. That last bit there is the point I want to make: the Internet has changed everything. Ideologies divided by geography are eroding rapidly. WWIII is happening right now, I believe, as a global war of ideas -- ideas on how we should proceed through the 21st Century and beyond. And ultimately everyone will win the war, the loser's lives will get better. There are massive problems ahead of us, global warming being the most pressing. It'll be rough for a while but I think we will be Ok. Collectively, the creativity of millions of people working on the same problem make humanity a supercomputer.
Sure, but what sort of doomsday societal collapse scenario would you like to predict? :)
You might think I'm a bit too optimistic. I guess it's because I read a lot of science blogs and the stuff I see is pretty inspiring. Just today I saw a lab had achieved +31% efficiency on a solar panel. It was only 2 years ago we were struggling to get to the 20% mark. There are so many advances in energy research, many of which are almost ready to roll out. Energy crisis? I think we will actually dodge that one. Fresh water and air are the real challenges, but again I think we should be able to overcome those problems without too much loss of life (human and animal).
I'm actually pretty optimistic, to be honest. I just wanted to jump in on the "OMG WHAT IF THE WORLD ENDS!!" topic.

I do want to point out that there is a global warming case that could affect manufacturing so badly that these advances in energy research may not be possible to supply logistically, which would mean research that could save us sitting in labs while people riot all around.
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Re: What if?

Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:I do want to point out that there is a global warming case that could affect manufacturing so badly that these advances in energy research may not be possible to supply logistically, which would mean research that could save us sitting in labs while people riot all around.
That's the thing that worries me most. It's entirely possible for us to run out of food very, very quickly. That's when everything will get crazy. I know this is going to derail the topic but does anyone have numbers on the net biomass of the Earth? Does it change much? Biodiversity will be demolished in the next century, that is unavoidable. But I wonder if we can develop systems where we make food out of raw materials, literally creating biomass and printing edibles at the protein level to feed communities. When we start to look at food production at the level of raw elements and amino acids, well damn, there is food everywhere! We just need to organize it for our bodies. Imagine taking waste and feeding it to colonies of bacteria, then breaking down that bacteria with machinery and reorganizing it into nutrition we can use. Would we be able to increase the overall efficiency of human beings as a system?

:wink: I'm out of my mind, I know.

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Re: What if?

Post by Word »

I guess more people should read what Mark Lynas said, even if not everything Monsanto does is great.

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Re: What if?

Post by Bytes »

I don't think we in first world countries could ever have a proper long term famine crisis, ie not more than 3/4 years absolute tops. We have the capability to produce food from things like fungal biotanks, similar to the way they currently make food such as quorn. That and our current obsession with meat (I'm not currently a vegetarian, so count me in on delicious steak) drastically reduces the efficiency of our agricultural process, consider that the energy transfer from plant to a primary consumer such as a cow is 10% top end. That means we could, back of the envelope figure, presuming we eat about 30% of our food as meat, increase our food energy output by around 27%. People don't want to let go of luxuries while it's not absolutely necessary, that's OK short term but means that we hit crisis situations on the changeover periods where we don't have the luxuries and don't yet have the infrastructure to produce the next generation of foodstuffs.

The net biomass on Earth is huge, the only way we really lose it is through combustion. When we're forced to change from fossil fuels to renewables in the next few decades, I imagine all biomass fuel sources will probably be filtered out as well.

Anyway, gtg, meeting!
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Re: What if?

Post by Jonathan »

sinewav wrote:
Lucifer wrote:I do want to point out that there is a global warming case that could affect manufacturing so badly that these advances in energy research may not be possible to supply logistically, which would mean research that could save us sitting in labs while people riot all around.
That's the thing that worries me most. It's entirely possible for us to run out of food very, very quickly. That's when everything will get crazy. I know this is going to derail the topic but does anyone have numbers on the net biomass of the Earth? Does it change much? Biodiversity will be demolished in the next century, that is unavoidable. But I wonder if we can develop systems where we make food out of raw materials, literally creating biomass and printing edibles at the protein level to feed communities. When we start to look at food production at the level of raw elements and amino acids, well damn, there is food everywhere! We just need to organize it for our bodies. Imagine taking waste and feeding it to colonies of bacteria, then breaking down that bacteria with machinery and reorganizing it into nutrition we can use. Would we be able to increase the overall efficiency of human beings as a system?

:wink: I'm out of my mind, I know.
I wouldn't want to go there. Not as a last resort, as we'd be inclined to do, anyway. The world is anthropocentric enough already. "Oops, destroyed the world and, critically, our food chain. Now let's find a way to sustain humans."

I think one of our biggest issues is that we have too much power; we tend to use it all regardless of the consequences. So we have to be very careful solving anything with more power. We should learn to be happy with less than we can afford, lest we run out because our use was momentarily affordable but not sustainable. This sort of utopia where we all have plenty (too much) and live in harmony is just not gonna happen. We need limits.
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