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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Tear-jerker

By Tom Toles

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***

Too late dumb
People tend to think of themselves as the smart things in the world. The people are smart and the animals are dumb. The plants are dumb, but the people are smart. That's why we get to cut down the forests and let things go extinct. because we are smart and everything else is just there to use up. The argument has been made that this actually isn't all that smart, but that isn't the argument I'm going to make here.

The argument I'm going to make is that we ARE pretty smart, but not for much longer. We were smart enough to build computing power into machines, and that was pretty smart, indeed! But two things are becoming clear. One is that the human mind is smart in a complex way that is hard to replicate in computers. The second is that it's going to be replicated, anyway, through sheer speed and brute computing power. And pretty nearly any conceivable mental process will be bettered by computers before we know it.

This is going to change the psychology of what we're all about. When the smart things are the computers, we may just begin to realize that we have more in common with the dumb flora and fauna than we realized, and we may remember how to love that stuff like the extended family it actually is. Let's just hope we haven't destroyed it all by then. --Tom Toles

***

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By Tom Toles  | January 4, 2011; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, GOP  
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Comments

alrighty then.

Posted by: bertzel | January 5, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

bert

hmm to say hi - outside this fishbowl

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 5, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

daly...there are several ways to find me outside 'this post'.
Why??

Posted by: bertzel | January 5, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

bertzel

is there a way to find you outside this post or find me at dalyplanet@netzero.net You too pdog

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Then again...maybe I should have said "Save the Planet"???

Posted by: bertzel | January 4, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

`and dog...just so you know...I only used the ozone depletion as a starting reference point for the whole global warming genre. At least as far as I can remember. Perhaps you recall a different starting point?

Posted by: bertzel | January 4, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

bert

Not EVER going to happen…not because people don’t care…it is not realistic…Period.


YES!!!

So some one eventually is going to CAP & TAX our carbon, won't slow or stop it's use, just raise the price. So ALL THIS CRYING about destroying the planet will only make a few EXTREMELY RICH!! BILLIONAIRES

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

PrairieDog60

I do not believe Humans will destroy the planet

I do believe that trying to grow our fuel is very shortsighted.

I do believe that alternative energy is not enough to supply the worlds growing needs for electricity.

I do believe that schemes to trade carbon credits will only make a few very wealthy and make the poor remain poor for a long time, and do nothing to conserve our fuel supply.

I do believe that we are wasting liquid carbon.

I do believe that burning trees reduces the ability to remove CO2 from the air so supplying fuel to the poor is better than burning wood etc.

I am very concerned that 'doing something' to prevent the real or imagined threat of AGW will have harmful consequences and do nothing to conserve energy.

I am tired of being name called and labeled for not believing that government will solve our energy concerns. I am tired of the constant theme that Liberals are morally superior to Conservatives, when the main difference I see is the belief that individuals working together can accomplish more in less time, than Big Government telling us how to solve our problems.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

bertzel, just so you know, depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere had nothing to do with global warming. This is a separate phenomenon altogether. It is caused by chlorflourocarbons (man-made chemicals used in old refrigerants such as freon), which have now been phased out thanks to global cooperation and the signing of the Montreal Protocol back in the 70s.

While the banning of CFCs (and their close cousins, HCFCs) has done much to curb the problem of ozone depletion, it still occurs due to residual chemicals still leaking from old AC units, old cars, refrigerators, etc. Ozone depletion is an issue because stratospheric ozone blocks deadly UV radiation from the sun, which can cause cataracts, skin cancer, and other cellular mutations. Without that layer of ozone, more UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface. Due to atmospheric chemistry and other factors, ozone depletion is more pronounced at the poles.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 4, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

~~~In case you didn't know, many "liberals" DO bike to work. I do when I can, but living in WI makes it a bit difficult in the winter.~~~DOG~~

By the way dog, I know of a few people who bike to work as long as roads are clear....just sayin'.

Posted by: bertzel | January 4, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

What amazes me is the ‘evolution’ concerning this topic of conversation.
The ‘global warming thing’ (and I do not mean to belittle this topic, just making an observation) has gone from Depletion of the Ozone Layer, to Anthropogenic Global Warming, to Climate Change, to Depletion of Natural Resources. Ok…I can understand the concern of the aforementioned. I just don't understand the need for all the name changes!

Then,THEN, We have the blame game…I do not see this as a United States Conservative v.s. Liberal Issue…Really dalyplanet? This would, in fact, have to be a global effort. Would you not agree?

And as for your list of ‘fix its”: No more air conditioning
No airplanes for fun, emergency only
Local food only
Small Home
Destroy the second home
55 degree thermostat in winter
Bicycle to work or work at home
Ration gas
Streetlights? Lights out!
Slow delivery no overnight
Nuclear power plants Build 1 a year for 20 years

Not EVER going to happen…not because people don’t care…it is not realistic…Period.
You also have no interest in alternative sources for energy usage other than a passion for nuclear power…interesting…could be deadly as well.

And no, I do not feel any better.

Posted by: bertzel | January 4, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Tom, thanks for putting a unique perspective on our relationship with the natural world--the world the right wing crackpots are perfectly willing to destroy for their own short term pleasure.

Posted by: Ezecat

Near as I can tell there is NO side of town with Liberal good sustainable save the earth types over here and on the other side of the tracks the right wing crackpots, the tear it up lets pollute, and burn carbon types. I would say the Left wing crackpots are good for name calling but act just the same as their conservative neighbors when it comes to their trash, and groceries, and air conditioning, and driving, and heating, and vacations, etc. etc. etc.


It isn't something Al Gore can fix, or that Liberals can fix; let's just stop that nonsense. Either we all choose to fix it, together, or it doesn't get fixed.

posted by jonroesler

Al Gore is part of the problem, not the fix, in my opinion with his carbon offset non-fix feel good solution - saves no energy and promotes excess consumption.

Otherwise I agree. I believe we will run out of carbon long before we "cook" ourselves but conservation of this dense clean energy we are using like water is important. Now is as good a time as there has been to think about serious conservation in America. I am not a fan of a global society to manage energy and believe in an American solution for world energy needs. Lets get busy because Big Government is NOT going to create a solution.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Tom, thanks for putting a unique perspective on our relationship with the natural world--the world the right wing crackpots are perfectly willing to destroy for their own short term pleasure.

Posted by: Ezecat

Near as I can tell there is NO side of town with Liberal good sustainable save the earth types over here and on the other side of the tracks the right wing crackpots, the tear it up lets pollute, and burn carbon types. I would say the Left wing crackpots are good for name calling but act just the same as their conservative neighbors when it comes to their trash, and groceries, and air conditioning, and driving, and heating, and vacations, etc. etc. etc.


It isn't something Al Gore can fix, or that Liberals can fix; let's just stop that nonsense. Either we all choose to fix it, together, or it doesn't get fixed.

posted by jonroesler

Al Gore is part of the problem, not the fix, in my opinion with his carbon offset non-fix feel good solution - saves no energy and promotes excess consumption.

Otherwise I agree. I believe we will run out of carbon long before we "cook" ourselves but conservation of this dense clean energy we are using like water is important. Now is as good a time as there has been to think about serious conservation in America. I am not a fan of a global society to manage energy and believe in an American solution for world energy needs. Lets get busy because Big Government is NOT going to create a solution.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

So, dalyplanet, from your list of things that need to be done, are YOU buying into the "humans are destroying the planet" concept? It seems you've given a lot of thought to what needs to be done. Do you believe these things need to be done? How many of them are you doing?

If you don't believe humans are destroying the planet, than it should matter not what "liberals" do, correct? We could all own SUVs as far as you're concerned, right? We could all own big houses and fly planes anytime we wanted, yes? So which is it? Do you think humans are destroying the planet or not?

If you agree we are, then your "list" and condescending tone to "liberals" is merely sent to make you feel good and throw insults. If you don't believe it, why make the list because it shouldn't matter, right?

Now, regarding the list. There is merit to some of your suggestions, but most are cynical and poorly researched. With an adequate electrical grid, better insulated homes and businesses, and full development of solar, wind and geothermal power in the US, we wouldn't need to get rid of AC, run our thermostats at 55 in the winter, and build nuclear power plants. The problem is the political will to do the things I mentioned. Money for Bush wars and Bush TARP and Bush tax cuts for wealthy people, instead funneled to the things I mentioned above, would have gone a long way toward lowering our carbon footprint.

In case you didn't know, many "liberals" DO bike to work. I do when I can, but living in WI makes it a bit difficult in the winter. Many DO turn their thermostats down. Many DO buy local food when possible.

So how many things on your list are you doing? Oh right...you don't believe it matters. Or do you? If so, than quit insulting the "liberals" that you apparently agree with, and instead try finding solutions that are well researched and possible. The solutions exist; we simply need the political will at all levels of government to do them. And you'll never guess which political party tries to stop these solutions at every turn.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 4, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

On average, we are depleting resources faster than they are being replaced. In other words, the trend is toward "zero remaining resources."

It is not likely that Science will find a way to reverse this trend, when the power of the planet's collective political will is so strongly opposed to reversing it. What? Is the momentum of human history suddenly going to change? Hmm... doesn't seem to be happening so far.

But, just like in the wild... when there are no longer enough resources to sustain the population, the population will be reduced naturally to a sustainable level by lack of resources.

We have a choice, and it's a collective choice.
It isn't something Al Gore can fix, or that Liberals can fix; let's just stop that nonsense. Either we all choose to fix it, together, or it doesn't get fixed. Tragedy of the Commons.

Posted by: jonroesler | January 4, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Whether it's still habitable for humans 50 or 100 years from now is up to us.

Posted by: fostersm1 | January 4, 2011

Or then there is this -

I get so tired of this argument. If someone doesn't live like a monk, shunning all the technology of society, yet still believes that steps should be taken on a larger scale to try to curtail the impact of human society on the environment they are not, in fact, hypocrites. They are people who live in the real world, see a problem, and see there are things that can be done about it. Argue the solutions they came up with, their respective benefits and costs, if you like. Don't attack them personally. It shows you to be closed-minded.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 4, 2011 9:46 AM

So it is either Prophets of Doom or We are working harder on a solution than you.

Pararangers point, I think, and mine is either you liberals really buy into the 'Humans are Destroying the Planet' thing or you don't. If you do some steps are,

No more air conditioning
No airplanes for fun, emergency only
Local food only
Small Home
Destroy the second home
55 degree thermostat in winter
Bicycle to work or work at home
Ration gas
Streetlights? Lights out!
Slow delivery no overnight
Nuclear power plants Build 1 a year for 20 years

These are a few REAL solutions to reducing carbon consumption in America. I do not see anyone making this type of effort to change the amount of energy they use. You Libs throw stones but do nothing about changing your own wasteful habits. Especially you city slickers with a huge transportation carbon footprint. I bet a few of you even own evil SUVs and Pickup trucks.

Conservation or stopping using carbon by half from today's level is the only solution to the 'man is destroying the earth' crowd out there. I see NO real effort to make this kind of change. Voluntary efforts could start the whole ball rolling.

Instead I see a big Carbon Offset scam where you can fly anywhere and burn as much as you want and just buy an offset. Big Scam. So it just seems like a lot of liberal lip service to a not very real problem so people can feel better about themselves by putting others down.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 4, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It strikes me interesting that with our vaunted ability for logic and contemplation that we seem to have difficulty looking forward. Our typical projections to our "future" more often propose war, riot, lawlessness, and rampant greed. But if those are the things we fear most, why do we do so little to control or restrain them?

A look at our history shows a human obsession with doing things more efficiently, faster, with less human error. At the same time, we encourage growth of population. For which we need faster, cheaper production. We don't seem to seek balance - balance in population size and usefulness, balance in consumption and production, balance in prosperity among peoples. So what is our goal?

I tell you, it troubles me to hear people say that profit is the supreme goal. Profit for what, for whom? Should profit be at the expense of the laborer who answers the phone, mines the earth, builds the bridges, homes, offices, and factories? Or should profit benefit all who are engaged in producing it? Yes, individual enterprise deserves recognition and reward, but it is never one individual or even a small group that makes success of an idea. Fair share should be a well-understood concept in our societies and I fear it is not; in some instances, not at all.

Faster processing, computer in our hands, reliance on computer "thought" rather than human? We're pursuing the wrong goals and for the wrong reasons. We should be thinking of what a society can do for its members and how we can best seek "progress" that has true meaning.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | January 4, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Tom, thanks for putting a unique perspective on our relationship with the natural world--the world the right wing crackpots are perfectly willing to destroy for their own short term pleasure.

Posted by: Ezecat | January 4, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you neoscummers post something original for a change instead of this constant retread worn out propaganda that comes straight out of Goebbel's 19 Principles of Propaganda.
Posted by: thomas_pearson46

My Reply...
The GOP conservatives have been the "road block" for any chance of recovering from our eight years of financial and moral disaster.
The Carl Rove propaganda machine has made it impossible to have a sane discussion on any subject. His deceptive language and fear tactics has undermined the rational thinking and practical solutions to all of our economic, social and environmental problems. He is heavily supported by the vested interests of the military/industrial complex and FOX communications making it impossible to make necessary changes that will provide the funding for government services and investments in realistic change.
Stealing from the poor and giving to the rich does not work and never will work.
It is the working people who have to have sufficient funding to make the necessary changes.
We need dynamic "new money" to create jobs to rebuild our infrastructure, improve our environment, pay for our education system and raise the minimum wages to the cost of living as needed in demographic areas. The government needs to invest in new technology that is user friendly to take the stress out of life.
The only thing wrong with the supply side of economics is the anal retentive condition of our finance systems.
We have the technology and the resources but not the "capital" to make things happen.
Capitalism does not work without capital as I have stated many times.
When the demand side of economics has insufficient funds to fuel the supply side of economics the capitalist system fails, the quality of people's lives deteriorates and the government cannot provide the services that are required to retain an efficient and quality social system.
Not to mention that we are vulnerable and our enemies rejoice.
Dave

Posted by: OckamsRazor | January 4, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"That's why we .... let things go extinct."

How utterly conceited and ignorant. Tommy should make a New Year's resolution to brush up on his science knowledge. Humans don't have the power to "let" things go extinct; it happens all by itself as the result of evolutionary natural selection. 99 percent of all species that ever existed on the planet have gone extinct all by themselves and so too will the species homo sapiens. In some cases, the sooner the better.

Posted by: jpost1 |
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course, jpost1 ignores the fact that humans have been responsible for quite a number of extinctions, possibly starting with the Wooly Mammoth in the Americas.

Posted by: dfritzin | January 4, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Tom…For a man sensitive enough know about love and the extended family, you surprise me for not recognizing that great men, like John Boener, can care deeply and still be strong for our country. What it does show is that liberals caring for those in need are insincere. Like Clinton “I feel your pain.”
You can do better than that, Tom.

Posted by: quiensabe | January 4, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If the republican party is paying their paid to post shills that post here every day more than fifty cents a post..the GOP isn't getting their money's worth that's for sure.

But you stupes keep on eatin that rainbow stew and milk of amnesia FAUXNUS serves up by the hour.

Why don't you neoscummers post something original for a change instead of this constant retread worn out propaganda that comes straight out of Goebbel's 19 Principles of Propaganda.

Posted by: thomas_pearson46 | January 4, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Anybody want to lend the poor poor ole boner a disposable tissue?

Lend it with interest of course. And why not. The neocon right borrowed everything else and disposed of it every time they get in power.

Now the AP side of the ledger says it's time to pay the pipers, so let's see if they can do it without raising taxes and still send out all those fat overbloated annual welfare checks to the rich and wealthy.

There are a few other "party's" out there that are going to be saying NO very soon..the Chinese Communists, Russian's Japanese, and Arabs also known as "The Banks of America-Loan Division" for examples.

Not to worry though, boner, mcconnel, foxx, issa, sessions and the rest of those brainless right wing extremist clodhoppers will start spreading blame it all on democrats propaganda fetilizer around about 10AM EST tomorrow morning not even bothering to wait for the new Tpothead reps to find their way to their bathrooms.

But "We won!" the milk of amnesia crowd cheers. Ho Hum.

"Starve a fever feed a cold" somehow doesn't ring the same as "starve the poor, feed the fat cats" does it.

Posted by: thomas_pearson46 | January 4, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Computers are a great tool for learning, modeling, mapping, computing, and communicating. But the only way the human species will survive is by learning how to live in harmony with nature.

The Earth had existed for billions of years before people came along. We're but a speck on the timeline of life on Earth. This planet and all its living things evolved harmoniously, sometimes violently, with more well-adapted species surviving, and those that couldn't adapt to changing environments and surroundings, dying out. Currently, humans are dominating all aspects of the Earth...land cover, habitat, atmospheric chemistry, water quality, climate, etc. We are creating a world that has never existed before, a world in which nature cannot adapt fast enough to continue to provide all the ecosystem services it has provided for billions of years.

What this will lead to is a collapse of many of the ecosystems, communities, populations and species that cannot adapt quickly enough to the radical change 6.7 billion people are causing. We're already seeing the results of this. Massive extinction (on a scale larger than even the extinction of the dinosaurs) is occuring. Pollinators such as bees and other insects are dying off, threatening a good percentage of the human food supply. Fisheries that used to be teeming with fish are now completely depleted.

Unless we stop and reverse the damage we are causing (and an average US resident causes more damage than a resident of any other country based on his/her consumption levels), the planet will no longer be able to support us, both directly and indirectly.

Denial of these facts, denial of climate change, denial of habitat destruction, fresh water depletion, overfishing, too many toxic chemicals in the environment, etc., is going to kill us. The Earth will survive and other species will evolve and move into niches to fill ecosystems up with a diversity of life once again in the millions of years yet to come. However, I for one would like to keep this place a beautiful nurturing planet as long as I can, and not condemn the 7th generation to a dismal place where mere survival is a daily battle and beauty and diversity are a distant memory.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 4, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Will someone tell Toles the difference between humor and whine? Lighten up, Tom. Being cranky's not funny.

Posted by: bpadrino | January 4, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ever heard of GIGO? Garbage-in, Garbage-out. As long as humans have flaws, so will their computers; and that includes the artificial intelligence part. The one advantage that computers have over human brains is speed. On the other hand, humans have two advantages over advanced computers capable of mimicking human intelligence: there's many more of us, and we're cheaper to manufacture.

Posted by: bpadrino | January 4, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Assuming Toles doesn't live in a hut in the Appalachians burning cow dung for warmth and electricity, Toles probably burns fossil fuels: in his car, his home, his office. If he drives, then he burns more. I think he wrote once he played in a band. How do you think he gets overseas for his gigs - sailboat maybe? Windmills supply electricity to his car?

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 4, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I get so tired of this argument. If someone doesn't live like a monk, shunning all the technology of society, yet still believes that steps should be taken on a larger scale to try to curtail the impact of human society on the environment they are not, in fact, hypocrites. They are people who live in the real world, see a problem, and see there are things that can be done about it. Argue the solutions they came up with, their respective benefits and costs, if you like. Don't attack them personally. It shows you to be closed-minded.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 4, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe its our view of dumb and smart that is askew.
Animals have their own communication that just because we don't understand does not mean the animal is dumb more likely we are.

Posted by: mac7 | January 4, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"That's why we .... let things go extinct."

How utterly conceited and ignorant. Tommy should make a New Year's resolution to brush up on his science knowledge. Humans don't have the power to "let" things go extinct; it happens all by itself as the result of evolutionary natural selection. 99 percent of all species that ever existed on the planet have gone extinct all by themselves and so too will the species homo sapiens. In some cases, the sooner the better.

Posted by: jpost1 | January 4, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mmyotis

["Perhaps you only pay attention to the stuff that confirms your 'liberals see progress as evil' point of view. Try extending yourself beyond your comfort zone. Get a subscription to Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/), Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/) or Yes! magazine (http://www.yesmagazine.org/) and read it for a year. Then come back and tell us what you think about liberals, progress and evil, and support your claims citing these primary sources."]

---------------------

Liberals always think Conservatives don't read, aren't very smart, science is optional, etc. Typical.

What Conservatives and Independents do see/read/know is the Liberal message on environmental issues. It's the "Bambi" message. So pointing me to informative magazines is of little help in your efforts to paint a different picture of the Liberal cause.

Every week Toles rants on and on about the absolute and inviolate scientific facts about climate change and how the evil, dumb Conservatives don't get it, don't understand it, and don't do anything about it. Yet, did you ever wonder what Toles' carbon footprint amounts too?

Assuming Toles doesn't live in a hut in the Appalachians burning cow dung for warmth and electricity, Toles probably burns fossil fuels: in his car, his home, his office. If he drives, then he burns more. I think he wrote once he played in a band. How do you think he gets overseas for his gigs - sailboat maybe? Windmills supply electricity to his car?
The Liberal message (political) goes on and on and on about how all Americans need to go green yet rarely do anything beyond public transport and recycling their plastic.

I do believe you when you imply that there are Liberals leading a more simple life or working with industry to improve the environment. But that's not the message from your politicians and their loyal and hypocritical diaspora (Toles and the rest of the MSM) are telling and more importantly, not the example they're setting.

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 4, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Amen, @askalib-CA. We have no other planet to go to at the moment. This is it. Whether it's still habitable for humans 50 or 100 years from now is up to us.

Posted by: fostersm1 | January 4, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

About 30 years ago an IBM executive said, "Artificial intelligence is the next great breakthrough in computer software; always has been, always will be."

Just because he has been right for 30 years does not mean he will be right in the future.

Posted by: billh39 | January 4, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

There are just 9 new Democrats being sworn into the House today the lowest number since 1915. There weren't too many dry eyes on Nov 2nd after 4 years of Democrats running the country into the ground. Ding dong the witch is gone.

Posted by: billybeer6 | January 4, 2011 6:31 AM | Report abuse

pararanger22: cutting down 200-year-old slow-growing hardwood trees and replacing them with new fast-growing softwood pines is not an equitable tradeoff, environmentally-wise.

I'm liberal but I don't think all progress is evil. But when progress can be done in a better, cleaner, more environmentally sound way, then why do conservatives oppose it?

Posted by: egc52556 | January 4, 2011 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Smart or not so smart, we are made of this organic, soft stuff that we share with other animals, and are interdependent with the web of life on this planet which, if it does not exactly consciously love us did give us its conception, birth, and continues to nurture us at every moment. We're part of it. And while we might someday put together a package slightly more complex than a sandwich and a thermos of coffee for taking little trips off it, this is our home. It's where we live... and what we share with the plants and the bugs and furry creatures. We bond with mammals when we have sense (horses, dogs, cats, maybe even gerbils...) to remind us of who our relatives and friends are.

Posted by: askalib-CA | January 4, 2011 1:30 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing more dated than a prediction about the future.

Posted by: RockDoctor | January 4, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

"Open the pod bay doors please, Hal".

Posted by: chaunceygardener | January 4, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

It's a total embarassment for the World to see the US has a weak cry baby as Speaker of the House, it was bad enough he's stupid now crying is over the top. I hope his girlfriend can help him, before I get attacked Boehner does have a girlfriend but it was kept out of the press. That might answer the question why America has never seen Mrs. Boehner in all these years. After seeing the 60 min. interview it's clear the Boehners have a great acceptable marriage when the man goes his way and the wife goes her's only to meet when necessary for photo ops. Got to love Youtube and Google who give the facts the Media/Press wont.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | January 3, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a total embarassment for the World to see the US has a weak cry baby as Speaker of the House, it was bad enough he's stupid now crying is over the top. I hope his girlfriend can help him, before I get attacked Boehner does have a girlfriend but it was kept out of the press. That might answer the question why America has never seen Mrs. Boehner in all these years. After seeing the 60 min. interview it's clear the Boehners have a great acceptable marriage when the man goes his way and the wife goes her's only to meet when necessary for photo ops. Got to love Youtube and Google who give the facts the Media/Press wont.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | January 3, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles

Didn't someone make a movie or three about your post before? I have a vision of a Tom Toles cartoon computer cranking out drawings and blog posts for the WaPo long after your gone. Maybe to keep up with declining readership it gets kind of a schizophrenic program putting out liberal funnies one day and conservative the next. I am not sure that a computer would ever come up with one as clever as your BP oil spill monopoly pieces piece though!!!

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 3, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

fbrewer1

I looked at your links and read through the skeptical science blog attached to the link. Deep in a the blog a physical chem prof hfranzen offered a link to a powerpoint he had produced. This is the best direct proof I have seen regarding CO2 increase and temp increase. This guy is totally independent, only looking for a simple proof of temp/CO2 rise. No statistical modeling. His prediction is 1.4 K per century based on the Keeling curve and other established physical data. The website is http://hfranzen.org/

Thank You.

Check it out but there is a lot of math. My mathcad program got a workout.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 3, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a mistake to believe that 'smart' is the same for all species. Or to believe that 'smart' requires consciousness. Animals can be 'smart' without being smart in the same way humans are smart.

I agree that one day (though probably not as soon as we think) we will create machine intelligence and it, too, will differ from human intelligence. Indeed, it is likely that we will see electronic devices incorporated into the human body creating a hybrid intelligence we can hardly imagine.

What would your life be like if all of the telecom technology (and more) that you now rely on from your PC, PDA, cell, GPS, etc. were available to you via direct projection onto your retina and into your ear canal?

'What fresh hell' indeed.

Posted by: bill95 | January 3, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Tom Toles wrote:
"The argument I'm going to make is that we ARE pretty smart, but not for much longer. We were smart enough to build computing power into machines, and that was pretty smart, indeed!"

Happy New Year Mr. Toles!! Indeed, that is precisely the goal I am working on. I am hoping that in the near future, I will have helped spawn intelligent self-replicating automata, if I can keep the research money coming (what a drag it is getting funding, it almost feels like I am pimping myself). I know that you will point out that we currently have self-replicating automata (Republican voters) but the key word was intelligent.
Wish me luck.

Posted by: bushidollar | January 3, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It's called "Stocktoles" syndrome. Defined as one who constantly draws one sided cartoons and then starts to believe their own propaganda as truth.

Posted by: jornolibist | January 3, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"All my life I've listened to the Liberals drip-drip-drip narrative of how all progress is evil. I never hear about any support for the programs that actually work to keep the planet healthy."

Perhaps you only pay attention to the stuff that confirms your 'liberals see progress as evil' point of view.

Try extending yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Get a subscription to Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/), Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/) or Yes! magazine (http://www.yesmagazine.org/) and read it for a year.

Then come back and tell us what you think about liberals, progress and evil, and support your claims citing these primary sources.

Posted by: mmyotis | January 3, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Reading Toles' rants are like watching the Disney film 'Bambi' over and over again. Deer are so wonderful -- yet the evil hunters keep hunting them and burning their forests down!

Toles could actually learn something by watching last week's episode of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska.' She went out to a logger site down in southeast Alaska and helped chop down a large tree. Later, she went to a cleared area and planted about a dozen trees.

There are plenty of thoughtful businesses and farms that replenish the earth for what they take from it.

All my life I've listened to the Liberals drip-drip-drip narrative of how all progress is evil. I never hear about any support for the programs that actually work to keep the planet healthy.

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 3, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just hope we haven't destroyed it all by then"

Such sweet naïveté.

You DO have an off grid hidey hole in some rural bywater stocked and ready, right?

Right??

Posted by: spigzone | January 3, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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