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Discuss: The Tyranny of Entitlement



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1 wildrose on Jan 06, 2011

The Singularity will give us no choice.  Humans will no longer be the dominant species on earth.  AI won’t love us or hate us; superhuman intelligence may have goals that are inconsistent with human survival and prosperity.  We will become the pests…enjoy the life you have while you can.

2 tahoe165 on Jan 06, 2011

I see lots of humans trying to live a healthy and happy life.They are doing their best to teach their children, to love and to pass on a legacy to future generations. You seem to suggest that we should just crawl into a cave and die.  I am very glad that I don’t look at life through your depressing set of lenses and am sorry for you that you do.

3 Jean on Jan 06, 2011

Lafarge wants to put up a hazardous/toxic incinerator not far from Tulsa.I was trying to think of what I could say that would make the Dept of Environmental quality tell them “NO”...Maybe I will just read this to them and see if they catch on.

4 Dave Gardner on Jan 06, 2011

An arrow right to the bullseye. @tahoe165, I saw no such suggestion. Jensen writes a very uncomfortable truth in the hope of inspiring humankind NOT to give up, but rather to wise up.

Dave Gardner
Producing the documentary
GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth

5 Phillip Gilbert on Jan 07, 2011

Thank you for clarity with a very difficult subject. America’s, and maybe the world’s guiding light is capitalism and growth. Both are powerful beasts that have consumed much of the Earth’s resources in one century. The allure of growth and capitalism could be likened to a very additive drug. The overwhelming power of entitlement and addiction does make for a formidable force, and maybe inevitable.

6 Denis Frith on Jan 07, 2011

The article ends with the comment that the abuser will stop because he has to. That is true of our materialistic civilization and its human population. It operates by irreversibly using limited natural capital at a high rate. That capital is now becoming scarce so the unsustainable ravishing cannot continue. Natural forces will ensure the abuser will stop. It matters not one iota that many humans have a belief in the possibility of continuing economic growth. Reality will dictate the irrevocable devastation of our life support system and the associated senescence of our civilization.

7 Dan on Jan 07, 2011

Very lazy argumentation.  Summers may be wrong, but you need to actually care about the details.  I think a lot of us are counting on “natural consequences” to force our economy to become sustainable- i.e. we’ll run out of oil and coal before we really remake the earth.  I think it’s quite possible that economic growth could continue well beyond the point that my aesthetics would prefer, and that if we want to preserve a natural world, we’re going to have to convince a large majority that it’s worth preserving, and that a steady-state economy is preferable to the loss of the natural world.  Because we may not bump up against hard limits that stop our expansion any time soon.

8 Jeff L in WI on Jan 07, 2011

I totally agree with the writer. The idea of growth is so ingrained in our culture that most people will think of this article as hogwash.
What is wrong with things just settling down? Companies do not have to get bigger to succeed. It used to be ok to just maintain a steady profit margin but those days are gone.
To Dan, we may never run out of coal but as we proceed to use it up, the mountains of Virginia will disappear and the environment will continue to degrade to the point that, who will want to live here anymore?

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