Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Quis custodiet the custard?

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The Age Of Ascendance

A title for the time period from 1884 to 1984
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
  [vote for,

Chosen because a person living in that time period could have been born in a world without bikes, cars or electric power to homes and in their lifetime flown on jet planes, watched man walk on the moon on their TV sets, used computers and spoke on cellphones.

No other time in man's history had so many great leaps forward in technology been achieved in such a short period of time and it's entirely possible that this stunning amount of progress may never be achieved at that rate again.

I think we should all be thankful that we live after this period and pay respect not only to the people who created the modern world we live in, but to the cultural attitudes and philosophies of freedom, entrepreneurship and respect for individual accomplishment that created an environment that allowed such amazing progress in science, technology and civilization in general. Giving it a title would help us focus on that amazing time and allow dialog and review for future generations.

Here are some of the life events of a person who lived in the Age Of Ascendance: (from a previous post)

Born in 1884 into a world where there was no such thing as a bicycle, on their first birthday, it's invented. There are no cars. At 2 years old, Benz patents the first practical auto, the Motorwagon.

At 11, the radio is invented.

At 14 plastic is invented.

At 19 the first airplane takes flight.

At 24 they drove the first widely available car.

At 30 they flew on the first commercial propeller driven airplane service.

At 34 they had electricity in their home.

At 35 they purchased a radio and listened to radio shows.

At 54 they bought a black and white television.

At 70 they flew on a jet airliner.

At 85 they watched man walk on the moon on their color television.

At 87 they bought a pocket calculator.

And at 100, a relative handed then the first cellphone and said "Go ahead and make a call. There are no wires!"

doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2020

Bill Gates https://en.wikipedi..._Gates#Philanthropy
Microsoft may have it's problems, but he does do a lot of good too... [neutrinos_shadow, Feb 12 2020]

Age Of Ascendance in their life span https://gerontology....org/wiki/Ollie_Bay
Ollie Bay. [doctorremulac3, Feb 19 2020]

The two docs reminiscing. https://www.youtube...watch?v=26ZDB9h7BLY
[doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020]

Crownfield Frosted Flakes featuring a lion in place of Tony the Tiger. https://images.app....l/zWh5Jw1m4gCmPHpx9
Theyyyyyyy're Acceptable! [doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020]

My dad at a re-union of the Homebrew Computer Club where the first Apple computer was introduced. http://www.bambi.net/bob/homebrew.html
[doctorremulac3, Feb 21 2020]

For [2 fries shy of a happy meal] https://en.wikipedi...etender_(TV_series)
Your comment about yourself made me think of this TV series. [neutrinos_shadow, Feb 23 2020]

kind-of on topic ... http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/craproot
[pertinax, Feb 24 2020]

A step further https://en.wikipedi...llhouse_(TV_series)
There has been a few in the genre back to Joe90 [wjt, Feb 26 2020]

A term for alength of time roughly equivalent to a person's lifetime. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeculum
A new word you'll probably never use. [doctorremulac3, Mar 04 2021]

Case in point. https://www.faceboo...0/2366816746808020/
The first heavier than air flight and the Moon landing were only 66 years apart. [doctorremulac3, Nov 13 2021]

Only tools? https://www.ted.com...nscript?language=en
Tell that to the common man freed from the bondage of physical labor. [doctorremulac3, Nov 19 2021]


       Really puts it in perspective, huh?
blissmiss, Feb 12 2020

       It does, and I'm in a mood to be thankful for stuff right now.
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2020

       We will always be astonished by the rate of recent scientific progress, because the progress is exponential. So, someone born today will probably see more changes (first colonies on mars; first effectively-immortal humans; first AI with human- like intelligence...) than someone born a hundred years ago.   

       But it's still a point well made.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2020

       Well I'm hoping we can match this rate of progress again and maybe by centering on it we can duplicate it.   

       By the way Max, this post came about from my waxing philosophical due to my dealing with your current situation. (I know, poor me right? lol) Sometimes things make you just stop and think you know?   

       I like the idea that there's sort of a challenge here. Can we beat our record? I certainly hope that we try.   

       And you're absolutely right, the next steps will make these moves forward look like trifling novelties.   

       1- The first extra terrestrial colony. 2- The first artificial intelligence that can be categorized as a life form. 3- The victory over death and the ascent into immortality.   

       Like my dad used to say, we will cure death someday.
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2020

       Add in social and economic change too, so milestones like the majority of 12-yr-old girls around the world being in full-time education, the massive decline in the percentage of the world's population living on the equivalent of $1 a day, the global growth in democracy, the decline in deaths from conflict, etc.
hippo, Feb 12 2020


       I saw a show once where a guy talked about his grandmother just sitting in front of her washing machine watching in amazement while it did the job that women had traditionally spend hours a day on, tedious labor, week in week out. She just relaxed and watched as it did the hardest part of the washing for her. An old lady watching a washing machine was actually an emotionally moving image. It was a woman who had worked hard all her life celebrating her liberation at the hand of technology in her own way.   

       This was the age where much of the world was freed from the shackles of tedious manual labor.
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2020

       Yes, but the real advance will come when we have an AI that can watch the washing machine in amazement while we do other stuff.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2020


       How amazed does it really have to be? Can it just sit there and say "Wow! Amazing... Wow! Amazing..." over and over?   

       Naa, I'd know it wasn't really amazed. You'd have to be able to ask it why it was amazed and get an answer.   

       How about appliances that compliment each other?   

       (blender) "Gotta hand it to the robot vac, certainly cleaned up my spill."   

       (robot vac) "Think nothing of it Blendy, you do make an amazing smoothie."   

       (microwave) "Frankly I'm impressed by both of you and... (sniff) I'm proud to be in the same kitchen with you."   

       Wait a moment... hold on... I just had a revelation... although the competition is fierce, that may be the stupidest idea I've ever come up with.
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2020

       What if you get an AI that says, "Ooooooh ... YES ! A-MAZING ! It works ! It works ..oh. Ah. Ooops. Oh dear. Oh shit."
8th of 7, Feb 12 2020

       //Yes, but the real advance will come when we have an AI that can watch the washing machine in amazement while we do other stuff.// - We are already there - I have a machine (some years ago a VHS recorder and now a PVR) that watches television for me, saving me from the dull drudgery of having to watch stuff. Truly, what a time to be alive!
hippo, Feb 12 2020

       Soon there will be a machine that can do your all your living for you. Won't that be nice ?   

       It's also possible to compile an equivalent negative list, including the use of chemical weapons, the slaughter of millions by industrialized warfare, the use of rocketry to drop bombs on cities, the development of nuclear weapons, the threat of pandemic infections, and Bill Gates.
8th of 7, Feb 12 2020

       That's good stuff you're smoking there, [CH]. Care to share it round ?
8th of 7, Feb 13 2020

       (from another post but it's more appropriate here)   

       I think it's fair to say that technical advances lead to other technical advances exponentially rather than in steps. So an innovation or new technology isn't just another step on a ladder going up, it's more horsepower added to a car already going forward creating cumulative results of all the technologies going before it.   

       The water wheel was built using simple mechanics and wood craft but walking on the Moon was the cumulation of advances in rocket, computer and materials sciences to name just a few. In other words, walking on the Moon wasn't invented like the wheel or the bow and arrow. Likewise future breakthroughs will be an amalgamation of previous steps causing progress to accelerate like the car analogy rather than move up another step like the ladder example.   

       This era was the biggest uncovering of the various building blocks of technology. Future advances will be the use of those building blocks.   

       And yes, there were other ages of great discovery, but never so much in a 100 year period.
doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2020

       You do if you think Bill is a "net benefit". Half an hour with a Windows SDK will convince you.   

       Besides, we admit nothing, and wish to consult Sturton's lawyer.
8th of 7, Feb 19 2020

       By the way, I just checked into who would have fit perfectly into this Age Of Ascendance time frame, starting with being born in 1884.   

       Born in 1884: Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Isoroku Yamamoto and Hideki Tojo. Yup, all famous WW2 figures. Crazy eh? None of them made it to 1984 though. Mussolini missed the WW2 babies club by 1 year, born in 1883. FDR was 1882. Must have been some weird sun spot activity that year or something.   

       Now due to the miracle of the web, I've found a very long list of people who's life span matched the Age Of Enlightenment, but I'm not seeing anybody famous so far. One gal, Ollie Bay born in 1872 into a world without jeans, the phonograph, the electric iron and thermostat as well as all the other stuff listed.   

       I think it might make in interesting technology documentary following somebody's life and what was invented on their various birthdays.   

       Call it "The Life And Times Of Ollie Bay" or something.
doctorremulac3, Feb 19 2020

       Why not storyboard it and then pitch it to Nat Geo ? 10 episodes, 10 years per episode.   

       Factoid: Alastair Cook, the famous broadcaster, told people (perfectly truthfully) that he had met and shaken hands with Bertrand Russel... and that Bertrand Russel's aunt had danced with Napoleon...
8th of 7, Feb 19 2020

       //Why not storyboard it and then pitch it to Nat Geo ? 10 episodes, 10 years per episode.//   

       I don't have an answer for that. I can't think of a good reason to not pitch this to various production companies.   

       Nat Geo, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Science Channel.   

       I'm going to do this.
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       //...could have been born in a world without bikes, cars or electric power to homes//

It's still like that in some parts of the UK.

I don't know about 1884, but from my own personal history, the starting point would be as follows (mileage may vary for others, depending on where/when they were born):-

- 1970, we got our first colour TV to watch the World Cup in Mexico and, miraculously, our first stable TV signal too!
- Had to queue up at the phone box down the road in order to make a telephone call. Nobody else had a phone anyway, so wasn't worth queuing because we had nobody to call. We just went round their house, on spec, for a chat instead.
- Didn't have a family car. Couldn't afford to go anywhere anyway, so no point really.
- No central heating; had to build a coal fire every morning.
- Regular power failures? Yep! We had a big supply of candles kept under the kitchen sink for such occassions. We used most of them up in 1974 when things got really bad.
- Holidays abroad was a thing that only eccentric millionaires did. Unlikely destinations included the USSR & Yugoslavia. Neither of which exist any longer.
- Under-age drinking & smoking was compulsory.
- Computers? Nah! I did a Computer Studies course at school in the very late seventies. It was all theory as we still didn't have an actual computer to play with yet. When I started doing a proper job in 1984 (the end of your timeline), there was 1 computer in the office which was actually a dumb terminal linked to a mainframe & I was in charge of it because nobody else knew how to use it!
- Fake news? Yes. It was called the tabloid press. It still exists, I am told, but has lost its monopoly on bullshit.
- Men on the moon? Oh, yes. Not so much of that these days is there!
- Satellites for anything other than government spying on other countries? Err, no. What other uses could there possibly be?
- Global warming? Nope. Burn those fossil fuels baby! (see No central heating, above).
DrBob, Feb 20 2020

       Hey Doc, could it actually be somebody else here grew up poor? We've gotta compare stories like the Monty Python schetch. (link)   

       I'll never forget our first color TV. Dad was self teaching himself engineering towards getting his state mechanical and electrical engineer licenses using, get this, books. All while working as an electrician at two jobs at the cement factory and the ship yards. He was an avid science fiction fan and was very excited about a new TV show coming out, "Star Trek" and since it was shot in color he wanted us to have the full experience. 1966 I believe it was. That thing was magic.   

       Of course we didn't have electricity, we'd just stare at it in wonderment before going to bed at 3 in the morning 6 hours before we went to bed, coming home from the mill after working a 36 hour day, eating a handful of cold gravel and being beaten about the head with a broken bottle if we were lucky.   

       But we were happy.
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       But you tell kids today that and they won't believe you ...
8th of 7, Feb 20 2020

       I grew up with an outhouse in a house with mud walls, and one black and white TV for our extended family, which included my parents, one set of grandparents, and a paternal grand-aunt -- color TVs didn't arrive in the Soviet Union until long after I was gone. The region I come from is disputed territory between Moldova and Russia because of it's large Russian ethnic population.   

       Romanticizing poor areas may be in vogue -- that would certainly not be my preference. My memories more of being called the Russian equivalent of "Kike" as I walked on the street (as an 8 year old), of a bunch of bullies on a street corner catching and burning a live kitten, fun stuff like that. Of course interrupted by the occasional row- rowsing May Day Parade.
theircompetitor, Feb 20 2020

       // a bunch of bullies on a street corner catching and burning a live kitten, fun stuff like that. //   

       <Nostalgic sigh/>   

       Of course, burning dead ones is much less fun.
8th of 7, Feb 20 2020

       Hi doctorremulac3,   

       I wasn't going for the "when I grew up we were so poor..." angle. I was just pointing out that you don't have to go back to 1884 to appreciate the rate of change in technology & society. Apologies if that's the way it came across as that wasn't my intention at all.

As a kid, I never really felt like we were poor (although looking back on things I can now see & understand that we were) & I've always appreciated that there were, & still are, an awful lot of people in the world that were a damned site worse off than we were. tc's story kind of emphasises that.
DrBob, Feb 20 2020

       // you don't have to go back to 1884 to appreciate the rate of change in technology & society. //   

       If you pick any 50 year period after about 1700, the same would be true. But observational evidence suggests that the rate of change is accelerating. If it is indeed a second-order differential equation, with enough data it may be possible to subject it to a rigorous mathematical treatment.   

       Then again, the mere idea that innovation can itself be rigorously analysed is in itself an interesting innovation, and nicely recursive.
8th of 7, Feb 20 2020

       //rigorous mathematical treatment//
That would depend on how you define "change", which is a pretty subjective thing. As some-one famous (I forget who...) once said, "the future is here, it's just not evenly distributed", a particular change might arrive at vastly different times, depending on who and where you are.
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 20 2020

       ... but most of all on how much money you have.   

       Wealth often allows individuals to accentuate the effects of positive change (as they perceive it) or minimize the effects of negative change.   

       This is not invariable, but a general trend.
8th of 7, Feb 20 2020

       I lived on a farm with an outhouse. There were several geese that would chase you in there if you were slow walking. They would bite your heels till you picked up the pace. At night, In the below zero snow and ice. It was no party. I could have used a hoverboard. Feel my pain.
blissmiss, Feb 20 2020

       Ok, we have two players who grew up with an outhouse, TC and Blissy. The docs growing up with their fancy indoor plumbing are out. That's in for this round of "Who Grew Up Poorest?".   

       So TC, although I was born and raised in the US, I was raised on Russian peasant food, which I love to this day.   

       Have you ever had babka in milk, borscht or hren? All delicious and wonderful until you have friends over who say "Uhh, you actually eat that crap?"   

       But that was for special occasions. For my daily meals I was raised on the 4 kid's food groups: Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks. But hey, I had friends that slummed it with generic versions like "Frosty Corned Flakes" and "Great Value Fruit Rings". (link)
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       And speaking of Tony the Tiger, when the voice actor who gave us Tony passed a few years back, I actually recorded a demo of me doing his signature "Theyrrrrre GREAT!" to see if I could pull it off, maybe become the next voice of Tony the Tiger. I thought it was a perfect copy. I have a low voice so I was born for the part.   

       Lost interest of course.
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       // That's in for this round of "Who Grew Up Poorest?". //   

       So what happens now, do you spin a wheel or something, or is it done on points ?
8th of 7, Feb 20 2020

       "Burt, tell our contestants what they've won!"   

       "Thanks Doc, our first place contestant will be bringing home a box of Tommy El Tigre's Sugar-Analog Encrusted Wheat Substitute Flakes, by Great Value! Our second place contestant will be bringing home TWO boxes of Tommy El Tigre's Sugar-Analog Encrusted Wheat Substitute Flakes, by Great Value! Theeeeerrrre aaalllllmost close to being somewhat passably tolerable! Back to you Doc!"
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       [DR] all of those of course. And I'll let you on a little secret -- you've not had vodka, until you've had it super chilled -- with a chren&pepper mix in it -- preferably moonshine (vodka) variety, but off the shelf will do.
theircompetitor, Feb 20 2020

       Hmm. Na zdorovie.
doctorremulac3, Feb 20 2020

       // Feel my pain.//   

       Your pain would be halved, but mine would be increased by a relatively infinite amount.
Voice, Feb 20 2020

       //I wasn't going for the "when I grew up we were so poor..." angle.//   

       And Doc, of course I'm just being goofy, not critiquing.
doctorremulac3, Feb 21 2020

       <Quietly adds [Voice] to The List Of Clever Ones That Need To Be Watched/>
8th of 7, Feb 21 2020

       <resists urge to add tangentially related side story>   


       So... my Mom, my little brother and I went to this Halloween haunted house sponsored by the Edmonton radio station 630 CHED when I was nine and he was seven.
The first people/victims of the tour shut the place down within half an hour of its opening but not before we were out the door and pretty much traumatized for life... I shit you not.
Before you even enter the barn they've staged for the event ghouls climb from graves and drag a shill member of your party back into the ground kicking and screaming as we were shuffled into the dark.
Then came the pitch black back-less staircase climb with people grabbing your ankles from behind them and tickling you from above with what I suppose were feather dusters but felt an awful lot like walking through spider webs and crawling insects.
Then it was on to getting through the strobe-light rubber snake pit room with people above controlling the snakes like marionettes and people thrashing with them on the floor, to be followed by the wailing and moaning car crash victim scene with body parts strewn about and eyeball and such hanging, through to the "surgery" where the 'patients' screamed bloody murder and flailed as the actual animal intestines they'd used were pulled and sliced from what appeared to be their real bodies...

       There was a bunch of other scenes and rooms you had to get through too but I don't remember them all anymore and I'm pretty sure I blocked a few. Give me a break. I was nine.   

       I do remember that the last room had a man sitting in an electric chair and we were all told to line the benches around his court hearing. They read off the list of rapes and murders he'd committed and we were to determine if he went free or got the chair before we could leave.   

       All the adults cheered for the chair, so they pulled the switch and a current passed through the seats and scracked every one of our asses before they opened the doors and let any of us out.   

       There were ambulances and cops arriving while we were leaving.   

       Sadly I don't recall the speed at which the current traveled through he group or even which direction it came from.   


       I think you meant to put this on the "Taser Activated Wave" post no?
doctorremulac3, Feb 21 2020

       Fuck!... I mean Dang!
I am going to paste my erroneously placed anno to the correct posting and yet leave it behind here as well as testament to my everlasting shame at having crossed streams.

       As for this idea...   

       I myself was born and brought home as an infant to a house which my father cobbled together from the wood of an abandoned barn across the street. We had no electricity or running water for my first few years of life. My mother tells this story of when I was three there was nothing to eat for an entire winter but rabbits from the trap-line and potatoes, and another where a storm had smashed in my bedroom window and they found me curled up under the blankets of my crib covered in six inches of snow.   

       I went from homestead living, to hob-knobbing with you folks in a single lifetime.
The all-grades classroom box-car school train came by once a week for my folks before I was born.

       S'truth. My daughter is the first in our family to have finished high school and is in university.   

       Age of ascendance indeed. (+)   

       // I could have used a hoverboard. //   

       We are still puzzled that [bliss] clearly did have a hoverboard (based on the foregoing statement) but elected not to use it.
8th of 7, Feb 21 2020

       //The all-grades classroom box-car//   

       My grandmother, assisted by my mother, used to teach in a village school that was a bit like this, except stuck to the ground. One day, some time just after World War Two, a little boy brought to show-and-tell a glass jar with a pickled baby crocodile. It seems his great grandfather had brought it as a souvenir from Egypt. What had his great grandfather been doing in Egypt? Serving in Nelson's fleet at the battle of Aboukir Bay (1798).   

       The startling thing about this story was the length of generations it implied. It reflected a period when many men couldn't afford to marry until they were old, and young women couldn't afford not to marry old men who could afford to marry them. Hence, long generations in the male line. Also, separately, *very* young midshipmen, cabin boys, powder monkeys, etc.   

       So, in the past (before the age of ascendance), a woman's life was divided into three sections (maiden, mother, crone), while a man's effective adulthood could stretch from about ages 13 to 64. That's now somewhat equalised, in that a man is now not considered a serious person until at least graduation, if not rather later, and just a decade or two afterwards he becomes a has-been or a never-was. I'm not complaining - life has been good to me so far - but it struck me as an interesting pattern, in that it echoes what used to be the trifurcated pattern for women.   

       tl;dr The Age of Ascendance introduced the male menopause.
pertinax, Feb 21 2020

       21 wow!   

       I'm hearing these stories of people's lives and realizing my being raised in "Murder capital of the world" the EPA ghetto was by comparison a perfumed prince existance.   

       We had heating, a color TV, two cars, my mom had everybody in the neighborhood wanting her to drive them everywhere (my dad always said a car is freedom, now matter what your station in life, always have a car) and a phone. Looks like I had it comparatively lucky.   

       Plus I lived in California. Once you see a bit of the rest of the world you come home and say "How do people live in that crappy weather?"   

       My experience with this age is pretty special. My dad was a member of the Home Brew Computer Club, whose famous members were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. One day they brought a wooden box to the club, plugged it in and it was supposed to play "Fool On The Hill" until my dad tripped over the power cable and un- plugged it. They soon fixed the situation and history was made. And as a child, I got to stare in wonder at the Altair computer my dad purchased. The lights blinked as it "computed" the way a computer is supposed to. It didn't say "Com-pu-ting" though unfortunately.   

       I won't say which one he is but there's a link to the re- union of the original members. My dad's one of these guys. (The Steve's declined the invitation. I think they were too busy doing something else.)   

       Quick story from that time, my best friend's brother graduated in about 1970 from Menlo Boy's College, a very exclusive private school whose alum includes the billionaire founder of GoPro, Bob Weir, founder of the Grateful Dead, the guitar player for the Doors that wrote "Light My Fire", the co founder of MySpace, a drummer for Ozzy Osborn who co founded Faith No More etc etc. You get the idea. So Tim graduated in 70 or 71 top of his class, they had a special honors ceremony for him at graduation and guess what his major was. Computer science. Here's a guy who's an absolute genius at computer science in the early 70's smack dab in the heart of Silicon Valley, from a private college not a mile or two from the Homebrew Computer Club previously mentioned.   

       So where is he now? His dad sent him to a retreat not knowing it was a religious seminar. Tim came back as an ordained preacher, been one ever since. Now here's the good part:   

       I don't remember Tim ever smiling. He smiles now. Has a wife and kids and found his true calling.   

       This man has always been one of my heroes.
doctorremulac3, Feb 21 2020

       Speaking of Faith No More -- and I completely apologize for the segway -- but The New Pope as by far the best intro roll of any show on TV, perhaps ever. I've never seen a show better capture the mystery, magic, and profanity of organized religion.
theircompetitor, Feb 21 2020

       This group...this complex, crazy, brilliant, tenacious, resilient, completely bonkers, bunch of individuals is a miracle. For jutta to have held this together for over 20 years is so freaking extraordinary, that I can't really even comprehend it.   

       For me, we went from 9-11, the aftershock, to now people talking into their phones and seeing their friends in the blink of an eye, in real-time. (The gut-wrenching fear of not knowing if Peter Sealy was in the towers when they collapsed. We all simply held our breath until he surfaced.)   

       This to me is some sort of wild accomplishment, that few, if any, have managed to maintain. Yay for us. We come from backgrounds that run the full gamut from utter despair to full-blown contentment. We are a hardy breed, indeed.
blissmiss, Feb 21 2020

       // a little boy brought to show-and-tell a glass jar with a pickled baby crocodile. It seems his great grandfather had brought it as a souvenir from Egypt. What had his great grandfather been doing in Egypt? Serving in Nelson's fleet at the battle of Aboukir Bay (1798).   

       The startling thing about this story was the length of generations it implied. It reflected a period when many men couldn't afford to marry until they were old, and young women couldn't afford not to marry old men who could afford to marry them. Hence, long generations in the male line. Also, separately, *very* young midshipmen, cabin boys, powder monkeys, etc.//   

       I think about that stuff a lot. When I see how a person 'is' I of course cross reference that against every other person I've ever seen like everybody else. I also cross reference them by the parents and various family members attached to them if I've met any of them, and any of the members of the groups I've seen them in looking for niche fillers.
Either way my subconscious then builds little back stories about where the people who made the person I see before me came from, (there's always an origin story), and when it has mulled things over I get to see snippets of what it has deduced. It's not wrong very often any more. After a lifetime of having to do this in order to learn the rules from scratch and keep breathing... I like to flatter myself in thinking that I may have acquired some skill in this regard.
(not exactly something taught in university yet one hell of a course study none the less)

       As far as I can tell, none of us are far removed from our hunter/gatherer days so environmental stresses bring out our formerly animalistic response to stimulus.
Anyone can be driven to insanity. Anyone can descend to depravity unimaginable to like 90% of the planet not subjected to similar stresses.

       Did that pickled Aligator in a jar fire your imagination [pertinax]... or was it already fired?... It obviously got fired somehow.   

       Not directly, [2 fries], because I wasn't born for another twenty years. I was told this story by my mother, long after the fact.   

       I think what fired my imagination most was being brought up in an ideology which was not reconcilable with my lived experience. Clearly, something was very wrong - but what? Where might I find a clue? Better just try to read *everything*.   

       What would you say fired yours?
pertinax, Feb 22 2020

       //Clearly, something was very wrong - but what? Where might I find a clue? Better just try to read *everything*.//   

       Yep. None of the adults were quite right and I had to figure out why.
Very similar firing except instead of books I would... I don't know any other way to put it, I would jump into other people's heads.
We moved like army brats and I'm introverted so it was almost impossible to make friends before heading to the next town.
Whatever it was that kept me prepubescent until twenty made it so that all of my peers left me behind physically and mentally though I was forced to interact with and try to keep up to them.
As I had no father around and was the oldest child in our family everything in life had to be learned by observation from outside of all of the groups of this strange species I find myself part of.
I mostly played alone a lot in my head and was learning the depths of my imagination while the other kids were learning social interaction.
When I got tossed into the adult world, jumping into other people's heads became a necessity in order to learn fast enough to stay alive.
(I think it might be an amped mirror-neuron thing, It's not like I acquire knowledge or memories when head-jumping it's more like I can temporarily make myself think like someone else to determine if they are a threat or not and why they do the things they do)

       Practice that for long enough and you start to see all of the negative spaces in people's thought processes. It's just a short hop from there to thinking in ways you haven't come across while pretending to be others, and inventions just started visually presenting themselves sometime in my late twenties. <shrugs>   

       "Fringe" benefits I guess.   

       That, [pertinax], is a very insightful post.
Voice, Feb 23 2020

       // What would you say fired yours? //   

       Matches. Just ordinary strike-anywhere matches ... <giggling/> ... really, had no idea it would catch so easily and burn so fiercely....   

       Oh, you're talking about something quite different, aren't you ?   

       In that case, we deny everything. Besides, the investigation concluded that it was probably a freak accident.
8th of 7, Feb 23 2020

       Yes, but they also said you were the freak in question.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2020

       We always thought that that comment was rather unfair. The main thing is that nothing was ever proved.
8th of 7, Feb 23 2020

       <stimulated by what [pertinax] said> Can ascendance be accelerated if individuals are given knowledge beyond their reference. A few books past their reading level? My guess would be only in special individual cases. Most of us eventually piece together a fitting level of knowledge. </stimulated by what [pertinax] said>
wjt, Feb 24 2020

       //you start to see all of the negative spaces in people's thought processes//   

       Now *that*, I think, is what Hegel's dialectical logic was originally supposed to achieve. Unfortunately, it was long ago taken over by [insert rude words here], for purposes both more squalid and more boring, so it's hard to make out the beauty of the original intent.
pertinax, Feb 24 2020

       //I'm just being goofy, not critiquing//
Either one is fine with me. ;)
DrBob, Feb 24 2020

       // Unfortunately, it was long ago taken over by [insert rude words here], //   


       Damn you, [pert], we were poised to sound the Godwin's Law klaxon, and then you dodged it.
8th of 7, Feb 24 2020

       <8th forced editing> Doesn't a *different line of thought, negate all current thought lines/spaces except for the angle of thought chosen? Well, until a few steps into the new line thought are processed.</8th forced editing>   

       * Depends on current user's contents.
wjt, Feb 25 2020

       ^[marked-for- incomprehensibility]
8th of 7, Feb 25 2020

       Cool [link] [neutrinos_shadow]. Kind of far fetched though.
I mean even if I had a photographic-memory I couldn't assume another persons abilities or job by imagining and adopting their thought patterns. Too many random variables.

       The base all knowledge just gets wider and more branchy and extreme. Back in the day an individual could hold a reasonable scope on the breadth and detail of knowledge but now and in the future that scope will get more of skate precis with some ultra detailing in some interested areas.
wjt, Feb 26 2020

       I think I get what you're saying... but what do you mean by;   

       //skate precis//   


       skate precis = A quick overview of the simple fundaments of a subject
wjt, Feb 27 2020

       ... or the fish course at a fancy restaurant.
pertinax, Feb 27 2020

       Highly accurate use of wheeled or bladed footwear, shirley ?
8th of 7, Feb 27 2020

       The posted link popped up on facebook for history nerds. The first manned heavier than air flight and the Moon landing were only 66 years apart.   

       In this age of negativity I think it's important to realize we're lucky enough to be born around this turning point in the evolution of civilization.
doctorremulac3, Nov 13 2021

       [-] Ascendance, really? Technology is only a tool.
wjt, Nov 19 2021

       True, but I'm very glad to be living with the benefit of those tools.
pertinax, Nov 19 2021

       //Ascendance, really? Technology is only a tool.//   

       Tell that to the people who have been freed of daily backbreaking labor due to technology who would have lived short brutish existences of endless toil, death and disease from lack of medical technology, who had to chop wood to not freeze in the winter, pull buckets of water out of a well and lug them back to their home to not die of thirst and spend hours of work skinning, gutting and cleaning an animal or all day gathering and grinding crops just to eat.   

       And tell that that to yourself and those you love whose very lives are made possible only through technology. If we were to abandon these tools for survival and go back to a hunter gatherer existence, the vast majority of humanity would die. The lands of Earth in their natural state can only only support so many humans per square mile. Without tools, the first to die would be all the people in the major cities. Billions of them would simply cease to exist in a matter of days. Tools are quite simply the cure for death.   

       From the first sharp rock used to hunt to the massive power grid that heats our homes, drives our transportation and allows us to communicate with each other over vast distances, tools are an integral extension of man that differentiates us from the rest of the cosmos. The universe created us, and now we're using tools to expand that universe from inert masses of rocks and gas into sentient beings, conscious entities aware of the worlds around them, alive, thriving, evolving and becoming the spark of creation through which the universe itself gains consciousness.   

       Through tools, we will populate the cosmos and take our place as the vanguard of life itself.
doctorremulac3, Nov 19 2021

       //populate the cosmos//
As long as we survive long enough to reach that state... I'm not normally so pessimistic, but humans (collectively) aren't heading for the stars any time soon :-(
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 21 2021

       Well, we have a better chance than the dinos did. Nature thought big and dumb might do the trick. One little asteroid and that plan failed.
doctorremulac3, Nov 21 2021

1st: big & dumb
2nd: they die, giving smaller & smarter (just...) room to live
3rd? We die off, giving something smaller & smarter room to progress... (I'm looking at you, cephalopods).
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 21 2021

       ////populate the cosmos////   

       //As long as we survive long enough to reach that state... I'm not normally so pessimistic, but humans (collectively) aren't heading for the stars any time soon :-( //   

       We should be there already if that were really the goal. Many hands make for short work and with how slowly military tech is declassified I would bet that a small percentage of us are already there.   

       //(I'm looking at you, cephalopods).//   

       LOL, just occurred to me, I'm guessing that of the trillions of sentences spoken in all languages over thousand of years, that's the first time somebody has ever said that exact sentence.   

       //I would bet that a small percentage of us are already there.//   

       Hmm. Possible I guess. I'd have a lot of questions though.
doctorremulac3, Nov 21 2021

       Me too.   


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