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Sources: Personal Opinion.
July 7, 2006 9:56 AM   Subscribe

We need to get Stephen Hawking an AskMe membership. Stephen Hawking asks the Yahoo public how the human race is going to survive. Yahoo staff are excited. But the answers? Well, let's just say that there may be more utility in eating tweens after the nuclear apocalypse than listening to their ideas. To balance the stupid, Hawking has several of his lectures online. And there's great stuff on PBS's Stephen Hawking's Universe (though it's aimed at providing a basic understanding of astrophysics). Or, for a more animated view MC Hawking's (sometimes clumsy) "What We Need More of Is Science. (Previous mefi hawking here, here [where he seems to be answering his later question], here [where he presents another view on how humans will survive], and here.)
posted by klangklangston (56 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
See here also.
posted by beagle at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2006


It is stunning how much Yahoo advertises Yahoo Answers on the radio around here.
posted by smackfu at 10:05 AM on July 7, 2006


Metafilter: To balance the stupid.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:05 AM on July 7, 2006


You know what's kinda funny? Hawking's question would have probably got deleted on AskMeFi.

Boy those answers are bad.

I'd rather drift in space on a space station colony then participate in raping another planet of its soul.

Whee!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 AM on July 7, 2006


He should have asked, "How will the human race survive the next 100 years with nimrods like you giving me embarassingly stupid answers such as these?"

That's sad.
posted by JWright at 10:11 AM on July 7, 2006


Smart doesn't balance stupid. The scales would go down on the smart side every time. Smart pwns stupid. Stupid balances stupid.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:11 AM on July 7, 2006


The best answer was supplied by yahoo user thegreatwhitehype18:

how about TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST, pal!

Indeed! I trust he will supply us with the tenderizers, marinades, and many tasty garnishes necessary to make the subterranean herd of tweens more palatable.
posted by HAMFIST at 10:15 AM on July 7, 2006


mrgrimm: "You know what's kinda funny? Hawking's question would have probably got deleted on AskMeFi."

And for good reasons. We have standards, pal. There's no way to tell the correct answer to that question. Sure, there may end up being one or more that Dr. H agrees with (there are 16k answers, anyhow). But no one will know which one is right for 100 years.

And even then, the question may end up appearing meaningless. How would you answer the question: "How has the human race survived the past hundred years?"
posted by Plutor at 10:17 AM on July 7, 2006


It's not like the question hasn't been asked here.
posted by absalom at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2006


Damn it, beagle! That's what I get for being a dumbass. Our answers seem to be: "Oh, humanity will be here in 100 years, I just wouldn't want to be there."
posted by absalom at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2006


Come on. Planets have souls? Yeah, I am concerned about the human race killing itself off as much as the next guy, but the planet is a huge chunk of rock that's just going to keep spinning and spinning regardless of what we do to it. Let's keep things in perspective here: it's about us, and not about a giant rock and its "soul."
posted by xmutex at 10:20 AM on July 7, 2006


Plutor: How would you answer the question: "How has the human race survived the past hundred years?"

On mefi? With a single-link post to youtube.
posted by HAMFIST at 10:21 AM on July 7, 2006


Rocks have as much soul as you do.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2006


Rocks have as much soul as you do.

Right. That's what xmutex said, isnt' it?
posted by arcticwoman at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2006


Jesus Christ.
Source(s):
Bible

posted by arcticwoman at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2006


I used to think my job was kinda sucky, and after reading the link I'm pretty convinced the worst job in the world would be SAT essay-evaluator.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2006



posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:39 AM on July 7, 2006



I thought it was a PR Stunt for Yahoo, more than anything. Or maybe Hawking's just trolling.
posted by cavalier at 10:39 AM on July 7, 2006


Meh. I'm rooting for extinction.
posted by effwerd at 10:40 AM on July 7, 2006


Todays Yahoo question? Tell Bono how to end poverty. I'm sure the answers will be of the same caliber....
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 10:40 AM on July 7, 2006


It actually all hangs together pretty well if you change "How can" to "Why won't".
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2006


duh you end hunger by feeding people lol
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:49 AM on July 7, 2006


That's what the Soylent Green is for
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:53 AM on July 7, 2006


By not expending all our resources on the elements of our society which are unable to survive on their own.

Satisfied, Mr. Hawking?
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2006


I cannot imagine a situation (that could be afted by mankind's actions) where all of humanity is wiped out within 100 years.
posted by thirteen at 11:05 AM on July 7, 2006


If he asked us, not only would he have gotten answers, but he would have found out about some great places to eat in Portland and learned how to fix his mac while waiting for them.
posted by patr1ck at 11:05 AM on July 7, 2006


I know it's not PC or whatever, but the way to end hunger is not to have so many fucking people to begin with. It is a system. It needs balances. Stop feeding people that can't feed themselves! And stop keeping people alive beyond their expiration date. Accept that death is part of the cycle. We need a catastrophic plague in a major way.
posted by shoepal at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2006


I cannot imagine a situation (that could be afted by mankind's actions) where all of humanity is wiped out within 100 years.

Killer robots, man made viruses, very very big bombs, raditation weapons, genetically modified leopards, the grey-goo scenario, zombies, and a whole host of crazy shit we haven't thought of yet, probably involving very cheap energy.

Note that these are non-exculsive.
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2006


Anyone know how his relationship with Davros is getting along?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2006


I know it's not PC or whatever, but the way to end hunger is not to have so many fucking people to begin with. It is a system. It needs balances. Stop feeding people that can't feed themselves! And stop keeping people alive beyond their expiration date. Accept that death is part of the cycle. We need a catastrophic plague in a major way.

You mean stop feeding cripples, like Stephen Hawking? Yeah, what a waste of space...
posted by saulgoodman at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2006


I think shoepal just volunteered. Thanks, buddy -- more cake for me!
posted by LordSludge at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2006


Shoepal, couldn't agree more. Same with all this gerontology nonsense, it's not like the old sods aren't going to die is it? It's common knowledge that old people are just a waste of thermal underwear. So many simple solutions if people would just think the hard thoughts.
posted by econous at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2006


Why the future doesn't need us - Our most powerful 21st-century technologies - robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech - are threatening to make humans an endangered species. By Bill Joy, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems. See also thisimpassioned lecture (video and transcript available).
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2006


LordSludge, I'd gladly volunteer if it meant the foreign aid game would stop, doctors would let the elderly die naturally and people would accept that death is as natural as birth.

saulgoodman, I meant people that live in lands that aren't condusive to farming and thus must be supported by food donations.

I've no qualms with invalids that can't physically feed themselves. That's just mean.
posted by shoepal at 11:51 AM on July 7, 2006


I've no qualms with invalids that can't physically feed themselves. That's just mean.

So do we still feed the invalids if they just happen to have been born in "lands that aren't condusive to farming"? Is that somehow less than just mean?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:55 AM on July 7, 2006


Oh Saul, you're so witty and smart. I concede. You've won this debate, sir. Most assuredly. I am no match for you.
posted by shoepal at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2006


shoepal--not debating you. seriously want to know why it would be less cruel to let stephen hawking die if he had been born in some country with infertile soil?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:16 PM on July 7, 2006


Nice troll, shoepal. That statement puts you in pretty good company. I won't mention this company for fear of Godwining the thread.
posted by anomie at 12:21 PM on July 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it, troll away. Hawkings comment was a troll to begin with.

//exits stage left
posted by anomie at 12:22 PM on July 7, 2006


shoepal: saulgoodman, I meant people that live in lands that aren't conducive to farming and thus must be supported by food donations.

This doesn't follow. Japan has to import food. It supports itself by paying for its imports with its exports. Britain has imported food for a long time.

Surprisingly, famine isn't typically caused by lack of food. It's caused by lack of money to buy food.

Rapid population growth is definitely a major challenge for poor countries. But I would suggest that birth control would be a better and more humane approach than letting people starve to death. And this has to be tackled by the poor countries themselves; outsiders can't do it for them. (Imagine outside governments trying to impose a China-style one-child policy on a country.)
posted by russilwvong at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2006


Unity Through LOVE.
;-)
posted by team lowkey at 12:31 PM on July 7, 2006


Fair point, russilwvong. I'm speaking more to the handouts of food that undermine local agriculture and allow people to continue to live where food is not readily available (because they can't afford to import it or because it can not be grown or in the case of some areas, because they choose to grow X instead of Y and X is more susceptible to drought, etc.) There is also the problem of governments using famine and food dispersal to control certain sects/factions/groups, etc. And of course, the fact that entitlement (and capitalism?) is a major factor, as your link points out. (see also this askMe which references Amartya Sen's book)

The system is effed. People should be able to feed themselves sans Aid. From The Economist: As Clare Short, Britain's aid minister, says: “If you keep giving people handouts of food, you undermine local agriculture.”

I was being flippant up above and I apologize for coming across as a troll.

thanks for fixing my typo of condusive to conducive. Much appreciated.
posted by shoepal at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2006


I'll pony up the $5, if someone can get hawking's attention.
posted by filmgeek at 12:55 PM on July 7, 2006


If he posted that here, it would be chatfilter and deleted.
posted by delmoi at 1:07 PM on July 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Not impressed by the askers either. There's a prominent search input field on the page, but (for example) Why are there interstates in Hawaii? has been asked 31 times. A riddle any self-respecting comedian wouldn't be caught dead saying: 232 times.
posted by kurumi at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2006


Clearly, people who pay $5 for the privilege of posting their comments/opinions are smarter than those who do it for free. SNIFF!
posted by spock at 1:34 PM on July 7, 2006


Bono asks, What can we do to make poverty history?

I think the best way to make poverty history is to fire all of America's workers and garnish their life savings.
posted by JJ86 at 2:15 PM on July 7, 2006


Hmm, maybe I misread the question.....
posted by JJ86 at 2:16 PM on July 7, 2006


what delmoi said.
posted by moonbird at 2:28 PM on July 7, 2006


On mefi? With a single-link post to youtube.
posted by HAMFIST at 7:21 PM CET on July 7

member since: May 24, 2006

Posting History:
MetaFilter: no posts and 4 comments

posted by mr.marx at 3:38 PM on July 7, 2006


On mefi? With a single-link post to youtube.
posted by HAMFIST at 7:21 PM CET on July 7


Nah mate something cross posted from boingboing perhaps.
posted by econous at 3:53 PM on July 7, 2006


mr.marx: point taken and snark withdrawn :)
posted by HAMFIST at 6:25 PM on July 7, 2006


I know the answer to his question, but I'm not telling until he ponies up the 5 bucks.

Bastard's probably mooching our MuFi bandwidth as we speak.
posted by graventy at 9:07 PM on July 7, 2006


I read that and really hoped that it was fake. I imagined myself in an auditorium where Stephen Hawking asked that question and got those answers, and just wished that I had a way to stand up and say, "Wait, wait, no, we're not all like that -- really, I don't even know those guys over there. No -- wait. Where are you going!?"

Not sure if that makes me a big elitist or what, but it was pretty painful to read. Then again, I'm sure that Stephen Hawking has gotten pretty used to being smarter that other people by now.
posted by spiderwire at 9:13 PM on July 7, 2006


But I would suggest that birth control would be a better and more humane approach than letting people starve to death. And this has to be tackled by the poor countries themselves; outsiders can't do it for them.

There is that little thing where quite a bit of the US's foreign aid is predicated on denying people access to effective birth control. You know, because Jesus wanted the population to be barefoot, pregnant, and AIDS-ridden.
posted by darukaru at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2006


Hawking's whole 'we must colonize space now' thing drives me insane. How about, let's share the resources we have now? Seems pretty simple. I know, I know, call me naive, but is colonizing space any more realistic?
posted by serazin at 10:10 PM on July 13, 2006


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