Name the most important thing you have found out in your life!

jtr1962

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Absolutely true! And, one of the biggest reasons why I never got married (though not the only one) is that in modern-times, marriage has zero benefits for men. You could put a massive amount of effort into a marriage, and one day out of the blue get blind-sided by your spouse who decides, "Hmm, I could do better."

She leaves, takes your children with her. Courts side with her, literally simply due to her gender. And, not only can you not do anything about it, but you have to pay alimony and child support. Think about it. She leaves, turns your world upside down. Devastates you, and your children, AND.... You then get the privilege of paying her to do so! Yeah, no; I'm not participating in that type of lunacy!

Some will say that doesn't happen to every guy. Happens to just over 50%. So your odds are literally worse than a coin flip. Some will say, well; you do get children out of it. Honestly, take a good long look at what happened to the founder of U-Haul. That is a man who absolutely would have been better off not having children. Again, you get zero guarantees that your children will love or respect you. Even if you raise them properly.
Great post! So many things you wrote are true. I've heard it all about marriage and kids (with my answers in brackets).

Don't you want to leave behind something of yourself after your gone? (If I'm dead why would I care? Besides, I hope in my lifetime we find the means to conquer aging and death so I *never* die.)

Don't you want someone there in your old age? (My mom was in a rehab place/nursing home for over 10 weeks. I saw lots of old people there with kids who never visited them, much less took care of them. Having kids or a wife is no guarantee you won't grow old alone.)

EDIT: I just remembered a nice little tidbit from that rehab place. One of the residents (or more accurately inmates) complained to me about his kids never visiting him. Then he asks me do you have kids of your own? I said no. He says you really owe it to yourself to have kids so you're not alone in your old age. I was ready to do a face plant.

You'll miss out seeing all the wonder in their eyes as their growing up. (Perhaps, but it'll be easier for me to remain young at heart, and see a lot more wonder in my own eyes as I life a live I couldn't possibly live being responsible for a wife and children. I'd rather live a life I love than live one vicariously through children.)

Don't you want to have people in your life who love you? (Again, no guarantees your children will love you, or your wife will continue to love you. Besides, if you really want unconditional love you're better off with a dog or a cat. They're a lot less expensive, and frankly a lot more joy to have in your life.)

There's actually a lot more than those:


https://wehavekids.com/parenting/10-Reasons-to-Have-Kids (I really hope a lot the reasons in this one are satire)
And, this is coming from a Christian. Though admittedly, I am different. Having a massive amount of children made sense in an era when most of them didn't live much longer beyond their first Birthday, or died days after birth. Having nine children made sense back then because it meant you were playing the odds. Have nine, maybe one or two would survive to become adults. Nowadays, you get some devout members of the church who have nine or 12 children, they all survive; and become a major financial burden on the family as a whole. Brilliant!

Truth is, I keep my guard up around my fellow Christians. The vast majority have an attitude of "I'm saved!" So they treat non-Christians as if they're a lower form of life. Or, they believe that their righteous indignation is all the justification they need to commit the worst acts you can imagine! Or, that if you're a man, you MUST get married. Again, great idea.... for a long dead era. Like having massive numbers of children. I'd never intentionally shoot myself through the top of both feet, and I'd never intentionally get married. Literally zero benefits to doing both. But both come with horrible disadvantages. Get married, work yourself into misery like a slave for people who likely won't appreciate your sacrifices. Why?
Yeah, these ideas of marriage and having double digits of children are straight from a long dead era. To add to what you wrote, let's not forget the absolutely horrendous number of women who died in childbirth back then. By the time you might cranked out ten kids, you were probably on your third wife at least because the first two died in childbirth.

Sad to say, most other religions are similar in their thinking to Christianity. In a nutshell, they relegate men to ATMs to provide for their family, and women to baby factories.
 
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jtr1962

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Free time is not time spent doing nothing, but time spent doing what we want, rather then what we have to. There is little reason to believe that coming generations will not be better off then us.
My long-term hope for humanity is first off, we get AI/robots advanced enough to do all the dirty work of society, basically allowing anyone to have anything (within reason) just for the asking. The idea of needing to work for goods or services will no longer need to exist. Assuming that happens, this means we need to radically rethink how we educate people. Now a lot of it is for future employment. In this new world where that's no longer relevant, we let people study whatever strikes their fancy. I've heard mass automation might produce an artisanal economy. People do creative things, then share them with others. The payback is recognition, or in some cases even inventing stuff which advances us further. So long as people are educated for a life like this, I'm not seeing any long term issues with boredom. Boredom usually comes from lack of options due to lack of money.

Thinking further ahead, if we ever invent FTL drives, that opens up the entire galaxy for study and recreation. With that, you could live a million years without ever wanting for lack of interesting things to do. When I watch Star Trek, at first I might think with replicators giving people things just for the asking, why isn't everyone just bored silly with nothing to do all day? But then I think they were educated to live in a world like that. They hone different skills. Some of them join Starfleet. They live to meet their emotional and intellectual desires, not their material ones, as those are already taken care of by automation.
 

Olumin

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Becoming too dependent on automation & AI can be very dangerous for a society, even if said AI is not intrinsically malicious. Some people will point out that AI and algorithms can never be truly altruistic, as they are tools for the people & institutions that developed them, who usually have ulterior, selfish motivations such as data collection & advertising. But that ignores the possibility that those same companies & institutions, even politics, might eventually be replaced by said AI. Once a universal AI is developed, there is nothing it cannot do & no one it cannot replace. Even fields like scientific research, philosophy & art will not be safe from this. Even tho you might have freedom, you would be living in a world where you truly did not matter. There will always be some demand for human created art or man-made items, but it will be a niche market at best.

Most humans require goals, ambitions, a sense of being useful & belonging, even some hardships to give their life meaning. If you strip all that & live out your life isolated in a star trek holosuite with a replicator you may be physically healthy and safe, but what meaning would our lives have & what purpose would they serve? Society would collapse as social interactions become redundant & most people cease to have children or physical relationships. With endless entertainment & artificial relationships humanity might eventually waste away as they are kept content & entertained in a artificial fantasy world. Why explore the universe if you can simulate it? Think of the movie Wall-E.

Retaining some control & autonomy as humans might very important in a AI dominated world, even if it might be more difficult or even initially inferior to the easy, comfortable alternative. To some such a future would be dystopian, other might view it as utopia. People are naturally lazy, nature goes the path of least resistance, so the risk of us choosing the easy way & giving up control is a very real threat.

tumblr_py9u6oebVq1vrz04eo6_540.gif

It's Only a Paper Moon (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
 
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jtr1962

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Becoming too dependent on automation & AI can be very dangerous for a society, even if said AI is not intrinsically malicious. Some people will point out that AI and algorithms can never be truly altruistic, as they are tools for the people & institutions that developed them, who usually have ulterior, selfish motivations such as data collection & advertising. But that ignores the possibility that those same companies & institutions, even politics, might eventually be replaced by said AI. Once a universal AI is developed, there is nothing it cannot do & no one it cannot replace. Even fields like scientific research, philosophy & art will not be safe from this. Even tho you might have freedom, you would be living in a world where you truly did not matter. There will always be some demand for human created art or man-made items, but it will be a niche market at best.
The key is *don't* develop a universal AI, or even self-aware AI for that matter. Stick to using machines to do dirty, dangerous, repetitive functions of society that humans hate doing. Use them in research to crunch or gather data, or check hypotheses, not to formulate theorems. If you have AI art or music, it'll probably certainly be different, but in the end it'll be just another genre, not something that would replace stuff made by humans.
Why explore the universe if you can simulate it? Think of the movie Wall-E.
Because you want to actually know what's out there, not take a guess at it in a holodeck. My feeling is what's out there is more fascinating than anything humans can dream up.
Retaining some control & autonomy as humans might very important in a AI dominated world, even if it might be more difficult or even initially inferior to the easy, comfortable alternative. To some such a future would be dystopian, other might view it as utopia. People are naturally lazy, nature goes the path of least resistance, so the risk of us choosing the easy way & giving up control is a very real threat.
No argument there. Even now I think we're giving computers control of too many critical systems. It might seem good until people with malicious intentions hack them.

The big problem I see is how to educate humans to live in this hypothetical world. My guess is we'll try to help them retain as much of their child-like innocence and curiosity as we can.
 

Olumin

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The key is *don't* develop a universal AI, or even self-aware AI for that matter. Stick to using machines to do dirty, dangerous, repetitive functions of society that humans hate doing. Use them in research to crunch or gather data, or check hypotheses, not to formulate theorems. If you have AI art or music, it'll probably certainly be different, but in the end it'll be just another genre, not something that would replace stuff made by humans.
The problem with that is that it might eventually be required. What if technologies like FTL drives or the cure to aging can never be developed by a human mind? We must accept that our brains have limitations, both in creativity as well as intelligence. A computer does not necessarily. Certain computers can also think differently then we can, which can lead to scientific breakthroughs that might otherwise not be possible. Also never forget the age old "we did because we could" attitude that has pioneered human innovation for millennia.

I think the development of a Universal AI is inevitable. When it arrives it will change our world forever, even more drastically then the industrial revolution. There will be no limit as to what it can do & our current societal Institutions will be challenged. The question is not if it arrived, but how we deal with it once it does.
 

jtr1962

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The problem with that is that it might eventually be required. What if technologies like FTL drives or the cure to aging can never be developed by a human mind? We must accept that our brains have limitations, both in creativity as well as intelligence. A computer does not necessarily. Certain computers can also think differently then we can, which can lead to scientific breakthroughs that might otherwise not be possible. Also never forget the age old "we did because we could" attitude that has pioneered human innovation for millennia.

I think the development of a Universal AI is inevitable. When it arrives it will change our world forever, even more drastically then the industrial revolution. There will be no limit as to what it can do & our current societal Institutions will be challenged. The question is not if it arrived, but how we deal with it once it does.
I could happen but the key is you let the AI play in its sandbox to solve whatever problem you designed it for. You don't put it in control of "Skynet", nor do you have any means where it could acquire such control.

I fully agree AI will change things forever. We just need to ensure that it's change for the better. We need the proverbial big red button to just shut down any AI that goes rogue.

 

brachypelma44

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I think the development of a Universal AI is inevitable. When it arrives it will change our world forever, even more drastically then the industrial revolution.

I honestly doubt we will get there before destroying ourselves. We have shown no ability to develop a balance with our ecosystem. Our M.O. is to take and pollute and overbreed until everything is ruined, and I see no signs of that changing.
 

Monocrom

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EDIT: I just remembered a nice little tidbit from that rehab place. One of the residents (or more accurately inmates) complained to me about his kids never visiting him. Then he asks me do you have kids of your own? I said no. He says you really owe it to yourself to have kids so you're not alone in your old age. I was ready to do a face plant.
Agree with everything you mentioned in the above post. Just wanted to touch on this one section. Sadly, it's absolutely true! In certain other nations, there is a cultural heritage of children taking care of elderly parents. It's very strong, it exists.... But not in our nation. Toss them into a retirement home, and forget about them. My best friend's wife who is like a little sister to me, visited her grand-ma in the nursing home while I was staying over. Apparently, she did this often. Literally every grand-ma in the Home came out to greet us. I realized we were the only ones there who weren't residents or staff. Those poor women couldn't even fake a polite smile at that point.

Instead of being a heart-warming moment, it became genuinely disturbing. We were a reminder of their children and grand-children who never stopped by to visit. A few of them looked like they were about to burst into tears.
 

KITROBASKIN

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The relationship is not perfect, but my wife is my best friend, a good person, and someone I can pretty much count on for the vital functions. Thankfully our son is, on balance, a major plus to our life. He is not a teenager yet...

I understand contrary points of view and did not get married and have a child until about 50 years old! Wife was ~40.

This whole AI thing you all are talking about; how is that ´Tesla drives itself´ working out? Robot customer service? I understand the Tesla factory did not work with all the robots and had to get humans to put the less than perfect parts together.
 

alpg88

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I had my first kid at about 45, i did not want to have them sooner, now i regret it big time, i should have done it 20 years sooner, i'd have 20 more years with them. but when you are young, independent, make an excellent living, have all the fun in the world, i never thought i was wasting my time, now i see that i did exactly that.
 

jtr1962

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Agree with everything you mentioned in the above post. Just wanted to touch on this one section. Sadly, it's absolutely true! In certain other nations, there is a cultural heritage of children taking care of elderly parents. It's very strong, it exists.... But not in our nation. Toss them into a retirement home, and forget about them. My best friend's wife who is like a little sister to me, visited her grand-ma in the nursing home while I was staying over. Apparently, she did this often. Literally every grand-ma in the Home came out to greet us. I realized we were the only ones there who weren't residents or staff. Those poor women couldn't even fake a polite smile at that point.

Instead of being a heart-warming moment, it became genuinely disturbing. We were a reminder of their children and grand-children who never stopped by to visit. A few of them looked like they were about to burst into tears.
When I visited my mother, the residents who weren't completely out of it looked either angry or sad. My brother works 4 to 12. He tried to visit as often as possible before work. On his days off I made sure to visit so there would be someone there each day. Sometimes we were both there. My sister drove in from Yaphank to visit almost every Saturday. I think in the 10+ weeks she was there, there were only 2 or 3 days nobody came to see her, mostly because of a blizzard. Besides being good for her mentally, the staff generally treats residents better if they know people see them regularly.

Even at that, about a month in we saw some bruises on her arm. The staff gave some BS about that being from the IV in the hospital. Really? A month later? When we finally got her home, the first night we put her in bed she curled up in a fetal position. That doesn't happen unless you're frightened. I'd love to know how they treated her to make her that scared. After a few nights back home everything was normal again. Oh, they couldn't even bother putting her on the toilet a few times a day to do her business. I even told them she'll do #2 in the toilet if you put her there. She has enough presence of mind to hold it until she's on a toilet most of the time, unless she has the runs. Nope. Couldn't be bothered. They let her sh*t herself because it was easier on the staff. My biggest fear when she came home was that she would be so used to doing this that she wouldn't hold it until she got on a toilet. Thankfully that wasn't and isn't the case.

Seeing how depressing it was even being a visitor to one of these places, I vowed if I see I'm heading in that direction I'll blow my brains out before I get there. I'm not a religious person, but honestly if nursing homes aren't one of Dante's levels of hell I don't know what is. The stifling temperature they kept the place at, even in the dead of winter, added to that general ambience.
 
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Monocrom

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Very sorry to hear how your mother was treated.
Sadly, I can definitely see staff members making sure to treat the few residents who get visitors; a bit better than other residents. Since, no one will notice or even care if their parents are abused since they'll never stop by anyway to check on their welfare.
 

bykfixer

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This whole AI thing you all are talking about; how is that ´Tesla drives itself´ working out? Robot customer service? I understand the Tesla factory did not work with all the robots and had to get humans to put the less than perfect parts together.
I heard a guy on the radio talking about the Tesla robot that will cost $20k and be able to shingle a roof. Sucks to be a roofer though
 

fulee9999

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I heard a guy on the radio talking about the Tesla robot that will cost $20k and be able to shingle a roof. Sucks to be a roofer though
nevermind the tesla worker robots, I'm more concerned with Boston Dynamics' combat robot, they've seem to be evolving fairly fast for what they were 15 years ago
 

jtr1962

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I heard a guy on the radio talking about the Tesla robot that will cost $20k and be able to shingle a roof. Sucks to be a roofer though
My take on this is a little different. Robots aren't ready to completely replace humans yet, even for jobs like this. I saw a machine on TV which lays bricks better and faster than a skilled bricklayer can do. It didn't put the bricklayers out of a job. The machine did the repetitive parts like very long straight walls, allowing the bricklayers to do the parts requiring more skill (i.e. the more interesting parts). Add to that the fact there's a shortage of people for trades jobs. Machines will increase productivity for the limited number of workers. Being that there's a housing shortage in this country, I wouldn't be too concerned that machines which roof or lay bricks will put people out of work. Rather, they'll just help builders better meet the demand for houses.
 

Monocrom

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nevermind the tesla worker robots, I'm more concerned with Boston Dynamics' combat robot, they've seem to be evolving fairly fast for what they were 15 years ago
Very bad news. Truth is, if a young man in America was born into poverty, best option to better himself is join the the military. Clothing, food, some money, G.I. Bill for later on attending college. Far from a free ride. If robots start replacing soldiers on a mass scale, the single best option for escaping poverty is going to become out of reach for many.
 

wacbzz

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There are two “most important” things I’ve found in my life:
1. Think for yourself. My life became infinitely better once I stopped listening to “life advice” given to me by folks “wiser” than me.
2. When you have something to tell people that matter to you, don’t hold back from telling the truth to them because you may be wary of some potential reaction. If they are exactly who they claim to be, everything will work out in the end.
 

bykfixer

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There are two “most important” things I’ve found in my life:
1. Think for yourself. My life became infinitely better once I stopped listening to “life advice” given to me by folks “wiser” than me.
2. When you have something to tell people that matter to you, don’t hold back from telling the truth to them because you may be wary of some potential reaction. If they are exactly who they claim to be, everything will work out in the end.
I largely agree with this ^^ but....

I usually at least consider the other viewpoint and even go that route on occasion simply because my gut told me to seek out the opinion of others. When I wore a younger mans clothes my gut got me in trouble enough that I still don't rule out other options before deciding.

And telling the truth has options. One can pick words that get the point across without appearing vengeful or they can choose to insult depending on the recipient and which approach achieves the desired result. My mom for example could "let someone have it real good" and never use a cross word. My dad on the opposite side could do a Mike Tyson upper cut with just a couple of words. He'd say "words are like money, use wisely"
 
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