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Forum Post: You are at risk of becoming extinct if you trust too much in Babylon...

Posted 2 years ago on Aug. 23, 2012, 2:24 p.m. EST by freewriterguy (882)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What seems to escape human comprehension the unceasingly flow of water in local streams and rivers, People could, (and should be) filling up their endless 2 liter bottles of soda they consume and have at least a year supply of water for their families in preparation. What am I the only one? hmmmm

When one looks at how much food one grape (or other fruit )seed can produce.. literally thousands of other food from a single seed. I submit that it is the brainwashing of society that puts too much trust in Babylon, where our food must be trucked in from thousands of miles away, (ya that sounds safe to me in case of a disaster (NOT) . God forbid we should run out of oil to truck in our food, when there is earth all around us and under our feet. Or that there should be an earthquake to break up our highways. In this regard I believe people are at risk of becoming extinct!

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61 Comments


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[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

We've gone past the point where the entire population of the planet can be sustained without mechanized farming. If or when we run out of fresh water or when the oil runs out we may very well go extinct. It's a natural consequence of being too successful in nature. Extinction, like the death of an individual is just a part of life.

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[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You mention a technologic disaster like the end of oil and hint at some disruption in fresh water supply. If these things occur, it is impossible for the entire population to survive, even if they all knew how to farm. Without technology we can not feed the earth's population.

We are in a technology trap, we've walked into it over the past several millennia. It has no easy exit, we must innovate or die as a society, there isn't another short term choice.

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[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

The article points to one problem, there is a second one. People in general don't care. Governments are not going to cut CO2 emissions during an economic downturn. I doubt China ever will and India is unlikely to want to go backwards either.

A good percentage of the population refuse to believe global temperatures are going up due to human activities and it doesn't help that some scientists overstate their case.

There is nothing that can step in and replace fossil fuels. The cry of investing in alternate technology may have to face a reality that there might never will be a replacement for fossil fuels and we'll need a major die off in human population.

I am aware of the facts and actually teach that global warming is an approaching catastrophe, but the reality is people in general are not changing. I'll continue my efforts in the classroom, but extinction as a species may be what we deserve. There have been worse die offs in earth history, nature will recover and start over without us.

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[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I know I will die, there is no escaping that. It doesn't decrease me in any way to acknowledge that fact. It simply makes my time here more valuable to me. I'll live what I consider a good life. Species go extinct, that too is a fact. Nature as a whole recovers from any catastrophic event and establishes a new balance. I'm not going to live an illusion that an individual or a species is somehow immortal.

It's not defeatist to believe that after my personal death the lives of others will go on. If man is unable alter his nature and begin to plan and sacrifice for long term goals then he may go extinct. Life on the planet will go on however, there is hope in that.

Look at it through this analogy. Mankind is like a lifelong heavy smoker. We see the health risk, observe signs of organ damage and can demonstrate that within a short time death is likely to occur. Mankind has to stop smoking now, but we can't tie up humanity and force it to change, we can only show our findings. I'll do what I can to convince mankind to stop smoking, but in the end I can't force it and won't loose my own sanity trying to.

[-] -1 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

Global Warming will not be solved by politics, it will be solved by technology. Politics is slow and doesn't cross borders very much. Even if you implement some protocol in some country, another country will keep polluting. Technology progresses very fast, faster and faster at an exponential rate, it crosses borders, and it cannot be stopped. Solar energy is going to become cheap and common in a few years, no matter what politicians are in office around the world. Just like computers keep getting strong no matter what politicians are around. It's the law of accelerating returns (see Kurzweil).

I am aware of the facts and actually teach that global warming is an approaching catastrophe, but the reality is people in general are not changing.

People don't have to want to change. They will change automatically when solar power and electric cars become cheaper than gas cars. In a few years, the most vile republicans will put their arms around solar energy because it will make more money that fuel. The next George Bush will own a Solar Power company, not oil fields.

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[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Actually, almost everything and anything that is good for us and the planet is a political issue because our politicians are doing all the bidding for big corps that really don't have anything good for us in mind unless it's good for them. I don't know how old you are but I'm old enough to be able to make a fairly accurate comparison of today's technology compared to let's say, 30 years ago. It's rare that I ever find anything new that has improved our lives and that hasn't unleashed long-term devastating outcomes. You might think that computers have improved our lives but take a closer look at the cost of convenience.

Technology for safer fuels, no fuels has been around for ages ( as well as cures for cancer) and yet because our politicians are so heavily tied to big oil and other big corps, they won't invest in that technology and instead lay the heavy burden of 'green' companies to educate, market and mass produce their technology until it becomes profitable enough for the wealthy to invest in. Do you remember when Dubya announced that his admin was investigating the use of sweet grass for fuel? I just gulped because I knew that we would end up with zillions of acres of Monsanto's GM sweet grass seed that would contaminate and perhaps eliminate organic farmers.

Academia is governed by politics which means that our education and research is constantly being censored and tailored toward the needs of corporations.

The problem is that we are a constantly swinging pendulum - swinging from one extreme to the other and never in a state of balance. We behave erratically and dramatically, responding to crisis in the 11th hour and producing a temporary cheap solution that usually results in another crisis. We vote with that same ' emergency response' reaction.

I don't have any realistic solution to these problems because realistically, economics and science are two cultures at odds with each other all the time- with economics being the leading force deciding our fate. It sort of reminds me of how universities have combined Journalism departments with Public Relations and of course Journalism sold out to PR.
You are correct though that cheap is what America is all about. We are the capital of the world's nouveau (tacky) riche and hence, lack any ethic when it comes to consumerism and lifestyle. Dubya was the epitome of classless- a spoiled brat who had absolutely no idea of what ' value' actually means and lived with a completely disposable attitude about everything..human life, land, liberty, nature, money and material goods.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You are talking about a possibility. I hope it happens, but there is no guarantee that just because we want and need a technology it will actually be possible to develop.

[-] 0 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

Technologies are already being developed to combat Global Warming and pollution in general. Some technologies like solar panels are already on the market with prices dropping every month. Technologies move fast, and they are worldwide. Politics are slow as molasses and limited to borders.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

It may happen, we're still a long way from replacing fossil fuels. Solar technology may advance or it may hit a wall and never reach your expectations.

[-] 0 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

Nah, it's going to replace fossil fuels in a few decades at the most. It's following the law of accelerating returns to a T. There's 10,000 times more energy from the sun than we consume in one day. Solar energy will be harvested (and it already is) more and more so that we can have more energy than we currently consume. It's not a matter of if, and it's not even a matter of time. Just like the progress of computers, the progress of solar power price vs performance can be predicted.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You have faith, I need to see it. Until it happens I view this as simply wishful thinking.

[-] 0 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

It's not faith, it's looking at the progression solar power has been following in the last 20 years. Find a graph that shows the price per watt of solar power evolving in the last 20 years, and you'll see it make a nice exponential curve in which the price steadily decreases and the power steadily increases. Just like how computers have followed Moore's law in the last 50 years+. In both cases, political battles have had no affect on the progression. That's what the law of accelerating return is. You can stop technology.

Germany already uses a lot of solar power, and more and more people are building self-sufficient homes that are solar based. It's not faith, it's already happening. You just haven't noticed yet.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

There is a flaw in your reasoning. The past can be used to make a prediction but there is no guarantee that prediction is actually possible. You mentioned computers, Moore himself placed a limit on the trend he noticed. Also within the past few years the trend in computers has slowed. There may also be a finite limit to the amount of solar power we can efficiently convert. Solar may come into its own, but is it equally possible that you're chasing a dream.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Borders do not limit neolibe(R)tarians. Not one bit.

If their profits are elsewhere, solar panels will remain limited.

It sure hasn't slowed fracking one bit.

[-] -1 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

If their profits are elsewhere, solar panels will remain limited.

No. Solar panels will follow Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns like they already have for the past 15 years. Politics cannot stop technology. In a few years, solar panels will become very cheap and the likes of Bush that own big oil fields will start investing in Solar Power companies. Actually, they already have.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

It won't happen until the neolibe(R)tarians can secure the lions share of the profits.

They are not hiding $23,000,000,000,000 for nothing.

[-] 0 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

I has nothing much to do with US politics at all. Most solar panels are being made in Japan and Germany is one of the big buyers. They are becoming more and more popular in Canada. Again, you cannot stop technology, if you understood the law of accelerating returns you would know this. Likewise, the advancement of computer technology with its staggering price drops was not affected one bit by politics. It has followed the law of accelerating returns to a T, doubling in power every 2 years and dropping by half the price in every 2 years, and that's for a period of 50 years +. Solar power has already been following the law of accelerating returns perfectly for the last 15 years.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

You have yet to point out exactly who is getting those returns?

My bet would be on more neolibe(R)tarians.

The rollout in the US is very much related to politics, and propaganda against alternative energy.

That propaganda is written and funded by neolibe(R)tarian interests.

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[-] 0 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

You have yet to point out exactly who is getting those returns?

Read up on the law of accelerating returns from Kurzweil. You obviously don't understand it.

Essentially, every year Solar Power doubles in power and halves in price. This has been going on in a steady fashion since the last 15 years and will continue to do so just like computer follow Moore's Law and have done so for the past 50 years. Everyone benefits from cheaper solar panels. Just like everyone benefits from cheaper computers. Because of the law of accelerating returns, kids in poor areas of the world have smart phones that are as powerful as the US President's supercomputer of 20 years ago.

Get out of your small cocoon and read a bit:

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/ray-kurzweil-solar-will-power-the-world-in-16-years

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Smart phones are rather limited, and they still drop phone calls.

All they are is planned obsolescence, taken to yet another extreme for increased profits.

I could text on an old 386, if I could still get drivers for it.

Texting is nothing but mobile chat rooms.

Addictive, but hardly earth shaking technology.

[-] -1 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

Solar powered malibu lights are not exactly World changing either.

If it was actually following what you are suggesting, I would be able to power my home for about $50 by now, and leave DTE Energy behind and it's bills behind..

That's not the case.

Shall I begin to insult you now, as you seem unable to defend your position without attempts at insult?

Research it. The prices and the technology is exactly where they should be as per the curve of accelerating returns. The fact that you don't even want to take a moment to research this is telling. Of course, you're an American so this is predictable.

3% of all of Germany's electricity comes from Solar Power. Does that sound like Malibu lights to you? This 3% will soon be 10%, then 30% etc... You know what "exponential" means right? I know you don't use that word in the car garage, but you can look in a dictionary.

Research a bit before you talk nonsense.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Right back at ya!!

You haven't answered my initial question yet. I do get tired of useless stats, repeated over and over.

That does show a lack of understanding.

I'm not against solar, just your interpretation of how it's implementation is going in the US.

I don't live in Germany.

[-] -1 points by PaulMcTavish (-145) 2 years ago

Smart phones are rather limited, and they still drop phone calls.

All they are is planned obsolescence, taken to yet another extreme for increased profits.

I could text on an old 386, if I could still get drivers for it.

Texting is nothing but mobile chat rooms.

Addictive, but hardly earth shaking technology.

As usual, you miss the point entirely. The point is when a technology follow the law of accelerating returns, politics doesn't affect it. Through a period of 50+ years computing processing power as not only improved but it has done so very very steadily following an exponential curve no matter what the political climate was lite. Solar power has been following such a curve for 20 years. I suggest you read on this before making more KIShoozS type remarks.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Solar powered malibu lights are not exactly World changing either.

If it was actually following what you are suggesting, I would be able to power my home for about $50 by now, and leave DTE Energy behind and it's bills behind..

That's not the case.

Shall I begin to insult you now, as you seem unable to defend your position without attempts at insult?

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Solar is not portable, not energy dense, not cheap, and not available 24 hours a day. Oil has none of those drawbacks. It has a clear advantage and will continue to be the fuel of choice for decades.

[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

there is no global warming or its new name, climate change. its a scam.

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[-] 0 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

the old name was " global warming" when temperatures got cooler rather than warmenr, the new name " cliamte change " was thought up. both are scams to control you, make you feel guilty, and financially pick your pockets. a scam is a scam by any name.

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[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

the ONLY thing that can change the varied climates of the planet is the sun. the sun has a long way to go before it burns itself out.

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[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

WRONG !. not volcanoes, or hurricanes or humans are capable of changing the climate. the SUN is the only thing that an do it.

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[-] 0 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

the stars ( the sun is a star) are gigantic balls of superheated gas, kept hot by atomic reactions in their centers. in our sun, the atomic reactions are hydrogen fusion. the temp at the core is about 20 million degrees, celsius. its fuel supply is estimated to be sufficient for another 5 billion years.

[-] 1 points by doitagain (234) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

you dont know modern technology. for instance, there are seismic active areas with possibility of shifting plate. for horrible circumstance you had deposits of natural gas and fracking drilling in it , deep down in the ground. if you were military or science engineer would you test the experiment? bet you dont. but they does. drop the nuke down to shake the ground. come on nothing is secret any more

[-] 0 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

the tectonic plates are always moving.

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[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

you confuse weather with climate. rolling stone is your source? what a joke. ng, the sun is heaed for hibernation? sorry dear, the sun in nor about half way through its life which wont end for billions of years. no sun= no life on earth.

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[-] -1 points by brudlo (-454) 2 years ago

the ice caps are not retreating, they're growing. it was a hot summer , so? its SUMMER, it gets hot in the summer. is that news to you?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22330) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

R U kept in the dark and fed shit?

Do your keepers only let you play on the internet?

Do you know where you live?

If so - type your address and a plea for help.

You should be able to e-mail your local police department.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

No it isn't.

You are, and you just proved it.

Take your time to read this, and then get back to us.

Until them, please refrain from posting such blatant propaganda.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

That is one of the most sensible posts I have seen on this forum. I don't believe that most folks appreciate how much they depend on our current systems and institutions, or how many of them would perish in just a few weeks if there was a major breakdown in those systems.

I would not however write off the human race so quickly. You must admit that humans are extraordinarily adaptable (unlike all other complicated organisms they can be found everywhere on the planet). They dominate nearly every other creature in the world, and humans are constantly improving their lot with technological advancement, disease irradiation, food production, new energy sources, and civil accord.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I'm not sure I'd write humanity off totally either. Extinction is a possibility. The complex society we've built will certainly crumble. Either way though that's out of my control. I'll do what I can but at the same time I will not drive myself crazy if mankind decides to drive off a cliff.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Well, as with all species extinction is pretty much inevitable; just a question of when. But don't you think that humans have done pretty well so far? They are clever critters. Damn dangerous, but clever.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

If anything we have been too successful. So much so that we are in danger of over whelming the planet.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

The earth is a pretty big place. You could give every person on the planet an 1100 square foot apartment and they would all fit in the State of Texas.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You could warehouse billions more, making them share small cell sized areas, like those I've seen in cities in China. Housing isn't the problem. If you want to feed them you have to take into account how much agricultural land there is available.

Assuming perfect conditions, which don't actually exist. No water shortage, ideal soil composition, no land degradation, ideal temperature with a long growing season, efficient mechanized farming with no waste, no loss to pests, and a vegetarian diet you need about 0.07 hectares of arable land (about 7500 square feet) per person. That jumps to 0.5 hectares (over 53000 square feet) if you want a diverse North American/European diet that includes meet.

Any deviation from the ideal conditions and you would need more land per person. So in a perfect utopian agricultural environment we could, in theory, feed almost 70 billion vegetarians, or nearly 10 billion people on a western diet. We're at 7 billion in an imperfect world.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Food: engineer more GMOs.

Water: 2/3 of the earth's surface is water. All you need is cheap energy to desalinate.

Cheap energy: electricity from 21st century nukes should be virtually free. We just need the mobile phone of nuke plant designs that is repeated over and over with high reliability and low cost. All it takes is the will to do it.

Meat: like it or not humans have the digestive system of a carnivore, and large brains that need a concentrated energy source like meat. That said there should be no obstacle to engineering new foods that better match our bodies, reduce obesity, eliminate heart disease (among others), and that are inexpensive and easy to produce.

The issue with food today is that it is cheap. As a % of income the average American pays 20 % of what Americans spent in 1930 on food. There is no financial incentive to make large changes. Most of the money goes into the development and marketing of high margin specialty products like organic lettuce (what do they make inorganic lettuce from, silicon?) , no-chemical-pesticide apples, and hormone free milk (this is the biggest rip off of all. Dairies that sell hormone free milk actually expose the cows to long wavelength light, 24/7, so that the cows over-produce hormones on their own. So the hormones are still in the milk, they just did not get there from the end of a needle, and you and pay an extra $ 1.50 per gallon).

To accomplish all this we just need to educate more engineers and get the Gov out of the way. And this could be the problem. China will graduate about 1,000,000 engineers this year; the US, 110,000.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

You have a reliance on technology that does not exist and no way to actually be assured that it will ever be possible to develop. It may happen, it may not. Education, experimentation, development must continue, but it's naive to hope things will happen or even be possible just because we need them to.

For desalination all you need is massive amounts of cheap energy and something to do with the salt to prevent it from poisoning the local environment. That isn't an engineering problem but a waste disposal one. The more you use desalinization the more serious the problem.

You'll also have to deal with a wide range of opinions. GMOs and nuclear power are a long ways from being acceptable to very vocal and active groups. Starvation may help the GMOs though. The issue of omnivorous or vegan won't be a problem until we pass the point where we can support a planet of meat eaters. Even that isn't simple, it isn't just not eating them. If an animal competes with us for what farmland produces we'll have to either exterminate it or share our food with it.

I'm all for struggling to stay alive, the future will determine what is or isn't possible. We could look at regulating population now too. Easier then "culling the heard" if the technology isn't or can't be developed.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

I don't believe in using hope to solve problems. It takes hard work, a lot of money, and the smartest people you can find.

Civilization is not possible without technology. In fact civ is a lagging indicator of technlogical advancement. Without tech we would all mostly be dead by age 16, living in filth and disease, and butchering one anoher over the carcass of a dead rabbit.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I agree, our society can't survive without it, but what I'm saying is it may not be possible for it to always advance in the direction you need it to and exactly when you wish it.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

That's the fun part. Specific technological achievements are rarely predictable and changes in society follow the technology.

Could Europeans have possibly displaced engrenched and skilled native peoples in the Americas without superior weapons? Why did the invasion come from east to west, instead of west to east?

Would the sexual revolution in the 1960s have happened without the pill?

Would Vietnam have turned out differently if it had not been televised?

Would we presently enjoy the most peaceful period in nearly 800 years if there were no WMDs?

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Fun it may be, random and unpredictable it certainly is. That's why it may or may not be there when man needs something new to save itself.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Interesting news on Moore's law. There is another dimension that will restart the density cycle :

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/materials/new-wafers-for-3d-transistors

[-] 0 points by electron (-492) 2 years ago

Moore himself placed a limit on his observed accelerating returns and Kurzweil has his critics also. You're looking at the rate of growth of an infant (or infant technology in the case of solar) and assuming it will continue to grow at that rate indefinitely. That assumption may be flawed.

True, solar is young and the growth could stop. The curb's been going on for 20 years and it's super steady. It just started exploding last year. There's all the reason to believe it will continue to hold, but, you're right, it could stop. I just don't see why not. It really looks like solar is coming strong.

That isn't the point though, it's more a matter of should we continue blindly believing technology will be there at the right moment to rescue us just because we want it to. It may be, but it's also a possibility that it may not.

I don't even understand the point of thinking about this. We don't even know when or if we will suddenly need to be rescued, and we don't even know what technologies will exist at that point. Who says we blindly believe there will come a day when we need saving and a technology will be there for us? I never believed that.

Technology cannot be stopped. It progresses forward. There's nothing much we can do about that.

[-] 0 points by electron (-492) 2 years ago

There are all types of theories on this issue. What we can say now is that many new technologies which are advancing at a rapid rate will help curb Global Warming. Solar power is interesting in this way. Not only does it pollute a lot less than other forms of energy, thus by helping curb Global Warming, the potential for energy harvesting is orders of magnitude higher than other forms. The sun shines 10,000 times the amount of energy we currently use in the world. If our fate is to use more and more energy, like many scientists, philosophers, and futurists believe, and like we have done since the beginning of humanity, the solar energy is the only way to go apart form nuclear. Even if there was no Global Warming and an environment problem, people would be turning to solar energy simply because there is so much of it. Already, Germany's power is 3% from solar. This will climb very fast in the next decade.

Fun it may be, random and unpredictable it certainly is.

It's not that random and unpredictable. There are definitely certain technologies we can expect in the next few years.

And, very strangely, the rate of technology growth seems to follow a precise law. It's not arbitrary. There's something very strange and special about Moore's Law and Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Moore himself placed a limit on his observed accelerating returns and Kurzweil has his critics also. You're looking at the rate of growth of an infant (or infant technology in the case of solar) and assuming it will continue to grow at that rate indefinitely. That assumption may be flawed.

That isn't the point though, it's more a matter of should we continue blindly believing technology will be there at the right moment to rescue us just because we want it to. It may be, but it's also a possibility that it may not.

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

felt an earthquake yesterday