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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > What would a perfect world look like?      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 101
What would a perfect world look like?Page 5 of 8    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Sure, it's much simpler to be happy if you can convince yourself that everything is good because you have a comfortable life. I guess that' the point about short-term vs.long-term thinkers. But that doesn't change the fact that we are seeing events that are unprecedented and used to be thought of as being catastrophic, until it happened, then all of a sudden, we learn to tune it out because making any changes are consdered to affect us economically. But it's pretty much same with people's health too. Go to any major public event today, people don't look like they did even 30 years ago anymore.


Agreed. My post that you referred to was a generality and a general observation. It will still take a collective majority within the powers that be to legislate, eradicate, and instigate the changes that will be necessary to manage said events. There are also people who are forward thinkers who are making a collective difference, but they often lack the funds to begin cost-based initiatives.

I'm still mulling things around in my mind about what changes would work with the inevitable changes that lie ahead.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 102
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 2:55:00 PM
nondating,

FYI, as you ponder, I began this thread because it appears we are rapidly depleting and/or degrading out natural resources on earth while the population is growing dramatically, which appears to be a suicide, unsustainable collision course ...so I asked how that could be stopped, slowed down, etc. and what a non-suicidal, sustainable economy, political system, etc. would look like.,,,,,,,not a perfect world in the sense of utopian, but one that is sustainable.

Trying to keep this on track and see what people's ideas are........:-)
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 103
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 5:10:06 PM
Balsamica, yes, I read your OP prior to posting and that's where my thoughts have been.

My thought process(es) has (have) been-
What society or segment of society has or is living as closely to this as possible?
I first thought of Brazil as far as its people being non-racist, fairly ideal climate for sustainable foods, etc....
then kept paring it down sts and I think that the answer, for me anyway, is for each able individual to be self-sustaining- yet to live a bit more collectively- either with generational or extended family or similar to how the Amish live.
Then I thought that they may be the best example.

They don't take from the earth, they give to it. I've lived on a ranch for 10 years and lived in this way for the most part, so I can share that it can be done, just as it once was done.
They raise the bulk of their own food ( I googled it and they now eat out a bit and buy some store-bought food, etc.), they aren't reliant on energy, they are basically a-political and operate as a community and apply their cohesive rules and efforts to uphold these rules; economically they are also self-sustaining- creating their own incomes by what they derive from their farms and ranches as well as using skilled trades and artisan crafts, and selling the overage of the food they produce, etc.; in regard to medicine- they have knowledgable people within the community and they go to traditional dr's as well- they use Church Aid for catastrophic health needs and the community pitches in and donates money- some hospitals in the US have created outreach assistance.

In this way, the natural resources are not depleted, but perhaps enriched and sustained; their 'political system' functions by everyone basically being unified in their society's rules or they are pushed out of the community; economic system- their own sustainable economy that is based on being self-employed yet contributing to the surrounding community- there is no social security or social services- just what they provide among themselves and thru the collective funds they share for this purpose; health is better because they are active in an agrarian community, eat better and have available health care as mentioned above; Amish children born out of wedlock are rare (wiki/google)-- the one thing that isn't working in this dynamic is that they average 7 children per family--yet if they are self-sustaining- it helps to offset this, and more hands can yield more food, etc. That's the one area within this community that isn't a positive sts in regard to your question.

For the purposes of this discussion, I'd like to leave out the religious connection with this group and just use this group as a whole.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 104
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 5:44:55 PM
notdating,forums only,

Yeah, they came to mind for me, too. Absolutely, sustaining and non-suicidal with the exception of the number of children they have. I wonder if they need the all hands on deck, though?

I like the Amish, never met any but I've always thought they kind of had the right idea. There is probably a very good model society there.

Question for you: what would their society be like with the full complement of technology........cell phones, computers, social media, etc. ? Would it be compatible?
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 105
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 6:36:13 PM
It's interesting that you should mention that- I almost edited my post to include that. Their society is based on set standards sts, so the society as a whole wouldn't change. It would simply benefit from the positive technology IMO.
I am one who doesn't watch tv- just historical documentaries here and there and an occasional movie- I choose to filter out negative media. I feel that perhaps they would do this as well.

I was also going to add earlier that we need to stop polluting the waters ( achieved thru my previous post) and use them for water ( desalination) and to propagate food (vegetation).

EDIT: In their own way the Amish benefit from technology now. They don't use computers but they have outsiders build web sites to advertise their artisan goods that they sell. They're probably making money hand over fist in this manner.
How many lines of furniture, for example, are still hand made with good quality lumber?
I googled Lancaster Amish and they have bed and breakfasts and many other things that they're having advertised on that site. People want to see and experience their way of life, the bygone era, and enjoy the food and hand-crafted items that they have for sale.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 106
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 6:46:31 PM
http://amishamerica.com/do-the-amish-use-computers-and-the-internet/

The Amish have guarded business use of computers, more personal use of cell phones which is a worry for the elders.

I don't watch TV much, either, just PBS.

Stopping pollution is an easy one, but it seems to just get worse...... the Gulf spill was just horrendous, millions of barrels of oil hemorrhaging under the ocean......fracture drilling ruining aquifers, the new pipeline being pushed on us......even by political candidates, just for a few people to make some money at a potentially horrendous cost to our water.......it just keeps getting worse, not better!
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 107
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 6:47:00 PM
Ever been to a Grateful Dead concert in Michigan or upper New York State?

It's gotta be close to it
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 108
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 7:02:35 PM
Ahhh- the one thing I didn't google ( use of technology by the Amish). Those darn kids ;)
It's inevitable that some things will at least attempt to change with all of the outside influences that they are now having- i.e., offering a bed and breakfast for (additional) income brings in outsiders whose kids have cell phones, etc.

I just glanced at an article today- online- that frac drilling may stop. The gulf spill was indeed horrendous. It's frustrating that most people simple adopt a way of life- one in which they just gas up their SUV's, etc and give no thought to the fact that a lot oil is transported and has to travel the waters, etc. If we didn't use this fossil fuel- problem solved. I can dream.

Having a mellow evening sitting here in a rainstorm with the power out and had to add this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCX3ZNDZAwY

John Lennon's " Imagine"
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 109
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/6/2012 11:24:40 PM
""Indeed, it's heartbreaking....I grew up on the Gulf, and while we were spared the BP spill mostly (though you never know with all the pesky Corexit they dumped to cover it up), shrimping season was a non-starter in many parts, and there are dead zones (redtide) in large parts now along the Mississippi Delta with all of the fertilizers washing down river. Bird, Dolphins, Turtles, Tuna, Oysters, very little is spared with what's left coming out with lesions too sick to eat....and even if it looks okay, I'd think twice. Currently, the only test they do on the food out of the Gulf is a smell test. ""

There was a story about all the deformed eyeless critters being caught in the Gulf now.......inedible.......from of all sources, Al Jazeera. It only got picked up on the US news after a foreign country broke the story.........shameless.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 110
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 8:42:04 AM

After Fukushima, all the nuclear plants were shut down, and our plant in San Onofre has been shut down for the summer, hopefully a dry run to measure requirement and a move to permanently decommission it....which would bring sigh of relief from the 7.5 million people that live in 50 miles radius. Our cities are putting up solar panels in public parking areas, and the military has decided to convert to solar, that's one defense spending I can really get behind which should have the effect of driving down costs.


Here's whats going on in San Onofre (unfortunately). Brilliant to place a reactor along a fault line, the Cristianitos, albeit an 'inactive' one. How can a tectonic plate be inactive ?(!) :

"The plant's two reactors (Units 2 and 3) have been shut down since January 2012 due to premature wear found on tubes in steam generators, which apparently contributed to the accidental release of a small amount of radioactive steam."

source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Onofre_Nuclear_Generating_Station

I, for one, have never understood why anyone would want to place a reactor anywhere. It will eventually have wear and tear and will likely leak.

Clean, green power, like solar and wind, are the key IMO.

I lived in a rural area last year and moved closer to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex ( yes, I'm in Texas thinkinginca).
I was on a committee in the wee town I was living near that ran exhaustive research on the wind turbines when the representatives came thru the area a few years ago to appeal to the rural residents to lease land to them for wind turbine placement and use.

I went to Austin to research and talk to legislators about the fact that there are NO regulations regarding wind turbines. Only the electrical wires that lead from the transmission area that receives the wind powered power (sts) is legislated- since it's owned by the electric company or co-op. I would venture to say that I doubt that there is any legislation that governs the core issues for nuclear power as well.
I could go on about the atrocities of how the wind turbine companies ( for lack of a better word) are operating.
Just a personal note that I think that the turbines do not need to be as large as they are, or placed as high as they are, etc. to detract form the landscape. I know people who have small, private windmills/ turbines and they get all of the power they need from them. They, too, can sell the excess power to the electric company.
Just another example of self-supporting.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 111
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 8:50:07 AM

Even in Texas, there's a push to move to wind, but of course they're also opening up a huge nat gas field down in Eagle Ford, lets hope there are fracking regulations before they start pumping poison into the ground. Of course, that's not the best idea considering the drought they are suffering regularly now, where nearly all my friends are begging for rain every summer. Not a good time to waste water.


As I stated, I'm in Texas. It's never a good time to waste water. They're using tremendous amounts for drilling and exploration- another good reason to stop using fossil fuels.
I owned a ranch and water was and is a highly respected commodity. It gets quite interesting in drought years.
The drilling areas take water from the nearest source they can find, which may affect the water tables in those areas. The drilling definitely affects the groundwater where they drill- tons of saltwater, water, M.U.D. and chemicals go into the project. They are supposed to lease a wastewater disposal site to dump it in ( which just goes into the areas groundwater system), but a lot of it spills over onto the project property. It's a mess on a good day.

I wish they didn't have to explore the Eagle Ford Shale- wish there wasn't a demand for energy in O & G form.
Your comment about the Saudis knowing something- they know it's a finite resource....
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 112
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 8:51:35 AM
addendum: With all of the new and existing energy demands we have here in the States, we should be going solar with it IMO.

BTW, people in Texas- large consortiums and individuals, have been buying up all of the land that they can and drilling deep water wells on them to have a good water source when the water wells and city systems etc start going dry or having non-potable water due to so much pollution, etc.

They've drilled the wells so that they can be grandfathered in- a lot of new construction does not allow drilling a well- most often in more edge-of-town locations.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 113
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 9:38:49 AM
Getting back to the Amish and technology, just want to share a note from a friend.

""It does seem that way and also as if people can not live with out them. I watched a man push his son away when he ran up to him all excited to see him at a soccer field. The Dad was on his cell phone and did not want to be disturbed. The kid was running toward him yelling Dad Dad and he put his hand up to stop him and turned away. It made me so sad. When I walk my Dog at night I don't answer my phone, I try to enjoy the ocean and her and talk to her. I think all that is gone. We watched a couple last night at the same table talking on seperate phones. Here we were at a beautiful place dining and they were having seperate conversations with people. Very sad. Oh well. This is progress! ""

Progress, indeed.

I doubt very much the Amish are going to let that kind of thing creep into their relationships and good for them. People make the case for judicious and prudent use of these things, and I will buy that because I know I have to not get caught up in it.......but at the same time there is all this addictive behavior. I know a semi-retired guy who plays Mafia Wars ALL DAY LONG. People, the world around him, way out of focus, stopped caring, not involved........just being plugged in, online, role-playing. Like a kid "on" video games.........addicted. And I am sure there are millions and millions of people like that.... ostriches with their heads in the sand.

I just don't think in the long run that these are going to create the kinds of skills and mentalities and strategies for long-term survival. Too many people are just plain "checking out" of the real world and living in some kind of bubble-like virtual world.........like the Brave New World of Huxley......

I just don't see any technological "fix" for the problems we face ... no supercomputer with algorithms or any of that bullshit.........an Amish-like lifestyle based on agrarian, decentralized communities that value a disciplined life and simplicity seems to me more on target. It might roll back the clock or seem to, but that way of life seems to have worked for thousands, millions of years sustainably.......the industrial revolution changed that and that's where the problems began.

I don't think very many people would return to that willingly....I do think there will be a major crash and they will return to it, willed-he, nilled-he.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 114
view profile
History
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 9:59:25 AM
The real reason that the Gulf seafood industry remains viable is due to political detoxification of the absorbed pollution in fish. Just change the allowable limits, limit to a smell test, and fudge the tolerance levels. Change the science to suit the industry and remove liability from the oil spillers. Human and sea health be damned.
http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info:doi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1103695

Likewise, the only way for the fracking industry to exist is to remove liability from them for egregious poisoning of surface and groundwaters. Even if the Obama Admin proposal moves forward to disclose fracking chemicals used on public and native lands, people living in fracked areas dominated by private lands and leases will be unknowingly exposed to hazardous chemicals with little recourse in the courts against highly paid fracking industry lawyers and lobbyists.
http://www.alternet.org/fracking/155171/alec_and_exxonmobil_push_loopholes_in_fracking_chemical_disclosure_rules

And while we fiddle as the earth burns, we are likely fast approaching a tipping point of no return, in geologic time at least.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/07-3
to buy the report..
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11018.html
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 115
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 11:32:40 AM

Speaking of water, the most precious commodity, I read not too long back that collecting rainwater is illegal in some states...now don't that blow your mind?


Yes, it does blow my mind. Just when I thought I had heard it all. When legislation impacts what a person on their own land, when it isn't illegal ( and capturing rainwater shouldn't be,,,by far),,, it's going too far.

Again, self-sustainability is it. Rainwater capture and storage is simply part of that. If you want to get really technical, and, of course we do on here at times ;)
(I'm a licensed realtor) and generalyl speaking, owning- or even renting- gives one the right to the air rights above the land or the building; therefore, I can capture the rainwater above my land and the buildings on it.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 116
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 11:40:36 AM

I just don't think in the long run that these are going to create the kinds of skills and mentalities and strategies for long-term survival. Too many people are just plain "checking out" of the real world and living in some kind of bubble-like virtual world.........


That's the understatement of the decade. My niece is 23, very intelligent and productive ( NICU nurse working on her N.P). She is my best known example of being raised in a virtual world. She doesn't do the things you mentioned, but technology is very prevalent in her life.
When you take man out of an agrarian society, it can't help but have a conditioned response sts. He no longer needs or uses the skills he did on the farm for survival, so the skills erode and the and subsequent generations have those responsibilities and skills filtered out of the gene pool and most will not only have no use for them, they won't even have the thought of it.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 117
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 7:06:18 PM
thinking, the property taxes vary per county. It also depends on if you live in the city limits or not.
On average, I'd say they're about 2.5 per 100 $ of valuation.

I was in Montague County prior to my move, outside of the city limits and I was paying about 1.5 per 100 of value; I'm now in Collin County and I'm paying about 2.6 per 100.
Here's my tax rates: Its' 2.6113:

CCL CELINA CITY 0.645000000
GCN COLLIN COUNTY 0.240000000
JCN COLLIN CO COMMUNITY COLLEGE 0.086300000
SCL CELINA ISD 1.640000000
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 118
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 7:33:12 PM

Again, self-sustainability is it. Rainwater capture and storage is simply part of that


Which is why they would have outlawed it.

;)

They dont want you doing for yourself, free, what they can do for you; with your cash going in their pockets.

Scary that it was actually outlawed, unbelievable.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 119
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/7/2012 8:08:50 PM

They dont want you doing for yourself, free, what they can do for you; with your cash going in their pockets.

Scary that it was actually outlawed, unbelievable.
Unfortunately, that was silently conveyed when I wrote that statement. I'm not sure if they have outlawed it or have proposed to outlaw it. I'm sure the council meetings there have been interesting.
People in general seem to accept whatever happens- in regard to pre-and post-legislation. Appeal it and argue it intelligently if it's an important issue. I know for a fact that noone is going to tell me what to do on my land as long as it's nothing that would endanger etc anyone else. Capturing rainwater has been done since man came along and is still prevalent in arid areas in the US and in other countries as well. A lot of people used to have cisterns, basically a rainwater catch system that ran into a waterproof contained receptacle that was underground and had the rainwater (filtered) into it. I googled it and they sell cisterns online now.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 120
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/9/2012 9:42:37 AM
^^^^^ that seems like a great idea.

I understand that the water that goes through toilets is the same as the drinking water.......seems kind of a shame that water can't be filtered and recycled.....just gets dumped in the sewage into the ocean.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 121
view profile
History
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/9/2012 1:59:09 PM
The inevitable boom-bust of water politics and supply and demand in the west was one factor in my then-mate and I deciding to stay in the eastern US. It is because of those water politics that rainwater collecting laws started to become common. Laws like that are the result of ignoring science in favor of brainless quick-fixes that do more harm than good.

Water supplies and access are fast becoming the most politically charged conflicts that will pervade the world in the next few decades. Already over 2 billion people in the world are suffering from water insecurity and that number is projected to more than double within a decade or two.

Here in the Chattanooga area, like most river towns, there is considerable pressure in dealing with too much water falling at once, overloading sewage systems causing overflows of raw stuff into the river. As a result, there are a lot of initiatives for rainwater collection and re-use even in the commercial sector. Green roofs are becoming common and touted for their benefits. Permeable parking lots are becoming the new normal. Despite these initiatives, the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga's sewage "treatment" plant, is suffering from hypothermia, hyperthermia, and prolific masses of weed growth (hydrilla and milfoil) that result from nutrient overloads. The River is on chemo-therapy, spraying toxic chemicals to control the weeds, and life support with aerators operating below some dams to pump oxygen back into the river. There are times in the summers when the nuke plants have to shut down because they raise the temperature of the river too much and can kill remaining aquatic resources for miles downstream.

Despite the abundance of the water resource in this little city, the water supply has been privitized by European companies, something done increasingly around the nation and the world.
http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/VANOVEDR/
Around a decade ago, when the city and county tried to act to take control of their water supply, to control the commons of the Tennessee River, the then-German owners of the water company mounted a $6 million PR campaign that resulted in defeat of that inititiative. The recently announced 24% increase in water bills has people again up in arms, and the full paid ads are again appearing to tout the benefits of private enterpriCe over "gubmint controlled water". The fools will fall for it again.

The eastern equivalent to the giant sucking sound that is LA in the west, Atlanta, has long been fighting water wars with Florida and Alabama over the amounts withdrawn from the commons of the rivers that flow through GA to those states. Atlanta has been attacking to the north, across the Tennessee border, demanding to put a giant straw into the most ecologically challenged part of the Tennessee River. They challenged a survey from the mid-1800s to try to move the border north a couple miles to touch the TN. River. Whatever falls from the tiny parth of the NW corner of GA into the TN. River watersheds is used by those communities. What Atlanta and Georgia would do if they get to do interbasin withdrawals will be to essentially issue a death knell to much of the TN. River.

Of course, being the south, there was gentle political theatre as Tennessee mayors delivered a truckload of bottle water to Atlanta to lecture them on conservation, efficiency and water management in general. Being polite, in the same vein, Radio stations in Tennessee also did a Toys for Twats campaign to collect vibrators for the women of Alabama when legislators outlawed them, instead of dealing with real issues like their own water supplies.

If things are getting desperate and insane in a water rich part of the world like this place, getting nearly 5 feet of precip a year, imagine how things are going to play out in the water wars around the world. Water wars will get quite deadly from demand conflicts, contamination and inability to adequately access safe potable supplies.
http://www.alternet.org/water/154648/5_deadly_threats_to_our_precious_drinking_water_supply/?page=entire

It's insane to squander remaining aquifers and surface waters for fracking. The mother frackers had unlimited supplies from Texas aquifers during last years' drought, while citizens were put on austere restrictions. At least southern Ohio is getting it.
http://ecowatch.org/2012/water-sales-to-fracking-industry-stopped-in-southern-ohio/

In one of the oddest of twists, an activist of great reknown and respect is accused of "child porn" at a congressional hearing, for showing a picture of a 5 year old girl in a tub of orange acidic water contaminated by arsenic. One senator, incapable of understanding the true obscenity of 1200 miles of streams being destroyed, wells poisoned, extremely high childhood cancer rates and other assaults on human health and dignity in the coal fields of Appalachia, focused on the youngster instead of seeing the water. The perve probably saw the Coppertone Girl and Kim Phuc as obscenity.
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/obscenity-i-know-it-when-i-see-it/
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 122
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/9/2012 2:02:00 PM

Despite the abundance of the water resource in this little city, the water supply has been privitized by European companies, something done increasingly around the nation and the world.
http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/VANOVEDR/
Around a decade ago, when the city and county tried to act to take control of their water supply, to control the commons of the Tennessee River, the then-German owners of the water company mounted a $6 million PR campaign that resulted in defeat of that inititiative. The recently announced 24% increase in water bills has people again up in arms, and the full paid ads are again appearing to tout the benefits of private enterpriCe over "gubmint controlled water". The fools will fall for it again.


If that was ever suggested up here, their would be anarchy and revolution instantly.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 123
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/9/2012 6:08:36 PM
Great post, EP

I thank God I live in Massachusetts.

This country is going to reap what it sows ........watch Romney get in and talking about how many "jobs" there will be when we privatize and downsize the federal government .....and listen closely for his handlers quietly cackling away.
 ucancallmenina
Joined: 4/22/2012
Msg: 124
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/10/2012 5:28:46 PM
“Pretty sky,” I said.
“It is a perfect sky?”
“Well, it’s always a perfect sky, Don.”
“Are you telling me that even though it’s changing every second, the sky is always a perfect sky?”
“Gee, I’m smart. Yes!”
“And the sea is always a perfect sea, and it’s always changing, too,” he said. “If perfection is stagnation, then heaven is a swamp!
And the Is ain’t hardly no swamp-cookie.”
“Isn’t hardly no swamp-cookie,” I corrected, absently. “Perfect, and all the time changing. Yeah. I’ll buy that.”
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 125
view profile
History
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 6/10/2012 9:47:32 PM
Ging:

Sorry about the delay, again. I didn't get a chance to start writing until Saturday.


(I'm just skipping the iphone example, because I think I get scarcity economics.)


I don't blame you. It was necessary for my argument, as a point of reference. I surely didn't enjoy writing it.

I'm going to be jumping around a little bit, through your post. So, please bare with me.

Just to put a frame of reference on this, "it has to be global". Jacque Fresco, referring to the implementation of the Venus Project.

 
The theory is about an advanced society where there are plenty of iPhones for everyone, sharing or not.



It would be more useful to point out why abundance is impossible to achieve and maintain in a high-tech, moneyless society, because at the moment it doesn't seem impossible to me.


Ok, this one was a given for me (which is probably why I glossed over it), but let's do that then:

We are talking about more than 7,000,000,000 iPhones ( in fact I would say 1.33 times the population (give or take) at any given time, in order to account for loss/brakage/replacement/rotation. So, the actual figure would be more like, 9,310,000,000 - however this is going to be off set by excluding all the people that fall outside the appropriate age group; I would say about fourteen years of age: the number ends up being 7,824,833,332). To put this in perspective for you, as of march, 2011, 108,000,000 iPhones have been sold world wide. Now, that is not to say that there are, one-hundred eight million iPhones in circulation today. let's go with the 1.33 rule of thumb (which is by no means accurate, just a guess). So, the number would look more like 81,203,000. And of course, this would be minus apple's supply stock, which may some what balance this this figure back out. To put this even further into perspective, let's take a look at one of the most highly manufactured products on the face of the earth, cars:

(Huffington Post)

"According to a report from Ward's Auto released last week, the global number of cars exceeded 1.015 billion in 2010, jumping from 980 million the year before."

Only one billion cars on the roads today. One billion! And cars have been being manufactured for more than a century now. Hell, even with circular cities and good public transport, that still isn't enough cars to even be shared. We're going to need at least another billion or two or more. And this doesn't even address the problem of how people will react to other people, in society, who get to have a car full time, out of necessity, due to their function in society.

So, this is just two products. let's go for even more perspective, but let's cut the numbers in half, because many of these things are household items that get shared on a limited basis. Four billion TV's, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, PC's, houses/living spaces, ceiling fans, AC units, beds, etc, so on and so forth. 

I think that you can see where I am going with this. Do you really think, by these numbers, that there is not a genuine sacristy problem involved here? And I mean MANY times over. We would, quite literally, have to strip the planet bare, in order to achieve this - and even then, I don't think it could be done. Not only this, but we haven't even factored in your autonomous manufacturing and distribution system yet, which is going to have to be quite enormous, by the way.

The ideas put forth by the Venus Project can only function properly if abundance can be achieved (and even then there are some major issues which I will talk about later) Is scarcity real? I hope that, by the above, I have demonstrated that the answer to this is, yes, very much so. 

Let's set the numbers aside for a moment and ask the question of, how we get from here to there? First, we have to build your autonomous infrastructure, an enormous apparatus the likes of which the world has never seen. Who is going to build this? What will be their motivation for doing it? Will they do it for free? How will we rest control of the existing infrastructure from those who currently control it, in order to begin this task - it will be necessary to begin with the existing infrastructure. What about the jobs that cannot be automated: mining, many aspects of agriculture, many aspects of manufacturing, construction, etc. If we are upping production to churn out your apparatus and all of these new products, there will be a serious need for major additions to our current labor force. Funny, what comes to mind when I think about this: the slaves who built the pyramids, only, I don't think that the pyramids would even come close in comparison. The list of impractical situations humanity would have to be put into, in order to accomplish this vision of a utopia, continues on very much further than I care to continue to carry it any longer.

Let's examine some of the ideas that have been put forth, by the Venus Project, to attempt to solve these problems, and gauge their feasibility.

First, I think that it is important, to draw a line, and say that we will not be regressing, technologically speaking. An iPhone is an iPhone. I would not settle for an inferior replacement, that is "almost" an iPhone. We need to be progressing technologically, never regressing or stagnant and incapable of moving forward. In my opinion, the most important overarching goal of humanity, right now, should be to get off this planet (it's kinda like having all your eggs in one basket, ya know). There are many things that could happen, at any time, that could completely whip us out (rouge brown dwarf could wander through our system, massive meteor/comet strike, etc). And then what, no more human beings or the unique brand of life from the planet earth, that's what. We need to be constantly chipping away at Moore's Law, and headed towards the technology singularity, for better or worse, it's our only hope.

Wow, so I just went over to the Venus Projects site to gather material to review for this part of my analysis, and found that there was nothing of any worth there to review. I was expecting science, in the form of testable proposals about how the Venus Project might be implemented, instead, I found nothing but a single essay filled with nothing but a bunch of rhetorical nonsense? And a video, and what looks to be a very thin book, designed with displaying pictures in mind? Both $25 apiece. Which is kind of ironic, coming from a group advocating the abolition of money. And not one scientifically arrived at  proposal, again very ironic coming from a group advocating that humanities only salvation lies in the proper application of science. Non-the-less, let's continue on.

There were two things that I picked out of the essay, that were mildly useful. They are as follows:

Stated goals of the Venus Project:


1. Realizing the declaration of the world's resources as being the common heritage of all people.
2. Transcending the artificial boundaries that currently and arbitrarily separate people.
3. Replacing money-based nationalistic economies with a resource-based world economy.
4. Assisting in stabilizing the world’s population through education and voluntary birth control.
5. Reclaiming and restoring the natural environment to the best of our ability.
6. Redesigning cities, transportation systems, agricultural industries, and industrial plants so that they are energy efficient, clean, and able to conveniently serve the needs of all people.
7. Gradually outgrowing corporate entities and governments, (local, national, or supra-national) as means of social management.
8. Sharing and applying new technologies for the benefit of all nations.
9. Developing and using clean renewable energy sources.
10. Manufacturing the highest quality products for the benefit of the world’s people.
11. Requiring environmental impact studies prior to construction of any mega projects.
12. Encouraging the widest range of creativity and incentive toward constructive endeavour.
13. Outgrowing nationalism, bigotry, and prejudice through education.
14. Eliminating elitism, technical or otherwise.
15. Arriving at methodologies by careful research rather than random opinions.
16. Enhancing communication in schools so that our language is relevant to the physical conditions of the world.
17. Providing not only the necessities of life, but also offering challenges that stimulate the mind while emphasizing individuality rather than uniformity.
18. Finally, preparing people intellectually and emotionally for the changes and challenges that lie ahead.


And, the closing paragraph from the essay:


The Venus Project does not advocate dissolving the existing free-enterprise system. We believe it will eventually evolve towards a resource-based society of common heritage in due course. All that The Venus Project offers is an alternative approach for your consideration.


Let's begin with the latter quote, because there are some related elements in your post that I would like to address.


You're assuming the masses are as ignorant as they are now. With the burden of wage-slavery removed, with time to learn, the least educated person in this society would be like one of us compared to the uneducated peasant of 500 years ago. I would say that new algorithms would be put forward by anyone for scrutiny by all and if passed by a majority of the world it would be implemented directly into the computer. Isn't that how true democracy should work?



In the time it took soviet russia to make one car, modern technology can make a hell of a lot more, with far fewer people - and that is now, so imagine in 100, or 1000 years time.



500 years ago most of us were superstitious peasants plowing dirt by hand or by ox. Now we have nuclear fusion, container ships, desalination plants, hydroponics, 3D printing, you name it. 500 years from now, what is possible?


the Venus Project quote speaks volumes, I mean, what are we even talking about here? In what way is this a solution to any of the problems we currently face? Such as, the current severe inequalities in this world (your 1% Vs. the other 99%). Regardless, here is the thinking. If we wait another hundred or two hundred years or more, technology will fix everything. There will be an abundance of literally everything. So, I have a question here. Does this technical revolution come with a built in mechanism for the spontaneous reduction in the human population growth rate (and if you are going to attempt to answer this rhetorical question, I expect it to be backed up by some science)? Because at the moment projections for the growth rate are at doubling every forty years. Which means, that in just one hundred years time, that would put the  human population at roughly forty-two billion. This number seems impractical, so let's say that there is some kind of upper limit, a carrying capacity. Let's arbitrarily set it at twenty billion (less than sixty years from now). Let's say that we hit this number, and we are bangin our heads against the wall killing each other to keep the pop. stabilized (kinda like the failed attempts in china but far more brutal). And then, this wonderful new tech comes down the line, which is going to make life on this planet easier for everyone. With this new tech, how long do you think it would take us to go from twenty billion to twenty one billion? This is not a solution. In the very near future we are going to be facing some serious problems were the fantasy of abundance runs head long into the reality of the insatiable expansion of humanity. When people look back, the world we are living in right now is going to seem like your Venus Project's utopia, and it's going to happen very quickly.

So, your argument for this is going to be "education". We are having a problem educating seven billion people. How hard is it going to be to educate twenty billion? I mean, we better get started right now. We don't have time to wait around for this tech miracle to happen.

And then, your next argument is going to be: "these problems, that your describing, are exactly what we are waiting for, to happen, In order to implement the Venus Project". Well, you think the dominating control of the 1% (I actually subscribe to the conspiracy theories about the illuminati and the NWO) is bad now. They are preparing for this. They have been now for more than forty years. They know the science and what is coming down the line. How do you expect to rest control of the system, from them, under these circumstances?we don't have the time to be resting on our laurels, or we are going to end up living in Orwell's "1984".

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."
(George Orwell)

To combat this we need to have some practical solution that can be implemented, not wishful thinking about tech miracles.

You know what? I'm not going to go over the other Venus Project quote. I'm going to let it stand for itself, since no proposals have been put forth about how to accomplish any of it, it really is nothing but a joke. let's move on.

Let's touch on "planed obsolescence" for a moment.


Car makers build cars to not last too long and try to convince us (using status derived from desire to display wealth) that we have to have new ones every couple of years. Otherwise cars would be so abundant they would go out of business very quickly.


So, let's talk about "over engineering" and "value engineering."

Wiki:


Value engineering (VE) is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function to cost. Value can therefore be increased by either improving the function or reducing the cost. It is a primary tenet of value engineering that basic functions be preserved and not be reduced as a consequence of pursuing value improvements.[1]

In the United States, value engineering is specifically spelled out in Public Law 104-106, which states “Each executive agency shall establish and maintain cost-effective value engineering procedures and processes." [2]

Value engineering is sometimes taught within the project management or industrial engineering body of knowledge as a technique in which the value of a system’s outputs is optimized by crafting a mix of performance (function) and costs. In most cases this practice identifies and removes unnecessary expenditures, thereby increasing the value for the manufacturer and/or their customers.

VE follows a structured thought process that is based exclusively on "function", i.e. what something "does" not what it is. For example a screw driver that is being used to stir a can of paint has a "function" of mixing the contents of a paint can and not the original connotation of securing a screw into a screw-hole. In value engineering "functions" are always described in a two word abridgment consisting of an active verb and measurable noun (what is being done - the verb - and what it is being done to - the noun) and to do so in the most non-prescriptive way possible. In the screw driver and can of paint example, the most basic function would be "blend liquid" which is less prescriptive than "stir paint" which can be seen to limit the action (by stirring) and to limit the application (only considers paint.) This is the basis of what value engineering refers to as "function analysis".[3]

Value engineering uses rational logic (a unique "how" - "why" questioning technique) and the analysis of function to identify relationships that increase value. It is considered a quantitative method similar to the scientific method, which focuses on hypothesis-conclusion approaches to test relationships, and operations research, which uses model building to identify predictive relationships.

Value engineering is also referred to as "value management" or "value methodology" (VM), and "value analysis" (VA).[4] VE is above all a structured problem solving process based on function analysis—understanding something with such clarity that it can be described in two words, the active verb and measurable noun abridgement. For example, the function of a pencil is to "make marks". This then facilitates considering what else can make marks. From a spray can, lipstick, a diamond on glass to a stick in the sand, one can then clearly decide upon which alternative solution is most appropriate.


Wiki:


Overengineering (or over-engineering) is when a product is more robust or complicated than necessary for its application, either (charitably) to ensure sufficient factor of safety, sufficient functionality, or due to design errors. Overengineering is desirable when safety or performance on a particular criterion is critical, or when extremely broad functionality is required, but it is generally criticized from the point of view of value engineering as wasteful. As a design philosophy, such overcomplexity is the opposite of the less is more school of thought (and hence a violation of the KISS principle and parsimony).

Overengineering generally occurs in high-end products or specialized market criteria, and takes various forms. In one form, products are overbuilt, and have performance far in excess of needs (a family sedan that can drive at 300 km/h, or a home video cassette recorder with a projected lifespan of 100 years), and hence are more expensive, bulkier, and heavier than necessary. Alternatively, they may be overcomplicated – the design may be far more complicated than is necessary for its use, such as a modern text editor asking whether files should be saved in ASCII or EBCDIC format. Overcomplexity reduces usability of the product by the end user, and can decrease productivity of the design team due to the need to build and maintain all the features.

A related issue is market segmentation – making different products for different market segments. In this context, a particular product may be more or less suited for a particular market segment, and may be over- or under- engineered relative to an application.

Second World War German tanks are typical examples of overengineered vehicles, which made them more expensive, fewer in number, more difficult to produce and heavier than their Soviet and Allied counterparts.


Ok, now that we have gone over that, we have a better Frame of reference. When we talk about planed obsolescence, there is a "practical limiting factor", the biggest of which is advancing technology. For instance, let's take the example of the video recorder, from the wiki quote "overengineering".


home video cassette recorder with a projected lifespan of 100 years


How ridiculous does that sound? a video "cassette" recorder with a lifespan of 100 years. When was the last time you saw anyone using a cassette.  I don't know, can you even buy cassettes anymore? With the speed at which tech advances most things in our day to day lives fall into this category and have relatively short life spans, or "practical limiting factors".

Another practical limiting factor, is "practical use" (as opposed to advancing tech) for instance let's take computers for example. Computers have been around since the nineteen-forties, but didn't make a break through, into the private market until the early eighties. At that time (forties) it  took a room the size of a high-school gym worth of components to perform the calculations that a pocket calculator (smaller than a credit card) could perform today (actually, I here they are starting to attach components to house flies in order to control them remotely, huh, could you imagine: RC fly; what will they think of next).

Let's take a more relevant example for "practical use": compact discs . A fact, not all that many people know, is that the tech behind CD's was invented in 1976. back then they were called laser disks. In the very early eighties this tech tried, unsuccessfully, to break into the private market. The disks were larger than vinyl records, and the players were cumbersome. No body was interested in this tech despite its superior sound quality. So, it went away, for more than a decade. It finally had a resurgence in the mid to late nineties. The tech had been vastly improved, made more compact (hence, compact disc) and everyone flocked to it in droves, consequently, retiring cassettes from the market completely.

A similar argument can be made about high def/wide screen TV's.

So, these are the kind of things that we are dealing with when we consider most technologies. Most other technologies that fall outside this category are just fine (I know that I have had my microwave for more than ten years now and there doesn't seem to be any problems there).

 Now, I want you to answer this question honestly. When was the last time that you truly felt like you were a victim of planed obsolescence?

Cars:

There are a lot of factors that are involved with this one, and I am going to try to cover them all as well as I can. Cars are somewhat of a technological anomaly in this respect. This is because, if you could make a car that could last a thousand years it would still be useful, regardless of the technology that was used to construct it. It is a transport. The only thing that matters is that it functions the way it was intended to. There are other anomalies, as well. Cars function by using high energy combustion engines, and, as per the second law of thermal dynamics, the more energy one puts into a system the more quickly it degrades. This also involves contact with the road/tires, axles, drive shafts, and any other moving components. One cannot get around this problem by switching from combustion to electric. In fact several members of my immediate family are expert car mechanics (one of my brothers has about 25 years experience and my father has about 35 years experience; before that he was a helicopter mechanic for the military for about twelve years). What my dad is saying, is that, as far as life expectancies go, so far, they are having some real problems with the electric engines burning up. Which is to be expected, as I said "second law". So, one can somewhat get around this by using exotic materials to construct a car. An example of this would be NASCAR race cars:

From an official website:


From the ground up, including the engine, a race-ready Nextel Cup car costs about $125,000 to build


Side point: Could you imagine trying to construct seven billion of these?

These cars can last a long time under some pretty heavy abuses. Imagine how long it would last if you just drove it like a regular car. You could probably literally drive one of these things your entire life, if you took proper care of it, The problem is, at 125,000 resources, sorry, I mean dollars, who can afford this.

I think that is enough on planed obsolescence. So I'm am going to wrap this up. Is there potential for abusing value engineering in the form of planed obsolescence? Yes. Is it as bad as you or the Venus Project are making it out to be? No.

Let continue on.

 By Odin good eye, I'm getting tired of writing now. I hope your still reading this.


The point I believe the venus project was making is that you only need to micromanage and worry about agonising over who gets the food and who doesn't if there is scarcity. If there is abundance, all the computer needs to do is keep the highly efficient production churning and distribution bots working.


This has pretty much already been covered. First you need to prove that there can be abundance. I don't think that it can be done, but I am open to any science or rational arguments supporting your claim.


Saying that this is exactly the same as soviet russia is not valid - there was no abundance, no automation.


That is exactly what it is. Its a flavor of marxisum. it's marxism with robots. I don't understand where this disagreement is coming from.


Sorry, but how does the current unequal distribution of wealth magically balance itself out if we entered a free market, stateless system? Don't get me wrong, Stefans alternative is great, and his logic is impeccable for what he has argued. But this is my main concern with his system that I haven't seen addressed. I've only looked at a few of his youtube vids so maybe he answers this on his site - it will take me quite a while to get through all of his material.

I'm all for the non-aggression principle, but... there is a problem. That is dealing with the legacy of past aggression. As I was saying earlier - free markets and no state are great, but not if they are from the status quo - with a few billionaires and a lot of poor people, with no way to bring about equality.

To elaborate - Is freedom just not paying taxes? Are you free if you don't pay tax, but you still work to make a firm rich while you merely survive? I would think any musings on improving the world would have to investigate how to empower, enrich, and free people. Not just firms and the 1% that currently reap disporportionate rewards for their investment of the wealth of society... wealth that has been taken from all of us over centuries through countless aggressions.

Now if workers had a stake in productive property, then I would think that is getting somewhere. Not necessarily a controlling stake in their own firm, but certainly some stake in theirs and other firms. Obviously in a free-market we would want capital to flow to where it is used most efficiently, and workers aren't likely to close their own factory when it is obsolete, hence the sub-majority stake. Would people still work hard if they have plenty of wealth in the form of productive property? If we look at business owners they work very hard precisely because they have a stake, so I say yes... possibly harder.

This arguing for equality necessitates an aggression against those currently holding the wealth. I recognise this as a fundamental contradiction of the principle of non-aggression. Is it justified as self-defence by taking back what was originally everyones; an equal share in the bounties of the world? Is it fair that we bind our children and those who follow to inequality just as we were born into it, or is the non-aggression principle absolute regardless of the negative consequences? If it is absolute, are we sure that future of inequality is the best system we can come up with?


I sorry man but I gotta rap this thing up. If you are interested in these ideas, look into the materials I suggested. Then, if you still have problems afterward, we can debate it more then.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I'll be looking forward to your response.
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