Nazi alert and other people's reactions
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26-12-2012, 03:17 PM
Nazi alert and other people's reactions
There are many smart people at my school. It could be said, they're the smartest humanist science people of the nation. There are freakin' four people there who wrote the Constitution! It's a fairly expensive school, anyway. I have only money for a year to finish my Bc, so I like to discuss ideas with them as often as possible. They're mostly classy Libertarians or even more pro-system status quo people. But they're cool and I generally just like intellectuals.

So, let's say I have the last lesson with this lawyer, nobody else comes but my buddy who has this class already finished. We talk over some exam stuff, but we finish it quickly. Then the talk gets to the topic of a system. Let's say the lawyer likes the system as it is, do capitalism, work, consume stuff, get old, die. Let's say I come up with a completely different way of doing things, which happens to be Resource-Based Economy, based on the engineer Jacque Fresco's the Venus Project. It is both a way of building the infrastructure and engineering the society, a philosophy of problem-solving. Many of you have surely heard about it.

Let's say I tried to introduce RBE as a system, where our contemporary global problems do not exist, where resources nor human potential are not wasted. Where money don't exist, just like a crime based on them. I spend lots of time explaining a different mindset that such a society would produce. I try to get across the point, that there is no such thing as an inevitable sinful, greedy and violent human nature. If anything is human nature, it's adaptability.

I try hard to get across the concept of causal world to the lawyer, which is the basis behind science. We live in a causal world, the world where every effect has a cause. If we do the cause C, the result is the effect E. If we don't do C, then E does not happen. This is applicable to human nature as well. Social problems like crime, greed, violence and laziness must have causes. If these causes are removed, then crime, greed, violence or laziness should not occur, perhaps except for statistical anomalies. If humans are, like the rest of the universe, causal objects, then this should be a perfectly reasonable hypothesis.
The only alternative is, that humans are mysterious wellsprings of evil and wickedness and will behave in socially pathologic ways regardless of where they find themselves - and therefore will always and forever need to be economically extorted to work, stay consumers motivated by money, subject to property distribution by an elaborate system of property laws, and scared away from committing crimes by a system of penal justice. Which would be a very peculiar scientific discovery indeed.

I tried hard to impart the concept of using science to solve social problems. Science is a method that we can use to study anything we want or need. Societies, groups, individuals. It may give us real findings that help us to solve the problems of people.
However, let's say the lawyer got really, really wary. It didn't jibe with him somehow. The very idea of studying people scientifically was suspicious to him. Isn't that a violation of privacy? What if the people won't want to be studied? He asked. Well, apparently, there's a plenty of people and even if some of them don't want to be studied, many will. As for privacy, there's nothing wrong if I drive to some village, have a beer with locals and they let me write or record what they have to say about their problems. People of ethnology or sociology do that freakin' all the time in much more diffcult places. How else are we supposed to help them?

As for the economy, he got suspicious as well. He asked me numerous questions. But they all were hypothetical problems. What if someone wants a house made of gold, in RBE? What if someone wants a car design that isn't available in RBE? What if I want a T-shirt design that doesn't exist in RBE? What if there's too many people and they all want the same thing?

I tried very hard to make him understand that RBE is designed to solve REAL problems. Problems like that today 10 million people die of hunger every year. Not car designs, not golden houses, no such bullshit or fools that want it. RBE is not perfect, it's only a better way of doing things than we do now. The old marketing wisdom says, that people don't want a particular thing, car or device (unless manipulated into it). They want a benefit of that device, they want a service. They don't want a house of gold, nobody right in their mind would. They don't want the oven, they want a smell of a cake on an evening with family. They don't want a particular brand of a camera, they want the fun memories captured in family photo album. How much stuff would people really want in a society without artificial demand from advertisement?


Even if they want something specific, in RBE they'll be much better off, because there already are some technologies on custom design, from t-shirt printing to highly moddable modular houses and perhaps even cars with variable paint design... It's all a question of available technology and resources, not money.
Such hypothetical problems might be still solvable within RBE, as long as the resources are available, money are not necessary and technologies are freely available, just as renewable energy.
Even if these problems aren't solvable, the fools who want the toys are no worse off than they are in the current economy.
RBE is an environment in which a population decline due to demographic revolution will be much greater than today and likely there will be much more interesting activities than having golden houses. So overpopulation will not be a problem either.

The lawyer got into his mind, that it is a TOTALITARIAN system. He said it several times, actually. I asked him a couple of times, what is totalitarian. He said something about a government. As you might know, there is no government in RBE, because the decisions are not made by anyone's opinions, but based on scientific data and computer-processed automated measuring. He said something about a lack of freedom. But RBE is a high-energetic society, every citizen has a much more energy and technology facilities at his disposal than we have today, just like today we're better off than kings in medieval ages. He said something about freedom of travel. But if you check out the website, some of the first things you'll see in a gallery are modular maglev trains/ships and flyers. So I really don't know what got over his nose.

RBE is a thinking of problem-solving. It only solves things that are a problem. It does not try to solve things that are not a problem. (the proverb, don't extinguish what doesn't burn you) It does not tell people what to eat, what to wear, what to think or how to live. If people are capable of taking care of themselves, that's wonderful. People are extremely creative, even those in so-called boring jobs of IT and engineering. The gigantic coastal agglomerations of Asia and east coast are producing more solutions than Silicon Valley, they're societies of people well-taken care of. And money are not their main motivation. I so happen to know a little about the open-source and freeware communities and have worked on a freeware game for 20 months, myself. On about 40 freeware games in total, which is even longer.


So what the hell is he thinking? Do I look like some simple-minded radical poor worker that would happily endorse a totalitarian Communist ideology? Do I have a shaved head and camouflage pants on? Do I look like I want any form of totalitarian regime?
What is it with people, that they're so afraid of a change? They know they have a problem. A lawyer must know that the society is going to shit, drug use is rising, people keep stealing and murdering, economy breaks down, things aren't getting cheaper and salaries higher. And it's hell a lot worse on the south hemisphere. So what the hell is wrong about studying our problems, studying people and developing scientific solutions? Is human being an untouchable Pandora's box of taboos and vices, that must not be looked into, or the world will go completely to shit? I know, I know... The Nazis claimed they got the hang of human nature. The Communists claimed that too. So at the first thing of anyone being interested in human nature, every single sensible person rings the bell of a Nazi alert.

Well, firstly, science is not about never making mistakes, it's about never repeating them. Secondly, the totalitarian regimes were based on an ideology and claims, not on science and facts. No matter what they claimed. Thirdly, the current system is impossible to uphold anyway, we need to do something. And that something can not come from the current system, problems can't be solved by the thinking that created them.

I might sound a little ranting here, but I really enjoyed the conversation. Not only it was very interesting for everyone, but it also gave me a valuable insight into people's psychology. I swore to myself not to undermine other people's religion (because I realized it hurts them), but when it comes to economy and society, these are serious and public things. And I need to hear some reasonable feedback, not lame excuses of golden houses and Nazis. If you guys have an idea what's happening in the lawyers mind and what to do about that, how to make him see the light (generated by a renewable energy source), I'd love if you share it. It might help me to get the ideas across in a better way, that doesn't cause unnecessary resistance.

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26-12-2012, 04:10 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Cool story, bro. Needs more dragon. Laughat

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26-12-2012, 04:11 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
I don't know enough about the Venus project to comment, but who is going to decide what is a problem and what isn't?

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26-12-2012, 04:29 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
http://www.thevenusproject.com/

Lumi thinks we all know his fluffy. Dodgy

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26-12-2012, 04:37 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Yeah, I did read some about it now and it leaves me uneasy also. No private property - I don't like sharing my stuff. I don't like using other people's stuff either. What about pets? There would be way too many rules and regulations I bet, me no like rules and regulations. Like, what If I want 30 dogs? If it's resource based, I'd likely be lucky to have just one. I can't stand living in cities anymore, and I am not all that "communal". Been there, done that in the hippie days.

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26-12-2012, 05:29 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(26-12-2012 04:11 PM)Dom Wrote:  I don't know enough about the Venus project to comment, but who is going to decide what is a problem and what isn't?
If you can't decide if something is a problem or isn't, it most likely isn't Wink But seriously, a bulk of problems will be identified simply by addressing the five basic human needs that we already agreed upon in the Universal declaration of human rights. That is food and water, housing, healthcare, education and peace (security). Other than that, we need to ask the people. There must be a digital system of keeping track of people's needs and public opinion, for someone (and a computer) to compare it with a constantly updated database of available resources and technologies. Or any better solution anyone can come up with and there'll be resources to implement it.
(26-12-2012 04:37 PM)Dom Wrote:  Yeah, I did read some about it now and it leaves me uneasy also. No private property - I don't like sharing my stuff. I don't like using other people's stuff either. What about pets? There would be way too many rules and regulations I bet, me no like rules and regulations. Like, what If I want 30 dogs? If it's resource based, I'd likely be lucky to have just one. I can't stand living in cities anymore, and I am not all that "communal". Been there, done that in the hippie days.
Yes, that was the lawyer's concern as well. But you have to understand, in RBE the end of private property is not a top-down imposed regime. It is a grassroots, bottom-up development of society, that some thinkers understood ahead of the present time. It is like with serials and movies. Do you want to keep every single movie or serial you ever downloaded or rented on a DVD or tape in your apartment or in gigabytes on your hard drive? No, most likely you don't need it all the time, you know you can download or rent it easily enough when you need it, and you value your space and simplicity of life style more than that. So you return it or delete it or whatever. We go at great lengths to make our life simplier. Simplicity is a very valuable thing, it frees us to do something we'd rather do. I believe we'll grow to appreciate it greatly in the coming age. I'd say many of the future people will gladly get rid of things they don't need/use to maintain the simplicity. They won't think in terms of monetary value or scarcity, but if that thing makes their life simplier or doesn't. If a thing is just a means and not an purpose in itself, then people will want it as simple/functional as possible or even made unnecessary and then returned.

Of course, if it's something you use frequently, like my e-reader*, I don't see how anyone or anything in RBE would extort that back from you. Remember, there is no scarcity. The system knows
- how many people need a reader (because it asked them),
- it knows how much of them can be produced based on available resources (because it keeps track of them)
- it probably knows who owns how much of what (shipping databases, perhaps chips)
- and it produces only a couple of basic reader types that are standardized, versatile, updateable, modular, repairable, recyclable and built to last. It does not produce competing brands of readers with basically the same use.

As for pets, I'd say it has nothing to do with RBE. It's your parents who must teach you to take care of a pet properly. You have to decide if you will be a problem or won't be. Which means, if you will or won't respect the human and animal rights. In a society of RBE there should be much time for parenting and for a true education, thanks to which you should be well-capable of empathy and responsibility towards other people or animals. If it's resource-based, you're not less likely to have 30 dogs than in the current system! I hope this is not an outbreak of the golden house syndrome, but let's humor you...
With a lot of free time, free housing and free public transportation, people are likely to have a lot of pets. However, it will be up to you if you can persuade them to give you some. People give out puppies and kits commonly to people who ask for them. There will likely be people who choose pet breeding as their hobby/occupation/life calling and obviously, the breeding program produces a lot of surplus animals which have to be given to someone. Giving out something that you don't need to someone who needs it (sharing) is a really good feeling, I feel people will do it very often. I believe the whole civilization might be based on sharing and cooperation and I have some sound philosophic and sociologic reasons for that. Plus, a couple of years ago on a campus I used to order food packages which were sometimes too big, so I loved to share the surplus with my friend from next doors. (or anyone else who I'd trust that would eat the food and not play soccer with it) Such efficiency, no waste! If people can recycle waste, which is negligibly rewarding, they'll absolutely love to share.

I have a feeling that this will be a society where people like to do a lot of things together. For example, people who gave you the dogs will like to check up on them occasionally, see how they're doing and see if you need any help with the proper care. If you by any accident get crazy and neglect the pets, you'll be given a proper medical care and the dog-breeder community will take care of the animals according to their vacancy...

Let's just say it's not a perfect society, but it can improve and there'll be likely more ways to solve problems and fewer ways to create them than in the current society.


(* I'd say it's Kindle 3 Keyboard, but it has really crappy firmware, so I don't want to promote Amazon. If you want the best e-reader in the world, buy a Pocketbook 622 or buy a B&N Nook Glow and jailbreak it with a custom Android system through a SD card with GlowNooter package, it will be just as good as Pocketbook, plus the side buttons and glowing screen.)

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26-12-2012, 05:46 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Well, I don't like this at all. Everything I do and have and want is recorded. Where is my privacy?

Will I be forced into treatment for whatever most people don't find ok?

I don't think I would want to live there. But I am probably not a good person to have this conversation with. You would need young people to start that with, I don't think the older ones would want to switch.

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26-12-2012, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2012 06:44 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(26-12-2012 04:29 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  http://www.thevenusproject.com/

Lumi thinks we all know his fluffy. Dodgy
Yes, that and also a fact that I'd rather be overestimated than underestimated. My intellectually proud ego is really sensitive to underestimation Sadcryface So in an act of unconsciously projecting psychology I try not to underestimate other people, hoping for a similar treatment. Plus I have no idea what people know or don't know Unsure


(26-12-2012 05:46 PM)Dom Wrote:  Well, I don't like this at all. Everything I do and have and want is recorded. Where is my privacy?
That's some nice feedback!
Let's imagine, that RBE is driven by a computer, an artificial intelligence, that is attentive, but very, very lazy. It really does not want to record more than absolutely necessary, because it really does not care unless you make it care - and you care only about what would make your life simplier and comfortable. Theoretically, you should be recorded much less than today, because there would be no security or anti-terrorist measures or needs for payment receipts and banking records, social security and so on.
The lazy AI only wants to record useful data. For example, your identity is only necessary to keep track of some of the stuff you own - most likely the complicated technical equipment that needs maintenance. It should be unnecessary for most of public services and generic items that the AI only needs to know if they're in stock or not. (like dildos Rolleyes ) Most of the time the AI will only need to know the general demographic and daily/hourly rate usage of these services, not who used them, that would be excess data and remember, it's a very lazy (very efficient) AI. Plus of course, all the software used must be secure, open-source free for the enthusiast IT public to fix bugs and potential back doors into the system. Why? Because it is a good idea and good ideas are continually implemented.

As for privacy, what kind of privacy do you want? Privacy why and from whom? From the government? There'll be none or next to none, the government, I mean. I don't see why there should be overall less privacy, but there should be a lesser need for it, less ways to misuse the information, no financial gain from it, for example. No marketing to market things to you according to your data.

(26-12-2012 05:46 PM)Dom Wrote:  Will I be forced into treatment for whatever most people don't find ok?
I don't understand the question, it's too vague, I can't imagine anything behind it in the present system, much less in RBE. Maybe someone from Iran or Pakistan would understand. But imagine living in a hi-tech colony of very laid-back and casual yet educated, active and hobby-pursuing hippies who like to travel. I'd say this is precisely an opposite of a society in which such a harassment would occur.
Maybe I am a studentocentrist, but the whole RBE city reminds me of one big student campus, except much more cultured Wink

(26-12-2012 05:46 PM)Dom Wrote:  I don't think I would want to live there. But I am probably not a good person to have this conversation with. You would need young people to start that with, I don't think the older ones would want to switch.
People like you are very important, because they'll likely need to be persuaded the most at the present. People of mature age and conservative views make the decisions and hold money and power. If RBE is ever brought to the public eye (I heard there are some negotiations with the U.N.) people much like me will have to address the concerns of people much like you. So whatever you say (and why) is exactly what I need to know. I need to find out why this message rings your "Nazi alarm" and the material shortage alarm, when RBE is designed to solve these problems.

As for you, try to imagine me as someone who lives and represents the idea of RBE. I ask you about your concerns and I try to address the root causes, not the symptoms. I am much like you, in a sense that I also value my privacy greatly and I too want to have things that I need, when I need them, so I'm as likely to look out for these particular needs as you. I don't like totalitarian regimes any more than you. Furthermore, I am very lazy (efficient) and do not want to solve what isn't a problem, so I won't invent any new artificial problems out of thin air. I want everyone to give me a fuckin' break and let me do my thing, only there are these pesky global/social/economic problems to be dealt with Smile

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26-12-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(26-12-2012 05:54 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(26-12-2012 04:29 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  http://www.thevenusproject.com/

Lumi thinks we all know his fluffy. Dodgy
Yes, that and also a fact that I'd rather be overestimated than underestimated. My intellectually proud ego is really sensitive to underestimation Sadcryface So in an act of unconsciously projecting psychology I try not to underestimate other people, hoping for a similar treatment. Plus I have no idea what people know or don't know Unsure


You know what it boils down to, what bothers me about that whole idea?

Individualism. You can't be an individual in that scenario. Everything is all the same and boring as heck.

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26-12-2012, 07:51 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
As far as I see, it's not going to happen anytime soon. In order to function properly, this system would have to be implemented globally. History has shown us over and over again that the different governments as a whole are neither willing, nor able to cooperate even when it comes to comparatively trivial matters such as setting unitary standards for slowing down climate change (United Nations Climate Change Conference). Considering the variety of different views we have among different nations today and the unwillingness to change said views (ex. China, Russia, USA, etc.), I'd say that the probability of a successful global implementation of RBE currently tends towards zero.

It's certainly a good idea to think about new perspectives and possibilities to improve the systems that are currently in place, however, all hope for a change is futile as long as there are no realistic means by which these ideas can be implemented.

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