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.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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Nazi alert and other people's reactions - Luminon - 26-12-2012 03:17 PM
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