Nazi alert and other people's reactions
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02-01-2013, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2013 06:51 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(02-01-2013 01:06 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  Venus project. I dislike it very much. A perfect world to one of us will never be a perfect world to all of us. I someday dream of my isolated cabin in the hills where I can live off the land and see or speak to no one for days or months even. I've got nothing against others signing up for a Venus project if that's their desire but my fear would be that it would end up being some type of Venus 'flytrap' instead. A system that can only be maintained by never letting anyone out of it. A Utopian intention that ends up being a 1984 scenario. Too much like actual history there.
VP is not perfect and does not claim to be, but it is always ever-developing. It is a framework that solves the problems that hold off the constant improvement of technology and society. It removes all obstacles to pan-human cooperation, communication and travel. It deals with all the electricity, food and water bullshit that people like you or me don't have to deal with anyway usually, so we can have fun with study and computers, but the rest of humanity does. That's what I want to get it into your head, it's just a basic needs and resource management system so people would live basically like at a college campus not just if they're white middle class males, but anywhere in the world. It implicitly assumes that we'll take all the internet's worth of existing good ideas and ways of having a good free time and will take them along with us, building upon them. If not, it educates us how to do so. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. It does not say anything about freedom and non-totalitarianism, because that's not the point, it's about making the technology free us from the hut-building and cesspool-emptying crap that most of the undeveloped world has to do. There's no ideology involved, no opinion on anything, no political decision necessary to grow a food on hydroponics, to extrude a house, or recycle everything and design things to be recyclable.
VP here to solve severe existential problems that literally billions of people have. But if you find yourself in RBE and want to have something totally unique, then fine, it's a high-energy, high-tech society, you can draw the damn thing in a computer and have it printed on a nearest 3D printer, computer circuit printer or clothes printer, from a fully recyclable (thus renewable) material.

Technically, what you want is a kind of one-man Venus Project, assuming that at this cabin you'd have the technology to make you sufficient in energy, water and food at least. That's what VP is, using technology to solve problems technologically, not through law or money. Law and money have problems of their own, they crumble under their own weight, while technology builds on each layer of complexity.
There doesn't seem to be a lack of volunteers. Half of world population already lives in huge city agglomerations in much worse conditions, VP is only about making these cities functional, interconnected and self-sufficient. If other people want to live in a cabin - that's fine, fewer problems to solve. Get it into your head, VP is not here to invent problems where are none. No ideologic problems, no financial problems, no life style problems, only problems expressible in terms of technology. Nothing more, nothing less. You seem not to understand what it means to be truly efficient, so you keep inventing problems. If you can specify, what does provoke this reaction in you? How does your suspicion get raised? Is just the idea of a different system, or is it a concern that something you value might not be addressed in the system? If the former, there's probably little I can do about it, if the second, the remedy is a better presentation. Or did I already say something that addressed your concerns?

Lazy people burdened with boring tasks are the motivators of invention, lazy computers are the peak of efficiency. To know when not to intervene is just as important as to know when to intervene. You want to live a unique life style? Yes? Fine, do you need a help with it? No? Fine, who's next? Says a computer. A very lazy (efficient) computer.

(02-01-2013 01:06 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  Progress is never linear and will always have it's peaks and pitfalls. The growth of a society is a homeostatic pool of give and take, thriving on competition and experimentation. We'll never know what's best for anything if everything is not being explored and tested constantly.
That's precisely my point! Do you know what was the greatest gift to people's freedom and creativity? Material security plus hi-tech standardized instruments. People are capable of a great creativity and development, when they're secure - that they don't have to work uniformly on the fields and in offices for money and when they're given access to certain kind of standardized instrument. An instrument like Lego blocks, textile printer, 3D printer, game-creating software, AutoCad or Second Life online game, or even a common sale of circuit sheets and standardized resistors, capacitors, inductors, chips and so on, that hobbyists can put together into working machines.
During the Medieval ages the progress was extremely slow, because
- people were busy living off the land (I really don't see what do you like about it)
- they did not have access to the standardized instruments - education - literacy and global language/communication and other gadgets. English and latin alphabet!
Obviously, nothing keeps people more from speaking out than a fear from losing their material security, that's common even in a modern age of today. Today we live in a very standardized, uniform way that is, as it was said, good for products, but not good for the people.

Today we standardize ourselves in order to diversify the products. RBE is about standardizing the products in order to diversify ourselves.

The VP is not a threat to development, social, psychologic or otherwise, it's the best thing that can happen to it. It is about technologizing away the things that don't matter - like who manufactures our products (as if they all weren't made in China on the same machine under different brands) and giving us great freedom and instruments to develop in ways that do matter.

(02-01-2013 01:06 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  Besides, what about the human nature of rebellion? Of hacking? Or what about my ability or need to do things differently just because I can?
In all these phenomena we must assume they have causes. Then we must research these causes through science and find solutions. One solution of rebellion is to make the very mainstream society an embodiment of rebellion. Find out what the rebellious people want and give it to them in a sophisticated way. Nobody ever rebels just for rebellion itself, they probably want something. And chances are, giving it to them (perhaps in some reasonable terms in exchange for some social duties, if necessary) is the best solution. It's probably not a good example, but my people were "rebellious" during the Communist era, they craved the Eastern spiritual stuff, smuggled English yogi books and so on. After the revolution they stopped rebelling and are happy to do what they wanted in the first place - to sing sanskrit mantras and listen to them on the net and wear tie-dyed shirts and scarves. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

(02-01-2013 01:06 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  I do however, think technology is leading the evolution of human citizenry to a more open source method and that's where I agree with you. Though it's more likely to happen gradually and on it's own instead of by some master plan. A guy name Clay Shirky a good feel on the pulse of this stuff in his books and TED talks.
Well, it can technically happen in some intermediate stages, but
- there are political forces against it (copyright lobby, conservatives etc)
- financial forces (banker lobby with currency value based on oil)
- and time is against us too.
But of course, this development can not be forced. You seem to want everything that the VP is, only in a slower, gradual way.
I'll look at the presentations, but it seems to me exactly the kind of thing that people would incorporate into RBE at the very first opportunity and that RBE is built to be a platform for.
RBE is the plumbing, housing, farming, processing, distributing and recycling methodology that basically does away with the first three sectors of economy, unless you really want to do some coal-mining as a hobby, in which case you're welcome. There's no real reason why to wait with it, we already have the technology and resources and any development such as Mr Shirky demonstrates would go much faster and global in there. Build the RBE globally in 10 years of full effort and then be as gradual as you like, even pass laws digitally through community effort, if you really want to, though maybe by then it's easier to make a simple technology/software gimmick that solves the social problem without a law.

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02-01-2013, 07:03 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Thanks for the detailed response! I'm off to work soon so I can't get in too deep atm. I should probably do a refresher on current VP ideas in order to have a more informed opinion.

Real quick though, how would funding for such a project happen?
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03-01-2013, 04:07 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(02-01-2013 07:03 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  Thanks for the detailed response! I'm off to work soon so I can't get in too deep atm. I should probably do a refresher on current VP ideas in order to have a more informed opinion.

Real quick though, how would funding for such a project happen?
Quote:Consider the following examples: At the beginning of World War II the US had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was no, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.
More of it here. Yes, I'm aware there was some financial wizardry with U.S. generating government bonds for the airplanes and "paying" with them to the citizens. But consider what if this kind of economy did not produce airplanes, but RBE circular cities. In that case the government would "pay" the people by letting them move and live in the city. That's perhaps why it would be best to do it all at once, globally, if possible.

It's like a WW3, only a world war against poverty, scarcity and waste of resources. If it addresses the causes of civil unrest in most places of the world, consider how much military resources it will free up for the building. We either give the people their 5 basic needs, or we need to waste the resources anyway on keeping them down militarily, which is no investment into the future.

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04-01-2013, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2013 03:07 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(02-01-2013 09:13 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Luminon.

Harmony is good, m'kay.

I really don't understand the whole service thing though.
It has to do with developing a group consciousness. You are conscious of the needs of yourself, your family, your house, perhaps more. If there's some kind of mess or shortage in these areas, you're driven to act and to set your home in order. But why should this stop at your doorstep or front yard?
By being aware of whole groups as you are aware of yourself, you'll begin to be concerned with them, as you are with yourself. Not as your property, but as a part of you. For example, you as an atheist and a rational thinker would defend your freedom of (non)belief against infringement, but you'd probably also fight for the same kind of freedom in other people, even if it's a different kind of belief, their freedom is the same. You become aware of other groups' needs, because even if the groups are different, their needs are basically the same. And if you act, you act on behalf of the group including yourself, not just yourself exclusively.

This is the basis of love or good will, but I need to explain it technically to show that it's not an emotion, it's one of the most basic social principles and a very real thing, something on which whole societies can be built, whole civilizations.

Preferably, you'll act in a way that uses your talents and that is also entertaining and fulfilling for you and expresses your unique nature and inspiration. But still, such an activity can and should be called service, in the broadest sense. It's a contribution that doesn't get lost, but enriches the whole group including you.
It also has a very beneficial psychologic transforming effect on a person. The global goal of human development is, that as much people should grow into adopting such a super-hobby and pursue it without distractions of a menial labor. It should be also alternated with regular periods of meditation and contemplation. Should you seek to follow Cpt. Picard's advice of improving yourself, this is how you go at it. A meditation without service would result in neurosis, service without meditation would result in blind actions and lack of energy.

(02-01-2013 09:13 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Developing potential is good too. Reminds me of Star Trek, in that the profit motive was replaced by the developing potential motive.
As for Star Trek, I'm often amazed how humanistic and humane this series of shows often is. Yes, I've seen some weaker screenplay parts in there and science that needs overhaul, but that's not the point. People often don't see further behind the weird trekkies and folks with weird forehead masks and don't see the greater picture. The advancement of society and individuals, the resolution of conflicts, the disarming of mischief and estabilishment of peace and non-financial prosperity. Especially the Ferengi race portrays our current civilization as a kind of Ferengistan. Often these fictitious races are skillfully presented lessons in psychology and sociology. Damn, I could write academic works on this. Maybe someone already did. I can not say the same for other fictional universes, for example I found Frank Herbert comparatively poor in this internal side of essence and wisdom, though of course he's a master in the art of form and storytelling. And I can't even begin to compare the Star Wars universe, because I only saw the movies and don't know the books they're based on, and anyway they seem to me rather of a political value if I should take a guess.
Interestingly enough, the various Star Trek serials often contain deeper psychologic themes also, often embodied by a beautiful woman with emotional issues (or an unhealthy lack of thereof), or a Vulcan man or android pretty much in the same situation. I can understand that very well and this is why I find these themes especially interesting. But that's for another topic.

(02-01-2013 09:13 AM)Ghost Wrote:  On scarcity: it's absolutely normal (although I am not speaking about the effects of economic scarcity on pricing if that's what you're thinking). Scarcity is a natural part of being a predator. When your population grows, the prey species shrinks, meaning your population has to shrink, which gives them room to rebound, meaning your population can grow. That's the way it works for all organisms.

Nomadic hunter gatherers did keep moving around, but they were always depleting the prey species in whichever area they spent time in. They just had the sense (and the room) to move on to another area. But they had to give a depleted area time to rebound before they came back. And if they let their population grow too large, no amount of moving around would help them.

Every area has a carrying capacity. If you outstrip it, you go into overshoot. Population reduction or population collapse is the inevitable result of overshoot.

What we have done for the last few thousand years is use our ability to arbitrarily increase an area's carrying capacity in order to stave off overshoot. It began the day we first became sedentary. The problem is that in order to increase an area's carrying capacity, we need to convert the available biomass into humans, human food and food for human food. This is why we're decimating ecosystems the world over. We're quite literally devouring them. Our ability to stave off overshoot is, as it turns out, unsustainable. When it comes to our converting of biomass, we are currently in deficit spending. In the very near future, we will go into overshoot and we will either experience a reduction in population or a population collapse. And a population collapse is no kind of fun. Just ask the people on Easter Island.
There is something worse than scarcity and it is the law of nature. The nature has a way of balancing the inequality, but it is done by suffering and dying. But remember, it does not need to be. Remember the Native Americans, they lived practically among great herds of buffalo. The herds and the tribes co-existed a long time, perhaps millenia. The Indians came through the Bering strait, wiped out a few dozen species of giant mammals, like a giant sloth perhaps, and probably got wiser. Until the arrival of a white man, they co-existed on the same territory with great herds of buffalo and the fact that they didn't wipe them out wasn't from a lack of hunting skills. It was wisdom of taking from the nature only as much as they needed. When the white men came, there was a demand for the buffalo skins and they saw the buffalo herds seemingly free for taking.
I need to get it into some free business proponents' heads that we are not free and this is not freedom. We can never be free in a world of material products and resources, not even by the proxy of money that we equate to products and then multiply the money endlessly. That changes nothing. All material resources belong to nature and it is our first duty to take only what we need and to put it back.
We can achieve a great freedom and treasures in the area of spirit, intellect, emotions and experience, but we are customers of nature, the ultimate businessman and the ultimate government, the more powerful, that it governs our bodies. This great businessman must be treated with care, respect and given very fair or win/win deals, in the interest of everyone, because there is nobody else we can do business with, in this solar system.

We humans are not just another kind of animal. We're special. Most of animals get a simple deal with nature, the great businessman. They get a niche and if they overgraze it, they pay with their life. But they're not very profitable business partners. We humans are different. We are potentially very profitable partners, we can make projects that make profit for everyone involved, including the nature and the animals. This is why we've got a special deal from the nature. We've got an almost unlimited access to its resources, but we also have a much greater responsibility than any animal. We can not do as animals do, we can not excuse ourselves with "human nature" or "animal nature", because we prove ourselves liars by the very act of excuse. A mindless animal would not excuse itself, not in any way, not with an elaborate instrument of brain and speech and it wouldn't observe its actions or stop short of anything it wants. So we need to realize the terms of our deal with the nature, why are we here, what needs to be done to keep our end of the contract. A contract like that must be profitable for both sides, obviously. We can, for example make the deserts green, plant forests, build atols and coral reefs, genetically manipulate plants, animals (new pets) and bacteria, and so on. Above all, we can be wise custodians of nature and its evolution. We can be the best thing that ever happened to it since the Cambrian explosion. Plus of course all the awesome things we could do for ourselves.

(02-01-2013 09:13 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If we set limits to how much we take, then we necessarily set limits on our population. Deliberately maintaining a population around the ability for the carrying capacity to support it is a great idea (accepting that the actual value we tinker with is the product of population x footprint). Unfortunately, populations always grow to their food supply. Meaning without draconian laws in place to maintain birthrates, people will have children when there's food available. So we will outstrip our carrying capacity. The question then becomes, do we allow scarcity to have its effect on us, or do we increase carrying capacity?

Daniel Quinn points out that our reaction for the last 5 000 years has been to increase carrying capacity, either by planting more crops, killing more competing species, increasing output technologically, or annexing more land. This has created a positive feedback loop much like the arms race; a phenomenon Quinn dubbed the food race. Have a food supply, grow into it, make more food, grow into it. It is the reason that there has been a 70 000% increase in the human population in the last 5 000 years. Again, it's not gonna last forever.

Ultimately, not only is scarcity normal, but no matter how fast or how far you run, it's gonna catch up to you.

Abundance is great (for what it is). Having a surplus is the cornerstone of our economy. It's also the fuel of the food race. Our exploitative hierarchical system is the only thing that allows us to produce a constant surplus (because if you don't produce a surplus, you don't make the money required to buy food, because all of the food is locked up). So abundance is only possible through exploitation. If we exploit robots instead of people, great, so long as we're smart enough to not make them sentient. But abundance will always lead to population growth.

But if abundance means an essentially fixed level (because carrying capacity always fluctuates a little, so there needs to be wiggle room), then I suppose that's not bad. But setting and maintaining that level poses a difficult challenge.

Anyhoo, don't feel like this is me shitting on RBE. I'm just pointing out some mechanics here.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I think you're wrong on one important thing here. For all the time in our history, we operated under the law of nature. We were driven to expand, because almost nobody was well off. It was a top-heavy system. The way things were, people at the top accumulated wealth at the detriment of others, which forced the people at the bottom to expand and produce many children (workforce, soldiers). It probably started with agrarian revolution, because the stuff you can hunt and gather won't last long, but grain can be accumulated. So this is not an inevitable human nature, it's an inevitable human reaction to a top-heavy system.

But when people are not under existential pressure, the situation changes. Please read up on the demographic transition. When a population gets industrialized and gets things like leisure time, education and entertainment, it starts to behave very differently. People have less children and eventually the population has more deaths than births, so it decreases. It's a fact that might and should change your opinion. We Europeans, Americans or Japanese aren't those multiplying too much and there's a reason for it.
I think that setting a limit on population is premature except in some extreme cases (perhaps China), because it does not address the problem. We don't need to set a population limit, we need to industrialize the countries worldwide, make the living easier and more fun, empower the women to go studying, so that the population starts decreasing naturally, then let's see where it really stops and then after several generations, if there's still an overpopulation (which I'd doubt very much), then we can look into the causes again and consider other measures.

Which is why RBE is necessary, it's industrialization par excellence. It's the only sustainable kind of industrialization, actually. If all countries were industrialized as are some today, we'd destroy the environment worldwide. Better than that, RBE means global (if necessary) sharing of resources, which means it's not necessary that Madagaskar or Guinea get their own ironworks or oil refineries.

What we really need to set a limit on is not population, it's consumption. Let's not use money. Or if we use money for now, let's make sure there are not more of them than there are resources. Better said, let's make sure all of them in existence are used for exchange of goods and services and none for financial speculation. Today only 5 % are used to buy or sell things, the rest are all hedge funds and stock markets. Such a great amount of money far outweighs all natural resources in existence and creates an illusion of surplus, which leads to a fact of waste.
For example, USA wastes 50 % of all its food. It also uses 24 % of world's energy, while having only 5 % of world population. This is an absolutely horrendous practice that must stop. Everything else pales in comparison, all this food and energy is missing elsewhere, missing in places in which they could bring a higher, happier standard of living and therefore a demographic transition towards a modern society without overpopulation. This system has a global inequality inherently built into it. It produces waste and hate for our fellow men. Remember, the terrorists on 9/11 did not crash into a megachurch, they destroyed the world trade center! I don't know how about you, but I never heard about the WTC before that. But obviously, they did and they chose it over churches and full sport stadiums.
Often Americans wonder if USA should or shouldn't have an active foreign policy. I'd say the choice has already been made, their buying power is the most active, unilateral and destructive foreign policy they could have. This is the lesson from 9/11, it's not wearing beard and turban that turns people into killers. For the most part, it's inequality and injustice.

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04-01-2013, 03:49 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
"It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!"

Ayn Rand; Anthem

Those are the words that came to my mind as I read through this thread....the idea, while very idealistic and utopian, does on the surface hold appeal, it just doesn't sit well with me -- there will always be things that need to done....there will always be a need for ditch diggers and street sweepers, or doctors...maybe not lawyers...

Who gets to decide who does which job? Draw straws? Aptitude tests?

I dunno....I'm glad we're not at that point.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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04-01-2013, 05:52 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(04-01-2013 03:49 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  "It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!"

Ayn Rand; Anthem

Those are the words that came to my mind as I read through this thread....the idea, while very idealistic and utopian, does on the surface hold appeal, it just doesn't sit well with me -- there will always be things that need to done....there will always be a need for ditch diggers and street sweepers, or doctors...maybe not lawyers...

Who gets to decide who does which job? Draw straws? Aptitude tests?

I dunno....I'm glad we're not at that point.
Why? RBE fully supports voluntary work or any kind of voluntary activity. It only strives to eradicate all involuntary labor. It even broadens the definition of involuntary. If you really hate the job, yet need to do it because you need the money to take care of the family, is it a voluntary choice to sign the contract? According to Libertarians I hung out with last month, it is. Not according to me. I'd say it is a "choice" by dictionary definition alone, similar to a "choice" of Jesus and Heaven over eternal burning in Hell. RBE serves the people, not vice versa. What gives you that impression?
The question is,
- do the people who already hold these vocations want to be ditch diggers, street sweepers or doctors?
- do they want to do their job better, faster and easier, using technology as an aid?
- what if they were freed from their job by some technologic invention and free to go educating themselves about some kind of job they wanted to do when they were children?

Who gets to decide the jobs? Any good method we can come up with democratically. We have a freedom in that. For example, people's interests voluntary filling in the public list of society's needs and gaps not yet filled by technology. Plus of course people's own requests to do something even if there's no demand for it. Meaningful spending of leisure time is a very important ability in such a system, so a personal initiative is welcome.

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04-01-2013, 07:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 12:27 AM by Momsurroundedbyboys.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Are you saying in this RBE people only do what they feel like doing? Who maintains then the buildings they dwell, since there is no drudgery? Who maintains the infrastructure of this civilization? Wouldn't that work become --- oh jeeze another window to repair (or whatever). What about children who are born in such a society....will someone look at them and determine what they'll do based on the sociatal needs of the future, e.g.; we will need more street sweepers to fill a gap in coming years,?

I just don't see how this couldn't be corrupted. Sure today, I didn't do laundry because I just didn't feel like it. If no one has clean underwear they can just turn them inside out. Now you might suggest that someone else in my home could do the laundry....but see that's not very fair for them to be forced to throw a load clothes into washer since that would interfere with their leisure time -- and rote stuff like washing clothes isn't fun..I mean it's not like I have to beat them on a rock or anything the technology is present that I don't need to do that myself..but still I just didn't wanna do it.

Edited to add: I do apologize for seeming a bit cranky but this is really an old idea.

Walt Disney envisioned Epcot (which stands for Experimental Prototype Community (or City) of Tomorrow) to actually be that type of thing. In fact, when I watched a youtube of what they believe the house would be like; it was very close to Disney's house of the future that was in Disneyland in the 1960s. The whole thing is very interesting but honestly I totally don't see it happening....

Or lets say I shudder to think what type of global catastrophe would facilitate such a need for the whole world to abandon its past, its history and architecture. They want to rebuild cities because that's the most logica way to go about it....what happens to the buildings? They even admit they're torn down to make way for...more circular cities and they say, "people won't mind" because these new structures are 100% safe. I just have a hard buying all their selling.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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05-01-2013, 03:21 AM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 04:10 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(04-01-2013 07:34 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Are you saying in this RBE people only do what they feel like doing? Who maintains then the buildings they dwell, since there is no drudgery? Who maintains the infrastructure of this civilization? Wouldn't that work become --- oh jeeze another window to repair (or whatever). What about children who are born in such a society....will someone look at them and determine what they'll do based on the sociatal needs of the future, e.g.; we will need more street sweepers to fill a gap in coming years,?
Not necessarily. RBE is a systematic replacing of drudgery with machinery. To what extent, is decided and limited by
- available technologic know-how
- available material resources
- inherent design of all products.
In our current system, everything is also greatly limited by money. We don't get houses or cars designed to be inherently maintenance-free, we get a hundred or so generations of cars, etc that need slightly less maintenance than the previous generation (if we're lucky) and we pay for each of them and then we throw them out and buy another slightly better generation. We do not save resources by designing and buying a high-quality military-grade products that last generations, can be repaired, updated and recycled easily. We make cheap crap on purpose, to earn money (imaginary papers) through planned obsolescence and waste. In a sense, it is a "good" thing, because it would put repairmen out of work and they'd have nowhere to go. Without RBE they don't have guaranteed a living standard and anyway the living standard we have today is inherently expensive and wasteful. In a hi-tech society, we could have much better living for much less cost in resources and energy and it would be therefore quite safe to put someone out of work - and put them to school to let them learn about something they once really wanted to do as children.
I don't know where such a society would be after a few generations of that development, but somehow I think there wouldn't be many street sweepers around. Unless someone has it as a hobby, emulating the wise old monk Lu Tze from Prattchett's books.

(04-01-2013 07:34 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I just don't see how this couldn't be corrupted. Sure today, I didn't do laundry because I just didn't feel like it. If no one has clean underwear they can just turn them inside out. Now you might suggest that someone else in my home could do the laundry....but see that's not very fair for them to be forced to throw a load clothes into washer since that would interfere with their leisure time -- and rote stuff like washing clothes isn't fun..I mean it's not like I have to beat them on a rock or anything the technology is present that I don't need to do that myself..but still I just didn't wanna do it.
RBE is not about telling people what to do, but it does not erase the good achievements of our civilization. It builds on them. Education and upbringing of children for example, are such achievements. As an educated person, brought up with care by parents it is likely you'd make sure your clothes are clean - just like everyone else's through the sheer force of habit and social convention.
In RBE parents will have much more time for children due to much less of involuntary work, if any. Children will also be better educated, not just academic skills (probably much different than today) but life style skills, social skills, conflict resolution skills, self-awareness and so on, how to be better people and improve themselves. It is unlikely they'd have problems with such a trivial thing as washing clothes.
This is something that RBE can do nothing about directly, unless it becomes such a global and serious problem that it would be efficient to install shower/decontamination booths on people's doorsteps, which would probably result in an era of nudism Smile (just kidding)
Seriously, what does keep people from going around dirty today? What kept them a hundred years ago? The truth is, the better technology, the easier it is to keep nice and clean and the more people do it, mostly for social reasons. I know, it's probably not convincing coming from a college student who just yesterday had a four day's worth stubble on his face. I imagine it's the woman's job to decide how they want their men to look and smell like, through the great power of refusing, hinting, promising and rationing some nookie.

(04-01-2013 07:34 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Edited to add: I do apologize for seeming a bit cranky but this is really an old idea.

Walt Disney envisioned Epcot (which stands for Experimental Prototype Community (or City) of Tomorrow) to actually be that type of thing. In fact, when I watched a youtube of what they believe the house would be like; it was very close to Disney's house of the future that was in Disneyland in the 1960s. The whole thing is very interesting but honestly I totally don't see it happening....
Wow, thank you! Epcot, I'll look into that. There are some good ideas. However, there are also some bad ones, very different from TVP and RBE.
- "There will be no landowners and therefore no voting control."
- "People will rent houses instead of buying them, and at modest rentals."
- "There will be no retirees; everyone must be employed."
In comparison,
- RBE has no landowners either, but a great voting control, specially through digital means. A replacement for voting and market demand requires to process a lot of keeping track of people's wishes and comparing them with available resources.
- As for rentals, Disney might have meant them modest, but they still necessitate the monetary system, which is unequal and wasteful of resources and people.
- In RBE people do not have to be employed, the living costs are low, brought down to available resources and renewable energy, without putting a price tag on them, that would drive the economy to expand and drive us to work along it. More likely, people will be engaged in meaningful hobbies. There are things we'd do for free if we had our living costs covered. I think personal and group achievement would be a great motivation to people. It would be however an achievement in other terms than money.

(04-01-2013 07:34 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Or lets say I shudder to think what type of global catastrophe would facilitate such a need for the whole world to abandon its past, its history and architecture. They want to rebuild cities because that's the most logica way to go about it....what happens to the buildings? They even admit they're torn down to make way for...more circular cities and they say, "people won't mind" because these new structures are 100% safe. I just have a hard buying all their selling.
I imagine people will want to keep some cities and buildings as museums. However, there is no value in urban sprawl, slums, most 20th century urban architecture anyway. No historical value, artistic or technological. In my village for example there is nothing worth keeping, except one wooden church from 16th century.
Today I see in my country the arrival of a foreign trend, to use factory-produced pre-fabricated boxes as houses. These boxes aren't ugly, they don't use mortar and bricks, they can be moved on trucks, they're modular and extendable, and they work much more efficiently than a house of bricks. They're built very quickly, a couple of weeks at most, or other models are brought to the place already assembled. They're relatively cheap and they save the work too. They require just concrete pillar anchors in ground, electric, water and waste connection at the site, that's all.
It's something that U.S. trailer parks had all along I suppose, but this trend spreads. A house is becoming less of a pride and honor to be a house owner, but more of a common thing you buy and use, like a tent. A cow, horse or a car was once a great sign of wealth and honor, not so much today either. The expensive heating and maintenance are a factor, but I suppose people are getting disillusioned with houses too. The young generation is way too busy with entertainment and creativity to waste time with building a shelter, except when it's building an eco-house and there's a fun program along. I dirtied my hands with clay and straw voluntarily for fun, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a hi-tech sophisticated living box. That's the new way of thinking, I suppose. The thinking of a college student, perennial dorm-dweller, campus and city inhabitant.
But don't be fooled. For the first 20 years I lived in a countryside house, a big, old house with animals, orchards, meadows, fields, mud, shit, dung, compost, snow, grass, gravel, sand, rotting fruit, hay and hay fever. The house is a curse of our family, it took most of money we ever had to keep it together - and grandma has another big old house, that will take everything that my older brother will have. I hope to get out of this family curse by moving out, studying, getting a degree and buying a hi-tech living box (or marrying into one Tongue ).
As I said, we're getting disillusioned and cynical about houses.

Of course, the original Fresco's plans count with people designing their own houses, through a digital virtual model, then assembled on site automatically out of standardized parts, not bricks. Such a house would be alterable and moddable as the needs of a family change.

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05-01-2013, 01:51 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2013 12:32 PM by Grassy Knoll.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
First allow me to commend you on your passion of this subject. Alas, I'm not a worthy opponent. I once had a similar passion about stories like Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged, Horatio Bunce and the like but the business of life and raising five kids took precedent to much of that. It's still in me but it's more of a guiding force rather than a personal soap box these days. In short, I grew up and realized that the world is much more complicated than we can ever know. No disrespect to you though. I would encourage you to follow your vision and perhaps raise a family someday with a micro-vp take. I think that is kind of what most family units are really. Perhaps that is your appeal to this?
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05-01-2013, 04:35 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 04:42 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(05-01-2013 01:51 PM)Grassy Knoll Wrote:  First allow me to commend you on your passion of this subject. Alas, I'm not a worthy opponent. I once had a similar passion about stories like Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged, Horatio Bunce and the like but the business of life and raising five kids took precedent to much of that. It's still in me but it's more of a guiding force rather than a personal soap box these days. In short, I grew up and realized that the world is much more complicated than we can ever know. No disrespect to you though. I would encourage you to follow vision and perhaps raise a family someday with a micro-vp take. I think that is kind of what most family units are really. Perhaps that is your appeal to this?
Well, Atlas Shrugged seems VERY simplistic to me. I could get really derisive about it, if there weren't Libertarian folks around whom I respect. As for Animal Farm, that's a very scary and very real political parable indeed. Orwell knew his business. And I don't know who's Horatio Bunce.
Anyway, I'm not putting my eggs all into more basket, in other words, I'm much crazier than that, there are other agendas alongside. But their common theme is the sharing of world's resources globally, first by industrial surplus, then gradually more. Plus of course abolition of stock markets and financial speculation. I don't think we have much choice about these as a humanity. We're in a diffcult but simple crisis, greed and death, or generosity and sharing.

Perhaps it's just an illusion, but the problems of humanity seem comprehensible and solvable to me. I refuse to cloud my mind with 'pessimplistic' "human nature" and with technocratic intra-systemic policies that only change parameters of the system, while the system continues to do basically the same thing, make rich richer and poor poorer. All actions against it are merely exceptions to the rule. Wealthy people giving 50 % of their money to the charity are most admirable, but meanwhile the system in Russia and India produces hundreds of new millionaires at the detriment of the whole population.
(I also refuse to watch TV, the information stream is too slow, too little of right choice, too much boring and false crap, too many untrustworthy news... Maybe I lose some social context, but I save my unbroken contemplative attention. And the programs that interest me can be always watched online.)

Well, so far, nobody was able to guide me out of this illusion. It was brought about by some old men, some well into their 90's perhaps, and even they in their long life saw no solution to world's problems but science, technology, generosity and good will. Nobody could cure me from the Alexander's fever he got into after cutting through the Gordic knot. The Celts were afraid that the sky would fall on their head, and perhaps I'm afraid that it will happen to us - except it will be the Earth, not the sky. I don't think we have decades in which I could raise a family and live in a micro-VP. If that happened, I'd need a lot of weapons to defend it from raiders and mutants, probably. But nevertheless, the world was basically ready to begin with sharing the resources after the WW2 and we're not there just because of political and business ambitions.

Yes, VP is like a great family, mainly from an economic point of view. A family is able to survive in various corrupt countries, because the family members support each other, they don't waste money and they don't have a free market among them. A family is tied together by right relationships. A family is an example of a real, working micro-Communism. People underestimate Communism, because they think it's an economic system. They're wrong. Communism is and can only be a system of right relationships. (and so can be democracy, for that matter) Those who thought they can instill Communism by violence, which destroys all right relationships, were dangerous idiots. If we don't understand right relationships, not even intuitively as some good and true politicians do, then we don't understand anything about the society, anything about human nature, then we don't know why some things work and some things don't. Then we bring shame to the scientific method and academic community. Our economists and politicians are not better than shamans and witches, and I'd rather choose shamans and witches, because they at least have an empirical hands-on experience and responsibility to the local community. (which is a right relationship, btw)

I hope my understanding is not just an illusion. (and I hope it is, because then we wouldn't be in such a global trouble) If you think I'm wrong, please point it out where and how. Because it pretty much seems to me I understand and therefore it's my duty to do something about it. None of this is my idea, I just see if a pattern of something is true or not, if I contemplate upon it. Present a pattern to me in its wholeness and I'll see if it's good, bad or incomplete. And all patterns are incomplete, part of the trick is to tell how much territory they cover, how much world do they explain. One easy way to know a blind ideologist is to see someone thinking that his beloved pattern covers all possibilities.
Believe me, I know the world is more complicated than we can ever know Smile There are areas of meaning that are like a dark forest to me. (fortunately for you, these are the people skills Smile ) RBE is a comparatively simple system in its geniality, simplier than most people think. Therefore it's a good thing to present to the public. It's also a fun exercise of mind and explaining.

If I believe passionately in anything, I believe in a meaningful, causal, knowable and comprehensible world. A world which makes sense or is possible to be made sense of through an adequate effort. A world that is always changing, always in state of cyclical evolution from an old order to a new order. Something tells me you have to believe in that, or you'll go mad or lose all hope, as many philosophers of history did, you'll put down the only tools your mind can have. If you lose this faith, you give up on your intuition and intellect. Some things are very complicated to understand intellectually, but they can be understood intuitively. This kind of intuition must be trained. I suppose my training has paid off somewhat, being able to do what I do, write what I write. Of course it never ends. I just want to say, don't give up, you can understand through intuition and intuition can be trained, after the intellect is developed. Maybe this particular way of working isn't for you, but everyone have a kind of great potential in them and it can be developed through right practice.

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