Nazi alert and other people's reactions
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19-01-2013, 10:55 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Hey, Luminon.

I'm not leery of hierarchy because it can be misused. I'm leery of it because it has but a single use and can never be anything else. Hierarchy is a scorpion.





There is nothing natural about organising into hierarchies in the sense that it is not predestined. Sure, we do and we have, but that doesn't mean that we must.

Social status and hierarchy are NOT synonyms.

Hierarchy is a scorpion. There is no fixing it. We can, however, find alternatives.

Quote:If done intelligently, it can do a lot of good. However, it can not and
will not solve scarcity of food on the planet, that's a problem of the
market system failure.

The problem of course being that it's not being done intelligently. It's being done to generate profit without concern of any ramifications.

And I agree that the market system prohibits a lot of people from getting food that just goes to waste. In Canada, every year, grain rots in silos and milk is poured out into fields. That being said, if this food did make it to market or into food aid, it would simply increase the carrying capacity of the planet which would lead to an increase in population which would land us right back where we are now.

I didn't really understand anything you said about consciousness, ethics and the use of technology.

Capitalism on any level cannot be kept in check because capitalism demands growth. As soon as capitalist organisations gain enough power, they metastasise and spread. Again, in this case, it's in their nature.

Furthermore, capitalism is inextricable from hierarchy. It requires a clear class divide between the capitalists and the work force.

As for local currencies, all currencies are local currencies. Even the all mighty American dollar. Give them time and they spread, or join forces and then spread.

Without autarky, currency spreads. Without hierarchy and capitalism, currency is meaningless.

The currency losing value over time thing is interesting. I've never heard of that. It's a pretty laterally thinking idea. But all it serves to do is to encourage spending, which is the mechanism that fuels economic growth.

Quote:But even without money, capitalism is a valid idea, a problem-solving mindset, a method of dealing with inputs you have.

This is a very culturally biased point of view. The first thing has to do with inputs. The idea of inputs is linked to the idea that the world belongs to us. There aren't trees and fish and grasses, companions in the web of life that we share a sacred relationship with, there are inputs. Cold, dead, soulless things that we simply consume for whatever purpose we choose. They are digits inserted into mathematical equations.

Sustainability begins with rekindling our sacred relationship with the world, a relationship that Our culture has not only abandoned, but one that it mocks openly. It's the domain of primitives, savages and the superstitious.

When indigenous peoples (which has essentially become a synonym for "not us" because most indigenous peoples are nothing like us) produce, because we all produce, this relationship is an integral part of their process. They manage their production, consumption, waste/recycling without any reference to capitalism.

Capitalism isn't needed. It's merely preferred by those that gain from it and those that have been duped into believing that there is a place for them in the commanding heights if they just work hard enough.

Quote:The only reason why we need money is to motivate us, that is,
economically extort us to do a boring and useless job, or corrupt our
balanced needs into expanding consumerism.

I agree wholeheartedly that human beings must be extorted into doing jobs. Where I disagree is that money is the only tool.

There have been several modes of production over the last few millenia: corporatism, capitalism, central economy (communism), feudalism, slave economy. They all use coercion, authority and influence to impel a working class to produce at a surplus level and only corporatism and capitalism require money do do so.

The only way that hierarchy is maintained is through exploitation. The food is locked up and you have to jump through some hoop to get the key. That hoop always involves producing a surplus. Hierarchy is a growth engine.

Quote:Yep. Let's say today we produce 30 models of cars that fulfill the same
function, yet they end up on the dump in 10 years. Let's say we use some
more resources than it takes to make one of these to produce only 1
type of a car, but we make it really hi-tech, that will last many
decades. We'll have a wonderful car, and a lot more resources left. All
we actually need is 1 model that has all or is moddable, the other 29
were some people's marketing plans to make the little green imaginary
papers.

I see your point.

I am leery of the idea of centralising design. Like if the state says, "We're all going to drive Ladas." I've always thought that they key to local production, and local quality production, lies in the abolition of copyright and patent law. If we make EVERYTHING open source, then we allow everyone from every region to take technology and apply it to their situation uniquely. All of that feeds back into the open source. We get innovation, local production and the ability for people to meet their own particular needs. Plus, if you remove the profit motive from the equation, then things like planned obsolescence no longer factor in. It frees people to make products that last and create closed-loop production pathways.

Quote:Standardize our sockets, cables, voltages, but also cars, living standard and approximate daily callory intake.

I was like sure, all right, why not, meh, yes, wait a minute, what the fuck??? lol

Standardisation has it's merits. For sure. I don't make that kind of industrial stuff, so I can't really comment on which is better. The cars thing I already spoke to and standard of living.... I'm a social democrat. I think that there should be a minimum standard that we elevate everyone to. What that standard is might change if we manage to adopt a system that reduces overall production and consumption and population begin to drop as a consequence, but I think a subsistence minimum is a good thing. I freaked when I read daily caloric intake. If you mean some kind of minimum, I could get behind that. If you mean, every woman gets 1 940 calories and every male gets 2 550 calories, well, that's a little on the nutty side Cool

Quote:...raising/satisfying curiosity (formerly known as education)...

Wow. I think that that represents a wonderful paradigm shift.

Yeah. That really got my brain going.

Quote:Please, what was the question again? People are driven to expand,
extorted by scarcity. But whatever they achieve, is taken from them by
their small buying power and goes to a few rich people's hands, so they
need to expand again. This is the principle of growth and scarcity.
Removal of scarcity is an anti-growth mechanism.

Yeah, I think we see different mechanisms at work here.

I think I don't know enough about what you mean by scarcity to comment on it. By that I mean that the term is jargon, and I don't understand it's full meaning as you use it.

Because of that, I don't see how removal of scarcity is an anti-growth mechanism (partly because I don't understand how it is a growth mechanism in the first place).

Could you explain scarcity in more detail (tell me like I know nothing about it) and could you tell me how capitalism (which I assume you wish to keep) can function without it? If you're thinking of switching to an alternate system from capitalism, then could you tell me about that?

Quote:Let the computer keep track of resources, surplus resources and of
demands that come from the people and from outside the city. Then let
the nearest computer use some robotic arm to put the requested surplus
stuff into boxes and send it by an automatic maglev train over to the
city where it's needed.

There's no politics, no human decision needed to count the resources, to
keep track of the demand and to send stuff in boxes. However, of course
it needs hell a lot of hi-tech infrastructure to work. It wouldn't work
with asphalt roads, fossil fuels and concrete cities, the late 19th
century technologies.

OK. I think I grasp it a little more now. But I still don't understand why a surplus is produced in the first place?

BTW - I watched the video. Some points.
-The associative memory thing was great
-He's a social constructivist, so, y'know, I dig on that Cool
-He was very well versed in communication theory (including the notion of field of experience) and had some interesting thoughts about language
-Nice note about the link between the language of dismissal and war
-He has a good grasp of McLuhan's notion of figure/ground
-I dig his embracing of cultural evolution
-We can't build a frame of reference without experience. Nice.
-He started rambling a little around the halfway mark
-I was floundering on the computer stuff, then he made the distinction between making decisions and arriving at decisions (also the whole spell check thing was very clarifying)
-Interesting approach to the kid with the zip gun
-Good stuff on indoctrination; the idea that we are always agents of ideology
-VERY interesting idea about a library for things like cameras and water skis. I really like this burgeoning idea of sharing stuff (like car sharing) because most stuff spends 99% of it's life not being used. Man, imagine a library for hockey equipment. In Canada, we love hockey, but so many children can't play because the equipment is so expensive. I myself only played two seasons because I got my cousin's hand-me-downs and they only fit for that long. But if kids wanted to use a microscope, or shoot a film, or practice tumbling on a crash mat, or build a tree house, and there was a library of stuff where they could just borrow. That is an earth shattering difference that I cannot help but get behind.
-It's also interesting that it might reduce youth crime
-Humans are not self-operating entities, we are operated by many resident forces. Quite a profound statement.
-Good stuff. Breaking patterns. A lot of my work centres on automatic thoughts and ideology. I'm picking up what he's putting down.
-Nice point about there being no self to find. Reminds me of Alfred Adler's notion of the ideal self and the true self. We're always in pursuit of the ideal self but we never reach it. And whenever we approach it, the bar is moved. There is no destination.
-Challenge, stress and experience is good for children. Absolutely
-NOT HUMAN NATURE, BUT HUMAN BEHAVIOUR SHAPED BY CULTURE! Fucking. Awesome.
-Hmm. The uniformity thing still feels a little off to me. Makes me feel uneasy.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-01-2013, 12:26 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(12-01-2013 08:59 AM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
Believe it or not, people are not equal. We're equal only in our rights and dignity, not in other things. It is therefore a natural thing to organize into hierarchies
...

I like the way you said this but I do not entirely agree.

I'd go with:
Believe it or not, people are not equal. We're equal only in our (expectation of) rights and dignity, not in other things. It is therefore a natural thing to organise into symbiotic relationships / partnerships.

There are 4 types of relationships: Strategic (partnerships), Tactical, Operational and Commodity. The latter two are likely to be hierarchical but all are looking for a win/win value equation so they do not have to be.

The empathetic society (if it were possible) probably requires a shift away from Commodity relationships up to Strategic relationships.

I'm referring to business relationships but the same idea can be applied to symbiosis in biology and even (if you stretch the imagination a little) chemical reactions... bonding, merging, acquiring, predator/prey etc.

btw, I'm enjoying this thread. Thanks, you two.

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19-01-2013, 04:02 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Luminon.
I'm not leery of hierarchy because it can be misused. I'm leery of it because it has but a single use and can never be anything else. Hierarchy is a scorpion.

There is nothing natural about organising into hierarchies in the sense that it is not predestined. Sure, we do and we have, but that doesn't mean that we must.

Social status and hierarchy are NOT synonyms.

Hierarchy is a scorpion. There is no fixing it. We can, however, find alternatives.
Well, try to think less with fear and more constructively. Hierarchy and so on is a social technology. The real question is, what makes us capable of using and not misusing technology? What makes us strong, self-reliant people, aware of other people's needs, caring but not controllable, who can use instruments without being used by them? How do we become worthy of the material and social technology we already have? That's a constructive thinking.

Obviously, the technology of Venus Project will do away with all bad, pathologic and involuntary hierarchy of subservience and social status and will only leave people free to enter a purpose-oriented hierarchy of volunteers based on approval of one another. Imagine a hierarchy, but not of power and wealth, but hierarchy of merit, of expertise, organizational skills and so on. For example, I say that Jacque Fresco is smarter, more educated and experienced than me, therefore I place myself below him in hierarchy. However, there are things that I have experience with and he doesn't, things he wouldn't touch with a stick, and in these areas I serve as an authority instead of him and I know he's smart enough to respect that, otherwise I wouldn't place myself on the lower position.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I didn't really understand anything you said about consciousness, ethics and the use of technology.
Then ask specific questions, please. I like questions.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Capitalism on any level cannot be kept in check because capitalism demands growth. As soon as capitalist organisations gain enough power, they metastasise and spread. Again, in this case, it's in their nature.

Furthermore, capitalism is inextricable from hierarchy. It requires a clear class divide between the capitalists and the work force.

As for local currencies, all currencies are local currencies. Even the all mighty American dollar. Give them time and they spread, or join forces and then spread.

Without autarky, currency spreads. Without hierarchy and capitalism, currency is meaningless.

The currency losing value over time thing is interesting. I've never heard of that. It's a pretty laterally thinking idea. But all it serves to do is to encourage spending, which is the mechanism that fuels economic growth.
Indeed it does. The local currency was successfully used in the Austrian town of Wörgl between world wars IIRC. The town was relatively poor and in bad shape. But the local currency that worked only in Wörgl and lost value over time circulated so fast, that the resulting labor rebuilt the town and built even some extra entertainment facilities. Just in two years. The experiment was however carefully prepared by Silvio Gesell's economic theory.
This is of course not a model for the whole world, if we want sustainability. But it proves three points.
- Local currency works, specially for businessmen. They didn't have any banks or stock markets in the town.
- A local currency of decreasing value may allow to rebuild desolate and poor areas.
- If banks see that it works, they'll bribe the government to outlaw this practice as they did it in Wörgl to preserve their global monopoly on issuing money.
It's an interesting alternative if people insist on some monetary steps between today and a full RBE.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This is a very culturally biased point of view. The first thing has to do with inputs. The idea of inputs is linked to the idea that the world belongs to us. There aren't trees and fish and grasses, companions in the web of life that we share a sacred relationship with, there are inputs. Cold, dead, soulless things that we simply consume for whatever purpose we choose. They are digits inserted into mathematical equations.
It may be culturally biased, but the thing is, it works. It works so well, that it managed to conquer the whole world, including so-called socialist states. And it works even for people who aren't philosophically inclined. This is a serious point, if I wanted to suppress capitalism, I know I'd fail.
The point remains, the creative and productive ability of a capitalist is a very valuable social resource. To neglect it would be wrong. To suppress it would be fatal. I know very well that capitalists aren't entitled to their resources. But if I have the resources and have the survey of social needs, I'll give these data to a capitalist, to work out the soulless equation, organize engineers and programmers and give people what they need. I will not however give the capitalist any motivation or profit to work any more than the job needs to be done, or to spread the production any more than the social survey says.
This is a fire that can not be extinguished, it can only be controlled through a lack of fuel, lack of existential and materialistically possessive motivation.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Sustainability begins with rekindling our sacred relationship with the world, a relationship that Our culture has not only abandoned, but one that it mocks openly. It's the domain of primitives, savages and the superstitious.

When indigenous peoples (which has essentially become a synonym for "not us" because most indigenous peoples are nothing like us) produce, because we all produce, this relationship is an integral part of their process. They manage their production, consumption, waste/recycling without any reference to capitalism.

Capitalism isn't needed. It's merely preferred by those that gain from it and those that have been duped into believing that there is a place for them in the commanding heights if they just work hard enough.
In TVP it theoretically isn't needed. But I'd do what I can to use the same kind of intelligence and creativity that people nowadays use for capitalism for some other and more useful projects. To an extent, it already happens today. There is ecologic business, ecologic technology R&D, landscape recultivation projects... Somebody has to make that up, organize people... And you know what? It's fun, it's creative, it's what people are here for.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I agree wholeheartedly that human beings must be extorted into doing jobs. Where I disagree is that money is the only tool.

There have been several modes of production over the last few millenia: corporatism, capitalism, central economy (communism), feudalism, slave economy. They all use coercion, authority and influence to impel a working class to produce at a surplus level and only corporatism and capitalism require money do do so.

The only way that hierarchy is maintained is through exploitation. The food is locked up and you have to jump through some hoop to get the key. That hoop always involves producing a surplus. Hierarchy is a growth engine.
Hierarchy is an abstract concept that can be used anywhere we need a structure. It is neither good or bad. For example, students/teachers/cathedra leaders are the hierarchy of learning.

However, my sources use the word Hierarchy also in another sense, as the group in which a systematic group spiritual development is achieved. As I said, we are not equal, except in our rights and dignity. If we organize and develop ourselves, we can therefore be motivated to rise in ranks that are objective and good for us.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I am leery of the idea of centralising design. Like if the state says, "We're all going to drive Ladas." I've always thought that they key to local production, and local quality production, lies in the abolition of copyright and patent law. If we make EVERYTHING open source, then we allow everyone from every region to take technology and apply it to their situation uniquely. All of that feeds back into the open source. We get innovation, local production and the ability for people to meet their own particular needs. Plus, if you remove the profit motive from the equation, then things like planned obsolescence no longer factor in. It frees people to make products that last and create closed-loop production pathways.
Sure, even as you say that, you already embrace the centralizing of design. Do you know how the open-source software comes from? It comes from a standardized computer language, such as C#. There must be standardization, or I'd have to invent my own computer language and
- it would be very difficult
- it would be absolutely useless to everyone else.
Standardization does not mean sameness, it means freedom for the end user! (which includes the engineer and programmer) From LEGO you can build countless kinds of creations according to your needs, but it fits together with all other LEGO pieces and they can be reused anywhere and by anyone. It is, because they have a centralized design. They have an abstract design.
To achieve this, we need to make global arrangements of a centralized design. Did you ever have Linux and everyone around had fun playing a Windows game? There are areas and ways in which we do NOT want to be individual. We do not want to be stuck with our individual block shapes, computer languages, screw shapes and socket designs, or you'd see what isolation and redundancy means.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Standardisation has it's merits. For sure. I don't make that kind of industrial stuff, so I can't really comment on which is better. The cars thing I already spoke to and standard of living.... I'm a social democrat. I think that there should be a minimum standard that we elevate everyone to. What that standard is might change if we manage to adopt a system that reduces overall production and consumption and population begin to drop as a consequence, but I think a subsistence minimum is a good thing. I freaked when I read daily caloric intake. If you mean some kind of minimum, I could get behind that. If you mean, every woman gets 1 940 calories and every male gets 2 550 calories, well, that's a little on the nutty side Cool
You said it right, the industrial stuff. It's boring. We're better off making it all uniform. Anyway, people today make different industrial standards to push away the other markets. If the competitors had compatible stuff, the customers would just use both interchangeably. They want to differ, so you can not buy Barnes & Noble e-books on an Amazon e-reader. All the money must go to Amazon. Amazon knows that, so it created Kindle, a device which opens pretty much nothing but PDF and azw, their own format, basically an encrypted zip archive of XMLs. (see, even they used standardized formats to make money, because it works!)

As for the calory intake, hey, I'm not crazy. I'm concerned with removing extremes. Let's say in America some people take around 4000 calories a day (easy to notice, not so easy to go around them) and in Africa some have below 1000. Extremes, man. If people get 3 meals a day plus an opportunity to go out of their way and grab something on the side, it won't be a problem.The life however must be made so interesting and intriguing, that it will bother them to spend too much time eating. It already works today, all my family is bored by grandma's 1,5 hour dinners and we want to get away to our computers and stuff. Grandma's the WW2 generation, food is still important to her. I couldn't care less, I learned a global language (standardization!) and now I can talk with interesting and clever people from all around the world and learn universe's mysteries. Who cares about food?

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:...raising/satisfying curiosity (formerly known as education)...
Wow. I think that that represents a wonderful paradigm shift.
Yeah. That really got my brain going.
I got inspired at work. I had an extremely boring job on car factory control line. It was so boring it was painful. So every break I ran to my locker room and took a big book on esotericism (a well-readable one, you'd love it too) and read it all the precious minutes. And the guys around, the workers, Gypsies, they asked me, what are you studying for? Are you cramming or what?
And I saw they had reading associated with boredom, diffculty and school duties.
So I told them, I'm satisfying my curiosity. I'm really curious about what's in this book and I need to find out!
School, that's the worst thing that can happen to people's curiosity. It's the thing that empress Mary Theresa did when she needed to produce workers for her empire, when the Hapsburg empire needed workers, not thinkers. And this is how we do things even today, nothing is better. If governments deregulated education, businessmen could invent awesome ways to learn and have fun. Hell, they could hire screenplay writers to make sci-fi movies based on real science. Any creative mind can think of better methods than Mary Theresa, and I wrote my diploma thesis on education.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I think I don't know enough about what you mean by scarcity to comment on it. By that I mean that the term is jargon, and I don't understand it's full meaning as you use it.

Because of that, I don't see how removal of scarcity is an anti-growth mechanism (partly because I don't understand how it is a growth mechanism in the first place).

Could you explain scarcity in more detail (tell me like I know nothing about it) and could you tell me how capitalism (which I assume you wish to keep) can function without it? If you're thinking of switching to an alternate system from capitalism, then could you tell me about that?
Things basically come in several cathegories of cost/availability.
- the thing you don't have, don't know about it, don't need it, don't use it. The price: zero.
- the thing you have. The price: zero. You're not likely to buy another one.
- the thing you have and everyone else with you, like the air. The price: zero.
- the thing you don't have, but know about it and think you might need it. The price: normal, let's say 10 bucks + production costs...
- the thing you don't have and desperately need. The price: astronomically high.

See what they have in common. There is a way how to make money. The more you NEED things and NOT HAVE them, the MORE MONEY they cost. The combination of needing AND not having is called SCARCITY.
Please note, that things can be perfectly abundant, but we can MAKE them scarce to earn more money. For example, take a tap water, put pour it into a plastic bottle and slap a mountain label on it and the word "natural" and "exclusive". Or we can buy the rights to something, remove it from the market and the price rises.

The worst thing to do this with is food. For example, on a desolate and isolated island, food is scarce and so if shipwreck survivors have any money, they'll start paying thousands of dollars for a tin of food. They'll very likely cheat, lie, fight and kill for it too. But then imagine that a ship comes and GIVES them the food and takes them on board where's a plenty of food. The people will stop killing each other for a can of food. It's magical how suddenly the evil, violent and greedy human nature vanishes, isn't it?

Yet scarcity is the thing that makes our economy possible. Without scarcity we're not motivated to exchange things and money. The more scarcity, the more money move around, from the economically extorted to the economically privileged. So from their point of view, scarcity is good. It is good to MAKE and KEEP things scarce, things like food, because it gives them POWER. It makes people powerless. So people take up a weapon, they make a business plan, make a scarce (a rare, needed) product that has a PRICE and they use it to extort MONEY from their fellow men and become economically privileged. Every year in nations of many millions, a handful of them succeeds, while impoverishing others and the environment in the process, forcing the poor people to expand.
But if the city has a sector that produces 3 meals a day for each citizen (and they're free to grab some more if they really want) then suddenly the scarcity vanishes. The money stop moving around, but so do fists, knives and bullets Smile

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  OK. I think I grasp it a little more now. But I still don't understand why a surplus is produced in the first place?
In our system the technology is so advanced and the market is so satiated, that people just don't need so much things and so there is always an unintended surplus that businessmen can't sell. They could sell it, but under a lower price. This would lower the price for everyone and they'd earn less next time. So they let the products rot on purpose, to keep them scarce.
In RBE the surplus would be lesser and made to compensate for areas that can't produce that kind of commodity.

(19-01-2013 10:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  BTW - I watched the video. Some points.
-The associative memory thing was great
-He's a social constructivist, so, y'know, I dig on that Cool
-He was very well versed in communication theory (including the notion of field of experience) and had some interesting thoughts about language
-Nice note about the link between the language of dismissal and war
-He has a good grasp of McLuhan's notion of figure/ground
-I dig his embracing of cultural evolution
-We can't build a frame of reference without experience. Nice.
-He started rambling a little around the halfway mark
-I was floundering on the computer stuff, then he made the distinction between making decisions and arriving at decisions (also the whole spell check thing was very clarifying)
-Interesting approach to the kid with the zip gun
-Good stuff on indoctrination; the idea that we are always agents of ideology
-VERY interesting idea about a library for things like cameras and water skis. I really like this burgeoning idea of sharing stuff (like car sharing) because most stuff spends 99% of it's life not being used. Man, imagine a library for hockey equipment. In Canada, we love hockey, but so many children can't play because the equipment is so expensive. I myself only played two seasons because I got my cousin's hand-me-downs and they only fit for that long. But if kids wanted to use a microscope, or shoot a film, or practice tumbling on a crash mat, or build a tree house, and there was a library of stuff where they could just borrow. That is an earth shattering difference that I cannot help but get behind.
-It's also interesting that it might reduce youth crime
-Humans are not self-operating entities, we are operated by many resident forces. Quite a profound statement.
-Good stuff. Breaking patterns. A lot of my work centres on automatic thoughts and ideology. I'm picking up what he's putting down.
-Nice point about there being no self to find. Reminds me of Alfred Adler's notion of the ideal self and the true self. We're always in pursuit of the ideal self but we never reach it. And whenever we approach it, the bar is moved. There is no destination.
-Challenge, stress and experience is good for children. Absolutely
-NOT HUMAN NATURE, BUT HUMAN BEHAVIOUR SHAPED BY CULTURE! Fucking. Awesome.
-Hmm. The uniformity thing still feels a little off to me. Makes me feel uneasy.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
You seem to have lots of experience from what Fresco speaks about. Will have to look up some things. But tell me one thing. You agree with him so much, yet you feel uneasy about what he says about uniformity. If he is so correct, how could he suddenly imagine something wrong? Isn't it more likely you misunderstood him? He simply pointed out the areas about which is not worthy to be "individual". Let's have a look.
"They will uniformly like anyone they meet." - as opposed to the unique individuals known as sexists, racists, snobs, homophobes and religious bigots.
"Uniformly share ideas and resources." - as opposed to the highly individualistic industrial businessmen and trade secret keepers.
"Uniformly share knowledge with anyone else" - as opposed to today's copyright and patent holders
"and uniformly courteous with everyone else." - I'm sure you can think of someone you know. I can think of my older brother, who is extremely rude and ungrateful to his family members and that is indeed his very individual character feature.
"That's the only kind of uniformity." - again I ask, what kind of individuality would you want here? Is an alternative to virtues a good idea? What kind of character flaws would you encourage in people, so they'd be individual enough for you and what benefit would that bring? Wink

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19-01-2013, 04:45 PM (This post was last modified: 19-01-2013 04:57 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(19-01-2013 12:26 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I like the way you said this but I do not entirely agree.

I'd go with:
Believe it or not, people are not equal. We're equal only in our (expectation of) rights and dignity, not in other things. It is therefore a natural thing to organise into symbiotic relationships / partnerships.

There are 4 types of relationships: Strategic (partnerships), Tactical, Operational and Commodity. The latter two are likely to be hierarchical but all are looking for a win/win value equation so they do not have to be.

The empathetic society (if it were possible) probably requires a shift away from Commodity relationships up to Strategic relationships.

I'm referring to business relationships but the same idea can be applied to symbiosis in biology and even (if you stretch the imagination a little) chemical reactions... bonding, merging, acquiring, predator/prey etc.

btw, I'm enjoying this thread. Thanks, you two.
From my studies it seems there are about 4 basic levels of people. Biologic level and socially-cultural level are two lower ones, a basis of the pyramid. On biologic level people most enjoy simple carnal joys like food. This level offers the challenges of self-preservation, for example. People on this level admire personal strength and leadership, even if the chief beats them sometimes, it's their chief and he's strong. If one handles this level correctly, he may integrate into the socially-cultural level. Most similar to a small town with all its little virtues and vices, this level is characteristic by the concept of a pecking order. The thing one wants the most is approval and admiration of the peers. This level both integrates and disciplines the biologic level individuals, but on the other side, does not release lightly those who outgrow it, it's sort of a crab bucket.

The third level is called individual and is most characteristic by people turning away from the social pecking order to themselves. They rise from the second level crab bucket and start pursuing self-improvement and personal achievement. They generally handle themselves better than the previous two levels. There is a fourth level too (called transpersonal), but these people generally need no guidance or advice.

The point is, the first two levels naturally have a concept of hierarchy of non-equals. It doesn't degrade them, it motivates them to strive to become something more than they were, to assume some degree of responsibility. If handled correctly.

I am not sure how much are these four levels ingrained in human nature. We all start on the biologic level as children, but we move upwards. It is not clear what determines one to reach a higher level, how fast. Some people are workers and always stay workers. Other have ambition and rise up. Others are intelligent, but even if they achieve a university degree, find that a simple life of a homeless is satisfying for them. My two brothers are manual workers, for example. They seem to have no ambition whatsoever. Little intellectual interest. There's a man at my brother's job, who's also a mechanic there and he has IQ of 150. Which is a lot more than I have, yet he does not feel the need to use it. What is it in people that drives them forward?

Here I somewhat differ with Fresco. I don't think we're wholly determined by our environment. I'd say there is an innate potential in each of us. Training can do a lot to bring out the innate potential and it can even improve upon it, but it can never create it out of nothing.
Being what I am (an esotericist?), I'd say this innate potential is the proverbial Christian "treasure in heaven" that we accumulate over past incarnations.
More advanced souls often live into their 40's or so from the potential and talents they brought from past lives and only then they start learning anything truly new, that would add something extra for the next incarnation. The youngest souls are born in larger groups, there aren't many geniuses among them, the more advanced souls choose their time and place more individually and carefully, close to places like schools and advanced countries. Unless they want some specific experience. So unlike Fresco, I don't think there will be thousands of Curies and Einsteins once we get RBE going. Maybe dozens. Or maybe a few millenia of speedy development in the favorable environment of RBE, there will be tens of thousands of geniuses and the average person will be what passes for a highly intelligent and creative individual today. Development of consciousness is a serious business and doesn't get done just like that, without work.
Obviously, young souls will be more concerned with developing physical life skills and mastering bodily wants and needs and no amount of conditioning will make them eggheads. Similarly, most of somewhat more advanced souls will find the idea of a social pecking order and admiration of peers very tempting. Maybe not you or me, but I think they will. I presume many folks here are on the individual level, having left religion, so they may overlook the masses that don't behave in this way.

I presume your types of relationships are valid about equals. But as I said, most of people are not equals nor do they value equality, certainly not at the first two levels. These people - and I am sure you know them, they exist in two basic structures. The tribe and the pecking order. Both can be nicely seen in churches. There are quite tribalistic churches and quite formalistic ones. A move towards atheism often means both abandoning one's faith and abandoning one's cultural level, a rise to the individual level, the third one.

As I said, I am not sure what happens with these levels of people in the environment of RBE. We might see a return to the carefree yet active life that Fresco describes from his tropical island experience. But I'm certain that RBE will not magically make cerebral types out of people. It will do something different. The social "pyramid" I described will always exist, but it will change shape. A true and good culture will be an ideal environment for development of consciousness. It will remove all the useless crap and work that we have to waste our lives with and that gets us nowhere, intellectually, emotionally, culturally and spiritually. It will create the best environment for people on lower levels to transit into the higher levels. The biologic level people will see the subtlety and warmth of social relationships, the tightly knit neighbourhoods will see the merit of individual development and the notorious individualists will see that there are greater things than their ego. This is already happening, as the first level is not the most frequent one today, most people are on the socially-cultural level and many are in transit onto the third.

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19-01-2013, 07:34 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
What. The. Hell. I just read a document from 1846, called "What is the municipality". The author, KHB wrote exactly the things I did about the arrangement of human relationships towards the society and inner arrangement of human nature. He got exactly right the duality of selfish gratification vs. the unselfish bonding. He emphasized the importance of good relationships of citizens towards others and the municipality. He placed active citizenship above being born here and above nationalism. He affirmed the proportionality of work and reward. He understood the need for security and progress (education). He understood the nature of freedom, that is not lawlessness but a self-reliance. He demanded an open, transparent administration.

It seems both me and him followed exactly the same philosophic and logical line of thought, confirming that there indeed are objective principles in arranging human affairs. His words are no less relevant today than they were 166 years ago. Even the advent of RBE would not change that much.

I just hope people won't slander me that I stole the ideas from KHB. I didn't, but as I wrote them, I already knew I write nothing new, that I steal, not from persons but from the reality itself, I merely write down what is all around to see, I derive general principles from all the cases around.

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19-01-2013, 07:38 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(19-01-2013 07:34 PM)Luminon Wrote:  What. The. Hell. I just read a document from 1846, called "What is the municipality". The author, KHB wrote exactly the things I did about the arrangement of human relationships towards the society and inner arrangement of human nature. He got exactly right the duality of selfish gratification vs. the unselfish bonding. He emphasized the importance of good relationships of citizens towards others and the municipality. He placed active citizenship above being born here and above nationalism. He affirmed the proportionality of work and reward. He understood the need for security and progress (education). He understood the nature of freedom, that is not lawlessness but a self-reliance. He demanded an open, transparent administration.

It seems both me and him followed exactly the same philosophic and logical line of thought, confirming that there indeed are objective principles in arranging human affairs. His words are no less relevant today than they were 166 years ago. Even the advent of RBE would not change that much.

I just hope people won't slander me that I stole the ideas from KHB. I didn't, but as I wrote them, I already knew I write nothing new, that I steal, not from persons but from the reality itself, I merely write down what is all around to see, I derive general principles from all the cases around.


"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-01-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(19-01-2013 07:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9
This quote doesn't make us any wiser. I prefer Plato's philosophic allegory of the world of forms. The world of forms, (general principles) is the reality, towards which the material world is only getting near but remains unreal. We see many patterns around, many lopsided circles, but only humans endowed with philosophic awareness can derive the definition of a perfect circle from all the imperfect circles around. They see the imperfect forms and derive the perfect idea, or perhaps "remind themselves" of it, of the archetype of circle in the Platonic world of forms.

My ability to recognize the perfect forms and put them into words is limited by my experience and education. That's why Fresco says that experience is the basis of creativity. The material world experience is my vocabulary that I use to put the forms into words. That's why I use things like comparisons with electricity. And intuition is another factor, the ability to get the hang of things. Some books can not be read without intuition.

It's very reassuring to see ancient principles confirmed, in this age of relativism and doubting. I think this is important to emphasize, because in my country everyone is paranoid that I am a communist bolshevik provocation agent who wants to destroy capitalism and democracy or what's left of it. Left! You said it! Gotcha!

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20-01-2013, 10:03 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
Hey, Luminon.

I am not thinking with fear. Hierarchy is one of the main ingredients in vast human suffering and the destruction of the planet. To assume that it can somehow be harnessed to fix all of our problems is akin to battered wife syndrome. We know it doesn't work, so why continue to use it when there are other avenues to explore?

Quote:Obviously, the technology of Venus Project will do away with all bad,
pathologic and involuntary hierarchy of subservience and social status
and will only leave people free to enter a purpose-oriented hierarchy of
volunteers based on approval of one another.

Could you explain that to me in greater detail? Because right now it sounds like, "We'll wave our magic wand."

Quote:Imagine a hierarchy, but not of power and wealth, but hierarchy of merit, of expertise, organizational skills and so on.

It's called a meritocracy. There's absolutely nothing new about it. And it's every bit the hierarchy than a theocracy, oligarchy, gerontocracy, plutarchy, gynarchy, despotocracy, autocracy and a few dozen others are.

Same shit, different pile, as the saying goes.

On local currency:
-It illustrates that capitalism is about growth
-The system you described is still capitalistic

Quote:It may be culturally biased, but the thing is, it works. It works so
well, that it managed to conquer the whole world, including so-called
socialist states. And it works even for people who aren't
philosophically inclined. This is a serious point, if I wanted to
suppress capitalism, I know I'd fail.

A man jumps off a cliff. He proclaims to the world, "I'm flying. They said I'd never fly, but I'm flying. This is incredible." To which the world responds, "Actually, you're falling." But that man doesn't listen. He falls for a while, content with his remarkable achievement, but slowly, as time marches forward, he see's the ground. And it gets closer. At some point he realises that he's falling and the he will be dashed upon the rocks. The only question is, does he realise in time to do anything about it?

Capitalism doesn't work. Hierarchy doesn't work. Unlimited growth doesn't work. We are falling. Our species is in overshoot. This is not a worry on the horizon, this is now. The Holocene extinction is now. The Holocene extinction is occurring because we are in deficit spending. We have to chew through ecosystems and entire species to keep us alive. This is not "working". This is failing.

Quote:The point remains, the creative and productive ability of a capitalist
is a very valuable social resource. To neglect it would be wrong. To
suppress it would be fatal.

Capitalism is a few hundred years old. Our species is over a hundred thousand. Our genus is over two million. This notion that we cannot live without capitalism is patently ridiculous.

Capitalists are what Ray Anderson calls plunderers.





Quote:I know very well that capitalists aren't entitled to their resources.
But if I have the resources and have the survey of social needs, I'll
give these data to a capitalist, to work out the soulless equation,
organize engineers and programmers and give people what they need. I
will not however give the capitalist any motivation or profit to work
any more than the job needs to be done, or to spread the production any
more than the social survey says.

That's like saying, I'll swim in front of the great white shark with a bag of fish heads but I'll only give them to the shark one at a time.

It doesn't work that way.

A capitalist without growth is not a capitalist.

What you're describing is sounding more and more like a centralised economy. That's a terrible idea.

Quote:This is a fire that can not be extinguished, it can only be controlled
through a lack of fuel, lack of existential and materialistically
possessive motivation.

If that's the case, then we're dead.

Quote:Hierarchy is an abstract concept that can be used anywhere we need a structure. It is neither good or bad.

Setting off high yield nuclear weapons is neither good nor bad. But it has a very clear effect. If we're looking to minimise the amount of giant craters and radiation clouds in the world, the solution is not setting off more high yield nuclear weapons.

Hierarchy has a very clear effect. If we want to eliminate that effect, we aren't going to do it with hierarchy.

Quote:Sure, even as you say that, you already embrace the centralizing of
design. Do you know how the open-source software comes from? It comes
from a standardized computer language, such as C#. There must be
standardization, or I'd have to invent my own computer language and

- it would be very difficult

- it would be absolutely useless to everyone else.

That's a pretty egregious distortion of facts.

There is absolutely nothing centralised about the open source movement. That things evolve into ESSs is not the same as a central body dictating standards.

Anyhoo, we're very far apart on this one.

The danger of centralised standardisation is when people want to do something else. What do you do with them?

Quote:The combination of needing AND not having is called SCARCITY.

Oh shit, you're just talking about supply and demand. Check. Got it.

Quote:But if the city has a sector that produces 3 meals a day for each
citizen (and they're free to grab some more if they really want) then
suddenly the scarcity vanishes. The money stop moving around, but so do
fists, knives and bullets [Image: smile.gif]

Philosophically, feeding everyone is great. Makes me feel all warm and bubbly inside. But if we feed everyone, all the time, no matter what, then people have no worries about giving birth to new babies. Because they're guaranteed food. So they'll have more babies, who will have still more babies. That's more of the same problem we're facing; the human population explosion.

If there is some city sector where all the food is kept and doled out, but the overall quantity of food never goes up, THEN you have a limiter. Want more kids? You get less food because this is all we have.

population x consumption = carrying capacity

So if by "eliminating scarcity" you mean "ensuring there is always a supply" then that solution won't work.

We have been increasing our carrying capacity for about 5 000 years. If the solution does not stop that growth and if the solution does not decrease our carrying capacity, then it's not a solution. It's just shuffling things around.

Quote:In our system the technology is so advanced and the market is so
satiated, that people just don't need so much things and so there is
always an unintended surplus that businessmen can't sell. They could
sell it, but under a lower price. This would lower the price for
everyone and they'd earn less next time. So they let the products rot on
purpose, to keep them scarce.

In RBE the surplus would be lesser and made to compensate for areas that can't produce that kind of commodity.

No, but my question is, by what mechanism is a surplus produced in the first place?

In Our culture, a surplus is produced because there is a clear division between those that own the means of production and those that do not. Those that do not own the means of production do not at any time own the products produced via the use of those means of production. Only the owners of the means of production own the products. In order to get at those products, which the labourer must lest he starve to death, the labourers trades their labour time and energy for it. But it is not a 1:1 trade. The labourers toil for 40+ hours a week, producing vastly more product than they themselves could ever possibly consume. But they are impelled to work harder than they would need to work if they were just producing for themselves because if they refuse, then they forfeit their access to all products owned by the capital owners. Thus labourers are IMPELED to produce a surplus. Our system is a surplus producing engine. It is what it is built to do and it does it very well. That is the mechanism that enables the production of a surplus in our system.

In egalitarian societies, there is no mechanism to impel anyone to produce more than they need because the labour load is SHARED across the group. Production levels will be kept above the subsistence level, but any surplus production or luxury production is kept to a minimum because in order to get everyone to work harder, there must be consensus across the group. Thus surplus production is kept to a minimum if it's pursued at all. Not only is there no mechanism in place to impel anyone to produce a surplus, there is a mechanism in place that constrains it.

So by what mechanism is a surplus produced in RBE?

Quote:You seem to have lots of experience from what Fresco speaks about. Will
have to look up some things. But tell me one thing. You agree with him
so much, yet you feel uneasy about what he says about uniformity. If he
is so correct, how could he suddenly imagine something wrong? Isn't it
more likely you misunderstood him? He simply pointed out the areas about
which is not worthy to be "individual". Let's have a look.

I am a HUGE fan of Karl Marx. An absolutely brilliant man. His critique is so spot on, so insightful, it boggles the mind how one man could have so much, so right. His analysis of the situation is beyond compare. His solutions are terrible.

Fresco seems to analyse the situation very well. That doesn't mean that his solution is worth a damn. One does not necessarily flow from the the other.

In the 1960s, Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, an absolute indictment of the unfettered use of chemical agents. That book is cited as one of the single most important things to the development of the green movement. Carson's analysis was spot on (if not really depressing to read). But the solutions that flowed from it are ultimately useless.

The uniformity of being nice I can live with. Won't happen, but I can live with it.

But the notion of someone being able to dictate the parameters of uniformity... that's downright scary.

The notion of doing away with the individual... that's just terrifying.

I see such a massive disconnect between the search for self-improvement being the primary motivator and the abolition of the concept of the individual. These things are diametrically opposed.

So my question is this. What is the full scope of this idea of uniformity? Beyond the brochure platitudes of "everyone will be nice and share and be happy"? How deep does this go? What exactly is outlawed? What are the proposed mechanisms of enforcement? Who decides? What happens to those that deviate?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-01-2013, 10:08 AM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(19-01-2013 08:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(19-01-2013 07:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9
This quote doesn't make us any wiser. I prefer Plato's philosophic allegory of the world of forms. The world of forms, (general principles) is the reality, towards which the material world is only getting near but remains unreal. We see many patterns around, many lopsided circles, but only humans endowed with philosophic awareness can derive the definition of a perfect circle from all the imperfect circles around. They see the imperfect forms and derive the perfect idea, or perhaps "remind themselves" of it, of the archetype of circle in the Platonic world of forms.

My ability to recognize the perfect forms and put them into words is limited by my experience and education. That's why Fresco says that experience is the basis of creativity. The material world experience is my vocabulary that I use to put the forms into words. That's why I use things like comparisons with electricity. And intuition is another factor, the ability to get the hang of things. Some books can not be read without intuition.

It's very reassuring to see ancient principles confirmed, in this age of relativism and doubting. I think this is important to emphasize, because in my country everyone is paranoid that I am a communist bolshevik provocation agent who wants to destroy capitalism and democracy or what's left of it. Left! You said it! Gotcha!


I need to work on my delivery with you. Consider

Me quoting the Bible should always be taken as joshing.

However, Plato's world of forms does not exist. There is no perfect triangle or circle, these exist only as concepts in our very human minds.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-01-2013, 06:16 PM
RE: Nazi alert and other people's reactions
(20-01-2013 10:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  I need to work on my delivery with you. Consider

Me quoting the Bible should always be taken as joshing.
...

Just bear in mind that the Aspie mind is a literal mind.

Try saying things, to Luminon, like "Let's toast the bride" and observe the reaction.

Ohmy

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