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Posted: 19 August 2009 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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I don’t think predictions can be made about this. But furthermore, I don’t really see Humankind Collectively “getting their “stuff” together”. I don’t think they ever have, not consciously collectively. Small attempts have been made at “engineering” a better way of society by various nations or leaders. Some good working mechanics have been adopted(organized science/industry, universal education, democracy(concepts) etc…
However with these good mechanics that we have adopted, do you see us advancing into the future prepared, unprepared or indifferent? I see it mainly as indifferent, with a splash of prepared and unprepared.
Basically we look(as humans) at the past, and say:“Well we got this far, we must be doing it right” or “Nature runs it’s course, without too much assistance from us!”
To sidestep a bit…how much of these constructs( such as organized government, democracy, or socialism, or totalitarianism, fair, and justice etc…) are actually running the show? Maybe far less than we think…maybe nature is pushing this whole thing alot more than we know. We just fool ourselves into thinking we have got everything organized.
I don’t see any evidence of humankind ever collectively organizing, or engineering a future for ourselves. Sure, like I said there are some short bursts here and there, but these are usually localized, and not on a Grand Scheme.
The closest thing I can think of right now is the UN. That is an expirement in progress. Even the UN is doing more reacting and less proacting. Humans react collectively, we don’t proactively plan collectively.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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VYAZMA - 19 August 2009 05:15 AM

I don’t think predictions can be made about this. But furthermore, I don’t really see Humankind Collectively “getting their “stuff” together”. I don’t think they ever have, not consciously collectively. Small attempts have been made at “engineering” a better way of society by various nations or leaders. Some good working mechanics have been adopted(organized science/industry, universal education, democracy(concepts) etc…
However with these good mechanics that we have adopted, do you see us advancing into the future prepared, unprepared or indifferent? I see it mainly as indifferent, with a splash of prepared and unprepared.
Basically we look(as humans) at the past, and say:“Well we got this far, we must be doing it right” or “Nature runs it’s course, without too much assistance from us!”
To sidestep a bit…how much of these constructs( such as organized government, democracy, or socialism, or totalitarianism, fair, and justice etc…) are actually running the show? Maybe far less than we think…maybe nature is pushing this whole thing alot more than we know. We just fool ourselves into thinking we have got everything organized.
I don’t see any evidence of humankind ever collectively organizing, or engineering a future for ourselves. Sure, like I said there are some short bursts here and there, but these are usually localized, and not on a Grand Scheme.
The closest thing I can think of right now is the UN. That is an expirement in progress. Even the UN is doing more reacting and less proacting. Humans react collectively, we don’t proactively plan collectively.

What about American democracy itself? Isn’t that an example of people collectively organizing to engineer a future for themselves? I don’t think you would need to get 100% of the population on board - just a critical threshold. It didn’t take 100% of the population to overthrow the Monarchy, it just took a “small group of dedicated individuals.”

I’m not arguing that a Great Transition is *likely* - In fact, I agree that it is probably the *least* likely scenario. It is also the *most* desirable.

You don’t need everyone in society to wake up and “get their stuff together”, you just need *enough* of them to do so. Enough might be as low as 10% of the actual population, or lower.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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Real quick Pat. What did the formation of an American Democracy really accomplish? Can we be sure that the Old Monarchy, and Colonialism here wouldn’t have evolved to something as similar as what we now have? I bet it would be pretty close.
The whole weight behind democracy is far more in the Name and the Brand. It’s like pushing a brand name. Most nations have democracy to one degree or another. There are a few exceptions. This “concept” democracy wasn’t any collective pursuit of ideals to advance humans into enlightenment or rationality.
It is a form of organizing government. It gives representation-in the context of capitalism, or outright communism. The idea of representation, and “egalitarianism”(ha!) it all looks good hanging in the Smithsonian or something, but these base ideals; that are the meat and potatoes of working democracy; and government evolved to this point. It was no collective pursuit. The Founding Fathers didn’t get some beam of light idea from heaven, they borrowed on what was already evolving all around the world. It was a natural evolution of Human Super-social Organization(Government). I’m not saying there aren’t innovations. There are good ideas(and Bad).

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Posted: 19 August 2009 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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VYAZMA - 19 August 2009 12:56 PM

Real quick Pat. What did the formation of an American Democracy really accomplish? Can we be sure that the Old Monarchy, and Colonialism here wouldn’t have evolved to something as similar as what we now have? I bet it would be pretty close.
The whole weight behind democracy is far more in the Name and the Brand. It’s like pushing a brand name. Most nations have democracy to one degree or another. There are a few exceptions. This “concept” democracy wasn’t any collective pursuit of ideals to advance humans into enlightenment or rationality.
It is a form of organizing government. It gives representation-in the context of capitalism, or outright communism. The idea of representation, and “egalitarianism”(ha!) it all looks good hanging in the Smithsonian or something, but these base ideals; that are the meat and potatoes of working democracy; and government evolved to this point. It was no collective pursuit. The Founding Fathers didn’t get some beam of light idea from heaven, they borrowed on what was already evolving all around the world. It was a natural evolution of Human Super-social Organization(Government). I’m not saying there aren’t innovations. There are good ideas(and Bad).

VYAZMAR, I think we agree more than we disagree. I view democracy in America as an essentially oligarchical system which gives people the illusion of self-rule.

I would argue that although true democracy has never been achieved (just as true communism has never been achieved), it is still better than the blatant tyranny of a monarchy.

I agree that the founding fathers took advantage of a movement which was already evolving around the world. You could say that the social factors are once again undergoing a period of rapid change, putting pressure on our social institutions to evolve - or die.

[ Edited: 19 August 2009 02:12 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 19 August 2009 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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VYAZMAR, I think we agree more than we disagree. I view democracy in America as an essentially oligarchical system which gives people the illusion of self-rule.

I would argue that although true democracy has never been achieved (just as true communism has never been achieved), it is still better than the blatant tyranny of a monarchy.

I agree that the founding fathers took advantage of a movement which was already evolving around the world. You could say that the social factors are once again undergoing a period of rapid change, putting pressure on our social institutions to evolve - or die.

Oh hey- Yeah Pat, I think we agree too. I don’t want to debate you. I like your platform. I like new thoughts and ideas. Don’t get me wrong with my replies, I’m not refuting anything you say, I’m just throwing in $.02!
Like you said, you just wanted to discuss ideas, in a friendly, equal manner. I’m with ya.
Ok. Forget what we think Democracy is in America or anywhere else. That’s OT. The point was Democracy wasn’t, or isn’t some big groundbreaking ideal, or collective purpose to achieve rationality.
Originally I had stated that nothing that humankind has ever done has achieved these ends, and it is doubtful that we ever will. I don’t think your 10% rule would work. They would be outvoted #1, and #2 I doubt you could get the proper consensus within a 10% slice of humanity. These are just my opinions.
I like my point about humankind advancing into the future with indifference, with a touch of unpreparedness, and a touch of readiness.

[ Edited: 19 August 2009 02:43 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 19 August 2009 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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VYAZMA - 19 August 2009 02:19 PM

VYAZMAR, I think we agree more than we disagree. I view democracy in America as an essentially oligarchical system which gives people the illusion of self-rule.

I would argue that although true democracy has never been achieved (just as true communism has never been achieved), it is still better than the blatant tyranny of a monarchy.

I agree that the founding fathers took advantage of a movement which was already evolving around the world. You could say that the social factors are once again undergoing a period of rapid change, putting pressure on our social institutions to evolve - or die.

Oh hey- Yeah Pat, I think we agree too. I don’t want to debate you. I like your platform. I like new thoughts and ideas. Don’t get me wrong with my replies, I’m not refuting anything you say, I’m just throwing in $.02!
Like you said, you just wanted to discuss ideas, in a friendly, equal matter. I’m with ya.
Ok. Forget what we think Democracy is in America or anywhere else. That’s OT. The point was Democracy wasn’t, or isn’t some big groundbreaking ideal, or collective purpose to achieve rationality.
Originally I had stated that nothing that humankind has ever done has achieved these ends, and it is doubtful that we ever will. I don’t think your 10% rule would work. They would be outvoted #1, and #2 I doubt you could get the proper consensus within a 10% slice of humanity. These are just my opinions.
I like my point about humankind advancing into the future with indifference, with a touch of unpreparedness, and a touch of readiness.

Well you would need 2/3rds majority to vote to install a Technate, but honestly, how many people actually study the issues they vote on? Most just vote the way others around them are voting. What % of the population today is responsible for actually making the big decisions (or influencing society)? It is probably less than 10%, which is why I said that you would only need a sufficient level of informed consent to have a “great transition”.

Indifference is a product of prosperity. I think more people will wake up as the environmental, economic, and social situation continues to deteriorate. Perhaps it won’t be enough to make a difference, but I for one am not ready to resign humanity to barbarization.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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Well you would need 2/3rds majority to vote to install a Technate, but honestly, how many people actually study the issues they vote on? Most just vote the way others around them are voting. What % of the population today is responsible for actually making the big decisions (or influencing society)? It is probably less than 10%, which is why I said that you would only need a sufficient level of informed consent to have a “great transition”.

Indifference is a product of prosperity. I think more people will wake up as the environmental, economic, and social situation continues to deteriorate. Perhaps it won’t be enough to make a difference, but I for one am not ready to resign humanity to barbarization.

As someone who relates the closest to anarchy, instead of any other “ideal” political structure, I can’t really get on board for any “Great Transition”. I have No Faith in Humanity as a collective Inhabitant of Earth. I have faith in Humans. I love humanity. I think we do great work in small bunches, but I also think that we are too easily manipulated against one another.
On paper, Our Government Organization here in America would be Ideal. It should work great, but it doesn’t. It is corrupted, and it probably is the best invention yet for Government.
Explain further what you meant earlier about “Parasites”.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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VYAZMA - 19 August 2009 02:35 PM

Well you would need 2/3rds majority to vote to install a Technate, but honestly, how many people actually study the issues they vote on? Most just vote the way others around them are voting. What % of the population today is responsible for actually making the big decisions (or influencing society)? It is probably less than 10%, which is why I said that you would only need a sufficient level of informed consent to have a “great transition”.

Indifference is a product of prosperity. I think more people will wake up as the environmental, economic, and social situation continues to deteriorate. Perhaps it won’t be enough to make a difference, but I for one am not ready to resign humanity to barbarization.

As someone who relates the closest to anarchy, instead of any other “ideal” political structure, I can’t really get on board for any “Great Transition”. I have No Faith in Humanity as a collective Inhabitant of Earth. I have faith in Humans. I love humanity. I think we do great work in small bunches, but I also think that we are too easily manipulated against one another.
On paper, Our Government Organization here in America would be Ideal. It should work great, but it doesn’t. It is corrupted, and it probably is the best invention yet for Government.
Explain further what you meant earlier about “Parasites”.

I also have anarchist leanings, but my research has led me to conclude that technology would work best if controlled katascopically (top-down), while people would operate better if left to control themselves anascopically (using bottom-up methods).

You have to look at the context of what I was talking about to understand what I meant by “parasites”. I said that people’s biggest objection to the idea of a post-scarcity society is the idea that humans would no longer be motivated to do anything if they were guaranteed a personal income larger than they could spend. I pointed to Cuba which produces twice as many doctors as we do per capita, yet everyone receives the same wage (which is sufficient, but hardly “more than they can spend”). My own investigations have led me to conclude that in en environment of abundance, where everyone would be guaranteed the same high-quality education, it is likely that *more* people, not less, would choose to take on demanding and/or challenging jobs.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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I also have anarchist leanings, but my research has led me to conclude that technology would work best if controlled katascopically (top-down), while people would operate better if left to control themselves anascopically (using bottom-up methods).

You have to look at the context of what I was talking about to understand what I meant by “parasites”. I said that people’s biggest objection to the idea of a post-scarcity society is the idea that humans would no longer be motivated to do anything if they were guaranteed a personal income larger than they could spend. I pointed to Cuba which produces twice as many doctors as we do per capita, yet everyone receives the same wage (which is sufficient, but hardly “more than they can spend”). My own investigations have led me to conclude that in en environment of abundance, where everyone would be guaranteed the same high-quality education, it is likely that *more* people, not less, would choose to take on demanding and/or challenging jobs.

I don’t understand why things keep getting put in the context of a “post scarcity” society.
Yes I think I understand what you mean by parasites. I don’t think there is a need for more demanding/challenging jobs myself. I think we should take a BIG break from meeting technological challenges, and focus on Engineering Humanity.
I think technology is already controlled from the top down. Hence the monopoly of electricity, gas, and water(in cities). The top has the control of all the most powerful, complex technologies. Space, Nukes, Weapons, Spying, Communications etc.
Explain how people could control themselves from the bottom up.

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Posted: 19 August 2009 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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I don’t understand why things keep getting put in the context of a “post scarcity” society.

Isn’t the purpose of the thread to discuss a post-scarcity society?

Yes I think I understand what you mean by parasites. I don’t think there is a need for more demanding/challenging jobs myself.

I think you misunderstand what I mean. I’m not saying that more people *should* take challenging jobs (such as being a doctor), I’m saying that given the right conditions, the % of people who choose to take difficult jobs over easy jobs should be higher rather than lower in a post-scarcity society. The entire point of a post-scarcity society is to maximize quality of life with the lowest possible input of resources, including human labor, so I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, here.

I think we should take a BIG break from meeting technological challenges, and focus on Engineering Humanity.

I disagree. The problems we face are primarily technological in nature. We *already have* the solutions to our problems within our grasp. We just need to educate people about them. Standing in our way of a sustainable society is an exponential growth culture which has developed over the past couple hundred years. We already have the technology we need to establish a post-scarcity society. Overcoming the exponential growth culture is the biggest obstacle. Could you explain what you mean by engineering humanity? I think this is a bad idea. Human behavior is a response to the environment. If you change the environment, human behavior adjusts automatically. The focus then should be on engineering the right environment to result in the desired behavior. Any attempt to change human behavior without first addressing the basic environmental conditions which give rise to specific behaviors, is ultimately doomed to failure.

I think technology is already controlled from the top down. Hence the monopoly of electricity, gas, and water(in cities). The top has the control of all the most powerful, complex technologies. Space, Nukes, Weapons, Spying, Communications etc.
Explain how people could control themselves from the bottom up.

You are misunderstanding what is meant by top-down/bottom-up. Having technology controlled by a bunch of different competing corporations is bottom-up control, not top-down. Here is more information to clarify this:

http://www.technocracy.ca/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=printpage&artid=26

http://www.unizar.es/sociocybernetics/quees/que.html

 

Here is a brief story to summarize the different scenarios we were talking about:

Imagine that you and your friends are driving through the desert in a pretty nice car, and decide to do some off-roading. You stop paying attention to the course of the road and the warning signs. Suddenly you come to a cliff that you didn’t see and realize that you are seconds away from plummeting into the canyon below.

Eco-communalism: everyone jumps out of the car at the last second. The car plummets to the canyon below and is destroyed. Everyone is alive, but now you have no car and you’re in the middle of the desert.

New paradigm: at the last second, the car is steered away from the cliff and/or the brake is applied. The car and all its occupants are saved. Obvious advantages.

Conventional worlds: you drive straight off the cliff, all the while reassuring everyone that everything will be ok.

[ Edited: 19 August 2009 07:06 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 20 August 2009 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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I disagree. The problems we face are primarily technological in nature. We *already have* the solutions to our problems within our grasp. We just need to educate people about them. Standing in our way of a sustainable society is an exponential growth culture which has developed over the past couple hundred years. We already have the technology we need to establish a post-scarcity society. Overcoming the exponential growth culture is the biggest obstacle. Could you explain what you mean by engineering humanity? I think this is a bad idea. Human behavior is a response to the environment. If you change the environment, human behavior adjusts automatically. The focus then should be on engineering the right environment to result in the desired behavior. Any attempt to change human behavior without first addressing the basic environmental conditions which give rise to specific behaviors, is ultimately doomed to failure.

I see what you are driving at here. The future of the environment(ecological) is not the only problems we have. Perhaps technology can address these issues, maybe it can’t.(seeing as how they are the reasons for the environmental problems in the first place. Humans stupidity to use them wantonly is the REAL problem-thus achieving a technological solution is dependent on Humans willingness to fix things-Thus a need to fix humanity first.)
I use the term “engineer” loosely. Very loosely. It has nothing to do with genetics. I agree that reengineering the social, and political environment is the solution to changing behavior. But technology wouldn’t play the primary role.
By “post scarcity” you are referring to a world in which Humans have realized there are limited resources to go around-right?

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Posted: 20 August 2009 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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“Post scarcity or post-scarcity describes a hypothetical form of economy or society, often explored in science fiction, in which things such as goods, services and information are free, or practically free. This would be due to an abundance of fundamental resources (matter, energy and intelligence), in conjunction with sophisticated automated systems capable of converting raw materials into finished goods, allowing manufacturing to be as easy as duplicating software.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_scarcity

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Posted: 20 August 2009 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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VYAZMA - 20 August 2009 05:21 AM

I see what you are driving at here. The future of the environment(ecological) is not the only problems we have. Perhaps technology can address these issues, maybe it can’t.(seeing as how they are the reasons for the environmental problems in the first place.

Webster defines technology as: “1. the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area”.

A technology is just a way of doing something. So any solution to any problem would have to be technological, given the actual definition of the word, unless the problem just fixed itself.

I use the term “engineer” loosely. Very loosely. It has nothing to do with genetics. I agree that reengineering the social, and political environment is the solution to changing behavior. But technology wouldn’t play the primary role.

Overcoming scarcity is a major obstacle to re-engineering humanity. Human behavior will change for the better automatically in a post-scarcity society. Overcoming scarcity is a technological and cultural problem. We have the technology we need to overcome scarcity, at least in many of the developed parts of the world. The problem is that we still cling to our old ways which are based on scarcity and growth, such as a nonzero interest rate. Overcoming the cultural problem is primarily a matter of education. People will usually resist any change to their environment so long as their needs are met. Many people who resist the idea of change are unaware, or in denial of the situation we are in regarding the environment, resources, the economy, etc. The only way to change this is by spreading awareness of these problems and the solutions to them.

By “post scarcity” you are referring to a world in which Humans have realized there are limited resources to go around-right?

A post-scarcity society is not possible in all areas of the globe, as not all parts of the globe can meet the requirements for a post-scarcity society, which I explained earlier are:

1. sufficient resources (to produce an abundance)
2. sufficient technology
3. sufficient educated and trained personnel to operate the technology (and render other services)
4. informed consent of the population*

*this one is added. The first three are the ones frequently mentioned.

Obviously not all areas of the world can meet those three requirements, so they will have to continue managing themselves using scarcity methods, at least until conditions change (new technology becomes available, new resources become available, or literacy rates improve).

Yes, people would have to recognize that there are limited resources. I mentioned earlier that the most energy a person can consume is around 200,000 calories per day. They just physically can’t *consume* any more than that in a day, even if they tried. There are limits for all the other resources, too. If there are enough resources in a given area to meet these limits for everyone within that area, than a post-scarcity society is possible (at least in terms of resources).

[ Edited: 20 August 2009 01:15 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 27 August 2009 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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Anyone there?

[ Edited: 27 August 2009 05:53 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 26 October 2009 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]
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Very well. I will interpret the silence of this board’s members as an admission that they are unable to address or refute the points that I have made. Therefore, debate-wise, everything I’ve said thus far still stands.

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