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Technocracy
Posted: 11 August 2009 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Hawkfan:

A Technate would provide the maximum standard of living that is sustainable for the maximum period of time. This is quantified in energy units. Why is that not desirable?

Has anyone read any of the essays by M. King Hubbert that I posted? Do you know who he is?

Judging by some of the responses, it’s like some of the commentators here think that Technocracy is some idea that a couple of stoners came up with while getting high in the basement. Do a little research. Google “technical alliance”.

[ Edited: 11 August 2009 07:32 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 11 August 2009 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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PatrickMc - 11 August 2009 07:28 PM

Hawkfan:

A Technate would provide the maximum standard of living that is sustainable for the maximum period of time. This is quantified in energy units. Why is that not desirable?

Has anyone read any of the essays by M. King Hubbert that I posted? Do you know who he is?

Judging by some of the responses, it’s like some of the commentators here think that Technocracy is some idea that a couple of stoners came up with while getting high in the basement. Do a little research. Google “technical alliance”.

But, you didn’t even answer the simple problem that Chris noted.  I live in the country, like him.  I like where I live, I would be opposed to moving closer to my work for energy efficiency.  “Some kind of accomodation” is not an answer.  And this is only one, relatively simple issue.  There would be many such instances where personal desires would conflict with societal needs.  Just as we have now with our current system of government. 
I can’t claim that there are no merits to technocracy.  From what I’ve read, however, I would not prefer it to what we currently have.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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PatrickMc - 10 August 2009 02:10 PM

A closer look at the example of transportation can better illustrate this idea. Under a classical economic system, it is theoretically possible to own any number of cars, airplanes, and/or boats as a person can pay for or otherwise acquire. Thus, it is possible that they will never be able to own all that they want to have. Under a Technocratic system however, the entire transportation industry would be designed to provide every person with the maximum amount of service possible given available technology and resources. Thus, a person living in such a system would have access to various modes of transportation any time they wanted, and for whatever time period they would like. Travelling between cities (see Urbanate) could be easily accomplished with a high-speed rail system. For faster travel between points, air travel could be accessed when desired as well. For travel in less common ares or routes (such as off-road or camping sites), personal vehicles would be made available and could be “borrowed” when needed. However, no person would ever “own” a car, train, or aircraft. So while their ownership “wants” under classical economics remain unsatisfied, their transportation needs are completely fulfilled.(Wikipedia)

So my buddies and I can’t go out for a motorcycle ride this Sunday? No thanks. I ain’t buying into your vision of Utopia.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Young men provide wild energy to society. Untamed, that energy becomes crime—young males are the most dangerous creatures on the planet. Turned towards productive purposes, young males produce an explosion of ideas, most of which are crap. Society spends lots of time rejecting or killing young males whose energy didn’t yield productive results. But creativity requires the generation of lots of new ideas, and young males are often the best producers of new ideas. It’s well-known in the physical sciences that you’re most productive prior to your 30th birthday. Much of our great art is created by young males (as well as tons of junk created by the neighborhood kids’ band). Most great mathematicians do their best work while young. Jeez, *I* was a young rebel once, and I played cowboy and broke the rules and ended up on a few magazine covers. My ideas back then were wild and crazy, and some of them really stank. But a tiny fraction of my creative output was brilliant, and I was smart enough to latch onto the good ideas and dump the losers.

Vyazma, I don’t understand what you’re driving at…

Yeah, me either. Continue on.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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fotobits - 11 August 2009 08:14 PM
PatrickMc - 10 August 2009 02:10 PM

A closer look at the example of transportation can better illustrate this idea. Under a classical economic system, it is theoretically possible to own any number of cars, airplanes, and/or boats as a person can pay for or otherwise acquire. Thus, it is possible that they will never be able to own all that they want to have. Under a Technocratic system however, the entire transportation industry would be designed to provide every person with the maximum amount of service possible given available technology and resources. Thus, a person living in such a system would have access to various modes of transportation any time they wanted, and for whatever time period they would like. Travelling between cities (see Urbanate) could be easily accomplished with a high-speed rail system. For faster travel between points, air travel could be accessed when desired as well. For travel in less common ares or routes (such as off-road or camping sites), personal vehicles would be made available and could be “borrowed” when needed. However, no person would ever “own” a car, train, or aircraft. So while their ownership “wants” under classical economics remain unsatisfied, their transportation needs are completely fulfilled.(Wikipedia)

So my buddies and I can’t go out for a motorcycle ride this Sunday? No thanks. I ain’t buying into your vision of Utopia.


Actually, yes you can. Not only could you go for a motorcycle ride any time you wanted, you could use any type of motorcycle for however long you wanted, even models that you cannot afford right now. Most likely the types of motorcycles designed under the Technate would be far superior to anything that exists today due to the lack of Price System constraints (planned obsolescence, planned waste, etc).

The thing you aren’t getting is that in a Technate, you get to use whatever you want for however long you want. You just wouldn’t “own” it. But why should that be a problem? When telephones were first introduced, *no one* owned their phone, this was a service provided by the telephone company. However, this didn’t stop anyone from using the phone whenever they wanted for however long they wanted.

How is this possible? Again, let’s use cars as an example. Today, most cars sit parked for 95% of the time. With a carsharing system like the one described by Technocracy, cars could be kept in use possibly 50% of the time. What this means is that you would need *10 times fewer cars* to fulfill everyone’s need for a car! This means whenever you want to drive, you walk maybe one block to a garage (most people in major cities have to walk at least that far to get to their car), and you would then be able to rent any type of car for however long you desired. This includes sports cars, SUVs, sedans, motorcycles, you name it. So you see, everyone’s need to *drive a car* would be fulfilled with such a system. What isn’t being fulfilled is their “need” for “pride of ownership”, which has more to do with Price System conditioning (advertising), then any inherent need.

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 06:44 AM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 12 August 2009 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Hawkfan - 11 August 2009 08:06 PM
PatrickMc - 11 August 2009 07:28 PM

Hawkfan:

A Technate would provide the maximum standard of living that is sustainable for the maximum period of time. This is quantified in energy units. Why is that not desirable?

Has anyone read any of the essays by M. King Hubbert that I posted? Do you know who he is?

Judging by some of the responses, it’s like some of the commentators here think that Technocracy is some idea that a couple of stoners came up with while getting high in the basement. Do a little research. Google “technical alliance”.

But, you didn’t even answer the simple problem that Chris noted.  I live in the country, like him.  I like where I live, I would be opposed to moving closer to my work for energy efficiency.  “Some kind of accomodation” is not an answer.  And this is only one, relatively simple issue.  There would be many such instances where personal desires would conflict with societal needs.  Just as we have now with our current system of government. 
I can’t claim that there are no merits to technocracy.  From what I’ve read, however, I would not prefer it to what we currently have.

Those happy living where they are could continue to do so. However, it may not be possible to continue to accommodate several million American’s habits of daily automobile commuting across long distances, because of energy constraints. Perhaps some form of mass transit could be extended to rural areas, such as commuter rail. The point is that the Technate *does not determine your needs for you*. That is a subjective decision which would have to be decided democratically by the citizens of the Technate. However, once the goals have been *set down*, it becomes possible to use objective means (the scientific method) to determine the best way of achieving those goals.

If society decides collectively that they want everyone to have a mansion on five acres and a fleet of sports cars, well, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t possible. It may not be possible to sustain the suburban way of life in this country (watch The End of Suburbia). An achievable goal is to provide the maximum standard of living for the maximum period of time. In other words, the maximum standard of living that is sustainable. Now, does that still sound undesirable to you?

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 06:48 AM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 12 August 2009 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 06:37 AM

Actually, yes you can. Not only could you go for a motorcycle ride any time you wanted, you could use any type of motorcycle for however long you wanted, even models that you cannot afford right now. Most likely the types of motorcycles designed under the Technate would be far superior to anything that exists today due to the lack of Price System constraints (planned obsolescence, planned waste, etc).

Yeah, right. I can just waltz into the local Ducati store and borrow a $20,000 motorcycle any time I want. Keep dreaming.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Chris Crawford - 11 August 2009 06:37 PM

Domokato, Dunbar’s Number is derived from a time when humans didn’t have government. The small tribal groups were self-governing, and anybody who didn’t like the one he was in was welcome to leave—which almost certainly spelled death (unless a large enough splinter group left together). There was no personal property to argue over. Warfare over territory which was frequent and bloody. That’s how the system worked, and it worked very well indeed for that set of circumstances. Once we started farming, however, the minimum size economic unit increased, and we’ve been struggling with the consequences ever since. I do not believe that there is ANY governmental system that can regulate complex social behavior with perfect fairness, because people aren’t perfect.

Yes, I think we’re in agreement here. Hence the proposed community-sized units.

As to the small community idea, the killer problem is the second level of organization. OK, so society is organized into several million of these “basic unit” communities. How do those communities interact politically? By ascending levels of representative groups? Why on earth would this system of representation be superior to that of the USA, EU, Switzerland, and all the other representative governments of the past?

I’m not saying representation would be the way it’s done, but even if it is, at least individuals in this society would have the benefits of communal life that is (sorely) lacking in the first world. The way I’m designing the community, members would also have a substantial safety net from joblessness. I haven’t delved too deeply into the upper layers since my main challenge right now is to design and implement just one community unit, so I can’t really comment.

As to the “nominate from below, appoint from above” scheme, that’s not so different from how a feudal structure works. The Duke of XXX just died, so now we need a new Duke. The Marquesses get together to nominate, say, three of their number. Now the power politics come into play! They ALL want the promotion to Duke, but they have to choose among themselves. After furious politicking, they select three persons based on the promises those persons made (“Nominate me and I’ll take care of you later”) and how much they trust those people to carry out their promises.

Perhaps, but in a technocracy, there are no monetary gains to be had by reaching a higher position (remember, energy credits are non-transferable). The only advantage you get is you get to call the shots. But if you do a bad job (or play favorites) you are easily removed by your peers.

So they nominate three candidates. Now the Prince has to select one of those three. Whom does he select? Simple: the one who seems most loyal and least demanding. How deferential are the candidates. Does one bow down to the Prince? Does he grovel and promise to do any dirty deed the Prince needs done? That’s the basis on which the Prince makes his choice.

Maybe, but there is no one above the prince and the prince cannot be removed from his position, so he has no pressure on him to pick the right person for the job and instead opts for the candidate that would best serve his self-interest. However, in a technocracy, if you are found to be picking candidates based on your own self-interest instead of the interest of the technate, then you could be removed from your position. Even the guy at the very top (called the “Director”) can be removed by those below him.

You may object that most people aren’t so vile, but suppose that we had such a system staffed with noble people who seek only to better the world. Suppose now that one ambitious cad starts at the bottom of such a system and, when nomination time rolls around, promises three of his eight fellows that he’ll take care of them if nominated. That’s enough votes to get nominated. Going before the appointer, he makes grand promises of his undying loyalty and absolute willingness to carry out any task his superior asks. Poof, that gets him appointed. Why? Because of self-interest. Each person in this process acts with perfectly rational self-interest. And pretty soon the entire pyramid is filled with these folks.

Okay, assuming perfectly rational self-interest in a technocracy, a citizen in a certain position has no reason to move up or down the pyramid except to get into a position that he enjoys being in and is good at. He cannot abuse his position because he can be removed easily. And even if he did, there is no money or property to be gained from it. Therefore, it is in his rational self-interest to find a job he loves and is good at, and to do it well. Or he could not work at all, but that’s a separate issue.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Chris Crawford - 11 August 2009 06:37 PM

As to the small community idea, the killer problem is the second level of organization. OK, so society is organized into several million of these “basic unit” communities. How do those communities interact politically? By ascending levels of representative groups? Why on earth would this system of representation be superior to that of the USA, EU, Switzerland, and all the other representative governments of the past?

That is a fair question.  After your basic smaller structure, how do you develop interrelations?  This is why I suggested a skeletal national system.  We only need to know how our rights and policies transfer when we mingle.  I would suggest less is better.  When you leave your small unit, then you are subject to the laws and rights represented in that unit.  Breaking rules and regulations in “foreign” systems should result in expulsion from the “foreign” system.  Let each unit deal with their own people, and if “foreigners” break the laws, then let them be expelled for how ever long that “unit” deems necessary.  Of course, there would need to be harsher penalties for murder, but that, and a few others, would need to be one of the very few skeletal laws of the nation.  Who would enforce the laws of this skeletal government?  I say, no one.  Each “unit” needs to be responsible for its people and would be required to enforce the laws on its own people.  Of course there would be disputes over whether or not some “units” are properly enforcing laws or too lax on their people.  But I say, let the “units” solve disputes themselves.  “Units” could refuse entry to other “units” if they deem that appropriate, and even halt trade and commerce.  If “units” go to war, then it would behoove the other “units” to become involved in mediation or take sides.  I’m not one to see a “utopia”, because I don’t think we can expect all manners of people to behave properly.  Anyone can have kids and they do.  Anyone can brainwash their child or parent in a way that is adverse to the public good, and they do.  We can’t control all the people, and we need to allow societal norms to dictate behavior and maintain peace.  You can’t prevent against every nut case, but you must allow freedom and fairness to permeate the populace.  I don’t think it is impossible, just because it has not been done yet.  I find this especially true since religion has been a dominant and oppressive force in governmental history.

Chicken, my explanation doesn’t pertain to capitalism, which is an economic system, not a political one. It is true that capitalism tends to work better in democracies, but it works pretty well in other systems as well.

While capitalism may be our economic “engine” it is very much involved in our political system.  Capitalism makes money king and our key motivation for our public lives.  Capitalism follows very closely with your analysis of why government fails.  Self-interest and venality are the moral cornerstones of capitalism.  As with our current corporations, all is well when the CEO wants to work for the customer and with the public to make the best products for the people as well as contribute to the well being of the community.  However, CEO’s are as fleeting as anyone on a “throne” and the top can be overtaken with a well-managed coup.  Companies are set-up like patronage systems, especially since mostly they follow family lines and inherited wealth.  Capitalism requires our companies are set-up in this fashion causing corruption and public mistrust.  Look at Walmart, any of the Oil companies, Dole, the list is never ending.  Capitalism requires this pyramid and is inherently flawed because of it.  I never said capitalism was a political system, but the parallels to your critique are obvious.

Of course not. All that is required is a familiarity with enough political history to recognize the basic forces of self-interest and the use of power that make it so difficult to design a workable government. The FIRST question you must ask in designing a governmental structure is “How do we keep the villains from abusing their powers?”

As I stated above, villainy is inevitable, and to keep them out of power means to eliminate the power.  If small communities are able to be self-sustaining, then everything else is diplomacy.  It certainly won’t end war, but if everyone is on even footing and confident that their “unit” is working for them, then I believe people will work toward peace for their own symbiotic need.

Who’s snuffing? You’re welcome to make any statements you want. But I am not required to answer you or encourage you or nurture you. Why should denigrating an idea be less honorable than suggesting an idea?

Many people on this forum take this defense.  If I felt that you didn’t deserve your opinion, then I never would have engaged in this thread.  If I felt that we must all agree or “nurture” one another, then I would have left this forum a looooong time ago.  I have as much right to criticize your criticism as you have to make your criticism in the first place.  We don’t completely disagree, as far as I can tell.  However, we do disagree on what counts as “helpful” discourse and “useful” criticisms.  Certainly it is your right, as per our Constitution, to just say, “that will never work.”  I think it would be more helpful to say, “a patronage system is inherently flawed, and would not be a useful model for your Technocracy.”  The difference being that a “useful” criticism can be directly applied to the current discourse.  Someone could alter their model or theory and most likely would if relevant facts and data were used to support the criticism.  I don’t believe in “denigrating an idea”.  I believe we should critique to allow the idea to be altered and able to withstand the mistakes of the past.  We should learn from our history to make a better future, and not be overwhelmed by the failures of our past.  I don’t think anyone person has the answer.  However, if we all worked on it together, then we could probably make some significant progress toward reaching our goal.  That is just my opinion, and my expression of it does not negate your opinion nor your opinion’s relevance.

Not dismissed, ignored. If you want to promulgate an idea, go get ‘em! Write a book, set up a website, hold a demonstration, send out spam (not to me, please), do whatever you want to advance your idea. If you want to discuss it in an open forum like this, go ahead. But remember, it’s an open forum—open to everybody, including me! I can participate or refuse to participate as I see fit, and if you don’t like that, go find another forum. If you say “potato” and I say “potahto”, why is our difference a bad thing?

I don’t think differences are bad, but I do think reaching an accord is the proper use of discourse.  Just disagreeing is as useful as the arguing you noted before.

The great majority of societies assign leadership roles to old people. Do you think that is an accident? What do you think is at work here?

Yet we saw fit to elect the much younger, more inexperienced Presidential candidate, because it was quite obvious he was better suited to the job.  Older isn’t always wiser or better.  I’m 32 years old, and I’ve been surrounded by older people all of my life.  My mother was 40 when she had me and her main profession, she had lots of ‘em, was adult foster care worker.  Usually she worked for really rich, old farts who wanted to live in their own homes and not the retirement communities.  I’ve met more people over 60 in my life than anyone my own age.  I can tell you some of them spent their life well learning a great deal, and were very wise.  I can also tell you that some of them never tried to learn anything and were very cranky, pitiful souls.  Age does not equal knowledge.  Not always.  Most of the time I see people dismiss great ideas, because the person is too young.  Youth does not equal ignorance.  Not always.  I just think it is important that we be aware that good ideas come from everywhere, and everyone deserves the chance to express their ideas.  That is just my opinion.

Young men provide wild energy to society. Untamed, that energy becomes crime—young males are the most dangerous creatures on the planet. Turned towards productive purposes, young males produce an explosion of ideas, most of which are crap. Society spends lots of time rejecting or killing young males whose energy didn’t yield productive results. But creativity requires the generation of lots of new ideas, and young males are often the best producers of new ideas. It’s well-known in the physical sciences that you’re most productive prior to your 30th birthday. Much of our great art is created by young males (as well as tons of junk created by the neighborhood kids’ band). Most great mathematicians do their best work while young. Jeez, *I* was a young rebel once, and I played cowboy and broke the rules and ended up on a few magazine covers. My ideas back then were wild and crazy, and some of them really stank. But a tiny fraction of my creative output was brilliant, and I was smart enough to latch onto the good ideas and dump the losers.

I detect a lot of men in your above scenario, and no women.  That is too bad.  Women are just as energetic, untamed, filled with the potential for greatness and danger as men.  All of us could use a more constructive way to channel our energy and talents.  The above only further explains why you should be patient and considerate of the young, wild and crazy ideas, because some of them can become useful.  Our youth should not be dismissed, ignored, or snuffed in anyway.  We must be patient, after all, what else has life shown you besides the fact that being patient is necessary and fruitful?  Yoda was patient with Luke!  wink

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Posted: 12 August 2009 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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I’m not saying representation would be the way it’s done, but even if it is, at least individuals in this society would have the benefits of communal life that is (sorely) lacking in the first world. The way I’m designing the community, members would also have a substantial safety net from joblessness. I haven’t delved too deeply into the upper layers since my main challenge right now is to design and implement just one community unit, so I can’t really comment.

Fair enough.

but in a technocracy, there are no monetary gains to be had by reaching a higher position (remember, energy credits are non-transferable). The only advantage you get is you get to call the shots.

Two objections to this:

1. An old Russian joke during Soviet times ran as follows: “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” Because there were no incentives to work hard, nobody worked hard. And so the economy was stagnant. What would motivate somebody to work in a job? There aren’t that many happy jobs; almost every job has its share of frustrations and irksomeness. If there’s no incentive to work in a job, people just won’t work.

2. There are always schemes afoot to abuse power. Power is the ability to determine what happens in society, and those things that happen always benefit one party more than another party. A good example of this is the road I live on. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, all the country roads in this area were unpaved. My road was paved before any of the others—but only partway. How far? As far as the house of one of the county supervisors. The county supervisor oversaw the work of the people who making road paving decisions, and he can make their life easy or difficult. So when he asked, they were happy to do him a little favor.

You would be surprised at all the schemes the people cook up to turn power to their own benefit. People are extremely creative at this! With lots of laws and inspectors and transparency you can greatly reduce the amount of graft, but it’s impossible to stamp out. And because your system turns far more of the decision-making over to the bureaucracy, the bureaucrats have far more power to abuse. The best way to reduce graft is to reduce the size of the bureaucracy—but you’re proposing a huge increase in the size of the bureaucracy. Remember, the biggest benefit of a monetary system is that it decentralizes economic decision-making. All those decisions get pushed down to the individuals. If you take those decisions out of the hands of individuals, you have to have SOMEBODY to make them—a bureaucrat somewhere.

You argue that the ease of removal from a position guarantees probity on the part of each person. But the politics of such a decision are horrible. If the Duke is abusing the Marquesses, and they ask the Prince to remove the Duke, the Prince doesn’t know whom to believe. The Duke claims he’s innocent, and that the complaints are coming from a few lazy malcontents. If, on the other hand, you have removal by majority vote of the Marquesses, then you have even worse problems:

a) an ambitious person can stir up resentment and make promises to induce others to vote to have the Duke removed; when the Duke is removed, he uses his schemes to get himself nominated. His crooked colleagues give the Prince glowing reviews of the crook. The Prince appoints the crook to the position of Duke.

b) The Duke can’t make everybody work hard. If he cracks the whip, they have him removed. So everybody is happy at the office, doing only as much as they feel like doing—the bare minimum.

c) The Duke has to play politics. “Aw, gee, Duke, you made me take out the garbage the last three times. Why not make John take out the garbage?” etc. If the Duke doesn’t play politics with his subordinates competently, he gets kicked out.

All in all, I think you’re underestimating the willingness of people to engage in nasty behavior. They will. I’ve witnessed it many times and even been the victim of this kind of thing. It’s ugly.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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PatrickMc - 11 August 2009 07:17 PM

As to the “nominate from below, appoint from above” scheme, that’s not so different from how a feudal structure works. The Duke of XXX just died, so now we need a new Duke. The Marquesses get together to nominate, say, three of their number. Now the power politics come into play! They ALL want the promotion to Duke, but they have to choose among themselves. After furious politicking, they select three persons based on the promises those persons made (“Nominate me and I’ll take care of you later”) and how much they trust those people to carry out their promises.

How does one grant favors to another when everyone is given a non-transferable income that is more than they could physically spend? You’re not thinking through this - you’re jumping to conclusions. This is why you really have to consider “the big picture” of Technocracy to see how it really works. You can’t just isolate one aspect of it, compare it to how it would work in today’s society, conclude that the one aspect wouldn’t work, and then conclude based on that that the entire system wouldn’t work. That’s called a straw man. I suggest that where I say something that doesn’t seem to make sense to you, is most likely just a gap in your own knowledge regarding Technocracy. If a particular aspect of Technocracy doesn’t seem to make sense in isolation, it often will if you consider all the other factors which would *make* that particular aspect work the way it does. Don’t really have time to address the rest now, but I do agree with you regarding Dunbar’s number. See, I’m not just here to argue with you. I hope you will actually talk to me rather than ignoring me and referring to me in the third person. I’m sorry to say, but it seems like you were the one who initially came in with an attitude. I respect your accomplishments, but come on… it doesn’t excuse this kind of behavior. I have a right to demand respect, and you *do* have the right to refuse it for no reason at all, but that just makes you look like a jerk.

Btw, are you the game designer, Chris Crawford?

For what it is worth, I do not think you are arguing either, PatrickMc.  In fact, you’ve handled yourself better than I have in previous confrontations.  Keep it up, you are getting somewhere!

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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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fotobits - 12 August 2009 07:45 AM
PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 06:37 AM

Actually, yes you can. Not only could you go for a motorcycle ride any time you wanted, you could use any type of motorcycle for however long you wanted, even models that you cannot afford right now. Most likely the types of motorcycles designed under the Technate would be far superior to anything that exists today due to the lack of Price System constraints (planned obsolescence, planned waste, etc).

Yeah, right. I can just waltz into the local Ducati store and borrow a $20,000 motorcycle any time I want. Keep dreaming.

Come on!  It is a “theory” you need to buy into the “theory” part in order to have a discussion.  Gee wilikers!  I think he makes some good points on ownership.  After all, it would be better to have less pollution, and if we could just get the sharing thing down, that would be a good thing.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Chicken, I don’t have enough time to respond fully to your post, but here are a few quickie thoughts:

Self-interest and venality are the moral cornerstones of capitalism.

Are self-interest and venality the CONSEQUENCES of capitalism or are they the intrinsic human traits that capitalism harnesses for public benefit?

Yoda was patient with Luke! 

And Luke was extremely deferential to Yoda.  wink  But you don’t have to call me “Master”.  tongue wink

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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Chris Crawford - 12 August 2009 10:59 AM

1. An old Russian joke during Soviet times ran as follows: “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” Because there were no incentives to work hard, nobody worked hard. And so the economy was stagnant. What would motivate somebody to work in a job? There aren’t that many happy jobs; almost every job has its share of frustrations and irksomeness. If there’s no incentive to work in a job, people just won’t work.

Isn’t eating an incentive?  How about living indoors?  Maybe there isn’t factory work kind of incentive, but certainly there is farming incentive.  N’est-ce pas?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Chris Crawford - 12 August 2009 11:08 AM

Are self-interest and venality the CONSEQUENCES of capitalism or are they the intrinsic human traits that capitalism harnesses for public benefit?

No, the requirements.  Capitalism typically refers to an economic and social system in which the means of production (also known as capital) are privately controlled; labor, goods and capital are traded in a market; profits are distributed to owners or invested in new technologies and industries; and wages are paid to labor. (Wikipedia)  Capitalism requires profit, profit requires someone being shortchanged.  In order to succeed in capitalism one needs to be concerned with self-interest over communal needs and being for sale (venality) is one of many human traits CULTIVATED.  Humans can be anything; just, injust, selfish, selfless, charitable, or greedy.  Capitalism requires the worst of us.  Selfish, greedy, injust bastards make the most profit.

And Luke was extremely deferential to Yoda.  wink  But you don’t have to call me “Master”.  tongue wink

You don’t have to worry about me calling you “Master”.  wink  Maybe geezer!  I kid!

One final thought, had Yoda been dismissive and impatient, would Luke have been deferential?

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