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Forum Post: Everyone can have abundance

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 12, 2011, 5:56 p.m. EST by rbe (687)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Everybody on this planet can have their needs and wants met if we restructure our society. 'Jobs' are already becoming obsolete, time to adapt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDhSgCsD_x8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Z8TR4ToNs

135 Comments

135 Comments


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[-] 1 points by lifesprizes (298) 2 years ago

A blue-print for a new future.

[-] 1 points by OneMansOpinion (76) 2 years ago

Do the following and encourage others.

-Buy American even if its a couple dollars more. This is the most important message.

-Organize peaceful demonstrations outside prominent retailers. To encourage them promote a American made alternative for every product they carry. Retailers have a lot of options on in store placement and promotion so vote with your dollars and protest if they are not visibly supporting American made products.

-Spread the word. If this movement only did one thing. Keeping American dollars in America then we would solve our current crisis.

This grass roots movement can make a change one person at a time and one dollar at a time.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-war-with-america-was-won-before-the-first-shot

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

God I'd feel like a robot or a part of an ant colony in that kind of world. It's sort of a flawed premiss right at the start though. People already live here and established. So it isn't just setting things up and putting people in place. There's would be an big upheaval of things already here that will have to be adjusted. Doable i suppose, if people wanted it, but people don't like change.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

People like change when their current system becomes so bad that they feel like they don't have any other choice.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Maybe, but are there really that many people truly upset with the system today. You'll probably have more people at one NFL game tomorrow than at all the occupy sites put together. Maybe more going and standing on line for Walmart specials in black Friday too. Both those activities could give you the false idea that things are fine economically. It does show that there are more then just the 1% doing ok.

People complain just to complain sometimes. We start talking among ourselves and start thinking everyone feels the same way. OWS has what, half a million dollars in cash donations, to be generous lets say the same in supplies. There's 312 million people in the US, dump the 1% and you still have over 305 million and only a million dollars worth of donations. The number of dedicated supporters is very small.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 2 years ago

Of course, we've had this capacity for awhile.

Unfortunately, proving this in the midst of close-minded fear-mongers isn't as straight forward. (as shown in this thread)

They'd rather discuss how such a system 'might' be hijacked (and participate in such activities themselves) rather than help prevent such things from occurring. Yet, gift economies and the like survive relatively peacefully for many generations without problems until a more technically advanced monetary society attempts to conquer their resources.

Every single monetary society throughout history has encouraged inequality and corruption leading societies to collapse. Now we face a possible ecological collapse in the near future with no long-term monetary solutions in sight (because it is unprofitable to solve these problems). A RBE on the otherhand offers a potential solution to these problems and it is a system similar to what astronauts have used to survive prolonged missions in space.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

When our present system collapses, they'll be ready to accept a new system. Hopefully, it's the right one.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

Yes! The 2nd video is a Marshall Brain one.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I like his idea of a stipend, but I don't like how he plans to fund it. What if we the people owned all the megacorps? Then the stock dividends could serve in place of a stipend, without the effect of creating inflation. Plus, we would have control over them via our shareholder votes. It's called a cooperative.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

That's not a bad idea. I think the key word is 'acknowledgement'. Once people acknowledge what is going on, then conversation will be kicked into high gear.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I keep posting over & over again hoping I'll get through to somebody. Everyone is unhappy, but they're arguing over who's to blame, and whether the complaints are legitimate. I want to move the dialog towards solutions instead of unresolved anger.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 2 years ago

Yes I agree, this may be harder to change than we thought. everyone seems to be stuck on the problem that they can't see the solutions!

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

I agree with both of you. It's only a matter of time I think. The best thing is to get the message out there to as many people as possible and hopefully they will share it, and so forth.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

So our task is laid out before us: spread the word! There is an answer to all of this. Keep posting, keep talking. When someone new comes onboard, get them to spread the word, too. Let's make the solution go viral.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

I wish that the people at the OWS camps would make this their top priority, but after talking to some of the 'occupiers' on here, it doesn't seem to be happening.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

Ideas take time to take root and grow. You are planting seeds every time you mention it. Somewhere, one of those folks is going to have an aha moment, even if it's weeks or months from now, and maybe build on our ideas. Marshall Brain had a good start. I've done my best to improve his idea, and now I'm passing the torch. I hope it evolves into something even better as it spreads around. We'll hear it coming back to us someday down the road, and it'll eventually reach the ears of someone with the motivation, resources, and luck needed to make it happen.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 2 years ago

Think of this as a war. A war of WORDS. I am seeing the soldiers in this war becoming better armed with their wolds through their efforts. Something I have learned recently is that ignorance is not shy and the truth can sometimes be too polite! Ignorance will always back down when faced with the facts, the bullets in this war.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 2 years ago

Hello I've been commenting for two weeks as much as I can. It's exhausting and frustrating. Last night I made what I felt should be my last one. But I logged in to see if there were any replies and there was one. So before I reply to it, I started reading again and found you. Well your words have inspired me to get back to it. I did get a lot of positive feedback but hated seeing the posts that made sense to me have the threads die off and disappear in the cacophony. It seems it's part of the design here. I kept pointing to a website called the 99% Declaration because they suggest holding a National General Assembly in Philadelphia July 4th 2012. I feel strongly that the occupation aspect has done what it needed to do and it's time to suspend them and set our sights on Philadelphia. Hope to hear from you, see you soon...

https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

http://thedeclarationofdesperation.wordpress.com/

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 2 years ago

It seems that people are beginning to wake up from the fog of corporate consumerism that we were brainwashed with. I see a parallel to a movie that came out several years ago, "The Matrix". Those that are familiar with that movie will remember one of the many sub-texts of the movie was that as long as you are"plugged into the matrix" the False reality fed to you by the machine seemed real (fascism sub-text) it's time to unplug and get real!

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 2 years ago

Have you watched any of the Zeitgeist series?

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 2 years ago

I've not seen Matrix but have seen it referenced many times. It's on my list! I'm a plugged in farmer that thinks everyone, all 7BIL, should be dialed in on the long line but that the "for profit" corporations telling us that we need to pay for their junk is a damn lie. For example, if everyone refused to pay their internet service bill... I wouldn't have a problem with being in a matrix or web as long as it wasn't as a slave in pain surrounded by slaves in pain, listening to a free person with the appropriate medicines readily accessible telling me "that's the way it is" Apologies for the lack of coherence

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

My personal feeling is that much of the world is highly nationalized and they will never permit this to happen. It's all about resource acquisition for them. Such altruism can only live in a world of abundance.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

I agree, but I think time is on our side. A lot of what's going on now is sort of an old vs. new/young thing. Old beliefs vs. new beliefs. Older generations vs. younger generations. Things are changing so rapidly and a lot of older people can't keep up so therefore they become bitter. I see this with my parents too. Most people do not like change and will fight tooth and nail to preserve their way of thinking even if it's contrary to their own needs and wants. They have a kind of acceptance that the world is messed up and it's best to conform rather than to rock the boat.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

There's no doubt that the future will look different but it's impossible to say what it may look like.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

Yes, but it's possible to help push society towards the direction that you think is best.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

"Towards the direction you think is best"....so who decided that what YOU think is best really IS best? Who voted to appoint you chief thinkers and society pushers?

OWS refuses to detail to anyone WHAT they want the future to look like, OR how they'd like to go about creating the future. People resist the unknown-and for good reason. We'd rather battle an enemy we're already familiar with, than one we aren't. It's a fundamental human trait-preservation. Until OWS actually outlines it's goals AND the steps it intends to take to get there and allows the 99% to examine those things, they'll never get their support.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Your big idea would simply shift society to a different form of wealth inequality. The 1% of the population who runs the computers and the robots would be in charge in your utopia, and the 99% who don't understand how the computers work would be the slaves.

[-] 2 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

But there wouldn't be any money or wealth.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

"wealth" would simply have a different meaning. If I knew how the computers worked, and you didn't, and we both depended on the computers to survive, then which of us is "wealthy" and which of us is "poor"?

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

So you mean 'wealth of knowledge'? It's possible that everyone would understand how the computers work, at least to the extent of being able to curtail corruption.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I mean power. If you don't know how the computers work, and I do, then I'll have a lot more power than you. If you're trying to eliminate the gap in power between the rich and the poor, then eliminating money won't do it unless either everybody is really smart and understands how the computers work, or unless everybody is stupid. Any smart people would have to be exterminated, or else they might take over. Obviously everybody can't be smart, so everybody would have to be stupid. Or else the smart people would challenge the authority of the computers. Watch Logan's Run some time. It relates very directly to the resource-based economy idea.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

Why would the smart people challenge the authority of the computers if they had their needs and wants met?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Haha that was so funny. They would control the computers. They wouldn't want to eliminate the computers or the authority of the computers. They would want to co-opt that authority and make it their own. All of society would be controlled by the people who control the computers, so it's pretty obvious why there would be people like me working to subvert the machines. Subvert the machines and you subvert all of mankind. Do it correctly, and nobody will even know.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

I don't see your point. I don't understand why anyone would be motivated to control society if there isn't a monetary incentive.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You're a funny person. In many conversations with Zeitgeist cult members, that same point has been reached. That somehow handing over control over society to the computers will eliminate basic human instincts, like the lust for power. You really can't imagine why anybody would want to dominate every other person on the planet? Somebody else in this thread just told me that I can't have everything that I want, and that under a resource-based techno-communist economy that I'm going to have to sleep with people who are willing to sleep with me, instead of a dozen Colombiana prostitutes. But if I take over the computer and become the man behind the curtain who controls The Wizard, then I'll get those hot Colombianas. There is always something more to want. Your utopian fantasy can't change human nature. There will always be somebody who wants to be in charge.

The proof that Jacque Fresco's vision of the future won't eliminate that lust for power is Jacque Fresco himself. Who is in charge of the Venus Project? The people who contributed their resources to it? Or Jacque Fresco? Is he a leader who believes that leaders will be obsolete in the future -- but right now leaders are needed? Is that how it works? When can we expect the technocratic oligarchy to finally give up their power for good? How will we know when they do? The simplest way to fight off challenges for your power is to conceal that you have any power in the first place, like the man behind the curtain who controlled The Wizard.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It was Fresco himself that said, 'Never give people the right to their own opinion.' That's enough right there to make me suspicious of his real intent.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

Ever heard the phrase, "why bother?" if you've got enough, you'll be too busy having fun to bother taking over the world.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The people who will take over won't see it that way. Communist utopias have a way of collapsing when there are too many people involved, since not everybody involved will share your live-and-let-live mentality. It only takes one megalomaniac to wreck the whole experiment.

And shutting off my brain to enjoy a 'fun' life with no cares or concerns might seem awesome to you, but to me it sounds like prison. I strongly encourage you to watch Logan's Run some time. It's all fun and games as long as everybody trusts the computer and nobody looks behind the curtain.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Because you think that the only reason people seek "control" is because of money. Some people NEED/WANT power. Some people NEED/WANT control. Some people NEED/WANT someone else to control them. Some people are motivated by evil. By anger. By adrenaline. By the sheer challenge of taking control. By vanity. By arrogance. By fear. By insanity. By opportunity.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

i think you are wrong. power is needed to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and fed. i don't think someone would be tempted to hurt others if those parameters were met. just a rational thought.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Jim Jones grew up in a middle class family in Indiana. He never had a problem keeping himself and his loved ones safe and fed. What happened, there?

Any vision of a utopian society has to account for all personalities. People like Jim Jones or Hitler who will seek power for its own sake, and people like me who will be interested in hijacking the computers because that's just what I do. You can't just dismiss the concern by pretending that somehow everybody will just be nice to each other. That isn't how humans work.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

but he is not killing people. I believe he is saying what he says because he is scared for the future and is trying to comprehend why no one is doing anything so he researches and tells people his views. that don't make him power hungry.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

The key word here is RATIONAL. Not everyone is.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

i would say one of the biggest social angst is the disappearing middle class. say you had a system that was supposed to reward creativity. it would be comprised of a robust middle class, of small business and bureaucrats, with in this system the bright and hard working would be the majority, and the geniuses and passionate would be the wealthy, this would entice the poor to be creative and contribute. now, say this system began exploiting its middle class, while imprisoning his minimum wage citizens, would you as a non voting poor person care which way the wind blew?

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Reply to JessHeffran below- "i would say one of the biggest social angst is the disappearing middle class."

You can SAY that, but how confident are you that the vast majority of US citizens have actual angst about the "disappearing middle class"? I ask because in recent surveys-(here's one example http://abcnews.go.com/WN/abc-world-news-poll-us-middle-class-concerns/story?id=10088470#.TsGV0lbC7Lw ) even people with lower than average incomes consider themselves to be "middle class". Seems THEY don't feel like it's "disappearing".

Also, according to the criteria used in such surveys, the majority of earners in the US (the survey above was done in 2010) ARE in the middle class or higher. (60%)

"... would you as a non voting poor person care which way the wind blew?" If I'm a poor person who doesn't vote, doesn't that indicate to a certain extent that I DON'T care which way the wind blows?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

If nobody knows, tell me why it would even matter? If no one knows, that means the effects are imperceptable and therefore negligible. Anyway, you skipped over the important part: if you already have what you want, what on earth would be your motivation for taking things away from other people? People do it now for that extra margin of comfort or security, but that won't apply in the future.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

There are now seven billion people on this planet, and we're already fighting over resources like energy, water, and food. You're assuming that there will be enough food and water and energy and shelter to go around when there are 20 billion people? The robots will somehow create more water? The robots will somehow create enough energy to power themselves? If people are willing to fight wars and kill hundreds of thousands of people over energy today because everybody depends on gasoline-powered automobiles, then won't access to energy be even more contentious when everybody in the future becomes hopelessly dependent on robots?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

Wars have been on the decline for quite some time now. Do your research. And your population projections keep growing. The experts say it'll reach 10 billion around 2100. Do your research, I say again. That's nearly 90 years away. $1000 of computing power is projected to reach human brain capacity around 2045 according to Moore's Law. (Research again!) We're gonna have a lot of spare "brain" power to help us solve these problems.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Spare brain power won't solve the hunger problem unless people can eat brains. Which is definitely the kind of solution that I could imagine a computer coming up with, just thinking about what Spam and McRib sandwiches are made out of. (Research!)

The only thing that could slow the rate of population growth would be a decrease in the total worldwide fertility rate. Right now, fertility rates are lower in developed nations, because wealthier people can afford contraception, and because of the costs of education, clothing, feeding, and social amenities. In your utopia, there would be no costs for education, clothing, feeding, or social amenities. The only way to make it work would be for the computers to disallow people from reproducing through forced contraception. Either that or you're back to culling people who are alive. Pick one, or let the computers pick one, but you have to keep the size of the population under control somehow.

I would like to see some citations that show a decline in warfare, please.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

you really need me to google it for you, Mr. Tech Junky? Search terms: "wars declining" You'll get all kinds of juicy research.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Because smart people realize that it is not possible to give everyone what they want and need because no one needs or wants exactly the same things. Many of the things I want in life, and need, cannot be manufactured by machines.

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

What are some of those things?

[-] 1 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Love. Satisfaction. Making things with my own hands. Playing with my children. Laughing with good friends. Growing things. Putting my hands in the warm earth for the first time each spring and feeling the LIFE and the potential bursting in it. Serving others. Knowledge. Discovery. The sounds and sights and smells of the ocean. The sand beneath my bare feet. The sun on my face. Singing. Seeking God. Mysteries of life and the world and all of its wonders. Really, REALLY good homemade-HANDmade bread. Open spaces. Books. Books. Books. Not kindle. BOOKS. Words printed on pages are made be machines yes, but not without authors and words and thoughts and insights and sharing.

I don't just WANT these things. I NEED these things. Without them I would dry up and die and life would be meaningless. You can't stuff me into a category or a predefined box because there isn't one that I will fit in nicely and perfectly. My life is MINE. And there are billions of people out there who won't fit in "my" box well either.

They are all unique. The snowflakes of humanity. And the mere idea that you, or anyone else, can create something that will meet ALL of our needs and ALL of our wants, means that you view yourself as some kind of God. All knowing. All powerful. All encompassing. And none of us believe you.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I like how you talk! But we're talking about material needs only, or at least I was.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Right, your theory is that if you provide for material needs, then somehow all other needs will be met. People will become complacent and docile if you feed them enough and give them a free place to sleep, apparently.

(Watch Logan's Run, really. It's very relevant here.)

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

That's the "Wall-e" theory. All of us just floating around eating....lol

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

Some of the things I listed ARE material needs. Books. Materials to create with. Seeds and tools to garden with. Some of my "material" needs are required so I can fulfill my spiritual needs. But my needs aren't like anyone else's. How do you make sure every single person gets EXACTLY what they need/want when we're all different?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

As with any weakness, society will notice it and find ways to protect against it. We live and learn. It's what we're doing right now, btw.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Society will be powerless to control the technocratic oligarchy because everybody except for those technocrats will be useless. What power will you have, if you produce nothing? If society doesn't need you, and the machines don't need you, and the technocrats who run the machines don't need you, then what makes you think that you would be a first-class citizen? You would be a liability. You would have no political power. Even if society were to notice that the technocrats were in charge, what would they do about it? The technocrats can cut off your food supply, or banish you to Siberia. What can you do? If you don't produce or control anything, then you can't do anything that matters to anybody. Why would anybody care about your opinion? Society would be better off without you, and therefore you would have zero power.

[-] 2 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I am a technocrat. And I have a conscience.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The computers to whom you propose handing over control of society don't have a conscience. They just have an objective. If you tell them that the objective is to keep resources in balance with the population and maintain a minimum standard of living, then machines with no conscience are likely to solve the unsolvable problem by culling the population. They'll make the cold calculation as to whether society will gain or lose by losing each individual, and since each individual doesn't produce anything or contribute to society, the elimination of each individual will be beneficial. That's the kind of conclusion that arises from handing over control to impartial machines with no conscience.

[-] 2 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

the computers are going to do what we tell them, because we engineered them that way from the very start. You really think we would overlook something as horrible & obvious as "culling"? You watched I Robot too many times. Those stories & movies serve as additional safety nets to make sure we never let something so retarded happen.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You don't seem to understand how computers work. You can't program a computer to do the 'right' thing. They just do what they're told. If you tell them to keep resources in balance with the population and maintain a minimum standard of living, and the population grows, then that's an impossible problem for the computer to solve. It's not going to disobey what you told it to do. It's going to find a way to do what you told it to do, unencumbered by your human ideas of right and wrong.

2001 would really be a better story to bring up, rather than I Robot, since I already mentioned Logan's Run. Because in the real world, there is no such thing as the Three Laws of Robotics. The Three Laws of Robotics in I Robot were enforced by humans. If robots ran society then why would they have the Three Laws? And if I were to run the robots that run society, then why would I obey the Three Laws? The HAL 9000 in 2001 wasn't evil, it was just logically attempting to do what it was told to do.

[-] 2 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I'm a programmer, specializing in AI, you idiot. I'm not speaking out of some vague notion of how computers work. Also, I have an IQ of 168. SAT score of 1570. National Merit Scholar. I'm not an idiot, so don't talk to me like one. The 3 Laws are sci-fi garbage. We're working on mathematical formulations of human morals. We will program our computers to be more moral than we ourselves can be. We're not first graders imagining cool robots. This subject has more complexity & depth than I could possibly explain to the likes of you. I'm done with this because you aren't open to changing your mind even though you don't know what you're talking about. Goodnight.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have a degree in computer science and I've been a professional computer programmer for the last two decades. And that's how I know that you are definitely not an AI developer. Please feel free to post citations to your work on modeling human morality that you think is going to lead to software that you would appoint to run all of human society. I'm qualified to understand it so please feel free to share. That will be a lot more convincing to me than you calling me an "idiot". Prove to me that you're not full of shit.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

"we" is a collective term. As in humanity. Google it yourself, I'm tired of doing it for you. It's not what I'm personally working on. I have been a programmer for over 20 years myself. And I am indeed an AI developer, like it or not. I'm working on a symbolic reasoning system based around Formal Semantics (a la Montague) but including my own ideas on how the human mind deals with uncertainty. I'm sorry for calling you an idiot -- I lost my cool when you spoke to me like one. I really am calling it a night. Have fun. As far as this debate, I don't think you'll be convinced even when it happens. Not my problem.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You make a good point. What the rbe and zeitgeist crowd fail to point out is that in their 'perfect' society there is still a class of rulers, they just don't call themselves that. I believe they're 'committees.' The committees decide what needs to be produced or planted based on the needs of the community at any given time. And humans being what they are, power will invariably corrupt. Besides, this 'perfect' world they strive for goes against human nature. We have an innate need to aspire. I think it was Huxley that said, 'The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy. Their second worst enemy is total efficiency.'

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

We'll get bored & go to the stars. Star Trek style: 'Money? What's that? With my replicator here, I don't need to "buy" things.' Check out the 3D printers that are headed for the market now. What's going to happen when manufacturing itself is obsolete? Where's the centralized power in that?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Well, Star Trek has a strict hierarchy. They don't mention it directly but it is, in fact, the military. And they have currency in the TV series. They called them 'credits.' I used to be a fan in my younger days, saw every episode countless times.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I was just making the comparison for fun's sake. I defer to your greater expertise in the TV show. :)

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Your deference is appreciated. I do like your idea about the co-ops, though. I think that was you. Wasn't that you on a different thread talking about it?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

quite a few threads. Afaik it's a new idea. Not coops, but using them to fix capitalism. I want to get it out there because otherwise all the time I've spent thinking about this whole mess will go to waste.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Somebody still has to run the machines that manufacture things. Those people will become the centralized power. And anybody who can't run the machines will be expendable. Wasted protoplasm. If you're not contributing to society then you're just another mouth to feed, so what's the use in having you around?

[-] 2 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

That job will be automated too. And you don't need a "use" to be worth keeping around.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Machines don't run themselves. Somebody will control them. I'll be working hard to make sure that it's me, and not you. And I'll also probably be working hard to prevent anybody from realizing that anybody controls the machines, since it will be a lot easier to maintain my grip on power if nobody realizes that I'm in control.

And yes, you do need to be useful to be worth keeping around. If you produce nothing then you have no power. If nothing that you do in your life could ever have any impact on society, good or bad, because you produce nothing, then why would society care what you think? What leverage would you have? (This question relates in ways that I hope are obvious to the unemployed Occupy protesters who demand sweeping political changes.)

[-] 2 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

That's partially true for the time being, because we're still living with scarcity. But people have an intrinsic worth to those of us with consciences. Sorry, but you sound like you're a sociopath when you say people should be eliminated for being useless. What if you had a mentally challenged child? Would you off her for being "useless"? And I think you're being a bit of a jerk to those who are unemplyed. As if they chose to lose their jobs. Those jobs were automated away, and we don't (yet) have a system in place for easing society's transition from scarcity to abundance. I promise you they didn't choose to have no income. 1 in 10 people are in the same boat. People who aren't seeking jobs (welfare recipients, retirees, & children) aren't counted in that statistic.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

People may have intrinsic worth to people with consciences, but that doesn't matter if your whole plan is to turn over control of society to impartial machines with no consciences. And I'm illustrating the kind of decisions that the computers would be faced with, I'm not condoning killing billions of people. It's a dystopian vision to counter the utopian fantasy of a computer-controlled resource-based techno-communism. In the world that you're fantasizing about, where people are obsolete, people are obsolete. That's my point. Making people obsolete makes people irrelevant. You think that it's a good thing because you think that the computers will still want us around for company after we hand over control to them. But they won't need us for anything.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

says who?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have no idea what question you're asking. Are you asking who says that you would be useless and expendable in a world where humans aren't necessary for producing anything? Why do you think that corporations aren't hiring people back after they laid people off during the recession? It's because those companies have developed the technology to increase productivity, so that they can produce the same amount of output with fewer people. And so those people who they cut are expendable. Useless. They stay cut, now, after the recovery. Life under a resource-based economy would work exactly the same way, except that you would be born useless. You would never have any function at all that contributes anything to society. And therefore, you would have no influence over anything. You'll just be a liability, like a prisoner who has to be kept in his cell because otherwise he might damage something or hurt somebody. How would it benefit society to even let you out of your cage to wander around? The best possible strategy for the machines would be if they could limit the potential liability by keeping people immobilized and unconscious, and if the machines could somehow derive useful energy from human bodies, like in The Matrix.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What you described is simply communism.

And Aldous Huxley is one of the many people who have pointed out the potential risks involved in handing over control of society to technocrats.

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world!

That has such people in it!

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I didn't make that connection but now that you mention it, rbe does sound suspiciously like a form of communism. Good call.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

capitalism as it currently stands won't function in a post scarcity world. Scarcity is what drives the system. And to a capitalism purist, anything else sounds communistic. We don't have to hand power over to elites. Education is making huge technological strides. So are computer interfaces. With top-notch education and the ability of computers to meet us half-way, even dummies will have control over their fates.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

It's the deus ex machina (literally) version of communism. In traditional communism, there is a classless society because everybody somehow learns to get along. The Zeitgeist cult's version is that there is a classless society because people will shift all power into the computers, leaving all humans equal with no power. A seemingly-intractable problem, suddenly solved by the introduction of technology.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6592) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

One could argue too that these 'committee' members would become a sort of ruling class. With all due respect to their utopian dream, I just don't see it happening, at least not in our lifetimes. I told one of the zeitgeisters a couple of weeks ago, they need to get a self-sustaining community up and running, then run it for five or ten years (something they haven't been able to do for the forty-odd years they've been at it). If they got it to work, THEN they might get the masses of converts they need to make it a viable alternative.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I've asked the same thing too. If this is such a grand vision, then why don't they just do it and prove that it's such an awesome idea? Why do they need to convince everybody else? (The obvious answer is that they want more "resources".)

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

It's not time yet. The tech is still being developed. The robot revolution is coming in the next 5 to 10 years, as are 3D printers. Then we'll be able to get started. And for the record, I've never seen Zeitgeist, and I'm for capitalism, not communism. It's capitalism that will bring us the tech we need.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

No, the computers will be there to do our bidding, not the other way around. And the limits of our power will simply be in not hurting each other. My right to swing my fist ends where your face begins. But computers will have no rights.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

HAL 9000 was doing the bidding of humans. So was the computer in Logan's Run.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I'm a programmer, btw. I assure you, computers do what we program them to. And HAL was based on the extremely outdated and brittle AI tech as it was in its infancy in the 60s.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

and movies are real...

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 2 years ago

And we did not notice OR protect ourselves from this weakness did we?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

Interesting point. I still think it would be better than the alternative.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The proletariat will become absolutely powerless under any kind of system where the proletariat is obsolete. Right now, people have the power to go on strike, because the economy needs workers. If the economy doesn't need workers any more then they'll have even less power. Right now, poor people are marginalized to the point where they sometimes have trouble meeting their basic needs. If poor people lose even more power, then they could lose their right to be alive in the first place.

If a technocratic oligarchy ends up running society, and they're faced with the need to balance the available resources with the human population, and they can't create any more resources because the people are useless, then killing people off becomes a pretty attractive strategy. If you can't create more resources, then eliminate people, which means more resources for everybody. If people are useless anyway, and powerless to produce new resources, then why not get rid of some of them? What reason would there be for keeping poor, useless people alive? Why feed them and house them? Why take resources away from the smart people who run things, to feed and house useless, dead weight?

Have you ever seen the movie "Logan's Run"? I keep asking fans of the resource-based economy proposal if they've ever seen the movie, and so far nobody seems to really understand the point that I'm trying to make.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

The reason people are being replaced with automation is that automation produces more for a lower cost. In other words, there's more to go around. When everything is automated, we can have everything we need without having to work. Check out marshallbrain.com.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

When there are 20 billion people on the planet, there will be problems feeding all of those people, even if robots are in control of everything. If 19.99 billion of those people are useless anyway, then why keep them alive? The problem of feeding the world's population becomes much simpler if there are billions fewer mouths to feed. And there are few arguments against killing off a few billion people if those people don't contribute anything at all. If they won't be missed, then getting rid of them is only a good thing. There would be no down-side. It's an obvious, natural conclusion. The "final solution" to the world's poverty problem.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

That's awfully pessimistic. Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. He has given billions to help out the poor in Africa. I guess maybe some folks do have a conscience. Even wealthy ones. But I think you're wrong even putting that aside. Malthusians have been positing a world ___ shortage (fill in the blank, food is the most common) for ages. Funny, it never actually happened... Technology somehow always finds a way to feed more when there are more to feed. And it won't be long til the technological advancements themselves are automated. We already have fully automated labs, complete with automated hypothesis generation by an AI.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

It's a lot of work to create more resources. It's very simple to cull the population. If you surrender control over society to impartial computers and then instruct them to assign the available resources to the population evenly and to maintain a minimum standard of living, then the simplest way for the computers to do that would be to limit the size of the population, not to increase the amount of available resources. If those people produce nothing and they're just hungry mouths, then they're no loss. Society won't miss them. Society will be much better off without them, since they don't contribute anything.

Look at it this way: if you have a job, and you work really hard to develop a robot that can replace you and do your job for free, then do you think that the company will keep you around once the robot is capable of doing your job? Why would they? Why would society be any different. If you successfully make yourself obsolete, then that's the end of your usefulness. Nobody will miss you when you're gone. You will have no influence. No power. No say in the future of society. You'll have no leverage to get what you want, and so you won't get what you want.

What are you going to do if the computer decides that this month you need to live in an 800 square foot apartment instead of a 1000 square foot apartment? Are you going to go on strike? You don't produce anything, so who would care if you went on strike? If the computer comes along a month later and says that you need to move to a 600 square foot apartment, then what are you going to do? You're going to find yourself living in a 100 square foot apartment -- or worse, you're going to find yourself standing in a euthanasia booth. Because... why not? What's the disadvantage to getting rid of you? If you don't contribute anything to society then there would be no loss.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

you're still reasoning from a basis of scarcity. The idea that giving to one will be taking from another. It's scarcity that will become obsolete, not people. And those people it'll be so "easy" to get rid of will be fighting tooth and nail against it with the robot armies they can manufacture in their homes.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

When there are 20 or 30 billion people on the planet, providing enough food for everybody will be an even bigger problem than it is right now. That's not even considering shelter, clothing, water, energy, and other resources.

This vision of utopia somehow swung from friendly replicator robots who provide for all needs, to humans "fighting tooth and nail" against robot armies like in the Terminator movies. And that's exactly why I selected the image that I did for this post:

http://occupy-crackpots.tumblr.com/post/11657465151/trust-skynet-and-paradise-awaits-the

But really there is no need for the killer robots to go around hunting and killing people if they control society. They can just cut off your food. What would compel them to provide you with food? Why should they?

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

that was in response to your idea of a technocratic elite "culling" folks left and right. Take responsibility for your own ridiculous imagery. The population is projected to hit 10 billion in about a century. Growth is slowing. We'll have time to find a solution, just like we did before. People have been predicting crisis for 150 years or more, and here we are eating better than ever. And like I've said elsewhere, the computers will be engineered from the start with our needs in mind. They will be compelled by their very nature as servants, because anything less & we'll have them destroyed before they ever get the chance.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

We already found a solution. It's very simple. We get rid of a few billion people. If they're contributing nothing because the computers are providing for every need, then that would be no loss. Reducing the size of the population is much simpler than solving problems like ending poverty.

And we already do engineer computers from the start with our needs in mind! How has that been working out for us so far?

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[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

abundance is freedom!

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[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

when you have everything you need, you won't have to do what anyone else says. That's why abundance is freedom for anyone who has it.

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[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

marshallbrain.com. And while you're at it, ncba.coop. We have a path to get there.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Sorta depends upon something more than just Freedom doesn't it. Why will NO ONE on these posts discuss RESPONSIBILITIES in any way, under any conditions, in relation to any topic. Is this such a dirty word to everyone that we don't even talk about among friends.

Who in our society mandated that the words RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES should never be associated with each other, should never be addressed in the same sentence, etc.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

People don't respond to talk about responsibilities, unfortunately. It's like that everywhere, unfortunately. I consider it my personal responsibility to broadcast my idea for a solution. Cooperatives stop the monetary funnel effect of corporations, without harming the good qualities of our capitalistic economy. And nobody's rights need to be violated to get there. No handouts necessary, either. Lets stop talking about who is right & who is wrong. One way or another, no matter what anyones attitude is, there is a real problem here. Lets talk about solutions and quit complaining & bickering.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

I think that it is one of the saddest commentaries on our current culture. I have worked with several different cultures and the longest lived were more about responsibilities that rights and I would venture to say that they will be here long after our "I got rights" culture is long buried in the dust of history if we choose to "stay the course."

Beg to differ on your "it's like that everywhere" statement. These cultures were all about responsibilities and they had a lot more rights than I have by any means of evaluation you can apply. Full freedom of speech, religion, assembly, movement, etc. AND, the most interesting part of this story - they extended those same rights to people who were not of their culture, including me, asking only that I assume the responsibilities that go along with those rights within some meaningful pretext of civility.

If you want an example - just ask about the Hopi Snake Dances and then try to find someone on this site who a has had the honor of being a non-Hopi observer at one. And if your are fortunate enough to find such a person - ask them how their rights stacked up against their responsibilities and why they will never be so honored again.

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[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

globalfreedom .. Sometimes I have a problem expressing what I really want to say. Your comment was perfect - that is, it is a perfect example of why we are headed in the very WRONG direction. Your example is one of the best examples of greed that I could imagine - even surpassing the comments regarding, and the description of the worst of the banksters.

You go ahead and grab all the rights you can hold in your two hands just be careful not to trip over those responsibilities you mention - you might find that you should have picked up some of them in your greedy flight with all of those rights

You make my blood boil - but I will get over that even if I have to take a high blood pressure pill. I think you have more of a challenge than I do in getting over something and no pill is going to help. GOOD LUCK. .

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[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

You totally disgrace a respected person. How could you be so supremely arrogant in your misquote and distortion of reality.

If you are so hell bent of equality, please let me pick out the one that you should be equal to - strictly volunteer - no charge - I can even offer you a selection to choose from. Game????

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

WANTS???????????????You totally turned me off on that one. At this point-I am speechless .

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

Yes, wants. When people have everything available to them, they will want less. Especially, without the effects of marketing.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

And this can be verified by looking at APPLE right. Steve Jobs has to be laughing his head off on that one.

Especially applies to all those big bad greedy banksters that we are so hell bent on destroying too. According to some posts they have everything that anyone could ever want - yet they want more. This just pokes holes in everything that thousands within the OWS are protesting about.

Thanks for bringing us all back to reality with that statement. I have said all I want but somehow I want to say more.............bye

[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

It's part of the culture that they are in. Also, they always have this feeling of dread that they could lose it all too, so they keep trying to accumulate.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Maybe - but do you imagine that in this 1% there are no banks, corporations etc that are worth saving - that might actually be doing some good with their wealth.

AND how much of this dread is based in fact. If I was a bankster and was watching the situation in Greece and a few other countries over there and then applied that same situation to the USA, there would be more than a little dread coming forth.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

That's awfully vague... What exactly is the problem?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

"Wants" is a higher standard than "needs". That's the problem. Need food, clothing and shelter. I want 72 virgins and a dozen Colombiana prostitutes and a brick of cocaine. (And I might want some Viagra too if I get that.)

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

I guess it should be qualified a bit: reasonable wants. Or you can settle for a highly realistic simulation.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I think that's perfectly reasonable. Plenty of the 1%ers who live all around me get to enjoy a dozen Colombiana prostitutes and a brick of cocaine whenever they want, so am I not entitled to the same thing? There are people here who think that a $115k/year minimum wage is a reasonable need, not a want. Somebody is going to have to decide what "reasonable" means. That person will be in charge. Somebody is always in charge.

[-] 1 points by AMH (123) 2 years ago

IMO it's not using someone else as if they were an object. Take your brick of cocaine if that's what makes you happy. And the $115k salary I doable in time, too. But your going to have to settle for sleeping with those who want to, rather than those you have bent over an economic barrel. Pardon the crude imagery.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

You talkin' to me dude? Welcome to the marvelous world of computers-still no better that the human that programmed them.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

No problem, the proper order was maintained, "needs and wants".-----

I have a question, "Can we stop doing all the things we are doing that we do not want to do while still doing what we need to do?"

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Darn, now I can't get my eyes uncrossed and my head turned around to face the same direction as my toes. Boy did you mess me up Chris, if I may call you Chris

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

lol! You're ripe for another.---

If we always do what we've always done we'll always get what we always got."

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

You Californians sure have a way with words - wish some of it could be applied to your financial, immigration, racial, etc problems.

I really see it as a situation where you always do what your have always done and you got different results this time and are running around trying to figure out why. Lots of luck on that one. It can be quite a startling outcome I know.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

Considering NAFTA and what it has done, then GATT, then the unconstitutional deregulation of the banking industry on top of the federal reserve, the application of wordage needs to be by the states enforcing the constitution upon congress or calling for legal, constitutional military intervention of federal government stopping the damage from what are treasonous acts. No state is safe without it.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

And we are seeing a move in that direction regarding the immigration issue. But it is by no means going to be a simple move. The states can easily be divided and forced into separate camps (Arizona for example) and their efforts diminished by action of the Legislative and Judicial Branches of our government.

I think that your reference to constitutional military action represents a far look ahead, and that is good, but probably not a matter of discussion at this point in time.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

Yes, you are perhaps correct about sequence ultimately, but you as I, see that looking ahead is important. If that is true, in some ways, if it is as bad as we think it might be, both are justified in defense of the constitution. Here is an outreach peace put together that also mentions a small aspect of these facts.

http://articlevmeeting.info/article11-13-2011.pdf