Zeitgeist addendum, project venus

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Betruger
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Zeitgeist addendum, project venus

Post by Betruger »

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 7695921912
2 hours long and the ending is very corny (and they go against religion unnecessarily), but take it and remove the 911 conspiracy and all the other kooky stuff, including the collectivist tendencies...

Is the currency/debt scheme really like they describe? Are the alternative economics they present viable? Is the alternative energy tally really what they say it is, e.g. enough energy to replace current dirty and inefficient (comparatively) sources using one of or a bit of each of the alternatives (solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal)?

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

I guess it's just too cranky :P

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

It fails where all these schemes fail: There IS No New Man waiting in the wings who will behave differently than the old man.

What ever system we have has to work with the old man.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The film does have a point that I did like: money is based on faith. That is the truth from gold bullion to paper dollars. The question is: how much faith? Pyrites or real gold?

And yeah. Something is wrong. It is not the money though. It is bad government.

Now any one wish to step up to the plate and improve governance in Africa?

I hear Barack Obama Sr. had a good plan.

BTW the film is an total exercise in propaganda. - i.e. your job is to feel guilty. Not to worry. They will tell you what to think with out all that nasty math. Economics without numbers. Because they love you.

Slaves to money. Once there is money slavery is inevitable. Are they joking?

I'll give it to you in a nutshell: the left fears money and the right fears pleasure. Both fears are irrational.

Ron Paul Says we have no savings. Which is technically true. Instead we have farm tractors. Milling machines. Nuclear reactors etc. Much more valuable than savings.

BTW they have neglected to mention that it is the job of the Federal reserve to increase the money supply enough so that it matches increased production plus about 1 to 2% so inflation is slow. The only way to beat dollar inflation is to either use the money quickly or invest it in some profit making scheme. Seems like a good idea to me.

===

First big stupidity: Expanding the money supply is inherently inflationary. No. It is not. Expanding the supply faster than increases in production is inflationary. Similarly and expansion at a rate slower than the increase in production is deflationary.

Perpetual debt is guaranteed. So? As long as you need to eat you will be in debt. Dependent on next years sunshine.

The question is not who owns and who owes. The question is: given the inputs how high are the outputs?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Re: Zeitgeist addendum, project venus

Post by MSimon »

Betruger wrote:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 7695921912
2 hours long and the ending is very corny (and they go against religion unnecessarily), but take it and remove the 911 conspiracy and all the other kooky stuff, including the collectivist tendencies...

Is the currency/debt scheme really like they describe? Are the alternative economics they present viable? Is the alternative energy tally really what they say it is, e.g. enough energy to replace current dirty and inefficient (comparatively) sources using one of or a bit of each of the alternatives (solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal)?
Tell me the system and I'll tell you if it will work. I can't stand watching any more.

Oh, yeah - competition = bad. The cry of those who can't compete.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

I don't remember the exact details because I've never studied economics (always seemed like voodoo to me, I'm at home in more solid science) so for now all that conjecture is swimming in an uncorrelated soup of notions in my head, but by the end of the week, if you don't feel up to wading thru the documentation, I'll find some free time after studying and I'll post a brief digest of the two alternatives they propose (of the Venus Project guy in the film and the Technocracy guys he's worked with for a bit). Thanks already :)

I don't really care for the guilt bait.. Same thing with the rest of the bogus stuff like the 911 conspiracy and the awful last dozen minutes or so. I didn't find it too hard to ignore because none of those points were central to the main arguments: vaporware currency and the technocratic resource-based economics alternative they propose.

Otherwise, I thought the same as you. That the system still will have to contend with bad apples; their saying crime disappears with abundence just doesn't ring true). That money is based on faith. I think ownership itself is a leap of faith too, though.
I'm also still not seeing how any money based system inevitably leads to slavery.. Except in the sense that profit margins generated from sale price (instead of production price) are asking for more than the product is worth.. But if everyone does it (as they should, gotta make a living), it's an even playing ground.
Same thing with competition, and with their insistence for collectivism.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

All the alternative systems assume a rational basis for decision making.

i.e. steak is more valuable than beans. But what if I'm sick and tired of steak?

No truly rational system can deal with the range of human values.

i.e. suffering is good for the soul vs suffering is bad for the life expectancy. Care to quantify that?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

See, that's why I crossed out economics right off the bat when I was choosing what I'd make a career in.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Betruger wrote:See, that's why I crossed out economics right off the bat when I was choosing what I'd make a career in.
The big money is in the unquantifiable.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

Most gamers have played games based on a resource economy only, can you imagine playing Command & Conquer or SimCity by getting a loan whenever you got caught a bit short!

I find technocracy interesting, though I view it more like running a cooperative where everyone is paid equally based based on profits, rather than a few at the top creaming off the wealth created by the workers at the bottom..

At some point I'm going to dabble with iimplementing technocratic ideas, in an MMORPG first and then later on in a physical community to see how it compares. (Obviously, if you cannot get it to work in an MMORPG, then that might hint towards it not working outside, but so far my experiments in a previous MMORPG (Eve-Online) showed that a cooperative equal wage sharing dictatorship ran corporation managed about 10 times the GDP output of a democratic profit for the few at the top ran group.)


> That the system still will have to contend with bad apples; their
> saying crime disappears with abundence just doesn't ring true

Agreed, though I could see reasons why crime would be reduced, eg. if everyone was paid rather a lot, then we'd probably see a reduction in shoplifting, but we probably woudln't see much of a reduction in rape, alcohol related fights/etc.


> It is bad government.

Agreed!

Having worked in a government for a couple of years, I got to see first hand many of the difficulties in running a decent government.

Practically everyone was out for what they could get out of the system, few was there to do a good job. People was out to create new job positions which had less work to do than previous ones. Passing the buck to others was the order of the day, and trying to fob off work to someone below you was also pretty common.

So I'm keen to see how might you run a government and not have it full of free loading employees who just lie their way to the top and collect $400,000 a year salaries for nothing really very much apart from figuring out how to increase your local taxes again this year and reduce services..


There are a few different flavours of technocracy though, you have a few hard line old timers in the US, a few offshoots from that, and another lot in Europe.

And of course me :-)

I try and look for what works in any system and put it together. (Though the Europeans do say they will do the same, they aren't stuck in dogma, but have to be convinced by experiments/data that way A is better than way B.)

As I see it at the moment, reducing housing costs by owning the land as a business owner and renting cheaply to your workers will enable you to pay lower wages, and thus stay in business. Providing as much as you can in regard to workers needs, such as food, clothing, goods/etc. will reduce their living costs and allow you to pay them even less!

And if you run things along the line of a cooperative, and pay them equally a share of the profits, then instead of paying them very little, you end up paying them rather a lot, making for happy workers!

So everyones happy..

Well, apart from the leaches :-), I mean bankers, shareholders and landlords who don't get to stick their finger in the pie..

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Well I don't know about all of that but I do know there's something wrong when the top 100 state employees in Iowa knock down almost $40 million. The 100-th on the list is paid $289,444.02 salary and another $9,284.87 Travel & Subsistence. Of course its no fun to be on the road so the travel is legit. And I suppose the $2.7 million paid to the head coach is justifiable by some lights, just not mine.
The rest of the salaries range from $695,743.04 down to $290,674.96 paid with our tax dollars (Iowa). These are state employees, 40 hours a week, it doesn't matter to me that they work at the medical college in Iowa City and may have their MD degree. If they want the big bucks, they should go into private practice and work the hours, they shouldn't get it from the tax payer for lecturing and grading papers.
Oh, there is not a politician on the list.
Aero

Aero
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Post by Aero »

OH and if you would like to see the data, here's the link.
http://www.gazetteonline.com/section/salaries02
Aero

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

At some point I'm going to dabble with iimplementing technocratic ideas, in an MMORPG first and then later on in a physical community to see how it compares. (Obviously, if you cannot get it to work in an MMORPG, then that might hint towards it not working outside, but so far my experiments in a previous MMORPG (Eve-Online) showed that a cooperative equal wage sharing dictatorship ran corporation managed about 10 times the GDP output of a democratic profit for the few at the top ran group.)
I'm sure you can keep the alpha males out of simulations.

Now how do you handle them in the real world?

And how do you handle imbalances? Like say you need more doctors. Do you raise doctor wages to get the balance of supply and demand or does the dictator tell you what your job should be? Suppose, to piss the dictator off, you don't study your medicine as hard as you could and the death rate from your work places you in the bottom 25% of effectiveness? Who will know you are not doing your best? Since no matter how well or poorly you perform you get paid the same wage as the street cleaner.

What you are leaving out is Joe the Plumber who will work harder to benefit himself and his family, but will probably not work as hard if he gets no direct benefit from it.

===

Given your simulated proof please explain why the USSR failed. Shouldn't their standard of living have far surpassed the USA after 70 years of 10X output?

In 70 years of 3% growth the USA economy should be 8X bigger.

70 years of 30% growth would give an increase of 94,631,268. Which even if you consider that the Soviets started with a 1000X handicap should have made the Soviets the uncontested rulers of the world no later than 1989. What happened? Some how the faulty system eclipsed the obviously better one.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rcain
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Post by rcain »

William Petty wrote: '(human) labour is the father of material wealth, the earth is its mother'
Stiglitz wrote: "The theories that I (and others) helped develop explained why unfettered markets often not only do not lead to social justice, but do not even produce efficient outcomes. Interestingly, there has been no intellectual challenge to the refutation of Adam Smith’s invisible hand: individuals and firms, in the pursuit of their self-interest, are not necessarily, or in general, led as if by an invisible hand, to economic efficiency.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

> I'm sure you can keep the alpha males out of simulations.

They show up there as they do anyplace. (Wouldn't be much of a simulation if you excluded certain parties :-) )


> And how do you handle imbalances? Like say you need more doctors

That particularly interests me, as I reckon there will be shortages, but in practice maybe not, lets experiment with a MMORPG and find out..


> Who will know you are not doing your best?

Your manager perhaps..


> Since no matter how well or poorly you perform you get
> paid the same wage

Poorly performing workers could be sacked as of today.


> please explain why the USSR failed

I wish I knew :-)

It interests me to understand why various approaches in history have failed, or are failing.


> should have made the Soviets the uncontested rulers of the world
> no later than 1989.

Maybe they are just taking their time..


What specific lessons can we learn from the mistakes of both the USSR and the USA, I imagine it can be hard to dig deep enough to find the real reasons behind failures.


With so much unemployment, Joe the Plumber only needs to work a little bit, rather than a lot, as the slack can be taken up by some of the unemployed..

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