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Videochat May 2020

Here’s the longest videochat with fans so far. The sound quality isn’t great since I’m still setting up in my new apartment and haven’t dampened it yet. There’s nothing too important here, I advise against watching this unless you’re really bored, which you might be if you’re stuck at home. More real videos coming!

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The accursed farms lore is getting deep now.  It's prophesized that Very Significant events are going to occur in this new place.

 

Future Ross from Zombie Trailer Park: "Have you encountered The Orb Yet"

 

 

orb.thumb.PNG.7985dc9b2525de2b4fd2adf15409f5db.PNG

"You don't get to bring friends."

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Posted (edited)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.COMM.GD.PP.KD

 

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW?locations=XD-1W

 

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PP.GD

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-18/the-world-will-get-half-its-power-from-wind-and-solar-by-2050

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projections_of_population_growth#Growth_regions

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2096511718300069

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-worlds-resources-arent-running-out-1398469459

 

~Energy usage per dollar of value produced is going down, i.e. wealth can increase without further use of resources.

 

~World population growth is going down, and is currently nearly static in high and middle income countries (it would actually be negative without immigration, looking at birth rates; nearly the entire first and second world are below replacement fertility rates). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate#Country_ranking_by_Intergovernmental_organizations

 

~CO2 emissions per dollar of value produced is going down.

 

~Going by current market trends and how increasingly cheap and economical alternative energy sources are becoming thanks to private and public research and investment, renewable energy is projected to make up 71% of world electricity generation capacity by 2050. The difference will mostly be solar and wind eating into coal's share, as the latter will soon no longer be competitive in the market.

 

-Going by current demographic projections, world population will peak in 2100 and then decline. 

 

-In the past few years, renewable energy has actually become cheaper per unit energy than oil, and it's only getting cheaper.

 

Also, Ross, if someone tells you that socialism can save the environment, immediately ignore everything they say from then on. Socialist regimes are far, far more wasteful than equivalently rich capitalist regimes, objectively and statistically, and no useful green technology has ever been developed in them due to lack of incentives. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_Russia

The destruction of the Aral Sea, the rapid deforestation (RUSSIA is running low on trees to this day), the extinction of whales, the rampant pollution, Chernobyl, etc. were hallmarks of Soviet environmental policy. Furthermore, here is energy use per dollar of value produced in 1990-1991, the twilight of the USSR:

08dlK0R.jpg

Pollution per dollar of value produced at the same time:

Na68zbc.jpg

The World Bank data for 1992 (just a year after the dissolution of the USSR, therefore the ex-USSR's economies shouldn't be totally unrecognizable yet) has Russia/Ukraine/Belarus/Kazakhstan at ~x2.5 the U.S.'s emissions per dollar and nearly x4 the EU's or Japan's. Check any other ex-socialist country at the earliest point data is available (usually 1992, just a year or two after socialism fell) and you can see how awful they all were. 

 

It wasn't just the socialists in eastern Europe and central Asia, nor was it limited to the 20th century. Cuba, probably the last socialist nation remaining (besides North Korea, which doesn't have a lot of data available, and Venezuela, which is a petrostate), emits nearly three times as much CO2 per dollar of GDP as comparably poor Latin American countries like Guatemala and El Salvador. It even emits more than vastly wealthier nations like the Dominican Republic.

Qjqugb8.png

This is actually due to the exact opposite reasoning of what you said in your "island" scenario; rather than everyone deciding production via market signals, as happens in a market economy, production is decided at the top by central planning, resulting in quotas that have to be met even if the products are literally thrown into the trash (as happened with the USSR's eradication of whales). If some bureaucrat says that they need to produce X cars or harvest Y whales, it happens, regardless of whether that's actually going to be benefit anyone, much less be sustainable. There is also no real mechanism for scarcity to be effectively and subtly communicated in a socialist economy (as opposed to a capitalist one, where the prices will progressively go up, thus encouraging slow easing on consumption or developing substitutes) because prices are totally arbitrary due to being subject to government change at a whim.

Edited by RandomGuy (see edit history)

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52 minutes ago, RandomGuy said:

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.COMM.GD.PP.KD

 

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW?locations=XD-1W

 

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PP.GD

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-18/the-world-will-get-half-its-power-from-wind-and-solar-by-2050

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projections_of_population_growth#Growth_regions

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2096511718300069

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-worlds-resources-arent-running-out-1398469459

 

~Energy usage per dollar of value produced is going down, i.e. wealth can increase without further use of resources.

 

~World population growth is going down, and is currently nearly static in high and middle income countries (it would actually be negative without immigration, looking at birth rates; nearly the entire first and second world are below replacement fertility rates). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate#Country_ranking_by_Intergovernmental_organizations

 

~CO2 emissions per dollar of value produced is going down.

 

~Going by current market trends and how increasingly cheap and economical alternative energy sources are becoming thanks to private and public research and investment, renewable energy is projected to make up 71% of world electricity generation capacity by 2050. The difference will mostly be solar and wind eating into coal's share, as the latter will soon no longer be competitive in the market.

 

-Going by current demographic projections, world population will peak in 2100 and then decline. 

 

-In the past few years, renewable energy has actually become cheaper per unit energy than oil, and it's only getting cheaper.

 

Also, Ross, if someone tells you that socialism can save the environment, immediately ignore everything they say from then on. Socialist regimes are far, far more wasteful than equivalently rich capitalist regimes, objectively and statistically, and no useful green technology has ever been developed in them due to lack of incentives. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_Russia

The destruction of the Aral Sea, the rapid deforestation (RUSSIA is running low on trees to this day), the extinction of whales, the rampant pollution, Chernobyl, etc. were hallmarks of Soviet environmental policy. Furthermore, here is energy use per dollar of value produced in 1990-1991, the twilight of the USSR:

08dlK0R.jpg

Pollution per dollar of value produced at the same time:

Na68zbc.jpg

The World Bank data for 1992 (just a year after the dissolution of the USSR, therefore the ex-USSR's economies shouldn't be totally unrecognizable yet) has Russia/Ukraine/Belarus/Kazakhstan at ~x2.5 the U.S.'s emissions per dollar and nearly x4 the EU's or Japan's. Check any other ex-socialist country at the earliest point data is available (usually 1992, just a year or two after socialism fell) and you can see how awful they all were. 

 

It wasn't just the socialists in eastern Europe and central Asia, nor was it limited to the 20th century. Cuba, probably the last socialist nation remaining (besides North Korea, which doesn't have a lot of data available, and Venezuela, which is a petrostate), emits nearly three times as much CO2 per dollar of GDP as comparably poor Latin American countries like Guatemala and El Salvador. It even emits more than vastly wealthier nations like the Dominican Republic.

Qjqugb8.png

This is actually due to the exact opposite reasoning of what you said in your "island" scenario; rather than everyone deciding production via market signals, as happens in a market economy, production is decided at the top by central planning, resulting in quotas that have to be met even if the products are literally thrown into the trash (as happened with the USSR's eradication of whales). If some bureaucrat says that they need to produce X cars or harvest Y whales, it happens, regardless of whether that's actually going to be benefit anyone, much less be sustainable. There is also no real mechanism for scarcity to be effectively and subtly communicated in a socialist economy (as opposed to a capitalist one, where the prices will progressively go up, thus encouraging slow easing on consumption or developing substitutes) because prices are totally arbitrary due to being subject to government change at a whim.

 


Eh, what's with the global citizen/ save the world fight in granularity?
As far as I'm concerned, I have mine and everyone else can go to hell

Edited by Im_CIA (see edit history)

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Quote

World population growth is going down, and is currently nearly static in high and middle income countries (it would actually be negative without immigration, looking at birth rates; nearly the entire first and second world are below replacement fertility rates).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate#Country_ranking_by_Intergovernmental_organizations

Sure, growth is slowing down, but it's still growing.  I've heard that we're due to level off at 11 billion.  My point is we're overextended RIGHT NOW.  We're having increased global deforestation, half of all wildlife has been eradicated since the 70s, ocean health is getting worse and we're STILL GROWING.   Here are some sources on the ecosystem being diminished:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/12/deforestation-world-losing-area-forest-size-of-uk-each-year-report-finds
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds
https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/25/dying-oceans-rising-faster-predicted-un-warns-stark-report/

 

As for the socialism v. capitalism thing, I'm not saying either would preserve the environment.  My point is I think the very core of capitalism makes it impossible.  The purpose of capitalism is to maximize profit for those with capital, correct?  That means exploiting any and all resources.  Taking a more reserved or long term sustainable approach means you fall behind and can lose competitively to those who are more aggressive and can capitalize in the shorter to medium term.  This means an almost maximum use of resources.  Socialism doesn't necessarily mean that.  It CAN mean that, like you mentioned, with fulfilling quotas, and collectively agreeing to come to a similar outcome. 

 

My point was neither one obviously solves the problem, though capitalism appears to accelerate the problem as much as possible.

 

EDIT:

Going back to the deserted island scenario.  Say we realize that if we overfish we won't have enough food for the year, here are some ways of handling it:

 

Ideal socialist approach: Everyone votes and collectively agrees to impose limits on how much we will fish, so we can continue eating all year.

 

Likely socialist approach: Everyone votes that they don't want to reduce how much fish they eat, because they like fish, so they will continue overfishing until there aren't enough left, people starve.

 

Capitalist approach: Steve fishes as much as possible right now so there will be more for him, but Jim and Charles also do the same so that Steve doesn't get all the fish.  The fish are depleted rapidly, people starve.

Edited by Ross Scott (see edit history)

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7 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

Sure, growth is slowing down, but it's still growing.  I've heard that we're due to level off at 11 billion.  My point is we're overextended RIGHT NOW.  We're having increased global deforestation, half of all wildlife has been eradicated since the 70s, ocean health is getting worse and we're STILL GROWING.   Here are some sources on the ecosystem being diminished:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/12/deforestation-world-losing-area-forest-size-of-uk-each-year-report-finds
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds
https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/25/dying-oceans-rising-faster-predicted-un-warns-stark-report/

 

As for the socialism v. capitalism thing, I'm not saying either would preserve the environment.  My point is I think the very core of capitalism makes it impossible.  The purpose of capitalism is to maximize profit for those with capital, correct?  That means exploiting any and all resources.  Taking a more reserved or long term sustainable approach means you fall behind and can lose competitively to those who are more aggressive and can capitalize in the shorter to medium term.  This means an almost maximum use of resources.  Socialism doesn't necessarily mean that.  It CAN mean that, like you mentioned, with fulfilling quotas, and collectively agreeing to come to a similar outcome. 

 

My point was neither one obviously solves the problem, though capitalism appears to accelerate the problem as much as possible.

 

EDIT:

Going back to the deserted island scenario.  Say we realize that if we overfish we won't have enough food for the year, here are some ways of handling it:

 

Ideal socialist approach: Everyone votes and collectively agrees to impose limits on how much we will fish, so we can continue eating all year.

 

Likely socialist approach: Everyone votes that they don't want to reduce how much fish they eat, because they like fish, so they will continue overfishing until there aren't enough left, people starve.

 

Capitalist approach: Steve fishes as much as possible right now so there will be more for him, but Jim and Charles also do the same so that Steve doesn't get all the fish.  The fish are depleted rapidly, people starve.

 


The problem with socialism is  it's very approach to solving problems. Everything is always a deserted island where all things are remaining equal for all eternity. Sure you can have all the five years plans in the world, but uh oh, here comes the Nazis from the Nazi Atoll next door, killing all your fish with electric lamps and burning all the coconut trees. There's no accounting for that- it's impossible to account for that. Therefore, all we can do is be 100% reactionary to everything and let the open markets do it's thing. Some may take a step up, while others sink towards bedrock, but that's living.

"You don't get to bring friends."

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3 hours ago, Im_CIA said:


The problem with socialism is  it's very approach to solving problems. Everything is always a deserted island where all things are remaining equal for all eternity. Sure you can have all the five years plans in the world, but uh oh, here comes the Nazis from the Nazi Atoll next door, killing all your fish with electric lamps and burning all the coconut trees. There's no accounting for that- it's impossible to account for that. Therefore, all we can do is be 100% reactionary to everything and let the open markets do it's thing. Some may take a step up, while others sink towards bedrock, but that's living.

I think your logic is flawed there.  Fine, let's say invaders come to the island.  You could have someone bestowed with emergency powers ahead of time to take over during such an event to give orders to combat them in that event that there wasn't time for group plans.  Additionally plans for many different scenarios could be derived ahead of time, prior to any invasion.  The military operates this way.  They have plans for thousands of possible threats, even if most of them will never come to fruition.  You can't prepare for everything, but you can prepare for many different scenarios, which can also mean you're halfway prepared or more for some similar emergencies that you may have missed.

 

You say "therefore all we can do is be 100% reactionary and let open markets do its thing".  I don't see how you jump to that conclusion at all.  I just explained how the military prepares for many different scenarios.  That's also the purpose of groups like FEMA, to prepare for potential disasters.  They don't know if they'll have an earthquake or a hurricane, or a volcano eruption or what, but they can be semi-prepared for a lot of different scenarios.  You can do the same with economic crashes, medical emergencies, technology disruptions, etc.  In the Invisible War video, I talk about a Carrington event.  We are SO not prepared for that.  We know it's almost certainly going to happen again.  There's no reason we NEED to be 100% reactionary, just that's a reflection of how short-sighted we currently are.

 

Furthermore, that's not really a criticism of any government or economic system.  You can be prepared for scenarios under socialism, communism, democracy, fascism, monarchies, theocracies, etc.  It all depends on what the priorities of the people in charge are.

 

Finally, I don't get how you jump from that to saying the open market is the only way to do things.  If anything, that's a liability, because preparedness is often unprofitable.  If invaders come to the island and everyone is competing economically with no plans or authority, I don't see how that would protect anyone.  Everyone being divided rule-wise would be easier to conquer.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

I think your logic is flawed there.  Fine, let's say invaders come to the island.  You could have someone bestowed with emergency powers ahead of time to take over during such an event to give orders to combat them in that event that there wasn't time for group plans.  Additionally plans for many different scenarios could be derived ahead of time, prior to any invasion.  The military operates this way.  They have plans for thousands of possible threats, even if most of them will never come to fruition.  You can't prepare for everything, but you can prepare for many different scenarios, which can also mean you're halfway prepared or more for some similar emergencies that you may have missed.

 

You say "therefore all we can do is be 100% reactionary and let open markets do its thing".  I don't see how you jump to that conclusion at all.  I just explained how the military prepares for many different scenarios.  That's also the purpose of groups like FEMA, to prepare for potential disasters.  They don't know if they'll have an earthquake or a hurricane, or a volcano eruption or what, but they can be semi-prepared for a lot of different scenarios.  You can do the same with economic crashes, medical emergencies, technology disruptions, etc.  In the Invisible War video, I talk about a Carrington event.  We are SO not prepared for that.  We know it's almost certainly going to happen again.  There's no reason we NEED to be 100% reactionary, just that's a reflection of how short-sighted we currently are.

 

Furthermore, that's not really a criticism of any government or economic system.  You can be prepared for scenarios under socialism, communism, democracy, fascism, monarchies, theocracies, etc.  It all depends on what the priorities of the people in charge are.

 

Finally, I don't get how you jump from that to saying the open market is the only way to do things.  If anything, that's a liability, because preparedness is often unprofitable.  If invaders come to the island and everyone is competing economically with no plans or authority, I don't see how that would protect anyone.  Everyone being divided rule-wise would be easier to conquer.

 

 

Well, it's all really just a bunch of half-baked ideas that I'm too lazy to quantify, which probably only make sense inside my head anyway.
Heh, "half-baked", that's a half-truth in and of itself.

 

I should apologize for making you think that I'm interested in any sort of formal debate. I'm just here to have fun and shoot the shit, Phillip K Dick style. Nothing I said can stand up to legitimate scrutiny, but I believe it anyway

"You don't get to bring friends."

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What it really comes down to is that everyone is going to pick a side that makes sense in the lens of their own personal circumstances .

"You don't get to bring friends."

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Then lock themselves up along with their adversaries in a big ass Ivory Tower and ask questions from the stars

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sorry guys, I might be breaking a few rules. i've been drinking again, it's been a hard week. it's all fucked, everything is fucked

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On 5/8/2020 at 1:43 AM, Ross Scott said:

Sure, growth is slowing down, but it's still growing.  I've heard that we're due to level off at 11 billion.  My point is we're overextended RIGHT NOW. 

Yeah there's no scientific basis for this claim at all.

Quote

The stat is misleading because it only counts forests, not industrial timber plantations. If you count them then the Earth actually has significantly more trees than it did a few decades ago, and is continuing to increase. Which isn't hard to do, since trees are a renewable resource and extraordinarily easy to produce.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/nasa-says-earth-is-greener-than-ever-thanks-to-china-and-india/

https://e360.yale.edu/features/conflicting-data-how-fast-is-the-worlds-losing-its-forests

You're losing biodiversity. Not much else. Also, the article you're citing specifically says that most tree loss is happening in central and western Africa, which... isn't really capitalist. Places like North America and Europe have actually increased their forest coverage independent of their industrial timber since twenty years ago:

FNTon6s.jpg

Even the losses in Africa can be rather casually taken care of by more tree planting as is happening in the USA and China, through both public and private initiatives.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions

Quote

 

As for the socialism v. capitalism thing, I'm not saying either would preserve the environment.  My point is I think the very core of capitalism makes it impossible.  The purpose of capitalism is to maximize profit for those with capital, correct? 

Incorrect. Capitalism doesn't have a purpose because it's not an ideology, it's a tool to distribute scarce resources. You're confusing it with socialism, which is both an economic and a POLITICAL system. You can have intentionally low-growth capitalism, it just likely won't manifest for the same reason that intentionally low-growth socialism won't (people like to have more stuff).

 

Ask any economist to justify capitalism, and the word "growth" probably won't even be part of his spiel. You won't even find that in Econ 101. In Econ 101, capitalism works because people gain from trade, not because they have more and more to trade over time. Efficiency, not growth, is the point.

 

In fact, some of the earliest challenges to the free-market orthodoxy came from adding growth to the models. Back in the 1950s, Paul Samuelson showed that growth provides a rationale for Social Security. Later, "endogenous growth" theories called for a government role in supporting research and development.

 

Quote

That means exploiting any and all resources.  Taking a more reserved or long term sustainable approach means you fall behind and can lose competitively to those who are more aggressive and can capitalize in the shorter to medium term. 

 

Incorrect, at that point it means you simply have a dependable but extremely low-return firm, which totally exist in the current economy and are relied on for being safe (e.g. railroad and utilities companies).

    

Quote

 

EDIT:

Going back to the deserted island scenario.  Say we realize that if we overfish we won't have enough food for the year, here are some ways of handling it:

 

Ideal socialist approach: Everyone votes and collectively agrees to impose limits on how much we will fish, so we can continue eating all year.

 

Likely socialist approach: Everyone votes that they don't want to reduce how much fish they eat, because they like fish, so they will continue overfishing until there aren't enough left, people starve.

Actual socialist approach:  the central planning committee decides that they'll harvest exactly 10,000 tons of fish this year and exactly 20,000 tons the next year, despite demand being less than 5,000 tons of fish, and orders the island's population to make it happen. Various officials do so and fudge their numbers on top of it. Steve tries to set up a sustainable fishing farm but is shot for attempting to construct private industry. When only 5,000 of the 30,000 tons are actually consumed, the other 25,000 are thrown in the nearby ocean along with other waste products, causing widespread pollution.

Quote

Capitalist approach: Steve fishes as much as possible right now so there will be more for him, but Jim and Charles also do the same so that Steve doesn't get all the fish.  The fish are depleted rapidly, people starve.

Actual capitalist approach: Steve, Jim and Charles fish as much as possible in the short term, making about equal profits. Charles wants a leg-up on Steve and Jim, so instead of fishing, he sets up a sustainable fish farming operation using investment from the local coconut tree farmer, Larry. Charles and Larry can now out-produce Steve and Jim allowing them to sell their good at a lower price; Steve and Jim subsequently have to find a way to compete with Charles and Larry.

 

Steve and Jim make a partnership and agree to invest in research conducted by the school led by the local professor, Alex, in the hopes of long-term return. Alex eventually figures out how to farm more fish in a smaller area for a lower cost than Charles and Larry, which benefits Steve and Jim as they set up their own opposing operations. The price of fish is now even lower than before, but the cost of producing fish is infinitesimal, so Steve and Jim still make bank.

 

Your whole worldview makes three major mistakes:

 

1. Assuming resources are finite: just about everything that humanity uses is renewable, conceivably renewal, or so plentiful that it may as well be infinite on our human time scales.

 

2. Assuming market economies offer no incentives to save: it's the exact opposite. In a market economy, as a good becomes rare, its price will increase. This allows the economy to slowly wean itself off of it and producers to find alternatives to stay in business (why do you think electric vehicles, GMOs, solar power, etc. were developed in capitalist countries? By contrast what important advances have socialist countries made in the area of sustainability?). And guess what? That's exactly what's happening, it's what happens every day: people cutting down consumption of certain goods in response to increased prices. This can't happen in a non-market system. 

 

3. Assuming growth can only come from more resources: the main oneAs I noted, we're actually using LESS resources for the value we produce, and this has been the case for decades now. It continues to fall.

 

The vast majority of 'growth' in postmodern economies is driven by more efficient use and allocation of existing resources, not extraction.  Nearly all American growth, for example, comes in the sectors of finance, information, professional/technical services, or health services/sciences. The information economy ensures that an obscene amount of value can be produced for almost no resources (e.g. dozens of people have made billion-dollar companies in their basements with single computers). In fact, some economic growth inherently uses LESS resources, like improving energy efficiency.

 

Point three is particularly odd since you simultaneously subscribe to the theories that robots will make humans obsolete in most jobs (despite 80% of jobs being service-based) due to being so extremely cheap and efficient, AND that we can only have economic growth with more resources. These two ideas are mutually contradictory. 

Edited by RandomGuy (see edit history)

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It does not cease to amaze me when economists, who are supposed to be good system analysts, often fail so miserably at determining the boundaries of the system.

You “conveniently” forgot that the notional West started moving dirty manufacturing in so-called “third world”, including China, soon after WW2. Every microchip, solar cell, or other good that you deem a sign of technological progress and prosperity, came from kilotons of contaminated water and polluted air. It’s just that this crap was emitted in another country far away. All the while USSR did not have any such trash dump. It honestly took all the environmental consequences upon itself, having every dirty plant catering to its needs within its borders, and despite that still was comparable with the West in terms of providing its people with goods.

 

In order for someone to be able to “make a billion-dollar company in his basement”, millions of people on the other end of the world have to bust their asses in sweatshops. And then those very billionaires have the audacity to look down on those sweatshops, which are what makes their “shiny cities on the hill” possible in the first place.

Quote

Nearly all American growth, for example, comes in the sectors of finance, information, professional/technical services, or health services/sciences.

Again – I just can’t fathom what one has to have in his head to think that it is possible to not have production of physical goods. I always can’t help but remember Oompa Loompas when I hear people talk about “efficiency” of capitalism and how “cheap” goods are.

 

Looks like Western Europeans thought that their crops are grown and harvested by Oompa Loompas too, except whoops – now that COVID has closed the borders, they SUDDENLY discovered that those Oompa Loompas were actually coming from Eastern Europe, in order to strain themselves for starvation wages. And – surprise, surprise! – now Europe is facing hunger.

 

All those wishful talks about the Invisible Hand of the Market magically making everything work never leave your wet dreams. In real life, in order for capitalism to bring someone prosperity and happiness, it always has to bring ten other people misery. With no exceptions.

Quote

just about everything that humanity uses is renewable, conceivably renewal, or so plentiful that it may as well be infinite on our human time scales.

Everything containing the words “green” or “renewable” in the same sentence with “energy” has been the butt of engineering jokes for decades. For anyone having anything to do with actual real technology (not PowerPoint presentations or 3DSMax cartoons) hearing those words is an immediate sign that they are dealing with a yet another wide-eyed Greenpeace/Elon Musk victim.

 

I really like that you brought up this topic, because then comes this gem:

Quote

why do you think electric vehicles, [...] solar power, etc. were developed in capitalist countries?

Because socialist governments don’t have to allay the environmental awareness in poorly-educated sheeple by dumping money in still-born projects?.. Again, this goes back to being unable to properly determine the boundaries of the system. Go read about the horrifying amount of toxic crap you have to produce to make one solar cell or lithium battery, then go read about the laughable energy density of said batteries and overall performance characteristics of electric vehicles.

 

It’s as ignorant as to fap to SpaceX, as if it was any kind of a breakthrough which dumb commies could not figure out – while the reality is that the concept of reusable rockets was thoroughly studied both in USSR and China many decades ago, found doubtlessly dead-ended, then buried.

Quote

Capitalism doesn't have a purpose because it's not an ideology, it's a tool to distribute scarce resources.

I know that it’s an easy target, but I can't help using it. Right now, SARS-CoV-2 tests and FFP3 masks are scarce resources. I would like to hear your thoughts on how good a tool capitalism is in terms of distributing them, considering that Western countries are literally robbing each other, intercepting humanitarian aid shipments from China in front of each other’s nose.

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By contrast what important advances have socialist countries made in the area of sustainability?

I have already wasted more time on this text wall than it’s worth, but this one idea so instantly jumped to my head that I’ll waste some more.

Standardized glass bottles.

There were but a handful of bottle sizes in USSR. All manufacturing, cleaning, and refilling equipment was identical across the whole gargantuan country. Every shop eagerly accepted empty bottles, giving a hefty discount for the full one in return.

The result? Near zero glass waste.

Now go talk to your acquainted waste processing specialist and ask him if anything like that is possible nowadays, then watch him wince as he imagines scores and scores of completely incompatible bottle, jar and can sizes, the only way to process whom is to shred them to dust.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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I just want to point out that each individual is a nation unto himself, and that the universe will end when you die. So non of this bickering even matters.

"You don't get to bring friends."

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On 5/9/2020 at 5:29 AM, Im_CIA said:

Well, it's all really just a bunch of half-baked ideas that I'm too lazy to quantify, which probably only make sense inside my head anyway.
Heh, "half-baked", that's a half-truth in and of itself.

 

I should apologize for making you think that I'm interested in any sort of formal debate. I'm just here to have fun and shoot the shit, Phillip K Dick style. Nothing I said can stand up to legitimate scrutiny, but I believe it anyway

Nah it's fine, I actually wasn't looking for a debate either, it just seemed like such a bold claim to make.  Besides, you already gave me gold with the no good games after 2004 comment for the games list video, don't worry about it.  Again, if people aren't making personal attacks or stuff that sounds like hate speech, it's not a problem saying whatever.

 

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Incorrect. Capitalism doesn't have a purpose because it's not an ideology, it's a tool to distribute scarce resources. You're confusing it with socialism, which is both an economic and a POLITICAL system. You can have intentionally low-growth capitalism, it just likely won't manifest for the same reason that intentionally low-growth socialism won't (people like to have more stuff).

 

Ask any economist to justify capitalism, and the word "growth" probably won't even be part of his spiel. You won't even find that in Econ 101. In Econ 101, capitalism works because people gain from trade, not because they have more and more to trade over time. Efficiency, not growth, is the point.

 

In fact, some of the earliest challenges to the free-market orthodoxy came from adding growth to the models. Back in the 1950s, Paul Samuelson showed that growth provides a rationale for Social Security. Later, "endogenous growth" theories called for a government role in supporting research and development.

 

I think capitalism does have a purpose, it's purpose is to make profit for those who invest their capital.  Wikipedia says something similar.  But fine, it could be I'm incorrectly correlating growth with capitalism.  How does capitalism PREVENT growth when it goes against profits to do so?  Take the Amazon forest.  If I let a plot of jungle just sit there, I don't make any money from that.  Whereas if I clearcut it, sell the wood, then turn it into a cattle ranch or plantation, that makes a lot of money.  What mechanism does capitalism have to PREVENT that?  I don't see any, hence the reason I say it leads to growth.  It may not be its purpose, but it strikes me as an inevitable side effect.

 

Finally, you say I make some flawed assumptions on my worldview.  Perhaps, allow me to clarify each:

 

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Assuming growth can only come from more resources: the main one. As I noted, we're actually using LESS resources for the value we produce, and this has been the case for decades now. It continues to fall.

  I don't assume that, I think it's a case-by-case basis.  I think SOME growth only comes from more resources and globally we're using more resources than at any point in history.  We use more minerals, lumber, livestock, fossil fuels, plants, etc. than ever before.  Now sure we can become more EFFICIENT with them, but we're still using more TOTAL.

 

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Assuming market economies offer no incentives to save: it's the exact opposite. In a market economy, as a good becomes rare, its price will increase. This allows the economy to slowly wean itself off of it and producers to find alternatives to stay in business (why do you think electric vehicles, GMOs, solar power, etc. were developed in capitalist countries? By contrast what important advances have socialist countries made in the area of sustainability?). And guess what? That's exactly what's happening, it's what happens every day: people cutting down consumption of certain goods in response to increased prices. This can't happen in a non-market system. 

  I'm not assuming they don't offer incentives to save, of course supply and demand comes into play.  I'm saying the profit incentive is usually greater.  Global warming is a perfect example of this.  Exxon was aware of the impact on climate of global warming from their OWN RESEARCH back in the 70s, so they supressed that information and now it's unlikely we'll be able to reverse the effects.  Dupont was aware manufacturing Teflon was poisoning the environment from their own research, but that would have meant a loss of profit, so they suppressed that information and now it's everywhere in trace amounts, with countless levels of cancer rates increasing.  There was incentive to save, but there was MORE incentive to make a lot of money!  Still is!

 

Simple version:  Some problems you can wait until they manifest themselves to deal with them.  Markets are excellent for pricing those.  Some problems you can't, you have to be proactive or else you won't be able to solve the problem by the time it manifests itself.  Markets have a horrendous track record on those.

 

Finally, I'll end it with this:

 

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Assuming resources are finite: just about everything that humanity uses is renewable, conceivably renewal, or so plentiful that it may as well be infinite on our human time scales.

I don't know if I have much else to say here.  I mean this not in a hostile way at all, but I think this view is delusional.  You yourself said we have less biodiversity now.  Many medicines we have come from biodiverse regions, they wouldn't even exist if they were depleted earlier as opposed to later.  If what you're saying was true, plants and animals that we value would not have gone extinct under our watch, let alone by the hundreds.  Humans in the past obviously valued species like the dodo bird and mammoth for food. They weren't infinite.  The coral reefs are currently dying much faster than they're being replenished, this has enormous consequences to the ecosystem and our survival at this scale.  We've currently extracted the MAJORITY of oil via conventional methods, it's only technological breakthroughs that allowed for more, and even then with a declining EROI.  At pre-covid demand levels (which our ENTIRE modern civilization runs on), we had enough left for about 50 years assuming steady production, which was likely a fantasy.  While we can synthesize oil using renewable resources it's nowhere CLOSE to the scale it's used at, there's not enough farmland on earth for that.  That's oil we need to survive, the majority of fertilizers and pesticides are dependent on that.   Again, we're overextended.  Now it will probably take a generation or two before everything to hit, but that's not even close to infinite.

 

Anyway, I think I'm done here, we got to the core of our disagreement.  You think resources are infinite (and to be fair, so does most of the modern world, I'm the one in the minority, not you), I do not.  I see this as a kind of collective madness. I presented some examples of valued resources we've depleted, I see no reason to believe there aren't more coming.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ugh, I wrote up more on the forest part, but lost it.  I was going to say the sources you listed showed it as being debatable.  The goodnews article said it was growing, though that was before the Australia and Amazon fires.  The Yale article said it was still going down under each metric, but only fractionally so under one of them, with it being up for debate.  So it could be that part isn't as dire as I think, though you agree the biodiversity is going down, which I see as playing with fire for long term survival of the ecosystem (in a way that benefits us anyway).

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On 5/10/2020 at 6:15 PM, Ross Scott said:

stuff that sounds like hate speech

Not that I'm complaining, but just out of curiosity: do you not consider stuff like this hate speech? (Again, I'm just curious, nothing more)

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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I miss that guy. He brought a good level of contention. I prefer straight shit-fling to skirting around with purple prose, and logically sound arguments.

"You don't get to bring friends."

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Our biology drives us to survive and reproduce.  And our brains try to rationalize ways to keep doing so.

To restrict consumption is ultimately to restrict population growth.

 

Those of us alive, of course can see that the growth can't continue perpetually, and we may impose restrictions on our standards of living.  Yet, with growing population, the limit will be hit sooner or later.  Whether it will be with 11 billion with current consumerism, or 32 billion with radically rationalized consumerism, or 64 billion with extremely restricted consumerism.

 

The growth will eventually hit a hard cap. And until it does, there is no motivation to try and expand mankind beyond our relatively limited earth.

We must focus on widening our horizons, instead of artificially curbing our appetites.  The cap will be hit sooner or later. The only variable here is the quality of life of those currently living.

 

We must hit the "rock bottom", before there is any real incentive to change.

Change has always occurred from bottom up, rarely if ever, from top down.

 

Whether it was the migration period after the fall of Rome, or the restless outreach of the puritan pilgrims, there were always pressing circumstances that forced the outreach, and the eventual change.

 

In words of Donald Knuth:  "Premature Optimization Is the Root of All Evil".

 

Only fix things once they become an actual problem, a potential, or even eventual problem may not materialize within any given timespan. ( Any given finite span versus a limit tending to infninity ).

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Gorilla said:

Our biology drives us to survive and reproduce.  And our brains try to rationalize ways to keep doing so.

To restrict consumption is ultimately to restrict population growth.

 

Those of us alive, of course can see that the growth can't continue perpetually, and we may impose restrictions on our standards of living.  Yet, with growing population, the limit will be hit sooner or later.  Whether it will be with 11 billion with current consumerism, or 32 billion with radically rationalized consumerism, or 64 billion with extremely restricted consumerism.

 

The growth will eventually hit a hard cap. And until it does, there is no motivation to try and expand mankind beyond our relatively limited earth.

We must focus on widening our horizons, instead of artificially curbing our appetites.  The cap will be hit sooner or later. The only variable here is the quality of life of those currently living.

 

We must hit the "rock bottom", before there is any real incentive to change.

Change has always occurred from bottom up, rarely if ever, from top down.

 

Whether it was the migration period after the fall of Rome, or the restless outreach of the puritan pilgrims, there were always pressing circumstances that forced the outreach, and the eventual change.

 

In words of Donald Knuth:  "Premature Optimization Is the Root of All Evil".

 

Only fix things once they become an actual problem, a potential, or even eventual problem may not materialize within any given timespan. ( Any given finite span versus a limit tending to infninity ).

 

 

I follow the Moskva
Down to Dorney Park

Edited by Im_CIA (see edit history)

"You don't get to bring friends."

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The #1 problem with current human civilization is that the overwhelming majority of people have utterly unrealistic expectations of scientific and technological progress, almost like in the late XIXth century. The exact cause of this is debatable; in my opinion it’s the recently emerged “science fashion” (by which I mean the trend to subscribe to various “scientific” social network channels, repost poorly written articles from them, and feel above the “intellectual majority” because of that, sincerely believing that those actions increase your education in any way, shape or form).

 

This is the root of all evil. Each and every attempt to raise awareness about one or another impending catastrophe smashes against mindless bleating that “science will solve that somehow”, because 95% of people do not know what the S-shaped curve is and thus completely fail at objectively perceiving the limits of what is realistically achievable.

 

22 hours ago, Gorilla said:

there is no motivation to try and expand mankind beyond our relatively limited earth.

We must focus on widening our horizons, instead of artificially curbing our appetites.

 

Clench your teeth, make a deep breath, and say out loud: “it is entirely possible that there is no physical possibility for humanity to reach other inhabitable planets”.

I understand that after reading/watching/playing a sh*tload of wanky sci-fi where interstellar travel is as easy as “punching it” it’s pleasant to be off in a dream world, musing about the dishes that will be on the menu of the Big Fucking Rocket’s restaurant, but the reality is much more prosy, boring, and cruel.

 

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In words of Donald Knuth: "Premature Optimization Is the Root of All Evil".

 

I’m losing the thread here. What are you even trying to say?

First, few things are as foolish as trying to apply programming principles to actual real life. It just does not work that way.

Second, even in the field of programming, you have to at least understand the actual meaning of the principle that you are trying to apply, which a lot of people fail at. For example, Knuth’s quote is nowadays almost universally perceived as “don’t even turn on your brain before starting to type the code, just write some unusable crap and then rewrite it from scratch, then do it again 10 times, it’s cool, it’s ‘extreme programming’, all the rage now”. Even though this is nothing to do whatsoever with what Knuth originally meant.

 

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Our biology drives us to survive and reproduce. And our brains try to rationalize ways to keep doing so.

We must hit the "rock bottom", before there is any real incentive to change.

 

Well, maybe the whole freaking point of humanity is that we are somewhat more complicated than a bunch of bacteria in a Petri dish, and don’t have to “hit the rock bottom” in order to start reacting? Because we have this thing called “intellect”, that (ostensibly) allows us to see problems coming and avoid them?..

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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