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Author Topic: Wealth is unlimited.  (Read 9485 times)
david4dev
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July 05, 2011, 09:26:58 PM
 #61

As I understand, capital is a physical good used to produce goods and services that doesn't get consumed in the process. An example would be a catalyst in a chemical reaction or a tool used in production. The capital itself has to eventually be produced from the finite resources we have so is finite itself.
John has a factory that can produce 5 cars with 1 unit of energy. He invents a process that uses less matter and only .25 units of energy. Revenue increases, not from harvesting more finite resources but by using less and meeting more desire.

Do you understand my premise now?

That is a description of increased efficiency. I don't see how that leads to unlimited wealth.
Because there is always room for more efficiency until we reach no scarcity at all.

That is incorrect. There are physical limits to efficiency. You can't, for example, produce a car using no matter and no energy.

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July 05, 2011, 09:36:38 PM
 #62

As I understand, capital is a physical good used to produce goods and services that doesn't get consumed in the process. An example would be a catalyst in a chemical reaction or a tool used in production. The capital itself has to eventually be produced from the finite resources we have so is finite itself.
John has a factory that can produce 5 cars with 1 unit of energy. He invents a process that uses less matter and only .25 units of energy. Revenue increases, not from harvesting more finite resources but by using less and meeting more desire.

Do you understand my premise now?

That is a description of increased efficiency. I don't see how that leads to unlimited wealth.
Because there is always room for more efficiency until we reach no scarcity at all.

That is incorrect. There are physical limits to efficiency. You can't, for example, produce a car using no matter and no energy.
Well, fuck cars. Who says we are limited to them for transportation? There are limits but we aren't limited by them.
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July 05, 2011, 09:36:51 PM
 #63

Quote from: Atlas
John has a factory that can produce 5 cars with 1 unit of energy.  He invents a process that uses less matter and only .25 units of energy. Revenue increases, not from harvesting more finite resources but by using less and meeting more desire.

Eve steals John's idea and builds her own factory with less debt and overhead.  Eve undercuts John on price.  John goes out of business.  Eve's cars are sold to third world immigrants who use the savings to have five kids.  The five kids grow up with an inflated standard of living relative to their productive capacity.  John didn't manage to reproduce since he spent all of his time inventing.  Eve realizes that she got the stolen formula wrong and all of her cars disintegrate over time.  The five kids have an existential crisis when they reach maturity and realize that they aren't capable of producing enough to maintain their standard of living, and there aren't enough John's left to redistribute wealth from.  They join the army and invade some other country to rob them of natural resources.

Saying "revenue increases" is utterly meaningless.  Money is a fiction.  As long as there is at least one irrational actor with a womb, consumption will rise to meet supply until supply falters and everything goes pear-shaped.

Do you understand how the world works now?

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david4dev
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July 05, 2011, 09:39:40 PM
 #64

There are limits but we aren't limited by them.

lol

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Anonymous
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July 05, 2011, 09:41:10 PM
 #65

Quote from: Atlas
John has a factory that can produce 5 cars with 1 unit of energy.  He invents a process that uses less matter and only .25 units of energy. Revenue increases, not from harvesting more finite resources but by using less and meeting more desire.

Eve steals John's idea and builds her own factory with less debt and overhead.  Eve undercuts John on price.  John goes out of business.  Eve's cars are sold to third world immigrants who use the savings to have five kids.  The five kids grow up with an inflated standard of living relative to their productive capacity.  John didn't manage to reproduce since he spent all of his time inventing.  Eve realizes that she got the stolen formula wrong and all of her cars disintegrate over time.  The five kids have an existential crisis when they reach maturity and realize that they aren't capable of producing enough to maintain their standard of living, and there aren't enough John's left to redistribute wealth from.  They join the army and invade some other country to rob them of natural resources.

Saying "revenue increases" is utterly meaningless.  Money is a fiction.  As long as there is at least one irrational actor with a womb, consumption will rise to meet supply until supply falters and everything goes pear-shaped.

Do you understand how the world works now?
There's no coherent logic here. None.

People can learn to use less-and-less of supply. That is a fact. We have not reached the limits of efficiency. Nowhere close.
Anonymous
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July 05, 2011, 09:43:15 PM
 #66

There are limits but we aren't limited by them.

lol
They say you can't move matter faster than the speed of light. However, you can move the space around an object as fast as you like.
david4dev
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July 05, 2011, 09:45:47 PM
 #67

There are limits but we aren't limited by them.

lol
They say you can't move matter faster than the speed of light. However, you can move the space around an object as fast as you like.

    ^
    ^
    ^

Quote
There no coherent logic here. None.

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Anonymous
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July 05, 2011, 09:47:49 PM
 #68

There are limits but we aren't limited by them.

lol
They say you can't move matter faster than the speed of light. However, you can move the space around an object as fast as you like.

    ^
    ^
    ^

Quote
There no coherent logic here. None.
It's actually a widely acclaimed possibility. We don't know shit about the universe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light
Sovereign
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July 05, 2011, 09:51:59 PM
 #69

energy scarcity is artificial.  see LFTRs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHdRJqi__Z8

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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kjj
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July 06, 2011, 01:28:03 AM
 #70

When energy is cheap, everything else is cheap too.

If I was emperor, every year I'd give a billion dollars to Bussard's team, another billion to the LFTR team, and a billion to a committee to hand it out to the most promising ZPF/LENR cranks in blocks of thousands or millions as they see fit.  And another 7 billion to build standard commercial uranium reactors until one of the other projects was ready.

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July 06, 2011, 02:35:34 AM
 #71

So we have established that wealth is unlimited as long as we work hard and learn to make do with less.

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Anonymous
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July 06, 2011, 04:02:44 AM
 #72

Yes but we can use less and not feel a difference.
benjamindees
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July 06, 2011, 04:10:13 AM
 #73

See, the word I would probably use for people who work in order to consume less and maintain the same standard of living is something like "suckers" or "poors".  Little did I know that those people are actually becoming more and more wealthy.

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July 06, 2011, 04:20:10 AM
 #74

Do you peak oil alarmists have any idea how much potential energy we can harvest from solar, nuclear, fossil fuels, bio-fuels, wind, waves, tides, geothermal, etc?  We could increase our per capital energy consumption a billion fold and still come nowhere near maxing out or 100% efficiency.
Every Person on the planet could fit into the state of Texas and have a population density no greater than New York City. Our wealth potential is effectively unlimited. Any claims to the contrary are pedantic or just plain wrong.

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Jack of Diamonds
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July 06, 2011, 06:54:05 AM
 #75

Let them use wealth and make more bots; genesis pools; unlimited wealth of genes.
Some are offended by cryogenics or are drilled to hate this work; cache mines. Misuse of patents are simply those. You know how hard it is to upgrade the bathroom technology, worldwide? Frozen throne.

Are you the guy who's been email spamming viagra and prozac for decades?

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whenhowwho
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July 06, 2011, 07:23:13 AM
 #76

Interesting thread. The theory is absolutely correct. Everything is limitless. Energy is limitless it can neither be created nor destroyed it can only be converted from one form to another. Conversions are unlimited except that current technologies have limits. Wealth is absolutely unlimited currently. It is only determined how you define wealth. Wealth is abundance therefore anything that is held in abundance can be considered wealth. Love of many can be wealth. Having an abundance of feces can be wealth, this particular example can be demonstrated by the elephant dung millionaire. Bitcoins are limited theoretically yet they are in essence nothing but electrons creating 1's and 0's. If you had 1 million pieces of this nothing than one could argue that you are indeed wealthy.


I often find it amusing to read the insults that are traded. They offer nothing to the conversation generally but can be amusing. They also appear to have no limits. A person who has been given many insults is also wealthy.

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misterbigg
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July 06, 2011, 07:59:17 AM
 #77

WEALTH is NOT unlimited, it is predictably finite (but increasing). Wealth is defined as the collective subjective value of the sum of all available goods (both raw materials and finished products) and services. Clearly, the supply is limited. It is precisely because these things have a measurable quantity that makes them economically valuable. Compare that with, say - air. You can pretty much always breathe. Air is in limitless abundance. Therefore it has no value. Except when there is no air, for example in space, or when you go scuba diving. Then it becomes limited to what can be fit into containers and launched into orbit or strapped to your back. That's when it acquires economic value.

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July 06, 2011, 08:02:57 AM
 #78

Everything is limitless. Energy is limitless it can neither be created nor destroyed it can only be converted from one form to another.

Incorrect. Second law of thermodynamics shows us why it is impossible for a system to perform infinite work.  In fact, the total energy in the universe is finite. Rather large, but finite. Also, the available portion of the universe that can be leveraged by humans has a limited horizon since galaxies are moving away from each other (and eventually, solar systems and planets). So humans can never harness all of the energy in the universe: most of it will remain perpetually out of reach.

It is true that energy can be converted from one form to another but every time this process takes place, entropy is increased and the amount of USEFUL work that can be performed goes down, until work can no longer be extracted from the system (i.e. perfect thermal equilibrium).

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July 06, 2011, 08:05:37 AM
 #79

I would argue that air is almost limitless but also quite valuable. I am willing to bet that if you were suffocating you would find air to be more valuable than silver gold or all of the money in the world. Can't spend money or enjoy anything if you are dead.  As wealth can also be defined as an abundance or profusion of anything, this is where the statement wealth is limitless comes into play.

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July 06, 2011, 08:28:43 AM
 #80

Everything is limitless. Energy is limitless it can neither be created nor destroyed it can only be converted from one form to another.

Incorrect. Second law of thermodynamics shows us why it is impossible for a system to perform infinite work.  In fact, the total energy in the universe is finite. Rather large, but finite. Also, the available portion of the universe that can be leveraged by humans has a limited horizon since galaxies are moving away from each other (and eventually, solar systems and planets). So humans can never harness all of the energy in the universe: most of it will remain perpetually out of reach.

It is true that energy can be converted from one form to another but every time this process takes place, entropy is increased and the amount of USEFUL work that can be performed goes down, until work can no longer be extracted from the system (i.e. perfect thermal equilibrium).


Only one small problem. The entire universe is not known as we have not developed a way to actually see it. We have made leaps and bounds but we dont know where the edge is or even if there is one. Anything we can see we cannot see in real time so it is actually not where it appears to be. Looking at the universe is in fact like looking back through time. So energy in the universe cannot be finite. It may remain out of reach but nobody can say for how long. Technologies change over time. Ten thousand years ago humanity could not have dreamed of where we are today and ten thousand years from now we cannot dream of where we will be. That is if in fact we are not extinct.

The second point is as only as far as we ourselves currently understand how things can be manipulated. Carbon for instance has been manipulated from one form to the next a larger number of times than current human understanding can fathom. All of this manipulation has required energy in one form or another an equally or grater amount of times than mankind can currently understand.

Remember that just 600 years ago the world was flat and mankind could not grasp the fact that the world was a spherical object. The laws of gravity, thermodynamics, and relativity have only been adopted very recently in terms of mankind's total existence. Their validity is only as good as mankind's current understanding. 75 years ago we did not know that if you break an atom a tremendous amount of energy would be released imagine what we might know in another 75 years

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