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Author Topic: A Resource Based Economy  (Read 261101 times)
grondilu
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November 07, 2012, 04:10:29 PM
 #1201

BTW there is something I don't get in this whole RBE/Zeitgeist/Venus thing.  In a post-scarcity economy, why would you need a political system to distribute resources??  Isn't that contradictory?  People (sometimes) need to ration things precisely when they are scarce.  If there is no scarcity, why don't you just let people build whatever they need when they need it?

The post-scarcity label comes from the labor theories of value.

Labor theory of value is a terrible economic fallacy, iirc.  It seems like an other common point that Zetgeist/VenusP has with communism, also.
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November 07, 2012, 04:19:18 PM
 #1202

Many people like to pigeon-hole the Zeitgeisters as communists... I think that might be adding a political meaning to the movement that really probably was not originally intended.  I thought the ZG and the Venus Project were supposedly apolitical; perhaps I've been mis- or under- informed.
But, from what I gather about these people:  They are anti-CONSUMERISM.  So, what's the opposite of consuming?  Producing.  So, are they producers?  Maybe wanna-be producers?
I've read elsewhere on this forum (and other places) that our current economic situation has something to do with the balance between consuming and producing tipping too heavily toward consuming.  Anyway, I don't think the issue needs any extra politification.  Just my 0.02 BTC.

By a-political they just mean they are the other side of the coin.
They would have to excert extreme political power to make their ideas reality.



If their ideas boil down to producerism (as opposed to consumerism), I can see that manifesting worldwide without any political influence at all... Aside from possibly comic relief
Hoo boy, that election happened, and people sure were acting more foolish than usual that day.

They cannot manifest without profoundly affecting current politics.
Therefore their ideas are very political in nature whether they realise it or not.



Nahhh... That's all backwards gobbledy-gook.  Just because something affects something else, does not mean it is or becomes or has anything to do with the nature of the something else.  Yeah, politricks will be affected -- by being more exposed than ever as the impotent (mostly with regard to effective policy-making:  the thing it's supposed to be for) dress-up extravaganza that it is -- And then it might actually become (or be replaced [likely with "AI"] with) a system of distributing resources that is hopefully more efficient than the current abysmal policy-making system we have now.  Politics is supposed to be about making policies that best distribute resources among entities, but the "politics" we all are used to is nothing more than a homecoming queen crowning.
Politics being affected or changed or exposed or eliminated... affected in any way, by any thing, does not mean that that thing that affected it is political.  I guess I'm repeating myself here but it really looks like some backwards logic you are using, based on some sort of mindset that politics will always have to exist in its current form?
I mean, I pee in a fresh porcelain bowl of water.  The water is then affected by my pee.  Does that fact alone make my pee of the nature of water?  What if I peed on the bowl instead of in it?

Yes, it will be a new policy-making system. And that is still a system that is making political desicions.
Because you outsource it to an AI doesn't make it less political.
Politics in reality is a much wider notion than you make it out to be.
Saying something affects politics on a global scale but is not somehow political is nonsense.
Politics is not just a mechanism, it's a playing field. Needless to say, these ideas are staged on a political stage and that is where they need to fight to have any chace of becoming reality.

To use your example ( Roll Eyes ), the bowl is the stage of politics. You could put anything in there and it will be political.
Politics is about steering societal structures. It doesnt matter if it is controlled by democratically elected humans or by AI's, it's still politics.

And this is a very good example of the kind of short-sightedness that proponents of these ideas tend to propagate.
They see their ideal but do not notice that the ideal requires the same kinds of mechanisms to become reality as the ones it is supposedly trying to remove.
It's a fairytale that can only have come from the luxury laden ritch western countries we tend to live in because it is depending very much on the thing it tries to eliminate.
It's exactly like people using the internet to say that we don't need the internet.

So let me drop this question again:
How will you convince Russia to give up all their resources without any politics or wars?
Or China?
Do you realize that there are a lot of unique places on earth that have certain resources that other parts don't have? How will you convince them to listen to an AI telling them to give away the stuff that makes them wealthy without any political action?
If you think these things don't matter then you're in denial.
There is no realistical way of implementing a resource based economy wthout getting the whole world on your side. And politics is the stage to these people. So no matter how you communicate your ideas to the people, that communication is political in nature no matter the message.

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November 07, 2012, 04:22:34 PM
 #1203

Let us take a specific volume of sea water, say, a cubic meter. Can I desalinate that cubic meter while you are swimming in it? No. Either I can desalinate the water, or you can swim in it. It doesn't matter that there are millions of other cubic meters of sea water in the world's oceans. If we can't use the same sea water at the same time, it is scarce in the economic sense.
Why on earth would you be willing to take the actual very same cubic meter that I just took when there is a whole sea available??

Holy fuck. How can you be this dense?

Available quantity is irrelevant. If we cannot use the same atoms and molecules at the same time is it scarce by the economic definition.

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November 07, 2012, 04:28:49 PM
 #1204

the thing it's supposed to be for) dress-up extravaganza that it is -- And then it might actually become (or be replaced [likely with "AI"] with) a system of distributing resources that is hopefully more efficient than the current abysmal policy-making system we have now.

BTW there is something I don't get in this whole RBE/Zeitgeist/Venus thing.  In a post-scarcity economy, why would you need a political system to distribute resources??  Isn't that contradictory?  People (sometimes) need to ration things precisely when they are scarce.  If there is no scarcity, why don't you just let people build whatever they need when they need it?


Because if i have unlimited energy i could make a gun to blow off my neighbors head because he looked at me in a funy way and i was like realy realy bored...
In other words, the general population is genetically not well equipped to deal with unlimited energy.
There is a shitload of psychological problems with endless resources. We are all pre-programmed for scarcity. Greed is nothing more than a survival mechanism for low-resource environments.
We have a lot more resources now and yet we fail at not being greedy. We have come as far as making most of our greed virtual so we don't actually rip food from other peoples hands, most of the time.
But thinking that the world population will just ignore their animal drives to get something like a resource based economy going is ludicrous.
You will not be able to get there (and i also said this before) without genetically modifying the entire human species to not be so damn human anymore.
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November 07, 2012, 04:33:41 PM
 #1205

It's as absurd as saying that any vehicle, no matter how big it is and how many seats it has, can not transport more than one person.  You'd say that on a plane for instance, if someone is using the seat number 42, you can't use this seat anymore.  So a boing 747 can only fly one person at a time.

No. You can only transport one person per seat. If there are a limited (no matter how large) number of seats, then seats are a scarce resource.

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grondilu
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November 07, 2012, 04:35:39 PM
 #1206

Let us take a specific volume of sea water, say, a cubic meter. Can I desalinate that cubic meter while you are swimming in it? No. Either I can desalinate the water, or you can swim in it. It doesn't matter that there are millions of other cubic meters of sea water in the world's oceans. If we can't use the same sea water at the same time, it is scarce in the economic sense.
Why on earth would you be willing to take the actual very same cubic meter that I just took when there is a whole sea available??

Holy fuck. How can you be this dense?

I'm sorry but I have a lot of difficulties to admit that sea water is something that is scarce.  It's just silly.  If you isolate a cubic meter of it, sure, you only talk about a cubic meter of water so yeah, it is scarce.  Since you chose to ignore the fact that there is a whole sea of it.

I'm sorry but it is you who is dense.  Sea water is not scarce because there is a LOT of it.  You don't make much sense.
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November 07, 2012, 04:37:16 PM
 #1207

It's as absurd as saying that any vehicle, no matter how big it is and how many seats it has, can not transport more than one person.  You'd say that on a plane for instance, if someone is using the seat number 42, you can't use this seat anymore.  So a boing 747 can only fly one person at a time.

No. You can only transport one person per seat. If there are a limited (no matter how large) number of seats, then seats are a scarce resource.

Sea                         <=>      Plane
molecules of water    <=>      seats
people                      <=>     passengers


Just think about a very, very big plane.
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November 07, 2012, 04:42:10 PM
 #1208

I'm sorry but it is you who is dense.  Sea water is not scarce because there is a LOT of it.  You don't make much sense.

Sea water is not rare because there is a lot of it. It is still scarce.

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Scarcity, Economic. In economic terminology, "scarcity" refers to the fact that the same resource - regardless of its quantity - cannot be put to more than a single use at a time. Scarcity in an economic sense refers simply to the choice as to what use to put a specific resource, not to the quantity available.

It's as absurd as saying that any vehicle, no matter how big it is and how many seats it has, can not transport more than one person.  You'd say that on a plane for instance, if someone is using the seat number 42, you can't use this seat anymore.  So a boing 747 can only fly one person at a time.

No. You can only transport one person per seat. If there are a limited (no matter how large) number of seats, then seats are a scarce resource.

Sea                         <=>      Plane
molecules of water    <=>      seats
people                      <=>     passengers


Just think about a very, very big plane.

Yup, and seats and water are still scarce resources. Because the plane cannot seat an infinite amount of people, and the sea does not hold an infinite amount of water.

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November 07, 2012, 04:44:36 PM
 #1209

I'm sorry but I have a lot of difficulties to admit that sea water is something that is scarce.  

If you use your resources to build a nuclear power plant/refinery, and it goes Chernobyl on you, and, unlike Chernobyl, it ends up SINKING INTO AN UNDERGROUND WATER WAY (which Chernobyl almost did!), then almost all sea water will become radioactively contaminated, and clean sea water will become VERY scarce. People have no idea how close we came to screwing up the whole planet, in the same way that you have no idea how something that is seemingly abundant can easily become extremely scarce overnight.

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November 07, 2012, 04:48:07 PM
 #1210

Again, in "resource" there is "source".   When we talk about the quantity of the resource, we don't necessarily talk about the water.  We can talk about the sea, as a source of water

Can we both use this source of water in the same time?  Yes, we can.

But ok, you win.  What I really meant was that "the sea is an abundant source of water".  Which made me reluctant to say that sea water is something that can be considered scarce.


(I keep thinking it is a terrible use of the word, though)
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November 07, 2012, 04:57:24 PM
 #1211

But ok, you win.  What I really meant was that "the sea is an abundant source of water".  Which made me reluctant to say that sea water is something that can be considered scarce.
It must be considered scarce, even when it is seemingly abundant, because it is not infinite. If it were infinite, wasting it or polluting a portion of it would never matter. There's always plenty more where that came from. Since it's not infinite, wasting it or polluting a portion of it does matter, since it reduces the supply remaining. The price system encourages the most efficient use of those scarce resources, by funneling them into uses that the market values more highly (and thus puts a higher price on).

(I keep thinking it is a terrible use of the word, though)

Well, You and I don't get to define words, especially this one, since it is an economic term.

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November 07, 2012, 05:00:29 PM
 #1212

Let us take a specific volume of sea water, say, a cubic meter. Can I desalinate that cubic meter while you are swimming in it? No. Either I can desalinate the water, or you can swim in it. It doesn't matter that there are millions of other cubic meters of sea water in the world's oceans. If we can't use the same sea water at the same time, it is scarce in the economic sense.
Why on earth would you be willing to take the actual very same cubic meter that I just took when there is a whole sea available??

Holy fuck. How can you be this dense?

I'm sorry but I have a lot of difficulties to admit that sea water is something that is scarce.  It's just silly.  If you isolate a cubic meter of it, sure, you only talk about a cubic meter of water so yeah, it is scarce.  Since you chose to ignore the fact that there is a whole sea of it.

I'm sorry but it is you who is dense.  Sea water is not scarce because there is a LOT of it.  You don't make much sense.

Sea water is scarce because if you're a fish and some micro-organism eats up the oxygen around you you will have to expend energy to move yourself to a place where you can breathe and still be able to do things like find food or find the right temperature to live in.
In fact, you could say that an ecosystems function is to make natural resources less scarce locally.
Without the local ecosystem the re-usability of matter and the energy stored in it would drop dramatically making everything super scarce.
So the existance of ecosystems shows you that most resources on earth are somehow scarce and that scarcity is a pressure on evolution.

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November 07, 2012, 05:15:27 PM
 #1213

But ok, you win.  What I really meant was that "the sea is an abundant source of water".  Which made me reluctant to say that sea water is something that can be considered scarce.
It must be considered scarce, even when it is seemingly abundant, because it is not infinite. If it were infinite, wasting it or polluting a portion of it would never matter. There's always plenty more where that came from. Since it's not infinite, wasting it or polluting a portion of it does matter, since it reduces the supply remaining. The price system encourages the most efficient use of those scarce resources, by funneling them into uses that the market values more highly (and thus puts a higher price on).

Now we're talking about infinities again.

The fact that the sea is finite might indeed be relevant here, but let me remind you that we were initially arguing about the power of the sun.  4e26 W

Last I checked, 4e26W ≠ ∞W. The same arguments for seawater apply to solar output.

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November 07, 2012, 05:27:11 PM
 #1214

Last I checked, 4e26W ≠ ∞W. The same arguments for seawater apply to solar output.
Again, same type of arguments I hear from people who play lotery.

What number would it take for you to consider that humanity will never need that much power??  Do you think the power consumption of humanity will keep increasing exponentially ad vitam aeternam?  Do you think the march to a type I, II and III civilization is inevitable?  That we are condemned, during our growth, to have only just about enough energy that we need, and no more?
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November 07, 2012, 05:33:00 PM
 #1215

Regarding solar, if I put up a panel to absorb that energy, there is now a shadow, and no one can put up a panel under mine. Until we can set up a dyson sphere, it doesn't matter how big the sun is or how much energy is has, the amount we can pull out of it is still limited by the surface of the planet, which is used up at the expense of other things, like growing food.

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November 07, 2012, 05:34:55 PM
 #1216

Regarding solar, if I put up a panel to absorb that energy, there is now a shadow, and no one can put up a panel under mine. Until we can set up a dyson sphere

Sure, again nobody said that we were currently a type II civilization.
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November 07, 2012, 05:36:43 PM
 #1217

Last I checked, 4e26W ≠ ∞W. The same arguments for seawater apply to solar output.
Again, same type of arguments I hear from people who play lotery.

What number would it take for you to consider that humanity will never need that much power??  Do you think the power consumption of humanity will keep increasing exponentially ad vitam aeternam?  Do you think the march to a type I, II and III civilization is inevitable?  That we are condemned, during our growth, to have only just about enough energy that we need, and no more?

On a cosmic scale, 4e26W is nothing. It's not even enough for interstellar travel. To say nothing of the fact that gathering it all would require a significant portion of our solar system's mass (another large, but limited supply - ie a scarce resource).

You say that the labor theory of value is a fallacy. Yet your reliance on "self-replicating robots" making everything "free" is precisely the labor theory of value. If it is a fallacy, why do you continue to rely upon it to prop up your arguments?

Regarding solar, if I put up a panel to absorb that energy, there is now a shadow, and no one can put up a panel under mine. Until we can set up a dyson sphere, it doesn't matter how big the sun is or how much energy is has, the amount we can pull out of it is still limited by the surface of the planet, which is used up at the expense of other things, like growing food.

Even a Dyson sphere just creates a bigger shadow.

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November 07, 2012, 05:42:38 PM
 #1218

On a cosmic scale, 4e26W is nothing. It's not even enough for interstellar travel.

Well, a post-scarcity economy does not have the pretention to allow you to do anything.  I don't think so anyway.  And humanity is not necessarily going to spread on a "cosmic scale".

Quote
To say nothing of the fact that gathering it all would require a significant portion of our solar system's mass (another large, but limited supply - ie a scarce resource).

At least from a theoretical point of view, you can create matter out of pure energy.  The sun emits the equivalent of about two million tons of mater per second, iirc.  And again, the feasability of a Dyson sphere is probably too a complex subject, but some smart people think it can be done.  So, why not.  And as I said, I think the power of the sun is so big that we don't even need to get all of it, anyway.

Quote
You say that the labor theory of value is a fallacy. Yet your reliance on "self-replicating robots" making everything "free" is precisely the labor theory of value. If it is a fallacy, why do you continue to rely upon it to prop up your arguments?

It's not really because I don't have to work that I think it would be free (And even so, it would be a particular case, not proving a general idea).  If I think it would be free, it's only because I see noone I would have to pay.  The sun does not demand any payment.   My self-replicating robots won't either, providing that I can manage to keep them from rebelling against me.
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November 07, 2012, 05:57:01 PM
 #1219

On a cosmic scale, 4e26W is nothing. It's not even enough for interstellar travel.

Well, a post-scarcity economy does not has the pretention to allow you to do anything.  I don't think so anyway.
I'm not sure I follow, here.

Quote
To say nothing of the fact that gathering it all would require a significant portion of our solar system's mass (another large, but limited supply - ie a scarce resource).

At least from a theoretical point of view, you can create matter out of pure energy.  The sun emits the equivalent of about two million tons of mater per second, iirc.  And again, the feasability of a Dyson sphere is probably too a complex subject, but some smart people think it can be done.  So, why not.  And as I said, I think the power of the sun is so big that we don't even need to get all of it, anyway.
Once you can create matter from energy, then energy becomes the scarce resource. 4e26W (and more importantly, the 2.812×10^17 km2 of surface available to catch it) will be snatched up so fast it'll make your sensor cluster spin.

Quote
You say that the labor theory of value is a fallacy. Yet your reliance on "self-replicating robots" making everything "free" is precisely the labor theory of value. If it is a fallacy, why do you continue to rely upon it to prop up your arguments?

It's not really because I don't have to work that I think it would be free (And even so, it would be a particular case, not proving a general idea).  If I think it would be free, it's only because I see noone I would have to pay.
Why would you not have to pay anyone for it? Follow that line of logic. You'll see it leads back to the Labor theory of value.

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November 07, 2012, 06:35:17 PM
 #1220

Why would not have to pay anyone for it? Follow that line of logic. You'll see it leads back to the Labor theory of value.
I'm fine with paying someone if it is justified/needed.  Again, I just don't see who I should pay.  Those robots work for me, they work alone and they give me the product of their work.  I don't see where in this process I should pay anyone.  If I think it's free it's not because I don't work (I indirectly do via the work of my robots), it's because I am the only human involved.  If there were other humans before the beginning of the process, they have been paid already as I already discussed when talking about marginal cost.
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