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Author Topic: A Resource Based Economy  (Read 261165 times)
memvola
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October 02, 2012, 11:58:00 AM
 #961

One of my economist friends had worked on it almost two decades ago. His thesis was that since powerful computers are now available, this would be possible (he's a strict Marxist). Of course he didn't provide a solution, and at the time I was convinced that it might actually be impossible regardless of how fast computers get, because of non-polynomial complexity.

That was just one guy working on it at one time. I have faith such problems would be eventually solved. For now I can imagine to rather apply fuzzy logic, statistical analyses, etc... Decentralized crypto-currency was considered impossible for quite some time either.

Well, actually that guy had the same attitude towards the matter as you and the Zeitgeist people; and guys before him and since. I'm humbly communicating what I see in this pattern, having at least seen some of these papers. A solution is not even formally discussed. The fact that you are saying things like fuzzy logic and statistical analyses strengthens my point. I'm not saying it is definitely impossible. I don't know how to do it. Do you know how to do it? "Scientists" don't even know what the complexity of the problem is, and it's likely NP. You can't ask people to agree that it's possible, if even you don't know that it is.

Besides, this isn't even core of the issue. You still don't, can't and maybe even shouldn't know what people need.

(edit: wording)
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October 02, 2012, 12:14:12 PM
 #962

@memvola: All I really want to say is I wouldn't state it's absolutely impossible either. That said, I would want to see Zeitgeist people working on more detailed, low level concepts too, like writing simulations, whatever.

Rate of consumption and prices are not substitutes. In markets with competition, prices measure, among other things, how costly it is - resource-wise - to produce a certain good or provide a certain service. How will you calculate this from measuring consumption of said good or service?

I guess the important point and main difference to our current model of economics is that the Zeitgeisters want to eliminate competition, which of course means we'd have a globally computer-controlled planned economy and a giant single point of failure.

If a certain computer part uses some rare earth element that progressively gets harder and harder to mine, requiring more and more resources spent (labor, steel to build machines that mine, etc.), how will you determine whether mining this rare earth element is worth it to produce that certain computer part if you only know how many computers people want, and how much rare earth metal the computer part-company wants, and how much labor the rare earth metal mining-company wants?

I guess the essence of RBE is there'll be no companies, and the resources that are currently available are a given. When harvesting, the computers would also calculate what's sustainable what's environmentally tolerable. Where supply of goods is rather limited than abundant due to scarcity of resources, they postulate recycling and much more modularity and sharing, as said. Recycling would also be more effective in a market economy at some point of course, but probably doesn't happen because third world mining and labor is unfortunately still cheaper (i.e. political reasons).

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grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 12:33:34 PM
 #963

I guess the important point and main difference to our current model of economics is that the Zeitgeisters want to eliminate competition, which of course means we'd have a globally computer-controlled planned economy and a giant single point of failure.

You gotta be kidding, right?
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October 02, 2012, 12:43:55 PM
 #964

I guess the essence of RBE is there'll be no companies, and the resources that are currently available are a given. When harvesting, the computers would also calculate what's sustainable what's environmentally tolerable.
How would they do that?

Let's say this infamous rare earth element is used both in computer parts and in automobile parts. There is enough rare earth material produced per year to produce 10,000,000 computer parts or 10,000,000 car parts. People want both cars and computers. How do we determine how much rare earth element should be allocated to car parts and how much to computer parts?

Now if you can't answer this, consider that this question - depending on the resource being consumed - is not about one thing or the other, but more probably a choice between literally thousands of things we could put that resource into. Let's say that currently the rare earth material can be used in 54 different parts (if we choose steel instead, it's probably more like millions of different goods), with the amount currently available split, as things are now, in the following way between the parts:
Code:
Part 1: 1.95%
Part 2: 1.64%
Part 3: 0.52%
Part 4: 1.28%
Part 5: 2.85%
Part 6: 1.38%
Part 7: 2.77%
Part 8: 0.19%
Part 9: 1.34%
Part 10: 2.39%
Part 11: 1.53%
Part 12: 2.67%
Part 13: 2.94%
Part 14: 2.81%
Part 15: 2.09%
Part 16: 0.97%
Part 17: 2.44%
Part 18: 2.23%
Part 19: 0.64%
Part 20: 2.55%
Part 21: 1.02%
Part 22: 1.44%
Part 23: 0.31%
Part 24: 2.79%
Part 25: 2.66%
Part 26: 1.12%
Part 27: 1.07%
Part 28: 1.55%
Part 29: 1.64%
Part 30: 2.70%
Part 31: 2.52%
Part 32: 2.56%
Part 33: 1.79%
Part 34: 2.59%
Part 35: 0.27%
Part 36: 2.60%
Part 37: 2.87%
Part 38: 1.97%
Part 39: 2.34%
Part 40: 1.49%
Part 41: 1.48%
Part 42: 2.64%
Part 43: 0.86%
Part 44: 2.38%
Part 45: 1.80%
Part 46: 1.46%
Part 47: 1.75%
Part 48: 2.27%
Part 49: 0.98%
Part 50: 0.21%
Part 51: 2.18%
Part 52: 2.33%
Part 53: 2.60%
Part 54: 2.58%
How would you alter this distribution of allocation of this resource to make its use more efficient?

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Where supply of goods is rather limited than abundant due to scarcity of resources, they postulate recycling and much more modularity and sharing, as said.
How would you determine if a certain resource is limited or abundant?

And when you've done this, how would you determine if recycling is actually a better use of resources? The recycling itself uses up other resources, how do you know they're not put to work better somewhere else?
herzmeister
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October 02, 2012, 02:28:47 PM
 #965

You gotta be kidding, right?

No. Welcome to Neo-Marxism.

How would you alter this distribution of allocation of this resource to make its use more efficient?

And when you've done this, how would you determine if recycling is actually a better use of resources? The recycling itself uses up other resources, how do you know they're not put to work better somewhere else?

Remember they want to abolish private property. They say it's unnecessary because everything will be sufficiently abundant, also because of sharing. Cars will be available in an underground garage in your living area, and you just take one if you need one. Computers would track the frequency of usage, as said.

Now what if at a certain point in time all cars are gone? Your gnash your teeth and take the transit. Takes a little longer, but you'll survive. If it bothers you because it happens too often to you and you really prefer cars over the transit, and you believe they are more important than smartphones (using the same rare earths), I imagine the RBE system will have plenty of parameters where people can democratically vote if cars or smartphones are more important to them, and the system will recalculate the production processes.

If you don't agree with what most people vote, maybe you can even move to another city where you'll get more cars because people there vote more in your favor. Also you probably can study engineering and contribute to more efficient production processes so you and everyone can have more cars.  Wink




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mobodick
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October 02, 2012, 03:10:22 PM
 #966

You gotta be kidding, right?

No. Welcome to Neo-Marxism.

How would you alter this distribution of allocation of this resource to make its use more efficient?

And when you've done this, how would you determine if recycling is actually a better use of resources? The recycling itself uses up other resources, how do you know they're not put to work better somewhere else?

Remember they want to abolish private property. They say it's unnecessary because everything will be sufficiently abundant, also because of sharing. Cars will be available in an underground garage in your living area, and you just take one if you need one. Computers would track the frequency of usage, as said.

Now what if at a certain point in time all cars are gone? Your gnash your teeth and take the transit. Takes a little longer, but you'll survive. If it bothers you because it happens too often to you and you really prefer cars over the transit, and you believe they are more important than smartphones (using the same rare earths), I imagine the RBE system will have plenty of parameters where people can democratically vote if cars or smartphones are more important to them, and the system will recalculate the production processes.

If you don't agree with what most people vote, maybe you can even move to another city where you'll get more cars because people there vote more in your favor. Also you probably can study engineering and contribute to more efficient production processes so you and everyone can have more cars.  Wink


Bullshit, you'll just die out of hunger.
If there are no card there is no food transport and cities would not get enough food to feed their people.
No sense in going to work if you have to take your money to an empty shop.
Also, public transport capacity would not be enough to transport all the people so most people who use a car to get to work would not get to work.

And then the shitload of other problems that RBE tries to run from but will eventually be hit by it in the face with a big slap of reality.
For instance, a city (or even region) has a monopoly on a certain resource that a lot of other sities are depending on and there is no other meaningfully large supply of the good anywhere else.
What if such a city would vote: "FSCK the world, we are self-sufficient enough to survive so the rest can only get this resource at 3x the price".

In other words, how would you ensure cooperation without genetically modifying the human species to not be greedy or self-serving?
runeks
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October 02, 2012, 03:14:53 PM
 #967

You gotta be kidding, right?

No. Welcome to Neo-Marxism.

How would you alter this distribution of allocation of this resource to make its use more efficient?

And when you've done this, how would you determine if recycling is actually a better use of resources? The recycling itself uses up other resources, how do you know they're not put to work better somewhere else?

Remember they want to abolish private property. They say it's unnecessary because everything will be sufficiently abundant, also because of sharing. Cars will be available in an underground garage in your living area, and you just take one if you need one. Computers would track the frequency of usage, as said.

Now what if at a certain point in time all cars are gone? Your gnash your teeth and take the transit. Takes a little longer, but you'll survive. If it bothers you because it happens too often to you and you really prefer cars over the transit, and you believe they are more important than smartphones (using the same rare earths), I imagine the RBE system will have plenty of parameters where people can democratically vote if cars or smartphones are more important to them, and the system will recalculate the production processes.

If you don't agree with what most people vote, maybe you can even move to another city where you'll get more cars because people there vote more in your favor. Also you probably can study engineering and contribute to more efficient production processes so you and everyone can have more cars.  Wink
They sure can imagine what a well-functioning society would be like. I'll give them that.

When it comes to providing the actual means of getting there, they are more deficient it seems.

I'm not sure they say they want to abolish private property rights though. What's the point in not having these if everything is abundant anyway? I mean, just because I can order a car doesn't mean that it isn't annoying when I need to get to work and it's gone. Oh, I forgot. Everything is abundant, I don't need to work Smiley.

Sounds like a magical place man.
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October 02, 2012, 03:35:56 PM
 #968

I imagine the RBE system will have plenty of parameters where people can democratically vote if cars or smartphones are more important to them, and the system will recalculate the production processes.

How does the computer react when the majority votes that building shrines is the most important thing?
grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 03:44:10 PM
 #969

If it bothers you because it happens too often to you and you really prefer cars over the transit, and you believe they are more important than smartphones (using the same rare earths), I imagine the RBE system will have plenty of parameters where people can democratically vote if cars or smartphones are more important to them, and the system will recalculate the production processes.
If you don't agree with what most people vote, maybe you can even move to another city where you'll get more cars because people there vote more in your favor.

This is insane.


If on morning I want to drink coffee instead of tea, do I have to leave the county as well?
memvola
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October 02, 2012, 03:49:17 PM
 #970

If on morning I want to drink coffee instead of tea, do I have to leave the county as well?

I guess the machine could produce both of them of amounts based on consumption statistics.
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October 02, 2012, 03:59:11 PM
 #971

If on morning I want to drink coffee instead of tea, do I have to leave the county as well?
I guess the machine could produce both of them of amounts based on consumption statistics.

As I said, it is insane.

So you basically want to treat humans like animals in a farm.  Taking care of all their needs and desires in an organized, "rational" way.   I guess you're fans of Orwel and Aldous Huxley, aren't you?

Tell me:  when you read "Brave new world", did you think oh my gosh this is the way to go, by any chance?


 
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October 02, 2012, 04:11:27 PM
 #972

Guess I should stop playing angel's advocate for them now.  Cheesy

Although I believe such an automated city would still be a valid "product" also in a market economy. Some people don't want to be concerned with these pesky earthly belongings all the time.

All in all, one man's utopia is another man's dystopia. Maybe a free world can only mean that like-minded people can come together in respective communities and implement their vision of society. Some would be more individualist and based on the performance principle, and others more on redistribution and equality principles. Then let's hope they'd all respect each other.

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October 02, 2012, 04:25:10 PM
 #973

Guess I should stop playing angel's advocate for them now.  Cheesy

Indeed, please stop.  It's just confusing.
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October 02, 2012, 11:02:41 PM
 #974

Progress occurs in spite of the monetary system, not because of it. Trade secrets, patents, copyright and a corrupt legislative and legal system work to inhibit the free flow of ideas, cooperation and faster progress. We are stuck with medieval institutions and methodologies that have been around for centuries despite our enormous advancements in productivity and capability. Servicing the profit motive is no way to make things better for people. If we each understood that the individual does better when all of society does better, then personal profit would not be rewarded as much as it is now.

You highlight symptoms of the state and conflate this with money. We can get rid of patents, legislation, etc and keep money. This is a massive non-sequitur.

Servicing profit DOES make things better for people. If a business make a profit through voluntary trade, it is allocating resources efficiently and providing a desired service to society. It's actually an excellent way to "make things better".

Prices allocate resources according to subjective values. You want people to register their values with an algorithm and have resources allocated deterministically from that data. Don't you recognise that this is exactly what is happening in the market place right now? The market and the aggregate of all voluntary trade IS the algorithm you aspire to (yet never seem to be able to disclose). You constantly highlight problems associated with involuntary trade imposed by the state and then blame these problems on voluntary trade.
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October 02, 2012, 11:05:36 PM
 #975

What I think is missing is the central point of the whole RBE argument: we need to find a way to live sustainably on the planet in a peaceful, non coercive manner. The free market clearly fails in such regards, as do the socialists regimes, so there is a need for different system. We're trying to figure out the best way to do it with an open discussion, that's all.

The free market is, by definition, non-coercive. That's what the "free" part is about. Again, you TVP guys are blaming the problems with state coercion on the voluntary trade. Big mistake.
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October 03, 2012, 01:47:03 AM
 #976

The free market is a myth. You can't point to something that doesn't exist and say it's working fine, or would work if the state weren't involved. There can be no market without the state involved at some level. Even in the bitcoin economy now we see the rise of the bitcoin foundation, a political, legal and corporate government entity. When you have money, you have a state, and therefore there is no free market.

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
grondilu
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October 03, 2012, 08:13:05 AM
 #977

The free market is a myth.

Maybe.  But it is much, much closer to reality than is your RBE, for instance.
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October 03, 2012, 04:04:07 PM
 #978

The "zeitgeist movement" will get zero respect from me until its members pick up a basic economics textbook. Right now it is jus generic new age garbage with zero respect for any real world facts. The entire first part of the movie is literarily just fabricated stories. None of the mythological figures had virgin births, and crucifixion wasn't even invented when any of their deaths were named.

Do some critical thinking. It is the greatest gift you have.

My attempt at adding to the bitcoin-using marketplace: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=171843.0
Like online video games? Check it out! I'm selling at a big discount
memvola
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October 03, 2012, 04:41:25 PM
 #979

All in all, one man's utopia is another man's dystopia. Maybe a free world can only mean that like-minded people can come together in respective communities and implement their vision of society. Some would be more individualist and based on the performance principle, and others more on redistribution and equality principles. Then let's hope they'd all respect each other.

They wouldn't respect each other, why would they? That's one problem we have.

However, I think the problem at least some of us are having with the Zeitgeist thing is not about the utopia itself, but their hand-waving approach. A lot of people have suffered the past centuries to find solutions to problems ZG people think are non-issues.

Anyway, after the latest debate here, I realized that something is more interesting than I thought it was before. In a world where property rights is the norm at the largest scale, you can have bubbles where those rights aren't respected. But in a world that has abandoned property rights, you can't have bubbles that operate under property norms without resorting to violence. Maybe it's counter-intuitive, but it makes sense to create such a bubble and compete with the free-market. From the perspective of the market, the bubble would be as a single entity, like a corporation. From the perspective of the bubble, the free market world would just be another scarce resource.

I can see that some people would see this as an unacceptable compromise, but it really shouldn't be. Imagine that we have accomplished the utopia of the RBE and some other human colony from space with a free market regime arrived on Earth with their fancy technology and vast resources. And they accept Earth as our property and ready to trade with us. That doesn't mean we are ultimately defeated in our communistic ideals. If how we operate makes sense, our norms would spread to them.

If this all made sense, then we could see an anarcho-capitalistic future as a suitable evolutionary path towards true communism. Sheer naivety, but perhaps less naive than what the Soviets thought was smart.
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October 03, 2012, 04:58:19 PM
 #980

Maybe it's counter-intuitive, but it makes sense to create such a bubble and compete with the free-market.

That is not counter-intuitive at all.  Such bubbles are legions in a free market, at all scales.   Members of a family exchange stuffs without using money.     Many workers co-operatives exist.  And I'm sure you can find many other examples of communism-inspired organizations.  In a sense, communism is allowed in capitalism, provided it stays voluntary.
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