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Author Topic: What is environmentalism, really?  (Read 7633 times)
zveda2000
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August 15, 2012, 10:21:11 PM
 #121

Of course, direct democracy is an excellent solution if and only if it is scalable. It doesn't seem so yet.

With the power of the internet and public key cryptography, it doesn't look like such a difficult task? There are already a number of movements of this kind all over the world.
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August 15, 2012, 10:29:09 PM
 #122

The trouble with government regulation, the court system, or any other centralised form of government is that inevitable it can and will be manipulated - as all bitcoiners understand. The power to create money is too great for any individual or group to have, but the power to destroy the earth, acquired by private means or otherwise, is even more important to decentralise.

Which is exactly what private ownership of all land and water would do.

So if I have bought North America, say, how is that not centralisation? I can now decide to mine the entire state of Alberta for oil export. If my profits for doing this are greater than the perceived advantages of maintaining the environment, what would stop me?

This idea of providing incentives after power is conferred, is similar to say, providing incentives to the central bank to not debase the currency, as it would reduce the value of its legal monopoly powers over said currency. Once power is conferred, it is too late for providing incentives IMHO.

Well, I suppose if you could manage to buy all of North America that would indeed be centralization. You could, then, strip-mine Alberta. Of course, where are you going to get all that money? And how are you going to convince everyone to sell? Buying an entire continent would require massive amounts of capital. Even if your plan is to strip mine entire provinces, I doubt the profit could ever outweigh the capital expenditure of buying all that land. Remember, the more you buy, the more expensive the next purchase is.

Of course, direct democracy is an excellent solution if and only if it is scalable. It doesn't seem so yet.

With the power of the internet and public key cryptography, it doesn't like such a difficult task? There are already a number of movements of this kind all over the world.

And Tobias Buckell has an idea what might (almost certainly would) happen:
http://www.johnjosephadams.com/seeds-of-change/?page_id=66

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August 15, 2012, 11:09:20 PM
 #123

Well, I suppose if you could manage to buy all of North America that would indeed be centralization. You could, then, strip-mine Alberta. Of course, where are you going to get all that money? And how are you going to convince everyone to sell? Buying an entire continent would require massive amounts of capital. Even if your plan is to strip mine entire provinces, I doubt the profit could ever outweigh the capital expenditure of buying all that land. Remember, the more you buy, the more expensive the next purchase is.

Obviously this is an extreme example, but your argument was that private ownership will decentralise control of nature. This seems clearly untrue.

Bitcoin is designed to limit the accumulation of power of any individual -- one needs 51% of network power just to reverse transactions. This is important because reversing transactions potentially affects everyone in the network. However there is nothing about private land ownership that limits accumulation of power. Even if I own a small plot of land, I can affect thousands of future generations that will inhabit it, and all of the earth's systems that come into contact with it. Yet you suggest that I should have no limit on the power I have over this plot.

Besides this, with regard to bitcoin mining, even if I have 40% of hashing power I still cannot reverse transactions, whereas controlling just North America, or even a couple of states, I have already significantly centralised and consolidated my power. It is inevitable that some people will control exponentially more land than others - as is already true with bitcoin mining.

And Tobias Buckell has an idea what might (almost certainly would) happen:
http://www.johnjosephadams.com/seeds-of-change/?page_id=66

I don't really want to read the entire story. Could you summarise it for me?
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August 15, 2012, 11:53:05 PM
 #124

Well, I suppose if you could manage to buy all of North America that would indeed be centralization. You could, then, strip-mine Alberta. Of course, where are you going to get all that money? And how are you going to convince everyone to sell? Buying an entire continent would require massive amounts of capital. Even if your plan is to strip mine entire provinces, I doubt the profit could ever outweigh the capital expenditure of buying all that land. Remember, the more you buy, the more expensive the next purchase is.

Obviously this is an extreme example, but your argument was that private ownership will decentralise control of nature. This seems clearly untrue.

Bitcoin is designed to limit the accumulation of power of any individual -- one needs 51% of network power just to reverse transactions. This is important because reversing transactions potentially affects everyone in the network. However there is nothing about private land ownership that limits accumulation of power. Even if I own a small plot of land, I can affect thousands of future generations that will inhabit it, and all of the earth's systems that come into contact with it. Yet you suggest that I should have no limit on the power I have over this plot.

Besides this, with regard to bitcoin mining, even if I have 40% of hashing power I still cannot reverse transactions, whereas controlling just North America, or even a couple of states, I have already significantly centralised and consolidated my power. It is inevitable that some people will control exponentially more land than others - as is already true with bitcoin mining.

Except that land is fundamentally different from Bitcoin mining. It is more closely analogous to Bitcoins themselves. Buying lots of them is increasingly expensive, and is only possible currently due to the relatively low price. Land is already expensive, and I would wager there simply does not exist enough capital to purchase an entire continent, or possibly even a few states, and certainly, that much capital isn't in a single person's hands. You are fearing something that is, frankly, impossible. And even if it were, the answer to a feared concentration of power is not a concentration of power.

And yes, your actions on even a small plot of land do indeed affect all future owners of that land. This is reflected in the reduction, or increase, in the value of the land. A blasted wasteland is not worth as much as a verdant forest, even assuming that the creation of that blasted wasteland from the verdant forest doesn't effect - and thus, incur damages from - other people's properties. (Which is not a valid assumption.)


And Tobias Buckell has an idea what might (almost certainly would) happen:
http://www.johnjosephadams.com/seeds-of-change/?page_id=66

I don't really want to read the entire story. Could you summarise it for me?

TL;DR version: Techno-democracy devolves to techno-dictatorship because direct democracy takes up too much time.

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August 16, 2012, 12:27:29 AM
 #125

Well, I suppose if you could manage to buy all of North America that would indeed be centralization. You could, then, strip-mine Alberta. Of course, where are you going to get all that money? And how are you going to convince everyone to sell? Buying an entire continent would require massive amounts of capital. Even if your plan is to strip mine entire provinces, I doubt the profit could ever outweigh the capital expenditure of buying all that land. Remember, the more you buy, the more expensive the next purchase is.

Obviously this is an extreme example, but your argument was that private ownership will decentralise control of nature. This seems clearly untrue.

Bitcoin is designed to limit the accumulation of power of any individual -- one needs 51% of network power just to reverse transactions. This is important because reversing transactions potentially affects everyone in the network. However there is nothing about private land ownership that limits accumulation of power. Even if I own a small plot of land, I can affect thousands of future generations that will inhabit it, and all of the earth's systems that come into contact with it. Yet you suggest that I should have no limit on the power I have over this plot.

Besides this, with regard to bitcoin mining, even if I have 40% of hashing power I still cannot reverse transactions, whereas controlling just North America, or even a couple of states, I have already significantly centralised and consolidated my power. It is inevitable that some people will control exponentially more land than others - as is already true with bitcoin mining.

Except that land is fundamentally different from Bitcoin mining. It is more closely analogous to Bitcoins themselves. Buying lots of them is increasingly expensive, and is only possible currently due to the relatively low price. Land is already expensive, and I would wager there simply does not exist enough capital to purchase an entire continent, or possibly even a few states, and certainly, that much capital isn't in a single person's hands. You are fearing something that is, frankly, impossible. And even if it were, the answer to a feared concentration of power is not a concentration of power.

And yes, your actions on even a small plot of land do indeed affect all future owners of that land. This is reflected in the reduction, or increase, in the value of the land. A blasted wasteland is not worth as much as a verdant forest, even assuming that the creation of that blasted wasteland from the verdant forest doesn't effect - and thus, incur damages from - other people's properties. (Which is not a valid assumption.)


And Tobias Buckell has an idea what might (almost certainly would) happen:
http://www.johnjosephadams.com/seeds-of-change/?page_id=66

I don't really want to read the entire story. Could you summarise it for me?

TL;DR version: Techno-democracy devolves to techno-dictatorship because direct democracy takes up too much time.
It's well known that direct democracy doesn't scale, true anarchy is not sustainable, and structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair. That's why all those governments will eventually be obsolete (after all, Monarchy was the preferred government in the past; look how well that works now).

But none of this really matters. What matters is that the current states that ruin the Earth by warring over it, scorching it, deforesting it, and mining it to oblivion are eliminated.
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August 16, 2012, 12:32:59 AM
 #126

It's well known that direct democracy doesn't scale,
True.

true anarchy is not sustainable,
True.

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.

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August 16, 2012, 12:37:01 AM
 #127

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.
Structured anarchy, by definition, has certain "norms" or "rules". AnCap, for example, has a strong sense of possession. There are people who won't agree with those "norms" or "rules". It's therefore unfair.
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August 16, 2012, 12:47:06 AM
 #128

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.
Structured anarchy, by definition, has certain "norms" or "rules". AnCap, for example, has a strong sense of possession. There are people who won't agree with those "norms" or "rules". It's therefore unfair.

I see. AnCap is unfair, because some people will want your stuff, and they can't just take it.

Well, that sounds like my kinda unfairness, frankly.

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dree12
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August 16, 2012, 12:53:36 AM
 #129

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.
Structured anarchy, by definition, has certain "norms" or "rules". AnCap, for example, has a strong sense of possession. There are people who won't agree with those "norms" or "rules". It's therefore unfair.

I see. AnCap is unfair, because some people will want your stuff, and they can't just take it.

Well, that sounds like my kinda unfairness, frankly.
I don't mind it, but it is unfair because of that. Probably only a insignificant minority will think it is unfair, which is why it's such a good choice now. But the same was said about Monarchy back then: everyone thought it was great (or, was forced to think it was great). AnCap is excellent for today, but would not suffice for decades to centuries in the future.

Think about it this way: all governments were invented, and we haven't invented all of them yet. From chaos came despots, and then monarchs. Then came direct democracy, then capital, then representative democracy and republics, then socialism. What next? Clearly, we haven't discovered it yet.
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August 16, 2012, 01:17:12 AM
 #130

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.
Structured anarchy, by definition, has certain "norms" or "rules". AnCap, for example, has a strong sense of possession. There are people who won't agree with those "norms" or "rules". It's therefore unfair.

I see. AnCap is unfair, because some people will want your stuff, and they can't just take it.

Well, that sounds like my kinda unfairness, frankly.
I don't mind it, but it is unfair because of that. Probably only a insignificant minority will think it is unfair, which is why it's such a good choice now. But the same was said about Monarchy back then: everyone thought it was great (or, was forced to think it was great). AnCap is excellent for today, but would not suffice for decades to centuries in the future.

Think about it this way: all governments were invented, and we haven't invented all of them yet. From chaos came despots, and then monarchs. Then came direct democracy, then capital, then representative democracy and republics, then socialism. What next? Clearly, we haven't discovered it yet.

Well, that's the beauty of AnCap. As long as they don't hurt anyone, they're welcome to share and share alike among themselves as much as they want.

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August 16, 2012, 01:20:36 AM
 #131

structured anarchy (no matter the structure) is unfair.
False.
Structured anarchy, by definition, has certain "norms" or "rules". AnCap, for example, has a strong sense of possession. There are people who won't agree with those "norms" or "rules". It's therefore unfair.

I see. AnCap is unfair, because some people will want your stuff, and they can't just take it.

Well, that sounds like my kinda unfairness, frankly.
I don't mind it, but it is unfair because of that. Probably only a insignificant minority will think it is unfair, which is why it's such a good choice now. But the same was said about Monarchy back then: everyone thought it was great (or, was forced to think it was great). AnCap is excellent for today, but would not suffice for decades to centuries in the future.

Think about it this way: all governments were invented, and we haven't invented all of them yet. From chaos came despots, and then monarchs. Then came direct democracy, then capital, then representative democracy and republics, then socialism. What next? Clearly, we haven't discovered it yet.

Well, that's the beauty of AnCap. As long as they don't hurt anyone, they're welcome to share and share alike among themselves as much as they want.
Beautiful now, but not centuries later when people shift their beliefs. Capitalism is just a concept, and it can wane just as quickly as monarchy.
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August 16, 2012, 01:29:35 AM
 #132

Beautiful now, but not centuries later when people shift their beliefs. Capitalism is just a concept, and it can wane just as quickly as monarchy.

And when and if it does, those small communes will take up more and more of the people, and capitalism will die a slow, peaceful death. I don't care how people organize their society, so long as it's voluntary.

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August 16, 2012, 01:31:29 AM
 #133

Beautiful now, but not centuries later when people shift their beliefs. Capitalism is just a concept, and it can wane just as quickly as monarchy.

And when and if it does, those small communes will take up more and more of the people, and capitalism will die a slow, peaceful death. I don't care how people organize their society, so long as it's voluntary.
Exactly.

Though, your process is off. Communes are also unsustainable as we know them. It will be a form that is yet undiscovered that will replace capitalism.

I'll just leave a quote here:
Quote from: Charles H. Duell
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
This was 1899.
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August 16, 2012, 01:38:42 AM
 #134

Fractured ownership, different values, different agendas, different levels of understanding, etc. lead to a checkerboard effect, which really devalues everything. Best to have commonly designated areas as being treated uniformly.

As an example, Los Angeles can stay the concrete jungle it is. Change it if you want. Improve it if you want. Rebuild if if you want. But don't go create a new Los Angeles in Oregon old growth forests. It seems almost inevitable, and one has to recognize the possibility and understand the importance of such things happening, and be aware that such things happen in a creeping almost invisible way.
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August 16, 2012, 01:40:39 AM
 #135

Fractured ownership, different values, different agendas, different levels of understanding, etc. lead to a checkerboard effect, which really devalues everything. Best to have commonly designated areas as being treated uniformly.

As an example, Los Angeles can stay the concrete jungle it is. Change it if you want. Improve it if you want. Rebuild if if you want. But don't go create a new Los Angeles in Oregon old growth forests. It seems almost inevitable, and one has to recognize the possibility and understand the importance of such things happening, and be aware that such things happen in a creeping almost invisible way.
I think every human should have the opportunity to live in a forest for a while, so they can appreciate how important they are. And I mean live in one, not participate in commercialized, noisy camping grounds.
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August 16, 2012, 01:42:14 AM
 #136

Beautiful now, but not centuries later when people shift their beliefs. Capitalism is just a concept, and it can wane just as quickly as monarchy.

And when and if it does, those small communes will take up more and more of the people, and capitalism will die a slow, peaceful death. I don't care how people organize their society, so long as it's voluntary.
Exactly.

Though, your process is off. Communes are also unsustainable as we know them. It will be a form that is yet undiscovered that will replace capitalism.

Communes are unsustainable as we know them now. Perhaps in the future, that will change.

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August 16, 2012, 01:43:43 AM
 #137


Except that land is fundamentally different from Bitcoin mining. It is more closely analogous to Bitcoins themselves. Buying lots of them is increasingly expensive, and is only possible currently due to the relatively low price. Land is already expensive, and I would wager there simply does not exist enough capital to purchase an entire continent, or possibly even a few states, and certainly, that much capital isn't in a single person's hands. You are fearing something that is, frankly, impossible. And even if it were, the answer to a feared concentration of power is not a concentration of power.

And yes, your actions on even a small plot of land do indeed affect all future owners of that land. This is reflected in the reduction, or increase, in the value of the land. A blasted wasteland is not worth as much as a verdant forest, even assuming that the creation of that blasted wasteland from the verdant forest doesn't effect - and thus, incur damages from - other people's properties. (Which is not a valid assumption.)


In many places of the world, land is extremely cheap. Right now China, Western Europe, the US -- basically the rich countries of the world are buying up farmland in Africa, Ukraine East Asia -- basically the poor places. Private hedge funds are buying up large chunks as well. See this. So some people will control large amounts of land - and even today land is distributed very unequally. I don't see how one can dispute this.

The reason why land is more analogous to bitcoin mining rather than to bitcoins, is that through controlling mining, you can affect the entire bitcoin community. If you just have a lot of bitcoins, you could play with the price to some extent, but you cannot cancel people's transactions. However when you control land, you have a very direct control over many other peoples' lives. You could poison their water supply for example. Sure people could go live somewhere else, and if land had an infinite supply then my argument would be bunk, but the earth is limited and we all have to share it. Your actions on your piece of land affect the community at large. Spending your privately owned bitcoins is not the same.

If you have ever shared a small house with a number of people, you would see where Libertarianism breaks down. Your argument about providing incentives to maintain land value is IMO not very strong. What if I can make more profit from destroying the land than maintaining it? What if I am old and I have no children and I don't care about it? What if I am just a psychopathic person who likes destroying things? What if I am just selfish and don't care about others or the future? There are many reasons why someone could choose to destroy a piece of land. Wasting money in some irrrational way is not the same.
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August 16, 2012, 01:47:35 AM
 #138

If you have ever shared a small house with a number of people, you would see where Libertarianism breaks down. Your argument about providing incentives to maintain land value is IMO not very strong. What if I can make more profit from destroying the land than maintaining it? What if I am old and I have no children and I don't care about it? What if I am just a psychopathic person who likes destroying things? What if I am just selfish and don't care about others or the future? There are many reasons why someone could choose to destroy a piece of land. Wasting money in some irrrational way is not the same.

There's too many people on the planet as well. I really don't see anything but globally respected laws and regulations to prevent a spiral cascade from destroying everything. It's called creep. Put down your defenses and the destruction just slowly creeps onward.
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August 16, 2012, 01:49:52 AM
 #139

But don't go create a new Los Angeles in Oregon old growth forests. It seems almost inevitable,

Why? Cities are placed where they are for reasons. It's highly unlikely that a city would be placed in the middle of nowhere, simply because there was land available.

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August 16, 2012, 01:50:17 AM
 #140

It's well known that direct democracy doesn't scale

Could you show me some evidence or discussion of this somewhere? I don't see why it shouldn't scale with the advent of the internet. You could do all of your voting in five minutes every day, and only on issues that are important to you.
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