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Old 02-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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On population and breeding:
We do have more people than our present state of engineering, lifestyle and behavior can support. It's not that we don't have enough "world", it's that we haven't engineered ourselves to use that world well enough for the rate of growth we presently have. We're still obeying silly lines that long-dead ancestors drew in the dirt, we still pretend sovreignty has value in a connected global society, we still think that man can only get along when facing a common enemy (uhh.. I'd call disease a common enemy, but you don't see mankind united harmoniously against cancer or influenza.. ) - we still sprawl cities right in the middle of the best agricultural property we can find, we still offer our disadvantaged, able bodied citizens a humane subsistence without offering them (and demanding) work in exchange, we still follow Dewey's ridiculous 'education' system (in the US) which spins off unsociable and unimaginative graduates and promotes the disappointing trend of parents moving to favorable school districts while commuting hours each day to their place of business, wasting whole months per year of their lives and insane amounts of fuel, tires, and vehicle wear in the process...

Do you spend an hour each way in commute? I did for 5 years. 2 hours times 5 days per week times 50 weeks per year divided by 24 hours in a day means you spend more than 20 whole, round-the-clock days per year in your car commuting to and from work. - I would bike during good weather, which took almost exactly the same time due to some shortcuts - finally I just moved closer to work Best decision ever.

I think we either need to learn to embrace far more change than we've been, so we can work out how a dense society can thrive - or we need to adjust our population to thrive comfortably without having to make other changes. The fact that we still quarrel and resources & energy are something whose price is a point of concern, pretty well illustrates the existence of a problem.

The simplest and most painless ways to adjust our population are education and patience - it seems fairly well established that more educated people generally breed more slowly which can hardly be called a bad thing. If we can in some way encourage people to wait a couple extra years on average to begin their families, that will spread our population out across the so-called fourth dimension. Shifting a hypothetical generation length from 20 years to 25 years for example, would (over time) reduce the population by 20% even if everyone still has the exact same number of children they would have had 5 years earlier.
- This also conveniently cushions the potential problem of an aging population without an upcoming population able to support it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
Back to the original topic of wasted time in traffic, that is a very real problem that needs to be addressed. It is getting worse, too. How do we fix the problem we already have?

My personal solution is to live where it's not a problem.
Indeed - moving close to work is an exceptional answer where possible. You spend less time commuting and you're one less other car on the road for those extra minutes you otherwise would have been.

Moving "to a small town" isn't exactly a reasonable fix however... because when you move to a small town it becomes a big city. Sure, you didn't personally constitute the difference between a small town and a big city but once everyone else gets the same idea it's pretty obvious how that works.

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Old 02-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Why is an article about traffic leading to debate about population control?

You know a lot of the traffic especially on freeways include working population. If population is reduced it would stand to reason the traffic problems wouldn't until you reduce the number of drivers right?

I'm sure everyone knows this but the roads and freeways in many of the bad traffic cities were originally designed for a certain amount of traffic but over time their answer to more traffic is more lanes. Freeways do not scale very well. It just makes yet another lane people have to cross to get where they are going.

Another thing that would help traffic is better driver training. I remember the hilarity that is the Ohio driving test... it was a short maneuver test and about a quarter mile of on the road. Bink you pass. I'm not entirely sure what all we should add but I'm thinking there should be a little more to it than that?

IMO some better driver training along with more efficient roads, freeways, signals and signs will improve traffic conditions....not population control.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
the two major employers- located right next to each other- could alleviate most short-term congestion by simply staggering shift times...
Or the city could offer meaningful tax breaks to employers offering four-ten or better work weeks. That way their employees would commute 20% fewer days and the reduced traffic management and air quality concerns, etc should easily pay for the tax breaks - (that's 20% less fuel and congestion right there, depending what those people would be doing on their days off) and those same people would have three days each week to actually live life , engage in commerce and hobbies and other productive or leisurely pursuits... which brings me to:

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Originally Posted by XYZ View Post
We've become a nation of panhandlers and prostitutes...
As far as I'm concerned we're all prostitutes, that's what life is. I sell my body for 40-60 hours a week, and my employer does whatever he wants with it. It just so happens that he wants me to design things instead of that other activity usually associated with the word prostitution, but to put it bluntly I'd rather he was done with me in 10 minutes than using up 9+ hours of my life every day. It's prostitution either way.

I don't actually mind the fact that we have a so-called social safety net because it's important to keep people from becoming outright desperate - not only is it humane to keep people above absolute starvation where possible but also desperate people are dangerous people. How much money do you spend every year on defense of self/property/family? Locks, car alarms, home alarms, deliberately living in a "safe" neighborhood even though it means a longer commute and higher cost of living, deliberately living in a rural area even though it means less economic opportunity, self defense weapons (pepper spray, firearms, poke stick, baseball bat by the door, whatever) ... how much more would you spend and worry if everyone on welfare got cut off and went a couple days without food? You have nice things...

But I do mind that we haven't built a work system. I drive, walk and ride past blighted property every day, I hang out in filthy and unmaintained parks and ride bike trails that could use a cleaning and some thorn removal, gutters that could use sweeping, roads that could use resurfacing - there are literally millions of things that need doing and I think it's within our society's capacity to convert the dole to a guaranteed jobs system. Not for people legitimately disabled of course, but if you don't have working legs you can still be a security guard or answer phones or supervise able-bodied, but mentally unstable folks who are performing more physical work in exchange for a living.

A magical utopia of rainbows and lollipops isn't reasonably achievable but for f's sake, we can do better than we're doing now.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:48 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovel View Post
Or the city could offer meaningful tax breaks to employers offering four-ten or better work weeks. That way their employees would commute 20% fewer days and the reduced traffic management and air quality concerns, etc should easily pay for the tax breaks
Great idea. However, research has shown that people who have 10hr work days don't accomplish any more work than those with 8hr work days. It's just difficult to be focused for that length of time.

I was most productive when I was on 8hr shifts, but now that I'm working 13s, I only accomplish half of what I did on the shorter day.

Quote:
As far as I'm concerned we're all prostitutes, that's what life is. I sell my body for 40-60 hours a week, and my employer does whatever he wants with it. It just so happens that he wants me to design things instead of that other activity usually associated with the word prostitution, but to put it bluntly I'd rather he was done with me in 10 minutes than using up 9+ hours of my life every day.
You are comparing work that is meaningful and valuable to society such as design, to work that is immoral and has no benefit to society! I'm actually in favor of legalizing prostitution, but that is no endorsement from me that it is good, or is valuable to the community.

Quote:
I don't actually mind the fact that we have a so-called social safety net because it's important to keep people from becoming outright desperate - not only is it humane to keep people above absolute starvation where possible but also desperate people are dangerous people.
We don't have a safety net in the U.S., we have an early retirement program for anyone that wants it. The homeless here enjoy a higher standard of living than the average person in the rest of the world. Would basic needs not be met if we removed much of the welfare system? Of course not; we would see the return of compassion and charity, and a stronger work ethic.

Quote:
But I do mind that we haven't built a work system. I drive, walk and ride past blighted property every day, I hang out in filthy and unmaintained parks and ride bike trails that could use a cleaning and some thorn removal, gutters that could use sweeping, roads that could use resurfacing - there are literally millions of things that need doing and I think it's within our society's capacity to convert the dole to a guaranteed jobs system. Not for people legitimately disabled of course, but if you don't have working legs you can still be a security guard or answer phones or supervise able-bodied, but mentally unstable folks who are performing more physical work in exchange for a living.
Agreed. There should be work exchanged for any handout to any able-bodied and mentally sound person. We also need to remove minimum wage so that jobs can be created. It's absolutely appalling that the government can have any say about the price I am willing to accept for my labor, especially in light of the fact that volunteering labor for free is completely legal.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Great idea. However, research has shown that people who have 10hr work days don't accomplish any more work than those with 8hr work days. It's just difficult to be focused for that length of time.
Sweet, then we should work four 8's and require overtime pay for hours worked past 32/week. It's ridiculous in today's era of automation that we (employed folk) are dumping 40+ hours per week, half of our (waking) lives into our employment - before even factoring other necessary behaviors like bathing, laundry, using the lavatory, etc - exactly how much time is left to live?

Quote:
You are comparing work that is meaningful and valuable to society such as design, to work that is immoral and has no benefit to society! I'm actually in favor of legalizing prostitution, but that is no endorsement from me that it is good, or is valuable to the community.
I don't see anything immoral about selling sex, after all it's legal to give away for free. It's legal for me to pay someone to rub my shoulders with their hands just to make me feel pleasure. Why is one kind of corporeal pleasure legal & "moral" and another not legal or "moral"?

Despite being deeply associated with love and reproduction, it would be ignorant to deny that a strong libido is a healthy and normal facet of being a living creature and much the reason any of us exist. I consider expression of that to be as necessary to adult humans as using the toilet, I even refer to the DIY process as "number three" - for most healthy people with normal limbic systems it's physically uncomfortable, at least for some duration of their lives, to avoid resolving the urge.

To that end, I consider prostitution as necessary and valuable as any other service which caters to biological needs - agriculture, plumbing work, medicine.. it's all there to address the corporeal needs of free humans. I was blessed with good health, fair social fluidity and acceptable genetics so I've never had the need to pursue this service but I've also never needed to buy a fishing rod, that doesn't mean I have a problem with people fishing.



Quote:
Would basic needs not be met if we removed much of the welfare system? Of course not; we would see the return of compassion and charity, and a stronger work ethic.
Would we? Within a matter of hours before the millions of people currently living on some form of assistance (for whatever reason, legit or not) got hungry and realized a hot meal and a warm coat are only one homicide away? That's all on you, my friend.

I've been having a lot of trouble lately with a certain group of people - not suggesting you're one since you haven't exhibited a crucial component of that behavior - who complain about welfare but then consider tax evasion to be smart business... their mantra is "I'm sick of these losers exploiting the system to avoid paying their fair share, look how I exploited the system to avoid paying my fair share!!"

There are huge gaping loopholes for people at all levels, and frankly I believe that tax evasion by business and employed people amounts to a greater sum of money than unemployed people receiving "handouts". When someone wealthy puts their money into an offshore bank, the only reason they would do that is to deliberately evade taxes and exploit the system to avoid paying their fair share. Not cool.

We all use social services. If you're a so-called "job creator" you use the public education system every time you have an applicant who can read and write and interact in a socially normalized fashion. If you're a taxpayer you use the police and welfare system every time you don't get your neck slit for the money in your pocket. If you're a manufacturer or retailer or engineer you use every inch of the social safety net that your customers use, because if they weren't using them they wouldn't be able to be your customers. Even if you don't own a car, you use public roads every time something you buy gets delivered to your door or to the store.

If you don't want to be part of it, there are private islands for sale under a hundred grand and while you might be liable for some small amount of property tax to your host government (to cover military defense and such) you could probably get away with not paying any other tax to anyone. And you'd never waste a minute of your life commuting!
Of course there would be no customers or employers or police or restaurants or mechanics or doctors or entertainment or any of the other benefits society provides... but that's the price one pays for not wanting to pay the monetary price of admission to society.

I do not believe that money should be given to people for nothing - if you have working arms and legs, and there's public property in need of improvement, cleaning, whatever - that looks like a job to me. But for the exact same reason we should expect work from people who want to eat, we should also ensure that work is actually available for them to do. That's a complex system to actually implement even if we could magically agree to it and say yes right now - what do you do with people who are physically stout but mentally ill? What do you do with people who, for whatever reason, are actually broken? What about for single parents? I'm not saying any of them should get a free lunch, but a system has to be designed to actually work, or it won't work.

It becomes a mess of dependencies, and those are no excuse not to get started on it - only an explanation that even if we started today on such a project it would take a bit of time to sort out. I do hope it happens, though - an impossible ideal should never be the enemy of an achievable good.

For the same reason we should expect work from people who wish to share society's wealth, we also should demand that people who benefit most from society's wealth pay back into it fairly. Did you make a billion dollars? Could you have made it completely alone on an island? Without any customers, any roads, any food supply chain, any bureaus of standards, any police enforced stability? Really?

Quote:
It's absolutely appalling that the government can have any say about the price I am willing to accept for my labor, especially in light of the fact that volunteering labor for free is completely legal.
Replace the word "labor" with the word "genitalia", but we do both agree on the necessary legality of prostitution

Anyway this all isn't meant to turn into a big flame festival of rage and whatever - it's a pretty huge digression from the topic of time wasted in commute.

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Last edited by shovel; 02-08-2013 at 08:47 PM..
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