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Old 09-13-2019, 07:03 PM   #6865 (permalink)
redpoint5
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Lots wrong with the article, but the general assumption is correct, that a rate of increase is not sustainable, and that includes technological advancement to solve our problems.

Quote:
I would argue that the way we take conventional “all-purpose” money for granted is the main reason why we have not understood how advanced technologies are dependent on the appropriation of labour and resources from elsewhere. In making it possible to exchange almost anything – human time, gadgets, ecosystems, whatever – for anything else on the market, people are constantly looking for the best deals, which ultimately means promoting the lowest wages and the cheapest resources in the global South.
Of course we understand that advanced technologies rely on resources. The fact that we allocate resources using a medium of exchange changes nothing except convenience. It sounds like he thinks the baker is supposed to be bartering 100,000 loafs of bread with the "house maker". It's not money precisely that allows advanced technologies, its specialization brought about by abundance of material goods and free time.

"Since the 19th century, all-purpose money has obscured the unequal resource flows of colonialism by making them seem reciprocal: money has served as a veil that mystifies exploitation by representing it as fair exchange."

Money has been around way longer than the 19th century, so obviously isn't to blame for "unequal resource flows and exploitation". In nature there is no money, and animals still receive unequal resources because life's not fair. It doesn't take the invention of money for self-interest to cause problems. Every technology is susceptible to be used for good for for bad.

The author thinks buying local groceries is going to solve our problems, but doesn't show his work at all. There's no chance that a fleet of pickup trucks roaming the fields and streets delivering "local" goods is more energy efficient than enormous machines harvesting and transporting food, even halfway around the globe. Just about the only way some small and local operation is more efficient is if it's in your own back yard, and you used sweat to do the work... which brings us back to the 18th century when 95% of people were subsistence farmers.

The meaning of life isn't to merely extend the number of years humans hang around; it's to explore and push the limits. If barely eating enough to get through the years until our eventual early death is what life is about, then we're no better than any other animal, and if anyone thinks we're no better than any other animal, they are profoundly confused.
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