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Old 07-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #851 (permalink)
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...or, Mother Nature can (and probably will) abruptly "take care" of things as she has in the past: (a) global pandemic plagues, (b) massive earthquakes, (c) avian human flu, or (d) all the above at once.

 
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #852 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occasionally6 View Post
It isn't necessary to go (back?) to doing that; we're still going to have an industrialized, developed society, with electrical power, running water, refrigeration etc., just not a consumer based growth economy. A lower level of material wealth, as distinct from standard of living, than that currently found in the developed world may be necessary (possibly will be).
Electricity and running water depend on industrially made goods, which depend on a cheap transport grid for raw materials and finished products. An integrated communications grid and computer manufacturing will still also be needed. Let's not forget... practical scientific and medical research will still require massive funding. How big our civilizations' carbon footprint would be if industry only made necessary things, I don't know, but it would be an interesting exercise to find out.

Also... I'd argue we'd still need a space program of some sort. If only to figure out how to deal with those pesky asteroids.
 
Old 07-12-2013, 02:10 AM   #853 (permalink)
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Quote:
A lower level of material wealth, as distinct from standard of living, than that currently found in the developed world may be necessary (possibly will be).
I don't see the distinction*, unless we are talking about gold-plated faucets and such. Clucking one's tongue at the way the wealthy squander what they have is fun, but beside the point. It only takes one person like Elon Musk, to make up for a lot of Paris Hiltons.

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person. ”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

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I mean what will it take politically.
Social anarchism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

Heck, here's another one:

“I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except dare to think. And to dare to go with the truth. And to dare to really love completely.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

Edit: *Found the one I was looking for:

"Wealth is our organized capability to cope effectively with the environment in sustaining our healthy regeneration and decreasing both the physical and metaphysical restrictions of the forward days of our lives."
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

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Old 07-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #854 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...or, Mother Nature can (and probably will) abruptly "take care" of things as she has in the past: (a) global pandemic plagues, (b) massive earthquakes, (c) avian human flu, or (d) all the above at once.
That's what will happen if we don't change things. More likely than any of the above are crop failures and storms destroying infrastructure. When that gets too costly is not entirely clear. That it will occur is certain - that's the physical reality.

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Originally Posted by niky View Post
Electricity and running water depend on industrially made goods, which depend on a cheap transport grid for raw materials and finished products. An integrated communications grid and computer manufacturing will still also be needed. Let's not forget... practical scientific and medical research will still require massive funding. How big our civilizations' carbon footprint would be if industry only made necessary things, I don't know, but it would be an interesting exercise to find out.

Also... I'd argue we'd still need a space program of some sort. If only to figure out how to deal with those pesky asteroids.
We won't go back to a pre-industrial society and just "necessary things". It doesn't have to be at an austere level, just different things in different ways. Everything will have to be closed loop but within that there's lots of room for creative solutions.

Last edited by Occasionally6; 07-17-2013 at 01:48 AM..
 
Old 07-12-2013, 04:28 AM   #855 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
I don't see the distinction*, unless we are talking about gold-plated faucets and such. Clucking one's tongue at the way the wealthy squander what they have is fun, but beside the point. It only takes one person like Elon Musk, to make up for a lot of Paris Hiltons.
The distinction is that past a certain level of material wealth - I have seen reference in a few places to ~U$15000/yr - human happiness does not increase with increased material wealth. After that it only matters that you have more than other people do.

I wouldn't care what people - including me - did if it didn't imperil the basis of (current) civilization.

As admirable as Elon Musk's effort is, it is the system that is wrong. Even if you want to, knowing what is required, it is very difficult to step outside it alone.
 
Old 07-12-2013, 11:00 AM   #856 (permalink)
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Agreed; but the '~U$15000/yr' may be true globally, in the USofA it's north of US$50K/yr.

Quote:
As admirable as Elon Musk's effort is, it is the system that is wrong. Even if you want to, knowing what is required, it is very difficult to step outside it alone.
Have you read Fuller extensively? His life (he called himself Guinea Pig B) was an example of doing just that, successfully.

“If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… How would I be? What would I do?”
― Buckminster Fuller
 
Old 07-12-2013, 12:58 PM   #857 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, $15k a year is way too much for most of the world economy to support on a purely capitalistic basis. I don't even make $15k a year, and I"m middle management here. I'd say starting pay for middle class is around $3k to $5k a year.
 
Old 07-13-2013, 12:56 AM   #858 (permalink)
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I'm not in the thread for the numbers...and charts and...

That why I went with 'may be true globally'. And the truth is it isn't how much one makes, it's how much compared to the people one sees around oneself.

Quote:
Unfortunately, $15k a year is way too much for most of the world economy to support on a purely capitalistic basis.
Too much for the environment to support, or too much for capitalists to begrudge?

An article at How capitalism's great relocation pauperised America's 'middle class' | Richard Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk proposes an interesting view of capitalism. Mac OSX Summarize Text picks this as the central paragraph.
Quote:
Workers' struggles eventually forced capitalists to pay rising wages, enabling higher living standards for large sections of the working classes (so-called "middle classes"). Capitalists and their economist spokespersons later rewrote that history to suggest instead that rising wages were blessings intrinsic to the capitalist system. How wrong that was, as I describe below.
Personally I'd go with
Quote:
Capitalism is now reconfiguring centers and their hinterlands on a truly global scale. The US increasingly approaches the formerly "third world" pattern of a few centers surrounded by vast layers of more or less desperate hinterland dwellers. In the language of US politics, its "middle class" disappears.
Sounds like 'as above' (global) 'so below' (the US). In any case the article frames the question as:
Quote:
Can capitalism achieve the social acceptance in the new centers that its first 200 years found in the old centers?

Even if it can, the working classes in the old centers may soon withdraw their traditional acceptance.
 
Old 07-14-2013, 03:14 AM   #859 (permalink)
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World economy as a capitalist system.

Industrialists will always try to find the lowest cost of production. A $15,000 a year wage won't do for them.

Of course, places where the middle class earns much less than $15k a year have a much lower cost-of-living.
 
Old 07-14-2013, 12:42 PM   #860 (permalink)
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convert it

So, didnt manage to read through the whole thing yet (only up yo page 9)
but...
We could just convert the Carbon dioxide in the air into something useful:
Discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

 
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