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Thread: Sustainability of Zeitgeist world itself

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    Exclamation Sustainability of Zeitgeist world itself

    Many people focus on the problem of getting there, to the RBE / Venus Project or whatever you call it, not questioning what to do when you finally get there. And all this under the excuse that current capitalist system is not sustainable in the long run (so we'll have to change or die). So let's see how sustainable Venus project is.

    In a perfect world we'll have people with access to food and water, housing and clothing, top medical care for all. Now wars, no stress, many diseases eradicated. All this must lead to much longer average lifetime of a human. Using common sense, all of the people would be sure that all that will be available for their children for granted. They wouldn't have to work to support them, the system would do it. The children wouldn't have to work or worry about surviving without inheriting enough, since everything will be available to support their existence at least. Since we know that most people don't have too many kids mostly because of the problems of current society (greed for advancing in career, problems with supporting too many children), removal of those problems would lead to much higher birth rates per woman. And then with good medical care, infant mortality would drop significantly. So if we assume just 5 kids per woman (take an average for poor countries where people don't care about those problems with children in the modern society) we'll have doubling of world population every 15 years (rough estimate, don't judge it too much). Can the science and world resources really support all this, no matter how distributed they are (pay attention to the math - in 100 years we'd reach 1 trillion people)?

    Or will we stop reproduction by some law? But then it contradicts the Zeitgeist spirit - to punish the offenders (how?), to force abortion or sterilization after 2 babies (talk about freedom?). One way or another perfect Zeitgeist world will break. Or you're so confident in the science taking us out of this planet and utilizing the resources of universe in such a short time?

    You might not like capitalism (like I don't), but "invisible hand" does take care of this in a very natural way. As soon as we multiply too much for our technology to support it, we'll die in a war fighting for resources or out of hunger / thirst / cold etc. Nature won't shed a tear even if we all get killed in a nuclear war taking down all other species with us. It might be sad, but this is the natural way. Zeitgeist is describing an unnatural world and unless it plans on changing the nature I don't see how it will work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dexy View Post
    Since we know that most people don't have too many kids mostly because of the problems of current society (greed for advancing in career, problems with supporting too many children), removal of those problems would lead to much higher birth rates per woman.
    I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. I'll agree that it is at least *possible* that prosperous people are choosing to have greater disposable income instead of more children, but if that is the logic behind procreation, then why do we see much higher birthrates in under-developed countries?

    But let's suppose you are entirely correct in that statement. There is still a fair and ethical way to apply the 'invisible hand' to ensure population does not exceed carrying capacity. A resource based economic model does not assume infinite resources. One way to allocate resources fairly is to assess the energy cost of everything we want and need in a particular time frame, say 1 month, and then divide the total value available by the total population. The result is the net energy each person has available to 'spend' in that month. I believe (but cannot prove) that in the highly efficient RBE, this monthly figure would be very large.

    If you choose to bring a new human into the world, then some portion of your share of the resources immediately passes to your progeny. This balances your desire for a particular lifestyle against your desire to reproduce. And being a rational, undamaged person living in a world no longer driven insane by profit motive, the probability is very high that you will choose wisely.
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    A good thing to consider,

    However one thing it seems the original post misses out is Education, once a globe RBE is established (barring in mind that it would be guided by the most efficient and substitutable practices of the time) education would be key, in terms of educating the population on things like population substantially, what effect bring another human life into the would really means and how it effects the rest of the population.

    example: (Resource based) if the current level of technological efficacy doesn't meet the needs of say a 50 Billion population, educating the population on this fact would be paramount. thus eliminating the 5 kids per woman theory.

    Also keep in mind Ephemeralization and things like Moore's law so in our example currently we might not be able to sustainably support a population of 50 billion but in 10 years with the increase in Ephemeralization it would be more feasible to do so.

    One more thing there would be no need to write and enforce "laws" regarding population control along with many other things because through proper education there would be no need for that law to be written in the first place.

    -everyone born to date has no place in a RBE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev View Post
    I'm not sure that's entirely accurate.
    I'm not sure either. I'm not sure about the math with 5 kids doubling the population every 15 years (it depends on many other factors, like current age distribution of the population and how much the average lifetime will be prolonged). But still we need to consider it, since it is likely to be true, or at least something close to it will happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dev View Post
    One way to allocate resources fairly is to assess the energy cost of everything we want and need in a particular time frame, say 1 month, and then divide the total value available by the total population.
    Yes, this idea I understand and support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dev View Post
    If you choose to bring a new human into the world, then some portion of your share of the resources immediately passes to your progeny.
    Now this is what I don't like and I think Zeitgeist didn't mean it that way. It brings us back to the market world a bit (not entirely) and distances us from the Zeitgeist spirit - kids with less siblings will have more resources and will be able to behave differently than others (envy will appear naturally, no matter how much you suppress it with education). Also, when would those kids start receiving their own share of the resources instead of depending on the parents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madmike View Post
    However one thing it seems the original post misses out is Education, once a globe RBE is established (barring in mind that it would be guided by the most efficient and substitutable practices of the time) education would be key, in terms of educating the population on things like population substantially, what effect bring another human life into the would really means and how it effects the rest of the population.

    One more thing there would be no need to write and enforce "laws" regarding population control along with many other things because through proper education there would be no need for that law to be written in the first place.
    I'm sorry but I don't think Education can be the last line of defense. Simply because it is quite possible that it won't work all the way. It should be there to lower the rate of applying oppressive laws, but it can't entirely replace them.

    So some parents with 3-4 kids would exist for sure. Would they be frowned upon because they are not taking care of the society (that is educated to approve exactly 2 kids)? And would they be ashamed because they know they did wrong? Either way not a pleasant situation.

    And then there's the technical problem. Two parents need slightly more than 2 kids on average to keep zero population growth (see WIKI). And if you want to factor in the tech advancement being able to support more population you'll get to a target number like 2.48. Even if we disregard changing of partners and unplanned pregnancies, how do you educate people to make 2.48 kids on average?

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    Hmm, now I'm thinking of a centralized register of current number of people, pregnant women and new babies born in real time. It could be programmed to show statuses from green to red (in thousands of different shades) to indicate the need for more offspring vs need to slow down procreation. Parents could be taught to submit their family size plans just when they are about to "do it" and this would affect the status of the register to show slightly different color. And the opposite as well - the color should affect the parents' plans about the number of children.

    However, we'd still need some laws in case we go deep into red zone. And some incentive when we go into dark green.

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    Try to think Resource Based Economic Model. There will be a different model of the family system that works in aRBE model.
    A centralized register could be part of that. We are, after all, resources within that RBE model and will need to be registered as part of that model. No more of the, so called, invisible hand, calling the shots. Without the iHAND to lookout for us we will have to learn to take care of many responsibilities on our own.
    The RBE model depends on the fact that our resources (us) are educated enough to realize the responsibilities we have to assume to make it work for the planet.
    Short of that and you will not see a RBE model. There will be much more real freedom in a RBE model than our current iHAND model that we have become addicted to. But with that freedom within the RBE there will be much more responsibility that will have to be excepted by everyone if it will work.
    Start at the beginning. Forget everything. Is a family system really necessary within an REB model? Everyone would be family. It wouldn't be to difficult to see that the house was getting to crowded.
    Last edited by RhythmAnarchy; 01-04-2014 at 09:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexy View Post
    Hmm, now I'm thinking of a centralized register of current number of people, pregnant women and new babies born in real time. It could be programmed to show statuses from green to red (in thousands of different shades) to indicate the need for more offspring vs need to slow down procreation.
    That's in the ballpark, I think. Not so much a centralized register, or any kind of 'training' that might be considered mandatory. Just free information available to rational people making family planning decisions. Really no different from where we are today with search engines, except with higher quality data available, and people free and wise enough to make good use of it. You might run a search on the phrase 'having a baby' and be presented with categories of information ranging from genetic science to nursery rhymes, which of course would include the important factors to consider in deciding to have a child. If you think something is missing from those factors, you're free to add your thoughts and thus improve the information for others.

    It would be easy to see if population was out-growing the resource pool, and make intelligent choices based on that knowledge. You would know in advance if your child will face a world with fewer options than you, or more. Maybe (probably) the limits on your own options are so enormous that a reduction would be trivial, so it isn't an important factor in your decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by dexy View Post
    Now this is what I don't like and I think Zeitgeist didn't mean it that way. It brings us back to the market world a bit (not entirely) and distances us from the Zeitgeist spirit - kids with less siblings will have more resources and will be able to behave differently than others (envy will appear naturally, no matter how much you suppress it with education). Also, when would those kids start receiving their own share of the resources instead of depending on the parents?
    First, it's ok to diverge from Zeitgeist (which is really the RBE from J. Fresco via The Venus Project, with roots in the Technocracy Movement of the early and mid 20th century). In fact, it's inevitable that the ideas advocated by TZM members will evolve and adapt as we deepen our understanding of the society we propose to create. The Zeitgeist spirit that you mention is not actually 'Zeitgeist', it's the values we share. We should not hesitate to toss Zeitgeist or Venus Project guidelines over our shoulder if necessary to uphold and cultivate those values.

    You make a great point about kids with less siblings having more resources. I didn't think of that. So let's make the allocation more sophisticated and include the global population growth/reduction trend. Instead of a set value for net energy allocation, we have a quantity that shifts in real time for everyone. Based on historical data it would be possible to project what a person's lifetime resource allocation would be, including someone who hasn't been born yet. Prospective parents could factor that knowledge into their decision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexy View Post
    I'm sorry but I don't think Education can be the last line of defense. Simply because it is quite possible that it won't work all the way. It should be there to lower the rate of applying oppressive laws, but it can't entirely replace them.
    You are correct education wouldn't be the last line of defense more like the first, but remember that education would be viewed in a completely different light in an RBE. as well as the values that found the community.

    As for the technical problem of making make 2.48 kids on average. not everyone wants to have kids nor is everyone able too. possibly if the resource management system was to treat the population its self as a resource, couples could input how many kids they wanted and the system could display information to the potential parents regarding the sustainability of x number of kids.

    In saying all that, with a completely different value system i wouldn't think that there would be couples wanting kids (at least not how its done today) it would be more along the lines of the society needs X amount of new births per year to maintain the population. People would express that they wanted kids to the resource management system and it would run through some calculations and display yes/no or want 6 months or something to that effect.
    Last edited by Madmike; 01-04-2014 at 08:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmike View Post
    As for the technical problem of making make 2.48 kids on average. not everyone wants to have kids nor is everyone able too. possibly if the resource management system was to treat the population its self as a resource, couples could input how many kids they wanted and the system could display information to the potential parents regarding the sustainability of x number of kids.
    To coerce people into acting a certain way by providing loaded information is in itself a form of oppression. These issues should concern the parents, inherently, to the point that they feel the moral obligation to inform themselves.

    We cannot force anything onto anyone.

    Also, the difference between preferences balances out to a stabilized population. I'm not about to make the claim that our current reproductive habits in the industrialized countries of the west is going to be any reflection of how we're going to treat this subject in an RBE. But there is a direct correlation between education and reproduction. The more educated people are the fewer children they have.

    This is tremendously unfortunate if you think about it...because the least educated tend to be the poor: ? Birth rate by family income in the U.S. 2010 | Statistic

    @Dexy

    So economic well-being is not a factor that aggravates growth. The claim that we're going to have more children in an RBE is entirely unfounded.

    Quite to the contrary, I'm afraid that we won't have enough children.

    @Madmike

    In saying all that, with a completely different value system i wouldn't think that there would be couples wanting kids (at least not how its done today) it would be more along the lines of the society needs X amount of new births per year to maintain the population. People would express that they wanted kids to the resource management system and it would run through some calculations and display yes/no or want 6 months or something to that effect.
    This would be acceptable if the system possessed absolutely no authority over the people. If it was only an informational resource, not one that dictates who can have children when and how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhythmAnarchy View Post
    Everyone would be family.
    B-b-b-but Dumbars number!

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