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Thread: The solution to society's problems...

  1. #1
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    The solution to society's problems...

    Society's problems: crime, war, corruption, poverty, health & safety issues, pollution, etc.

    The root cause of society's problems can primarily & predominantly be described with one word: scarcity

    The solution to society's problems are scientific and technical (i.e., education, knowledge, implementation of technology, automation, robotics, etc.), not religious or political (i.e., propaganda & coercion).

    Does anyone here, on this forum, disagree with any of this? If so, why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    Society's problems: crime, war, corruption, poverty, health & safety issues, pollution, etc.

    The root cause of society's problems can primarily & predominantly be described with one word: scarcity

    The solution to society's problems are scientific and technical (i.e., education, knowledge, implementation of technology, automation, robotics, etc.), not religious or political (i.e., propaganda & coercion).

    Does anyone here, on this forum, disagree with any of this? If so, why?
    I must disagree. What you describe, scientific and technical, are large part of the implementation but not the root cause. In the end, the way and direction that science and technology are developed, used, distributed are under the control of politics and the ideology(religion) behind it. The believe that technology is the answer and/or growth can go on eternally has lot of the signs of a religion.

    The root causes are, I believe, inequality in economics and the 'conquer nature' mindset.

    Crime, war, corruption, poverty, health & safety issues are largely a product of inequality. There is enough in the world to give everybody on the planet a standard of living comparable with the USA circa 1970. But the wealth and resources to do that are concentrated with a few because inequality is the inevitable result of our system. You can just have other money and tax systems to do this completely differently but just thinking about it seems taboo.

    Pollution and resource scarcity seems to be based on the desire to produce as cheaply as possible no matter the cost to nature, as nature is there to be exploited in the current ideology, that seems to come out of the "religion of progress and growth", which is just as much propaganda & coercion.

    In that sense, change the underlying philosophies/religiosity after which finances, politics, science and technology will follow automatically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    Society's problems: crime, war, corruption, poverty, health & safety issues, pollution, etc.

    The root cause of society's problems can primarily & predominantly be described with one word: scarcity

    The solution to society's problems are scientific and technical (i.e., education, knowledge, implementation of technology, automation, robotics, etc.), not religious or political (i.e., propaganda & coercion).

    Does anyone here, on this forum, disagree with any of this? If so, why?
    I agree with you 100%.

    @YaseaP : from what i can see it's the other way around of what you describe.

    First we need to eliminate scarcity, and only then economic equality and pollution reduction will follow.
    People tend to change their behaviour(religious belief, ideologies, economics) as a result of physical change in the environment.

    for example: physical change in climate will force organisms to behave differently.
    in our case, technological advancements will change people's behaviour and not vice versa.
    As long as there is scarcity there will be economic inequality.

    As for humans "conquering nature" - this process is happening for the last 100k years and will continue to happen in the future.

    Taming energy, electricity, water, crops, animals etc... is what humans do to survive more efficiently. i agree with you that the process today is reckless in regard to the environment, but environmental concern doesn't have to be outside the scope of science.

    we have the science of environmental engineering, ecology, and sustainable designs....

    "change the underlying philosophies/religiosity" - You can't change people in that manner, and i guess that deep inside you know that. Its only physical events and phenomena that change people.
    new inventions like the internet, automation, robotics, new sources of energy etc... can change people's behaviour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000 View Post
    First we need to eliminate scarcity
    It's that part I'm having trouble with. The more I look at it, the more it seems that we cannot eliminate scarcity. For the time being, it will only get worse. Maybe the 'limits to growth' and 'peak oil' will not happen, but to me it seems inevitable. I don't think there will be nuclear fusion this century and other sources of energy are just not abundant enough.

    The point to aim for is now sufficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000 View Post
    and only then economic equality and pollution reduction will follow
    Not according to history. Usually abundance is reserved for the happy few.

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000 View Post
    in our case, technological advancements will change people's behavior and not vice versa.
    So far, it leads to more luxury, convenience and consumption. The majority of our best minds are working on better systems for delivery of advertising, not creating sustainable industries.

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000 View Post
    People tend to change their behavior(religious belief, ideologies, economics) as a result of physical change in the environment.
    This is true. And most likely it will happen when we're on the downwards slope of peak oil. We are now more at the plateau on top. We missed the window of opportunity to prevent collapse it seems. What is left is damage control. Kinda depressing.
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    Long list of social problems to root out. I don't disagree. Good topic, I'm still root'n. I would like to add........................>
    Sociobiology

    Michael McGoodwin paraphrasing and quoting Wilson (pp. 16 and 222) on sociobiology:[25]

    Sociobiology is defined as the scientific or systematic study of the biological basis of all forms of social behavior, in all kinds of organisms including man, and incorporating knowledge from ethology, ecology, and genetics, in order to derive general principles concerning the biological properties of entire societies. "If humankind evolved by Darwinian natural selection, [then] genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God, made the species." "The brain [and the mind] exists because it promotes the survival and multiplication of the genes that direct its assembly." The two apparent dilemmas we face therefore are: (1) We lack any goal external to our biological nature (for even religions evolve to enhance the persistence and influence of their practitioners). Will the transcendental goals of societies dissolve, and will our post-ideological societies regress steadily toward self-indulgence? (2) Morality evolved as instinct. "Which of the censors and motivators should be obeyed and which ones might better be curtailed or sublimated?"
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    Everything Is Possible. Nothing Is True.
    (ψ = Σanψn)
    What do you know when the time is up and the door to the box is opened?
    It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.

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    Scarcity is still mostly an illusion perpetuated by and for the benefit of those believing in capitalism, classism and hierarchy, along with the myths that substantiate their places in this world. Its how 'profit' is created...

    We are surrounded by abundance (look behind the curtain) that was/is stolen from us all..everyday...and the majority of us simply accept this as a life they see/imagine themselves belonging to.....wannabees.....wannaberich, wannabesuccessful...wannabewhat??????
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaseaP View Post
    It's that part I'm having trouble with. The more I look at it, the more it seems that we cannot eliminate scarcity. For the time being, it will only get worse. Maybe the 'limits to growth' and 'peak oil' will not happen, but to me it seems inevitable. I don't think there will be nuclear fusion this century and other sources of energy are just not abundant enough.

    The point to aim for is now sufficiency.
    yes, scarcity is a hard problem maybe even impossible to solve. the key for future success is automation, regardless of the amount of energy available. the system should be automated whether its a high or low energy civilization.

    my point is that as long as people need to work, some people will work harder and justifiably demand more reward for their work, thus we'll have inequality.

    to avoid that we'll have to force 'diligent' people to get less for their work, or force 'lazy' people to work harder; both are immoral and not practical solutions.
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    Thanks to everyone who replied. Likes for everyone. I'll provide my input/feedback/rebuttals/etc. later on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL9000 View Post
    yes, scarcity is a hard problem maybe even impossible to solve. the key for future success is automation, regardless of the amount of energy available. the system should be automated whether its a high or low energy civilization.

    my point is that as long as people need to work, some people will work harder and justifiably demand more reward for their work, thus we'll have inequality.

    to avoid that we'll have to force 'diligent' people to get less for their work, or force 'lazy' people to work harder; both are immoral and not practical solutions.
    The issue there, is that automation is never complete. Automation replaces x low/middle skilled humans with x/20 high skilled humans. You always need some supervisor, technician on site or a human on call as long as you don't have at least human level AI and robotics. You can just wait for that, but I think the sh.. is going to hit the fan before we reach that point in automation. So the necessity to work is going to be there. This would make your point not possible.

    I don't get why it's immoral to set limits to a wage. People need a minimum to survive and need a reward to work. No reward doesn't work ans is immoral. But you also need limits. Historical data suggests that a high limit to wages of about 10 times the minimum works best. A decent reward and bragging rights but not enough to trigger the 'winner takes all' reflex we have now. How to do that on a global scale is a bit more difficult.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaseaP View Post
    The issue there, is that automation is never complete. Automation replaces x low/middle skilled humans with x/20 high skilled humans. You always need some supervisor, technician on site or a human on call as long as you don't have at least human level AI and robotics. You can just wait for that, but I think the sh.. is going to hit the fan before we reach that point in automation. So the necessity to work is going to be there. This would make your point not possible.

    I don't get why it's immoral to set limits to a wage. People need a minimum to survive and need a reward to work. No reward doesn't work ans is immoral. But you also need limits. Historical data suggests that a high limit to wages of about 10 times the minimum works best. A decent reward and bragging rights but not enough to trigger the 'winner takes all' reflex we have now. How to do that on a global scale is a bit more difficult.
    yes, it would be nearly impossible to achieve complete automation in this century, and as a result we'll still have inequality. that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to reach that goal. personally, i don't believe in the 'shi.. hits the fan' hypothesis, i believe humans will prevail.

    on the other hand, i also don't believe in human level machine intelligence(AI); i think its a pure fantasy. what we call AI today like siri, google driverless car, and watson are all just basic programming.

    What i learned in recent years is that automation is not really about hi-end and esoteric technology; its a way of thinking. we completely ignore this type of thinking in our society for all kind of reasons.

    I didn't say that setting high and low limits on wage is immoral; I said that people who work harder and invent expect compensation for that effort. wage limits might be a necessary band aid in today's society, but in the long run it creates tremendous amount of tension between people,
    and also restricts human potential and ingenuity.

    Naturally, people tend to think highly of themselves relative to other people. thus, many people would naturally gravitate toward places that don't limit wages. in fact i haven’t seen countries that limit the wage a person can get, but i might be wrong.

    edit: unless you talk about high taxes as a restriction of wage.
    Last edited by HAL9000; 10-04-2015 at 07:26 AM.
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