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Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:55:22

I think the point is just because technology is more efficient and faster doesn't mean it's better. I would maintain that humans can make anything better by customizing it while automation will make the same thing over and over.

As a person who lives by his handy work. Please don't put me in that world. I would go insane...
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 12:22:23

baha wrote:I think the point is just because technology is more efficient and faster doesn't mean it's better. I would maintain that humans can make anything better by customizing it while automation will make the same thing over and over.

Technology is a tool. It's not good or bad. It has no morality.

Whether it ends up being used wisely or unwisely is up to people.

Examples:

A car can be efficient and used to safely transport people, or horribly inefficient and used to maim and kill people.

Nuclear power could be used to greatly alleviate AGW (for quite a while), or with bombs to do what AGW threatens to do to the bisosphere (in terms of killing lots of things), very very quickly.

A knife can be used to do lots of useful things or kill and maim people.

...

Technology gives us more choices. Including overpopulating the planet. What concerns me is the choices humanity makes don't seem to get wiser (overall) at the rate technology increases humanity's ability to adversely impact the biosphere we depend upon.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 13:06:02

Squilliam wrote:@Ralfy: Capitalism refers to the private control of the means of production. It doesn't necessarily mean that the world is screwed. People work within the rules, so the fact that resources are being squandered doesn't mean that the system cannot conserve them. We are entering into a new stage of economic development, so the old rules and ways of operation don't necessarily apply to the new systems. We are moving towards an era where increasing efficiency, lower resource usage and greater conversion of raw materials into end products is becoming a new paradigm. Add into that the increasing productivity of modern production methods as well as the creation of more durable end products means we can make gains on both sides of the production equations.

The problems of economics are simply a problem of distribution of resources and spending. A small proportion of people are growing their wealth in the form of debt, and the rest of the economy is being forced to take on debt in order to allow the economic systems to function. There are huge problems, but they are only really large at this point because there hasn't been the political will to allow the system to shed the excess debt. The reason for this is that a lot of retirement savings and middle class wealth is also tied into this broken economic system. Eventually it will be rationalised, so it isn't a problem in a real world sense. The fact others are willing to buy this debt isn't really a problem except in the sense that a default will mean that government will have to live within its means.

The world when it finally knuckles down and decides to conserve resources is an entirely different place to the last 100 years of growth. We can be considerably more efficient. The increasingly globalised economic system came about because of a comparative advantage for cheap labour destinations. Once this comparative advantage ends then the global economic system can move into a period of rationalisation/simplification. When production is automated with very few workers needed what point is there to ship over international borders multiple times in order to produce products when factories can be located close to each other to maximise shipping and logistical inefficiencies. This is what I refer to when I say that we can reach a point of higher complexity and simplicity at the same time. One part simply gives way to another part in this system.


You only gave part of the definition. You will find the rest in my previous posts.

The "system" doesn't "conserve" them for reasons I gave earlier.

Increasing efficiency leads to more resource use for reasons I also gave earlier.

Also, about moving to an era of increasing efficiency, you're over 60 years too late.

Distribution of resources is not a problem of economics because capitalists do so through profit motive.

It is not true that only a few increase wealth through debt because much of the global economy consists of credit. In fact, very few people worldwide don't use money.

Globalization did not come about because of "cheap labor destinations." Rather, it took place because of cheap energy.

The "huge problems" are not caused by lack of "political will" but by the fact that what drives every point you raised, from automation to even investing in technology, is the profit motive.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 21:35:03

baha wrote:Computers and technology are just tools. They can only do what we teach them to do (so far). If they become self sustaining by developing their own production chain we will indeed be obsolete. How long will they keep us around consuming resources?

In realty we need to refocus our goals away from automation and human redundancy and toward a more connected relationship with nature. Automation removes us from nature. Plowing a field and harvesting the result puts us closer to nature. Just because I work the garden doesn't mean I can't also research technological answers using computers as a tool.

A computer will never replace me as a source of original thought that isn't based on some pre-existing algorithm.

Squilliam - Have you ever read the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov? He runs this scenario thru from beginning to end. And it ain't pretty.


I read the first book quite a while ago. If I remember it started out by saying that collapse was inevitable. The reason given was that civilisation had gotten too complex to be sustained if I recall correctly.

Computers will never replace you for original thought? Computers are already at the levels whereby they can find information by themselves that humans could never dream of replicating. Big data and machine learning are both making extraordinary strides to the point whereby it isn't possible to truly predict the future of this field with any accuracy. If highly trained specialists can be made relatively obsolete by computers then what are you doing that truly makes you special in comparison?

The point of human redundancy is that it frees people from the more mundane task of survival for other things. We don't mourn the loss of 95% of all agricultural jobs do we? However the issue with technology is that it forces us to reassess our relationship with our own work because it is a significant part of our identity. So going back to your nature example -- if technology means the end of much work as we know it then perhaps it will make the natural environment a significant part of our identity.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 22:47:11

ralfy wrote:
You only gave part of the definition. You will find the rest in my previous posts.

The "system" doesn't "conserve" them for reasons I gave earlier.

Increasing efficiency leads to more resource use for reasons I also gave earlier.

Also, about moving to an era of increasing efficiency, you're over 60 years too late.

Distribution of resources is not a problem of economics because capitalists do so through profit motive.

It is not true that only a few increase wealth through debt because much of the global economy consists of credit. In fact, very few people worldwide don't use money.

Globalization did not come about because of "cheap labor destinations." Rather, it took place because of cheap energy.

The "huge problems" are not caused by lack of "political will" but by the fact that what drives every point you raised, from automation to even investing in technology, is the profit motive.


I know you're moving along the lines of Jevon's paradox; the paradigm of continuous economic growth and limits within finite systems in an economic system dominated by finite external energy inputs. All this based on a system of credit that represents an option on future resources, and essentially relies on a belief that the system will continue to grow, or be maintained, to justify deferral of present day consumption. You can find plenty of justification for pessimism about the future of world systems.

Where do you find the balance between pessimism and optimism? There has been pessimistic talk for years about the collapse of human society. Will they eventually be right, or will factors that were not accounted for again change the equation? You're obviously on the pessimistic side of things. What makes you so confident that after all this time you'll be the one that is right? It's something that has been predicted for years (the failure/collapse of society), so why would you be right when so many others have been wrong? Of course in all fairness the optimistic predictions haven't exactly come true either in many ways, so it works on both sides of the equation. On both sides the unexpected, and fanciful/unrealistic expectations have conspired to prove people wrong.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 04:08:18

"If highly trained specialists can be made relatively obsolete by computers then what are you doing that truly makes you special in comparison?"

It's called creativity...finding and re-indexing old data does not create anything. We don't even understand how original thought works. Until we do we can't program a computer to do it...

I don't believe a computer will ever discover relativity or write a decent symphony.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 04:26:05

I think music is a good example. As a piano player who has been to many competitions I can say the ability to reproduce the music as written on the page is not what makes you a musician. The ability to put your own feelings and interpretations to the rendition is what pulls at the listeners heartstrings. And why people still go to concerts instead of just listening to a recording.

Much of the technology we use today damages our personal relationships and removes the connections we need to make rational decisions. Any further attempt to remove us from nature will end badly, just like in the Foundation series.

So whose side are you on? Do you really think technology will solve all our problems?
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Squilliam » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 15:20:27

baha wrote:I think music is a good example. As a piano player who has been to many competitions I can say the ability to reproduce the music as written on the page is not what makes you a musician. The ability to put your own feelings and interpretations to the rendition is what pulls at the listeners heartstrings. And why people still go to concerts instead of just listening to a recording.

Much of the technology we use today damages our personal relationships and removes the connections we need to make rational decisions. Any further attempt to remove us from nature will end badly, just like in the Foundation series.

So whose side are you on? Do you really think technology will solve all our problems?


https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus ... mple.0.mp3

A piece of music written by a computer. Sure it's not that great, but they are getting a lot better at it at an exponential rate.

The real reason why people like live music is because you can't reproduce the full experience in a speaker.

Technology won't solve all our problems because the majority of our problems are of our own making. The problems for instance of suburbia: Cars, disconnection with others, obesity are mostly due to how the spaces are arranged and the lifestyles people live. The fact that people drive everywhere is not the fault of the fact that cars exist, but the way streets are laid out and the density of development. It is also representative of the fact that people are forced to work such long hours (again not the fault of technology). It's really how we design the spaces that we live that will determine our connection/disconnection from the natural world. For instance if you combined the average suburbs private land into one huge park and shifted the houses so they are closer together you would have the best of both worlds -- space and nature.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 15:40:17

I really hate to have to weigh in on this stuff . . . but no . . . AI is most assuredly not 'getting a lot better at it at an exponential rate'.

As evidence, ask Siri how she is doing? "Siri, are you any smarter than last weak?" "Siri, what is exponential?" "Siri, can I borrow a million buckeroos?" "Siri, why have I turned you off?"
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Squilliam » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 17:33:05

pstarr wrote:I really hate to have to weigh in on this stuff . . . but no . . . AI is most assuredly not 'getting a lot better at it at an exponential rate'.

As evidence, ask Siri how she is doing? "Siri, are you any smarter than last weak?" "Siri, what is exponential?" "Siri, can I borrow a million buckeroos?" "Siri, why have I turned you off?"


As evidenced by the fact that you're even talking to Siri.

Anyhow AI in the current age represents one major thing: Machine learning. It's doing everything from learning how to create better drugs; diagnose and treat disease; process large datasets and find correlations that humans never could; improving the quality and productivity of farming; creating works of art etc. Just because you aren't noticing something is happening doesn't mean that thing isn't happening.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 18:50:41

Collapse as a process doesn't have very much historical precedence. Most societies don't collapse, they evolve into newer societies. Is there any real reason to expect collapse is anywhere in our future?

If you are as old as me, you have noticed that young people are coping with life better than our Baby Boomer generation. They grew up with the Internet, the Boomers are vulnerable to assorted obsessions and delusions associated with too much virtual world and not enough reality.

Technology is a straight increase in complexity from pre-history until today. There is no reason I can think of that progress should stop or reverse. The world most likely will continue to get more complex, harder to understand, and harder to cope with. But the basic pay-back with technology is that it enables you to do more with fewer resources. That these efficiencies are always overcome by more and more consumers is not the fault of technology, rather it is the fault of the people using it.

I remember a magazine ad years ago that said Americans have the carbon footprint of 83 Somali's. It seems to me that might be 100 Somali's today, they still have less than they need, we consume more than we need, and our numbers are slowly increasing due to immigration as they starve.

What if Doom never comes? Are you prepared to think and cope with slowly increasing complexity and higher levels of stress?

It is after all the most likely future scenario that Doom never comes.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 18 Mar 2017, 21:43:03

Squilliam wrote:I know you're moving along the lines of Jevon's paradox; the paradigm of continuous economic growth and limits within finite systems in an economic system dominated by finite external energy inputs. All this based on a system of credit that represents an option on future resources, and essentially relies on a belief that the system will continue to grow, or be maintained, to justify deferral of present day consumption. You can find plenty of justification for pessimism about the future of world systems.

Where do you find the balance between pessimism and optimism? There has been pessimistic talk for years about the collapse of human society. Will they eventually be right, or will factors that were not accounted for again change the equation? You're obviously on the pessimistic side of things. What makes you so confident that after all this time you'll be the one that is right? It's something that has been predicted for years (the failure/collapse of society), so why would you be right when so many others have been wrong? Of course in all fairness the optimistic predictions haven't exactly come true either in many ways, so it works on both sides of the equation. On both sides the unexpected, and fanciful/unrealistic expectations have conspired to prove people wrong.


The balance is found in being realistic about the situation.

Optimists argue that we will discover other technologies that will allow us to maintain or even improve on those rates even with a large population, and use them until at least the population starts leveling off due to decreasing birth rates and aging. Given that, we should enjoy ourselves and let the "bright guys" look for solutions and save us.

Pessimists argue that such technologies will never be discovered, and that massive and sudden collapse will take place sooner or later for one reason or another. Given that, we should either give up or enjoy ourselves for various reasons (e.g., we're all going to die anyway, it doesn't matter what happens to future generations because we'll be dead by then, etc.).

Realists argue that there has been no evidence of such, and whether or not these technologies do appear, the logical thing to do is to prepare for a world which will enter into slow decline as the rates mentioned above go in reverse due to a resource crunch, environmental damage (coupled with global warming), and the effects of financial instability as increasing debt takes its toll on the global economy. This is critical if most people not only value their lives but those of their loved ones, not to mention future generations.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 06:15:16

Why is it that evolving into to an agrarian society is considered devolving? That being hands-on connected to nature is dirty and undesirable?

Having moved from a high pressure job where I never had time to even think about cooking to a more leisurely life where I grow and cook as much as possible, my satisfaction levels have skyrocketed and my blood pressure has relaxed. I know everyone is different but I get incredible satisfaction from working the soil, planting the seeds, and tending the living beings that result. The final consumption of the superior product is just the icing on the cake. In the end you understand your connection to the earth and the beings that inhabit it. And the love and care you put into the plants is returned to you as delicious and nutritious sustenance.

Take spoiled rich people for example. Society has taught them that money can buy more technology and allow them to live above the level of menial labor. (Which is what you are preaching here) Where do they end up? Depressed and alone. Using prescription mood enhancers just to maintain. Totally oblivious to the fact that they have purposely removed their connections!

I use technology every day. But I can also do without. Solar power will never replace oil but enough power to stay connected is a good thing. If we can manage our energy descent in a focused way we can keep the good and dump the bad...

I don't have high hopes.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 06:29:55

If you think walking thru a perfect garden admiring the flowers tended by some machine is better than sticking your hands in the soil and feeling for moisture, you have already lost your connections...
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 09:15:32

KaiserJeep wrote:Collapse as a process doesn't have very much historical precedence. Most societies don't collapse, they evolve into newer societies. Is there any real reason to expect collapse is anywhere in our future?

Technology is a straight increase in complexity from pre-history until today. There is no reason I can think of that progress should stop or reverse. The world most likely will continue to get more complex, harder to understand, and harder to cope with. But the basic pay-back with technology is that it enables you to do more with fewer resources. That these efficiencies are always overcome by more and more consumers is not the fault of technology, rather it is the fault of the people using it.


These two statements are mistaken impressions that people with little historical perspective often make.

Yes societies evolve into newer societies, but as a general rule they do something after a discontinuity destroys the paradigm they have been operating under. The Western Roman Empire came apart because they had generations of bad political leadership that allowed their surrounding very weak neighbors to grow greatly in strength, frequently promoted in doing so by that same bad political leadership. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted a thousand years longer because it had excellent leadership for most of that period of time. This difference lead to the barbarian invasions of the west being successful, but a near total failure in the east.

The Middle Ages ended not because of a gradual evolution from the Feudal system that extended all the way fro Kiev in eastern Europe to Scotland thousands of kilometers to the west, but because in the 1200's the Mongol Horde invaded from Asia and extended their influence all the way west to the border lands of Germany and Italy. The invasion devastated the population in Eastern Europe, and the Bubonic Plague that followed the trade routes established by the Khanate then devastated Germany, Italy, France and the other Western European nation states. All told the breakdown of the existing social order made room for the new order to grow up and replace it, the Renaissance. At the same time China had been an Empire for many centuries but it too was conquered by the Khanate and made part of the trade system they had from the Pacific Ocean in the east, to the Baltic Sea in the west as well as the Black Sea and Persian Gulf. This was no gradual evolution to change these societies step by step or inch by inch, this was knocking apart the house of sticks and using the detritus to build a whole new structure.

For your technology comment suffice it to say, no. There is no straight line, that is an artifact of the way history is taught in schools in the west. The reality is greatly more complex and organic, and organic systems abhor straight lines.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 10:24:36

I am sorry, but as an ecologist I must go with Taitner ('The Collapse of Complex Societies') and Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed). Technology is another name for . . . tool.
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Tools are used to acquire food . . . energy . . . and to grow a population. Among many species language (and writing) are also tools, to acquire mates, control the young and (among social animals) serve to maintain tribal communication and identity. Here right now in this thread and in every thread folks are using the language/writing tool to establish virtual tribal identity. Some say technology is evil. Others want to say technology is good. It is what it is.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 10:44:37

I suspect the folks who believe in goodness in technology also talk the most. They consider their own ever-increasingly complex arguments to be a sign of superiority. I just see a lot of words lol
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 19 Mar 2017, 13:06:35

Tanada wrote:
KaiserJeep wrote:Collapse as a process doesn't have very much historical precedence. Most societies don't collapse, they evolve into newer societies. Is there any real reason to expect collapse is anywhere in our future?

Technology is a straight increase in complexity from pre-history until today. There is no reason I can think of that progress should stop or reverse. The world most likely will continue to get more complex, harder to understand, and harder to cope with. But the basic pay-back with technology is that it enables you to do more with fewer resources. That these efficiencies are always overcome by more and more consumers is not the fault of technology, rather it is the fault of the people using it.


These two statements are mistaken impressions that people with little historical perspective often make.

Yes societies evolve into newer societies, but as a general rule they do something after a discontinuity destroys the paradigm they have been operating under. The Western Roman Empire came apart because they had generations of bad political leadership that allowed their surrounding very weak neighbors to grow greatly in strength, frequently promoted in doing so by that same bad political leadership. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted a thousand years longer because it had excellent leadership for most of that period of time. This difference lead to the barbarian invasions of the west being successful, but a near total failure in the east.

The Middle Ages ended not because of a gradual evolution from the Feudal system that extended all the way fro Kiev in eastern Europe to Scotland thousands of kilometers to the west, but because in the 1200's the Mongol Horde invaded from Asia and extended their influence all the way west to the border lands of Germany and Italy. The invasion devastated the population in Eastern Europe, and the Bubonic Plague that followed the trade routes established by the Khanate then devastated Germany, Italy, France and the other Western European nation states. All told the breakdown of the existing social order made room for the new order to grow up and replace it, the Renaissance. At the same time China had been an Empire for many centuries but it too was conquered by the Khanate and made part of the trade system they had from the Pacific Ocean in the east, to the Baltic Sea in the west as well as the Black Sea and Persian Gulf. This was no gradual evolution to change these societies step by step or inch by inch, this was knocking apart the house of sticks and using the detritus to build a whole new structure.

For your technology comment suffice it to say, no. There is no straight line, that is an artifact of the way history is taught in schools in the west. The reality is greatly more complex and organic, and organic systems abhor straight lines.


NONE of what you describe constitutes a "collapse", in fact most things mentioned took decades or centuries to happen, and all more closely resemble "evolution" than "collapse". My remarks were intended as counterpoint to the doomer mentality so prevalent here. My observations of the doomer crowd here indicate that they started with a presumption of Doom and then went on a hunt for supporting evidence with which to concoct a fanciful theory of the Doom of Western Civilization. I believe these to be escapist fantasies, they believe that they would be more comfortable without the constant demands of job, family, the mortgage, the car payment, etc.

I don't begrudge anybody a fantasy. But economic OR technical collapse is another fantasy. Oil peaked and is in decline is the current prevailing opinion around here. The process of decline started right about a decade ago and will continue for 3-5 more decades before American lifestyles are noticeably impacted. The decline of the Middle Class is the most potent force in the economic arena today, with oil and energy both about #3 or #4 in importance, due to the oil glut and depressed prices.

As for lacking a perspective on History, it's a lifelong hobby, I minored in History, I have been a member of the Nantucket Historical Society since 1977, and I publish in their journal. Evidently, my interpretation of History differs from yours. Not surprising, because I disagreed with most of my History professors as well, and had to choke back my opinions and regurgitate their own writings back at them to make the grade.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby Squilliam » Mon 20 Mar 2017, 02:00:00

baha wrote:Why is it that evolving into to an agrarian society is considered devolving? That being hands-on connected to nature is dirty and undesirable?

Having moved from a high pressure job where I never had time to even think about cooking to a more leisurely life where I grow and cook as much as possible, my satisfaction levels have skyrocketed and my blood pressure has relaxed. I know everyone is different but I get incredible satisfaction from working the soil, planting the seeds, and tending the living beings that result. The final consumption of the superior product is just the icing on the cake. In the end you understand your connection to the earth and the beings that inhabit it. And the love and care you put into the plants is returned to you as delicious and nutritious sustenance.


The group with the highest life satisfaction rates from the only study I saw were farmers. There is a reason I guess why people often consider small block farming to be a 'retirement' option. So I do agree that an agrarian way of life isn't so bad. But systemically the issue for me is twofold:

1. Farms are like a ponzi scheme in the way they operate. Children make perfect labourers, but once they grow up they become a liability because there are usually more adults produced than can be sustainably kept. Towns and cities had high mortality rates, and if it wasn't for continued migration from farms they couldn't grow.

2. I am very attached to the technological development we have created to the point where I believe that people are less important than the works we have created to pass to the next generation, and the subsequent development of them. A lot of things we have are extremely wasteful and kind of unnecessary, so I am not attached to everything.

Take spoiled rich people for example. Society has taught them that money can buy more technology and allow them to live above the level of menial labor. (Which is what you are preaching here) Where do they end up? Depressed and alone. Using prescription mood enhancers just to maintain. Totally oblivious to the fact that they have purposely removed their connections!

I use technology every day. But I can also do without. Solar power will never replace oil but enough power to stay connected is a good thing. If we can manage our energy descent in a focused way we can keep the good and dump the bad...

I don't have high hopes.


Yep the society we have is broken. The sheer numbers on anti-depressants is a key figure to keep in mind as depression is the minds way of dealing with problems. Staying depressed means either people don't or won't or can't make the changes to solve the issues they face. Technology didn't create the gaping inequality with the high cost of living and extremely long hours many people face. We are in effect starving in the midst of plenty with the rich hiding behind the interests of the middle classes because in effect everything you could do to address the issues would also effect the middle classes. Excessive debt just fuels the rich because guess who holds the money in the savings account on the other side.

Sure we may have more toys, but my generation is being royally fucked by the system. We're the ones facing the highest house prices, weak job prospects and paying for other's retirements whilst not being entirely sure we'd even get the luxury ourselves. It's a strange thing being told to save for your retirement from the age of 20, but with that perspective things like climate change loom large over everything. There is a lot of anger in the millennials too. Most of us don't even care for democracy anymore.
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Re: Anti doomer: The complexity paradox of technology

Unread postby baha » Mon 20 Mar 2017, 05:17:16

The millennials are in a precarious position. They are being asked to support BAU knowing full well that it will crash and burn before they see any benefit.

Remember you don't have to play their game. I do my best to avoid the traps. Stay out of debt. If you have money, use it to buy hard assets (things that you can use to prosper in the future). Any dealing with banks allows them to put their hooks in you so keep it simple. The old paradigm is die-ing off. The FFueled, never stop, always growing, kids better off than parents world is done. TPTB will take you for a ride if you let them.

You're only hope is to re-establish your connections to the Earth and each other. Technology is a wonderful tool for connecting and sharing information but it does not replace the face to face conversation between friends. Or the connection you feel when you build something and watch it start working. Don't let the virtual world fool you into thinking it's real. It can't replace the seat-of-the-pants feel of a bike ride or the pleasure of a hug :)

Whether or not society makes the right decisions, you can make your own. The millennials seem to have an insight into the frivolity of a lot of our activities and have stepped out on their own. I have always been a rebel. Tell me I can't power my life with Solar and I will start running wires to prove you wrong.

Think for yourself and remember the final goal is simply a smile :)
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