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THE Global Population Thread Pt. 3

Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:36:00

Ibon wrote:
I am somewhat allied to Cog's unusual position. I will earn the ire of many and be accused of being elitist but if I honestly look at the consumption habits of the average uneducated middle class citizen on the planet we would be much better off with greater disparity of wealth, in fact continuing the trend of the disenfranchisement of the middle class as we have witnessed during the past 30 years.

If we had high consumption individuals down to a small percentage of elites and then kept the rest of humanity in serfdom we would alleviate many of the resource constraints along with climate change.

I have to agree with Cog.

The other reason of course is that the vast majority of high consumption middle class citizens are hypocrites when it comes to their willingness to actually sacrifice their high consumption life styles in the name of real conservation.

The trend is clear whether it be education, healthcare, income, disposable income. We are heading exactly where we need to go in reference to keeping our global population one day within carrying capacity. The increasing disparity of wealth is one of the biggest mitigating forces in helping us achieve this.


The catch is that the global economy is capitalist and involves competition, which means it is not exactly based on "serfdom." Rather, both the rich and "high consumption middle class citizens" require increasing sales of goods and services in ever-expanding consumer markets to ensure better profits and returns on investments, and that means a growing global middle class:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

Thus, what you are imagining is not capitalism but feudalism. The latter was usurped by capitalism as "nobility" backed by private armies to control peasants was replaced by burghers backed by the State and workers that vote for officials.

Finally, feudalism will return given limits to growth, but in a way that most don't expect.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:39:35

Hawkcreek wrote:Thank you, but everybody already knows that fiat money is unlimited (until the inevitable reset happens). I believe we were discussing the amount of that dispersed to the 99% vs the 1%.
The percentages are becoming more biased towards the 1% every year.


The irony is that this actually works against the 1 pct because the value of their virtual wealth is maintained only by increasing sales of goods and services to the 99 pct. That means more of the 99 pct have to enter the middle class each time. But that requires countering limits to growth, which is highly unlikely.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:43:19

Newfie wrote:Eventually there will be a reset and the fiat currency bubble will burst.

I think the correct reading of the WEF caution about wealth disparity is that it is not sustainable and eventually the pitchforks will come out.

I think I one analysis that the greed of those at the top will will ultimately fuel their demise. Not unlike the French Revolution. And that is what the WEF sees also. Except the WEF wants to keep the ballon inflated while Ibon (and I) would like to see it burst.

Cog, I suspect your position is one of extreme short sightedness. But it may work for you in your lifetime.


Likely the balloon will burst given financial crashes coupled with the effects of limits to growth (which includes peak oil), environmental damage, and global warming. The latter problems will make financial crises look like child's play.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:43:29

ralfy wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:There is nothing in Capitalist doctrine that says it will be easy or success certain.
Capitalism, when properly regulated by laws impartially enforced,yields better results for the population than any other system or religion.
Cheaters using the power of their positions in government often give it a bad name to the point that critics of Capitalism are in reality railing against the cheaters and not the system itself.


Capitalism requires continuous growth, and given competition and a financial market that dominates it, the opposite of diminishing returns.

Limits to growth doesn't allow either. One of the aspects of limits to growth is peak oil.

Ralfi:
Could you wait a few hours or maybe even a day or two between post directed at me so I could answer them one at a time. I go off on a beer run and do a few chores around the doom-stead and share supper with her Highness and come back to a conversation that has left me behind.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 08:50:36

Nice series of reflections Ralphy.

Let's get to the nitty gritty.

What are your short term predictions, if any?

What precautions are you taking to survive?
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Squilliam » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 14:19:24

ralfy wrote:


The irony is that this actually works against the 1 pct because the value of their virtual wealth is maintained only by increasing sales of goods and services to the 99 pct. That means more of the 99 pct have to enter the middle class each time. But that requires countering limits to growth, which is highly unlikely.[/quote]

Well not entirely anyway. People buy $200 sunglasses; they purchase $150 T-shirts; $1000 hand bags and they drive in $150,000 cars, but in reality the energy cost of these things is either the same or not much more than the equivalent mass produced items. It's kind of a strange game whereby opportunity to advance is often limited by not wearing the right clothing or driving the right car. So to get in the door for many high end jobs you need to show you can afford the high end bling to prove you have the status. I recently read an article whereby some guy rented a high end watch for $150 a month, and he got bumped to first class and treated nicely by the passengers there because they judged that he was genuinely wealthy because one of the clues they use is a nice watch to distinguish the poseurs from the real deal.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 17:48:13

"The increasing disparity of wealth is one of the biggest mitigating forces in helping us achieve this"

I am trying to figure out how Newf came to this conclusion, and I have to assume that N is assuming that small numbers of very wealthy folks can't possibly consume more than large numbers of moderately wealthy folks.

I don't think that is true. But it is indeed hard for us mere mortals to imagine just how much the truly wealthy do manage to consume...fleets of personal jets, some just to shuttle their pets around. Multiple mega-mansions, each with multiple helipads...the absurdity of consumption on this level is indeed hard to wrap one's mind around.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 20:18:41

Squilliam wrote:
Well not entirely anyway. People buy $200 sunglasses; they purchase $150 T-shirts; $1000 hand bags and they drive in $150,000 cars, but in reality the energy cost of these things is either the same or not much more than the equivalent mass produced items. It's kind of a strange game whereby opportunity to advance is often limited by not wearing the right clothing or driving the right car. So to get in the door for many high end jobs you need to show you can afford the high end bling to prove you have the status. I recently read an article whereby some guy rented a high end watch for $150 a month, and he got bumped to first class and treated nicely by the passengers there because they judged that he was genuinely wealthy because one of the clues they use is a nice watch to distinguish the poseurs from the real deal.


But only a minority of people worldwide can do that. Meanwhile, businesses that sell these overpriced goods have to continue expanding production for various reasons, including increasing costs, competition, opportunities to make even more profits by expanding markets, and more.

The irony is that part of those increasing costs include higher wages, which employees need to pay for the same "bling" that they sell. To justify the higher wages, employees have to sell more "bling," and at some point that will mean convincing more people to buy more "bling":

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

The amount of total energy and material resources needed to ensure that will involve at least one additional earth.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 20:26:24

Newfie wrote:Nice series of reflections Ralphy.

Let's get to the nitty gritty.

What are your short term predictions, if any?

What precautions are you taking to survive?


I'm considering the points raised by LtG:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... g-collapse

with the best-case scenario being what happened from 2006 to the present growing worse each time. A worst-case scenario is more difficult to predict because it may involve on or more "black swans". In any case, both may be due to the effects of complexity:

http://fleeingvesuvius.org/2011/10/08/o ... d-economy/

Finally, for precautions I follow advice given by Orlov and others, i.e., focus on skills and resources needed given shortages in medicine, electricity, fuel, etc.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby onlooker » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 13:17:20

An illustration of the hard limits some areas are buckling under and are destined to collapse under
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/522304/icode/
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 14:57:56

Doh,
That was Ibon you quoted, not me.

Squallim,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 16:13:47

Doh,

These discussions are tough without more precise definitions of wealth, etc.

Here is my oft stated analysis.

1. If we were to share wealth (traditional sense) then we would all be about as rich as Guatemalans.
2. We would still need at least one more half world.
3. If all those who became richer because of this redistribution of wealth were to spend their new found dough, which they would, consumption would skyrocket.
4. Those folks living in temperate climates would be disadvantaged because they need to buy heat. Arid - water.
5. Anything remotely approaching a humanistic vision of a sustainable Earth requires a balance between Population, Consumption, and Resources (which are shrinking.)
6. The question is how do we make the transition.
7. Like it or not Cog provides what is probably the most honest and truthful voice among us. It is brutal but clear. It resides deep within us all.
My race, not yours
My tribe, not yours
My family, not yours
Me, not you

I see no other path given humans are the animals humans are.

As Cog says, it will all sort itself out, just be patient.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Squilliam » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 20:48:44

Newfie wrote:
Squillium,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.


Yeah it's pretty ridiculous if you cast a rational eye upon behaviour like that. Power is a drug in itself, and in many ways is probably the most dangerous drug on the planet because of the way it affects behaviour. I wonder sometimes if the real fear of an AI is really about a fear that it will expose the irrational basis of our own behaviour. Considering books like Thinking Fast and Slow for instance we really are led astray too often by our emotions, intuition and baser instincts. It seems like civilisation itself is one big cocaine and alcohol infused party and we're blowing what is in effect a bounty of resources through our noses. To live in such a wasteful way and not really consider why is a tragedy in itself. It makes me think that technocrats such as Hubbert had the right idea with respect to how to structure civilization. We starve in abundance in many ways. We let the minority essentially bend the will of the majority to their unproductive (for civilization) ends. It seems crazy when on average we have the energy equivalent of 20 slaves that we work so hard and struggle so often for such little gain in order to in essence fuel the wasteful lives of a few.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 01:12:02

Newfie wrote:Doh,
That was Ibon you quoted, not me.

Squallim,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.


I'm not sure if animals deliberately grow particular types of feathers, etc. From what I remember, these take place through natural selection. That is, certain traits show up in offspring due to mutation, and if the traits give the animal some advantages given a particular environment, then they will allow it to thrive or survive, thus allowing the possibility for some traits to be passed on to offspring. Finally, changes in the environment may make certain traits irrelevant or even disadvantageous.

In any event, the reference to Veblen is notable.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 09:24:25

Ralph,
No peacocks don't grow tail feathers on purpose, it's all natural selection, through the mating process. You have to live to mate, but just long enough to mate. And the male, generally, picks who she mates with. So males want to be attractive.

It's all about sex, or , more precisely how we assure our genes are passed along to the next generation.

Squallim,
That's what you are reflecting upon. The things we do make no sense from a ration perspective. But they usually make a lot of sense if I you look at it just from the perspective of how to pass along your genes.

We are base animals and our base drives, mostly the desire to reproduce, drive us in ways we are not even aware of. That is very powerful.

It's a lousy strategy for long term survival, but has worked for many millions of years.

There is a great little book, very entertaining but filled with great observations and poignant truths. I like it because it is not pretentious, gets right to the point.
Mother Earth is Trying To Kill You. I highly recommend it.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 11:22:32

Newfie wrote:Ralph,
No peacocks don't grow tail feathers on purpose, it's all natural selection, through the mating process. You have to live to mate, but just long enough to mate. And the male, generally, picks who she mates with. So males want to be attractive.


Wanting to be attractive implies that they have to put on certain feathers to do so, but as pointed out, that doesn't take place. Rather, certain traits appear through random mutation, and it's the environment that determines whether those traits are advantageous or not. Worse, changes in the environment may make traits that are advantageous the opposite.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 14:11:47

You may want a Mercedez Benz.

Or, if you get caught under water for a couple of minutes you body, and you, will really WANT to breath.

Reread my previous post using the second concept of want provided above.

It has nothing to do with your rational brain, and everything to do with your innate desire to live and reproduce.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 19:53:40

ralfy wrote:
Newfie wrote:Ralph,
No peacocks don't grow tail feathers on purpose, it's all natural selection, through the mating process. You have to live to mate, but just long enough to mate. And the male, generally, picks who she mates with. So males want to be attractive.


Wanting to be attractive implies that they have to put on certain feathers to do so, but as pointed out, that doesn't take place. Rather, certain traits appear through random mutation, and it's the environment that determines whether those traits are advantageous or not. Worse, changes in the environment may make traits that are advantageous the opposite.


Read about it here Ralphy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary ... acteristic

They are believed to be the product of sexual selection for traits which display fitness, giving an individual an advantage over its rivals in courtship and aggressive interactions. They are distinguished from the primary sex characteristics, the sex organs, which are directly necessary for sexual reproduction to occur.
Secondary sex characteristics include manes of male lions and long feathers of male peacock, the tusks of male narwhals, enlarged proboscises in male elephant seals and proboscis monkeys, the bright facial and rump coloration of male mandrills, and horns in many goats and antelopes, and these are believed to be produced by a positive feedback loop known as the Fisherian runaway produced by the secondary characteristic in one sex and the desire for that characteristic in the other sex. Male birds and fish of many species have brighter coloration or other external ornaments. Differences in size between sexes are also considered secondary sexual characteristics.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 21:13:26

Ibon wrote:
Read about it here Ralphy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary ... acteristic

They are believed to be the product of sexual selection for traits which display fitness, giving an individual an advantage over its rivals in courtship and aggressive interactions. They are distinguished from the primary sex characteristics, the sex organs, which are directly necessary for sexual reproduction to occur.
Secondary sex characteristics include manes of male lions and long feathers of male peacock, the tusks of male narwhals, enlarged proboscises in male elephant seals and proboscis monkeys, the bright facial and rump coloration of male mandrills, and horns in many goats and antelopes, and these are believed to be produced by a positive feedback loop known as the Fisherian runaway produced by the secondary characteristic in one sex and the desire for that characteristic in the other sex. Male birds and fish of many species have brighter coloration or other external ornaments. Differences in size between sexes are also considered secondary sexual characteristics.


I don't think males from these species buy or put on feathers, tusks, etc., in a way that male humans would wear expensive sunglasses. I'm not even sure how phenotypes can now be equated with virtual value of marketed products.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Squilliam » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 22:17:34

Newfie wrote:Squillium,
That's what you are reflecting upon. The things we do make no sense from a ration perspective. But they usually make a lot of sense if I you look at it just from the perspective of how to pass along your genes.

We are base animals and our base drives, mostly the desire to reproduce, drive us in ways we are not even aware of. That is very powerful.

It's a lousy strategy for long term survival, but has worked for many millions of years.

There is a great little book, very entertaining but filled with great observations and poignant truths. I like it because it is not pretentious, gets right to the point.
Mother Earth is Trying To Kill You. I highly recommend it.


Another example of that is selfish genes by Richard Dawkins. Our bodies were built to serve our genes, and not the reverse. It explains a whole range of our behaviours from an evolutionary psych perspective, and it's not pretty with respect to ones ego if you read it. We're all biased not only towards family, but also people that are physically and genetically close to us. It even goes on to explain memes in much the same fashion as genes whereby ideas themselves are transmitted from mind to mind and generation to generation much like the genetic material that determines our own makeup.

I wonder though with respect to the 'selfish gene' perspective that our best and worst behaviours are hard coded. What does it mean for something like altruism when you know that the person being altruistic is just being driven by natural brain pathways that 'rewards' them for that behaviour? Is a nice sociopath for instance 'more good' than someone that is driven to act in a 'nice' way by their own brain reward pathways for instance? How this relates to global population is that 'if' there are serious economic and ecological challenges then the old nasty pathways that everyone has just get activated. Suddenly people are not nice to people that don't look like them, and even target them in their primitive survival/competitive behaviour. I have long held the belief that if climate change for instance really gets serious there won't be a 'refugee' problem because in a dark way I suspect that they will be made to feel extremely unwelcome.
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